Tony stepped off the curb and opened the door of the cab in a hurry to escape the rain on his new suit jacket. He stood back to let Renee in the car. She was stumbling on the sidewalk and awkwardly fell into the cab. Tony followed quickly behind her, pushing her gently across the back seat.
“Armitage and Sheffield please in Lincoln Park,” Tony told the cab driver.
“She’s not going to puke is she?” asked the cab driver’s Eastern European accent not disguising his reluctance to drive.
“Fuck you,” Renee quietly said softly, her head against the window and her eyes closed.
“No she won’t, I’ll make sure.” Tony said reassuring the cab driver. The cab took off down somewhere near Clark Street into the Chicago traffic that seemed to be all yellow after 2 am on a Saturday. Tony checked his wallet, found he had enough money for the cab ride but found less than he expected, bars in the loop always drain his wallet he thought to himself.
“It’s one hundred dollars if she does.” Responded the cabbie as he drove.
“Renee, wake up. Don’t pass out.”
“No, fuck you. I’m fine. Why did we leave the party?” Her head still against the window.
“It wasn’t a party, the bar closed. Its 3 A.M. You’re drunk.” Tony’s voice grew sharper.
“The rain looks pretty in the window.” Renee said slowly in a daze. She gently grazed with window with her hand.
“Jesus.” Tony rolled his eyes and moved further to the opposite side of the cab and looked out the window himself. The cabbie took a sharp curve and it sent Renee onto Tony.
“Wah! Ha!” Renee let out as she fell onto Tony. “That was fun! Can we do that again?”
“ Quiet. You’re so drunk.”
“Can we make out?” She sloppily leaned toward Tony.
“No. Stop being a drunk ass.” He tried to push her aside and move to the edge of the seat. Renee began to cry.
“Don’t you love me anymore?” Tears began to make her mascara run.
“Not when you’re being a drunk idiot.”
“AH! You don’t love me. You fucking asshole.” She continued to cry. Tony rolled his eyes again.
“Are you serious right now? You’re seriously going to sit here and cry and claim I don’t love you?”
“Just kiss me then.” Renee said, holding back her tears and looking up at Tony’s face. Tony kissed her on the cheek.
“Are you happy now?”
“No, that wasn’t a real kiss.” Her crying continued. “You don’t love me anymore.” Her words barely audible beneath her sobs.
“Holy Shit.” Tony laughed.
“Don’t laugh at me.”
“You’re drunk. Just stop, we’ll talk about it in the morning.”
“No, let’s talk now.” Renee contested.
“Fine, what do you want to say?”
“Tony, I love you but you don’t love me. I miss how we used to be. Can we be like that again?” She stopped crying a little but the run down mascara had taken over her face.
“Listen Renee, you’re drunk and kind of annoying right now, can this just wait until tomorrow?”
“I’m annoying!” Her voice rising to a yell. “Am I too fucking annoying for you? Big confident Tony can’t put up with me, because I’m an annoying bitch. You never loved me, why have I wasted eight months on you. You’re a fucking asshole. I don’t even know why I put up with your bullshit. I can do better.” She stopped yelling abruptly and looked up at Tony to see what he had to say.
“Are you done yet?” His face was serious, yet amused. “You should just stop. You’re being ridiculous. If you think you can do better, go ahead. Go do better. You’ve been such a drunk ass lately.”
“I’m serious. Just go find someone better than me.”
“But Tony, I love you.” Renee said, grabbing onto Tony’s arm with both of hers, pulling her body close to his.
“You sound like an idiot.”
“Just make love to me.”
“Right here?” Tony said with a laugh. “You want to fuck right here in the cab?”
“Maybe?” Renee said, starting to smile. The make-up on her face resembled a Halloween mask.
“Ha, no. If you stop talking, I might consider it when we get to my apartment.” Tony laughed and looked out the window away from Renee as the rain continued to run down the windows smearing the lights of Chicago.
“God, you’re such an asshole.” She became angry. “Just drop me off at my apartment. I don’t want to see you.”
“I would, but you lost your keys, cell phone, and wallet tonight.” Tony said, still looking out the window laughing to himself.
“Yeah you did. Where are they right now?”
“I don’t know,” Renee said, sounding confused, “shut up.” Her voice was defeated and she moved to the other side of the back seat, away from Tony. Quietness took over the back seat as the cab continued on its way. The only sound left in the car was the light jazz the cabbie had in the front seat and the sound of car horns blaring at one another.
“Turn up right up here on Diversey Parkway. It’s shorter.” Tony said to the driver. The cab turned the sharp curve onto Diversey and sent Renee flying back onto Tony; her head landing on his lap.
“Ha, and I didn’t think I was going to get any tonight.” Tony laughed. Renee’s head jerked violently up then down and then again once more.
“What the fuck, Renee?” Tony said concern growing in his voice. One more jerk and then the vomit came out of her mouth and nostrils and onto Tony’s lap.
“What the fuck Renee? You drunk ass. You just puked all over me, what the fuck is your problem? You’re such an idiot when you drink.” Tony yelled trying to avoid any more puke.
“I’m sorry.” Renee cried as vomit still lingered around her lips. One more jerk of the head and more vomit came spewing out except on the floor of the cab. “I’m so sorry.” She continued to cry.
“God damnit.” Tony said calmly.
“What the fuck man?” Yelled the cab driver as he looked back to see what the commotion was and saw the vomit. He slammed on the brakes and stopped the car on Diversey Parkway about a half-mile from Armitage and almost back to Tony’s apartment. “It’ll be one hundred and thirty dollars. And get the fuck out of the car.” The cabbie yelled.
“Come on man, I’ll pay but can you just drive at least down to Armitage.”
“No, get her out of the cab and get out.” The cab driver insisted. Tony gave in and opened the door and reached back to help Renee out of her puke and out of the car.
“Come on Renee, give me your hand. Get out of the cab.”
“No.” She yelled back.
“Come on, don’t be stupid.”
“Alright, fuck it.” Tony reached down and picked up Renee who was laying half way on the seat and the floor of the cab. Tony let her stand on her own. She wobbled for a moment and leaned her head on a lamp post while getting wet in the rain. Tony reluctantly paid the cabbie the money and apologized. The cab sped off immediately after Tony had paid him. He turned around to see Renee, at this point wet, covered in puke with make-up running. Tony had picked her up to carry her home as he lost faith in her ability to walk. Renee’s eyes were closed as she rested in Tony’s arms on the sidewalk. With another mile to go to his apartment, “Well, fuck,” Tony said, as he began to walk.
—written by Colin Boyd in CW 350 Fiction Workshop, Fall 2010