“I should go,” said Diana. She watched the full moon out the window. It reflected in the puddles on the street.
The rain had stopped and the clouds had moved on. So much for weather reports. They predicted the storms would continue into the morning.
“Oh, Magic,” said Arthur. “Did you suddenly get shy?” He nuzzled the naked skin of Diana’s hip. She had prominent hip bones. Arthur had always found them sexy, especially when she wore low jeans. In the past week, he made a series of jokes about her hip cleavage.
Diana’s phone beeped. She removed herself from Arthur and searched under the bed for her bag. It was a text message from Assam: “Hey Di! I’m playing on Friday at Canal Bar. 11 PM. Want to come?”
Assam was a friend from college. The night before graduation the three of them had climbed over the fence at a farm near school. Their intent was to go cow tipping, but they couldn’t find any cows. Instead, they climbed trees and sang rowdy songs. The night ended with a drunken pact to remain friends forever.
Diana began redressing. She collected her clothes from the floor. “Assam’s band is playing on Friday. Want to go?”
“Yeah, I think I already told him I would,” said Arthur.
“Oh,” said Diana. She considered the shoe in her hand. “He didn’t ask you to invite me?”
“No,” said Arthur. “But I figured you’d take any excuse to go to a bar after pay day.” Diana bent to put on her shoes and Arthur ran his fingers along the back of her thigh. “You should stay, Magic. I’ll be lonely without you.”
Diana batted away Arthur’s hand. “Stop. That tickles.”
The television came on in the apartment next door.
Diana cocked her head to listen. “The rain didn’t slow them,” she said. She had never met the couple who lived next to Arthur, but every night at ten, someone arrived home and they would turn on an old sitcom with the volume too loud. Sometimes she could hear their laughter through the wall.
Two weeks ago, Arthur told Diana he was in love with her. Diana kissed him. It seemed like the right to do. She cared about him deeply. It was just before ten o’clock and, soon, they had a laugh track to accompany their love making.
“What do they do?” asked Diana and she nodded towards the wall.
“She’s a security guard or something. Says it’s the most boring thing in the world.”
“So she’s the one who arrives at ten every night?”
“Yeah. Well… actually, he passed away last week.”
Diana froze. “How did he die?”
“A heart attack, I think.”
Through the wall, a studio audience laughed uproariously. Diana felt suddenly sick. She sat on the bed.
“Are you okay, Magic?”
She didn’t answer, but rested her head in Arthur’s lap. Arthur ran his hand through her hair. She thought back to when they had first met and how Arthur always played with her hair while they watched movies.
“It should be different,” said Diana. She felt tears form in her eyes. She gripped the blanket tightly in her fists. She wanted to hoist herself up and scream. She wanted to hit Arthur. She wanted to kiss him and pound against the walls.
Instead, she just held on to the blanket and let Arthur play with her hair.