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Greta was still on the bed sobbing quietly. She lit a cigarette. She held out her empty plastic cup in Ben's direction. He filled it with wine. "I got some ice," he said.
Greta looked at him as if he were insane. "I'm gonna take a shower," she said. She took her wine and cigarettes into the bathroom and shut the door.
Ben sat in his chair and listened to Greta taking a shower, trying to figure out how he felt. A part of him felt insulted, maybe even slightly hurt, understanding that once again he was just a pawn in whatever game Greta was currently playing. Part of him wanted to take his tape player and what was left of the beer and leave her there. But most of him really didn't feel that bad. He still liked being in the sad little room with the beer and the wine and the music. He liked the idea of Greta in the bathroom taking a shower. He felt like he was living inside an old movie and watching it at the same time.
Then the phone started ringing. Greta was still in the shower. Ben sat and looked at the phone as it rang. Ben counted eight rings and it kept on ringing. After the tenth ring Ben picked up the receiver. "Hello," he said. The phone was silent for a moment and then the voice of the man behind the desk asked if Greta was there. "She's in the shower," Ben said.
"Oh," said the man's voice, "okay." And then some more silence.
"Hey," Ben said, "I'm sorry. I really have no idea what's going on."
"It's okay," said the voice of the man behind the desk. And Ben found himself feeling sorry for the voice, for the man behind the desk. He really did seem like an okay guy. Ben felt sorrier for the man behind the desk than he did for himself.
Greta stepped out of the tiny bathroom naked and dripping wet. She held her empty plastic cup in her hand. She still looked like she had been crying, or was about to. Ben looked at her, thinking she was beautiful. Greta looked at Ben and the phone in his hand. "It's for you," he said, holding the receiver out to her.
Greta grabbed the phone. "What?" she said, "Fuck you. Fuck you." She dropped the phone receiver on the carpet and started to cry. "I hate him," she said softly, more to herself than to Ben, "I hate him." Ben mumbled something in reply, it didn't really matter what, and Greta looked at him as if she hated him even more than she did the man behind the desk. She sat down naked on the bed and took a cigarette from the pack Ben had bought along with the ice that was now melting in the little bathroom sink. She once more held out her empty plastic cup. Ben filled it with beer, as there was no more wine.
Greta finished the cup in two gulps, and said, "Let's fuck."
Ben made no immediate reply. He sat in his chair looking at her, feeling suddenly sad.
"Fuck me, asshole," Greta said.
If he were a different man, a better man, perhaps, things might have gone differently. But, Ben was Ben, and he thought Greta looked good sitting naked on the sad motel bed, telling him to fuck her. So he did.
A few minutes later Ben was back in his chair, putting a new tape into the player. Greta was sitting naked on the bed, smoking and sobbing. She still looked tragic and beautiful and Ben liked the fact that he had just fucked her. Ben watched the smoke drift about the room in slow motion. There was nothing else he wanted to happen.