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PostSubject: You Learn    You Learn  EmptyDecember 1st 2013, 10:10 pm

You Learn  963127d1246406520-faces-michael-jackson-1984_798_pakwheels-com-
You Learn  Tumblr_mx9v7iJjrB1t0vir9o1_500
You Learn  Tumblr_mmihm6rglf1r3gb6ao1_500


"You never shed tears. You're so fucking heartless." Thuy says to me as she's...well, shedding tears. She's leaving me, walking right out the door. It really isn't fair that she's telling me I never cry. I've cried plenty. She says it's hard for me to show my emotion. Maybe that's true. I still don't like that she's saying it though. And leaving me.

"You see me standing here, five seconds away from leaving you, and you have nothing to say to me. NOTHING AT ALL!"

"I can't help the way that things went down, Thuy. Don't you think if I could have prevented this from happening, I would have?" I said calmly, standing up, as I'd been sitting the whole conversation. I reach out for her. She pulls away from me.

"Forgive me when I say no. I can't believe you'd fucking do this to me."

"And forgive me for asking what it is that I've done to you? You have to know that this is just as hard on me as it is on you."

"Hard on you....HARD ON YOU? As far as I'm concerned, you've gotten plenty of love from...." Her voice trails off and she swallows hard.

Thuy then looks at me in disgust. For the first time in almost ten years, her eyes look at me and I don't see the one thing I always thought she'd had for me, that we'd shared: Love.

She then picks up her bags, and starts towards the door.

"Thuy...?" I say

She stops for a moment and I think, hope, that she'll change her mind (and that her changing her mind and deciding to stay could change the way that I feel). But she keeps going, opening the door, stepping through it, closing the door, without a word more.

Then the sound of the car starting, and driving off. Then complete silence.

For a few moments anyway. Then I hear footsteps coming down the long wooden staircase.

"How are you?"

I'm at first too in a daze to respond, still staring at the door and at the spot my love of 9 years stood and told me she hated me.

Long arms wrap themselves around my waist. Soft lips kiss the base of my neck.

"Are you okay?" A soft whisper reaches my ear.

I close my eyes, because they've suddenly started to sting. See how wrong she was?

I would've been okay. If only she'd said "I still love you." one more time, if only she'd just turned around. But she left me with nothing.

I just sighed.

At that moment, I wished what Thuy said was true.

Last edited by Complicated on February 2nd 2014, 11:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: You Learn    You Learn  EmptyJanuary 3rd 2014, 6:26 pm

Whoa your usual cliff hanger beginnings have yet again stunned me past words. I'm oblivious to all that's going on and it makes me crave more
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PostSubject: Re: You Learn    You Learn  EmptyFebruary 2nd 2014, 11:12 am

Haha Thanks, I think. Smile I have more coming right now!
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PostSubject: Re: You Learn    You Learn  EmptyFebruary 2nd 2014, 11:20 am

Chapter One - How This Mess Began

“Hurry up, Thuy! They’re waiting for me at the studio and I don’t want to be late!” I said to Thuy, who’s walking six feet behind me.

“You’re overreacting. It’s only 8 o’clock and you don’t have to be there until ten. You’re acting like the studio is in Timbuktu and you only have 5 minutes to get there. I understand you’re nervous but just relax, baby. Everything is going to be great.”

I hoped she was right. That day was my first day as an apprentice photographer under one of my idols, Jenna Hanratty. Jenna was one of the best photographers in the world and I was beyond ecstatic that I had been chosen as to be her apprentice.

“I just really want to impress her, you know?” I said, and sighed wistfully. “This could open up a lot of different opportunities for me. For us.”

She smiled, unlocking the passenger door for me. “I know. Let’s get through today first, though, okay?”

Thuy walked in with me, holding my hand, for moral support. I told myself everything was going to be okay but all I really wanted to do was run out the door and never, EVER, look back.

