They were walking down the street.
“What did you promise her,” asked Pat.
“Nothing, man. I never promised her anything. She’s just… Fuck!”
“Easy, boy. Easy. She’ll get over it. But you,” Pat wagged a finger, “You need to get your shit together. You have a book to write. You have deadlines. I don’t need you chasing some piece of tail. Understand?”
Pat was not his father, but he never had an actual father, not like in the movies. He grew up on a dying farm on the edge of the desert, his mother whored herself out to whoever had money, and his father was always… Well, you get the picture.
“So listen, kid,” Pat was still talking, “I want you to go to Venice with me, meet a very influential man. His name is…”
He never promised the girl anything. They just talked at a party, and then did some chemicals together. She was threatening to kill herself.
“She’s a poet, you know?”
“Huh?” Pat had no idea, “Oh, you mean the girl? You talking about that again? Jesus Fucking Christ, will you stop with that? You never promised her anything, she has no case.”
“You’re a fucking animal, you know that, Pat?”
Pat was quiet. He appeared hurt, but you could never hurt the feelings of a man like that.
“You’re just thinking about my reputation or whatever. About money. But what if she really kills herself?”
“They never do,” Pat snapped, “She’s just never been dumped before. Or what? Dumped too much? Either way…”
“She wrote this poem. About clutching an empty pillow in her sleep. And there was more to it. Hostile stars in the sky. I dunno.”
Pat gave it a few moments, then he said in a soothing voice, “If you really care about her, kid, you should leave her be. She will get over it. She just needs time and… perspective.”
“It’s always easier for guys, isn’t it.”
Pat made a sour face. A kind of smile, but with a squint. No emotion traveled across.