Complete (Incomplete)(9)By: Lindy Zart
“Hey, did you know Jason—Jason as in your ex-boyfriend—asked me out last weekend?” Mia asks in a too-cheerful voice.
Taylor deflates, sinking into the seat. “What?”
She leans forward with a coy smirk on her lips. “Yep. I think he just wanted to get lucky, but since I was horny, I figured what the hell.” One shoulder rises and lowers. “A free meal and a movie and I was good to go. And that little mole on his left butt cheek? So adorable.”
Her face pales. Jason Martin and Taylor dated all four years of high school and only recently broke up. Six years they dated; way longer than Grayson and I did, not that that means their feelings for one another were any more intense than ours, but hearing Mia’s words have got to be painful. I feel bad for her and give Mia a chastising look. She shrugs, her expression clearly stating Taylor asked for it.
“I have to…go,” Taylor whispers, stiffly sliding from the booth and walking with careful precision toward the door and out it.
I throw a French fry at her. “That was cruel.”
She munches on the fry. “Don’t care. She of all people should know better than to bring up an ex.”
My friend may be shallow, self-centered, and rude, but she is loyal, and in her own way, she is generous. She will not bring up the topic of Grayson, not ever, not unless I bring him up first, and for that, I love her. And anyone that does bring him up shuts up fast about it in her presence. Just now was a perfect example. Her way of going about it may have been unorthodox, but it was certainly effective. She redeems her selfish nature in little ways that may not be noticeable to those that don’t pay attention.
I, taking a cue from her, also do not bring up the subject of exes. Mia talks about Ben enough on her own anyway. He is the only ex-boyfriend she seems to care enough about to ridicule, and that makes me wonder if maybe she loved him, and possibly still does. It also makes me wonder why they broke up. She never told me the reason behind the demise of their relationship and I never asked her about it. I don’t intend to. Not because I don’t care, but because I do not want to cause her unjust discomfort. It was high school and I guess that means it shouldn’t matter anymore. The thing about high school is that everything seems to matter more during that period of time.
I dip a chicken strip into barbeque sauce and take a bite. It is crunchy and flavorful, a delicious blend of sweet and salty. “Did you really go out with Jason?”
Mia laughs. “No.”
“Then how did you know about the mole?”
“He mooned me once. For that fact alone, I would never go on a date with him, no matter how many times he asked or how horny I was.”
Taking a forkful of lettuce and dressing, she places it in her mouth and chews. “It worked. So…about tonight? You in or out?”
I shrug. “Sure. I have nothing planned.”
“When do you ever? You act like an old lady and you're only twenty. I’ll come over around six. I’ll bring a dress too.” She eyes my black locks. “And I’ll do your hair.”
“Maybe I should just stay in and you can portray yourself as me so I look decent.”
Mia rolls her eyes. “Don’t be so dramatic. The only time you dress up is when I dress you up. I don’t understand your adversity to being pretty and feminine.”
“I am not opposed to being pretty, nor feminine. I like to be comfortable, not dressed to impress. It’s logical.”
“Did anyone ever tell you, you care too much about looks?”
“Whatever. You need a man. You haven’t dated in almost six months.”
“I do not need a man. Men equal trouble.”
“Okay, well you at least need sex. Either way, I’ll help make that more possible,” she insists.
“That produces an image in my head of you coaching me and some random guy during the act of having sex. I can just see you standing beside the bed giving pointers, telling me to put more effort into it. Whistle around your neck for when I do something you don’t approve of.”
“It may come to that, I fear.”
“And you say I’m dramatic.”