The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Romance Disappointed

When I lived in New York City I had a roommate named Eric that worked in a comedy club. He was tall twenty-something, the child of a white mother and a black father, with a very sarcastic sense of humor and an easy-going personality. He aspired to be a playwright, and had been writing plays and trying to get some productions off the ground for his stuff.

A couple times Eric had been visited by an old friend of his who was studying at Brown in Providence. She was getting her PhD in English and intended to be an English professor. She’s also of mixed parentage half-Filipino, half-Latina, a short woman in her only twenties with a frankly annoyingly squeaky voice, but nonetheless intelligent and funny.

This had been the second or third time she’d come to visit, and she always stayed in Eric’s basement bedroom next to mine, since there was no other room for her in the house that five of us, including Eric and I, shared. This had been a spontaneous, unplanned visit that she’d suddenly decided upon at the last minute, deciding to spend one of her weekends with Eric in New York instead of back in Providence.

What neither I nor Eric realized was that she was romantically interested in Eric. They’d been friends for quite a while, so Eric thought nothing of her visits and they were able to share a bed in his small bedroom without any sex. She, on the other hand, didn’t realize that Eric had just begun dating an older co-worker who waitressed at the comedy club. This older coworker was a woman with considerably more history than Eric, a twice divorced woman who’s most recent divorce occurred after she found her husband in bed with another woman. An impetuous and fiery woman, she’d left her husband right then and there, despite having nowhere to live. She ended up living at a women-only shelter, which was still her home at the time.

That weekend evening, while Eric was working, Eric’s friend and I went to the comedy club to see a show. We talked along the way, traveling from our place in Queens to the comedy club in Midtown Manhattan. We arrived a bit early and walked around. Then we went inside and waited in the downstairs bar for the previous set to finish up before we could take our seats in the main room. This whole time we were talking—about the usual, about literary topics, about what life was like in Brown, about what was going on in Eric’s life. A few minutes before the show was about to start, she’d mentioned the perils of dating co-workers, and I mentioned casually that Eric had just started dating a co-worker of his. Her whole demeanor changed when she heard this and she suddenly became completely silent.

We then immediately went up to hear the show. The show overall was lots of fun and her and I laughed the whole way through, but this was only a reprieve. After the show she was sullen and untalkative. Whereas before, the two of us had had no problem keeping up a conversation, now it was long silences, while I tried to get her talking and she didn’t say anything. We rode back on the subway to Woodside, Queens, and I insisted that she tell me what was wrong. She at first refused, but eventually admitted that she needed to tell someone her secret.

As we walked around the neighborhood, she told me about the process of her growing fondness Eric. They’d gone to school together and become close friends. There’d been some ambiguity about the status of her relationship, and it had seemed at one point, late in their senior year, that Eric was trying to transition from friends to lovers. He’d taken her out on a date, and she balked, wanting to remain only friends. After he’d moved to New York and she’d gone to college in Providence, her affections towards Eric grew and she’d been hoping to come down to New York to try and seduce Eric and make a romantic connection. She told me not to tell Eric about all this, and I promised I wouldn’t

She had to spend the night again, sharing the bed in Eric’s room, but then she promptly left in the morning, telling Eric that something had come up and she needed to get back to Providence. He hadn’t questioned this, and though it was apparent that something was wrong, he attributed it to whatever this thing that had come up was. I kept my silence about her secret, while he told me about how uncomfortable it was to share a rather small bed with someone. You just can’t sleep as well. He said that he’d actually hoped that I would’ve seduced her so that he could have a bed all to himself. I laughed at the joke, but still kept my silence.

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