On Monday Alice sat down at my table with her usual lopsided smile. I looked into her pretty eyes for a moment. She looked back at me with a curious shyness.

“I need to break up with my girlfriend.”

She was quiet for a moment. Her shy smile got bigger. But there was also a bit of confusion in her eyes.

“You didn’t tell me you had a girlfriend.”

“Why would I tell you that?”

“Well, I think if you were a gentleman, you would’ve told me.”

“So any man, if he wants to be a gentleman, and if he happens to cross paths with you, he should inform you whether or not he has a girlfriend.”

“Yes. I think a true gentleman would do that.”

I thought for a moment. “You’re right Alice. I apologize, I should’ve let you know.”

She was obviously delighted. She smiled wide and tilted her head one way then the other. “I forgive you Brian.”

“See, Alice, I didn’t want to discourage you.”

I felt her toes petting my ankle.

I continued, “So to do it properly, if a man has a girlfriend he would also need to tell you how likely he is to break up with her in the near future.”

“Yes that would be very nice Brian.”

We had a nice lunch as usual. She had a delighted smile the whole time, and worked her foot up my leg until her toes were rubbing my hardon. I tried to picture what she would be like in a few different sexual positions.

 

*****

 

On Monday evening Beverly and I were walking near Beverly’s apartment. Alice came walking towards us, and greeted us with a big smile.

“Hello!”

“Hi Alice,” I answered.

Shortly after Alice passed us Beverly said to me in a hushed tone, “You know her?” Beverly’s eyes bulged out a bit, she appeared to be truly frightened.

“Yeah. We’ve been having lunch together. We flirt a lot, and she likes to play footsies. Sometimes I have to stop her if she keeps rubbing her toes against my dick for a long time; I almost got to the point of coming a couple times. She likes to talk about astronomy too. She knows all the constellations.”

Beverly stared at me, her eyes full of fear and panic.

“Beverly how many times do I have to tell you that you need to stop being so jealous?”

“Well you’re saying hi to a random woman on the sidewalk who I’ve never even met before!”

“That’s not the only woman I know who you’ve never met before. Should I tell you about the others?”

She didn’t answer. She appeared to be trying hard to think about something. We continued walking in silence.

 

****

 

On Tuesday I played a board game with Beverly, her apartment-mate Selene, and her friend Chucky from the restaurant she works at.

It was obvious immediately that Chucky was severely lacking in various ways, and seemed to be attempting to compensate for it by doing a lot of talking. But even the talk was only self-flattery part of the time; the other part of the time he let us in on stuff about himself that most other people probably would have kept private. Of course, the Intelligent Designer moves in mysterious ways and probably has a plan for him.

Chucky had a tendency to give me what I think was supposed to be a cold stare. But it looked like he was practicing and hadn’t quite figured out how to do it. I tried to keep as neutral a face as possible and not show any amusement. I figured if he felt that he was being laughed at he might stop doing it.

Beverly was getting deep into a monologue about her ex-boyfriend who supposedly cheated on her with what must have been close to a dozen different women. I had heard parts of this monologue before. Selene said almost nothing the entire time, other than what was needed to participate in the game. I didn’t say much either.

The moments when Beverly took a break from her monologue Chucky filled in with his own two cents. “This guy tries to get his girlfriend to show her tits to random men. Who does that? What kind of guy tells his girlfriend to take off her shirt and bra, so she can unzip her coat with nothing on underneath, in front of some random guy in the woods?”

I didn’t acknowledge his comments.

He droned on, “Where do you keep finding these losers who keep cheating on you? You’re looking in the wrong place. You can still find good men, you just have to know where to look. Then you won’t keep ending up with these losers.”

“All men want is sex,” Beverly whined.

While still looking at the game and not really expecting Beverly to hear me, I replied, “You’re welcome to do other things for me if you want.”

Selene dashed into the kitchen and had some sort of coughing fit for a minute.

Chucky went back to his commentary on me. “I wonder what you would do Brian, if you had to survive in the woods without food. I really wonder.”

No matter how much I thought about it, I couldn’t figure out what Chucky’s problem was. He had very quickly decided that I was some sort of threat to him. We had only just met! I couldn’t think of a single thing that I might have said or done that had even a slight chance of being offensive.

Of course, his hatred of me didn’t stop him from offering to give friendly advice to me when it was my turn in the game.

“You know what I would do?”

“I don’t care what you would do.”

There was a confused pause, and then he said again, “You know what I would do?”

“I don’t care what you would do.”

There was another brief, confused pause. “Well if I was you I’d attack her territory from Greenland, before she attacks you, since she’s in attack mode right now. The attacker has the advantage.”

