The Stale Taste of Recycled Air

The Lobster will die

It was a Thursday morning when I was rudely shaken awake by Adele. I rubbed my eyes and tried to focus, she still had her pyjamas on and her hair looked like a bad afro frizz from the 70's.
"What?" I asked in disbelief at the time on the clock.
"You've just had a gentleman caller." Adele stated like she was in a Jane Austin novel.
"What? At 6:30?" I gabbled not thinking straight.
"Yeah, a Mr. Freese if I can remember, he dropped a parcel off for you and it's a big fucker, so I decided to wake you up as I did try to open it and see what it was myself, but its wrapped too tightly, so get up and open the thing."
I moaned and got up, too weak to protest at her request. I froze at the huge rectangular white box sitting on the couch.
"What the hell is this?" I asked sitting down next to it and placing it on my lap.
I carefully untied the wide ribbon and lifted the lid off the box. Inside there was an envelope with my name written on it.
"Open it!" Adele yelled down my ear.
I winced at her screech, still half asleep myself, I took out the piece of paper that lay inside, and I focused my eyes on the scribbled handwriting.

Dear Erin,
I said that I would make sure that you joined me in New York this weekend and as I am the greatest guy in the entire world I solved this little problem. I rang your boss, who has given you the weekend off, paid I might add, and took the liberty of booking three rooms in The Carlton Hotel on Madison Avenue, One for your parents, one for Adele and one for you and myself. Enclosed is the plane tickets, it departs at 3.30 so don't miss it. I also got you a special little gift which I hope you'll like, I'm sure you'll look more beautiful than ever in it.

Love you lots,

Billie Joe

I sat there in complete shock, my hand clutched my mouth as I looked up at Adele who was leaning over me also it seemed, in complete disbelief.
"Is he serious? Did he really do that for you? Oh Erin that is so sweet of him, Billie is so perfect"
I placed the letter down next to me and moved aside the white tissue paper in the box to reveal another envelope with the plane tickets and a perfectly folded beautiful black dress.
I picked it up by its thin straps and lifted it from its crystal white packaging. Adele was right, he was perfect.
A soft squeal erupted from my lips as it floated seamlessly in the air, the cool satin feeling like water against my bare legs.
"Oh Erin it's beautiful" Adele cried out watching me swish the dress around with her saucer like eyes.
"I cannot believe he would do all this."
She sighed fingering the hem of the dress.
I couldn't believe this either; I couldn't believe it on the plane flying out to New York I couldn't believe it when we landed and were piling into a taxi with my parents who both seemed too impressed with Billie too even speak.
Even checking into The Carlton and actually seeing the beautiful rooms that Billie had put us in, my brain still couldn't register all this. No one in my entire life had ever made me feel so special before.
Finally at 5 o'clock my phone rang as we where sitting in the bar of the hotel.
"Hey Erin dear."
"Billie, oh my god, I can't believe this, I tried to get a hold of you before but..."
"Where are you?"
"In the Carlton Bar, but Billie I..."
"That's all I wanted to know, did you get here safely?"
"Yeah Billie but..."
"Hey, you can make it up to me later, don't forget I have to meet your parents tonight..."
"Billie I can't get over this, I mean all this, what... ?"
"It's nothing Erin, nothings too much for you."
"Billie this is I mean..."
"Hey, tell Adele that Tre, Mike and Brittany are taking her out so she doesn't have to play happy families and witness me make a fool out of myself in front of your parents."
I smiled down the phone, he was clearly nervous.
"I will, you'll be fine. How was you're meeting?"
"Boring as shit," he sighed sharply, "I'll be at the hotel in a bit."
"I can't wait to see you."
"Likewise, anyway I'll see you then..."
"Thank you, for all this."
"No problem Erin, you're worth every penny."
The smile on my face was so huge it made my cheeks hurt. But I didn't care. I couldn't believe he had done this for me.
Every doubt in my mind that he didn't feel the same as me vanished.
"What did he say?" Adele asked leaning across the table that we were sitting at with my parents.
"He said that you are being shown the delights of New York by Tre, Mike and Brittany."
"Really?" Adele asked wide-eyed like Christmas had come early. "I get to meet Dirnt and spend a whole night with him and Tre?" I smiled at her as my mother tapped her on the arm.
"Adele, who is Dirnt?"
Adele sighed and rolled her eyes at me, "Doesn't anyone know anything these days?"
As I was finishing my eye make up a very tired Billie entered the hotel room, a huge smile spread across his face as his eyes met me. I stood and ran at him, as fast as my legs would carry me, my body unable to be parted from him any longer.
He kissed me harshly like we hadn't seen each other for an eternity.
"Erin, you look... so beautiful" he gasped taking in the dress he had bought me that enveloped my body.
His hands wandered up my thighs as I leaned into his neck and whispered,
"Billie... I missed you."
"I missed you too." He gasped back, kissing my neck softly.
My hands brushed down his chest firmly. The urge to rip off the layers of clothing and feel his warm skin against my palms was greatening. His hands wandered further up my legs and his tongue fought against my own passionately. My own hands wandered up to his back, where his skin prickled at the touch of my fingertips. He moaned deeply into my mouth and I felt my heart skip four beats before giving in to all my desires and ripping off his leather jacket and tossing it aside. I wrestled with his t-shirt as I pulled it free of his body and flung it across the room. He lifted me up and I wrapped my legs around him locking his body close to me as we devoured each others mouths. Waddling forwards we fell onto the bed... we both chuckled... it was time to test the durability of this thing.

