Sophateal Delinus awoke with a jolt. Foggy dreams still clogged his mind, but he blinked the crust from his blue eyes and ran five fingers through his short auburn hair. He eased himself back down on his king-sized bed. What time is it? He saw no sunbeams piercing the faded black curtains in his master bedroom, and everything was still shrouded in an early-morning gray. Why was he up?
Sophateal’s body constricted. His pupils shot to his alarm clock. 6:03 am. He also observed the Post-it he’d taped below the clock’s face yesterday:
TRUE KNOWLEDGE EXISTS IN KNOWING THAT YOU KNOW NOTHING.
Reality finally struck Sophateal: he was being robbed. Worse yet, his cell phone sat on the living room couch, where he had left it the night before. So now he lay vulnerable in bed, a sitting duck. Unless... His eyes darted around the master bedroom in an attempt to locate a weapon. The bed groaned when he moved.
The sounds outside Sophateal’s closed bedroom door ceased.
Sophateal became a statue. To his relief, the living room rustles soon began again. He continued poring over his bedroom. Perhaps he’d defend himself with his flimsy metal back-scratcher? Maybe his pivoting desk lamp? Damn it. He was screwed.
Sophateal threw off his black-velvet comforter and leapt out of bed, silent as his five-foot-ten, hundred-seventy pounds could be. He snatched a glass jar of coins from atop his dresser for one quick distraction if things escalated, then tiptoed towards his closed bedroom door. The floor’s frigid white tiles numbed his bare feet, but he twisted, disengaged the pop-out lock, and eased open his door.
The hallway leading to Sophateal’s living room appeared darker than his master bedroom because there were no windows, yet, at the corridor’s end, he saw his living room’s recessed lights illuminated. He definitely didn’t leave them that way. Sweat started soaking through his t-shirt.
“Sophateal? Is that you?”
What’s she doing here?
“Don’t you dare try anything. I have mace.”
Sophateal stepped into his living room and observed his ex-girlfriend Michaela Valente clutching a small bottle in her right hand. Leather pants, a V-neck tank-top, and calfskin stilettos made her look like the most stylish burglar he’d ever seen. Suddenly, he remembered why he had never ended their relationship: brunette curls, green eyes, ample breasts, and a taut bubble butt. She was fucking gorgeous. Could have probably been a runway model if she’d had the ambition. However, those thoughts vanished. She’d obviously been pilfering all his worthwhile possessions, judging by the floor’s half-full trash bags, and Sophateal’s prior feelings of fear and admiration morphed into ire.
“What the fuck, Michaela? I support you for three years, and you have the nerve to come back and steal my shit after you bolt for no good reason? I should—”
Sophateal pursed his lips and looked away. He recalled that fateful night at the swanky nightclub alright. He had paid forty dollars just to enter the place. Its dancefloor was packed with sweaty, barely-clothed twenty-somethings, and some douchebag DJ was constantly shouting over whatever top-40 pop songs he deemed worthy of playing. Bass rattled the club’s walls and felt like it might obliterate Sophateal’s spine, but he put on a smile to appease Michaela. She loved these types of establishments. So instead of bitching and moaning, he said, “How about a drink?”
Michaela grinned. “Sure.”
Sophateal led his girlfriend to the bar and elbowed his way between two girls with matching pink headbands and tank tops.
“Hey, jerk!” one shouted.
“We were standing there!”
Sophateal pretended he didn’t hear them and continued trying to make eye contact with the bartender. Fifteen minutes later, he finally emerged from the sea of thirsty patrons with two Grey Goose and tonics, the only type of cocktail his girlfriend would drink. That’s when he saw the two skinheads standing behind Michaela. The first, a skinny little twat with iron crosses tattooed under his eyes, stuck his hand out, grabbed her waist, and spun her into his chest. Then he grabbed a handful of her plump derriere.
Incensed, Sophateal dashed forward, but Michaela pushed the skinny twat away and spat in his face. The second skinhead – bearded and bear-like – began to laugh while his friend wiped saliva off his cheeks.
“Fucking beaner cunt!” Skinny eyed Sophateal, snatched the Grey Goose and tonics from his hands, and hurled them in Michaela’s face.
Sophateal puffed his chest and advanced upon the skinny bastard, ready to rip his head off not just for humiliating his girlfriend, but also for wasting fifty-six of his hard-earned dollars. However, the bearded skinhead stepped in front of him.
“You got an issue, assfucker? ’Cause I’ve been itchin’ to try out my new blade.”
Sophateal saw a flash of silver appear in the bastard’s hand, exhaled a deep breath, and closed his eyes.
The bearded fuck chuckled. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”
The skinheads soon departed Bourgeois at a security guard’s behest, yet Michaela wouldn’t hear Sophateal’s pleas during their Lyft ride home, nor would she accept his apologies. He only received the silent treatment. The next day, she vanished.
Back in his living room, Michaela’s stare still pinning him down, Sophateal massaged his sinuses. “Yeah, I remember.”
“I won’t date a pussy, Sophateal. You should’ve chewed off that Nazi’s nose for what he did to me. Instead, you just sat there like a kindergartener who pissed his pants.”
“But nothing, you big pussy. I’m taking what’s mine and leaving.”
Sophateal’s mind kept skipping, repeating over and over: pussy, pussy, pussy. Then anger overwhelmed him. “What’s yours? Yours? I bought you everything you own!” He grabbed the closest trash bag and flung it against the wall, destroying its contents.
“You have no right—!”
“No right? Really?” He lifted three more of Michaela’s trash bags. “You want this shit? G—!”
“Sophateal, no!” Michaela charged forward and squirted her mace.
When the poison hit his cheeks, Sophateal screamed: “Aaaaa!” He clutched his face and dropped the trash bags along with his jar of coins, which shattered on the floor. “What have you done, Michaela?”
“I’m calling the police and telling them you assaulted me.”
Sophateal dug his fingers into his burning eyes, trying to alleviate the fire boring through his sinuses. “You wouldn’t.”
Sophateal could only barely see through his tears. Since Michaela had whipped out her cell phone, he executed the only move he thought logical: “Well, if I’m going to jail, I should have a reason.” He seized her trash bags and ran towards the apartment’s wall-length bay windows that looked down upon Spring Street.
“Hello, police? Yes, I was just assaulted by my ex-boyfriend Sophateal Delinus.” Michaela glanced at Sophateal. “Wait, what’re you doing?”
Sophateal spun around a few times and heaved the sacks with all his might. The bay windows caved in and chunky glass shards rained down upon the floor. Screeching tires and horn blasts followed. He turned around. Michaela stared at him, her mouth agape, while the 911 operator continued shouting, “Miss, are you okay? Miss? Miss…?”
Soon enough, the white faded from Michaela’s almond skin. Her full lips began quivering. Before she found her resolve, Sophateal knew he must speak.
“You’ll regret this, Sophateal Delinus.”
Michaela slammed the apartment’s door so hard behind her its reverberations traveled up Sophateal’s legs. He shivered, and not just because a crisp morning breeze penetrated his thin silk boxers. What on Earth had he just done?