“Here’s looking at you kid!” Those are Eric’s final words to me as he walks out, still channeling Casablanca.
Just like Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, he’s making our reason for not being together a result of some greater good. He thinks he’s helping by trying to keep a potential family together. If only he knew!
Telling him I was pregnant with Frank’s kid was clearly a mistake. I thought I was appealing to his love of kids.
I was. I did. But not in the way I expected.
I stare into my glass and wonder how I got here. My blackmailing schemes are going great. I have more money than I could ever hope to make on my current salary, yet, a man I could see myself spending the rest of my life with is now gone.
I’m not too sure how to feel about it. If I was so into him, why did I leave him at this very table and go try and get my groove on with another man (Frank) in the restroom?
I remember watching Casablanca with Eric and us arguing about the ending (I’m not going to bother with a spoiler alert for a movie that was made in 1942!). Besides, it’s a movie that won three academy awards and has consistently ranked highly in all the lists of greatest movies of all time. If you’ve never seen it, where have you been?
“Of course she got on the plane with the famed leader of the Czech Resistance!” I said at the time. “Remember how much cash he had?”
“That didn’t matter to her,” Eric responded. “She loved Bogart’s character and would’ve stayed with him had he asked her to.”
“Bullocks!” I said. “She needed his help and would’ve told him anything to get him to help them.”
“Are you saying it was all an act?” Eric asked, sounding surprised.
“I’m saying her husband was the next probable President of Czechoslovakia after the Nazis were defeated,” I answered him. “Better to be with him than a guy who runs a bar somewhere in Africa!”
Eric had taken a sip of his drink and looked at me thoughtfully. “How can you think that her decision to get on that plane was based purely on economic and social status?”
“How can you not?” was my retort.
I think back to that day and it’s obvious where my head was at and always has been. Love is sentimental nonsense. Us girls need to be pragmatic and practical in the face of the absurdity of a cruel world.
Does that make me a bitch? Unfeeling? Maybe. Truth is, I would’ve gotten on that plane just as I would have given up Eric a thousand times over if I had to choose between him and my millions.
Maybe it means I wasn’t in love with him. Maybe it means I haven’t met the right guy yet. Maybe it means that I’m incapable of love. Who knows?
A text message comes through to my phone. Paradoxically, I hope that it’s from Eric. Nope. It’s from GG.
Him: I have the cash with me. Where are you?
I tell him and offer to wait. He tells me he’s on his way.
I pour some more champagne. So there’s my answer. I had hoped that the message was from Eric but I’m happier that it’s from GG. It’s another Sh2 million coming my way! How lucky can a girl get? All from blackmailing a bunch of rich guys! The mystery has now been solved. Money is more important to me than love.
I toast to myself and down the glass of champagne in one gulp. Bye bye, Eric. I’m sure they’ll be other fish in the sea.