“Michael, I have to go to work. My boss will fucking flip if I’m late. Can you handle everything by yourself?” Thuy asked me

I nodded slowly, even though I wasn’t really sure if I could handle things by myself.

She smiled and hugged me tightly. “It’s just the first day. You can do this, champ.” She said in my ear.

Then she was off and I was by myself, standing in a studio full of loud, busy people.

I walked in, to the receptionist desk in the lobby area. There sat a very wrinkled old lady with blue hair and cheetah print specs. Her name card on the desk read “Maude Simmons”

“Hello, Miss Simmons. I’m Michael Jackson. I’m here to see Ms. Hanratty?”

She didn’t say anything, but typed something into her computer. “One of the interns?”

“Yes!” I said, way more heartily than I should have.

She didn’t notice. “Room 5A. Down the hall. She’s holding intros for all the interns in there. Hurry. You’re late.”

I knew it.

“Thank you” I said and hurried down the hallway, past a large room where a model was having her pictures taken.

Room 5A loomed ahead of me. I could see the outlines of people inside. These were the people that I would be spending the next 6 or 7 months with. What if they didn’t like me? Or worse, what if Jenna didn’t?

I walked in, and it seemed all eyes turned to me, all at once.

Jenna was sitting in the middle of the room while everyone else sat in a circle around her in hard plastic blue chairs.

Her young beautifully freckled face smiled at me.

“Hi. Who are you?” She asked.

“M-Michael. Jackson.”

She checked a clipboard she had sitting in her lap. “Ahh, there you are. Nice to meet you. I’m Jenna. Take a seat anywhere.”

“Anywhere” just so happened to be the only seat left. It was next to a tall skinny white guy with brown hair and brown eyes, and a chubby Hispanic girl with blonde streaks in her jet black hair.

The guy watched me right up until the moment I took my seat next to him.

“Okay, guys. My name is Jenna Hanratty as you all probably know. And you all are a very special bunch. You will be learning the ropes of being a photog from me, personally. This program will teach everything from how to use your camera to how to find good models, and finding ways to get your pictures published. You guys will be here for 6 months. You are to come in Monday through Friday, and you’ll be given a brand new task to accomplish every day. The program will run from….”

I got distracted. I could feel a pair of eyes staring a hole in the side of my head. I turned slowly and ended looking into the mud brown eyes of Anorexic Du Jour sitting next to me.

He smiled. “Hi, my name is Truman.” He whispered. “But you can call me Tru.”

He extended his hand and I stared a moment before taking it.

“My name is Michael.” I said and smiled back. “And you can..”

“You guys are awfully chummy already.” Jenna said to us and grinned. “I can tell you guys are going to be best pals.”

Tru blushed and smiled at me. I just looked away.

After we’d all introduced ourselves, all 10 of us (Besides me and Tru, there was Talia, Marti and her twin brother Martin, Emmanuela, Patrick, Jonathan, Lena, and Yulia.), Jenna took us all down to get our cameras and to get us acquainted with them.

We each stepped into the room and picked one up. Jenna then put our names on them with a label maker so that we wouldn’t lose them. “Lose it and you’re ass out.” She told us, with that ever-present smile on her face.

Tru came and stood by me with his in his hands. “Cool, huh? This Nikon is top of the line.”

“Uhh. Yeah. Real cool.” I said, even though I didn’t give Shit One about the damn camera and at what point it was on the so-called “line”. I also couldn’t figure out why this guy had taken such a fucking fancy to me either.

Jenna showed us how to turn the cameras on and how to angle them to get the best lighting, using each other as subjects. Tru, of course, wanted to take my picture.

“Smile, Michael.” Tru said, angling his camera at me.

I gave a twisted, half smirk. One that said “I really don’t wanna be rude, but could you please fuck off?”

He grinned and snapped the picture anyway. Geez, This kid. Some people just can’t take a fucking hint.


