Thursday, January 06, 2005


Congratulations to Mega for being the first one to nail yesterday's title quote ("My Lovin' (Never gonna get it)" by En Vogue).


What the fuck, I think. I'm doing it.

I'm spending way too much time thinking about this. I'll just leave the party with her, and let nature run its course. I'll just let the sexual Feng Shui take over, and see where it leads me.

"Do you want to go for a walk?" I ask Cherise.

I don't like the way I sound. I seem...weak. I'm going through the motions. I asked her, not because I wanted to, but because I had to, because that is what Steve does. I had about as much enthusiasm as you had when you got your driver's license photo taken.

I don't want to be with Cherise. I don't want to take her home and fuck her brains out. Yeah, it would feel good. REALLY good. But I don't WANT to.

Holy shit. Am I in love?

A meaty hand falls heavily on my shoulder. "HEY!" a gruff voice says.

I turn around. It's Kevin. His face is carved into an angry scowl.

"Don't leave the game like that. If you're off the phone, come back and sit down!"

"Easy killer!" I smile. "I was just-"

Cherise's phone rings. She flips it open. "Hellooo," she purrs. "Heyyy! Happy new year, girl!"

She points to the phone. "It's mah sister!" she whispers.

Kevin pulls me back to the table by the arm. The Feng Shui gods have spoken.

I lose about 5 hands in a row. "The ball's dropping!" someone says.

We gather around the TV and count down to midnight. Just as we get to zero, and a cheer fills the room, my phone rings.

It's Steph.

There's a twinge in my stomach. I'm happy!

Of course she called. Of course she cooled off. How could I have seriously thought otherwise? Steph and I like each other; we are smart people. Whatever the problem is, we can work it out. As long as we are talking, everything will be ok.

I leave the room and flip my phone open. "Hello?"


"Hi, Steph. Happy new year!"

"Happy new year. Am I the first person you're talking to this year?"

"Yep! How about you?"

"Yes, the very first one."


"Honey, I am so sorry," she says. Her voice is trembling.

"Me too."

"I didn't mean to yell at you that way. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings."

"Me too. I didn't mean to criticize Meg. Or Heidi."

She sniffles. "I'll talk to Meg. I'll tell her not to talk to Heidi anymore about us."

"OK," I say. "I know Meg is your best friend, and you guys discuss that stuff. I know I have to understand that."

"All right," she says. "What are we doing? We're apart on new year's eve! I can't believe we're not together!"

"I know. Can I see you tomorrow?"

"Sure! I'll come back in the morning."


January 1, 2005.

9:35am. I roll over and look at the clock. My stomach is a churning, gurgling mess. It seems like, if I turn my body the wrong way, every chicken finger and frito I gobbled down last night will come blasting out of me like a semi-digested laser beam.

I stretch, sit up, and look at the foot of the bed.

Steph is sitting there.

I've been meaning to give Steph a key to my house, but I haven't done it yet. However, she knows the code to my garage-door opener, and knows where the spare key is hidden in the garage, so she can get in if she has to.

I jump a little. It's a pleasant feeling waking up and seeing someone you care about sitting on your bed; it's like receiving a present even though it's not Christmas or your birthday.

"Heyyy!" I say.

"Hey, hon!" She hugs me.

"Happy new year!" I say.

"Happy new year to you, too!"

"It's 9:30! How long have you been sitting there? When did you leave your mom's house?"

"I just got here," she says. "I left at 6."


"You forget I'm in law school. Six o'clock is like sleeping in for me."

Her smile fades, and she studies my face, squinting.

What, do I have a snot hanging out?

"When did you get an earring?" she asks.