“I looked for Ryan all over the first floor. I couldn’t find him. I went upstairs to his room. He was probably in bed since he was sick. I entered, and I couldn’t believe what I saw.”
“Hey,” I said on the phone. “Can I come over today?”
“You really should not. I’m sick as hell. I think I’m coming down with the flu, and I don’t want to infect you,” said my boyfriend on the other line of the phone as he quickly hung up.
That was completely weird. He usually wouldn’t hang up the phone like that but whatever. I took my wallet and my car keys. I drove to Walmart and bought some over-the-counter medicine for the flu. I drove to Ryan’s house. His house front door would always be open, I was used to just walking in as if it was my own house.
I looked for Ryan all over the first floor. I couldn’t find him. I went upstairs to his room. He was probably in bed since he was sick. I entered, and I couldn’t believe what I saw. Yes, he was cheating. I just couldn’t believe he was screwing my cousin. I just laughed at the whole situation. They separated and looked at me in a way you could tell they were really scared for their lives. I did not go crazy or anything.
I just pulled my thumb up and said, “So much for being sick.”
I left the house and got into my car. Instantly as I got in the car, I slammed my face into the steering wheel and screamed out. I drove off to Kiara’s house. I found myself in the basement my best friend had made into her room. I threw myself into her bed.
“Oh no, trouble in paradise. What happened between you and Ryan?” asked Kiara. You could tell in her voice she was so over me and Ryan’s bullshit. She sounded so sarcastic and annoyed.
“Nothing too serious, I just found him having sex with Lilly,” I answered sarcastically.
“Oh shit,” exclaimed Kiara in surprise. “But I thought she was your cousin.”
“Well, you thought right! Hell yeah she is my cousin, but she didn’t think of that before getting into bed with my now ex-boyfriend,” I said very angrily.
I kept quiet after. The silence in the room was so intense you could hear a needle falling to the floor but, I liked it that way. I don’t know how to feel or if I should feel anything at all. Am I crazy for not feeling hurt? I just feel empty inside. I should be mad and crying. It is the normal thing to feel in a moment like this one, but I don’t feel anything at all.
“Listen. It’s okay. Your cousin didn’t take much from you,” said Kiara as she was trying to seem calm, but her body language snitched on her. Anybody could tell she was worried, as her hands started to fidget, and she looked frightened.
“I’m good, don’t worry,” I said so calm that it was concerning due to what happened.
I just wondered why would he do that to me. If he wanted out, he could have said so. It’s like Lilly had half of me, and she was not even half of me. I mean, she totally is the opposite of my personality. She knew he was my boyfriend. She fucking knew, but she couldn’t keep her legs closed. Even your own family betrays you. I tried to keep calm and not cry, but I couldn’t. I ended up crying. I tried to be strong. I just couldn’t. In this moment, I felt so exposed. I usually wouldn’t cry in front of anybody. I didn’t want to be looked as weak, but goddammit I deserved this cry. Kiara looked at me, frozen. She didn’t know what to do. She won’t be the type of person that would be good to comfort you, but she will always be there, even if it meant only her presence.
“Calm down,” I said. “I’ll get over this. He is not the only guy in the world.”
I spent the rest of the day with Kiara. After just getting cheated on, I could still crack jokes with my best friend. I didn’t want to be alone, but I would have to leave at any moment. As I got home, I went right away to sleep, just to avoid thinking.
The next day I went to school. I wasn’t really excited to show up to school and see Ryan’s face. I made my way through the school, and to be honest, I was trying to avoid Ryan. I found Kiara, and I felt relieved.
“Can you make it less obvious that you are trying to avoid somebody?” asked Kiara as she laughed at me.
“Good morning to you too, asshole,” I said to my best friend.
Our other friends came, and we just stood there talking, waiting for first period to start. I plugged my headphones in, since I really didn’t feel like talking anymore. I was really concentrated into listening to The Chainsmokers until I felt Kiara poking me to death with her elbow.
“Oh my god! What do you want?” I asked Kiara as I angrily took my headphones off. “You know better, when I have my headphones on that means nobody talk to me.”
Kiara just pointed with her forehead. I looked at the direction she pointed, just to see Ryan’s stupid self walking towards us. I just looked away and laughed. Yeah, now everything is a joke. Ignoring his presence completely, I just plugged my headphones back in. Until I felt somebody’s arm around me.
