Destiny hid her head under her pillow when she heard the alarm blasting at 8 a.m., and hit the snooze button. Now she had fifteen more minutes to lay there and think about Kevin before getting out of bed to work on her anthropology paper. The paper was due at noon on Monday, and all she’d done was the outline. She would have to call Kevin and cancel their dinner date for tonight. There was no way she could write a six page paper and go out to dinner, too. She knew she was supposed to start on the paper when it was assigned three weeks ago. But she’s been so preoccupied with her secret budding romance with Kevin, she’d almost completely forgotten about it—until Stephanie reminded her about it as they walked to the party last night. Destiny looked over and saw that her roommate’s bed had not been slept in. Stephanie should have been back from the party hours ago. “She must be on her way,” Destiny said to herself as she rolled over. She closed her eyes, not yet ready to face the day. She pictured Kevin kissing her at the party last night before she left, and smiled. Then her ringing phone jolted her out of her pleasant moment of reflection.
“Hey, Girl! You up yet?”
“I am now. What’s up, Kendal?”
“Nothin’ much. Charla and I just got up. We’re gonna walk up to Starbucks. Wanna come?”
“Naw, I gotta finish this paper for anthro. It’s due tomorrow.”
“Well then, a latte is what you need, Des. You and Stephanie come on and go with us.” Destiny got out bed and walked over to the window. She hoped to catch a glimpse of Kevin taking his daily jog across campus. She even expected to see Stephanie walking towards the dormitory, but all she saw were fallen leaves being swept across the campus by the fall breeze.
“Destiny, are you still there?”
“Yeah, I’m here. Uh, look, Steph isn’t here, and I’m not dressed. Y’all go ahead. I’ll catch you later.”
“What? Steph’s not there? Didn’t she uh…..walk back with you from Kevin’s and Jared’s last night?”
“She was supposed to, but I ended up coming back by myself. Jared said he or Cal would walk her back. But she ain’t here.”
“Oh, really?” Kendra chuckled, and Destiny wondered what was so funny about Stephanie not coming home.
“What’s the joke?”
“Huh? Nothing. Um, look you go do your paper or whatever. Call me when Steph gets back. I wanna know what kept her out all night long,” Kendal chuckled.
“Whatcha mean? You know Stephanie ain’t like that. She probably just fell asleep or something.”
“Yeah, or something. Talk to you later, Des.”
Destiny dialed Stephanie’s number. She didn’t pick up, so Destiny left another message for her to call or hurry up and come on home because she wanted to tell her what she and Kevin talked about at the party last night. She also wanted to tell her about the kiss. She put her phone in her bathrobe pocket, grabbed her towel, her beauty bag, and headed down the hall to take a shower.
“Hey, Kendal?” Charla began as she was putting on her mascara. “What did Des say?”
“Nothing. She’s clueless. But she did say that Miss Stephanie didn’t come home last night. She still isn’t back yet.” Kendal was grinning.
“Well, then. Looks like Miss I’m-Waiting-til-I’m-Married decided to give up her goodies. I can’t believe it! Did Cal call?”
“Nope. Not yet. How you know she gave it up? Des said she probably fell asleep over there.”
“Maybe, but I doubt it. Come on, Kendal. You saw how she and Cal were dancing all close together last night. She looked like she wanted to do him right there on the floor.” Charla was still primping in the mirror.
“Yeah, they were doing some serious grinding,” Kendal said as she grabbed her jacket. “Now that I think about it, I think Cal is full of shit. No way is he gonna get Stephanie to do it. He’s cute, but he’ll never be able to pull it off.” Charla zipped up her jacket and they walked out of the room and down the hall to the elevator.
“Well, that’s why we made him put his money where his dick is,” Charla laughed. “He’s the one who said he can get any girl he wants to sleep with him, so let’s see if he can get Steph. It ain’t gonna happen, but taking his money is still gonna be fun! Come on, let’s hurry up. You know the line is extra long on Sundays. The girls laughed as they walked briskly to Starbucks.
