Saturday, May 8, 2010

4. Three-way

I tried to pry one eye open to see what time it was. No luck. Last night's mascara must have united my top and bottom lashes while I slept. If I was drunk enough to forget to wash my face before bed, I knew a headache and the spins were waiting for me as soon as I sat up. Maybe if I try hard enough I can fall back to sleep and put off this hangover for another few hours. I stretched my arm across my bed just to see if I was alone. I was. Jon never sleeps over. He lives with his aunt and cousin, and he thinks it would be disrespectful to stay out all night. So he usually sets an alarm for 3 or 4 am, because he knows I like to cuddle before I fall asleep. But when it's really time for sleep, I roll all the way over to my side of the bed, on my stomach with my face turned away from him. That's just how I sleep. He didn't cuddle me last night though. People didn't leave our party until 3 or 4 anyway. After the fireworks we kept drinking and turned it into a dance party. Lea and I rocked out.

So as people were filing out, I kissed him goodbye and didn't ask him to stay. To be honest, I was still a little bummed Cayden hadn't shown up. It felt a little strange kissing Jon when Cayden's kiss was still fresh on my mind. I put a pillow over my head and prayed for sleep.
Then I heard my text-message alert and I shot up straight. Bad idea. My head swam. My temples throbbed. The good news is, my eyes opened all the way, although I may have lost a few lashes. I needed coffee and a shower, STAT. I looked at my phone and tried to guess who the text was from. Could it be from Cayden? Reaching out just one last time? Just my luck it was from one of last night's party goers asking if I found their shoe on my roof. How do you lose a shoe at a party, make it all the way back to your place via subway, only to find out later you made the trek one stiletto short?
I unlocked my phone and saw it. A new text from that same 15-digit phone number. My headache disappeared along with a strange tension in my stomach I didn't even know was there.
"Hi, Whitney. I'm pretty sure you're blowing me off at this point, but I thought I'd try just one more time. Care for a lunch date?"
"Lea!" I yelled as I ran out of my room. That's when I realized I was still wearing last night's white shorts and teal tank. All signs of a good party.
"Yeah?" She sounded groggy and pissed. She HATED when I woke her up in the morning.
"Sorry to wake you, but you've got to see this."
She made her way slowly down the stairs. Her short light brown hair stuck straight up on one side. She squinted at me with a look that said, "This better be good."
I showed her the text.
"Wow. So what are you going to do?? You still have no way of getting a hold of him."
I was stumped. Of course, a smart person would have thought to run down to the bodega to buy a calling card YESTERDAY. But for some reason, that never crossed my mind. So I did the only thing I could think of. The thing I always do when I'm at a loss of what to do. I called Mom. She'll think of something.
I had already told her about Cayden yesterday, while I was getting ready for the party. She's one of my best friends. Some people think it's weird. A lot of times people say, "You told your mom about that??" When I lost my virginity at the age of 22 to my then boyfriend, I woke up the next day and texted my mom saying, "Your little girl is finally a woman." Yes, I was the LAST person to lose it in my family, and I have two younger siblings. Laugh it up.
Mom picked up on the second ring.
I quickly explained the situation and then waited for her words of wisdom.
"Why don't you call Meg? We added international calling to her phone while she was on her cruise. It should still work on her phone."
"Oh, my god. I love you."
I hung up and called Meg, my 21-year-old sister who lived down in Austin, Texas.
Please pick up the phone. Please pick up the phone.
"Hi guys, you've reached Meg. Leave me a message."
I wanted to scream.
"Meg, call me back. Like, NOW."
Then I sat there, staring at my phone. She's a bit oblivious at times, so I wouldn't be surprised if her phone were right next to her and she'd left it on silent.
I tried again.
"Meg. Seriously. Call me back."
Then I sent her a text.
I was hoping she'd see it and think I was being held at gunpoint and she was my one phone call. You know, freak her out a little bit so she'd call back.
I put my phone on the glass patio table and sat there staring at it. Then I checked to make sure it was on high volume plus vibrate and I had a full signal. I was sitting on the roof, so I decided to start cleaning up remnants of last night's party. It was mostly just plastic cups and empty beer cans. Finally, the phone rang.
"Dude, what do you want? I'm at work, hiding in the bathroom right now to call you back."
"Damn it. What time do you get off?"
"OK. Call me back as soon as you get off work. Or if you get a break. Or if it's not too busy."
Meg was a bartender at a Cajun restaurant. Surely there couldn't be that many people boozing at noon. But that meant I couldn't plan on a lunch date with him, and he would surely think I was blowing him off. He wouldn't try again.
I thought it was a little strange that he hadn't given up already. Surely he was picking up all kinds of girls with that charming smile and beautiful accent. So why was he trying so hard to see me? Maybe he was having that same feeling I was having. The feeling that I just had to see him one more time before he left. I don't know why. I'm hell bent against long-distance relationships, and why am I even thinking about that after one kiss at a random bar? Sometimes my mind goes into overdrive.
I cleaned my room, did my laundry, talked Alexa's ear off about Cayden. She loves British guys, too. So she understood my urgency to see him again.
Finally 4:00 rolled around and I answered my phone before the first ring ended.
"Long story, but I need you to call this guy on three way so I can tell him I'm not a bitch."
"What did you get yourself into?" She laughed, assuming the worst.
"Flash over and dial this number and then flash back over."
I had copied the phone number down onto a Post-it note. I read her the number and then waited anxiously.
She flashed back over.
"Whitney, you there?"
I heard the line start to ring and my stomach did flip flops. I couldn't wait to hear his voice.
The ringing stopped and a fast busy-signal filled my ear. Meg ended the call and came back to me.
"Um, let me try again."
Again, it rang and ended in a busy tone.
"Well, I don't know what to tell you. We can try again later?"
Bummed wasn't even the word. Defeated. Pissed. Those don't quite describe it either. I thanked her for trying, and then I sat there. Don't cry. Don't cry. Don't be a big baby.
Wait, I'm an editor, I should know to factcheck these things. I compared the number on the Post it to the number saved in my phone, and sure enough, it was off by a number.
I called Meg back in a frenzy. I gave her the new number, and then I sat there, while she punched in the numbers.
She came back on the line, and I heard the ringing.
That was it! His voice! Complete with that adorable British accent.
"Cayden! It's Whitney!"
"Whitney! I thought I'd never hear from you again!"
"My phone can't make international calls or texts. So give me your email address and we can text that way."
We exchanged email addresses and then said goodbye, because I knew the call wasn't cheap. As soon as he hung up, Meg said, "Oh my god! That accent is so hot! You better call me back and tell me how it goes!"
"I will. I promise. But don't wait up."


  1. Finally. Why didn't you get her to just text him? lol

  2. Same reason I didn't get his email address in the first place. Or a calling card. I was pretty much brain dead that weekend.

  3. I love how in all the photos you are faceless.

  4. That was adorable. I almost cried when Whitney finally got Cayden on the phone. And how do you have so many photos where you're unidentifiable? Strange...