Read #TripleX Online

Authors: Christine Zolendz,Angelisa Stone

Tags: #Contemporary

#TripleX (5 page)

BOOK: #TripleX
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“Yes, you did. I saw you and heard you.”

 

“Kevin, why was the retainer out of your mouth again?” I asked, sighing and watching the skin under my chin jiggle with each syllable. “The orthodontist said not to take it out—ever.”

“He takes it out when he calls Olivia,” Evan goaded.

 

“Do not.”

 

“Do too. What’s for dinner, anyway?” Evan asked. “Don’t say spaghetti either. We have that allllll the time.”

 

 

I met Matt my junior year of high school. We had study hall together. He was the only other student in my study period who ever opened a book. The other kids in the class were there to sleep off their hangovers from the night before or plan when to hook up after school to smoke pot. Matt and I convinced our study hall monitor to let us go to the library every day instead of fearing for our lives with the dregs of humanity.

Studying in the library, quickly turned into studying in my bedroom after school, which quickly turned into studying my vagina in my bed. We worked fast and moved fast, but Hell, it paid off. I married him during our junior year of college after a six-month breakup where I drowned every one of my woes in Vodka and guys with Greek letters across their chests.

I remembered not being able to breathe or really function when we first broke up back then. It was the most devastating thing I’d ever endured—still to this day. I lost weight. My hair was falling out in chunks, and my grades started slipping. Then, one night, my friends convinced me to go out and drink my woes away. Surprisingly, it worked. The taste of a lemon drop on my tongue mingled with a guy named Tom in my pants really made a girl forget her ex-boyfriend. I partied the pity away. I drank the doldrums gone. And, I never thought about going back to Matt.

Until…

Jessie Andrews.

Once I saw him on campus two or three times with his tongue down her throat, I saw red—a deep raging, full of homicidal thoughts red. I wanted her dead. I wanted him back in a major, envy-filled way. Rocking shorter skirts and plunging necklines and grinding with guy after guy on the dance floor in front of Matt and Jessie achieved my goal. Matt came running back and no sooner were we back together, we were engaged and ready to start our life together.

Against our parents’ wishes and cries of “you’re too young,” we took off to Vegas and got married. What were too young for? Sex? Bills? Mutual bank accounts and our very own vacuum cleaner? No, those weren’t the things that we were too young for.

We were too young to be sure of the exact path we wanted to be on for the rest of our lives. Too young to say, “Yeah, this is the man that I want to hear snore and grunt every night for the next 50 years.” Too young to know that never again would I be able to feel the freedom and joy of just being me—not caring what anyone else thought or how it impacted him. Too young to know that every decision I made from that moment on would need to be agreed upon by another human being “until death do us part.” Too young to know that “until death do us part” was a long damn time.

When Matt left three weeks earlier for Michigan, all I felt was relief. That was how I knew we’d made the right choice. We didn’t work anymore. We weren’t those two young and crazy kids any longer. We were adults who’d drifted and distanced themselves from each other, creating a rift too big to repair. And, it didn’t really bother me. I was completely complacent with the whole decision.

Matt was in Michigan. My boys were going to spend the entire summer with him. I was going to be alone, really alone, for the first time in almost nineteen years. I was going to have nearly three months all to myself. Me. My time. Why was I not going to do exactly what I wanted—what I thought? But what did I think? I’ll tell you what I thought. I had one thought and one thought only.

Fuck forty!

 

 

“What’re you doing?” Christine said, just as I answered the phone.

“I just got home. I spent the day plotting my new book with Pete,” I explained, pulling out pork chops to defrost for dinner. God forbid, we have spaghetti tonight too.

“Okay, I know I’ve said this before, but I just think it’s bizarre that you plot your erotic stories and scenes with your neighbor-guy down the street,” Christine claimed, for the five-hundredth time since I met her.

“His name is Pete, not ‘neighbor-guy.’ And I told you before that he has great ideas—really great ideas. He’s got a kinky mind,” I said, trying to make her understand.

“I think you want him,” she said, like she always did.

“We are just friends,” I replied.

“You told me you thought he was hot,” she argued.

“I do think he’s hot. What’s the big deal? I’ve always been into bald guys.”

“Bull crap,” she countered, “nobody is into bald guys. People only say they’re attracted to bald guys when the guy they’re into just so happens to be bald. Just like when a girl says that size doesn’t matter. We all know that it does—it
so
does. When a girl says that, we all know she’s screwing a shrinky-dink.”

“It’s not like that with Pete. I’ve told you before. It’s completely platonic,” I stated, turning the meat over in the microwave. “We are just friends… and he’s really helpful. My last book wouldn’t have been so great if he hadn’t fixed that last sex scene.”

“That last sex scene is what makes me think he’s into you and waaaayyy too kinked out… nobody does crap with a whisk and hot peppers like that,” she shrieked.

“Wrong! Since that book released, nine people have told me they tried it… and liked it,” I said, laughing.

“He wants you. Has he ever hit on you—tried to kiss you—anything like that?” Christine pried, accusingly.

