Par Jo Lee
Jen hurriedly swallowed the pill and chugged the remainder of the water bottle. Larry knocked again, he was certain she was home – there was plenty of noise behind her end of the door. After catching her breath from her drinking marathon, she took a moment to arrange her messy hair and outfit. This was not her best look and she was fully aware of it but she refused to feel unorganized when Larry was the one barging in, without notice.
She opened the door without turning the handle and stood on the other side of the door. Larry heard the lock being turned but the door didn’t open. He thought she unlocked the door and walked away so his surprise was quite obvious when he pushed open the door and saw her waiting there, looking dishevelled. They spoke no words to each other but the remorse was immediate on Jen’s end. The nausea overwhelmed and teased all of her senses before she found herself shuffling past Larry to lock herself in the bathroom. Larry stood there, absolutely dumbfounded, before regrouping and following her path to the restroom. He knocked on the tiny door and waited for her to open after her retching sounds stopped. The water turned on and he could hear her swishing water – or was it mouthwash – in her mouth. This was not the way Jennifer had anticipated their first meeting after the encounter they had. The only thing she fathomed her possible illness to be was insurmountable guilt. She wasn’t in the habit of sleeping with twin brothers…over the period of a weekend. Tears poked her eyes and threatened to take over her face, she was that close to a melt-down. Perhaps, she shouldn’t have opened the door..
Larry stood awkwardly in her apartment, glancing around when he spotted a small opened bottle next to the pharmacy’s paper bag he saw her carrying a few minutes ago. He grabbed the bottle and read the inscription on it. Contraception D’urgence. (Emergency contraception). Thoughts rummaged through his head, trying to recount every single detail of their impassioned night. Why is she taking contraception pills? He remembered her hands ingrained on his back, her moans, her screaming his name, his glorious orgasm. His orgasm! All of the sudden, it clicked for him that in the spur of the moment, he didn’t wear a condom. Oh shit!
Jen opened the bathroom door and found Larry standing there at the door frame, leaving no space between them. Due to lack of finding the right words, he enveloped her in his arms and she unwillingly responded to his embrace by hugging him back. He tilted his head down and she could feel his chin resting on her head as he holds her tightly against his thin torso, covered with a baggy shirt and jeans’ jacket. Against his chest, she can hear his rugged breathing and fast heartbeat. Why is his heart beating so fast? They stood there for what felt like an hour but realistically lasted five minutes, during which his fingers groped her scalp while he was still holding her. Larry felt a bit of remorse and confusion as to why he could comfort Jennifer without her asking yet couldn’t bother sticking around to soothe Lola’s pain. Jennifer felt so good in his arms, he could hold her all night yet he couldn’t have the decency to stick around after sleeping with her for the first time. Feeling disgusted with himself, he felt his heart heavy looming in his chest. How had she managed to touch his chore so quickly, without even trying baffled him. He was genuinely uncomfortable with what he’d done and wanted nothing more but to make it up to her.
He loosened up his embrace to look down at her and she looked so vulnerable, all untidy and broken down. Her face red, her hair unruly and her lips swollen, he couldn’t resist feeling a pang of guilt. She looked like she needed a long nap that lasted an entire day.
“Jen…I’m so sorry.” His words evoked all of the emotions being kept up inside and were the initiation she needed to completely burst into tears. This was just too much. First, she had a lucid night of raw passion with Larry then starts seriously falling in love with Laurent, her sweet beautiful Laurent, and now here he is, again. Trouble with a capital, underlined and bold T. Yet she didn’t have the energy to fight him or push him away. Jen was exhausted. All this ceaseless, emotional rollercoaster with twins who were nothing alike was just exasperating. Her bed was the only temptation she had at that moment, wanting to feel her body rest on it and sleep. Indulgent, greedy sleep that pulls you into all of its contemplative realms, opens for you numerous doors to allow you to continue sleeping and drifting further into another world. One where you didn’t have to think or feel, where you were not a part of this world or its’ sins. Larry stood there motionless, looking at her, waiting for a reaction. Anything at all.
“Why did you leave?” She managed to say finally. If she could only utter one thing to him, she wanted to know that.
“I—I don’t know. I was tired, sleepy. I just want to go home and forget what happened.” The words hurt more than she thought they could. He wanted to forget her. She stepped back from him. Given, he didn’t force her but after all she’d been through, coming back to an empty bed in the early morning, feeling guilty around Laurent who just wanted to love her, going through Interrogation 101 just to get this damn pill. And for what? For someone who wanted to forget her!
