The weekend went on quicker than I thought. I knew time flies when you have fun, but it felt like time had the engine of a Formula 1 sports car. Zero to out the window in three seconds. We went out on both Friday night and Saturday, mostly dressing up for dinner or lunch and just hanging out on the bustling streets of New York. Sunday, though, was one of two things: our lazy day and D-day.
“I don’t want to go,” I pouted, squeezing Daniel’s waist as I lay on him in bed.
He pulled me in closer. “Then don’t, stay a little bit longer. Stay a week.”
I laughed. We were watching television in Daniel’s room, but not even if the volume was on full blast would we pay attention to it.
“I can’t stay,” I said, “I have so much to do this week. Not to mention switching internships.”
“Oh, yeah. Can’t you move that to another day?”
I looked at Daniel. “Would you do that?”
Daniel paused. “Yes. Yes I would.”
I smacked him lightly. “Liar.”
The bracelet that Daniel gave to me hadn’t left my wrist since it was put on. It twinkled when I moved suddenly. Daniel held my hand up. “Be careful with this,” he said with mock seriousness, “or you’ll get on my list.”
I took my hand and saluted. “Yes, sir.”
Daniel grinned. “I like that. Say that again.”
I smiled, my heart picking up in anticipation. “Yes, sir.”
Daniel started moving forward, and as he did, he gently pushed me off his chest and onto my back. He took off his shirt immediately after. I started undressing myself as well, not wanting to waste any more time. His roommates were all out, and we had this moment all to ourselves. We could do anything else with an audience, but sex is a no-no. And our alone time was few and far between. It wasn’t easy having all the roommates go out at the same time, because most of the time they weren’t going out all the together. Well, maybe with the exception of Brian and Samantha.
Ugh, there she goes again. Creeping up in my mind again. I had to say something. Now or never. Quick! Before Daniel takes off his boxers!
“Daniel,” I breathed, “I need to ask you something.”
Daniel looked up from his boxers confusedly. “Now?”
I nodded. “I need it now.”
Daniel sighed, but then smiled. “Sure.”
Okay, think first…now go. “So Samantha, huh?”
Daniel blinked and nodded. “Samantha? What about her?”
“Just that,” I said, “I don’t…I don’t feel so…good.”
Daniel furrowed his brows, and then backed off of me. He sat on the bed and I sat up straight facing opposite him.
“I just don’t understand why you didn’t mention her before. Did you know you guys were going to live together when you moved up here? Does she have some sort of feeling towards you because she gave me a mean look Friday night before we left, when I only smiled at her? Is she going to be here long?”
Daniel chuckled. “Is that all?”
I went bright red. “Just, what’s the deal with her basically? I’m not really used to this.”
Daniel took my hand. “You’re actually kind of cute when you’re jealous.”
“I’m not jealous,” I said, taking my hand and crossing my arms over my chest.
Daniel laughed and threw his hands up in the air in surrender. “Alright, alright,” he then took my hand back in his again, “I should have told you, I’m sorry. I didn’t want to turn it into some big deal so I thought that acting like it was normal, I guess, would make it seem normal and easier on you. It kind of is normal if you think about it; it’s more common than you think.”
“I guess I’m kind of new to that then,” I said.
“She has a boyfriend,” he continued, “whom I live with as well, so she shouldn’t have any feelings towards me. If she did, I promise you, I’d do something about it. I’d move, or talk to her, or both, whatever’s appropriate. And I don’t think she meant anything about ‘the look’,” he did bunny marks, “that you think she gave you. You probably just mistook it or something.”
He really made me feel a lot calmer about the whole situation. It was still annoying that he didn’t tell me beforehand, but he had his reasons, and I could live with it. Everything was fine…except that last part. Why was it difficult for him to take that look she gave me seriously? Instead he turned it into a joke and, more so, basically said it was all in my head. But I decided to let it go. I can’t complain about everything, can I? Pick your battles, pick your battles.
I smiled and motioned Daniel to come closer. “You are something you know that?”
“I know,” Daniel said.
“I’m glad we spoke.”
“You’re able to speak with me about whatever, you know that right?”
I nodded. “I know.”
“Now,” he said, running up a hand over my thigh while lifting an eyebrow, “want to take a shower?”
