“She,” Elfadil Osman

Date is going great. Thanks for meeting me earlier.

 I hit send and looked back at my date. I apologized for checking my phone and told her it was something work related. I told her I had asked a colleague to do something for the project we were working on. She reassured me that it was fine and that she understood. Work can be crazy sometimes she added. She was sweet and I had been enjoying my evening with her. She was cute and had gentle face with a soft smile. I told her I really liked her dress and her necklace. The blue stone on her necklace matched the floral design on her gown. I noticed that she kept looking at my jittery hand and then I noticed it was because my fingers were rapidly tapping the table. I also noticed that my foot was shaking under the table. I laughed and apologized and told her she was just making me nervous. I needed to try to calm down. It also could be from the coffee I had earlier I added. Even before ours drinks came out and I had a few, I felt comfortable talking to her. Besides reviewing the drink menu and making our orders, we had no real break in our conversation. I noticed that it was because I was talking a lot and really fast so I tried to slow down. I told her about growing up in quiet suburbia and spending Saturdays driving into the city and going to games with Dad. I told her about the time Dad and I tried sneaking food into the movies using these puffy jackets and after we paid for our tickets and walked into the theatre, Dad dropped one of our water bottles and it rolled down the stairs. I told her how the bottle kept rolling and rolling until it stopped at the feet of one of the workers. I told her how funny it was seeing Dad trying to look nonchalant as if the worker wouldn’t know that it was obviously from us. I laughed and went on to tell her about how Dad actually turned around and looked behind us as if the bottle came from someone behind us but we were the last ones walking into the theatre.

Eventually our waiter returned with our drinks. He asked us if we needed a little more time to review the menu before making our orders or if we were ready to order now. I looked at my date and nodded at her so she knew that I was giving her the chance to order first. She ordered her entrée and afterwards I ordered mine. The restaurant lighting was dim and the conversations from the neighboring tables created a background hum. I looked around the restaurant to see what was going on around me and when I reached her face she smiled shyly at me. I felt even better about how this evening was going and my excitement about what this date could lead to grew. And then I felt it creeping up. My date had begun telling me about some funny moments she also had with her parents but I had trouble focusing on what she was saying. I felt the mental fogginess starting to build up in my head. I tried my best to focus on what she was trying to tell me but I just couldn’t absorb anything she was saying. I asked her to excuse me for one second because I needed to check up on my colleague to make sure he wasn’t having trouble with the assignment we had. I just needed to send him a quick text.

I need you. Can you meet me in the bathroom?

I hit send and looked back at my date. She smiled at me and I tried to genuinely smile back.

 ~

From inside the room She called out and asked me if I was excited for my date tonight. I just finished washing my face and I stepped out of the bathroom. I felt way better. Way more alert. She was standing by my bed getting dressed. I told Her I was excited; a little nervous but overall I felt really confident.

When I began pulling my clothes out of the dresser, She walked over and helped me pick out what to wear. I wasn’t sure what I should wear and often relied on Her insight. She guided a lot of my decisions. She opened up the top drawer and pulled out my blue button down and switched it out for the polo that I just pulled out.

When I closed the drawer I knocked over a picture of Dad and me that was sitting on top of my dresser. It was my favorite picture. Neither of us was actually looking at the camera. It’s almost been one full year. I told Her how thankful I was for Her and how much I appreciate Her coming over. This entire past week She’s been amazing. The only reason I was able to finish my projects at work was because of Her frequent visits and pep talks. She kept things moving in my life.

After we both finished getting dressed She gave me a kiss. She told me how brave and strong I was being and how proud of me She was. I was so thankful for Her.

After I had finished getting dressed we sat on my bed to talk a little more before I headed out. She told me how handsome and smart and intelligent I was and that there wasn’t anything I couldn’t accomplish. She told me that tonight’s date was going to go great.

For the first part of this past year, I felt like I was falling down this dark bottomless shaft. I was just waiting for it to end put I just kept falling. I even tried visiting a psychiatrist but those therapy sessions were absolute bullshit. All we did was talk about Dad.

I lost my mother really early on but Dad took on both roles so well that I never really missed her. I just knew about her. Me and him were extremely close. Even after I moved out and Emily and me moved in together he was my go-to person. Like when I almost got fired for losing our biggest client at the firm. I wasn’t sure what to tell my boss. If I was honest I would look like an incompetent idiot, and if I lied, and my boss bought it, I would’ve screwed over my co-workers. Emily didn’t really advise me either way. She just told me everything was going to be all right. Pops told me though that I needed to stay honest. He kept telling me that no job was more important than my self-respect.

