I Only Have Eyes For You Ch. 04bymiserybusiness©
The next morning, I awoke to nobody in the bed next to me. I was swimming in sheets, totally naked, wondering what the hell happened the night before.
But I remembered. The legendary threesome that would never leave my memory.
I threw on a pair of shorts and went downstairs. Tiffany was at the table in the kitchen, eating cereal. She seemed really out of it. Disenchanted almost.
Perhaps she was thinking about the other night, as well?
I slept over at Ralph's a lot, and without fail, he was normally in the kitchen pouring himself a bowl, unless he was mad or upset.
Tiffany looked up at me, spoon in midair, just about to enter her mouth. She looked back at her food and kept eating.
I sat down across from her and just stared, elbows resting on the dinner table.
"Good morning," I touched her hand, but she moved it away like I was a serpent. What gave?
She just kept chewing, looking dead to the world. The light in her eyes that I normally saw was completely extinguished.
When she slurped the remaining contents from her bowl, Tiffany dropped the spoon into her bowl. She looked dead at me and frowned. "Hello, Brendan."
I was confused. I adjusted my glasses and said, "Five minutes later. What's the matter with you?"
She narrowed her eyes. "You know what's wrong, Brendan. I don't think the drugs lasted that long.
I only took half of a tablet. And so did you."
Shit. I knew she was frosted.
My heart rate sped up a bit. We were in for a nice, long, heated conversation. I knew it.
"Dollface, listen. I—"
"Don't call me dollface."
"Fine. Tiffany, I—"
"Why did you let that happen? I feel like you used me last night. You and Ralph."
Wait. What? Was she serious? I specifically remember her being all over Ralph in the Jacuzzi.
Before I got really angry, I calmed myself down. Maybe if I explained to her that I really cared and it was just one-time thing, she'd understand. There were birds chirping outside. I heard the milkman placing a fresh bottle of milk on Ralph's porch. He always came at this time. Such peaceful discourse outside, such negative energy inside.
I cleared my throat. "It's never gonna happen again."
She scoffed. "Of course it's not. You will never get another chance to treat me like a piece of meat again."
"Tiffany," I started, "All of us weren't in our right minds. It was the drugs. And you know it."
"Brendan, you can only blame so much on the drugs. When Ralph threw himself at me, you could have stopped him."
"Tiffany, I was high!"
"Well so was I! I was waiting on you to tell Ralph to go away! But you didn't do it, Brendan."
Okay, now I was really getting upset. How dare she blame this whole thing on me when she's the one who took part in it. She wasn't totally innocent.
"Tiffany!" I banged my fists on the table, rattling her bowl and its spoon. "You started it!" She rolled her eyes. "Okay, Brendan. I started it."
"You did! Soon as you yelled out that you wanted to fuck me. You were just as high as me! Don't act like it's not your fault too!"
"Brendan, we made out! Big deal! I was in the moment!"
"Well so was I, goddamit!"
More birds chirped. I was breathing heavy because I thought something bad would happen if I didn't calm down.
"I just," I looked around, trying to see if Ralph was still hidden from view, and continued, "You know how this neighborhood is. The most exciting thing that ever happens is the opening of another furniture store. You can't lie and say you had fun doing something that you really weren't supposed to be doing."
I'd made a good point, because she kept looking down, then up at me. She finally spoke. "Okay, you're right. But still, I—"
"Tiffany, I know. I feel really bad, too. But like I said, it'll never happen again. I love you too much to risk us being together."
"If that's true, why did you let your friend fuck me?"
"You fucking let him!" She was having a cow, and I was supposed to be okay with it? No! Tiffany could not have been more wrong.
"You sucked his dick. You made out with him. You let him do what you wanted and then some. It's not. All. My. Fault."
Me and Tiffany looked at each other for a moment. I was turning red, and my lips were pursed, that weird tic I always did when I was upset. She had her jaw clenched, like she was trying hard not to squirt some.
Like the moment couldn't have been any more awkward, Ralph walked in, wiping sweat off of his forehead, obviously getting in from doing some garden work.
"Hey. I was just cutting the gra—" He saw Tiffany, a tear rolling down her cheek.
"What's going on?"
I got up abruptly. She needed her space, and I'd give it to her. Besides, I wanted to leave this house.
"Ralph, let's go into town."
He looked at his sweaty clothes and then back at me, then at Tiffany. "But—"
"Don't worry, we won't be gone long. Let's just get out of here."
Ralph shrugged his shoulders and continued wiping sweat off of his brow. "Okay. Shouldn't we wait on Tiffany?"
I looked at him, giving him the why-did-you-say-that look.
Going into town wouldn't exactly be safe for the three of us to go. And by the three of us, I meant Tiffany.
Our malt shop date wasn't as bad as we thought it would be, but we weren't dating then, and we were in a less racist part of town. The shops where me and Ralph frequented were extremely prejudiced. I didn't want to deal with people saying or doing anything uncalled for.
