Dressed For Failure Chapter 2

Dressed For Failure Chapter 2

Melissa V., Staff Writer

“C’mon Nicole!” Dante persuaded, “Just one drink, and we’ll leave” Both Dante and Nicole were done for the day and heading to the parking lot 

“No,” she immediately answered, searching her bag for her keys

“Please?” he pleaded


“Please?” they continued 

“Nixon, this is considered harassment,” Nicole blankly said

“Please?” Dante asked again, ignoring her last statement

“If I say yes, will you stop asking?” she rolled her eyes

“Oh, for sure,” Dante smirked

She sighed. “Fine, one drink.” 

“YES! You won’t regret it!” he pumped his arms triumphantly 

“Oh, I already am,” she said, slowly putting her car keys back in her purse. Dante has had a crush on Nicole since they started working together, making it very well known. While Nicole makes it very well known that she is not interested. 

The two entered the nearest bar. “Two of the usual, please” Dante smirked

The bartender looked confused and said, “Sir, I don’t know what that is.” 

“Oh, that’s right…uh, two Old Fashioneds, please,” Dante chuckled

Nicole had three more drinks than she said she would and arrived at her studio apartment a bit tipsy, humming to herself.

A song she hated yet, could not get out of her head.

“Strumming my pain with his fingers…” Nicole mumbled 

“…Singing my life with his words…” she let her handbag slip off her shoulder and onto the ground.

“…Killing me softly with his song…” she continued, letting herself fall onto her mattress. 

Slowly, she drifted into a deep sleep.

On the other side of town, a tired and drunk Dante entered his house.

“Honey! I’m home!” he snickered.

“Dante. Have you been drinking?” a blonde woman in her mid-50s named Euphemia came out of the kitchen. 

“Just a lil!” he said, his voice octaves higher than before. “In my defense. It was with a pretty lady!” 

Euphemia and Dante shared many similar features. She was his mother, after all. 

“You had me worried sick. Dante, you can’t be out so late with all the murders happening,” she scolded her son. 

“Mom, it’s fiiiine,” he slurred. 

Euphemia looked annoyed but sighed and said, “Fine. Come eat. Drink some water.” 

“Vodka looks like water” Dante smiled

“WATER.” she scolded once more 

“…Scary…” he whispered, eyes wide, feeling sobriety 

Quickly, she rushed him into the kitchen and passed him a warm bowl of soup 

“So,” Euphemia smiled, “Pretty lady?”

Very pretty lady” Dante sat down, nodding vigorously

“Was it a date?” Euphemia sat beside him and leaned forward, resting her chin in her hands.

“Nah,” he said, shoving a spoonful of soup in his mouth, slightly burning his tongue. “She’s too stubborn for dating. Thinks she’s better off alone.”

“Hm,” she hummed, walking over to the kitchen counter and wiping it down one more time.

Once he had finished eating, Dante walked up the stairs and to the house’s second floor. To most people living with your mom at 28 seemed “uncool” or “lame.” But Dante loved his mom, and he loved taking care of his mom. And it’s not like she’ll let him move out anyway.

As he stumbled down the hallway, all lights were off, and the doors were closed except for one. 

The door across from his bedroom was slightly ajar, and the light was on. He slowly opened the door and walked into the abandoned room belonging to a girl named Isabella. Or, as Dante once called her, Izzy.

Slowly, he walked in. The room was plastered in pastel colors. A real difference from the rest of the house was that it had more earthy tones. Izzy had always complained about the place being too “boring.”

He sat on her dusty bed; it hadn’t been used in years. Tears formed in his eyes. Dante reached into the nightstand and pulled out a silver necklace; on the chain hung a pendant shaped like a  vinyl record. 

She loved music. There was always music pouring out of Izzy’s room. From ABBA to The Beatles to David Bowie. 

Dante never got used to the silence.

“Izzy..” he wept quietly. 

He heard yelling from downstairs. His parents were fighting. 


There was a static sound coming from the record player.

He felt movement next to him. It was Izzy, who was starting to sit up. Dante glanced at her, and they shot each other a smile.

She stood up and went to flip her new vinyl to the B-side.

It was the new Bowie one. “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” She had begged their mom to let her buy it. And when she said, “No, you already have too many records,” Dante went and bought it for her instead. 

He had to mow lawns for a week to earn that money.

She moved the stylus needle to the outer part of the record, and the intro to Lady Stardust started playing.

“People stared at the makeup on his face; Laughed at his long black hair, his animal grace; The boy in the bright blue jeans; Jumped up on the stage,” the man sang, and Izzy walked back and sat on the bed, resting her head on Dante’s shoulder.

“When do you think that’ll ever stop?” she finally spoke.

He wanted to say, “When they get divorced.” Instead, he said, “I dunno. Soon, I hope,” 

She never lived long enough to see it stop.

“WHO IS SHE? WHO IS SHE, JONATHAN?” Euphemia shouted from downstairs

“SHE’S NO ONE! WHO DO YOU THINK I AM?” his father retorted

“YOU’RE A LIAR. AND A CHEATER. A-” before she finished her sentence, a loud thud and glass breaking echoed throughout the house. Suddenly, his eyes burst open, and the sound of the glass breaking rang in his ears. 

“That damn dream again,” he said groggily, rubbing his eyes.