At 3, we were all headed home. I thought sure Thuy would be waiting for me when I got out but she wasn’t. It was chilly, only 30 degrees, and I really didn’t want to wait. But home was too far away and I didn’t feel like walking either. Add that on to the fact that I didn’t have a clue where I even was. We’d had to use MapQuest just to find the damn place.

Everyone else had gotten into their cars, bikes, cabs, and I was the only one left. At least I thought I was. Then around 5 minutes after the last person left the studio, Tru stepped out and headed to his 1997 Gray Buick. I didn’t want him to talk to me, so I pulled out my phone and pretended to look busy. I decided to text Thuy. ‘Please come get me. Where are you, anyway? There’s a fucking psycho who won’t leave me alone. Please hurry. I’m fucking freezing.’ Send.

I had actually become entranced with something on Facebook, when a loud honk! snapped me out of it. I didn’t want to look up because I knew what the honk was from, but I had jumped. Noticeably. There was no way I couldn’t have heard it and I would’ve been an outright jackass if I’d just ignored it. So I looked up and had my worst nightmare confirmed. Tru had pulled his car up to where I was standing, and had proceeded to roll his window down. “Hey, Michael. Are you stuck out here or something?”

Ugh. No. I’m just standing out here because its what all the cool MFs are doing.

“Uh, yeah. My girlfriend is supposed to be here but I guess she’s running a little late.”

“Well, I could take you home, or wherever you want to go, if you want.”

The thought of him knowing where I lived wasn’t too friggin’ exciting but I was really tired and ready to go already. So I agreed, got in the car, and told him my address.

It was awkward to say the least. Tru wanted to know all about me. I told him very little. I was 21, My last name was Jackson, I had a girlfriend named Thuy. I had 8 brothers and sisters.

He, on the other hand, was a lot less restricted when it came to conversation and he told me plenty about himself. His full name was Truman Anthony Hastings and he was 24 years old. He told me everything from his home life to his job as a waiter at Palermo’s. Everything from politics to his view on world affairs. I didn’t give fuck the first about any of it, not at the beginning anyway, so I just smiled and nodded until we got to my door.

He pulled into my driveway, and I quickly unbuckled my seatbelt and got out. “Thanks for the ride, dude. ‘Preciate it.” I said, closing the door.

“No problem.” He said. “Anytime.”

I headed toward the door, looking around for Thuy’s car and not seeing it in the driveway. Where had she made her way off to?

As I walked up to the door though I felt like somebody was watching me. I turned around, to see Tru still sitting his car, looking at me.

He grinned and waved.

I gave him that twisted half smirk. You know. The one that very clearly (but politely) said “Fuck off”? And his grin grew wider.

I closed the door without waving or anything.

Ugh, Geez. Some people just can’t take a fucking hint.

Chapter Two - Poison Ivy

When Thuy finally came home, it was 9:30 at night.

“What happened to you?” I asked.

She sighed. “My car broke down and I had to take the bus home. 4 hours on public transportation. The worst fucking day of my life, by far.”

“Ugh, you’re telling me. I had ride home with a fucking psychopath. Did you get my text earlier?”

She laughed. “Yeah, I did. What’s wrong with him exactly?”

“Well, this guy named Truman, or Tru, as he likes to be called apparently, has taking an absolute fucking liking to me, and I have no idea why.”

“Awww, he probably just wants to be friends with you. Give it a chance, honey.”

I rolled my eyes. “Well, I don’t particularly want to be friends but shit, if I must…”

“You must.” She said, and smiled. “Now I’m going to take a shower. It’s freezing outside!”

Thuy headed towards the bathroom, stopping to give me a little smooch on the forehead.

I rolled my eyes again. Be friends with Beanpole? Never. Something was up with him, and I didn’t like it.

The next morning, the doorbell rang. I turned over in bed. Thuy was still asleep next to me. I looked at the clock sitting on the table on her side of the bed. It read ‘6:32 a.m.’

