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I sniffed. “The smell of pizza is heavenly!”
Mark smiled as he turned the steering wheel and pulled up onto the driveway. “You had a hell of an appetite. How could someone so tiny eat so much pizza after thanksgiving?”
“My stomach is an abyss.”
Mark laughed. “I’ll remember that.”
With the addition of Mark paying for our half-and-half pizza, he got a large for his roommates. I remember the faint (okay, barking!) memory of my first encounter with his roommates, and I recall it being somewhat uncomfortable. The entire drive over, I was wishing they didn’t remember me as the girl who (they thought) gave Mark head.
“Who has hardly any toppings on their pizza?” Mark stated for the five billionth time.
I rolled my eyes. “Who gets the world of toppings?” I countered.
It was a strange half-and-half. An oven-baked split personality disorder. We were complete opposites; the higher power of pizza declared so, thusly.
As we entered, we saw two roommates sitting on the couch, and the other in the kitchen bringing the guys some beer.
“Hey,” Mark said, “we got you guys a large pizza.”
They just turned in their seat. “We?” one of them said.
“Yeah, this is Anna. Anna; Ricardo, Jim, and Dan.” He pointed to each one as he said their name.
“TikTok,” Dan said. He looked so bored, or high. I couldn’t tell. He had that face of someone who just doesn’t care. He didn’t smile once, and I don’t think it was bad attitude. Just…he didn’t care.
“Because he always goes for the bombing equipment and kills.” My polite smile froze. Then Mark quickly added, “In video games.”
“Oh,” I laughed. It wasn’t like I didn’t play video games. I’m part of the few people with a vagina that actually enjoys video games; I even have a favourite. It was just the context of the situation threw Mark’s comment off for me.
“Hey, you look kind of familiar,” Ricardo said. He looked just like Christian Renaldo. Enough said.
Mark was leading me back into his room, right after setting the pizza down on the coffee table before the guys.
“Yeah,” Jim squinted, “have we seen you before?” Jim didn’t have washboard abs like the others. He was just a little on the heavy side, kind of built like Joey from Friends.
“Oh!” Dan said, widening his eyes and lifting his brows. The other guys turned their attention to him and for a moment it was silent. Then, two more ‘oh’s’ followed. As if they were telepathic.
Mark smiled. I blushed.
“We can leave if you want?” Ricardo said.
Jim nodded. “Give you two some privacy?”
Dan just grinned. I blushed a deeper shade of red.
Mark rolled his eyes. “It’s not like that.”
We went inside his room.
“Just let us know!” one of them yelled out before Mark closed the door.
“Sorry about that,” Mark said.
I chuckled. “It’s okay.”
“Let me just get a few things, and then we’ll test out our little strategy.”
“Remind me what we’re doing again?”
“Okay,” Mark said, studying my body carefully, “looking hot. Check! Lips are a slight reddish-pink. Check! Heels. Check!”
“This checklist is starting to make you sound like a closet drag.” Mark burst out laughing. The voice barely echoed in the night. I shrugged. “It’s okay if you are. No judgement.”
“I’m not. I’m dressing you up in a way that’ll be appealing to the guy you meet. Guys are extremely visual, and you, my dear, are visually enticing.”
“Right. Doesn’t explain the lip colour or where you got the heels from. Was it a late night booty that left it over? Several?” The more I continued the more I sounded like I was trying to solve a mystery.
Mark chuckled again. “Quit the guessing! The heels are left over from my sister. She visits here and there, stays over, and forgets to take so much with her when she leaves. This time it was heels. And might I add, they fit you perfectly.”
He turned me around, and then around again. “Lip colour?”
Mark finally peered up from checking out my clothing. There was a devilish twinkle that I was finding extremely sexy and worrying all at the same time. “What do you think?”
I shrugged. “Men generally have a secret fetish for reddish-pink lipped girls?”
Mark laughed. “I just can’t believe you right now,” he said, more to himself. “Once I tell you, you have to promise not to freak out or get confused or hit me or whatever.”
“Ugh, great,” I closed my eyes, now suddenly, without even knowing why, feeling icky with the way I looked, “I’m going to be so upset, aren’t I?”
“I don’t know,” Mark shrugged, “let’s see.”
“Okay,” I sighed, “tell me.”
“I wanted it to be the same colour as the inner areas of your vulva.”
I blockage formed rapidly in my throat, and I started choking on my own saliva that I had built up through nervous anticipation.
“This!—” cough “—is so!—” cough, dry heaving cough, “—not sexy!” I said about the cough and the way I looked. A strange mix.
“I told you not to freak out,” Mark said.
“I’m not,” I cleared my throat twice, “I’m not. I’m just…surprised. You don’t even know what colour mine is, how could you even make my lips this colour?”
Mark smiled, almost apologetically, chewing on his lip. “I sort of had a frame of reference.”
I gulped. “Mark…”
“Frames of reference, really. Few girls. Many girls. Favourite girls,” he grinned in reminisce.
“Oh, Mark, are you telling me I’m wearing the colour of some girls’ pussy on my lips?” Mark lifted an eyebrow up, pleased that he heard me say ‘pussy’. “Where did you even hear such a—“ I put my hands up in surrender, “—forget it, I don’t even want to know. Just tell me what we’re doing here.”
“Yeah, yeah,” I said. Mark smiled.
“Okay, what you’re going to do is simple: just walk up to a guy walking his dog, someone you think is attractive, and get all squealy-girl ‘awwwwww’ on the dog. Then you’re going to ask for the name of the dog, and go from there.”
“Oh my God,” I said, shaking my head, “I feel so stupid. This is going to be so stupid.”
“No it won’t. Stop thinking so negatively.”
“What if the guy doesn’t go for me?” The image of my face after a shutdown was horrifying me.
Mark put a hand on both my shoulders. “If the guy isn’t into you, then he’d be crazy.”
I smiled, reacting to Mark’s. He’s so sweet, and fun. Just the type I needed in my life. I wonder if we—
“Anna? Are you okay?”
“Huh?” I shook my head.
Mark laughed quietly and apprehensively. “Your eyes kind of glazed over and you kind of spaced out for a minute there.”
I grinned, a little too widely. “I’m fine.”
“Okay,” Mark said. “Ready?”
I nodded, and after spotting a man down the road, said with conviction, “Ready!”