Chapter Nine

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"Hamburg Nights"

"My, my, my. It HAS been a long time now, hasn't it, Trixi? Seems like TOO long." Gustav said, most casually. I clenched my teeth as a flood of bitterness washed over me. "I'm afraid not long enough." I snapped. He leaned against our table, saying, "Why Trixi, you still aren't upset by that little incident, are you? It feels like ages since it happened. C'mon, let's put it behind us. I don't like holding grudges nor do I like them held against me. What do you say?" He raised a nonchallant eyebrow and smiled, placing his hand on my bare shoulder. A shiver crawled down my spine and I pushed his hand away. "I say you can leave me the hell alone."
Gustav looked surprised, chuckling as if nothing. "Trix, don't you think you are acting a bit childish?"
John stepped in as he could sense my uneasiness. "Trix, who the hell is that?"
I stared up at Gustav, coldly. "An old acquaintence." I said, keeping my eyes on him.
"Oh, is that all the credit I get for three months of your life? Well I should say, I deserve a little more than that." He chimed.
John looked from me to him. "You dated this asshole?"
I bit my lip. "Yes, we broke up a while ago."
"Pardon me, but who do you think you are? You don't know me anymore than you know that waiter over there or that child over there. What right have you to speak of me like that? Surely, no right at all."
A tall, lean woman came to the table and locked her arm with Gustav's. She had long, black hair and emerald eyes that glinted a recognizable deciet in them. I remembered those eyes like yesterday. I might have seen the woman in the past for merely a half a second, but her face stuck in my memory. Only, the last I had remembered her, she was panting and undressed, in bed with Gustav.

I felt a raw sickness overcome me, in putrid disgust. That last memory of my relationship with Gustav began replaying in my mind. It played in flashing moments and I remembered the detail quite elloquently. Entering the apartment, holding a shopping bag in left hand. Coming through the narrow corridor, up the stairwell. Reaching for the cold knob and pushing open the door. Then, I saw them. The woman and Gustav, enveloped in a romantic position lying naked on his bed. The shopping bag dropped to the floor and I could hear the ceramic statue I bought crash into millions of shattered glass slivers. The crash is what caught Gustav's attention and he quick-wittingly looked up to see me standing in the doorway. The woman watched me, with a smile of animosity and leaned over to kiss Gustav on his lips. I gathered my self together and ran out of the room, and out of his life.

Tears welled up in my eyes as these painful memories haunted me once more. How hard had I tried to dismiss them but they always came back, more vividly and real than the latter. John could see the hurt in my still eyes. He reached over and touched my hand. "Trixi," he whispered. I looked down at our hands.

"Gustav my love, come. The food shall arrive any moment now." The woman said. He gazed down at me. "Delilah, surely you remember Trixi? You practically met." He shot me another devilish grin. Delilah looked at me and nodded. "Oh yes! How could I forget? The German girl. The one we used to test the strength of OUR relationship. Yes, that experiment really did prove you and I were meant for eachother. And who is this?" She turned to John.

He was still sinking in the details of a complex break-up, using context clues to glue the pieces together. As everything set into place in his mind, he stood up from the table, declaring, "Bloody hell! You f*ckin' son of a -"
Gustav looked over John, interrupting to say, "Now look here, let's not get out of line. What's done is done and we can't change what happened. Okay, maybe our plan was...wrong. But she's over it. I'm over it. Its bloody fine."
John pushed Gustav's chest and barked, "Its not bleedin' fine! You think you can f*ck with people's lives like that?! That you can mess with someone's emotions and bloody use them on your own bloody behalf?! Bollocks! You're f*ckin' scum, you no good for nothing bastard! The reason f*cks like you do this shite is because ya know you can bloody well get away with it, then. Well ya can't get away with it, you miserable bastard and the hell if I'm gonna let you!"

Shocked and taken aback, Gustav fixed himself. "Are you threatening me?"
John sneared and said, "It wouldn't be fair of me to threaten you. I'd bleedin' cripple ya."
By now, our table had been the attention of many. People whispered and pointed, and I saw a crew of chefs and hostesses flock out of the kitchen to see the commotion. No one even bothered breaking things up.

"You think you could beat me at a fight?" Gustav said, assertively. John rolled his eyes. "I KNOW I could beat you at a fight."
Gustav grew angry. "Oh really?"
"Bleedin' throw me your best blow. Get on! Be a man, hit me. C'mon lassie, you don't got the gawl to hit me? Bleedin' hit me! I'm letting you hit me."
Gustav smiled at Delilah and then looked at John, smirking. In an instant, he fist threw foward in a forceful blow. But John had geniously drew back, blocked the punch, and in return, popped him in the eye!

Gustav let out a cry, and held his injured eye. It must have throbbed with intensity as the sting of John's fist branded it. Delilah was watching her man in humiliation and uncomfort. She looked around at the staring faces and then began whispering harshly, "Gustav, come on! Let's leave...now! Come on." The two stumbled out of the restaurant and everyone watched expectantly. John glanced around. "What? Show's over! I kicked his arse, now piss off."

I couldn't help but smile at John. Suddenly, the painful memories had diminished. Sure, they would always be there but for some reason, they just didn't seem so important anymore. The agony had gone. I wiped a tear from my eye, and stood up to hug John. "Danke," I cried in his ear holding him tightly. I wept softly. He cooed in my hear, trying to quiet me. "Its okay, Trix. He's gone...for good." I looked up at John, the hero of the moment.

In one quick moment, he drew foward and kissed my lips. I eased away and shook my head. "John, I'm sorry." I said. "I just..."
"I know," he interrupted. He looked a little hurt, but very brave. "It's alright, Trixi. I understand. Come 'ead. Let's go home."

We left the Black Swan with empty stomachs but all the same, those that did not long for food. We just wanted to get home, and leave the excitement of the day to rest. Tomorrow was another day.