I sighed loudly. Who the fuck could be AWAKE this early? Let alone be at my friggin’ door?

I got up and shuffled slowly downstairs to see who my morning nuisance was. I opened the door and who should be standing there, but our new pal, Tru?

He smiled and pushed his glasses up on his face. “Hi, Michael.”

“Uh, hi. Tru, right?” I said

“Yeah.” He grinned. “I just thought maybe you needed a ride. Your house, as it turns out isn’t exactly out of my way.”

“Um,that’s really nice of you, Truman.” I said, “But as you can see, I’m barely ready. Hell, I’m not even out of my pajamas. And anyway, you’re more than a bit early.”

His smile faded. “Oh okay. Yeah, I get you. It is kinda early, isn’t it? Well, I’ll see you at the studio later.”

He waved and began to walk away.

Despite my better judgment, I felt guilty watching him. He’d driven to my house to see if I needed a ride and I’d had a little bass in my voice when I told him, basically, that he was a shithead for even coming over here.

“Hey, Tru!” I yelled out, just before he got in his car. He looked up. I motioned for him to come back.

“You want some coffee? I was just about to have breakfast.” I said when he was standing on my porch again.

Tru’s grin almost pushed the ears off the sides of his head. He nodded. “I’d like to stay if you don’t mind.”

Tru stayed for breakfast (I’d made coffee, eggs, bacon and toast) and waited for me to shower, get dressed, and say goodbye to Thuy.

Thuy was a little shy to come downstairs and say hi to Tru.

“Aren’t you the one that wanted me to befriend the guy in the first place? Well, I invited him to have breakfast. The least you could do is say a damn hello after getting me into this.”

She sighed loudly. “Fine. How bad could he be?” She slipped on a large sweater over her bra and underwear and began downstairs.

“Aren’t you gonna put on some pants?”

“Why should I? He’s your company. Not mine.”

I just shook my head and pulled my own red and black Rolling Stones T-shirt over my head.

When I came downstairs, Tru had engaged Thuy in conversation. About only the Lord knows what. But Thuy looked interested. Way more interested than she’d ever been in any of my conversation.

“Okaaaayyyy, Tru. I’m ready if you are.” I said, clapping my hands together.

Tru stood up. “Great. Let’s go.” He said, looking me over.

Thuy stood up too, strolling over to kiss me goodbye.

“See ya, later.” She said to me, before turning to Tru. “It was really nice to meet you, Tru.”

He smiled. “Nice to meet you too, Thuy.”

She smiled back and headed upstairs again. She didn’t have to be at work until 12:00 that day. I envied her.

That day’s task was to go outside and capture the “Perfect Fall Moment”, as Jenna put it.

“So, Basically, we go outside and freeze to death just to get a picture of some funny colored leaves?” I asked, to no one in particular.

Tru giggled and put his arm around my shoulder.

I turned my head to look at it. Then I looked around to make sure no one saw, before I shrugged it off.

I ended up getting a good picture of a squirrel with strange orangish fur that almost blended perfectly with the leaves on the ground.

When we looked over the pictures back in the studio, Jenna told me I’d had the best picture of the day. In front of everybody. You could see the steam coming off of those bitches’ heads. I just smiled, like the Grinch did when he stole motherfuckin’ Christmas.

When it was time to go, Marti ran up to me. I thought this was weird as she was not the talking type, unless it was to her brother Martin, and she’d barely said more than two words to me before.

“Hey, Michael.” She said.

“Uh,Hey Marti. What’s up?” I said.

“I totally have something to talk to you about.” She said, running her hair through her dishwater blonde hair.


“Well, Tru was talking to me while we were taking our pictures and…”

She trailed off and smiled weirdly.

“What are you grinning about..?” I said, turning around to see Tru coming behind me.

“Hi, Tru!” Marti said.

