"You have got to be kidding! None of that really happened!
Did it?" Lamont asked bringing Lourdes a cup of tea. He sat down
on the sofa next to her in his silk pajamas. They were in the
middle of a Housewives of Atlanta marathon.
"I kid you not," Lourdes said, "it all went
down, just like that." She couldn't go home, she was pumped full
of adrenaline and she needed to confess to somebody not involved
in that circle.
She decided to go to Corey and Lamont's
"Holy shit!" Corey said."What the hell did you
"What could I do?" She asked. "I excused myself as quickly as
possible, and sought shelter with you fine
"How did you get here?" Corey asked.
"Walked." Lourdes said blowing on her
"You walked? Clear across town?" Lamont asked
"Yes and my feet are killing me. But could you blame me?" She
asked. "I had a lot to think about."
"Your telling me." Lamont said. "But Albear's place is
closer, I'm surprised you didn't go to him
Lourdes smiled. "What, and have him laugh at me for
"He wouldn't laugh." Corey said with the biggest grin on his
face, crossing his legs on the sofa. "At least not for
"And he wouldn't have the right," Lamont giggled, "trust me,
we've all been down this road before."
"What road is that?" Lourdes asked, even though she was
pretty sure, she knew what he was talking
"Syphilis, crabs, gonorrhea. Sometimes no matter how careful
you are, you can always have a slip up. It only takes once."
Lamont patted her knee.
"Don't take this the wrong way," Lourdes
said, "but a girl like me doesn't
get STD's. I'm not fucking 30 guys in 30
"As if we are?" Corey exclaimed. "We're not hooking up every
night." He pointed back and forth between himself and Lamont, and
Nene on the TV screen. "The proof is right in front of your
"Who the fuck are you kidding." Lourdes
"He's right." Lamont said. "We just like to go out and
preview the merchandise."
"And you would sample sale every single piece of meat if you
could." Lourdes cracked.
"Well, true." Lamont smiled. Lourdes and Corey
"But that's just for fun." Corey offered. "When something
real comes along, all that goes out of the
"That's true also." Lamont said. "Well, true for everyone
"Albear." They all said.
The front door slammed shut and they all
looked up. "Did I hear somebody just say my name?" Albear came
walking into the living room. He was dressed as if he just came
City. He looked at Lourdes. "What the fuck are
you doing here? I've been calling you all
"Christmas party, remember?" Lourdes
"Oh yes right. Hanging with the happy heteros. And I take it,
that it was so fun that you had to rush over to tell Corey and
Lam all about it?"
"Of course." Lourdes said raising her tea cup up in the
"Bullshit." Albear grinned. "Something must have
"Oh something did alright." Lamont said leaning forward on
the sofa as Lourdes slapped his knee. "What?" He
Albear flopped down on the other sofa next to Corey and layed
his head in his lap. "Tell me all about it." He said. "And I'm
starving, let's go get some food."
"Um hello," Corey said, "but we are dressed for bed, some of
us have to work in the morning, nobody is up for going
"It's only midnight!" Albear said.
"Good point," Lamont said, "So why
are you here?"
"Yeah," Lourdes said, "Shouldn't you be out with shirtless
boy wonder number 2010?"
"I got bored." Albear confessed. "Pride Diner is open 24
hours. We can walk there."
"No." Lourdes said. "I'm not hungry. Plus I was on my way
"Via Corey and Lamont's." Albear said not believing her. He
got up and walked over to the refrigerator. "So quit holding
out," he called from the kitchen, "and tell me all about the
Corey and Lamont started laughing as Lourdes rolled her eyes.
"Actually," she said, "I was just leaving."
"Oh honey no." Lamont said. "You just got here, plus you know
you can crash whenever you want."
"Stay," Corey said, "it'll be like a slumber
"Yeah stay," Albear said coming from the kitchen with a bag
of chips, "because I want to know, what was so important that you
couldn't come and tell me."
"I didn't come and tell you because I figured that you would
be cumming in somebody else right now." Lourdes said
"Been there done that." Albear cracked. "And I'm free right
now, so stop holding out. What's going on?"
"Go on," Lamont said patting her knee again, "we'll be your
Lourdes smiled but she was still
"Yeah," Corey said, "I don't have to be at work until 1pm
tomorrow, so we could even go to the clinic with you in the
"Hold on!" Alby said through a mouth full of chips. "Rewind
that, and start from the very beginning!"
"Thanks guys." Lourdes said to Corey and Lamont . She took a
deep breath and began the story all over
"Hello?" Lourdes answered her phone half asleep. Albear
grunted and rolled over. She had been spending many nights at
Alby's. They had been partying too much. But what else was new?
There was no answer on the other end. She squinted down at the
cell in her hand. Her blue phone. She had lost the call and the
line was dead. Lourdes didn't recognize the number, so she put it
on the nightstand and rolled over, when her black cell started to
ring. Albear groaned in protest and put a pillow over his head.
