August 7, 2016
I’m at a loss for words. I thought today would be a good day after I was done teaching (summer school blows) and he was done at the office to go on a romantic date. Literacy was more of a friend to me than luck. I was teaching MLA format to kids students who would rather play Pokémon Go than go to the next grade when my phone vibrated. Jeff’s text message made me want to rip my hair out of my head.
“Presenting a big pitch to Franklin tomorrow. Gotta work all night. Sorry.”
I was fucking pissed. I still am pissed. You know what? Screw crossing the word fuck out. Fuck Fuck Fuck. He doesn’t get it.
Every day teaching summer classes is horrible agonizing excruciating. The air conditioning is more likely to blow out diamonds than cool air. The pay is lost with my childhood imaginary friend in some alternate universe. And I’m pretty sure when I cried into my sandwich today, I snorted mustard. What would crack be like? No Derek no.
To top it off, I shaved. Everywhere. I wanted to charm him the way he did to me on our first date. We met when I was 19 (he was 20) at a Chinese restaurant. I was waiting for takeout that my grandmother sent me out to get (she ordered half of China) and then this man with copper toned skin and jet black hair walked in to pick up his order. I asked where the two eggrolls I ordered were and when the Chinese woman began to yell native slurs at me, the man slapped a $100 bill on the counter and asked them to make them right away. I rolled my eyes. His smile quickly descended. She brought out the eggrolls, I thanked her, and proceeded out into the howling winds of the night.
He ran out after me in his grey peacoat and said “Hey, did I do something wrong?”
And like the smartass I used to be (okay I still am) responded by saying “Money doesn’t buy happiness.”
“I was trying to help.”
“You were trying to showboat.”
“I was trying to make you happy.”
I turned around and he somehow made sadness into an art. He was so handsome. The cold was fictitious from his amicable actions. I couldn’t allow his kindness to melt.
“Thank you.” I misplaced eye contact. “For making me happy.”
I returned home with soggy Chinese food and my grandmother accusing me of elder abuse to realize that I never got his name or phone number. I’m doing tonight Tonight I’m doing the same thing I did that night: throw my face into my pillow and fall asleep to the sounds of sorrow.