“This is our last day” Diego unnecessarily reminds me. “I’d like to do something fun… no clubbing or sex parties.”
I snort at his jab. He had no idea what he was getting into when he came to visit. “I could always beat you at miniature golf again” I tease. Griffin laughs as Diego scowls. He’s such a sore loser.
“That was only one-time muñeca” he balks, “Don’t be a poor sport; it’s unbecoming.”
I throw my head back laughing at his audacity. He’d be rubbing it in my face if the roles were reversed. “Then I guess we need a rematch so you can see it wasn’t a fluke.”
“Game on” Diego narrows his eyes. “This time we’ll have plenty of witnesses to your humiliation.”
I text Valentino and Marco hoping they can pull away from work and join us for a little while. Brody mentioned that since I’ve been around they aren’t working as many hours as before. I love how easy it is to be with them. The sex is mind blowing but their company is just as great.
Andrea, Desirae, and I jump into the rental with Diego and Griffin. I stare at my brother in the front passenger seat already missing him. These last few days have shown me what it could’ve been like going to the same college with him. Ivy League fucker – why couldn’t he dumb it down and go somewhere that I could be accepted too? Griffin pulls into a parking spot next to Marco’s sporty car. My heart races at the sight of the familiar vehicle. I jump out nearly tackling them.
“Hello boys” Desirae greets. She saunters past us heading towards the entrance. Everyone grabs a club and a golf balls. We waste precious minutes arguing about teams versus competing as individuals. Then Diego and Griffin demand to go first. Go figure. They’re doing it so they can sabotage our turns. Eventually we come to a consensus ready to compete for top spot. There’s plenty of laughter and teasing throughout the 18-hole course.
“If you would’ve told me a year ago that I’d be dating a college freshman I would’ve scoffed at the notion.” Valentino quietly muses as we watch Desirae line up a shot. She’s completely in the zone and trying to get a hole in one.
“And now” I press wanting to hear his thoughts.
“You’re unlike anyone I’ve ever met.” He kisses my temple motioning for me to pay attention.
“That’s a good thing, right?”
“Very good thing” his lip curls up in amusement. “Once in a lifetime kind of thing… Might have to put it a ring on it so good.”
I turn so fast I almost get a kink in my neck. “We’ve known each other less than two months!” I whisper shout trying not to get anyone’s attention, especially my brother’s. Marco presses closer, getting in on the conversation.
“V knows when he has a good thing and he capitalizes” Marco winks at Valentino while resting his chin on my shoulder. “We may not have been together long, yet…. but V and I have been in countless relationships. If I may speak on his behalf” he pauses waiting for Valentino to nod in agreement, “When we look at you we see the future… One that includes the three of us. We don’t need to rush. You’re young, still experiencing new things. We still need to familiarize ourselves with each other…”
“You fucking cheater” Desirae hollers not caring that there’s a family with young kids within earshot. Griffin takes off towards the exit while Diego smugly stares at her. He crosses his arms over his chest unfazed by my fiery best friend. Andrea howls with laughter as I look around in confusion. My brother is notorious for doing anything to get the win including bribery and cheating. “So, if you can’t beat me and Carina, you resort to cheating” she growls waving her club at him.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about” Diego tosses his golf ball in the air catching it, then tossing it again. “Don’t be a sore loser Des” he taunts. “You’ve got this ugly scowl going on.” He ducks just as she launches herself at him. Valentino reacts faster than the rest of us holding Des back.
“Damn Diego, I knew you were desperate to win but this really takes the cake” I cluck my tongue at him. He has no idea what he’s unleashing by provoking Desirae. There’s no question my brother and Griffin are cheaters. I should’ve been paying closer attention. I just thought they wouldn’t try to pull this shit with my friends around.
“Let’s go have lunch” Valentino squeezes Des not letting her go. Smart man. “That’ll make everything better.”
“I’ll feel better if you castrate those cheating bastards” Des keeps her steely glare on Diego.
