“Did you hear?” I asked Janet and Jodie together while Chloe was mixing the drinks. “Chloe signed me up on some dating site.”
“No freakin’ way,” Janet said at the same time Jodie gasped and added, “Are you serious?”
I leaned back. “You guys already knew didn’t you?”
“A little bit,” Janet replied, simply.
“How come everyone knew except me?” I yelled over the music and crowd to Chloe.
Chloe rounded with four drinks in hand. “Because you would’ve refused.”
“Maybe, maybe not,” I shrugged. “This is too weird.”
“Well, the open invitation is until the beginning of December. By then, the offer is withdrawn.”
“Oh, great, which means I have the next couple of weeks to decide whether or not I want to be wined and dined in another country with a complete stranger.”
“Just make sure you’re close enough to the locals so they can hear you scream,” Janet joked.
The girls laughed and I tried coiling mine that it came out sputtering. “Not funny. What if the guy expects sex?”
“Apparently, it’s not that type of website,” Chloe said. “Relax. I’ve been on a date with a well-to-do guy and it was fun. They pay for everything. Legit, they love treating their women.”
“A treat would be an enigma,” I muttered, to which the girls threw their heads back and laughed.
The party got louder when more and more people began foiling into the compact apartment. Chloe was holding the party at hers, which had rooftop access (lucky her) so a lot of people spread here and throughout the top. When I started seeing a red-haired girl fumbling through the front door, I picked up a couple of drinks and headed for her.
“Hey guys,” I greeted Ahly and Toby, handing them beers. I didn’t even know if they liked beer.
“Hey,” Toby hugged me.
“Great party,” Ahly said, after we parted our hug.
“Great place,” Toby added.
“Oh, it’s my friend’s Chloe’s place,” I pointed. Toby’s eyes landed on hers; Chloe smiled and looked away. I winced at the exchange.
As we moved deeper into the room, Toby detached from us and headed for Chloe. They struck up a conversation that even from far away I could tell Toby was shy about. Chloe was acting all girly-girl and I considered telling Toby that she catfished people, posing as me, just to spite her. Ode to the bitch.
“Oh, I almost forgot,” Ahly said, “my ex is the one that dropped us four off. He’ll be here if you don’t mind.”
I shook my head. “Oh, no, not at all…” then I ceased shaking my head, suddenly registering the number. “Four?” Ahly innocently sipped her beer. I tilted my head. “Ahly…”
“I couldn’t help it, they latch on like lovers,” she was quick to say. “I swear, sometimes I think Michael is giving my ex better head than me.”
I burst out laughing. “Guarantee you that’s not true. Michael is too conceited and selfish for that shit.”
“You’re right. He’d probably be the first to whip it out.”
We giggled into our jokes when Ahly’s ex and Michael pushed through the front door.
“Doesn’t he have anything else to wear?” I asked Ahly when I noticed Michael wearing the exact same leather jacket, white shirt, black jeans combo I always see him wearing.
“He’s got like 50 of those. Wears it all the time. Nice winter shit, but goes white shirt and leather or shirtless in summer.”
“He’s just everywhere. I feel like he’s haunting me.”
“Maybe he’s just here for the free drinks and girls. He party crashes all the time.”
I think that was Ahly’s way of indirectly telling me to get over myself. “Maybe you’re right.”
“Hey ladies,” Michael popped up.
“Hey Michael,” Ahly replied. I didn’t. “Find parking okay?”
“Oh, yeah, definitely. Hey, Ahly, he’s looking for you.”
“Really? Okay—” Ahly turned to me— “be right back. Bye.”
Before I could stop her, she left leaving smoke and skid marks billowing.
“Too easy,” Michael laughed.
“I’m pretty sure you’re treading on federal crime territory right now,” I said.
His eyes widened. “Does that make me a bad boy?” He lifted a brow up and down.
I rolled my eyes and smiled at his forwardness. “Why are you here? Of all the days you pick my birthday.”
“Today’s your birthday?” he furrowed his brows. “I thought we were just partying.”
“My birthday passed. We are now celebrating it; we westerners like to do that shit.”
“Are you implying that I’m fresh off the boat?”
“I’m implying that you’re an Alien. Not from this planet. You are so far out and out of your mind that if a meteor hit us the shockwave would take about a zillion years until it hit you.”
“Great diss. Well done. You deserve a gold star.”
“Ugh why do you love to annoy me?”
He laughed. “I don’t annoy you.”
“Oh, you’re going to tell me how I feel now?”
“I’m saying you let me get to you. You’re an easy target.” He tapped a random girl in passing on her shoulder. “Hey, grab me a vodka would you sweetheart—” he tapped her on her nose and winked— “good girl.”
The girl flicked her bewildered eyes over to me and then walked away before I had time to shrug.
“Smooth,” I said.
“Thanks.” To my shock, the girl was back with his drink. He handed her a twenty. “Keep ‘em coming.”
“Well don’t I feel a lot better. Here I thought you had it in for me this whole time but nope, you’re just an asshole to everyone.”
“Took you a while.”
“Okay, ba-bye, Spoc, your mothership awaits.”
“You don’t even want your present?” Michael called from behind. I did the Vulcan salute followed by a middle finger as I walked away. I’m sure at least one will translate.