Hell's Hotel

Hell's Hotel by Lesley Choyce Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Hell's Hotel by Lesley Choyce Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lesley Choyce
for one really weird video that caught her attention. It was a video called “Beautiful Sadness,” by a long-haired poet type. In the video he was searching for a woman who was trying to evade him. Then the roles were reversed and he was running from her. In the end, he was submerged in this gross pool of green algae and black ooze and, after he had disappeared, she rose up out of it and walked away. Really weird. No poetry in English class had been quite like this. The feeling of the song haunted her. How could anyone see any beauty in the sort of sadness that she was feeling? Is this what it feels like to be truly alone and abandoned? she wondered. The video only made her feel more sorry for herself. She fell asleep on the sofa.
    ***
    Sunday morning: work at the nursing home. At least she’d have Emma to talk to. The only problem was that Emma had gone away for the day to visit her son. It was a long, boring and lonely day on the job. Mrs. Klein stopped by, but Tara had a hard time being polite. She didn’t like Mrs. Klein much, especially after she’d hassled Jenn. Tara almost said what she was thinking, but had the sense to keep her mouth shut.
    As soon as work was over, Tara caught the bus downtown and made the circuit: library, Black Market, Tim Horton’s, Starbucks, Second Cup, Trident Café, even the hangouts on Spring Garden Road. Everyone had seen Jenn around, but not lately. It was a warm evening and a good night just to walk. She went down to the harbour and watched the ferry coming in from Dartmouth. As she watched it pull in to the dock, she focused on a slouching figure standing on the top deck. It was Jenn. Tara thought this was strange. She didn’t know Jenn spent any time in Dartmouth, across the harbour. Then she noticed a big guy standing beside her: someone older with baggy clothes and sunglasses — a white guy with that gangsta-wannabe look. Rob?
    Tara walked over to the doors to the ferry terminal. She watched as the two of them emerged. The guy went one way and Jenn went the other. Tara waited a moment then called out, “Jenn!”
    Jenn turned. “Tara. God, it’s good to see you.” She turned away quickly, looking for her former companion, checking to see that he was out of sight.
    â€œThat’s him?” Tara asked.
    â€œThat’s Rob. What do you think?”
    Tara didn’t know what to say. Maybe Rob was a great guy. Maybe he just looked like a hip hop poser. She shrugged.
    â€œI know, I know. Not a whole lot to look at, but he’s okay. I’ve moved in with him.”
    Oh no. Here we go again, Tara was thinking.
    â€œIn Dartmouth,” Jenn added. “He’s got a little apartment above a bar on Portland Street.”
    Tara could just picture what kind of a dump that must be, but she kept her thoughts to herself. “I’m glad you’re here. I really need someone to talk to.”
    â€œYou need to talk to me?”
    â€œYeah.”
    â€œGreat. Let’s go sit by the water.”
    They sat down by the harbour edge, watching the crabs, the fish, and the seaweed in the clear water beneath. Tara told her about Josh.
    â€œSo what’s the big deal?” Jenn wanted to know. “You were about to dump him. He saved you the trouble.”
    Tara wished she could explain exactly why it didn’t feel like a happy ending.
    â€œFind another guy. No big deal.” Typical thing for Jenn to say. Guys came in and out of her life like the tide in the harbour.
    Tara was feeling better just being around her friend, just having said what needed to be said. “Tell me about Rob.”
    â€œWhat’s to tell? It’s not the romance movie of the week, but you got to remember whose life we’re talking about here. Unlike you, I don’t usually end up with the smartest, best-looking guy in the school.”
    â€œI’m sorry. It’s just that you know I worry about you. I don’t want to

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