Needless to say I wasn’t going to ride home with them, so I opted to go in James’ car. I was so angry. So hurt. I didn’t even want to go home. I wanted to run far, far away. I’d been betrayed not only by my loser boyfriend, but my best friend who turned out to be a two-timing skank-bag-bitch-face whore! I trusted her. I never judged her for her flirty nature. I had her back. Always. How could she do this to me? Tom wasn’t exactly my fiancé or anything, but heck, I cared for him and we’d been on and off since grade nine. He was always sweet, and loyal, or so I thought. My head was like a whirlwind of thoughts and memories spinning around at a gazillion miles per hour. I was making myself dizzy. I didn’t deserve this. All I wanted to do was help Jen get over Jim, and it backfired on me. She got over him alright, with MY boyfriend. What the fuck. It was a silent ride home. Well, given the awkwardness of the situation and all. James was pretty close with Tom, and Jim. Sue was riding with us and she just sat silently in the passenger seat looking out the window. What was going to happen now? We were all good friends. It was bad enough Jim and Jen had broken up. Were we all going to fall apart? Not that it was the worse of my worries right now. I was wallowing in self-heart-wrenching-pity at the moment thinking about how I was going to pick up the shattered pieces of myself and move on.
“I’ll just get off here guys” I said still sniffling, about a block away from my apartment.
“Jaz, you want me to stay with you?” said an intimidated Sue.
“No I’ll be fine I’d rather be alone right now but thanks” I replied.
I slid out of the car and started walking around my block. I didn’t want to go home. Especially since home meant I had to see Jen eventually. The skank-ho lived with me, unfortunately. Fuck. I only worked part time, and received some assistance from OSAP (Ontario Student Assistant Program) to help me pay for my tuition and living expenses. With Jen out of the picture, I was done for. I’d have to move out eventually myself. Shit. Bitch. I hated her. All I knew right now was that I wanted her out of my life immediately. I would deal with the consequences later. I still couldn’t bring myself to go home, so I walked more. It was nearly 4am, and I found myself alone at Veever’s park. Great, so now I could be raped and murdered by some crack head. A perfect way to complete the evening, I thought. I just wanted to breathe in some fresh air and clear my mind, which was proving quite futile. Fuck. I had to get back home, and face the fact that I had to go to work in a few hours. I tried to look at the bright side of things. I’d keep myself distracted serving bitchy customers their medium double-doubles and indulged in some custard- filled Tim Horton’s goodness. Yes, I thought to myself, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I eventually lugged my mopey ass home, and threw myself on my bed.
The alarm was like a bee sting in my ear at 8am. I spent nearly three hours tossing and turning, having flashbacks of Jen and Tom rubbing against each other. I nearly puked again. I took a quick shower, and ran out the door to Tim Horton’s. I normally ate breakfast every morning, but even the smell of food just instigated my gut to twist in a spiral of acid drenched nausea. This job was monotony at its best. It was a beauty. All I had to think about was pouring coffee and making the occasional sandwich.
“Hey lady, I asked for an EGG SALAD sandwich, not tuna salad!” This woman hollered at me from behind the counter. If it wasn’t for her comical appearance, I probably would have slapped her upside the head, given my love life crisis at the moment. I was definitely on edge, but this, this I found entertaining. She had black hair with supposed blonde chunks that looked more like orangey straw. It was spiky all around with a little tail at the right side of the nape of her neck. I assumed she opted for a modern stylish cut, but this didn’t exactly suit her, nor was it age appropriate for a middle aged woman. Not to discriminate or anything. This was quite a sight. She had painted on eyebrows, in an auburn colour. It would have been almost plausible if at least they would have matched for God’s sake. One was arched quite high above her natural shaved off brow and the other was ridiculously below it. I couldn’t tell if she was angry or had partial facial paralysis. As if that wasn’t fashion- faux-pas enough, she was wearing frosty green eye shadow that was encrusted around her eyelids, with clown red painted on lips to match. It wasn’t hard to guess that the lipstick bled exaggeratedly out of her natural lip line. She wore a very low cut v-neck bright purple top, with a huge red belt just under her bouldering boobs, and above her enormous potbelly. As if that wasn’t atrocious enough to watch, she accompanied her freak show ensemble with none other than a pair of too tight leggings. Leopard print. Ugh. Double barf. Number one, not a pretty sight, and number two, I just had another flash back of Slutmania (in her glue on leopard print dress) in the bathroom leached on to my boyfriend. Now ex-boyfriend. This woman must have been in her mid fifties, and her clear lack of class and anger management was starting to peeve me off. She stood at the register belching orders in my face while waving her long, Medusa, four inch, magenta finger nails at me. After the scene was finally over and Queen Freakzilla left the shop, the day continued to flow monotonously, and I was actually able to get last night’s events temporarily out of my mind.
