The wet tarmac reflected orange pools of lights and a string of half broken letters in neon red, Four Seasons Motel.
Two cars were neatly parked, side by side, in front of room 31, separated only by a little white line. A raised Jeep with a line of Mopar credit and next to it was the little red Fiat he gave to her on her 40th, still parked the way he had found it.
Room 31, did she ask the weaselly retard at the front counter for that room? Did she choose it because it reminded her of how old she was when they got married? Did she leave the key in her handbag for him to find, a message, a subconcious fuck you.
He looked down at the key in his hand, engraved silver lettering on the black plastic tag. How many times had they taken the room together, how many times had she hidden the key from him?
Rain dripped lazily down through the half open window and soaked his sleeve, drip, drip,..drip. She loved days like this, they would cuddle under a blanket and she would put her head on his chest, and he would stroke her champagne satin hair.
He could smell her now the way she had come home that night, the smell of cheap tequila, the smell of cigarettes on her breath even though she didn’t smoke. He could see in her eyes the dim tiredness of a long party. He let her fall asleep thinking it was all ok, but for god’s sake he could smell his aftershave and the twang of fresh sex on her.
Drip, drip, the rain drop hit the glass and splashed on his dead face like an ice-pick. A single drop balanced on the edge of the window glass, his whole world was held within that small inverted reflection, and it balanced on a knifes edge. That rain drop held him and everything he ever loved, and then it began to move, slowly crawling forward, until it joined another drop, and for the briefest of moments they danced together, and then, in a flash, in a heartbeat, they raced away, gone forever.
His memories of their life together flowed over him like the rain drop down the glass, flowing like a river through their lives, until it found a log, and slowly slowly the water backed up against the log and more and more of the jetsam built up against the log, building a dam out of the shit people throw away, a filthy scum pond, filling more and more, the late work nights, the tossed hair and smudged makeup, and the dam grew fatter and stank of lies and filth, until the dam wall was shaking and then it broke, and all the shit in the world came rushing out in a torrent of rage.
He lifted the bourbon bottle to his lips and felt the glass and anti-septic wash away the feeling of her soft wet lips against his, it washed away the smell of her perfume on his nose with the smell of its own heady perfume. He swallowed long, and felt it wash away at his heart, wash away the memories and the hopes and fill him with the sharp acidic burn of hate.
He could read her face like a book, her emotions dancing across her eyebrows, he could read the pure joy from a laugh, or the jaded glance for a missed lover. That perfect feminine face carved in fine lines and powdered with fine down hairs, that wide open smile, welcoming him home after a long week on the road, those beautiful lips when she lied to him about why she needed the cars backseat valeted. How he hoped he could find that face now, and push a pillow over it to muffle the screams of ecstasy, the look of those eyebrows as they arched up as he penetrated her with his thickness, how her mouth would form that big round Ohh, and how he could feel her warm body wriggling beneath his weight.
112 months was a long time to be in love, and he had counted every single one as if the act alone would remind her of what she was throwing away. How our finite time played tricks on lovers, speeding through the good times in a blur of happiness, and then dragging out into infinite pain during the bad. Each screamed word seemed to fill the air, slowing time down, and killing the happy memories for good. Each time she came here, to room 31, it cut into his soul and gouged out a chunk of his joy and burnt it and threw it on the ash heap of lies.
He watched his own heart closer than he watched that black door with the gold number 31, waiting for the moment when his rage was stronger than his regret.
He lifted the bourbon bottle up until the last drop fell onto his tongue and in that moment, it was all over, everything he had built in his life, everything he had hoped of his marriage, everything he could ever hope for, was all finished, exhausted, drained. It was time.
He reached under his seat and felt the cold metal sheathed in warm leather, he slid it out and put the reassuring weight on his lap. It felt like the old times, on the long drives, when she would put her hand on his dick, and give him that cheeky smile and wink. She would feel it again, he would make her feel it one more time, feel the strength and power inside him, bang, bang.
He pushed open the car door and stepped out into the rain, standing a moment to let the rain drops run down his face, to let it test him, to be sure that this wasn’t another midnight fantasy, that his nightmare would soon end.
He held it in his hand, feeling the power, the power to make them beg for forgiveness, the power to make it all stop, on his terms, the way he chose.
Ahead of him was the door, and in his hand the key to room 31 he had found in her purse, the key to her heart, the key that could unlock his misery and set them all free.