The Mourning After

I didn’t think this through, admittedly. But I was hurt. Wouldn’t you have done the same? I mean, who’d have thought?  Childish though it was, it was cathartic in my mind and well, I put into play all that she deserved.

Evana awoke with a headache she had never known the likes of before. She attempted to sit up, but all she could manage for the time was to roll onto her back. Gazing around the room lazily,her mind still fuzzy from the night before she smiled to herself. What an amazing twelve hours, she thought. After a few minutes, she was able to stand and walk to the window. The view of the ocean was impeccable, and though it was mid-August in Miami, there was hardly a cloud in the sky. This is what life was supposed to be, this was what she deserved.

All I had to do was call in a favor. One of the spring breaks I’d spent at home while at FSU, I made a connection for him. I also allowed the 5 lbs of ecstasy pills to ride in my trunk with me all the way back. He’d made a nice profit, and I’d asked nothing of him. We went our separate ways, but always kept in touch. He was just what I needed, a man with cash to burn and the morals of Loki. All I had to do was ring him up, tell him what I needed, and boom, just like that he agreed to take her out. That’s what friends are for, right?

After she’d had her fill of the sights below, she turned her attention to the reflection of her naked self in the mirror. True her face looked more and more tired, and her once athletic, statuesque frame was bordering on hefty, even masculine; nevertheless, she felt sexier than she had in the past few months since her breakup. And feeling sexy shows. It showed in the way she wore her same old blue dress with a dazzling smile, and tits bigger than Texas. The few pounds she put on recently had her closet staple fitting snug in all the right places. She thought of the previous night with relish. Her latest client, a handsome A&R, had wined and dined her twice now. They got along well. He seemed to know what she liked, and didn’t like on her plate as well as in her bed. And it made her work much easier. She felt his hungry eyes on her all evening. Even if he hadn’t paid for anything but the food, she’d have treated him like a king, just as she advertised.

This time a year ago she didn’t imagine herself in this position. But, she thought, this time one year ago she was in an unhappy relationship, and a dead-end job. Her neighbor and closest confidant had been in the business for years and it took little for her to convince Evana that this was a power move. She’d told Evana how she made her own hours, worked just a few days out of the week and was now ready to put a down payment on a new home at just 25 years old. That, thought Evana, is an ambitious woman. And so casting aside all common ideals of morality, knowing them to be beneath her, she took up this new career. And she was happy, and making money, and that’s all she’d ever wanted, right?

All I asked of her was to leave me alone. To leave us alone. I never lied to her, disrespected her or taunted her. This girl was a master of manipulation and all I wanted was payback. To laugh. She sent me an old sex tape of her and my soon to be husband and told him how she missed him, how she wanted to see him in private, how she loved him still. And all this after she told me she would leave us alone. But it wasn’t until she gave her word she’d let us be that she started her real harassment. 4 am phone calls, coming to our home unannounced. Questioning our friends and planting rumors. I handled it like a lady. But when the opportunity present itself. I did what I felt needed to be done. At least, what I needed to feel closure.

Rather than allowing her to park on her own and walk the blocks from the lot to the hotels entrance, Malik paid for her car to be valet parked along with his. When the valet boy brought the 10 year old, rusty and dented Honda, it seemed rather out of place perched between the 2012 Camaro and the all black Bently. But head held high, Evana climbed into the drivers seat like the princess she was. It was, after all, her very first car, and she was proud. The fact that she hadn’t actually worked for the car did nothing to dampen her pride. It came to her like most things, as a gift. But it was hers, her own, and that was something to be proud of wasn’t it? This time last year, she thought bitterly, she was sitting passenger seat to her unemployed boyfriend’s Chevy. She was the one who paid for his gas and her rent on her check from the beauty shop. How shocked and angry she became when she found that he not only had one, but two jobs now. And was paying for his new fiance’s car with his money, because she, his fiance, was unemployed. Fine, Evana thought, he can have that unemployed bitch. Her degree obviously didn’t count for nothing, and she definitely wasn’t sexy. Her little skinny ass.

But the idea of it being “fine” didn’t occur until she met Lawerence. An ex-marine who appeared in all lights to be her knight in shining armour. He proved even easier to manipulate than her last boyfriend. At the beginning of their affair, while Evana still pined over her ex and continued to text him requesting secret hookups, texts that were only responded to with phone calls from his faince, Evana thought it was time to stir things up. After a morning of taunting the new girl, Evana was thrown off course by the threat of her sex tape going viral should she continue to harass them. She quickly thought to have Lawerence drive her to confront the bitch. She’d sent the tape not thinking it could possibly… no, it could never. She’d go and convince her ex that she was too innocent to have herself slandered like that for all her friends to see. With one call Lawerence did what he felt was the chivalrous thing to do. Nothing was settled, of course, except it was now out Evana was seeking extracurricular attention. After the encounter, however, Lawerence convinced Evana to move on, and the sex was so amazing, she did. So when anyone asked why she kept insisting she meet with her ex she stated, plain and simple, she’d simply wanted closure.

Oh, she’d call all times of the night. I was nice to her, at first, I made a real attempt to be understanding and to speak with her respectfully. When I, in tears, asked her why she chose to disrespect me when I had done nothing of the sort, she laughed. Cold and calculating. Then she replied “We’re not friends, doll. I don’t need to respect you. I don’t need to give you any type of courtesy, you do nothing for me.” She’d told me that it didn’t matter that he and I had only been romantic after their breakup, she’d never stop until he left me. So, when I found out she was selling herself, I concocted a plan. Malik would take her out, tape their time in the room, and email it to every contact in her phone, including her mother back in Trinidad. Childish? yes, very. But who ever thinks of reason when they are given but a moment to hurt someone whose hurt them? It is only after time we think with maturity, and oftentimes, that is too late.

Stopped at a light before she got on 95 south Evana hastily checked her bag for her phone. But something else in there made her skin crawl. Fuck it, she thought, it’s too late.

And so it was when Malik had told me the exact extent to which he went. To which I went. Not only had he succeeded in wining and dining her. Not only had he gotten it all on tape and was currently putting it on the internet. He had also succeeded in consummating their business deal condom-less.

There nudged between her I-phone and her knock-off Michael Kors wallet was the wrapper to the Magnum. Unopened. DAMN. She’d been so drunk they made love condomn-less.

None of us knew then, not until months later that Evana or Malik, or both, were HIV positive. Truth be told we can’t even say they gave it to one another. This is, after all, a great big world.  I could hardly blame myself.

As the light turned and she took off, she adjusted her rear-view and thought, I just had the time of my life. Take extra care not to get too messed up next time. I mean, I can’t blame myself.

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