|Pier at Charleston's Folly Beach|
Sunday, August 21, 2011
#SampleSunday In Which Susan Finally Confronts Philip
The door opened wider, enough for me to fit myself in the narrow space between the frame and the door edge. I slid inside and watched as he pushed the door shut, redid the lock and poked the chain into its slot. I glanced around, glad it wasn’t me living at the budget motel. The room smelled of mildew and old food wrappers. The rug was so worn I couldn’t be sure there was actually a rug or if I was just looking at random fibers glued to the concrete. The bedspread—ragged, mouse colored, stained—hung crookedly off the side of the bed. Motel issue lamp, phone, and nightstand completed the decor. No sign of a TV, though there was a broken piece of plastic that might have once been part of a TV stand bolted to the floor.
Philip held out his hand like a kid expecting me to slap a chocolate bar onto his palm on Halloween Night. “What are you waiting for?”
I scowled. “You’re not going to get money from my mother or from anyone else in my family.” My voice trembled ever so slightly. Not what I’d hoped for, but I was doing okay, already feeling an adrenaline rush. “I know all about wife number—whatever. Could be twenty for all I know. The new one in a hotel across the river. I’m sure she’d love to teach you a lesson. I’m sure she’d love to know you’re already married to Lurlene, who is no doubt sharpening her knife back in Arkansas at this very moment. In fact, I’m sure Lurlene is wondering when you’re coming home. I have her number and I will call her right now if you don’t stop harassing my mother. What I really ought to do is call the police, but out of respect for Mama’s feelings, I’m going to hold off on that.”
Patty would have been proud of me. The voice tremble had melted away to be replaced by the authoritative tone of someone in charge of a situation--a police officer or even a judge.
Philip’s face twisted into a reptilian sneer. I wanted to slap some respect into him.
“I’m not afraid of a bunch of stupid women. I happen to know that Regina, the stupid cow, would jump off the nearest bridge before she’d let me tell her new sweetheart about her past. Her reputation means the world to her, and that’s as good as money in my pocket.”