Jack and Jill

The rain was pounding outside. It always rained after sex. Jack lay in bed with Jill. Jill lay in bed asleep. The covers were on the floor.

 

Jack lay on his back looking up at the ceiling, listening to the storm gushing out of the gutters at the bottom of his brick and mortar apartment building. He heard the clanging of hundreds of drops simultaneously slamming onto the roofs of the cars parked outside, none of which was his. Jack heard the rain and saw the ceiling but thought about Jill. The ceiling was spoiled with leaks and although it was dark he could still see the yellow stains and the peeling paint.

 

Heat in Jack’s shit hole came from an ancient radiator, but the goddamned thing was stuck on high. They slept in his sauna with the windows open. Any water that rode in on a breeze would dry before the morning.

 

Jack reached over to the cardboard box that served as a nightstand and picked up a box of smokes. It was still empty. It had been empty for the past two days. He flipped the top open and sniffed at the lingering essence.

 

“Fuck,” he thought.

 

He thought because he could not speak, but even in his silence Jill picked up on the despair. Jill liked to be fooled that everything was fine. She lay on her side facing Jack and he felt her cold stare blasts its way through her closed eyelids. Jack turned his head and stared at Jill.

 

She was still asleep. He hated Jill because of how insignificant she made him feel. She was in a distant land with exciting people, being attended to in every manner. He was in his ratpartment on the third floor at the corner of Western and Santa Monica Boulevard.

 

In bed she wore a smile that was not reflective of her surroundings. Her golden hair was pulled back neatly and tied in such a fashion so as not to come undone. Her charm was as obvious in her slumber as it was in the sparkle at the corner of her eye when she smiled at someone.

 

It was that magnetic personality that had attracted Jack to Jill. However, during her sleep the charm was not complete and Jack began to dissolve the glow he had built around her.

 

While she slept she could not make him forget all of the cleverly disguised insults. She could not sneak doubt into his psyche and make him question his life, his chosen path. His resolve was strengthened while it rained outside.

 

Jill lay in bed breathing softly in and out. Jack watched her like he had scrutinized his puppy years ago. They didn’t get more adorable than Jill.

 

Jack realized he needed her more than she did him. As he lay facing her he discovered her purpose. She was a self-inflicted wound. He had been attracted to her because of the distraction she caused him. Jack was not happy with Jill.

 

Jill sensed the eminent sorrow that Jack was compounding. His eyes were drilling through her like a sharpened awl. He had reduced her glow to a faint flicker.

 

She exhaled a mediocre sigh and Jack saw her coming back from her euphoric journey. He smelled the doubt creeping back at him. Jack saw it rush at him through his eyes. It entered through that particular portal because of the proximity of his brain. Obscurity quickly saturated every cell in his head. Then Jill opened her eyes.

 

She focused intensely on Jack’s eyes and with her sparkle began to rebuild her glow, and she did so at a much faster pace than Jack had felled it.

 

Jill took her hand and placed the warmth at Jack’s cheek. As he lay paralyzed she moved forward and kissed his lips. The poison had been delivered.

 

She pulled back her arm and closed her eyes. Jack lay motionless as Jill rolled onto her other side. He stared at the back of her head for a moment and then turned back towards the ceiling. The rain was still oozing in.

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