[Be sure to have read part I first, “Him: Leave”]
“Where the fuck are my cigarettes?!” I curse to myself, nervously clicking my lighter on and off. I’m searching my purse and my jeans pockets for the millionth time, but I already know it’s pointless. I left them in my coat pocket and I think about going back to the party to get them as well as my coat, since it was expensive. But my eyes had just dried up from when I ran out crying after stumbling upon my boyfriend going to third base with some other girl. Just thinking about it again makes my eyes well up again and I go through my bag one more time in an act of desperation.
Fuck, I really want a cigarette right now. It’s freezing cold and I swear at myself for being so emotional and stupid to forget my coat. I frown in the thought of remembering how I got it with that dick of a boyfriend when we were out shopping like a happy couple. I had just moved back from living with my dad in London to live with my mom here in Chicago because I made the wrong choices in the people I hung out with and dated. I wanted to start over new and like some bloody fucking joke, I make the same bad choices here. The dick was one of the first people I met here and he was just such a gentleman and from such a nice family with a big house. I almost envied him for his picture perfect, ‘American dream’ like life. I didn’t know at the time what kind of slimy scumbag he was. I’ve had my suspicions of him cheating before, that he might even be seeing some other girl on the side, but he swore to me that he wasn’t. So if there’s anything good to come out of walking in on him tonight, it was confirmation that I wasn’t going fucking bonkers with paranoia after all. Fucking douchebag.
As if on cue, I hear the honking of his fucking Mercedes in the distance and see how he nearly runs a guy over. He must’ve seen me standing here and just immediately turned to drive towards me, unaware that this was a one way street in the other direction. I think of walking away, but don’t know the area that well and don’t know where to walk to. Before I know it, he stops his rich ass, daddy paid car in front of me, packed with all his friends I could never stand. The one in the passenger seat was wearing a Cubs jersey and a reversed baseball cap, and for some reason it annoys the fuck out of me. Who in his right mind chooses to be a cubs fan?
I can see that they’re drunk and although he’s several feet away from me, I swear I can smell the liquor in his breath and her scent on his fingers still. He leans out the window, but doesn’t bother to get out of the car.
“Fuck off.” I tell him.
He doesn’t, his friends just snickering in the back. “Oh c’mon, baby! I told you I was sorry and that she didn’t…” he begins to explain, but I cut him off.
“That she didn’t what? That she didn’t mean anything to you and that it’ll never happen again? I know for a fact that she wasn’t the first one you’ve cheated on me with, Rick!” I tell him with a furious voice.
I hear one of his friends in the back seat tell him how he’s busted, confirming my accusation. God, how I hated Ricks fucking guts right now. He glares at his friends in the back seat, then turns back to me.
“Fine, you’re right. But I promise I’ll make things right again. I promise, babe. Now get in the car and we’ll go back to get your coat. You’re freezing out here.” He says and his friend on the passenger seat chimes in.
“Besides, we’ve got some stuff that’ll make you feel aaall warm and fuzzy inside!” he says in a disgusting pervert’s voice as he holds up a little brown bag.
Rick tells him to shut up, but it’s too late. I’m beyond furious now.
“First of all, I don’t fucking do drugs, you creep!” I tell him, holding back the tears as to not seam weak.
“Second,” I continue, “Rick, you couldn’t even bring my coat with you, simply leaving it there?! Seriously?! Fuck you. Third, I’m not your fucking slave you can order around what to do. And finally, you, your friends and your tiny, soon to be disease ridden dick can all go straight to hell.”
Now his friends are going batshit, telling him how he just got burned, but Rick just looks at me in furious shock. When he composes himself again after a second or two, he merely smirks that disgusting smile of his.
“You know what?” he says smug, “Fuck you. I don’t need a prude like you! I can get any chick I want! And as a matter of fact, I have. Just so you know, I’ve been doing it with Samantha back there since the first day you and I got together, and she wasn’t the only one! C’mon, guys, I feel like going to Bianca’s tonight.”
He addressed that last part to the guys, but it was obvious it was meant for me to hear. Rick revs up his car and speeds away, leaving me coughing in the smoke. Having found out what kind of a guy Rick was, nothing he said right now came as a surprise, having me lose my feelings for him for months now. It felt good to finally tell him all that. Still, I was glad he and his friends were gone since the tear I was trying so hard to hold back had finally forced its way out. I was surprised it didn’t turn to ice, that’s how cold it felt.Fucking prick, I thought to myself. Good riddance to you.
I shivered once more and wonder what I should do now when I hear someone walking quickly from my right. I turn my head and am quickly taken aback by the guy pacing in my direction. His black, wildly cut neck long hair was being tossed around by the wind, making it seem like some dark majestic wild fire. He wore fitted blue jeans and a really thin hoodie that was nowhere near warm enough for this weather, making me wonder what his excuse for being as foolish as me was.
None the less, his fast stride, combined with the rest of his image, made him seem otherworldly. Everything about him just takes my breath away, like some kind of fallen angel… or demon. Most of all, it’s his eyes that draw my attention. Like his hair, they were as black as night and just as deep. Like two black holes, drawing me ever closer. He tries to direct their gaze away, innocently trying to avoid contact with mine, despite how much I wished he would look at me. But he doesn’t and by the time he reaches me [keeping his distance, strangely enough], I grow impatient.
“Excuse me, but d’you happen to have another cigarette?” I ask him.
He stops and looks at me with a blank expression and for a split second, I’m lost for words after finally seeing those black eyes connect with mine.
“Who says I have one at all?” he asks me ironically.
I raise an eyebrow and look at the cigarette in his mouth he seems to be totally oblivious to.
“Oh. Right.” he says with mild surprise. “Well, d’you have a lighter?”
