Eric had no reason to lie to me. Suzi, Sookie, whoever she was, did. I didn’t want to believe that she had. We had a good thing going. Feelings were growing and I felt a connection to her. It wasn’t the overnight, bam you’re in love kind of thing, but it didn’t mean I didn’t feel anything for her. The last couple of months had been good for me. I’d been on the right track and I felt like Suzi had something to do with that. I needed to understand why she’d done what Eric was suggesting she’d done.
“Explain it to me, Suzi,” I requested. I was pissed, but trying to be calm because flying off the handle wouldn’t get me anywhere.
“I didn’t know who he was when I met him,” she sighed. “I met Eric a few days after I met you. At the time I was still doing research for the book and I didn’t know if it would go anywhere with either of you.”
“So we were your guinea pigs, is that it?” I wanted to put my fucking fist through the wall.
“No,” she replied. “I didn’t know you guys knew each other right away and when I figured it out it was too late.”
“Too late for what? To be honest? When did you figure it out, Suzi? Before you knew I had feelings for you or after?”
“I don’t know when you started having feelings for me,” she countered, missing the whole point.
“Does it even fucking matter that I did? Maybe you two just laughed at me behind my back.”
“No, he didn’t know either,” she said. It sounded honest.
“So it was just you laughing at me. Stupid asshole I was, right?”
“I started to have feelings for you too,” she told me. That wasn’t a no. “I didn’t know how to tell you or how to break it off with either one of you, so I kept up the charade.”
“Was it worth it? Did you get what you needed for your book?”
“Rasul, that’s not fair–”
“Don’t you fucking dare talk to me about fair!” I finally yelled.
“I’m sorry,” she apologized. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“Was it just two of us or is Jason your boyfriend too? How many of us are there, Sookie or whatever your fucking name is? Ever fuck us both on the same day? I bet you got off on that real good.” I knew from what Eric told me she had an insane sex drive. Not that I ever saw that side of her. It had slipped out a little bit the day we first had sex.
What was a good memory for me was suddenly ruined by the possibility that she had only been with me because Eric or one of her other fuck buddies weren’t available that day.
“Jason is my brother,” she confirmed. “And my name is Sookie, a nickname for Susanna.” She didn’t answer the third question.
“I guess I understand why you kept us both around. Eric was obviously providing all the dick I didn’t,” I said. “You know, I thought I was falling in love with you. Does it matter?”
“It does matter. This doesn’t have to end Ras. I won’t see him anymore,” she promised. That was laughable. As if I believed anything she’d say at that point
“I care for you.” That actually made me laugh in a humorless kind of way. She cared about me, huh? Not enough to stop fucking my brother.
“No you don’t. Someone who had a fucking heart or a conscience wouldn’t do this,” I said angrily. “Every time I’d look at you I’d see you sucking him off or cumming for him. I don’t think I could ever trust you, Sookie.”
“So… this is it?”
“I don’t see any other choice. I hope your book is a huge fucking success.” Something good should come out of the ache in my chest.
“Thanks,” she replied quietly.
“I’m sorry I ever met you, Suzi.”
“It hurts to hear you say that.”
“Good. You deserve it. Have a nice fucking life.” I hung up on her and dropped my phone.
Without thinking twice I went straight to the freezer and pulled out a bottle of vodka I’d left in there. You never knew when an emergency might spring up.
It was going to be a long night.
I hadn’t been sober in about three days. Maintaining my stupor was easy. Why be sober? Nothing good ever fucking came from it. I cashed in some vacation time and stocked up on Grey Goose. It was obvious from the way Eric was looking at me that he didn’t approve, but I didn’t give a fuck. He didn’t care about Suzi. She was just a piece of ass to him.
“I think I’m going to run that fuckin’ watch over,” I said. I’d bought it at a watch shop not far from Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. Eric and I got stuck there on a layover for a blizzard when we were coming back from Iraq. There were lots of clockmakers and the one I went to had a pretty cool selection of stuff. The pocket watch I’d gotten wasn’t mass produced, so it was obvious it was mine.
