Price Breaks and Heartaches
A journal of retail and failed romance
Panties Half Off
My car was still out of commission so Lilly picked me up and brought me to her place for a little dinner and an episode of ‘Moonlighting’. Jessie was out of town at some kind of bodybuilding competition but I couldn’t relax, there were reminders of the relationship I was intruding on everywhere- from pictures to mementos to container after container of weight gain powder.
I had hidden a red carnation in my lunch box and gave it to Lilly, all the while thinking to myself Take THAT Beverly.
Any chance I got I leaned across the dinner table, I don’t think I ate much really but I ended up with a lot of fettuccine sauce on my sleeves. Telling her I loved her was as easy as breathing and every time I did she would reply “You better.”
Once the meal was over we retired to the couch, and after moving the Stairmaster out from in front of the TV she fired up her VCR.
I barely noticed the sound of a postmodern dramedy, I was too busy watching her. The TV could have been playing static and polka music for all I cared. Her laughter was like the sun peering out from behind the clouds on a chilly day. It was all worth it. I thought to myself, Every miserable moment of the last four years was worth it.
When Lilly finally noticed that I was staring at her she blushed. I gave her a kiss and she said “To Hell with Bruce Willis.”
But we’ve all said that at least once I think, especially after ‘Hudson Hawk’.
She turned the TV off, I dimmed the lights. I had worn a shirt with snaps for easy access. This time I was ready. This time I was mentally reciting the companions from 'Doctor Who' in backwards order to keep my passions from getting the better of me.
“You really are something else.” I said.
“You’ll find I’m full of surprises.” Lilly's voice was husky.
Now nothing gets me hotter then girls quoting ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ at me so we were off.
The feel of her against me left my spirit feeling untethered, my every breath was a shudder; my senses were on fire. It was all too good to be true; moments of impossible joy strung together like the paragraphs of a romance novel written by a mental patient.
Before the prose, or anything else for that matter, could get any purpler the phone started to ring. Lilly blundered for the phone, I caught her hand, “Leave it.”
“I can't,” She put the phone to her ear. “Jessie? ...I was talking to myself. ...no I'm not doing anything.”
Suddenly self-conscious I began to close my shirt back up, but I was a little too quick. Let's just say that hairy chested Italian men and snaps don't always mix.
“...oh that's great. I can't wait to see it ...well maybe. You always use too much bronzer. ... well you do. Now don't talk like that. I didn't mean...”
All I wanted right then was for her to tell Jessie to fuck off and hang up on him. Lilly didn't have to stay here, I was sure she could stay with my at my parents house for a while. If my parents didn't want her sleeping with me, my sister's room was currently empty. I really didn't think it would be an issue either way; my mother and stepfather would be too delirious with joy at finally seeing me develop visible glimmerings of heterosexuality.
“...Ok ...all right ...you too,” Her eyes flicked towards me, “love you.”
She hung up the phone with an apologetic shrug, “If I hadn't answered he would have just kept calling.”
Since the mood had officially been killed, dug up and killed again, I thought it might be a good time to lay my cards on the table. “Lilly,” I took her hand in mine. “You know I love you right?”
“It's like a mantra with you.”
“Exactly! And you're not happy here are you?”
She frowned, I hated it when she frowned, “I don't know Al. I'm not sure of a lot now.”
“You've got to know he's not the one for you.”
“And you are?”
“We were meant for each other.”
“Don't I get a choice in the matter?”
“What?” I tried to take her in my arms again only to be pushed away, “I don't understand.”
“You act like because you had a shitty time in high school you're entitled to me.” She said, “Do you have any idea how sick that is?”
I paused before answering, “Uh no?”
“Do you know about any of the things that happened to me over the last four years? You don't think I've ever been miserable?”
“You never told me!”
“That's because you can't stop talking about yourself and how much you love me for five goddamn minutes!”
I tried to touch her again, “You're... just upset. We don't have to fight. Hey you know what this is our first fight, it’s kind of a milestone.
“If Jessie knew about this,” Lilly said as she got up off the couch. “It would just kill him.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
This was the first time I had earned an icy stare from a love interest, sadly it wouldn't the last. She made an exasperated sound, “I think you should go.”
So I left, what else could I do? As the door closed behind me I asked, “Can I call you?”
Her arms were crossed, “I don’t know.”
And over the next few days I did try to call, twice I left messages on the machine. The third time Jessie answered and I adopted a squeaky British accent and told him I what a total blighter I was to have dialed the jolly wrong number. Pip pip cherrio and all that.