He was also great when I needed help with Emily. Like when her ex-boyfriend started talking to her again. I told Emily how uncomfortable it made me feel and she got upset because she assumed it was because I didn’t trust her. I tried to tell her that it wasn’t that. I really did trust her, but I didn’t trust her ex-boyfriend. Every time he would text her when we were together I would try to peek over her shoulder to see what he was saying. He was just checking in on her and trying to be a friend she would said. She wanted to know why I wouldn’t let her just re-connect with a friend but I felt so frustrated. She didn’t understand my point and what I was trying to get across to her.

“Do you love her, Cole? Do you trust her?”

“Yeah I do, Dad. But what’s he doing messaging her?! He knows she moved in with me! He knows we’ve moved in together!”

“Do you trust her, Cole?”

“I mean I don’t have a reason not to.”

“I think she loves you too bud. And I think you should trust her. What makes your relationship a relationship is real commitment and trust.”

“What about you and mom? When you guys were dating, did you ever feel this way?”

“Oh are you kidding me of course I did! Your mom was gorgeous. When we were in college she had this tutor, Joey. Your mom didn’t believe me, but I was sure this guy had the hots for her. Like come on, what kind of tutor asks to extend their sessions? Anyway, she got really upset with me asking her about him. She even suggested we might need to take a break. I obviously didn’t want that, so I decided that it would be best if I backed off and let her be. What I learned from that was, while I may not have trusted that Joey kid, I trusted your mom. And because I was dating your mom and not Joey, I needed to step back.”

That dick eventually stopped texting Emily and I did my best to give her the space she deserved.

We broke up a week after Dad died.

I met Her at a party a friend was having a couple of months after that. My buddy’s place was packed but me and few friends managed to sneak off into one of the rooms to break away for a bit. While we were in there, there was a knock and a friend walked over to open the door. That was when She walked in. For most the night Her and I talked and flirted but I found Her really intimidating. After a few more drinks though I began feeling a little more adventurous. I decided to give it a shot and really put myself out there so I made my move. My buddies had already told me earlier to not be scared and just go for it. I was really anxious but I eventually leaned in for the kiss and I felt Her kiss back. I remember that first time. Her lips were extremely soft but surprisingly bitter. They also made me feel warm, and this warmth grew and grew and eventually overcame me entirely. She made me numb. I spent the rest of that night with Her but I never got Her number. My buddy gave it to me the next day though.

I checked my phone and noticed that it was almost time for me to head out. I kissed Her one more time and She leaned in and whispered more compliments and last minute motivation in my ear. She told me how proud my father would be of me and that my date was so lucky to have my attention for the evening. I thanked Her and kissed Her one more time before getting up to grab my keys and heading out.

~

I noticed that I wasn’t focusing on my date and I tried to refocus on her. She asked me what I did for a living and I told her. She asked me where I went to school and I told her. Out of respect and courtesy, I tried to reciprocate interest with my own questions but I didn’t really hear any of her answers. This cloud of mental haze and gloominess was growing in my head. I asked her what her office was like and where she went to college for the sake of keeping the conversation alive and appearing normal. She started answering and then I saw my phone light up. I looked down to see who responded and saw Her name come up across my screen. I excused myself for a moment. As I got up, I tried to force another smile again to reassure her that everything was fine and I told her that it would just be a minute. I apologized for interrupting our date with work and turned in the direction of the restroom. As I started to walk toward the bathroom I looked down to check my phone.

            I’m in the handicap stall. See you soon

When I walked into the bathroom I rushed past the sink and the stalls and opened the door to the stall. She was sitting waiting for me on the toilet. It was so nice seeing Her.

After I stepped into the handicap stall and closed the door behind me She began walking towards me. I never understood how but She kept her white dress spotless. It was a long gown that gently brushed the ground that surrounded Her feet. She gave me a kiss and began to unbutton my shirt while I slid the straps of Her dress off Her shoulders. She whispered into my ear how much She loved me and how amazing I was doing tonight. She undressed me, laid me down on the ground, and I let Her take over.

When we finished, I got up and started dressing myself and eventually tucked my button-down back into my pants. I started to walk out of the stall but right before I stepped out I turned around to thank Her again for everything She did for me. She smiled back at me as She put on Her white gown. I walked out of the stall to the nearest sink and did my best to quickly stop the nosebleed. I washed my face a couple times and gave myself a second before I walked out of the bathroom. I stepped out and started making my way back to my date.


 

Elfadil Osman is a Junior at the University of Maryland, College Park studying Neurobiology/Physiology and pursuing a minor in Creative Writing . He is interesting in pursuing a career in academic medicine but is also passionate about creative writing and using storytelling as a platform for sharing human experiences.

Advertisements