You've Been Flirting Again Ch. 02bymiserybusiness©
"Wait a minute," Andi, my closest friend from high school, next to Roy of course, stopped dead in her tracks and gave me the look. She shoved aside a curtain of blonde curls and adjusted her brown cardigan, which almost matched her skin.
It pained my heart to nod. Even then, I had the worst look on my face, like I was admitting to sleeping with some downtown Chicago bum.
Andi looked up and groaned. Even she was frustrated. We were on the way to Urban Outfitters because she needed to make an exchange. The sun was high in the sky, right above us, baking us, like we needed the extra pigmentation.
"Why haven't you just broken up with him yet? You still holding onto that glimmer of hope that he'll be the guy he was back in high school?" Andi took a nice long sip of her Starbucks latte before she studied the puzzled look on my face.
"I just," I shrugged my shoulders and shoved my hands in my jeans pockets. "I still love him somehow. Even though he morphed into a dick, I still do. When we're alone, sometimes he says really nice stuff to me." I turned to her. "It's almost like high school."
Andi nodded. "Yup. Or he farts."
I rolled my eyes. "You don't get it. We still have a connection."
She loudly slurped her latte and glared at me. "Yeah, the one that comes with farts."
I blinked a few times. "Andi, shut up." We reached the store, waiting for an older couple to exit.
Since it was the weekend, everyone was out, swirling around and getting Subway, frozen yogurt, hitting up the ATM, or just chilling on the quad.
Today would've been awesome if I didn't have to go to Roy's stupid step show today. It wasn't that I hated supporting him, but they boosted his ego so much. I'd like to blame the frat for jading him so badly, but he succumbed to it. I guess he felt like he wasn't cool in high school, so now college was his chance to reform himself.
But he didn't know that he was already perfect to me.
Urban Outfitters greeted us with cool air and a song I'd heard before. It always did. After the greeter did her job, Andi made a beeline for the front desk, while I checked the mannequins, bobbing my head to some Two Door Cinema Club.
My fingers danced over the fabrics. Tribal print, tribal print, and more tribal print. Hmm.
Even though Roy was still on the brain, my mind couldn't help but go back to Chris. Chris's sexy ass. Mmph. I would've loved to see him again. I thought it'd be fairly easy to strike up a conversation if I saw him play the other night.
Then, like something keyed in on me, I looked across the room, where the sale shoes were located. It was him. He was folding shirts on a table close to the stairs.
My jaw dropped. He looked even better than yesterday. Plus, he was wearing a vest with a v-neck, the same jeans from yesterday, and some ratty red Chucks. He'd even put on those obvious hipster-y horn-rimmed glasses.
In other words, he looked perfect.
Andi came over to me, clutching her brown paper bag and eyeing her receipt. "You wanna keep looking—"
I grabbed her. "Andi. It's him."
She frowned. "Who?"
I nodded ahead. "Him!"
Andi blinked at me a few times, probably unsure of why I was being so weird. Then she squinted her eyes. "Oh, Chris! I know him." She waved me off, like it was no big deal.
I gasped. "You know him? How?"
Vaguely, she responded, "He's in my psych class. Hella smart, too. He's all intellectual and shit."
Andi rolled up her cardigan sleeves and then looked at me. Then she saw right through me.
"You're still staring at him. You like him!"
I was so obvious sometimes.
"No, I just think he'd be real cool to talk to."
Andi scoffed. "You can't even lie right. I can tell you dig him. Wonder how Roy would feel about your little white boy fetish coming true?"
"I'm gonna go look around," I said, almost sounding like a question. Hey, it was true. They had these canvas backpacks that would go perfect with my army green military jacket.
But the rack he was at was real close to the bag section. Maybe I could check out those overpriced t-shirts he was folding.
I sauntered over to the table, passing a ginger chick with plugs and a calf tattoo. As I started going through the shirts, I couldn't help but notice that crazy tattoo on Chris's arm. But then again, I didn't want to seem obvious.
But then again, I did.
I figured, what the hell? Worst he could do was tell me he wasn't into black chicks and I'd just leave with egg on my face. Big deal.
