“Traditions define us! Loyalty means something to me. Even if it is just a word to you!” I say. Let’s be honest- I’m old fashioned. Restrain. Nothing but complains tonight. Anyway.
“This isn’t what I asked for, Ira!”
I roll my eyes. Still. I can’t be angry with her. This time I cannot give her what she wants. It is impossible. Even if this is our hundredth discussion. “I’d give my head on a plate. But don’t claim that. Please! Please…” She can be as annoying as a hungry puppy, while I’m eating a steak. “I told you. I can’t get you that! I do not have the autorisation for that! And I told you.” That can’t be helped. “I’m doing more than just risk my job for you. You know, what will happen, if they catch me. Getting fired is the most pleasant thing, that they could do to me.”
“I DON’T CARE!”
What?! She really said it… “I’m sorry, Ira. I didn’t mean to…”
“You did.” It hurts. Like swallowing glass shards. I forgot. Natasha is… Natasha. I knew she chose me for a reason, and stays with me as long as I serve her purposes. And I know she’s not in love, or anything. I don’t need her to… I’ve got enough for both of us. It will be good – for a while.
Maybe I… I. No. I don’t even know her real name. She lets me call her Natasha. When we first met, in ‘Roadrunner’, a night club, she was sitting at the bar, staring into her Martini. Not looking for company, not interested at all. I was drunk and pretentious. I said, she looked like a ‘Natasha’. So she stuck with it. I don’t know, why she didn’t punch me in the face, for being such an ass.
She made it clear. The first night we spent together. She’s a stray. She doesn’t belong to anyone. Only to herself. Sweet Natasha. Her big brown eyes burning with madness, or anger, or sex. Sometimes I can’t tell the difference. Her wonderfully soft lips, speaking those words with such cold cruelty. The clicking of her teeth, her jaw muscles working under the skin of her cheeks. She fought for those words. She fought herself. I fell for her, that night.
As the weeks passed, she showed her gratitude… In different ways. And it meant more to me, than I ever could imagine. More, than I wanted them to mean to me. So here I am. Living with a stray woman, who needs things… Things I can supply her with.
“Come on, Ira. I’m sorry. I really am! You know that. Come on. Look at me, darling. Please forgive me! You know I’ve got temper. I don’t want you to get hurt. My mouth was faster than my brain. Forgive me.” She smiles sad.
I smile back at her. “I’ll just say, that it was the sockfairies…”
“I’ll be there. To pick you up,” she promises.
But I know she’ll be gone. Maybe by morning. Maybe tomorrow, or next week…