You Complicated Enigma
“He knows who you are,” Dani told me.
I stopped for a minute confused.
“What? Of course he knows who I am. Dani you said there was something you had to tell me referring to why you think Quan is gay.”
She smoked a puff of her cigarette. She looked a little stressed all of a sudden.
“You know it’s over between Quan and I,” she stated.
I looked at Dani as though she had two heads. Here she was about to unleash her soul to me. She leaned her head over to me but I moved right in time causing her to fall over and nearly hit the concrete.
“Listen hunny,” I told her, saying my words slowly, “If you haven’t realized I’m not like these other motherfuckers around here. I could care less about your feelings.”
“Wow, that’s nice of you…”
“No, it isn’t. I’m a fucked up individual. Very blatant and to the point. And I’ve had my guard down since I’ve been in this god forsaken university, but it’s back up now.”
“So you should have realized what was right in front of your eyes.”
She shook her head, “He’s going to hate me for telling you.”
“I guess I might as well. It’s not like I’ve been getting any sex anyway. After a year of being together he just turns cold turkey as soon as you and Sampson come along.”
“Oh my god…listen good you silly bitch…”
She didn’t let me finish. It was almost like she knew how I was about to carry on.
“HE KNOWS YOU. Not from here. From before.”
“Quan knows me.”
“Yeah. The first day I seen him, he goes, I know that kid,” She replied, “I thought it was weird. Then he started hanging out with Sampson. And hell, I’ll admit I had a little crush on Sampson myself so I didn’t mind it, but it started getting weird. Suspicious. It became too much.”
“How does he know me?”
“That is what you have to figure out. I don’t have time for all that. I swear I’d be rid of him, but I need him for Homecoming. I be damned I’m going with just anyone.”
She got up at that moment leaving me there.
She left me wondering. How the fuck did I know Quan? The name just wasn’t clicking to me for some reason. I tried to dig into my memory of high school. Was there someone named Quan there? Maybe someone had a name change.
I knew all those months of intentionally trying to erase Brunswick out of my memory would come back to haunt me somehow.
The next day, I looked in the mirror. I had text Sampson. I had text him a million times and he hadn’t answered any of them. He hadn’t even answered not one of them. He was completely ignoring me as though I didn’t even exist to him.
He had forgotten about me. How does one just turn off their emotions so quickly? It was amazing. All this behind one lying ass bastard.
“I knew it! Man, I knew it!” Khan stated.
He was happy for whatever reason when I told him what happened with Sampson and Quan. Quan setting that entire thing up to break Sampson and I up even further.
“He basically admitted he was gay,” I stated, “And if that wasn’t topping it off Dani told me she was thinking Quan was gay the entire time.”
“Oh wow. I am going to shove this in Angelina’s face,” Quan continued, “I knew this was going to happen.”
“She probably won’t believe you.”
“It doesn’t matter about her. Sampson needs to believe you. You need to tell Sampson.”
“He won’t believe me.”
He turned around, obviously seeing that I was hurt by the entire thing. It was hard, being with someone for so long and just having your back turned on by them. It stung so intensely.
I lowered my face, rinsing it with water over and over as Khan watched me from outside the bathroom. A part of me wanted to drown away all memories of Sampson.
Why did love fuck you over like this? Why did it leave you so pathetic?
“I feel like it’s planned sometimes,” I told Khan, “He planned to make me fall in love with him, just so he could have that control over me. Then he backs away all of a sudden. And I’m the only one in love.”
Khan shook his head, “I been there. But you can always love again.”
“Fuck love. I’m not letting it in again.”
“So what about Sampson. You aren’t even going to…try.”
I knew every part of me wanted to. I was going to send him messages even now. But I couldn’t admit it. I couldn’t show Khan how weak I was being behind everyone’s back. I had to let them know I was strong. I had to put on this front because I couldn’t stand how pathetic love had turned me.
“Hell no. If he doesn’t believe me that’s on him. I’ve moved on already.”
He laughed a little bit, “That’s good. Now what about Quan…”
“I need to find out what Dani was talking about. Him knowing me. I have to do some research, go back to the old neighborhood, talk to some old friends and see if they know me.”