I cleared my throat. Then, I smiled in an inviting manner so he wouldn't think I was a threat.
"Didn't you play at the showcase yesterday?"
He looked up, still folding a shirt. "Yeah. Did you enjoy?" His look said he was preoccupied, but willing. It was a start.
I tried not to seem nervous, so I nonchalantly kept looking at the shirts. "Yeah, I'm a huge fan of screamo and metalcore. Plus, y'all threw in that Local Natives, and you guys did a great rendition of 'Airplanes.'"
Now I had his full attention. He dropped the shirt and smiled. "Duuude, nobody else knew that song. They were like, why are you playing this song, it's not fast, we'll lose the crowd."
I said, "Well, it's real good to show you have versatility, you know? Like, going from one extreme to another."
Chris nodded. "Everytime we perform, I try to mix it up. So you can mosh pit, but then rest up afterwards." He smiled and pointed to me. "That's really good, you must be like, a music expert. How did you hear about Local Natives?"
I shrugged. "Random poking around on music blogs."
He touched his chest, like the band was close to his heart. "They are ahhhh-mazing. I listen to them before I go to sleep every night. They just relax me to no end." After a while, he walked over and extended a hand.
"I'm Chris, by the way."
Tempted to say, "Yeah, I know," I said, "Nice to meet you! I'm Roshanda."
When he held the handshake for a second too long—and kept looking at me—I knew he was attracted.
And that was fucking awesomesauce.
"Nice to meet you, Roshanda. I'd really love to keep talking to you but it looks like they need me over at the front desk."
I looked up. Andi had just walked past, and there was a growing line at the register.
"Oh, it's fine," I waved him off. "I'm sure we'll meet up again."
Chris scoffed. "Hell yeah. Okay, it was so nice meeting you," he backwards walked while he waved goodbye to me, then ran up to the register.
I was still in a state of shock until Andi hit me in the head with a zip-top clutch. I turned to her.
"Hey stupid, you realize you watched him walk away?" She examined her pick and then shoved it in my face. "Whatchu think of this?"
I moved her hand away, tucking a piece of my hair behind an ear. "I can't believe you knew him and didn't tell me!"
Andi's eyebrows rose. "I wasn't aware I needed to know of his existence! And besides, you have a—" she stepped in my face. "—boyfriend!"
Ugh! Now I really hated Roy. He was ruining my future connection with Chris. I knew the moment was fading because URBN decided to play some lame Weeknd song that I never really cared for.
Soon as we left, I took one last peek at Chris. He was explaining the return policy to a customer, so we didn't share that last gaze. But I did cop a stare at his amazing tattoo. Gawd, he was sexy.
Later that day, I hauled ass to the auditorium, where the step show was being held. Roy was adamant about getting there early, as the tickets sold out quick and the auditorium filled up even quicker. Andi couldn't join me because she was writing a paper, and I had no one else to bug. So I went solo.
I'm sitting there amongst a crowd of people in my hipster get-up that Roy would've normally loved—denim jacket, flouncy black dress, and my beat-up brown boots that were practically falling apart with my floral leggings—but I didn't feel like rooting for him at all. In fact, when he saw me before the show, he said I looked stupid.
I felt stupid for continuing to like this boy even though his behavior was a red flag that it was time to drop him. Every now and then, he'd make me feel like everything was fine, but I had to wait for those moments too often. I wanted them all the time, like a normal girlfriend.
A seat beside me was taken by some loud black chick with at least four different hairstyles combined into one. Part of me wanted to get up and move somewhere else, but I had a perfect view of the stage. And a perfect distance to the exit in case I just couldn't take it anymore.
While I waited, I listened to Delorean, so out of it, I didn't notice that someone was asking me a question. When I felt that tap, I flinched a little, then looked up.
It was Chris!
I was flabbergasted. So much so that I didn't even speak a coherent sentence at first. Then I managed, "Hey! What are you doing here?" I hoped he didn't think that was racist, because this step show was filled with mostly black people.
He smiled. Nice teeth. Then he looked around. "My friend's in this frat too. He wanted me to check it out and I'm bored. Is this seat taken?"
