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Time passed. Mr. Big went away on business for weeks. Carrie stayed in Mr. Big's apartment. Stanford Blatch came over sometimes, and he and Carrie would act like they were two high schoolers whose parents had gone out of town: They smoked pot and drank whiskey sours and made brownies and watched stupid movies. They made a mess, and in the morning the maid would come in and clean it all up, getting down on her hands and knees to scrub the juice stains out of the white carpet.

Samantha Jones called a couple of times. She started telling Carrie about all these interesting, famous men she was meeting and all these great parties and dinners she was going to. "What are you doing?" she'd ask, and Carrie would say, "Working, just working."

"We should go out. While Big's away. . " Sam said. But she never made concrete plans and after a couple of times, Carrie didn't feel like talking to her. Then Carrie felt bad, so she called Samantha up and went to lunch with her. At first it was a good lunch. Then

Sam started talking about all these movie projects and all these big cheeses she knew whom she was going to do business with. Carrie had her own project going, and Sam said, "It's cute, you know. It's a cute idea."

Carrie said, "What's so cute about it?"

"It's cute. It's light. You know. It's not Tolstoy."

"I'm not trying to be Tolstoy," Carrie said. But of course, she was.

"So there you go," Sam said. "Hey, I've known you forever. I should be able to tell you what I really think about something without you getting upset. It doesn't have anything to do with you."

"Really?" Carrie said. "I wonder."

"Besides," Sam said. "You're probably going to marry Mr. Big and have kids. Come on. That's what everybody wants."

"Aren't I lucky?" she said, and she picked up the check.


Mr. Big came back from his trip, and he and Carrie went to St. Barts for a long weekend.

The first night, she had a dream that Mr. Big was having an affair with a dark-haired girl. Carrie went to a restaurant and Mr. Big was with the girl, and the girl was sitting in Carrie's chair and she and Mr. Big were kissing. "What is going on?" Carrie demanded.

"Nothing," Mr. Big said.

"I want the truth."

"I'm in love with her. We want to be together," Mr. Big said.

Carrie had that old familiar feeling of hurt and disbelief. "Okay," she said.

She went outside and into a field. Giant horses with golden bridles came out of the sky and down the mountain. When she saw the horses, she realized that Mr. Big and his feelings about her were not important.

She woke up.

"You had a bad dream?" Mr. Big said. "Come here." He reached out for her. "Don't touch me!" she said. "I feel sick."

The dream hung around for days afterward.

"What can I do?" Mr. Big said. "I can't compete with a dream." They were sitting on the edge of the pool with their feet in the water. The light from the sun was almost white.

"Do you think we talk enough?" Carrie asked.

"No," Mr. Big said. "No, we probably don't."

They drove around and went to the beach and to lunch and talked about how beautiful it was and how relaxed they were. They exclaimed over a hen crossing the road with two newly hatched chicks, over a tiny eel caught in a tidal pool, over the dead rats that lay squished on the sides of the roads.

"Are we friends?" Carrie asked.

"There was a time when we really were friends. When I felt hke

you understood my soul," Mr. Big said. They were driving on the narrow, curving, cement roads.

"A person can only make so much effort until they get tired or lose interest," Carrie said.

They didn't say anything for a while, then Carrie said: "How come you never say T love you'?"

"Because I'm afraid," Mr. Big said. "I'm afraid that if I say T love you, you're going to think that we're going to get married." Mr. Big slowed the car down. They went over a speed bump and passed a cemetery filled with brightly colored plastic flowers. A group of bare-chested young men were standing on the side of the road, smoking. "I don't know," Mr. Big said. "What's wrong with the way things are right now?"

Later, when they were packing to go home, Mr. Big said, "Have you seen my shoes? Can you be sure to pack my shampoo?"

"No, and of course, darling," Carrie said lightly. She went into the bathroom. In the mirror, she looked good. Tan and shm and blond. She began packing up her cosmetics. Toothbrush. Face cream. His shampoo was still in the shower, and she decided to ignore it. "What if I got pregnant?" she thought. She wouldn't tell him and she'd secretly have an abortion and never talk to him again. Or she would tell him and have the abortion anyway and never talk to him again. Or she would have the kid and raise it up on her own, but that could be tricky. What if she hated him so much for not wanting to be with her that she ended up hating the kid?

She went into the bedroom and put on her high heels and straw hat. It was custom made and it cost over five hundred dollars. "Oh darling. .," she said.

"Yes?" he asked. His back was turned. He was putting things in his suitcase.

She wanted to say, "That's it, dear. It's over. We've had a great time together. But I always feel it's better to end things on a high note. You do understand. .?"

Mr. Big looked up. "What?" he said. "Did you want something, baby?"

"Oh, nothing," Carrie said. "I just forgot your shampoo, that's all."


Carrie drank five bloody mary's on the plane, and they fought all the way home. In the airport. In the limo. Carrie didn't shut up until he said, "Do you want me to drop you off at your place? Is that what you want?" When they got to his apartment, she called her parents. "We got into a big fight," she said. "He's just a creep. Like all men."

"Are you all right?" her father asked.

"Oh, I'm great," she said.

Then Mr. Big was nice. He made her get into pyjamas and sat with her on the couch. "When I first met you, I liked you," he said. "Then I liked you a lot. Now I. . I've grown to love you."

"Don't make me vomit," Carrie said.

"Why me, baby?" he asked. "With all the guys you've gone out with, why do you want to pick me?"

"Who said I did?"

"What is this, a pattern?" Mr. Big said. "Now that I'm more involved, you want to bail. You want to run away. Well, I can't do anything about that."

"Yes, you can," Carrie said. "That's the whole point."

"I don't get it," Mr. Big said. "How is our relationship different

from all the others you've had?"

"It's not. It's just the same," Carrie said. "So far, it's just sufficient."

The next morning, Mr. Big was his usual cheery self and it was annoying. "Help me pick out a tie, baby," he said, the way he always did. He brought five ties over to where Carrie was still trying to sleep, turned on the light, and handed her her glasses. He held the ties up to his suit.

Carrie glanced at them briefly. "That one," she said. She threw off the glasses and lay back against the pillows and closed her eyes.

"But you hardly even looked at them," Mr. Big said.

"That's my final decision," she said. Besides, in the end, isn't one tie very much like another?"

"Oh. You're still mad," Mr. Big said. "I don't get it. You should be happy. After last night, I think things are a lot better."

Date: 2014-12-29; view: 698

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