Loralee: The Dimestore Novella
Chapter Three, Houston
Originally Published on January 12, 2012
“I heard you, damn it. I know who I belong to.” Donna paced on the balcony.
“Then what are you doing?” Malcom said.
“Don’t you know it’s you? It’s a big world, I been sitting on my hands a long time. What’s going to happen when I talk to people? You’re either going to trust me or not. You think that you know everything about me.”
“I know more about this.”
“I heard you. Do you think I’m hedging my bets? You are so wrong, if that’s what you think.”
“I think that you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re lonely, wanting attention.”
“Reassurance. I want reassurance because, well, you know why, because of Loralee. Because of Suzanne. Because what the hell am I to you? You are wrong about the rest of it, and you, I, oh goddamn it! Who the hell are you to judge me in this mess? I know who I belong to. I didn’t think you wanted everyone else to know it. It’s your own damn fault. I thought I was helping you out. You know, falling on my sword for you again. It’s your own damn fault.”
“Don’t. I didn’t ask you to do that. I didn’t tell you to.” Malcom looked at the floor.
“What the hell am I supposed to do?”
“Quit throwing a fit. Trust me. I’ve got you. Wait.”
“Damn cowboys! Bossy! Stand still, look pretty, sit down, shut up. Hurry up and wait. What is wrong with me that I gotta do this to myself? I know who I belong to.” Donna continued to pace, fuming mad at him.
“Then what are you doing?”
“I done told you! I thought, because of Loralee, I thought, I mean, what is either of us doing? He’s sitting at home now, watching t.v., waiting for me. You want to put rose-colored glasses on this now? Because we’re just so in love? You want to talk about what I would and wouldn’t do? You gonna play that card? Do you think that if I would with you, that I would with him? With your friend, Nevelle? With anyone else? Is that what you think? I’ve been with my husband for ten years, with one man, you think this don’t mean something to me? I love the way people sit around and talk about trust while they stick it in and break it off. So, I talked to your friend at a party, so what?”
“I never said that he was my friend. You don’t know him. You talked to me at a party once too.”
“Oh, no, sweetheart, I took one look at you and watched my life come apart. Don’t ever insult me like that again. I know who I belong to.”
“Then act like it.”
“Oh no. Oh no you didn’t.” Donna laughed a mean laugh.
“You’re too close to that ledge. Donna, come here. Come away from the balcony. Get away from that ledge.”
“Oh, all right. I didn’t come to spend the night with you so we could fuss and fight.” Donna smiled at him. She slipped out of her dress, letting it fall to the floor around her stilettos.
“Goddamn. Bring those over here.” Malcom reached for her.
“You mean my beautiful eyes?”
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