"I took a test yesterday," Cali said tentatively. Her small frame braced for the reaction.
It was four in the afternoon and I was sitting in her living room, trying to be invisible. After I'd convinced her that she had to tell him, I'd agreed to be there for the inevitable scene.
Scott's tanned, handsome face went ashen. "What kind of test?" He tried to sound casual, as if he was asking her what kind of car she'd just bought. It wasn't working.
She glared at him. "A fucking math test! What kind of test do you think?"
They were projectile words that ricocheted off the walls of her small apartment and made me want to duck out of their path.
Scott spun around to face the couch, startling me. We were closer than he and Cali, something that had always bothered her. On some level, though, she knew she needed me there that day. He trusted me. I looked up at him, saw the raw panic in his eyes and had to avert mine. Unspoken confirmation.
He began frantically pacing around the apartment, ripped his expensive sunglasses off the top of his head and threw them to the floor. Emptied out his pockets, the keys and loose change landing together with a tinny clank.
He pulled his shirt off and threw it, baseball pitcher-style, into the dried flowers on the coffee table. Kicked his shoes off and slung them into the wall. Stood there in nothing but his khaki shorts, gasping for breath. I'd never seen him so out of control and I sat riveted to the couch like a voyeur, afraid to call attention to myself by moving.
He told me months later that he'd felt incredibly "weighted down" and, in his frenzied state of mind, he was relieving the load the only way he knew how.