“Do you mind if I sit here?”
I looked at him and moved my purse
out of the chair. Right then and there, I knew I was in love with him.
“Is this your first year here?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Mine too, what is your major?”
“Creative Writing, I plan on begin a
“Wow, you must be real smart then.”
I couldn’t help but laugh but he did
as well and that is what started our friendship. We were study buddies all
throughout college, even though we sometimes had different classes; we were
always there for each other.
When I got home, I walked inside and
took off my shoes before turning on the light. Stumbling over something, I
tried to feel the switch on the wall to flick it on. I looked up and saw myself
in the mirror, which I put there to look at myself before I left the house.
I didn’t like what I saw looking back
Breathing a heavy sigh, I ran my
fingers through my hair, knowing I needed to wash it. My eyes looked swollen
from drinking so much. I looked like hell, and this night, thinking about
Richard and that beauty queen of a girlfriend of his, wasn’t making my head
feel any better. Slowly, I walked to the couch and plopped my fat butt on it.
Thank God for strong couches!
I could feel the alcohol slowly
putting me to sleep, making me feel as though I was slowly sinking deeper
within the depths of the couch. I was that numb from drunkenness, sorrow, and
pain as I slowly started drifting off to sleep, trying not to think about what
The next day, while I was working on
my novel, the intercom buzzer went off, and I went to see who it was.
“Yeah, who is it?”
“It’s me, Marie, and Andrew. Can we
come up, we’ve got lunch?”
I buzzed them in and unlocked the
door, walking back to my laptop to continue the paragraph. When they both came
in, Marie had two bags of food and went straight for the kitchen while Andrew
came and sat next to me.
“How’s your head?”
“Fine, the hangover has completely
left me. It will probably take up residence another night.” I joked as I
finished the paragraph and saved it. “So what happened when I left the “nice”
“She was telling us about Italy and
asked if we would like anything from there. She’s supposed to be going to Milan
for a shoot for some magazine for a week and a half. She went on and on until I
told them both I had to go,” Marie said while getting some plates for us then going
back for the food.
“But man, she was hot. Richard has
good taste in women.” Andrew smiled as he handed me a plate. I gave him a cold
stare as Marie came back with the food. We sat in silence and ate our food; at
least, I tried to eat my food. I kept picking at it with my chop sticks then put
my plate down.
“What’s the matter? You can’t be full
already,” Andrew said, looking at my plate.
“I just can’t eat right now. I have
way too much on my mind with the deadline for this story and with…well, with
Richard and his new girl—him and his fucking girlfriends. First, it was Marlene
the accountant, then Allison the bartender over at the club, and now, it’s this
model. I don’t understand what the hell he sees in these women. All I see is
that they are way too pretty and way too hooked on themselves and not him,” I
said as I got up and went to the window, looking at the buildings in front of
me. “Why can’t he be with someone who cares about him, someone who understands
him better than anyone else, someone like…?”
“You,” said Andrew as I looked back
at him, trying not to cry in front of them. They knew my feelings for Richard;
the only one who didn’t know was Richard himself.
“Why don’t you just tell him how you
feel, get it over with, so you can be happy. I hated seeing you last night,
getting drunk out of your mind like that. You do that, or you get pissed off,
or you eat too much,” Marie said, walking up and holding my hand. “He doesn’t
see me that way, only the ‘I am the best bud in the whole wide world.’ I’m just
one of the guys who jokes, laughs, and makes stupid comments about things, shit
like that. I’m not like that pretty looking thing with the slim waist. Every
time he does this, I want to stay as far away from him as I can, but I can’t do
it. It’s like I’m drawn to him and whenever he ends up breaking up with them, I
am always his shoulder to cry on.” I started sniffling as Marie gave me a hug.
“Just tell him. What harm could come
if you tell him how you feel?” Andrew asked.
“A lot, I could lose him if I tell
and I don’t want that to happen. You don’t understand, my track record with men
hasn’t been the best, it’s been really bad, and whenever I find someone that I
really like and tell them how I care about them, they stop talking to me all
together. I don’t think I could handle it if I lost him. I’m going to put it on
the back burner for now, be a big girl, and let it go.”
Marie looked at me and shook her
head, “Sweetheart you’re going to have to tell him sometime, you can’t keep
putting things on the back burner. Listen, why don’t you come with me, and we
can go shopping and get us some nice things. Maybe we can go out to the club
tonight, just me and you, huh, what do you say?” I smiled at Marie and nodded.
That night we went to our favorite
little hangout, a strip club we frequented on the weekends. We had been there
so many times that they basically knew us on a first name basis. “How’s your
story going?” asked this guy whose stage name was Houston.
“I should be done in about week or so,
depends on whether I finish before the deadline.” I smiled, drinking my third
drink of the night.
“Why don’t you give me that drink?
You’ve had enough already,” Marie told me, trying to get my glass, but I was
too quick and grabbed it before she did. I downed it quick then grabbed Houston’s
hand as I tried to stand. We walked to a quiet little corner of the club where
it was dark and no one could see what we were doing. Houston knew how to treat
me just right as another song began, and he began to dance for me. Sitting back,
I watched him, trying to focus on his body as the red, blue, yellow, and orange
lights seemed to cast an aura around his body. It mesmerized me how he looked moving
his hips from side to side to the music, slowly getting naked in front of me. I
could only sit there like something from The Night of the Living Dead and watch
him dance. I was completely numb from the liquor, from the lights, and from
those gyrating hips of his.