“Well you’re not me, fortunately.”

The obvious thing to do was use my resources to start taking back South America, which he had taken from me last turn. Chucky had been playing world police and attacking everyone, which meant his resources were spread really thin.

I put all my new armies in Central America, and attacked South America. I was attacking with an army that was massive compared to what he had in South America. Towards the end of this Chucky finally declared, “Wow it looks like Captain America is going to get the whole continent!”

“Captain Mexico,” I said.

I thought I had seen Beverly’s straw hat somewhere in the room. I looked around and saw it on a table next to the door.

“Beverly I need to borrow your sombrero.”

“Go ahead, it’s right there. But it’s not a sombrero, it’s just a straw hat.”

“Whatever.” I put the hat on.

I remembered seeing some purple flowers outside at the edge of the parking lot. When I was finished my turn I went outside and broke off one of the flowers. I stuck the stem through a hole on the side of the hat, with the flower facing forwards. When I went back in Beverly laughed.

“That’s very nice Brian.”

“Thanks. I felt like it just needed a little something more.”

I watched Chucky take his turn and kill off more armies than he was earning. Then Selene took her turn. I idly counted up everyone’s armies, and thought about the likely outcomes of attacking a couple different spots.

Beverly went into a pitiful whine about all the mysterious phone numbers she had found on her ex-boyfriend’s phone. She had to pause when it became her turn.

While Beverly and Chucky droned on, I quietly pondered whether my opponents would kill off each other’s armies and how long it would take for me to win the game.

“My baby’s mamma put twenty thousand dollars on my credit card, and then sued me for child support.”

Beverly answered, “Chucky she didn’t put twenty thousand on your credit card.”

“Yes she did.”

“Twenty thousand is with four zeros, two thousand is with three.”

“Yeah, that’s how many there were, four zeroes.”

In just a few more turns it was obvious, even to Chucky, that he was doing pretty badly in the game. He made an excuse about needing to leave because he had to get up early the next day, and left.

After I heard the sound of Chucky’s truck fading away as he drove down the street, I told Beverly that I didn’t want to hang out with him again.

“Why not?”

“He’s an idiot Beverly. I don’t like him, and for some unknown reason he doesn’t like me. I’m not going to hang out with him again.”

“Relax Brian, it’s just Chucky. He’s our main source of entertainment at work.”

“Beverly he was blatantly rude to me the whole time.”

“Well, you should’ve said something!”

“What am I supposed to say to someone like him, that he isn’t going to simply respond to with more insulting shit?”

Beverly rolled her eyes. “Fine Brian.”

 

*****

 

At lunch on Wednesday, almost immediately after I sat down Alice asked me when was I going to break up with my girlfriend.

“Well I’m hoping she’ll break up with me,” I answered. “You know, if I stare at some other woman’s boobs or something, then we’ll get into an argument about it, I’ll tell her that she needs to get implants if she doesn’t want me looking at other women’s boobs, and then she breaks up with me, if I’m lucky. It would just be easier.”

This gave Alice a very amused and lopsided smile. “How long have you been dating exclusively?”

I felt her toes against my ankle. “Well, I don’t know. I mean, we never came to any kind of agreement like that. But she seems to think we did. We haven’t even been dating for three months yet!”

Alice looked at her sandwich with suspicion, like she had spotted some mold on it. “Only three months?”

“Well actually, I guess three and a half months now.”

She turned her twinkling eyes back up at me and smiled flirtatiously. “Brian, don’t you want to meet some other women and take a few test drives? I mean, your relationship is over, and you’ve only been with her for three months anyway.”

“Well I don’t want to do anything to justify her jealousy. And anyway, I don’t think I know anyone who would be interested.”

“You can’t think of even a single person?”

I stared at the table and pretended to think hard. I started to slowly shake my head. I tried to keep a straight face while she wiggled her toes against my leg.

“I draw a blank.”

“Well I suppose it takes some time to cheat on someone, you’ve only been with her for three months. First you would have to have enough time to get bored with her, and then how often does a good opportunity just sit down right in front of you, even for a particularly attractive and eligible sort of guy?”

Her cute smile was stretching the corner of her mouth as far as it would go on one side, her head tilted, exaggerating the effect. I had to look away, because I was afraid her smile would be contagious. I didn’t want to have to explain to my coworkers why I was suddenly smiling and blushing like a little girl all the time.

I nodded and said, “Yes I suppose you have a point.” I looked at the center of the table and pretended to think for a moment. Her toe was making little circles on my knee. Then I looked back up at her, thoughtfully, as if I was recalling some distant memory, “It does happen on occasion though.”

The end of chapter 5 of the novel The Point of No Return

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