“The old neighborhood? You mean off campus? Syn, it’s nothing off campus but a bunch of looters and shit like that.”
“That’s why you’re coming with me.”
“Great, now I’m stuck with mission impossible?”
“Get your jacket. I’ll wait for you outside.”
I walked outside of the room. As I got into the hallway, I saw two people come from the staircase. The girl was unfamiliar but she was followed by Porter.
The girl was gorgeous. She reminded me a lot of Kim Kardashian. She was a white girl but she had all this flavor, all these curves and this dark skin tone that all kind of pointed to some type of exotic background.
Porter hands strapped firmly onto the girl’s waist. Surprisingly Porter stopped and gave me a smile that was actually warm and welcoming for once. I guess he was back to being nice or at least trying to be nice.
Just at that moment Khan came outside and obviously seeing her, he let out a soft, “Whoa…”
Porter smiled at everyone, “Hey guys this is Morgan. I met her at one of the freshman parties.”
“You’re a freshman?” Khan asked.
“Khan we have to go,” I stated, “Remember…”
I sounded rude. I didn’t care. This Morgan girl was sexy with huge cleavage and Beyonce’s body. She probably beat Angelina hands down as far as sexuality went. Angelina was my friend. Porter wasn’t going to keep ignoring her attempts and bringing around these straight floozies all the damn time.
Porter and I exchanged intense looks as I walked past her, completely being obnoxious to his new pursuit to be ‘nice’.
I could already foretell how Angelina would react when she realized Porter had skipped over her and ignored her yet one more time.
We took a cab off campus to my old place. I could see a couple people I recognized just on the staircase and scattered around the porch. There was a big fire in a trash can in the middle of what once used to be a pretty beautiful yard. Now it was all rubbish everywhere from the other houses. The grass had been drowned repeatedly and patches of brown were everywhere.
I could smell the smell of cocaine. It smelled like bails of cotton candy.
I looked over at Khan as we walked out of the car. By the way he looked, it was clear he hadn’t been around situations like this before. I looked up and down the street.
It seemed like World War III out here. Poverty was everywhere. People were sleeping in front of broken down houses. Some lined up on the streets. It was a disgusting site to see. This is what the hurricane had done to their lives.
Imagine what was in their hearts.
It was Yolanda who came off the steps and walked up to us, “Cousin!”
She was pretending again. She was faking her smile. She knew better than to try and touch me any longer though. She didn’t look as bad as the rest today. She seemed neater. She always knew how to keep herself somewhat happy in the midst of depression.
“I need some questions answered,” I stated.
“Can’t I get a hello?” she asked.
I rolled my eyes, “Hello…I need some questions answered.”
“What kind of questions?”
“”Do you remember someone named Quan?” I asked her, “I need to know. Think back, do you remember anyone named Quan, Yolanda?”
She ignored my question completely, “Whose your friend?”
She smiled at Khan. Yolanda was an infamous flirt. She did it sometimes just for sport. She wanted everyone to like her. She didn’t care what else happened. She used to frame me for the shit she did all the time, so she can always be the innocent little angel.
“He doesn’t speak to idiots that don’t know how to listen,” I stated, directing her attention back to me, “I asked you a question.”
She faked a smile, “Syn when will you ever be pleasant.”
“That’s beyond the point. Do you know a Quan or not?”
“It sounds familiar, but why come you don’t come around anymore?”
I turned to Khan, pulling him away.
It was clear I wouldn’t get anything from Yolanda. She was stupid enough when she wasn’t high and obviously by the smell around this place, they were a little bit bent.
I walked towards the house making out Sidney. As soon as she saw my face, she held onto her stomach and this bitch ACTUALLY HOPPED OVER THE WOODEN PORCH FENCE AND WENT JETTING DOWN THE STREET, (mind you she was at least 6 months pregnant) in the other direction. She was out of sight in just a few minutes.
I turned to see Medusa sitting up there with her hands crossed. She had a blunt of marijuana rolled between her chubby fingers and she was taking long drawn out puffs of it.
“She’s isn’t pregnant. Her baby died in her stomach but you know she’s too much of an idiot to admit it. She refuses to get it moved,” Medusa stated and shook her head.
