“Listen, this is what you’re not understanding. I. Do. Not. Like. Him.” Ana spoke slowly like she was talking to a five-year-old.
Honestly, I was over the conversation before the thing began.“No. I’m pretty sure I understand that part… I mean, it seems like the only thing you’ve been saying about the guy for months.”
“Because it’s true! And obviously, I have to say it more than once for you to get it through your thick ass skull!”
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, “What is your problem?”
“My problem is that I told you to choose and you told me you chose me, while you told him differently. Yeah, I get jealous and annoying majority of the time, I’ll admit that. Do you think I take the fun out of your life, though, honestly?”
“Yeah, maybe.” I said, just to spite her.
I immediately regretted it though, because the truth was no. She was the most fun, beautiful, crazy, yet enchanting person I had ever met. She was worth every single hardship that came our way; I loved this girl and I’d never experienced that before.
I was used to using girls, using people in general really. And (with Elijah being the only real exception to that) if I got too close, I’d always subconsciously did something to ruin it. This was it; I was going to ruin something I really wanted for myself.
“You know what, Meyers?” She grabbed the cup of water on my counter and threw it at me. I took it, letting the water splash all over me. “Fuck you!”
“What? Did you really expect me to ditch my best friend? You wouldn’t do it if I hated Mackenzie and I’m definitely not doing it for some girl!”
“Some girl?! Is that really how you feel about me?”
“You know what, yeah, that exactly how the hell I feel!” No, you don’t. Shut up.
It looked like she was about to blow, but she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened them, she calmly said, “Okay. Since you want to treat me like I’m some tramp that you just hit and quit then that’s fine.”
She grabbed her purse, “You make sure you do me just like you’ve always done them. After you regret all the stuff you just said to me... Don’t call. Don’t write; don’t text; don’t show up outside of my classes.
"Don’t you dare come to me with some crap grand gesture. I don’t want to speak to you ever again, Tyler Meyers, do you understand me? I don’t want to talk to you, I don’t want to see you. This is unhealthy and we are through. Good riddance, you ass. ”
“Hey, Ty, will you rub my back?” I looked at Anastasia whose head laid in my lap, the rest of her body stretched out on the couch.
So, she broke me and made me let her lay on the couch, so what?
“Yeah.” I rubbed her back and when went back to watching TV, while I went back to my phone.
“What are doing on that phone?”
“Texting my other, less pregnant wife.” I lied. I was playing Candy Crush, proud to say I was obsessed with it.
“Yeah, right.” She reached for the phone, but I held it above my head.
“You don’t know my life. Trust me, I’ve got hoes in different area codes.”
“You’re terrible. The misogyny is real when it comes to you. It’s like a rapper and Charlie Sheen had a baby.” She settled back in my lap. After a few minutes, she said, “So, I remembered where I know Elijah from.”
“Oh, yeah?” I asked, only half listening. She wasn’t yelling so it was hard to tell what she had discovered in that mind of hers.
“Well, I only remember the wedding and how much I did not want him to be there.”
Oh, I thought, the fucking wedding. That was a disaster.
I’d made the terrible mistake of asking him to be my best man, but forgetting to tell the bride. That didn’t blow over too well with her.
“What did he do to me? Not at the wedding, just in general.”
“He just, he thought you were crazy and he didn’t like you. You didn’t like him either, and you both made your mutual hate of each other known.”
“That’s so weird, he seems like the nicest guy.”
“He is a great guy, but by the time I convinced him that you weren’t going to key my car or throw a brick through my window, you hated him.”
“But, you kept hanging out with him?”
“... Yeah... Did I just trap myself?”
She shrugged, “I’m too tired to care about something I don’t remember.” She paused, “I want to meet him again... formally this time.”
“You two could meet at the dinner.”
“Alright. Call and tell him.”
“Really?” she nodded. “Like, right now?′ she nodded again.
“Um, o - okay.” I called Elijah and told him what Ana had said.
“Yeah, man, she’s right here.”
He let out a breath, “Is this what girls feel like when you text them? Man, I think I should’ve called all those times I said I would.”
“You really should, I tried that once and got a wife.”
“A wife; yeah, I think I should get me one of those. I’m getting too old to keep sleeping around.”
“But, before you go out and get one, I think that you should meet mine. At the NYU dinner on Saturday.”
“That thing’s on Saturday?!”
I nodded, even though he couldn’t see me, saying, “Yep. You forget?”
"You forget?" He mocked. “Of course, I forgot.”
“It’s good you have me as a friend then. See you Saturday.”
“I’ll see you Saturday,” he grumbled into the phone before hanging up.
“Alright, I need you act like a desperate drunk chick tonight,” I said to Anastasia as we clipped on our name tags.
“So, easily impressed?” I grabbed her hand and led her into the ballroom.
“Exactly. See, I knew there was a reason I married you.” She chuckled, “It’s just that Eli is super excited to see you and you’re going to feel this instinctive need to hate him. Ignore that.”
