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Vienna OClair

Vienna never had anything against New Orleans. Not specifically. Despite what sometimes seemed like limitless strangers, and a booming tourism industry, she'd always fancied herself a small town girl. The young woman enjoyed a simple life— and she loved almost everything about it, not least of all the people who'd made her feel lucky to be alive. Things changed substantially when her father abruptly passed, and it was only then that she'd decided she need some time away.

For months she toured the United States alone, having only a pre-paid cellphone tethering her to Louisiana. When there was time, or she was feeling lonely, it was a simple text that she'd thumb off to one of her few close friends. Sienna was someone that she'd spent a lot of time with- being the owner of the bar that Vee had worked at for years. More often than not it was her she'd have a chat with. If only because she'd been harboring guilt over leaving town so quickly, and had yet reach out to the other person on her speed dial.

Waylon.

Vee'd been back home for a mere ten minutes when she'd heard the news about Waylon's ex-wife. Paled, slightly remorseful, and overwhelmed with culpability, she'd allowed herself time to dump her belongings off at her tiny home before she made her way to Waylon's end of town. Although, now that she'd been standing at his door, she found herself afraid to face the man she'd left behind in her grief. Vienna couldn't... Wouldn't admit that she'd thought about him every day that she was gone. But she'd needed time to level her head, and in many ways, her best friend had a tendency to affect her in the opposite way. Alas, with a heavy fist, she draws in a shaky breath and pounds her knuckles against the solid wood of his front door.

"Way? It's me..."
July 06, 2019 09:31 pm

Waylon Hughes

Waylon liked New Orleans. He was born there, raised there, and it provided an odd sense of comfort throughout his adult life. It was where he’d gone to college, met his wife, and started his career. And for many years, life was blissfully simple for the man. Certainly, having such proximity to his parents wasn’t ideal (at least as far as his mother was concerned), but he made it work. The veil of the Realm concealed him, and the already normalized culture of voodoo meant his way of life was safe.

However, in recent months, life hadn’t been as picture perfect as it had always felt. Waylon found himself divorced. He’d loved Taylor from the moment he’d met her – she was an attractive, ethereal beauty, with an enigmatic smile and contagious laugh. They’d met in college, and they’d been attached from that moment onward. Waylon wasn’t the best husband – while he was loyal, he was often absent, and when Taylor cried he didn’t know what to do about it. Waylon was a man-child well into his thirties and eventually, Taylor had given up on him ever being the partner she needed.

That, and the woman had always assumed she was standing in the way of him and someone else. Vienna.

His best friend, the one who’d left after her father mysteriously died and hadn’t returned since. Waylon couldn’t remember the last time he’d laid eyes upon the blonde, and for a while, he’d tried to ignore her absence. But over time, it gnawed on him, a constant nagging on his heart until he’d made up his mind to finally be honest with Taylor.

Yes, he was in love with Vienna O’Clair. Yes, he was leaving New Orleans. Wherever she was, he’d find her, and they would finally be together.

Despite the emotionally charged conversation, Taylor loved them both dearly, and she’d wanted them to finally be happy.

But just as Waylon was done packing up his things, his phone rang – an unrecognized number.

And hours later, he was identifying the body of his ex-wife, brutalized, unrecognizable, but two prominent marks upon her neck. Witnessing the woman who he had loved for so much of his life lay cold and lifeless had changed something in Waylon – and then he was unpacking his things and staying put. No longer could he rationalize leaving New Orleans behind – instead he refused himself a shred of happiness when he’d ruined Taylor’s life, and then she’d died.

Like a ghost, and God, did Waylon know a thing or two about them, the familiar voice of an old friend was on the other side of his front door. She didn’t need to say her name – that much was true. No one else called him ‘Way’, but there was never an opportunity to forget the voice that haunted him in the still of the night.

The door slowly opens, and there stood Waylon, stubbled chin and cheeks, bags under deep brown eyes that spoke of his exhaustion. “Hey, you.” He’d breath, the scent of beer traversing the distance as he leaned towards her. “You’re home.” He’d acknowledge as he released her, turning to step into his apartment. “You didn’t call. Haven’t called in a while. Everything okay?” He’d pad, barefoot through his home, making his way towards the kitchen where he’d procure the woman a beer.

Opening it against his kitchen counter, he’d grip the bottle by its neck and offer the bottle over. “It’s good to see you, Vee. No matter the reason.”
July 07, 2019 01:03 pm
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