I was talking to my mom yesterday. And she was encouraging me to write something new — specifically something different from what I normally write. (How’s that for a vote of confidence?) But, with unfinished projects already on my plate, I wasn’t really looking forward to adding anything else. Then, I started writing. And what you see below is the result. I’m not quite sure it’s what she had in mind.
I never did like him. Well, I liked him. But, I’d never let him know it. Otherwise, he’d get that smirk — that knowing, “I knew you wanted me” look. The look that made me want to punch his smug, little face. That beautiful, masculine, chiseled face. High cheekbones any woman would envy. Eyelashes that were thick and curled. Lips which put me into a permanent, internal state of pucker. Oh, how I hated him. With his “I didn’t even try to look good” snug tee shirts and blue jeans which were never tight, but never baggy enough to make you question if there was something good going on inside them. You knew. And he knew you knew. That’s why I punched him. Okay, I only decked him in my mind — before I undressed him.
Don’t get me wrong. Anthony was conscious in my fantasy. My strike barely left a mark. He looked at me with passion. I could’ve sworn I saw his nostrils flare. He drew me into his arms. He peered deeply into my eyes — and saw who I was. He loved the real me. He wondered how he could’ve gone all that time without realizing I was the one. Silly boy.
He caressed the small of my back with his left hand and lightly stroked my cheek with his right. His lips parted slightly without his knowledge — willing him to satisfy their thirst for mine. I waited. I knew in a few seconds he wouldn’t be able to deny their request. I closed my eyes and tilted my head a little to the right. Then I woke up. My head was still tilted. He’s coy and likes to toy with my emotions.
Who does he think he’s fooling with that seemingly effortless laugh and superficial familiarity with the fluctuating price of produce and the unpredictable weather? He flashes a smile, a wink. He dips his head and looks up with those big, green, bottomless moons. Probably green with envy of all the people who didn’t get by based on surface appearances. People who had to work to become breadwinners. People with substance and character. People who have stories to tell that don’t involve designer labels or chichi restaurants. But, he keeps coming back again and again — to taunt me or because he needs someone who’s a tiny bit sincere. Who could blame him?
You’re not all that, I told him — in my mind. Sure, you’re rich and gorgeous. You’re charming and friendly. You even have a healthy diet and obviously take somewhat good care of yourself. But, you’ll never have me. Chew on that, playboy. With that, I handed Anthony his paper and plastic — and slid his platinum card across the counter. What? The customers’ credit card reader was out of order. At least, that’s what the Post-it I’d scribbled earlier said.
“Have a great day. I’ll see you soon,” I mumbled. Removing the note, I continued with my day. The shopper behind him smiled — showcasing a piece of something black in her front teeth. Way to make an effort.
“You’re fired,” my manager said at the end of my shift. He’d been writing me up for months — just looking for any excuse to spend more time with me. But, he can never come between me and Anthony. Jealousy’s an ugly thing. I hope, one day, he gets the help he clearly needs.