Rich and I ate dinner on my sofa watching Sports Center -- his choice. I didn’t mind, because it gave me a chance to study his shirtless frame: smooth brown skin with a tattoo of a fire breathing dragon across his shoulder. When he caught me staring at his ink, he smiled. “What?”
“Is there a story behind this beast?”
Rich shrugged as I ran my fingers across his tattoo. “I was in college and my ex was into ink. I think she was the first tramp with a stamp.”
“Anyway, she suggested getting our names tattooed on each other.”
“Ooh, the relationship kiss of death and a lot of awkward moments when you get naked in the future.”
“Exactly. I knew we didn’t have that forever thing going on. So, I suggested we get a symbol.”
“And you chose a dragon?” I asked with a raised right eyebrow. All I could think was that was some kind of relationship.
“We have to same dragon and she chose it. They say dragons are protectors and we said these dragons would protect our relationship or some bull shit like that.”
I stroked my forehead as I dropped my hand from his shoulder. “Drink?”
“What’s wrong?” he asked. “I was honest.”
Shrugging, I didn’t want to go there about what I was thinking, which consisted of what in the hell kind of sense did it make to get a tattoo that would last longer than the relationship? Rising from the sofa, I fixed myself a big glass of cola. When I returned to the living room, Rich took the glass from my hand and drank half of it.
“Well, damn,” I exclaimed.
“That wasn’t for me?” he asked with a smile then set the glass on the coffee table –on top of my latest copy of Essence. I moved the glass and glared at him.
“No, it wasn’t. I asked you if you wanted something and you didn’t reply.”
“OK, I was thirsty.”
“Communication isn’t your strong suit?” I turned and headed for the kitchen to fix my own drink.
“Are you trying to start an argument so that you can weasel out of round two?”
I poured my cola and took a sip as the bubbles settled. “Why would I start an argument?”
“Because you can’t keep up.”
I slammed my glass on the counter and realized that this fool had lost his damned mind. I knew somehow this would be a mistake and here it was.
“Let me tell you something, Richard. Men obviously think dick makes us stupid. The sex was good, but my brain works. And you’re getting on my fucking nerves right now.”
“Damn, Mimi. I was joking.”
Crossing into the living room and standing in front of him, I rolled my eyes. “Don’t quit your day job because you’re clearly not funny.”
He reached out for me and I backed away from his embrace. “You want to pack a plate and go home?”
“Wow,” he said. “All you need to do is slap a few bills on the table. I see what people mean now.” Rich stood up, pushed past me and retrieved his clothes. I followed him into the dining room.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You’re rude and mean as hell. You have no sense of humor and you act as if people owe you something.”
“And what people are saying this bullshit because . . . You know what, believe what you want. I don’t care. Just go home and we can pretend this never happened.”
Rich glared at me and I really couldn’t understand why I was acting this way. Maybe I was pushing him away on purpose because I was still angry?
“Fine with me.” When he dressed and stormed out, I grabbed the mushroom curry and finished it off. This wasn’t the night I’d expected.