Trinity tossed the book aside. She was supposed to be studying instead all she could think about was the blond who was with Vincent. She had been walking past his dorm when she had seen him come out with a girl on his arm. She had recognized the girl from the theater.
She stepped into the shadows not wanting to be noticed. The last thing she wanted to do was explain why she was at his dormitory. She had no reason for being there. She couldn’t even use the excuse she was walking by on her way home. Her dorm was in the other direction. She might have been able to use Ryan as her reason for being there except he seemed to be on some sort of double date with Vincent with another cute little blond on his arm. Briefly she wondered what happened to the girl Ryan had been so hung up on. Had she finally turned him loose from the hook she had him on?
As the couples got into a taxi Trinity backed up further hoping they wouldn’t see her. “Excuse me” she mumbled when she bumped into someone. It was the girl she had been wondering about. The girls eyes seemed glued on the group driving away. Trinity doubted the girl was even aware of her presence and a second later she shuffled off in the direction of the door.
Somewhat relieved Trinity set off for home. She didn’t even know why she had felt compelled to go to Vincent’s dorm. Ever since that movie night she felt somehow drawn to the tall, intelligent, good-looking blond.
Glancing at the time Trinity moaned. That was almost three hours ago. Why couldn’t she just forget him? She never had trouble before. No one had ever gotten under her skin led alone her mind. Sometimes it just took talking to someone else to forget about the guy who had winked at her the moment before. Why was Vincent’s face imprinted on her brain? Why was he different?
She grabbed her ear buds and changed into her workout clothes. She’d go for a run. It was late but she hoped by the time she returned she’d be too exhausted to think about anything or anyone.
Vincent wrapped an arm around the pretty blonde smiling broadly at her. He had no idea what she was talking about. All he had been doing was nodding for the past hour. He looked across the table at his friend who seemed to be bored out of his mind. Couldn’t the guy crack a smile? Pretend to be interested or at least having a good time? He kicked Ryan’s shin under the table which got him an angry glare before Ryan buried his face in the menu.
That was the last thing Vincent wanted Ryan concentrating on. Ryan had agreed to go out with Liz’s, Lisa’s, Lydia’s ugh what’s her name’s friend. Vince didn’t want him scrutinizing the cost of the meal. For a guy who had the ready cash Ryan acted like he didn’t have any money to afford an expensive meal. As expected Ryan jerked his head up from the menu scowling in disapproval.
Vince tried to ignore it. Play innocent. He knew Ryan would give in and cover the cost of the meal for all of them. No doubt he was going hear about it later. Vincent would promise to pay him back and Ryan would tell him it wasn’t necessary. Vincent gave his friend his best innocent grin “I didn’t know it would be this expensive when I suggested this place.”
Ryan gave him a doubtful look that left Vincent with no doubts. He was definitely going to hear about this later. For now he’d play along. Vincent felt a pang of guilt at manipulating his friend this way. He didn’t even know why he wanted to impress these girls so much especially when he couldn’t even remember their names.
Once they left the restaurant Vincent took Ryan aside “I know you don’t like her but I’m asking you. Please stay.”
“I’m tired” Ryan shook his head “I have a test to study for and homework to finish.”
“Those are excuses and you know it” Vincent snapped “I’ve known you long enough to know. If you had an assignment due you wouldn’t have gone out at all tonight.”
“If you know me so well why’d you think I’d like a girl who would rather act like a ditz instead of owning her intelligence?” Ryan growled barely keeping his voice down so the girls couldn’t hear him.
“I never said you’d like her” Vincent rolled his eyes “what I said was you needed to go out and have some fun.”
“I’m not having fun” Ryan pointed out.
Scratching his head Vincent nodded “no you’re not unless you like having teeth pulled.”
Ryan gave him a sharp look “I like having intelligent conversations not constantly bombarded with prattle that means nothing.” He took a step forward “seriously she hasn’t stopped talking all night. My ears hurt. I need some peace and quiet.”
“Alright go” Vincent sighed “go home. I’ll manage without you.”
While Ryan made his apologies and his escape Vincent almost wished he was going with him. He enjoyed a good intelligent conversation too. These girls seemed to talk to hear themselves speak. Unbidden the thought of Trinity came to mind. She never wasted words. She said what she meant. She didn’t play games except she wasn’t into relationships. She wanted to have fun. When Ryan turned and started walking towards home Vincent almost decided to call it a night and go with him. The girls however were gazing at him like he was some kind of king or hero. This time. This moment he was the center of someone’s universe. He wasn’t ready to give that up. Not if it meant going back to being the invisible guy. The one no one saw. The one who blended into the back ground.
He put his arms around the girls and smiled. No he wasn’t going back to that persona ever. He was going to have some fun. “Where shall we go?” he asked expansively.
The girls giggled whispering to each other before whats-her-name suggested “let’s go to this little club we know about.”
In a fit of frustrated anger Trinity tossed her books onto her desk after she came back from her short run. A framed picture crashed to the floor. “Great! Just great” she mumbled as she stooped to pick it up. It was the only family picture she had of herself and her parents. She ran a finger lightly over the picture. When had they been this happy she wondered? They had all been smiling. Even their eyes had a sparkle that hadn’t been their since. It was the last time they had ever done anything as a family. She had been about eight or nine at the time. It was after that vacation her dad started to be away from home for long stretches of time and her mom had become more and more withdrawn.
Who cheated first? Her dad when he was away from home or her mom seeking companionship while her dad was away? Trinity tried to remember through the haze of time. She was twelve when she found out about her dad’s other family but before that her mom seemed to have a revolving door of men she called her ‘special’ friends.
