TROUBLE VIII

When I’m assured that he’s really gone this time, I allow myself to come apart. In my crouched position, perched on the tips of my toes, my face is inches from the ground.

I’ve heard putting your head in between your legs helps if you’re hyperventilating. Which I most certainly am not. Because it would be stupid to freak out over a guy you only met a day ago.

In the muddled mess of my emotions right now, underneath all the righteous anger, I’m mostly mortified. I mean, he’s right. Of course, he could have put it better, but he’s right. I heave out a sigh. Anyway, there’s no use crouching here and feeling sorry for myself.

I pull myself up and clear up the plates and dishes. Might as well clean it up so it looks like nothing ever happened. (Let’s pretend that nothing ever happened.)

As I pull my tired, weary self up the stairs (avoiding any place Bubble head Toni might have stained in drunk mistakes), I think about whether or not I should leave. Wouldn’t it be really awkward? But where else would I stay? How would I meet his eyes again? Ugh. I push those thoughts away and focus on the thought of Toni being horrible in bed. Because Lolu is still annoyingly perfect. It’s sickening.

Once I’m finally cocooned in my bed, in my comfy, pijamas and my headphones in my ears (I am blasting Pink Rabbits by the Nationals, yes I like to feel sad) I allow myself to shed one tiny little itty bitty tear. But of course, soon enough, I’m bawling and snot is dripping down my nose and I can’t breathe. Fun stuff. Crying is my stress relief, don’t judge me. Naturally, I cry myself to sleep.
***

“Hey.”

“Hey, Adure”, a sexy British voice intones, waking me up.

I open my eyes to Lolu peering down at me, with a slight frown on his face.

“You look like shit, are you okay? Did you catch a cold, or something?”

Charming. He raises his hand as if to feel my​ forehead for my temperature. I swat his hand away as I sit up.

“What?” I don’t mean for my voice to come out sharp, but of course, it is.

“Ah, well, I made you breakfast. It’s downstairs if you want some. It’s past ten so I’m not apologizing for waking you up.”

I groan and cover my head with my duvet, leaving my hand free to shoo him away.

A grin slowly forms on his face like he can’t help it. He says in a booming and theatrical voice, “Is THAT my thanks for being SUCH a gracious and accommodating and handsome and sexy and generally pleasing HOST? Surely, lady, you jest. I’ve never been so disrespected in my life.”

I flip him the bird because wtf I just woke up.

“WHY, ADURE, such uncouth manners from a young lady! Whatever would your mother say??”

I throw a pillow at his head just as he closes the door, causing me to miss. Well, I’m awake now, dammit.

I shower quickly and meet him downstairs. I check around for any sign of Bubble headed idiot (I know, my snide remarks are lacking) but she’s nowhere to be found. Lolu notices me noticing her absence and says, “What? Toni? She already left.” His voice turns hard. “I don’t make it a habit to play house with my play things.”

“Can you not be such an ass?”

He smirks. “Are you going to do something about it? Like make me pasta?”

Eyyy. That’s going too far. I understand my mistake, but rubbing in the fact is uncalled for.

I shake my head and pile some food on my plate. “I’m leaving. I’ll be out of your hair by noon, latest.”

“Oh, so that’s it? A little challenge, a little pushing, and you just run away? You’re acting like you’ve never had to deal with someone being mean to you.”

“That’s not what this is about-”

“Yes it is! You’re just hanging back and swallowing everything like a good little girl.”

“WHY SHOULD IT EVEN MATTER TO YOU?”

“Because I hurt you, dammit. And it feels like you just want to pretend it never happened.”

“That doesn’t sound like an apology.”

“It’s not, at least not yet. I want you to have a problem with it. Pick a fight with me.”

“I don’t want to, it’s not worth it.” I pick up my fork and start forking some food in my mouth.

He sneers at me in disgust, over the rim of his apple juice, and picks at his eggs and bacon. Why did he even bother to make breakfast for me if he’s going to act like a little bitch?

“Maybe I shouldn’t have shot you down so fast yesterday. Since you’re so good at laying back and taking it, I could have had you for seconds.”

I wasn’t even aware I’d stood up until my hand is landing across his face. He stares at me in shock, his eyes wide and mirroring my own. I’m hardly violent (I would probably die if I was, lol), but there are limits, LIMITS. Anger replaces the shock. How dare he?

“How dare you? Who do you think you are? Talking about women with that tone and that look on your face. Acting like you know it all. What, you think there’s something wrong with me? That I can’t stand up for myself? You don’t KNOW me. Your mother would be ashamed-”

He cuts in softly, “Don’t bring up my mother.” He breathes in, he breathes out. Touches his cheek. It’s at this moment I realise I’ve never seen Lolu look actually serious. I’ve seen him around campus a bunch of times and he always has this playful glint in his eye. It’s scary to finally see.

He looks up at me. “I’m sorry. Forgive me?” The emotions in his eyes show me he is absolutely sincere. Well, there’s nothing else to it. I sit back down, all the anger gone, feeling like a deflated balloon.

He touches my hand, “I really am sorry, I crossed a line. I just really wanted to get a reaction out of you. I’ve seen you around, yes, I see you watching me-” He winks. “- and you always have this superficial look to you. You’re happy, yes, but textbook happy. Like you live in this bubble. Like it’s a mask. And I know a thing or two about masks.” He pauses, takes a deep breath. “Yesterday was unacceptable. I could blame it on a number of things but the bottom line is that I hurt you. That is not okay. But I don’t want you to run away from this. Don’t leave.”

