Unsurprisingly, Alejandro never called the next day to have our “talk” that he had promised we would have regarding the “break” he decided we were going on the night before. I laid in bed, watching my phone, willing it to ring, in a hungover haze of Jameson and Café Patron from the night before, never having felt more dejected and discarded, feeling more and more like the butt of those Marlboro Lights that Alejandro was always smoking.
Six months of dating and he couldn’t even take five minutes out of his day to do the respectful thing? I thought to myself as I shook my head, which ferociously pounded in response.
It wasn’t as if we had been together just a few short weeks—it had been half of a year for Christ’s sake and for this Sex & the Upper East Sider, that was no interval of fidelity to be taken lightly. Shame on Alejandro for so easily disregarding me and shame on me for not seeing through his bullshit sooner.
After cursing out my laptop for not picking up a wireless signal strong enough to stream the Damages episode next in my queue on Netflix, I decided that it was time to stop feeling sorry for myself. I got out of bed, threw on my gym clothes, and booked a ticket to L.A. to visit my best friend for the following weekend. This “break” wasn’t anything a little yoga, Chelsea Handler, and the Hollywood Hills couldn’t fix.
I came back from L.A. reinvigorated and rested, ready to take back the Upper East Side by storm. I don’t know if it was the magical touch of Chuy’s tiny midget hand or the inhalation of a new smog, but Alejandro was old news in my little black book by the time my plane touched down on that LaGuardia tarmac—that is, until I recalled that I still had to pick up the rest of my belongings from his apartment.
As I was behind the bar during a slow shift, I mustered up a little mettle and texted Alejandro to see when I could stop by for my stuff. As I hit send, I heard two customers rustle up to the bar and I looked up only to find Billy Blue and his sidekick, Abu. I rolled my eyes and shook my head, but had to smile.
“And what brings you to this fine establishment today, gentlemen?” I derisively asked.
“Well, you can always count on a good Irishman, can’t you?” Billy answered with matched derisiveness, grinning ear to ear, mocking my last article’s ending note.
“I think what Billy meant to ask was, are you going to give him another shot? And if the answer is no, are you ready to give me a shot?” Abu piped in as I opened two bottles of Coors Light. Billy and I both ignored Abu.
“Bacchus, do you know what today marks?” Billy asked and I inquisitively shook my head no, waiting for some sort of dramatic reply. “It’s the one year anniversary of my sister’s wedding. Didn’t we have such a wonderful time?”
“Well I sure as hell hope she and her husband last longer than we did and that he doesn’t have eight different girls on the side, as you did.” I quickly replied looking him square in the face with my eyebrows raised as I handed him and Abu their tab.
Billy handed me his credit and explained, “You see, Bacchus, I’m very much like this credit card. I’m willing to give you my credit card number, the name on the card, even the expiration date. But I never give up that three digit security code on the back. And from what I’ve read, it sounds like you should stop giving out your security code…because that’s when you become the victim of fraud.”
Jesus, where do I find these freaks? I asked myself. I’ve got to stop picking up men in bars—especially men from the continent of Europe.
I took the card from Billy, processing his somewhat ridiculous analogy. But as Billy and Abu headed out the door, on to the next bar, and on to torture the next bartender, I realized Ole Blue just might be onto something, after all. Maybe I had too easily given up my “security code” to Alejandro, and here I was, fraud-ridden and alone after I had so willingly offered him that code to my heart.
I was still processing the wisdom of Billy Blue when I felt a vibration in my pocket. It was a response from Alejandro.
Let’s meet tomorrow. Somewhere neutral. I will bring your things.
I sighed and replied with a simple “ok”. It was time to wrap up this case of “fraud” once and for all. If only had I known what that simple “ok” would lead to…