By the time Click had arrived home, he was cold, wet and entirely miserable. The winds had become vicious in their power and speed, with the pound of the rain causing a non-stop wave of noise as it fought desperately to get through the metal of his vehicle and into Click himself. He had been hunched over, trying to keep his body as close together as possible for the sake of heat, but reluctant to let his driving suffer because of it. His clothes were sodden, his shoes muddy and his interest in life or the world around him completely quashed. He blinked repeatedly, trying to flick water from his eyelashes to keep it from streaming down into his eyes, but that only partly worked. He could barely see. He was a danger on the road. All of these meant that Click was very happy when he finally arrived home.
He hadn't bothered to call Julia and offer to pick her up. In fact, he'd made no effort to let anybody know of his plans. He was tired, and his day had been exhausting beyond words. This, surely, was not the average day of a professional band manager. This was some kind of hellish torture devised especially for Click - ensuring that his feeble efforts at making a living would always be punished. This was dramatic. Click was dramatic. He didn't care.
Sleep was tempting beyond measure, but his phone was already vibrating angrily at him. It's desperation for attention made perfect sense when he saw that it was Julia calling. The woman had proven to be not just a mistake, but an absolute nightmare. She had overtaken his home and his belongings, insulted and then befriended his band members better than he had ever done, and driven him just far enough over the edge to actually think that he could fire somebody. The last one especially, was nothing short of stupid. Click was nobody's boss. The very idea of being in charge made no sense to him at all. He had been reckless, and a hypocrite. Thankfully, it didn't really matter. He was guaranteed to be out of the job, so there was no reason to give a toss about Dim. The man was as meaningless as celebrity cereal.
As soon as Click had offered sufficient apathy for his mobile phone to stop demanding his attention, it began again, this time from the waste of time and space that he had just dumped in the mud outside of his home. There was no guilt over this. There would never be.
As Click attempted to convince himself of this, a knock on the door startled him; bringing his attention to the fact that he had been standing in his kitchen, staring at his happily buzzing mobile phone.
"I brought wine," came Emily's voice through the door.
There, he had two reasons to open the door and let her in.
He was surprised when the first thing that she did when he opened the door was laugh. Supposedly, the sight of Click, hair gel dripping into his eyes and t-shirt stuck to his chest, was very comical. Emily herself looked as though she had been half way through trying on her new purchases. Her lower half seemed more Harmony than Emily, with the new denim skirt and fishnet tights, completed with a set of high-heeled boots. The top half however, was more Emily. Her blouse was a sedate, white one, with long sleeves that flared at the cuffs. The top half was beautiful enough to date. The bottom half was toned and raring to f--k. Perhaps tonight would be the night. Then again, perhaps not. He could see the red silk bra underneath her blouse. That was very Harmony. It scared him sometimes how easily he could tell the difference between the two of them.
"You look like you've been flushed down the toilet," Emily finally said between giggles. "Invite me in then, don't keep a girl waiting out in the cold when she's got her thighs out," she continued. "It's dangerous. I might catch cold, or worse: I might end up with goosebumps on legs that are supposed to be shaved. That would be a horror and a...let me in with my alcohol, boy."
He took the slightest of steps out of the way and she had danced in around him. Emily silenced his phone expertly in passing and went to work attacking the cork in her bottle of wine with one of his corkscrews. Before meeting Emily, they had not been a priority, but lately he had been developing quite the collection of the devices.
"How is it you always know as soon as I get home?" he asked, collapsing into one of the chairs around his table. "You're even good at cheering me up."
"You sound miserable, you should get drunk as soon as possible. This is my gift to the world, and my special talent; I know when you need a drink," she told him with a laugh. Emily had the usual spring in her step that came with shopping for new outfits. The woman was clothing mad and, though she managed to slip under the radar in the category of women desperate to buy shoes, she more than made up for it with her underwear collection. She didn't have an underwear drawer; she had a chest at the bottom of her bed. It was a strange fascination that Click had never fully understood, but it made her immensely cheerful, so he accepted it as a wonderful thing.
