As I stand in the mirror fixing my clothes for this dinner, I still feel bad that I had to bail on Mya, but it all worked out because Christopher took her home with him for Thanksgiving.
I decided to put on the outfit with the jumper dress since I know it will remind Julius of when had dinner together. Just when I’m adding the last touches to my hair, there is a knock on the door. When I open, Jacob is standing there smiling. He looks really handsome in his Ralph Lauren button down and Khakis.
“You clean up well” I smile and give him a quick hug. “Let me grab my phone and I’ll be ready.”
I was slightly nervous about joining him for dinner. Actually, I was a little more nervous than normal. “How do I look?”
“You look amazing, haven’t I seen you in that before?”
I smile “Yeah, I was wearing this when you first met me in Julius’ apartment.”
“Ahh okay. Well, you look great” He eyes me a little making me blush.
On the ride there I take the time to get to know Jacob. “So how old are you?”
“I’m 28 and you?”
“Really? You seem older. You act older” He says as he drives fast.
“I get that a lot. I don’t know if people mean I’m mature or that I’m a prude. I can never tell” I laugh.
On the ride, I find out that Jacob is an Architect and lives a few miles away from the school. Julius and Jacob met in college became best friends. Sort of like Mya and me. In between breaks in conversation, I begin to get nervous as we get closer. I take a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“You okay?” Jacob mumbles.
“Yeah, just nervous. I don’t think Julius is going to be happy see me or us together”
“Yeah, well he told me to bring a date so I’m bringing you. He can’t be mad at me for doing something he told me to do.” He shrugs and reaches over to rub my shoulder.
“Yeah, you’re right. He can’t be mad that we are friends.” I try to convince myself that this is going to be a great dinner, but deep down I know this is going to be a disaster.
When we pull up in the parking lot, Jacob comes around as opens my door. When I stand he lays his hands on my shoulders “Everything is going to be fine, half pint. Don’t worry”
I smile and hook my arm in his. We walk up to the door and he knocks hard.
I hear laughing from behind the door and I know it’s her. My heart beats a million times a minute and I contemplate leaving, but Jacob looks at me with his usual charming smile and it calms me a bit. Not much though. Julius opens the door and his face drops.
“What’s up bro, hope you don’t mind my date,” Jacob says jokingly and pulls me in the apartment without giving Julius time to say anything.
I giggle softly at how he handled that. Jacob takes my jacket off and hangs it. I look into the kitchen and see her. No backing out now. Julius calls for her to come say hi. When she comes out of the kitchen looking very beautiful, I begin to feel small and intimidated.
“Hi, I’m Nora” She sounds smug as she reaches it and shakes my hand.
“Hi, I’m Krystal” I smile.
She looks me up and down “She is a little young for you, Jacob”
Jacob groans “Mind your business, Nora. We are just friends” He rubs my back. He brought me here knowing this woman is a major bitch, but at least he is sticking up for me. Julius has yet to really say anything. He is just looking at us from across the room. I know he is confused on how Jacob and I became friends, but it’s none of his business. He let me go.
“Uh, Jacob can I talk to you for a moment?” He mumbles.
I look up at Jacob and he shrugs. “Sure” They walk into the hall and I see them whispering. Julius looks pissed. However, Jacob is keeping his cool. I sit on the couch and Nora sits next to me.
“So little girl, how did you and Jacob meet?” She lights a cigarette and blows the smoke in my face.
My hands ball into a fist in my lap as I become irritated quickly. “I met him at a party and found out that he was friends with Julius. And I’m not a little girl”
She raises an eyebrow “Well excuse me. How do you know Julius?”
“He is my English Professor”
She doesn’t say anything. She just shrugs and gets up. Up close she isn’t as pretty as she puts off. Her extensions are clearly noticeable and she has too much makeup. Why would Julius want a woman like this? Why would he drop me for a woman like this? I think about it for a moment and come to the conclusion that love knows no boundaries. Jacob and Julius return a few moments later. Jacob sits next to me and smiles. “Well, that was awkward”
“Is he mad?” I whisper
“Hell yeah, but I don’t care. It’s his fault anyway. You’re mine for the evening little lady” He throws his arm around me and I laugh. When dinner is ready, I feel a weird tension at the table and I can’t pinpoint where it’s coming from. Julius gives a toast before we eat, but his eyes stay on me the whole time.
I look over and see Nora looking at me like she is stabbing me in her mind. I look away, quickly. During dinner, Jacob talks and cracks jokes while Nora downs most of the bottle of wine. I feel surprisingly comfortable sitting next to Jacob. He makes it easy for me not to feel out of place here, but the moment doesn’t last long.
“So Krystal, What do you want with old Jacob? Why don’t you date someone your own age?” Nora asks.
I briefly look at Julius “Well, we aren’t dating and if you must know, I do date guys my own age and older guys. I don’t see a problem with age differences”
She laughs arrogantly “A little girl like you wouldn’t know how to keep a real man satisfied”
My cheeks burn red with embarrassment. It doesn’t completely show through my makeup though. I don’t notice that I’m frowning until Jacob whispers if I’m okay. I nod and put on a calm face. I decided to slap back.
“Well Nora, apparently you can’t keep a man satisfied either. Aren’t you Julius’ ex?” I raise an eyebrow at her.
Jacob snorts almost spitting his wine out. “Shit”
Nora drops her fork “Excuse me? I don’t know who you think you are you little bitch, but my relationship with Julius is none of your business!”
She picks up her wine glass and chugs the rest of the wine. Julius buts in telling her that she has had enough to drink. She waves him off as he looks irritated.
