“I should ask you the same question, Jessica.” Jacob blurted. He pushed the door open further and walked into the apartment like a police detective searching for clues. He looked around, expecting to see someone else but saw no one. Jessica stood silent for a moment, open-mouthed and shaking her head at her ex-boyfriend’s steely determination. After looking into the living room, then down the hall and back to the kitchen, Jacob turned to Jessica and demanded, “So where is he hey?” he asked, bluntly.
“He who?” Jessica responded the venom in her words palpable.
“He who? You know who. Your new boyfriend that you latched onto as soon as you got rid of me.”
“There is no other man Jacob”
Iria, having heard the commotion shuffled back down the hallway. She brushed her hair out of her eyes and fixed her gaze at the man standing in her entryway. Despite his obvious good looks, Iria was not at all happy to see him. “Excuse me, but who are you?”
Jacob turned, surprised by the feminine voice, “I-uh” He turned back to Jessica for support but there was none to be found. “I-uh,”
As Iria stared right through him, on the other side of the hallway Sasha had come to see as well.
Jacob looked from woman to woman, and seeing nothing but angered faces he put his hands up defensively, “I-uh, sorry. I-uh, I’m Jessica’s, well I was Jessica’s,” He stopped for a moment, cleared his throat and licked his lips nervously, “I’m Jacob, and I think I’ve made a mistake here.”
“You sure did.” Jessica sneered.
Iria held up her hand to Jessica and stepped between the former couple. “Hi, I’m Iria, and this is Sasha. Since this is our apartment you’re in right now, would you care to explain why you’re here?”
Jacob, grateful for the reprieve softened a little, “Jessica’s mother was worried about her.”
Jessica groaned audibly and Jacob nodded.
“So she called me and asked me to bring her home.” He looked over at Jessica, the anger and resentment being held back but clearly bubbling at the surface, “She was, or is, unaware that Jessica broke up with me months ago. So imagine my surprise when I got the call.”
The eyes in the room turned to Jessica. She cowered slightly but retorted, “Well I–I haven’t got the chance to tell her—yet.”
Jacob rolled his eyes and was about to admonish her for being childish when his brain suddenly reported back to him that he was indeed standing in a room of women. There were no men to be seen, and the realization of what that meant suddenly dawned on him. He looked over at Iria, then back to Sasha, then to Jessica finally. “Tell her what exactly.”
“That we were broken up.”
“Why is that so hard?”
“Because–” she stammered in a half whisper, “because she’ll ask–why.”
Tears were beginning to form in Jessica’s eyes and as the glistened over Jacob covered his face, rubbed his temples and muttered, “Fuck.” It was in this moment that he realized she wasn’t just making up a story to break up with him.
“Yeah, fuck.” Jessica echoed.
Sasha and Iria looked at each other not sure what to do now. Sasha shrugged, and Iria realized it was up to her to take charge.
“Look you two, clearly you have a lot to talk about and this isn’t the time nor the place for it.” She looked at them both, eye to eye and each nodded in turn. “Ok, so here’s what I suggest. Jacob, now that you’re clear on what’s going on do you think you can be a gentleman and take Jessica home to her mother?”
“Jessica, do you think it’ll be ok for Jacob to drive you home, or are you not comfortable with that.”
Jessica looked at Iria with her brow furrowed in irritation, “No I’m fine with Jacob driving me. He’s a great guy you know, despite the first impression you guys got here.”
“Right, so that’s settled then. Jessica, you go with Jacob and Jacob you take her home. It’ll give you a little time to chat before you see your mother. Maybe, get your stories straight before then. Agreed?”
The two ex’s nodded in agreement. “Thanks for the tea Iria. And–” she turned to Sasha, “thanks for–”
“–no problem” Sasha smiled awkwardly as Jacob looked on. Sasha felt sorry for him. He went from boyfriend to ex, to friend in such a short period of time she could tell he was having trouble processing it. “Take care of her will you Jacob? She’s a great gal.” It sounded corny but Jessica couldn’t think of anything else better to say at the moment.
“I will. Goodnight.” He opened the door and waited for Jessica to pass before closing it behind him.
“Well now, that was an interesting night wasn’t it?” Iria sniggered to herself.
Sasha nodded, “Why do I feel like my life just got a whole lot more complicated?”
“Because you’re actually living it now hun, not just passing through it.”
“You’re a bad influence Iria. You know that right?”
“Of course, but you love me for it.”
The two roommates hugged and Sasha kissed Iria on the cheek. “Thanks, Iria.”
As Sasha walked down the hallway to her room she realized just how exhausted she was. She turned into her bedroom, flopped onto her bed, shuffled under the duvet and was asleep in minutes.
Iria, on the other hand, was lying awake and texting Anthony some of the juicy details. After they said their goodnights she made one last status update, “Best….night….ever.” No picture and no details were included out of respect for Sasha’s wishes. She fell asleep to the thought of her fiery redheaded roommate entwined with Jessica while Jacob and she looked on from the shadows. She giggled to herself and let the vision take her into unconsciousness.