By temporarily, I mean temporarily. The minute I stepped outside Tim Horton’s my cell phone started ringing non-stop. Yeah, it was devil-bitch-face-whore. Did I want to face her right now? Nope. Did I have to? Eventually yes, but not right now. I took that as an indication that she was either at home or was going to go home to get her stuff, so I decided to direct myself towards my mom’s place. Ugh, I was in no mood at all to explain the love triangle drama that happened last night, but I had no choice. My mom would suck it out of me through my eyes. You can’t hide anything from mama. I figured I could probably use a hug right about now. I turned off my cell phone and started walking. Thank God she was in the vicinity, along with a grocery store, and a bank. Other than getting to school, I didn’t have to bus around much, and I got away with not having to pay hefty car insurance and maintenance fees. “Hi sweetie come on in—what’s wrong?” Well I lasted about a whopping grand total of about three seconds. I barely set foot in her house and I hadn’t even realized my face was already gushing with tears. The look of utter horror swept my mom’s features, as she hurried me inside. I was gasping for air and finally like a blubbering fool I managed to speak. “Mom… Tom…. and Jen... they…”. Amazing how a mother’s strong a mom’s intuition is.
“I knew it. I knew it. I’ve always told you to watch out with Jennifer, Jaz. She’s like a stray cat.” Mom was never too fond of Jen. Let’s just say her frivolous ways didn’t exactly aspire her much trust.
“I trusted her mom. I trusted Tom. How could they do this to me? H-h-how?” I exploded into another episode of tears, and just held on to my mom real tight, as if she was going to fall apart if I let go.
“I love you sweetheart. You don’t deserve this. But things will look up. You don’t feel like that right now, but they will. You’ll see” she said with a soft caressing tone. Her words and her touch always soothed me immensely. She’s like a human tranquilizer. “Can I stay here for the night? “ I asked her still clinging to her embrace. “You know you don’t even have to ask sweetheart” she said. “Let me go fix you some tea now” she said as she slowly released me and started rummaging through the cupboards. Funny how not even 24 hours earlier I had comforted Jen by making her tea. It was then that it hit me, where my nurturing tendencies came from. My mind kept replaying the moments that I was there for that conniving two-timing whore. Little did I know how greatly rewarded I was going to be for being a friend. A slut on a stick in a stall. Funny thought. How’s that for a porno title? Whore. Speaking of meat on sticks, I’d like to turn her into a pogo stick and feed her to the coyotes. Yikes, I was getting pretty vile thoughts lately. If I didn’t get a distraction soon, I was sure I’d end up on the front page of the Hamilton Spectator holding a severed penis in one hand and a blond head in the other. Sleeping at my mom’s for tonight was the first step to recovery, and luckily I didn’t have school on Mondays, so I could use my day progressively to figure things out. Like looking for a one bedroom apartment, or even a bachelor apartment. I kicked Jen out of my place out of anger and spite, but I wasn’t planning on being able to support myself living there. I was hoping one month notice would suffice to get out. I didn’t want to see Jen again. I didn’t even want to take her money to pay her half of the rent. I’d rather struggle for a couple months and scrounge to pay bills, rather than have to take one more look at that twangin’, backstabbin’ home-wreckin’ ho. Living with my mom had always been an option—to her. I wouldn’t even consider it, given the fact that I absolutely loathe my dad, and I like my own privacy. Luckily he had night shift tonight and I wouldn’t have to tolerate his bullshit until later on tomorrow evening. He’s the kind of chauvinistic pig I like to stay away from. Always expecting service at the drop of a dime, and bossing my mom around. Therefore, I decided at the tender age of seventeen, that I was no longer going to partake of his bullshit, so I opted to move the fuck out. My mom had always given in to his manipulative ways. She just called it ‘old fashioned’. Bullshit. I call it just plain ignorant. I sipped the last of my wonderful chamomile tea that mom fixed me, and decided I’d turn in early for the night, given the fact that I didn’t sleep at all the night before, and the night before that consisted of rambunctious drinking and slut-sitting.
Fuck, the first thing that sprang in my head the second I opened one of my eyelids was that I still hadn’t completed my stupid environment project. Another wonderful set back all thanks to Jennifer. She had poisoned my life in so little time. So not only had I lost my best friend and my boyfriend, but I was going to fail social studies? Grrrr. I decided that as excruciating as it was going to be, I was going to finish the project first before commencing Project- Revamp-My-Life. This of course meant sneaking into MY apartment to get my books and perhaps some more of my stuff to take back to my parents’ place. Luckily, upon tiptoeing my way to my room I realized there was nobody there. There was a post-it stuck on my bedroom door.