Jacob leans over “You handled that very well. Wine nearly came out of my nose”
I giggle hard knowing he is trying to cheer me up. We continue eating and Nora continues drinking. I look at her and realize I have no reason to be jealous of her. She is so far below me. I look at Julius and he seems highly embarrassed by her. What did he see in her?
After dinner, I help Jacob clear the table and Julius helps Nora to the couch. I hear her slurring insults about me, but I ignore them. When I come out of the kitchen she is looking at me then before I can blink she is tackling me to the floor.
“You bitch! I know you want Julius, I saw you looking at him! You, slut!” She pulls my hair hard and I yell out. I slap her hard and she scratches the side of my neck. I try hard to get her off of me, but she is heavier than I am. I see Jacob and Julius trying to pull her off of me.
When they get her off she is kicking and screaming. I roll over on my hands and knees crying and breathing hard. I’m so tired of being attacked by crazy people.
I stay in that position then Julius tries to help me up.
“Don’t touch me” I mumble.
He backs up and Jacob lifts me up. “Julius go take care of Nora, I got Krystal”
Julius stands there angry for a second then walks into the bedroom where Nora is. Jacob takes me to the bathroom down the hall and I sit on the toilet as he runs some cool water over a towel.
He dabs the side of my neck with it and I cringe in pain. It stings for a second then it eases. I sit still as he puts bandages on the three parallel scratches.
“All done, half pint. How are you feeling?”
I start crying “I feel horrible. This is the second time I’ve been attacked in the last few weeks. I can’t take this anymore”
He kneels down in front of me and wipes my tear with his thumb. “It’s okay Krystal. She is a dumb drunk who can’t control herself. And as far as that other attacking, it won’t happen again. Julius told me about it. It sucks that someone would really want to hurt you. You’re an amazing person.”
I smile and blush lightly at his compliment. “You think I’m amazing”
“Hell yeah. You are reserved, but you don’t take crap from anyone” His hands grasp mine and I give them a little squeeze. “And besides, you are so much cuter than Nora.”
“What does he see in her?” I say loudly.
Jacob snorts “The hell if I know. They used to be a nice couple. Then she changed and he kept loving her.”
I lay my head on Jacobs’ shoulder and breathe in his scent “You smell good” I say as my voice is muffled by his shirt.
“Thanks” He chuckles “Let’s get out of here. This dinner is clearly ruined”
That’s all I can say at this point. Why did he have to bring her of all people? He knew this would turn out right and he still did it.
I look down at Nora and she is out cold. I thought she would at least act civilized today, but I guess not. I can believe she attacked Krystal like that. She didn’t deserve it at all and I feel horrible. I turn my head when I hear Krystal’s voice coming from the bathroom. “What does he see in her?”
I honestly couldn’t answer that if I tried. She used to be so sweet and now she is just some drunk. All this started when she went to New York for a few months for work. I don’t know who took her under their wing, but she came back a totally different person.
I feel like shit knowing I threw Krystal away from her and I don’t blame her for ignoring me this whole time, but why Jacob? She seems so calm and happy around him, but she doesn’t act like that around me. When I tried to help her off the floor she told me not to touch her. I felt like the room was closing in. I can’t imagine not being able to touch her.
I toss a blanket over Nora when I hear the bathroom door open.
“Where are you guys going?” I say as I walk from the bedroom
Jacob rubs his head “Uh, we are going to head out. I’m going to take Krystal home and hit the road myself.”
Krystal is standing behind him not saying anything and I can tell she has been crying. I want to just pull her into my arms and tell her that I’m so sorry. I frown when I see the bandage on her neck.
“Did she do that to you?!” I walk past Jacob to Krystal and she looks timid and upset. I rub my finger over the bandage. “I’m so sorry this keeps happening to you”
Her eyes begin to water “It’s okay. I just want to go. Come on Jacob” My hand drops at the sound of her words. No emotion in them. Jacob grabs her jacket and his before opening the door.
“It was good seeing you, Bro. I’ll call her tomorrow” He hugs me then he and Krystal leave.
I turn around looking at my apartment and there are small signs that a fight took place. A wine glass is on the floor and a lamp is knocked over. I turn back around to look out the window and I immediately become angry.
I see Jacob and Krystal standing by his truck and he is wiping her tears away. She wraps her arms around him and pulls him into a hug. I want to run out there and punch Jacob, but there has already been enough violence for one day. When they separate, Jacob, says something as he brushes her hair back making her smile. My fists ball tightly as I watch him touch her cheek and lean in to kiss her. I can’t look any longer. I close my eyes in anger. If they want to be together then good fucking riddance.
I flop down on the couch and take back that last thought. I don’t know why I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t want her when I do. I messed up and I don’t know if I can fix this. I have to talk to her alone. Well if I can ever catch her alone. She is good at dodging me. I lean my head back and eventually doze off. I awake to someone on me and for a split second, I think it’s Krystal until I smell the alcohol.
“Nora, get off of me” I slide her off of me and she pouts “Come on baby. I know you aren’t still mad about earlier. She will get over it.”
I frown “You attacked her! All because you are drunk and stupid.” I get up and pace the room. “I don’t know why I am still trying to help you and be with you. It’s pointless”
“Baby, please don’t do this right now. Just come sit down. I promise I’ll be better” Her words are still slurred.
“You are leaving in the morning” That’s all I say as I go into my room and close the door, locking the door. I undress and lay in the bed. As hard as I try to sleep I can’t because Krystal is on my mind. When did I become such a jealous fool?