Each one would bring her an expensive gift, the newest trendiest toy they could find. One guy even gave her a pony. She loved that pony. A slight smile graced her lips before her eyes misted with tears. She had liked that guy the most. What was his name? Tony? Jim? Ed? It was too long ago. He was part of a long stream of men her mother paraded in and out of her life.
Trinity ran up the road towards the stables. She couldn’t wait to see Sorbet. She had been shut inside for hours having one boring class after another. She knew she should go inside first. Her mother expected her to greet her first thing when she got home. Everyday it was the same boring routine. Dutiful kiss on the cheek. Homework. Change clothes. Then freedom. Glorious freedom. Hair whipping in the wind. Yelling as she raced across the fields on top of Sorbet. She relished those moments of carefree abandonment.
Today was different. She had this feeling that something was wrong all day. It was nothing she could put her finger on but something wasn’t right. Her book bag slipped from her shoulder falling to the straw strewn floor of the stable. Trinity stared into the stall where Sorbet should have been waiting for her.
Turning she ran from the stable. Tears staining her cheeks as she burst into the house. Approaching her mother where she waited for her return. Turning dull listless eyes her mom sat stiffly on the couch. “You’re late” she informed her daughter glancing at the time as if to emphasize her point.
“Where’s Sorbet?” Trinity demanded her chest heaving “where is he? Where’s Sorbet?”
“That’s no way to greet your mother” her mom rebuked her turning her cheek up waiting for the dutiful peck on the cheek.
Hands clenched at her sides Trinity took a step forward ingrained obedience taking over. The instant her lips touched her mother’s dry skin she stepped back repeating “where’s my horse mama?”
Her mother’s eyes flickered towards her daughter a glean of guilt in them before sliding away. “Sorbet is gone,” she stood as if to leave “you’re not to ask about it again.”
“Gone” Trinity cried as if her whole world just imploded upon itself “gone where?”
“How should I know?” her mother shouted at her “where ever John lives I suppose. I told him to take it when he left.”
“Tell him to bring Sorbet back” Trinity demanded stomping her foot.
Her mother’s eyes narrowed as her pinched nostrils flared “Sorbet isn’t coming back. Neither is John. They are both gone just like your father is gone.”
Trinity watched her mother stride purposefully from the room. Her shoulders straight, her back rigid. The air between them vibrated with tension. Once she was alone Trinity turned running from the house. She ran to the stables where Sorbet should have been waiting for her. The one thing she love most in the world was gone forever. The one thing she thought was hers was ruthlessly taken from her. She leaned against the stall door falling to the floor crying.
First daddy left. Then John. Now Sorbet. She had no one. No one but mommy and mommy didn’t want her not really.
She didn’t know how long she had cried on the cold straw covered floor. She must have cried herself to sleep as the next thing she knew she was waking up in her bed inside her room. Her mother was sitting beside her looking worried. “I’m sorry” Trinity mumbled.
Her mother gave her one of her rare sweet smiles. Gently she brushed a lock of hair from Trinity’s face “one day you’ll see why becoming attached to things isn’t the way to go. Being attached to something means getting hurt. No one wants to get hurt.”
Trinity pulled the covers close around her chin listening intently to her mother’s words. “You’ll see” her mom continued a gentleness in her words “once it stops being fun it’s time to move on. If you’re not having fun there’s no point in being with someone.” Trinity didn’t know exactly what her mom was talking about then but she had a sense that what she was saying was important. She had lived by those words never doubting them until now. Was it really the best way to go through life?
Trinity sighed putting the picture carefully on her desk. How little she knew them. How much her mother’s words had impacted her life she hadn’t realized until now. It had been her mother to move on to the next guy once the fun was over. Unconsciously she had copied her mom in her pursuit of fun. A life without entanglements had seemed the best way to go. It had worked up until now. At least she thought it had. Once again she glanced at the family in the picture. Was it really what she wanted? Her dad had gotten remarried. Started a whole new life for himself. Had she been right to cut off all ties with him?
Blowing her nose she dried her eyes. There was no more studying to be done tonight. She needed to distract herself. She glanced at her reflection in the mirror. She had to make a quick change but she knew exactly where to go for the distraction she needed.
Thirty minutes later she walked into the noisy club. She walked confidently onto the dance floor and began to gyrate her body in rhythm of the music. She soon gathered an appreciate audience. She slapped a hand from her waist when someone tried to pull her close. She took a step back not wanting to be hemmed in. Her rhythm faltered when her gaze fell upon a small group. Then she smiled beguiling at the owner of the wandering hand pulling him closer. At the moment she was in the mood to put on a show.
Vincent shook his head as his date offered him another drink. Ears buzzing he held his hand over his glass “no I’m fine” his words slurred together. Was he drunk? He might be. He wasn’t sure. He had never been drunk before. He hadn’t thought his fake ID would pass inspection. The bouncer hardly gave it a glance as the man’s eyes raked across the girls.
Vincent gladly sat at the table the girls guided him to where the room rotated around him. The girls giggled kissing his cheeks before going off to dance. He felt on top of the world as he waved at the girls as they gyrated around each other. Somewhere in his drunken state he thought their touches and giggles seemed to be bit more intimate than two best friends. If he didn’t know better the way they were acting reminded him of Marzia and Divia the few times he had been around them.
His smile slipped then faltered altogether as his eyes caught sight of someone on the other side of the girls. His breath caught in his throat….Trinity. A roaring swishing sound filled his ears. What was she doing here? Dancing was the obvious answer. He watched the guy grinding up against her as he reached for the drink he had refused minutes before. His eyes followed her every movement. She seemed to enjoy his misery. He moaned emptying the drink in one swift gulp.
The blonds finding his attention diverted from them hurried to his side. Through the alcohol induced haze he heard them talking. It was like he was under tons of water and the voices were a million miles away. He allowed them to pull him to his feet. Swaying he almost fell over. Definitely drunk he giggled.