“Excuse me,” I said, turning around to see Ryan’s face.
“Hello, baby cakes,” he said as he soundfully kissed my cheek.
“Now you got some nerve!” I yelled, catching a lot of people’s attention. “How can you just come here, kiss me on the cheek, and call me baby cakes when yesterday you were between my cousin’s legs? And get the hell away from me before I smack you.”
“You don’t have to act up, you overreacting,” he said while removing his arms off me.
“Boy, you were having sex with my cousin, and you got the nerve to say I’m overreacting. You must be out of your goddamn mind!” After I said this, Ryan just left, which I appreciate very much.
“So much for avoiding,” said Kiara while she laughed, and I laughed with her even though I was so mad steam could come out of my ears.
Months went by, and I just made myself busy, focused on my school work and going out with Kiara to the volleyball court, and I also found myself talking to Ryan’s friend. I know, you don’t have to go on and on about how bad of an idea this is. Kiara is making sure of it.
“I’m just saying if you are stupid enough to continue with that decision, go ahead, but you are being stupid,” said Kiara for the 400th time in one hour.
“It’s not like I’m marrying the guy, I’m just having a little fun. You need to loosen up a little bit,” I said to Kiara.
“Okay, you are not marrying him, but still you are leading him on, and he is Ryan’s friend. That is just plain stupid, and just because you got cheated on, doesn’t mean you get to play with somebody else.”
“I’m playing him or leading him on,” I lied.
“Are you planning on having something serious with him?” asked Kiara while giving me a death stare.
“Chill chica, if looks could kill, and I don’t want nothing serious with him, are you crazy?” I laughed.
“Then you are so leading him on!” Kiara yelled at me. “You know how it feels to be played. Don’t do that to the guy. He is really nice, unlike Ryan. He doesn’t deserve it,” said Kiara while grabbing my phone and blocking Ryan’s friend’s number.
“You didn’t have to block Anthony! At least you could let me give the guy an explanation of why I’m not talking to him,” I complained.
“Any talking you want to do, you could do it in front of me, so I know you’re going to end this and not lead him on anymore, and by the way, Ryan is calling.” She passed my phone, but I looked at it ring until the call ended. “Why didn’t you answer?”
“Do I look like I want to talk to the bastard that cheated on me with my cousin? I don’t want to hear his lame excuses. There are a lot of girls willing to forgive, but I’m not one of them,” I said angrily.
“You see, that is one decision I support,” said Kiara.
We left the volleyball court since it was about to close. As soon as I got home, I unblocked Anthony and texted him.
Me: Hey there
Anthony: Hey, you finally out?
Me: Yeah, the court was about to close, so we had to go home
Anthony: Can I come over?
Me: I’m going to take a shower and then I’m heading off to sleep
Anthony: But it’s early, don’t go to sleep
Me: It’s 11 o’clock, get it together Anthony LOL, go to sleep
Anthony: Fine, TTYL.
After taking a shower, I can assure that I didn’t go to sleep. I ordered some pizza and watched Grey’s Anatomy. I got so lost watching the TV show, every time I said I would go to sleep, I ended up watching one more episode. It happened like 20 times, but when I was finally going to sleep, my alarm went off. I stayed up all night watching Grey’s Anatomy, and I had a geometry test today!
I rushed out of my house, regretting the decision I made last night. I should have gone to sleep!
I was already in a bad mood since I didn’t get to sleep, now add a geometry test to that. My stress level was as high as it would have ever been. During the test I couldn’t concentrate, every sound irritated me, and the teacher’s voice irritated me more than the usual. I couldn’t remember any formulas, so I failed this test. I know I failed because I fell asleep halfway through the test. My teacher woke me up by slamming his hand on my desk, which didn’t contribute to my humor. I got out of the classroom to find Kiara, I couldn’t find her anywhere, so I decided to text her
Me: Where are you?
Kiara: I’m by the library
Me: I’m on my way there
I made my way through the school, and to be completely honest with you guys, I am so in love with the structure of the school. I loved the detailed spiral columns we had, and I loved the detailed white flowers in the corners of the ceiling and the beige walls! The place seems so magnificent to be a school. It gives you the vibe of an old museum. I admired the details in the building as I made my way through school to the library. As I got to the library, I could see Kiara hanging outside of the library.
