Moxie sat in the doctor’s office, waiting. Why is it so mandatory to be on time for an appointment but these doctors are always late? A travesty of justice! She spent her time reading an old issue of Vanity Fair, with that deliciously pretentious Christopher Hitchens going on and on about the integrity of his atheism or something. God rest his soul.

Just a way to pass the time really.

The waiting room was crowded, a microcosm of society all here in one little space. Moxie didn’t pay anyone any mind, just hoping to get her business done and get outta there. She was expected at her fancy-assed brunch after her appointment. Well that’s what she called it (to herself). The monthly luncheon when she gets together with the do-gooder women of the town to discuss ways to impact change through their donations and hard work. It’d taken her years and years really to get to the point where she’d even be accepted by that crowd. Moxie had grown out of the impoverished existence she’d always known, and now could sit at the table with the ladies on equal footing. She’d finally made it.

They didn’t know that behind her coiffed veneer, Moxie was really just a junk yard dog.

She was engaged in her reading and blocking out most of the sound, when the chimes rang on the front door. Moxie briefly looked up and saw it was HIM coming in. She slumped down in her chair and picked up the magazine, trying to block her face. She really didn’t want to be forced to engage him. How long had it been now, almost two years? And it had taken her so long to get away from him back then. He’d only be satisfied if he squeezed every inch of hope out of her. Moxie had tried to leave on good terms then, but he just wouldn’t have it.

She could still hear the way that he always said it: It doesn’t matter, who cares? That’s what he always used to say.

Well things mattered to Moxie. There really was no escaping from him here. He checked in at the nurses’ station and when he turned around, walked over and sat down in the row ahead of Moxie, catty corner to her. She could feel him taking in the room, and when he looked over his shoulder he spotted her. She apparently didn’t do a very good job of trying to stay under the radar. Moxie looked up and he was walking over.

“Moxie, wow. How are you, what are you doing here?” he asked. He was standing over her, with a smile on his face but caution written all over him.

“I’m here to see the doctor Richard, I’m fine.”

She knew the wrong thing to ask was “how are you?” She was scared that’d give him an opening to launch into a whole rehash of his life after Moxie. She moved her eyes back to the atheist in the magazine, trying to maintain a casual and distant air.

“Why won’t you look at me? Don’t you even care how I’m doing Moxie?”

“Richard, Richard,” she said, looking up at him. She had no choice but to reply. “Well, how are you Richard, really?”

Richard tentatively sat down next to her. His expression was pale, like he’d had all the blood sucked out of his face or something. Maybe he was sick for real. His eyes darted around, then fixed on hers. “I’m fine Moxie. I mean, surviving. Since I’ve seen you I’ve given things a lot of thought.”

Oh no.

“I know you’ve been ignoring me, but you do know you screwed up my life, right Moxie?”

Moxie still held her magazine, but knew she was cornered. “Richard, please,” was all she could muster.

“I’m miserable and lonely and you took my soul away Moxie,” he said. She didn’t feel sadness coming from him, but anger. The others in the room had their ears open too no doubt, as Richard turned up his volume. “I’m not some abusive monster Moxie. It doesn’t matter but it’s all those things you said Moxie. You took away my self-esteem. It’s all your fault.”

Moxie put the magazine back on the stack of others on the end table. “Richard, please.”

She didn’t know what else to say, She’d said it all long before. She looked at him with fear, but also with pity. She wished she didn’t have to look at him at all.

The door next to nurses’ station opened up. “Moxie,” came the booming voice of the nurse, a voice that was used to having to be heard over the buzz of indifference. “The doctor will see you now.”

Moxie got up and smoothed out her skirt. “You take care of yourself Richard.”

She walked away and disappeared on him.



4 thoughts on “LIFE AFTER MOXIE

  1. Hee hee hee, that’s all manner of excellence, Pete. A backstory and a forwardstory around this piece, makes me wonder what they are. I liked Moxie’s character, kind of frail but strong too, and the Hitchens bit just seemed to fit so well.

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