I was sitting on the hood of the car parked in front of room 128 when the door opened and they came out. She saw me and her face lost its color. Her eyes couldn't meet mine and she looked away. As I slid off the hood of the car he put his hands up in a defensive gesture and I said:
"Don't bother. Neither one of you is worth wasting my time on."
I walked over to my car, got in and drove away. There was a long story that led up to that confrontation.
I met Jim when his family moved into the house next door. He was eight, the same age as me, and the only other boy in the neighborhood. There were several girls close to my age, but Jim and I were the only boys. We naturally gravitated toward each other and by the end of the fourth grade we were as tight as twin brothers. We played Little League baseball and Pop Warner football together. I had his back and he had mine. If you were messing with Jim you were messing with me and vice versa. We were inseparable all the way through high school.
I met Laura when I started tenth grade and we started dating. By our junior year we were going steady. Jim had hooked up with Annabelle Spears and they were going on double dates with Laura and me. The night of the senior prom Laura gave me her virginity in the room next door to where Jim and Annabelle were doing the same thing.
High school graduation broke us up. Jim had no interest in going to college so he joined the Navy. Annabelle called him every dirty name in the book for running off and leaving her, but even so she said she would wait for him to get a permanent duty station and then she would join him.
Laura and I went to college. Me to Eastern Michigan University for a degree in Civil Engineering and Laura to University of Michigan for Information Technology. U of M in Ann Arbor and EMU in Ypsilanti were only a half hours drive apart so Laura and I were still able to maintain a more or less steady relationship. I say more or less because a couple of times Laura cancelled a date with me in order to go out with some guy she met at U of M, but of course she didn't tell me that part. I got that information from friends who also went to Michigan and they also told me that she dated on the nights that I didn't drive over.
It came to a head one night when I drove over and got there just in time to see her get in a car with some guy and drive off. I followed them to a restaurant out on Ann Arbor Road, gave them ten minutes to get inside and get situated and then I followed them in. I found them in a booth in the back and they were sitting side by side and not across from each other. He had his arm around her and she was making no effort to push it off or move away and put some distance between them.
Luckily there was a booth on the other side of the room where I could sit and Laura couldn't miss seeing me, but it wasn't until the waitress asked me what I'd like to drink and Laura heard my voice that she looked my way. I was pretending to read the menu and was not looking right at her, but I saw her eyes get big and she suddenly pushed the guys arm off of her and moved away from him. The look on his face as she did those things said plain as day "What are you doing?" That look told me that this wasn't the first time they had been together or even the second or third. They had been together enough that he felt comfortable putting his arm around her and he knew that she was okay with it.
I have no idea what they talked about, but Laura kept nervously looking my way while I sat there and pretended that I hadn't seen her. I finished my meal and then got up and left without once letting Laura see me looking at her and then I drove on home.
The next day was a Friday and Laura and I had a standing date for dinner and a movie on Friday night. That Friday night I skipped our date. I didn't call and cancel; I just didn't go. I unplugged the phone and settled in with a good book. Saturday I went to a party at the Delta Phi house and had a great time. I met a dark haired beauty named Robin, we danced a couple of times and she gave me her number and asked me to give her a call.
Sunday I had my head in the books preparing for Monday's classes when my doorbell rang. I got up, went to the door and looked through the spy hole and saw that it was Laura. I opened the door and she pushed by me to enter the room and then she turned to me and said:
"Where have you been? Where were you Friday night and why haven't you answered your phone?"
I closed the door, turned to her and asked her which one she wanted me to answer first.
"That was three questions. Which one do you want me to answer first?"
"Don't be cute Rob; what is going on?"
"Okay then, I'll do them in the order that I like. First — where have I been. Here for the most part although I did go to a frat party Saturday night. Next — why haven't I answered the phone. That one is easy. I haven't answered it because it hasn't rung. My bad of course since I am the one who unplugged it. Then there is "Where were you Friday night." I was here. I called out for a pizza and spent the evening reading a very good book."
"Why didn't you call me and let me know that you weren't coming over?"
"I figured that you already had something going with your boyfriend."
"My boyfriend? What are you talking about Rob? You are my boyfriend."
"Oh? Well then who was that you were all lovey-dovey with at the restaurant Thursday night?"
"He is just a guy I know and we were not all lovey-dovey."
"Sitting next to you hip to hip, you leaning into him and his arm around you isn't lovey-dovey? What then would you call it?"
"It didn't mean anything Rob. We are just friends."
"If you didn't think you were doing anything wrong Laura why didn't you get up and come over and say hi. How about maybe asking me to join you so you could introduce me to your friend? Maybe sit down with me and say a few words before going back to join your date? Could it be that you didn't do that because then he might want to who I was and you didn't want to tell him?"
"Why didn't you get up and come over if it bothered you so much?"
"Because I wanted to see how you behaved."
"See how I behaved? Why would you want to do that?"
"Because I have too many people telling me about how much you date when I'm not around. I've also been told that you have been out with guys on nights you have broken dates with me so yes, I wanted to see how you behaved with another guy."
"You don't own me Rob. There isn't anything saying that we are exclusive."
"I thought there was Laura. I seem to remember giving you my class ring and my letter sweater as signs that we were going steady."
"Letter sweater? Class ring? Going steady? Oh come on Rob, that is just so high school."
"Maybe, but it happened in high school and when we left high school I don't recall you giving those things back to me and saying, "We are out of high school now so all bets are off." But that's okay. Since you don't feel like it binds you I guess I can look at it the same way. I did meet a nice girl at that frat party and she did give me her phone number so I guess I'm now free to give her a call."
Laura got a nasty look on her face and snapped out, "Fine! Go ahead for all I care" and she walked out. After she was gone I thought about how she hadn't made any excuses, hadn't said that she wouldn't do it again and hadn't tried to convince me that I was her one and only. As far as she was concerned she wasn't a high school girl any more; now she was a grown woman and things were going to be different and that pretty much told me to write her off. It wasn't going to be an easy thing to do since we had been together for so long, but better to find out where her head was at now than later.
I had a ton of homework Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so it was Thursday before I got a chance to call Robin. We talked for a while and then made a date for Friday night. I picked her up and we went and had dinner and then instead of a movie she decided that she wanted to go to a party she knew about. It was at an apartment in Belleville and we got there just a little after eight and wouldn't you know that it just had to happen? The first people I saw when we walked in the door were Laura and the guy she had been out with on Thursday night.
"Oh fuck!" I said.
"What's the matter?" Robin asked.
"Them" I said as I pointed to Laura and the guy.
"You know them?"
"I know her."
"You know Miss Piggy?"
"That's her nickname."
"Why does she have a nickname like that?"
"She's a slut. A real pig so someone hung the Miss Piggy tag on her."
"Are you sure that she's a slut?"
"What else would you call a girl who has a steady boyfriend that she says she is going to marry and who spends her time spreading for other guys when the boyfriend isn't around."
"You know this for a fact? The spreading part I mean?"
"No. To be fair about it I don't know it personally, but I've heard it from several guys who said that they have played around with her."
"You didn't say how you knew her."
"I'm the boyfriend she was going to marry right up until I caught her last Thursday with the guy she is standing with."
"Oh boy. Are there going to be any fireworks?"
"No. I had it out with her on Sunday. We are now officially toast."
"What are the chances that I would have heard from you if Thursday had never happened?"
"Slim next to none. But Thursday did happen and we came here to have a good time so hows about we get to it."
.... There is more of this story ...