After what seemed like hours, Stephanie decided that it was safe to move. She wanted to go home. She wanted to call her friends and ask them what the hell happened last night, and why they’d leave her in such a nasty place with a total stranger—the one snoring next to her. She began to sit up, slowly and gently. Once she reached the upright position, she looked down for her clothes. Of all the clothes that were on the floor, she managed to make out the colorful blur piled just below the nightstand, and recognized it as the clothes she’d worn to the party at Kevin’s and Jared’s. Stephanie exhaled, relieved to know that she was someplace familiar, and closer to her dorm room on campus. She carefully leaned over the side of the bed to reach for her clothes, and that’s when she saw the bruises on her arm. She left the pile of clothes, drawing her arm closer to her face to investigate. Where did they come from? She couldn’t remember anything. As she looked at her left arm, she realized that her right arm had even more bruises than the left. Stephanie gently shook her head in disbelief. I’ve got to get out of here, she whispered to herself. She resumed her efforts—painfully—to obtain her clothes. She retrieved the pile from the floor, cradled them in her aching, bruised arms, and gently rose to find her way to the bathroom to get dressed. With Cal’s back to her, his snoring louder and more intense, she quietly tiptoed towards the bathroom in the room, and gently closed the door behind her. She locked the door, leaned against it, and closed her eyes. Her arms ached even more from holding the light load of her clothes, so she folded the lid on the commode down and sat to dress herself.
She didn’t want to put on the clothes. They smelled horribly of liquor, and cigarettes. She’s had her share of drinks, and she only smoked when she went out to party, so it was logical that her clothes had the pungent smell of both. As she sat on the cold ceramic commode lid, she felt a stinging pain invading her vagina. She’d just finished her period, and it wouldn’t sting or hurt, so Stephanie was startled at the pain. She looked down to investigate herself. She touched herself gently so she wouldn’t make the pain worse. As she parted her legs further, she sighed in pain, and then quickly covered her mouth to muddle herself. More bruises, and a trickle of dried blood were on her inner thighs. Stephanie started to cry, shaking her head vigorously in confusion and disbelief. “Oh my God,” she whispered. “I’ve been raped.” She put on her torn underwear, bra, and t-shirt. As she reached for her jeans, she looked again at her bruised arms. The purple and red bruises were separated, embe dded in her skin, and looked like fingers. Her tears flowed freely as she pulled herself up from the commode to fasten her jeans. As she pulled her shirt down, she felt a buzz in her right pocket. She flinched, startled by the sensation of her vibrating cell phone. She pulled it from her pocket, and was glad to see Destiny’s number flashing on the screen.
“Hello?” Stephanie whispered.
“Steph? Where the hell are you? We’ve been calling you all night!”
“I’m still at Kevin and Jared’s, I think”, Stephanie whispered.
“What do you mean, you think?” Destiny asked. “Don’t you know where you are? And why are you whispering?”
“Not really. I-I-I don’t remember anything. I don’t want to wake up Cal. My head hurts. Everything hurts. What happened last night? Why did you guys leave me here with him? I don’t even know him.”
“Jared said you were dancing with him. They were supposed to walk you back last night. Kendal called just a while ago to go to Starbucks. Everything hurts? Wow, you must’ve really gotten plastered, huh? You just have a hangover, that’s all. We can fix that when you come home. I can’t believe Cal or Jared didn’t walk you back. Jerks! You told us you were right behind us, Steph. Look, come on home. I’ve gotta tell you what happened with me and Kevin last night. I’m putting my shoes on now, and I will meet you half way, okay?” Someone turned the knob on the bathroom door, then banged. Stephanie jumped at the sound.
“Okay, I’m leaving now. Bye.” Stephanie put her phone in her pocket, and opened the bathroom door. Cal was standing there, in his boxers, and shirtless. He smiled slyly at her.
