Not Quite Ready for Love

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Renee could only stare in fascinated horror as she watched her former lover’s head move slowly toward her and knew he meant to kiss her on the mouth. She knew it was going to happen, expected it and even mentally prepared herself for it. But nothing could have prepared her for the queasy discomfort she felt the moment Adrian pulled her into his arms, just as he always did when they were lovers and free to explore each other’s bodies. She felt nothing resembling desire for her ex anymore. She steeled herself for the touch of his lips on hers and told herself not to flinch. It was only because she turned her head away at the last second that his moist kiss landed on her cheek.

“Wait, wait! Altoid break!” she called out to the production assistant, pulling a packet of antibacterial wipes from the pocket of her jeans and scrubbing at the wet spot on her cheek. “Goddamn it, Jerry, I think he had that Philly Steak sandwich with extra onions for lunch again. And he’s wearing that body spray I hate. He smells like a frat boy’s jock strap.”

“Trust me, the bitch would know. She’s a regular at the Trojan parties.” Adrian released her so quickly that Renee would fallen flat on her ass if Kitty the P.A. hadn’t been so quick on her feet and rushed to her side, a small box of breath mints in her hands.

“What now, what now? We’re losing daylight!” said the short, stout director wearing a red beret and holding a megaphone. “I knew this was going to happen. Look, I didn’t want to have to tell you this, but I received word from up high that if the two of you can’t work together, you’ll be recast. Production has gone on way over schedule and way over budget.” Jerry sighed as his two actors looked at him, shame-faced. “Listen, you two are both very talented in your own right, but together, you’re like a couple of drunken mongoose locked up in a cage. I like you kids, I really do, but if you can’t settle your differences, you’re both out. Capisce?”

Renee hugged her arms to her chest and nodded solemnly, while Adrian kicked a pebble on the ground and grunted his agreement.

“Good. Adrian, pop a fucking Altoid. Renee, get that stick out of your ass and let’s get this show back on the road.”

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