Everything in Pulse nauseated Safiya. The amalgamation of floral perfumes and spicy colognes gnawed at her stomach. The fishy stench the emitted from the kitchen as batch after batch of catfish hit the hot oil formed a wave of bile that surged up her throat.
Safiya leaned against her black Passat breathing in the steamy Austin night air as her neon orange bodycon dress clung tight to her slightly protruding abdomen. The rapid vibrations of the oh-so loud music, that she normally loved created a throbbing headache the felt like a jackhammer was trying to crack open her cranium. She twisted her long, sleek onyx hair into a bun and slid in a Bic ballpoint pen to hold it together. She exhaled a deep, labored huff as he walked toward her. She knew it was time. Time to tell him, tell him what she had gotten herself into.
“We closed the place down, again.” Garner undid the button of his red Abercrombie plaid shirt showing his glistening collarbone. “You waiting on Harmony?” He looked back at the black door to the brown building that anybody under the age of forty mistook for an abandoned warehouse and not the hottest spot in town.
Safiya nodded. “Yes.” She stared at him as the street light rained over them. What was it that attracted her to him? Was it his boyish good looks, his thick black mane, his biceps or his laugh that made her laugh? Garner Devery. Nineteen. Accounting major from Oregon. What city? She had no idea but what she did know was Garner Devery from Oregon didn’t make her heart sing. He was not the love of her life. Hell, he wasn’t even the love of her year. She already had that; he broke her heart and left something behind.
Safiya held her head, “I don’t know how many nights I have of this.” She watched his puzzled face through the cracks of her fingers.
“About two more years!” Garner tapped her shoulder.
“No.” Safiya dropped her hand letting her head lean to the side. “This was my last night. I’m over it.
Garner looked at the cars trickle down the side street. “You’re not partying anymore?” He let out his hearty Santa Claus laugh. Unlike the previous other hundred times her laugh didn’t echo his. He stopped. “You’re serious. How does someone not party?”
“Cause, I’m not talking about partying.” Safiya sighed deeply. She always hated this part even though she had a lot of practice. She started earlier telling Craig Diaz it was him and not her at the swings during fourth grade recess. “I’m talking about us.”
He took a step back out of the light’s territory. “Us?”
“Yes. Us.” She stood up straight. “I’m over it.”
“You’re breaking up with me?” Garner’s voice went stone cold.
Safiya tried to make out his face. Was he crying? Was he angry? But she couldn’t see. It was too dark. However, the pain that quaked in his voice was reverent in the dead night. “You’re a sophomore. I’m a junior.” Safiya looked back at the black door wondering what was taking Harmony and Cairo so long. “Its time I get serious and stop being distracted.”
“So, I’m a distraction.” He stepped back in the light. “The insults just keep coming.”
Now, she could see him. He was angry. His tinted cheeks, narrowed eyes and furrowed forehead erased his boyish charm making him look more like a man. “It’s not an insult.” Safiya pleaded. “I’m setting you free, to be young and wild. To have fun.”
“You’re setting me free to be young and wild because you’re SO FUCKING OLD! Fiya, you’re twenty-one not forty-five!” Garner placed his hand on her stomach. “Lets just go to Dawn’s get some food in your gut and dilute some of the alcohol you guzzled down that’s got you thinking crazy.”
Safiya pushed his hand off her, “It was ginger-ale.”
“I was drinking ginger-ale all night, not beer.”
“Is your acid reflux acting up again?” He stroked her shoulder. “I told you not to eat that pizza.”
Safiya flexed his hand off her, “That’s not the point. I’m not drunk. My mind is clear and this relationship has run its course. It’s over.” She popped the car alarm and the locks clicked open. “Now, I’ll drive your back to you’re dorm if you want me too but there’s no us.” She opened the car door and stood behind it. “No hard feelings.”
“No hard feelings!” Garner clinched his fist. “No hard feelings.” He pulled his arm back like the string to a bow and his hand glided in the air like an arrow slamming into Safiya’s back window. Glass splattered in the air like rice being thrown at a wedding.
Safiya shook the skittle-size glass pieces from her hair, “What the fuck is wrong with!” She used all her strength to shove him away from her car. Crimson blood raged from the rivers of cut on his hand pouring on the oil-stained concrete.
“No hard feelings!” Garner yelled walking down the street cradling his wounded hand.
“What’s going on?” Harmony shouted running over.
Safiya raked her hand through her hair peering at the glass splayed across her backseat, “Some people can’t handle a break-up.” She opened the back door and another chunk of glass fell and crashed to the ground.
Harmony scraped the glass across the ground, “I told you not to date my brother’s roommate.”
“Keep your I told you, Harmony.” Safiya slammed the door shaking more glass to the ground. “I’m in trouble. I need girl talk.”