I shook my head. "Nope. Go ahead."
He sat down and ran a hand through his hair. "Surprised to see you here. Are you waiting on your boyfriend or something?"
Aww, he was cute, automatically assuming I had a boyfriend.
"Not really. But my boy—"
Okay, I didn't really want to make him think I wasn't interested. So I lied—bad move, I know—and corrected myself.
"—wanted me to check it out, too. He's my best friend. Said he's in the step show and there's other hot guys—single guys—to check out at the after party."
Chris frowned. "Is that why every girl here is dressed like they're going to the club?"
I chuckled. It was true. At the step show, people put on their skankiest attire. I counted three nipple slips and like, two visible thongs on the way inside.
I nodded. "Yeah, you'd be correct."
Chris's eyes wandered over to my iPod. "What are you listening to?"
I held it up so he could see. He gasped. "I love Delorean."
That pretty much opened the floodgates for our conversation. We learned a lot about each other in the crazy amount of time it was taking the show to start, as they were notorious for being late as hell.
Chris was a Virgo. His favorite band at the moment was The Mars Volta, last concert he saw was Bon Iver, and he had a thing for movies directed by Judd Apatow. Sophomore, engineering major with a music minor, and he was getting his ears stretched to accommodate the plugs he was keen on getting soon.
Basically, everything about him screamed "sex god" to me.
We were still waiting after at least a half an hour, and the show was supposed to start twenty minutes ago. I was talking about my weird obsession with independent film, my fish allergy, the quality of living at my dorm, and sex. We were clicking so hard, and even Chris knew it.
After another ten minutes passed, with no word of anything, Chris tapped me. He looked both ways, like he was planning an escape, and said, "Look, I don't think this show is starting anytime soon. Do you wanna go grab some coffee or something?"
I looked at the stage, still empty, then at my watch. I should've stayed for Roy, but this damn waiting was ridiculous. Besides, it was just coffee.
"Sure." We both stood up and inched past the others, heading up the stairs and out of the auditorium.
We moved our talk to Starbucks, over lattes and brownies. Chris was definitely the intellectual. And quite philosophical at that. He was so wise, yet at the same time, he could quote South Park and Family Guy accurately. He was everything Roy quit being.
"So um," Chris nervously played with his leftover chunk of brownie as he began, "I know I just met you, but you seem really cool."
If I were white, I would've started blushing automatically.
"Thank you! So do you. I had a feeling you were deep when I saw you perform. You're very multi-dimensional."
Chris grinned, then popped the brownie piece in his mouth. "Well, I just wanted to let you know. I don't want you to think I'm weird or anything, though. Usually, when I tell girls I like them, they back away, like I'm asking them their hand in marriage or some shit."
I scoffed. "Those girls suck. I bet they were all the same too, right?"
He hunched his shoulders. "I guess. I think they just got off on the idea of dating a guy in a band. I don't know."
I looked away, then back at Chris, those silver studs practically gleaming in my eyes. "How many relationships have you had?"
He drummed his uneven fingernails on the table and sighed. "I think one serious relationship, five meaningless ones, starting my senior year of high school. The only girl I ever really liked moved to fucking Arkansas when it was time for me to start school, and we lost touch. Those other five relationships? I don't know what they were, but they were hell. I just gave up trying after a while." He looked down. Aww he was sad.
"How about you?"
I licked my lips, in case there were brownie crumbs all over my mouth. A barista walked past and I put my arms on the table. In body language, that meant full disclosure, and comfort with the one you were with.
Thank you, interpersonal communication class.
"Well, when I was in high school, I met this guy. We were basically the guy and girl versions of each other. We completed each other. And we liked all the same things. But somewhere along the line," I looked out the window, because it was depressing to talk about Roy like he was an ex, even though I was still with him.
"He changed. And I realized I had to let him go because he wasn't who I fell in love with anymore. Just like I was sure he didn't want me anymore."
Chris shook his head slowly, out of pity, it seemed. "Well, he's a fucking idiot." When he looked at me and smiled, I knew meant it. I smiled back.
