Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chapter 72: Troy Dreads the Waking

Thurs, December 3, 2074 12:10 am: Capp Suites- Camden, Pleasantview

There was something wrong with him. Something deeply, psychologically amiss. Why else would he be lying on a hotel bed, his head still buzzing with post-coital bliss, Sabina’s hand trailing up his arm? What time was it? Shit. Three hours had elapsed since he left the house to take Enoch and Macaulay home. What would he say when he got in? Car trouble? Siren wouldn’t believe that. He would have called if that had been the case. In any event, car trouble was not an affliction that Troy ever suffered from. He took better care of his cars than he did his children. No, that wasn’t entirely true. Shit! What would he say?

Sabina rolled onto her side, yawning. Her tussled hair fell into her face and she made no attempt to brush it aside. Troy allowed his gaze to slip downwards over her small breasts and across her ribcage as her chest compressed with each tiny intake of breath. She was beautiful in the way that a fawn is beautiful. She had the same delicacy. The same elusiveness. He had held her. He had felt her shivering beneath him but she was not his, not in any concrete way. Once a certain amount of trust is engendered, a fawn might eat from your hand but that act alone would not make the fawn yours, would it?

Sabina laid her head against the pillow, smiling contentedly. Just watching her move arrested him. She could do anything or nothing at all. He knew-- He knew that what brought him here time and time again was no more than a lack of self-control, a general disregard for Sabina’s feelings and a blasé attitude towards his marriage. He knew that he was only there because he was a bastard. Yet, there were moments where he might have sworn that there was more to it, as absurd as that sounded. But Sabina was just a kid. Troy found his underwear beneath the covers and pulled them on. He had to go home. Tossing the sheets aside, he sat up.


“You okay to get back to the Academy?” He could have phrased that better. He could have brazenly offered to drive her himself.

“I’m fine. Are you leaving now? You always leave too soon.” Troy slid to the edge of the bed, deigning not to respond. His undershirt was drenched with sweat and the scent of her lotion. Her taste lingered in his mouth. There was no alibi in the universe that would explain away the evidence. He decided that he wouldn’t lie to Siren but that he wouldn’t tell the truth either. He had been out. That was all.

Sabina wrapped her arms around his waist when he attempted to stand and planted her chin on his shoulder. Being near her put him at ease with the world and at odds with himself. He was thrilled. He was revolted. He had to go home. Her lips brushed his jaw line. Her cold nose was pressed against his cheek.

“I love you, Your Honor,” she said. Troy’s throat constricted. He couldn’t decide whether the declaration had been weird or marvelous or both or neither. He wrung his fingers unconsciously. No person, no situation ever made him anxious but this woman—this girl—terrified him. “I love you and I think you love me too.”

Troy closed his eyes and exhaled. He lifted her arms gently from his body and stood up. Sabina inched over to where Troy had been sitting. As irrational as it was, he thought that he could feel her disappointment washing through him. Maybe if she hated him, they would both be better off.


“Troy, you have to talk to me.” He stopped what he was doing.

“What do you want me to say?” Sabina clasped her hands between her knees. She looked so young. “What could I possibly say?”

“Tell me what happens next.” Troy ran his hand through his short hair, clawing aggressively at his own scalp.


“I go home and fall asleep next to my wife. That’s what happens next,” he spat.

“You know what I mean.”

“Let’s not complicate things, Sabina.”

“Complicate things? You can’t be fucking serious.”

“We shouldn’t even be here right now.”

“So what's your point? We are here and I don’t regret being here. Should I? Do you?” Troy swallowed hard. Truth be told, he did not regret it, not a moment of it. He had reached the point in his dream where he dreaded waking. That was all.


“I regret it for your sake,” he murmured. Troy started to reach for his shirt when she jumped up, holding him from behind.

"You know what I think?" Sabina hooked her thumb into the shoulder of his undershirt and pulled him backwards against her chest. "I think that Troy Tellerman-Caliente has never regretted anything a day in his life. I think that a big part of the reason why we keep ending up here is because you want to know just what it feels like to royally fuck something up, to feel that much more human." Troy twisted out of her grasp, reaching down to pick-up his sweater.