“I didn’t think. I know Lau likes you but – ”. At the mention of Lau’s name, Jen snapped. How dare he bring up his brother in this?
“Don’t Larry, JUST DON’T!” She heard her voice raising before even realizing that she was yelling. “ YOU FOLLOW ME HOME AT FUCKING 2 AM, PRACTICALLY RAPE ME, DISAPPEAR IN THE MORNING LIKE A GHOST THEN HAVE THE AUDACITY TO SAY YOU WERE CONFUSED? WELL, I WAS CONFUSED TOO! I THOUGHT LAU WAS THE ONE FOLLOWING ME. HE WAS THE ONE I WAS SUPPOSED TO – ” She stopped to reassess her words because she was about to say something really vulgar. She was about to admit that Lau was the one who was supposed to make love to her that night. After all, he’d been nothing but nice to her since they met, when Larry had been more distant and quiet. Larry’s face was stuck in a mixture of shock and horror, his mouth nearly dropping when she mentioned rape. He was hurt, although he wasn’t even sure why. Why her words meant so much, why he cared, why she meant so much…
“You wanted to forget that night, Larry?” Jen’s mouth was twisted in anger and she practically spat her words, not caring how ungraceful she might have looked in the moment. “Well, I want to forget you!” His face completely fell.
“You fucked me, left me and THEN as if that wasn’t enough, ignored me. I stood there like an idiot at your house and you couldn’t even open the door,” Tears were now spilling down her face as sadness overtook anger.“If you care at all about me, promise me you won’t tell Laurent. Tell me now Larry, in your own words that this stays between us!”
“Jen, I would never tell him. I –” Jen cut him off again.
“I want Lau, Larry. I don’t want this fucked up thing that happened. I want Lau. You know why?” Now she was taunting him, using his own brother to tell him why she was turning him away.
“I don’t want to know!” Larry’s mouth set into a hard line. He was just as angry as she was now albeit unsure of whether he was mad at her or at himself.
“Lau would n—”. Larry slammed her against the wall and fed his mouth on hers. He kissed her violently as his body pinned hers. She moved her face and felt his teeth bite her lips. She couldn’t move at all under his long body yet managed to jerk her knee right into his groin. Larry bowed in pain.
“Get out!” She said, as calmly as she could.
“You didn’t even let me say what I came here to say.” Larry rebuked.
“What did you come here to say?” She was looking at him warily.
“I’m so sorry Jen. I swear I don’t know why I left you that morning but if I could go back and do it again, I would have stayed with you. I would –” Larry felt his words stuck in his throat, he wanted to get them out but he couldn’t. “I’m just sorry. I got scared and I felt bad because Lau was working so hard to get with you.”
“You didn’t seem to care about your brother Saturday night.”
“I didn’t force you,” He took a few steps toward her and she got a better glimpse of his face in the shadow of his snapback. “Take it back.”Jen stood adamantly, hands crossed in front of her chest, eyes up so she could look at him. Even when they fought, the energy was electric. “Jen, I did not rape you. Take it back.” She gulped hard and considered his menacing look. “Look, I don’t come here to fight. Just to say sorry.” As he turned around to leave, she dwelled on the fact that rape was a very serious accusation and was not what occurred between them. He didn’t force her to do anything she wasn’t willing to do.
“Larry, I wanted it. I did want you very badly,” She saw his shoulders drop in relief. “But what you did, what we did… I just don’t want to hurt Lau. You hurt me so I know how it feels. I don’t want to do that to someone who doesn’t deserve it.”
“I know.” Jennifer suddenly wished he’d say more than that. That he’d say something sweet like Lau would, something that would make her change her mind, that would make it harder for her to make a choice. But with those last words, he looked at her momentarily before exiting her apartment.
“Bye…” She whispered when he’d wished her farewell and watched him walk away. Larry took the stairs at a furious rate, jumping them five at a time. What a rough night he’d had. First Lola, now Jen. Laurent’s Jen…who was his Jen for a very brief night. And a strong desire within him rose to make her his again. But after tonight, he had better luck with anyone else than with her. He’d blown his chance, a chance he wasn’t aware he wanted until now. To make matters worse, he had betrayed his own brother. His phone rang and when he realized it was Lola, he ignored it then turned it off. Women were nothing but trouble for him, especially tonight.