Roaches in Neon – Part 2

I have been here for 3 days now…a few new faces pop up and leave, I have been eating the disgusting food from the diner as I had no other choice and the next restaurant is around two miles away and I have no transport. The owner could care less; I tried lodging a complaint about the poor quality of the food at the diner after almost eating another cockroach this time in the fries, to no avail.

Everyone wanted me to take a vacation so here I was, two weeks of bliss. I couldn’t take my vacation at home because my mother would keep coming over pestering me to take an actual holiday. I lied and said I was going to Vegas but came here instead, hell! I don’t have the money for a vacation, besides vacations are stupid.

I spend most of my time by the pool reading, the other tenants come by sometimes, most times it’s just me and that weird “Green Jacket” lady. Sometimes I wonder if she’s watching me from behind her black shades. I don’t even know if she’s human at this point, it’s hot as balls here and she’s covered head to toe. I could tell she’s attractive by the high cheekbones, the plump red lips, and thick dark hair she wore in a bun or loose depending on her moods I guess. She was with a different man today, must be bringing her lovers to this god forsaken place where her rich husband won’t catch her.

I don’t know what the couple was doing here; they looked really happy though but seemed to find me amusing – idiots in love.  I would sometimes see the waitress by the pool as well smoking a cigarette while chewing gum and giving me dirty looks – Such a vile woman. I don’t think there is any maintenance staff around because whatever’s broken remains broken.

I was waiting for my dinner at the diner; as usual everyone was here along with a few new comers. The Green Jacket Lady was seated two booths away from me. I could see her shades peeping over the empty booth in front of her, looking straight ahead. I started to feel a little uneasy, was she looking at me or something else, maybe she wasn’t looking at me at all; maybe her eyes were on her guy who was excitedly talking about something. I gulped and looked behind me to be sure it wasn’t me she was staring at, when I turned around I almost fell off my seat. She was seated in front of me.

“Well…you are scaredy cat”, her voice was husky like those actresses from the black and white movies…like Lauren Bacall.

“Um…yeah…I guess”, was all I could say, her guy was frowning at me from his seat, “um…I think your friend isn’t too happy you left him”,

“Oh, Billy?”, she looked back at him and gave him a little wave, “just ignore the fool”, she was looking straight at me again.

I began to get a cold sweat and my glasses slipped down my nose, I pushed them back up. She took a pack of cigarettes and a lighter from her jacket pocket; she daintily pulled a cigarette out and placed it between her lips. Her eyes peeped over the rim of her shades, they were a deep red, I almost gasped.

“Ahem…don’t you have manners?”, she asked, “you should offer to light a lady’s cigarette”, little did she know that I was handicapped when it came to the “ realm of women” – especially when a woman with red fucking eyes is sitting in front of me.

“Oh, yeah yeah”, I reached for the black sleek lighter, my clammy fingers fumbled with it for a bit and I almost dropped it. She leaned forward so that I could reach the cigarette easier and I lit it, she blew a puff of smoke in my face.

“So…what brings you to a shithole like this?”, she motioned to the diner with her cigarette hand. She looked so much like a movie star right now.

“Oh um, I’m on vacation…?”, I don’t know why I said that like it was a question, I mentally face-palmed myself,

“Vacation?”, she laughed, it escaped from her mouth like a babbling stream, “you have an unfortunate taste in vacation spots”, another puff.

“Yeah, well it’s the sadness in places like this that-that draws me in”, what the fuck am I saying…at this point I’m just going with it. She looked at me for a few seconds and laughed that laugh again, I grinned like an idiot. I guess I’m getting the hang of this.

“You are funny…in a sad kind of way”, she sighed and flicked her cigarette ash into my coca cola bottle.

“what brings you here?”, I asked, she’s getting to me…I kinda like her, thank god those shades covered up her red eyes. She looked at me, and smiled.

