"Here's a marker. Here's my naked skin; our exhibit 'A'. Put a small 'X' where I lost my way." (The Weakerthans)
The next day went as followed.
I jumped out of bed the next morning, after talking to Eric, feeling completely refreshed, and happy. I felt this calm I couldn't explain to myself. Instead of questioning it, I accepted it.
I grabbed a pair of blue jeans, a plain white t-shirt, and some crazy frog patterned socks and underwear, then had a quick shower. I wrapped my hair up in a giant, oversized yellow towel, and headed to the kitchen for a glass of orange juice. I don't eat breakfast in the morning usually - it makes me feel gross.
Liz is sitting at the table in our small, cramped kitchen, reading a newspaper. She glanced up at me briefly before looking back to her paper. She didn't look impressed.
"Hey Liz." I say, trying to be friendly. Also, I wanted to figure out what the hell was up her ass.
"Hey, Kate." She sipped at a mug of coffee, I can only guess, and flipped the page of her newspaper. "Did you get that lit' assignment finished?" She said after a brief moment.
Oh God. Oh shit. I think.
"Not completely. Did you?" After working part-time, having issues, and being depressed, it's a little hard to remember university. Especially finishing assignments on time. I was going to be in big trouble. "I could probably use a little more work on it." I lie. "Did you want to get together second class to work on it?"
Liz is definitely my perfectionist roommate. She's the one who always has her work done on time, and likes a clean apartment, and gets the best marks in class. She also doesn't really have much of a social life. So that would explain everything.
She shakes her head.
"Sorry, Kate. I've got other plans." I frown. Well, I suppose she's allowed to have a social life if she wanted one. I didn't really care.
"Oh. Alright then." I lean up against the counter, sipping at my orange juice awkwardly. "I guess I can do it on my own then."
I laugh awkwardly.
"Although, without you're help I might be helpless."
"I'm sure you'll find someone else to help you out with that." She glares up at me from the table.
"Was that supposed to be some sort of cryptic hint? You're going to have to spell it out to me, Liz." I say cautiously.
"I know." Was all she said. I pale slightly.
"You know what?"
"Are you that dense, Kate? Seriously."
She scoffs at me, throwing her paper down on the table.
"How... how did you find out?" I ask, completely dumbfounded.
"How could I not, Kate? You came home last night, and talked on the phone for hours, giggling like a five year old. It's not like I can sleep when you're blabbering with that loud mouth of yours anyways."
I am shocked. Yet again.
"You... you could have told me if I was being too loud." That was all I could say to her.
She scoffs again, getting up from the table.
"I can't believe you. I can't believe that you would go behind my back and do something like this."
I shake my head slowly.
"It's not like I did something bad, Liz. I got back together with Eric. Is that so bad?" I place my hands on my hips defiantly.
"How is that good? He's a terrible guy. You know he's still cheating on you." She crosses her arms over her chest. One step ahead of me, always.
"Okay. That's enough."
I had had enough of this bullshit. This anger for no reason. The controlling, selfish, childish, annoying tendencies. I wasn't going to take this from her anymore. I was going to stand up for myself.
"What the fuck do you want from me, Liz? Really though. All the fuck you do is sit here and bitch at me about how much of an idiot I am, and what stupid decisions I make, and how I'm an awful student, an awful friend, and an awful roommate. Where does that become right? Where the fuck did you come from that you feel you can boss me around, and control my life?
"I am a grown woman. I make my own decisions. I decide what's best for me. I can deal with my own shit. And for fuck's sake! I know I'm a failure. Isn't it enough for me to know, or do you have to fucking remind me every five seconds of my life?
"When did becoming my friend mean controlling my every move, and becoming my mother? Jesus. When did it stop being supportive, and fun, and sticking up for me when I need you? Or even giving a shit about my problems, instead of turning them into your own? Seriously. I'd like to know what the fuck is wrong with you." I breathed a sigh of relief, finally getting it all off my chest.
Then came the fire. Her eyes burned angrily. Her hands were clenched into white knuckled fists.
"You think I'm being unreasonable? When was the last time you asked me how I was, or even bothered to hang out with me? We're roommates, Kate.
