Love in L.A.: Chapter 2
That first summer in L.A. was interesting. My new job was pretty easy. I was still learning and had very few real responsibilities. Amelia was working a lot at a little restaurant and bar called Merlotte’s. She also found an agent and started going out on auditions. Pam had a very cute apartment in Venice and I loved going there on the weekends. We could walk to the beach from her place. She was working for a producer at Paramount Studios named Felipe DeCastro and got to meet all kinds of interesting people there. She was always invited to the coolest parties and often took me and Amelia with her. She said that there was always room at a party for beautiful girls, so we happily tagged along.
My boss, Alcide, was really nice but had asked me out several times. I reminded him that I had a boyfriend but he seemed to have trouble remembering that. Once he asked me for a drink after work on a Friday. I started to mention the boyfriend again, but then he said, “Oh, it’s not a date. I just wanted to talk about work. It’s hard to find time in the day, and it’s time you got a little more responsibility around here.” So I went with him. We had a couple of drinks at a very hip and trendy place near the office, but every time I brought up work, he’d say, “Let’s just relax and unwind a little. We can always talk about work later.” After a couple of hours, he suggested we go get some dinner. I really didn’t feel like I could say no, so we ended up at another restaurant around the corner and had the most amazing Italian food I’d ever tasted. I almost choked when I saw the prices, but he insisted on paying and said it was a business expense, so I let him. It was getting late and it was becoming evident that our work conversation just wasn’t going to happen, so I told him I needed to get home. He walked me to my car and I thanked him for dinner. He took my hand and kissed me on the cheek, which made me a little uncomfortable. Then he kind of put his hand on my face and turned it to him and planted one right on the lips. I tried to pull my head back, but he was really forceful and stuck his tongue into my mouth. Then I tried to say something, which was kind of hard with his tongue in there. Finally, he stopped and I said, “I’ve got to go. Goodnight.”
He stood and watched me drive away and I couldn’t wait to get around the corner so I could wipe my mouth off. I just kept thinking, oh crap! Did I just kiss my boss? How did that happen? Granted, he was very cute and under other circumstances, I might have liked it, but I was with Eric now. I had a boyfriend that I was crazy about. I felt so guilty even though I certainly had never intended for that to happen, and I had not reciprocated when he kissed me.
I didn’t call Eric when I got home because I knew he was still working and wouldn’t be home for hours. He called the following morning though and asked about my night.
“Actually, I need to talk to you about last night. Alcide asked me to have a drink with him and said he needed to talk about work with me.” Silence. “Then we ended up eating dinner as well, but he never seemed to want to talk about work. It was really awkward. He knows I have a boyfriend, so I know he didn’t think it was a date, but…well…it just felt weird. I wanted to call you when I got home last night, but you were still at work, and I was too tired to stay up until you were done.”
“Tell me this asshole didn’t kiss you or anything.”
“Well, actually he did.”
“Fuck Sookie. You kissed him? Are you fucking kidding me?”
“No, no. I didn’t. He kissed me, but I definitely did not kiss him back. He knows I have a boyfriend.”
“Yeah, you already said that. Like when you had a boyfriend and kissed me behind the convenience store. Oh, and then when you had another boyfriend and kissed me on my sofa. Kinda like that?”
I started crying. “I’m sorry, Eric. No, it wasn’t anything like that. I’ll talk to him on Monday and set things straight. It was just a mistake.”
“So if I accidentally made a mistake here and kissed the women in the bar that are interested in me, then that’s okay too? As long as they know I have a girlfriend? Fuck, Sookie.”
“No, no, Eric. Please. This was just a misunderstanding. I’ll take care of it. It won’t happen again.”
“Maybe I wasn’t clear enough on what I want with us, Sookie. Didn’t we decide that we don’t want to see other people? Are you having second thoughts?”
“Do I need to make myself clearer? I don’t want you kissing or fucking anybody else. Is that clear enough?” I just kept crying. “Okay, okay. I’m sorry. Don’t cry. This is just so fucking frustrating, being apart like this. Please stop crying, honey. I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry too. I feel like an idiot. I told him I have a boyfriend.”
“I know. But when a guy asks you for drinks or dinner, he wants to fuck you. I can’t believe I’m having to say this to a grown woman. Are you really that naïve?”
“I guess I’m really that stupid.”
“You’re definitely not stupid. But Sookie, honey, you need to be careful. Keep your eyes open. L.A.’s a big city and you’re so young. Now I’m going to worry about you even more, goddammit.”
On Monday morning I went into Alcide’s office and said, “About Friday night…that can’t happen again. Okay?”
“Sure, Sookie. Not a problem.” And that seemed to be the end of it.
Finally the summer was coming to a close which meant that Eric was on his way. It had been so hard for us to be apart. We had only been together a few days before I left. And then we had to be satisfied with phone calls and email. It was frustrating. But then finally I was counting the days. Eric was coming.