She just got back from Japan. The last time I saw her two weeks ago, her hair was blonde. Now it's black. Jet black. It matches the color of her heart.
It was Saturday night. She drove all the way from home in the posh residential area up in the hill in the middle of the night just to see me. She looks tired but I don't care. Today I'm going to be the biggest meanest jerk she's ever met and I'm going to make her cry.
"Do you like my hair? I dyed it black, just the way you like it."
I didn't respond.
She knows I'm mad. It's too obvious. She's trying to get me to let my guard down but I'm not going to play her game. I just stood there next to her car, with arms crossed, refused to look at her.
"What's the matter? Don't you like my hair?"
I don't care. Where's my stuff?
"Can we talk?"
"Pretty please, with sugar on top?"
I just want my stuff back. Hand it over. Then go home.
Even though I keep my head straight ahead, I can see from the corner of my eyes that she's looking up at me from the driver seat with a sad innocent look on her face that says, Please, don't do this to me, I did nothing wrong. I've seen the same look before. It's always the same one she used whenever she's trying to get off the hook. Most of the time, it works. Only a handful of people smart enough to see what a pathological little liar she really is and I happen to be one of those lucky few who can call on her bullshit. Naturally, I didn't fall for it.
She stretched her hand out, trying to reach for my arm but I was quick to dodge her and take a step back. She's hurt. I can feel it.
"Will you please get in the car. I just want to talk."
There's nothing to talk.
"What happen? Why are you so mad at me for?"
Just give me my stuff.
"I'll give it to you if you get in the car with me. Please I just wanna talk."
"I promise I'll give it to you. But first, please, get in the car."
She keeps pleading for several minutes and my eyes wander from the empty lot around us to the ground to the roof of her car to her newly dyed hair and eventually I looked her straight in the eyes. Her sad tired face. Her soft coaxing voice. The way she look up to me, begging for one last ride making me feel so rotten deep down inside. I knew I shouldn't get in the car with her but I can't help myself and it turns out that I'm not smart enough not to fall for it.
In her car, I'm at a major disadvantage. Everything seems to remind me of how much I've missed her. Of how much I didn't want it to end: the sweet smell of her perfume and a hint of her Marlboro Lights that lingers on mixed with the scent of green tea air freshener; the slow sad songs on her playlist; and her imploring doe eyes glancing every now and then at my direction as she silently drove the same route we always took when we go for a drive.
Shit. I'm in deep shit now. The longer I'm next to her, the closer she's getting to winning. I have to do something. Whatever I do, I know I must not look her in the eyes.
She's very sharp. She knows that I can't stay mad for long. Not at her. Or at least, not while I'm next to her. So, she took her time at the wheel, driving uncharacteristically slow into the night.
"Are you hungry? Can we stop somewhere to eat?"
"I haven't had dinner yet. Care to join me? Or at least, just keep me company."
"Not even for a drink?"
"I'm pretty tired. Can you drive?"
"Do you want to hear stories about what we did in Japan?"
I don't care.
"What's wrong? What happen to you? Why are you so mad?"
"You don't like me anymore?"
"Do you hate me?"
After driving in agonizing silence for what seems like an eternity of the most unpleasant ride ever, she gave up and turn the car around at the roundabout underneath the flyover. That's when I glanced at her.
It was a mistake.
All it took was a glimpse and I'm hooked. I knew that soon, very soon, I'll crawl back to her.
She dropped me off at the parking lot at the base of my cheap dilapidated flat and without saying a word, gave me a small paper bag containing all of my stuff - a couple of cds, a dvd and some other silly trivial stuff that I hold no emotional attachment whatsoever to - and drove off.
She didn't cry when she took off. She had a blank spaced out look in her face as she handed over the bag but I think I saw a hint of that secret silent rage in her. I've seen it before and I knew exactly what it means. This is not the end of it.
My suspicion is correct.
A couple of weeks later, we're back in her car, eating each others face off.
Soon, shit hits the fan.