“Never. Not once,” I answered, emphatically.

“Touched you? Anything?”

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

“Well…”

“Well what?” Christine screamed into the phone.

Sighing, I decided to tell her something I hadn’t voiced to anyone ever. “Pete… well he… ummm…”

“Damn it Angelisa, tell me! What does Pete do?”

“He thinks better if… if… he’s rubbing and massaging my feet,” I admitted, cringing at the confession and absurdity of it all.

“Are you fricking kidding me? This guy rubs your bare feet and talks to you about kinky, erotic sex scenes, and you think that’s
platonic
and that he’s
not
into you? How damn naïve are you?”

“I’m not naïve,” I explained. “It’s like when I think and write better while I’m chomping on M&Ms. My feet are his M&Ms.”

“Oh my God, you are the dumbest person on the planet. Let me ask you this… does Matt know about your platonic plotting sessions with Pete McFeet?”

“No!”

“Does he know that you go down to his house every day?” Christine asked.

“I mean, he knows we’re friends,” I side-stepped the question.

“That’s not what I asked. If it’s so platonic, then why don’t you tell Matt about it,” she questioned rationally.

 

 

“That’s a very good question Ms. Stone. If you were hiding something from your husband, then you had to know that it was wrong. There was some part of you that knew you shouldn’t be sneaking around with your neighbor,” the judge states, interrupting my story.

“Oh, you don’t even know the half of it, Your Honor. Just wait until she gets to what happened with Pete McFeet. Just wait. Classic,” Christine giggles.

“Ms. Stone, I hope for your sake that your husband is now aware of your friendship with your gentleman friend,” the judge eyes me sternly.

“Yes Ma’am,” I admit, dropping my eyes and giggling.

“Is there something I’m missing, ladies?” she asks.

“So much. We’re just getting started,” Christine explains.

The judge calls the bailiff into her chambers, scribbles something on her notepad, hands it to him, and says, “Continue Ms. Stone.”

 

 

Anyway, Christine admonished me for a good fifteen minutes about lecherous tendencies, while I argued that mine and Pete’s friendship was purely innocent and centered around business only. After agreeing to disagree, we dropped the subject.

“So, your text said that you had some news for me,” Christine said.

“I do. I think you’re right. I’m going to go to Vegas this summer with you. It’s time I start remembering who I really am,” I explained. “And I think that starts with a road trip with my favorite erotic author.”

 

 

Twitter: Have officially reached the WTF am I going to do phase of this #VegasRoadTrip #TripleX #SendAlcohol #AndCupcakes

 

 

Taking a deep breath, I climbed into my minivan and adjusted my rearview mirror. The cheating idiot was in the reflection, standing at my front door looking lost and confused.
Objects in the mirror are less trustworthy than they appear
.

Was I leaving the best of my life behind me, or was the best yet to come? Apprehension and self-doubt slowly filled my thoughts. Could I actually drive away? Just leave him standing there? My heart felt as if it were tearing right out of my chest. I could almost feel the ripping of tissue and skin and muscle. Hot tears burned at my eyes, and a hard lump of fear bubbled in my throat.

My marriage was over.

A sad whimper seeped past my lips.

I never, in all my time married, thought I’d end up divorcing Scott.

Suffocating him in his sleep with his own pillow? Yes.

Losing him somewhere in the middle of a desert with half a water bottle? Definitely.

But never divorcing him.

It felt like my life was truly over. Like the world had ended and the sun would never shine again.

I knew better though. I knew from my life experience that worlds don’t end, because you feel as if yours did. The sun will always rise after every tragedy, and life goes on. But if you choose to wallow in its demise, that life will go on without you, and you just become nothing more than a shadow of something you once were. That’s the only good thing about aging, I guess, the knowledge that comes with it. The wisdom that follows boldly behind it.

Scott’s reflection closed our glass storm door and pulled out his phone, looking down at it with a smile. Probably making his masturbation contingency plans with his rhinestone penis receptacle. A sharp painful rush of adrenaline surged through my body. This man was not someone who deserved to have tears shed for him.
I was in my car about to leave, and he was smiling down at his damn phone!

Without warning, his clothes burst into flames, sparks of burning flesh and fabric exploded across the lawn. The ground shook, and the glass door shattered in a loud splintering blast. Scott flailed his arms in panic and agony as he stumbled painfully down the front steps. Bushes and shrubbery caught fire, and tall flames licked wildly against the house, reaching up toward the sky. He landed hard on the grass and dirt, which crumbled and split open around him. His high-pitched shrieks of anguish tore at the membranes of my inner ear.

I rolled down the window to enjoy his torment further. The fibers of his clothes melted into bubbling slime and flesh as he rolled around on the rapidly disintegrating lawn. I wondered how much extra the gardeners were going to charge me to fix it. Then from the depths of Earth, giant craters opened up around him and dozens of deathly gray hands reached up to grab him and bring him into the bowels of Hell.

BOOK: #TripleX
8.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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