Black Box.

After work, we went to a restaurant just across the street from American Eagle. We ordered beers—I got mine on draft and he made a weird comment about how draft beer was cheaper and wondered if that’s why I got it.

No.

During our conversation, it came out that I had a male roommate. I had just moved in with him a few months before.

“Are you going to be Mrs. Mackenzie?” he asked, thinking I was dating my roommate.

I laughed and said no, that we were random roomies. I figured this would’ve been a good time for him to come clean about his girlfriend, but he didn’t.

Nearly a week later, I had worked with Eddie a few times, but nothing was really progressing. One Sunday night after work, I was on the phone with Sheena, telling her about Eddie and that I was a little confused about his relationship status. During our conversation, I got a beep on the line—a text message.

“I have some black box if you want to come over and join me,” from Eddie.

I flipped out and asked Sheena if she thought I should join him. She said yes, so I got ready and got directions to his place.

He lived on Olive street—a name that already posted an image in my mind of what his house might look like. It was a small street, not far from the LSU campus. His house was nestled back from the street, behind a black wrought-iron gate. It had a porch, and was shaded with trees, but in the night, it just looked cozy.

When I arrived, he was the only one home—his two roommates were gone. He poured me a glass of wine and offered to give me a tour. I fell in lust with his home—it was a place I knew I wanted to spend time. It was old, with hard wood floors that creaked under our following steps.

He took me up the stairs, toward his roommate’s bedroom—the master suite. At the top of the stairs was a bedroom, accompanying a bathroom that featured a white marble tub with black and grey veining. On our way back down the stairs, Eddie smacked at the wall—holding up a spider by the string of its recent web.

“Looks like a brown recluse,” he said. I cringed.

Back downstairs, Eddie showed me his bedroom. His bed was made, books were stacked neatly, and his desk was clean. He got on his computer to play some music. When the opening screen popped up, there were two log-in options: “Eddie” or “Paige.”

Paige.

Her photos were scattered about the room, framed and looking like a happy couple. But I kept my lips zipped.

“Where’s your bathroom?” I asked. He pointed down the hall and I made my exit.

Once I got in the bathroom, I did a little minor snooping—sure enough, there was a makeup bag, some tampons, etc. Evidence.

I joined Eddie back at his desk and we talked about the music we liked; I was able to introduce him to a few new bands. We made our way back to the kitchen—a clean, white kitchen with glass-front cabinets and a stainless-steal fridge. Next to the kitchen was an open dining room, with a glass China cabinet. Inside it, were rare glasses and bottles of liquor.

“Ever tried Barren-Jaeger?” he asked. I shook my head.

He poured me a small glass. It was thick, and tasted like honey—with a bite at the end.

Eddie suggested we watch a movie, so we moved into the living room where there was a massive TV, with huge speakers. We watched this old movie with Angelina Jolie where she is pregnant and the baby daddy stabs her in the stomach, and then she rips off the fake belly. Intense.

We were laying down on his couch, about to fall asleep when the movie ended. I asked him if he would carry me to my car, because I was so sleepy. It was at least 2 am.

“No…” he said.

“Why not? Please?” I asked.

“Because. You can just sleep here,” he said.

My eyes were already closed. And he kissed me.

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