Love Isn’t Easy: Chapter 9
I invited Sookie over to watch a movie for class. It wasn’t a date, but who was I kidding? I wanted to be alone with her. She started to say no and I felt my ego deflating, but then she told me that she couldn’t because she thought that Bill would be there. I hadn’t realized that she thought I still lived with Bill. That was ancient history to me. Then I wondered if that had anything to do with her not calling me after that kiss in front of the student union. Maybe now that she knew Bill wasn’t in the picture, maybe I had a shot with her. But then I reminded myself that she had a boyfriend. And while that meant nothing to me, chances are it meant a lot to her.
But I could still enjoy her company for the evening. It was a place to start anyway.
Eric lived in a small two bedroom apartment with a guy named Clancy. It was a far cry from party central at Bill’s house and I felt much more comfortable there. We invited Clancy to join us for Chinese takeout, but he was on his way to the library and had already eaten. The movie was Brokeback Mountain. We had both already read the novella by Annie Proulx for class so I knew what to expect and wondered whether or not it might be uncomfortable to watch it with Eric. Then I decided that just being in the room with Eric was uncomfortable enough no matter what we were watching. We sat with a couple of feet between us on the sofa but I swear there was a perceptible buzz of electricity flowing between us. Having two gorgeous naked cowboys on the screen didn’t help me much either. At one point I was so horny a sneeze would have made me come.
Good lord, she looked beautiful when she came over. But I was determined to be a gentleman. The last thing I wanted to do was jump her bones and scare her off. I invited Clancy to eat with us but was relieved when he said he had to get to the library. Sookie and I sat on the sofa together and thankfully the two guys humping throughout the movie kept me from suffering the two hour boner I was anticipating with Sookie beside me. When it was over, we had a long discussion about the novella and the movie. Sookie was very bright and intuitive and made some good points. I kept getting distracted by those perfect lips and that beautiful smile and like a teenaged fool, I interrupted her and blurted out, “Why didn’t you call me after that day in front of the student union?” She looked shocked. “I’m sorry. I just interrupted you. That was rude.”
“No, it’s okay. I just wasn’t expecting that question. Um…why didn’t I call you? Well, I thought about it. I wanted to. But then I found out that you had dated Lorena and I just…”
“What? I never dated Lorena!”
“Well, I guess dated isn’t really the right word.”
“Sookie, I never anythinged Lorena. I couldn’t stand her. Where did you hear that?”
“It doesn’t matter….wait, you know what, I’ll tell you. I guess you deserve to know what people say about you. Bill said that she hung around the house to be with you and that she was only with him because you…um…wouldn’t let her give you head.” She looked down and actually blushed.
“Well, that part is true. But I don’t believe for a minute that she was hanging around because of me. She did hit on me a few times and there was one night that she came into my room and she did get down on her knees. I’m sorry. You don’t need to hear this. It’s rude. But nothing happened. I swear. I never even kissed her. I didn’t like her.”
“So, was that the only reason? That you didn’t call?”
“Well, not really. I guess that was the biggest one. I am really attracted to you, Eric.” She blushed again and it was all I could to do keep my hands to myself. “I guess that was obvious after that night behind the convenience store. And then that night. God, that was so embarrassing. I wish I could just erase that whole night.” She kind of shook her head and started playing with the cuff of her blouse like it was the most fascinating thing she’d ever seen. “But after that whole Bill thing, I just didn’t want to get involved with another guy that can’t keep it in his pants. I mean, I don’t mean to be tactless, but you did have like a million girls. Probably still do. I don’t blame you really. I guess if I were a guy and looked like you do…”
“Sookie. First of all, I’m not like that anymore. I’m not seeing anybody now. I was with a lot of girls when I was at Bills’ house. And then later as well. My behavior was…well…stupid. I can see now how unappealing that must be. I guess that that was a pretty immature way of dealing with the fact that I couldn’t have the one girl I really wanted. To anybody else at Bill’s house I’m sure I looked like an arrogant womanizer, but inside I just felt like a schmuck who was in love with his housemate’s girlfriend.” She looked up from her cuff and a glimmer of shock crossed her face before she looked back down.
“I guess it’s normal for a guy to want somebody else’s girlfriend, huh?”
“No. I wanted you way before that. I had seen you on campus and was determined to find out who you were, and then when I realized that you were dating Bill…well, I guess I was just frustrated and didn’t know what to do with those feelings. So I acted like an asshole. I’m sorry I didn’t deal with it very well. I wanted to talk to you about it. Actually, I had decided that I would, and then…well…that whole mess happened.”
“But then that night, Eric. You pushed me away and told me no. I don’t understand. If you liked me…”
“Well, that was the problem. I way more than liked you, Sookie. I loved you. And I didn’t want to be the asshole that took advantage of you when you were vulnerable. I wanted our first time to be special…See, I told you I was a schmuck.”
“No, Eric. You’re not a schmuck.” Then she finally looked into my eyes. “I had no idea.” And then she slowly brought her face closer to mine and put her hand on the side of my face. I held still, not wanting to ruin the moment by being aggressive and grabbing her the way I wanted to. When her lips touched mine, it was so soft and sweet. It was nothing like the kiss behind the convenience store. Her lips parted and allowed my tongue to enter her mouth. She tasted so sweet and when her tongue found mine, we both softly moaned and I shifted my body so that I could hold her. She felt so good in my arms and the kissing became more urgent. I finally had my dream girl and the rest of the world seemed so far away.
But then it came crashing down on us when her cell phone rang. She pulled back and looked at the number and then she sat back and started to smooth her hair, looking uncomfortable. She looked over at me and said sheepishly, “It’s my boyfriend.” Fuck.
She let it go to voicemail and then listened to it. Her eyes got wide, and then she jumped up and said, “I’ve got to go!”
“Is everything okay?”
“No. Well, I don’t know. There’s been a car accident. He’s at the hospital with his mother and his sister.”
“Do you want me to give you a ride?” Schmuck.
“No, that’s okay. My car’s here. I’m so sorry Eric. I have to go.”
She jumped up and grabbed her purse and turned around when she got to the door. “Thanks for dinner and the movie and everything. I’m really sorry.”
And the she was gone. And dammit, I still didn’t have her number.