He is from Chicago. He tells me this with his hand barely touching my lower back, nervous to make too much physical contact too soon. His other hand is holding the neck of a corona, the kind of finger configuration that shows the bottle is comfortable in his hand. We are leaning our sticky bodies against the shaking walls of the party. His lips are in direct sight of my eyes. I am looking at them because I want them and because I can’t hear him over the bass of Drake.
“I heard Chicago is ugly, like, really ugly.” I hadn’t heard that.
“Oh yeah? Where’d you hear that?” He’s teasing me.
“From plenty of people.” I dragged out the “y” in plenty. “I heard it’s ugly and full of men who have bad taste in beer and wait too long to make a move.”
“Ah, so you’ve just been waiting to meet one of those Chicago men, then.”
“So you’ve just been waiting to meet me, then?”
“Really?” He’s excited and teasing. I’m loving this.
“No. I’m a compulsive liar.”
“Are you lying about being a liar?” Everything he says has a sexy rasp to it. I am burning up.”
“Yes.” My eyes are still looking at his mouth. He’s smiling, he likes that I’m complicated. His teeth are white and boxy and I am thinking about what it would feel like to run my tongue over them. He can’t stop smiling.
“You have pretty eyes.” He tells me.
“Yours aren’t so bad yourself.”
“Are you lying?”
“Yes.” I say.
“Well, then it’s a good thing I usually cover my eyes with glasses.”
“I wear glasses too.” I giggle. This is too fun.
“Are you lying now, too?”
“Are you lying about lying?”
He smiles again. I’m melting. I imagine us together.
I imagine us when we inevitably go back to his room, when he inevitably invites me back, because I am being so damn charming. I imagine us together. He is large – broad, tall. I’m relatively short. I imagine our small and tall bodies, adorned with our “glasses”, and immediately imagine us having sex. The curves of our, what I imagine would be, mismatched frames jamming into and sliding against one another. I try to imagine anything else – his fingers causing goosebumps on my skin, his smile disappearing and lips forming a kiss. I try to imagine our bodies laying down together. I am surprised to find I can’t, and all I imagine are two pairs of glasses bumping each other meaninglessly on a bed. Perhaps I don’t wear glasses. I decide to tell him this.
“I don’t actually wear glasses.”
“You lied about lying.”
I smile. I am having way too much fun.
“I’m the only one who can play mind games here.” I tell him.
“Hey, two can play at your game.”
“Fuck you.” I jokingly hit his arm.
“Fuck me?” He raises his eyebrows. He looks excited. I feel my cheeks redden.
“Yeah.” I say. I step back just enough that his head presses deeper into my back. “Fuck. You.”
“I like your room.”
“So you hate my room?”
“Why would you say that?” I ask.
“Because I know you’re lying.” Ding ding ding. He’s right. I hate his room. But I love to hate it.
He has three posters on his wall. We are standing in front of the bed and he is pointing at his posters because for some reason he thinks I care what he decided to stick to his wall with command strips on move in day.
“That’s a Biggie Smalls album.” The poster he is referring to has a black baby sitting on the cover in a diaper with an afro. The baby looks confused and scared. Well, to me, the baby looks confused and scared. Others probably think he looks “tuff”.
“I like Biggie.” I say. I don’t. I like the scene in 10 Things I Hate About You when the main character dances on the table to Biggie.
“You don’t.” Correct. Nice one.
He continues on, pointing to the next poster. We’re having a nice time. He messes with me, I mind fuck him. It’s all great, really.
He gestures to the next poster. I interrupt him before he can tell me what it is.
“How did you know that?”
“The big CITGO sign was a good tell.”
“Mhm.” He doesn’t know what to say. He feels stupid. He wants to be smarter than me. He is not.
“I must be right about Chicago being ugly if you have a poster of Boston instead of Chicago.”
“Ah, shut up.”
“Make me.” We stare at each other. I sit on his bed, I don’t feel that I need an invitation to sit there.
He doesn’t move. I pat the spot beside me, I didn’t think he was the type to need this much guidance.
He is still standing there, staring. I see the glasses on the nightstand. I take off my sweatshirt and put it on top of the glasses. I don’t want to see them. I don’t want to think about the glasses mindlessly screwing on the bed again.
Finally, he joins me. He positions himself so that his head is in my lap. I take advantage of the position. I run my fingers through his hair. It is soft. Very soft. I grip it tightly. I do not pull, I have the urge to, but I let it sit there. I feel it itching between my fingers. I wonder if I’ll feel this hair between my fingers often after tonight.
“Do you like me?”
“No.” I say.
He smiles. He smiles because I’m lying.
“I like you, too.”
“Why do you like me?”
“I’m not sure. Give me an hour and I’m sure I’ll come up with some reasons.”
My hand is still in his hair. He’s looking up at me.
“Are you gonna hurt me?” He whispers. His eyes are pleading. Someone must have done a number on him.
“Yes.” I say.
“Are you lying?” He confirms.
“Yes.” I say.
Biography: Emma Colby has work published or forthcoming in Next Page Ink, The Elysian Chronicles, Stylus, and Orca among others. She is an undergraduate English Creative Writing student at Boston College and works as an intern for Post Road Magazine.