Enter: Another Long Monday
What is it about a Monday that is so universally despised? Is it the worldwide groan of getting back to work after the weekend? Is it the fact that the cafeteria always serves tuna casserole with green beans every Monday? Probably both.
This Monday was no different. You could feel the gloominess settling over the school like a woolen blanket. But something didn’t feel right. I couldn’t put my finger on it; it was just a nagging feeling in the back of my gut. Or maybe that was the spicy rice from last night.
Either way, I wasn’t at all surprised when our teacher announced that we were getting a new student. Why the school would let someone in this late in the year was beyond me, but who knew what the monkeys that ran this place were thinking. I was surprised when I saw who it was.
“Hi Will!” said Jose Martinez, dropping his bag and sitting down in the seat next to mine.
Jose and I had been friends back in elementary school. His mother and mine had gone to the same hairdresser, so every Monday evening they would leave me and Jose at home to play with blocks and action figures. We both liked professional wrestling and monster trucks, but that was about it. Jose tended to be very annoying and a bit of a follower, so I wasn’t entirely upset when he moved away in sixth grade. I certainly hadn’t expected to see him again.
“Jose,” I said, “You look, wow, it’s been a while.” He hadn’t changed much over the past six years, the doctors never really figured out why he had a full mustache back in sixth grade and Jose had apparently kept it ever since. He’d also put on a little weight, which was a nice way of saying he had like three chins.
He smiled, oblivious as always to my dislike, and asked, “How’ve you been Will? Still having problems with that rash?”
Everyone in class turned to stare at us, and it was all I could do to keep myself from hitting him. I tried to laugh it off, and said, “That was like six years ago, Jose.”
“Oh yeah,” Jose replied, “I’d hope you took care of that by now.”
The bell rang and it was time for class to begin, thank god. All through class I could feel his presence next to me, bringing back memories of how annoying his laugh was and how he used to follow me all around the school. I could only pray that he’d outgrown that.
I was wrong.
As soon as class was over, he was on me like a remora on a shark. Jose followed me over to the water fountain, my locker, and even the men’s room. He couldn’t stop babbling about everything that had happened the past six years. Everything. Every bruised knee, every failed test, every pimple, and even every time he threw up. Jose was killing me.
Finally, it was time for Civics, a class Jose wasn’t taking. He actually followed me to the door of the classroom before leaving me alone. The guy was freaking ridiculous.
Civics I liked. Not because it was a sleeper class, not because the teacher was partially crazy and would spend most of class ranting about the Nazis or the Commies. I liked Civics because for fifty four glorious minutes I got to sit behind Emmy. Her perfume would drift in the air back to me, and I would soak in its sweet fruity essence all class. Some days her long blonde hair would carry the scent of her jasmine perfume and I would daydream about running my fingers through her silky golden tresses.
Today I was surprised to find that Emmy had gotten some blue streaks in her hair. It brought out the deep blue of her eyes, and it was extremely attractive in an emo punk sort of way. Emmy always looked beautiful to me.
As always, the teacher invariably got off on a tangent and started ranting about how the Commies were taking over the stock market. Everyone in class allowed him a few minutes to really get into it, and then we all started talking to each other.
Adding to a day full of surprises, Emmy turned around and actually smiled. I was too shocked to respond when she said, “Hey, Will right?”
She didn’t break a beat as she continued, “The director says I need to start practicing my lines more, and I thought I could practice them with you. What are you doing after school?”
“Yeah, today,” Emmy said, laughing a little.
I stuttered a little as I answered, “Um, Sure, I guess, I can, when should I meet you?”
“I need to get out of the house. Let’s meet at the park right after school, ok?”
It felt like a dream, but I knew it had to be real because Emmy suddenly reached over and squeezed my hand. “See you later,” she said, before turning to talk to her friend.
What just happened?
I don’t know why I squeezed Will’s hand after I asked for his help. He just was so awkward it was kind of cute.
What the hell am I talking about?
D and I haven’t spoken since our fight, and that was a week ago. He isn’t usually this stubborn, but I heard his mother is back in town. It’s always been rough between them; I just hope D was doing ok.
I hadn’t seen Courtnee much either. Now that she and Saul were a thing, they spent every waking moment together. Courtnee did tell me that they hadn’t slept together yet, but she was thinking it was almost the right time. She was always more of a prude than me, but I respect her for it. I know if I were dating Saul, I wouldn’t have lasted this long. Those abs make me shiver.
Still, I had asked Will to stay after school and help me with my lines. As much as I’d never admit it to anyone, I was enjoying being in the spotlight in front of everyone. It makes me feel so loved.
I guess I do have to learn the lines sometime.
After the bell rang signaling the end of school and the start of freedom, I met Will at the front entrance. He asked, “Can I, um, carry your, uh, books…for you?”
Will was so tongue-tied, I just smiled and handed him my books. I never use a backpack, I’ve never found one that matches my shoes. We walked all the way to the park in silence. Occasionally he would turn his head as if to speak, but he would always stop himself and just keep walking. Once a little noise came out, like a bird squawk, and from then on he was too embarrassed to even look at me. It was adorable. He was like a frightened little puppy.
We found a bench in a secluded area of the park and sat down. Will pulled out both of our scripts, and said, “Where do you wanna begin?”
“Anywhere you want to. I need to learn all of it, or the director is gonna kill me.”
