The sun was rising causing red and yellow rays to pierce through the corners of her curtains. I had been up all night trying to figure out why I was there in the first place. For the forth time. In less than a month.
I looked over at her, she was sound asleep with her back to me. The bed we’re sharing; I’ve been in it before, I still somehow didn’t feel…comfortable? to lay in. Yes, that’s it. We exchange small talk on her couch in the living room with a few beers before making our way into this bed. The small talk seems forced despite being friends for quite a while.
It wasn’t like this the first time around. Conversations had been more fluent, the laughter more natural. I’m not sure if she can sense it but sleeping together is a mistake that will not fix our past or what I did to her.
What did I do to her, anyway?
I neglected to inform her of my internship and that I’d be departing from New York on a specified date? Had that been all?
We had not been, as the magazines like to say, official. There was no obligation to inform her as to my whereabouts. I didn’t treat her like a girlfriend, as she says. But, she wasn’t my girlfriend. Or was she?
Wendy turned on her back and then faced me, her arm drooping over my bare exposed chest. I looked at her, stared at her for what seemed like forever, trying to understand, comprehend how, despite her many testimonies of my failed actions as her “boyfriend,” we ended up right back in her bed, and why she continuously invites me back.
What compels a woman to allow a man who has hurt her to allow that very man back into her bed?
Magazines never answered this, I noticed growing up. It must be something chemical in a woman’s brain. Or just stupidity. Nobody willingly allows themselves to get hurt by the same person multiple times…right?
I have, however, read something along the lines of “we’ve had our differences but worked through them and we’re happier than ever!” But that only worked in cases where the two had been a couple. Wendy and I are no such thing. Does she know that?
In her mind, does letting me back into her bed mean we’re supposed to go back to the way things were?
I’ve read about this before, this- you know, my only source of data has come solely from women’s magazines and conversations with Melina. I have yet to experience such testimonies myself; be in the thick of it.
When Wendy wakes up and after we’ve showered and had breakfast, should I bring the topic up? Yes, that is something she would want to discuss.
Three hours later her alarm sounded. I must have drifted back to sleep because I arose at the sound of the alarm, too.
Her arm had remained drooped over my chest. She mmmm’ed, scratching her head while looking around. I yawned and stretched. We looked at each other. She smiled and planted a kiss on my lips.
“You wanna shower first or wait till I finish?”
“Why not save water and shower together?”
She giggled and said “you’d like that, wouldn’t you?”
The seductive tone in her voice suggested that my statement meant I wanted sex this morning.
“Very well.” She said, getting out of bed while stripping, grabbing for a robe hanging in her closet.
She tossed another one onto the bed and said “I’ll see you in five minutes.” She tossed her hair and left the room.
Did I just negotiate sex without even trying, or knowing?
Nevertheless I got up, stripped, and followed suite. Today marked the first time I had sex in the shower. Interesting experience. It’s one of those things you have to do more to get better at. I was never good with standing up positions, although Wendy seems to enjoy when I “take her from behind” as she’s frequently begged me to do during genital gymnastics.
She got out of the shower first and went to her room. She liked to air dry. I used a towel.
I got dressed and found her in the kitchen hovered over what appeared to be a restaurant menu.
“What do you want for breakfast?” Ignoring her question I looked in her fridge for eggs. There was none. Come to think of it I’ve never seen her make a thing herself while a guest in her apartment.
“Let’s go to the store and make breakfast ourselves.”
“Hate to spend money?”
“Money is not the issue.”
“Alright then,” she slid the menu over to me. “What would you like?”
“So now I’m expected to pay?”
“You did sleep over my house.”
“And buying breakfast is what, payment?”
“It’s a gesture.”
“One you just threw in my face on top of making me look like a night walker?” “What do zombies have to do with this?”
“A prostitute, Wendy.”
She broke into hysterics.
“What’s the big deal with wanting to order breakfast?”
“From the looks of your fridge you do it quite often.”
“What I do is none of your concern.”
“I’m aware, but why spend money on something you can make, and for less?”
“If you don’t want breakfast that’s fine. I’m gonna order myself a plate of pancakes and sausages, and that’s that.”
I ended up ordering scrambled eggs and cheese with home fries, sausages and bacon with a side of toast and orange juice.
We ate in periods of silence with Wendy occasionally flipping through I assumed was the latest issue of In Style Magazine.
The stack of magazines on the floor were filled with women’s magazines. The top one, Jane, had some up and coming female movie star and a caption in green letters under her left breast- Cheating Men: and Why Some Women Take Them Back.
“What are we doing, Wendy?” She looked up from her page at me.
“I’m eating and enjoying this article. What are you doing?”
“No, I mean us. What are we doing?”
She pushed the magazine aside.
“You want to have this conversation now?”
“Better now than never.”
She took a gulp of cranberry juice. “I was hoping that you and I were moving forward.”
“Meaning leaving what happened in the past there and start fresh.”
“So you’re saying by sleeping with me, you’re attempting to…woo me back?”
“I wouldn’t say that.”
“So what are you saying?”
“I’m saying that despite our past my feelings for you still exist and I’d like to explore the possibility of an ‘us’ again.”
I shook my head as she excused herself to the bathroom.
In the time she left and returned to finish her breakfast I skimmed through the magazine article on cheating men. One reason stuck out: “they do it because they know they can, because she’ll take him back over and over again.” This is what some woman in Arizona said after being a victim of such.
She’s more of a victim of her own stupidity rather than some outside force.
I then had what folks called “a light bulb moment.”
I threw the magazine back on the pile just as I heard the toilet flush.
“So you would like to date me?” I asked as she sat back down.
“That’s the idea.”
“Well, alright. I think it’s worth another go-round.”
That seemed to perk her up despite trying to conceal her excitement.
As we finished breakfast I contemplated just how I would get the raw data I have been lacking. All I needed was a similar situation to this one.
Another proverbial light bulb went off in my head.