Untitled Part I
by Danny Tippit
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Jimmy has always been known as a ladies man. His buddies, especially his best friend, Barry, have always looked up to him as the crème de la crème of the quintessential player. Jimmy had a reputation to uphold. Why was this even a question of calling Pauline on a lonely Friday night? Any other Friday Jimmy would be out with the boys painting the town red, gracing every popular bar and club in the Atlanta suburb of Buckhead with his presence. But today he had to work late at the garage with his dad.
A pretty wealthy customer pulled his Jag into the station just at closing time crying about how desperate he was to get his car worked on and how he was willing to pay a little extra for the immediate service. Jimmy’s dad was always a sucker for helping someone, especially if they were paying in cash, and a lot of it. And because Jimmy’s dad was staying late that meant Jimmy wasn’t getting away any time soon himself.
Jimmy and Pauline had dated a couple of times in high school. Pauline was the social debutant of the school. She was never involved in any clubs, sports, or extracurricular activities, but she attracted a crowd of socialite wannabe’s into her self-proclaimed “Upper Class” social club. Her daddy was a federal judge and her mother was a neurosurgeon. With parents who have those kinds of high cash flow careers, it is easy to wonder if they have the world’s first orchard of money trees in their back yard. Pauline was not shy to announce her family’s wealthy status. Case in point, at her request her first car at the age of 16 was a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, a SUV with $100,000 plus price tag. Of course her parents obliged.
Jimmy was the patent-star of the football team, the basketball team, the baseball team, etc. Any team with “ball” at the end of it Jimmy was the Lebron James, Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter,… you get the picture. He excelled at anything he could apply his naturally gifted athleticism too. He even considered once giving the swim team a good ole college try until he found out that the girls on the swim team wore one pieces and nothing less. Jimmy was a sharp looking kid too. He was the poster-child for a lean, mean, romancing machine. With his jet black hair, chiseled physique, tawny colored skin, and celebrity-status appeal, Jimmy was on the hit list of nearly ever young adult female within a 50 mile radius. And Jimmy paraded it just as well as Pauline did.
His attraction to Pauline was purely physical, therefore, the relationship was merely physical. The reason why they could never last longer than a week was because Jimmy couldn’t outlast her innate capacity for narcissism. Pauline was obscenely obsessed with herself, so much so that one time she suggested that her daddy donate money to her high school for them to build anything that can have her name attached to it. She was also what the MTV generation would call a “hottie”. That didn’t matter to Jimmy because after about a week of enduring Pauline’s self-absorbed proclamations of herself he would have rather have endured listening to the cheerleaders defend how cheerleading is a sport.
Five years removed from high school, away from all of the star-studded achievements of high school past, Jimmy began to grow into a simpler and quieter way of life. Instead of carousing around every night with his buddies, Jimmy slowed down to Fridays and Saturdays. Lately, with a renewed interest in going to church with his parents again, Saturday night carousing has been taking a back seat to getting some sleep. Jimmy almost equated it to turning old and just slowing down. Jimmy was only 23 years old. He knew he wasn’t and old fuddy duddy yet.
And yet here he was again, in a very familiar situation. He was lonely, looking for company. As a matter of fact he had been alone more often lately because of his lack of desire to go out and do what he now considers mundane, senseless, and immature games for attention.
As he reaches for the phone a mental dialogue ensues within his mind.
“You don’t want to do this,” the voice says in a counseling tone.
“Why not? Pauline is hot, up for it, and she doesn’t mind being a ‘friend with benefits’,” defends Jimmy.
The voice answers a question with a question, “Why do you have to have her physical approval?”
Jimmy thinks for a minute as if to ask himself that question. He shakes it off and picks up the phone. As he begins to push the touch screen numbers on his smart phone, the voice repeats that same question, but it isn’t as abrasive.
