She follows me into the house, and I sing along to the Ramones, really ham it up to
try and lighten the mood. I gesture toward the couch, and she sits. It’s kind of a stiff,
awkward-looking pose, and I’m not sure if that’s because of me or because she’s upset.
“So, princess. You’ve sunk to a whole new level coming to me for help, haven’t
you?” I mean it as a joke, to cut myself down, but she clearly doesn’t find it funny because
her eyes fill with tears again.
“Shit.” I exhale a slow breath. I’m a little too good at saying the wrong thing where
she’s concerned. I hate this feeling, whatever it is, because I’m on edge. No, I’m self-
conscious. On a level I never dreamed possible. Funny how I can stand up on stage and feel
like a king, but one girl has me second-guessing myself with a single expression. Of course,
it doesn’t help that I’m in front of her wearing only a towel. “Look, I’m gonna go get
dressed. Just sit tight, OK? I’ll see if I can figure something out.”
She nods, her face still flushed, but the tears are drying again. And as sick and twisted
and inappropriately timed as it seems, my first thought looking at her is that this whole
disheveled look she’s sporting is sexy as hell. OK, I need to leave the room, now. I realize as
I shut the bedroom door behind me that my heart is pounding. I close my eyes and take a
deep breath. Don’t be fucking stupid, Jack. That girl wants nothing to do with you. Not to
mention, this is not the time to be having thoughts like that. Yet, the image that flashes into
my brain is Voodoo Chick, and that matter-of-fact way she says I know you dig her, there’s
no point in denying it. Do I? Yeah, she’s attractive, but I see attractive women all the time.
But they don’t make me feel like a moron when I’m around them, not like this girl. What
kind of a fucking joke is this situation?
I take my time getting dressed. Mostly it’s to compose myself. No need to treat her
any different than any of my other friends. There’s no point in letting myself stress over a
girl I can’t have. Wait…is that what it is? Do I want her because I can’t have her? I frown at
my reflection in the mirror. No, that’s never been my style. Why waste the effort? That’s
always been my philosophy. Which means, I really am into her. Fuck.
What a stupid, inconvenient time for self-realization. I head back downstairs, stuffing
that newfound realization into a little compartment somewhere deep inside me. Well, it
doesn’t matter anyway, does it? She’s got a boyfriend. She doesn’t even like me. And there it
is. Truth, but it stings. That little compartment won’t stay shut now. The lid keeps popping
open, and what’s inside taunts me.