Later on that evening everyone got together out front. It was just something we all would do after a long day: Grab some beers and some cannabis; sit about the midpoint of the lawns and talk.
Normally the conversation would be stupid, sports related or random happenings in the music world. Usually it ended with somebody getting mad because they weren’t getting their point across. Tonight, however, was a little different. There was this uneasy feeling looming in the air. No one was really talking until Rell spoke up.
“So Cam, did you talk to Melanie yet?” He reared back in his chair to look at me.
“Uh, no, not yet. Why?” I nonchalantly took a sip from my Corona.
“Talk to her about what,” G said coughing and laughing at the same time.
“Cam won’t believe Mel is crazy.”
What the hell, I thought.
“Ooooh. Sounds intense,” G exclaimed, looking directly at me.
I shook my head in disgust, “All I’m going to do is talk to the girl, see what’s on her mind, give her some female perspective. Ya’ll act like it’s such a big deal. Like I’m going to fight the girl or something.”
“You’re gonna want to. She’s a nut. I mean a serious nut,” G said, chugging his beer.
“Yeah Cam. She’s the type to drawl on you for no reason,” Sharif commented.
“Well maybe she just acts tough for you guys. You ever thought about that,” I huffed, “I doubt the girl is just going to pop off or something. 1, she doesn’t know me like that and 2, I’m only trying to help her.”
“Doesn’t matter Cam,” Rell started, “She’ll turn on you faster than the average person.”
“Look. There is nothing wrong with talking, especially if you have the capability to school a person. You know, teach ‘em the ropes of life. I’m not going to dislike the girl or think she’s crazy just because you feel I should, Rell.”
“Aye Dom. Tell this girl how Mel really is,” he said turning and looking at his brother, who seemed to be not even a part of the conversation.
“Hey, if she thinks she can talk sense into her, so be it. I’m not in it,” he said looking back down at his phone.
G and Sharif looked on as Rell and I went back and forth, like they were watching a tennis match. Nobody bothered to say anything, they just listened.
“See, Dom don’t even like her!” Rell exclaimed like he won a victory.
“He didn’t say that. He said he wasn’t in it.”
“That’s the same thing as not liking a person.”
“How the hell do you figure?”
“Cuz if you’re not even going to bother with a situation than apparently you don’t like that person.”
“I don’t know how you got to that conclusion,” I said rolling my eyes.
Rell lowered his voice, “See. Look at her. Over on the porch spying.”
Everyone looked across the street toward the house. The trees were casting a shadow over the porch, but you could vaguely make out a person sitting on the bench. The only real concrete evidence that there was a person sitting there was the light from a cigarette.
“She is so pathetic,” Rell said shaking her head.
“Why can’t she sit outside? We’re outside.”
“That’s the point. She’s only out here cuz Dom’s out here. She sits and listens to our conversations to see what he says and then brings it up later.”
“You can’t be serious. Dom, is he serious?”
Dom just sat, looking into his phone. He didn’t even bother to answer me, even though I was defending his “girlfriend” and Rell was trashing her. Sharif and G just kept laughing at the whole thing.
“Cam you don’t want to listen. Watch what happens.”
Rell’s need to be right was irritating me, badly. No matter what I said he had an answer, even if it didn’t make sense.
I sat, trying to calm a little from Rell’s arrogance. What was so wrong about trying to help this girl? If I could feel the dislike coming from the guys, I know she could feel it. It’s a lonely situation when you have no one in your corner and feel your back against the wall.
I smoked a little more and said, “Alright guys. I got to get up early, so I’m out.”
“You headed in?” Sharif asked.
“Yep. Got a long day ahead of me.”
“Cool. I’ll walk you up to the door.”
I had to admit the gesture made me blush a little, but only a little.
As we walked up to my door Sharif started laughing.
“What’s so funny?” I asked, confused.
“It’s just funny listening to you try to talk sense into Rell. You know he listens to no one but himself.”
“Well, somebody needs to tell him when he’s wrong cuz you guys sure don’t.”
“I just ignore him. If you don’t say anything, he’ll shut up eventually.”
I unlocked my door and turn to look at Sharif. He was just staring with this goofy look on his face.
“Um,” he stammered, “I heard something about you.”
“O-kay. What?” I was totally confused about what he was referring to.
“I heard you liked me.”
I couldn’t hold in my laugh and Sharif looked a little disappointed.
“I’m sorry. Who told you that?”
“Ugh. I said I thought you were cute, but you’re too young for me.”
“How? I’m 20,” he said appalled.
“Yeah but I don’t mess with anyone younger than me, especially under 21.”
“That’s messed up Cam. I would date you.”
I laughed again. “I bet.”
Grabbing the handle I started to walk into the house. He grabbed my free hand.
“So that’s it?” he asked looking rather pitiful. It made me feel kind of bad.
“Goodnight Sharif,” I said pulling away gently and heading in the house. I looked back and smiled at him before closing the door.
That was pretty awkward and sort of funny. Let me find out he has a crush on me, I thought.
Making sure my work bag were packed for my meeting tomorrow, I started to get second thoughts about talking to Melanie. The guys seemed to be pretty against it and that fact alone was making me wary. Besides, there was the chance that the girl really was crazy, but I never like judging anyone by someone else’s standards.