Trying my hand at a Daily Prompt: Third Rate Romance 

My college friends love this story so I figured, why not share the embarrassment with the rest of you…again!

Here goes nothing…I re-present to you, “California Love”

At the beginning of my Junior Year, I started dating a guy from one of my classes. Let’s call him Detroit Red (DR).  Nothing serious but, we had fun and there was no drama until…

One Saturday night, I was hanging out with my fiery friend, Butterfly :-). At the end of the night, I asked her if we could make a quick stop at Detroit Red’s apartment.  He had recently moved closer to campus versus the country estate he previously shared with his roommate so, made sense to drop by, right?  I went to college in the early 90’s, no one I knew had a cell phone so, there was no calling ahead.  Butterfly agreed to stop.  The plan was for me to run up to say hello, since I was in the area and my apartment was on the opposite side of town. Harmless enough, right?

Let me set the scene for you…

Detroit Red’s apartment complex was a converted motel.  He and his roommate lived in the middle apartment on the second floor but, the steps to the second level were on the side of the building.  I got out of the car, walked to the side of the building, headed up the stairs and continued around the corner to DR’s place.  I knocked on the door and his roommate peeked out of the window and opened the door so I could only see his face. Hmmmm.

Me (a little confused): Hey, Roommate. Is Detroit Red home?

Roommate: Hey, Slim (back in my off campus living days, I actually WAS slim and in shape! I was also on the  Broke College Student Walk Everywhere Diet).  Naw.  He isn’t.

Me: What’s up with you? You alright?

Roommate: Yeah, I’m good.

Me: Okay. Just tell DR I stopped by.

Roommate: Alright girl.

He closed the door and I headed to the stairs (again they were located around the corner).  I walked down the stairs to find Butterfly trying to get my attention and yelling at me from the car.  I hurried toward her to find out what was happening.  Butterfly told me that while I was coming down the steps, A GIRL opened the Detroit Red’s door and looked to see where I went.  Now, I didn’t see the girl and for all Butterfly knew she was Roommate’s girlfriend. However, that never crossed my mind. I only reacted.

Without a second thought and my adrenaline pumping (mixed with the daiquiri I had earlier), I dashed back up the stairs taking two at a time (I was slim and in shape, remember?) and ran to Detroit Red’s door.  I banged on the door hard with my fist like I owned the place and they had been late with the rent.  Roommate (who at this point I’m sure was thinking, really? I’m trying to play this video game!) opened the door to a crack AGAIN but, this time I KICKED THE DOOR OPEN.

No one saw that coming…not even me!

I stormed into the room as Detroit Red (clothed) jumped to his feet.  He walked toward me and started to tell me to calm down. The Girl, let’s call her California immediately started screaming at Detroit Red, shouting all the questions you ask when you find out you aren’t the only girl your guy is dating.  But instead of letting him respond, I loudly hijacked the conversation. I headed to his dresser and started grabbing all the things I bought DR (which obviously wasn’t that much, I was a Broke College Student).

I was so focused on yelling and running around like a lunatic grabbing things that I hadn’t really looked at California. When I actually got a chance to see what this girl looked like I felt like I had been punched in the gut.  Lord! Wait a minute?  Is this really happening?

I turned to DR and said, “C’mon, really? Ugh”.  And slammed the door as I left.

Monday rolled around and I headed to my 9 AM class.  In this particular class, we had to sit in alphabetical order of your last name.  Guess who had been sitting behind me the ENTIRE semester?  California!  I think I threw up in my mouth when I saw her in the daylight.  Never noticed her before but, I couldn’t ignore her now. The entire class I could feel her saucer like eyes on the back of my head as I tried my best to concentrate. After 50 agonizing minutes, the class was finally over.  Only 45 more actual classes to go…  I gathered my backpack, applied a fresh coat of Carmex and lip gloss, and got up to leave.  Of course, California was waiting for me outside the classroom.  Fun times.

California: We need to talk.

Me (my attitude was SO off the charts at this time): About what? I said all I needed to Saturday night.

California: How long have you been seeing him? Have you talked to him?

Me: Since the beginning of last semester.  He called me a bunch of times yesterday. He never mentioned you…ever.

California: He called me too. But he lies so much. What did he say?

Me: That he was sorry and it was a mistake.

California (cutting her gigantic eyes at me): Well, he told me he wanted to be with me.

Me: That’s nice. I have another class.

I walked away. Later that night, Detroit Red called. I wasn’t about to LOSE to this girl.  At this point, it was ALL about my ego. In my mind, I was the better choice. Plain and simple.

Me: Listen, California and I talked today.  Did you know we are in the same 9 AM? Now, I have to see her every Monday, Wednesday, AND Friday.   I’m not dating you if you are seeing her, so choose. Me or her?

Detroit Red: I choose her.

Huh? Dazed, I asked again.

Me: Did you hear me? I said me or her?

Detroit Red: I heard you. I PICK HER!

The room started spinning, I thought I was going to pass out.  My heart was beating out of my chest. Did he just say he picked her over me?  Seriously?  This time I felt like I had been KICKED in the gut.  I hung up the phone. Defeated and embarrassed.

What I learned from that experience:

  1. I was the side chick and didn’t know it.

  2. Make your own decisions, don’t allow someone else to control your destiny.

  3. If you ask a question, be prepared for the answer.

Obviously, I survived.  Sure, every time I saw Roommate he reminded me of the time I slammed their door so hard I shook the entire second floor and sure one of California’s Friends tried to run me over with her car… but, it could have been worse.

Good thing I ran track. 🙂

There she is, get her!!
There she is, get her!!

Photo credits


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