Bewitched & Bamboozled
When things are too good to be true, they usually are. That hot sale isn’t getting you that much of a discount, the two dollar bill you have is one the not rare ones, the thirty dollar diamond is probably cubic zirconia.
I rolled out of bed and headed to the kitchen to scavenge for breakfast. Roommate Erin comes by and starts making her own. Let me rephrase, breakfast for her and her girlfriend. She and I started dating someone in the same week back in high school. While I’ve broken up with that guy and went out with several more over the years, Erin has stayed loyal and true to her girlfriend, Aya. They’ve been together for over six years now and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little envious at times. While I’m watching Netflix alone, they share showers and tickle fights.
I pull out my oat milk and supposedly fruity loops, pour them into my thrift store bowl, and sit at the bar while Erin makes breakfast. Somewhere between high school and now, the pair became vegetarian. They cook together all the time and make delicious meals. They also love to share what they make – thank you to whatever higher being let that happen.
Today she made rice, eggs, and not-bacon for her beloved, to serve to her in bed of course. Their meal triumphs my cold and lonely bowl of cereal. I ask her, “hey, do you mind if I use your printer?”
“Of course, go ahead. Actually I woke up to the sound of the printer going off, it scared the hell out of me this morning.”
“Oh how lovely for you! If it wasn’t yours, what printed?”
“It’s the resume of some girl, no clue where it’s from.”
“Maybe she connected to the wrong printer?”
“Oh probably, it’s in my room if you wanna see it.”
Naturally, I want to see it. I’m just nosy like that. Of course, I want to know how much experience a peer has. How fluffed up is their resume, or are they truly accomplished?
The first thing I notice is that it’s three pages long. Liza is her name. It’s crazy the amount of information is in this. Full name, phone number, email, even her social medias. She’s crazy accomplished, part of this group and that organization, not to mention a high GPA. She has had jobs that matter, not just a barista or a cashier. The summer before this semester, I spent my time painting houses with my dad. While she was interning at a law firm, I was laying down paper over hardwood floors, painting miles worth of wall molding. I nearly melted away in Charleston’s heat and humidity, and she’s sitting pretty at a desk.
Good reality check for me, I suppose.
Her Instagram. It’s okay if I look. In fact, I should ask. She needs her resume. I mean, it’s already printed out and I don’t need it. I find it right away.
She’s pretty. Very pretty, but that’s not why I’m here. How should I word this…
After I text her, I go about my day. I brush my teeth, not do homework, watch tv, and eventually go to sleep. She didn’t ever message me back so maybe she already got it done.
The next morning, I wake up past noon. My first instinct is to check my phone as soon as I wake up. My screen has a new notification, a message. From Liza!
Deep breath. I can’t open it right now, she sent the text less than an hour ago. Play it cool.
What am I thinking…? It’s not a big deal. I’m just asking if she wants her resume back, not a date. I click and tap the screen to open her message.
My heart skips a beat. No way she’s implying what I think she’s implying. Naaaaaahh.
Not too forward, not making any assumptions. I think that’s safe.
I put my phone down. Did she really say that? Like, that feels pretty clear.
Twenty minutes pass. My phone buzzes.
Well I’ll be damned! She wants to hang out. Bad day for this though, I’ve got class in a bit. Not to mention, but the water is down and I desperately need a shower.
Her reply comes at lighting speed.
Oh she’s cute. I haven’t pulled that thing out since I worked at Barnes and Noble two years ago. It’s not very impressive at all. Damn it, I gotta go update the thing. There’s not much I can do to it besides add a section for her to see. I write in an informal ‘about me’ section. Music I like, the kind of art I make, and whatnot. She passes along her printer information to me and I pray that I’m doing this right.
I don’t know what the hell a CV is, but if she says she liked it then I must’ve done good. Clearly I’m smoother than I thought.
I’ve been asked out and surprised before and it’s a cool feeling, but it’s different coming from a girl. Coming from someone as attractive as she is, that is a very flattering compliment.
We decided to get boba together the next day. When I wake up the next morning, I’m so excited I could pee my pants. I’ve studied her Instagram like I had a test on it the next day. I reviewed her posts, read every comment, and inspected her tagged posts. I sound crazy but, in my defense, there was only six posts total to see.
She picks me up in her car, a Mazda-something; I’d bet money that it’s not more than a year old. Leather interior, back-up camera, and seat warmers, it faintly smells of new car. I guess that smell is stale car now. That’s not clever enough to be a joke, I’m not going to say that. We exchange names and make small talk on the way there. Traffic, the weather, pedestrians, what’s on the radio, the easy stuff.
We park and then it hits it me. My first date with a girl.
