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[ a day late ]
by kHo

It´s been just over two months when Amy walks out of the house and sees Mort´s car parked down the street. She tries to tell herself it´s not his car, but she just knows, deep in her gut, that it is. She walks out to get the mail she knows won´t be there for another two hours and she sees a head duck down on the driver´s side. She turns on her heel and intends on walking back towards the house and calling the cops, because the last time she saw him he´d had a gun pointed at her face.

Instead she finds her feet walking over to the car. “Mort?”

Mort frowns down at the steering wheel. “It´s not my fault.”

Amy sighs. “Why are you here, Mort?”

Mort´s eyes flick to hers and his eyebrows bunch together. “It´s not my fault.”

Amy feels cold icy fingers grip her insides. “What´s not your fault?”

He frowns, chewing on his lips. “I didn´t tell it to come here. It just did.”

Amy frowns, opening the door to his car and staring at him. “Tell what to come here.”

“The car,” he says, looking at her and raising an eyebrow. “I didn´t tell it to come here, but it did.”

And that sounds insane, and it should scare her, and the haunted look in his eyes should make her turn and break out into a run until she reaches their-- her-- house. Instead she smiles, because she can remember more than just a few times she´s gone to the coffee house he used to like to write in and not remembered that he wouldn´t be there until she´d already ordered.

“Why don´t you come inside.”

He shakes his head, his eyebrows furrowing even further. “No. No, I´m sorry.”


He shakes his head, his fingers clutching the key still in the ignition but not twisting the engine on. “I should go. I shouldn´t have… I shouldn´t be here.”

She shuts the door and smiles at him. “Park in the driveway, Mort. I´ll fix coffee.”

She turns and starts walking towards the house, her ears trained for the sounds of Mort´s quickly retreating car. She hears a muffled curse, and she hears it start up, and as she walks up the steps she sees in the reflection of the window the car pulling into their driveway. She closes the door behind her and leans against it, feeling tears welling in her eyes. Inviting him in was stupid, but apparently so was she.

She started the coffee machine and she glanced in the corner where his computer desk used to be and she feels that hollow spot in her chest remind her that it will always be hollow. As bad as it got with Mort there near the end, he occupied a part of her heart that would never be filled. Not by Ted, not by anything. She watches the black water start to drip and she thinks for a moment that maybe it looks like mascara-streaked tears.

The door opens and she hears Mort´s foot in the foyer, and then she hears a knock. “Amy?”

She peeks around the corner and sees him standing half in and half out, and he´s holding onto the door handle in a way that looks like it´s his life support. “Mort, I told you to come in.”

He laughs slightly and walks in quickly, slamming the door behind him. He looks down at the floor as he passes her and walks into the kitchen and she watches him take a deep breath as he looks out of the window. She knows that deep breath. She knows what it means. She knows the feelings of fear and pain beneath it. She knows it because she feels it too.

He sinks into a chair and sighs, hanging his head as he traces nondescript shapes on the yellow tablecloth. “This used to be blue,” he says quietly.

She nods, walking over to the coffee pot. “I changed it to yellow a couple of weeks ago.”

“Not even a month and already she´s deleting me from her kitchen,” he says in a just barely audible whisper, laughing lightly.

She walks over to him and puts the coffee cup down in front of him with a loud clang. “It´s been two months, and I´m not deleting you from my life. I just wanted a cheerier table cloth.”

He nods, wrapping his fingers around the mug of coffee. He gives her a half smile and she knows that he´s noticed that this is his cup. It was the same as the others, but it had a chip in the handle. Mort had always claimed it was his, because it was imperfect and so was everything else, so this was the most honest coffee cup that they had.

“I don´t know why I´m here.”

She sits down across from him and ignores the throbbing in her chest. “It´s okay.”

He shakes his head and his index finger traces the lip of the mug, a frown of concentration marring his face. “I mean it, Amy. I don´t remember driving here.”

She sighs and reaches over, covering his hand with hers. “Really, Mort. It´s okay.”

He lets out a sigh that really sounds more like a sob and her breath catches in her throat. “I´m sorry.”


He shakes his head, throwing his hand out angrily. “Don´t say it´s okay, Amy!” He growls, pushing his coffee cup away. “It´s not okay. It´s not fucking okay! I don´t know why I´m here!”

She takes a deep breath and wills her tears to stay at bay. “I understand it Mort,” she says. “I´ve done it myself.”

He looks at her sharply. “Done what?”

She smiles ironically. “Gone to Perks. During lunch, sometimes. And I´ll order two tall café latte´s, because you always get so distracted you forget to get another one. And I get to the table and it´s not until I´ll realize you won´t be there anymore. Ever.”

He sighs, looking down. “Not ever. I´m not dead Amy.”

She shrugs. “Doesn´t matter. It won´t ever be us again.”

He looks up at her through his lashes and she wills herself to look away because those eyes are dangerous. “You order me a coffee?”

She laughs, rolling her eyes upwards as she feels the tears starting to spill over. “Yeah. Stupid, huh?”

