Another Life – Chapter 5

“Joe! Good to see you! You remember Laurie?” Ron’s girlfriend Laurie was artsy, quirky, funny, and too good for him. She had corn-colored hair, freckles on her nose – and she was stacked.

My cousin Ron was a good-looking guy, with way too much charm, and brains to match. It never seemed fair to me that one guy got so many blessings.

Laurie gave me a quick hug, and said hello to Marty – he was flattered that she actually remembered him. I introduced the sisters. Ron scoped them out, horndog that he was. I don’t know why Laurie let him get away with it.

– “Welcome!” he said, holding on to Tanya’s hand a bit too long. “Please make yourselves at home. My weed is your weed. And Joe’s beer – obviously, the same.”

I took my cousin aside a moment later. “She’s only 16.” I whispered.

– “No shit?” he murmured, looking at her one more time. “Too bad .. you should cultivate that action, Chaz. Future prospects, you know?”

I chatted with Laurie for a while. She had been with Ron for over a year, so I had met her a few times. I liked her. When somebody put on the Talking Heads’ ‘Life During Wartime’, Laurie squealed and dragged me into the living room to dance.

We worked up a good sweat. Then I grabbed a fresh beer, and went to look for the sisters. Well, two of them, anyway. Sam was in the kitchen, pinned up against the stove, with two of Ronnie’s more disreputable friends telling her jokes. At least, that’s what I thought they were doing. As I drew near, Sam saw me.

– “Hey, Joe!” she called. “This guy says he’s a P.I.. Is that true?”

I didn’t know Gerry very well – but if P.I. stood for Permanent Ignoramus … then yes, he was. Gerry grinned, and flashed a me a piece of cardboard the size of a business card. It read: P.I. – and then, in smaller print, ‘Panty Inspector’. Standard Joke Shop stuff.

– “That’s not a real job, is it?” said Sam.

The two jerks laughed their asses off. Honestly – it struck me that if I left Sam alone for half an hour, she’d be upstairs, in one of the bedrooms, on her back, with guys lined up to climb aboard.

– “She’s with me.” I told Ronnie’s friends. They had the good sense to back off. I was not channeling much Christmas spirit, and precious little goodwill toward men.

Why did I care? Couldn’t answer that, for the moment.

– “Did I do something wrong?” asked Sam.

– “No. We need to find your sister, though.”

We found her, talking to Laurie. I relaxed immediately. Laurie was smoking a joint, and offered me a toke, which I declined. Tanya didn’t.

– “Is that a marijuana cigarette?” asked Sam.

Honestly.

 

***

Christmas gave my stepmother a great idea.

– “Since you’re working full time, I think you can afford a little more, when it comes to rent.” she said. From the tone of her voice, I could tell that she had already whipped my Dad into line. It was a done deal, as far as she was concerned.

– “I’m saving up for college.” I said. “You’ll notice I haven’t even considered buying a car.”

– “You can still save, and pay a little more around here.” she insisted.

 

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11 Common Lies Husbands Tell Their Wives

https://va.topbuzz.com/s/NedRR

 

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Aria – New York – 2006 – Confusion and Delusion

This story occurred when I lived for a few years in NYC.

I had been talking to this girl through Facebook for a little bit. She was younger but cool and kinda cute, and one day invited me to get lunch with her. I agreed, and a few days later, I went out of my way to meet her at a subway station in Queens. I go down to the platform and see her standing next to her best friend.

So I greet them with a simple “what’s up” and the friend greets me back. But Aria is silent and looks away from me. Shyness? Possibly. That’s all I could think of. So the three of us get on the next train and head over to Midtown, Manhattan; the trip took roughly thirty minutes. Not a SINGLE WORD came out of her mouth the whole trip. The best friend and I had a great conversation, and she even tried to incorporate Aria, but to no avail.

So we get to where we need to be, and finally I start to have a small conversation with Aria. She tells me about this “amazing appetizer” at the restaurant we were heading to, giving me something to look forward to.

We get to the place and she orders said appetizer, while I order a main dish. She gets her food and offers her friend a bite before quickly eating the rest of it. Cue the confusion.

I turn to her and say “listen, I have a couple of errands I want to run in the city, I might get going.” But as soon as I finish, she turns to her best friend, and the latter quickly tells (almost begs) me not to leave. So I pay for everyone’s food (sixty dollars I regret spending now) and we head over to Central Park.

