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Hotel Woman by Corrina-Corinna

“Do we really need two beds?” Jade asked.
    The decor of the room was quite dated with its dull paint and kitschy art. The two beds had matching cheap thin polyester comforters. There was a fruity smell from Fernando’s vape.
    “It’s what I could get at short notice,” he said. “I hadn’t planned on coming down this way. Wasn’t my turn. Rich got hurt and Robert’s in Oklahoma. I volunteered.”
    “You been volunteering a lot lately,” she said.
    “The town is growing on me,” he said.
    Fernando smiled a tight-lipped smile. He his shaven face pronounced his mouth with their full, protruding lips much like a frog. His glasses added to the frog image by enlarging his eyes.
    “I got you a drink,” he said.
    Fernando padded across the room. He pulled out a large can of ale from a convenience store plastic bag. Jade reached out for her drink and opened it with a grin. A familiar snap and pop came from Fernando. She took a long-drawn drink and let out a sigh at the end. A loud burp escaped her chest and bellowed from her mouth. Her eyes widen and cheeks pinkened. She managed a huge smile and a girlish giggle.
    “It’s not bad manners, just good beer,” she said.
    Fernando smiled his tight-lipped frog smile. He relaxed his posture and hunched his shoulders. He laid on the bed with his I-Pad in hand. He sucked his vape and fixated on Jade. She turned her position and stared back. She avoided his eyes, instead, she sorted the details of his tattoos. There was no rhyme or reason to them. The styles were all different, each with their own story to tell.
    “How many tattoos do you have?” she asked.
    “Not sure. Stop counting a while back,” he said.
    “Never really looked at them ‘til now. Do they all mean something?”
    “Some do. Some don’t.”
    “Which was your first?”
    Fernando pulled up the sleeve that covered his upper right arm. A naked red head with green eyes stared back at Jade in a sensual pose. She was not very well drawn and a bit faded.
    “Got her when I was 15 after my first girlfriend broke my heart. Figured she would never leave me.”
    “She got a name?”
    “Jezebel.”
    “Really?”
    “Yeah, like in the song. Jezebel Eyes by the Dime Store Prophets.”
    “What about the three sparrows?”
    “My daughters. I have three.”
    Jade nodded. Fernando’s left arm looked as if a five-year-old had drawn all over it. The words One love lay in bold face letters amidst all the doodles on his left arm. She sucked in her breath and took another very long drink from her can. She pointed at his arm.
    “See, that is why I don’t mess around with married men anymore,” Jade said.
    Fernando’s head snapped up with widen eyes. He swallowed before he opened his mouth to speak. Nothing came out, not even the sound of hesitation. He sat up straight, his lips still parted allowing a glint of his teeth.
    “Don’t worry I’m not referring to what we have. We’re not in that type of relationship. If that’s the kind of label you gonna put on our arrangement,” she said.
    Fernando swallowed again and looked down at his I-Pad gliding his finger up as he sifted through his playlist. He stayed silent, as usual. Jade sat on the edge of the bed in the awkward silence. He pressed shuffle on his I-Pad and the song Hotel Woman filled the room.
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