“Hey there, babe. Good morning. I didn’t even hear you get up. Did you have fun last night? I sure did!” He looked her over hungrily. Stephanie’s heart dropped. It was him, she thought. He was the one who’d raped her. She looked at his muscular chest, his hazel eyes, and the 44 tattooed on his chest. She struggled to recognize his face as someone she knew, but she failed. She’d never seen this man before in her life. She was overcome with uneasiness.
“I-I-I have to go,” was all Stephanie could get out.
“So soon? I was hoping we could re-create the magic we made last night,” he said, blocking the doorway with his body. He was staring at her like he was ready to ravage her again. Stephanie began to feel the tears stinging as they made their way to the corners of her eyes. She’d already decided to scream her head off if he tried to touch her.
“No. I am leaving now. Please let me by.”
“Okay, okay. Maybe some other time,” Cal said as he stepped aside to let her out of the bathroom. His eyes followed her as she passed. He was reaching out to touch her behind, but snatched his hand back before she noticed. As Stephanie walked to the door, she noticed she was barefoot. There was no way she was going to spend any more time in that nasty room with the bastard who’d raped her. He would probably try again if she didn’t get out of there, she thought. She decided to leave the shoes and walk home in her socks.
“Listen, I’ll call you okay? You were great, babe! Dream of me,” Cal said to her as she darted out of his bedroom door. Stephanie slammed the door behind her, and stood in the empty hall, tears streaming down her face. She hurried down the stairs, making her way to the front door. She was struggling with the top lock when she heard a familiar voice behind her.
“Hey, Steph!” Jared said to her sleepily rubbing his eyes. “What are you still doing here? Thought you left last night?” A small part of her was glad to see Jared. They were classmates in high school, and she remembered how seeing Jared at freshmen orientation made her feel much better about being away at college. Now, as he stood before her, half sleep, smelling of liquor, rubbing his eyes, unaware of the horror that had taken place right under his nose, she managed half a smile to greet him.
“Uh-yeah, I uh, I’m leaving right now,” she stammered. “ Sorry I woke you up, Jared.” She avoided Jared’s eyes. She didn’t want to start a conversation. She wanted to get home and take a shower. Destiny is probably wondering where she is, and what’s taking her so long to walk two blocks.
“Naw, you didn’t wake me. That hard-as-a-rock couch did,” he said, smiling at her. “I should’ve gone up to my room, but I was so wasted, I couldn’t move past the couch.” He chuckled. He looked down at Stephanie’s feet. “Uh, excuse me, but aren’t you forgetting something, like your shoes?” Stephanie didn’t bother to look down. She was not going back for shoes. She was getting out of there--now.
“Um, well, Destiny took them with her last night ‘cause they were hurting my feet,” she lied. “Listen, I really have to go. Can you help me with this lock? I can’t get the door open.”
“Yep, no problem,” Jared said. “This damn lock is really a pain in the ass. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve damn near pissed on myself trying to get in the house. If Dave doesn’t hurry up and get us a new one, I’m gonna go get one myself.” He effortlessly unlocked the door for her, as if nothing was ever wrong with it.
“Okay, Steph, there you go. I’ll see ya later, okay?”
“Yeah, okay. Thanks.” Stephanie ran down the stairs, and down the block towards Cook Hall. She cried and breathed heavily as she ran, but didn’t stop. As she reached the end of the block, she saw Destiny’s pink jacket, waving at her in the distance. They met halfway down the second block. Destiny reached out and hugged Stephanie.
“Hey, girl! I called and called you last night. Why didn’t you pick up? Are you okay? You look like death warmed over. You’ll never guess what happened last night. Kevin and I talked at the party. He asked me out to dinner tonight. Can you believe it, Steph? He’s so adorable! Girl, you really look a mess. ” Destiny giggled at Stephanie, but Stephanie wasn’t smiling. “Hey, what’s wrong?”
