The Chase

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The Chase Morgan’s hand was running along the side of a chain link fence as she walked haphazardly down the empty street. Light poles punctuated the 25 minute walk to the other side of town where she was on her way to meet her friend. The air was cool, and the ear buds sat just right in her ears for walking. Sunday night walks were her favorite because they existed on the cusp of a world ready to start it’s week. Their was no palpable tension like Friday night as people got ready to enjoy a night out, it was the serenity of time frittered away that put her at ease. She’d made this walk every Sunday night for the past year. It was a ritual of sorts, and she liked the dependability of it all. Chase was predictable. She was making good time, patting newspaper boxes like good dogs as she walked by, and giving the occasional swing around a tree. At home, Morgan’s husband Winston was shifting around in his bed, his arm repeatedly fell flat to the bed after expecting to find her warm body under it. His daytime job as an editor for a struggling local newspaper was weighing on him. He sensed he wouldn’t have the job much longer, not because he wasn’t a good editor, but because it wasn’t a good newspaper; and this kept him awake at night. This, and the fact that his wife has friends of the opposite sex. Since the affair started the three of them, Chase, Morgan and Winston had been to several dinners together. They were sordid little events that indulged the whims of no one but Morgan. At the last dinner Morgan ordered a bottle of red, and capitalizing on the confusion of the waiter, had him pour her glass first. Picking a piece of cork out of her mouth, she sent the bottle back. Apologizing, the waiter brought them another bottle. A smile cooly fell over her lips as he asked, “Will this satisfactory Ms?” “Yes, it will satisfy nicely” Chase’s one bedroom apartment was located just over the rail road tracks and during the night the trains would sound their whistle as they would cross the roads. It started as a subtle hum you could hear from the ear not on your pillow and would reiterate itself every 15 seconds or so until your eyes were wide, and you could feel the large metal wheels rolling by, vibrating the bed ever so slightly. Chase often wondered if he would have looked forward to these vibratory awakenings more if he was a girl. The apartment was formerly a motel that had fallen into disarray and, it was lovingly referred to as a “Rapist Motel” by Morgan. Her first stab at Chase’s well meaning intentions toward Winston happened in the parking lot. She was cruising her long board up and down the spaces after quite a few glasses of wine. Not many people in the place owned a car, so there was lots of room. Cruising up to him she threw a hand around his neck. Pulling away, she did not relent, and continued leaning back. They both tumbled to the blacktop, and Chase thoughtfully put his hand on the back of her head, despite the fact it had made him scrape up his elbow really bad. They laid on the ground, small rocks pervading his forarms, and her hair. “This is not good” he said. “Why. Kiss me?” “I hate being on the fucking ground, and you hurt my elbow.” “Poor baby.” Chase got up and left her on the ground, as she rolled her long board back and forth with her foot. Morgan’s hand reached out and traced over the letter on his door, “H”, while standing outside. She cupped her hand and tapped her nail on the glass. It was always three taps followed by two, her standard arrival, but tonight she was in a particularly good mood, and gave him her nail’s rendition of “Shave and Haircut”. Chase picked up on this, and came to the door, looking through the peephole and said officially into the door, despite knowing who it was, “Who is it?” “Morgan” He swung the door open. “What’s with the melody?” “I’m just in a good mood” “Well, Welcome to the Rapist Motel” He said, standing to the side and swinging his hand for her to enter. The room smelled like popcorn and this thrilled Morgan. Chase walked over to the stove to shake the pan. Chase was not an instant pop kind of guy. He was authentic, right down to his popcorn, and he wasn’t ashamed of just how different he was. They’d met six years earlier at the airport. Morgan was a gate agent for “America’s Worst” as she lovingly referred to it. It was another name that Morgan had made up, that Chase found endearing. She was reading her trashy grocery store lit as Chase was trying to catch a flight. His airline pilot friends were good to him, letting him fly stand by for nearly free. However, flying standby had it’s downsides, and if the plane was full, he was left in whatever crummy airport waiting area he happened to be in. Morgan was gorgeous in her uniform because she made it hers. Her hair was done up with chopsticks, and her black horn rimmed reading glasses sat low on her nose. Her nails were painted despite occasionally nibbling on them as she wound her way through the twists and turns of her supermarket smut. On her wrists were the relics of her 1980’s upbringing: snap bracelets. One with Scooby Doo and one with a rainbow. “Where are you trying to get to sweetie?” “Las Vegas” “You gonna get your party on?” “Not quite” Chase Said, “I’m going to a pinball convention. It should be lots of fun though.” “I love old games like that, that