“Hi, Marti.” Tru said, then turned to me. “Want t a ride home?”

I nodded. I had no other way to get home.

“Sure, but um, just give me a second alright?”

Tru walked off towards the car and I gave my attention back to Marti.

“Now what were you saying?”

“I’m just gonna cut to the chase. I think Tru is very cute and I wanted to know if he would consider going out with me. But today when I was trying to talk to him, all he could talk about was you.”

My mouth got dry.

“And anyway, I thought since maybe you all were close that you can maybe get in for me. I know it seems like a lot to ask of you so soon, seeing as how we don’t know each other that well yet, but I really like him. Please?” She continued

“Um, sure. Marti.”

She squealed and hugged me. “Thanks so much!” Then she ran off.

No matter how thirsty Marti seemed to be, I was going to try to hook her up with Tru. I was just relieved that she thought he was talking about me as a friend. It gave me hope that that was all he looked at me as.

I headed to the car and got in the passenger seat.

When Tru pulled off, I had decided to broach the subject of Marti.

“So, Tru. What do you think about Marti?” I asked.

He shrugged. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, she’s cute right? And I hear that she thinks you’re pretty cute too.”

He shrugged again. “Meh. I think she’s alright. But she really isn’t my type.”

Aw. Poor Marti. I actually felt bad. Maybe she seemed a little desperate but she had really fallen hard for Truman Hastings. I guess there is such a thing as lust at first sight.

Tru swallowed hard. He looked nervous. As long as I’d known him (which was approximately 36 hours at that point), he’d never not been smiling. He was oddly serious.

“I think you should give her a chance. She seems like a really sweet girl. She just wants to get to know you, is all.” I pushed.

Tru stayed silent for a minute or two. Then he smiled. “I guess it wouldn’t do any harm. If she really likes me.”

“Good.” I said, feeling like my mission had been accomplished.

When I looked over at Tru though, his eyes were dark and his smile was gone.

Chapter 3 – She’s No You

I admit that I was a bit too excited to see how that date with Tru and Marti would go. I just knew they’d hit it off and Marti would come in to the studio the next day with a glow, if you know what I mean.

“I’m a fucking matchmaker now.” I told Thuy the night Tru said he would go out with Marti.

She laughed. “Oh, really? And who did you match?”

“These two people at my internship. They’re gonna friggin’ thank me later.” I said. I could picture them going to dinner and having a nice time. They were both a little odd, so I figured they’d have a fucking blast.

As it turns out, the date was a disaster. As Marti told me, distraught, the date went a little like this: Tru went up to Marti and said “So, Michael told me you like me, or something?”

Marti smiled and said, “Yeah. And I was wondering if you would like to go out to dinner with me tonight?”

Tru shrugged and said “Uh, yeah. Why not?”

Now, here’s where it gets bad. Tru was rude to Marti the whole dinner. He took her to where he worked at the Italian restaurant Palermo’s, so he could get the employee discount. Even with the meal discounted, he still made her pay half the bill, even though he had racked up most of it. Whenever she’d try to talk, he talked over her. She had made an attempt at asking what his family life was like and he responded with an indignant: “Why?”

He sat on his phone the entire time, looking at profiles and uploading pictures on to Instagram. When Marti finally got fed up, she got up to walk out, expecting Tru to come after her or at least offer a ride home, but he didn’t. He just ordered dessert.

“It was like the Titanic, Michael.” Marti told me, almost in tears. “It just fucking sank.”

Hearing how shitty Tru‘s behavior towards Marti was, actually incensed me. I later went up to him and asked “What the hell did you do to Marti?”

He just blinked. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, that Marti is bawling her eyes out because she said you treated her like dirt.”

Tru opened his mouth to speak again, but Jenna called his name, probably to discuss the photos he’d taken for that day’s task. We were to find a person and try to capture exactly what we thought they were feeling in that moment. Jenna was big on individualism. She always wanted to speak to you like YOU, like one solitary person.

