Gregory and I had some talks and also about the past ...and well, this is a story from the past. He said it might be nice to tell you this.
So here we go:
The door closed and my world got a little crack...
It was a cold rainy night somewhat in fall 2000. Such a night no one really wants to be outside, a night you would not send your doggy outside, a night everyone wants to be in his warm and cozy little apartment or house.
A night in which I stood outside with a backpack in my hand and a suitcase down to my feet.
„Fine“, I thought, „really fine!“
I grabbed the suitcase, put the backpack on my back and made my way to my Volvo.
„Where to go now?“ I muttered to myself when I opened the car.
Karen my second wife has just thrown me out of our flat and there I was in my car, it was raining and it was about 11 pm.
I turned on the engine and parked out, „I could go to Greg...“ I thought and turned left at the crossroads.
What happened ... What happened?
Well, Karen wasn’t happy all the time that I did spend so much time with Gregory and with my work. She couldn’t understand that I had to work sometimes until late night and that Gregory was my best friend though.
Gregory and Karen – two persons absolutely not compatible though. He didn’t like her though.
Greg always said something about „Needle eyes, thin mouth and far too skinny to be a warm and tender person.“
I liked Karen – of course I did – I wouldn’t have married her if not. Yes I liked her pretty much. We just got married one year ago, a few months after the divorce from Susan (my first wife).
A sigh slipped out of my mouth when thinking about that, a movement on the street captured my attention again – just a paper bag – and the rain was still coming down like a waterfall.
Karen ... yes, she did throw me out when she found out that I knew about her little „singing lessons“ and that I searched some distraction in the arms of a very nice young nurse. I told her that I did betray her though – but she couldn’t cope with it. I mean ... it was not me betraying at first!
I was just so ...well, yes – hurt! I was hurt at that moment and the nurse just wanted to ...hmmm... talk ... and well it ended up in bed though. Yes, I feel ashamed! I know that I did wrong and I am feeling very sorry about it.
My mind turned back to the here and yet when I noticed that I just arrived in front of Gregory’s apartment.
A deep sigh emerged from my lips and my thumbs were drumming on the steering wheel.
Should I really go in there? Should I really go to Greg?
The lights were still on and so I just shrugged, jumped out of the car and got totally soaked on the way to the front door.
My world got another little crack when the door was opened by ... Stacy.
I do like Stacy and I did like her at that time as well, but seeing her at that very moment wasn’t the thing I wanted to see, you know.
„Oh, hello James!“ she said with a smile.
„Who is it Stacy?“ Greg’s voice came from inside.
„It is James, darling!“ Stacy yelled back.
I stepped from one foot to another and shivered slightly.
„St...sta...stacy. It is cold and I am soaked to the bone.“ I managed to stammer.
She looked at me, „God, James I am so sorry, come in!“
Greg looked around the corner and frowned „Wilson ... You are wet!“
I got out of my jacket and looked at him.
„House" I said and nodded "You were always such a fast one“ I continued and looked down on my soaked trousers.
Greg approached me „What are you doing here anyway?“
„Greg, just let James come in. You could offer him some pants or so, he is soaked!“ Stacy interfered and looked at me.
„Really, James you look awful!“
„Thank you!“ I muttered and still kept Greg’s look.
"So? Need a dry trouser?" Gregory asked me and turned towards the bedroom.
"Ehm... yes, that'd be great" I answered and followed him.
"Close the door behind you" he said and threw a jogging trouser on the bed and a towel in my face.
"Hmph" was the only thing I was able to answer but did close the door behind.
"So, Jim! She did throw you out, right?"
Steal blue eyes met mine and I kept his glance for some seconds before I started to rub my hair with the towel.
"Okay, what have you done? Thought it might be a good idea to cheat a bit?" Greg asked and still tried to look into my eyes.
I hesitated for a splint of a second and then started to rub my hair again.
"Gosh! Wilson! Why the heck did you do that? And stop drying your hair, the towel was meant for your body and not for your hair."
