He had a pretty shitty job on the side while he was studying in college. He worked just because it was something to do. He sat in the boring college newspaper office and attempted to organize several articles together. One day, a new girl started work. She walked into the office and passed by his desk. He looked up and saw that she was wearing a pretty tight-fitting outfit that highlighted her curves quite well. After he lost sight of her, he went back to look at his computer screen. Few minutes later, she came back near his area to discuss tasks with the supervisor. He finally saw her face clearly and thought that it was okay. It was the best thing that was happening at work for him anyway. He overheard her asking a lot of questions and thought that she was taking this stupid job a little too seriously than he ever would. When she went back to her desk, she passed by him and he greeted her with a smile. She greeted him back.
A few days later, he was out in the work hallway getting a soft drink from the vending machine. He hoped that it would keep him from falling asleep in that meaningless part-time job. Right then, she opened the door and walked into that empty hallway where he was standing. They greeted each other with a hi. She searched inside her purse and discovered that she had a twenty dollar bill for the machine and it only accepted change. She asked if he had change, and he did. He grabbed his wallet and they exchanged bills.
A few weeks later, she discovered that he was very funny and charming. She laughed at all his jokes. He liked that his hours at the pathetic job was moving by faster, so he kept the jokes coming no matter how bad he felt that they really were. One day, he suggested that they go out across the street and grab a quick sandwich for lunch. She happily agreed and they walked together. While walking, she wondered if strangers saw them as a couple. She was Hispanic, curvy, and her name was Nina. He didn’t know much else about her. He was just an average privileged American who was paying for college through a fund his parents set up for him. While they sat eating their sandwiches together, he told her about his parent’s business and his lust for antique cars. The most that he learned about her was that her parents were migrant workers. She didn’t say anything else, so they shifted the topic to talk about a recent bar that opened up nearby. He asked if she’s interested in joining him there that weekend, but she hesitated and said that bars were not her thing. The more she resisted, the more he attempted to get her to come. She finally agreed, and they set a date to meet.
She parked her mediocre car at the bar’s parking lot and waited for him to arrive that weekend. He arrived with two other of his guy friends. She felt awkward at first, but stood by his side after greeting them. During much of the night, she just remained by his side. She even wiped his forehead once with her hand, but he was already too drunk to notice it by then. The guys played pool at the pool table and she just watched them. He asked her if she wanted to play too, but she hesitated because she wasn’t good. Once his friends got tired of the game, they left the pool area and moved on to fish for girls near the bar. She took the opportunity to grab a pool stick and played goofily by herself. He drank from his bottle and smiled at her with reddened eyes. He walked closer to the pool table where she was and stopped when their bodies touched. She turned her neck around and felt the warmth of his face near hers. She smiled after meeting her eyes with his. Slowly, he turned her body around and placed her gently on the edge of the pool table. He delicately caressed her as she gently embraced him. They kissed softly. She was a good kisser, and she kept him on the edge of wanting more. She fell very much in love with him from that night onwards.
She believed that they were in a relationship in the next coming weeks, but he didn’t behave like an ideal boyfriend. Firstly, his jokes started to get a little too demeaning, and then his playful horsing around started to get a bit too rough. She continued to accept it, nonetheless. He then started calling her less, and eventually he stopped. Luckily, she was able to read between the lines and realized that he no longer had an interest in her. She was bitter yet adamant when she decided for herself that she would let him go completely and move on, even though it was hard.
Eleven years later and with a two-year-old son and a trophy wife under his belt, he came home from work one day and learned that his wife had just hired a small cleaning company to help her out with the home chores. It was their first new house together, and it was too large for them to handle all of it. What happened next was due to the trick of time, or something of that sort. One day, when he was sitting comfortably at home, a cleaning employee walked into the living room with a bright green shirt and a name tag that read “Gina.” Her skin was slightly rough and her body was curvaceous. He smiled back at her radiant greeting smile as she plugged in the vacuum and went at it. Another weekend later, his family went out to shop but he stayed back home and looked out the living-room window while Gina cleaned and sang Latin pop songs upstairs. A few months later, when his kid was sleeping and his wife was running errands outside, he accidently bumped into Gina when she turned around with a duster in one hand. The duster hit his chest and dust floated all around them. Gina apologized and tried to dust off his chest frantically with her other hand. He gripped her hand and almost pinned her against the wall and let it loose, but instead, he looked into her large eyes and sternly told her that it was okay. He walked out and closed the door behind him, wondering when. He knew enough to know that it will.
It happened when his family went to see their grandparents. Gina’s hair, all tangled up between his fingers and against the wall. She had luscious and persistent lips. He reached his hands towards her chest and caressed her nametag engraved with Gina, over and over again. He couldn’t wipe it out. He couldn’t erase her out. What was he wanting? Something despicable, pathetic, and cowardly. Gina with her sunburnt migrant skin, and flashes of Nina working hard through college. Back sweat and slippery skin. It was pathetic, these wretched beings. These imbeciles; the mediocre and the absurd. Gina’s soft flesh; naked and kind. Unseen damages and reckless behaviors. Unpronounceable words and lack of vocabulary. He hated it all. But she matched his rhythm, and he liked this. Out of breath and out of wit, he despised these people. Their back-breaking labor and lack of charm. He despised himself as Gina smiled.
There was no tomorrow after those few hours. He looked at the setting sun from the sofa as Gina tried to catch her breath, leaning against it. With the grasp of the darkness approaching, he had to bundle it all up; all these vile and senseless things, and throw it out. He wrote her a large sum from his checkbook before terminating her employment. Inane, scums of the earth, witless and far beneath him. Laborers and fools with ratchet dreams that were no match for his game. She took his check and her clothes and walked out. He watched her, the temptress and the goddess beyond his will. He watched her fade into the dark; out the door, out of his world and never to return again, while his gut howled in agony.
Months came, and years came too, and soon he saw himself as wrinkly and old. The seasons were lackluster and cold as all the colors faded out of his heart and his skin, and the money kept pouring into his pockets and made things heavier and more binding. Thoughts of disobedience and frenzy became ever so far; untouchable, unfathomable, unrealistic, and unkind. All things turned bland and left him high and dry like a piece of white paper paycheck floating up in air, who knows where, emotionless, full of ego, pride,
and full of regrets for never doing the basic things
the sweet things
that could have been
like way-back-when in college, before things got ever so complex and numb,
as he barely recollected flashes of Nina’s fledgling pride, her far-fetched hopes of becoming a journalist one day, her sincere smile and her innocent laugh,
just once more, he wished, with his half closed eyes.