Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Daryl/Zee: You Would THINK This All Counted for Something!

I still think of myself as pretty young, because not only does Jonah/Krystle have a point about your self-image kind of freezing as you were the first time you went to the Trading Post, but I was Magda for four years, and even after almost two years as Zariyah "Zee" Andrews, I still know what it's like being past menopause, feeling a little worn down, and having people look askance at you and your younger boyfriend.  I've been feeling like I imagine a young woman feels.

Except, well, I'm not, entirely.  When I talk to my "mom", she asks if I'm ever going to give her grandchildren.  I've started wearing reading glasses on occasion.  Younger people in the office say I look good "for my age".  And, I admit, when I saw that Jonah's boyfriend had proposed, it kind of hit me that I had been with J.T. for over six years and we hadn't really talked about it.  Well, we kind of had, but we'd more talked about talking about it - this is my fourth face, after all, and before I got it we kind of needed to be able to uncouple and recouple without a lot of fuss.  It hasn't been that way for a while, though.

I started to fret about it with a girlfriend, being vague about some things and trying to come up with "equivalent lies" for others, and she pointed out that I had, from the sound of it, made the first move throughout our relationship, so maybe that was just our vibe.  It felt like a really obvious thing when she put it like that; after all, I'd been the guy and he was Elaine when we met, I had gone to him when I was Elaine, had made the huge gesture to let fate decide if I should get another body, moved to his city (twice!), and sought out this younger shape myself.  He had gone along with what I wanted and was ready for, and it wasn't just dropping hints.  I was going to have to ask him.

So I went to a jeweler, let them think that I was proposing to a girlfriend, and bought a pair of matching engagement rings, both with small, kind of subtle diamonds.  We both wear jewelry, though it's more often just an earring or a pinky ring for him and I'm not a lot fancier.  Yesterday afternoon, I got the call that it was finished, and I told my co-workers that I'd be knocking off early to pick it up, and would check in later in the evening.  I got the rings, headed back to the apartment, and smiled a bit as I heard the noises from the bedroom.  This is going to sound stupid, but J.T. has been on this Euro-sleaze kick lately, "research" for a film that thought it would be fun to cast the former teen idol as the svengali figure, but also because they're kind of dumb fun, which is why I didn't think anything of opening the door and asking what he was watching.

Only to see him fucking Harmon Keller-slash-Alicia Polawski-slash-Harmony Kelton on our bed.

He was on his back and she was riding him cowgirl, so he saw me come in and pulled his hands from her breasts and tried to push himself away, and she looked over her shoulder and smirked, nonchalantly pulling away from my boyfriend's cock, picking up her uniform and slipping it on over her head, then grabbing her high heels but not bothering with her underwear as she used her other hand to grab the roller bag from the corner of the room.  She blew him a little kiss, mouthing "call me", then favored me with a quiet "bye mom" as she sauntered to the door and then the elevator.

As Magda, I'd given a probably-reasonable but probably also unhealthy amount of thought to what I would do if J.T. ever cheated on me, and the answer turned out to be cool anger.  As he reached for his boxers, I stepped on them so he couldn't pick them up off the floor and stared downward.  "All the actresses and models you work with, the girls who had a crush on you as kids, all the other women in fucking Manhattan, and you do this with fucking Harmon Keller?"

I was apparently angry enough that he feared I would do something violent, because he moved his hands to cover his shriveling, now semi-erect dick.  "Honey, it's not like that!  I mean, yes, Harmon can kind of be a pain, but she's like us, and was nervous about embracing this part of womanhood, so when we met while she was doing an audition for something while I was shooting in the same building, she asked for some pointers, and--"

"She was at an audition?  I talk to Magda, asshole, and I know she hasn't been trying to get into show business beyond her YouTube thing for a year and half!  How long has this been going on?"

He repeated the sound "I" a lot.

"It started while I was still Magda, didn't it, and she was me but with a perfect ass and nothing sagging and buttering you up about how she still wasn't sure she knew what she was doing but you were such a good teacher and nobody else would understand, didn't it?"

He lowered his head.  "Yes."

"And you probably ate it all up, didn't you?  And you know what, I'll bet she's been pushing you to do stuff that made it more likely you'd get caught, right?  She's hated me ever since I told her I'd be moving out of that apartment in Oakland any more and probably figured blowing up the thing that took sabotaged her easy little life would be good revenge."

Apparently suggesting that she wasn't primarily into him was the thing that would get him to react.  "Honey, it's not about you--"

I leaned in.  "It's about me even if the bitch didn't mean it to be.  Do you not understand that I started completely new lives twice for you?  That the only time I've talked to my original family in six years was at Elaine's wedding, and that was just small talk from a former co-worker?  That instead of Magda, I could have become somebody who wouldn't make it through the winter?  All so you don't have to sacrifice one bit of your comfortable situation!"

"Look, I never asked you to do any of that!"

"Oh, but you let me, and said how lucky you were to have someone who loved you that much!  And this is how you repay me, going behind my back with that asshole!"  Angry, I walked over to a closet, pulled out a suitcase, and started putting some clothes into it.

His expression shifted a little, like I sometimes saw at work from someone who figured I'd left myself open.  "Come on, let's talk about this!  Where are you going to go?"

"It's New York, there are hotels.  Not like I can exactly crash with Magda, is it?"

"Come on, you said yourself, we've got so much invested in this!"

I turned around.  "I said I have a lot invested in this.  You, apparently, just have a couple of closets!"

I didn't wait for a response and took about the same path Harmon had toward the elevator, and realized that I didn't even really have a travel app on my phone on the way down - J.T. had taken care of any vacations we took, and the couple of times I've traveled for work, the office handled it.  I wound up just looking for hotels on Google Maps, which I suppose is fine, but probably cost me.

Anyway, this is my second night in this room, and I'm not sure what to do.  J.T. has left a few voice mails and text, but I feel like he should be trying harder to get in touch with me?  Is that just crazy woman brain, crazy guy brain, or me knowing just how central this relationship is and expecting it to be valued similarly?

-Zee?

1 comment:

Roxy said...

What an FBoy! Totes doesn't deserve you.