Chapter 2

Chapter 2

A Chapter by Paris Kim

I couldn’t have been a finer a*****e than I was that night of Charlie’s wedding reception to have invited Geoff Armstrong into my house for dinner. Geoff was a good friend, no doubt, but it had been almost a few months since he called up. Since then, we hadn’t not talked until the wedding week. I’m sure it was something to do with my wife, Melissa, for it was her who had picked up the phone when Geoff last called. The two can’t stand each other for anything. That was another issue; Melissa having dinner with Geoff! Imagine the effects of kindness, let alone whatever the hell I did. It was settled; dinner at our house in Sausalito around six. A shitload of a time we were going to have.

Well, Geoff kept to his word, although fashionably late by a few twenty minutes or so. I was so glad to see he was back to himself, although when sober he wasn’t that much changed from when wasted. He did seem unusually quiet, almost impatient. Melissa cooked; it was a roast and some original dish of vegetable kebobs. Our house was nothing compared to Geoff’s estate back in England, but our two-story bungalow, with a modest but spectacular balcony view of the Bay, would have to do.

The start of the first big conversation began with the sweater I wore, appropriately one Geoff sent to me for my birthday two years ago. “Fancy you still have that!” he exclaimed, turning to Melissa. She sat still and straight, beautifully silent and politely smiling at this guest she perceived as intruder.

I laughed and tugged at the damn thing, which was light but very itchy. “Why would I throw it out? It’s like, probably a thousand and something pounds?”

“Harvey Nichols, almost $400 American,” he said. “I wish I saw your face when it arrived here.”

“He was at work,” Melissa said for the first time since she greeted him twenty minutes ago, “I can tell you the shock I had, however, to find such a parcel waiting for us.” She said this with definite but sweet sarcasm through her soft Scottish brogue.

“You opened his gift?” it seemed to fly right by him. “I don’t get that. Invasion of privacy, innit?”

“Why not?” Melissa continued, “we have nothing to hide from each other. Married trusting, living together as one.” She took my hand and squeezed it passionately.

“Ugh, the married life,” Geoff dramatically returned, taking a huge gulp from his wineglass. “It’s all beyond me. It seems boring, all you two seemed to have accomplished is nothing. You’ve not gone anywhere beyond the Bay Area.”

“Why should we?” my wife continued, “it’s a gey beautiful place out here.”

“Besides, if we wanted to travel, we would,” I started, “and if you think we should go out so badly, why haven’t you invited us out to England?”

“You’re from Inverness,” he addressed Melissa, “Don’t your parents want you to come back? I should love to have you at Pewesbury, but I was sure you two would come out to Britain sometime to see Melissa’s family and ring me up. Been disowned have you?” Immediately he shook his hands at Melissa and apologized. “Just taking the piss out of you, Melissa, don’t charge now.” He began laughing and continued to talk about Pewesbury and the new renovations he just had the past winter. “Definitely we should visit,” I concluded. “Ah, you’ll be perfect enough to have Pewesbury and your folks’ house once you’re entitled to Armstrong Ale and Co.”

“Ughh, don’t remind me,” Geoff sighed, cringing slightly at the glass in his hand. “I keep getting updates from the blokes at the place about stocks and business and sale lows and s**t like that, all this trouble to know how your beer’s selling. Dad’s mad, I tell you. He and my mum can keep Northing Park forever. Pewesbury is right larger than Northing ever will be.” I had spent a summer with Geoff at Northing, right after my sophomore year in college over at Liverpool Uni. It was big enough, but definitely nothing compared to Pewesbury, which had its own Wikipedia page. But now he was talking about the music we had playing on the docking system in the family room, a Kills song, “Goodnight Bad Morning.”

“Very nice, very,” he nodded. “I worked with Jamie Hince once before he and Mosshart began their thing. Have yet to meet the girl, she’s changed Hince for the better, musically.”

“We saw them in San Francisco, not too long ago,” Melissa said, “out at this place, Popscene in SoMa. What was it, George, our anniversary a few months back? God, a time we had dancing and such.”

“George dancing!” Geoff arched his brows. “F**k, I’ve never seen that. Maybe once, at that bachelor party I threw for him. With that cocktail waitress, yeah? Guess you’re not that special, my dear.”

This was why they despised each other so. His arrogance and her feminist perception of high-ranking men as d*********s created endless sarcasm and spark that caught me in between. But I grew into finding ways out of the storm to keep the calm, and in this case, “Oh, me partying or dancing or doing god knows what is just an eyesore. Gotta keep away, I guess. Definitely nothing compared to you, Geoff. I’m guessing it’s music, bars, parties, and havoc during your week here in the Bay?”

He shrugged and said, “Right on. Might be too busy to see you all again.” Then brightly he suggested we come back with him to his place back at the Fairmont, offering to drive us there and back. “Since I probably won’t see you two after this little bit of dinner tonight, might as well go all the way and enjoy the night. C’mon, I chose the Main Building Balcony Suite, you two will adore it!”

Melissa didn’t seem too interested, neither did I, but it was hard to refuse Geoff, since it was luxury after all that awaited us, not like some back-alley bar in the tenderloin or a privileged strip club (thank god those were never Geoff’s thing, beneath him I guess).

“I guess,” Melissa said, signaling for me to do the same. “We don’t want to stick it out too late, though, Geoff.”

            He stood up and began laughing. “Right, I got you. It’ll be a lovely time, I can be sure. And guess what, we can have ourselves a nice complimentary dinner on me!”

            He never even touched, or perhaps never noticed, the roast or kebobs.

© 2011 Paris Kim

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Added on March 7, 2011
Last Updated on March 7, 2011


Paris Kim
Paris Kim

San Francisco, CA

an optimistic college student who takes her life growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area and turns it into truthful fiction. always finding a way to smile and laugh and make the most of anything thro.. more..

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Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Paris Kim