#26 Bitch slap
The moment Max steps into the living room, I know that shit is about to go down. What was I thinking, calling someone over for a booty call just because I was hurt that Dshawn was no longer interested in me? It’s so juvenile and stupid and… it’s exactly the kind of thing I’ve been doing for seven years now, ever since I picked myself up after Melchior and decided to never let anyone have that kind of power over me ever again.
“Who’s he?” Max asks, taking in the scene before him. I can only imagine what he must think right now. A girl he works with calls him over for a booty call and when he gets to her place, she’s already in her underwear, standing in the living room with another guy.
“Who the fuck are you?” Dshawn shoots back.
Understanding flashes in Max’s eyes and he shakes his head at me. “Seriously, Shaughna? You tell me to get my ass over here and then you decide to just drag some other guy into your apartment just because I’m five minutes late?”
I grab my coat off the floor and pull it back on so I won’t be half-naked anymore. “That’s not-”
Max cuts me off, his voice filled with anger. “I already knew that you were easy, that’s why I decided to slip into you DMs last night, but I had no idea you’re this much of a whore. Well, good luck with whoever this asshole is, but I am no longer interested in you, not even for a quick fuck.”
“What did you just call her?” Dshawn says, moving in front of me protectively. “Say that again and I will punch your lights out, you fucking asshole.”
“You heard me,” Max replies tauntingly. “The girl you’re about to fuck is a goddamn whore and everyone knows it. I’d be careful if I were you, because chances are you’ll end up with one of the nasty STDs she’d probably riddled with.”
Dshawn steps right into Max’s personal space and just when I cry out for him to stop, his fist connects with the side of Max’s face.
“Get the fuck out!” he tells Max, hatred dripping from his voice. “And if I ever hear you talk about Shaughna like that I will put you in the fucking hospital!”
“Dshawn, cut it out!” I grab his arm before he can hurt Max again. “Get out,” I tell Max. “I’ll see you at work. Just go now.”
“You’re fucking crazy,” Max says, holding his face and wincing. “If you ever touch me again, I will go to the police and make sure they throw your ugly baboon ass in jail. I don’t give a shit about Shaughna, but I won’t be attacked like this by a good-for-nothing nigger like you.”
This time, Dshawn doesn’t have to do anything. Before I can stop myself, my hand is already headed for Max’s other cheek with as much force possible. It’s a classic bitch slap that has him crying out in surprise, stumbling back into the hallway.
“Don’t you ever call him that, you racist!” I cry out, angrier than ever before. “He’s the most amazing person you’ll ever meet. And don’t you fucking dare threaten to go to the police. I will make sure you lose your job at Animals if you ever threaten or disrespect him again. We both know the owner likes me better than you and you’re too poor to afford losing your job. Now get the hell out of my apartment and never talk to either of us ever again.”
Max mutters something under his breath, but he finally seems to realize that it’s best if he leaves. He slams the front door behind him with so much force that the sound echoes through the entire apartment. Dshawn is breathing just as hard as I am, and we both stand there staring at each other, trying to figure out what the hell just happened.
“You just…” He shakes his head in disbelieve. “You just hit someone.”
“I’ve never done that before,” I reply, shaking when the realization hits me. After everything I’ve been through, I vowed to never physically hurt another person, because I know that hitting someone is not just about causing bruises or breaking bones, but that it hurts right where it matters the most: in your heart. “I just… no one should ever call you that.”
“And no one should ever call you a whore,” he replies, gritting his teeth. “But, Shaughna… why was he here? Did you…” Finally, he seems to realize why Max showed up at my doorstep. “You were going to sleep with that asshole, weren’t you? Oh God, you probably called him only seconds after you ran away from my place, didn’t you?”
“Look, Dshawn, I can explain-”
“No need to,” he bites back, his expression hurt and angry. “That guy may be a racist asshole, but perhaps we was right after all. Aston tried to warn me that I was getting involved with someone utterly incapable of monogamy. I thought we was just exaggerating, but this…” He inhales sharply, looking at me like I’m the most disgusting person he’s ever laid eyes on. “Maybe you really are the dirty slut everyone thinks you are.”
“No,” I say, tears streaming down my face. I can take this from someone like Hollister, but not from Dshawn. “I just… I made a mistake. I was just hurt and I wanted-”
“To hurt me right back?” he guesses, not giving me time to explain that I wasn’t going to say that at all. “Well, mission accomplished. I’m leaving now. Don’t call me.”
