Drop #70: Katelyn

Katelyn was sitting on stairs outside the main campus building, off Lexington. As soon as I reached her she was all over me, pulling me down, kissing my mouth and neck, rubbing her hands over my head. She’d been waiting there to take me home.

I held back.

‘What, you have a girlfriend or something?’

‘No,’ I said, looking around. ‘It’s just a little crowded here.’

‘So what?’ She pulled me back down, kissing my ears and lips. ‘Come on,’ she said in a slow whisper. ‘Let’s go to my place.’

‘I have another class.’

‘So ditch it.’

‘I can’t. He checks and I’ve skipped a bunch already.’

‘Seriously! Let’s go.’

‘I can’t.’

‘You’d rather go to class than come home with me right now? Jesus. I’m like totally throwing myself at you.’

‘I’ll come right away, after.’

‘No. It’s now or never. That’s my offer.’

‘I’ll call you in an hour. Wait for me at your place.’

She was bursting for it but I knew she’d wait, so I walked away.

We hadn’t slept together yet and I was totally jonesing to, so I don’t know why I didn’t go right away. I used to do those kind of inexplicable things; I guess I still do. Or maybe I was playing her somehow.  I don’t know. She was super hot, just really pretty, with straight, shoulder-length brown hair, a classic, doe-eyed face, and a smoking, skinny body. She was the eye-rolling type, with a cheeky, teasing smile, like she was always making fun, but in a vein that made you wonder if she was serious, and whether she even knew herself. She slumped her shoulders and softly slurred her words, and it all combined into naughty vulnerability that was very appealing.

We’d met outside school* a couple of weeks back. We joked later about who had picked who up but it was pretty mutual. It was one of those meetings where after 5 seconds you know you are going to sleep with someone. I took her to a show that weekend and we made out against a wall for an hour. Then we’d meet at school and go up on the roof to smoke weed and kiss.

After class, I took the subway to Brooklyn. She let me in, in her ‘pajamas’ and hurried back to the big comfy chair near the window, sitting on it cross-legged, looking frail and just delicious. The large living room space had these huge windows looking right at the underside of the Brooklyn Bridge, which spread enormously and disproportionately away across the river like the skeleton of a beached whale. I sat beside her and kissed her and she acted mad at me, saying I was a dick for not coming earlier, but soon she was straddling me and kissing me all over. We rolled a joint – she was always rolling joints – and we started smoking it, being just very comfortable and close. I still remember the taste of those kisses. If I close my eyes, I can still feel them.

About half way through the joint the front door opened and a short guy, a few years older than we were, came in. We stopped making out but she was on top of me, though we were still fully clothed. He acted awkward and so did she. They exchanged a few words and he left again pretty soon.

‘Sorry, that was my roommate.’

‘Yeah, I figured.’

‘That was awkward.’ She rolled her eyes.

‘Yeah, it was.’

‘I told you I kissed him, right?’


‘He’s all weirded out by it now. But it’s no big deal,’ she said, biting my earlobe, but she seemed weirded out too. I don’t know why she hadn’t expected him back, but anyway, we soon moved to the bedroom.

We didn’t have sex that night. I don’t know if it was because of the roommate or something else, but we just didn’t go all the way there. I woke up in the morning, in her bed, in Brooklyn around 8. We made out for a while for a while, warm under the comforter, and I called my part-time office job at 9.30 saying I was sick and wouldn’t make it in. The receptionist, a 19-year-old girl with a heavy Long Island accent whom I was friendly with (and incidentally, I would later almost hook up with when she quit) called me on it, saying I was ‘just getting some ass,’ and I swore I wasn’t even though I knew, she knew I was lying.

Back in bed, we got into it pretty good and ended up having sex after all. Maybe it was because I kind of made Katelyn feel guilty that we hadn’t the night before – I don’t know. It was good, and we worked well together that way, but that specific act didn’t elevate us much beyond any place we had already reached. Afterwards, we got bialys at this great hole-in-the-wall Russian joint and I took the subway back into the city.

We were young, good-looking and eager, and obviously into each other, and kept seeing one another at school and in the evenings, but as we did, it became apparent that some type of tension was present, even though nothing specific had gone wrong. Maybe the abstruse, teasing games we reflexively played to keep an edge had gone off course, or grabbed the lead and left us behind. Neither would describe it – perhaps we just didn’t know how – but it continued and gathered mass. We had a hard time talking. She mumbled and I didn’t hear, and when I asked, she wouldn’t repeat it. We ended up having conversations that went something like: ‘What?’ ‘Nothing?’ followed by a strained silence, till we stopped whatever it was we had after a few weeks. We only slept together that once.

A few months later I saw her outside class, convinced her to come have a drink, and we hooked up again. We talked about how weird it was between us and she said it had been and still was a strange time for her since a good friend had died a few weeks before we’d met. And we tried once more but again, we just couldn’t communicate. Those strained silences kept coming up, and it wasn’t any good.

This was years ago, but I think about her sometimes, the way I only do about a small number of the girls I have been with. I remember our short time with the type of melancholy nostalgia that paints a life with uniqueness and depth. Even as greedy, ignorant animals, who scurry through time blind as moles, leaving messes and mounds of matters unfinished, we get to live so much. Even through callousness and confusion, we get to gather memories, affections and connections, and carry them along like exquisite, imperfect flowers that need never die.

By E.M. Vireo

*school refers to college or university here, as it does in the US


About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

6 Responses to Drop #70: Katelyn

  1. KK says:

    Very enjoyable..and teasing to make you finish it all.

  2. redplace says:

    What a great read! Your stories are always so enjoyable 🙂

  3. I went through something like this once. Actually, more than once. You describe it perfectly – the initial intensity followed by the strange turn in the atmosphere that causes things to sour in some inexplicable way. There is no way to understand what happened. And it leaves the open question “Was it something I did?”. And there is no way to ever know.

    Thanks for this. At least I know it’s not just me…

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