I turned the keys in the door and unlocked it. I pushed it open and stepped into my living room. Despite the shining sun outside, it was still dark in there. The closed window shades prevented the light from entering my apartment. I tossed my keys onto the coffee table and went into the bathroom. I peered into the mirror above the sink and stared at my reflection. The face that returned the same stare wasn’t smiling. It didn’t blink for a good 10 seconds or so either. It wasn’t happy, it wasn’t angry, it wasn’t really anything. It didn’t know how to feel exactly at the moment. The best word to describe the aura that my reflection was in was probably “confused”.
Yeah, confused would pretty much sum it up and I felt exactly the same that it did. It was the next morning and yes, I was just getting home. I began to wash my face before I realized that I needed more than just that. I jumped in the shower and just stood there for a minute letting the warm water pour down over me. I grabbed the bottle of body wash, lathered up and began to scrub away. I didn’t know if I was trying to wash away the events of last night or not but by the way I was showering, you’d think I was attempting to wash away the thought of them as well.
I found some breakfast or more like lunch after my shower and just sat on my couch while I ate. It took a little while before I took my first bite. I was finding it very difficult to focus on anything. My eyes fell upon my couch and I rested a hand upon it. My brain moved from the thoughts that it was preoccupied with to the memories of Shea & I lying on this very couch together. I thought for a second that I could feel her upon the cushion that I had my hand on.
I didn’t think that I would miss her after what happened. But I was wrong about that the same way I was wrong about never feeling the urge to be intimate with Jenalee again. I kind of wished I had given her a chance to explain herself. Perhaps whatever she had to say would have made sense to me. Maybe I would have been able to forgive her and we could move on. The way that she was trying to still remain a part of my life showed more concern and care than Jena had when she had broken my heart. Was I thinking of her now because of what happened last night or was it sincere? I feel even deeper into my hole of confusion than I already was.
All throughout the rest of the day, I couldn’t remove the notions of yesterday from my brain. I didn’t know what came over me but after nearly reaching my car, I returned to pay Jena’s lips another visit. Then somehow before either of us knew it, we had arrived at her apartment. This was very promptly followed by an excursion that took place in her bed. This excursion had a serious lack of clothing.
I had always thought that when people use the phrase “it all happened so fast” to describe the events that lead up to unexpected sex to be cliché and simply just a bunch of crap. Especially with someone that you really weren’t sure you should be having sex with. But here I was, claiming just that. It had happened so fast. Almost as if I blinked and my lips were touching hers. Then I blinked again and we were passionately making out as we made our way to her bedroom. Then I blinked a third time and I was opening my eyes to the morning sunlight trying to peek through her drapes. Just for the record, that last blink contained the sex that happened so it was the longest “blink” that the world has ever seen.
When I awoke, I looked over at her and saw that she was still asleep. Her head was resting on my chest and she had her arm around me pretty tightly. I could smell her perfume that she no doubt had applied before she met me for dinner. I momentarily felt the urge to embrace her in return but resisted. The only thing on my mind at the time was going home. I, and not without some difficulty, unattached her arm from around me and gently rolled her over so that I may begin my escape. I gathered up my clothing and tried to pull them on without waking her but not too long after I had finally located my second sock, I heard my name.
“Patrick?” I remained quiet for a second thinking maybe if I didn’t reply she would go back to sleep. Not the brightest of my ideas, no. So I answered her while still trying to get dressed and disappear through her front door.
“Yeah, I’m over here”
“What are you doing?” she asked sleepily.
“Oh, just getting dressed,” I answered.
“Already? What time is it?” she asked.
“Uh, I think it’s almost 11,” I said hopping on one foot trying to put my sock son.
“Why are you leaving already? Maybe we could have some breakfast in bed or something,” she suggested.
“Um, I….got some stuff to do today,” I lied.
“Do you, or do you just not want to spend more time with me?” she asked bluntly. I stopped dancing around while trying to dress myself and looked at her.
“Listen, truthfully I don’t think that spending more time with each other after last night is the smartest thing right now,” I replied.
“Well I don’t know where last night came from and I’m not even sure it was supposed to happen. But right now, I can’t make any decisions about us and spending more time together might only confuse me and us even more,” I tried to explain. I know it sounded like a line or something that you would use on someone after you’ve had your way with them but it wasn’t. I had no intention of spending the night with her. But I did and I wasn’t sure if it meant something or not.
“Well I’m not confused. I understand you being a little confused about all of this but I am well…kind of glad that it happened,” she said.
