I had turned off my phone, but the text was still bright in my memory.
“We can’t be together anymore”
I turned back on my phone and looked at the message again. It still read the same thing: “We can’t be together anymore”
Then the screen changed, showing an incoming call. My heart raced, thinking it was her, but it wasn’t.
“Hey, Teddy,” I choked out, trying not to cry.
“I need your help right now, it’s an emergency!” she shouted over the buzzing background.
“Where are you?”
“In Manhattan! Can you go to my dorm and tell my asshole roommate to answer her phone?!” she hollered.
“Um…” I hesitated.
I sighed, easily giving in. “Sure.”
“Thanks, doll!” she lilted, and then hung up.
I begrudgingly made my way down the hall, from my room to hers, wiping away some tears that wouldn’t stay inside of my tear ducts. Upon approaching room 202, I knocked firmly, causing the door to swing wide open. Inside, a girl, presumably her roommate, was sitting with her back to me. I noticed that she was wearing headphones and bobbing her head to music I couldn’t hear. I approached her tentatively and then tapped her gently on the shoulder. In one swift motion, she leapt out of her seat, spun around, and held her laptop over her head, ready to slam it down onto mine. I threw my arms up, protecting my skull.
“Hey, hey! It’s me, Teddy’s friend!” I shouted pleadingly.
Her scared expression relaxed when what I said registered. “What the fuck, you almost made me shit myself,” she grumbled, putting her laptop back on her desk and taking off her headphones. “What’s wrong with you?”
“Teddy needs you to call her back,” I stated, startled and captivated by her deep blue eyes.
“Of course…” she muttered, breaking our eye contact and pushing her long, blonde bangs out of her face. She glanced back at her desk and then furrowed her eyebrows. “But where did I put it…?”
I watched as she ambled over to her bed, searching among the piles of CDs that were strewn there.
“Do you need help?” I asked.
“Can you look in my desk?” she replied, throwing items off of her bed frantically.
I nodded and then proceeded to examine the drawers of her desk, searching through the stacks of graded papers she had thrown in there. Underneath all of those papers, I came across a huge collection of condoms, handcuffs, and two dildos. My eyes widened at the unexpected sight, and I violently slammed the drawer shut on my right hand.
“FUCKING HELL!” I erupted, yanking my hand out and nursing my fingers, which were already turning blue. My eyes began to water from the pain, and then I started full-on sobbing.
Her warm hand grabbed my wrists and lowered them away from my chest. She took my right hand in hers and examined my fingers closely. Silently, she stood up and walked to the far corner of her room before coming back with tissues and ice.
“Here,” she said quietly, handing me the tissues. I thanked her between my sobs, and watched as she wrapped some ice in the tissues before gently placing it on my fingers.
“OW!” I yelped, trying to pull my hand away.
“Stop, stop,” she whispered, “Let the ice help your hand.”
I gritted my teeth and allowed her to firmly hold the ice against my hand. We sat in silence, except for my occasional sniffling, and watched the ice melt in between our hands.
She whipped her head in the direction of the sound. “My phone,” she said.
“Hold the ice for a second,” she instructed. She crawled underneath her bed, where the buzzing was coming from. After a few minutes of digging around, she crawled out and held up her phone in victory. “It must’ve fallen off my bed,” she laughed before punching in her code and calling Teddy.
Their conversation was brief and agreeable, and then she tossed her phone back underneath her bed to be lost again. “So, it’s nice to meet you,” she smiled, revealing a smiley piercing. “I’m Jay, Teddy’s roommate.” She held out her hand to shake mine, but then retracted it after remembering my bruised and possibly broken fingers. “What did you do?” Jay asked.
“I slammed your drawer on my hand,” I replied.
“Because I like to bruise and possibly break my fingers in my spare time,” I said sarcastically. “It’s not like I’ll need my fingers again anytime soon anyway.”
She stared at me blankly for a few beats before rolling onto her back and laughing hysterically. “Oh…my…god…” she gasped, “You’re too funny.”
“Thanks,” I muttered, looking down at my hand.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she insisted, calming down. “I’ll go to the health center with you, if you like.”
I shook my head. “No, it’s okay but I can go myself. Thank you though.”
Jay smiled, but this time with her lips closed. She helped me up from my position on the floor and then I walked out. Although I had left her room, I didn’t realize until later that I had also walked into something new.
© 2014 Vic Romero