I yell after him, but he just walks out, slams the door behind me and doesn’t respond when I yank it right back open and run onto the street on bare feet, still in my raincoat. He jumps on his bike and takes off, not looking back to see me standing there, bawling my eyes out.
Fuck. He’s right. I’m such a horrible slut. And now it’s costing me him.
I walk back inside and call Caroline, relieved that she picks up right away.
“Hey,” I say, not knowing how to start to explain what just happened.
“What’s wrong?” she asks immediately.
“I just…” Tears make their way down my face and sniffle. “I think Dshawn will never talk to me ever again.” As I explain what just went down, she curses a few times, but otherwise remains silent so I can finish the story without interruptions.
“That’s awful,” she says at last, her voice tight. “I wish I was there to hug you right now. I can be there in three hours if you want me to hop in my car.”
“No!” I say quickly. “It’s almost noon and you’ve got work tomorrow. I don’t want you to spend your Sunday in your car for six hours. I’m fine. I just needed to talk to someone. To you.”
“Sometimes I wish I still lived back home.” Caroline sighs. “I mean, I love this new town and my job…”
“And screwing your hot daddy,” I add, trying to make the conversation less serious.
“Yes, Nathan is a big part of why I like living here,” she admits. “But when you call me in tears… It was so much easier to be a good friend to you back when I lived ten minutes away from you instead of three hours. I miss you. I’m sorry I’m such a crappy friend.”
“You’re not,” I assure her. “I’m the awful friend here. First I hook up with your ex and now it turns out it wasn’t even worth risking our friendship for, since I only got two good fucks out of it.”
“Shaughna…” She grunts. “You’re not a bad friend. And I don’t believe for even a second that Dshawn is just one of your many fuckbuddies. I saw the way you looked at him at New Year’s. I hear the emotion in your voice when you talk about him. He’s important to you.”
“Maybe,” I admit, fear creeping into my mine. “But it doesn’t matter anymore. He’s never going to talk to me ever again.”
“Nonsense, he wouldn’t have gotten so mad if he didn’t care about you.” Caroline is making sense, but I have a hard time to believe that even if Dshawn cares about me, he will ever be able to move past this. “We just have to figure out a way to get him to forgive you for making a mistake.”
“We’re just fuckbuddies,” I say with a sigh. “Calling someone else over for a quick fuck isn’t something he should get mad about. We’re not dating.”
“You just punched someone for calling him a nasty name,” my best friend says with a chuckle. “I think it’s safe to say that you care about him and he’s not just sex to you. Stop denying it, Shaughna. You’re only going to end up hurt if you let him get away.”
“I only end up hurt if I have feelings for someone,” I argue. “It’s better if we just end things here, before either of us gets in too deep.”
“You’re so goddamn stubborn sometimes.” I just know that Caroline is shaking her head, even though I can’t see her. “I get that he offended you by calling you a slut, but he was just hurt. You got so angry at him just because a girl opened his door that you decided to call a random guy over to screw Dshawn out of your system as soon as possible. Can you really blame him for being hurt by how easily you seemed to move on from him? I’m not saying what he did was okay, but he did defend you, and he came right over when he found out you were over at his place. And he wasn’t lying about Chassidy being his cousin. I met her back in college when I was still dating Dshawn.”
Thanks good to know, because just like Caroline must have guessed, I was doubting that, afraid that he had been screwing her after all.
“How was your week?” I ask, done with talking about me. “Nathan still treating you right?”
She sighs deeply. “Yeah, Nathan is great, it’s other people who are horrible. I got called an immature little vixen by one of my kid’s fathers this week and on top of that, my neighbor Annabel found out about me and Nathan and she basically told me that he’s only screwing me because I’m young with perky boobs and that he is going to end up with her.”
“What?! Okay, start at the beginning. I need to know the whole story, Car!”
We spend a while talking over her life and then we move back to my problems again. Even though we have no solutions for any of our problems, we both hang up an hour later feeling a whole lot better than we did before we talked. I really miss having her around.
I finally take off my raincoat and put on a long-sleeved dress. When I’ve fixed my hair and make-up so I don’t look like I’ve been crying all morning, I put on some sneakers and head out to own up to my mistakes and to try and make sure Dshawn will give me another chance.
Here’s hoping he won’t slam the door right in my face.