phanzi: Warning: Contains some EnglandxPortugal and suicide contents.
I never believed in love at first sight.
Love at first sight is like falling in love with somebody the first time you see them, as if you're only in love because they're so physically attractive to you. It was a cruel, cruel way to fall in love.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a sexist, single relationship-hater with a piss poor personality which could be the reason why I hate how everyone is in love while I'm still on the shelf. In fact, I'm in a relationship myself. What sucks is that it's an on and off relationship.
I'm Portuguese and my name is Rio Juarez Carriedo, but I got my degree in Oxford. Then, I moved to London and got a job in a toy company. Yes, I design the cutest little objects that children will wail and threaten to commit suicide over. Kids, don't try this with your parents, please. My boss, the CEO of that company, is Arthur Kirkland who happens to be number one on my hate list because of his unreasonable bossiness and my boyfriend.
I love Arthur. Of course, he's my boyfriend. And a hell of an attractive one too. But sometimes I just really want to throw a chair at his face. Sometimes he can be a real sweetheart, other times I feel like shoving a big teddy bear down his throat. When I refused to resign to assist his CEO position as the 'CEO's wife' because I enjoyed my designer job instead of a slacker CEO, he got all defensive and thought of all the signs of me suggesting a break-up. He even asked me if teddy bears, action figures and dolls are more proactive in bed.
A few days ago, I moved in with him. I mean, it was about time right? Since he looked like he would die (together with my phone memory) if he wasn't able to see me every day. Today, I just complained about his homemade scones being too dry and he asked me if Spanish guys made nicer tomato-scones in a pissy tone. What the hell, Spanish guys?
So here I am, walking around the neighborhood at night while Arthur spams my text inbox. I come across a newly-opened bar squeezed in a corner after walking several blocks. The place where the bar was standing used to be a popular hangout for stray cats. The bar was about the size of a half a block and it didn't have a name, or I couldn't read or understand or pronounce the letters on the roof. I went in anyway, giving my purse a slight pat just to check that I had enough money to buy a drink, or buy someone a drink or get a taxi for a drunkard.
The bar was quite empty and quiet too. There was no music blasting from a high DJ or people breaking the floor. There wasn't even anyone doing a small performance at the empty stage at the back of the bar. There were a few customers giving me stares as they continued to drown their sorrows or happiness and others were making out at their tables. I quickly walked past them and made my way to the bar-table where a bartender with white, silverfish hair was serving me.
"You want vodka, da?" He said with a sincere yet creepy smile.
"Um, I actually have a craving for Brandi." I smiled back.
"Da, vodka it is!"
"Uh, sir…sorry but I-"
Then it came.
"Ivan, what are you doing?"
Love at first sight came.
"I was getting the lady her drink."
"I'll take over from here. You're wanted in the karaoke room."
The creepy bartender just trailed off without hesitating. The other man was dressed like a bartender but seemed to have an authority over the creepy bartender aka Ivan. He was a blonde with green eyes and was extremely gorgeous. He looked a bit like Arthur, just without the thick eyebrows that ruined the whole aura. He had a blue and white striped scarf around his neck, although I was pretty sure it was still summer.
Then I realized. Arthur.
Rio, you are so dead when you come back!
I'm so sorry, baby, I didn't mean that! Please come home, or at least give me a call that you're safe? :)
Are you really going to ignore me forever?
Are you ignoring me because you're pregnant?
RIO RIO RIOAAAAAAAAAA
That's it. I'm calling your brother.
If you come back, I'll give you a promotion~
Where are you?
WHERE ARE YOU?
109 text messages. 88 missed calls.
One reason why Arthur never left voicemails was because the voicemail lady took too long to move to the voicemailing part and he would end up screaming at her. I also just realized that if there was one thing Arthur would never say to me when he was angry was 'It's over' or 'Let's break up.'
I didn't realize I was sighing at the text messages, or that the bartender was looking over my shoulder. "That is so hot."
He wasn't looking at my phone, he was having a better view of my cleavage. "So, Rio, how's life?"
He was looking at my phone. "Look, dude, your job is to serve me my drink, not to stalk me."
"Drink? I get what you're looking for, with such a boyfriend." He was smirking. It made me uncomfortable.
"Are you trying to suggest something?"
"Not if you wanted me to suggest something." He swiftly grabbed a Brandi bottle from the rack of bottles behind him and poured a fair amount into a glass for me. "Your boyfriend seems to be a very loving boyfriend."
"Usually it's the other way around."
I shot him a glare. "Was that some kind of sexist dig?"
"No, I mean I understand your situation completely."
I managed a smile and rested my elbow on the counter. "Tell me your name, now that you know mine."
