Maybe she was right and he does have a thing for crazy and part of his thing was taking girls out for burritos which made his wife jealous. What if this was something he did all the time and that’s what they were fighting about? I mean, security-calling-tire-cutting fights had to be about something big and being a cheater whose indiscretions were not only shameless but habitual too, was definitely something big. Besides, it takes two to argue, right? So, maybe it was him. Maybe he was the catalyst to her explosive behavior and by going out to lunch with him, I had unknowingly played a part in the next big blow-up.
I evaluated them once again. This time, with my lens on her. She didn’t seem like the type who would stab someone in private, let alone a room full of witnesses. I mean, just her outfit alone — the sweater, the long flowy skirt, the ankle strap wedges — radiated sweet-young-teacher-lady energy. Like the type you’d find out in the classroom garden making paper butterflies with a group of five-year-olds. There was no way she was a knife-wielding lunatic — not for no good reason anyway.
They wrapped up their conversation and as she turned to walk away, her eyes landed dead on me, like she knew I was trying to figure her out or worse! That I was the latest participant in her husband’s flirtatious lunch scheme. I froze, fully prepared for her to walk over and confront me, but to my surprise and relief, she didn’t. She just smiled, in that polite way that strangers do, and slipped into her car.
Once she was no longer within my sight, I was able to breathe again but this moment of solace was quickly upended when the group of people I used for cover during my investigation veered off into the street, leaving me exposed and right in Room 3– I mean, Salim’s view.
“Aww, man,” he walked towards us with his hands in the air, “You gave up our spot already?”
“Wha– huh?” I stammered in total confusion.
He tapped the cup I was holding.
I looked down at my hand. A Tropical Thunder smoothie from the ‘burrito place’. Evidence that they were just as addictive as he said they were and that I was, without a doubt, a participant in his adulterous affairs.
Wait– Did he say our spot?
I looked around us in case his wife double-backed. “The spot– You meant the spot– Not our spot– We don’t have a spot– It’s just the spot.”
“Y’all have a spot?” Cassandra asked behind a devilish grin.
“NO!” I shouted down the sidewalk, a little louder than I intended, “We DO NOT have a spot.”
“She’s right,” his grin matched hers, “It’s more like a space.”
“A place then?”
“STOOOOOOOP!” I shoved my hand hard into his chest.
I can’t believe he’s so reckless! What if she has some kind of microphone app on his phone and heard this entire conversation? What if she comes back?? With the ice pick??? Was he was trying to get me killed????
He held my wrists away from me. The strength of his grip just enough to prevent any more harm from coming his way. “Alright! Alright!” he nearly fell over from laughing so hard.
This was… funny to him? Disrespecting his wife? Playing with her feelings? Embarrassing her out in public? While she was stuck at work, dealing with a backlog of projects, he was out here all in other girls’ faces, eating burritos and playing get-to-know-you games and shit. He probably has a thing with her best friend too and she won’t even know it until that day she decides to come home for lunch and when her entire world blows up, right in front of her, with no warning, he’ll keep calling to say he’s sorry and even when she blocks his number, he’ll keep calling and texting and whatever he has to do to keep her from moving on and– Ugh!
I pushed him out of my way, stormed into the building and before he could say anything else, closed the door behind me.
I’m done with cheaters so whatever he thinks this is, I’m done with that too.