Lola said, “Where do you think you’ll go?” Her tone actually sounded irritated.
She sat at the kitchen table and blew into a cup of coffee, apparently waiting for his response. As if she deserved one. Looking at her—the familiar pink bathrobe hanging open to showcase the curve of her breasts and a pair of frayed panties—Clint finally understood why some men could walk away. Like the love for the desert or the mountains or the woods, it wasn't just the view that anchored them down.
“Where I go doesn’t concern you,” he said.
She took a sip of the coffee and then laid the cup down. “Fine then. Be that way.” She pulled the robe together. “But let me tell you something. This isn’t all my fault. I mean, after twenty years of working at the same place, what’ve you got to show for it? A dumpy truck and a house that’s in total disrepair. We can’t even afford to buy some nice things once in a while.”
Shaking her head, Lola continued. “Maybe one of these days, you’ll take a look in a mirror somewhere, see the ratty jeans and oil-stained shirt, and finally understand where I’m coming from. You’ve got nothing, Clint. No passion. No pride.”
He reached for the door, thinking: Blame sure gets spread pretty thin around here. Even last night, his old friend Ricky couldn’t man up. It must have been one too many beers, he said. That and the slow music on the stereo. He was sorry, though. Friends shouldn’t do that to one another. Clint agreed, and then ended their friendship with one fist to the face and another to the gut.
As he opened the door, he turned to looked Lola straight in the eyes.
“You’re wrong about that,” he said. Seeing the contempt on her face, he wondered how in God’s name he could have forgiven her before. Not just once, but twice. “The only thing I’ve got left, it seems, is my pride.”