I busted through his front door, stormed into his bedroom, where he was snoring.
“Wake up!” I yelled.
He opened his eyes, sitting up.
“We have to leave, like now,” I said.
“Why didn’t my alarm go off?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I said.
“Grab my wallet, go to Albertsons, and get a dozen roses for [my daughter],” he said.
Saying nothing, I marched into the kitchen (wearing platform heels, mind you), grabbed his wallet and headed to Albertsons. Now, I know you all are sitting over there asking why, WHY, am I doing this?
His daughter was an innocent party to whatever was happening here. Believe me, it crossed my mind to just never return to his house and let him miss the graduation. But his daughter would have been crushed.
So I got to Albertsons, picked the best bouquet they had (which wasn’t saying much since the whole city was graduating that day), paid for it, and headed back to D’s.
He was almost ready, tying his shoes when I arrived.
“Can you feed Brew?” he asked.
I walked to the dog food container, and plopped a scoop in his bowl without a word.
“What is wrong?” he asked.
“You were an asshole this morning,” I said.
“Great, what is it now?” he said. “You’re always mad at me, so sorry for whatever it was.”
Wow, what an awesome way to resolve an argument. We got in my car and headed toward the school.
“Can you drive faster?” he asked. “The doors close at 9:30.”
“Well if you wouldn’t have stayed up until 5 am drinking, we wouldn’t be in this predicament, now would we?” I asked.
We bickered the entire ride, parked the car, marched through the school doors, and put on a smiling face for his family.
While standing through a kindergarten performance of “Let’s Count to 100,” D’s father took a picture of us—one I didn’t know was being taken. In it, D is smiling, while I am standing there with my arms crossed, complete with a frown upon my face.
“Wow, looks like you didn’t want to be there,” D said.
“I didn’t,” I said.
We went to lunch afterward, as planned. I gave D’s daughter her gift, which was aimlessly tossed aside. She thanked D for it, to which he corrected her, saying that it was me who bought it for her.
Since I’d taken the entire day off work, I took D home, crawled into his bed, and curled up in my “spot” (the crook between his shoulder and chest) and took a nap until he had to leave for work.
Later that night, D invited me to come up to the restaurant for a drink while he closed. I sat at the bar, enjoying a glass of red while he finished working. It was him, the bartender, and a busser.
The bartender I knew, because she was D’s roommate’s girlfriend (confused yet?). She was laughing about a time when her and a fellow bartender drew a dick on D’s face when he passed out on the couch.
Funny…. but when did this happen?
As she kept talking, I gathered that one recent Thursday night, D had invited them over to watch Vampire Diaries after closing the restaurant. They joined him, he passed out on his couch, they drew on his face, and hopped into the roommate’s bed, naked.
Interesting. I continued to sip my wine.
When the other workers had left, D started turning off lights, and locking things up.
“Should I be jealous about the girls coming over?” I asked him.
“Seriously? It’s my roommate’s girlfriend and my boss’ sister,” he said. “Nothing happened.”
“I am not saying that,” I said. “It’s just the fact that I had no idea you had two girls over at 2 am… how would you feel if you randomly found out I had 2 guys over late at night?”
“Please leave,” he said.
“What? Are you serious?” I asked him.
“Yes,” he said, swinging his hand at me, nearly knocking my wine glass out of my hand, spilling it onto my houndstooth blazer. “You’re jealous and you obviously don’t trust me. If you don’t trust me, then we shouldn’t be together.”
I was stunned. I felt like I had a valid point. I walked to my car and he followed me.
“I was kidding,” he said, jumping into my passenger’s seat.
“I am not trying to accuse you of things,” I said. “It’s just that sometimes your behavior doesn’t add up. You have girls over without my knowledge; your Facebook still says you’re single, you flirt with big-titty caddies…”
“The Facebook thing? I’m never on Facebook,” he said.
“I don’t want to be that girl that gets pissed over Facebook shit, but it’s just weird,” I said.
“And the caddy…is this because I spent $200 to get her for the day?” he asked.