Well. I feel a bit overwhelmed and I’m not sure what to think. It’s weird to know that someone has been observing me so closely. But yeah, I don’t feel the need to leave anymore.

“Okay, I’ll stay.”

“Great. Let’s be good friends, Adure.”

“Sure, Lolu.”

Trouble VII

Damn. This. Boy. Will. Kill. Me.

I take steadying breaths, and try to calm my racing heart. He touched me. Put his hands allova my body. Gahhhkaksijem. I cover my face in the darkness, glad no one is around to see me have a complete nervous breakdown. Call it the Lolu Effect.

As soon as my hands eventually stop shaking, I exit the room. Looking around, I deduce that The-One-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has left the building. His keys are gone from the counter by the door. It’s just as well, I wouldn’t know how to face him after that.

I mean, there’s always been this sexy, tense aura surrounding our interactions with each other. I’m not imagining it, right? Right??

I decide to go to the kitchen to appease my growling stomach, my other hungers sated. I knew he would taste good.

As I cook, I decide to make something for Lolu. You know, in case he’s hungry when he gets back. I decide nothing overly fancy, I’m not trying to get the boy to marry me, obviously. (Crossing my fingers!) Pasta in sauce with some cheese on top should do.

As soon as I’m done, and have dished everything out, I check the time. I discover is it already past 9, and wonder when Lolu will be coming back.

I set the table all nicely, with a vase of flowers from the garden and a solitary, lit candle. I’m feeling quite proud of myself when the door clicks open.

I don’t know why, but the first thing that registers is the giggles. They are high pitched and annoying. Next comes Lolu’s voice.

“You never shut up, do you.” Lolu asks, his voice still annoyingly sexy. He wraps his arms around her as it seems she has difficulty walking straight.

The annoying girl speaks. (So, she has a brain.) “Ohh myy, I am soooo druuunk rihht now”, she slurs. “Why’d you let me have so muchhh?” Another giggle escapes.

“Well, love, so that I could get you out of your clothes and into my bed easier.” He flashes a cocky grin.

They finally look up and notice me, gaping at them from the kitchen.

“Oh, hey, don’t mind us.We’ll just go upstairs and let you get back to whatever it is you were doing.”

He notices the food and elaborate set up.

“Were you expecting someone?”, He raises one eyebrow.

I finally find my voice after a hard swallow.

“Yes, but they didn’t show. Sorry I couldn’t ask for your permission first.” I reply.

His eyebrow goes back down. “It’s okay, it’s not like I’ve been around for you to ask. I mean, I left immediately after we…” He trails off. He looks again to the set up on the table.

I see the moment he realises. His face goes still and his mouth forms an Oh. It’s like the light bulb goes off in his head and his mouth forms a mocking smirk.

He turns to the bumbling idiot besides him, “Go ahead love, wait for me upstairs.”

At this point my mortification is supreme. I don’t think I could get anymore embarrassed and my heart will not stop thudding. Anything I try to say will probably come out as a meaningless stutter.

I keep my gaze on the wall behind his head as he begins to talk.

“Look, Adure, what happened was just me being horny and not thinking. I can’t believe you thought something was going to happen though. You developed a crush in like 2 hours? What are you, five? I mean, you’re cute, and I’m always up for a quick tryst, but you don’t seem like that sort of girl. I can’t believe I have to explain this.

If you’ll excuse me, I have some urgent business to attend to.”

He bundles up the stairs, leaving me to clean up the shards of my dignity. After a few seconds, he returns, looking slightly sheepish. He grabs two bowls and scoops out some pasta from the pot.

“I mean, you made it for me, right? Toni and I will get hungry soon enough.” He gives me a wink. “Thanks love.” He bounds up the stairs again without a second look back.

What an ASS.

TROUBLE VI

I woke up to the sun setting through the window. I didn’t even realise I was sleepy. Ugh, remembering my conversation with my parents makes me want to cry. They are so unreasonable. They were so uncaring about their own daughter that they did not understand why I did not want to be at the mercy of an almost complete stranger.

Well, I think part of the reason was Lolu’s family. Or his father anyway. I googled Lolu and found out some basic info about him, and when I called my parents to tell them who I was staying with, they instantly recognised his father, and deemed me safe enough. At least they had his name and address so he could be arrested.

After i’m found dead.

After a while I started feeling hungry. I wondered whether Lolu was back. If he still looked as sexy as he did that morning. There were certainly perks of being at his mercy. Gosh, I could probably write songs for that boy. I want to unwrap all that caramel goodness and take a bite.

Oh, right, I’m hungry.

Getting downstairs, I started towards the kitchen. As I passed the door to the living room, I heard some music.

Lolu must be home.

I hesitated at the door handle, then went in. It was all dark and the stereo was playing ‘omo pastor’ by ajebutter. Now, I had a problem with keeping still, and I really loved to dance. Not amazingly well, but I still liked the movement.

I was already wavering to the beat. And the stereo was really high quality.

As expected of Lolu. Probably does all his babes on that couch. Damn.

I started moving my hips, my waist, putting my hands in my hair, really feeling it. I felt Lolu walk up to me, and his hands were on my waist, and his body was pressed against mine.

We were moving in sync. I pushed my hips back, and arched my back a little. He made a sound at the back of his throat. He put his face in my neck, his mouth softly grazing my ear.

“Adure.”

He left, closing the door softly behind him.