“Nah, you love that fucking thing. I have a better candidate for your tires,” he sighed. “I’ll get you some water.”
“I don’t want water.” I took another swig from the bottle. Nothing hurt at the moment. Grey Goose, my old friend, was doing its job.
“It wasn’t a question.” Eric went into the kitchen to get me a glass of water. When he came back into the living room he set it down next to the bottle of vodka. “I’d ask how you’re holding up, but I suspect you’re sitting on your ass for a reason.”
“What else would I sit on?”
“Drink your water.”
“No thanks, I’m good.”
Good and drunk. Planning to stay that way. I didn’t really want to be around him at the moment. What happened with Suzi wasn’t his fault, but with his big fucking mouth constantly running about the women he had sex with, I knew way too much about the things he did with Suzi. Sookie. Whatever. Satanna. Huh, that had a nice ring to it.
When I looked at him I could see all the things he’d told me they’d done together and I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t need to put a face to all the kinky things they’d done. I sure as fuck was never going to The Park.
Unless it was to find a new girl to fuck in a dark corner. Hell, maybe I’d even text a few pictures to Suzi. Good book material, right? Then she’d know she didn’t get the best of me.
“I want to go to The Park,” I told Eric. “And if you don’t want to come with me, I’ll call Idris.”
Idris would make sure I stayed hammered. He was a good brother like that. Not like Eric with that fucking worried mother hen look I was getting from him. I was an adult, goddamnit. I didn’t need his permission to drink or to go out. As long as I didn’t drive myself anywhere, he could just fuck off.
Fuck Sookie. She was probably going through dick withdrawal. I would have laughed if I still didn’t want to call her or go see her.
That was the real shitty part. Even after finding out she was a liar, and everything between us had probably been a lie, I wanted to see her. I missed her laugh and the way she curled up next to me on the couch or the way she played with my hair.
Stop it. She’s not worth missing. Get off your ass and go find a girl ten times hotter to fuck the shit out of, and get on with your life.
“What the hell do you want to go there for?” Eric sighed.
“I’m single again.” Duh.
“Do you want me to go with you?” He probably thought it was safer than taking anyone else.
“I can call Idris. He’ll go,” I started to get up and quickly discovered that the room was spinning.
“Have a seat, man,” he told me. “You can’t even stand up.”
“I just need a minute. My legs aren’t land ready,” I replied.
Then promptly fell on the coffee table, snapping one of its legs. Oops. My head hurt too. Ouch.
Damn, I knocked over the vodka…
“Jesus,” Eric sighed. He bent over so he could help me up off the floor. “Come on. Fuck, man, when was the last time you showered?”
“Before Lucy Goosey came for a visit,” I laughed.
“I’m going to toss your smelly ass into the shower. It might sober you up too.”
“Nah, don’t want to be sober. Sober sucks.”
“Sober is more likely to get you a girl that isn’t a lying cunt,” he pointed out. “Sober will make sure your family still likes your stinky ass at the end of the day. Sober, will keep you alive longer. I spent too many fucking nights worried about your drunk ass to go through that shit again.”
“It’s not always about you though, is it?”
“No, it’s not. It’s about you and your health.”
“I’m just fine here, Eric. If I’m bothering you, then leave,” I told him. I wasn’t interested in hearing him sermonize the better part of sobriety. “Besides, you were sober and fell for a lying cunt. Then again, you think with your dick so I’m not surprised.”
“If I was just thinking with my dick I wouldn’t have fucking told you. I would have walked away and let you keep on seeing her. Either way, thinking with my dick keeps me from drowning myself in gallons of fucking vodka over a broken heart.”
“It’s all the same, Eric. You’re escaping instead of dealing, just like I am,” I said. I might have been drunk, but I knew what I was talking about. “You get high on pussy. You’re no better than I am.”
