Sunday, February 19, 2012

Excerpt from The Maze

Switching Annie to the other breast, Maisie glanced up and saw Bob in the doorway. She actually blushed a little and adjusted the diaper she had thrown over her shoulder. Like he’d never seen her breasts. “You are even more beautiful now. You look so happy and content. Lucky baby. What a cutie she is.”

“Thank you, Bob. How are you doing?”

“I’m dying inside. I keep thinking it’ll get better. But it doesn’t, even seeing you being all modest and motherly, like I never saw your tits? I should laugh, but I want to cry.”


“I know you loved me. I know it didn’t go away. Lie to me and say it did. It’ll make it easier for me.”

“I can’t. It didn’t go away. It won’t. And I don’t understand it. I try not to think of it.” Annie was sound asleep and Maisie laid her in the little crib, tucked her breasts away and as she turned, Bobby was right there. “You shouldn’t. . .” But he placed his hands on her forearms and she felt like she was getting lost.

“See? That’s what I mean. That’s not going away. On that bike in Pennsylvania?”

“I know. We should have just kept going. But, this isn’t wrong. This is where I’m supposed to be. I told you, I don’t understand it.”

“Maybe it’s timing. I think all the time how it would be if we just kept going.”

“You shouldn’t.” She looked up at his face and he stepped a little closer.

“You can back the fuck away from my wife now, and keep your hands off her.” They didn’t hear Barney coming down the hall. He made sure of that.

Barely a year ago, same scene, different players. No, thought Maisie. Same players. Different roles. Except for me. Me. “Barney, it’s okay. He’s just saying hi. We’re just talking about Annie.”

“Get the fuck out of here, Raia.”

“Back off, old man. Everything’s cool.” Thought that sounded okay, even though he knew his mouth had gone dry and his heart nearly stopped--eyelids, scrotal sac and all its contents, disappearing into the depths of his body.

“Go, Bob. Go. Please don’t start anything, Barney.”

Unfortunately, Bobby had to walk passed Barney who was filling the doorway, standing with clenched jaw, clenched fists. Maisie stepped passed Bobby and took Barney by the hand. “It’s okay, Baby,” she said as she kind of tugged him toward the crib and the sleeping baby, trying to adjust the dynamic. “Bob. Go. Please.”

As he stepped passed Barney, through the doorway, into the hall, he turned, and feeling he had to at least get in the last word--since he had no waiting white stallion to escape on, his Maisie and her infant in his arms--Bobby muttered, not quite under his breath, “This is not over. Never think it is. Never.”

Barney started to lunge toward the doorway, but Maisie, not quite a hundred percent physically, tugged at his arm with both her hands, “Let it go, Barn. The baby?”

“It’s over, asshole. You don’t know how over.”

Bobby walked away reluctantly. Totally unwilling to let this rest. Determined it would not rest. But that guy is fucking scary. I wonder if she’s safe around him. But she treats him like a little dolly on a string. What the fuck is wrong with her? What does she see in him? I need another beer.

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