We shredded our clothes and left the room to go the bathroom in seconds. Yes, there were lady-bits popping every which way. I fiddled with Daniel as he took the time (and he really took his time!) to balance the hot-to-cold water ratio. I pulled him around, and got down on my knees, working my magic to get him even harder. I was aiming for maximum strength!
When the steam playfully encircled us, we hopped into the shower. Daniel placed me up against the wall right away and got to working pretty quickly. He kissed me up and down my neck, suckling on my ear lobe as soon as he ran his hand down. This was one of my favourite things he ever does to me. It’s one of the best because it just makes his jazz hands all the more better, and turns the vibrato session into a full-fledged concerto.
“I love you,” I whispered.
Daniel stilled his handi-work and pulled away from my ear lobe to look at me. He smiled, moving the wet hair that started falling around my face with his free hand, and then kissing me. I returned the kisses and then started moaning into his mouth when the imaginary jazz music came on. He played me like a star!
We were about to get more into things, and I was so excited, but then of course, we started hearing the door open and close. Heels worked the floor and I was almost furious. Daniel tapped out, first freezing on my lips and then parting. We stood there in the silence, the water still thrashing, and just listening to Samantha’s footsteps clicking and clacking on the hardwood floor. Daniel took his hand out and just placed it next to mine. He hovered over me like a statue, and we could do nothing else but…well, nothing.
Suddenly, the door opened. I couldn’t be more shocked. Can’t this girl hear the water?
“Oh, hey Daniel,” Samantha said, “sorry to interrupt.”
“Yup,” was all Daniel said.
“Hey, where’s your girlfriend?”
I motioned my hand left and right under my neck, shaking my head at the same time. I knew he’d get the hint.
“She’s out right now,” he said.
“Oh. She seems nice.”
“Nice?” Daniel asked.
“Yeah, I mean, if you’re into the whole rigid thing. She seems kind of stiff when you’re around me. That kind of girl usually doesn’t last long in a relationship because she’s always driving the man crazy with her jealousy.”
“You think Anna’s jealous.”
“I just think Anna’s got something against me, that’s all.”
I rolled my eyes wondering where this conversation was going. More importantly, I was wondering why the fuck she seemed so comfortable talking to my boyfriend while he was showering. Why is there a conversation happening in the first place?
“You don’t know her like I do,” Daniel said, “she’s not like that. Now would you mind?”
“Sure,” she said, “just one quick question. I’m trying to find my eyelash curler, have you seen it anywhere?”
Daniel furrowed his brows in confusion. “Why would I?”
Samantha laughed. “Well, you know how girls and guys are, sometimes they switch memory capacity and it’s the women that forget. I mean, I was thinking the other day…”
Her voice trailed on, her spoken words stretching out from one word, to a sentence, to a paragraph, to a fucking essay. I was all cool with her before. Friday night, I swear I was just about to forget everything had it not have been for that look she gave me. When Daniel answered my questions about her, he made it really easy for me not to worry. But after chatting up my guy while he showered, with the pretence that I was out, was a big, fat, cataclysmic, no-no!
I could see Samantha shrug through the blurry pane after she finally finished her stupid oral presentation. “Well anyway, I was just asking. Okay then. See you later.” She said it all bubbly like everything was totally normal. I was so close to believing she was about to set up camp and never leave.
We both listened out for her footsteps and for the door opening and closing. When all that happened I lost my appetite with Daniel and just wanted out. I couldn’t have been more uncomfortable and infuriated!
“What the fuck was that?” I asked Daniel as we dried up and then moved to his room to get dressed.
“How should I know?”
“Why is she so comfortable going in the bathroom like that, and having a conversation with you while you’re showering?”
Daniel stopped getting dressed, pausing at his jeans on and no shirt. “I can’t help but sense an underlying accusatory tone going on there.”
“Do you really think that was okay in there?”
Daniel shook his head. “No I don’t.”
“And did you see what I was talking about?”
“She has it out for me,” I said, my voice getting a little angrier and louder.
Daniel chuckled humourlessly. “Don’t be ridiculous, Anna. Whatever agenda you think she has against you is all probably just in your head.”