“I just want to go and take a shower. I’m tired. My head hurts so bad. Let’s go, okay?” She decided to wait until they were back in the room to tell Destiny about the rape, and show her the bruises. She and Destiny had become friends during freshmen orientation the year before, and decided to be roommates because they got along so well. They confided in each other often. Stephanie was the one who stayed up with Destiny every night for three weeks when her boyfriend dumped her, and let her cry on her shoulder. They were so close, they felt like sisters. If anyone could help Stephanie, it was Destiny. She would help her fill in the blanks from the night before, and then she would tell her that Cal raped her. They walked back to Cook Hall in silence, but Destiny was bursting at the seams to tell Stephanie about Kevin. She wanted to ask Stephanie if she’d seen Kevin before she left, and whether or not he’d asked about her. But she decided to wait until they were back in their room.
Stephanie and Destiny’s room was spotless, as usual. They were both neat freaks, and always kept everything in place. Stephanie felt better as soon as she stepped inside. Destiny took off her jacket, hung it in the closet, and plopped down on her bed. Stephanie didn’t want sit on her bed because she hadn’t bathed. She pulled out her desk chair instead, and sat down. Destiny looked over at her friend. Stephanie looked like she had a rough night, but she wasn’t talking. Maybe it was because she hadn’t slept in her own bed, Destiny reasoned.
“Hey, I thought you wanted to take a shower?” Destiny reminded her friend.
“I do, but I just wanted to sit down for a minute.” Stephanie didn’t look in Destiny’s direction. She just sat there motionless, staring at the calendar on her desk.
“Okay. So anyway, Kevin and I were dancing and talking last night. He is so cool. Did you know that he goes home every Sunday to go to church with his mom and sister?” Stephanie was staring blankly, not hearing a word Destiny was saying. Destiny was a little annoyed. She’d been waiting all night for Stephanie to come home so she could talk to her about Kevin, and she wasn’t paying attention.
“Stephanie, what’s going on? You didn’t say a word on the way back. What happened last night? Are you sick?” Stephanie didn’t move, or answer, and now Destiny was a little worried.
“Stephanie!” Destiny got up from her bed and walked over to her. She pulled Stephanie’s face toward her, and saw the tears. She smelled the odor coming from her clothes. She wanted to demand that she bathe immediately, but she wanted to know why she was crying. The shower could wait.
“Oh, my God, Steph. What happened? I can’t help you if you don’t talk to me. Are you hurt?”
“I-I-I……need to take a shower. After I wash it off, I’ll be okay. I need to take a shower and scrub-“
“Wait. I don’t understand. Wash off what? Scrub what? Steph, you’re not making any sense. What the hell happened over there? Why are you crying?”
“I’m dirty, Des. I need to wash it off. Just let me wash it off!” Stephanie began tearing at her clothes uncontrollably. Destiny grabbed her hands, and shook her.
“Steph, stop it!” Destiny was afraid. Stephanie was out of it. She was not herself. “What is it you’re trying to wash off?” Stephanie dropped her head and cried. Destiny just hugged her. Stephanie let her friend hold her while she cried. The warmth of Destiny’s body made her feel safe. She was exhausted and ashamed. She couldn’t tell Destiny that she was raped. She didn’t want to believe it herself, so she couldn’t expect her friend to believe her. She felt dirty. She was dirty. Her clothes smelled. Her skin smelled. She will wash it all away in the shower. She would throw the clothes in the trash, and forget about it. The sun was shining through their window—evidence of a new day. Last night, whatever happened, was behind her now. She just needed to wash away the dirt and nastiness of it, and start over. No one needed to know.
“It’s nothing, Des,” she lied, wiping her tears away. “I was just afraid when I woke up in the bed with that guy and I didn’t know who he was. Y’all were gone, and the room was dirty. You know how I can’t stand to be dirty.” Destiny didn’t believe her for a second.
