A Wallet Missed Part 1 by: M. R. Vega
The laundry had been tossed across the master room, the sopping washer load had been strewn across the linoleum leaving puddles to be traipsed over and across. Harold looked at his girlfriend Lucy with an ambivalence that could have anyone else’s skin molt and wither. Lucy wasn’t that type of woman though as she continued with a tenacity admirable even to the grump of a man glaring at her as he followed the wreck left behind going through pairs of sweats and jeans to no avail in a search of a wallet. A velcro-sealed wallet so easily purchased at any Wal-Mart from their city to each coast of the states. They both knew this. They both ignored the beguilement one another felt as they tore through the bedsheets, the hamper, the couches, and the rest of the small apartment. Harold went to the bookcases after soaking up a good amount of moisture in the socks he continued to wear on his stinking feet with an indistinguishable grumbling that neighbours under and above can hear but not even Harold was aware of. They needed this wallet.
Harold needed it, and at the moment could care less if Lucy was in the apartment or was attesting to his pulling the books down lazily and so carelessly. Lucy’s cries and wallowing were ignored as Harold; the brute began tossing them over his shoulder unabashed by where or how they landed. They had no difference to him than that of the sopping and likely still seeping wet load of laundry aside the washer. These were wastes of space in Harold’s eye, an argument that had continued since they moved in together. He didn’t get the sense of such a collection if she just let them bask atop a shelf. Rarely did he see her open them let alone know or share what they were about, but that was Lucy’s secret and not something she cared to waste his time discussing. Luckily for her, until today, her covering rent while he was still job searching kept them safe, kept her secrets and loves untainted.
Gibran, Dumas, Bradbury, Vonnegut, Morris, Christie, and many more met their fate to a blind toss with a flutter of pages let loose from their bindings. Tolstoy and the older collections she most treasured were luckily tucked in a footlocker hidden in the back of a closet but still, Lucy raged on. Lucy infuriated, screamed for Harold to stop, and begged for him to quit his childish fit and look at what he was doing all for a silly wallet. It was just money, something a week’s worth of working and slouched behind a counter or stocking shelves could replace, but unbeknown to Lucy that wasn’t the full truth.
Harold, only knowing Lucy for but two years of his thirty lived, felt that minute aspects of his life needed to be told. Histories of his family and what they carried were to be kept to sealed lips until he chose to wed if ever that came to be his choice. He whipped his head around and started to shout at her, baring down on her with ridicule only an idiot man can stoop to. Kicking and stomping on Palahnuik and King, shredding Tolkein and Yeats with his teeth and a smile. He spit out the papers with a grin, told her she couldn’t understand and continued looking through the shelves while throwing the last of the books to the floor with a behooving and dripping in vile sweaty anger.
“It’s not just a wallet Luce! It’s not just money! It’s my family’s legacy!”
Lucy wide-eyed and starting to quiver began to give him a look of curious audacity, an almost incredulous expression wanting to pull that statement yelled at her, still feeling the spittle on her cheeks, she wanted to know exactly what that meant. She mocked him with a meek scoff and rolled an eye pulling herself to the wall, knowing, more unsure if the books would be the only thing abused and shrugged.
“Meaning? Your family legacy, really Harry. You damage most of my books all for a velcro-sealed wallet cheaper than a joint on the street and you state it’s a family legacy!” Lucy looks at the torn and tattered smashed books she’d taken years to collect and slumps to the floor with tears falling quicker than her knees gave out.
“And you do this?” Luce waves her hand across the living room, looking up at Harold with hate he’s never seen protrude from her tear-strewn eyes.
He looks at her remorsefully, ashamed and confused of how he got so angry and so quickly.
“You can’t understand, Okay? I’m not excusing this bullcrap, I know, I fucked up, I’ll replace them all okay? I just need that wallet. It’s not a foolish want, I need it Luce, that wallet has so much and I can only show you if we find it.”
Lucy scoffs again and slowly, ignoring Harold now, crawls delicately to the broken collection and starts stacking them while tracing her finger across the spines. She sniffs at the nasal drip pouring from her nose and almost chokes.
“Find that fecking wallet then Harry! Get out of this room and find that stupid wallet and then you’re going to show me what’s so special and allow you some shit excuse for damaging these. She holds up Stephen Kings Carrie, its binding nearly torn in half, a first-edition hardback she bought after getting her first grant for college, and starts to cry. Harold still stupidly negligent to the emotions flooding her senses nods and goes about the apartment continuing his search in silence. All he hears aside from his movement and the slapping of his still wet socks is Lucy’s sniffing and begins to feel a heat exude from the woman he owes an explanation to.