Friday, May 05, 2006

Wow... I really held out on you fuckers, didn't I?

Marlene is turning out to be a great girlfriend. Graduate school is tough, and she understands when it's time for me to hang up and go study. Sometimes she leaves little notes under my windshield wiper while I'm in class, and I sit in the driver's seat, reading and smiling. She always signs them "Leenie", with a little heart next to her name; one day, instead of a heart, I see the word "love" in her loopy, girlish hand.

We sleep in the same bed a few times a week. We haven't had sex yet, but on more than one occasion I've awakened to find my bare crank in her hand. She tugs me off expertly now, staring longingly at my naked cock while she strokes it. She's definitely not shy about seeing it anymore.

"I want you to get tested for STD's," she says one night, as we sit in my car eating ice cream. "And if we have sex, I want you to wear a condom."

"Okay, Leenie, whatever you want," I say, and I am so hard that I have to shift positions in my seat. It's finally going to happen!

So much for her waiting until marriage.

I know now that I was stupid for fucking Brenda. I was stupid to listen to her, stupid to pay any attention to her whatsoever. Brenda is a typical cock-blocker, someone who hates to see others happy because she is miserable. I have no doubt that she had sex with me to ruin my relationship with Marlene.

But it didn't work, and that must piss her off. That must motivate her even more to screw things up, and now she's got a way to do it: All she has to do is utter three little words, "I fucked Steve," and I'd be done.

I don't feel guilty: If anything, I'm flattered that two girls who live together think enough of me to want to get naked for me. But how long can I count on Brenda to keep her yap shut? No matter how much fun Marlene and I have, the worry is never totally gone: That one mistake bubbles up from my subconscious, reminding me that, like a dormant virus, it can awaken at any time and devour me.

"I'm gonna tell Marlene," Brenda taunts drunkenly one night, her head lolling from side to side, as if it were a helium-filled balloon. "I'm gonna tell Leeeee-nie..."

"Gonna tell her what?" I ask, and she doesn't answer. Dumb question.

Monday, November 2, 1992, 1:41am
Steve and Paulie's apartment

"Tell me it isn't true," Marlene sobs over the phone.

"Tell you what isn't true?" I gasp, as my ears burn.

"Did you have sex with Brenda?"

I was a bad liar in those days. My stories were plausible enough, I guess, but I always hesitated one beat too long, or let my eyes drift off, betraying my guilt.

"I-, I-, Marlene, I--"

"Oh my God," she shrieks. "Oh my God!"

University development office

It's funny how this office, which once glowed with romantic tension, now feels like the scene of a crime. It's quieter than usual, and the silence gives me time to think. More time than I want.

I return from the restroom to find a Krackel bar on my desk. It must have been the one she got in San Diego; she never did give it to me when she came back. I still have it to this very day.

I want to talk to her, to thank her for the candy, to apologize, to tell her that I was really starting to like her. But as she rushes awkwardly past my desk, I know we're never going to speak again.

We never did.

April, 2006
Steve and Tim's house

"Every girl has to get her heart broken at least once," Tim says. "You did her a favor!"

I wish I could agree.