I was spread across the sofa, catching up on Mad Men, when Megan opened the door. She dropped her purse on the floor and slipped out of her heels.
“You’re home early,” I said. I heard a sniffle and then the fridge door open. I grabbed my beer off the coffee table and followed her into the kitchen. She said nothing as she closed the door and I saw the container of yesterday’s pork-fried rice in her hand. I started to say something but didn’t and instead watched her pull a fork from the drawer and dig in. We said nothing for what seemed liked several minutes.
“Where’s the car?” I finally asked.
“The garage downtown. I took a cab,” she said in between bites. That’s all really wanted to know. Megan can be a sad drunk – I only wanted to know that she’d be alright.
I took a swig from my beer and walked back to the sofa. I heard her follow and took the seat next to me and I was no longer able to spread out.
“It’s alright, you don’t have to see them again,” I said.
“Why was it so important that I go anyways?” she asked.
“You and Monica looked like you hit it off at La Azteca,” I said. Monica was Travis’ wife, my one of my co-workers at my new company. They seemed a few years older than us but were still good people. Max and I bonded the first day over arcade games. He mentioned a barcade downtown for my happy hour, but plans were already in place to hold it at La Azteca.
“Just tell me everything,” I said. I took a final swig from my beer and almost got up for another but thought better of it.
“It was all nice,” Megan said. She combed through the rice and I knew she was avoiding the peas.
“We had wine and goat cheese and fancy crackers,. We talked about Mad Men, which I’ve never seen.”
I’d asked Megan to watch the show with me repeatedly but she always turned me down. I wanted to say something but thought better of it.
“What else?” I asked.
“Everyone there knew Monica for years, either from college or high school,” Megan said.
I stood up and walked back to the fridge. I pulled out another beer.
“So they talked and I felt left out,” Megan said from the sofa.
I popped off the bottle cap using the counter’s edge. I stayed in the kitchen. “So you’re saying you never gave them a chance?”
“I said I wasn’t feeling well and left.”
“So no, you didn’t.” I took a couple swigs of my drink while Monica stayed in the living room.
“Why did you tell Travis to tell Monica that I’d go without asking me first?”
“You keep on saying that you’re lonely.”
Megan said nothing and I stayed in the kitchen. I opened the fridge and pulled out the last of the banana bread my mother made the day we left.
“I need to make my own friends.”
“I was only trying to help.”
“Because you can fix everything.”
I pulled a knife from the drawer and cut the bread into little chunks. I alternated between a sip and a bite.
“Why did you have to look for work so far way?” Megan asked.
She only asked the question once and I said nothing. I was scared of what I’d ask and what she’d answer. I continued to alternate between bread chunk and beer until it was gone. I opened the fridge, stared at its contents for a couple seconds, closed it and walked back to the sofa. I sat down and Megan placed her head on my shoulder. We said nothing.