I’m so sorry for everything. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I don’t know what got into me. I know you hate me, but please at least hear me out before totally spitting me out of your life for good. On my way to the bathroom, some British guy started chatting up a storm with me. I must have bumped into Tom as we talked and he offered him a drink too. It was the drunkest I’d ever gotten. I honestly didn’t even realize it was Tom standing there with me. He walked me to the bathroom, and I actually walked into the men’s room since I was so trashed. He helped me keep my balance since I could barely walk. Before long I was making out with some guy. It was the weirdest experience ever. I swear I didn’t even recognize him at first. He kept changing into different faces, and I couldn’t stop myself. It was like I knew him but I didn’t. I knew his name, and at first I’d recognize his voice and then I wouldn’t. I didn’t realize it was Tom until you started puking everywhere. I know you probably will think this is the most ridiculous excuse ever, but I don’t have any other way to put it. This is what happened. I don’t expect this to justify what we did, or for you to ever forgive me, but if there’s one thing I learned; it’s that I need to stop drinking. It cost me my best friend. I’m so sorry.
I love you,
p.s. I’ve already taken most of my things and I’ll be staying with Carla until I find a place to live.
I couldn’t even describe what I felt after reading that note. I felt anger, sadness, and confusion. What the fuck was she talking about? I had an uneasy feeling about this note but I couldn’t figure out what bothered me more. The fact that she got bombed enough to make out with Tom, the fact that he went along with it, or her poor yet intricately fabricated excuse for what happened. One part of the note made gave me goose bumps, and I couldn’t understand why, until I read it over again.
On my way to the bathroom, some British guy started chatting up a storm with me.
That phrase was gnawing at my insides, but I couldn’t pinpoint why. For the shadow of a second I thought of the cocoa-skinned Barbie at the club. Her English was so proper, as if she was from another time. It had almost a British quality to it. I shrugged it off because it was no use. The more I struggled to figure out why it nudged me, the more my mind spiraled into a dead-end.
I hastily grabbed random clothes and my work uniform, and shoved them all in my duffle bag. I didn’t want to be there any longer than I had to. With a swift movement, I threw on my backpack and started walking towards my mom’s place. I instinctively turned on my cell phone. Sure enough I had several voice mails from Tom and Jen. With a quick series of bleep-bleep-bleeps I deleted them without even listening to them. I wanted to start fresh and I didn’t want to dwell on what happened. It was already dark out, and it looked like it was going to rain. Again. Of course. Leave it to the lovely Hamilton weather. I was only about a block away from my parents’ house when something really strange happened. You’ve got to be shitting me, I thought. It was that silver lining around the clouds again. Ok, this time I wasn’t drunk, high or hung over. What was the deal with all these weird lights I kept on seeing? I’d been seeing glowing clouds and people for the past few days! I felt a twitch of eeriness in my gut, and I started walking faster. That cloud just kept getting brighter, and it was definitely not the sun. It was one damned cloudy day, and it was considerably dark and gloomy. I got to the house and just concentrated on my school project that was due for the following day.
Minutes before I finally finished the tedious project, I could smell onions sizzling from in the kitchen. Mmm. I hadn’t eaten much the past couple of days, and I have to admit I was getting pretty hungry. Through the tinkling of pots and pans my mom called out for me to come eat. She didn’t have to ask me twice. “I’m coming!” I shouted from the spare bedroom.
“Why is she here?” I heard my dad asking my mom in the kitchen.
“She’s going through a rough time. She’s only staying until she figures out what to do next” mom said.
“Maybe now she’ll screw her head on right and realize she needs to come home” my dad said in a grumpy voice.
“Oh Bill, just let her be. She’s a grown woman, and she knows what she’s doing. Just please be civilized” she whispered.
“I’ll be civilized with her when she starts being a civilized human being!” he stammered.
“Bill, please. She doesn’t need this right now. Give her some space. She’s under a lot of stress right now. Don’t start” mom said still in a quiet voice. Dad mumbled something under his breath, and I waited until he took his plate to the sofa to his TV shrine, before entering the kitchen. He turned the television volume down as he saw me grabbing my plate, and looked over at me.
“Hello Jasmine” he said in a mocking tone.
“Ah, hi dad” I replied quickly and barely made eye contact.
“You should really consider staying home” he said.
“I have a home dad, but thanks” I said back trying not to break out into violent cussing. I didn’t need that right now, and neither did my mom. That was partly the reason why I moved out. I couldn’t bear to put my mom through such pain. She would stand up for me, and then end up getting verbally abused by my shit-face poor excuse of a father. I excused myself and skidded back to the spare bedroom where I could eat my meal in peace. I looked for apartments on line in between bites. Mmmm, pork stir- fry. My mom was always aiming to please, everyone but herself. She knew it was my favourite dish. I had to go give her a squeeze and a peck on the cheek after I finished. I helped her wash the dishes and swept the kitchen floor, and retreated back to the room to resume my apartment -finding mission. I jotted down every possibility within a five kilometer radius from the school. I needed to be able to walk or at least bus to places since I don’t own a vehicle. I sighed, as I started dialing numbers to arrange appointments start seeing some potential apartments. Man, was it going to be a long night.