When we get there, I notice the two girls whispering to each other, and Aria quickly looking away when I glanced at her. At this point, I’m thinking “man she’s really shy, but SHE invited me to this, so what’s the deal?”

We walk further into the park towards the Wollman Rink area (during the summer it’s converted into a carnival). Aria is walking ahead of her best friend and I, keeping a bit of a distance and at some points walking fast as if to lose us. So we get up to a spot that overlooks the carnival and the best friend says “I think I’m gonna go soon.” Without missing a beat, Aria was like, “no please don’t go.” So I look over to the two of them and say “I’ll get on my way so you two can go around the park together” while starting to walk away. Aria looks up at me and walks away, looking sad. Cue MORE confusion. Her best friend runs up, stops me from walking, and goes into a little talk with me. Now I’m gonna type as much of it as I remember.

“Look Chaz, I kinda don’t want to stay here. I feel like a third wheel, and Aria kinda likes you. I know you two are great for each other, and she really wants this date to work out. So would it be okay if you and her just went around the park for, a couple of hours? Would you enjoy spending time with her? Because she really wants this, she’s just… kinda shy.”

So I tell her that she invited me in the first place, and had no problem communicating on social media. I told her that real world shyness is understandable, and that it was cute that she liked me, but I felt like I was being blown off. The friend agreed and felt it was kinda rude of Aria to not really talk to me, but assured me that things would be okay once I was alone with her.

So I told her that if she wanted to leave, it was okay. The friend and I go over to Aria, who tells us she wants to see some lake in the park.

We begin walking down one pathway and the friend falls back for a second. She suddenly states “my siblings need me to come home for something… so… I’m gonna go. You two have fun.” Aria looks at her desperately and shakes her head. I notice this and say “do you want to go walk to that lake?” Aria hesitates, but agrees to do so and even smiles a bit.

So the friend leaves us and we walk along the pathway. But Aria continues to walk a bit ahead of me, and when I walk faster to catch up with her, she changes direction and walks through the grass or climbs up a rock. Finally I stopped tolerating the games being played and I stopped her for a second and said “look, I wanted to do a few things on my own in the city, and we’re heading the opposite way of where I need to be. I don’t want to follow you all the way up to this lake if you’re going to speed off ahead of me and not even talk to me.” This upset her, but we pressed on and made small talk.

We get to the lake and take some pictures, then walk along one side of it towards the western end of Central Park (for NYC natives, we were heading for 96th Street on the west side). We agreed to sit in the grass under a tree and she began to get close and comfortable with me. A nice conversation goes on for a while, and we end up sitting there for a good hour.

As I suggest we start heading for the train station, I start to get up and she hugs me. So I remain seated and hug her back, talking to her. We let go of each other and she leans on me, running her hand through my hair. I tell her that I’m ready to leave and have errands to run. But IN THE MIDDLE OF MY SENTENCE she cuts me off by saying “HEY!… Kiss me.”

Lots of things were going through my head and I told her I didn’t want to kiss her at the moment (I had no desire to at all after all the shit that happened earlier). So I stood up and she sat there with her hands on her cheeks, kinda pushing them up, and pouting. I offer to help her up and she glares up at me.

“I didn’t want to kiss you anyway”

Now I’m pissed. I felt like I was being played left and right, and was trying really hard to contain myself. I told her to get up and walk with me to the train station, since I knew she wouldn’t be able to find it on her own. I walked her towards the west side of the park, and she’s trailing ten feet behind me texting away. I never bothered to ask who she was sending messages to. But I tried to make conversation with her again, and only got brief answers from her. We got on the same train together, and she started talking to me about her previous boyfriends.

“I had two boyfriends before. They took advantage of me. I gave them both blowjobs frequently and they never did anything intimate to me.”

At this point, my mind is fucking blown at how fast the relationship escalated. We had gone from the point of not talking and awkwardness, to her telling me some really personal shit. I listened and tried to put my opinion in on how it wasn’t nice of the guys to do that (I was just trying to make her happy at this point) but diverted to giving her directions on getting back home. Once she told me she understood, I said goodbye, got off at the next transfer point, and got on a new train to head back to midtown and finish my errands. I looked back onto the train she stayed on and I could see she was upset, looking at me, at the route sign, then back at me, on the verge of tears. But I was glad it was over.

Aria sent me a message later trying to explain everything, telling me how the friend never meant to show up, and that she felt really bad about playing games with me and not acting mature.

Just a young shy girl. Hope she’s found her way in life.

 

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