Home > On a Tuesday (One Week #1)(9)

On a Tuesday (One Week #1)(9)
Author: Whitney G.

“Do you know a girl here named Charlotte?” I asked, changing the subject.

“I know plenty of girls here named Charlotte. You’re going to have to be way more specific than that.”

“She’s a senior, has hazel eyes, and a smart-ass mouth.”

“Does she have red hair or black hair?”

“Neither. It’s dark brown.”

“Wait.” He turned around to face me. “Is the Charlotte you’re talking about sexy as hell?”

“Yes.”

“Ugh. Yeah.” He groaned. “I know that Charlotte. What about her?”

“I—” I held back. I didn’t want to say too much yet, and I didn’t want to admit that I was struggling to keep her off my mind. “I have peer tutoring sessions with her this year for my literature classes.”

“Well, just so you know, that’s all you’ll be getting with her.” He shook his head. “My friend Mike from Carnegie Mellon told me about her a while ago. She’s on my personal blacklist, so you might as well blacklist her, too.”

“You’ve dated her before?”

“Hell, no.” He looked offended. “Look. My friend Mike walked her home from a frat party super late one night last year, and then she invited him up to her room. So, quite naturally, he thought that meant they were about to fuck, right?”

“Not necessarily.”

“Yes, necessarily.” He crossed his arms. “Can you please find a way to be my so-called best friend named Grayson or just pretend to be him today?”

I laughed. “I can try.”

“Anyway, so she invites him up to her room, but instead of taking her clothes off, she makes some coffee. Then she takes him down to her dorm’s lounge where she proceeds to tell him about her favorite books. Her favorite books. Until five in the morning.”

“That’s why she’s blacklisted?

“I’m not even done yet,” he continued. “When she finally walks him out to the exit around seven in the morning—with not even a hint of an ‘I’ll show my appreciation to you for walking me home later’ line, he asks for her phone number. You know, to kind of maybe seal the deal for next time, but she says no. Then she says he’s more than welcome to join her at some type of art gallery on Sunday.”

“Did your friend ever meet her at the art gallery?”

“Are you shitting me?” He rolled his eyes. “No. He never talked to her again and he told me about her so I wouldn’t waste my time. Now, I’m telling you, so you’ll never waste yours.”

“Thank you for your story-time.”

“You’re more than welcome.” He took a long swig of water. “I also heard she has a boyfriend who she’s super loyal to at another college, so sexy as hell or not, she’s not worth anyone’s time here.”

Maybe she does have a boyfriend. That would explain her attitude toward me.

“Anyway,” Kyle said, “Speaking of girls who are worth my time, let me finally tell you about the three girls from the bonfire.”

I halfway listened as he gave me a play by play of his sex-filled weekend, as he gave me excessive details I could’ve done without. I was far more interested in unraveling the mystery of Charlotte and how the hell she’d flown under my radar for so long.

All I knew for sure was that I’d never been more attracted to someone after only a few encounters in my life, and her being my tutor for this semester was going to be a serious problem.

GRAYSON: THEN

Seven years ago

Pittsburgh

THE NIGHT OF KYLE’S birthday, I pulled up to the designated house on the North Shore, hoping his claim about it being a “tame” event this year was true.

I walked into the house and abandoned all hope in five seconds.

There were inflatable hot tubs set up in every corner of the living room, a beer keg competition was taking place in the kitchen, and the smell of marijuana and sour liquor was hanging in the air.

“Grayson!” Kyle called out to me from the staircase as two girls grinded against him. “Grayson, come over! Come over!”

I helped a girl steady herself onto the couch and walked over. “Yes, Kyle?”

“It’s my birthday tonight!” His eyes were tight, a tell-tale sign that he was going to pass out any minute now. “It’s my fucking birthday and ... I’m going to get good sex and cake, on my cock, on my birthday. Just watch.”

“How many drinks have you had tonight?”

“Two.” He held up five fingers and laughed. One of the girls who was dancing on him mouthed, “Twenty.”

I mouthed “Thank you” in return and walked over to the guy who was mixing drinks on the TV stand.

“Do me a favor,” I said to him.

“Yeah?”

“Don’t serve Kyle any more alcohol.” I pointed to the liters of orange juice behind him. “Go ahead and prefill a few beer bottles and red cups with juice just in case he comes over and asks for more.”

“He’ll know it’s juice.”

“He’ll also know it’s his best friend who is making you do this, so he won’t die tonight.” I narrowed my eyes at him. “Do it. Now.”

He groaned, but he grabbed a carton of orange juice and began filling the bottles.

I pushed my way through the bodies on the dance floor, smiling at a few of the girls I knew as I made my way to the crowded kitchen. A few of my teammates were sitting at the bar with girls in their laps.

“Hey there, stranger.” Penelope, a girl I once hooked up with, handed me a beer. “How are you feeling these days?”

Betrayed. “I’m decent. Yourself?”

“Good.” She sipped her beer and looked up at me. “You didn’t call me at all this summer. I was feeling quite neglected.”

“I was busy.”

“You weren’t that busy. I heard you haven’t been around much lately. You must have gone out and got a girlfriend. Is that true?”

“I think you know me better than that.”

“I would if you called me sometime.” She rubbed my shoulder and batted her eyes. “Call me so we can catch up in my room. Sooner, rather than later.” She looked me up and down before walking away.

I was never going to call her, but I smiled at her anyway and watched as she disappeared into the crowd. To prevent myself from ever giving in and calling her on a lonely night, I pulled out my phone and deleted her number.

Then I scrolled through the rest of my contacts, deleting everyone who wasn’t a teammate, coach, or close associate. I opened my email inbox to do the same thing and noticed a new email from Charlotte.

Subject: Peer Assignment Tutor (Change)

Dear Grayson,

I hope your weekend is going well.

I’m emailing you because I just met up with a friend of mine who recently took all three of the Lit classes you’re taking this semester. He is more than willing to tutor you on Tuesdays and I think he would be a much better fit for you.

Let me know what you think,

—Charlotte

I smiled and typed a response.

Subject: Re: Peer Assignment (Change)

Dear Charlotte,

I have no interest in being tutored by your friend (I don’t give a damn when he took the courses). I’m more than willing to act like this email didn’t happen instead of forwarding it to your advisor, and I’ll see you alone, on Tuesday.

PS—I think you’ll “fit me” just fine.

—Grayson

Her response was immediate.

Subject: Re: Re: Peer Assignment (Change)

There’s no need to bring my advisor into this. Since you want to deal with someone who may be less “hostile,” I was only trying to help.

PS—Is this your attempt at a sexual innuendo?

—Charlotte

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Peer Assignment (Change)

You were trying to get out of seeing me. For whatever reason that is, it’s not going to work. Ever.

PS—Depends. Is it working?

—Grayson

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Peer Assignment (Change)

This sounds like a threat.

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