"And, fuck you. Don't you dare talk to me like that. I'm the only one around here who gives a shit about your well being, and this is how you treat me? I'm the only one who tries to help you, and this is how I get repaid? Well for god's sake. I'm not helping you anymore."
"Helping me?" I come back with. "Really. That was helping?"
"Yes, it was helping, Kate!" She fumed. "I heard some bad things about him, and I was trying to warn you. Isn't that what you would do for me?"
"Yes. I would. But I would leave it at that, and not get mad at you for staying with him. Fuck, I wouldn't force you into making decisions that you didn't want to make."
"Yeah, I should've rephrased that. Of course you wouldn't do that for me. You don't do a fucking thing for me!" She yelled, her hands flying in the air.
"Oh. I'm sure I'm the bad guy in all of this, then." I shake my head. "You know what hurts me the most, though? Through this all... I've been happy. Eric makes me happy. I would be happy for you if you were goddamned happy."
"I am happy for you." She said quietly.
"No. No you're not."
And I walked out.
I grabbed my coat from the hook by the door, and my purse lying on the floor next to it, and slammed the door behind me. I took the stairs down because I had no patience for the elevator, and ran outside into the cold winter air, my breath coming out in clouds.
Taking a deep breath, I headed to school for the day.
Classes flew by. My mind was elsewhere. At lunch break, I went to my locker to put away some binders. As I was unlocking it, slowly putting in the combination by memory, someone snaked their arms around my waist, and nuzzled into my neck. I laughed, and turned my head slightly.
I turned in his embrace so we were facing each other. He kissed me briefly on the lips, before proceeding to cover my face in them. I laughed again.
"Eric, Eric. Please! I need to talk to you." I said, still laughing. "I'm serious!"
"Oh, come on. I haven't seen you in like a week. Am I not allowed to love you?"
I laughed again, and shook my head.
"I have something serious to ask you." I said, placing my hands on his forearms gently.
I had it all planned out in my head.
"Okay." He gestured with his hand for us to walk, and I nodded, shutting my locker quickly and taking up his hand gratefully. "Go ahead."
"Liz and I got in a fight this morning." Eric sighed, looking at me with a frown.
"What about this time?"
I glared at him, as if to say, DUH.
"Seriously?" He asked.
"Yes. But that's not the point." I said, taking a deep breath as we headed for the library. Our favorite place on campus. "I'm kinda not really in the mood to like, ever see her again. So... would you mind if I came to your place for a while?"
He looked surprised at first, stopping in his tracks to stare at me. Then he broke out into a wry grin.
"Of course you can. Sweetheart, you can come for as long as you want."
I gave him a peck on the cheek.
"Thanks, hun. I appreciate it." I sighed, feeling a weight lift from my shoulders.
"Don't mention it."
In the back of my mind, I had a little flag going off. But I decided to ignore it. It wasn't important enough for the moment. At least, I hoped it wasn't.
I was so relieved that Eric was going to let me stay at his place for a few days that it didn't even occur to me that this would be the first time I'd ever stayed the night. And how long would this be for? I had no idea. Would I even go back to my old apartment? Would I have to get a new one?
I wasn't liking this train of thought.
Eric and I walked over to his apartment after school, which wasn't very far.
After we had watched some weird art/postmodern movie, and I had cleaned up after dinner, I sat back down on Eric's couch/bed, and cuddled up into his side again. He had his glasses on, which was definitely a turn-on for me, and had his head buried in research papers. His feet were propped up on the coffee table, and he was scribbling away on a notepad. I smiled, my subconcious taking over.
He glanced up at me briefly, and did a double take, the corner of his mouth quirking up mischieviously. He raised his eyebrows at me.
"What are you looking at?"
"Isn't it obvious?" I bit the bottom of my lip, scooting closer to him. "What are you working on?" I ask, looking down at his mess.
"Just some paper for soc'. It's frustrating me." He sighed exasperatedly.
I look up at him, my eyes sparkling, and laugh softly.
He looks back at me, his hand brushing a stray hair from my face. I smile slowly as he moves slowly towards me. As his lips touch mine, I shiver, chills from my spine to my toes, and lean into the kiss more intimately. He pulls me closer, and as the kiss deepens, his tongue finds it's way into my mouth.
I can see where this is going.
But, I don't stop it.
I let it happen.
Eric never finished his research paper.