My hands stopped rubbing and I looked at him.
"Why? Well, after I did find out that her singing lessons with that French teacher were not only singing lessons, I went to a bar and got pretty much drunk!"
I removed my jumper and my jeans and looked at Greg, who had flung himself on the bed and was looking at me like I'd be an interesting case.
"Rub yourself dry!" he said and I really blushed a bit.
"You ... you want to watch me while doing that?" I asked.
"C'mon Jim, it is not so that you are doing something very, hm, sexual, right?"
"Right" I murmured and just rubbed myself dry then.
"Okay, so she had an affair and you got drunk - and where is your cheating now? Hm?"
A sigh slipped out of my mouth and I grabbed the trouser laying on the bed.
"I met Sandra in that bar and ..."
"Sandra? Who is Sandra?" Greg interrupted me and straightened up a bit.
I slipped into the trouser "Sandra is a nurse, who works in the emergency room and well, we started to talk then."
"Talk? If it would just have been a talk though you wouldn't be standing here in my bedroom, James! Do I have to ask you every single bit or will you tell me the complete story now?"
I rubbed my neck and looked at Gregory.
"Will you give me a jumper or do I have to stay that way?"
Gregory smiled "You could stay like that" he said with a devilish grin.
I grinned back "Sure and soon you will be kicked out by Stacy cause she thinks we are gay."
Greg winked at me "Would that be that bad?"
"Menace" I said and shook my head while laughing.
He stood up, went to the cupboard and gave me a jumper.
"Here and now you will tell me the story. Wanna have a beer or do you prefer a malt?"
"Both?" I said and put on the jumper.
I thought I did hear Greg sighing but when I looked at him, he was just opening the door.
"Do you want to tell Stacy as well, or should I send her to her place?" he asked and looked back at me.
"I ... I ... "
"Okay, wait here or dry your hair in the meantime."
I just nodded and felt a bit unsecure. Was it right to hope he would send her away?
Still thinking I rubbed my hair dry and just looked up when the door opened again after a few minutes.
"You can come out now. She is gone."
My jaw dropped down "You ... you really did send her away?" I asked.
He shrugged "Sure, why not?"
"Ehm... " I said still stunned and unable to say something else.
Greg turned and went into the living room. He did switch on the HiFi and some music filled the air.
I leaned against the door frame and listened for a while.
"What is this?" I asked him.
He looked up from pouring malt into two glasses.
"The malt or the music? The malt is Aberlour and the music are the Tindersticks."
(yes the CD I am listening now!)
"Sounds great" I murmured when he gave me the glass.
"Slaìnte!" Greg said and I raised my glass as well.
Let me say that it didn't stay with just one glass. We had several glasses and several beer as well while I told him the whole story.
After I had finished my story Greg looked deep into my eyes.
"So Jimmy, how do you feel now?"
"Like my world just got a bigger crack though" I mumbled.
"Hmmm... So what now? Divorce?" he said and poured another drink.
"I dunno, Greg, I dunno."
Gregory sipped at his malt and then murmured "Perhaps I should think about that marriage thing again though."
I nearly spat out the malt and starred at him.
"The marriage thing" he answered and his eyes met mine.
I felt my stomach turn when I asked him "What marriage thing?"
Gregory leaned back in his chair, played with his glass and watched me.
"Well, we just got engaged today."
"To...to..today? Engaged?!!" I stammered and I must have looked a bit shocked though.
"Shocked?" Greg wanted to know.
Shocked ... was I shocked? To be honest now ... my world got another crack and shattered into broken pieces.
"Shocked?" I answered after a while. "No ...yes ... no ... I mean" I took a deep breath "I ... geez, TODAY?"
Gregory still looked at me and nodded.
"Today and you send her away? I should go now..." I said and wanted to stand up.
Not only that my world was shattered into pieces - no it did just turn upside down now and the last thing I knew was Gregory leaning over me.
"I think you wont go anywhere now, Jimmy" he murmured and his blue eyes sparkled like a mountain lake in the sunlight.