On the Top of the World

Taking another sip from her vodka tonic, M___ looks back out the window onto the city being drowned in rain and says "I just don't know what I'm going to do now.

"That man, that bastard was all I had, you know? I mean, I loved my job, I loved my friends, and my God did I love him, but now what? He was fucking my best friend and he also happens to sit next to me at work. And she's pregnant. So now what?"

I ask her how she found out.

"Because she - she! - told me! She comes to me in tears the other night and I didn't have the heart to..."

To what?

"I can't hurt a pregnant woman. That's just wrong."

So is having an affair with the man in your best friend's life, I remind her.

She pauses. "The baby never hurt me."

She takes a moment to think. She looks back out the window. Raindrops streak the window and I catch her eyes tracing their fall. Little teardrops.

So now what?

"I left him and quit. She can go to hell for all I care. There's just nothing I can do here. Nothing. How am I going to keep up appearances now? How can I think straight? How can I do anything without knowing the other mind at work here is the one that took everything I had? My home, my oldest friend, the man I love...in one motion, all of it, gone. We never got married - stupid me, had to be so goddamn independent - so I can't say half of whatever is mine. I've got my own money and I don't want a bed he was sharing with her anyway. All those years and where has it got me? Nowhere. Absolutely nowhere."

She pauses again.

"I'm going to the airport tomorrow."

Where to?

"We'll see when I get there."

The waitress stops over by us. M___ orders another drink. I do the same.

"I'm 31 years old," she says after a long silence. "I've got my education, my ideas, I've got everything I've ever achieved. I've got my whole life ahead of me."

Then "I hope." She laughs briefly before turning back to face the window. I see her expression fall back again. Her eyes well up, and the rain keeps coming down.

Drink up, sister. The world is yours.