The One That You Wrecked

Bold italics are song lyrics

This will all fall down, like everything else that was
This too shall pass, and all of the words we said
We can't take back

As I emerge groggily from my room, the first thing that catches my eye is the form of a woman standing in front of the large windows watching the snow fall, blanket wrapped around her and mug of cocoa in her hand. I sneak up behind her and wrap my arms around her waist.

"Ah! Pookie, you're hands are freezing!" She jerks away from me, almost spilling her drink.

"Well, help me warm them up then." She glares at me. That look is almost as hypnotizing as her pout. "Please?" I put on my own pout. For some reason, it usually works pretty well on her.

She grins at me. "Oh, fine!" She takes my arm and pulls it around herself, pressing her back to me as she watches the snow fall. I kiss her neck and she responds with that intoxicating giggle. God, she's amazing.

She reaches up and runs her fingers through my hair. I feel myself shudder. How is it she so easily finds those spots that drive me insane?

Her hand slides down to mine and she locks them together, swinging them back and forth. Then she turns around and gives me a quick peck on the lips. "Love you forever, Marky."

"Love you, Mo."

Now, every fool in town would have left by now
I can't replace all of the wasted days
The memory of your face

The sound of water coming from the bathroom rouses me from the light sleep I'd managed to get myself into. So, she's finally home.

I walk over and lean in the doorway of the bathroom. She only leaves the door open when she's in a hurry. I find her leaning over the sink, brushing her teeth while the tub fills with water. She senses my presence and looks up.

"Hey, Pookie!" The words are muffled by toothpaste, but easily understandable. She leans over the sink to spit.

"Maureen, it's 2 in the morning. Where have you been?" I already know.

"Oh, sweetie, I'm sorry. Rehearsal ran late tonight and then we all went out for drinks. I meant to call, but I guess I just forgot." She smiles sheepishly at me. The smell of alcohol confirms part of her story. The scent of sweat and sex tells me the parts she won't. Liar.

I sigh, not wanting to deal with it right now. "Fine, just...come to bed, okay?" She grins at me and waves goodnight. Just say it...

About fifteen minutes later, I hear the water stops running and a still soaked Maureen slinks into the bed, snuggling into me.

Why do I always forgive her?

I can't help thinking
Maybe if we ever coulda kept it all together
Where would we be?
A thousand lost forevers
And the promises you never were giving me

"What's with the bags, Mo?" I catch her carrying a heavily stuffed backpack out of our room and setting it on the floor. She looks up at me in surprise.

"Oh...I thought you'd be gone for another few hours..." She looks away, guilty.

"Well, I just couldn't find anything to film today." I unwrap my scarf from around my neck and set it next to my camera on the table, never taking my eyes off her. "So..what's going on?" What does it look like, idiot?

She brings her hands in front of her and her fingers dance around each other nervously. I've never seen her like this.

"Mark...I have to go. I didn't mean for it to happen like this, but...I'm just not happy with you anymore." Plain, simple, to-the-point...she must be serious.

"What? I mean, after everything...you're just going?" I don't know why I always thought she'd stay. Looking back, it seems so obvious I never really had her to begin with. I guess when you want something bad enough, you start to believe in it.

"I know you're upset but...Mark, there's someone else..." Yeah, lots of someones. Why you chose to start telling me that now, I have no idea.

I'm only half listening as my hand goes to my pocket. I run my fingers along the small box hidden there; that's the real reason I came back early today. Six months of scraping, saving, skipping meals on those rare occasions when I can actually afford one, and now this. I can't even look at her anymore.

"So what's his name?" I ask coldly. Kyle? Joe? No, knowing her he'd have some weird name, like Leslie or something.

"...Joanne." I look up in shock. That's not a unisex name. " She's a lawyer, Harvard grad. I'm moving in with her."

"So...we're done?" I refuse to acknowledge the obvious elephant in the room, even as it blows its trumpet in my face.

She makes her way over to me and cups my face in her hands, smiling sadly. "Yeah..." She pulls me in for one last kiss, then grabs her bags and walks out the door.

I pull myself onto the windowsill and watch her as she walks down the street.

Here's what I'm thinking:
It won't be the first heart that you break
It won't be the last, beautiful girl
The one that you wrecked won't take you back
If you were the last beautiful girl in the world

"I told you, you don't lower the moon down until after I say "Over the Moon" the first time!" She throws down her little (overly pretentious, laughable, childish) script in a huff.

"And I told YOU I think it looks better if it's there from the start." I don't, really. I just like pissing her off. And lately, I'm good at it.

"You're not here to think, Mark! You're supposed to do what I want!" The only reason I'm here is because she asked this as a favor a little over a month ago, when we were still together.