Tru ended up being the one who got Jenna’s praise that day. When everyone clapped for him, Marti just hid her face in her brother’s arm. I looked at him and frowned.

Now usually, I would find the whole thing with Tru and Marti hilarious. But for some reason, knowing how badly he’d treated her made me angry. Mostly because….how dare someone be as weird as Tru and treat someone else like shit?

An end to another day. Marti asked for my number. I guess I made a new friend. I wrote down 679-555-7890 on the paper and handed it to her. She smiled and hugged me.

I was expecting Tru to come asking me if I wanted a ride but he was nowhere to be found after that day’s session.

I waited outside for about 10 minutes but I never saw him come out. I went into the studio. Jenna was standing at the receptionist’s desk talking to Maude Simmons.

“Excuse me, Jenna. Have you seen Tru?”

“Oh yeah, I sure did. He left about 20 minutes ago. Why? Is everything alright?” She asked

I frowned but told her everything was fine, before going outside and wandering around for an hour and a half before finally finding a cab that would take me home.

I was pissed at first but I got over it quickly. ‘Shit, I didn’t want to ride with the freak anyway. ‘ I thought, ‘He didn’t have to give me a ride if he didn’t want to.’

I finally arrived back home at around 7:30 that night. Thuy had cooked dinner: baked Macaroni, tossed salad, and pork chops. But I was exhausted and almost fell face forward into my plate. I went over to the couch in the living room, fell over and knocked out.

It was the loud ding of the doorbell that woke me up out of my sleep. I pulled back the blanket Thuy must have put over me while I was sleeping, then stood up and looked at the clock in the kitchen. It showed 11:24 p.m.

I slugged over to the front door and opened it.

Tru was standing there, fidgeting with the buttons on his coat. He looked up and smiled when he saw me.

This kid had no sense of time, did he?

I sighed loudly, not caring at all if he saw my annoyance.

“Hi, Michael.” He said. “Can we talk?”

I sighed again. “Make it quick.”

More fidgeting.

“TRU!” I said. “IT’S FUCKING LATE! State your business or beat it!”

“Okay.” He said, and took a deep breath.

I motioned for him to come inside. It was cold and I was growing angrier by the second that he’d shown up so late and had me standing in the door with my pajamas on.

We sat down on the couch.

He breathed again and said, “I didn’t want to treat Marti badly. But I didn’t want to hurt her feelings by just telling her that I didn’t like her and it seemed easier to be rude. You know, so she wouldn’t like ME.”

I just blinked. This didn’t make an ounce of sense but I nodded as if I understood every word of it.

Tru continued, “I know I may have taken it too far, but I really didn’t know what else to do.”

I shook my head. “I think you should tell her all of this. And tell me, what exactly is wrong with Marti that it would be just impossible for you to like her? She’s pretty and she seems like she’s really sweet.”

Tru once again began to fidget with the buttons of his coat.

I sighed. “That wasn’t a rhetorical question.”

“Because I….” Tru began but his words turned into incomprehensible jumble.


“Because I want you.” He spoke up and what he said was unmistakably clear that time.

And before I even knew what was happening, Tru swiftly pressed his cold lips to mine.

Just as quickly as he’d done it, he’d backed away, stood up and headed for the door. In c=fact, he was practically running.

“Whoa, Tru. What the fuck was that all about? TRU!” I yelled after him. He didn’t turn around, just closed the front door after him. I could hear his car start up outside and then the sound of tires screeching on pavement. I sat on the couch, stunned. Too shocked to move. I touched my lips and felt heat rise in my face, all the way up to my hairline, and I just knew that my face had turned a dark beet red.

Thuy came downstairs. “What are you yelling about, sweetie? It’s midnight. Are you okay?”

I looked at the front door and stayed silent for a few moments.

“Michael! Are you alright?” Thuy asked again.

