She was eating what looked to be the smoke sage seitan burger or the beast-mode deluxe, but he couldn't tell. There was a weird thought in Bray's mind, he felt it. There was only the sound of Nalani chewing her food, and breathing heavily.
"Can you bring my rolls of film, please?" She asked him this through messenger just before their sit down, and that was when the weird thought really came in. He hadn't gotten her films developed in three weeks, why did she ask for it today? It was Wednesday, a hot-ass August day in midtown, at the Pennsy. There was an event happening just a few feet from them, and Bray, unlike Nalanie, wasn't eating (he hadn't eaten in a day, but has been drinking Gatorade a lot, lately). She had a look of annoyance, and she was fierce—she had something to say, but gave it some more thought. She did something Bray never appreciated, she pulled out her iPad, looked at it for a few seconds, and she handed it over to him.
"What?" he asked, blankly.
"What I highlighted, those were the things you said that almost made me cry."
He didn't get it. He read the conversation, which was a .pdf form of the messenger conversation they had hours ago. The words she highlighted were reminders of a man saying what he knew wasn't true but seldom could cope with being wrong. There was mockery in his voice as he read the words, aloud. Nalani had just sat there, looking at him, knowing exactly what needed to be done. There wasn't room for considering, no room for patience and seldom was there any ounce of empathy left in her. He continued reading aloud.
"You didn't even watch my video," and he read another one, "... hell, you don't even give me love, the way you used to."
He gave her an ironic look, and before reading the next highlighted line, Nalani snatched the iPad away from him.
"You can go now. It's over."
Over? Wait... he paused, but still putting a front, unguarded. "It's over? Just like that, huh?"
"Yes, you can go now." And proceeded to eat.
"I'm not leaving, fuck that."
"Then I'll call security."
"Please, you'll be doing me a fuckin' favor, go ahead."
She looked behind her and saw two young twenty something year old, scrawny men wearing tight blue shirts reading 'Security.' She turned facing Bray, again and said nothing.
There was nothing to say, actually, at this point. It's been almost two years, and this was what it was coming down to, he thought. Nalani didn't think twice, Nalani didn't think anything, or that's how it looked. There was tension, there was trading displeasure and there wasn't a moment for redemption, on his part. Nalani walked away.
Bray followed her, like in the movies and he knew it was absolutely absurd, but hey—fuck it, right? Okay, if this was going to be the way it happens, let us stop and talk somewhere private and say something meaningful, with a little bit of sting, he thought.
She threatened him as she walked.
"I'll call the cops, don't fuckin' touch me."
He kept pursuing, though. She didn't turn, once. The view was familiar and he lost all of his steam, seeing the building of her job. In his head, he played the scenario of Nalani turning to him for a 'farewell' or a 'it was really good knowing you,' something to that regard. She opened the door, though, and as she took her first step in, he grabbed the knob. Both their hands close but not over each other like it could've been. They both glared, it wasn't nice at all, it all happened too fast. Nalani was gone.
He went to the sidewalk and started calling her and messaging her. There was this feeling of loss, like the way you may have lost your savings or you just got news of someone, you were close to's death. Noise... heat... vision... it all just, receded. Nothing but still, and the waking in a momentum of the big bang. He messaged till she answered him, she may have been emotional or just, but messages are quite hard and rather vague to grasp such a conclusion.
"It needed to be done." She sent.
"This was on you." She sent.
"Make me proud." She sent.
Make me proud? He was taken aback. The words felt played, rehearsed, as you could imagine with anyone else in this scene. That's what it felt like, a scene.
He asked her to tell him she loved him. She did, and then she stopped answering. It was only three o'clock, now.
The word 'toxic' came to mind. She had mentioned something before about Bray being toxic. He was, he knew it, then.
Isn't that something? You realize every thing wrong with you right after its hit ya. He had to walk four blocks and three shamefully long avenues to the F train, at Herald Square. He wanted to know what Nalani was thinking and feeling, at this exact moment.
Too bad he couldn't.