Every Girl Does It
“Your talking is giving me a headache,” he replies, putting his ice pack over his swollen eye.
“Maybe you should duck next time, or maybe you should be honest, or maybe not cheat. Need I go on?” I drone sarcastically, turning away from him.
Preston begins to laugh, and I shoot him a stop-laughing-or-I’ll-kill-you glare, and then retreats back into his chair. At least we’re getting good tans today.
“You know what?” I say again. Okay, I know I should stop talking, but let’s be honest; I’m kind of on a roll. “I’m not even attracted to you anymore. And you know why?”
“Oh, I’m sure you’ll tell me,” he says sarcastically.
I give him an icy glare.
“Sorry. Yes, Amanda. Please. I want to know. I'm dying to know,” he begs with more enthusiasm this time.
“Because,” I say. “You're just like everyone else. I can’t believe I fell for the witty banter and tan abs. I mean, I should have noticed just by the way you dress you have nothing going on in the heart department. But no, I wasn’t smart. I even told myself not to be drawn like a moth to the flame, but what do I do? I just fall anyways. I fall into the Mr. December trap just like everyone else. I can’t believe I bought a calendar.” And then I stop talking, hoping that in my ranting and raving he hadn’t caught the last part. Except by the look on his face, I can tell that he very much has.
“The calendar, huh?” He raises an eyebrow. “Well, well, my how the tables have turned. You bought a calendar, did you?” he says leaning toward my face.
“It was for charity,” I say.
“For your own personal charity,” he snaps back.
“What's that supposed to mean?” I yell.
“It wasn’t for charity, Amanda. Admit it.”
“Amanda?” His voice is now low, making me dizzy. I hate it when he gets this close to me; it makes it hard for me to think straight.
“I won’t admit anything to you. I’m a grown woman, free to do as I please. Call Ashlyn and leave me alone.”
“Fine,” he says tightly. He pulls out his phone. “Put Ashlyn on. Don’t ask questions, just do it.”
I hear a long pause, then Preston talks in the most patronizing voice I have ever heard. “Hey, baby! How are you doing, little thing? Did you miss your daddy this week? Did you? Oh that’s a good girl, yeah!”
I think I’m going to be sick. I’m staring at him wide-eyed like he’s just swallowed a child whole. Is he really talking to his ex-wife like that? No wonder she left him. Wow, no question about it. His elevator doesn’t go all the way up, if he thinks that’s the way to a woman's heart.
“Did you go out and play today?” He asks in the same high-pitched voice. “Oh fun! Is Uncle Bobby being good to you?”
I look at him and pale. He left her with Bobby? What is wrong with him? I snatch the phone from him and hear nothing but panting on the other end. “Gross!” I yell and throw his phone back at his chest.
“Thanks, B.J. I’ll have to get back to you. My wife is acting crazy right now.”
I shake my head in disgust.
“First off, I think you’re the crazy one, talking to your wife like that. I mean, she’s not a dog, for crying out loud. And second, have you lost your mind? You can’t leave your wife with Bobby. And you can’t put her down in front of him. Do you know nothing?” I’m beyond my realm of control, so the last words come out more like a scream. I mean, seriously. Are all men this stupid?
“Wow, you sure sound like you know what you’re talking about,” he says, folding his arms.
“I want to cut off your arms and beat you with them,” I say a little too enthusiastically. He throws a glare my way. “So what’s the plan for the rest of the day?” I ask feeling suddenly ravenous.
Preston gets up and folds his towel. “I was planning on grabbing some lunch, but I don’t know if I’m good enough company for you, what with my lack of brain cells and relationship know-how.” He shoots me a grin.
I roll my eyes in annoyance. “Fine. Where to?” I ask, gathering my things.
“Hard Rock Café,” he states without looking back.
“But,” I look around feeling suddenly whiny. “Isn’t that all the way back towards the airport?”
“I’ll buy you a peppermint mocha,” he coaxes, turning around to face me.
“You’re too easy,” he replies.
“That’s my problem,” I say wistfully, watching as he puts on his t-shirt and leads the way.
I shower as quickly as possible, then put on a cute sundress before presenting myself to the world. Or in this case, Mrs. Butterworth. It’s depressing when you have nobody to show off to or to lust after. Well, not really lust. I guess in Preston’s case it’s extreme, like maybe even possibly love, but that’s over with. I need to move on.
Mrs. Butterworth, still in her cat bikini, offers a quiet meow before I exit my room to look for Preston. He has on torn jeans and a white t-shirt. It makes my mouth water, but then again, I’m hungry. Yes, that must be it. I'm hungry. Ha ha. I laugh nervously to myself, and he leads me out. I mean, how terrible of a person must I be to be looking at Preston like he’s still available? He used me to get his ex-wife back. Although, he never did admit it, now that I think about it. He hasn’t admitted to anything. I must remind myself to stop talking from time to time; maybe he has some light to shed on the situation.
“So, I hope you don’t mind,” he says, interrupting my thoughts. “But I need to pick someone up from the airport tonight.” He grabs my hand, and I try to pull away, but I’m helpless against his strength. He opens the door to the rental and smiles as I scowl at him then enter.