“Sir, yes, sir.” She gave me a mock salute as we made our way over to Mackenzie, who was already there.
“Hey, my little parents-to-be,” she greeted us both with hugs. “You both look amazing.”
“Thanks, Mickey,” Ana said. “And you look beautiful.”
I nodded in agreement and Mac joked by saying, “I know.”
“Actually, you really do look good. Why so much effort?”
“Oh, um... no reason.” Anastasia raised an eyebrow, “Okay... maybe Roman is here and I just want him to see me and want me.”
“... While you’re pregnant with Ryan’s baby?”
Mac shushed her best friend, “Someone might hear you. I’m not actually going to do anything about it, even if he does want... all of this. I know I’m- ya know- and it’s showin, so tonight I put on a dress that wasn’t too tight and strapped on some fucking heels. Just to stick it to the asshole, show him what he’s missing.”
“So, you’re getting revenge on a heartbreaker from like seven years ago?” I asked.
She turned to me, “Hey, don’t do that. Do you know how many times cried about him?” I shook my head. “Exactly. Neither do I, that’s how many times. But, I can count, on one hand, how many times I’ve cried over a guy since then.”
She held up one finger, “Alright? So, just let me be crazy. I need the both of you to just give me this night to be irrational, because not everyone got the perfect fucking fairy tale ending with the person they met in college.”
“... You’re right.” Ana said, giving her a tight hug. “You show him. Maybe even tell him off a little but, don’t do anything too crazy. Aka, don’t do anything you would normally do.”
We left Mackenzie and started over to our table. Just then, a busty blonde started toward us with an excited expression in her face. Anastasia seemed unaware, but we were prepared.
“Blondie, 3:00.” I whispered. “Gwen Johnson, met freshman year. Absentee husband, two kids she loves to talk about, and trust me those girls were not there in college. I’d know.”
Before she could say anything to me, Gwen walked up. “Anastasia Scott?!”
“Gwennie!” They hugged.
“What have you been up to?”
“Oh, you know this and that. Got married, expecting triplets.”
“Triplets? Oh, sweet Jesus, who did that to you?” Gwen joked.
“That would be me,” I said.
“Who would’ve thought you made an honest man out of Tyler Meyers?”
Well, I’m trying. Tell me, Gwen,” Anastasia changed the subject before she could ask any more questions, “how are the kids?”
Gwen spent forever talking about her kids before she saw someone over our shoulders. “Now, it was so good to see you, but I think I should go talk Britney Goodman’s ear off.” Before she walked off she whispered, “The tramp got fat.”
I breathed a sigh of relief at the same time that Anastasia attacked me with her pocketbook, “Ow, why the hell are you -”
“I should trust that you’d know that those girls weren’t there in college? Why exactly? How would you know?”
Nonchalantly, I said, “Well, freshman year I motor boated like half the female - and why... am I telling you this?”
She hit me again... and again. When she went to hit me a third time I grabbed her wrist. “Hey, hey, that was almost ten years ago. You’ve had me wrapped around your, now slightly swollen, pinkie finger too long for you to feel insecure. I’m not going anywhere.”
“Stop it,” Ana whined. “With the words, and the voice, and the freaking sincerity. It makes it a million times harder to be mad at you.”
“Then mission accomplished.” She rolled her eyes, “Now, come on, Elijah just walked in.”
“Wherever all these divorced women are looking.” I turned toward the entrance and sure enough there was Eli, trying (and failing) to pin on his name tag.
When we walked up to him he was still trying his best, “Listen, buddy, don’t strain yourself.”
He lifted his head and pointed at me, “You know what, douche-” he paused, “Anastasia, hi.”
“Oh, please don’t stop because me.”
He looked over to me, then to her and back to me. “I can put on a name tag. I was just avoiding the gaze of every hungry, divorced wildebeest looking at me like they want to take me home just to spite their exes.”
She laughed, “Well, someone else I know has been getting those same looks and hasn’t been doing anything about it. And he’s married with kids in the way.”
I rolled my eyes, “I have so.”
“I didn’t say it was you, but you admit that you saw them. Tramps, just looking like they could get a piece of what’s mine."
I felt myself smile a little, “I ignored the two girls that I saw staring.”
“There were so many more and you know it.”
“I don’t know it, why? Because I didn’t see them, how? Because I was so focused on you that I couldn’t even see anyone else.”
Suddenly, Elijah made a gagging/choking noise that Anastasia burst into laughter. “Exactly what I was thinking.”
“What?” I asked them.
“Oh, Tyler,” she hugged me, “sometimes you’re too sweet and cheesy for your own good.”
They both sobered up after a few more laughs and Ana turned to Elijah. “So, Elijah, I hear that you’re my number one fan. My own personal fangirl.”
“Oh, yeah. I’m sure that you heard me freak out over the phone.”
“I sure did,” she nodded. “Hey, since I’ve hated you, I don’t suppose I’ll know anything about you. Tell me about yourself; and hurry before a wildebeest actually approaches.”
He laughs before starting, “Okay, um...”