Episode 10: Delilah’s ex
As Delilah approached the front desk of Mark’s building, the man sitting there looked at her in surprise. “Delilah?” he said. “It’s been a long time, girl. How are you?”
(Did you miss Episode 9?)
“I’ve been better,” Delilah said, her tendency toward honesty outweighing her better judgement. She’d known this man, Greg, for years. They’d bantered so much in the time that Delilah and Mark had dated that he felt like a friend rather than just Mark’s front desk guy.
Cassandra and Richard walked in and Greg raised his eyebrows. “Are these your friends?” he asked.
“Uh...kind of?” Delilah said.
“Are you here to see Mark? Is he expecting you?”
“Not...exactly,” she replied. “I...uh...lost my phone today so I haven’t been able to call him.”
“In..ter..es..ting,” Greg responded, drawing out each syllable. “Let me call him and tell him you’re here.” He picked up the phone and dialed Mark’s number. “Hi Mark. Yeah, Delilah’s here to see you. Do you want me to let her come up? She’s here with two friends.” He waited a minute before unlocking the glass door separating the lobby from the elevators. Then he hung up. “Good luck, girl,” he called after Delilah.
As they stood in the elevator, Cassandra fidgeted, scratching the bandage around her head. “So..where exactly are we?”
“At my ex’s place.”
“Your ex? If I needed help, an ex is the last person I’d visit.”
“Yeah, well, Mark is...he’ll know what to do.
“The gay one?” Richard asked.
“The one and only,” Delilah said. She unzipped her purse, pulled out a tiny mirror, and applied a few layers of Fringe Mascara Noir, her favorite mascara from 42 Dubonnet. She loved that the more layers you applied, the thicker your eyelashes looked. Luckily Mark lived on the 36th floor, providing ample time to apply makeup in the elevator.
She knocked on the door and her disheveled, brown haired, green eyed ex opened it, wearing a brown T-shirt that said “Love Your Mother” with a cartoon drawing of the Earth.
“Delilah,” Mark said, “I...it’s good to see you. Come in.”
It was clear that Mark and his boyfriend, David, had company. A group of 8 people sat in leather couches, playing games on the TV. David looked over. “Delilah! It’s good to see you, girl. Are you here for game night?”
Delilah shook her head, feeling awkward. Less than a year ago, this had practically been her home. And now, it felt so...different. Maybe it had been a mistake to come here. She, Richard and Cassandra followed Mark into the kitchen, where he opened the fridge. “Can I get you something to drink? Beer? Tequila? Wine?”
Cassandra grabbed a Coors Lite. Delilah opted out of alcohol. She already felt disoriented, and she suspected that getting drunk would only make it worse. Delilah and Richard went to sit down in the living room, leaving her alone with Mark. “Mark,” she said, “We...kind of need to...is anyone staying in your guest room?”
Mark’s smile melted off of his face. “Delilah, what is going on? I haven’t seen you in months and now you need a place to stay? Did something happen to your apartment? What...who are these friends? You know I would do anything for you, but...I’m not sure what’s going on.”
Delilah opened her mouth and then closed it again. How much should she share? Despite Mark being her ex, she trusted him completely. But would he believe her? Would she have believed herself if she’d heard this story yesterday?
Delilah took a deep breath. “So...I met Richard last night. I was at Foxhole for...for our anniversary...and we got to talking and I gave him my number. This morning, he called me and said he needed a place to go. It turns out this guy Frank was after him for putting him away on murder charges. The next thing I knew, Richard was being thrown into this guy’s car, and then...Cassandra and I tried to rescue Richard and I ended up tied up to a chair and the guy was calling my dad...asking him for $50 thousand for my release, and - shit. My dad! I totally forgot. Oh, this is bad. So bad.”
Delilah looked at the clock. It was 6:37. What time had Frank told her dad to meet him in the library parking lot? She couldn’t remember.
“Delilah,” Mark said. “I’m...I’m still processing most of what you just said...but what was that about your dad?”
“He’s...he was going to bring ransom money to Frank...to the guy...and I forgot, and...can borrow your cell phone?”
Mark grabbed his phone from the kitchen counter and gave it to her. She quickly dialed his number, only to get his answering machine. “Hi,” his voice echoed into her ear. “This is Peter Dubonnet. I’m not here, but your call is important to me. Leave a message and I’ll call you back.”
“Hi Dad,” Delilah said, her voice shaking, “This is your daughter. Delilah.” She paused. Really? What other daughter could it be? “I’m...I’m not kidnapped anymore. If you get this, don’t go to the library tonight.” She hung up, then rushed out of the kitchen, Mark following her. “Richard, my dad. He’s supposed to meet up with Frank at the library. We have to go. What if he’s in danger?”
Richard immediately stood up, but Cassandra just sat there. “Really?” she said. “I was just beating these guys at Quiplash.”
Delilah felt an unaccountable sense of rage welling up in her. She lunged at Cassandra, but before she could get to her, she realized that Mark was holding her back. “I’ll take you,” he said. “Where did you say your dad is, again?”
(Did you miss Episode 9?)