He can’t see me.
“You have to live a little,” Roxana says. She is seated on my left. Her seat is near the window.
I can’t take my eyes off him.
I nod, “Mmmh.” My thoughts consumed by him and less of what Roxanna is saying.
“So you are coming tonight?” Her voice is full of excitement.
He runs his hand through his hair. His eyes fixed on his phone.
“Where?” I have no idea what she is talking about.
Look up! I think.
“Back to school party, duh!” She gravels and I turn to see why she is irritated, only to find her face scrunched up.
“No.” I answer and turn to look at him again.
“It’s our last quarter in campus, you should have fun. Otherwise you will be graduating still a virgin.” The last part she says softly and low like it is a crime to be a virgin.
It is a virtue. However I am far from that. The life i have lived can’t allow you to be one.
He can’t even look up. He never looks at me.
“Did you hear what i just said? And what is that you are looking at?” She moves to get a better angle, moving her head in front of me and the only view i am left with is of her untrimmed ends of her hair.
She follows my gaze.
“Quinn, such an eye candy. Don’t start fantasizing he is out of every girl league except her.” She tips her head towards the door as someone walks in.
The sole heiress to Emerson company. A multinational company
She walks in with grace, her hair freely flowing on her shoulders. Her steps are calculated and intended. Her presence demands attention. The entire class watches her, except Quinn who never bothers to lift his head.
She walks straight to him, stops and puts her bag on his desk.
He lifts his head, bored.
That is a look I recognize.
“You didn’t show up last night.” She attempts to whisper but everyone hears.
Quinn’s head swivel to my direction, our eyes lock. His gaze is blank like there is something i should understand of it.
“Let’s settle down.” A male voice announces.
I am forced to take a double look just to confirm. Mr. Marcelo’s eyes are staring back at me. I thought i won’t have to face him this semester.
“Cara make sure to see me after the class,” he says.
Everyone turns to give me a sorry look.
The class starts. I keep my head low though i can occasionally feel the burning stare of Mr. Marcelo through my skull.
The entire period is a blur and i am relieved when it ends. I pretend to be packing my stuff as the class slowly empties. I look up, hoping Mr. Marcelo gave up and left.
He is still waiting for me.
I might just have to face him now than later.
I take slow strides to him. We are just the two of us, in the room.
“You didn’t show up for our coffee date.” He goes straight to the point.
Mr. Marcelo is the youngest lecturer in the entire institute. He has an angular body posture, his baby face makes him look more younger for his age. And his dimpled smile, make him very attractive.
“I travelled to visit my family during the break.” I lie.
He raises his eyebrows, as if not believing me.
“Okay. Let’s reschedule it to this Saturday.”
I take in a sharp breath and nod.
“Great. See you then.” He happily states.
Roxana is waiting by the door, obvious she has been eavesdropping. She gives me a mischievous look.
I walk past her and she closely follows.
“I have known you close to four years, but you are as mysterious as the first day i met you.” She says behind me.
And should stay that way.
My phone beeps. It is a private number and i know it’s Quinn. I open the message.
Doctor’s appointment. Quarterly check up. Be there in the afternoon.
I shove the phone back into my bag. “I have to go. See you later for our fries tradition,” I say.
Roxana rolls her eyes.
“Where are you going?” Her eyes burn through me daring me to come up with a believable lie.
I hesitate trying to find a good lie.
She speaks, “See, this is what i mean. Secrets and lies is what you are good at.” Her tone bares a lot of disappointment.
I laugh a bit as i hug her. “You think too much.” It’s all I can say before saying goodbye.
I rush down the hall to the bathrooms, i text my brother, Oliver. After some minutes of him not replying. I decide to call him.
“Need me?” He taunts me.
“I texted you few minutes ago.”
“So now you want to be seen with me?” I know he is wearing a smug as he says this.
“No. Just met me at our place.”
I end the call before he starts saying the kind of family we are if we can’t be seen together in the campus.
The walk to a secluded part of the campus is slow and agonizing. For i have to occasionally look back to see if anyone is following me.
Oliver’s raggedly car is seated by the end of the road. It looks like it’s held together with bailing wire and duct tape, and running on prayers and borrowed time.
A dark smoke is coming from it exhaust pipe. I can never understand his love for the old rusty thing of a car.
“I shouldn’t be doing this,” he says, when i board the car. ”
It takes a while for his engine to run.
“I am sorry, but we are almost there Oliver. We will have our old lives back,” I say.
He doesn’t respond, he only reaches for the radio and tunes to a rock and roll station. The then increases the volume. I know it’s his way of shutting me out.
I turn to face out as he drives.
He kills the engine a couple of buildings away from the doctor’s plaza. I immediately spot Quinn’s jeep. I am surprised today he didn’t come with his favorite red Lamborghini.
I step out. “I will be back,” I say.
“I am not waiting on you. I’m sure you will find other means and a brain to make you see what you are about to do.” He nonchalantly says.
He neither wait for my answer nor reaction. He just drives off.
I shake my head before starting to walk towards my destination. It is a short walk and doesn’t give me the luxury to think. I push the doors and walk in.
I spot Quinn seated on the waiting area. He is wearing an impatient look.
“She’s waiting,” he says, when I am at an hearing distance. He never waits for me. Not that I care, the feeling is mutual, for now.
He heads towards a door written Dr. Anika. I can never get used to doctor’s visits no matter how many times i get to experience it.
She is seated on her desk. She doesn’t look up when we walk in, despite Quinn slamming the door to get her attention.
She finally closes the book she was writing. She wakes up. She has the posture of a soldier. Every action she takes is precise and purposeful. She smiles in the cold and distant way professionals do. I can never relax around such expressions.
She goes through her files looking for ours. It is a routine procedure we go through three to four times a year.
She sits down and starts with the normal regular questions. Do we have other partners we are sexually involved with other than us? She asks when i last had my cycle, blah blah.
We both answer, she takes our blood samples to test for any STI’s and serology. She goes further to test me for presence of HCG hormone.
My booty call agreement with Quinn is that we don’t have other sex partners. Of course Quinn, gets to date. He has a playboy name to live to but he never beds his playthings. We get check ups regularly. And the important part is our relationship is purely sexual. Out there in the real world, we don’t know each other. We are total strangers.
“We are clean.” The doctor comes back with the results.
Quinn stands up ready to go. He barely acknowledges either of us as he walks out.
I give her a fake smile.
“It was nice working with you. As per Quinn he said this is your last check up. Be safe.” The doctor says.
Last check up?
I find Quinn about to leave.
“Why is this my last check up?” I ask feeling all confused. Because i know what this means. He wants to end our agreement.
“Yes it is.” He doesn’t answer what i asked. His demeanor is that of a bored person. And his attitude is ‘I am Quinn i can do what i please, i don’t care.’
As per our agreement, it can be terminated anytime but. His announcement is just sudden and i can help but ask, “Why?” I am frustrated.
“I don’t i owe you any explanation neither do you. I will call you when i need you.” He doesn't spare a single glance at me.
I watch in horror as he gets in his car and drive off.