Just as quickly as it became the four of us, it was now just the three of us.
Pat came back into the apartment but it was never the same. There was tension and we all felt it. He stayed for about a week or two after the fallout, then just like that he left.
I was happy he was gone, but that feeling wasn’t mutual with everyone else in the apartment. Alphonso and Pat had become close. They were friends and often times, Pat would take Alphonso lunch or walk him home. So, when Pat left, Alphonso became a little withdrawn.
Life amongst Alphonso, Jen and I returned to somewhat normal.
We all began to branch out and meet new people. I made some new friends at work, including a girl named Shawn. She and I clicked instantly. She began telling me about her brother, Scotty. She kept insisting on setting me up with him on a blind date. I declined several times. I wasn’t ready to officially move on from Freddie. It had been almost a year, letters and calls from him had dwindled to nothing.
But after a few months of Shawn badgering me about going out with her brother, I agreed. The plan was to meet up at a local bar. Classy, I know. Alphonso was in charge of doing my make-up. Jen was going to help me pick out something other than my jeans and sweatshirt. I was nervous. No, that’s an understatement. I was a wreck. We all took some shots before leaving the apartment. They said it would help. It did not.
We showed up at the smoky bar. I saw Scotty before he saw me. With Jen and Alphonso by my side, we all walked over to him. The closer I got, I realized I was in trouble. He had big blue eyes and a friendly smile. I was going to settle for a handshake and he came in for a hug. I hugged him back and without a doubt, I was hooked.
We all hung out that night drinking, playing pool and having fun. Scotty and I found ourselves talking in his car. Next thing I know, he leaned in kissed me. A few minutes later, Jen and Alphonso are banging on the window, telling me it’s time to go. It sure was. We said our goodbyes, but not before he asked me out on a second date. I said yes.
The next few days, all I could talk about was Scotty. I couldn’t wait until our upcoming date. I still didn’t know a lot about him, but from what I saw he seemed like a great guy. My only reservation was the age difference. He was 29 and I was 21. Age was just a number, right?
I wasn’t the only one meeting new people.
One morning I got up to leave for work and we had a new visitor. There was Jen and Alphonso with a tall, Samoan guy. They introduced him as “T”. Once again, I figured he would be gone when I got home.
I was wrong….again.