Author's Note***Making Our Beds is a series dedicated to the garbage moves men make, from their own treasure chests of mistakes, told to me by them. These are their words, handled with care by yours truly. Enjoy your step inside their minds. It's a teenage wasteland in there. -B
It was homecoming, so I jetted down to my alma mater's city on Thursday, just to be ready for the full weekend. My return travel wouldn't happen until late Monday night. Red eye. I was guaranteed to get. it. in before that midnight flight came around. I gave myself ample time. Met up with my boys the night I landed ready for whatever was coming. First stop was drinks at a local lounge we all used to frequent. We weren't there long before I ran into Patrice. Patrice was always fine in college, and it seemed time was on her side, she was definitely better with age. I was pretty sure I wanted to get in touch, positive, but there was a snag in the whole game. I had brought my current girlfriend with me to homecoming...a big no-no unless you are thoroughly attached. We'd been together over a year, I'd say that was attached, but it was more about timing than destiny if that makes sense. Patrice was fine and that was more pressing than the timing of my current girlfriend being in my life. I'm an ass for that, I know. Anyway, Patrice looked like something I could dig into, so I asked my boy, who was close with her, for a hook up. He played his part and at the next spot, where she happened to turn up as well, I spit to her all night. She was gonna get me in trouble and I was all down for it. Who doesn't like the good kind of trouble? We exchanged numbers, I promised to call. The night wore on, everyone got pretty wasted and before I knew it, I saw her heading to the restroom. I followed close behind, my girl was off talking to some friends. I was being bold and stupid, the Walker Black was walking for me, talking for me, making the decisions as I followed her into the single bathroom. Double occupancy. She let me in without issue and we went in on each other. Slobbery kisses, hands roaming each others bodies, my hand finding her wet warmth. I didn't want to even think about stopping, but I knew I couldn't hit in a bathroom stall. Patrice was better than cold tile and the smell of disinfectant. I told her I was coming with her after the party, she nodded her ascent and we went back out into the club.
As the night came to a close, I started looking around for Patrice. I'd lost sight of her earlier in the night, wasn't sure where she'd gotten to. My girl had taken much of my attention. She was drunk and being annoyingly obnoxious. Suddenly I saw Patrice leaving , but I couldn't let her get gone before I knew where she was going to. I asked a friend to watch my girl and ran out behind her. When I reached her, she whirled around and hissed, "Have you lost your mind? You're trying to get at me and your girlfriend is here?" I looked at her blankly, unsure if I'd heard her right or if I was as drunk as I felt. "She is your girlfriend, right?" I nodded. "Exactly," she retorted and hopped into her homegirl's car. I watched the car pull down the street and get stuck behind a line of cars at the light. It didn't take long for me to make what would surely be considered a mistake and dig in my pocket for my keys, run off to my own car and hop in. Yes, I left my girl at the club. I already said I was an ass, need I repeat it? OK, fine, I'm an ass. But, man, I can't tell you what went through my head when Patrice was around. She had this pull on me. I rode off behind them, following all the way back to her friend's apartment. I jumped out and made a beeline for her. She told her friends to go inside, she'd be there in a minute. I didn't bother speaking much. Just told her how much I wanted her, how I'd dump my girl if Patrice would give me a chance. I kissed her like my life depended on it, she responded, we headed inside, into her friend's bedroom. We rolled around on the bed for a while and just as I was kissing her sweet spot, she jerked up. It was like she was suddenly sober. "No, you gotta go," she said pushing me back. I made the prerequisite feeble last attempt that all guys make, cause sometimes y'all say you gotta go and then let a dude get in, but she wasn't having it. I left.
The next night, is Saturday night, and it's crucial. I know she's leaving Sunday afternoon. I have to get her tonight. The night goes on as usual, everyone's linking up, partying hard, drinking as if they don't have a care or a job on Monday. I spot her early in the night, she's been ignoring me, but I caught her looking a few times and I know she feels similar, I'm positive. I didn't imagine last night. I hit her with a text saying I was serious, I'd leave my girl for her. Then I watch her read the message and I see a grin that lasts not even half a second before she puts on a stone face and puts her phone back in her bag. But I'm in, I know it. Later, she's going to the coat check, I think she's leaving, so I make my move. I walk up to the cubby where the coat closet is and I slide my hand into hers. She looks down and sees what I'm slipping into her hand: the key to my hotel room. "The W, room 1911," I say quickly. I hustle away and head back over to my friends and my girl as if nothing has transpired.
But then, I turn around at the sound of my name and there's Patrice, standing not two feet away, holding my key in her hand for all to see. "I think you meant to give this to your girl," she says. "Looks like you gave it to me by accident. I can see how you'd get us mixed up." Patrice is the color of black coffee with just a splash of cream.
My girl is solidly the color of the cream.