Authors: Steph Campbell,Liz Reinhardt
Copyright © 2012 Steph Campbell & Liz Reinhardt
All rights reserved.
It’s surreal sitting here on my bed, listening to my girlfriend talk, because I’m pretty sure she’s breaking up with me—while wearing my favorite Dodgers t-shirt.
The same one she pulled on after she screwed my brains out and collapsed on my chest, sweaty and giggly, before falling asleep in my arms last night.
“What the hell are you talking about?” I ask, sitting up straighter in the bed and watching her pile all her silky hair on top of her head as she looks at herself in the mirror.
She actually takes a second to check herself out from the side before she bothers to turn and acknowledge me again. Not that I can blame her, since she’s hot as hell, but can the girl focus for two seconds?
“Kensley, I don’t even understand what you’re saying. Last night you were on top of me in this bed telling me how much you love me and now it’s all over? I’m…this makes no damn sense. At all. So explain it to me.”
She comes over to the bed and sits on the edge carefully. She looks at me, her big brown eyes wide and innocent. It’s a face she makes when she feels guilty.
Come to think of it, it’s a face she made last night. When she stripped her black lacy bra and panties off and pushed me back on the mattress. Just before she straddled me, asked me to talk dirty, then slid my dick into her, whispering that she loved me and always would, she flashed me that
My mind flips back to a few hours before.
“Cohen,” she panted, her hips pumping up and down, her gorgeous tits shaking with every bounce. “I’ll never forget you.”
I thought it was a weird thing to say, but my mind wasn’t really focused on her words. I was reaching up to feel the soft, full swell of those perfect tits. Sometimes Kensley says crazy shit. She wants to be an actress, and she’s into role playing and all that, so I basically ignore most of what she says because we both tend to get wild in the sack. I say lots of things no one who knows me from work or general life would imagine me saying when I have a beautiful girl in bed with me.
“Cohen.” She takes my hand and looks up, every move so deliberate, it’s like she rehearsed it all.
“Last night was…it was my way to say goodbye,” Kensley explains, her voice soft. Theatrically soft. Like she’s gunning for best sympathetic break-up with a pathetic boyfriend.
“Good-bye?” I sputter. “Really? Good-bye? We looked at puppies last week. This week you’re ready to say good-bye?”
“Let me go down on you,” she offered. It was a nice gesture, but Kensley didn’t go down on me unless she was saying sorry or she wanted something.
Since I wasn’t pissed at her, I asked, as she sank to her knees, “What do you want, babe? I know you made that registry at the jewelry store that friend of yours owns a while ago, but our anniversary is in a few weeks. I promise, you’ll be happy.”
Her eyes flipped up to my face and she looked…guilty. “Can’t I just do this to be nice?”
I wasn’t going to say no to that. “Of course. And th-th-ank…good freaking God, Kensley.”
And then I didn’t say anything else, because my girlfriend’s tongue was doing crazy, amazing things to my dick, and I wasn’t about to stop that.
“You know I’ve been wanting to move to Hollywood. Now’s my chance, and I know you’re not into it—” She lifts her hand when I open my mouth to protest. “Saying you’ll give it a few months isn’t good enough. I need you to be two-hundred percent behind me. Actually I don’t know if that would even be enough. I guess I really just need to be on my own to pursue my dream.”
“I get that, Kensley,” I say through gritted teeth. “But I don’t get why you think breaking up is going to make things easier. What about having me around makes things harder for you in any way?”
“It’s really not even you,” Kensley says. I’m trying my damndest not to roll my eyes at the clichéd breakup that is happening. Right now. To me. “Don’t roll your eyes.”
I guess I didn’t try hard enough.
“I don’t understand then. If it’s not me…We’ve been together for years. Since high school. I told you my dad had a store branch near Hollywood, if you want to go. I’ve said that for years. What’s so wrong about things now?”
Kensley pushes her hand into her hip and puckers her mouth, twisting it around like she’s thinking about how to say whatever it is just the right way.
“Fine,” she says, stepping forward and putting her palms on my chest. It feels weird, because she’s closer and touching me, but, at the same time, I feel like she’s pushing me away. “It’s not just the Hollywood thing. This hurts me to say, Cohen, but…it
you. You just…you haven’t grown since we were in high school, that’s what it is. We eat at the same restaurants, we go to the same movies, we go to your mother’s— Every. Single. Sunday. We watch the same shows on that damn DVR religiously. You just…you never want to try new things. And what I’m about to do, who I’m about to be? That’s going to be nothing but new experiences. And I just don’t feel like…you and I don’t
I can’t help but think of just how well we fit last night.
And apparently, won’t ever again.
“Kensley, I just got back from a goddamn real-life treasure hunt. How much more adventurous can you get than that? And what’s wrong with my mom? She makes a killer matzo ball soup and carne asada that will change your life. How much more excitement do you need out of life than a half-Jewish, half-Mexican household? And if we move, there will be new places to eat, new things to see, and I’ll try them. You and me, being together,
the adventure. What more could you want?”
