Rm w/a Vu(5)

By: A. D. Ryan

It was on my first day that my roommate, Tanis, introduced me to her older brother Ben. He was charming and always cooking up excuses to stop by our room to “check on his baby sister.” Of course, I would later find out that he knew she was in class, and it was just his excuse to come talk to me.

I hadn’t dated anyone before—not really. There was a boy in high school that was nice to me. We went out on a couple of movie dates with friends and held hands. But it was never really serious. We never even got to second. I found out after graduation that he was gay.

Talk about a blow to one’s ego; I questioned my femininity for a while after that.

When Ben and I started dating, it was obvious that he wanted a more physical relationship, but I wasn’t really interested in sex at first. My mom had me straight out of high school, and that wasn’t a life I would have chosen for myself. So I waited.

I placated Ben for a while, nervous to go further than I was ready for. I’d let him feel me up, get his hand in my pants, and eventually, when I thought I was ready, we had sex. It was all right. Like I said before, there weren’t stars or fireworks that went off like I was led to believe there would be, and, honestly? I thought it was supposed to last longer. Of course, I really had nothing to base it on; Ben seemed to enjoy himself, so I figured maybe it was just me.

We had fun in the beginning; he’d take me to all the parties, introduce me to all of his friends, and then we’d go back to his dorm and fool around. My freshman year was my party year, but when my sophomore year came around the corner, I knew I had to buckle down. So, I increased my course-load, and Ben seemed really supportive. He didn’t stop his partying ways, but he supported me and led me to believe that it was okay that I was focusing more on my studies than him.

Well, now I know it’s because Delilah was busy diddling him.

Releasing a deep sigh, I round the corner onto my parents’ street and park my car along the curb. Dad’s cruiser is in the driveway next to mom’s SUV, and I look at the clock on my newly installed CD player to see that it’s nearly dinnertime. I don’t relish telling my mom what happened, and I look even less forward to Dad hearing about it too. But I know it’s going to happen, so I take a deep breath, grab my phone and backpack, and climb out of my vehicle.

I fiddle with my keys as I ascend the steps of the front porch, trying to locate the key to the house. When I find it, I slide it into the deadbolt and turn it, pushing the door open and stepping over the threshold.

“Oh, Cam. That’s it. Oh yeah…right there.”

“OHMYGOD!” I scream, completely horrified at having walked in on them…again. My timing really is horrible. I’m starting to wonder if I should wear a bell or announce my presence to the world. I’ll bet my dad even has a bullhorn I can borrow for such things.

Through my periphery, I can barely see my mother fall off the couch—where I unfortunately assume my father is laying—and I slap my hand up to act as a blinder between them and me.

“What the hell is wrong with the two of you?! Jesus!” Naturally, I don’t wait around for an answer before I bolt up the stairs and slam my bedroom door.

Nothing in my room has changed since the day I moved out—just as my parents promised. My twin bed remains dressed in deep blue linens; my desk sits near the window, empty because I took my laptop with me to school; and my dresser is in the corner, topped with a mirror and various candles. I don’t give myself the opportunity to soak up the familiarity of the room before I flop down on my bed and pull my pillow over my head. There’s a brief moment of time where I wonder if I can asphyxiate myself until I pass out. Maybe the lack of oxygen to my brain will trigger amnesia.

There’s a light knock on my door, and I recognize it instantly as my mother’s.

“Go away!” I cry into the pillow. I’m sure she doesn’t hear me, because the door creaks as she opens it and my bed dips at my knees beneath her weight.

“I didn’t realize you were coming home,” she says as if it’s an excuse to act like a teenager. “Your father came home for—”

I yank my pillow away from my face and gawk at her. “Oh, I know what he came home for.”