3 Works in Hedley
Some people are just chemicals that are meant to be together. He and Benji have always been two people doomed to live in one another’s stratosphere - even now, he’s sure of that. They were atoms that must have been around one another during the big boom; everything leading them back to one another is just science.
The next morning Joel’s picking him up in an Escalade with black on black rims.
“Let’s get some food,” Joel says. Benji knows that, in their world, food really means sex.
He shrugs, and clips his seatbelt in.
Except then Joel finds out Nicole’s gone into labor three months early when he’s in the middle of a blow job.
Benji’s on a flight back to Vancouver that night, forgotten.
“I introduced them,” Joel explains, enunciating the I. A-hundred-and-thirty-an-hour Marion nods and rests one hand on her thigh, fingers relaxed against the thin cotton of her skirt. Joel watches the fabric move, and shakes his head. “At some party. It was dumb.”
Marion nods before paraphrasing a question with too many overbearing words, overbearing words that Joel has to step through like puddles. All that it alludes to, is, “Has Jacob ever physically or emotionally harmed you, intentionally or not?”
Joel thinks about the ridiculously Limited Edition six inch vinyl Jacob got him for Christmas.
Joel thinks about the way that Jacob and Benji stood on the back porch of their mother’s house after excusing themselves from the second half of last year’s Christmas dinner, sharing cigarettes and smiling despite themselves, throwing sucker punches to Joel’s gut whenever the opportunity presented itself. And there were many. Opportunities.
He hesitates. Marion’s still watching him.
“No,” He tells her. “Not intentionally.”