Slightly Untuned – Part 4
Leon and Susan slept only for a couple of hours.
When he woke up, due to the fact he had drunk quite a lot at the club too, he absolutely needed to pee. During the night, though, they had both changed position and the result was Susan’s head resting on his lap. She had probably snuggled up to him to get some warmth, as he had completely forgotten about looking for a blanket the night before and the morning was, indeed, as chilly as the night had been.
He looked down at her: ruined makeup all over her face, black eye bags and her lips slightly opening and closing as she slightly snored. Nobody would have liked a girl like that, and yet it was in this moment that she was the prettiest, for him. As she slept, she was the same girl he had met years before, with the same tender and a little nerdy face.
As nice as it was to look at her, though, he really needed to go to the toilet. He placed a palm below her head to prevent it falling on the sofa too hard, then slid to the side, out of her grasp, before gently laying her head on the soft textile again.
He’d managed to win freedom. He quietly stood up and checked on the door he had noticed the evening before near the kitchen, under the wooden stairs, but unfortunately, that was only a small warehouse. He looked around wondering what to do and decided to venture upstairs. Step by step, slowly to prevent the creaking of the wooden steps to become too loud, he reached the floor above.
To his utter surprise, the top floor was very small. On the right of the small corridor, there was an open door leading to a room with a double bed. On the left, two closed doors that, once he had opened them, revealed to lead to the bathroom and to the toilet.
“Bingo!” He thought.
Once he finished doing his business, he retraced his way back to the ground floor and sat back on the sofa, close to Susan’s face. He fetched his smartphone and looked at the time: it was past eight in the morning. Luckily, he was living alone too and had no need to go home.
Susan began moving as if she started to wake up, and he looked at her, again. She was trying, without success, to open her eyes but the result was just a thin slit between her eyelids that lasted only a few instant before disappearing again, her eyes unable to adapt quickly to the morning light that was filtering through the shutters nobody had remembered to shut.
“Mmmm… I need to pee too… why can’t you go and do that for me?”
This time, he laughed out loud enough. She fetched a small, squared sofa cushions and pulled it over her face, to cover her eyes, then continued.
“Don’t laugh. You should go and pee for me, so I can just stay here and sleep for the rest of the day, waiting for this headache to disappear.”
Leon thought that Susan had definitely changed, in those years they have been apart. Before, she would have never even tried to joke about something as intimate as her need to go to the toilet. On this regard, though, he preferred her now.
“I can’t pee for you but I can drag you upstairs. Do you need help?”
“Will you help me to undress to?” She said, her face still hidden by the small pillow.
Leon was shocked for an instant but didn’t show it to her.
“We know each other well enough… Guess I can help you, if you need.”
“You are right, we know well enough, Leon,” she said, mischievously smiling.
Susan stood up and waited until he stood up too, before grabbing his arm and leaning against him. They walked all the way to the top floor and, when Leon opened the toilet door and moved to accompany her inside, she pushed him out, laughing.
“Do you really think I need help? I’m fine, I’m fine,” she said closing the door, “or you want to see me naked that much?”
Leon didn’t know what to say or do, so he just waited a minute or so before the door opened and she grabbed his arm again. Once downstairs, Susan was the one pulling him back to the sofa.
“So, we had no sex last night?” She said out of the blue, and Leon thought she may have just checked in the toilet if there was any evidence of it inside her.
“No, we didn’t-”
“I was joking… Just joking, Leon. I was well aware of everything,” she interrupted him, “and when I say everything, I mean really everything.”
She definitely remembered what had happened.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to take advantage of you.”
“You didn’t take advantage of me.”
“But you were drunk.”
“What if I simply wanted it?”
“I couldn’t be sure, Susan.”
She shifted her body next to his. They were sitting so close that, looking down, he could see her cleavage and her breasts squished in the low-cut shirt that she was still wearing since the night before.
“And are you sure, now?” She said, closing the small gap that separated their lips.