“Can you come over here?” I yelled at Kiara. I really didn’t feel like walking anymore. My feet were killing me, my back hurt like it never did before, and the classroom tables were not the comfiest place to sleep on.
“You look like total crap,” said Kiara as soon as she got to me. “Why didn’t you sleep last night?”
“How did you know?” I asked.
“I’ve known you for a long time, don’t you think I know almost every aspect of you? Now answer, why didn’t you sleep last night?” asked Kiara again.
“I stayed up watching Grey’s Anatomy,” I answered shamefully.
“Quick question, have you gotten over what happened with Ryan? You haven’t talked about it ever since it happened,” Kiara looked at me with intrigue.
I really couldn’t give an answer. I wasn’t over it. In fact, I was still hurting on the inside. Trying to distracting myself didn’t work. My mind would always make its way back to that damn day. I tried to forgive him. Maybe he did it because of something I lacked, but it wasn’t a good enough reason. I tried to forgive Lilly. She is my cousin, but in my eyes she is just a whore.
“I don’t know how I got over everything so easily,” I answered to Kiara, even though I wasn’t really over everything that had happened. I couldn’t see myself confessing. I was still hurt.
I quickly walked the streets in Manhattan, rushing to get home. I was excited. My mother finally came home from vacation. Well, it wasn’t a vacation. It was for three days, but they were the longest three days of my life!
As soon as I walked in, I could hear the merengue blasting in the speakers, and I could smell the Sancocho my mother was making in the kitchen. I missed my mother so much! It’s hard not having her around.
“Bendicion, Mom,” I said as I walked in the kitchen. Asking for your parents’ blessing was something Dominicans do.
“Dios te bendiga mija,” answered my mother while hugging me. “Listen, get ready. Food is almost ready, and your uncles and cousins are coming over to eat.”
When my mother said that, I just stood frozen. I was so frozen that I could actually take Princess Elsa’s part in the movie Frozen. What does she mean? My cousins are coming over? She must be kidding me! She better be! If that’s the case, it means Lilly will be here, and I don’t have the means to deal with her. I mean isn’t it ironic that she is named Lilly, when Lilly means purity, and she was screwing my boyfriend. So pure! As my mind comes back to earth, I could hear my mom calling my name like crazy.
“Amelia, muchacha, I’m talking to you,” said my mother very angrily. “Ese noviesito of yours is really having you acting stupid.”
“Actually, me and him are not dating anymore mom,” I said, and as soon as I said that, my mother hugged me. “I found him cheating on me.”
I saved the detail that he cheated on me with my cousin, I didn’t to bring any drama to the family, but if I knew that summer night was going to end up with Lilly getting with Ryan, I would never have invited her to our camping trip.
I decided to bring my cousin to a camping trip that my friends and I planned. I mean, she was going to be in my school next year. This would be a great opportunity for her to meet people and make friends. But she was more of a loner. She stayed by herself. As we began to light some wood on fire, my boyfriend came, late as always. He came up to me and kissed me, but I rushed him to introduce him to my cousin.
“So this is my cousin,” I said while I grabbed her by the arm. She looked kind of weird, but she was a shy person, so I didn’t pay much attention.
“What’s your name?” Ryan asked her, but she just kept quiet and stood frozen.
“Her name is Lilly. Excuse her, she tends to be really shy,” I said as Ryan and I walked away from her.
I kept reliving the memory in my head. I stayed in my room. My mom didn’t bother me on going downstairs. I know she felt like I was going to break at any moment. But I wasn’t. I can’t deny that the betrayal from both parties made me feel downhearted, but I wasn’t going to let them break me.
I spent most of the evening hiding in my room. I knew Lilly was downstairs since I heard her voice. She really got some nerve coming here. If I was in her position, I would never show up to the girl’s house whose boyfriend I screwed.
I was really nervous, facing Amelia? After what I’ve done? That’s signing my own death certificate. I am hundred percent sure she is going to beat my ass. My mother insisted on me coming over since Amelia’s mom called with the chisme that Ryan cheated on her. She thought I could make her feel better. Apparently Amelia saved to herself that I was the girl she found Ryan with. Amelia didn’t come out of her room. Mother insisted on me going to her room, but I was ashamed.
“Go hang out with Amelia. You could really make her feel better,” said my mother.
“Quit insisting. If she hasn’t come out, that means she wants to be alone,” I quickly lied. I know I am the last person she wants to see right now.