"Well, I would if it wasn't an insult to my intelligence." I fold my arms and lean against the stereo, face to the ground, looking up at her expectantly.

She walks over to me in a fury, ready to chew me a new one. Just what I wanted. She stops a mere six inches from my face and opens her mouth to speak, but then remembers she hasn't thought of anything to say yet. I almost burst our laughing, but manage to keep my calm, condescending appearance.

"You're FIRED!" she finally yells. She takes a step back, looking satisfied and raising an eyebrow in challenge. I don't really care about this shit, but getting her riled up is just too much fun.

"Who else would do this for you?" I smirk. Sure, being whipped is pathetic, but I have the satisfaction of knowing she'd be completely fucked without me. I let out a small laugh at the irony of my brain's choice of words.

"I'll get Joanne to help me." This time I can't hold back my laughter as she tells me this matter-of-factly.

"Joanne? She's a lawyer, for god's sake! What does she know about theater?"

"At least she listens to me, Marcello Cohen!"

I twitch. I have to suffer my whole life just because my mother had a thing for Puccini. I love everything about that opera except that fucking name.

That's it. "Fine. Whatever." I pick up my bag and try my best not to storm out. "Good luck, you're gonna need it!" I call behind me.

So tell me one more time
How you're sorry about the way this all went down

In my pacing for warmth, I happen to pass the phone as it rings and on a whim I actually pick up.

"Hello?" I know who it is before I even get the response. This is so like her.

"Hey, Pookie!" Ugh, I still have to live with being called that? "Look...I'm sorry about the other day..."

"Your equipment won't work." I smile smugly. I wish she could see it.

"Yeah...Joanne doesn't know what the hell she's doing" (I thought I told you that) "and she can't even get the microphone to work and I was hoping-"

"Okay, alright." Maureen's either predictable or she throws me for a complete loop, never anywhere in between. This is definitely a case of the former.

"You'll go fix it?" I hear the relief and excitement in her voice. It's sort of satisfying.

"I'll go." I realize my smile doesn't feel smug anymore. I wonder when that happened.

"Thanks, Baby!" I hang up without saying goodbye.

"His master's voice." Roger rolls his eyes at me as I walk past him to pick up my camera. "You're such a sucker."

I chuckle in spite of myself. "Well, duty calls. Take your AZT...and you really should get out of the house.

"Yeah, yeah..." I hear the pill bottle rattling as I walk out the door into the abyss.

You needed to find your space
You needed to still be friends

"Hey, those are my fries, thank you!" I try to snatch the stolen food back before she pops it in her mouth, but it's futile."You always did swallow things in one bite, didn't you?" I let innuendo drip from my tone.

She slaps me playfully on the shoulder. "Jerk!" She feigns anger, but it's not long before her grin forces it's way through. It feels like the old days before we started dating, when we'd just come here to bullshit even though we couldn't even afford tea.

"So where's Joanne today?" She usually joins us on Maureen's constant, almost religious, lunches at the Life Cafe, but she's missing this time.

"She's got this big case coming up. I've hardly seen her the last few days...it really sucks." She swirls her straw around in her soda, watching the ice spin in a circle.

"It'll be fine, Mo. I mean, she has a tough job and sometimes things just get busy. She'll be able to make time for you soon." I refrain from adding "Not as much as I could, but that hardly matters anymore,' as I sip my tea.

Her face brightens again. "Thanks...sometimes I just need to hear you say that."

Even now, that smile still gives me butterflies. I hate it.

You needed me to call you if I ever couldn't
Keep it all together, you'd comfort me
You'd tell me 'bout forever
And the promises I never should have believed

I ring the doorbell. I keep shifting my weight from one foot to the other, hands shoved in my pockets and staring at the floor until I hear the door open.

"Mark?" Looks like I surprised her for once. Her eyes look slightly puffy, but I'd expected that, considering what happened today.

"Maureen...can I come in?" This is probably the last place I should be, but...

"Sure. Sit down, you can put your coat over there." She points to the coatrack next to the door and sits on the couch waiting for me to join her.

"Thank you...everything's so messed up right now, I didn't know who else to talk to." I drop next to her and put my head in my hands. "I can't believe Angel's dead. Mimi and Roger...they're hardly speaking to each other and when they do they just fight all the time."

She puts a hand over mine and rubs soothing circles on my back. "And Joanne left...she's going to the funeral Saturday morning, but...she's not going to stay." She squeezes my hand. I guess I'm not the only one who doesn't know what to do.

I look up at her. "When did things fall apart?"

I see tears filling her hazel eyes. They still haunt my dreams sometimes. "I don't know, Mark."

Our eyes lock for a moment and in a few moments her lips are moving against mine. Against my better judgement, I let her kiss me, even returning it. I need this now.

