I’ll never forget our first kiss…
“…If you didn’t have a girlfriend, I’d bang you,” I slurred after 21 shots. “You should just break up with her right now. Call her! It’ll be totally fine. I’ll call her for you! ‘Hi, Sloane! Kyle is breaking up with you. He has some stuff to do. Bye!’ Is that too mean? Does she-”
“Leigh, you talk too much,” Kyle whispered. The sound of his voice made the spinning room still. I liked the room when it was spinning.
“Well, what’re you gonna do about-” Kyle silenced me with his lips, full and warm. He’d been holding back for hours and I could feel the urgency in his kiss. All night he had kept his distance from me in the presence of our friends, but when I separated from the flock, he pounced like a wolf on a wounded sheep. A really wasted sheep. And I loved it. We found an empty bedroom where I let him tear off my sheepskin to reveal the wolf I really was.
After we had temporarily satisfied our seemingly endless hunger, we laid side by side in the sweat of our passion. Only our hands touched. His long, boney fingers laced themselves through mine and held tight for the duration of the night….
Those same fingers now turn the key in the ignition, bringing the car to life. I sit in the backseat with Willow. She didn’t tell me he would be here. She probably didn’t tell him I would be here either. It’s been months since my first night with Kyle, days since I last touched those fingers. The winter evenings are longer and colder now that I spend them alone.
“Yo, would you hand me the aux cord, man?” Matt asks Kyle from the passenger seat. Without a word, Kyle complies. Matt hooks his phone up to the car and chooses a song for our quest to find Mary Jane. The Mazda remix of Disclosure’s “Help Me Lose My Mind” fills the dank car with sound. The intro that used to get me so pumped up now makes my heart sink. I sit quietly in the back and look out the window. Town lamps flash past like strobe lights…
…The strobe lights seemed to pulse in time with the beat. Moist bodies grinded against one other, jumped up and down, and let the music flow through them. #Youuu help me lose my miiind…# I stood in a circle with my girlfriends, bouncing on the balls of my bare feet, swaying. Then, I felt a hot breath on my now prominent collarbone and strong hands on my waist. I spun around to face Kyle, who was smirking at me. His handsome face was red and sweaty from running around. We danced facing each other, and when the bass dropped, all hell broke loose. I waved my freckled arms around and whipped my golden curls. I probably looked like a freak, but at least I looked like a hot freak in my short, black dress. I’d started smoking more and eating less so I finally felt confident enough to wear tighter clothes. I glanced at Kyle and he was staring at me like I was a bowl of kief he was about to hit. He pulled me into him by my waist and whispered in my ear, “You look so hot.” His voice was dreadfully deep, and I rarely got to hear it. Every time he spoke, I blocked out all other sounds so only his words could reverberate in my eardrums, like a pipe organ in a cathedral.
I wondered if Sloane loved the sound of his voice as much as I did. I wondered if she knew deep down that he was lying to her. He told her that he was taking a cooking class at the rec center on Friday nights when he was really with me. Well, technically we did do some baking.
I felt guilty sometimes, seeing another woman’s boyfriend. But then, he was really attractive.
I tugged his tie downwards so I could whisper back, “Not as hot as you.” He groaned a little and stepped back so he could look me up and down, his brown eyes filled with desire. I held onto his tie and pulled him back to me. “Can I kiss you?” I asked him. He shrugged and placed his hands on my bony hips. I stood on my tiptoes to reach his perfect lips. He tasted like the bowl we’d smoked on our way here, but I guess he always tasted like that…
That bitter taste fills my mouth now as I exhale a light grey ganja cloud. I pass the pipe to Kyle, careful not to accidentally brush his fingers, though I want to so badly. He takes it from me without a word or a look or any acknowledgment, as if it had just floated into his line of sight by pure THC magic.
I lie back in my seat, close my eyes, and wait for things to get better. I wait to forget about Kyle: his long fingers, his shaggy hair, his hot breath, his supple lips, his whispered words, his broken promises…
“…When are you going to tell Sloane about us?” I asked him. We sat on the roof of his house, watching the leaves fall and packing another bowl.
“Soon,” was all he said.
“But you said that months ago.”
He just shrugged.
I sighed in frustration. “Kyle, we can’t go on like this. It isn’t fair. To anyone.”
“So, don’t,” he said without looking up.
I blinked. “Excuse me?”
“Don’t go on like this. Leave.”
I was shocked. “But I don’t want to leave. I want to be with you.”
“You are with me.”
“I can’t really be with you until you leave her. You have to choose. Who do you really want?”
“You. I’ll tell her soon. I promise. Now, drop it…”
I’m still waiting to forget the ignored calls, the ring on her finger, the unresolved end. He chose her and didn’t even bother to send me a cancellation text. He took my body and my voice, rolled them into a blunt, and smoked them to Hell. Now my ashes sit in the backseat of his car, waiting to forget.
Once the physical and mental grass haze clears, a bottle of eye drops finds its way into my hands. I tilt my head back to wash the windows of my soul. Suddenly, clarity hits and I laugh. Like, really hard.
Willow shakes her head and says, “Girl, you too high.” I laugh even harder.
“No,” I gasp for air, “Actually, I’m not, and I never will be again. You wanna know why?” I take a deep breath. “Because I don’t need that shit, just like I don’t need the asshole that got me started on it.”
Matt turns down the music and looks over his shoulder at me. “Is everything okay back there?” he asks.
“It’d be a little more ‘okay’ if I hadn’t spent the last four months of my life being lied to and basically drugged,” I snapped.
“This bitch is killin’ my vibe,” grumbles Kyle from the driver seat.
“Fuck your vibe, Kyle. Stop this piece of shit car,” I demand. He pulls over.
“Leigh, what are you doin’?” Willow asks, exasperated. “It’s two degrees outside.”
I get out of the car and slam the door shut. Willow rolls my window down and yells, “Leigh!”
“I just remembered something: I don’t want to forget,” I say.
“Forget what? How to get to your apartment which, by the way, is five miles away? Get back in the car.” I keep walking away. She yells something at Kyle and he pulls the car up next to me so that Willow can keep shouting at me. “Hey, dumbass, you’re gonna freeze out here.”
“I need to make a call,” I say.
“Well, you can make it in here.”
“No, I can’t.”
“Why not? Are you calling the mother ship to pick you up? Is that why you need to be alone?”
“I’m calling Sloane.” I start to search my contacts.
Willow’s face goes slack. She whispers something to Kyle and he rolls down his window. “Leigh,” he growls. “Don’t do this.”
I find Sloane’s number and hit the call button. “Do what? What you never had the balls to do? You know, you’re a real shithead. You’re gonna marry this girl you cheated on for four months? What else did you lie to her about? Does she even know you smoke?” For the first time in my life, Kyle looks shaken. He comes to a jerky stop, like his foot slipped. “No? Alright, one more thing for us to chat about.” I hear the dial tone.
“Leigh, please,” he begs. I keep walking and he taps the gas again. “I’m sorry.”
“Save it for your fiancée,” I snap.
Sloane answers the phone. “Hello?”
“Hi, Sloane,” I sweetly say as I look over at Kyle.
“Who is this?”
“Ms. Cooking Class. I’ve got some things to say about your fiancée’s baking skills.”