You've Been Flirting Again Ch. 05bymiserybusiness©
Roy was holding a bouquet of flowers. Not only that, but he dressed in a way that I guess was supposed to impress me. Cargo shorts like Chris, a hoodie, and his beat-up old Vans.
Are you fucking kidding me?
"Oh, so now that you fucked up, you wanna try to win her back?"
Roy yelled, "Look, this is none of your business. Now go somewhere because I need to talk to her."
"You're too late! Why do you pick now to come and see her? Do you even know what happened to her last night?"
Attempting to shove past Chris, Roy went, "Yeah yeah, she caught me. Now I'm bout to fix it, so move."
Chris pushed him, and Roy dropped his bouquet. When Roy came at him and they started to tussle, I knew I had to intervene.
I opened the door. They were on the ground just going at it. Roy had punched Chris in the stomach, but Chris used his wrestler moves to get on top of Roy. They somehow regained their footing and all sorts of punches were thrown.
"Stop it! You guys, cut it out!"
They kept going. I saw blood. Both of them were bleeding, and Chris's shirt was riding up while Roy was choking Chris.
"Stop!" I knew better than to get between two rowdy boys fighting, so I was glad when security had shown up. Right when they did, Alisa, our floor's RA, opened the door.
"Cut. It. Out!" She yelled, right as the guard was breaking them up. Alisa was wrapped in her robe, hair up.
Well, the beefy security guard did his job, but my goodness, they were both looking terrible. Both had been bruised up, with bloody fists, and Chris was beet red. Roy's bouquet was destroyed in the melee.
"I'm sorry," I began, kicking the petals out of the way, "They were fighting over me. It's all my fault. But I can assure you this won't happen again." I was looking at the guard and Alisa. Alisa looked mad upset. But then again, it was early on a Sunday.
She folded her arms. "It's early. Other people are trying to sleep. If I keep hearing noise, Roshanda, they won't get kicked out of housing, you will for inviting this nonsense into the hall." She punctuated her point by commanding the guard to take them both away. Chris stared at me, wondering if I'd stop him.
"No, wait. I just need to talk to one of them." Roy was breathing heavily. I looked at his chest heaving. We definitely needed to have words.
"Him." I pointed. "Just let me talk to him in my room and then I'll let him go."
"That's right, you bitch ass motherfucker. She wants me not you."
"Oh fuck you, you ignorant son of a bitch! How's your eye?"
"Motherfucker, how's yo jaw?"
"QUIET!" Alisa barked. "Take him away. Roshanda, I mean it."
I nodded. "This'll only take a minute. If any one of us loud, you can kick me out."
She rolled her eyes and closed the door behind her.
I didn't even look back at Chris. He knew I had a job to do. This had to end once and for all. After I closed the door, Roy pinched my shirt.
"That's his, isn't it?"
"Yeah. We didn't have sex though, if that's what you're thinking." I folded my arms.
Roy sighed. "Girl, you scared me. I thought you abandoned me for good." He came up to me, but I turned.
He looked confused. "What?"
"Roy, do you have any idea what happened to me last night?" I looked at my feet, toenails covered in red polish.
He frowned. "I know, I know."
"What happened, then?"
Roy scoffed. "You caught me. And I know I fucked up, so—"
"No. That's not all. I almost got raped."
He looked like the wind had been knocked out of him. "What? Aww, baby no—"
"Yes, Roy. It happened. And you weren't there to save me. You didn't even come after me. You did nothing. You left me wide open for anything to happen. You abandoned me. I was all alone."
"Shanda, Chris started trying to fight me."
"Fuck Chris! You act like he was a huge obstacle! Why did he come after me instead of you? I mean, I know you fucked me over and everything, but you didn't even act like you were sorry! You acted like this whole thing was just fine and I would come running right back to you afterwards. And that stupid ass bouquet is not gonna fix what you ruined in one night."
Roy's whole face dropped. It dropped like I had never seen it before. I felt like I really got through to him.
"Plus, you come in here dressed like you used to," I waved toward his clothing. "So you only do this when I'm mad at you? Like the façade is gonna cover up the fact that you just changed?"
Roy looked down. "People change, Shanda."
"Yup. They change and they stay like that."
Silence. Roy cleared his throat and stared at me. "So you almost got raped. What happened?"
"Chris saved me. He attacked the guy and I slept at his place. He's really nice. He likes me a lot."
Roy finally put the two together. "So he's the one who's gonna get you?"