“It’s probably the drugs you guys are giving her…chewing away at her brain.”
“Well she still knows well enough to run when you come along.”
“Instinct…that doesn’t take a brain. Any dumb fawn can recognize a predator,” I heard a voice say from the inside.
As I walked in I saw T-Boy, covered in tattoos like biker, walking outside. Like usual he had no shirt on. His pants were well below his waist and his boxers on. Still there was something still so sexy about this new rough-boy persona that he had built up. It was so damn appealing.
I struggled to maintain myself.
“Am I predator?” I asked.
“If ever I saw one,” he replied and turned to Khan, “Whose the kid?”
“A friend of mine.”
“If I don’t know him, he’s not welcome. He could be a pig.”
I shook my head, “If this was a pig, there would already be enough proof to bury you all UNDER the jail. I’m not here for all that T-Boy.”
“Come inside then…”
“Good, come on Khan,” I stated.
Khan looked at me. I could tell he wasn’t cool with staying out here with all these shady looking characters. I could tell he was shaking actually.
“I’ll just be a second,” I promised him and walked into the house.
I followed T-Boy into the house. It was so weird being here with T-Boy. He grabbed this guy who was just laying on the floor. He tossed the guy out of the front door with little effort. The guy didn’t even wake up the entire time.
I watched as T-Boy locked the front door. He looked at me. He still had those eyes when he looked at me. It was tough being here with him. All the memories came flooding back.
He was my first love. He was the beginning, beginning.
“Sampson and I…”
“Broke up.” he asked.
“Yeah. How did you know?”
“He told me. I still talk to my brother you know. We got over our little high school competition…centering around you.”
“I never meant it to be like that.”
“But it was…so what do you want.”
He was trying to be rough with me. Forceful. I could tell I made him uncomfortable. I could tell by how he seemed so anxious. He didn’t like being around me.
“I came to ask you a question about someone,” I stated, “Do you know a Quan?”
He rolled his eyes, “No…”
“Ok…” I stated turning to walk out.
He watched me as I walked out, obviously watching my backside.
“Is that it?” he asked.
I turned around, “I would assume so. Why is there anything else you wanted to tell me?”
He just looked at me. His eyes were set on me. He had this swagger that made him so attractive. The way he leant over and stared. The way he could say so fucking much without even looking at me.
“How does it feel?” he asked.
“Have your heart ripped open. I know you still love Sampson. Don’t you? How does it feel now that he’s gone and all you have is a memory of good times. Good times that isn’t on his mind. It’s only on yours. Now you can relate.”
“Are you going to hate me forever T-Boy?”
He shook his head and turned away from me, “Please get out.”
I turned and started walking away. T-Boy had so much resentment toward me for what happened years ago. It was crazy. How come he had forgiven Sampson but not me? He spoke to Sampson now. Sampson was his brother. He knew just as well as me how fucked up it was if him and I were to get together. It wasn’t just me.
For years we had undergone a relationship born of betrayal.
It’s only now that I’m in Brunswick that I felt like this betrayal was constantly stabbing me in the back.
Just as I walked out the house, I could hear the footsteps of someone running. I turned around quickly to see Byron.
He swung hard at me swinging his fist dead at my head!
“Stay the fuck away from my man!” he yelled like a crazy faggot.
Byron swung his hand at my head hard socking me. I could see a gang of people surround us. I knew Byron was a fighter. We had gotten into it before.
Byron got on top of me and started pummeling me, punching his fists right into my jaw! THIS FUCKING FAGGOT! I screamed in PURE agony as I tried to kick him off me, but he was bigger than me, way bigger then me and able to pin me down with just his knees.
“Get off of him!” I heard Khan yell out.
Khan tried to run forward but was immediately stopped by someone who tripped him over. He fell face first onto the planks of the porch.
He threw something towards me.
It was mace. Good old punks. They always traveled with pepper spray. The only problem was that it was way too far to reach though.
WAYYYY too far.
Just when I was ready to give up and just take the fact that Byron was going to end up beating my ass for the 2nd good time, I saw T-Boy pull him off of me.
