So if you’ll remember from my post two weeks ago on Cheating, I had mentioned some on-and-off flirtation between Jared and me that went on last spring. If you’ll recall from that post, I had decided to definitively break off relations with Jared after yet another of his “I still like you / let’s see where this goes” quasi-dating phases, and he had, during said phrase, taken another girl out to dinner was now full-on dating her. Then he cheated on said girl with me.
I saw Jared again after that when he was on a business trip to NYC a few weeks afterward. Annoyed by the constant back-and-forth waltzing, I decided to grant him another ultimatum, this time to make clear the status of our relationship: friends, purely hook-up, or dating.
He asked me whether friends with benefits was an option. I said no.
“Friends then,” he replied. Then he added, “You know, I actually wanted to hang out with you, not just hook up.”
Right, I thought to myself. But, to be nice, I suggested, “How about we hang out in SF when I visit in two weeks then?”
“I don’t know,” he began, biting his lip. “I think it might be awkward, with the girlfriend and all.”
“What, you can’t spare a Saturday afternoon?” I teased.
He looked up at the ceiling. “She stays over on weekends.”
“Aren’t you planning on breaking up with her anyway?”
“Yeah, but I’m supposed to help her out with this event she’s putting together. I’ll break up with her after that.”
“So I probably won’t see you at all,” he adds.
Making the executive decision to wash my hands of him, I rolled my eyes and left his place.
Imagine my surprise when, a few weeks later, late the night before I’m supposed to catch my flight to SFO, when Jared called me, waking me up from a rather pleasant dream I’d been having about going home.
“Herrrmpho?” I mumbled, face still buried in my pillow.
“Hey baby,” Jared crooned, obviously a little inebriated.
“Ohrr you. Wherz upp,” I croaked.
“Are you sleeping?” Jared asked, and not the least bit rhetorically, I observed.
I pulled the phone away from my cheek to check the time. 2:00 AM read the clock. I groaned.
“Only 2 a.m.!” he chirped.
“What do you want,” I demanded, now wide awake.
“I’m at karaoke with Bert, and when I’m at karaoke, I always think of you.”
“Baby, are you excited to come tomorrow?” he asked, suddenly upbeat.
“Of course I am,” I responded, still mourning for my peaceful slumber just 30 seconds ago.
“Am I going to see you? Let’s hang out. I want to see you.”
I rolled my eyes. “You’re the one that said you couldn’t see me.”
“Oh. Right.” He changed course. “Who’s picking you up from the airport. Do you need a ride?”
“I have a ride.”
“Oh. Well. I can give you a ride. You should let me give you a ride.”
I clutched at my forehead. “I have a ride,” I repeated.
“Hey, aren’t you going to a wedding on Sunday?” he went on blithely.
“Do you have a date?”
“Wait: Can I be your date?”
“It’s 2 in the morning. I’m going to sleep.”
“Let me give you a ride from the airport.”
“Have you broken up with your girlfriend yet?”
“Oh, right.” He hummed to himself. “I was thinking of breaking up with her on Friday.”
“So we probably shouldn’t even be talking right now.” I lovingly caressed my pillow, which was beckoning to me.
“Well,” Jared started, sounding excited. “What if I break up with her on Thursday, and then I can give you a ride.”
I blinked paused for a second. Then I shook my head. “Good night, Jared,” I said, then hung up.
Jared’s late-night dial aside, I arrived back home as planned. Come Saturday, I was preparing for my designated night of partying with the ol’ SF folks. A number of friends and friends and friends had decided to appointed as our destination a hot of-the-moment club called The Grand.
The Grand is pretty epic. It’s very hip, very New York, very hot DJs and very expensive. It’s also situated just across the street from Jared’s apartment.
My posse and I decided to make a table reservation, and seeing as how I was dropping 60 bucks on a night out, I wanted to make damn sure I was getting my money’s worth off the bottle we had purchased. And so, sufficiently hopped up on my share of vodka pineapples, I assumed my usual drunk flirtatious self and started flirting and dancing with Kevin.
Kevin was a friend of a friend I had met around three weeks prior through my New York buddy Scott. Kevin used to live in NYC but moved to SF to work in venture capital for a company called Crosslink.
Kevin and I have been sporadically flirting throughout most of the night, dancing and drinking together, then parting, then exchanging (not so) witty repartee, then parting… in cycles. We’re once again in the purposefully avoiding each other stage of the cycle when I get a text from Jared.
R u inside [the club] yet? he asked.
lol yes. we’re already drinking. where you at? I texted back.