sounds so cool. I didn’t even know they had conventions for that.” “It’s not as glamorous as it sounds. But if you’re feeling saucy, you should check it out.” “I get off work in 15 minutes. Want some company?” Morgan batted her eyes with excitement. “You want to come with me? You just met me.” “I had someone pick up and throw a stapler at me today because I wouldn’t let him on the plane because it was late…You’re going to a pinball convention. In Vegas. I’m not worried.” She laughed the kind of laugh Chase was shocked to hear someone who’d had a stapler thrown at her laugh. “Besides… You’re not going to be going anywhere for….” She batted the keys on the keyboard, “At least an hour and a half. And that flight is pretty full, but if you’re with me I can get you on it for sure.” She was going to get her way, she’d seen the look of resign flash across his face. It was a look she’d see again some years later. Chase laughed, “Well you certainly drive a hard bargain. I’m going to be in between Terminal C and Terminal B. Come find me when you’re off.” “How the heck am I going to find you? That’s a big area” “I’m going to be riding the moving walkways. And when you see me, let’s pretend like we haven’t seen each other in years. Deal?” “Deal.” Morgan was blushing. She liked the also glasses laden boy in front of her, and that he would even consider the possibility of taking something so utilitarian, and perverting it for his own amusement. They’d been best friends since that day despite society, and now her husband, frowning on two people of the opposite sex being friends. Chase put the popcorn into the same big bowl that he always did when Morgan came over, put some butter on and shook some salt over it. “How was the walk over?” “It was fine, Sunday nights, you know” “Ah yes, the pregnant woman that is the week just starting to feel the water running down her thighs” “Gross Chase” She laughed. Chase put some burned CD into the CD player, and fought with it to play. After spitting it out several times it started playing. Chase kept all his CDs in one big stack, and they were in terrible shape. “What are you playing?” Morgan said, diving into the popcorn. “It’s this CD my neighbor insists I listen to, and I think I’m going to subject you to whatever it is he wants to subject me to. How’s that for fair?” “Sounds fair to me. Is he tall, dark, and handsome?” “He’s fat, fifty, and I think a little homophobic, because I think maybe he thinks I’m gay” “Yet he makes another man a mix tape. Sounds like he’s got issues.” A surprisingly classy cover of some Tom Petty song started playing out of the CD player. The neighbor’s cover band was just starting to book some feel-good gigs around town for various festivals and events. “This actually isn’t too bad. You should totally sleep with this guy.” “If you like it so much, you bang him. Hand me the popcorn.” Chase sat on his coffee table, a foot pressed to the side of his leg. He never really crossed his legs, but often sat in this zen-like half indian style manner. “I don’t just go around ‘banging’ everyone I like. Is that what you think this is about?” She said. 
Chase bit down on his popcorn a little harder while a colonel popped between his teeth. He laughed nervously. “Well you see, when a man-” “Do you remember that first weekend we met?” She interrupted him. She did it often, and she loved how he always stopped talking to listen to her. It was something she didn’t get from Winston. He was the quintessential alpha nerd and when he started, he couldn’t be stopped. “Sure I do, PinBallCon ’04” Chase was worried, but did his best to sound reminiscent of the event. He liked Winston, he was good to her. Really good to her. She deserved someone like that in her life. If she was with him she’d be relegated to his shitty one bedroom existence, and he knew it. “Is that all it was to you? PinBallCon ’04?” Morgan had now begun to spin her wedding band on her hand, her buttery fingers were bouncing her left hand by the ring. Chase eyed her busy hands, he was working on choosing his next words carefully. “No, it was more than that to me.” “What?” “It was a great weekend.” “Tell me what it was TO you.” She reached across the small space between the couch and the coffee table and grabbed his leg with her left hand. Chase felt the cold slippery ring on his leg. They both looked at the ring for a moment. “It was the moving walkway” “Fuck you Chase. What was the moving walkway?” “When you were running the wrong way down it, like you hadn’t seen me in years. That was it for me. That’s when I knew I wanted to be with you.” Chase threw his hands up and patted his knees. His right hand brushed her arm on the way down. The jig was up, and he was readying himself for the speech he was sure she had practiced a thousand times over in her head. He could have lip synced the “I’m sorry, you’re a great friend but” or the “If things were different…” but to his surprise they never came. “I love you too Chase.” She said. A pained look came over his face, and she squeezed his leg tighter, trying to coax the words out of him. For all his oratorical prowess, it was hard to squeeze his emotions out of him sometimes. “But you’re married. And he’s good to you. ” “He’s married to his job. I’m just the mistress. He doesn’t love me the same way he loves to pour over those words everyday looking for places that commas could