[Fiction: Just a Girl – December 21, 2006]
She was the most beautiful girl in college. She had a smile that lit up the room and long dirty-blond hair you could not help but want to touch. She was irresistible. She wore a glossy pink lipstick on her wide, generous lips that filled you with a desire to put them to yours. Her eyes sparkled with an alluring mischievousness that hid secrets you wanted to be a part of. She wore a tiny blue heart-shaped outline on the knuckle of her left hand that she was embarrassed about.
“I draw it on every morning,” she would dismiss, pretending that it was not real, trying to hide it.
Respecting her secret, I never pried. It was obviously something she was ashamed of. I figured I would find out about it one day.
Even her name, Monique, added to the exotic allure of who she was and the endless possibilities of who she could be. To me, however, she was my buddy Steve’s girlfriend. Thus, she fell under “our” protection. In time, she became my friend. On a couple of occasions I got the impression she wanted more, but I was very happy with her friendship. It was her company I wanted, regardless of my attraction.
One harsh Monday, word got out that she and Steve were no longer an item. Slurs were thrown about her and Steve spending the weekend naked in a country home somewhere. It didn’t make sense to me. Steve was okay with it, as well as my continued friendship with both of them. He even gave me his blessing for following through if I wanted to. Steve had the rest of our buddies to turn to, but she had only one other person besides myself, Allison. Thus, I continued to stay friends with her. I could tell she really appreciated that.
Yes, of course I was smitten with her. She might not have had a “killer” body, but she had the most beautiful face I had ever seen. I never thought she had a true interest in me until someone else pointed out that I should give her space and time to get over Steve. Again, I had made no designs on her, believing in the truism of not jumping into a relationship with someone who had just broken up. But when I saw that this “friend” who had decided to warn me away was trying to work on her, I realized he saw me as competition and wanted me out of the picture. I would not have that.
I took some time to contemplate what this all meant. He saw me as a threat, which meant there was a strong possibility that she actually was interested in me. She had this way of taking a drag from her cigarette and tilting her head back as she inhaled. Whenever she did that while we talked, it felt like she was inhaling my soul. It made me shiver. My confidence level was not as big then as it is today.
We started hanging around together outside of school and really enjoying ourselves. A couple of times I went over to see her with Joe, another friend of mine, so that she and Allison could double-date with us. During this time, though, I took it all in stride as friends. I never “tried” anything. A part of me just wasn’t sure.
One afternoon, Joe and I headed over to meet them but they were late in arriving. I called her from a payphone and she seemed both giddy and distant at the same time. I talked to Allison who told me that Monique wasn’t actually feeling well but if we wanted to pass by for a bit we could. I said we would and they watched us from the balcony as we approached. Monique came down and gave me a big hug and kiss hello. She pouted as she admitted that she wasn’t feeling well but felt guilty for my going to see her without her warning me. I assured her it was okay and that I was happy to have gotten a few minutes alone with her.
Joe and I left to head back to the college grounds and I started thinking about the last few weeks. The relationship developing between Monique and I was a little bizarre at times. I didn’t see her often as I was going through some issues she wasn’t aware of. Some times, I heard snatches of conversations that made me wonder about her. I distinctly got the impression that not everything was as it seemed.
One morning, while replaying a few of our conversations in my head, I decided to take a chance. Whether it was courage brought upon from insane fatigue, the hair of the dog, or being cooped up in an area with weed-smoking students, I walked into the lounge and headed right to her table.
I said hello to Allison and then leaned in and whispered something in Monique’s ear. Her perfume was making my head swoon but I needed to go through with it. I told her my offer and pulled back to look at her face. The reaction of awe and excitement was quite evident. She was all for it and her sparkling eyes opened wide as she smiled, shook her head, and squeezed my hand. I could go over any time and she would be willing to do anything. Absolutely anything. She agreed to all the details.
I kissed her on the cheek and told her I would call as soon as possible. I walked away and could feel her eyes, hungry, on my back. It would just be her and me, clothing unnecessary. I would finally get to live the fantasy that tore through my mind countless of times. I would finally get the chance to see if the flesh of reality matched the flesh of my dreams. I just had to show up to her apartment alone, willing, ready… and with some white powder.
I had never been so unhappy to be proven right about my assumptions. I discovered the key that would unlock the Mystique of Monique. And as soon as I did, I could no longer desire her. It wasn’t my charm that had won, it was my contacts.
I left the lounge, head bowed down in sadness, and went in search of solace. I never found it.
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