“It wasn´t loaded,” he says softly. “I just want you to know that.”

She jerks her hands back as he reaches for them. “Don´t ever talk about that again.”

He frowns. “Amy.”

“No,” she shouts, standing up. “You scared me that night Mort. Don´t ever speak about that again.” She stands up, walking around the table and bringing her coffee with her. “Ever.”

He turns to face her, his face passive but his eyes two pools of midnight black sorrow. “It wasn´t loaded. I just wanted to… I wanted to scare you.”

She feels the tears coursing down her face and she slams her cup down on the island stovetop. “Shut up.”

He stands up. “Amy.”

“Fuck you, Mort,” she said, pointing at him with a shaking hand. “Fuck you. It wasn´t the god damned gun that scared me Mort, it was you!”

“I miss you.”

She closes her eyes. “Shut up,” she says, her voice pitiful and weak.

“Amy,” he says, his voice a soft caress and getting closer and closer. “I still love you.”

She shakes her head. “No.”

“I love you.”

She opens her eyes and he´s standing right in front of her. She backs up into the bar and his arms come around to trap her. “No.”

“Why´d you do it,” he asks, and the pain in his voice rips her heart out and shatters it into million pieces. “Why?”

“You weren´t here,” she whispers, and she wants to push him away. She means to curse at him and push him physically away, but he holds her immobile with his eyes.

“I worked from home, Amy,” he says, and one single solitary tear falls down his cheek as he reaches up to caress the side of her face with his knuckles. “I was always here.”

She shakes her head, meeting his eyes finally. “No you weren´t. Mort you weren´t here. Your body was, but you weren´t.”

“I´m here now,” he says, closing the gap between them and pressing his lips lightly to hers. His fingers splay over her neck and his tongue dips out between her lips, and she sobs into his mouth. “I´m right here,” he whispers again before gripping the back of her head and crushing her body beneath him.

Her fingers clutch into his red and black flannel jacket, pulling him closer as their tongues meld together. She feels his fingers twine in her hair and pull her head back as his mouth dips to her throat. She can feel his cock, hard against her thigh, as he leans into her even more. “Mort,” she whispers. “We can´t do this.”

“Shut up,” he says, and it´s then she knows he´s crying. She can feel the wetness on his cheeks when he kisses her again and she lifts her hands to grab his face in her hands, her thumbs wiping the tears away. “Just shut up,” he says again, shaking his head and kissing her again.

It never took long for them to start things up, not since their first date back in college. He knew how to touch her, what to say and in what tone to say it in. He knew that if he bit her lip at the same time he unbuttoned her blouse that her knees went weak. He knew that when he brushed his thumb across her nipple, even through her bra, and flattened his mouth against hers when she gasped, that all the foreplay after that was unnecessary.

He´s got her shirt open and she´s unzipping his pants and his jacket drops to the floor, and then he´s shoving her into the counter as his fingers delve inside of her. His tongue traces hot trails of saliva up her throat and he bites at all the right moments and soon she´s aching for him to enter her. And just when it gets to be too much, he is. He´s entering her slowly and filling her and whispering that he loves her and he wants to fuck her and he doesn´t ever want to leave.

But then it´s over, because it doesn´t take long to get to the fucking, and it doesn´t take long to get to the orgasm either. His breath is hot against her and the arms around her suddenly feel like a trap. She´s crying again and when he looks up at her and he´s smiling the tears fall in earnest.

“We can´t, Mort,” she says, her voice hoarse, and she knows she should have waited until he had slipped out of her to say that but she couldn´t hold it in any longer.

“Amy,” he says, and that half smile of his always makes her heart flip and he kisses her with a tenderness that almost makes her forget all the months of pain that led up to her cheating on him in the first place.

“No,” she says, pushing on his chest and stepping out from under him, bending down and putting back on her underwear and jeans. “No, Mort, we can´t.”

He stares at her for a long moment and blinks. “We just did.”

“We can´t any more,” she said. “We´re divorced.”

Anger flashes in his eyes and he slams his hand into the counter. “We´re not divorced.”

She shakes her head, backing up and hugging her arms to her chest. “Look, Mort, I´m sorry…”

“You´re sorry?!” He shakes his head and zips up his jeans, laughing bitterly. “We just fucked, Amy, and you´re sorry?!”

Amy shuts her eyes. “We shouldn´t have.”

He shoves on his coat, which he had discarded during their lovemaking, and glares daggers at her. “Day late, dollar fucking short, lady.”

“I tried to tell you,” she says, shaking her head and wiping at her tears. “I told you not to…”

“Oh,” he says, laughing and throwing his hands up in the air. “Right. I took advantage of you. Or, are you considering it rape? Is that what that was? Cause I´m sorry, but I do believe I felt you come while I was inside of you!”

She squeezes her eyes shut. “I´m sorry, Mort.”

“Fuck you, Amy.”

She doesn´t open her eyes until she hears the door slam shut.

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