“I do. One of your cigarettes for a click of my lighter?” I say.
“That’s a rather unfair deal, don’t you agree?”
I consider this for a moment, concluding he was right and that I should sweeten the pot for him.
“Ok… Then a click of my lighter and I also tell you the time. Deal?” I say.
He laughs a little, gives me a cigarette and I light up his. The emphasis on the pleasure he gets seems rather excessive, but somehow I doubt it’s an exaggeration and I stifle a laugh.
“It’s exactly 1am, by the way.” I tell him, remembering the other term of our transaction. I almost blurt out that I’d give him a bonus kiss on the cheek if he wants, but remember how this guy is an absolute stranger whose name I don’t even know.What is wrong with me?, I think to myself, hating how I remind myself of that Samantha bitch. Instead, I try to change into a different subject.
“And apparently, that’s about the time when cabs here stop operating.” I say.
“Yeah,” he says. “that’s the one thing Chicago cabs and police have in common; there’s never one when you need one the most.”
If I had any doubts before, it’s when I laugh out loud to his lame joke where I know I’m flirting with him. But who could blame me, really? I calm down in my laughter as to not seem too weird. I take another drag from my cigarette and watch how he does as well; tilting his head down slightly, shadowing his face from the light of my streetlamp, the tip of his cigarette lighting his face with a mild orange ember as he pulls in and the whole picture is enough to send my mind into a trance. I’ve been freezing my ass off here for God knows how long, but now it’s this brief, yet at the same time, slow motion moment that sends violent chills down my back. He notices and immediately unzips his hoodie, puts it around me and takes a step back again, maintaining his gentlemanly distance.
“Before you say anything,” he starts before I can, “I’m not hitting on you. Indeed, I’m cold myself, but it seems like you need it a whole lot more than I do. So don’t worry about it and just thank me instead, ok?”
Huh. And who said chivalry was dead?
So I thank him and before I can say anything else, I notice his Subways band shirt and I can barely contain my enthusiasm. “Oh my fucking god, I love your shirt!”
“Thanks. You know them?” he asks.
Do I know The Subways? Oh, I know them alright!
“Oh yeah!” I tell him. “Which, coincidentally, is also my favorite song by them!”
Nice one, I think to myself smug.
“Mine too!” he says.
A wide smile spreads over my face and once again, the urge to kiss this handsome stranger arises once more. I tell him how awesome it is that he knows them too and want to explain that so far, I never met anyone else who knew them. But before I can even finish the sentence, he suddenly runs over to the street and randomly waves his hand up high. Confused, I follow the direction of his gaze and spot the cab that makes its way to him. Immediately, I feel a peculiar feeling of annoyance toward the cab. For although I am two minutes away from hypothermia, I suddenly wouldn’t mind as long as those two minutes would be spent with this intriguing stranger.
I throw down and stomp out my cigarette butt before I start making my way towards him, forcing my stiffened legs to awaken out of their hibernation sleep. He turns to me and flashes an oddly apologetic expression across his face before he turns back and leans in the cab to discuss something with the driver.
“You really didn’t have to do that, you know?” I say once I reach him, still annoyed with the cab driver’s nomination for the ‘bad timing awards’.
I half expect him to give me another wise-ass remark, but he simply shrugs instead and looks at me with the cutest half smile a girl could ever imagine. You know, one of those that makes you smile as well without you even realizing it.
“Then here!” I say once I gather myself again and take out my lighter. “At least take this; you obviously need it more than I do!”
We both give a light felt laugh at my lame attempt to return his joke. All of a sudden I notice his teeth begin to chatter and it reminds me that I should probably return his hoodie.
“Take care, ok?” he says, nodding in a gesture of goodbye that I’m not ready for yet.
“Thanks…” I murmur, desperately trying to think of something I could possibly say or ask to have him stay for a few seconds more.Ask him something! Anything!, I think to myself. But before I can, he’s already back on his way. I halfheartedly open the door and am about to get in when I realize I neither asked him for his name, nor his number. I quickly turn around to his direction and, as if it were fate, he turns around too, looking at me as if he wanted to say something. I decide to go first when the red line train suddenly passes by above us.
“Hey! What’s your number?” I try to yell at him over the noise of the train, but he gives me a confused look, not having understood what I said. Fucking trains.
“D’you want to go for some coffee sometime?” I try again. He pauses for a second, thinking, then looks at me again with his amazing half smile and shakes his head before he turns around again and walks away. The train is finally gone and I’m lightly hurt by the unexpected rejection. I stare after him for a while, contemplating if I should run after him and try to change his mind. But the driver asks me with an annoyed voice if we can go already and disappointed, I get into the cab.
I tell the driver the address and we drive off in the opposite direction from the guy. Tired and drowsy from the warmth in the cab, I lean my head against the window and watch the lights outside pass me by. I’m about to fall asleep, when I suddenly feel a vibrating in the pocket of the hoodie. I take out the phone that wasn’t mine and reflexively look back from where I just came after I realize it must be his. Turning back to the phone, I give a soft snicker from me as I read the name that had just texted him. “i’m sry 4 cheating on u, i am. but is it still ok if i come by the kickstand 2morrow? u kno ur cafe has the only coffee i like. ;) also is it cool if i just throw out your ugly jacket? its old anyways. just let me kno! B” I feel bad for having read a text that was obviously not mine, but I’m sure he’ll forgive me when I explain to him how it told me where he works. I always did wonder how the coffee there is.
I put his phone back in the hoodie pocket and leaned my head on the window again, making a mental note to bring it back to him tomorrow. I smiled as I thought that I wouldn’t, however, return his hoodie and dug myself deeper into it.
It’s definitely mine now.