Her kiss was tender, playful and yet passionate. Her tongue looked for his, her lips bit his, her nose rubbed his one looking for the contact she had longed for.
The passion they had felt for a moment the evening before kicked back, and she pushed Leon down on the sofa then crawled over him. Kiss after kiss, Susan rubbed her entire body against his. Her breast popped out of the t-shirt, her skirt was pulled up when she spread her legs to sit astride of him.
She began to moan in his mouth, as she rubbed her pussy on his cock that had already become rock hard inside his pants. Then she shifted her weight a little up to give him her breasts to kiss.
Leon wasn’t that sure, though, about the whole situation.
He had never been the kind of guy to have sex at all cost: he wanted emotional sharing, he wanted to feel something for the girl he was going to have sex with and – unluckily – he wasn’t feeling anything for that girl but sympathy due to the old days spent together and the way she had been drunk the night before. She was pretty, there may have been something, but she was being too pushy for him, and he didn’t like it.
He pushed her a little aside, afar from their kiss.
“I’m sorry, Susan, I can’t.”
“What? You can’t have sex with me? I’m telling you I’m absolutely in myself, I want to do it…”
“But I don’t,” was his awkward, too straight answer. Leon was beginning to feel bad about her insistence: he wanted to go away, he wanted to get rid of that girl. There was something inexplicable in his behaviour, and yet he was feeling it was the right thing to do.
She straightened up, looking down into his eyes until she realized he really meant it. And then disappointment and angriness took place of the lust and happiness that had been in her eyes till that moment
“You… You gonna abandon me again?” She said as the rage became visible in the red of her face.
“Go, away,” she added in a quiet tone, which felt like the calm before the storm.
“GO AWAY! GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!”
She had exploded. And Leon, taken aback from the sudden change in her attitude, got a little scared. He took his phone, he put on his shoes and opened the door.
Behind him, Susan was still hissing at him all her resentment.
“I hate you. I hate you, I hate you, I FUCKING HATE YOU. You liar, you damned liar. Get out, get away from me and never, ever show yourself in front of me, again.”
When the door shut on his back, Leon knew the time to call a taxi had come.
During the entire journey home and once Leon finally got there, he couldn’t hide a sense of uneasiness about what had happened. He would have never expected that a girl could react like that for a refusal that was all but definite. He just didn’t feel like having sex with her, in that moment. Her reaction had been completely out of any, acceptable range.
Could have he done anything wrong, to upset her? He replayed back the entire evening at the concert, in his memories: how he had seen her dancing, how he had approached her after the concert, how he had helped her. There was nothing he could think of that could justify such reaction. On the other hand, he would have expected some kind of gratitude.
In the end, he thought, he had probably just never known that girl well enough to discover this part of her personality. Or maybe, she had just changed too much since the days he used to like her.
Disappointed, sad, he reached home and fell back on his bed again. It was Saturday, he had all the time he needed to sleep.
That sense of strange melancholy, though, persevered. As the time passed, he thought of reasons she may have been angry for. Maybe it was because he had refused her two times in a row? Considering the night, if she was really conscious at the time… that could be a suitable – but still not justifying the outburst – reason. Or maybe because she had forced herself to be what she wasn’t, to be bold with him, to kiss him, but in reality, she was still the girl he used to know? He had no way to tell.
The only thing he could do was try and call her, but he hadn’t got her phone. He could have asked his friends to ask their girlfriends… but he wasn’t very keen to speak about such personal matters with them. Going there, at her apartment, was not something alluring.
One day passed. Then two, then a week and another, and the memory of that night with Susan simply faded away. Leon came back to his usual living and with it the nights out with his friends – on those occasions when they actually managed to drag him out.
Every time they went for concerts at the Big See, though, he would think of her. Too often Leon would abruptly turn his head to focus on a girl that, from afar, looked like Susan. But there was no trace of her.
