circumstances – Part II

Beth’s first steps on the pavement brought her to one knee quickly. She did not stop to check but she could tell blood was already seeping. She fumbled with the keys, dropping them not once but twice. She just wanted in the car too badly. Once inside, she really began to cry. Deep sobs racked her in wave upon wave until she could not catch a breath. What she could gather she just used to breathe the word “why” over and over again.
After awhile she calmed herself enough to close her eyes. It was uncomfortable because of the swelling so she placed her palms against the lids for relief. She stayed like that for a long time. She dozed for an instant before the falling sensation made her jump involuntarily. “I’ve got to get out of here.” She said to herself. “Before she comes out and sees me.” The knock on the window made her scream. “Jesus Christ!”
Marty waited at the window. The woman looked at her then a look of recognition came over her. She wiped her nose as she rolled down the window. “You ok?” Marty asked.
“Yes, I am.” Beth was embarrassed that someone was witness to her breakdown.
“I’m sorry for intruding. I just thought you looked like…”
“I saw you inside.” Beth interrupted.
“I saw you too.”
“I know you right?”
“Yeah, you’re Beth right?” Beth nodded. “I am Marty. We met at Gavin’s party a while back.”
“Six months ago.” Beth pulled absentmindedly at the tear in her pants.
“What?”
“Oh, I was just saying six months ago.”
“You remember meeting me?”
“I remember your face. That’s when I started dating Gavin.”
“Are you still?” Beth looked up quickly and sternly. “I mean I saw you see her kissing Nina and then you took off.” Marty blurted this and immediately felt stupid for it.
“Yes, well I guess that answers your question doesn’t it.” Beth yelled accidentally.
“God, I’m sorry. I am being intrusive and rude. Really I am sorry. I just was leaving and saw you sitting here. I wanted to make sure you’re ok. I’ll leave you alone now.”
“No. Wait. I should say I am sorry. I am so…” She started crying again.
Marty reached in the window and placed her hand on Beth’s shoulder. She waited until the crying eased. “Hey, you want to grab some coffee?”
“No, I couldn’t. You don’t even know me. You don’t need to be burdened with a stranger’s troubles. My troubles.”
“A stranger’s ear is sometimes better than anything else.”
“Are you sure?”
“Trust me, I am sure.”

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