I shrugged my shoulders, feeling tears welling up. "I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe I'll just be single until I can get over you. Maybe I'll end up with him. Maybe I'll be single for a while. But one thing's for sure. We aren't together anymore."
That statement sent Roy over the edge.
"Nooooo, Shanda. No. No. Listen, I—No. We can't be over." He kept holding his face in his hands, and then he sat on my bed like he couldn't take it standing up.
"Roy, I'd be a fool to stay with you. You don't like who I am anymore, and I definitely don't like who you are."
"But baby, I can change!" He looked up, and I swear, he was crying.
I didn't care.
"You already did, remember?"
When he gave me that last knowing stare, I knew us not being together shook him up. He stood and just as he was about to leave, hand resting on the doorknob, he turned around.
"I'm sorry. I really fucked this up. You the only girl who understood me. And I ruined it."
I nodded. "You did."
Roy turned on his heels and left.
I burst into tears and settled into my bed. I'd just broken up with my first love.
Four hours later, one whole box of Kleenex, and hella self-loathing later, I finally summoned Andi over to my dorm.
She came over, equipped with the "sad girl" arsenal. Two buckets of Chunky Monkey and chick movies.
After we inhaled about five thousand calories and bawled at Titanic—super cheesy, I know—Andi tapped into the issue.
"Okay, tell me everything."
I explained. She grabbed me and held me tight when I told her about my brush with rape. She let go once she heard me explain how I ended up in Chris's arms all night.
"Roshanda, no you didn't."
I looked away. "I was sad. And he was right there. I was lonely, depressed, and in need of comfort." She scoffed. "You're a whore."
I laughed, but she kind of had a point.
"I mean, I did cheat on him first. No, it wasn't nearly as bad as him getting a BJ from another girl, but still. I should've just ended it right away. I let it go on too far."
Andi nodded. "You have a point there," she stretched on my bed, pushing my unmade covers out of the way. "It was only a matter of time before karma bit you."
"Yep. With my luck, it'll bite me even harder and take Chris away from for good. How do I know he actually likes me? Boys are good at faking like they like you when they don't."
"Yup. I know that's right. Me and that blonde kid was clicking hard, but soon as I ask him for his number, he gets all weird. He had a girlfriend, I can just tell." She shook her head out of pity. "You never know, though. Chris seems into you."
I stared off into space, eyeing my weird psychedelic Andy Warhol pop-art poster. My life was such a mess.
"The only way I can fix this is by being alone. I've thought about it. I can't drag Chris into my life when it's a shambles. I need to focus on me. Get this homework done. Straighten up my room. Find a job like I've been putting off doing since I got here."
Andi rubbed my shoulder. "You'll be fine. But you do realize if you want to be alone, you can't expect Chris to wait for you, right?"
That one hurt. A lot. But at the same time, I couldn't be mad.
I looked at Andi. "I know. It's a very real possibility. It's also a possibility that I opened up for myself." I hunched my shoulders. "If it happens, it happens. Wasn't meant to be."
Andi gave me a hug. She whispered in my ear, "You'll be fine, Roshanda. Just be careful. You know I'm here when you need me."
I didn't run into Chris until a few days later. I'd holed myself in my room with nothing but ordered food, homework, and lots of Air, Damien Rice, and Esperanza Spalding. They were good music to do homework to.
Chris was texting me non-stop. I kept telling him I was busy, but then he'd say something cute like, "Sorry, I just can't stop thinking about you."
When I ran into him, sitting on the quad talking to Dan, who was clutching his acoustic, my heart jumped a little. I needed to tell him that I was putting myself through a self-imposed celibacy period. It really didn't help that he was smoking, either. Even though I hated it, he looked absolutely sexy while doing so. He was even sexier in his skinny jeans and low-top black Chucks.
Today was a bit chilly, plus I was so busy running around that I really didn't care what I looked like, so I had just thrown my hair into a messy ponytail and shimmied into my Nightmare Before Christmas hoodie. I looked like shit, but I was about to go talk to him anyway.
Soon as I came his way, he turned to me, totally ignoring Dan. Dan waved. I waved back.
"Hey you guys. What's up?"
Chris came to me and kissed me quick on the lips. He rested his hands on my shoulders. "Hey there. Nothing much, how are you?"
"I'm fine." I looked over at Dan. "Hey, I'm just gonna borrow him for a few seconds."
Dan nodded. "Totally fine. He was bugging me anyway." He ran away jokingly before Chris pretended to throw something at him. We sat down.
