I stared at my reflection in the foggy mirror of some strange bathroom. It’s fuzzy until I smear away some of the steam left from the hot shower I’d just taken. I inspect my face and expect my exterior image to reflect the internal change I’d been dealing with for the past few hours. I look the same, though I keep looking until I notice a blurred form appear in the still foggy edge of the mirror. I turn and she’s already clasped on to me, hands sweeping down my spine like mine on the steamy mirror moments earlier. Her smooth cheek rubs against the bristles of my work in progress beard, she turns slowly and lightly pressing her lips against mine they connect like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle before pulling away and grinning, she sweeps her thumb across my bottom lip and grinning wider says ‘hey.’
‘Oh hello!’ I roleplay with her as to not just stand there and awkwardly gawk at her. ‘We’ve met right?’
Without missing a beat she glances away with a faraway look in her eyes ‘I think- you were the naked guy from before right?’
‘Naked? I dunno I’ve got this towel on.’ I shoot back before she removes said towel rendering my previous argument moot, ‘You’re all hands today’ masking my glee in a mock tone of concern and authority.
‘Do you not like my hands?’ she says while examining her digits like a kitten marvelling at its own paw ‘They’re so lovely and dainty!’ She says before clawing my face leaving tiny window holes between her fingers so I can still watch her manically chuckle and then even more so when I grab her wrists and pull her hands away from my face and redirect them back towards the small of my back while resting mine on hers, reeling her in towards my damp torso until droplets of water seep onto her dry chest. I reassure her that her hands are indeed lovely. ‘-Dainty?!” she interrupts
‘Dainty, lovely, soft as unicorn fur, I love your hands.’ I said holding them in mine pressing and rubbing my thumbs into her palms, I paused a beat before continuing. ‘but maybe if you talked less we could put that mouth to good use.’
She throws all of her body weight into trying to topple me to the floor, half playful half pissed. I remind her I’m prone to kidding, and decide I’ll try to get my dick sucked later, and instead focus on the task at hand, which is overpowering this beautifully delicate nymph who made the foolish attempt to try and knock me over, lifting her several inches off the ground, as I gain about several inches in length myself. ‘You’re something else’
‘Something good?’ she inquires, eyes sparking with wonder like a school girl looking for approval on a term paper she’d spent her Christmas break on. She had the inherent ability to be both tooth decayingly cute and insanity inducing sexy all at once with a simple turn of phrase or inclination, or touch- like the one she was doing at that moment, running the tip of her index finger from the middle of my collarbone, down my chest, to the lower part of my abdomen before stopping there and moving upwards starting over again in a cycle until the maddening frenzy was too much to bear and I sandwiched her between the still wet from steam wall and myself, our tongues awkwardly entering each others mouths before locking onto one another and engaging in a type of mutual petting.
After I got my dick sucked I went to see my good friend Todd. I felt guilty and needed someone to confide in, Todd was the most rationale guy I knew, as well as a great believer and teacher of the word of god, and at that time I desperately needed to be bullshitted. ‘I feel guilty’ I told Todd as I spooned clam chowder down my gullet, instead of the battered fillet that I should have gotten but opted not to because I’d eaten curried Goat the other day and felt like I used up my fatass days for the week. ‘What’s wrong man?’ Todd asked between munches of his breaded fish. I told him that I had I’d met this wonderful girl, so wonderful in fact, that I was beginning to think Id developed intense feelings for her. I hesitated before continuing; Todd waved his fork and rotated it as a motion to encourage me to go on while he dealt with another mouthful of fish.
‘She’s a little more conservative than I’m used to so I’m taking it slow. But I don’t think I mind at all, because- as weird as this sounds, I think- even though I can’t be sure, I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before- I think I might actually love this girl. That may be a bit of a stretch, what is love really? If its thinking about her all the time- sure, love? Maybe. If its… uh I dunno wanting to know what she does everyday, love? Yeah, I guess. If its, err… uh…. Oh! If its needing to hear how she’s been even if nothing happened that day- love, I think it might be… I’m a pussy right? Just say it, tell me I’m a pussy.’
Todd swallowed his piece of fish before reassuring me that I was not a pussy, but instead had genuine feelings about someone, and that strange as it may sound I might be happy. I told him that unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth and things were more erratic, and not quite as simple I made them out to be.
I sat across from her with a permanent smile plastered on my face like a lobotomized dope. I felt at ease, numb while receptive to all the good there was to take in and appreciate around me. Toddlers giggling in unison to their tiny footsteps running as if they’d just figured out how, underscored by faraway and close up bird sounds, leaves bristling as a cool spring breeze breezes past it all. Spoonfuls of caffeinated ice cream, delicious but it’d been long since I’d had a spoonful of any as I was struck still for the past few minutes by the girl I’d taken out for cold treats on the balcony of the trendy shop Id discovered years earlier and backlogged in my head to use for my benefit some time in the future, which at the time was back then. At present date that moment was the happiest in my life, as things had never seemed more in order. I was exactly where I needed to be, with exactly who I needed to be with, and this was exactly what I wanted from my life.
‘This is really good!’ a mix of genuine surprise and satisfaction splashed across her face. She was an open book and couldn’t understand why anyone would choose to not be. Never one to conceal any sort of joy, she hadn’t yet figured out how easily the world could and eventually would exploit that emotion. So beautiful, the rose pedals adorning the stem that is everything else, she was unburdened with such realities of real life, naive to its harshness, and better for it, as the rest of us wish we could be as beautiful and allowed to be as ignorant. The best any could hope for would be to bathe in their light, for at least a moment, even the briefest one. And here I was sitting across from her, eating coffee ice cream, later drinking it as it melted due to its prolonged exposure to the sun coupled with my negligence towards my spoon because I was too busy staring at my girlfriend.