“That’s vicious” Andrea whispers “You didn’t warn us it could get so personal.”
Diego waives her off. “Valentino can untangle her tightly waded panties and she’ll be alright.”
My jaw drops as Marco bends over laughing. “Let the record show that Diego can’t beat me or Des at this.” I declare flailing my golf club in the air.
Diego holds the little score sheet up high, “According to this piece of paper, you got spanked!” He taunts. “Think I’m going to frame it and hang it in your bedroom back home.”
“Bowling” I challenge knowing it isn’t as easy to cheat with that game.
“I’d love to muñeca, but Griffin and I have an early flight tomorrow. We really should be getting back.” He loves messing with me. His statement reminds me that indeed they’re getting ready to leave. My eyes brim with tears knowing that it’ll be another few months before we can spend time with Diego again.
“Let’s have coffee and cupcakes at my place after lunch” Valentino offers. He hates seeing me sad.
We agree, allowing Griffin to drop us back off at the dorms to get Desirae’s car. Diego and Griffin part ways to pack and rest before their trip back. They can’t seem to keep a straight face as they say goodbye. Didn’t think the mini golf fiasco is worth rubbing it in this much. I watch the rental drive away knowing spring break will be here in no time.
We meet the guys for lunch before heading to Valentino’s condo. We enter to Marco making coffee while Valentino grabs the cupcakes. It’s such a welcome sight to see them side-by-side in such a domestic setting.
“That is fucking brilliant” Desirae squeals from the dining room. She bends over laughing as Marco and Valentino follow her howls.
“That is fucked up” Andrea scoffs pointing at something. “Carina is going to kill him.” But she’s laughing too so this must be bad.
“Who am I going to kill and why?” I demand pushing past Marco and Valentino. “That fucking prick” I screech. I rush to grab the framed photo instantly forgetting why I’ll miss my brother.
“Wait” Marco holds me back while Valentino grabs the frame. My beloved Valentino is trying in vain not to laugh but the picture is fucking hilarious. I’ll be forever memorialized within this framed glass. The damn picture is like a beacon. It calls to you. I stare back at my face contorted in a half-smile, half-horror-filled expression. I swear he enlarged the picture so you can see the bird shit splattered on my shoulder and cheek in greater detail. The moment is captured perfectly. The damn thing is priceless. The picture shakes as Valentino laughs.
“I’m sorry baby” he gasps, “It’s just that…” but he can’t finish. It doesn’t help that Desirae and Andrea are rolling around on the floor in tears.
“I can’t breathe” Andrea wheezes.
“Serves you right you traitorous bitches!” I valiantly try to snatch it from Valentino, but Marco still has me in his clutches. I stomp on his foot immediately getting him to let me go. Valentino tucks the frame under his arm letting me know that I won’t be getting it back any time soon. I grab my phone and smash Diego’s icon in the process of calling him. “This is World War III” I bellow into the phone not wanting to have a civil conversation with him. I knew he let the mini golf thing go too easily.
Marco finally gets a good look at the infamous picture. “Oh shit” he gasps.
“First you do this at the airport and now you leave it at Valentino’s” I screech not caring that everyone’s listening to this.
“Oh damn” Andrea pants, “This is how he greeted you at Thanksgiving?! That’s fucked up Diego! But funny!” She yells.
I flick her off before hanging up on my brother. I’m not listening to whatever he has to say. Wait till he gets a taste of his own medicine. I angrily inhale my cupcake ignoring the others. What do I have on him? Retaliation is of the utmost importance.
Desirae and Andrea peel themselves off the ground and creep towards me. They hug me and smother me with kisses. Valentino and Marco surround me. I can’t stay mad at them when they’re like this. The picture is funny, but Diego is going to pay. Maybe a slow and painful death is in order…. Maybe I can get the world’s ugliest stripper to show up at his next party…. Hmmm… The possibilities are endless.