A Wallet Missed Pt. 2 by: M. R. Vega
Harold had nearly stripped the apartment as though the two bedrooms, living space, and bathroom were a renovation. Lucy had left, taking the keys with her after cursing at him while he grabbed all the items from the boxes and closet still unpacked and rummaged through every orifice and nook. Whether it was a purse, backpack, gift box, jewelry case, or anything that he could envision holding that wallet he’d peek through.
However, now he sat defeated. He grabbed at the hairs laying against the nape of his neck and tugged angrily, plucking at himself like a peeved gardener does at weeds, and continued to do so until he felt blood trickling down his neck. Once that dripping was flowing he got up shaking his head. He’d already pushed the one person away that mattered most to him, the whole of his family was either gone or dead, and he found not peace but destruction to be his vice. Still feeling the trickling droplets slide down his sweating neck, starting to feel the burn from his self-mutilation he walked to the bathroom sulking and crying at the foolish man he’d become in a matter of the few hours he’d wrestled with this dilemma. Once in there, he gazed at the mirror, eyes bloodshot, and tear-soaked, seeing the blood start to stain the neckline of his shirt he started to mockingly laugh. Almost going about to punch the mirror, he held back his fist and shook a finger at himself, coming to terms that anyone watching what he was doing would call the cops, he took to the porcelain seat. He cried for a moment and in that innocuous moment of complete but coincidental randomosity flushed the toilet. With the lid closed the sound was muted but at that crucial pulse of a moment he heard a soft fabric thud to the ground.
He quickly turned, almost hopping with excitement and crouched reaching behind the toilet at the black wallet and pulling it to his chest sighed with great relief. He went to call Lucy, thinking of how he’d protest and convince her to their apartment. After crushing her noteworthy collection of wondrous reads, why would she come back? He asked himself silently and sent a text instead of begging her back with a call that read simply ‘I FOUND the wallet, come back, let’s get you to the book stores and I’ll replace em all. I’m sorry…and I’ll show you the wallet and explain my idiotic and infantile behaviour.’
After pressing send on his phone he waited anxiously but with a convincing to himself that she wouldn’t be stepping inside this place again. Hoping he’d hear a door close from the car they shared or hear her breathing a heavy sigh through the open window of the front of the apartment. However, he was astonished to find that she was sitting out there the entire time, just waiting. Her favorite wicker chair that she’d wished and jokingly begged for months ago was adorned with a cushion that she now used as her support sitting on the concrete step of their second-floor apartment. Luckily it was an odd and quiet night so only a few of the neighbours were either at the complex or even cared to open a door or walk about the area. This meant that she had all the time to listen to his fit throwing, rolling an eye at the idiocy, snickering and sticking a tongue our at the manchild behaviours she’d come to see from brothers plenty. Until today sadly, this was a first for her in being witness to his stupidity but she shrugged and figured, ‘that’s love, putting up with the stupid.’ Oddly there was a sense within that told her not only would he confess and relinquish so much that he’d never alluded to before, but tonight was going to be something of a special night.
And deep down she knew she’d be cleaning the shelves of the two book stores the lame town had available and she was starting to get antsy waiting for that text to come.
Upon finding the text at the same time Howard stuck his head out, she grimaced and then gave him a meek smile with a hand out, obviously awaiting the fated wallet to be placed in her hand. Howard grumbled a peevish and embarrassed apology looking her deep in the eyes and set the wallet firmly in her hand.
“Let’s go.” She said and they mozied down to the car with keys and wallet in hand.