"What's up, Ro?"
Ugh. Stop with the pet name, I wanted to say. Deep breath. Here goes.
"Chris, you already know my stupid dilemma, right?" I almost reached out to touch the bruise on his eyebrow from his fight, but stopped myself. I wanted so badly to just take him in my arms and tell him how much I liked him in the short amount of time I knew him.
"Yeah, of course. And I'm totally ready to give you your space if you want."
I folded my hands. "That's what I wanted to talk about. I don't wanna give you the impression that I'm gonna be over this quickly. And I think it's only fair that you're allowed to see other people. I mean, I cheated on someone, even if it was just kissing. But it was still wrong. I know you like me, and trust me, I really like you too, but I'd be a complete evil bitch to try to string you along when I'm trying to get over my ex and when I have to focus on myself. As much as I want to, I can't. I can't do that. I can't do that you."
Straightforward and honest. That was how I wanted it to be. He looked a bit disappointed, but he grabbed my hands.
"Roshanda, I like you. I like you a lot. I'm here for you whenever you need me, and I don't think you have anything to worry about."
I scoffed. "Chris, you met Cherry like two days after we kissed! You say that now, but I know you will not be single when I'm done moping. Have you looked in a mirror lately?"
The corner of Chris's mouth twitched. "Well thanks, but neither of us knows this. I mean, I'm just as unlucky with the opposite sex as you are. Were you not listening to my horrid relationship stories?"
I chuckled. "Okay, you're right. But still. I'm taking a huge risk by not jumping into anything with you right now. But it's for the best. I don't want you to think negatively about me like you did when I lied about having a boyfriend."
Chris rubbed my hands. "You need your time. I get it. But we can still talk, right?"
I smiled. "Of course. Just not as much. If I keep talking to you, I'm gonna want more, and I have to limit myself." I kept rubbing his hands, too. He kissed my hands.
"I should be really pissed at you, but I just can't be."
My bottom lip kept threatening to quiver. Why was he so good? And how come nobody wanted him? He was the perfect guy, how could he not get anyone? Why was love so ass backwards that the most fucked up people got whoever they wanted but normal, actually dateable people were always left out?
We hugged and I walked away before I started crying. I was such an idiot.
Over the next month and a half I reflected on everything. Roy, Chris, being cheated on. I occupied my time by making frequent trips to the school's library to get music—I'd become partial to Erykah Badu's entire collection, random Nirvana, and lots of Christian Rich—working my new job at the information desk, getting more of my homework done, and making a few new friends, including this Asian supermodel chick named Sonya, who just so happened to have a friend who was real tight with Chris.
Andi ended up getting with this guy who looked like Tyler, the Creator, a member of Roy's frat. He was friends with Roy. Andi had told me that Roy would get drunk at parties and always mention me. It made me feel a little better, but at the same time, as weird as it sounded, I missed him. Of course I missed him, he was my first and longest relationship to date. And whenever I saw him walking past, holding hands with some really pretty, long-haired dark-skinned cutie, he always looked at me like he shouldn't have been doing it, but then went right back to being happy. It sort of made me feel like that was the type of girl he wanted all along, the impossibly pretty, Selita Ebanks type. Girls like them didn't have piercings, weird hair, or questionable style. They rolled out of bed with perfect hair, perfect jeans, makeup, and they had cute quirks. Like, you know, they tripped over their heels once in a blue moon. Not stupid quirks, like laughing too loud or being socially awkward.
It added to my self-deprecation mode, but I didn't let it get me down. I just trudged ahead, because being Roy, I slacked a lot. This time away from boys helped me get my priorities straight. If I got another boyfriend, I couldn't let myself slip on anything. They couldn't get in the way.
But time away from boys was lame because one department was slacking: sex!
I hadn't had sex in damn near two months, and it was bugging the hell out of me. I actually went to Spencer's and bought a vibrator with my first paycheck. The shit was killing me. I wanted to fuck Chris so badly. I kept masturbating thinking about him and wondering how big his dick was and if he knew how to eat pussy. It was driving me mad, but I had to keep focus. That degree wasn't going to earn itself.
One day, very far into my boy fast, I stopped into the frozen yogurt place to get some yummy bubble tea. I sat in the window because I didn't feel like going all the way upstairs to use the wi-fi. I just sat, kicking my foot against the table, checking my texts before it was time to go to work.