Tiffany stood up, retying her robe. "Don't worry. I'm not going," she wiped away another tear and sniffled.
"Brendan doesn't wanna be seen with me unless there's no one around. Plus, it's not like he'd protect me if something happened." She walked off, running upstairs. I heard a door slam. Ralph flinched. I didn't.
Ralph was driving in the car, passing the Laundromat, post office, and grocery store. I hadn't said a word the whole drive. Ralph was yapping and yapping. Probably to avoid what was inevitable.
"I need some new jeans and a nice pair of Converse. I like the pair you have. Nice and classic."
I just blurted it out. "Tiffany's mad because of last night."
Ralph totally ignored me. "I think another sweater, too." He looked at me, seeking my approval. "You want one? I still owe you for buying me that bouquet for Dora."
"Ralph, did you hear what I said?"
He stopped at a red light. The crossing guard was ushering a group of small children with their mom across the street.
"I knew this would come up. Look, if she's mad at me—"
"She's mad at me. She thinks the whole deal could've been avoided. And she thinks we weren't high enough to have done what we did. Especially me."
"Tiffany will get over it. You love her. Besides, she was having fun, I don't know why she's so mad all of a sudden."
"She's never been mad like this, though. I think this time, it's really bad."
When Ralph was only a block away from the strip mall, he sighed. "Brendan, we probably did really fuck up. But it happened. We just have to deal with it. I know she's scared because you guys are technically on the run and you don't know what's gonna happen next, but she has to know you mean well."
I didn't think she did. I kept having this nagging feeling in the back of my head that she just didn't trust me.
"I don't think she knows. I feel like she'll never completely trust me because I'm white. And she probably feels like I won't because she's black."
Ralph parked in a nearby lot and turned off the engine. "Well, can you blame her? I don't think she can trust anyone. Her own parents are bananas. They burned crossed on their own yard just to have an excuse to leave. Who does that? And then your parents are stuffier than my aunt's attic on a hot summer day."
Since when was Ralph the voice of reason?
"She's scared. And you have to convince her that she has nothing to be scared of."
This wasn't easy. I held my face in my hands and rubbed. "Ralph, this is getting to be too much. Maybe in the future this won't be a problem, but right now?" I groaned. "I don't even know what I wanna do with my life, and I have this girl who's perfect, but it's getting so hard for us because we're different. I can't run from my parents forever and neither can she. We're bad for each other. This is only going to get worse."
Ralph frowned. "You're giving up on her? You're really thinking about it? Brendan, don't be such a wussy. If you love her, fight for her," Ralph got out of the car. Before he slammed it, he growled, "At least you have a fucking lover." The impending slam made me flinch.
Was I being a wussy? Or was I just being smart?
"There's not a reason on this planet why you and Tiffany can't be together. What happened last night was a one-time deal, and it will never happen again. Don't you hear about what kids in college do on a regular basis? They practically have orgies." Ralph reasoned, taking a bite out of his burger.
I rolled up the sleeves of my t-shirt and sighed. I was so depressed. "We shouldn't have done it. And Tiffany will never trust me again. I feel like an idiot."
"Brendan, you're not an idiot. Just remind her why you fell in love with her to begin with."
I shook my head. "No use. She hates me." I slurped some of my milkshake.
"Okay. Fine." He went back to his food. "Forget I said anything. You just grow old and tell your grandkids, who will come from your kid, who will come from a woman you don't even love, that you had a chance at real love and ruined it just because she was black."
He had a point. One of my friends said his mom fell in love with a black man so many years ago but got scared when he told her to run away with him, to Europe. She declined, and she still regretted it.
Would that be me?
"Brendan, I know you think I'm an unlikely voice of reason, but seeing you and Tiffany together, I see the exact relationship I'd kill for. Now do a fellow a favor and just go to her." Ralph tossed me the keys to his car.
I frowned, even though I was smiling a bit. "But. . .why aren't you going?"
"I'm meeting a friend here soon. He said he'd drive me home." Ralph waved me off. "Go."
I took his advice. "Thanks, buddy."
And I was off.
While I drove there, I kept thinking of how much Tiffany meant to me. I was a fool to think I could live without her. As soon as I met her, I felt like I was truly alive. Like I had a purpose and I knew what I wanted. She was amazing. And I was pretty sure I wouldn't find another girl like her.
I was never happier to see Ralph's house. As soon as I opened the door, I walked in, smiling. "Tiffany!" I bellowed, looking around for her. "Tiff! Where are you, dollface?"
As I kept going through the house, I saw a cracked door. It led to Ralph's dad's study.
When I walked in, there was Tiffany.
"Tiffany!" I ran to her. But something stopped me dead in my tracks.
Tiffany held up two pictures. I looked at each of them.
Someone had actually taken Polaroids of the threesome.
That's when Tiffany handed me a note. It was plain and simple.