Jimmy thinks to himself, “What is with me? I have never felt like this before. I have slept with only a few girls. Pauline was my first. She was like my first love just without the love. It isn’t like I am doing anything wrong.”
Jimmy continues to rationalize his contradicting thoughts, “WHAT IS GOING ON? What am I doing? I am an adult. Why am I rationalizing something that is perfectly okay? Ughh!”
As he is having this debate in his mind, he suddenly hears a females voice coming through the phone. Forgetting why he had the phone in his hand, he puts it to his ear and answers, “Hello?”
“Hey Jimmy!” Pauline says with an expected enthusiasm.
Surprised, but reminded of what he was doing Jimmy dully responds back, “Oh hey.”
“Oh hey?” Pauline was a little taken aback by Jimmy’s lack luster and confused voice. “You did call me, right Jimmy? You do know who you called right? Your favorite person in the whole wide world!”
Jimmy’s inward conflict starts to affect his tone. “Yeah, hey Pauline. What’s up?”
“Are you sure your phone didn’t just butt-call me? You called me didn’t you? Are you feeling lonely again. You need some company? Your buddies go out without you again?” Pauline’s inflection in her voice borders baby talk.
“Well, actually I had to work late. So I told Barry and Tony to take off without me. I am a little tired anyways.”
“Oh,” Pauline continues in her childish lilt. “Jimmy Wimmy need a massage? I tell you what, I was supposed to meet the girls at La Posh tonight, but instead of club hopping with them and making all of the childish boys drool I will drive over to your place for some Jimmy Time and you can get some Pauline Time.”
Now that voice in Jimmy’s head is screaming, “DON’T DO IT!”
Jimmy never really liked to be told what to do, and he wasn’t about to bow down now. Still yet, his response to Pauline was all but confident. “Um… yeah sure. Come on over. I mean… that’s was what I hoping you would do. When will you be here?”
Still sensing a weirdness in his voice Pauline fought the urge to ask what was wrong with him. Pauline and Jimmy had this silent agreement not to ask about the others feelings. As long as they maintained a “friends with benefits” status, they wanted to keep emotional attachment to skin deep. “I will be there in about 10 minutes.”
“You know if you don’t want to really come over it’s alright.” Jimmy shocked himself. All he could think of was, “Why am I shooting myself in the foot? Am I trying to get out of this? What is wrong with me?”
“What? Do you not want me to come over?” Pauline was surprised. Jimmy has never turned down her advances. She accepted the fact that Jimmy didn’t want her for a girlfriend, but she wouldn’t know what to think if he rejected the relationship they have now. She has never told Jimmy how deeply her crush for him has been ever since she first laid eyes on him in the eighth grade. The only reason she came up with the idea of being a “friend with benefits” was because she didn’t want to lose him. She has been trying to impress him since the eighth grade. When Jimmy finally asked her to be his girlfriend their senior year in high school Pauline felt like her world was complete and that they would be married and live happily ever after. It has been tiresome to keep up the façade of being the popular homecoming queen beauty, but it was the only way she has seen that Jimmy really notices her.
“Yeah… yeah… I was just saying… I mean I don’t want to pull you away from time with your friends.” Jimmy is still confounded by the words coming out of his mouth.
Eagerly Pauline answer back, “Don’t you worry your sexy little self about that. I see those girls all of the time. However, I haven’t seen you in a while. So I will be there in a few. Let me freshen up and then I will be over. Okay?” Pauline didn’t want to give Jimmy an out to say no by asking if it was okay. But she felt after how the conversation has gone so far she didn’t want to force herself on him.
“Okay. See you in a few,” Jimmy says with a lot of hesitancy.
Jimmy hits the “end call” button on his phone. His thoughts were, “What just happened?” He wasn’t sure, but he did know one thing, the normal Pauline and Jimmy show was not going to be the same after tonight. As a matter of fact, Jimmy had a feeling that things in his life were about to change all together. What scared him most was he didn’t know how or why.
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