For a moment Bridgett wasn’t even mad: there James was, sitting in the 24–hour noodle joint where they had drunkenly began their romance after a Future Islands concert, sitting across from a woman she didn’t know with an ugly face but, by all accounts, great bangs.
Bridgett imagined James and this woman’s entire life in an instant: after exhausting all his opportunities to land a studio job, he would switch to teaching recording at one of the local arts colleges. They would get married on the Sunshine Coast somewhere, probably at a place that does elopement packages. They would move to New West, and she would pop out a baby that would wear little denim jackets and cardigans and beanies in all their Instagram photos. Their apartment would be lined with succulents and framed vinyl records. They would maintain an adventurous and active sex life, playing the copy of Rumours Bridgett had bought him for his birthday as they did, thrusting in time to its rhythms and remaining oblivious to its words. It would be perfect. It would be everything Bridgett ever wanted.
James saw her and bared his teeth awkwardly, looking away and scratching the back of his head. Bridgett waved too late, and the woman he was with smiled and waved back. A flower shop delivery van roared through a puddle and soaked her. It went straight through her raincoat, the one that James had bought her. A homeless man cackled and pointed, and Bridgett couldn’t help but laugh with him.
She dreamt of poisoning him for weeks, all while wearing nothing but his shirts to bed and crying herself to sleep. And then, like a rain on an otherwise sunny day, she watched him fumble his way through a three song-set at an open mic, drunkenly hit on the server, and get thrown out. Bridgett watched it all from the back of the bar sipping on a Dark ’n’ Stormy, and all was good and right with the world.