"Love you." I hear her whisper to me playfully. I shouldn't let it make me smile...but it still does.

Here's what I'm thinking:
It won't be the first heart that you break
It won't be the last, beautiful girl
The one that you wrecked won't take you back
If you were the last beautiful girl in the world

As Roger walks out of the graveyard, I can't help but shift my eyes over to Maureen and Joanne. They both look about to burst into tears.

"Pookie..." Maureen hold out her arms hopefully.

"Oh, Honeybear...I missed you." Joanne falls into them. Honeybear? How can they stand being called those things? Although I suppose silly petnames always sound better when you're the one being called them.

I don't know why, but for some reason I thought things would be different after that night. I should know Maureen better than that by now. It just felt so...right. I thought she felt it, too. I'm hopeless.

Part of me wants to yell at Joanne that while she was running away to Mommy and Daddy, her girlfriend was fucking her ex because, unlike someone, he was actually there for her...but I don't. She never has to know about my stupidity...at least, not the fact that I acted on it.

It's over now and I've gone without
'Cause you're everyone else's girl
And it seems to me you'll always be
Everyone else's girl
Everyone else's girl

As I scan the streets looking for something interesting enough to film, I'm greeting with nothing but the shuffling of the city which, while interesting at times, I already have hours of fotage of.

That is, until the shot falls onto the corner of 12th Street and Avenue A, where a very familiar woman and a (not surprisingly) unfamiliar man stand talking. I lower the camera as I watch them intently. "Well, that brings back memories..." I say to no one in particular as she reaches up and plays with his hair.

I make my way over as the mystery man leaves and when she turns around I'm standing right in front of her, immediately starting my accusations. "Who was that?"

"Oh, hey! It was just...someone interesting in my protest next week." she rattles off the same excuse she's used time after time. "Y'know, the with the-"

"Uh huh." I nod disbelievingly. There is no protest next week. My face only shows slight annoyance and irritation, but on the inside I'm seething with anger, both for Joanne's sake and my own jealousy.

"...Please don't tell Joanne." She begs me, bitting her lip.

"I'm just waiting for her to find out on her own." I walk away, disgusted at her for never changing and myself for still letting it hurt me even when it's none of my business anymore.

This will all fall down like everything in the world
This too will end, and all of the words we said
We can't take back

I'm disturbed from my editing by a quiet knocking. I leave the projector running as I make my way over to the door and slide it open, finding Maureen's tearstained face on the other side. She walks past me before I have time to invite her in.

"What happened?" Whenever she cries, I'm putty in her hands. Then again, that's not much different from any other time.

I join her on the couch and put an arm around her as she goes into her story. "Joanne broke up with me...she came home early and found Steve from her firm at the apartment with me. I tried to tell her he was just there dropping off some files for her new case, but she wouldn't listen!" She leans into me and cries on my shoulder.

"Aww, Mo...I'm sorry..." Even if I don't believe her story either, I really am. I kiss the top of her head and try to get her to calm down.

"Thanks, Mark...I know I can always talk to you about this stuff."

"Hey, it's what I do, right?" I let out a quiet laugh and suddenly her mouth is covering my own. For a moment I'm too shocked to move.

And it won't be the first heart that you break
It won't be the last, beautiful girl
The one that you wrecked won't take you back
If you were the last beautiful girl in the world

When I regain my ability to think, and therefore my mobility, I push her away. Not this time.

She stares back at me confused. We sit in silence for a moment, then I tell her coldly "Get out."

"What?" More confusion. I guess the fact that I might one day be able to refuse her never crossed her mind. When she doesn't move, I grab her arm and start leading her to the door. She doesn't fight very hard, but continues to protest. "But, Mark I-!"

"I don't care." I push her out the door and slam it in her face, locking it and turning to lean against it.

She tries to open it, but settles for talking to me through it. "I'm sorry, Mark."

I don't budge. "Yeah, I know Maureen. You're always sorry. But it doesn't matter anymore. Actually, it never did."

Her tone becomes quiet and...regretful? "I still love you."

My heart skips a beat, but a second later I remember who I'm talking to. "No, you don't."

"Well, I guess you'll never find out, will you?" I hear her walk angrily away as I slide down to the floor. I can't figure out who won this time.

My hand goes to my pocket again and pulls out that small box that's been sitting in it every day for over a year. I pull back my arm to throw it against the wall, but I stop myself midpitch and bring it down in front of me.

Opening it up, I look at that small rock. Six months of saving, scraping, and skipping meals even when I could actually pay just to afford the only one she would like. These days I can submit a single segment to Buzzline and have enough money to buy three.

Last beautiful girl
You are the last beautiful girl

Fuck.