Nothing (Colorado Springs)
17 November 2017
I sat at my laptop for a long time trying to figure out what to write.
I punched on the keys just to get something going. And then found myself going backwards using the delete key. But finally I emailed:
Just checking on you. I am sorry how things ended. Just let me know you are okay.
And I hit send. I began to go to a news website when I heard the sound that there was a reply:
Fuck you! Suck my big fat dick!
Yo wrote it with such force. I immediately replied:
Let's meet for coffee to talk about things.
Her immediate reply:
Never email me or contact me again. If you do, you will truly regret it.
And I remembered the last good day we were together. I inflated the air mattress and connected my laptop to the television to watch 'Stranger Things' on Netflix. I cannot cook but brought out fruits and snacks. And we just chilled without the sexual connotation. Her cramps were bad and so we just cuddled when it wasn't uncomfortable. Later that evening, I felt like ice cream. So we climbed into my Mazda SUV and did the drive through at Carl Juniors. We both got chocolate shakes. And we drove through the city of Colorado Springs sucking on our straws.
And then my phone which was attached to a magnet on the windshield began vibrating. It was someone trying to call me on Whatsapp. Yo looked at the name immediately. And I felt her whole body go cold. 'Are you going to answer that?"
I didn't want to. It had been a beautiful, peaceful day. I knew the phone call would ruin everything. I ignored Yo's question. And finally the Whatsapp call stopped. But then right away it started again.
Yo somewhat stomped her foot. "Are you going to answer that?"
So I reached up and grabbed it and put it to my ear. I didn't answer it. I just swiped the call to answer.
"Hello?" Xia said. 'Are you there?"
"Sure." I said.
Yo was sucking on her milkshake. But the tension in the car was palpable.
"Are you with someone?" Xia asked. "Is that why you are not chatting with me?"
I physically shrugged. "Sure."
And as Xia started to say something else. I swiped the phone off.
Yo didn't ask me anything about the call as I put the phone back on the magnet attached to the windshield.
We sat there in silence. And I got lost where we were on the roads and where I was driving to. So we sat there - and we said nothing.
The next day we were at IHOP.
I was making a joke about the waitress and trying to read the menu with my reading glasses. Then trying to figure out what I felt like eating. I wanted 'Pigs in a Blanket'. I asked the waitress and they said they no longer serve those.
I had my phone face down on the table. Then it began to vibrate. Yo looked at me.
"Is it her?"
"Look for yourself."
Yo reached for the phone and immediately answered it. "Hello who is this?"
There was a pause. "This is Yo. Who are you?" Another pause. "Yes, he is with me. I am looking right at him." And she listened. Then finally she handed me the phone. "Xia wants to talk to you."
I reluctantly took the phone. "Hello?"
"Whats going on? What are you doing?"
I didn't answer. I just swiped off on the phone. Then I slowly sat it down on the table face down.
Yo was looking at her menu again. The waitress suddenly reappeared. She ordered. I ordered quickly.
"Do you want to talk about it?" I asked.
"She said you fucked her for two days."
I gave a feigned hurt look. "Two days? I wasn't in Manila for 48 hours. How would that be possible?"
"Did you fuck her?"
Then I was caught. I took a breath. "I didn't even know if you really liked me. You brought another man to my house to get high with. And then you stayed in Denver for 3 days without much of a word. Then 24 hours before I left for Asia you came back."
"And I told you I cared for you. And you said the same. And then you flew around the world and fucked someone else."
I crumpled in my seat. Then I straightened up and I leaned in. "I thought we were nothing at that time!"
"Even though you said we were something before you left."
"But you didn't even message me while I was overseas!"
Yo danced her fingers on the countertop and avoided my eyes as she said, "You know I could have fucked anybody while you were overseas. But I didn't."
"I don't know that."
She was calm. "Well I didn't." Then she looked at me. "I Snapchatted you every day. But you didn't."
I raised my voice, "Fuck you! You don't know what I did or didn't do. And I have no idea what you did or didn't do! And I have been alone for months. You just showed up at my house. And you just came and went without letting me know who I was to you or if we were something. Besides we were doomed. You leave for LSU in February. You can't tell your parents about me. And I can't tell my parents about you. So how is this supposed to fucking work?"
That's when I noticed a family next to our table collected their children and moved to another table far from us.
She looked at me calmly and quietly. "Is it over with her?" And she motioned toward the phone.
I swallowed. 'Yes."
And then our food came.
In the car on the way back we sat in complete quiet. Then I began to say something, and her voice boomed, "NEVER, NEVER disrespect me in a crowded room or in front of people again! You can disagree or get mad - but NEVER NEVER raise your voice to me so others can see! You totally DISRESPECTED me! I don't care what mistakes you make or what you do or how we fall apart... BUT I WILL NOT BE YELLED AT IN PUBLIC!"
And I felt ashamed.
"I read Soulparking.com this morning." And Yo held a smile. "It was very interesting."
I kept sweeping my apartment. Then I tried to act cool. "Yes I write about my life honestly there."
"You are a good writer."
And later while we were making love, I asked her in the midst of her cumming, "Can we still be friends?"
Her thighs shook and then she laughed while trying to catch her breath. "You really did that? You just asked me during sex to be your friend - even with everything you have done?"
"Yes." I said.
She laid there naked. Her body lit by the afternoon sun. "Maybe."
The last time I saw Yo she came to see me at the Perk Downtown. She was heading to her job to be a live in nurse. She worked four days and was off three. But this time things were different. Her eyes were bloodshot because she had been smoking up. She had packed everything that she had unpacked just a week or so ago in my house. She looked at me while I typed away on my computer.
"Okay I got to go."
I was unfeeling. "Okay sure. You want me to walk you down to your car."
"No. No need."
And we stood there in front of each other awkwardly. Then we hugged. Not a big one, not a memorable one. Just a hug. "Be careful." I said.
"I will be." she said.
And then she walked down the stairs and I caught a glimpse of her getting into her car as she parked by a parking meter on Tejon. Her car was crammed with boxes and bags - everything she owned.
Then I turned back to my laptop and began typing.
She left a voicemail that I never listened to.
She also emailed me to tell me she was willing to be my friend.
I don't think I can be your friend. I cannot stand to see you date other people.
She never replied back.
Two weeks later, I realized what I had done and how hateful I had been. And I couldn't sleep. And I kept the song I played for her on the first night we had spent together on constant repeat.
Then I went to my kitchen table.
And I suddenly felt like I was nothing.
But I was free.
I sat at my laptop for a long time trying to figure out what to write.