He heard the clatter from the room outside, and immediately he knew what was going on.

Travis looked back to his computer screen as images of Naomi flashed and flickered across his eyes. 'Get lost in her face,' he thought to himself as her picture danced across his face as his fevered imagination ran free. He had heard it loud and clear; the ice bucket fell onto the wooden floor and ice spewed in parallel directions.

We wiped a bead of sweat from his forehead. The room had become suddenly very hot.

He could picture Jones' long, beautiful legs wrapped around Derrick's waist, her round lips biting into his neck…

His eyes went back to the screen. 'No,' he thought. 'No, it was just an accident, they dropped the ice and…'

Clattering and crashing filled the open kitchen on the other side of his door. Travis could visualize everything as it happened; dishes and flatware were pushed off the counter as Derrick picked up Jones and sat her down, using that mouth to… to…

Travis hated Derrick's mouth. He'd kissed dozens upon dozens of girls with that mouth, girls that he, himself, had tried to get with. Derrick had lied with that mouth. He'd lied to Jones with that mouth.

'Come on, get a hold of yourself. I mean, maybe they're just fighting, or… No, don't even think about it.' Jones' face danced upon his memory. He'd always thought Jones was so beautiful. He thought about the first time he saw her in the library; she was reading up on history of art, something that immediately turned him on about her. She was like the nymphet you read about in Nabokov novels; she was skinny and graceful and had a face that lit up every time she smiled. And she was innocent… so, so innocent…

'Stop thinking about Jones.' His eyes met the computerized version of Naomi's and he began to resume his artistry when he heard it.


She was moaning.

Travis squinted his eyes. Was he hearing this?

He listened as two bodies tumbled around on the ground. It was the ultimate metaphorical knife through the heart.

Visions of Derrick on top of Jones, Derrick peeling off her shirt like chips of paint, Jones' pale skin pressed to the floor: Travis couldn't stand his imagination.

Travis' eyes fixed on a nonexistent point off in the distance of his room. Poised and unmoving, he patiently sat there all night as he heard Derrick get his way. Derrick always got his way. Derrick always got what he wanted, even the only girl who was ever nice to the both of them: the girl Travis had loved the most.