The toughest of stains

She proved to me that thickness was not mutually exclusive to women of color. I can recall on three occasions where I was convinced the white girl I spied had an ethnic ancestor. You can’t even buy an ass like that, Kim K or not. Voluptuous cheeks molded in tandem with the thighs that made that shape possible, god damn. I wasn’t sure how’d she feel about me brushing my anatomy against her backside after four days of knowing each other, but I really needed a plate for these sandwiches.

“You’re just gonna have to squeeze through. Your kitchen is so small,” she said, fiddling with the ready-to-bake baguette.

“Hey, it’s not about the size. It’s about the functionality,” I said, negotiating the space between her ass and my poorly positioned rack behind her.

I had never planned for visitors this early, much less two days in a row. And on a work night. Maybe I like her more than I care to believe. After finally deciding potential awkwardness is worth this damn plate, I decide to shuffle behind her. The front of my sweatpants makes contact with the back of her jeans, not unlike a match striking the box. I claim it’s totally innocent in my head.

She then turns to me mid-shuffle and says, “Well, something can be functional and big, right?”

“I don’t see why not. Think about cars, boats, or even couches. There’s tons of shit that’s large and useful. My kitchen is the only exception,” I say I keeping my eyes focused on the dish rack instead of the growing warmth in my pants. Things are already weird enough.

“Only exception huh?” She chuckles, as I finally clear the ass-gauntlet to the dish rack.

Typically, I hate overhead lighting, but the way her auburn hair lit up my drab kitchen surely made me reconsider its merits. Her eyes are piercing and truthfully, it’s hardly ever the pseudo-sexual situations we find ourselves in that makes me break eye-contact. She possesses a gaze so intent at burning a hole through my bullshit, that I can’t face her, or it for that matter. And she rarely blinks, which makes it much worse. Though I do enjoy tracing the patterns of her iris with my own.

I am interested, admittedly, but four days is not enough for me to try attach any hope to such a situation. Or maybe it isn’t hope more so than it is desire. Because I’m so set on not facilitating anything romantic on my own, it pisses me off when it finds me anyway.

After a moment, she asks, “So, do you think it’s functional that I try to work things out with my ex?”

I hop on the counter next to the sink, only to kick the drywall, unaware of my height per usual. I continue to stare at the large black scar and calculate how much of my security deposit I’m going to lose. I fucking hate drywall.

“That’s for you to decide, not me. I mean, I like you, but I don’t move that fast. From what you’ve told me and considering y’all broke up a few short months ago, I think you’ve got two choices,” I said, still not making eye contact.

She sighs heavily, putting the bread down on the counter, “And what, pray tell, are those choices?”

“Do you really want to know? They’re more so my highly opinionated assumptions than than choices to be completely fair.”

“Yeah, I’m sure they are. I think I’ve got a good grasp on that you’re kind of a dick.”

“Guilty as charged. But because you’re being such a good sport, I’ll tell you. You either work things out with this guy or you move on and we continue our friendship. And based on your recounting of the last 3 years with him, I think it’s safe to say he’s a piece of shit…with some redeeming qualities I guess.”

She then slides over and hops on the counter with me. Fortunately, she’s nearly a foot shorter than I am so the drywall is spared. Her toes are painted black and her feet rest against the top of sink cabinet. They look strong and earthy, as the feet of a former gymnast should.

She takes a deep, defeated breath then says, “You’re so cute, funny, and we get along so well. I can’t deny that I like you a lot, let’s just be real here. And I won’t disagree that my ex pulled some really stupid shit, but things were so good until they weren’t; I don’t know how to explain that better. I just don’t want to regret not giving things another shot. I really don’t.”

With slight incredulity I say, “Then why are you asking me what you should do when you already know the answer? Hell, when already know the answer? What have we even been doing this entire time outside of being friends that notice sexual tension on occasion? I was a distraction from all of that and I don’t fault you for indulging, I’ve been there.”

I finally turn to her, making eye contact. “Look, I’m not going to get in your way if you feel this need to reconcile with somebody who claims your 5-years-long relationship didn’t matter because it wasn’t under the shadow of some deity. I’m almost 30 and you’re not even 25 yet. Dude, go live your life. Expand your horizons further. If you want me to be your friend, I will be your friend 100%, but I don’t have a lot of time to spend on people that are sometimey. Life’s too fucking short.”

One of the most peculiar things in the world is not only knowing the outcome and the following aftermath of something before it happens. It’s also knowing that the answer someone seeks is right in front of them. But it’s a lesson that’s invaluable when they’ve got to find that answer on their own.

She looks away and we share a view of the black streak across the opposite wall. She says, “You’re right and I hope one doesn’t mean I can’t do the other. It’s crazy how important closure can be.”

I cherish what I imagine to be the last look of her from the waist down and say, “It really is a shame, isn’t it?”