“What?” I said.
“Oh, I didn’t tell you that part,” he said. “My boss was there I wanted to impress him, so I put up $200 for her.”
“It’s really just about considering me,” I said. “We are in a relationship, so you don’t have to answer to me, but it’s time you start thinking about things the other way around.”
I mean, how would he feel if my girlfriends and I rented a cabana boy for $200 one day, and decided to post pictures of us with him and his huge, wet package all over Facebook? He’d be pissed.
“Who’s been smoking in your car?” he asked, fingering the fabric around the passenger’s window.
“Um, you,” I said. I was over him always accusing me of cheating. I’d never done such a thing and wouldn’t ever.
The next morning, D apologized, saying that he would be better about considering me and that the incident with “the girls” wouldn’t happen again.
The next week, my mom was coming in town to visit. I was so excited for her to visit, shop with me, and of course, meet my love.
She was flying in on a Friday morning, so Thursday evening, I was cleaning my apartment like a madwoman, because she would be staying with me. D was working late, but wanted to come over, so he did.
Per usual, he was hammered when he arrived at my door. While I do love to drink, and like to get drunk (when I have time to recoup), this was starting to seem like an unhealthy routine.
I poured myself a drink and we grabbed a usual spot on the patio. D started telling me about this new girl that he hired to be a hostess. He made sure to tell me she was black.
This girl was so good at her job, the higher-ups took notice and told D, “Good job.”
This is where some explanation needs to take place. Prejudice and institutional racism hold a dear spot in my heart. I am a trained facilitator for Dialogue on Race Louisiana, and I do believe there is proof of “modern-day” racism. My stance is this: everyone deserves their opinion, and I will listen, however I never enjoy discussing my opinions and values on racism with someone who isn’t willing to listen.
So, that night, I was silent.
“What’s your take on that?” he asked.
“On what?” I asked.
“Racism,” he said. “Or do you not have one?”
“Of course I have one,” I said. “I believe there is clear proof that, at least in this city, blacks are not given the same opportunities as whites.”
“Someone can pull themselves up,” D said.
Ah, “The Oprah Example,” as I liked to call it; which was a bullshit excuse. If whites didn’t have to pull ourselves up, no one should. We went back and forth a few times, before D grabbed his cigarettes and drink, and stood up.
“This is obviously a conversation we shouldn’t have had,” he said, walking away.
I said nothing, laying my head on the table, letting the tears form in the corners of each eye. He was drunk; and that always lead to an irrational fight. I heard the door to the patio slam.
I stayed on the patio, cradling my drink, evaluating what just happened. While he was obviously upset, I didn’t get why he was THAT pissed. So what, I’m not racist, is that a reason to throw a fit?
I headed into my apartment and it was oddly quiet. While I had assumed he came in and went to bed, a quick glance into my bedroom proved that he’d actually left. I checked my phone.
“Grow up here and then tell me how you feel. Better yet, find yourself a black man and then get back to me. Goodnight,” read his text.
I was shaking as I took the elevator downstairs to the parking garage, running to his car while calling him.
“You can stop running,” he said. “You look like a retard.”
I was crying.
“Why did you leave?” I asked.
“Because you weren’t listening to my side, and you were acting like your opinion was better than mine,” he said.
“So what, we have different opinions, that doesn’t mean you walk away,” I said. I continued to cry.
“You’ve really been hurt before, haven’t you?” he asked. I thought I’d made that pretty clear and didn’t understand what that had to do with anything.
“Please don’t cry,” he said. “Even though you still look so cute when you cry. I’m sorry.”
As hindsight is 20/20, I regret running after him that night. Telling me to “get a black man” or any man for that matter, was offensive. We dumped our drinks in the sink and crawled into bed.
He kissed me, running his fingers down my back, reaching south.
“Has anyone ever done this to you before?” he whispered.
I was confused. What was he referring to? Fooling around? Of course someone had done it to me before, even he had. I didn’t know how to react to this, especially knowing he was drunk and still probably on edge from our fight.
