Your Ex-Lover is Dead Ch. 05bymiserybusiness©
Before I knew it, I was at Andi's place, which was a few blocks away from Roshanda's. Everything was racing. My thoughts, my heartbeat, the speedometer.
I was glad Andi lived where she did because any further, and I'm pretty sure I would've gotten pulled over.
Slamming the door and locking the car, I ran to the porch of Andi's crib.
Why didn't I go to Roshanda's house at first? It was simple. Every girl confided in her best friend whenever something happened between her and her man. Or in my case, ex-man. In the case of something this drastic, Andi, being the good friend that she is, came over to Roshanda's and swooped her up, brought her to her house, and bought a whole bunch of ice cream and chick movies to soothe the pain.
I rang the doorbell. After waiting a full ten seconds, I grew apprehensive and kept stabbing the doorbell with my thumb until it began to hurt.
Andi opened the door. She looked at me like she was sad but at the same time had a duty to her friend. Her hair was pulled back and she was wearing a cropped tank top and sweats, like she'd been dancing.
"Hey, Chris." She opened the door, and though I tried to edge inside, she slinked through the door and stood between me and the door.
"Hey. Is Andi here?"
"Yeah," she nodded. "But she don't wanna see you."
"I know. I fucked up. But I need to talk to her." I tried to push past her, but Andi held up her hands.
"Chris, you know you my dude and everything, but she needs her space right now. Can't you come back later? We're not done talking."
"When did she come over?" I asked, with my hands shoved in my jeans pockets like a scared little boy.
"About two hours ago. We just started talking. Can you just come back later."
Andi wasn't usually this defensive. I know her friend was in pain and all, but something seemed off.
I turned around. That's when I noticed there were three cars in front of her house. Not just me and hers.
"Who else is here, Andi?"
Andi didn't say a word. "Chris, please. Just go."
I peeked in through the little crack of space in the door and saw a black guy moving around inside. But it wasn't Andi's Chris Brown-looking boyfriend.
It was Roy.
"Andi, let me in."
Andi put up a fight, but eventually relented.
Roshanda was sitting on Andi's couch, covered in a red Snuggie, looking tired as all hell. Roy was handing her a bottle of water. Andi's boyfriend was flipping through channels.
"What the fuck is this? We have one fight and you call Roy?"
Andi closed the door, slamming it shut. "I tried to stop him, Roshanda. Chris, Roy was with my boyfriend."
"That's bullshit. She called him over."
"I can lie if I want, Chris. You've been doing that to me all along," she said, without even looking at me. Roy came up to me. But he didn't even seem confrontational. As a matter of fact, he looked way different than when I last saw him, given we were fighting. He looked calm and unthreatening.
"Chris, I'm sorry about what happened between us. But right now, Roshanda just wants to be around people she can trust."
I glared at him.
"Okay, I know she can't trust me anymore, but despite all we've been through, that's still my friend."
He had a point, but I didn't know they even still talked.
Andi's boyfriend seemed way too distracted by something on BET to care, but he eventually got up and tried to drag me away.
"Come on, not now. Just give me five minutes. That's all I need."
Roshanda rolled her eyes. "Chris, fuck off. You're a hypocrite."
"No, I just—" I sighed deep. Everyone in the room was staring at me. Even Andi's ugly cat statue that was giving me death eyes as it sat atop her mom's mantle.
"Chris," Andi began, pleading with her hands, "Just give her some time. She'll talk to you eventually."
"No." Roshanda stood up. "He can say what he wants, but I want him to say it in front of everyone."
She stepped closer to me. "You got so mad at me for lying to you about Roy. That was me lying to get with you. But everything you lied about, you lied to keep me from knowing the real you. What else don't I know about you? Are you a woman? Did you kill someone? Have I been fucking a known criminal?"
Roy looked away, obviously feeling awkward that his ex-girlfriend was talking about fucking her current boyfriend. Er—ex-boyfriend. "Sorry, Roy." She said while still looking at me.
I attempted to put my hands on her shoulders but she jerked away.
"Baby, listen. I was looking for the right time to tell you what was going on with me."
"Chris, I told you every deep dark crazy thing about me. You could have at least let me decide whether or not I would think you were insane. But you didn't. You had no faith in me. You. . .you just assume I wouldn't get it. I fucking don't understand! And you know what the crazy part is? After hearing all that shit you and your dad were talking about, I would have still stayed with you. Had it come from your mouth." She pointed to the door. "Get the fuck out. I don't wanna talk to you right now."
Just like that, I was the white elephant in the room. Everyone was staring at me. I felt like Macaulay Culkin's character in "Home Alone" when all the adults were glaring at him after he charged into his bro for eating all the pizza.
Even Roy was level-headed and civil. I knew I fucked up when he seemed like a better option than me. It made perfect sense, though. You never forgot your first love. Hers was actually alive. Of course she'd run back to him.
"I'm sorry, Roshanda. I'm sorry for all the pain I've caused." My bottom lip was quivering. Her arms were folded, and she was looking away from me, like she'd start crying any minute.