“I’m not high on pussy now, am I? I haven’t fucked anyone else. I fucking care about her too, you dick. You think it was all sex for us, there was more. I felt more. Fuck you, Rasul. I’m not the fucking bad guy here. Sookie or fucking Suzi or whatever the fuck her name is, is the villain.”
“Yeah, she is.” I picked up the bottle of Grey Goose and took a drink. “Now either have a drink with me, or leave.”
He held out his hand for the bottle. I let him have it and fell back on the couch. I meant to close my eyes for just a minute, but it was lights out for me.
Two days later I pulled myself out of the slump I was in and showed up for baseball practice. Maybe pounding homeruns out of the park would make me feel better. It seemed to be working until I saw Suzi’s Chevelle pull into the parking lot. The next pitch that came across the plate I hit as hard as I could, and it sailed through center field and over the fence. Suzi walked toward the dugout dressed in one of her little sundresses.
“I’ll be back.” I handed my bat over to JB and walked away to go talk to the liar who was staring at me with sad eyes.
“Hi,” she said when I approached.
“What are you doing here?”
“I wanted to see you and apologize for what I did to you. I’m sorry, Ras.”
“Great. Anything else?” I was having a good day.
She took a deep breath and said, “I know I did something awful and I don’t have any right to ask for another chance, but if you were to consider it, I promise it would be different.”
“Like you’d only be fucking me on any given day, right?”
“Yes,” she said, and at least looked properly ashamed of herself. “Ras, I’m so, so sorry. I made a lot of bad choices and if I could do things differently, I would.”
“But you can’t. I appreciate your apology, but it changes nothing. I spent four days drunk because of you,” I told her. Tears welled in her eyes.
“Don’t do that to yourself. You’re better than that.”
“No thanks to you. Look, Sookie, it would be great if I could just forget all the stuff I know. Maybe if Eric wasn’t such a good friend I could get past it. We never said we were exclusive, and now I know why you bugged out on me when I mentioned it. It really fucking hurts that you knew you were fucking my best friend and just kept it going like we were both too fucking dumb to figure it out. If he wouldn’t have found my watch, how long would you have kept seeing us both?” I asked her.
“I don’t know,” she answered.
I shook my head.
“I don’t think you ever intended to tell either of us the truth. I think as soon as you had me on the hook, you would have cut me loose. What you did is sick and cruel,” I said. “And no, I don’t forgive you for it.”
Her spine stiffened a little bit as a tear rolled down her cheek.
“This isn’t who I am, Rasul. I know you don’t believe it, but this doesn’t define me,” she said.
“Maybe to you it doesn’t, but for me and Eric, it absolutely does. If you’re planning on going to talk to him, you better do it in public or he’ll slam the door in your face,” I advised. He was even more pissed off than I was.
Yeah, I was angry but I was more hurt. I was starting to see a future with Sookie. What I wasn’t planning on was having mental images of her riding my best friend. The few times we’d had sex had been pretty damn passionate. Not as wild as the stuff Eric described, but still good.
“I’m going to apologize to him too. He deserves it,” she said.
“Damn right he does.”
“I hope someday you’ll hate me less,” Sookie said. It was still weird to think of the woman I knew by a different name. She had lied to me from the beginning. Why did she give me a different name? She must have had it planned that she was going to take more than one lover.
“That day is a long way from today.”
She nodded again and turned to go. I couldn’t say why I did it, but I reached out and turned her back to face me. My lips crashed into hers and she responded. The kiss was powerful and had all kinds of emotion in it.
None of them stronger than goodbye.
When the kiss ended I took a step back.
“Goodbye, Suzi,” I said. I needed to say goodbye to the version of her that I knew.
Either she was a good actress or she really did care about me because she nodded with tears streaming down her cheeks.
“Goodbye, Rasul.” She turned on her heel and walked toward the Chevelle. I contemplated calling Eric to warn him, but I knew he’d either bolt from Monkey Bar or have Sookie denied access to the business.
He could be a stubborn jackass when he wanted to be.
I watched Sookie drive away and then I went back to my practice. The only way to move forward was to put one foot in front of the other, and that was exactly what I did.