"If you wanted to fuck her in the first place, why the hell did you hook up with me?" Robin Bell yelled at Sam Rogers, her boyfriend, as she began packing her belongings into her suitcase.
She had just returned to their apartment to find him in bed with Brandy, the apartment complex's resident slut and her next-door neighbor.
"It just happened, Robin!" Sam tried to explain.
"What do you mean 'IT JUST HAPPENED?'" she asked him.
"Tell me how you 'JUST HAPPENED' to end up on our bed, with your dick in her ass. Let me guess, Brandy 'JUST HAPPENED' to come over while I was gone and said to you innocently, 'Sam, would you please give me a proctologic exam with your dick?'"
Busted, Sam just stood there in silent resignation to the fact that nothing he could say was going to help.
She didn't even wait for his response. She just picked up her bag and walked out of the apartment, slamming the door on her way out.
With nowhere else to go, she went to the apartment of her friend Jack Morris and knocked on the door.
When Jack opened the door, it was to find Robin standing there, crying, with suitcase in hand.
"What's wrong? Are you okay? You're not hurt are you?" Jack asked, in rapid succession.
Robin dropped the bag and wrapped her arms around her friend. Crying into his shoulder as she said, "He was fucking her!"
Puzzled, Jack enquired, "Who was fucking whom?"
Robin cried some more and then choked out, "Sam! I came home early from work and he was fucking Brandy right there in our bedroom."
Having never been this close to his friend, Jack awkwardly put his arms around Robin and held her, as he muttered to himself, "God, I hope he used a condom."
After a few minutes, when she had stopped crying, he picked up her bag and brought it inside, closing the door after him. Not being able to think of anything else to say, he asked her, "Have you had dinner yet? You might feel a little better if you have something to eat?"
"Eat?! I can't eat at a time like this. I don't even have a place to stay," she said to him.
Wanting to help his friend, he told her, "If you want, you can use the hide-a-bed couch until you can find an apartment of your own."
"You'd do that for me?" she asked and she could tell from the look in his eyes that he had no intention of taking advantage of the situation.
With a hurt look on his face, he said, "Of course! What are friends for?"
Forgetting her pain for a second, Robin felt embarrassed for having questioned her friend and she began to wonder why she had never noticed before how genuinely Jack cared about her.
He ordered pizza, they ate and they spent the rest of the night talking. Whenever she would bring up Sam, Jack would always manage to steer the conversation away to some other subject.
When they weren't working, they actually spent quite a bit of time together. He seemed to be going out of his way to keep her busy.
After she realized that Jack wasn't making a play for her, it dawned on her what he had been doing. He had simply been trying to keep her mind occupied, so that she wouldn't dwell on the breakup. It had worked! She hadn't thought about Sam or Brandy in days.
It had been three months since the breakup and she was still sleeping on the couch in his apartment. He had never asked her about finding a place of her own and she had become quite comfortable living there.
She had begun to see a side of her friend, little things about him that she had not noticed before, like the fact that he would always put whatever spare change he had into a collection jar for one charity or another when he could.
Once, she was really surprised when, late one night, they went to Wal-mart to buy a DVD that was on sale. It had been almost freezing outside when they got there and standing in front of the store, smoking a cigarette, was one of the store's employees. The woman had no jacket on and was obviously cold. As he walked to the store entrance, he detoured over to her, took off his jacket, handed it to the woman and said, "I'm getting cold just looking at you, just leave it at the register when you're done with it." Then, he walked away before the woman could say anything.
Robin asked him if he knew the woman and he said, "Nope, never seen her before."
She knew he didn't smoke and said to him, "Aren't you worried about the cigarette smell?"
He had simply responded, "Nobody should ever go cold. Besides, the jacket can be washed."
Sure enough, his jacket was waiting for him at the register on the way out. The woman he had loaned it to had made the cashier promise to thank him for her.
She lay awake one night, unable to sleep. Her mind was trying to make sense out of his behavior. He was kind to her, but then, he was kind to everyone. He had been generous with her; but then again, he was also generous with everyone else and; while he had never said it, his actions showed his genuine affection for her.
There was one other thing that Robin had noticed. Once in a while, when he thought she wasn't looking, she would catch him stealing little glances at her and she could swear that just before he would turn away in embarrassment, he had a look of contentment on his face.
What puzzled her most was why he had never made a play for her? Then she hit on it. It was that look of contentment on his face when he looked at her. She knew that look.
