She was completely quiet and followed along behind him as they made their way through the terminal, into a waiting elevator and out into the parking garage where his silver Buick Regal was parked just two parking spaces away from the door.
“I was lucky to get this space. Normally I’d have to park God only knows where, but today for some reason, a guy was pulling out just as I came along. Worked out great!” he said as the trunk popped open, with a distinct “thunk” seemingly on its own.
“The doors are unlocked.” he said, motioning her toward the front of the vehicle.
She remained fuming and uncommunicative as she opened the door and slid onto the leather seat. Luke hefted the heavy bag into the dark recesses of the trunk, closed it with a thud and came around the driver’s side. Her heart psychically winced in utter disgust and annoyance as he slid into the driver’s seat too-close for her liking. She didn’t want to deal with him and was close to gagging on the anger she felt. He was a turd. A smelly disingenuous and disgusting turd! She envisioned a flame or particle beam shooting out from her center; frying him into a small burnt turd-like pile of ashes right there on the seat. As he backed the car out of the parking space and headed out of the garage, Lauren turned her head to face the window so he couldn’t see her smiling at the thought.
As they exited the garage, brilliant sunlight hit her eyes and she squinted hard, taking in a view of the city she grew up in and had left a few months earlier. She knew Luke and her sister Gwen (Gwenny as she liked to call her when they were on better terms with each other), thought she’d been running away, and maybe deep down inside she secretly had; but the opportunity she’d been given in Sydney was just too lucrative and compelling to let pass by. In the few months she’d worked on this account, she’d earned as much as working three years doing her old job and she’d built her reputation as a ballsy advertising executive who can get the job done! That was what it was really all about. Though the work was hard and the hours long; she’d shown she had what it takes, and now she was in demand across the industry for what she could provide and produce. She liked that very much. The ache in her shoulder began to ease and she relaxed a little thinking of her success. No matter what else happened, she would always have that.
Her internal dialog was interrupted by his voice. “Things haven’t changed much since you’ve been away Lauren.”
She thought to herself “Right! Things sure changed between you a Gwenny while I was gone huh!” He must have anticipated her thoughts and added, “Well, I mean, uhmm that is..” She laughed inwardly. “He’s such a turd!” she thought, as he stammered trying to get it out in a way that he or maybe she could deal with.
“Yes…” she said encouragingly…
“Well, I guess some things have changed. I mean.. Gwen and I.. well.. it’s not the same as it was Lauren. We’re really not an item anymore..”
She wanted this ride to be over. “Luke. It’s none of my business and I don’t care what your relationship issues are with my sister. That’s between you and her. I’m here to visit my family and that includes my sister Gwen. That’s it!” she said flatly, staring out the window.
“Okay. Okay! Well, I just wanted you to know that’s all.”
“Great!” she hissed.
“I’ve moved out and back at my old apartment.” he continued on, not taking the hint to shut the hell up about it already!
“Good. Now you can move on. Do we have to talk about this?” she said, reaching up and turning on the car radio. Rock music began drowning out the awkward silence.
But the turd didn’t stop….. “Sure. Sure. I was kind of hoping we could at least still be friends...” he muttered..
So this was it! She took the opportunity; turned and spoke directly to him.. Without hesitation she blasted the turd with the truth… “No Luke. We can’t be okay. I didn’t ask you to pick me up and would sooner take a cab, but you insisted on this by grabbing my bag; so here it is… in black and white okay Luke – just the way you like it. We’re not friends! I hope you have a great life and I’ve moved on and now it looks as if Gwen has moved on and you should move on as well okay. Just drop me off and then leave us all alone okay.” She felt terrible and yet relieved all at the same time. She was breathing fast and just wanted this to be over.
“Right!” he said, reaching up and turning the volume up on the radio.
She turned away from him and studied the world passing by outside the car window. She couldn’t see his face but knew it was red like hers and sincerely didn’t care what he thought anymore. She was glad to have finally told the turd what she felt.
Even though music played and drum beats vibrated through her seat from the side door panel speaker, there was complete silence in her heart now, and she was grateful for it…..