“Yeah I’m…fine. I was just having a nightmare.”

Chapter Four – Faster Than Boys

The next morning Tru didn’t try to pick me up and take me to the studio and I was more than happy to take a cab. At breakfast, Thuy asked me if I was alright.

“Are you okay? You’ve been just sitting and staring at the wall for like 15 minutes now.”

I swallowed hard but didn’t exactly break out my trance. “Uh, yeah. I’m great, babe.”

Even though I wasn’t looking at her, I could tell she didn’t believe me. But I had other things on my mind.

When I arrived at the studio that day, Tru didn’t even look in my direction. I liked it that way. Or at least, I thought I liked it that way.

I was going about my merry way that day. It was Friday and on Fridays, we found out, we were allowed free time, time to take pictures of whatever we found interesting. Even though this program was semi-competitive, we still enjoyed being there to see each other’s work and progress.

Marti, Martin and Lena were standing around me, sharing gossip, they’d heard about the others. I was just enjoying having company, not so much sharing as I was listening. That was, until I heard my name and Tru’s name in the same sentence.

“I heard something about you and Tru, Michael.” Lena said, smiling wickedly

I looked up from my camera. “Oh, really? And what is that?”

Lena’s smile spread wide across her face. She looked like that damn Cheshire cat from Alice and Wonderland. “Well, before you got here this morning, Tru was telling us about how apparently you called him to your house last night. And that when he got there, you were all over him.”

I was enraged. “What do you mean, ‘all over him’?” I said through tightly gritted teeth.

“You know. Like, you tried to do the horizontal moonwalk with him. Right up the dook-shoot!”

Marti and Martin both chuckled at that.

“He said he told you he didn’t think of you that way and that he got up and left as fast as he could.” Lena said. “He said you were practically dying to jump his bones but he told you he wasn’t interested.”

I was so angry, I could barely move. The others just stood and looked at me. I closed my eyes and balled my hands into fists.

I only opened them when I heard Tru laughing somewhere in the distance. My eyes followed the sound until they landed on Tru laughing with Jonathan and Emmanuela a few feet away.

I made a bee line straight for him. I was seeing fucking red and I could hardly breathe.

“HEY!” I said, making Jonathan and Emmanuela jump and back away.


Tru tried to play dumb. He batted his stupid lashes. “What do you mean, Michael?”

“I THINK THAT YOU KNOW FULL FUCKING WELL AS TO WHAT I MEAN. You’re going around and making rumors that I hit on you? GROSS, DUDE!” I said, contorting my face in disgust and shivering just for effect.

He opened his mouth to speak but I cut him off. “I’M NOT DONE! You came to my house on your own at 12:00 in the morning and tried to KISS ME ON MY COUCH! I can prove it with the all the fucking skid marks you left on my driveway, when you ran away because you knew I don’t want you!”

The whole group, even Jenna, had come over to watch, in awe, in horror, in amusement, as I literally tore Tru’s self esteem to shreds. And at that moment, I didn’t feel bad.

Tru’s lip began to tremble as he looked around to see everyone’s steel pointed eyes staring at him.

“Well, but…” He began and a tear spilled over the edge of his eye onto his cheek, which was now a bright embarrassed red.

“Well, but…”I mocked him. “But nothing. You can start all the rumors you want. But the fact of the matter is that even if I was gay, I still wouldn’t be CAUGHT DEAD interested in you.”

I spat out those last words as if they were like garbage in my mouth.

I turned and stormed away, back towards the studio. As I walked, I heard somebody say “Oh, I’m so sorry, Tru.” Which, of course, filled me with the desire to turn around and see the wreckage that was Truman Hastings.

But when I turned, I saw Tru with his face buried in Marti’s arms. He was shaking. And sobbing.

I shrugged it off. ‘He’s probably just faking it to get sympathy. Bastard.’

I walked on, past the building and to the bus stop, three blocks away.

That night, Marti called me to check up on me.

