“Bye, see you in the evening,” Travis said as I waved him off from my position on the dining table. He blushed when I blew him an air kiss, exiting the apartment via the main door, and leaving Chris, Alex and me in the oddly silent room alone.
“I’m going to take a nap,” Alex announced before leaving the room with an orange and a knife. I watched him leave; only turning when he walked into the hallway. I let my gaze fall on Chris who was sitting across from me. I smiled weakly when he looked up from the book he was reading, looking away from the intensity of his jade-colored eyes.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I started staying at Alex’s and Chris’ apartment, and I still wasn’t comfortable around Chris. I’d gotten to Chicago late, and there hadn’t any available housing space at the college I enrolled in, so Travis and I had to figure out something. At first, he’d suggested staying in his own dorm with him, but I protested, saying I wouldn’t be comfortable with his dorm mates. Thankfully, Alex and Chris lived just a bit away from my college and after a call with Alex, I was allowed to crash at their place until a spot opened, hopefully by next term.
“You look a lot like Alex. It’s terrifying and amusing at the same time,” I heard Chris’ voice say, followed by a low hum. I looked up from the wooden table to find him staring at me with furrowed brows. “You’re roughly the same height, and you have the same big brown eyes and plum lips.”
What is he doing? I asked myself, looking away again. I ran a hand through my hair, hoping he’d look away soon.
“You’re like the container without the biscuits.”
“Excuse me?” I spoke up, wondering why he’d say that. He smiled oddly, pushing back strands of hair behind his ear before talking, “You look like Alex, but you lack Alex’s content.”
“Oh,” I muttered, not sure what else to say as I bit my bottom lip. Well, of course, we weren’t the same person. That’s pretty much basic logic.
“You’re the tinier wimp version...”
“Okay, that’s enough,” I said, looking back at him. He chuckled, shrugging before flipping a page in the book he was reading. I sighed, looking away from him. Sure I was a wimp back in high school as a junior, but I went through senior year myself, and I think I handled it nicely. I didn’t get pushed around, and when someone tried I resisted. I’m not sure where the sudden confidence had come from; maybe it was because Travis hadn’t been so far away because he was in community college then. I was still shy and a bit too careful about my mannerism around people, but it faded away once I got to know them.
“What’s it like?”
“Hm?” I muttered, looking up at him.
“Being with Travis, I mean,” he said, cocking his head in a way that allowed his long dark hair to move to the side. I bit my bottom lip, frowning as I thought about how much of an odd question that was.
“I really like Travis. He’s good to me,” I said, making Chris nod.
“Ah, it sounded like he was being rough on you yesterday night.” I frowned, wondering what Chris was talking about until my face turned red in realization.
I thought, remembering yesterday night when Travis had stayed over in the guest room I was using. I admit it was stupid to go about it there and then. I’m not even sure if what’s embarrassing was that Chris knocked at the door asking us to turn it down, or the fact that we—Travis—didn’t turn it down.
Travis was like a train. Once he started he couldn’t stop.
I ran a hand through my dark brown hair as I tried to think of what to say despite my hot cheeks and racing heart. “He’s not rough... He’s just very... engaged?” I said, hoping that I made some sort of sense. Chris nodded at me, before looking over at the clock that was hanging on the wall behind me.
“You have classes in the evening right?” He said, making me nod. “Ah, I wish Alex didn’t have classes so often, especially now that I’m in my last year and I have very few of them.”
“What are you going to do once you graduate?” I asked, remembering that Chris was a literature student.
“I’ll get a full-time job with the magazine that I presently work part-time with,” he said, making me nod. I was still a little lost about what to do with the geography degree I was pursuing. I don’t even like geography...
“You’ll be fine.”
“You’re worried about your major, aren’t you? I said you’ll be fine,” Chris said as I gave him a look of curiosity. He can’t read minds, can he? “Your emotions are always written all over your face, you’re easy to read,” he said, making me let out a small ‘oh’.
“Ah, okay,” I said, feeling a bit awkward as I let myself look over at Chris. “You called me a wimp? Can I know why?” I asked. Sure Chris knew I was a bit emotional, but he didn’t really know why. It’s not like anybody told him what went on in school.
“Okay,” Chris said, dropping his book to feel his chin. “For one thing you let people walk over you...”
“For instance you let Travis have whatever he wants. I’ve never seen you say no to him.” He turned to face me, making my frown only deepen as I shook my head.
“Wait, wait, wait... It doesn’t work like that, and are you the one to talk? You can barely breathe in the same space as Alex without asking for permission,” I said, making Chris look away with a sigh. That has always been the creepiest part of their relationship with him. Chris treated Alex like an egg in a spoon race.
“It seems like I’m always asking for his permission because he easily gets overwhelmed,” Chris said, looking up at me. I frowned, wondering what he meant. The kitchen fell into an odd silence, the leaking tap in the distance producing the only noise in the room.
“I don’t get it,” I finally said. Chris sighed, running a hand through his straight dark hair.
“How am I going to put it?” He asked no one in particular as he drummed on the wooden table with the base of his fingers. “He hates not being in control, even for simple minor things. Like during intercourse...”
“Wait a minute, I’m not asking about your sex life—”
“Alex won’t stay on the bottom if he’s not facing me, does that make sense?”
I blinked, feeling my face grow hot with the information. I’m sure I’m beet red right now.
“I did not ask!” I yelled, covering my burning face with my hands.
“But you did, you implied that you wanted an explanation. Oh, and I forgot to mention. He doesn’t do fellatio... ‘Go down on me’. I think that’s the expression most people use?” I removed my hands from my face to stare at him in disbelief. Is he being serious? I asked myself as I tried to decode if he was just teasing me. He wasn’t laughing, and he had a straight face on as usual.
“Okay, I think I’ve heard enough,” I said, getting up. I had to prepare for my evening class anyway. Chris nodded, picking up his book again.
“Have we come to an agreement that you’re a wimp?”
“Too bad,” he said as I rolled my eyes. I left the room; my face growing warmer as I passed the room Alex and Chris shared in the hallway.