“You would be,” I thought to myself. She sat up in the bed and rested her head on her knees. She wrapped her arms around her legs and looked down. This was a very classic way of showing that she was sad. I remembered coming across this display of obvious body language many times during our relationship. But at the moment, I honestly didn’t care. I mean I wasn’t trying to deliberately hurt her but it wasn’t like I had planned to sleep with her and then vacate the premises never to speak to her again.
“Look, I’m not trying to hurt you or anything but I can’t lie to you,” I told her. “I’m not going to stand here and tell you that I want us to be together again when I don’t know what I want right now”.
“You wanted me last night,” she responded. I looked at her then without a word turned around and began to put on my sneakers. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. I just thought that maybe last night happened for a reason; a good reason”.
“Perhaps you’re right,” I answered. “Maybe it did happen for a reason but I don’t know what that reason is just yet and I don’t think us hanging around each other is going to allow us to figure out what it is”.
“Yeah, I suppose you’re right. It did all happen very fast,” she responded.
“That it did,” I agreed. I was finally fully dressed and made my way to the door. I was almost through when she stopped me.
“Patrick,” she called out my name. I stopped and turned around. She got out of the bed and wrapped the sheet around her.
Even with the sheet covering her, I could still see the perfect alluring shape of her body. Something in me wanted to grab her, rip the sheet away and throw her back onto the bed. But I would surely become the person that I didn’t want to if had done that. Knowing that another round with her would be driven purely by sexual attraction and possibly nothing else, I couldn’t do it. That would be wrong.
She walked over to me and looked up into my eyes. Even first thing in the morning, she looked heavenly. Her hair was messed but still fell perfectly around her face. Her eyes were as mesmerizing as they were last night and when I had first met her. Even her breath smelled like she had just popped in a mint. Her perfume floated up to me again and by now I was clenching my fists as to not grab her up and conduct an encore presentation of the night before. If I didn’t know any better, I would have said that she was purposely trying to make me feel this way.
“I really enjoyed last night. I mean everything; talking & laughing with you over dinner, reminiscing about old times…,” she began. She came slightly closer. “…feeling your lips on mine again, feeling your hands all over me again…,” she continued. She leaned even closer to me. “…and sharing my bed with you again…,” she whispered.
She got up on her tip-toes and brought her face very close to mine. I became afraid that she was going to try to kiss me. Afraid because, if she did, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to stop whatever happened next. She continued to lean in and laid a soft kiss on my cheek. I mentally breathed a sigh of relief and immediately took a step back.
“I, uh, had fun too,” I replied trying not to stumble over my words. With that, I turned and walked out. I wasted no time getting in my car and driving off. Trying to concentrate on driving while still having thoughts of sex in your head is not very easy. There were two separate occasions on my way home when I wanted so badly to turn around and return to her bed, I mean apartment. But I stayed strong and went home.
Now still sitting on my couch, I realized I had allowed my thoughts to grow increasingly into somewhat of a movie about her. My mind wouldn’t allow me to forget every detail. Every touch of our lips, every tap of our tongues hitting each other, every magnetic curve of her body had taken over my brain. I looked down and saw that they had also taken over another part of me.
I forced myself to finish eating so maybe fresh food would replace what her skin tasted like last night. “Hmm, tropical coconut,” I thought. I needed to stop it. I shook my head as if trying to literally shake the thoughts out of my head. This did not work. I kept seeing her silhouette every time I closed my eyes. I continued to feel her smooth body pressed up against mine. I could still feel her hands pushing against my chest and my mouth covering every inch of her delicious neck. It was so vivid, I swore that just then I could feel her come up from behind me and run her hands down my shoulders.
I had already taken a shower so I didn’t know what else I could do to remove these notions from my presence. It felt impossible. Although I was now physically clean, my shower didn’t wash away the dirty thoughts plaguing my being right now. I switched on the television. Maybe some Saturday afternoon movies would help me in my plight. Nope, of course that wasn’t going to work. I flipped through the contact list in my phone to see if there was someone I could talk to about anything else. I scrolled about halfway through it before I realized that despite whom I talk to and no matter what we talk about, the topic would ultimately find its way back to Jenalee. Mainly because of me.
About to be at the end of my rope, I just sat and looked around my apartment. It wasn’t the cleanest right now and that was because with all of the Shea/Jenalee/me finding myself business, I haven’t really paid attention to it. The light bulb that went off in my head suggested that I clean it. I figured I’d be game for some tidying up and at the same time maybe it would allow me to also cleanse my head. I turned on my stereo and set my playlist to shuffle so I could listen to music while I scoured my apartment.