Why hadn't she realized it before, she thought to herself. She had seen it before on her parents faces and she finally realized that only one thing causes that look on someone's face: LOVE! He was in love with her!
It didn't make sense. If he loved her, why had he not told her so? What could possibly keep him from telling her that?
Then it occurred to her, he was afraid to tell her. But why, why was he afraid? Of course, how could she be so blind? She thought to herself, he would rather love her as a friend, than risk losing her if she rejected him as a lover. And in that instant, she knew that unless she made the first move, he would never tell her he loved her, for she realized that she too had grown to love him.
She was herself afraid that if she went to him and confessed her feelings, he might think that she was doing so from some misguided sense of obligation to him for his kindness, or perhaps just from the loneliness of being on the rebound after her breakup. No, she thought, she would have to come up with a way to convince him that she really loved and wanted him.
Her mind struggled for sleepless hours, until she finally came up with a plan and she vowed to put it into action the next day.
The following day, when both had returned home from work, she acted.
He was about to start dinner for them, when she walked into the kitchen and said to him, "Jack," she waited until he looked up, then continued, "You've been so good to me and I really appreciate it but..." she hesitated as if she did not know how to continue.
"What do you need Robin? You can ask me anything. I'll do it for you," he said to her.
She knew he would say those very words and was counting on it.
"I've been trying to get over Sam, but every time I turn around, I am just being reminded of what he and that slut did and it just pisses me off more," She lied. "I guess I really let him get to me," She added.
"What can I do to help?" he asked.
"Maybe, if I got a little payback I could move past this," she replied.
"Well, honey, I'd break his legs for you but you know he's really not worth it don't you?" he said, more as a statement than a question.
"No, your right. Not that I haven't thought of it," she smiled and then continued, "No, I had something a little less violent in mind."
And with that, she began to tell him the plan she wanted him to hear, "You know that Sam has always been a very jealous person." He nodded.
"And Brandy, along with being the complex's biggest slut, is also its biggest gossip." She paused, "Well I want to use her to make him jealous."
"You're not going to sleep with her are you? I didn't know you went that way," he said to her, surprised.
"No, you're right. Besides, I wouldn't give her the pleasure," she answered, then continued, "I intend to let her think I am seeing someone else. The first thing she will do is go to Sam and tell him. He will get jealous and eventually ask me about it. When he does, I will deny it. But, no matter what I say, the Green Eyed Monster will take a big bite out of his ass and chew for a while. He won't know if she was lying or not. It ought to fuck with his head for a while, before he finally figures out the truth."
Jack looked at her for a moment before saying, "I'm confused, if you're not going to use Brandy to make him jealous, who are you going to use?"
"You?" she said to him questioningly, and then added, "That is if you don't mind?"
He suddenly looked very uncomfortable when he said, "Okay. If it will help you move past this."
But, she already knew that he would. Not because it would give him an excuse to get closer to her, but because he loved her enough to help her, even though it would be painful for him to do so.
Her heart ached from having to deceive him. And the ache was made worse with the knowledge of the pain it would cause him to have to pretend to be the very thing he wanted most but felt he could never be. Seeing the look on his face, she vowed never to cause him pain again.
And so, without knowing what Robin actually had in mind, Jack agreed that the next day they would become lovers.
"Here she comes. Make it look good!" Robin told Jack as she wrapped her arms around him.
They had been standing at the doorway to his apartment for about ten minutes, waiting for Brandy to pass by on the way to work.
Robin took the initiative and kissed Jeff passionately. She continued to kiss him even though she knew that Brandy had passed them by. Blushing, Jack broke the kiss saying, "She's gone now."
Robin had noticed that Jeff had just begun developing a hard-on when he had broken off the kiss.
The next day after work, Jack was sitting on the couch, watching TV, when Robin opened the door to the apartment. She hurriedly entered the apartment and said, "Quick, pull out the bed! We don't have much time, she'll be here in half an hour!" Robin told Jack as she walked in the door.
Robin had stopped by Brandy's apartment long enough to leave a note on her door. In the note, she had told Brandy that she did not hold her responsible for what had happened. Robin also told Brandy that she did not want to lose her as a friend and asked Brandy to come by when she got off work.
Before entering the apartment, Robin had placed a note on the door to his apartment telling Brandy that she was in the shower and to knock three times and then wait ten seconds before entering.
Jack looked at her confused and said, "What? Who will be here in half an hour?"
"Brandy! I left her a note asking her to come by when she got off work. Now hurry up and help me pull the bed out. When she gets here, I want her to find us in bed together," she told him.