*Through this year I will be writing a longer story called Banana Pancakes. Through this each post will be a short story forming a larger story.
Troy exited the taxi after handing the driver the money, he waved him away, turned to find himself outside Kyle and Claire’s apartment building.
He wandered into the building to find the lift out of order yet again so he twisted his body to the stairs to march up the floors. All this whilst humming Jimi Hendrix Little Wings.
He arrived to the apartment door, ending his tune and slotting the keys into the door, falling inwards as he did.
“Hello? Kyle, Claire, anyone here?”
No reply came through the hall or any of the rooms so he walked towards the kitchen but he heard a noise, it was a sniffle as if someone had been ending a cry.
“Claire, that you?”
He moved to their bedroom door where the noise grew louder as if he could hear the tears roll down her face. He quietly knocked on the door, leaning in closer to the wood and could almost hear a whisper.
“Hey, Claire, come on you’re starting to freak me out here.”
“He’s gone Troy.” Claire said through whimpers.
Troy froze in place, he didn’t know what to say or how to handle this situation. Everything that flowed through his head was all about how great their relationship was and all the memories they’d all had together.
“Ah come on, you guys. Nah. Where’s Kyle, this all one big joke?”
The crying now grew much louder again as Claire broke down.
“This isn’t a joke Troy, he’s gone. Out that door and gone.”
Troy fell against the door of the bedroom and slid down it, had this really happened he thought, and how did it even happen. The two of them where perfect together, like a sweet lullaby of life.
He was sat on the floor, back against the door and Claire was the same on the other side, the whimpering had ended.
“Seems a few months back we were in the same position, just the other way round.” Troy laughed. He knew it wasn’t the best moment but he had to bring some humour into the situation as he thought back to when Claire did the same for him.
She laughed through the tears, “I don’t know what to do.”
“What happened?” He said, still not able to figure out how any of this came to be on this day of all days.
“You’ve not noticed, I didn’t want you knowing what was going on while you had your own shit to deal with.” Claire said through the crying.
He took a moment of thought, was he being so selfish these past few months because of everything that happened between him and Jess.
“Kyle what do you even mean, what are you saying?” Claire said with a mixture of worry and anger in her voice.
The two where in a heated argument in the kitchen of the apartment.
“I think we’re done Claire. I can’t do this anymore, I really can’t.” Kyle said, not making eye contact with her and staring at the ground instead.
At that moment all noise stopped for Claire. She could no longer hear the sound of New York outside the apartment, or the loud neighbours upstairs. The sound of the TV had all but faded out of existence as she stood and heard those words from Kyle. Her expectations had disappeared.
Her soul left her body, she was now a shell as she watched Kyle walk out of the apartment.
Troy sat with his head against the door staring at the ceiling, he didn’t know what to say and still kept thinking over how this could have happened. He tried to think back to any signs he might have missed and remembered the numerous drunk times he would stumble out his room to find Kyle asleep on the coach.
“Just like that, he walked out. It’s like love really doesn’t last forever.” Claire ushered.
“I don’t get how this just happened though, what did you mean by earlier you kept me out of it?” Troy said, curiously.
Three months earlier Kyle and Claire are in their bedroom, standing on opposite ends of the room in a heated argument.
“Look Kyle, I asked you one little thing, that’s all. Just to not need to go out yet again. It’s every night and….” Claire gets cut off mid-way for Kyle to jump in.
“This relationship is all about you isn’t it, every little thing about you. So what, I want to go out, like to, maybe I’ll get Troy to come out as well. How’s about that? Might not even come home, could hook up with some random off the street?” He said with venom in his voice.
Claire stopped, silent tears rolled down her face and Kyle didn’t react or change his expression. “Then you say shit like that. You don’t even put any effort in to make this work anymore.”
The two of them heard the door to the apartment open then close as they stood frozen into place not saying one word.
“Hey anyone home.” The noise was Troy coming into the apartment, still living with Claire and Kyle. They heard his keys drop next to the door and they still didn’t move. “Hello? Your keys are here guys.”
Claire wiped away her tears and pointed to the doors. “Get out, I don’t want to see you right now.”
Kyle shrugs his shoulders, “Right so we just stop this whole thing for the moment, I see. Do it your way as always.”
“No, I just don’t want Troy dealing with this, he has enough at the moment. I mean, you’d know if you just sat down and talked to him rather than take him out for drinks as always.” Claire said back to him.
Kyle walked out the door, slamming the bedroom door behind him. Claire could hear him speak to Troy outside and slumped onto the edge of the bed, tears dripping onto the floor.
“You should have just told me, I’d of been there for you.” Troy said.
The two sat in silence for a brief moment, as if they were having a spiritual connection instead.
“I couldn’t. You were going through all the Jess stuff, I had to just put on a brave face.” Claire took a deep breath. “Now and again, it felt like it got better, but then it would start all up again. It was all the little things he’d do, the going out every night, not coming in till god knows when. He’d always be a mess. Then Jess left me, everyone leaves Troy, everyone.”
“I’ll always love you and I ain’t leaving. You’ve been there for me, let be there for you Claire. Please.” Troy spoke out quietly.
The two went silent after that moment, then Troy heard the bedroom door unlock so Troy quickly stood up in a jolt to come face to face with Claire.
She instantly fell into his arms as she cried.