“Do you remember that night?” He asked, his hot breath tumbling across her neck as she turned her head away from him. He reached his hand to hold her chin, forcing her to look at him, “Do you...
He glared at her but followed her further into the living area.
“What do you want Frank?”
“I want to know why you met with Jamia tonight” He said sullenly, chewing on his lip ring.
“Because she’s my fucking ex fiancée and I have a fucking right to know!”
Escher rolled her eyes and set her wine glass down on the coffee table behind her.
“She…wanted to talk to me about you”
“About us” Escher corrected herself, “She knew we slept together”
“I told her”
“I know,” Escher replied, “She just wanted to tell me about you guys”
“Why?” Frank sneered.
Escher threw her arms up in frustration.
“For fucks sake Frank, ask her yourself. You need to leave, you’re drunk”
He glared at her again and took a step towards her.
Escher had never been afraid of Frank, she had taunted him in the past, teased him, but he had never given her reason to feel frightened. Besides, there weren’t many people who frightened Escher. But she took a step back none the less. He smirked and took another step towards her.
“What’s the problem E?” He asked in a sing-song voice, “You afraid of me? Little Faggie? Isn’t that what your boyfriend called me? I remember you laughing too”
“I never” She whispered.
“What?” He snapped
“I never laughed at you Frankie”
He shook his head as though trying to clear it.
“We can’t keep working together like this” He said
Escher shook her head, agreeing with him. He took another step towards her so that he was standing right in front of her.
“Do you remember that night?” He asked, his hot breath tumbling across her neck as she turned her head away from him. He reached his hand to hold her chin, forcing her to look at him, “Do you?”
“Yes” She bit back, her voice strangled.
“You were so beautiful,” He said quietly and Escher squeezed her eyes shut.
This isn’t happening, this isn’t happening, he can’t do this to me
He trailed his fingers softly down her cheek.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing Frank?” She asked, her voice sounding a lot stronger than she felt, trembling beneath his touch.
“Oh come on Esch,” He said slowly, smirking at her, “You were hot for it once, you wanted me”
Escher felt the anger boiling inside her as she balled her small hands into fists and shoved him away from her.
“Fuck you Frank! You don’t get to do this! Get out of my house! I’ve fucking had enough of your bullshit. Just grow up! What are you doing? You don’t want me, so what are you trying to prove? What huh? That you can still get girls without your precious Jamia? Are you having a midlife crisis twenty years early? What?”
He had stumbled away from her when she pushed him and now stood there, staring at the ground.
“I’m sorry” He muttered, “I shouldn’t have come, I just wanted to sort out the problems we’d been having”
“We wouldn’t be having problems if you could get a fucking grip Frank! What the hell is wrong with you anyway? Ever since we launched the Black Parade album you’ve been acting fucking weird”
Frank stared up at her and she saw a strange look in her eyes, not fear, not sadness but some strange look in between.
“I don’t know”
“Well get some fucking therapy and get the fuck out of my house”
“Fuck you! Don’t tell me what my problems are. You’re such a joke Escher!” He spat at her, his voice drenched with vehemence.
“I’m a joke?”
“Yeah, you’re pathetic! You pretend your this little rumpled rebel who ran away from everything bad in her life because she wanted something different, something better. Look around E! You’re the same fucking pathetic Princess you always were! You’re still right, you’re still justified”
Escher felt tears flooding to her eyes.
“You’re still dating the captain of the basketball team even though you don’t care about each other, face it Escher…you might have run away, but you’re still you”
That was it, the tears came then. She was furious with herself as she swiped them away. Was he right? Was she still the same girl? She remembered feeling so different when she first came to New York. Sure she was living in a crummy apartment, working a shitty job and she was lonely as hell, but she was free. He was right though, she’d caged herself right back up within months, university, work, a marriage doomed to failure…just like her parents.
When she looked up at him again he was shocked to see rivers of mascara trickling rage down her cheeks, he felt as though he’d been punched.
She waved her hand to shut him up.
“Please just leave Frank”
He moved to take a step toward her but she drew back so suddenly, as though he would strike her. But perhaps what he’d said was worse than any beating he could give her. Escher could survive a beating, but holding up a metaphorical mirror in front of the sham her life was? Nobody could bounce back from that.
“Escher I’m sorry”
“No Frank, you’re right, I am pathetic, but I would prefer to be pathetic alone” Despite the wavering in her voice, and the sobs still lodged in the back of her throat, there was a finality to what she said. Frank nodded.
And then there was silence. It was just like she’d written in the letter all those years ago, so silent she could almost hear the heavy tick and sorrowful tock of her grandfather’s grandfather clock. Picking up her wine glass she hurled it at the elevator doors that had carried him away and slid down onto the floor where she cried.