Tales of the Storage Space, Part 134

Karen climbed over a fence to get to Martin’s back yard.

Atta’ girl!

Fuck you! was Karen’s answer to the ghost of Frank she assumed she was only imagining.  She guessed she was supposed to remember when she couldn’t even crawl out of her storage unit and feel grateful for the miracles wrought by modern medicine.

But she didn’t.

She looked around.  The light was soft on a garden that, though now grievously overgrown, was still sweet.  She made out primroses; she’d loved Martin’s primroses.  He’d told her they were as prim and proper as those in his mum’s garden in Kent.  She guessed she should feel something.  A twinge for the long-lost innocence and simplicity of her life?  Or even fury at Martin for killing Frank who was, after all, the love of her life?

She didn’t feel a thing.

That funny rock.  Still there.  She lifted it just enough to retrieve the key to Martin’s back door underneath.  Suddenly, for no apparent reason, a name resonated through her head:


Nothing more.  Just the name.

Why had that cop who told Karen she was going to get out of the hospital…and that that emergency worker was going to drop the charges for some mysterious reason…asked her so much about Marie, even for her address?

Karen shrugged it aside and tried the key in Martin’s back door.  At first it didn’t work, but wiping off more dirt did the trick.  At last she was in, scurrying around till she found that Martin had stashed her suitcase, her purse, and most of the clothing she’d had no time to put back on when she rushed out the back door, in a closet.  She dragged it all out, into the middle of the living room floor where she’d left it when she fled to escape Frank, and collapsed into the mustard-colored cushions of one of Martin’s vintage Danish Modern armchairs.  It had been so very long ago:

Frank cheating on her with her best, friends-forever friend Marie.

Leaving the apartment she’d shared with Frank with only what she could get to that accursed storage unit she’d signed up for with Irwin and this suitcase she’d brought to temporarily move in with her friends-with-benefits Martin.

Frank kicking the door in while she and Martin were exploring their “benefits.”

Her fleeing half naked out the back door and running to her storage unit.

Martin and Frank following…

But none of it mattered now.  She rifled through her purse…plenty of money…then grabbed her phone for the first time in forever.  The battery, of course, was dead.  Charger in her suitcase, but what was this:  another phone in her suitcase, not hers?  She turned it over in her hand.  The case said “Jennifer.”  Then she noted a whole bunch of boxes in the room that hadn’t been there before, marked “stuff.”

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 133

Tommy like stared at his phone, waiting with bated breath for her response.  After all, he thought she was cute, especially when she looked like his dead puppy…

Instead of Snapchatting back to ^URSunPC&proud…the fucking stupidest name anyone had ever used to Snapchat…Imogene looked up at him and stared.  Probably hadn’t factored in peripheral vision and figured he was too busy on his phone to notice.  Fuck!  She was researching whether or not he was cute before answering the question!  Tommy tried to look busy on his phone, using the lull in their conversation to tweak the hack he’d gotten from his new storage unit that allowed him to masquerade as her Snapchat buddy.  But he almost blew it and fucking snapped the connection because what he was really concentrating on was looking cute.

He shifted his weight, nonchalantly showing off the tight jeans he thought were important, but…if his peripheral vision was accurate…she was looking at his face.  What the fuck could he do about that?  He stiffened his jaw.  No…wanted to look tough but not belligerent.  He licked his lips.  Fuck no!  Too obvious!  He gave the phone he was still staring at what he thought was a soulful look…but maybe it just looked ridiculous, looking at a fucking phone like that.  He remembered an old movie, James Dean, and ran his fingers through his hair, real slow.  Squared his shoulders.  Flexed a few muscles here and there.  Finally he pulled out all the stops and looked up from his phone, trying to rivet her with his eyes.

She finally looked down.

Now what he saw on his phone in his peripheral vision was that she had, at fucking last, answered the question.

But just then, before he could even dart a look at the answer, someone else locked eyes with him.

It was the nurse, standing at the door, who’d almost fired him.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 132

Imogene like couldn’t believe it.  That Blond Monster Tommy had had to leave and do his work after she’d like lied to keep him out of trouble with that def-not-woke nurse, but…zayum…it was effin’ days later but he’d like walked right into her room and handed her his tablet!  She looked up at him with effin’ tears of gratitude, but he was busy on his phone.

Probably still playing Minecraft.

Imogene clutched the tablet, like sweating all over it as she logged onto Snapchat with shaking hands.  There was something funny about the log-in, but she figured it had been so effin’ long she’d just forgotten.  Anyway it didn’t matter:  she was in!

WTFwasImogeneCoca: U there?

^URSunPC&proud:  wheree the fuck else wud i b

WTFwasImogeneCoca:  Where u been?  So much 2 tell u!

^URSunPC&proud:  tell awayy

Imogene like kept having to blink back effin’ tears so she could see the screen.  Her fingers like flew as she told ^URS about everyone…even the effin’ med peeps…thinking she was pregnant, which was sooooo def-not-woke, since she’d just had the def worst period ever.  Vaguely it occurred to her that she hadn’t trusted ^URS at times, like how ^URS knew so much about Imogene without ever having met in RL, but she ignored that now, bursting to type faster so she could tell ^URS absolutely everything, including stuff she like hadn’t even told herself yet, like that her belly was getting big and that there was something that moved inside her…and she was afraid she had cancer.

And…except for one hot night that for some funny reason she couldn’t remember…all about like all the pain, and all the loose teeth, and every time her father ever beat her.

Even Tommy stiffened at that one, but it was probably something that had happened on Minecraft on that phone he was still bent over.

She told ^URS about Tommy…finally…after so effin’ long without any device…lending her his tablet.

^URSunPC&proud:  is he cutee

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 131

The Storage Space was no longer appalled, simply or otherwise.  It no longer cared.

Its newest customer, the blond boy, pummeled a wall that rattled and clattered as he uttered a string of the crudest obscenities…apparently directed toward something he called “vanilla Minecraft.”

Amelia called out, “Tommy!  Please!  There’s enough clatter here already from the renovations!”

The Storage Space couldn’t possibly imagine the craft of mining vanilla, since vanilla couldn’t be mined.  Amelia had stopped singing its favorite aria.  The supposed “renovations” were only a lie by that oddly dressed Pat so he…or “they” as Tommy would call this strange Pat person…could crowbar his way to all the Storage Space’s hidden treasures under Amelia’s nose.

But the Storage Space didn’t care.

Slithering announced yet another visit from the ghost of Irwin, Le Grand Rat.

The Storage Space didn’t care.

Le Grand Rat whispered amid slithers of his hatred for Karen who’d had the effrontery to kill him in self-defense.

Karen…  Did not deserve to be thought of ever again.  Karen had betrayed the Storage Space.

Elsewhere something akin to sepulchral silence reigned as that other young boy, Fifi’s clandestine lover, crept around on his rainbow shoes, using the keys he’s stolen from reception long ago to stuff all his empty suitcases with treasures from other people’s storage units.  Amelia of the beautiful voice…and Karen when she returned…would get in trouble.

The Storage Space didn’t care.

Then that even more oddly dressed Pat, crowbarring treasures hidden since the 19th century out from behind the metal walls, freed a pocket of air subtly scented with starched linens, oiled leather, fine cigars, and exquisite perfumes that were no longer available.

Amelia aahed, stroking some freshly exposed wooden paneling.

Pat told even more lies about restoring the old theatre and pocketed a sterling silver snuff box when she wasn’t looking.

If the restoration hadn’t been a lie…if the grand old theatre was really, truly, going to be returned to its former dignity, its former glory…the Storage Space still wouldn’t care.