After sorting my hair and make up out again, Billie got changed into his suite and tie we headed downstairs to meet my parents in the lobby. My mother was small with dyed blonde hair, she was an attractive girl in her younger years and despite the odd wrinkles here and there her looks still shone through. My dad was tall, lanky and dark. He had also been quite attractive in his youth, but all had been lost since old age had taken over his face. Billie squeezed my hand as we left the elevator and whispered softly.
"I'm so nervous...I haven't met girlfriends' parents since I was 18."
I giggled and gave his hand an affectionate squeeze.
"You'll be fine Billie Joe."
Hopefully, my brain added, praying that my mother wouldn't get snotty.
My mother had a thing for materialistic goods; she was always trying to keep up with the Jones'. She hated the fact that to earn money I cleaned for other people. While my father lived by the mottos,
"A pair of good shoes should last a man a lifetime."
And, "Hard work never did a man any harm."

They both smiled at us as we approached them. "Hey, er...mum, dad, this is Billie Joe Armstrong, Billie, this is Georgina and Peter, my parents."
Billie shook P's hand and gave G a kiss on the cheek as they both said their greetings.
"So...we've heard a lot about you Billie." G smiled at him, clutching her Dior bag tightly against her stomach.
Billie smiled at her, "Likewise," he stuttered, rubbing a nervous hand through his freshly washed hair.
I withheld a laugh at the irony of Billie being able to masturbate in front of 60, 000 people but he was frightened to talk to my parents.
"So where are we eating?" P asked rocking soundly on his shoes, nervously filling the silence.
"Er, I made reservations at The Bistro Moderne on 44th street." Billie grinned at me, still clutching my hand tightly like it was a comforter.
"Oh how nice, I heard that's one of New York's best restaurants" G chatted away linking Billie's free arm as we left the lobby onto the street. I slowly let Billie's hand slip from my own and held back to talk to P. Billie turned around and bit his lip worriedly as my mother led him through the lobby doors.
"You're leaving him with your mother? You must think a lot of him or very little of him." P chuckled softly.
"He's great."
"He's small."
"P, I'm not exactly six foot." His shoulders wobbled in amusement as he watched G harness Billie's arm completely as she pointed out all the big designer names on the billboards as we walked towards Times Square. P chuckled,
"As soon as she heard that he was flying us out to New York for two nights she immediately fell in love with him, rock star or drug dealer."
"That's the difference between me and you and G. I wouldn't care if he was a bin man and I don't think you would..."
"Your mother only cares about his bank balance I know."
I sighed at the truth. Billie haled a cab and we all climbed in and headed for the restaurant.
As soon as I saw it I knew it was too posh, it wasn't me and it wasn't Billie either. I smiled at him as G's face lit up and P sighed.
"Oh Billie Joe it's amazing!" G screeched taking in the chandlers and rich table cloths.
As the waitress seated us at a table in the corner I smiled at Billie Joe.
"You didn't have to do this you know." Billie smiled at my whisperings.
"Its fine you know, I can be posh."
"Its not you I'm worried about," I said glancing at G who had already mentioned, 'French continental, lobster and pink champagne' in the same sentence.
As G left the table to go and pick her live lobster for her meal, despite my protests at the humanity of it all, P leaned in across the table.
"Billie...I erm, I apologise for my wife, she, well gets carried away and, well, I'm not letti ng you pay for all this. I mean goddamn I would have been happy with a burger at the Hard Rock, but well... "
"Mr. Kenyon..." Billie began sipping his wine.
"'s fine, don't worry about it, you can pay the next time we go out."
P grinned at him, "You're a good boy Billie Joe, and I'm surprised that there will be a 'next time' with my wife's extravagance and if I'm paying you'll all have to settle with Burger King."
Billie grinned at him and took up my hand and squeezed it. I stroked his leg softly and he let out a small giggle before pushing my hand away, pink emerging in his cheeks.
I giggled too at his child-like actions as G came back looking very pleased with herself that she had just decided whether some poor creature will live or die.