live. I’m in a souless marriage.” “But it’s still a marriage. If you want to be with me, you should leave him. These Sunday night seances to summon up our buried feelings aren’t healthy.” Morgan slid the ring off of her buttery finger and placed it on the table. It spun on it’s edges like a dropped coin. The sound made Chase tense up. “Look” She said, “I’m ringless now. ” “Not husbandless. I’m not this person. I think my feelings for you are clouding my ethical judgements.” She took his hand and placed hers inside it. It was warm, without the ring on it, and Chase liked that she was always wriggling her fingers around as they held hands. There was no lack of fight in her. “What now? Am I supposed to kiss you?” Chase asked. “You don’t have to, I wouldn’t be offended either way, but it’s not polite to stare.” “What do you mean?” Morgan took her shirt off. The white tank top underneath her sweatshirt was skimpy, but she felt it did the situation justice. She wasn’t wearing a bra, so there were no lacy accompaniments to this little tirade to class things up. She was raw like the fraying straps, devoid of elastic, drooped about her shoulder. The jeans she wore felt tighter below the waist. Her face was flush as she decided to embrace her indulgence. Morgan felt emboldened without her ring, and was determined to capitalize on it. Popping the last colonel of corn into her mouth, she stood up from the couch, and straddled Chase on his coffee table. She wiped her buttery hand on the back of his sweatshirt before grabbing his face. “Did you just wipe your hand off on me?” He managed to get out despite his fish puckered lips. Chase could smell her perfume, or whatever the hell it was she always smelled like. “I did.” She laughed. He looked at the frames of her glasses, afraid that he’d get caught looking into her eyes. The glare off her glasses from the ceiling fan light made him squint. “How the hell am I suppose to kiss you way up there?” She looked down at him, enjoying the power rush of being in control. She had no intentions of leaving Winston, and sometimes just wanted a good fuck. Mind, body, and otherwise. She wanted to have her words hung on, her body sought after, and more than all, she wanted to be on top. She was ruining Chase, every Sunday she came over, giving him hope that she might one day leave Winston to take up residence in his shitty one bedroom apartment. She knew she never would, and wished Chase could just enjoy the windfall he was receiving. “I guess you’ll have to ask for it.” She said. “You’re asking for it.” “You’re asking for it” She mocked him leaning closer. As her hair started to obscure his field of vision, Chase couldn’t help but think of Winston, in his bed, unaware of the betrayal was happening just the other side of the rail road tracks, and he wanted to feel guilty. He wanted to feel like this was making him a bad person, like years down the road he’d regret ever dabbling with coveting another mans wife, but he felt nothing, just the impending locks of her hair on his temples. She hovered an inch or so away from his face. He opened his eyes, and kissed her. Air rushed over his upper lip as he breathed her in. She held his face with both hands as they embraced, and occasionally their glasses would touch, turning them precariously about their faces. Morgan ground her hips into Chases, the sound of old denim jeans slowly rubbing together gave the whirring fan company. Chase’s hands moved about Morgans tank top clad body. He took his glasses off, and grabbed her back just above her hips, feeling the skin exposed by what her shirt didn’t cover. He ran his fingers slowly over her lower back, and stopped to think of why it was they called it “Goose flesh”. As he was considering the connotations of flesh versus bumps he found her tongue in his mouth, and she stopped kissing him. He opened his eyes to her looking at him. “Are you getting distracted? I want you to stop considering whatever it is you’re bouncing around in that cute little head of yours, take me in that bedroom, and fuck me. And I want that to happen now.” She reached out and touched his finger to his nose, walking to his bedroom. Chase, downtrodden, followed suite. Morgan walked out of the one bedroom apartment two hours later, Chase still on her breath. She traced her hand around the H again. She was light in her shoes, and felt as if she had been able hunt down what she was after. It wasn’t that she wanted Chase to want her. It was that she wanted Chase to do what she wanted. The Sunday night aura still hung in the air, and the occasional lonely car would putter its way by her. She could only hope those drivers were half as happy as she was at the moment. At her house, she opened the door slowly and tip toed into her master bedroom. She put her clothes into the hamper because she was worried they smelled like more than popcorn. Winston was lightly snoring, and hogging her side of the bed as usual. She put on an old T-shirt and climbed into bed. She gently moved her husband out of the way as she slowly kicked her legs to warm up the sheets. She laid away from him, and held her hands to her chest to warm herself up. Stirring slightly, he woke up, and sensing that she was cold rubbed her arm and back. “Thank you, I’m all warmed up now” She said, putting a hand on his to show her gratitude.

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