“Yeah, okay. But that’s nothing to cry about, unless something else happened. You’re not being straight with me, Steph. I know you. You’re my best friend. Whatever you’re trying to hide from me is not going to get washed off in the shower. So tell me, please. I wanna help you.” Stephanie could see that her friend was really concerned about her. She wasn’t being fair. Destiny would listen. She wouldn’t judge her. She’d keep it between the two of them forever if she asked her to. She would tell her.
“Okay,” Stephanie sniffed. She opened the top drawer of her desk, grabbed a tissue, and blew her nose. “But first, you have to swear on your life that you won’t tell anyone. Promise?”
“I won’t tell a soul, Steph,” Destiny declared, her right hand raised.
“And you have to tell me what happened last night.”
“What do you mean? Don’t you remember?”
“Destiny, this is important. I can’t tell you anything until you tell me what happened!” Stephanie was starting to tear up again.
“Okay, okay,” Destiny relented. “What do you wanna know? This really doesn’t make sense. Why do you need me to tell you what happened when you were there?”
“Because I can’t remember anything after you guys left, that’s why.”
“Oh, okay. Why didn’t you just tell me that?” Destiny sat down on Stephanie’s bed. She was the only one who was allowed to sit on her bed. “Where do you want me to start?” Stephanie turned from the calendar and looked at her friend.
“Start from when you told me y’all were going on the porch to smoke. That’s the last thing I remember.”
“Okay. Well, Kendal had already left because she got her period and messed up her clothes. Charla and I went on the porch to smoke because you know how anal Kev and Jared are about smoking in the house, which is crap because all their fraternity brothers smoke in the bedrooms. Anyway, you said you were going in the kitchen to get a beer, and then you’d be ready to go by the time we were done smoking. So you went in the kitchen, and we smoked like two cigarettes while we waited for you to come out. Charla said the bathroom was nasty, and she had to pee, so I told her to go ahead and I would just wait and walk with you. When I got up to go inside to get you so we could go home, Jared was coming out the door with some girl. I asked Jared if he’d seen you, and he told me you were in the kitchen drinking and talking to his buddy, Cal. I told him I was going to get you and we were going home. He said that he’d go and tell you to come on so I wouldn’t have to go back in the house. Then he comes back out and tells me that you said to tell me to go on ahead, and you’d catch up. I came in, waited for you, but then I fell asleep. When I woke up this morning, you still weren’t here. Kendal called, and I told her you weren’t back yet. She wanted us to go to Starbucks with her and Charla, but I wasn’t dressed and you weren’t back yet. That’s it. So tell me what happened with you after we left. Why didn’t you come home right after me like you said you would?”
Stephanie took in deep breath and let Destiny’s story sink in. She closed her eyes tightly and exhaled. That’s when the flashes started. With her eyes still closed, she saw herself headed out the door to walk home with Charla and Destiny. She felt someone grab her by the arm. It was Jared. She saw herself in the kitchen talking and laughing with Cal. He was laughing at the reason she gave him for not having premarital sex. She remembered Jared handing her a cup, asking her to sample his latest concoction. Flash! She’s on the bed, in a dark, smelly room, feeling dizzy. Flash! Cal is on top of her, pinning her arms. Jared is holding her legs, screaming at her to shut up. Cal is telling her that he is her husband tonight, and he’s going to give her what she’s been missing. She shook her head. “Steph!” She opened her eyes, and looked at Destiny. “What happened, Steph?” Now she remembered. Her head hurt from forcing the memories to come back. But in just that brief moment of relaxation, it all came back. She remembered every single detail. Stephanie stared past her friend and looked directly at the poster of the tiger on Destiny’s side of the room. She took another deep breath, let it out slowly, and let the tears stream easily down her face.
“Last night……Cal……and Jared……..raped me.”