“Don’t contact me,” he said. “I won’t try to contact you and we will not be seeing one another often under other circumstances.” He pulled his sweater over his head. “Siren and I are unenrolling the boys from the Academy.” He found his wallet and the remainder of his clothing beneath the bed. Even knowing that this was potentially the last thing that he would say to her for a very long time, he allowed the silence to hang between them, interrupted only by the sound of the door closing as he left.


  1. Er, sorry for the picturelessness.

  2. These two have such an interesting relationship. I do think she loves him, or at least thinks she does. I don't think he quite loves her, but he obviously has a big enough crush that he might mistake it for love. If Sabina's musings are correct, then he wouldn't have been there in the first place if he loved her, but the fact that he's willing to end it does show some sort of care.

    It's interesting just how worried he is about Siren here. She already knows he sleeps around and will probably just assume that he hooked up with some random woman. She has no reason to suspect that it's Sabina, or even an actual on-going affair... or does she? *shady glance* I guess he figures that this is actually something worth feeling guilty over.

    How long has it been since their night in the shed? Judging by Sabina's attitude here, I'm guessing she doesn't know she's pregnant yet.

  3. Sabina definitely thinks that she is in love with Troy. She would have never gotten into this pickle if she thought otherwise. She doesn't have casual encounters. Never had a boyfriend in school. And you're on the money with Troy-- What anyone else would probably recognize as infatuation, Troy sometimes thinks might be something deeper. He does tend to agonize over whether or not he is in love with Sabina. If he is in love with her, then it sort of justifies the whole situation for him. If not, then he is just a dirty old man sleeping with his neighbors' daughter. And he knows that being there is a sign that he cares more about his cock than her feelings.

    What makes this relationship different and a particular source of misery (other than the age thing) is that it might be love. Troy has never been emotionally invested in another woman. Siren can turn a blind eye to a one-night-stand because at the end of the day, she is still his partner, his best friend, the mother of his children, his wife. But what if she discovers what he has suspected for years-- That he is not and could never really be in love with her? More than anything, that is the unforgivable bit. A seventeen-year-old girl bats her eyelashes at him and he melts into a puddle of goo. Wife spends her entire life trailing after him through all of the most difficult moments in his life and yet she will never flip his switch like Sabina does. And it isn't even like Sabina is all that exceptional. (Not that that would make this any better but I'm just say'n). She is a pretty ordinary, gum-chewing teenager.

    The shed happened about 2 weeks ago. So no, Sabina has no idea that she is pregnant but it won't be long before she notices a suspicious lack of period.

  4. Ah, Troy is one hot mess. I was under the impression that he truly did love Sabina, but after reading this chapter, I have to agree with Van. Troy's had a while to get to know Sabina, and that usually ruins the magic when there's nothing deeper there.

    In a different note, I find Sabina looks older with blonde hair. And a bit tacky.

    I'm wondering, is she engaged? Perhaps her parents will want her to marry right away so she can pass off the baby as her husband's.

  5. There are so many cracks in Troy's veneer. I think that he is a smart guy who has up to this point, allowed his intelligence to define him without stopping to consider his emotional needs and indeed, the emotional needs of others. This will come back to kick his ass but maybe for the better.

    Sabina looks awful with that hair! She's not changing it, either. "I'm going for that grunge look that is so in right now!!" she proclaims while donning her otherwise anti-edgy wardrobe.

    Sabina is single and not-so-ready to mingle. Her parents are considering arranging her to a doctor from Veronaville. I don't remember the family that he is from. Anyway, Dirk is in no hurry to marry off his baby to just and scumbum. Lilith is too wrapped up in herself to care at this point, beyond public appearances.

  6. I too was thinking Sabina was looking sort of trampy here, with the bleached blonde hair and the purple bra. She makes Troy look like he's having a run-of-the-mill midlife crisis. Which... maybe he is? Insofar as Troy can be run-of-the-mill in any way?

    WAIT she's pregnant? I had forgotten that. Ooooops.

    Oh, Troy.

    Where are they here? In a motel? Oh, Troy.

  7. Heh, yeah the pregnancy was never publicly disclosed? I think? Van discovered it one day while perusing the family tree.

    Oh no, Troy is most definitely having a midlife crisis. One only needs to open the door to his garage and behold the crisis of his midlife.

    Damn, it must be sad to be in a relationship founded on the other person's middle-aged, bourgeois malaise.