For a couple of times, he had even tried, to ask Sean and Tim about the two girls they had gone out with, so he could ask them Susan’s contact, but both of his friends seemed reluctant to talk about it. Maybe, he had thought, that night hadn’t gone as planned for them, too.
Weeks passed, and Leon was starting to completely forget about Susan. He had never been the type of man to linger on such matters for too long, anyway.
One day, then, Tim and Sean invited him to go to the Big See for a gig. As always, he gladly followed, but strangely that evening when he reached Sean’s house to pick them up with his car, there was no trace of Tim.
“Where’s Tim?” He asked.
“Dunno, he said he gonna come later, nut’n more!”
Tim coming by himself, by car, it meant he wasn’t going to drink much. It was very strange, it smelled fishy.
Once there, Leon and Sean spent some time at the Big See bar, waiting for him until it was almost time for the show to begin. And at that time, they saw Tim arriving.
He wasn’t alone.
With him, there was one of the two girls that were with Susan the fated night. Leon couldn’t recall her name, though, but it was the one that had looked nicer, to him.
“Hi guys, remember her?” He introduced them again, “Leon, Rory. Rory, Leon.”
Leon was shocked, as the memories of that night kicked him back, but Sean was more than that. He was almost angry, and you could see it from the rush of blood that had coloured his face. Rory, probably understanding there was something wrong, didn’t reach out her hand either to Sean or to Leon. Luckily, though, Sean didn’t speak, and Tim continued.
“We met again the other day in the city centre and… well, we decided to come to this gig together, since she likes this band!”
Tim seemed very, very happy, and Rory seemed to be at ease too. Leon thought that maybe the cause of their previous night not ending up well, could have been Sean. Everything matched: the tense atmosphere that had been between them in the weeks after that night, the fact they didn’t want to speak about it. Yes, likely Sean had messed it up: especially when he was drunk, indeed, he wasn’t a master of gallantry.
The gig was going to start soon and apart Rory and Tim that were whispering each other seemingly flirty words, no one spoke. Sean had evidently hoped to spend the evening hunting for girls with Tim, and Tim had planned it differently without telling him. Nothing was left to say, and Leon forecasted a couple of weeks of pouting to come, again.
Then the people started to gather on the floor under the stage and so they followed the mass. Sean was first, Rory and Tim right next to him and, behind, Leon was following. Suddenly, Rory left Tim’s arm and stopped, waiting for Leon to reach her.
Leon looked at her. She was short, but very pretty indeed, and now that she was smiling she seemed to be a good girl too. When she started speaking, though, that smile lost all its appeal, and was revealed for what it really was: nothing more than a façade, a mask she worn in public.
“I was hoping to see you, and I’m happy you are here. You’re a chicken. You’re a bastard. You are a dickless shithead that takes advantage of good girls and gives them false hopes.”
Leon stared at her, speechless. The sudden outburst had gotten him completely defensless.
“I’m not sorry. And I really, really needed to say it. You deserve it, you fucking idiot!”
Then Rory turned around and run back to Tim. Leon stopped, as all the memories of that night flowed in his mind. And yet, again, he was sure he hadn’t done anything to deserve that treatment. He got angry and fastened his walk to reach them again. He grabbed Rory by an arm and pulled her back. Tim of course, turned around ready to fight. The fact it was Leon, harassing his girlfriend, was the only thing that saved him. But it was not going to work for long.
“What the fuck are you doing, man?” He asked, and Rory’s expression was questioning the same: it was clear there was nothing else to discuss, anymore.
“Susan insulted me, you insulted me, and yet I don’t think that not-wanting to fuck a girl is that FUCKING SERIOUS!” His voice was loud, and some people around them turned around. His grip on Rory’s wrist, though, didn’t falter.
“Leave me alone, I have nothing to do with this,” she said as she tried to wiggle out of his grasp.
“Hey man, leave her alone, fuck!” Tim was getting nervous too.