“You’re in a fun mood tonight, aren’t you?” he comments as he pulls out of the parking lot.
“I’m sorry, were you talking to me? It’s hard to tell, considering you didn’t use your special voice reserved for ex-wives and small woodland creatures,” I retort.
“Have I ever told you how much fun you are? Because, I mean, hands down…best trip of my life.” Preston smiles and leans over to turn off the music blaring in the background. “Are you going to at least let me explain to you, or are you going to assume you know everything?"
“I do know everything,” I say, nose in the air.
“Good to know,” he says. We drive the rest of the way to the restaurant in complete silence.
I’m sure to anyone, on the outside, we look like the perfect couple. When on the inside, I feel like I'm dying. How I wish this could be a real date. I mean, we’re in the most romantic place in the world, and here we are fighting.
“Can we just…” I shake my head in frustration and throw my hands up. “...pretend like everything's normal before I think of more ways to kill you?”
“Your wish is my command.” Preston winks and reaches across the table to grab my hand. And in that moment, I close my eyes, willing myself to capture the memory of what it feels like to have his strong hands wrapped around mine.
“Good afternoon, welcome to Hard Rock Café Maui.” Our waiter is a balding man in his forties who looks like he’s surfed the wave a little too long, if you know what I mean. “And let me be the first to congratulate both of you on your engagement.”
I choke on my water as I stare at the insane man in front of me.
“I’m sorry,” I say leaning in. “What did you say?”
“Well, your engagement to this fine young fellow.” He points at Preston.
Preston looks at me so innocently I almost believe the act , except part of his mouth twists up into a mischievous smile, proving to me once and for all that he’s the guilty slime bag I imagine him to be.
“We aren’t…” I begin to talk but my mouth feels like it's full of cotton. Is it hot in here? Because suddenly my body is reacting as if it’s been set on fire.
Preston puts his hands over mine and shushes me with his finger. “
The waiter nods at me sympathetically before leaning down and, rather loudly might I add, reading the specials in my ear.
Horrified, I look at Preston, who can’t hold back the smile creeping across his lips now. I mean, come on! He said foreign, not deaf.
I decide to go along with it and nod my head as if to say, “Wow. How kind of you to read that in my native tongue”. Oh, wait a second. He didn’t, because it was still English, just loud English. Hello! Foreign people don’t have different hearing decibels.
“So,” I sigh, looking at a totally joyful Preston. “What country am I from?” I ask, rolling my eyes. I’ll so regret this.
“Yes!” he says, doing a small fist pump in the air. “Spain?” he asks.
“No, my skins not dark enough. Try again.”
“Morocco?” He raises his eyebrows.
“Oooo, fun. Yes, let’s do Morocco!” I clap my hands in excitement, then remember how angry I still am at Preston. Well, maybe one day we can be friends. A very long time from now. “I’m still mad at you,” I remind him, hoping he understands his little joke doesn’t make everything better.
“Of course you are, but do you know why you're mad at me? Because I’m betting the reason you’re mad isn’t a reason at all.” He puts his menu down as if to challenge me.
“Well, I don’t see how I could be getting any of my assumptions wrong. Plus, like I said before, words don’t lie.”
“And what about intentions?” he asks.
“Are you ready to order?” The waiter bounces in front of us out of nowhere, causing me to spill my water all over the place. “It’s okay,” he shouts, looking at me sadly. “I’ll clean this up..”
People are now staring at us wondering why in the heck our waiter is speaking so loud. I want to smile and wave and tell everyone it’s just a big joke, but instead I duck my head and cover my face with my hands.
The waiter bounces in front of us, and yes, I mean he actually does bounce from side to side, as if there is some sort of music we don’t know about playing in the background. Poor guy. He then brings us coconut shrimp with dipping sauce. At one point, I contemplate stuffing everything in my mouth just so Preston can’t have any. But I realize he’d probably just order more, and then I’d look like a glutton. And he’d make up some lame excuse to the waiter about how in our country we eat our food all at once. Then the waiter would throw me another sympathetic glance, while speaking rather loudly to Preston about how it won’t do my figure any favors. Thanks, bud. Got it.
My mouth is full, but I don’t care about being attractive right now. “So, who are we picking up?” I look down at the greasy mess and sigh. I better start running a few extra miles when I get home. I take a sip of water.
“Ashlyn.” Preston says, but I don’t hear him. I’m busy drinking my water so fast, I’m sure my stomach will explode, thinking it’ll somehow kill the burning sensation in my chest.
“I'm sorry. I thought I heard you say Ashlyn.” I choke.
“I did.” He smirks.
I shoot him a look which can only be described as hazardous to his health, while he beams at me as if I just confessed my love.
"Um, I’m sorry, but did you ever stop to think how awkward that might be for me? Or how hurtful?” I’m ready to get up and leave, but he pulls me back into my seat.
“Do me a favor?” He’s now looking at me with those smoldering green eyes. I hate him for it.
“What?” I groan.