“Oh, no,” Destiny responded. She was in shock, almost as if she had been raped herself. She was at a loss for words. She’d heard stories on the news about women who’d been raped, and even watched movies about women being assaulted and struggled to put their lives back together afterwards. But she had never personally known anyone who had been through such a violating, horrible ordeal. Now here she sat, facing her best friend, who just confided in her that she had been raped, and by people they both knew. Stephanie’s eyes were turning red and puffy from crying. She wept silently, still staring at the poster. Destiny reached out, held her hand, and patted her shoulder gently. She started to tear up, and before she realized it was happening, she was weeping with her friend. After a few minutes, Destiny wiped her tears away, got up from the bed, grabbed the box of tissues, and handed it to Stephanie.
“Those bastards!,” Destiny said as she plopped back down on the bed. “I’m calling campus police right now,” she declared, reaching for her cell phone. Stephanie stood up and grabbed Destiny’s hand.
“No, Destiny. Please don’t,” she pleaded.
“What are you talking about, Steph? Those dirty bastards raped you. There is no way they are not going to jail for this. I’m calling the police!”
“You can’t call the police because I was drinking with them at the party. Everybody saw me drinking with them.”
“So, they can say I wanted it. They can say I was drunk. They can say I didn’t say no.”
“Are you serious? Of course you didn’t ask for it. You’re a virgin! They had no right! And I don’t give a damn if you were fall down drunk, dancing naked in the street. They had no right to do what they did. Why don’t you want to call the police and report this?”
“Because I’m afraid, Des. They’ll lie about it. They aren’t gonna admit what happened. I couldn’t even remember what happened until a few minutes ago. I was drunk, and dizzy. I woke up naked in the bed next to Cal this morning. No one pulled a gun or knife on me. No one will believe me. What about my parents? I can’t tell my parents…..I’m so ashamed. I just need to take a shower and forget about it.”
“The hell you will! You were raped, Stephanie. You never forget something like this. And I believe you. I know you were raped. Look at you, Steph. You are a mess! And the police will believe you, too. I’m gonna be right here with you, so don’t worry. Your parents will understand, and they’ll help you. I’ve seen how much they love you, Steph. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You did nothing wrong, and you have to always remember that, okay? You are gonna get through this. But you have to report it. You can’t just act like nothing happened.”
“Okay,” Stephanie sniffed. “My head hurts so much. What I need right now is a good, hot shower. Once I’m all cleaned up, I can think more clearly.” She got up from the bed, went to her closet, and pulled out a blue bath towel and washcloth. She grabbed her purple bathrobe from the hook hanging on the back of their door. As she reached for the knob to walk out, Destiny popped up from the bed and sprang towards Stephanie, grabbing her arm.
“Steph, wait!” Destiny exclaimed, pulling Stephanie towards her. “I just remembered, you can’t take a shower.”
“What are you talking about, Des?” a startled Stephanie asked, squirming to break Destiny’s grip on her arm. “Let go of me. I’m just going down the hall to take a shower. I won’t be long—twenty minutes tops.”
“No, you can’t, Steph,” said Destiny. “I just remembered watching a show on T.V. and a girl had been raped. She called the cops after she took a shower. They told her that if she hadn’t taken a shower first, they would have had some DNA or something to track down and catch the man who raped her. So don’t take a shower, at least not right now. Wait until the police come and get the evidence. Then you can take a shower.”
“If you think I’m going to spend another minute in these dirty, stinky clothes, you have lost your mind! How long do you expect me to sit around in the clothes I was raped in? Are you crazy? I have to take a shower. The police get a whiff of me and they’ll think I’ve been out bar hopping and screwing all night long. No way they’ll believe I was raped!” Stephanie was in tears again. Destiny led her over to her bed and they sat down.
“I know it’s hard, Steph. But you have to do this so they can lock Jared and Cal up for what they’ve done. You’ve gotta help the police as much as you can, and the best way to do that is to let them see you as you are right now, okay?” Destiny’s heart was breaking for her friend. Stephanie kept pulling and tugging on her clothes, rubbing her arms with her hands. Destiny saw the bruises on Stephanie’s arms and wondered if they hurt as badly as they looked. She wondered if they’d hit her or anything else. She felt helpless and guilty. She was also angry. Her anger is what was driving her to stand firm with Stephanie and help her as best she could.
