“What the actual fuck!?” Jodie exclaimed as she drove me home.
I could only nod after I explained what had happened over the weekend.
“What did you do?”
I shrugged. “What could I do?”
Jodie’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “What any girl would do when she’s been offended, like, super-insulted. You slap him.”
“You know I’m not good at confrontations.”
She nodded in agreement. “Fine, I’ll slap him for you,” she laughed.
I smiled, still drained from the aftermath.
“The thing that bugs me the most,” I said, “is that I actually thought that he was a good guy. How could I be so…”
Jodie shook her head. “Fuck him. You’re sympathies are heightened in the heat of the moment, nothing can be done about that. The fact that he took advantage of you like that was gross.”
I sighed. “What am I going to do?”
“What do you mean?”
I looked at her with red, glossy eyes. “We’re partners for a project.”
Jodie considered for a moment and then shrugged. “Just act like it never phased you?”
I chuckled. Like that was possible.
“I don’t know,” Jodie finally admitted, letting the words that mirrored my thoughts hang in the vacant, silent air.
I wanted to keep my thoughts off what happened on the weekend as much as possible. So I took up Janet’s suggestion and decided to apply for that copywriting internship. Truthfully, I only agreed to do it on the condition that she’d help me out. Normally I wouldn’t need the help, mostly because of my unyielding pride, but I’d need it after what had happened. Janet didn’t even need convincing. That was one of her best qualities; whenever I needed her, no matter how massive or miniscule the circumstance, she was there for me.
I needed to take a shower to wash off as much of the bad memories as possible, so Jodie dropped me off first and then took off. It’s not like I didn’t shower since that dreadful morning, but I showered in such a hurry, just so I could bounce out of there before Daniel came back, that I still felt unclean. As if the clean-o-meter only reached eighty per cent. I headed towards Chloe’s room just to let her know I was here so she didn’t freak out when she’d hear movement in the house, since she wouldn’t have expected me back early. But remember the ‘bad luck streak’ that so wondrously occurs in the best of moments? Yeah? It happened again. Someone up there definitely has it out for me, because as soon as I opened the door of Chloe’s room I found her on top of a guy I couldn’t see properly to recognise, or not recognise, and clearly having fun.
After a shock momentary pause, for which the man lifted his head and turned out to be her infamous ex, Scotty, Chloe quickly dismounted and wrapped herself in the bed sheet. Now us girls have this kind of relationship where it didn’t matter if we saw each other naked, and I’d proudly declare right here and now that they all have a hot body. No biggie. But to see a good friend having sex, with her ex mind you, was a visual that made me think I was going to eventually need a seeing-eye dog.
“Look away! Look away!” Chloe implored.
I jumped, turning around and covering my eyes with a hand. “I’m sorry, so sorry!”
“What the hell are you doing back so early, Anna!?” Chloe asked, her voice shaking from sheer humiliation.
“I got back early,” I said. How could I not hear them having sex? Deaf and blind ain’t a good combination!
“Yeah, obviously!” Chloe replied. “I meant to say why?”
Ah, Chloe and her ever so warm receptions.
“Uhh, girls,” Scotty intervened, “could you have this discussion later. I’m still kind of hard and horny, and this is getting exponentially weird.”
“Scotty?” I questioned. “Seriously?”
“Don’t say a word, Anna,” Chloe warned.
“But Scotty!?” I exclaimed finally.
“Just shut up and get out, please.”
I raised my hands in surrender. “I am gone, girl.”
I grabbed clean clothes and my toiletries, because I didn’t want to stay there any longer knowing what was going, and ran out of there. By the time I got to Janet’s I was crawling to her bathroom to take a shower. Now I wanted two shameful memories out of my head.
I hadn’t told Janet straight away, more so because I wanted her to focus on getting me that internship, but halfway through we took a breather and I chose this time to tell her everything. Well, probably just the moment I saw Chloe riding Scotty till I came home.
Janet’s eyes widened all throughout until I finished. “You’re kidding,” she said.
I shook my head. “I wish.”
“Well what the hell is she doing back with Scotty?”
I hadn’t even thought of that. “Do you really think they’re back together?”
“Well what do you think?”
I shrugged. “It’s got to be just sex.”
Janet crinkled her nose. “Is that even better?”
“I have no idea.”
“Well whatever it is, I hope it ends soon. Scotty broke her heart tremendously. I mean, he left her for one of her good friends. You just can’t come back from that shit twice. Whatever the case, I hope he’s not fooling her again. He better be bangin’ solo.”
I didn’t even think of the possibility that Scotty could be cheating on Chloe’s ex-friend with Chloe. If that were true, this web of lies just weaved itself into Shitsville.
I didn’t have the energy to continue on any longer, but thankfully the internship application didn’t take that long, and I had already prepared most of what I needed to write. After the send-off, I was pretty beat but I didn’t want to go home just yet. While I was thinking of where to go next (and about to settle on a pizza place that stays up late not far from here) my phone buzzed and I got message from Daniel.
‘Where are you? Are you okay? We’re looking everywhere for you?’ he wrote.
In my blind desperate need to get out of there I hadn’t considered the amount of commotion I would have caused with my absence. ‘I’m fine,’ I wrote back. ‘Got an early flight back to California.’
‘Why the hell would you worry everyone like that?’ he wrote immediately after.
‘Why the hell would you treat me like a whore and pay me for sleeping with you?’
Seconds passed. Minutes. Lots of minutes. There was no response. I hated that. When you think you’re having a conversation with someone and then all of a sudden they check out without letting the front desk know. For some reason, after my experiences with having little conversations via text messaging, I trained myself into being that person that didn’t respond. Just so I didn’t have to feel the way non-responders made me feel, all anxious of their response or just waiting for one like a sad little dog pawing at a door for its way in. I thought about being the non-responder when I first anticipated a text from Daniel, but I forgot as soon as I saw his name pop up on my screen.
‘We’ll talk when I come back,’ he wrote later.
I couldn’t wait.
In that same instant, Adam texted me. ‘I have some news to tell you. It’s good news. I want to celebrate it with you. Have dinner with me Saturday night?’
I sighed, exhausted. Should I take Adam up on his offer, especially after what had happened? At least one thing I knew was for sure, no pizza for me tonight. I’m crashing right here on Janet’s sofa.
***Hi everyone! I hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year! Can anyone find the reference to pop culture in this post? Post your answer in the comments section and if I see the right one, I’ll post a sneak peek of next week’s post in the next few days! See you soon! xo***