That was when T-Boy did something I didn’t expect. He punched Byron hard. He didn’t only just punch Byron but he started to pummel him against the side of the building, punches hitting right one after another. Byron could probably give T-Boy a run for his money in a fight but it seemed like he was too shocked to even fight back.
He then threw Byron on the porch and a group of people ran over to hold T-Boy back.
“Don’t fucking touch him!” T-Boy yelled louder then I heard him ever before, “I told you never to fucking touch him didn’t I? Didn’t I, you piece of shit!”
Byron was laying in the ground crying his heart out. No one was really helping him. It seemed like everyone was just doing the opposite. They were ignoring him and passing by him. It was almost like they were used to Byron acting out like that.
Medusa came to my aid helping me up off the ground, “That boy really done lost it. Syn, you ok?”
I got up slowly.
All of a sudden I heard Yolanda scream and I knew it wasn’t over. Just at that moment Byron had came back for one last attack. He was spraying mace.
He sprayed at T-Boy but T-Boy was too far back so instead he turned the mace on me. My eyes immediately started to feel the hard tinge of the liquid filling my pupil.
I fell to the ground kicking and screaming.
You couldn’t imagine the pain.
All I remember was T-Boy and I in the bathroom. He bent me over the sink and ran the water. I was panicking, splashing in my face over and over.
“Calm down,” T-Boy stated, “Sorry ‘friend’, he needs his time.”
He was obviously kicking Khan out of the bathroom and locked the door behind him. T-Boy grabbed onto a towel and put it over my shoulder. The water wasn’t helping. The burning would not stop. It hurt so fucking much. It was ridiculous.
“What the FUCK! I swear, I am going to go Columbine on this entire fucking city!” I shouted.
That is the shit that pushed people to do shit like that. You kept fucking with people. You kept pushing them until they do something so fucked up that now all of a sudden everyone sits there and wonders…what happens.
People KEEP fucking with People. And it’s sad the shit people do when they are angry.
And just there in the burning.
“I’m so sorry,” T-Boy stated.
He put his hands on my back. I hadn’t felt his hand in such a fucking long time. It was still warm…still…caring. He touched me gently squeezing my arm again.
I struggled to breathe, “You need to control your lapdog.”
“I…” he continued, “He and I were never that serious. Syn, you know ever since you left…”
He stopped talking.
I tried to concentrate on him but I couldn’t. My eyes had stopped burning a little bit as we sat there in silence. As it stopped burning long enough, I turned to him to realize that T-Boy was sitting there on the toilet. His eyes as red as mine.
They weren’t from mace though.
They were from tears.
“T-Boy…Tommy…” I never called him his real name.
He fixed his face bracing his lips. Refusing to look soft even though tears were rolling down his eyes. His muscles were tense. I could see something in him that I didn’t know was there…ever..
“You little complicated enigma,” he stated, looking through me instead of me, “There’s no way I could describe you Syn. You complicated enigma, so hard to understand. You are chasing something and I don’t know what. I’d give it to you, Syn, you know…real talk. If I knew what you were running for. Or maybe you are running away. You have a way to pick up speed though. Hard to catch. But once one has caught you, it feels like all the chasing is worth it. Just before you give me just a look, just a smile and then you are off again. Why does God play with me like this? The world is so rough on you. But I could help you. I could protect you…if you…just let comfort in…”
“All strange and terrible things are welcome, but comforts we despise,” I stated remembering.
The quote brought back memories of someone and all of a sudden I knew exactly who Quan was. I knew exactly why Quan was the way he was as well.
“Syn…are you serious right now? I’m pouring out my heart to you man?” T-Boy stated.
“T-Boy,” I started, “I’m so sorry. I just figured something out. Something serious. What were you going to say?”
“Just go ahead.”
He turned away.
Some people would have sat there and comforted him. Truth was I had no idea what was going on in T-Boy’s mind. He had so many ups and downs. One minute he hated me and the next minute he wanted to comfort me. What the hell was all that about really?
I turned away though.
I ran out of the bathroom right into Khan…literally.
We crashed onto the floor and looked at each other. I picked him up and pulled him.
“I know who Quan is and the thing is if he is who he is then I have a real BIG problem on my hand.”
“You won’t believe me if I told you…”