"Lars. Larry. Larry-kins. Take your pick, or you could create a new one for me."
"Okay, Lars." I said with an interested smirk forming on my mouth. "What's your story about?"
"First, are you married or engaged to…" Lars said, pointing at my phone.
I shook my head and then he declared his love at first sight for me. "That gives me a chance.
"I met him in elementary school-…"
He chuckled. "Are you homophobic?"
"No. Of course not. Continue."
Lars's ten-year friendship with Jason had bloomed into romance in college. Jason was full while Lars was bisexual. It wasn't Lars's fault that they broke up, since Jason was being such a sexist bitch about Lars's sexuality. His words, not mine.
"He was also the kind of the reason why I dropped out of college. If not, I would be a freaking doctor."
"Then why did you drop out anyway? It was just one guy and you initiated the break-up."
"I don't know. Guess it was just too awkward. I don't regret it much." He shrugged. How can anyone be so care-free about education? "By the way, you better be heading home."
"You can't tell me what to do. It's only eight."
He pointed at my phone. "He's going to have a man-period if you don't. Trust me, I know."
I smiled. Before I left, he passed me a very unnecessary receipt for my Brandi. They usually don't give receipts when everybody is too dead drunk to want to know what they emptied their wallets for. Then again, it was the only receipt I didn't throw away immediately.
Lars – 7125 6789
The following night, I returned to the bar and this Larse I had Arthur's permission. I told him I was going to breathe, where he began to panic, thinking I had a disease or a respiratory problem. It just made me feel worse. Last night, I came home an untouched Portuguese romantic candlelight dinner. Arthur didn't lash out at me for snubbing him or began crying melodramatically, he just gave me a hug and apologized, just when I was about to start the heart-breaking 'it's not you, it's me' thing. If Arthur was this obsessed with me, how was I supposed to tell him I had liked another man?
I wasn't in love with Lars, I just found him much easier to deal with. I only met him and talked to him once and I'm already having fantasies about being his girlfriend. Even so, I haven't the guts to ask Lars if he's gotten a new partner although it seemed unlikely. Life is full of surprises after all, both good and bad.
"I see you're back." Lars said. "So, how was it? Did you guys get into a fight?"
"No. It's…alright now."
"Then why do you look like you just stepped into somebody else's dog crap?"
"I just feel really, really guilty."
Lars began to make my drink, although I haven't placed my order. "Why?"
"Last night…he apologized to me. He thought I was mad at him."
"No. He even made Portuguese for me. Did you feel this way?"
"Were you trying to imply a break-up?"
"Well, I think mine is quite different from yours. Jason wasn't obsessed in such a way where he would find every single chance to impress me. He would start a bitchfight with every single person I talked to, regardless of their gender or sexuality. And then he would try to show them how loving we were, then he would try to impress me. It was really annoying, so I'm sorry, I can't empathize with you over this."
"But, hey, you're not here like everybody else, are you?"
"To drown your sorrows. You know, I don't know where you live so I'm just going to leave you here to get gang-raped. And possibly killed."
I smacked his arm and he burst into laughter. "Then Arthur will kill you. Then when you go to the place where dead people go, I will find you and kill you again."
"Then where will I go after that?"
"You won't exist." I snorted. "By the way, what the hell is with that scarf? Don't you feel hot at all?"
"My grandmother knitted it for me. I promised her I would wear it every day. Even if a meteor's going to hit Earth or something…God forbid."
"Amen. And that's nice. I like a guy with a real story."
"I figured you can't resist me, can you?"
"I came here for the drinks."
"Yes you did."
"Yes I did!"
"I won't mind, you know."
"I won't mind having an on and off affair with you, even when you're still fluffy with your boss."
"Did you just ask me out?"
"You could say so."
"I have a boyfriend. And I'm not who you think I am."
"Whatever. But if you dump him or get dumped, I'll take it that we are dating."
He's joking. He's joking, right?
Never in my life have I cried over a boy. Never in my life have I been this devastated. Life was indeed full of surprises, but not all of them were positive.
I actually believed Arthur was being flexible by letting me go out alone at night or leaving me a single text message or calling me. To leave him alone at home. Or not alone after all.
When I came home, the lights were off in the living room. Arthur wasn't there to suffocate me with his I-haven't-seen-you-for-a-century hugs and kisses and I was glad he was finally willing to give me some space. I just came home from the bar and it was eleven o'clock and I was dying to take a shower and go to bed. Since Arthur was already talking about marriage, he insisted on sharing a bedroom although he hasn't even proposed to me.
And that night, I found out why.
