Learning How To Love: Chapter 2

*Disclaimer: The characters and plot of this story may or may not be real, or based on actual events.*

CHAPTER TWO

MR. MARIPOSA


July 17, 2013, 4:13 PM 

Mr. Mariposa’s style in bed is so different than anyone I’ve ever slept with. Honestly, it’s awful. He’s 19 and I’m 21. He’s a Leo and I’m a Scorpio. But I know things will get better. Mr. Money wasn’t that great either, but after I mailed him a copy of the book, “She Comes First,” boy did I. But I will give Mr. Mariposa props. He has potential. Big, big potential if you know what I mean.

I’ve been dreaming about a guy like Mr. Mariposa for a while now. A guy who listens when I speak is interested in what I have to say and admires my intelligence. He says I make him “curious”. I can’t do that with Mr. Money. He either argues with me for fun, plays devils advocate for some banter, or gets bothered by the “big” words I use in my everyday vocabulary. I love Mr. Money, for real. He has all the qualities I want in a future man: emotional stability, financial security, and goals. But Mr. Mariposa just gets me.

Honestly speaking, I could never be in a relationship with Mr. Mariposa. He’s younger, he’s a sophomore in college, and he’s not that stable. That may be perfect in the short term. I think I thrive off short-lived romantic relationships. I don’t have to get attached and I’ll always have that nostalgic memory of “that one great summer” or “that one-night-stand guy.” I don’t want to leave a steady trail of monogamous relationships. I want to go all out, guns blazing, dating whoever the fuck, whenever the fuck, however the fuck until this fire within me burns the fuck out.


July 13, 2013

“We should go stargazing tonight. I hear there’s going to be a meteor shower.” I text Mr. Mariposa.

I’m nervous. I accidentally kissed him last night when I was blacked out drunk. Well, we kissed each other. A lot. Okay, so the truth is that I drank enough to blackout so I wouldn’t feel bad for cheating on Mr. Money with Mr. Mariposa. In my defense, I told Mr. Money about a thousand times I wasn’t ready for a relationship, let alone a long-distance one. I was really feeling Mr. Mariposa’s vibe and I wanted to feel his body, too. All over the place.

Mr. Mariposa texts me back about 2 hours later, “sounds lovely.”

My heart skips a beat. For a second, I thought maybe he’d say no. But then I think, he might just be a lazy texter. I wonder if he generally forgets to text me back, or if he’s really that laid back and nonchalant about texting. I’m an immediate texter. Mr. Mariposa texting back so late makes me wonder how he spends his free time. Is he a daydreamer? Is he a napper? Is he thinking what I’m thinking?

I feel guilty for being so excited about hanging out with Mr. Mariposa. This time we’ll be alone and under the stars. I’m so excited that I’m 2 anxious thoughts away from throwing up. First things first. Break up with Mr. Money. I’m sending him a text.

“We need to talk. I’m not happy. I can’t be in this relationship anymore. Please don’t call me anymore.” I’m ready to hit send, but that sounds a bit harsh, right?

DELETE. DELETE. DELETE.

“Hey, I’m so sorry this might sound unexpected to you, but I can’t do this anymore. I’ve tried to tell you many times, but this isn’t working out for me. It’s best if you don’t call. I can’t do long-distance anymore. I’m so sorry, but I’m not happy.”

Send.

Mr. Money gets the hint and doesn’t text back or call for a couple hours. Now I can spend alone time with Mr. Mariposa without feeling guilty.

I head to the market to pick up some brew for my date with Mr. Mariposa. I’m 21 and he’s 19, so I’m getting us a 6 pack of IPAs. The irony is how all this started over me buying him alcohol.


June 7, 2013

It was the beginning of the summer and our once vibrant college town became a desert. College students always go home for the best times of the year. Sucks for the folks who don’t have anywhere else to go. So, we band together, throw badass parties and find any excuse to turn up while school is out. After all, most of us are working full-time to get through our school break. Mr. Mariposa and I both stayed in town because Arcata was better than home.

One night in June, I got this random text from someone I had met at a library sit-in. I volunteered to help make posters for a protest and he was part of organizing the event. I barely gave him a second look when I met him, so of course, I didn’t save his number.

“Hey, are you still in town?” he texts at around 7pm on a Friday. It’s prime party time and I have 0 friends in town.

I don’t want to seem desperate (even though I low-key am), so I wait about 20 minutes before I respond, “Yeah, I’m still around. What’s up?” I don’t ask who it is, yet, because I’m dying for human interaction. At this point, I’ll hang out with anyone.

Mr. Mariposa quickly replies, “Awesome! Are you over 21?”

Now we’re talking! Are me and my random texting buddy heading to a bar? Suhweet! Before we make plans, I should come clean. I text back, “Sure am! But I’m sorry. I didn’t save this number before. Who are you again?”

“No worries! This is Mr. Mariposa. I think I have the wrong number. Who did I text?”

Shoot! My plans are a BUST! I’m nervous because now I think my only hypothetical plans are done for, but also, how did Mr. Mariposa get my phone number?

I reply skeptically, but honestly. “This is Lola.”

“Oh, hey, Lola! I thought I was texting my friend Alma, my bad! This is Mr. Mariposa from that one protest. I have a favor to ask. Can you get me some beer? I’ll give you money.”

It didn’t matter that he said he was from “that one protest”. I still had no fucking idea who I was texting. But it didn’t matter. “Yeah, sure, meet me at the first liquor store off G St. & 16th. Right by the creepy Motel.”

By the time I get there, he’s leaning against liquor store window looking like a modern James Dean with cigarettes in hand and some cash in the other. He’s the only college student looking kid around, so I’m sure this is the guy I’m supposed to meet. As I get closer, I realize it’s the dude I met one day while making protest signs. He was in charge of running the space and I was a volunteer. I ended up forgetting about him and everyone else from the protest. I continued on with my life. He made no significant difference in my day-to-day life at that moment. But when I met him here, at this moment, when he greeted me like an old friend, I knew things were about to change.

He asked me to buy him a 12-pack of Stellas and then asked if I wanted to drink them with him. He was by himself and didn’t want to drink alone. Shit, I couldn’t turn down a beer. Especially not after he flashed me with that sweet smile. I followed him back to his place. 

I texted Mr. Money about an hour and 2 beers later. “I met a cute boy! We’re drinking and hanging out tonight, is that cool? I might flirt.”

Mr. Money replies with, “that’s cool, babe! There’s no harm in flirting. Have fun!”

He was confident with himself and trusted me more than I trusted myself. How? What on earth gave him that idea? When he sent me that text, I went all-in with the flirting. I couldn’t help myself. All that I knew, was that I was lonely and a cute guy was sharing his beers with me. What could go wrong?

Nothing went wrong. The problem was that it all went right. Too right. We were really vibin’ with one another. He put on some music and I really liked what he was playing. It was a stark contrast to my boyfriend’s music which was Pop, Old School Gangsta Rap, Country and other White Girl music. I’m not exactly sure why I was cool with that? Mr. Mariposa played The Smiths, Manu Chao, Sin Bandera, Mana, and Julieta Venegas. Fuck me. I was smitten with his smile, style and music taste!

As the night went on, he kept smoking cigarettes, and I kept smoking weed. We opened up about our fears, what holds us back, and who we hope to be one day. We went in deep right from the start. I felt like I was where I needed to be. Except I wasn’t. He put on some Rock en Español and asked me to dance. That’s where I needed to be. In his arms, dancing. We danced so close, I could feel his heartbeat. I knew this was “wrong”, even though it felt so “right.”


New chapters are published Wednesdays @ 8 PM.

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