“I’m here on business, sweety, and would you look at the time?”, she said looking down at her expensive watch, “time to go”, she dropped the cigarette into my cola and got up, smoothed the front of her jacket and signalled to “Billy” and walked off. “Billy” gave me a dirty look while he followed her out.

That night I couldn’t stop thinking about her, I realised she never asked me my name and I never asked her’s.

It was a gloomy day, rain clouds were rolling in but there was no rain, the air was humid and I was sweating like a pig. The air conditioning in the room did not work properly and when I tried calling the front desk no one picked up. That old shit must be watching something on his TV and ignoring my calls, I thought I should go over to the front desk.

While I locked the door I could hear the couple giggling and screaming in the parking lot, as I walked towards the entrance I could see them running around. The girl was screaming something at the sky and the guy was laughing and lifting her up, what a couple of nutjobs. Through the glass window I could see that the seat at the counter was empty, I walked in, “Hello?”, I called, no answer. I peeked over the edge of the counter but no one was in sight, his TV however, was on.

I wiped the sweat from my brow and went over to the vending machine to get a can of cola, the machine was jammed and I had to kick it a few times. I took a sip of cola and waited a few minutes hoping the shit would come but he didn’t, so I thought I’d go sit by the pool. When I stepped out I felt a slight breeze against my sweaty skin, the nutjobs voices were echoing around the Motel.

When I reached the pool no one was there, it was pretty dark now, and the lights were not switched on. I lay down on one of the chairs and stared up at the sky, the dark clouds looked angry, I was feeling the same. I took another sip of the cola and closed my eyes, at least there was a slight breeze and I didn’t feel as sticky as I did in the room. I heard a rustle of leaves, but the wind wasn’t strong enough to disturb the hedge, my eyes flew open.

It was too dark now, I squinted my eyes so that I could focus on the bushes across me, and there was another rustle, this time it came from behind. I got up and turned around, my foot toppled the can over, and cola ran over on the cement floor, flowing around my trainers. I couldn’t see anything in the bushes, maybe it was that couple trying to prank me. “Who is it?!”, I shouted, nothing. I backed off a little and my glasses began to fog up. I took them off and wiped them on my shirt when I felt someone touch my shoulder.

I turned around swiftly and almost fell over, when two hands grabbed my arms.

“Whoa! Whoa!”, the pool lights were on now and I realised it was the Green Jacket Lady who was holding me. I shrugged her off and quickly straightened my posture, she chuckled, “got spooked?” she lay down on the chair I was on a few minutes ago.

“No, just heard something in the hedge, thought it was that nutjob couple”, I spat out quickly and crossed my arms.

“No one was here”, she said, “I would’ve seen if someone was around”, she put her hands under her head and crossed her ankles.

“Maybe they got away when they saw you coming”, I walked towards the pool; there were dead leaves at the bottom.

“Maybe…”, she sighed, I looked back at her, maybe it was time I should introduce myself properly.

“My name is Jon…by the way”, I said readjusting my glasses. She sat up, pushed down her sunglasses, her red eyes glinting in the eerie pool lighting and smiled.

“Nice to meet you, Jon”, she held the N on the tip of her tongue a little longer. She flung her legs over the edge of the chair and crossed them. She lit up a cigarette. I waited for her to tell me her name.

“What?”, she exhaled, the smoke trailed out of her ruby lips.

“You didn’t tell me your…your name”, I stammered, she got up and walked over to me, did I piss her off?

She took off her shades, I held my breath; she looked stunning. She was close now; she adjusted my shirt collar and took another puff of her cigarette.

“I have many names…”, the smoke framed her red eyes, and I was rendered speechless. My glasses fogged up again.

“Babe!”, a man’s voice, we both turned towards the pool entrance, it was that jackass Billy. She turned my face to hers, “this place is not what it seems”, she whispered and walked away. I stood there watching her go, what the hell does that mean, my head was buzzing with questions and my heart was racing. I could still fell her touch on my shoulders where she smoothed out my shirt.

It began to rain.


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