Tuesdays are bad days for losers like me. Servers are down, teo chew mueh stall is closed and the newspaper is at its thinnest (finish reading before finish business). So I turn to writing, making things worse.
Post-coital silences were always awkward for Azmodan (I am sorry, I have decided that all my fictional characters henceforth will be named after Diablo boss characters). On the one hand, he knew the gender rules: the man would have to remain silent, save for the occasional "yous'ok?"; the woman would be the one talking, in need of affirmation after giving away her flower. On the other hand, Azmodan usually had so much to say. That was great. Was I great? You were great. Life is great. I was great, right? Better than Mephisto anyway. Loser.
But tonight Azmodan was quiet, pensive. Largely because the woman lying in his arms wasn't his wife, but a foreign body.
"Hey, Azzy," Cydaea drawled. It had been all of three days, but she had already found him a suitably embarrassing surname.
"Uh huh?" Azmodan stirred. Guilt could come later. Cydaea needed his best front presented to her.
"Were you playing Diablo before coming to meet me?"
Azmodan considered. "Yeah, I was. But I'm glad I came to meet you."
Cydaea smiled, as pure a smile as a thirty-three year old could muster. "So I win?"
"Yeah, baby. You win. You beat Diablo."
"Yes!" Throwing her arms up in triumph, Cydaea nestled deeper into Azmodan's neck. "I beat that stupid game."
"Not much of a victory if you put it that way."
Realizing that he was talking too much, Azmodan picked up his pack of cigarettes from the side table. Composure after consummation, man. Stay cool.
"No, it is. I know how much you like that dumb game." Cydaea gave a contented purr. "You hungry?"
Azmodan paused. "Actually I am. Want to grab something?" He was halfway to a cigarette, but didn't want to smoke before eating.
"No. I want to stay here, like this, with you." There was a distinct tinge of defiance in Cydaea's indistinct whisper.
Azmodan smiled in spite of himself. "Sure, babe." Now where was that lighter?
"Are you listening, Azzy?" Cydaea's insistent murmuring continued. "Do I beat food too?"
The question was as adorable as its asker. Azmodan merely grinned, nodded and tousled Cydaea's hair.
"Yay," Cydaea said, happy with little. "Yay yay yay. What else can I ask if I beat?"
Azmodan didn't know why he said what he said next; perhaps it was the leftover guilt that he had stowed into an open corner in his mind, or perhaps it was simply his hunger that drove him to indiscretion. "How about my wife?"
Cydaea started, then turned over. The room became heavy with silence.
"Hey baby, what's w-" Azmodan reached out to touch Cydaea, but she shrugged him away. "Don't be angry?"
Cydaea's reply was muffled by a pillow, but her words, sharp with sadness, cut Azmodan to the core. "Asshole. You know I won't ever ask that." She got up from the bed and padded over to the toilet.
"Sweetheart, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say that." Azmodan heard himself bleating at the tightly shut door. "It was just - it was just weighing on my mind. You know I think you're better than my wife, right? Come on, come out honey. I'll get us something good to eat. KFC, your favourite. Or anything else. I'm good for time."
There was an eternity of silence, the sort of sad, sordid silence that remains in shopping centres after dusk, and then suddenly the door was open, with Cydaea fully dressed, her make-up hastily applied. Her eyes were red and puffed from crying, but her gaze was firm.
"And after that? You go home to your wife, tell her about your fictitious day, and go to sleep without fucking. You lie to her, but can't you see that you need to lie to me too? We're both in this together. Don't tell me that I deserve this hurt, that I knew what I was getting myself into - asshole, do you deserve the hurt that comes from me telling your wife everything? You knew that came with the fucking territory too, right?"
Azmodan, alarmed, found himself on his hands and knees. "Baby, please-"
"Life is short. I'm trying to find whatever happiness I can find, wherever I can find it. I thought you felt the same way. Which is why we're here in this fucking room in the first place, isn't it? I was never going to ask you to leave your wife, or to ask you to badmouth her for my sake - please, save me the patronization. But it looks like you've decided that it's convenient to have a fucking conscience all of a sudden. Well, don't take it out on me. Go 'fess up to wifey, if it's eating away at you so bad. I'm not your fucking priest." Cydaea started for the front door.
"Baby, please - I'm sorry. I take it back. I didn't know what I was doing. You're right, life is short, so maybe we don't have to spend it arguing? I'll bring you some place nice." Azmodan found himself scrambling to find the right words, but nothing seemed to come.
Cydaea stopped, halfway out the door. Her eyes no longer flared, but were instead heavy with sorrow. "Azzy, darling. It's over. You've ruined everything. I loved you with all my heart for three days, but I can quite positively say that I hate you right now." Cydaea smiled, the saddest smile Azmodan had ever seen. "Please go to hell."