“I’m not going to repeat myself, Lilly,” said my mother as she grabbed my arm and dragged me to my cousin’s room. She knocked the door.
My cousin said, “Come in!”
Mother doesn’t know that she is inventing a new kind of stupid right now.
“Mija, I told Lilly to come cheer you up, you know since what happened,” said my mother as she quickly pushed me into my cousin’s room. She just led me to my own death!
Amelia just looked at me like, “Really bitch?”
I am actually scared. My mother just left me alone with my murderer. I looked everywhere. I looked to the corner where a little trash can is, looked at the pink walls where she used to have some pictures of her and Ryan. She took them off. The last time I was here, before getting caught by Amelia, she had them. I looked at the ceiling. I looked at everything but her. I didn’t have the nerve to look at her or say anything.
“Why did you do it?” asked Amelia in her voice. You could hear a little bit of disappointment, but she was trying to seem calm. I didn’t have an answer, at least not a valid one.
My cousin insisted on bringing me here. I didn’t want to come, but if I didn’t, I would have to stay all by myself, so I decided to come along. I was pretty bored. The place was nice. The tall trees and the smell of the soil were fantastic, and the campfire was beautiful. We could see everybody around it sharing some s’mores. The only thing that sucked was the mosquitoes.
That’s when I saw him. The first thing I noticed about him was his eyes. Oh look at those eyes… The deep brown of his eyes made me feel completely helpless. His black, long hair pulled into a ponytail, his light skin, oh god! Every detail about him was so perfect. I tried to catch him just giving me a glance, but I saw him walking towards my cousin, and when he kissed her, my heart crushed. It exploded. My cousin approached me. He followed her. She told him I was her cousin. He asked my name, but his presence made me forget it. Why out of all the boys, I had to like the one that my cousin is dating? I can assure you I won’t be happy.
“So, why did you do it? Why out of all the boys it had to be Ryan?” she asked.
“I am so sorry for any distress I’ve caused,” I apologized.
“Do you think you feeling sorry is going to fix anything? The damage is already done! It is hard to listen to you apologizing with a straight face,” she almost yelled at me, but I knew she didn’t want to draw any attention to what is happening in this room. If she was to beat me up, I would accept that ass whooping. I deserved it. She walked towards me. I really thought I was through, but she just walked out. I don’t know why, but I followed her to the living room.
“Why are you following me?” she yelled at me. “I don’t want you near me, don’t you get that?
“Okay, what is going on?” asked my aunt. “Don’t be yelling at your cousin like that, she haven’t done anything to you!”
“She haven’t done anything to me?” she questioned her as she turned around to look at her mother. “You don’t know anything. You don’t know that Lilly is the girl that I found Ryan with. I didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t want to be the one that brought drama into the family, but there you go. Please let it be know that my cousin is a putita.”
It suddenly hit me. How could I have done this? She is my cousin, and I love her more than anything. How could I let my emotions get the best of me? I should have stood by. I am truly sorry for causing any distress in her relationship. I wish we could have been more discreet, but I am not sorry for wanting him like I did. My mother rushed me out of Amelia’s house. I looked at her. In her face you could see how embarrassed she was. She couldn’t even look at me in the eyes. As soon as I got home, I locked myself in my room and closed my curtains. I laid in my bed.
I wasn’t really happy in my own relationship. I really wasn’t. I wouldn’t let my own boyfriend see the pictures on my phone, but I did let her boyfriend see them. It’s not like I’m saying that what we had was special, since it really wasn’t, but it was something rare. I truly regret every problem I’ve caused in his relationship. I wish we could have been more discreet. I’m not sorry for wanting him like I did. At the end of the day, I had to call him, text him, or end the night kissing his lips. Even with Amelia right beside me, he looked at me in a way that revealed every single detail between us. He will always be there for me, even if it meant risking his own relationship. Every moment we shared I felt this fake happiness, because after all, he only loved his girlfriend. He would go on about how he didn’t want to lose her and how we should end this for the better. His heart was completely hers, but looking pathetic, I asked him to stay. When she left him, it killed him. He made mistakes, and I was one of them. Even when he had his arms around me while we lay in the couch, I could tell Amelia was the only thing in his mind. None of this really matters anymore. I’m going to move one, as suprinsly as that sounds. I will move on but not completely, as I will always carry a picture of us in my phone.