‘Do you like it?’ she said wide eyed eagerly awaiting with anticipation.
I stumbled a second as I attempted to rejoin reality and answer her question ‘Ya it’s real good, there’s coffee in this right?’ She nodded and leaned forward like an adorable baby seal
‘Ya because you like coffee so much! And everyone likes ice cream so I thought this would be good! And YAY I was right!’ she shovelled two more spoonfuls into her mouth and smiled in appreciation of the cold flavour then looked over at me as if to share the sensation.
If my life ends tomorrow and my particles disassemble back into the earth, and my subconscious being is allowed to only inhabit one moment for eternity this would be in at least the top ten. It was the most perfect thing I’d ever been involved in, and though im not sure, I think I fell in love with Angela at that exact moment.
‘This is so good I wanna get it everyday!’ she proclaims which makes me like her a little more, but still I feel I have to be the voice of reason, telling her that if she had ice cream everyday it’d be overkill and she’d spoil it. The sudden realization that I was right led to momentary despair (the only kind she was capable of), then relief when she decided ‘well, I can have it every other day’ spooning in three more mouthfuls, with a silly smile announcing her moral victory.
I readily conceded defeat ‘You win, it is a good idea.’
She nods in appreciation ‘Thank you, so it’s settled.’
‘Sure is’ I agree.
‘We’ll do everything I want from now on.’ She announces triumphantly.
‘Don’t we already?’
‘Hey! That is not true.’ She stabbed her spoon into her bowl’s mound as if to highlight her statement, along with the most adorable pout overloading my capacity for cuteness
‘Of course not’ I said instead of ‘You control me and I let you’.
As sweet and naive as she was she had to know what I was willing to put up with before I got the chance to know her in the most biblical interpretation of ‘know’. We both paused and enjoyed each others company for what in any other situation would be an uncomfortably long and awkward moment before being interrupted by my phone’s vibration, which when juxtaposed against the silent tranquility of the earlier moment was like hearing a grunting midget try and hold a boulder over his head. I do the pavlovian dog call and response, grabbing for my phone before my brain even knows why my arms are moving. A text message from an unknown number pops up, and all at once im intrigued, excited and disgusted with myself for having a text message run my emotional gauntlet. It read :‘Turn around’. So I did.
‘NO NO- GET OUTTA HERE- Shaliza? That girl’s the anti Christ!’ Todd was uncharacteristically blasphemous for good reason. Shaliza’d been a name only mentioned in brief hushes of conversation and mostly sporadically in the past several years.
I agreed She’d all but dismantled the progression of my life in 2007, and maybe it’d been so long since she did that I forgot what she was capable in. ‘But she was sexy Todd. Tooth decayingly cute and insanity inducing sexy’
“The devil usually takes an attractive form’ Todd shot back. ‘Dan, she almost ruined you. You told me that.’
‘Look, we were both young. Mistakes were made!’ I said to try and convince Todd people could change, but mostly trying to convince myself. ‘But anyway…’ I said in an attempt to transition back into my story. ‘Shaliza was standing right behind me at the Ice cream place, I don’t even know how she had my number! I deleted her after that incident. I was so floored to see her after all those years, I forgot to introduce her to Angela, she had to do the very awkward self-introduction and I think she took it personal.’
‘Who woudn’t?’ boomed a strong voice in a deliberately delivered cadence perpetually laced in sarcasm. I knew it was Andy before I even looked over.
‘You remember Shaliza right?’ I asked him in an attempt to bring him into the conversation.
‘Oh- I know Shaliza’ he said smirking, biting his bottom lip. I was almost sure he was bluffing, but still I was afraid he wasn’t. ‘Oh and sorry I’m late guys, you know how people can be. But do catch me up on everything I’ve missed.’
As outwardly apathetic and shallow as Andy appears at times he wasn’t ever averse to hearing out the problems of others. I ran down the gist of what went wrong, the seeing of Shaliza behind Angela’s back. Angela finding a text message from Shaliza asking her when we were going to meet up, me coming up with the correct lies in the correct order so she believed nothing was up. But mostly I talked about all the guilt I felt about abusing Angela’s trust.
‘Boo hoo baby boy’ Andy trumpeted vocally to the entire fish and chips restaurant we were in, as patrons did a half turn to figure out the exact direction to eavesdrop in, Todd just rolled his eyes and kept eating as Andy continued. ‘Look man, that girl you seem to love so much would suck another man’s cock the second she finds one she likes more than yours, so get over yourself with that love bullshit. Be happy you’ve found one girl you can make kissy faces at and another girl who can ride dick on a horseback level. Shaliza is a sexual freak okay, we all know that. Well- Everyone here but Todd.’
‘I have no problem being STD free guys.’ Todd said between chewing.
Andy looked at me with what appeared to be genuine sincerity, or he was pulling a straight face before he got to the eventual bit he was trying to pull on me. ‘Dan, I say this because I love you in a way that heterosexual men don’t usually openly express sober. You are like an idiot brother to me. A kid with a good heart, who entertains me and keeps me grounded to the real world, but Dan- you have to stop being such a complete dumb fuck. These girls will get over you, so put your dick inside both of them while they’re still into you and quit being such a little fag already.’
Todd convulsed with laughter from the beginning of Andy’s speech to the end. But Andy locking his glance on me for several seconds after his monologue led me to believe that he hoped I'd heed his advice. But I couldn’t. I was too wrapped up in my own guilt.
‘Let’s change the subject, what are you guys up to tonight?’ Asked Todd
Andy answered first after staring into his own crotch for an inordinate amount of time before looking up ‘I just texted Danny boy’s friend Shaliza because I know she puts out.’