The flirting began innocently enough.
A touch on the arm, an extra long glance, staying up later and hanging out after everyone else went to bed. Many talks about sex. Usually, alcohol was involved. It was our vice and we each needed it for our own reasons. At least at the time we thought we did.
One time the four of us went to the mall together. It was one of those fancier malls. The only thing I was able to afford was a cookie from the Mrs. Fields stand, outside of the mall. Coach, Gucci, Michael Kors. Christin, Pat and I were so out of our element. Alphonso was in heaven.
Alphonso and a reluctant Christin headed into a store while Pat and I hung back, talking about our kids. I feel we really opened up,we were able to understand each other in a way that one only could if you had children of your own, and then, did not. I felt closer to him. I felt we had a special bond, because we “got it.”
During this same trip to the mall, there was a period where Pat and Christin just took off and did their own thing. I was jealous. I was an insecure jealous girl and wondered to myself “How could he go and talk with her after the conversation we just had?”
Alphonso picked up on what I was feeling. He told me not to worry about it. “Pat is just being Pat.” Alphonso was right. I thought I could come in and be that one girl who could fix everything for him, and by fixing him, it would help me to fix myself.
I had no idea just how stupid that line of reasoning was.
We came home from our little dive bar, which would be the equivalent of “Central Perk” from “Friends.” We all had our usual too many drinks. Mine was a rum and coke. Alphonso always drank cosmos’ (reminiscent of Sex and the City.) It only took us going there two times before he had enough and taught the bartender how to make them. Christin enjoyed her long island’s Pat enjoyed his beer.
All of us were gone. On the quick walk home, Alphonso was getting in a verbal argument with a parked car, Christin fell on the sidewalk, Pat was trying to sing “With Arms Wide Open” and I may have thrown up. It was bad. We had each hit our low, we just didn’t realize it yet.
I honestly do not remember how we made it up the two flights of stairs. We were all loud, clumsy, and sloppy. As soon as Christin’s keys opened the door, a task that took twenty minutes. She informed us “I am going to bed you bunch of drunks, I have to be up in three hours.”
Alphonso was ready for more drinks. Pat and I obliged.
Once we took our second shot, Alphonso was gone. He stumbled to his room, pissed off that he was not going to be able to do his usual facial routine tonight. He collapsed. Did not even make it to the bed. I do have a picture to prove this.
Pat and I were alone. The lights were off, we were sitting, talking, smoking, and still drinking. I felt dizzy, my words were slurred, but I did not want to sleep. I wanted to see if he would make a move on me. I clearly remember that. I was hoping, praying, that he would do something. In my mind physical touch meant I was pretty, I was good enough, I was wanted.
He came in for the kiss. The smell of beer. All I could taste was beer, despite what I thought was a passionate kiss. Clearly I mistook passionate for sloppy. Yet, it felt good. Prior to this, I had only been kissed by two others in my life. I craved the experience while I was also afraid of it.
The music was going,
“Lifehouse.” Hanging on by a Moment. How fitting.
Christin and Alphonso were passed out.
A line had now been crossed with Pat and I. We were both willing participants.
And in the morning, when Alphonso found us, half dressed. Sleeping together, and not on our respectives sofa’s. He woke me up and summoned me to his room.
“Jen, what the hell happened?”