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A Lucky Star’s Above, But Not For Me

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“I was a fool

 

to fall and get that way.

 

Hi-ho, alas, and also lackaday.

 

Although I can’t dismiss

 

the memory of his kiss,

 

I guess he’s not…he’s not for me.”

 

Slouching on the backseat of her car, she’s savoring the lingering residue of her last glass of Bourbon. After being informed by Renee that the offered partnership, which she’d decided not to give up her current position in a relatively not appealing firm for, was taken by, now her former partner, Barbara Kolstad, she indulged herself with several extra glasses of Bourbon. The smarmy bartender, again, attempted to impress her with a few shallow jokes, which she neglected with nonchalant smiles. She thought that after one-year devotion, she might have won the trust from the partners. She thought that despite of some minor disharmony she might have developed a companionship with the female senior partner. Can there ever be no backstabbing just for a minute? She wonders. She laughs at the fact that it never ended well between her and a female partner. Why is it so hard for women to simply stick together? Why is she always the last one to be aware of the schemes against her, which never even appeared to have a solid ground? Dizzy and intoxicated, she cannot continue bothering her mind with the messy thought. If only there could be, for just a short moment, a peaceful land where she is able to take a breath not worrying about the stress of keeping the firm afloat, not worrying about the relentless lawyer killing, and not worrying about the madness of this crazy world, if only just for a short moment……

Her slender fingers reach for the out-attached pocket of her clutch. Feebly, she takes out that little green vial containing the mysterious liquid. She did not think of trying it when the bartender promoted its tantalizing effect. Drugs? Never for Diane Lockhart, not even in her youth. When the darkest hours befell, the nearly bankruptcy of her firm that she dodged, the overture of her seemingly happy marriage, the catastrophic loss of her personal finance and the stained reputation due to the connection with the Rindell name, not once has she tried to give herself a break and escape from the turmoil. She hustled around to regain what she almost lost, to keep everything rolling, to prove herself and to win respect and trust from peers with her unyielding will, impeccable professionalism and zealous passion for justice, but when is the end of this? A dirty plate comes before she can wipe the one in hand. It’s an infinite loop, and what’s the meaning of all these, being driven by last-minute crisis, being swirled in the flow you don’t even know why, just drifting and not being able to spare a second to contemplate how she really feels, to question whether it worths the mindless efforts to accept the passiveness for life. Then, what would it cost to add a little innocuous madness to the crazy world that has already been out of her control? Probably nothing.

Screwing the lid of the vial, she raises the dropper over her mouth. Slightly squeezing, she feels a cool droplet of liquid taking over her tongue, a bit bitter and astringent, and gradually seeping to her throat, bringing a tingling to her temples when she swallows slightly. Relaxing her neck and extremities, she squirms on the seat to adjust to a cozier position before it kicks in. Squinting her eyes, she sees through the windshield. It is a lovely neighborhood away from the dazzling city light. The darkness of the night sky is thickly dotted with twinkling stars, and that scattered twinkling becomes brighter and closer as the jazz music crawls into her ears and starts to echo in her brain. She has never seen a night sky like this, so enormous and deep, like it will gradually take her into that unknown abstruseness, oh, except when she was in the country, at his farm, in his arms, with his mustached lips teasing, more like soothing, the skin behind her ear, one of her happiest memories of country life. Eyes drifting close, she is breathing slowly and evenly. The dark night sky disappears in her sight, as the hold of his arms and the touch of his lips escape from her at the same time. The surfaces bracing her weight become softer as she feels her body is carried by marshmallow-shaped clouds and surrounded by huge bubbles reflecting pink and purple lights. Raising her hand, she tries to reach the colorful bubbles, which suddenly breaks into nothing under the touch of her fingertips. The bubbles and the clouds are gone. She finds herself in an endless field of blooming lavender spreading ridge after ridge until it blends with the skyline. The floral scent calms her nerves and brings a feeling of lightness to her brain. Running her fingers back and forth through clusters of the purple flowers, she feels scented breeze kissing her hands softly. As she strolls in the purple sea, a humming sound interrupts the immersive joy occupying her mind. Without opening her eyes, she reaches her hand into the clutch. Her phone is vibrating.

……

The regular dripping sound creeps in her ears, causing creases between her brows the same pace along the dripping. She really needs to have someone see to that tap. Having moved to this new apartment for months, she is awakened by the same sound every day before the dawn when she is gradually released from deep sleep. Opening her sleepy eyes, she tries to catch the somber light outside the window through the narrow lines of her sight. Feeling thirsty, she swallows, attempting to moisten her throat but only causing a pricking hurt. Looking down, she finds herself still in her dress.

“God, not again.” It happened a few times. When she was off work too late, sleepiness and tiresome drew her right into bed. She promised herself to just lie down for a minute before changing into her pajamas and washing up, but never has she followed through that promise. The dizziness gradually fades away. She raises her left wrist from her stomach to catch the time, but her eyes are suddenly widened when she is startled to find a hand is held in her palm with fingers entwined not long before she feels a light rock of the mattress behind her followed by a gruff grown.

“Feel better?” Before turning back, she recognizes his voice.