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True Stories: Hell Hath No Fury
If you say something idiotic, I'm getting mad because you're an idiot, not because I'm a woman.
by Litsa Dremousis
I was on the brink of orgasm when Rex decided we needed to talk. As we writhed on a blanket on my living-room floor, my black velvet t-shirt sliding up my torso and my skirt several yards away where Rex had tossed it like a grenade, he lifted his head from between my legs and said, "I have something I have to tell you."
Rex and I had met almost a decade prior and had dated briefly after college. We amicably split up when he moved to California for graduate school, but had remained good friends and had marathon phone conversations every few months. Now he was back in Seattle for the summer, and because we were both single, we had decided to pair up while he was in town, both of us agreeing on the built-in expiration date when he returned south. Rex was deeply intelligent and we could discuss scads of topics, including our feelings for each other and relationships with others. We trusted each other and, as such, I could usually read his vocal inflections. At the moment, though, I couldn't tell if he was serious or kidding because the blood that usually occupied my brainpan had flooded my nether regions.
"Do you have to tell me right now?" I asked. Unless he'd just struck gold or spotted a goblin, I saw no reason this conversation couldn't wait one more crucial minute.
"Yes. It's something I should have told you weeks ago," he answered solemnly.
I propped myself up on my elbows and met his eyes. His face was etched with contrition. Not the look you want to see on the guy who was just performing tongue gymnastics on your tumbling mat, as it were.
"Okay, what is it?" I asked, both dumbfounded and curious.
"I'm seeing someone," he said quietly, as if lessening the volume would lessen the impact.
I nudged his head away, sat upright and wrapped the blanket around my waist. "When did you start seeing someone? You didn't mention anything before you flew into town." I didn't know what I'd expected to hear, but it wasn't this. Rex and I had always been honest with each other and his revelation was contrary to everything that defined our relationship.
"I know. It all happened so fast. I kept wanting to tell you, but I've been studying constantly."
"So you couldn't pick up a phone when you got home?" The blood, it seemed, had returned to my brain.
"No, I couldn't," Rex said, then paused. "She just moved in. We're living together."
"And you waited until you were going down on me to announce this?"
"I wanted to give you pleasure. I wanted to give you pleasure everywhere."
I backed away from him, stood up and despite the late hour, yelled, "This is your idea of philanthropy? What the fuck are you, UNICEF?" Rex looked genuinely alarmed, as if he hadn't anticipated my reaction. And though he held a black belt in karate, he seemed a bit frightened.
At the time, my mom was a deputy prosecuting attorney and my dad was supervisor of the criminal division's sentencing unit. Except for a few parking tickets, I'd been a model citizen. While I contemplated my odds of acquittal if I fed Rex's nuts to my neighbor's Australian Shepherd, Rex continued baring his soul.
"I moved away. I never stopped loving you. I'm still in love with you. So I'm not really cheating on her." He seemed genuine, as if actually believed his own contorted logic.
"Fine. Let's call your new housemate and see what she has to say about that theory." I picked up my living-room phone and handed it to him.
Realizing I'd called his bluff and that, no, he wasn't getting laid tonight, Rex stood silently.
I glared at him. "Get the hell out of here. Now."
He retorted that he wanted to stay and "talk this out," but I pushed him down the long hallway toward my front door. I thought that if he stayed, for the first time in my life I was actually going to hit someone. I grabbed his jean jacket from the coat rack and thrust it at him, then opened the door and pointed out into the night.