“I don’t know. But I do want more. And you’re not giving it to me.”
“Is there someone else?”
She takes three steps back. One for each letter of the answer she’s working up the courage to give. Because I can see it in that faux tortured look on her face that there’s more to this than me not wanting to go bungee jumping off the Great Wall.
She waves her hand around like she’s brushing off the question as ridiculous.
“So, there is?” I push.
“Not exactly. But there could be. And I need to be open to that. Not stringing you along when neither one of us are happy.”
“I’m happy,” I say. And I am. Things aren’t a thrill around my place, I’ll give her that. But I work long hours at the furniture store my family owns—it’s a nice, comfortable, stable life. I’m hoping to keep saving and have a nice, comfortable, stable future. Until five minutes ago, I thought Kensley was part of that future.
“Cohen…Don’t make this hard. Please. I want us to stay—”
“Don’t say it. Don’t say friends.” I wipe my palms on my jeans. I’m a man, I’m not going to cry, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shaken up. “We’re done here, Kensley. I’ve got to go to work.”
I half expect her to try to stop me. But when I’m all the way to my car, hand on the door handle, and she hasn’t so much as called my name, I realize that I just did her a major solid by walking away. I made it easier for her. There was no chance I was going to be able to change her mind. Kensley was already gone before we woke up this morning.
I took her to dinner after work last night. And then the whole foods store where we stocked up on all that clean-eating crap I’ll never touch. Then we went back to my place for the night. I guess she did me a solid, too. She knew she’d be breaking it off with me and we still had incredible sex. One last time before what I’m sure will be a long, dry spell for me.
A pity fuck before she left, stomping on my heart on the way out the door.
I look back and squint so I’m able to see through the high sun, looking for Kensley. But she isn’t there.
The bell above the door jingles as I push through it and I want to rip it down and stomp on it until it stops being so damn cheery.
“You’re late,” my drama-queen younger sister, Genevieve says. She flips her long, dark ponytail over her shoulder and raises her eyebrows at me, and I know one wrong word can send her into a hissy fit or make her burst into tears. We usually all walk on eggshells around Gen, but I’m not in the mood to deal with her today.
“Sue me,” I say, ignoring the way her jaw drops open. Despite her crazy mood swings, she and I have always gotten along okay at work, mostly because I pretty much ignore her when she’s being a pain in the ass. Today’s just not a good day for me already.
“Just go clock in, Cohen. We’ve got inventory to do.” She’s younger than me, but she rides my ass like she’s the older, more responsible sibling. Probably because she secretly wants to get the same respect our older sister, Lydia does in our family. Ever since I dropped everything last year to go sail the Pacific Ocean with my best friend Deo, Genevieve acts like she’s the only stable thing this family has got. Which is hilarious, since she’s the one of us best known to fly off the damn handle. “And consider shaving! Mom would be pissed if she knew you were talking to customers with that crap on your face.”
I rub my hand against my cheek. There’s a day’s worth of stubble, but that’s it. It’s been a day since I’ve shaved.
Get over yourself and your sense of authority, Gen.
I toss my keys and iPhone under the register and go to the back room to punch my time card. I went to school and got a degree to end up working for my folks at their furniture store. It wasn’t the plan, but they needed me, and for now at least, it isn’t half-bad. The hours are good, there’s a decent benefits package, and my place always has nice furniture…to impress all the women that aren’t there.
I slide the card stock into the time clock and chuckle, as I do every morning, like a ritual. It’s an ironic kick in the balls that my own parents make me a slave to the man.
The phone is ringing when I turn the corner back into the showroom and Genevieve is showing some newlywed-looking assholes the mattresses and I want to tell them to run, that once you’re with someone too long, they get tired of you. They want more. Even if the sex is earth-shaking, and you help them with their car payments, and even pick the onions out of their enchiladas because they claim to be allergic. But none of that is
enough. Fuck my life. So instead of breaking their love spell, I jog up to the front counter and grab the phone.
“Hello, Rodriguez Family Furnishings,” I say.
“Hello, Cohen Rodriguez,” the familiar voice replies. It’s Maren, this girl who works in our warehouse site.
“Hey,” I say. I talk to Maren daily. Sometimes, more than a few times a day. She’s always helpful and polite, but her voice is a little too raspy— a little too sexy to have me totally convinced that she’s all good-girl. In my mind, she’s got this rad pin-up vibe going. You know, the whole curves for days; thick, gorgeous hair; silky lingerie that’s meant to be seen. Course, I’ve never seen her. In reality, she could be six-foot-four and have a mean five o’clock shadow.
“Are you guys busy over there today?” she asks.
“I’m not sure, I just got in.”
“Ah, must be nice to be the bosses’ son and just waltz in whenever you feel like it,” she jokes. “I bet you were out all night, barely able to drag yourself to the showroom today, huh?”
“What can I say, my life is one big party,” I lie. I pull my iPhone out from where I’d stashed it earlier and check to see if Kensley has called.