“Don’t make any rash decisions until after the airport. I give you full permission to beat me to death if you’re unhappy. Wait, actually, I take that back. I give you permission to beat me if, in fact, your assumptions are correct.” He tilts his head to the side and asks, “Deal?”
“Deal,” I say softly, taking another shrimp. I mean, I might as well eat my fill, if he’s going to sit there and tell me he’s flying his ex-wife to Hawaii. And why couldn’t he have let me go? I would have been much happier on a plane right now, even if I was alone.
Oh, and I’m sure the flight attendant, whatever country she’s from, would walk up to me and be like, “Why you cry?” To which I would reply, “Because the man I love doesn’t love me back.” And then she would say, “Oh, so sad,” and walk away, but not before telling everyone in first class how sad my situation is and not to bother me… Wow. Some great things to look forward to on the way home.
We finish dinner and dessert and a long walk before going to the airport. And I would bore you with the details, except the fact that my blood is boiling so much during said time I can’t even recall what we talked about, or if we even talked. I guess you could call it being lost in thought or lost in anger. I think I like the second one better.
Anyway, we get to the airport, and guess what? The flight is delayed.
Okay, I can’t lie. I ate way too many shrimp, and those little buggers are freakishly rich and making my stomach do this heave-ho type thing with every breath I take. I’m sure Preston can hear it. I mean, seriously. If he isn’t running for the trees already this would solidify it for me.
“You okay?” He asks as he gently puts his hand on my shoulder.
“Fine,” I reply, trying to keep the food in my stomach. I need the pink stuff bad.
“Are you sure? Because you don’t look too well. I’m sorry we’re stuck here for another hour or so. Do you think you'll make it?” He looks genuinely concerned, which would normally touch me, if I wasn’t ready to blow half-digested shrimp all over his face.
If I don’t stop burping up the sweet sauce from the coconut, I’m going to lose my mind. “I think I just need to go to the restroom.”
“To throw up?” Preston asks smiling kindly. Why does he have to be so nice sometimes?
“Yes,” I groan weakly, and honestly, I feel like I am going to pass out any minute.
“I have an idea,” he says.
“Oh my gosh. Please, no more ideas. No more Angelina or Morocco or…” I can’t finish my sentence.
"No, nothing like that,” he says and within moments he’s slowly walking me to the single family bathroom and opening the door.
I try to protest, but I feel too sick to open my mouth. He did this to me! He should know I tend to overeat when I'm nervous, or that I eat when I don’t have nice things to say to people.
“You know, Amanda, you shouldn’t eat to get back at me. It's mean to your body.” He shakes his head, but I don’t care if he’s kidding around at this point. I just need to get rid of the excess rich food.
“Okay, so I’ll hold your hair,” he offers.
“You’ll do no such thing!” I’m completely mortified.
“Yes, I will. I don’t want old shrimp on your cute dress, or on your pretty face, or in your hair, okay?” He’s being difficult, and I don’t have time to argue, so I just nod my head and heave. Yeah, there it is. Everything I just ate at the restaurant makes its encore appearance in the shiny toilet.
The weird part is, he doesn’t even say anything. He isn’t mocking me, he isn’t laughing, and he isn’t even getting grossed out. Maybe it’s a fireman thing? I don’t know, but I do know one thing, and that is I’m ridiculously embarrassed right now. I just threw up shrimp in front of the hottest guy I know, even if he’s unavailable and a cheater. He’s still good looking, and, well okay, I’ll admit, deep down he’s a good guy. I can’t blame him for wanting his wife back or vice versa. I mean, I’d want him back if I was her.
I finish up and wash my tan face before finally working up enough guts (sorry, poor choice of words) to make eye contact. I look up to see Preston digging through his pockets. What in the world is he doing?
He pulls out two breath mints, one of those disposable toothbrushes, and some chap stick. And then I cry. I know, I know. I’m pathetic. But I’m just one of tho
He kisses me, yes, kisses me on the forehead, before leaving. I sigh and cry to myself as I lean over the porcelain counter top. How did this happen? How did I fall in love with the most wonderful guy on the planet just to find out I can’t have him? Where’s the justice in this, God? I wait, but don’t get an answer. Maybe my feelings will dissipate, and one day Preston will be like the brother I've never had.
I meditate on this for a while and shake my head. No way can I ever look at that man and think brother. Not even if he was was a terrible kisser, which he isn’t. The man has a mouth on him, let me tell you. His kiss could get a girl pregnant. And I can’t see that perfect smile and tight body and imagine, Oh look, how nice. Preston and his wife are now having kids. and I'm still single. Nope, not going to happen. Dang, I‘m going to have to move. Or switch churches. I groan before trying to fix the mess I’m in the mirror.
I walk outside to sit, only to find Preston already sitting there reading US Weekly. Yeah, right. Like he just happened to pick it up from the seat?
“I got this for you,” he offers me the magazine and some 7-up.
“I thought your stomach might be upset. Hey, did you know it says here that Brad and Angelina are cooperating with the Maui authorities to try to find their impersonators? Apparently they’ve been on some sort of tour for World Hunger this whole week.” He shrugs as if it's no big deal, but I snatch the magazine from his hands.