"I'm not miserable, I'm just-"
"Shhh, drink," instructed Emily. She passed a glass of ros into his hand and started to fill her own. His patience was not rewarded. As soon as her glass was full she pushed him to get his down his neck, and so he spilled the contents into his stomach where they belonged. "Well that's one, now talk."
"I don't think I-"
"Give me your glass."
Click handed it over, and she immediately passed her own full glass to him and began to fill his for herself. Again, once that was done, she gave him a nudged and pushed him to empty this glass as well, which he did.
Click frowned at the wine that she was holding ready in her hand. "I don't think alcohol works like that you-"
"Give me your glass."
"So, I'm fired now. No chance I've working. I've joblessness now. I've drink and joblessness and job hunting...ness. Sucks. I like having a job. I'd love having a job. I wish I had a job."
If Click had been sober, he would know that Emily hadn't had a single drink from the now empty bottle of wine on his kitchen table. He would also know that the little smirk on one side of her mouth was more pity than pleasure. He was not sober. He thought she was as drunk as he was, and having a fantastic time.
"You do realise that nobody's actually fired you yet, right?" she asked. A little confused by the drunken ramblings that were his confession, Emily had taken to twirling her hair lazily with her index finger, just to keep herself busy. She was a fantastic listener, but she wasn't so good at doing so without sex being the end result. "I know a lot's been going on, but it kind of sounds to me like you might be exaggerating this a bit too much. Julia's been a bitch. You expected this. Dim's been a diva with LSD. You expected this too. Jerry was angry and whiney until he got himself pumped full of alcohol. How is this anything other than a normal day at work for you? Everybody's pissed off; that's normal. There's just an extra player right now who's giving you a bit more grief than you're used to when you get to sit at the sidelines. What's the problem?"
"She really hurt my balls," mumbled Click.
There was a pause while Emily played through his words in her mind to make sure that he had actually said what she had suspected. Sadly, there was no working around it, and certainly no avoiding it. "I don't think I really need to hear about what you get up to, Josh," she attempted regardless.
Click stuttered for a moment, struggled to get the words out and not encouraging Emily to listen any further. "Not what I meant," he managed. "I don't like her. She was supposed to help, but she's annoying and really violent. I wanted some help, but all she's done is ply Jerry with booze and Goose and stuff."
"You said booze."
"No, you said booze. I said Goose."
"She bought him a Goose?"
"Stop trying to tell my story," countered Click. "You don't have to bring a Goose into every conversation. Wasn't I saying something?"
"Julia's a bitch!" Click near shouted. "It's all gone wrong, and she's made things worse than they were. I know I asked for help and stuff, but stuff didn't stuff itself proper. I want to go back to the days when the dynamic was better. I want to be in charge and have a job again."
"So, you mean yesterday?" Emily mocked.
"Maybe we could add some sex into it. That would be good," Click mumbled again.
The little adrenaline rush that came with alcohol was starting to wear off, leaving a level of exhaustion that Click had never experienced before. It made sense. The day had offered a world of wear and tear that he hadn't been quite prepared for when he went to bed far too late the night before. Even if he'd had the energy for sex, his penis wouldn't.
"Do you want to talk to Dim about this?" Emily asked. Click was beginning to nod off where he was sitting and there was still far too much to cover to let that happen. "I know there's a lot of bad blood and all, and he's going to be angry, but you can at least ease some of the ruffled feathers, right?"
"I don't really want to," Click answered.
"Are you afraid?" Emily responded. "I know he can be an intimidating man. I've been on the receiving end too, you know."
"No, I don't know."
"No," repeated Click, firmly. "I don't know. I don't know and I don't want to know. I don't want to know anything about him and you. He's completely out of the whole band thing, and he's out of our lives because of it. Neither of us ever have to see him again."
"Is that why you did this?"
"I'm tired and wet and-"
"No," said Emily, attempting the same firm voice that Click had employed. "Answer the question."
For a few moments, Click offered nothing more than a furtive look, but that was answer enough. It was quite lucky that Emily found it cute.