"I hope you can forgive me one day. I love you."
When I turned around, Roy was about to embrace Roshanda. Yep. She started crying. Because of me.
Soon as I left, I felt all the emotions rush to me. Pain, anguish, sadness. My anger was boiling over, but I had nowhere to direct it. Usually, when shit like this happened, I took it out on myself. So I hopped in my car and picked up a few razors. Then I sat in the car, blasting Elliott Smith, parked in some dingy lot by a dilapidated grocery store, and started slicing my wrists. This wasn't for Roshanda. This was for me. I had to punish myself for losing someone because it was my own dumb ass fault.
Soon as the blood started bursting through my cuts, I felt better. Okay, not really, but you get what I'm saying. I did two lines on each wrist. The scars from my previous cuts had faded away enough for me to lie to Roshanda and say I scratched them up in a weird skateboarding accident, back when I thought I could actually skateboard.
Fresh wounds for a fresh tragedy, right?
This was pathetic, and I knew it. But what else did I have? No, it is not healthy to depend on another human being for your sanity, but I wasn't a sane person. I was fucked up. I had co-dependency issues. I knew this. But how did I go about solving it when the one person who made me feel normal was now out of my life?
I must have sat there for at least an hour, blotting my cuts and smoking up the rest of my cigarettes. Severe chain smoking. Big time. My dad kept calling, but I turned off the phone after the third consecutive ring. I didn't want to be found. I didn't know what I wanted.
That night, I slept in my car. In that parking lot. And I really contemplated killing myself. But then I thought of how much that would hurt Ro, and I backpedaled. Okay, suicide wasn't the option here. But I needed to go somewhere and collect my thoughts. And get a new pack of cigarettes.
I drove to my favorite think spot. Wicker Park was filled with old people, as usual. And by old, I mean guys with tattoos and piercings who were well into their forties. Since I was banned from Reckless, I had to find a new hangout spot to indulge in my love of all things obscure. So I hit up Myopic Books for a few, then journeyed over to Caribou for coffee. I stood outside, sipping my expensive latte and smoking cigarettes. Got a few stares from loads of hipster girls with multi-colored hair and waifs with no ass and pixie cuts.
None of them did anything for me. I was more attracted to Roshanda than anyone else. And I loved her round, plump, fat ass. I loved to grab it when we made out. I couldn't do that with these skinny broads. I thought my day couldn't get any worse until I saw Raquel leaving Caribou and looking dead at me.
Instead of glaring at me and looking like she wanted to kill me, Raquel actually stopped and gave me this sympathetic glance. Her dreads were flung over one shoulder, and she looked me up and down as if reading me.
"Are you okay?" She asked, stepping closer. I, of course, stepped back, blowing smoke in her general direction.
"What do you care? Are you gonna get me kicked out of Caribou, too?"
She looked down at the ground and then back up at me. "I'm sorry about that. That was rude of me. I can get Otto to let you back in if you want."
Oh, by the mercy of her goodness, she was going to lift the Christopher Davis ban!
I scoffed. "Why are you talking to me? You're still convinced I killed your best friend."
She shrugged her shoulders. "I've spent too much time blaming you. I just really miss Ashleigh. And I know you do, too."
The one time she was right. However, this was still too weird.
"Look, I wanted to apologize for being such a bitch to you for so long."
A bitch? That was an understatement.
"You ran me and my dad out of our hometown. I think being a bitch is a bit of an understatement, Raquel."
She came closer and I backed away again. I contemplated walking the fuck away and getting a taco or something. But she insisted, and honestly, I was curious.
"I want to make it up to you." She pulled a rubber band from her wrist and put up her dreads. "I was a terrible person, and I regret everything I ever did to you." After looking me up and down again, she offered, "You need a place to stay? You look like you're going through something."
This was too easy. I was fully aware that she might still have a crush on me, and catching me in my fragile state was her way of seducing me the way she always wanted.
"How do you know I'm going through something? And how do I know you're not just trying to get in my pants?"
Raquel touched my shoulder. "I've changed."
"Yeah, a few days is a long time."
"I mean it." She stepped aside, seeing as we were blocking sidewalk traffic, and bent down to re-tie her black Creeper shoes. Roshanda had a pair just like that. They looked better on her.
"You just don't look too good, no offense. Like you slept in your car. Like you've been chain-smoking at least five packs in a row."
Silence. When my eyes met hers, she quipped, "You're broken up, aren't you?"
I didn't say anything. I honestly didn't even know why I was still sticking around. I guess, in my time of need, where I was close to being driven over the edge, anyone would do.
Next thing I knew, I was in Raquel's apartment, taking off my Chucks. She put some Ramen noodles in a pot and started cooking.
"Welcome to my humble abode," she called from the kitchen. "My roomie is sleeping on the couch, but you're more than welcome to use the La-Z-Boy."
I looked at the big, fluffy recliner in the corner of the living room, perfectly nestled between two shelves containing CDs.
"Thanks," I half-heartedly offered, laying my hoodie on the couch. "It's a pretty decent set-up."
