Monday, August 30, 2004

Steverino's pre-emptive strike

Tuesday, August 24, 10:00am.

Lila walks into my office holding a thick glass vase, overflowing with an explosion of colorful flowers.

For a brief moment, I think they are from her. Then I see her deep frown, and I know it isn't so.

"You got some flowers," she says, and CLUNKS the vase down on my desk.

I read the card:


I can be pretty dense sometimes. What does she mean? I'm not sick, I think.

Then I realize it: Rob beats up Steve. Rob tells Kelly about beating. Kelly laughs a lot about beating, and sends flowers to rub it in a little.

Translation: If there were a bitch hall of fame, Kelly would have a wing named after her.

I drop the card in the shredder: Same thing I do whenever I get flowers. But now, I've got a bigger problem: Lila.

Lila is going to want to know who the flowers came from, and even if she does not ask, I owe her an explanation. I could just lie about it, but I don't like to lie unless I absolutely have to. Besides, it's getting pretty obvious that Kelly is still stuck on this revenge trip, and God only knows what she will do next. I can't assume she will just quit needling me, though she might; next time, she may call Lila, or show up at my office and make a scene. Who knows?

I can't risk Kelly talking to Lila. It's not entirely likely, but possible. I think I have to tell Lila about Kelly.

Sure, there will be a scene. And if I handle it wrong, Lila will leave me forever. It will be dangerous. But, if I go to Lila before someone else does, I will have the advantage of having spoken first.

Never underestimate this advantage, guys. You tell your story, then days or weeks later, someone else tells theirs, and if the stories don't match, the person who spoke last looks like a liar. Human nature.

If Kelly and Lila speak to each other, there will be no way I can deny fucking Kelly. I am sure that, with her finely-tuned senses, Kelly noticed some freckle at the bottom of my scrotum that I didn't even know I had, and she'll be able to prove that she's been with me. I've got to admit to doing it, at least once.

And that, my friends, is ALL I will admit to: Once.

I'll tell Lila that I screwed Kelly once, just once, and better still, I'll tell her it happened during the 3 or 4 days in early June when Lila and I were fighting (you will recall she demanded, in mid-ass fuck, that I tell her I love her, and I was none too pleased). It's the Ross-and-Rachel, we-were-on-a-break thing. Of course, it took Rachel about five years to buy it, but then again, Ross always was a dork, wasn't he?

Lila will be pissed. Really pissed. She won't speak to me for a while, I know. But she'll come around in a week or so, I believe.

If I confess to doing it once, Kelly could still come around and tell Lila everything. But how the hell can she prove that it happened more than once? At that point, it would be her word against mine. And I like my chances there.

The only way I could see this blowing up is if Kelly has some evidence to incriminate me. But I seriously doubt that.

Guys, if any of you are getting some french fries on the side, make sure you are extremely careful. If you go back and read my blog, you will see that there are no love notes, no greeting cards, no e-mails, no voice mail messages, no evidence of any kind. That's no accident.

I've never given anything to Kelly in my own handwriting. I would be surprised if she even knew what my writing looked like. And if I have left her a voice mail message in the past, which I doubt, it was of the four-word variety ("Kelly. Steve. Please call." CLICK!) Notice there is no mention of what I am calling about, no information at all; just a request to call back. If Kelly saves a message like that, and plays it for Lila, so what? It just proves that I called her. For all anyone knows, Kelly could have been harassing me, and I could have been calling to tell her to stop.

I always cringe when I hear cheating guys leaving voice mail messages: "Hey Mary, it's John. It's Tuesday at 3:30. Just wanted to make sure we were still on for tonight," etc. etc. If anything ever goes wrong, they've basically left a bloody knife at a murder scene with their fingerprints all over it. All it would take is ONE message like that to expose my whole charade.

It seems like I've covered all the bases. But this is still fraught with danger. Something could go wrong - anything, really. I'm not sure exactly what's going to happen, but I know that it is time to confess to Lila.

7:00. Lila and I are sitting in my car in the 7-11 parking lot. The sun is a fiery orange, setting right down the middle of my windshield.

"Do you remember in June, when we had our fight? Our big fight?"

"mm-hmm," she says.

"I did something I'm not proud of," I say.

Her face goes white. "What did you do, Steve?"

"I had sex with someone else."

I believe in getting right to the point. Say it quick and get it over with, just like ripping off a band-aid. And guys, if you are ever going to cop to something like this, be as clinical as possible: You "had sex" with the other woman, you didn't "make love" to her. And whatever you do, don't confess to enjoying it. Remember, it was sheer torture. Wink, wink.

"Who is she?"

"Nobody. Nobody you'd know."

"Were you safe?"

"Yes, of course."

"Do you LOVE her? Are you still seeing her?"

"NO! GOD no, Lila! I don't care about her at all! And no, I'm not seeing her!"

This is going as well as I could have hoped. If I have to lie, I like to mix it with a lot of truth, and so far I've answered her questions 100% honestly.

"So it was just that once, while we were broken up?"


OK, there goes my streak.

"Was that her that sent you the flowers?"

"Yeah. She said she was thinking of me."

"So what did you do?"

"I told her to leave me alone."

This is going extremely well. A little uncomfortable, yes, but no screaming, no hitting, no storming out of the car in a huff. If I get away with this, it's going to be a major coup.

"Steve, are you lying to me? Are you sleeping with her?"


Her bottom lip starts to stick out, so thick and succulent that I have all I can do not to kiss her.

She starts to cry. Then she starts to bawl. She covers her face, sobbing loudly.

"You are such a DICK!" she says, through her cupped hands.

So much for getting away with murder.