To The Bitter End, Part 4



It became so uncomfortable living in the same house as Ibbie and watching her and Zefania get closer and closer. Soon it started to feel like maybe I just didn’t exist to Zef anymore. He didn’t seem to mind kissing her publicly or holding her hands and gazing into her eyes like a lovesick puppy. What hurt even more was that months went by without Zef and I even speaking. That all changed when Zef came to me and said that he’d been hearing some pretty upsetting things about Ibbie around town…

  “Day’Lee, I need to ask you for a favor. I need you to drive me over to someone’s house real fast-can you do that for me?” I set the book I was reading on the coffee table and stood from where I’d been sitting on the couch to stretch my legs. I took my time answering, choosing my words wisely. “Zef, you haven’t spoken to me in months, and now you’re finally talking to me just so you can ask me for a favor?”    “Look, I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important, but if you can’t do it just say so. I’ll take a taxi.”   “Zef, you know I’d do anything you ever asked of me…”   Zefania stared into my eyes, then blinked rapidly and nodded. “Okay, good. I need to go now, though.”   “Alright, the keys are on my bedroom dresser. Just grab them and start the car while I get my coat.”    Zef ran upstairs while I slipped on my coat from the coat rack by the front door. I was definitely a little curious about where we were going but I figured if Zef wanted to explain it to me then he would, and until then I decided it was best not to ask too many questions..

It took about 45 minutes of driving before Zef finally told me to pull into a circular drive in front of a huge, modern-style house. Immediately after I parked Zef jumped out of the passenger door and ran up the spiral stairs. I watched as he knocked and a woman came to the door. What was going on? They talked for quite a while..I found myself getting really bored stiff  so I wound up closing my eyes and almost falling asleep as Blue October sang me a pleasant lullaby…  The slamming of the car door brought me back to reality with force.  “So…where to now?”    “Home.”

Later on that night I was sitting in my room reading when I heard a light tap at the door.  “Come in.”   Zef walked in and slowly shut the door behind him.  “Do you wanna talk about it?” I asked.  Zef just sank on to the edge of my bed and cradled his head in his hands. I couldn’t stand seeing him so upset. I ignored the whispering in my head warning me to play it safe and wrapped my arms around his waist from the back. Then I layed my head on his shoulder. For a while, we just sat that way, in the silence. Finally Zef started to speak very quietly. “For a while now I’ve been hearing some things about Ibbie..At first I didn’t see a reason to take it too seriously..I mean, we weren’t official then or anything. But just about 2 or 3 weeks ago Ibbie told me that she really cared about me and we had this really long talk…..Anyways, then about 5 days ago Ibbie got a very impressive raise at her job. I mean, she just couldn’t stop talking about it! And me, well, I was proud of her..but I kinda thought the raise was a little too over the top..”   Zef clenched one of my hands and held it firmly to his chest. I didn’t say a word, for fear that I would ruin this oh so crucial moment.  “Two days ago I stopped by Ibbie’s workplace to take her to lunch,” Zef continued, “and I saw this man in her office. They were kissing, Day’Lee…”  I closed my eyes and focused on just listening..on just being there for Zef and being his friend, like he needed me to be. “Then this woman, one of Ibbie’s co-workers I guess, came up behind me. I asked her who the man was..the man in Ibbie’s ofifce..Turns out it’s Ibbie’s boss..I guess he’s like the owner or something..I dunno…but that’s the woman I went to see tonight. She’d told me she’d tell me what she knew if I stopped by…..Basically, from what she says..and what the whole town seems to be saying, Ibbie has been seeing him for weeks..”  “Oh, Zef! That’s just awful..What can I do? I mean, IS there something I can do? Something that would make this easier for you?”  “No, Day’Lee, there’s nothing you can do. .”  Zef released my hand and turned to face me. He wiped away a stray hair that had fallen in front of my eye. “Besides, you did what you could-the best you could-just by listening. Thank you, Day’Lee.”  I nodded solemnly. “So now what will you do? You know, now that you know what Ibbie’s done?”  “I don’t KNOW anything  just yet, Day. All I can do is confront her. She deserves a chance to defend herself, especially if it turns out that none of this is even true.”  “But Zef-”  “I love her, Day, and I want to trust her..Please, just understand that this is something Ibbie and I have to work out on our own.”  “I understand Zef.”   With that, Zef left my room and closed the door. I had a hard time falling asleep that night..


New Best Friend

New Best Friend

I never found out if Zef really confronted Ibbie about seeing her boss. To my knowledge Ibbie was a sweet talker that could bat her eyes and chat her way out of anything. The mushy stuff went on between the two of them like nothing had happened, and I realized I’d been hoping that Zefania would leave her so that I could have him for myself..or at least get back my best friend. Something good did come out of Zef and I growing apart, though. Akemi and I became extremely close. We began to do everything together! On really hot days Akemi and I would throw on our swim suits and go out to the back yard. We’d play in the sprinkler like two kids and shoot water at one another with the garden hose. We’d walk around at the park, catching beatles and butterflies and collecting rocks. We bought a telescope to look at the stars and some nights Atilio would join us on the porch and point out constellations with long names I never could remember for the life of me. Akemi was so close and dear to me that I began to open up to her about Zefania, and she in turn began to open up to me about Atilio. If anyone could relate to my problems with Zef it was Akemi. Atilio had a steady girlfriend that he obviously really cared for, and Akemi was unfortunately seen by Atilio as a really great friend. When he had problems with his girlfriend it was Akemi that he spilled his guts to..Just like Zef with me..




Of course, just because Zef wasn’t telling me anything and just because he and Ibbie were always doing gross kissy faces from across the room, that doesn’t mean the rumors weren’t still flying all around the neighborhood about Ibbie and her boss. Everyone knew Ibbie and I lived in the same house, and everyone made a point of stopping me at the store, at the theater, and even at the park, just to fill me in on the latest gossip of the ice queen that is Ibbie.. Did I ever mention that I believed those rumors? Well, I did. I saw right through Ibbie, and I think Akemi did, too. However, what could I do? Not only was Zef not talking to me, but he just seemed so in love..As much as it made me sick to my stomach, I wanted Zef to be happy. I just feared how he’d take it when he finally saw through Ibbie’s superficiality …

Ibbie with Zef


One Response to “To The Bitter End, Part 4”

  1. Again a great update. You have a lovely way with words and I can easily conjure up the pictures that go with it in my mind. But it would be nice to see some more of them in your blog too.
    I love the way you analyse everyones’s emotions. You are very gifted! 🙂

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