People were ambling past, getting to their classes. The couples I saw holding hands made me want to puke. I looked back down at my cell phone and didn't bother looking up until I saw Chris walk past. He saw me and immediately stopped in.
Damn him. Damn him and his perfect timing, even though I'd barely seen him lately.
He was looking sooo damn good. Black thermal because it was cooler outside. Blue jeans and those sexy worn-in red Chucks.
I put my tea down. "Hey," I said, turning to him. "What's up?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "Nothing much. I just got done tutoring this kid."
I frowned. "You tutor?"
"Yeah. Guitar." Chris reached out and touched my hair. "I like this. You look good with streaks."
He was referring to my neon blue streaks that I'd done to my hair out of boredom. Only two, but it was good enough. I didn't wanna look like Cherry. I saw that bitch a few days ago, looking like a My Little Pony gone wrong.
"Thanks," I licked my lips. "Um, I have thirty minutes before work. Wanna go talk?"
He nodded. "Sure."
I got up and we went outside. It was a bit chilly for my tastes, so I made sure to wear my leather jacket over my long-sleeved tee.
Chris started, leaning against the window. "The usual. Playing shows, falling behind on work, finding great music." He turned to me. "How about you?"
"Well, I got a job. I'm doing better in school. Actually, I'm doing better in general. This time away from boys has been really good for me."
But not for my vagina.
He smiled. "Good, good. You needed that."
"Where are you about to go?"
Chris responded, "Probably the library. I got a few CDs that need to be picked up."
"Uhh, RHCP for one—"
"With or without Frusciante?"
"With, duh. Umm, got some Kanye on hold, Flaming Lips, Imogen Heap, Sonic Youth, and Tool."
Very diverse. I loved it.
"Cool. I get music from them, too. Even though I usually end up just downloading it later."
This was ridiculous. Had I been a good girl long enough? I wanted Chris! I would be the best girlfriend to him, I wouldn't lie to him, be a bitch, or make him feel unworthy. And if he still wanted me, what was wrong with wanting him back?
Ah, fuck it.
"Chris, I'm tired of being single. I want you. If you don't have a girlfriend, let's just go together."
Chris looked both ways, smiling, like he was confronted with something cool, but was a bit unsure.
"Are you absolutely sure? I mean, it's only been a month and a half."
I frowned. "Don't you want me back?"
Chris smiled. "Of course I do! I wouldn't keep randomly talking to you and texting you, a woman who is not mine, if I didn't. But um, you should know I have a girlfriend, and I can't exactly break up with her."
Damn. My heart sank. I cleared my throat. "Oh. When did you meet her?"
"When I was 12."
What? That made no sense.
"When you were twelve? Childhood friends?"
"Yeah. Soundgarden introduced me to her. I've been playing her ever since." He smiled and I got it. He was talking about his guitar.
I punched him in the arm. "Oh my God, you totally had me thinking the worst!"
Chris bellowed, enjoying his trickery. Douchebag.
That's when he wrapped his arms around me and kissed me to shut me up before I said something else stupid. He hugged me tight and whispered, "I knew you wouldn't last two months."
I laughed. "Okay fine, you win."
Chris laced his hand into mine. "So are we official now?"
I scoffed. "You know this doesn't count until it's on Facebook." **
Me and Chris were together for a good three months. It was mid-November, and I was incredibly happy. We had so much fun together. Because I was making that money, we saw a few shows in school. When Delorean, Kanye, and Soundgarden came rolling through Chicago, we bought tickets and enjoyed every second of it. It was amazing. I never thought I could have fun with someone as much as me and Roy.
Meanwhile, Andi kept pressing the topic of sex. One cold and rainy day, we were hanging out in her dorm before her boyfriend came over. I was helping her pick out a good outfit for her club date with him.
"So are y'all fucking yet?"
I laughed out loud, covering my face with one of her stolen magazines. "Andi, why do you have to be so blunt with it?"
"Because it's funny. This one or this one?" She held up two equally ugly tops.
"I wish I had four hands, so I could give those tops four thumbs down."
She threw one of them at me, mocking my Dave Chappelle reference.
"Well anyway, like I was saying," she continued, rummaging through her tiny closet, "frottage or not? How big is his dick? Does he eat pussy?"
"Andi, we haven't done anything yet."
"Nothing at all? Not even dry humping? Did he finger you?"
"He fingered me once, but it was only for two seconds because the fire alarm went off."
"Are you serious? So in the three months that you guys have finally been together, no sex yet?"