Three o'clock in the morning and two people were trying to reach
her simultaneously. Lourdes sat up fully this time and picked up
the black phone. Private caller. "Shit." She muttered. It
couldn't be anybody else but..."Hello?" She whispered quietly.
There was no answer, but a lot of voices and background noise.
"Hello?" Lourdes said again. "Do you know what time it is?" But
there was still no response, just background noise. "I'm hanging
up now and going back to bed." She said, still
"Yes you are." Albear mumbled under the pillow. "Or else your
hitting the sofa."
Lourdes ended the phone call, as the blue cell started to
ring again. Same unrecognizable number. She threw the covers off
herself, grabbing the phone and went into the living room. She
answered the phone again. "Who is this, what's going on?" She
"Right, it's me." A British accent came through
"Gabe?" Lourdes asked. "What's wrong?"
"Talk to Alex lately?" He asked
"What are you talking about?" Lourdes asked. "Isn't he in
Europe with you?"
"So he told you he was going home for the
"He hasn't told me anything." Lourdes protested. "You went
home to London, so I assumed he went to Sweden just the same.
Besides, didn't you say that the two of you were going to meet up
"Yes or no?" Gabe went over her question. "Have you talked to
him or not?"
"Is this about the dinner party?" Lourdes asked. "Because I
thought we were going to wait until you got back to talk about
"Why won't you answer the question?" Gabriel
"Fuck!" Albear yelled from the bedroom. Lourdes came rushing
in. Her black phone was ringing. Private caller again. Lourdes
grabbed the black and the white cell, apologizing to Albear and
rushed out the room.
"What's that noise?" Gabe asked. "Is somebody calling
Lourdes pressed ignore and set the phone to vibrate. then she
set the two free cells down on the coffee table. "Gabe, I'm
tired, it's three o'clock in the morning here and I just want to
go to bed. I haven't talked to you or Alex since the night of the
dinner party and I may just keep it that
There was silence on the other end of the line. Lourdes had
the upper hand. "So unless you're going to tell me what's going
on, I'm hanging up now." The black phone started to ring
"So what are you saying?" He asked.
"What I'm saying is that, I'm not getting caught in the
middle of whatever petty bullshit the two of you have going on."
Her phone continued to vibrate.
"And what makes you think there's something petty going on
between us?" He asked. "What is it that you
Lourdes hung up on Gabriel. She wasn't in the mood to play
these games. "Hello?" She answered the other
"I called you three times! What's so important that you
"Alex?" Lourdes asked confused. He sounded drunk and angry.
"We have a bad connection." She said.
"Who else would it be?" He was hostile. He had to be loaded.
He wasn't slurring his words, but they weren't clear and precise
either. Lourdes let out a sigh. First Gabe, now him. And they
wondered why she refused to go to Europe with either one of
"Do you have something to tell me?" He
"And what would that possibly be?" Lourdes asked right back.
"I was in bed sleeping, until you started blowing up my
"Gabe's fucking Celia!" He yelled into the
"Oh please." Lourdes muttered. "And when would he have time
to do that? He hasn't been there that long."
"It only takes one time!" He said. "Did you know about
"Why would I know about that?" She asked.
"There are many many oceans between us. You're there, I'm here.
And if it is true, then why would he tell me
about it?" The blue cell started to ring again. "Hold on."
Lourdes muttered, putting the black phone
"What?" She said into the blue phone.
"I lost you." Gabe said.
"Gabe, I'm not doing this right now." Lourdes said. "So
whatever is going on, you deal with it."
"I will," he said, "but if you talk to
"Yes?" Lourdes asked.
"Don't believe a fucking word he says, because it's not
"What did you do?" Lourdes asked.
"Nothing!" He said. "That's just it, I didn't do anything,
but nobody will believe me."
"Fine." Lourdes said. "I'm going back to bed, I'll talk to
you at a more appropriate time."
"Right," he said, "it's just that..."
"What?" She sighed.
"I know that you have no right to believe me, given what just
happened with Stacy. So what you may hear, might lead you to jump
to conclusions, and I don't want you to."
"Fine." Lourdes said again. "That's fine Gabe, I swear I
won't jump to any conclusions about whatever it is that you won't
tell me about. Alright? Goodnight or good morning. Whatev-"
Lourdes hung up the blue cell and went back to the black one.
"Okay I'm back." She said.
"What happened?" He asked.
"Alex I can barely hear you. If you're at a bar, just call me
"No!" He said. "I want to talk now."
"Your drunk, I'm tired," she said, "trust me, that's not a
"There's too many people talking in the background." Lourdes
"So?" He said again.
Lourdes sighed. She wasn't going to be able to rush him off
the phone. "So Gabe's fucking Celia." She said. "What makes you
"Because she told me!"
Lourdes paused. "And you believe her?"
"Why wouldn't I?" He asked.