“Steph, I am so sorry for leaving you. If I had just stayed and walked home with you this never—“
“No, Des”, Stephanie said, putting her hand to Destiny’s mouth to hush her. “Don’t do that. Don’t do the what-if thing. I’ve been doing that since I woke up this morning, and believe me, it doesn’t help at all. You just said that this wasn’t my fault. Well, it’s not your fault either. All the blame is on Jared and Cal. They are the ones who did this to me.”
“Yeah, that’s right,” Destiny declared, wiping the tears from her eyes. “Those bastards raped you, they are probably down the street, sleeping like babies, like nothing ever happened at all. Come on, Steph. You’ve got to call the police and report this—now.” Destiny picked up the telephone, and handed it to Stephanie. Stephanie dialed the on-campus extension to campus police. After the first ring, a female voice answered the phone.
“Good morning, Turner University campus police. How may I assist you?” Stephanie swallowed hard, her heart pounding so hard that it made her chest hurt. She cleared her throat.
“Yes, hello. My name is Stephanie. Stephanie Knight. I was raped.” She gave the officer her contact information, hung up the phone, and relaxed her shoulders a little.
“So, what did they say, Steph?” Destiny asked.
“They said they’d be here soon. I really want to take a shower. I can smell myself. I don’t want them to see me like this.”
“I know. But if you want those guys to go to jail for hurting you, then the police have to see you like this. Just hold on a little while longer, okay?” Stephanie nodded, and they sat there in silence—waiting for the police.
Cal was in the bathroom brushing his teeth, bobbing his head to Jay-Z’s Encore, blasting in his room. He felt triumphant, and could hardly contain his excitement about collecting on his bet with the others. He had done it—he’d conquered the Virgin Stephanie. As he brushed and bobbed, he noticed the scratches on his neck. He stared at himself in the mirror. He wondered where they’d come from. His memory was fuzzy because he’d gotten quite drunk the night before. And while the scratches escaped his memory, his encounter with Stephanie had not. He remembered every detail: the way she swayed her hips while they danced at the party last night, how sexy her smile was when she smiled at his compliment of her beauty, the child-like shrill in her voice as she screamed for him to stop and let her go. He smiled to himself at that particular memory, feeling the throb of his manhood begin to intensify, slowly transforming into a full blown erection. “Damn! She was hot!” he declared aloud to himself after he gargled with mouthwash. He got dressed, brushed his hair, turned out the light in the bathroom, and went across the hall and banged on Jared’s bedroom door.
“It’s open!” Jared shouted from the other side. Cal barged into Jared’s room, grinning. Jared was tying his shoes, getting ready to go for his daily five mile run.
“Alright, Jared. I want my money, man---now! Fifty bucks, now pay up!” Cal had his hand out.
“You ain’t getting a dime outta me, punk!” Jared shot back. “I fucked her, too…..so where’s my money?”
“Yeah, but technically, I got in first, so I’m the one who busted the cherry. The bet was whoever pops her first gets the money, and that was me. That means I won the bet, and you owe me fifty bucks. Now stop bullshitting and give me my money!” Jared smiled, reached in his pocket, and handed him a fifty dollar bill. Cal held it up the light, pretending to check the bill for accuracy, then put in his pocket. “Thank you, brother. Nice doing business with you.” Jared threw up his middle finger and grinned.
“Hey, where’s Kevin? His car’s outside, but I haven’t seen him.”
“Oh, Kev’s out for his run. He goes to church with him mom on Sundays. He’ll be back in little bit. Why? He owes you money, too?”
“Naw, I didn’t even tell Kevin. He was all up in that girl’s face last night. What’s her name? Destiny or something like that?”
“Yeah, Destiny. Whatever. So what happened when y’all woke up this morning?”
