It was Monday, so I picked Cheryl up from the sorority house on my way to class. She could have taken the school shuttle, but she liked sleeping until the last possible moment before she had to be somewhere. The consequence of this was that she frequently made me late to class as well.
When Cheryl got in the car, I related the events of the previous evening as concisely as I could. When I was done, she finished putting on her makeup and packing it back into her purse before responding. “You’re being awfully nice to those two, considering they came to steal your woman away from you.”
“They didn’t, though,” I paused, a little surprised at myself for openly acknowledging that Katie-Anne’s affection was my goal. “Okay, I suppose that in the physical sense, they did, but that isn’t the problem. I’ve never even had a shot with her at all. She’s had her sights set on someone else probably ever since they yanked her out of the sims four years ago. What am I against that kind of… fervor?” I didn’t want to use the word ‘love.’
“A friend, but you already knew that.”
“I knew no su-” I stopped, remembering to think before I spoke. “I did know that, didn’t I? She’s never treated me like anything but a friend—someone she could confide in.”
“And if we start with that as our premise, what can we conclude?”
I slumped forward. “That I’m an idiot.”
“That was previously established. What new information can we glean from this?”
I parked the car across from the ed. building and looked dejectedly at Cheryl. “Okay, I get it. You can stop talking down to me now.”
“No way.” She met my eyes. I looked away. “If you’re going to come running to me for advice whenever you want, you can at least give me the satisfaction of proving that you learned from it.”
“Sometimes, I don’t like you very much.”
“That’s a lie. Now let me hear it.”
I sighed. “Katie-Anne didn’t betray or use me—at least not purposefully. I don’t have any right to act as though she has.”
Cheryl smiled. “Good boy. You get a gold star. Collect ten of them and you can trade them in for a fruit juice bar!”
“Go away, please.”
She did, heading off toward her class. I put my head down on the steering wheel of my car. After a few moments of feeling numb, I got up and went to econ.
I needed a new mentor…
…One that I hadn’t slept with.