Will flipped through the book and asked, “Let’s start on act 4, line 2-“
“So D and I had a fight again,” I cut him off, “and I just don’t know what to do.”
He looked surprised and said, “Well, I-“
“He should’ve known I was just kidding. I’d never seriously cheat on him.”
Will tried to say, “Um, you said we’d rehearse-“
“I just like to have a little fun sometimes. Is that so bad?”
He coughed and said, “I dunno-“
“That’s just the way I am. If he really loved me, he’d accept that, right?”
“I hate it when he gets like this. I didn’t even do anything wrong, really.”
“Are we gonna-“
“How dare he throw another bottle at me?”
“Wow, um, this is-“
“I even let him be on top last time we had sex. He knows how much I like top!”
Will just stared at me as I continued.
“And now he’s not even talking to me. What the hell?”
“I, um, I-“
“I am a great girlfriend! He does not deserve a girl as good as me!”
“He’s the lucky one here, not me! So what if he’s the best lay I’ve ever had?”
“I can find someone else. Someone better than him! He’ll never do better than this!”
“Ok, so Shakespeare-“
“That’s it! I’m going to break up with him! You’re so right Will!”
“Thank you for listening, I gotta go,” I said, picking up my stuff.
Will stood up next to me, and before he could say anything I kissed him lightly on the cheek and started to walk away.
“What just happened?”
I turned and called over my shoulder, “See you tomorrow!”
The Best Friend:
“Where’ve you been? I’ve been waiting for you for an hour!”
Courtnee was mad because I was a little late to our date.”
I leaned forward and gave her a quick kiss as I replied, “I was at the gym. I’ve been pretty busy lately with helping people train.”
Courtnee pulled away but didn’t say anything more so I pulled her to me and hugged her tightly. I said, “You know I only work this hard so I can treat you to all the nice things you deserve”
She looked down as she softly said, “I’d rather just have you. I don’t need much.”
“I know,” I said, “but I love to give you presents.”
“I like the presents, but I love you.”
I smiled and said, “What would you like to do tonight? We could go see a movie, and not watch the movie.”
She pulled away from me and sat down on a bench.
“We could go for a walk in the park and watch the sun set behind the mountains.”
Courtnee looked away and said, “Maybe you should just go.”
“We could just sit here and hold each other the way you like.”
She didn’t even bother answering this time. Courtnee got up and started to walk away.
“What’s wrong baby?”
I followed her for a bit before saying, “Tell me, you know you can tell me anything.”
After a pause, Courtnee turned around and said, “What did I tell you today?”
“When you said you love to give me presents.”
“You said you like my presents.”
Courtnee laughed a little, a sad laugh. Then she kept walking. I ran up to her and grabbed her shoulder to make her stop. She jerked out of my grip before she finally said, “I told you I love you, and you said we should go see a movie.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“I told you I love you.”
“You are absolutely clueless, you know that?”
I stood there, speechless, watching her walk away. I was too confused to enjoy the sight of her in skinny jeans. What was her problem? I was trying to be nice to her, I really was. I took every extra shift at the gym that I could to keep taking her on extravagant dates. I showered her in presents, we always hold hands in the school hallways, what more does she want? I even follow her boundaries, and that’s tough. Someone with a body like that not letting you enjoy it, that’s just not right. But I know I’m pretty close to cracking her. Well, not counting tonight’s fight. We have been fighting more recently.
Suddenly my phone vibrated in my pocket. I got a txt. I fished out of phone and flipped open the screen. My heart stopped for a second as I read the glowing words on the screen. It had to be a joke. There was no way it was serious.
The txt read, “Guess who’s back, <3 Eve”
After a week of putting up with my mother’s insanity, I couldn’t take it anymore. It was time I talked to Emmy again. By now she would be aching for my rock hard body. She probably was in bed thinking of me right now. I should call and find out.
The phone rang twice before her light perky voice answered, “Hello?”
“It’s D, I’ve-“
I was cut off by the rest of the answering machine message, “This is Emmy La’Beau’s phone, I can’t answer right now because I’m too busy screaming “Oh D’Artagnan!”
At least she hadn’t changed that. The message continued, “Please leave a message after the-“
I hung up, I didn’t need to leave her a message, I needed to talk to her in person. Next I called Courtnee to see if she knew where Emmy was, but Courtnee was too upset to tell me much. I finally got her to tell me that Emmy was going to the park with someone to rehearse lines for the play. Courtnee tried to keep me on the line to talk about her boy problems but I hung up on her. I didn’t have time to listen to her whine, if I wanted to hear a woman whine about boys I’d be at home with my mom.
I threw on a pair of ripped jeans and put on a leather jacket over my bare chest. I’d been at the gym a lot this week, so I earned the right to show off my abs. My baby was waiting for me, all curves and warm leather. My bike is the most important thing to me. She comes first.
I drove down the road just in time to see Emmy walking out the front gate of the park. She was alone, which was probably a good thing. I parked my bike at the corner by a fire hydrant and started walking to her. Emmy saw me coming, and instead of the usual smile and wink, she frowned and stopped walking. That was weird.
Emmy stared at me and said two little words, “Its. Over.”
“You and me, its over.”
“I’m tired of putting up with your mood swings. I’m leaving.”
As I stood there speechless, she took off the ring that I gave her and dropped it onto the sidewalk. Emmy turned and started walking away, and I was honestly too stunned to chase after her or say anything. What the hell just happened?