He could have taken her to the Grande Palace Resort, but chose a seedy hotel on the waterfront, within walking distance of the Pier; for it lent an air of noir to the affair, that mixed well with her fatalistic attitude of their coupling. Though he hated when she spoke in “after the fact” tense, it was one of her curious traits that he found most fascinating; her ability to see the world in ways and realms that most could not; including her knowing how they would end, before they even began.
He was a superficial praise whore to be sure, putting himself at the center of attention if he didn’t happened to automatically fall there; and while those around him found him an overbearing, egocentric ass, she sensed his insecurity and saw something deeper that others did not, and that’s the part she wanted to touch. But their chemistry and attraction was unparalleled and irresistible; taking them straight to that line they should never have crossed; the means to their inevitable demise.
The path by which she led him was laden with mystery and truth; the things they did in room 231 was nothing short of debauched wickedness. Touching on every human compulsion and desire; connected by kismet, each movement determined. She coaxed him deeper than he’d ever gone, then feasted on his philosophy, all the while stroking his ego and soothing his soul.
The scars she was left with are worn as badges of valor, for the end was truly a vicious battle; and while she believed that he’d grown from their time and experience, in the end he retreated right back to that haven of superficiality, convenience and comfort; the one that stifled, restricted and smothered. The one he thanked her, on countless occasions, for releasing him from.
What she hadn’t foreseen was the coward he’d become when the black cloud moved in and ultimatums rained down; choosing to cling to collected possessions that held no meaning, but symbolized his monetary value and social standing; rather than harnessing his soul that had only just begun to soar, and riding the current of freedom wherever it happened to take him.
She understood the cruelty he showered upon her, in the form of his words immediately thereafter; actions displaying the stand he was taking, to appease the one he’d forsaken; malicious words intended to wound; of regrettable mistakes and meaningless missteps, that he would spend the rest of his life repenting. But the blatant disrespect he hurled in her direction, when their paths crossed and they landed face-to-face, was more than she could suffer.
She knew their truth, yet he chose to live his own lie; and she’d walked away peacefully with no looking back. The justification for his hatred was pure ego-driven; reminding and rubbing her nose in the fact, that he stood far above on the ladder of success and achievement, whose rungs she refused to climb; when he knew deep inside that his position and wealth had never meant anything or impressed her in the least. She was the only true spirit he’d ever known; her freedom the very thing he longed for – the one thing he was afraid to embrace.
The depth of his shallowness was revealed to the world, on that cold, rainy November night. The camera crew zoomed in on the crime scene; police tape blocking off the street, a shiny, silver Maserati parked in the alley alongside the Hotel Palamar. Two victims found in the car, both having died from multiple gunshot wounds. President and CEO of prominent architectural firm and an unidentified prostitute, both having met their untimely demise during an apparent act of unfinished fellatio.
She gazed at the image on the television screen, as the camera panned out and revealed the full scene, her eyes were immediately drawn to the window on the second floor; a window she knew too well – the window to room 231, where they’d carried out their affair.
They say some men you just can’t reach, and while she didn’t doubt that for a moment, she also believed that upon reaching that place at the core of one’s soul and touching upon the truth that dwells there, some simply aren’t courageous enough to reach out and embrace it; choosing instead to succumb to their fear and fade into the illusion.