I’ve had it with women. The games, the drama…I’m taking a break from it all and nothing will change my mind. Not even this pretty face in front of me.
“So?” Her smile wasn’t bad either.
“So?” I replied, back to reality.
“We met the other day...? At that party… ‘LGBT people and their allies’… Remember me? ”
How could I forget her? I had been wondering all that night if she was LGBT or an ‘ally’. My eyes followed her around as I admired her curly hair that stopped right at her shoulders, perfectly framing her deliciously expressive dark-skinned face. She was about 5”5’, just like me; she had an athletic build, just like me; she was stylishly dressed (not over the top, just right), unlike me.
I pretended to hesitate before answering: “Taylor, right?”
“Call me Tay.” That smile again.
The cutie remembered my name.
She went on: “I’ve seen you around campus. You’re usually with your girlfriend…”
“June. No, she is not my girlfriend.”
“Not any more?”
“No. She never was.”
It’s a little more complicated than that, but a crowded cafeteria is not really the place to discuss my love life with a stranger, no matter how attractive she was.
I ignored her skeptical eyes and chose to focus on her magnificent dimples.
“So you’re available?”
“You have someone?”
“No. I’m single but not available.”
“Playing hard to get, aren’t we?”
“No. ‘We’ are on a break.”
“For how long?”
“It’s undetermined ...”
Her suspicious gaze pushed me over the edge: “How does that concern you, anyway?” I snapped.
Tay paused for a brief moment, and without batting an eye, said:
“Be my girl.”
“Huh?” The only response fit to the situation.
“Be my girlfriend. I know it’s a little sudden, but it saves us time and drama. I’ve been watching you for a couple of weeks now, and I think we’re a match. If you want, we can take it slowly, but we will be exclusive right from the beginning.”
“I don’t think so!”
“Why? You don’t like me?” she said, working her dimples. She was irresistible, and she knew it.
“I’m on a break.”
“You’re not being reasonable, honeybun!”
“I’m trying out nicknames! You like ‘sugarplum’ better?”
I sprung up, gathering my belongings.
“Tay…I don’t know who put you up to this, but it’s not very funny.”
I quickly made my way to the nearest exit, away from that lunatic and the stares of the onlookers. I thought I was at a safe distance when I heard her shout, evidently struggling with laughter:
“Don’t try to fight it!…Love sent me Dee!…Love sent me!”
I made it to my dorm room, looking anxiously and frequently over my shoulder to make sure she didn’t follow me. I had almost caught my breath when the phone rang:
“What about ‘cupcake’?”
“ ‘Cupcake’. How do you like that one?”
I couldn’t believe my ears!
“Yes, sweetie pie?”
I hung up, less preoccupied by how she got my phone number than by why all her nicknames for me were edibles.
The phone rang once more, and I picked it up, fuming:
June. The girl some confused for my girlfriend. I couldn’t blame them; I was very confused about that myself.
“Just a girl I met”.
“A girl you met…”
“It’s a long story.” I said, wondering if she cared.
She didn’t. Instead, she continued: “Can you do something for me?”
I can’t really explain why I’m still friends with June. I figured out a long time ago that she didn’t care about me. She took advantage of me, I knew it, and I didn’t do anything about it. She was my first. The first person ever I had sex with, the first person I felt comfortable enough to confide in, at least at the beginning. We agreed from the start that we would only be lovers, not girlfriends, nothing more. I soon found out I wasn’t cut out for that kind of relationship. I tried to leave her many times, but she always managed to make me stay, saving the break up for when she felt like it, not before. When we finally separated I was more relieved than heartbroken; yet, she kept calling me for favors, and I kept answering.
June finally hung up, and I was left thinking about how I was gonna pick up June’s dry-cleaning, deliver it to her and still make it to my study group.
A knock on the door. I looked through the peep hole only to step back in disbelief. I’d recognize that smile everywhere. I opened the door, hoping that my eyes were deceiving me.
“Hi, Dee.” Tay said, walking right into the room, straight to my bed where she sat. I closed the door, my eyes still wide open.
“Sit down.” She said, indicating a spot on the bed right next to her.
I grabbed a chair.
“What do you want from me?” I implored her.
“I thought I told you already” she calmly said.
Our eyes locked and I suddenly grasped the ridicule of the situation.
I couldn’t help but start laughing uncontrollably.
Her smile grew wider and she said: “Finally.”
“What?” I managed to say.
“I see you smile, finally.”
I eventually came to my senses and gave her a questioning look.
“You haven’t been smiling a lot lately. Especially after your break up with your girlfriend… or that girl you haven’t been dating but have strong feelings for…”
“How do you know all this?”
“I’ve been watching you, Dee.”
“Like a stalker.”
“Like a friend. You seem like someone worth knowing.”
“Thanks…” I was warming up to her.
“So, what do you say?”
“Let’s be friends.” She held up her hand in my direction. I took it.
“Let’s.” I don’t think I could ever get enough of that smile.