I started on the kitchen and little by little made my way around until I had hit every room. I paid extra close attention to the bathroom simply because I like for my bathroom to be at least semi-clean at all times. After it reached my lemony-fresh approval, I stood in the middle of my place and admired my work. It was nearly spotless. Women everywhere and even those few guys who like things clean would be proud of me.
My mental trauma subsided slightly during my cleaning mission. The thoughts weren’t as fresh but I swore every time I caught a whiff of my air freshener, I could smell Jena’s skin again. Since there was nothing left to be cleaned, I figured I’d try something else. The sun was still up outside but was beginning to make its descent so I quickly gathered up my bike, helmet and took it to the streets to try to get in a short ride before nightfall arrived.
I rode around the block that my apartment complex stood on a couple of times before deciding to make a trip to the store. Becoming thirsty from riding around reminded me that I had nothing to drink back home. I stopped at the supermarket, chained up my bike and walked towards the entrance. I looked down at my watch as the automatic doors parted and crashed directly into Shea who was on her way out.
As if by reflex, I grabbed onto her to prevent me from knocking her over. The grocery bags that she was carrying weren’t as lucky. They collided with the pavement causing a few of her items to fall out of the bags they were in. It was as if time stopped for a moment as we found ourselves staring into each other’s faces with similar expressions of surprise on the both of them. I released my hold of her and just kind of stood there. She looked back at me as she nervously rubbed her hands within each other.
“Oh, sorry,” I spoke first. I bent down to pick up her groceries that had spilled out. I grabbed a bottle of milk and a couple small containers of yogurt and placed them back in their sacks.
“No, it’s ok. I should have been paying attention,” she hesitantly replied.
“Well I wasn’t looking where I was going either, so it’s probably my fault,” I said as I tried to take the blame.
“No, no. Completely not your fault. Thank you,” she responded as I handed her back her bags. I stepped back a little to allow her to exit the store so the doors could close all of the way. She slowly walked past me and stopped right beside me.
“Um, so hi. How have you been?” she asked.
“Been good,” I answered.
“Oh, that’s good. I’m glad to hear that,” she said. A few moments of silence passed by before she began again. “Well I should really be getting home,” she stated.
“Oh ok. Well drive safe, don’t crash into anyone on the road,” I attempted to joke. As soon as the line finished coming out, I knew it was a pretty corny joke to say. Don’t crash into anyone? What the hell was wrong with me? Surprisingly she chuckled.
“I’ll try,” she replied and turned to walk away towards her car. When I saw her car sitting in its parking space, I felt like slapping myself for not noticing it before. I might have been able to prevent this awkward encounter.
“Patrick,” I suddenly heard my name. She was facing me again. “We need to talk,” she continued. She began to take a step towards me but I slowly shook my head. I guess she understood because she stopped instantly and just looked at me. Then she again turned around and made her way to her car.
I went inside the store and tried to find the aisle that carried the juice I usually get but it was like navigating a maze. This unexpected meeting with Shea had me kind of out of it. I finally found what I was looking for and paid the cashier. When I reached the front doors again, I hesitated. I wondered whether or not maybe she was waiting for me outside. I looked through the glass in the doors but didn’t see her. I walked outside, got on my bike and made my way home.
By the time I returned home, many jumbled thoughts were penetrating my head again. I decided I wasn’t actually surprised by us seeing each other. My life has a funny way of having random and potentially significant things happen to me almost at the same time. By the time I got inside and was able to finally quench my thirst, Shea had replaced the thoughts of Jenalee that I was having throughout the day. She looked good when I saw her. But she always looked good. Truthfully my heart felt like it literally skipped a beat when I realized that it was her that I had saved from hitting the ground.
Part of me wanted to pull her closer to me and give her one of the biggest hugs I had ever given anyone. Another smaller part wanted to let her fall. But I could never do that to her. No matter how much I had hurt because of her. I had almost forgotten how beautiful she was. Even though the chuckle she gave because of my horrible joke was probably forced, it was nice to see her lovely smile again. I kind of wanted to hear what she wanted to say but I couldn’t stop my head from shaking. Something inside of me was still in protest of anything she wanted to discuss with me.
I took my second shower of the day and plopped down on my couch laying on my stomach planning on catching a movie on TV. Saturday night movies were usually much better than the afternoon ones. My phone was peacefully resting on the coffee table. It seemed like it was staring back at me trying to tell me something. Perhaps my subconscious was the one trying to tell me something.
Without sitting up I reached out, grabbed my phone and dialed a number. It was like my fingers were moving without needing my brain to tell them which numbers to push. Just like that 10 numbers popped onto the screen, my thumb pushed the talk button and the phone on the other end began to ring.
To be continued…