Excerpt: Chapter 3
"Let's go." Straight ahead is the bar. I motion in front of me, maneuvering my way through the crowd. A waitress with way too much breast exposure asks me what I'd like.
I'd like to have your cleavage, I think but don't say. She'd think I was some sort of pervert if I did. But I really, really would like to have her cleavage. It's true I fill out a solid Victoria's Secret B-cup, and Jeremy certainly seemed happy enough ("More than a handful," he'd say), and this waitress can't possibly be wearing more than I am, but let's face it, I'd need a serious WonderBra to achieve that look. But here's the thing: What happens when you take a guy home and the bra comes off? How does one explain that exactly?
I order two lemon drops and try to keep my eyes leveled on the busty waitress's face. I love this shot – first you lick a sugar-covered lemon, then you shoot the vodka, and finally you suck the lemon. Very fun. It's like buying a Bingo lottery ticket; it not only serves its purpose, but doubles as an activity.
"Cheers," says Natalie. Yay! I am going to get drunk! I'm going to have fun! I'm already having fun. I'm having so much fun, I've practically forgotten about the jerk. Natalie reaches into her bag and takes out her calorie notebook. I'm surprised she didn't ask for Sweet'N Low for her lemon. "Look, there's Andrew Mackenzie!" she says, pointing across the room and waving.
Please, please tell me, how am I supposed to forget about Jeremy when his Penn buddies are all over the place? Particularly the one who practically fixed us up.
Andrew waves back and pushes his way toward us.
"I was hoping to run into you, hon," Natalie says. "I heard you were in town. We were just talking about you."
"What were you saying?" he says, kissing her lightly on the cheek.
What were we saying?
"Just how sexy you are," she says, wrapping her arms around his neck.
"Jackie!" he says, untangling himself from Natalie's arms. "I didn't know you were in Boston."
Oh, God, oh, God. That means that Jer doesn't talk about me to his friends! Apparently I'm so insignificant in his life that I don't even merit being mentioned. Jackass.
Or maybe Andrew and Jer aren't even talking anymore. Yes. I like that possibility better. They are so not talking anymore.
"Do you girls want a drink?"
Natalie's attention is already distracted. Some tall guy in an Armani suit is beckoning from across the bar. "I'll be back in a minute, 'kay?" and off she goes.
"Sounds like a plan," I say. We push our way back to the bar. I wonder if I should ask him about Jeremy. No, bad plan. Even though I'm absolutely convinced the two aren't talking to each other anymore, what if he tells Jer I asked about him, and I look completely pathetic?
Ms. Cleavage asks Andrew what we want. His eyes flick to her exposed flesh and then back to me. "What's your drink of choice?"
I will not ask about Jeremy. I will not ask about Jeremy. I will not even mention Jeremy's name.
"How about lemon drops?"
"The lady has decided. My treat," he says.
"Thanks." Sounds good to me.
"But of course."
"Ready?" he asks again.
He motions to two empty seats along the bar.
I will not ask if he's heard from Jeremy. I will not ask if he's heard from Jeremy. I will not ask if he's heard from Jeremy.
We sit down.
"So what 's new with you?" he says.
"Not much," I answer. "Have you heard from Jeremy?" Damn.
"No, not since he left for Thailand. You guys still together?"
Uh-oh. Suddenly tears are dripping into my mouth and I'm tasting a weird lemon-sugar-vodka-salt concoction. I will never mention Jeremy's name again. If I absolutely have to think about him, I will use an abstract symbol, like Prince did. From now on he is "."
I cover my eyes with my hand so maybe Andrew won't realize I'm crying. I feel like that kid in the second grade who used to cover his nose with one hand while he picked it with the other. Except we all knew what was going on.
Andrew, of course, knows what's going on. He puts his arm around me and I start to cry right into his chest. I am probably making a huge wet stain on his gray shirt, and my mascara is going to be all over my face, making me look as if I'm in the middle of exams and haven't slept in weeks, only taken periodic naps at the library between several cups of black coffee —
His chest is awfully hard.
Okay, so he's no Ethan Hawke, but he's certainly cute, and an MBA from Harvard will only make him cuter. I can seduce him tonight and we could have wild, passionate animal sex and then we'll wake up smiling in each other's arms and go for breakfast, strolling hand in hand along the river —
He smells very, very good.
He smells like .
I absolutely cannot have a wild affair with anyone who wears ?'s cologne. You see, the whole point is to be with someone who does not remind me of ?, who will in fact make me forget him. For a little while, anyway. Here's the plan: ? will be so devastated that I have fallen for someone else, he'll realize I am his true love and ask me to get back together. And then we'll live happily ever after.
I'm not supposed to think out loud, am I?
I know I'm supposed to want to meet someone else with whom I can have a healthy relationship, but in all reality, I would be perfectly content to use the other person to get Jeremy to want me back.
Sigh. I know. I'm hopeless.