Every now and then I pretended to be a student. I went to all of my classes and stayed until they ended, and ate dinner in the cafeteria with everyone else. I hung at the bookstore in between class and played pick up basketball after dinner. I even went to a few of the basketball games. True, I’d left my dorm to do things as soon as I got to NSU, but now I enjoyed it. Sometimes I’d go out with Alex and the rest, but I didn’t care if I had to go at it alone anymore. I had time to make a lot of friends once I got over the Alex and Antonio thing.
He didn’t walk away easy. After she told me about the break up, I saw them together for weeks still. Either she never told him or he never believed it. She still came to my room to complain about him, so I didn’t believe it either.
I saw them arguing at a shindig that the AKAs hosted off campus. I arrived just as they were leaving. She’d walk swiftly ahead and he kept pulling her back like a bungie cord, all through the parking lot.
The party was nearly over when I arrived, but I stayed until the end. I mingled about until I found myself at the hip of the prettiest girl on the school’s basketball team. The glow from the disco ball glimmered in her eyes, and she looked at me like I was the only guy in the room.
“Hi. I’m Ryan. How are you?”
“Fine. I’m Yessica. How are you?”
“Doing so much better now,” I said with a huge grin. “Are you dancing?”, I asked through nervous lips. I’d seen her around campus, but never noticed how attractive she was until that moment when it seemed I might have a chance. Once I noticed her, I could think of nothing but her. Our introduction was short, but we gravitated toward each other a few more times before the night ended. We split up then casually resurfaced in the middle of the others conversation. We were clearly keeping tabs on each other. And when the night ended, I had her phone number in my pocket and her kiss on my lips.
The next day I joined Alex and her friend Tera for breakfast. Alex called early sounding overly excited. “Come to cafe with me. Or meet me there. I wanna have a good start to my week and it starts with having breakfast with my two best friends. I don’t like waiting, so hurry up. Okay? Bye.” Tera was arguably the prettiest girl on campus, so I would have been there butt naked with spurs on. I hadn’t spoken to Alex in a few days but after seeing her and Antonio bickering, I wanted to be there for her to vent her frustrations. When she arrived, she wasn’t frustrated at all. She was still giddy.
“How’s everybody doing this morning? What’s up?. Ya’ll get some sleep in after that party?”
“Girl, you bouncing. Did you get some or something?,” Tera asked.
“Shit. Ha. I wish. I was up arguing all night but it was worth it, you know what I mean?”
“What time you get in?”, I asked to no one directly.
“Shit. 1. 1:30. What about ya’ll.”
“I wouldn’t know. I stayed til the end though.”
“I didn’t stay but 10 minutes. I wasn’t really feeling it. I should’ve got drunk first.”, Tera said.
“What was the highlight of your night?”, I asked.
“I painted a picture. And masturbated at least a dozen times,” joked Tera. Her chesire cat grin let me know it was true.
Alex chimed in. “I’m single again. I think he finally realizes it’s over. He’s too much. Just suffocating.”
“You told me it was over already.”
“Why be a smart ass Ryan? You know how it is when you break up. It takes time.”
“I’m just saying. Now how are you gonna fight them off now?”
“Fuck it. I’m better off single. Its time to be bad all by myself. I knew I should’ve dated you. I just can’t move past you fucking Mariah and your dirty dick.”
“Yea, I’m not sure why not. That was last semester. Old news. For the record, my dick is clean.”
“I guess you’re right. So what about you? What was your highlight?”
“I had a pretty good night. I stayed at the party for a bit and talked to Yessica. That was about it.”
“What? You like her huh? So ya’ll just talked? That doesn’t sound like a highlight.”
I wanted to blurt out that we kissed. “Nope. Just talked. I like her though. So that was enough for me.”
“Cool. Be careful. I don’t know about her sometimes.”
“What do you mean be careful?” I hadn’t ever heard one bad thing about her. Yessica was as nice as Ms. America and very private, but I gave into the bait, if only to satisfy my curiosity on the newest object of my desire.
“I’m saying, you know how the girls basketball team is. She might be gay.”
“That’s bullshit,” I scoffed.
“Real talk. She flirts with me every time I see her. Just warning you man.”
Tera laughed at the notion. “Well, if she is gay or bisexual, that’s probably a good thing.”
“Honestly, Alex, I don’t even pay attention to half of the crazy shit you say anyway. You don’t have any evidence for that accusation. Maybe you’re just jealous.”
“Jealous of what? Her? What?”, Alex yelled. “I got nobody to be jealous of.”
“Nothing. Nobody. Relax. Sorry I used those words.” I just wanted to change the subject.
“Naw its all good. You think I can’t get another boyfriend like that? I dumped Antonio, not the other way around.”
“I wasn’t even talking about that.”
“Whatever. I know what you meant. I bet I find someone to make me happy before you fuck her. I mean that’s all you want to do to her anyway right?”
I rose to leave. “Alright Tera, I’ll catch you later. Once again Alex thinks the world revolves around her. I need to leave to make room for her growing ego to sit here. Peace Alex. And tell your ego I said goodbye too.”
I wouldn’t have told Alex if I ever slept with Yessica. It never happened though, because I never called her. The breakfast conversation deflated my eagerness and after a few days of putting off the call, my infatuation with Yessica smoldered out. Alex won her bet.