Raquel must have made a lot of money from her Reckless job, because she had a flatscreen HD television, a big comfy leather recliner, matching sofa, some very expensive-looking oil paintings, and Jeffrey Campbell shoes lined up neatly by the coat closet. How did I know they were Jeffrey Campbell shoes? Because I had a shoe-obsessed girlfriend.
"All I have for now is Ramen until I get paid," she said to the fridge as she opened it, procuring some water bottles. Fiji water. Yeah, she was rich. Most normal people drank from the sink or got those dollar bottles.
She tossed me one.
"So, did she dump you or was it the other way around?"
I looked at her, holding my chilled water, puzzled. How did she know?
She slammed the fridge door shut and then backpedaled. "Sorry. Too soon?"
I actually wanted to talk about it.
"Well, not really. It's just," I sat down and ran a hand through my hair. "It was my fault."
"Your fault? How?" She sat down next to me, but kept her distance.
"I don't have anything better to do. Plus, it's the least I could do after. . . you know."
True. She did fucking owe me. Monetarily and otherwise.
I explained the stupid story to her, and she instantly felt bad. Because she knew I wasn't crazy and this affliction didn't kill Ashleigh. I just had shitty ass luck. And it just ruined the best relationship I ever had.
Raquel served us both the noodles, but she was definitely feeling bad.
"I'm so sorry," she didn't even start into her noodles, other than raking them around with her fork. "You have to try to get her back!"
"Not going to work. I think she's serious." Tears welled up. "I miss her already."
Raquel didn't give me a hug, but she did give a lot of cliché advice.
"You should fight for her. Show her you fucked up. If you really care, that is."
I shook my head and coughed to try to shove back the tears. The lump was already there, though. "No. I uh. . .I just. . .can I use your shower?"
She nodded. "Sure. Oh, and um, take this."
Raquel reached into her pocket and pulled out two hundred dollar bills.
"I know it's not nearly enough to cover what I did, but if you're as bad off as I think you are, it's a start."
I had to give her props for not being a psycho hose beast. And for giving me unnecessary cash.
"Thanks." I gave her a quick hug and then made for her bathroom. I was crying in the shower while I washed my hair with whatever scented shit was lined up on her windowsill. My life was turning into a clusterfuck. I was looking homeless, running into the arms of a woman who made my life a living hell, crying in her shower, and using her girly shampoo. All of this could've been avoided if I wasn't such a pussy. Isn't it amazing how life seems to fuck you over when you think you're doing yourself a favor?
I was crying so hard that I didn't hear anyone come in. Because the next thing I heard was Raquel go, "Chris? Are you okay? I can hear you crying from outside."
I wiped my tears away. "I'm fine." Turning around, I said, "Can we just talk when I'm done?"
But she didn't want to wait. The curtain was pushed aside, and when I turned around, she was behind me. Naked.
"Whoa!" I grabbed a towel and nearly fell back, getting drenched by the shower even more, and almost falling out of the tub. After I wrapped up my man bits, Raquel stepped out of the tub, naked as fuck. She had small boobs with huge areolas and one nipple pierced, a bushy landing strip, and a huge rose tattoo that started on her hip and extended out to her thigh.
Here I am, drenched, cold from leaving a warm shower, and fucking naked almost. "What the fuck."
"I want to make you feel better. Come on."
"I was just dumped a whole day ago. Pussy is not going to make it all better."
Raquel's bottom lip quivered. "But I thought—"
Oh my gaaaawd. Did she really think I wanted her?
"Raquel, I. . .you were being nice! I thought you really meant—"
"A girl doesn't offer you money and a place to stay if she doesn't like you, you fucking idiot!"
"Raquel, calm down!"
"No!" She snatched a towel off of a rack and wrapped it around herself. "You fucking cocksucker! I want my money back, and I want you gone!"
Crazy bitch. I was only there for a few minutes and she was already going apeshit. "Look, I'm sorry I never liked you, but it doesn't give you an excuse to be a bitch to me!"
"Yes it does, Chris! You went after every fucking floozy with weird hair. Those scene wanna-be bitches? You ate that shit up. And you never even looked at me, not once!"
"Well, I'm sorry! And come on, did you really wanna end up like everyone else? You wanna fucking die because you like me?"
There was an awkward silence. Then Raquel smiled. That did not sound good. Crazy bitches smiling meant they just got an idea to be even more crazy.
"You're right." She threw her hands up. "You're the problem. I don't want to get attached to it." She left the bathroom and I was instantly scared.
No point in asking what she was about to do. I left to get my clothes, but before I could even put one foot into my shoe, she came out of her room, armed.
I held up my hands, surrendering. "Raquel. . .don't—"
"Fuck you," she said, aiming the gun at me. "You self-righteous, self-loathing piece of shit. I'm gonna make it so that you never have to put another girl through your bullshit ever again."
She was a terrible shot. Instead of hitting me in the neck or the head or the heart, she shot me in the arm. Fucking hurt like hell, and I instantly blacked out. All I remember was a door opening, because whatever happened next landed me in the hospital. Again.