In my apt… I’d rather be having fun with you 😦
I looked up and caught Kevin’s eye. Smiling, and then coyly averting my gaze, I replied noncommittally in the hopes that Jared would stop interrupting my flirtations with Kevin: you should come out?
Jared had mentioned earlier that he was dogsitting that night, and sure enough, the dog’s owners hadn’t come to pick the dog up just yet. Come say hi later if I can’t come out ? he lamented. I’m being emo.
mmm naw prob not I responded.
Oh okay 😦 no wedding tomorrow ? Take me to your wedding let me charm you
I nearly spilled my current drink on my phone in my haste to respond: no.
An hour or two later, Jared texted again: Still there ??
Me: where are you
Jared: I’m here
As promised, Jared had showed up. By this time, I was plenty tipsy and friendly to everyone at that point, so I hugged him, then pulled him over to the dance floor and danced with him for a little bit. Then in very drunk ADD fashion, we went back to our table where, lo and behold, Kevin was sitting. When he saw me, he got up and came over to me. I turned to Jared and made my excuses — “Dancing. Be right back!” — and went off with Kevin to the dance floor.
So Kevin and I danced. We made eyes at each other. And then Kevin leaned in to the kiss me.
Naturally, I dodged, not wanting to be that girl on the dance floor. But after the first few attempts, a voice in my head reminded me I was single and on vacation.
Ah, what the hell, I told myself. Hoping we were deep enough in the crowd that we were well concealed, we embarked on an innocent make-out session on the dance floor.
I was wrong about being sufficiently concealed. When the club closed its door some 20 minutes later, and Kevin was leading me by the hand toward his friends so we could all go grab food together, I involuntarily squawked when I felt my body being jerked back by a hand tugging on my opposite arm. I turned my head and saw Jared. Flames were all but incinerating his eyes, and there was definitely steam billowing from his nostrils.
“Where are you going? Are you really leaving with him?” he demanded furiously.
I glanced over at Kevin. He was casually holding onto my other hand, looking more confused than anything at the unexpected exchange with Jared.
I returned my attention to Jared. “Err, why not?” I asked, squeezing Kevin’s hand.
“Are you fucking serious?” Jared let go of my arm.
I shrugged. “What do you want me to do?”
Jared shoved his hands into his pockets and spun on his heels. “Fine. Have fun.” He threw one extra angry glance back at me over his shoulder — you know, just for good measure — then stormed off.
“Jared,” I called out, but he was already gone. I looked at Kevin, who looked back at me quizzically. I shrugged again. “Let’s go eat,” I suggested.
Not 30 seconds later, as Kevin and I are walking toward a nearby late-night Mexican joint, I received a new text from Jared.
I bet he’s awesome. And has a huge dick and drives a rice rocket. Thanks for an awesome fuxking night
I rolled my eyes and texted back: you’re freaking out for nothing
Jared shot back: Thanks for waking me up too. Now I can’t sleep
I literally laughed out loud. But feeling a little bad — after all, I had invited him to come by — I decided I’d catch up with Jared, since I needed a place to get some rest before the drive home anyway. Besides, my car was parked just a block down from Jared’s place.
After I got him to explain why he was so upset (“I can’t believe you did that right in front of my face”) and pointing out to him that he had no right (“Dude, you made me booty on the side”) and listening with an in-one-ear-out-the-other attitude to his counter-arguments (“At least I never made out with my girlfriend in front of you”), I got him to calm down after “promising” him I would, basically, never make out with another guy in front of him again. (I suppose my laughing at him throughout this exchange drew the discussion — i.e. his anger — out even longer.) Then Jared started asking me questions, disguised as friendly curiosity about Kevin: How did I know him, what does he do, where did he go to school (through a friend, venture capital, Carnegie Mellon).
After a moment, Jared commented, “I don’t like him.”
“Where did that come from?” I asked.
“That guy is such a douchebag.”
I laughed in his face, then pointed a finger at Jared. “Dude, you’re pretty douchey, too.”
“Well, whatever,” Jared retorted, not denying my accusation. “He’s douchey in a different way. In a bad way.” I rolled my eyes at him.
Jared’s condemnations of Kevin didn’t stop there.
After I left, Jared texted me while I was still on the road.
And then right after that:
FYI, random third tier consulting shop crosslink. Weakass pedigree. If you’re gonna be douchey gotta do it right. Just saying
* * * * * * *
A few hours later, Jared texted yet again.
I had a bad dream
I asked what about. He responded:
It was stupid
U were with that guy