He wasn’t taking the break up well and we were all suffering the consequences. “No Black!” He shouted over everyone’s conversation at the table, referring to the beans in the burrito he had just ordered, obviously. My face turned bright red. If it wasn’t already colorful from the day of sun and drinking I had just had, the waiter might have noticed how embarrassed I was. I quickly realized I wasn’t alone when I caught eyes with everyone sitting near me. Everyone but Scott, of course, who continued to casually look through the drink menu, oblivious to what had just happened. He flipped through the pages and muttered inaudible thoughts to himself. “You might want to be a little more careful with your choice of words, especially around the only black waiter in the restaurant,” Chris whispered as soon as the man was out of sight. Scott turned another page in the drink menu and ignored his friend’s advice by using a defense only drunk people and children practice known as “selective hearing”. I made a mental note to tip our server extra.
I looked over across the table where Christina was sitting. Her dress wasn’t quite as form fitting as the bathing suit she had been wearing on the river earlier that day. Occasionally, she would lean over to laugh and I could see the line between winter and summer on her chest. She had tan, healthy looking skin, the kind you would see in a Noxzema commercial . She had long brown hair that bounced and shined and did all those things that are promised to you on the label of your shampoo bottle. Occasionally, she would flip it back and suddenly a Barry White song would play in my head.
I could see why Scott drank himself stupid, she would be a hard one for anybody to get over. I adverted my eyes to someone else at the table, scared she might catch me staring at her. Everyone else was too drunk and engaged in conversation to notice me watching them. I looked over at Scott again, whose attention was now drawn to the extra set of silverware in front of him. He unrolled the napkin like it contained the lost treasure of Atlantis. The five o’clock shadow he had the last time I saw him was now a three week beard. His hair covered most of his face and I hadn’t seen him look up and make eye contact with anyone for a good five minutes. I couldn’t tell if he was in deep thought about Christina or if he was just trying to look like he was in deep thought about Christina. I wondered what he would do if he knew what I was thinking about.
The trouble started earlier that morning. We were pre-partying before we went to the river, which was before dinner, which was before going out to the bars, so technically you could say we were pre-pre-pre-partying. “You know what we should do?” I asked Christina enthusiastically. She leaned in and whispered “What?” I held up my index finger like I was about to reveal a genius idea. “We should drink this champagne straight from the bottle! Real O.G. style!” I then put it to my lips and lifted it over my head, not taking into account the fact that it was completely full and chugging out of it from a vertical position might be a problem. The force of the sparkling liquid was too much and I quickly spit it all out in a kind of spray mist form. Half of it came out of my mouth, half out of my nose, and all of it covered the kitchen counter. My eyes teared up and I wiped my face with the sleeve of my shirt. We both looked at each and burst into laughter. A little more came out of my nose.
“I’m back!” Scott announced as he swung open the door and clumsily walked inside. Christina and I were the only two up, everyone else was still sleeping. Back from 7-11? Back from McDonald’s? Back from spending the night in the dumpster? “Diiidjggyoou know that the bars open at 7 a.m. this weekend?” He said out loud to no one in particular. Christina grabbed my wrist and gave me a look that seemed to say “It’s gonna be a long day isn’t it?” I then lifted my glass of champagne and gave her a cheers. As I did this, she moved her hand onto my leg and whispered in my ear “We should make out,” then set her glass down and walked up the stairs. I watched Scott smoke his cigarette outside and tried my best to hide the shock from my face.
He had the appearance of someone who had just been dumped. It was like something out of a bad movie: the beard, the long hair, the drunken slurs, the shabby unwashed shirt. It all seemed a little theatrical. “You can not hook up with Christina, you can not hook up with Christina, you can NOT hook up with Christina.” I repeated over and over again in my head. So far I had a perfect record. Not once had I ever fooled around with a friend’s girlfriend or ex-girlfriend, although, not once had I ever really had an offer.
I could hear the pounding of footsteps descending from the second floor. I looked up to see her bare legs making their way down the staircase. She was hot. Much hotter than me. It would be hard to describe her hotness without adding at least one more adjective like say “Smokin Hot”. She came down in a two-piece bathing suit and asked me if I could put lotion on her back. I felt like I was in a scene from “American Pie 7: The gang goes to Chico, California.” I tried to rub it in as quickly and dutifully as possible, as if I were executing some common household chore like wiping down the kitchen counter. A small panic attack came over me when I realized she was going to be seeing me with my shirt off very soon.