“Are you ok, sweetheart?” One of the
other dancers kneeled beside me, looking concerned.
I looked at the guy and smiled,
pulling out a wad of money from my bra, “C’mon baby, dance for momma tonight!”
That’s when they really started to
get down and nasty with me, rubbing their bodies all over mine. It was
absolutely 100% sex…without the condoms and actual penetration.
That’s when I saw a group of women
watching the whole “threesome” go down. I could see that one of them was trying
to get Houston’s attention, but he never did pay much attention to her, which
made her get up from her seat and walk over to where we were.
“How about coming over and dancing
for us baby, we’ve been waiting for you,” she said slyly, looking down at me.
“After this song, I’ll come over to
“Why not now sweetheart? You’re not
doing anything but dancing for this thing here.”
Something within me snapped back to
reality. I got up from my chair and looked at her, “Who you calling a ‘thing’?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean thing,
I meant to say Ms. Fat Thing!” she snickered, her hand on her hip.
This is when the “slap heard round
the world” comes into motion.
“Why” you might ask, is it called
that; well, the last time I got into a fight with someone, I slapped them so
hard that not only did the person end up with a broken jaw, but folks heard the
sound of that slap clear across the other side of the street and about 2 blocks
I could see from the way this evening
was going, that the “slap” was going to be making a comeback. Before I knew it,
I slapped her so hard that she landed on the floor, and her little “posse” of
friends came zooming my way.
“I can’t believe you got us kicked
out of the club tonight, what the hell is wrong with you, woman?” Marie asked, handing
me an ice pack for my hand once we were at my apartment.
“That snaggletooth heifer shouldn’t
have called me a ‘fat thing’ and she wouldn’t have gotten a slap like she did. The
rest of those crazy bitches wouldn’t have gotten beaten up either.” The ice
pack felt like it was hot on my skin and made me hiss a little as I pressed it to
“Are you going to be alright?”
I looked at her as she started putting
on her jacket and grabbing her purse. “Yeah, go on, I’ll be alright. Listen, I’m
sorry about tonight, I know you were trying to cheer me up and I ruined it.”
Marie laughed a little as she opened
the door and walked out, leaving me alone.
It took a while before I started to
get ready for bed. Removing the ice pack from my hand, I wiggled my sore
fingers to make sure they weren’t broken or anything then made my way to my
Today was cleaning day for me. I was
busy as hell trying to get that pesky burn stain from the eye of the stove.
Give me strength, almighty-cleaning
The phone rang, which in itself was a
blessing because I had been cleaning non-stop for about three hours. “Hello?”
“Hey there, what are you doing?”
“Cleaning, do you want to come over
and help me with this stove?” I asked while plopping on the couch.
I heard him laugh, and I sighed from
the relief I felt when I sat down, “I was calling to see how you were doing. I
haven’t heard from you since that night at the bar, and I was worried about
Such a caring soul he is, no wonder I
love him so much.
“Marie and Andrew came by the next
day to check on me. They told me that your girlfriend talked up a storm that
“Yeah, Laura is quite a character. I
think that Marie had enough of her talking though, because she said she was
ready to go.”
I started giggling but stopped to
ask, “So, where is she now?”
“On her way over here to the studio
and that’s actually why I called you in the first place. I took some new
pictures, and I need your advice on some of them to put up. How long will it
take you to come over?”
“Give me an hour to get ready, I
smell like bleach and Comet right now. I’ll be on my way then.”
Richard had always told me when we
were in college that one day he was going to open a gallery with all of his
works. When we both moved to Manhattan, the first thing he did was look for a
place to start his gallery. It took him months of searching for the right
location, but he found this little run down coffee shop. I swear sometimes,
after all these years, that you can still smell the faint scent of coffee.
“Hey, Marley, glad you made it,”
Richard said, coming down the stairs with some folders. He was wearing those
faded blue jeans with the white shirt that he always wore when he was working.
“Goodness, where are your shoes,
man?” I said as I made my way up the steps.
“I don’t understand why he does that
either,” said a voice from inside of the bathroom. That’s when
out with a smile on her face, and soon her lips were on his.
“I wanted you to see these pictures I
took over at Central Park about a week ago. You see this one of the little boy
with the big red ball…see how he throws it up in the air like that. I was
thinking about blowing it up, and instead of the ball, I would superimpose a
picture of the Earth.”
“I love it, Richard sweetheart. I
think it would look great.” Laura smiled as she stepped between Richard and me.
I looked at the picture again and
said, “Well yeah, it would be nice, but how about doing this… Why not leave it;
originality is the key to taking a photograph no matter what. Just leave it
like it is, it’s priceless.”
“I swear, Marley, I don’t know what I
would do without you. You’re absolutely right, thanks.”
Marley 1… Laura 0!
“Oh, I wanted to show you something
else, sweetheart, I got some new swimsuits that I want you to see. Let me get
them out of the car,” Laura said with a quirky little high-pitched giggle as
the clip clop of her higher than high heels wreaked havoc on the hardwood
Good lord, who in the hell told her
that laugh of hers was cute anyways?
“I’ve got to go, my man, I’ve got to
go and meet Agnes about my book I sent her. I’ll let you know what she thinks
about it,” I said, walking down the steps.