“I just need to speak with you five minutes. Only five minutes, please!” Leon said, pleading the girl, as he had understood already he was not going to get anything by fighting. And she must have seen the uncertainty in his eyes because she stopped to pull, and spoke with Tim.
“Wait here, I’ll be back in five minutes.”
This time it was Rory to pull Leon across the hall so fast, as if she wanted to finish that business as soon as possible, until they reached the small hall at the entrance of the Big See, just close to the wardrobes. It was dark, there, and the only thing Leon could clearly see was the occasional glitter of a light in her eyes.
“I’ll not take back what I said. You deceived her, and when she thought you were hers again, you fucking leave her alone like that?”
“What the… What the fuck are you saying? I didn’t deceive anyone, I was the one blocking her advances towards me when she was drunk, and then because I simply didn’t feel like it! What the hell is wrong with that? What the hell is wrong with all of you?”
“You’re really a gutless rabbit, Leon, if you think a girl can let you into her apartment without ulterior motives. Or you think a girl can forget a man she’d been in love for years, even when he is such a coward he ran away after taking his virginity?”
“Oooohh FUCK, RORY! Fuck, fuck and fuck AGAIN!” Leon had gotten angry. What had Susan told her friends? Was she really that drunk, the night they had met, to think he had taken advantage of her? No. It was impossible. He remembered Susan had even checked her pussy in the morning, in her own toilet.
”A-G-A-I-N with this story about her virginity? That’s BULLSHIT, that’s simple BULLSHIT! I didn’t even touch her! And moreover, if I had really fucked a virgin, especially a cute one like her, I’d fucking know it! I’d never, ever reached the point I couldn’t remember what I did. Never, in my entire FUCKING LIFE!”
Never, he thought.
“You’re a loser. You’re a huge, fucking loser and I’m sick of you,” Rory yelled and then turned around and left him there, standing alone, with the seed of doubt slowly growing inside him.
Never, he repeated to himself. Apart from that one time. Slowly, flashes of memories began coming back. That one time he had gotten drunk, so drunk he had forgotten most of what had happened.
It was the night of his graduation’s party, the last night he had spent in the college dormitory, likely the last night he had seen Susan before moving out, the morning after.
He had indeed talked with her, that time. He had indeed flirted with her. He had maybe even kissed her, but he couldn’t be sure of that: everything about that night had always been a mix between dreams and reality. And yet, now that the doubt had made his way inside his brain, he had to know the truth. Because if it was as he thought, he had at least some excuses to pay.
Leon run to the hall, where the concert had already begun. The bass and the drums shouting out of the speakers suddenly roared inside him so much that he almost lost balance.
The singer was shouting all his rage in the microphone and the people moshing under the stage hit him with the force of a tornado. But in the eye of the storm, he found the person he was looking for. Everyone around them was shouting the refrain with all their might.
[And if I tell you,
that I love you]
Once again, he grabbed her wrist and pulled Rory towards him, this time to speak in her ear.
“I know what happened. I know it. I’m sorry. I need to tell her, now. Would you give me her number?” He said, shouting as he tried to push away the people that were coming at them.
In her eyes, he could still see a hint of angriness. And yet when she looked away, before reaching back to his ear to shout him her answer, there was a hint of pity.
[Don’t believe me,
Fuck, don’t trust me]
“She’s gone. She left today. I said you are a loser: you lost her,” then she tried to leave him, again, but his grip on her wrist kept her there.
“What did you say? She left?”
Those words had hit him like a truck. If it was as he had just realized, he may have made a huge mistake.
[And if I tell you,
that I hate you]
“LEAVE-ME-ALONE!” Rory shouted pulling her hand away, trying to overcome the mass of people singing around them.
[Don’t believe me,
Fuck, come back to me]
But even with the music playing so loud, Leon heard her. He had no time to answer, though, because if he still had a chance, every second passing was taking that chance away from him.
He ran to his car and, with a new determination in his eyes, left.
It was time to be true to his name.
It was time to be a lion.