We bought three 30 packs of bud light for 12 people, equaling about eight beers a person. They were gone by the time we left the river. We were constantly swatting away mosquitoes while we walked back to the cars in our muddy sandals and wet bathing suits. It was the middle of May and we all had that first day of summer sunburn. Everyone called out their order in the shower line as we drove home. “I got first shower!” Chris exclaimed. “No! you’re after me! It’s my house I have first shower!”
My number ended up being one of those high ones that meant there would be no hot water.
I had successfully avoided her all day. On the river, I made sure there was a minimum of at least 3 to 4 inner tubes separating us at all times. When we got back to the apartment, I showered downstairs where all the other guys did, and she showered 24 steps above me where all the other girls did. At dinner we had 6 people, 6 chairs, 6 plates and 6 sets of silverware in between us. It had been almost 10 hours with nary a word spoken. This, however, was all before we got to the bar, where I knew the real challenge would be waiting for me.
First off, I had to dance with her. It’s not my fault the d.j. was playing the jams and none of the other girls wanted to break out of the little circular fortress they had created. She set down her fruity blue drink, bent over in front of me and started dancing like I was 50 Cent and she was auditioning for a spot in my next video. I then had to smack her ass a little bit. It’s not my fault she was shaking it in my crotch, it would have been rude not to. She started shouting the lyrics of the song with everyone else on the dance floor. “To the Windoooooooww to the Wall!!! . . to the sweat drop down my balls!! . . to all the bitches crawl!!” I did a quick scan around the room and briefly caught eyes with Scott who was dancing with another girl and trying to pretend like he didn’t notice us. “I’m gonna get another beer,” I shouted in her ear. What I really wanted was to do was run into the bathroom and splash a bunch of cold water on my face like they do in the movies. Perhaps I’d give myself a little pep talk with generic motivational phrases like “Stay strong” or “You can do this.” Instead, I took a sip of my drink and said “”Ok” when Christina asked me if I would walk her to the bathroom. It’s not my fault we both needed to pee at the exact same time.
We walked to a corner of the bar that was partially secluded from everything else. When we got to a point where no one could see us anymore, she turned around and gave a smirk. “I don’t really have to go to the bathroom,” she admitted as she inched towards my face keeping her eyes locked with mine. “This is it” I thought to myself. “This is the moment.” Her lips were now dangerously close to mine. “THIS . . is the defying moment in your life, Brian, when you find out what you are made of. THIS . . is the moment your character is put to the test revealing what kind of man you are. THIS . . . . . . is what it feels like to have Christina’s tongue down your throat!”
Before I could make the right decision, we were in a full on make out session. Hands on her waist? Maybe one in her hair? She buried her fingers in my hair and I grabbed her waist and started to do one of those “baby go, no stay, get off me, don’t leave” kind of dances. “Well you’re already making out with her, so you might as well just keep making out with her,” I thought to myself as I changed the position of my face and went in for some more. It’s not my fault she smelled like roses and tasted like sugar plums.
It ended as quickly as it started and before I knew it, I was following her back to the other side of the bar through a crowded dance floor. I tried to collect my thoughts. I knew I should feel guilty, or ashamed, or at least something other than an excitement I hadn’t experienced since Christmas morning when I was 8 years old and Santa brought me the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sewer Army Tube Assault Craft.
We arrived back to the table where our group was sitting and I sat down with a big grin on my face. “Hey Jenny!” I said cheerfully to one of Christina’s friends. She shot me a chilling look that seemed to go right through the windows of my eyes and into my soul. “ I saw what you two did and it’s nothing to smile about” she snapped at me, then sat back in her seat and did one of those swiveling head things that black girls do, expecting an explanation. I wanted to come up with an excuse. “You must have me mistaken with the other white guy with the huge Afro and bright turquoise shirt.” Or “ You mean the suckface shot? Where one person takes a shot and then has to make out with the first person they see? It’s not big deal,people do it all the time, here you wanna try it?” Or “ I don’t know what you’re talking about, I can’t really remember where I just was, last thing I seem to remember was Christina slipping something into my drink . . . matter of fact, I’m feeling kinda sleepy now.” Any of these would have sufficed but unfortunately I was not quick enough. Instead all that I could come up with was “ . . .oh.”