“It’s Deacon. Speak.”
“Deacon, hi!” the screeching Queens accent was distinctive.
“Frieda? How did you get this number?”
“Aren’t you happy to hear from me? Bernie gave me the number.” Her voice turned pouty, he could picture her bleached blonde curls and duck face with artificially full lips. She was using the whine he had once thought was so endearing.
“I’ll have to talk to him about that. What do you want, Frieda?” His voice grew harsh, cold with controlled anger.
“Deacy, why are you talking to me like that? Aren’t you happy to hear from me?”
“Not especially. Am I supposed to forget the way you left me? I guess my feelings don’t matter, is that it?”
“Deacy, I’m sorry. I just had that job and I didn’t want you to say no! I called to see if you want to join me out here.”
“Don’t call me Deacy. And no.”
“Deacy…Deacon, I thought we meant something to each other.”
“No, Frieda, we meant nothing to one another. What we were together was a mistake. A big and really grotesque error in judgment. Not that the sex wasn’t great for a while, but even that got boring. I’ve moved on. You forced me to.”
“Deacon Stewart, I can’t believe you are talking to me like this!”
“Believe it, Frieda! I got worked enough in the hospital, I don’t need you trying to screw me over again. Just hang up and forget you have this number, do you hear me?”
“I hear you, Deacon! You haven’t heard the last from me!”
“Yes, I have.” He hung up.
The phone rang again, but he didn’t answer it. It rang for nearly five minutes, but he unplugged the extension and went back to work. After he made a series of stupid mistakes he should never have done, he put the tools away and decided to go for a walk on the beach. He really wanted a beer, but he’d been following Dr. Cooper’s instructions. He thought a slow walk couldn’t hurt though.
Taking his cane, and the spare house keys, he walked out the back door and onto the sand. Dino’s main house was just south, a huge spread nearly twice the size of the guest house. The guest house alone was easily three times larger than Deacon’s apartment in the City. Both houses were painted white with ocean blue tile roofs. It wouldn’t have been within Deacon’s price range, not even if he tripled his current income.
He lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply, exhaling as he walked down the steps. The tide was low, and seaweed littered the beach in places, smelling old and fishy. He stepped over it carefully, heading to the edge of the water, passing people walking, jogging or riding bikes. He felt a sense of calm which hadn’t been a part of his life since…well, he couldn’t remember how long it had been since he felt like this, if he ever had.
Part of his euphoria, he knew, had to do with Kacy. He’d been celibate since Frieda left. Not that he hadn’t had offers. He’d been so hung up on her, and so messed up in his mind, somehow sex hadn’t seemed that important. He hadn’t realized until he’d met Kacy at the airport, how long it had been, even before Frieda left. She’d been turning off his advances for nearly six months before she walked out.
Should have read the signs, he thought dejectedly.
An old lady he passed looked at him strangely. She returned his smile and said hello with a sympathetic tinge to it. He decided it must be because of his cane and limp. She thought he had a serious illness, or some disfigurement hidden by his baggy jeans.
He invented a monologue for himself, explaining in great detail, a fabrication of lies designed to elicit sympathy. Not that he would ever use it, but it was fun engaging in the creative process again. God, how long had it been since he’d just drawn a picture, or enjoyed a sunset, or felt the texture of sand under his bare feet? Too damn long.
Living in the City stifled his emotions and creativity. It was a fast paced, high powered, impersonal, concrete, Plexiglas, Styrofoam, artificial sweetener world. He hadn’t known how much he hated it until this moment. He wanted to run and jump and dance foolishly in circles, but his bruised shin wouldn’t allow him to do anything but limp.
He passed a group of people doing their Tai Chi on the beach, and stopped to watch them for a while. He’d studied Tai Chi at one time, but like everything else, he never had time to pursue it. The series of movements were familiar, flowing from one to another, washing over him like the ocean’s waves, cleansing his soul. Drawing a deep breath, he enjoyed the sensation of the salt air in his lungs. Grinning like a fool, he headed back to the guest house. The phone was ringing again, but a glance at the caller id in the kitchen showed him it wasn’t Frieda.
“Hi, handsome.” It was Kacy, her voice warm and sultry. “I’ve tried to call a couple times, were you out?”
“I took a short walk on the beach. How are the auditions going?”
She giggled light heartedly. “You should see the girls trying out for Sally! If there’s a real boob in the bunch I’ll be surprised!”
©2021 Dellani Oakes