Nachhaltigkeit By D.I Jolly
Justin looked up expectantly.
“Well? Who was that?”
Walter looked down at the phone thoughtfully then said,
“It, uummm… we need to get moving.”
“What? Why what’s going on?”
“I don’t have time to explain, just grab your stuff we…”
“Oh no! no, no, you are not leaving me in the dark on anything. Not after everything you’ve put me through. Now who was on the phone?”
For a second Walter flushed with annoyance at having to stop his chain of thought, but it quickly faded as he realised Justin was right.
“It was Jenny Smith, she wants me to meet her at our hook-up spot.’
Justin’s eyes grew wide and he turned his head as if to say, ‘sorry what?’
‘She gave the safe word to say she’s alright, but, I don’t know, I don’t trust it. She sounded… off.”
Justin rubbed his face and let out a long breath.
“Ok, so what do you want to do?”
“What do you mean? We have to go meet up with her.”
“What? Why? You just said something was off.”
“Yes, that’s why. If she’s in trouble I have to do something.”
Justin shook his head struggling to wrap his mind around what he was hearing.
“Because I love her man, I’ve always loved her. How do you think I got into this mess in the first place?”
Walters words were direct and honest and they seemed to clear some of the fog in the room. Justin let out another sigh and begrudgingly got to his feet.
“Alright, let’s go. We’re probably going to die, but let’s go.’
His eyes grew distant for a second and his voice went low.
‘probably going to die no matter what we do.”
Walter looked at him with a level stare and thought again about apologising, but had started to feel like the words would be hollow just before leading him into even more danger. So in silence they grabbed what few things they had, called a taxi and for the first time in days, left their room.
To Justin’s bitter disappointment they ended up in an only slightly better motel, a few blocks down the road. He waited until they were alone in their new room before saying.
“I’ll be honest, this place doesn’t exactly say love.”
Walter turned an angry look on him.
“We’ve been having an affair, it’s not like we could go to nice restaurants or the movies. We had to make due with what we had, and …’
His voice dropped the heat as he spoke.
‘… and what we had was each other.”
A wave of realisation and reality struck Justin and seemed to knock him down as he sank against the wall to sit on the floor. He tried to look up but his eyes blurred with tears.
“I’m starting to hope that this is a trap and they just kill us.”
“I’m so tired, I’m so burnt out and fried that I can’t seem to think of another way out, but I know I want it to end.”
They stared at each other for a few seconds until the silence was broken by a gentle knock on the door and a soft voice said.
Walter almost ran across the room to open the door and let her in. Jenny Smith looked exactly as Justin had remembered her. Shoulder length strawberry blonde hair, elegant features that had made her a nerdy-looking teenager, but a classic Hollywood style beauty now, and her signature slightly to red lipstick.
Jenny looked between the two men confused, and Walter winced as he relayed the story to her. To his credit, he didn’t skip a step, or gloss over any of his misunderstandings or mistakes. He owned it all and Justin couldn’t help but crack a small sad smile. She looked at the two seemingly defeated men, then turned back to Walter.
“I can’t let this go on, you can’t live like this for me.”
“Wait, what are you saying?”
“My… I can end all of this.’
Justin’s ears pricked up and for just a moment he remembered hope, and the taste of bread.
‘But I have to swear that I’ll never see you again. We’ll be moving to somewhere I cannot tell you, my details will change and I need you to promise you won’t look for me.”
Walter looked for a second like he was about to choke, then jumped to his feet.
“No, no this is bullshit. This isn’t fair, he shouldn’t be allowed to keep you as a trophy.’
He dropped to his knees in front of her and took her hands.
‘We’re in love, and I’m not willing or able to just give that up.”
Jenny put her head down on his and searched for words, but before she could find then, Justin spoke.
“Then you know exactly how he feels. He is also fighting for the woman he loves, presumably. For his wife who betrayed him, against the man who wants to take her away. Walter, I… I don’t think you… I don’t we’re the heroes of this story.”
Walter turned a hard look on Justin.
“You just want a way out! You just want to give up so you can go back to your boring life!”
“Yes, yes that’s exactly what I want. I want to go home, and I don’t want to die for your affair.”
“Well that’s not what… A minute ago you were…’
Walter rose again and paced the room feeling his anxiety and frustration mixing.
‘I don’t want to just give up!”
Walter’s eyes closed, and he tried to pretend that it was Justin, not Jenny who had said it. But he knew the truth. He turned again to face her and she was standing looking paler and more fragile than he’d ever seen her before, but her eyes sparkled.
“I, do not want this insanity to continue. I, do not want to dance this dance anymore and I, do not want to see you again.”
Walter opened and closed his mouth a few times as tears welled up and ran down his face.
“But… But I love you, and you love me?”
He hadn’t meant it to be a question, he hadn’t wanted it to be, but he was so tired and so spent that he couldn’t help himself. Jenny’s face set like stone and she checked her watch.
“I only have a couple more minutes to go tell him what happened or not. I’m sorry my lo… Walter.”
She then glanced at Justin who stared blankly as if trying to not see what was right in front of him.
“And I’m sorry for you too. Give it five minutes and you can leave.”
And then she was gone and they were once again alone in a motel room. It seemed so surreal that it took them a few minutes more to realise that they were free and could just leave. When they did, they did it together, and the taxi brought them to Justin’s house. Thoughts of hot showers, and cold beers, and hugging his girlfriend slowly started to filter back into his mind. But it wasn’t until they were actually standing at his front door that he remembered that his keys and phone were locked inside.