After our Starbucks tryst, walking outside underneath the night sky, we decided to sit on the quad and talk for a few. We even listened to my iPod, marveling over our insane like for the practically the same music.
We were lying down in the grass after some time, and I felt his arm wrap around me, in the middle of a Freelance Whales song. I didn't stop him, even though I should've. We were moving hella fast, but I didn't feel like it was anything out of lust. Of course, I had to keep my guard up, but it was hard.
Chris looked at me and asked, "I'm sorry, is it okay if I put my around you?"
No, now get your disfigured arm away from me! Yes, and I wouldn't mind if you ate my pussy right now either!
"No, it's fine." I laughed and he held his hands up, as if surrendering.
"Sorry, just checking. I don't wanna freak you out."
I looked at him. "You don't freak me out. You do the opposite, actually."
Chris sat up, removing his arm from me, and propping his elbow up in the grass, head resting in his hand, to look at me. My eyebrows met.
"What, do I have a booger?"
He didn't smile. He had this intense look on his face that said he wanted to kiss me. I knew he did. Chris traced a finger around my face.
"I'm really trying to restrain myself, Roshanda, but you're so pretty and I get an awesome vibe from you."
I didn't say anything. I just continued losing myself in those gorgeous blue eyes of his. The moon was overhead, illuminating his face at just the right angle.
His Adam's apple bobbed a second, like he swallowed hard out of nervousness. "If I said I wanted to kiss you right now, would you mind?"
I shook my head slowly, and he leaned in. My spiderbites clinked with the right side of his snake bite piercing and we stayed locked for about three seconds. When we parted, he palmed the back of my head.
"Your lips are so soft, Roshanda," he whispered, going back in for more. This was happening too fast. I knew it.
But it felt good.
Just as we were about to do tongue play, my iPod still playing, my phone buzzed in my jeans.
Normally, I would've ignored it, but it was really irritating, especially now that Chris was getting really into it, and I wanted to stop the buzzing.
Besides, it was probably Andi, calling me up with some randomness like she always did. Once she actually called to tell me she saw a squirrel dart out of a garbage can with a whole piece of chicken dangling from its mouth.
I sat up. "Hold on Chris, I'm sorry." I opened my phone, ignoring the screen that shows you the number. "What is it, Andi?"
"Andi? This ain't Andi! Shanda, where were you?"
"Roy, I'm sorry, I had to go print off a paper I forgot about, one thing led to another—"I didn't even realize I was saying this in front of Chris, who probably thought I was the most awesome thing ever.
"Shanda, you let me down. Everybody else here has their girlfriends all over 'em, and yo ass is lying about papers and shit."
"Look, I'm sorry! But—" just as I was about to go in on him for all the dirt he'd done to me, I saw Chris, looking up at me, glaring, and I rolled my eyes. "I'll call you back, okay?"
Roy scoffed on the other end. "Don't even bother." He hung up.
I dropped my phone and held my face. "Chris, I'm so sorry about that."
He sat all the way up. "Your boyfriend, right?"
I closed my eyes, mad at myself for lying. "Yes."
Chris laughed and then stood up. "I knew you were too good to be true. I'm just glad this happened now rather than three months down the line."
I stood up too, not even caring about my phone.
"No Chris, I'm sorry. It's just, we're having so many issues right now—"
Chris stuffed his hands in his pockets.
"Roshanda," he demanded, "don't worry about it. But if you don't mind, I don't like girls who play games. I thought you understood that, but I guess not. And frankly, I was really digging you. But after this, I don't know. I'm not an asshole, I don't wanna be one, but girls like you are making it really hard for me not to be."
Damn. He basically called me a trifling ho in so many words. And what was worse is that he felt so bad, I could see it all over his face.
Chris flashed the peace sign. "See ya." He walked off.
I'm standing in the middle of the quad thinking, what the fuck did I just do to myself? I had just fucked up two relationships, that's what. Gawd, I was so stupid.
And on top of all that, the moon retreated into the clouds, so I couldn't find my phone, which was in the grass still. It was late, and if I stayed around, I feared being raped. So I had to walk my phoneless ass back to my dorm accompanied by a security guard.