Mark

In the middle of the night, I was awoken by a sharp knocking at the front door.

Flipping on the lamp beside my bed, I squinted sleepily at the little alarm clock on the stand beside me bed. It was almost Midnight.

The sharp rapping continued.

"Jesus H. Christ, Roger," I grumbled as I reached for my glasses.

Holding them lazily in my hand, I stumbled blindly to the door, nearly tripping over Roger's guitar case.

I fumbled with the doorknob, and finally it creaked open.

"Roger, for God sakes, it's midnight," I complained, smothering a yawn.

But It wasn't Roger. It was Maureen.

"Hi Mark," she said, uncertainly.

"I know it's really late.I've been thinking about the time we had tonight, and well.without Joanne with me, I'm lonely."

She shuffled her feet on the wooden floor, embarrassed.

"Wanna stay here?" I offered, half-awake.

Surprised, she looked up at me.

"Actually, that was the next thing I was going to say.Are you sure it wouldn't be any trouble, I mean, I don't want to be a hassle for you and Roger, but I just though."

I watched her lips moving rapidly, but I could no longer hear the words that were coming out of them.

I don't know if it was the fact that I was barely awake, or the fact that Maureen looked so terrific, even though under her threadbare coat, all she had on were here pajamas and slippers, but while she was talking incoherently, I leaned forward and kissed her on the lips, quieting her temporarily.

"Mark," she exclaimed, pulling away, "We can't."

"Why?" I replied, coming in for another kiss.

"Because," she started, turning her head so my lips landed on her cheek,"Because.because we've already been through this before, and it didn't turn out good. Because Joanne might come back."

"Maureen," I said, almost pleadingly, "I've been wanting to do this for a long time. I love you."

I was now fully awake.

"Besides, I think if we give ourselves another chance, we can make it work."

She still looked uncertain.

"Give into love, or live in fear," I said softly.

A small smile broke through the worried look on her face.

"You really think that things can go back to the way they were with us?" she asked.

I nodded.

"And I'm not reading allowed from one of my crappy scripts either. I'm talking straight from my heart."

I remembered how my unique little one-liners used to win her over. I leaned in to kiss her again, and this time, she was acceptant.

"I've been wanting this for a long time too," she admitted.

"Well," I said wickedly, "I'd love to stay and chat out here in the doorway, but I am dead tired, and I must get back to my bedroom before I collapse."

"Mind if I join you?" she asked, grinning.

I took her arm in mine and walked towards the bedroom with her.

"I don't see why not," I said, letting the door close gently behind me.

Maureen is right. There's a chance that someday Joanne will come back to her, threatening to replace me. But I can't think about that right now.

I have to hold onto what I have. And at the moment, all I have are my friends, and my camera.

But that's more than enough.

At least for now.

"In these dangerous times, were it seems that the world is ripping at the seams, we all can learn how to survive from those who face death squarely in the face every day and we should reach out to each other and bond as a community, rather than hide from the terrors or life at the end of the millennium." ~Jonathan Larson