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After His Banana
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What comes after His Banana?
I didn’t have time for relationships, especially not with someone like Miles Chamberson. But considering my circumstances, I didn’t really have a choice.
Yes, he was the kind of offspring only generations of exceptionally attractive people could create. Practically dripping with so much perfection you could choke on it.
Then again, I was almost certain he was certifiably insane.
Within a few minutes of meeting him, he was already posing as a nude model for my clay sculpture class in a failed attempt to expose himself to me.
So when he handed me a banana, it was almost normal by comparison.
And after his banana found its way into my mouth, well… I wish I could say that was where the saga of Miles Chamberson and I ended.
I prefer to start every potential relationship with an oddly phallic, edible object.
Why, you ask? It’s simple.
Watch any woman with a suggestive object and prepare to unlock the secrets of the female psyche. Does she favor it with a secretive little smile? Nymphomaniac. Does she flinch back, only to guiltily grab it a moment later? Cautious, but wild once she opens up. Does she throw it back at your head and score a direct hit, concussing you for two weeks? Softball player.
Or, does she pick it up and devour it, inch by inch? Does she slide that bad boy into the hatch and relish every moment of it? If she does, you have yourself a keeper.
The recipient of my latest banana was the latter, but there was one glaring problem.
Commitment and I had a troubled past. To be more accurate, I’d taken commitment out back and shot it until I ran out of bullets years ago.
But my old man, Bruce Chamberson, says there’s only one way I’ll earn my rightful spot in the family business. I’ve got to show him I can stick with something “for once”.
Lucky for me, I’ve got just the girl in mind to prove I can do it.
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I sat in one of the many dining halls at NYU with a container of leftover ramen noodles in front of me.
I know, trust me. Leftover ramen was a new low, even for me. I thought I could pretty confidently say that less than one percent of the population had ever eaten half of their twenty-cent packet of ramen noodles and thought, “I’d better save the rest of this for lunch tomorrow.” My clothes were obviously a few years out of style and threatening to fall apart at the seams. Even my glasses were in desperate need of replacement. When I’d taken them to an optometrist to get the wobbly piece tightened that kept making them slide down my nose, she’d told me, “there’s nothing I can do. The spring has been sprung.”
The spring has been sprung. It had sounded so dramatic and final, like a death sentence.
But I didn’t believe in finality. Everything and everybody could be fixed. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t want to be a psychologist so badly.
My best friend and roommate, Luna, sat across from me. She was eying my sad little container of noodles. “I could go get you some nachos or something.”
I shook my head. “Thanks, it’s okay, though. I was massively craving these.” Liar.
Luna nodded and pressed her lips together in a way that said bullshit, but I’m not mean enough to call you on it. She was my best friend, and of all people, I wished I could stop feeling like I needed to hide the truth from her, too. She knew I was broke, but I don’t think she had any idea how thin the tightrope I was walking really was. She turned her attention back to her lunch, unwrapping the burrito she’d bought. She gestured it toward me.
Luna plucked about fifty napkins from the dispenser at our table, arranging them carefully over her lap. “You working tonight?”
“Yep. Right after clay sculpture class.”
“Bummer.” Luna tapped out a quick message on her phone. “I was going to see if you wanted to come to an Alpha Cappa frat party.”
I snorted. “I appreciate that you keep inviting me to these things, even though you know I’ll never go.”
She smiled. “You think they’re like the ones in movies. It’s not that bad. And it wouldn’t kill you to have a little fun sometimes. What if you look back on your college experience and regret never stopping to smell the roses?” She punctuated that thought with a know-it-all dip of her chin and a stern look. “You’re always so responsible and driven.”
It was almost impressive that she’d managed to make it sound like responsibility and drive were negative characteristics. But Luna came from a family with boatloads of money, so I didn’t fault her for not quite getting what it felt like to be in my position.
“Smell the roses? You mean the scent of puke from last night’s frat party outside the dorms?”
Luna wiggled her head and raised her eyebrows like she was about to say something deep. “It only smells like puke on the outside. Come in, and it…” she trailed off, grinning at herself. “Okay. I thought I had a good point for a second. But it actually smells like booze and a war of who can wear the most perfume or cologne inside. Still, I want to see you date somebody before you’re done at NYU. Or at least hook up with someone. It’d be good for you.”
“I don’t really have time for guys.”
“There are so many varieties of guys out there, though. You’ve got your clingers, transients, non-commitals, fuck buddies, wallets, puss—”
I held up a hand, stopping her. “I’m going to pretend I know what half of that means. Stop worrying about me, though. I know what I want, and I’m going after it. There’s nothing depressing about that.”
I took a bite of my ramen, which was chicken flavored. Okay, in all honesty, the ramen was a little depressing. But other than that, I was doing just great. Wasn’t I?
My mind wandered to what she’d said. I wasn’t a robot, and I did often wish some perfect guy would show up and sweep me off my feet. I also wished I’d spent my formative years attending Hogwarts and spoke with an awesome British accent, and it wasn’t like I was wasting time or energy pursuing that dream, either.
Dreams were dreams, in the end.
Luna pointed her burrito at me and tilted her head. “You look like you’re trying to unravel the secrets of the universe over there.”
I laughed. “More like the secrets of my own, stupid head.”
“Your head isn’t stupid. I mean, it’s maybe a little lopsided, but it’s not stupid.”
I balled up a napkin and tossed it at her. “I could probably write a thesis statement on all my physical shortcomings, but the shape of my head is perfectly normal.”