So I said nothing. He pulled back, rolled to “his” side of my bed and faced his back to me.
“Where did you go?” I asked.
“You have a goodnight,” he said.
That was it. I threw back the covers and jumped out of bed.
“I am so fucking SICK of this SHIT!” I yelled across my bedroom.
“Oh, oh you’re sick of this shit?” he said, still looking the other direction. “Well don’t worry because I’ll be gone in the morning.”
“HA! You won’t remember a God damn thing in the morning,” I said, putting on a pair of shorts, grabbing my pillow, and heading toward my couch.
I was wide awake, pissed. I was sick of him being passive-aggressive and always making me feel like I was doing something wrong, when I wasn’t.
My phone buzzed. It was a text from D…yes, he was in the other room about 10 feet away.
“Screw you, if you’re going to leave me,” it read. I put the phone down, curled up, and fell asleep.
In the morning, I got up and got ready, whispered to D that I was heading out. He pulled my arm, wanting me to get into bed with him.
“I can’t, I’ve got to go pick up my mom from the airport,” I whined. He told me he loved me, and I headed toward the airport.
A few hours later, my mom and I were at breakfast, sharing a bowl of grits with blackberries, when I got a text from D. He was on his way to work.
“I just saw the text I sent you last night,” he said. “I’m so sorry.”
“Do you remember what happened?” I asked.
“No. I hate when I hurt you,” he said. “Are you sure you want to be with me?”
“Yes, but… I really think you should ease up on the booze. These types of conversations happen more than you are realizing,” I replied.
“Good idea,” he said.
The next day, I had planned for D to come over and meet my mom over a lunch of homemade pizzas (me and my pizza skills). After hours in the kitchen, I filled a patio table with three pizzas, a bucket of wine and bottled mojito, and stacks of plates and napkins.
D was late. However, my mom welcomed him with open arms, and the lunch was a success—despite D having to leave early for work. He invited us to come see him at the restaurant later, which we did.
It was the longest amount of time we’d spent apart—we were always sleeping at each other’s places. I missed him tremendously.
“I feel like the luckiest guy in the world,” he would text. “I just miss my baby so much.”
My heart melted.
On my mom’s last full day in town, we’d made plans to have lunch with D’s mom, dad, and daughter. I was nervous—this shit was getting real. Parents meeting parents? Yikes.
My mom and I headed to a restaurant near D’s parents’ home. They were already there, so we grabbed a table. D was late. Standard.
He arrived with his daughter, we ordered rounds of grilled oysters, and the conversation was going well. Despite how much I missed D, I was starting to resent him. I felt like his parents didn’t like me; that they didn’t think I was good enough for their son. I only wished they’d seen the side of him that I sometimes had to deal with—the drunken fights, the passive aggressive attitude.
D was yawning.
“Why are you so tired?” I asked him.
“Roommates had a BBQ last night,” he said. “I stayed up late.”
“You just went by yourself?” I asked, wondering why I hadn’t heard a damn thing about this BBQ. I’d actually texted him saying my mom and I were out having margaritas if he wanted to join us. He said he had to work late. Was he lying?
My mood shifted.
He blew a kiss at me from across the table and I gave him an evil stare. After leaving the restaurant, D sent me a text asking me what was wrong. I was upset that he hadn’t met my mom and I out. I missed him so much, but I felt a great distance between us.
A few days later, my mom was gone, and D and I returned to our usual schedule, which meant Wednesday night date night—a personal favorite.
In true form, D arrived at my apartment hammered, complete with a white styrofoam cup in-hand. My stomach started to churn. What would we fight about tonight?
We grabbed our usual spot on the patio. D was flipping through his phone, listening to music from a band I’d never heard of.
“I just love them,” he said. “What about this song? Are you still going to love me even though I like country music?”
Who was this person? He skipped to another song.
“Why do you love me?” he asked, a question that often arose during moments like these (drunk ones). “I mean sure, I’m not cheating on you like your ex, but… even you said the sex was mediocre.”
TO BE CONTINUED…
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