"So Billie..." G began as our food had arrived and we all started eating.
"Do you live alone in the Bay Area or?"
Billie swallowed; it seemed he had been dreading a question like this all night.
"Err... well, at the moment yes."
"What do you mean?" she asked forking her steamed lobster.
"Well, err, hopefully, my two sons will come and live with me."
"Oh." She snapped looking slightly horrified. "You have children?"
"Yeah...I..." Billie tensed up next to me and I suddenly became completely ashamed and angry with my mother for being so snotty.
"Yes he does G, Joey and Jacob, they are really great boys," I snapped.
Billie grinned at me, his shoulders relaxing.
"Yeah they love Erin; they've taken a real shine to her."
P chuckled, determined to lighten the mood.
"Oh, that's odd, normally Erin and kids don't get on, I remember one time she baby sat for my sister's little boy and..."
"So, where is the mother of your children?" G cut across gulping down her champagne.
Billie frowned slightly; I felt his leg brush against mine uncomfortably.
"Mother." I snapped, getting frustrated as I tossed my salad around on my plate.
"Could you please be more considerate, I mean, Billie has paid for you, P, me and Adele to come to New York for the weekend and he is paying for your very expensive, yet very inhumane, lobster dinner so can you please be more polite towards him."
G bit her lip sharply and I could see I had started a fuse in her head.
"I'm sorry Erin if I'm looking out for my daughter's best interests."
"Well your not," I snapped, becoming angrier by the minute.
"If you were looking out for my best interests you would be a lot nicer to my boyfriend who has paid for your flights, hotel room and this meal that you are currently eating."
"Well to be honest," she hissed through her capped teeth, very aware that she was sitting in a very expensive restaurant with very expensive people.
"I wondered why he was doing all this and now I know why. He's hiding something, kids, unexplained absence of mothers, taking advantage of my daughter... "
"HE DID not take advantage of me mother, I can't believe you are being like this." I felt the anger rising in my throat with every word I spat at her ungrateful face.
"If you must know, Billie is going through a terrible divorce and to be quite honest I don't know for the life of me why I wanted him to meet such a selfish and egotistical person such as you."
G went quiet. Billie and P sat there open mouthed and glancing around the table uncomfortably in the silence.
G swallowed and looked up at Billie slowly.
"I'm sorry Billie, but I'm sure you can understand where I'm..."
"Don't worry about it Mrs. Kenyon..." Billie smiled, clearly looking quite amused.
"Georgina, its okay, I...I am just as concerned for your daughter's welfare as you. I do love your daughter."
I snapped up at the words that had just eased off his tongue.
G smiled at him, visibly satisfied. I stared at Billie my mouth hanging open, from the corner of his eye he took in my reaction and smirked into his pasta. My heart plummeted to my stomach then rocketed back up to my throat with half the contents of my French salad, I wanted so desperately to kiss him and tell him I loved him too.
"So..." P sighed smacking his lips together. "Dessert?"
"I can't apologise enough I'm so sorry Billie," I giggled as we rode in the back of a cab after leaving the restaurant.
Billie giggled, his arm swinging across my shoulders.
"I've met snobbier people Erin, I thought it was quite funny, you're defiantly more like your dad than your mom. I loved P he was great, so English."
I chuckled into his jacket. "They are so different, it's hilarious, G sometimes forgets that I clean for money, when she met Will, she kept saying to him, 'A trainee lawyer? When do you plan on becoming a lawyer?'" I scoffed imitating her accent.
Billie laughed heartily, "Well thanks for helping me out, I got stuck in headlights back there."
"I'm so sorry, really, she's so ungrateful, and I got so mad, did I make a scene?"
Billie snorted, "No. Actually...I was getting quite turned on at you getting so angry over little old me."
I chuckled harnessing his hand that lay across my arm.
"Oh God, that poor lobster..." I sighed
Billie giggled, "Hmmm, it'll find its way home eventually, G will probably be sick when they actually get up the statue of liberty, I don't think the thing has been cleaned for a while."
I cackled, amused and slightly relieved that Billie didn't take G too seriously, I was just glad that she didn't scare him off.
P wanted to go and see the view from the statue of liberty at night, so he and G took off in a cab after thanking Billie for dinner P apologised endlessly in his ear for his wife's attitude. G kissed Billie falsely on the cheek and I pinched her arm sharply so she also apologised, tail between her legs and looking utterly humiliated.
Billie and I climbed into the first cab and took off in search of Adele and company.
I watched as the bright lights of the neon signs dazzled rapidly as we drove past them. I pulled Billie's arm tighter around me completely content being so close to him. I could feel his heart beat floating through my back and I sighed deeply as he combed his fingers through my hair.
I suddenly realised that maybe this was the perfect time to tell him.
"Mmm," he whispered nuzzling my ear.
"I...I love you too."
He grinned widely at me and leaned down to plant a kiss on my aching lips. I reached up to bring my fingers through his hair deepening our kiss. His hands wandered and my hands wandered and soon I was sitting on his lap, the both of us gasping for air, knowing what this would eventually lead to.
"Excuse me... Mr. Cab driver... could you please just go to The Carlton on Madison straight away instead?" Billie asked the cab driver yelling slightly as my hands rested firmly on his thighs.
Sprinting out of the cab we rushed through the lobby and into the elevator. Giggling like kids we tried to compose ourselves as the other elevator- goers scoffed and looked at us with disapproval. Billie's hair was sticking up wildly, his tie strewn across his shoulder, my dress was creased and my lip gloss smudged across my chin.
Panting furiously, it wasn't hard to tell what we had been up to in the back of that taxi.