Strangely, Tay and I became very good friends, very quickly. I found out Tay was a fully grown lesbian. Not that I care, I’m on a break. We spent a lot of time together; people started thinking we were dating. I rarely corrected them and I don’t think Tay did either. You know how people are…if I started answering every rumor out there, people would start asking all kinds of questions: why I touch Tay at every opportunity that I got? Why sometimes I look at her like some people look at their brand new car or a freshly baked apple pie? Why when she smiles she moves me to my core? Why sometimes I imagine what her lips would taste like? Why Tay shows up in my dreams, often wearing very little clothing, when she is wearing anything at all?
Even June started to care. She was concerned that my recently found happiness was getting in the way my running her errands.
“What do you mean you can’t wash my car tonight?”
“I’m meeting Tay tonight.”
“That girl is no good. She’s taking advantage of you!”
“Doesn’t she always ask you for money?”
“No. You do.”
“Right… and I appreciate it, sweetie. Doesn’t she invite herself to your room and stays late?”
“Yeah, she visits me and I do the same.”
“I see… So… when can you wash my car?”
I definitely liked Tay. A lot. I looked forward to seeing her every day after class. She’s not just a pretty face; she has ideas, opinions, ambitions. I could listen to her talk for hours at a time, but she’s always curious about what’s going on in my life.
One night we were walking back to her dorm, back from the theater.
“I can’t believe you dragged me to see such a terrible movie!” She complained.
“The trailer looked good!”
“They always do! You owe me!”
“Name it, you got it!”
She looked down for a few seconds, lost in her thoughts.
“Let’s sit.” She said, pointing at a bench.
We sat down.
“Graduation’s just weeks away.” Her tone was serious.
“Yeah.” I answered, looking at her, not knowing where this was going.
She turned to face me.
“What’s gonna happen to us after graduation?”
“I imagine we will have to pack and go home…find jobs…hate our bosses…grow old and bitter…”
“I’m serious! Are we gonna stay friends?”
“Yeah, we live minutes from each other; we will see each other everyday if we want to.” I was trying my best to delay the inevitable.
“Stop playing… I don’t want to wait any longer.”
She took a deep breath before saying: “Be my girl.”
“Are we doing this again?”
“I swear Dee, sometimes!” she stood up, ready to leave.
I grabbed her hand.
“I know, I know, I’m sorry.”
I stood up and took her in my arms.
“Tay…I don’t know what to tell you…I’m scared.”
“I’m scared too, babe. But that’s OK.”
After a few seconds, she continued:
“Take your time if you want to think about it. But please, don’t take too long. Just remember that I’m not June…I don’t want anything from you…just you… I love you.”
Before I could reply, she silenced me, pressing her lips on mine, gently.
“Don’t say anything now. You don’t have to.”
I leaned to kiss her slowly, with all my heart.
The next day was a Friday, I had no classes scheduled. I made up my mind, and it didn’t take me very long. Yes, I loved her, and yes, I wanted to be her girl.I had a speech ready for the great occasion.
1pm. Tay should be back from her choir practice.
I stepped out of the elevator, armed with roses, rehearsing my speech. I turned the corner leading to Tay’s room just in time to see her tenderly hugging another woman. Shocked, I looked for a place to hide, and finally opted to leave. She couldn’t have already found someone else! Or could she? Maybe there was someone all along!
“Where are you going?”
I hesitated, then slowly turned around.
“Dee, where are you going?” Tay repeated.
“Yeah, Dee, where are you going?” the other woman said.
I recognized Sharon, she was in Tay’s choir. Usually not a bad girl, but I didn’t really like her at this particular moment.
“I taught I forgot something” I lied.
“Of course you did!” said Sharon, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
She then turned to Tay: “I see you next week.”
She walked by me, looked at the flowers, still smirking.
“Bye Sharon.” You poison.
“Are you coming in or what?” Tay said, walking into her room.
“Close the door behind you.”
“So, what brings you here?” she said, looking at me from across the room, sitting on her bed.
“I…I…” I forgot my speech.
“I see you brought me flowers. How nice! What’s the occasion?”
She wasn’t gonna make it easy for me.
I put the flowers on her desk, and walked towards her while trying to compose myself. I stopped a foot away from her.
“I love you.”
“And I love you. What else?”
I extended my hand to her and she took it.
“Please be my girl.”
She laughed, stood up and looked me deep in the eyes, her arms wrapped around my shoulders.
“Say it again.” She whispered, very close to my ear. I put my arms around her hips and pulled her closer to me.
“Please Tay, be my girlfriend.”
“Ok. I will… I am.” Her mouth started playing with my lower lip and I felt her hands sliding under my shirt.
“I don’t know if…”
“You wanna wait? We can if you want to…” she said, reluctantly removing her hands.
“No, I want you… I want you so much…” I replied, holding her closer. She just had to look in my eyes to find her proof.
“I’m not sure I can live up to your expectations…”
“Babe, don’t make this complicated. I love you, you love me… the rest will come.”
With those words of wisdom, she removed her top, starting our week-end of discovery.
Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of author. All Rights Reserved.