Par Jo Lee
The weekend flew by so fast that when the alarm rang, Jen wondered why it was going off on a Sunday. Laurent had spent the remainder of the weekend by her side since he’d dropped by Saturday afternoon. He’d been so gentle and sweet, holding her hand in public outings, cuddling with her back at her place. Naturally, he tried to initiate sex but didn’t pressure her when she refused to. She felt a little better, having slept in his boyish, muscular arms Saturday night, inhaling his Thierry Mugler perfume that tickled her nose. Even if their status was uncertain, it was nice to know that there was a support system here had she suddenly needed one. The simple fact that someone would care and notice if she fell ill in this foreign country reconfirmed her sense of security.
By the time Jen arrived at work, the whole clan was awake and the house was already alive and bursting. It suddenly felt weird having been able to have Laurent all to herself this weekend, seeing him surrounded by a bevvy of young kids. She couldn’t help but notice that Larry was missing and her mind quickly wandered as to where he could be.
“Jennifer, I just put laundry in. I go to the market and come back soon. Is ok?” Genevieve asked, kissing her frantically on both cheeks.
“Yeah, of course. I’ll take care of it.” Jen smiled at her boss’ courtesy.
Laurent waited until his mom exited the house before tugging at Jen’s long, bohemian skirt, playfully asking her to tend to him. She played along with him, showering him with plenty of kisses on his face like a parent would to its baby and giving him a head massage.
“Where’s Larry?” She asked as casually as she could manage, even though her heart was stuck in her throat.
“Dans sa chambre!” (In his room) Larry replied nonchalantly, leaning his head further into her hands to enjoy the massage. He closed his eyes and looked as if he was about to drift off when his phone lit up.
“Someone’s calling you.” Jen said.
He lazily opened his eyes and glanced at the screen. However, seeing the name of the caller seemed to have abruptly waken him as he sheepishly grabbed it off the table and walked to the backyard to answer it. She thought his reaction was so weird and instantly regretted not being curious enough to look and see who was calling. She watched him standing in the backyard, speaking carefully and quietly. His body was stiff which caught her attention because Laurent was always fluid, whether in dance or general movement. Tired of standing there like a detective, she headed to the laundry room. The load Genevieve washed was ready to be transferred to the drying machine. She returned to the living room where the three little ones who weren’t old enough for school sat completely focused on their cartoons. The house seemed so quiet. She began to climb the stairs, stopping on the second floor just in front of Larry’s room and knocked gently. His room was eerily silent. She turned the handle, it was locked.
“I’m busy.” Larry exclaimed, noticing the handle turning unsuccessfully.
“It’s me!” Jen said regardless.
There was no other response from him, no shifting noise from the bed of him getting up to come open the door, nothing. She stood there like a rejected puppy, unsure of why she even wanted to see him or what she had to say to him. All of the sudden, it hit her that she really had nothing to say to him.
Larry completely ignored her presence at the door and turned the volume on his speakers loud enough to shatter his eardrums. He didn’t want to see her or speak to her. As senseless as it was, he wanted to remove that night from his memory and go back to the time when he didn’t really care about her and found it amusing to see Laurent flirting ceaselessly with her. He had more important things on his mind. In a few weeks, he was going on a huge tour sponsored by big companies that could lead to other big events for him and his brother. Just before that, there was an important local dance tournament that attracted thousand of dancers worldwide and he couldn’t pick the right songs to mix for their battle. They needed to ace this tournament. A huge talent agent that represented some of today’s biggest stars would be there, watching. He was told this talent agent flew specifically to watch them perform as he was scouting dancers for a popular worldwide pop star. He hadn’t told his twin because he wanted to make sure Laurent wouldn’t let his excitement dominate his performance. The prize alone for winning the tournament was motivational enough. This was just the icing on the cake. Yes, their performance needed to outshine any of their previous choreos. They were mildly famous but this was make-it-or-break-it time. Jennifer was the last thing on his mind.