I get a good look at her when she gets out of the car. She is very polished. Well put together. She is a young adult. She wore one of those herringbone tweed skirts and a black turtleneck. She looked like she walked straight out a magazine. I opened the door for her and the chime announced our entrance. She’s never had boba; I ordered coconut slush and she got strawberry. We continue with our introductions. She’s from Armenia. The sunshine gleamed off her hair, jet black with a Olaplex healthy shine. She spoke in detail about her future plans. A political social major, she’s deeply invested in the wellbeing of her motherland. She explained to me the ongoing Armenian genocide. I kept attentive eye contact, nodding and responding with “mhmm”s when appropriate. I didn’t understand jackshit about what she was telling me. I had zero clue such a thing was going on, and even less about the growing tensions between Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Armenia. She devoted herself to this knowledge and educating others. What a woman! Although I didn’t really get it, she didn’t make me feel stupid either. Kim Possible ring tone. She’s so cute. “Oh, my boyfriend asked if you wanna have dinner with us!”
Damn. Damn. damn.
My heart dropped to the bottom of the sea.
“Oh yeah, that sounds like fun!”
God damn it. Fuck! I thought I studied her Instagram enough. I swear I didn’t see anything. “She asked if I can pick up some stuff at the grocery, wanna come with?” I’m heartbroken. No, I don’t wanna go.
“Yeah, of course!”
I rather decompose in my bed.
We gather our things and go back to her car. One direction CD starts to play. She fumbles, “Oh jeez, I gotta change that”. Goddamn it. She’s so cute. It’s not really my thing, but it’s the kind of music classic-ly sweet girls like. She asks me to play something and I do, it’s Toro y Moi. Something to make me cool and interesting. I wonder if her boyfriend is cool. What if he’s like, way more cool and interesting than me and I’m actually stupid for thinking I had a chance? It’s my fault for thinking she’s even into girls, I need to not make assumptions. We make it to the grocery store. The conversation is light and upbeat. We talk about our majors and talk about our classes. Her boyfriend is making chicken parmesan today. I tell Liza I’ve never had that. “It’s pasta, right?”
She lets out a giggle, a little dainty one. “He’s from here, it’ll be like southern comfort food.”
When we got back to Liza’s place, her boyfriend was outside and ready to greet us. I’m coming into this already not wanting to like him, I need to relax. He seems like a nice person. We exchange introductions, his name is Drew and he’s some kind of art major.
Walking inside their apartment, I meet the roommates. They’re all nice enough, a bit loud, but hey, it’s their place not mine. Drew and Liza start making dinner. I offer to help, but they insist that they got it. I sit down and I don’t really know what do with myself. The conversation as a group staled and the room was instead filled with nonsense bickering.
“That’s not how peel potatoes.”
“Can you stop grabbing me like that?”
“You’re butchering that chicken, ya’kno.”
Do they… even like each other…?
Why am I here..?
Dinner is okay. Whatever we watched was okay. I stayed for too long. Drew’s eyes kept darting between his girlfriend and his game console on the TV and Liza kept ignoring his signals. Instead, she kept talking to me, and our conversation was lively as it was before I found out about it. We talked about what shows we like and the products we use and more nonsense like that. Drew and I shared few words. Neither of us were very interested in the other.
When I finally got him to say more than three words to me at a time, we were discussing his art. He sure likes talking about his art. He shows me some of his figure drawings; they’re all very well done, I can’t lie. He showed off six drawings, and all six are definitely based on Liza. I can feel warmth in my cheeks and I’m embarrassed that I’m blushing at this. Liza brings out a canvas he’s working on now.
“I’m only about half done, but it’s coming out perfectly”
Drew has painted her face to right below the bust. Now the tips of my ears are warm. I feel a cold sweat go down my spine.
Liza says something, but I couldn’t comprehend what she said. I couldn’t even look her in the eyes, not after seeing the artistic rendition of her boobs.
It’s past 12AM now and I get to weasel my way back home.
“Well guys, it’s getting late and I have a test tomorrow.” Anything to get back home.
We exchange good bye’s and see you later’s. I pray that I don’t have to see Drew later. Liza walks me out the door.
“Sooo, what did you think?”
I don’t know what to think, really. I thought I was here for a date and then you had a boyfriend and then he showed me you naked.
“I had a lot of fun! I hope I get to see you again.” That much isn’t a lie, I do hope we get more time together. Without his presence around hopefully.
She pulls me in for a hug. Damn it, she smells lovely. A tobacco vanilla fragrance that pulled in and left me wanting more.
I finally got to walk home to my apartment, exhausted of small talk and pleasantries. Three flights of stairs later, I flop on my bed and curl up in my blankets. The allure of a pretty girl entranced me into spending my time with awkward couple with problems. I was eager to forget my evening.