Kelly and I spent the rest of the night talking about Scarlett. Despite how breathtaking Scarlett looks, how she fulfills every man and woman’s desire, talking about her with Kelly repelled all sexual tension. I think the worst part was showing Kelly pictures of Scarlett on the Benz & Beamers website. She lost all the color in her face; her green eyes almost turned to dirt.
It reminded me of how I felt in high school when I would turn down the hall and find my girlfriend Kasey talking to a group of jocks. They would all be sticky with sweat that glistened and highlighted their bicep muscles. Mid-conversation she’d always find my eyes in the crowd, retrieve her textbooks and say her goodbyes. What hurt the most was I always felt like I was catching her, and based on how quickly she’d wrap up the conversation, she probably felt as if I caught her too.
“She’s beautiful,” Kelly’s voice is shaky like she’s holding back tears.
“Only if you’re into redheads.” I think I’d be a perfect cemetery custodian, because I sure love digging my own grave. A man not finding a woman attractive because of her hair color is as shallow as a woman refusing to date a man because of the car he drives. “She is beautiful,” I continue, “but she’s my boss, it’s different. It’s like crushing on a college professor or a class partner.”
“We were class partners once.”
She’s splitting hairs here. It wasn’t a one on one project; we were assigned to the same group of people. We planned a library work session, but Kelly and I were the only two to show. I wouldn’t count that library date though. We spent more time Facebook stalking the other students in our group. I remember one girl in our group had uploaded an album with photos from a recent Bassnectar rave she went to. She had this dangling belly button ring with a silver star and a tribal tattoo tramp stamp. “Maybe it’s better that we are doing most of the work for this project,” Kelly said scrolling through the Bassnectar babe’s recent activity.
I shrug. Kelly shrugs back with this baffled expression. It’s not a good baffled look. It’s not like she just walked in on a surprise birthday party or to the man of her dreams down on one knee. It’s the wide-eyed stare. The sealed lips. She’s hungry for warfare, all she needs is her war paint: a pony tail and rolled up sleeves. “There’s no reason to be jealous, Kell.”
“You’re one to talk, Eric. You are jealous of Luke!”
“I was jealous of Luke.”
“Right,” she rolls up her sleeves, “I mean it was just a couple hours ago we were talking about him.”
“This isn’t even worth getting into.”
“Oh you’re right, Eric,” she says in this tone that reminds me of my mother. Kelly thinks I’m stupid. Kelly thinks I’m playing her. “Because it’s not like,” she continues, “I borrowed your car to impress another guy and then – wow – this guy is now my new boss. But I don’t want to fuck him because he’s my boss.”
“Yeah! I fucked up, I get it!”
“You want to fuck her, don’t you?” Her hair is pulled back now and she has pushed her sleeves past her elbows. She’s a mob boss planning her next hit and run. “I’m sure she wants to fuck you too.” She pauses to catch her breath. “I mean you’re her Chevy Boy after all.”
I can’t believe she admitted to looking through my texts. I can’t believe she looked through my texts. She looked through my fucking texts. I take her out to dinner and get her wet and that gives her the right to snoop? “You saw my texts.” She keeps quiet and just shrugs at me. She crosses her arms and nervously chews on her bottom lip. “She calls me Chevy Boy because of you. I drive the Chevy, so I’m Chevy Boy. It’s a nick name.”
“You called her baby.” Kelly’s voice is shaky again.
“I thought she was taking me out. I didn’t realize what was happening until I tried kissing her.”
“You kissed her?”
“I don’t know if it counts since she pushed me away so quick.”
Kelly chuckles and lets her hair down. “She pushed you?” She laughs again and I join her. “Wow, she really doesn’t like you.”
As much as it kills me to hear Kelly joke about how Scarlett isn’t interested in me, it probably hurts her more realizing there’s a small chance that could change. I don’t think there’ll ever be a day where I can call Scarlett mine, but I’m destined to have my own Mercedes queen. If Scarlett is committed to a man with a dented BMW and crooked smile, it’d only be fair for me to attract someone like her. Besides, after wearing braces all through middle school, I’m every dentists’ wet dream.