Some Beds I’ve Slept In, Part Two

by Derek GRAY
 

I had to move to the couch when Angela’s boyfriend returned from Madrid. It was red, and dotted with thousands of tiny polka-dots. The polka-dots were cornflower blue.

“I’m so sorry,” Angela said as we laid on her bed one last time, “his company’s sending him home early. I wouldn’t have invited you to stay if I’d thought he’d be back so soon.”

Kyle eyed me with suspicion, but Angela was outgoing and kind, so a stranger on the devan wasn’t unprecedented. He was a soft-spoken database consultant; too vanilla and agreeable to keep Angela true.

It was a Tuesday when Kyle asked me to leave. The three of us were eating satay at the kitchen table. Angela’s shoes were off and her right root was inching up my leg. Kyle was meek but not a fool. He cleared his throat deliberately, locked eyes with Angela for moment, then turned to me and asked, with feigned curiosity, how the apartment hunt was going; she’d been chastized, I’d been given the implied warning to scram.

That Thursday I moved into a basement apartment I spotted on CraigsList. My new roommate needed a roommate, fast. The week before, she’d been forced to kick her brother out after he’d had a psychotic break and tried to stab her. The apartment was damp and over-priced, and the bed in my ‘furnished room’ was really a shoddy couch, but I’d overstayed my welcome with Kyle, who was inquiring about my search on the hour.

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