Clothes were scattered everywhere on the floor. Women's clothes. They didn't look anything like mine, since they all were overly revealing and slutty. There was a E-cupped bra, it was too big to be mine. I was beginning to panic but trying to erase my assumptions from my mind. My assumptions were not wild. Yes, you guessed what I saw on the bed.
A man and a woman were cuddling in my bed. It wasn't just any man and woman. I knew them. I knew both of them. The woman was my trustworthy secretary and plastic Barbie doll best friend. The man was Arthur. When I saw that, I didn't think of anything. Arthur and Amelia. My mind was completely blank.
It took Arthur a while to realize somebody was watching them. The somebody who really wasn't supposed to see them in the act. He ran up to me in his boxers and tried to explain the situation. He looked like he had gotten ready for my bitchslap, but my hands didn't move. I just screamed. It wasn't the bimbotic I-broke-a-nail scream or a frightened scream, I just simply screamed. Then I began wailing.
So there. That was the reason that son of a bitch was being so nice to me. After that, he began spamming my phone with calls and texts again.
New Message from Lars:
Hey there, my regulars! There's going to be Happy Hour tomorrow from 8-9pm. Free drinks for these 60 minutes! See you there!
We were so dating.
Happy Hour was in fifteen minutes. I stomped into the bar like it was my home and to my surprise, it was actually a bit crowded. There were more customers at least. I had to remember my new boyfriend was Lars, according to what he said. He smiled when he saw me. I smiled back, but it couldn't hide my uncontrollable sore eyes and sniffing.
He opened his mouth to ask for my order, but I kissed it. He didn't ask why or pull away, but he knew what it meant. I felt eyes on us, making out at the counter before Happy Hour, but I couldn't be bothered with them.
I pulled away. It was coming on again. The tears.
He tried to be funny by being disgusting. "Well, I tasted salt."
"I thought you were going to dump him. You can't be crying over the end of a relationship that you caused."
"I didn't dump him!" I shouted.
He looked shocked and passed me a few sheets from a tissue box. He didn't ask me if I was okay or if I wanted to talk about it. He placed a full glass of whisky on the counter. "You want to-"
"No, I came here for you. Didn't you say we'll be considered dating if I got dumped?"
"What? You got dumped? How on earth is that possible?"
"You could say that I got dumped."
"I know it's the wrong time to ask, but what exactly happened?"
"There were clothes. On the floor. And my best friend was on the bed…with him."
He gasped. "Oh no, he did not."
"Yes, he did."
"But that's the thing with you ladies when you get cheated on. I get that you're heartbroken and stuff, but it doesn't mean that you just got dumped."
"This relationship cannot continue. He did it with my secretary aka my best friend. How can I just live with it? Fire Amelia and consider that it never happened? She may be a best friend's boyfriend-bedding little slut and an all-plastic Barbie doll, but she's my best friend!"
My phone rang. It was Arthur.
"MOTHERFU-" I was about to kill my phone.
"Is that an iPhone?"
"Holy shit! Do you have any idea how expensive those things are? If you don't want it, you could give it to me!"
It took me a while to smile. "That was very lame, Lars."
"It wasn't a joke. I don't have an iPhone. And now you're going to destroy yours." He was so cute when he was angry. "Do you know how wasteful that is? Or how about the number of Android users out there who want a freaking iPhone!"
The phone was still ringing. I sent Arthur my busy tone, but I didn't hate him as much now. Yesterday I went to my brother's apartment that he was sharing with his Italian wife who was very displeased about my one-night stay. It was where I found out he even had a wife. I swore I had given her a very bad first impression. I went a bit insane after what I saw at my—no, Arthur's house. I began playing with fire, burning random things and laughing manically at it slowly turning into ashes. At bedtime, I insisted on telling my two-year-old nephew (seriously, I had absolutely no idea I had a sister-in-law or a two-year-old nephew) a bedtime story. Then I ended up ranting about Arthur and Amelia, using Portuguese vulgarities.
"Are you satisfied now, Larry-kins?"
"Yes. Thank you very much."
"No, thank you. That really made me feel better."
His rage disappeared. Just like that. "So you can drink yourself happy tonight and tomorrow…how does dinner sound?"
"Great. You're not going to leave me to get gang-raped and killed right? Nobody is going to avenge me and that will be, like, really pathetic."
"Well, your phone is still…yeah. But that would be kind of stupid. I finally got an all-natural hot girl to be my girlfriend, and you can rub me in Arthur's face."
"Oh crap! I have to work overtime tomorrow."
"You're not going to work tomorrow."
"I'm not going to work tomorrow?"
"You're not going to work tomorrow."
I grinned. "I'm not going to work tomorrow."
Written by phanzi. Edited by Korrosive