The sting. I was just a little offended by that. And coming from Daniel, it hurt that much more. “I’m being serious here. I’m seriously not comfortable with her living with you.”
“Oh, so living with a girl roommate is bad for you, but getting kissed by Derek isn’t. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.”
I took a moment to digest this and then narrowed my eyes. “We’re not even arguing about Derek here, leave him out of this.”
“Oh God, you are so quick to defending him—”
“I am not!”
“Then what the fuck are you doing, Anna?” he asked, bringing his hands out in frustration. “You’re actually kind of being a hypocrite right now, and I got to say, it’s not a good look on you. I mean, when the tables are turned, suddenly I’m the bad guy.”
“Oh come on! This is not the same situation at all. I didn’t just let Derek come into the bathroom while I was showering and have a conversation with me.”
“Well what the hell was I supposed to do!?”
I shook my head, sighing with irritation. “You know what,” I said, moving to my suitcase, “figure that part out for yourself. I have to go.”
Daniel watched me with a pained expression. “What are you doing? Just stop being so dramatic, your flight isn’t for another few hours or something.”
I continued on, ignoring him as he kept on. Eventually I was pulling my suitcase across to the front door and Daniel was following me, putting on a jacket.
“What are you doing?” I asked, my voice seasoned with a monotone and just a touch of irritation.
“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m accompanying you to the airport.”
“You don’t have to,” I said, like a pouty kid.
Daniel sighed. “Look, Anna, just because we’re fighting, doesn’t mean I’m going to ditch you now, like you.”
I narrowed my eyes. “I’m not ditching you.”
He shook his head. “Whatever.”
Despite my efforts to keep him at bay, he came with me anyway. Our cab ride was excruciating. I was trying to avoid his gaze so much, that I was looking out the window for too long (and forcefully at times) that my neck started hurting. About half way there, I put my head back and closed my eyes.
We ended up having to wait around at the airport because I was obviously way too early, although I didn’t want to admit that to Daniel. When it was my time to leave, Daniel pulled me at my jacket into a hug.
“We have to finish this some time,” he said. I nodded in agreement as I pulled away, tears already starting to creep up. “I just wish we didn’t have to leave it like this on such a sour note,” he said.
“Yeah, well,” I shrugged, “what can you do?”
Daniel shook his head in disappointment. “Nothing I guess.”
“Thanks for taking me,” I said.
Daniel’s chest rose and fell quickly in apprehension. “Anna, I—”
The announcement for my flight cut him off. I pulled further away from Daniel, and nearer to the crowd of travellers. We said our goodbyes and I walked away, without knowing what he was going to say.
I think I was too mentally spent to think of anything at all. This was our first big, big, fight, and it was crushing. The worst thing about it was that I wasn’t going to see him for another, I don’t know what, days, weeks, months, and that was going to kill me more than anything. I couldn’t remember enough of what we both said to be able to tell who was right and who was wrong. The only thing that stuck with me the most, as I sat in my aisle seat next to an old woman, was the word ‘hypocrite’. It weighed heavily on me, like crazy. I knew Daniel wasn’t the kind of guy to call me something without meaning it, so it was only logical that it left me wondering if he really meant it or that maybe just this once, he said it just to say it.
Also, I didn’t know who was to blame. Was it me? Was it Daniel? Both? Neither? Would it have made a difference if I made it known to Samantha that I was in the shower with him? Would it have made a difference if I never interacted with Derek, even after what he’s done for me, despite his bad moments? I seriously wondered if any of that helped. Why are people so quick to place blame on someone? Was the possibility that no one can be at fault so preposterous that it was far-fetched? Maybe blame was such a concrete answer that it was simple to just go that route, and forget that some things are just mistakes or misunderstandings or lessons. I couldn’t pin-point an answer. All I could do was ask, should we blame, blame for what is entirely out of our control?
“That’s one hell of a bracelet you got there,” the old woman said.
She snapped me out of my zombie state. I looked at the twinkling effect it had, and started turning it around my wrist. Then I smiled. “My boyfriend gave it to me.”
“Damn,” she said, “at that age the only thing my boyfriend gave to me was regret. You’ve got a keeper there.”
I sighed, lifting my head back and closing my eyes in thought. “I know.”