“Nothing. She said she had to go and she left.” I hardly had a chance to say bye. What did she say to you downstairs?”
“Nothing. She just asked me to help her with the door. I thought she was gonna say something about last night.”
“Man, as drunk as she was, she probably doesn’t even remember. What was that you gave her?” Jared’s grin grew wider as he remembered the drink he gave Stephanie with the crushed up pills in it.
“Oh, that. That was a little something I threw together at the last minute.” They laughed.
“Whatever you put in that stuff, it worked. Man, that was the sweetest piece of ass I ever had. Can’t wait to hit it again. Think I should call her now, or wait til tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow, man. That’s how a real player does it.” Jared grabbed his keys from his dresser and walked towards the door. Cal followed him.
“Yeah, tomorrow will be good. Anyway, I gotta go collect the rest of my money.” They walked out of the bedroom and downstairs toward the front door. Jared put on his jacket, and turned to look at Cal.
“What other money Thought you said Kevin doesn’t know?”
“He doesn’t. I wasn’t talking about Kevin. I’m talking about the girls from last night. They owe me fifty, too---each.”
“The ones with the Virgin Stephanie last night, uh---Kendal and Carla, right?”
“Charla, not Carla. But yeah, that’s them. I didn’t know they were in on the bet. They left way before we got started.”
“Yeah, they both bet me that I couldn’t get Stephanie. We wanted to make it look good, so Kendal said they were gonna cut out early.”
“Damn! That means you’re gonna get what, a hundred dollars extra?”
“Yep.” Cal put on his Miami Dolphins hat, and followed Jared out the door. As they stood on the porch, Jared zipped up his jacket. Cal mentioned something about how he was going to take Stephanie to dinner with his winnings when he calls to ask her out.
“Cal, man—I don’t think she’s gonna go out with you again. We did have a threesome with her, and she wasn’t really down for that.”
“Whatever, man. You just mad ‘cause she gave it to me first. You thought you was getting it first since you went to high school with her. Don’t be mad, Jared. You still got you some of the virgin.” Cal was laughing. Jared was annoyed. He wanted to be first, but Cal already had Stephanie in the room when Jared got upstairs last night. He reasoned that Cal was right—even though he wasn’t the first, he got to fuck her, and that was the bottom line for him.
“I ain’t mad. I’ve been wanting to get her for a minute. I got her, so I’m good. But you are not gonna get her again. I’ll get it again for sure. She knows me. I’m her friend.”
“We’ll see about that. Wanna put some money on it again?”
“Naw, I’ll just bide my time.” Jared pulled out his iPod and started untangling his earbuds. “You think she’ll tell anybody what happened? Think she’ll say we forced her or something?”
Cal pulled his car keys from his pocked and pressed the button to turn off the alarm. He didn’t look at Jared. He looked down at himself to make sure his clothes were perfect. He wasn’t the least bit concerned about Stephanie telling anyone about the threesome they had. She didn’t seem upset at all this morning when she left. She probably doesn’t even remember anything anyway. Even if she did, nobody’s gonna care or do anything. She was smashed last night. They all were. As far as Cal was concerned, they got drunk, got laid, and had fun. It’s done—at least until he gets another chance with Stephanie.
“Hello no! She wanted it. I know she was screaming and yelling and all that. But that’s just how girls are sometimes. They like to tease us. You were there, man. You know she was into it. She ain’t gonna tell. She don’t want everybody on campus to start calling her a little freak. Don’t sweat it, man. We’re good. Look, I’m going over to my house. Gotta do laundry, and clean out the gutters for my mom. I’ll see you later.” He darted down the steps, hopped in his Charger, and sped off. Jared put his earbuds in his ears, turned up the volume, and went for his run, with Jay-Z rapping “Can I get a encore? Do you want more? Cook it raw!” He relaxed as he ran, smiling as he thought of Stephanie. Cal was right. Stephanie was just being a tease. They were good.