Dublin tested the water with her fingers and instantly went back to the shower in her apartment.
“Come on in, the water’s perfect.”
She hadn’t really slept with a woman before, but as far as first time experiences went it wasn’t so bad. Hell she’d even got a shower-time orgasm out of it; but refused to return the favor.
“You wanna get some breakfast?” dark bangs falling onto dark expectant eyes.
Dub wracked her brain to find a way to explain the situation as a one-time thing.
“Uh, no… and you should probably leave. I’ve to get to work soon.”
She didn’t know her name, and she was okay with being asked to leave.
And that was another morning for Dublin West; a stranger leaving her apartment in the same clothes as the night before, leaving her with the quietude of her nine a.m. coffee.
Three soft knocks on the bathroom door and she finds herself back in the Hamptons. The sickly pristine bathtub. The family summer house. By the beach.
“Hey, it’s Paris. You need to hurry up, we’re getting late. Oh and some flowers just arrived for you.”
“What flowers? Who sent ‘em?” she stepped out of the tub, wrapping a giant towel around her.
They definitely were not from her father, he was still in actual Paris with his actually 20-something girlfriend. She couldn’t be far enough from him.
She quickly changed into the ugly olive dress which Kimberley was so sure “would look perfect!!” on her. One grimace at her reflection and she was out the door, ignoring the bunch of white peonies on her bed.
Summer seemed to have taken a turn for the worst upon Dub’s arrival. The four of them sat at the table closest to the water, covered in a constant sheen of sweat. Dublin’s hair tie could barely reign in the frizz fest and, after forty five minutes, there was still no sign of Dev or Epperly.
“Okay you guys, I cannot have another iced tea unless it’s from Long Island. Where are they?”
Paris looks at his sister and lights a cigarette in reply.
“Fuck this, hand me one.” Dublin reaches across the moist tabletop towards the white pack. “And drinks are on me. Go crazy.”
The waiter comes over, right on cue, and they launch into their order almost as if they’d decided what to drink forty minutes ago.
“Make that two.”
“Margarita. And make me go weak in the knees with it.”
“I’ll have a beer, and some bread for the table please.”
Dublin leaned into Alexis and whispered into her ear, “I thought she [Bea] just got out of rehab. Should she be drinking already?”
“It’s been about six months already. And anyway, it wasn’t for alcohol.”
A dismissive wave of the hand.
Alexis slammed her hand on the table.
“They’re really really late! And I’m drunk…”
“Hear hear.” Paris raised his glass, spilling some of his tequila.
“…and there’s still no sign of them!!”
“Yeah, did they like die or something?” Bea slurred, adjusting her ridiculously oversized sun hat.
Lexi slumped back into her chair, fanning herself furiously.
“Okay, we’re gonna need some food now.” Dublin signalled for the waiter. He had the body of a surfer. Of course he did. He probably had a pair of board shorts just waiting for him out back.
“So, what are we eating?”
“I’ll have two more of these, thank you.” Paris tapped his, now empty, glass.
“Okay then, we’ll just have four of your shrimp salads please.” Dub looked up at the surfer-boy, he leaned in real close.
He flashed his pearly whites, the perfect dazzler for teenage girls, and asked if they needed more bread. She napped the menu shut and handed it over with a nod, flustered much to her embarrassment.
Lexie tapped her pack, “We’re out of cigarettes.”
No one cared.
Dublin pressed the silver buds into her ear and the music dinged to life. She shifted further down on the seat, feet up on the edge of the table, as the black and white surrounded her.
Dublin West sits on the edge of the bar, shaking out her long, long hair. Two guys laugh with her.
The same grey eyes, the same perfect smile.
The same hairline, jaw line, maybe even waistline… her thoughts wander.
That devilish vixen with her long, long hair.
Three a.m. and they stumble through the streets, arm in arm. They’re looking for food.
He drives the car. Dub’s in the backseat. Off comes the coat. The sequinned straps slip up and down her slender shoulders.
The other brother smiles back at her.
She smokes a cigarette and winks.
They leave the next morning. She’s exhausted.
Two nights later she’s at another bar with another guy.
She flirts with the bartender. He gives her a free drink. He drives her home and leaves in the morning.
A friend’s birthday. A lot of drinking. Dancing. Flirting.
She leaves the party with the plaid shirt guy.
A new morning dawns through Dublin’s windows. Bedroom bathed in shades of white and grey. The men, and a few girls, from last night leave and she has her nine a.m. coffee.
She goes to work, comes home, meets Wesley for a drink.
They haven’t had sex, even when it stared them in the face. She wants it. But when it has to happen, she wants the night to be special.
Wesley is special.
Two weeks later, he arrives at her doorstep. It’s eleven p.m. on a weeknight. He’s drunk and rubies trickle from his knuckles and eyebrow. She stands in front of him in her tank top and shorts. He’s an unexpected sight.
Wesley smiles that charming smile and she invites him in. She fumbles around the apartment, looking for the first aid kit. She cleans his wounds while he stares at her. His eyes, his beautiful blue eyes. They stare at her and she can’t breathe.
“Why don’t you stay the night? Clean up, I’ll get the shower going, and just stay here tonight.”
“You sure babe? About me staying the night, I mean.”
“Yeah, of course.”
He shrugs. “Well half the town’s been in your bed anyway, right?”
She stands there, letting her blood drain, too stunned by the blow to speak. She smiles and rolls her eyes. He walks into the bathroom.
Dublin West’s stiff spine now crumbles to dust as she grabs an extra pillow and makes the bed. Like clockwork.
She steps out for a smoke while Wesley showers.
There’s so much that should be going through her mind right now, she realizes as she stares out at the skyline, but it’s all just an expanse of white noise right now.
Silence and darkness.
She lights another cigarette.
He steps out to the balcony next to her, towel wrapped loosely around his waist. She can smell the alcohol on his breath, mixed with the dark vanilla body wash that emanates off his naked chest.
He wraps his arms around her and kisses her neck in a way that makes her feel like a whore.
“You coming to bed?” he murmurs.
“Yeah, in a minute.”
They stay that way for a while. Her eyes glisten with tears she can hardly reign in anymore.
“Your hands are so warm”, she wears her confidence with pride.
“Warm hands, cold heart, babe.”
He chuckles softly.
Image Courtesy [Rohan Dahiya]