Sunday, March 1, 2009

Miriam Part Five

"All right, maybe for a dance or two", she dropped her eyes with a sigh. "I really am getting tired, Nick."

"That's my girl", Nick said triumphantly. "Come on, let's go. See ya, Josh ol' man!" Nick was tugging on her hand now, pulling her from the room. Tugging back and looking over her shoulder, Miriam called to Josh.
"You'll be here for a while, will you?"

"Can't say for certain", Josh answered quietly. "A little while, at least." But then she was out in the hall, pulled by a Nick who was almost running. The piano music followed them, a little sadder now.

Nick pulled her back to the main hallway and was dragging her toward the garden. They reached the hallway to the right when she remembered why she'd come here. Stopping dead, she pulled her hand clear of Nick's grip. He turned with an angry look.

"What is it, baby?"

"I need to go to the powder room. That's why I came in here, and I think it's down this hall."

"Yeah, it's down here. C'mon, I'll show you."

"Nick, I think I can find a bathroom by myself", Miriam bridled. "You go along ahead, I'll be along in a few minutes."

Nick looked at her like a rancher might look at a mustang. He glanced quickly back up the hall toward where the faint piano music could still be heard, then at her again. "You sure?"

"Yes, Nick, I'm sure. I'll only be a minute."

"All right, then", he conceded, though it was clear he wasn't pleased.

"I'll get you a drink and then we can get the good times rollin', right?" He pulled her to himself and gave her a rough kiss.

"Right, Nick", she said, pulling free and starting down the hallway to the restroom.

"Whiskey sour, right?" Nick called as he headed toward the party.


"I'll make it a double! And if you're not along in five minutes, I'll be back with the bloodhounds!"

"I'm sure you will, Nick", Miriam sighed as she opened the powder room door.

When she emerged a few minutes later, she was half surprised not to see Nick waiting for her at the main hallway. It was the sort of thing he'd do, but for whatever reason he wasn't there. She walked back to the hallway, still tugging at her hem and feeling dismal about going back to that blasted party. She stopped for a minute and listened. She could still hear the piano notes coming from the hallway to the left. At the end of the main hallway, where it opened onto the garden, she could hear the drums and guitars beginning to warm up. Still no sign of Nick. She started walking toward the party, then stopped and turned. She looked back up the hallway toward the piano music, then back down toward the party.

The End.

"Miriam" is a short story by Roger Thomas, author of The Last Ugly Person: And Other Stories

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