"Oh I don't know," she said sarcastically, "maybe because you
broke up with her out of nowhere, not too long ago, and she's
"Get off the fucking phone!" Albear called out from the
bedroom agitated. Lourdes flinched and tried to lower her
"We were never together!" Alex said into the phone. "Not like
"Bullshit." Lourdes said. "I met her remember? Long distance
relationship or not, that lady has feelings for
"Not my problem." He said.
"Well it is now!" Lourdes spat out. "And if you say that you
two were never together, like you and I aren't together, then it
seems to me, that you were heading down this road anyway. Hell
hath no fury like a woman scorned, Alex!" So much for her being
"What are you saying?" He asked. "That I had this
"If you dumped me out of nowhere, after a five year
relationship, leading me to think that we were going to get
married the whole time, I'd tell you I fucked your best friend
"What is this? Female solidarity?" He
"Oh fuck off Alex." Lourdes rolled her eyes. "You told me
that you had taken care of this. You said that I wouldn't be
bothered with this again. That none of this would touch me. And
at the first sign of things not going your way, I get dragged
into the middle still."
"I didn't start this." He said.
"But here we are. Something has upset you tremendously or
else you wouldn't be bothering me with it. And if none of this is
your problem, then why do you care so much?"
"It's the principal!"
Lourdes laughed. Was he serious? She looked up as she saw
Albear come stumbling out of the bedroom and making his way to
the kitchen. "Why aren't you voicing this principal to Gabe?" She
asked. "Why are you calling me to talk about all of this? There's
nothing I can do."
"I have talked to Gabe about it. In fact, I more than
"Oh no, Alex you didn't?" Lourdes put her hand to head.
"Don't you have photo shoots and interviews coming up over there?
Please tell me you weren't fighting?" Albear looked up from the
"I didn't throw the first punch." Alex said in his
"Shit." Lourdes muttered. "Is Gabe
"What!" He said in shock.
"Well you're obviously fine." Lourdes said. "Not at a
hospital or anything. Drunk at eleven o'clock in the morning. So,
I'm assuming you're not in too bad a shape."
"I don't fucking believe this!"
"What do you want me to say?" She asked. "Am I supposed to
take your side? I mean, really Alex? See this is what I'm talking
about! So what if Celia fucked Gabe? Why does it
"Why does it matter?" He asked. "Don't you
"Of course I care!" Lourdes responded. "I would care very
much if I actually believed it. But my question, is why do you
care? Did you think that we would ban together because of this?
Because all I hear that you're saying is, you got into a fight
over a girl you claim you don't want!" Albear shut the
refrigerator door and came out the kitchen. Lourdes stood up and
started pacing around.
There was a moment of silence on the other end. "Listen, I'm
sloshed," Alex said, "maybe we should talk
"No fuck that!" Lourdes said. "I'm up now and you wanted to
talk. You said you didn't throw the first punch. So what
happened? What did you say to Gabe that would make him want to
"Oh shit!" Albear laughed, sitting on the sofa and getting
comfortable. He was wide awake and very interested in what was
Lourdes put the cell to her shoulder. "Go away!" She
"You go away!" Albear whispered back, not moving. "This is my
house." He grinned.
Lourdes turned away from Alby and put the phone back to her
ear, still waiting for an answer.
"It was the circumstances." Alex offered. "His was pissed, I
was pissed, and we had already been
"And a fight emerged when the two of you saw each other."
Lourdes muttered, finishing his sentence. "But you're still not
saying, who said what to whom."
Albear stood up and went back into the bedroom, giving her
There was another pause. And then Alex, finally spoke. "When
Celia told me that she was sleeping with Gabe, she said that they
had sex Thanksgiving weekend and then again and again when he
came into town for the holiday. She tried so hard to rub it in,
giving me all these explicit details, it made me so angry that I
told her that Gabe more than likely gave her an STD. And he would
be too much of a coward to tell her since he didn't have the
balls to tell you."
"You didn't." Lourdes sighed.
"That was earlier in the day." Alex said. "By nightfall
everybody knew about the Gonorrhea, including Gabe's
"Oh no." Lourdes sighed again.
"Needless to say, a fight was unavoidable. He was pissed
about what I did and I was pissed about what he
"What you think he did." Lourdes said, then she was silent.
She sat back down on the sofa. A realization came over her.
"Alex...you didn't tell him about us...did
"What?" He asked.
"With all the anger and alcohol involved, something could
have easily slipped out." Lourdes said cautiously. "In the midst
of all that, please tell me that you didn't say something about
us to him?"
"I told him nothing." He said.
"Are you sure about that?" Lourdes asked. There was silence
on the other end of the line. "Alex?" But there was still
silence. Lourdes looked down at the phone. She had lost the
"Happy New Year!" Dalia said, standing there in a lavender
ball gown. It wasn't technically New Year's anymore, but they
were still celebrating.