I don’t know what I was looking for that night. Pain? Relief? Adventure? Reason? Something to shock me back to life? Maybe. Probably the last one. The problem with a d-fib is, it ultimately stops your heart.
I order distraction by way of a double apple rose mint hookah, but the smoke always fades, the buzz never stays, so I text the one I know will be there. We’ve talked before. Dabbled in flirting. He seems to care. He stalks over to my table dressed in all black except for the red accent buttons. We engage in small talk, mostly about school, until he is called away for business, and I resume the creation of smoke rings meant to lace my neck.
Before long, he returns, and waves for me to come smoke with his friends and him, join the insider circle, become one of them, abandon my loneliness, only if for a night. Their smiles look inviting in the low lighting; I grab my hookah and complete the circle. I am awkward and quiet. Relieved to be here, but unsure of how to act. Everyone knows everyone. Conversation is minimal in the way that only friends find comfortable. Or maybe it is the pot. Probably the pot. I can tell a few of the guys are blazed. The barefoot Arab with the glasses and short-cut beard makes a joke, an asshole joke, but comical nonetheless. I throw it back at him, and we all laugh. He says it’s no fun to fuck with people if they don’t fuck back. He winks.
Three hits later, I ask if anyone is old enough to buy alcohol. The short, muscular African American says yes, and offers to go get some for me. Ten minutes later he returns with two grape Four Lokos. Confidence in bubbly, artificial flavor. Perfect. I take it slowly at first. Sipping, chatting, sizing up the group.
“Wanna take a flight?” Houston asks.
I decline, but he convinces me otherwise. Out back, we lean against splintering posts and fading shed walls passing the pipe like some sort of assurance of a good night. Everyone is smiling: Xavier and Mac are doubled over in hysterics; Keith is coughing up a lung through languid smiles.
We head back inside, and I am not the least bit high. I can only assume the Prozac has an adverse effect on the drug. I open the other Four Loko, and Xavier and I talk about music, talk about lyrics, talk about saxophones and trumpets. This is good. Safe. Entertaining.
Then Jabril invites me to come out back and sit with him. I go–he is so cute, and has such an attractive voice: soft and honest, the kind that makes you want to just sit and listen. After the obligatory small talk and the remainder of the alcohol, he kisses me, bites my lip. He stands up and pulls me to him. My head is light. His tongue is in my mouth, and his hands are in my back pockets. I loop my arms around his neck as we kiss passionately. He sits me down again and brushes past my bra as he asks if there is anywhere we can go. I smile, but say I am comfortable here, and I don’t want sex. He assures me that is not a problem. He smiles. He has such a nice smile — alcohol does that for people. He says he just wants to kiss and hangout. His voice is still smooth, a contrast to the fizzy drink. He tells me to meet him behind the gas station next door, so his boss won’t know he left with a girl. He picks me up in his Benz — right on Center; right on Oak; right on Mars; left on Center; left on Church. My head is spinning. This is a giant circle. Jabril seems nice, and I am not worried, but I frantically snap photos from my iPhone to send to my best friend, Emily, should this get out of hand.
We go upstairs–building H, apt 12. The lighting is low. We kiss as we move to the red satin bed. Sooner than I realize, he is moving down my neck, peeling back my cotton protection, biting my breasts, squeezing hard. He swiftly removes my skinny jeans, then my flowered panties. He leaves the room. No. No sex. I clumsily grab my undergarments and put them back on. He returns, completely naked, body excited and ready. He pulls me up, and we kiss; he bites. I sit down, and he removes my undergarments, turns me over and squeezes my butt. Slaps it. Asks if I’ve ever had sex in the ass. I respond in the negative and tell him I don’t want to. He turns me over and the kiss biting begins again. He climbs on top of me, and he puts himself between me. I feel him start to enter me. I object, but he stays over me. He doesn’t pull out, but he doesn’t push in either. Moves himself up and down. I say I don’t want sex. He doesn’t understand why. My head is cloudy; everything is dim; I am so sleepy. I am on my stomach now, and he is still on top of me. I have completely forgotten about the photos and texting Emily. He slaps me, and inserts himself part way in. I cough out the word “no,” but he insists “Just until I cum. I’m about to cum.” I remember the words clearly. Moving up and down, he says he’s about to finish. What? I am at a loss. He finishes and spreads the liquid across my back side. I manage to spit out the word “Ew.” He grabs a towel and wipes it off. Tells me to put my clothes on, says we wouldn’t want people knowing where we were. I ask if he is angry or disappointed that I didn’t want sex. He throws my jeans at me but says he isn’t.
He drives back to the gas station and buys me a water before telling me to walk back to the hookah bar. I go. Minutes later I see him enter. All black, red accents, like nothing has happened. He looks at me, smiles at some buddies, and escapes to the back room. I text him, asking if we can still be friends. No response. I put my phone away and take another drink.