“You left so early and I didn’t know if something was wrong with you. Is everything okay?” She asked.

“Yeah. Why wouldn’t it be?” I asked.

“Well…It’s just that you kinda blew up on Tru today and…”

“And what?” I said

“And….he was very upset. He bawled his eyes out in fact. When he saw that you’d gone home early, that just made it worse. Poor guy’s eyes were swollen from crying.”

I shrugged as if she was able to see me. “So?”

She sighed on the other line. “Lena was just playing with you. She was just trying to mess with your head.”


“Tru didn’t really say those things. All he said was that he’d gone to your house last night and that it didn’t end well.”

“Of all the piss and grit…..What the hell did she do that for? I made a complete ASS of myself today!”

Marti remained silent for a second or three, then she said “Lena just likes to see people squirm. I learned that about her right away. When I told her that I liked Tru, she told me I’d have more fun sitting my twat on a bed of nails.”

“And why didn’t you stop her, or me for that matter, if you knew what she was up to?”

“Oh, I didn’t. She didn’t tell me until after you were already long gone. She thought it was funny. Fucking hilarious in fact. Meanwhile, poor Tru was still sniffling in the corner.”

Remember when I said I didn’t feel bad? Well, that quickly changed.

“He likes you, Michael.” Marti said, “A lot. I just know it. Everyone does.”

I knew it too. The fact scared me. But all at the same time, it fascinated me, peaked my interest.

Marti piped up, yet again. “Maybe you don’t like him back. All I’m trying to tell you that you should do is be nice to the kid. Because right now, you’re acting like he’s committing a crime by liking you.”

I sighed. “Alright, Marti. Now, if that’s all, I need to go stick my face in the garbage disposal.”

Marti laughed and I half chuckled myself. “Goodnight, Michael.”

After Marti hung up, I sat down on the couch and buried my face in my hands. I was enjoying the silence. Everybody was going to think I was such an asshole. Everyone was going to say “That Michael guy is such a fucking hot head.” Everyone was going to say…

I had no more time to think about all the awful things people would say about me because my phone rang again. I picked it up off the table and said, “Hello?”

The other line was silent.

“Hello?” I said again

Then someone on the other line cleared their throat and said a raspy “Hi, Michael.”

“Uh, hi. Who is this?”

“It’s Tru. Please don’t be mad. Marti gave me your number.”


“Please don’t be mad at me, Michael.” He said again, “I didn’t say those things about you. Honest. I would never say those things. All I said was that…”

“I know.”

“You do?”

“Yeah, I do. Marti just called me and explained everything. I know you didn’t say all that shit about me.”

Tru exhaled. Relief. But he didn’t say anything.

“Listen, I really didn’t mean those things I said. And I really didn’t mean to make you cry. I just have a really bad temper and sometimes it’s hard for me to control that temper sometimes.”

“I understand. It’s okay.” Tru said solemnly.

“You sure?” I asked.

“Yeah. I mean, it’s not like I’m not used to it.”

That made me feel awful.

“I’m so sorry, Tru. I really am.”

“No, really, it’s fine. I promise. Look, if you don’t like me, it’s cool. I can’t force you to.”

“Maybe we could spend some time together. You know, like friends?” I said.

“I would love that!” Tru said, and I could hear the smile in his voice.

“How about we see a movie or something tomorrow?”

“Yeah. I’ll pick you up at 7. I’ll take you dinner afterwards.”

“Alright.” I said. “See you tomorrow. Goodnight.”

After he hung up, the smile I’d had on my face faded. Had I just agreed to go on a date? With Tru? Was I actually the least bit interested in him after all? It couldn’t be. I was straight, I had a girlfriend who I’d made it with more than anyone could dream of.

Thuy walked in through the front door. “Hey, baby. What’s shaking?”

“Nothing.” I said, standing up to kiss her. “Thinking.”

Just thinking.
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