Tatiana Talks

Fruit From The Forbidden Tree

So I learned something about myself this week -- when I am sexually frustrated I turn into a clean freak.

Here all this time I just thought I was naturally neat.

See, Thursday night, just like all the other nights last week, I was hanging out with my brother and his friends. As the night progressed, Ivan and his fiance went to bed. Then my brother’s best friend Larry went to bed; that left me and the Forbidden Fruit.

See, Ivan and I are only two years apart so growing up we hung out with a lot of the same people. But after a short relationship he had with one of the Chrissies we developed an unspoken rule about not dating each others friends.

This was never a problem for me until Thursday night.

Forbidden Fruit is younger than my brother and my mom thinks he is really good looking. I get the feeling that lots of moms think he is really good looking.

I never saw it.

But then I was never drunk with him discussing books and life and relationships until 5:30 in the morning.

I didn’t even know how late it was until he mentioned that it was getting light out.

The next day (or rather, later that day) he was up before me and must’ve told my parents about our night.

I spent that day reading and avoiding my family, until my mother came into my room and laid in my bed with me.

“So, you and Forbidden Fruit were up all night talking, huh?”

“Yes, mom. Just talking.”

“About what?”

“Stuff. Books and movies and his girlfriend. Nothing major.”

“What did he call you this morning?”

I rolled my eyes. Does she miss anything? “Ellsworth Toohey.”

“Who’s that?”

“A character from The Fountainhead.”

“Oh, he read The Fountainhead?”

“He did.”

“What did he think about it?”

“I don’t think he got it because he said some terrible things about Howard Roark. I told him he should re-read it.”

“Well, that is because you are in love with Howard Roark.”

“Every woman should be in love with Howard. Ayn wrote him to be the perfect male.”

My mom rolled her eyes and moved to get out of bed but not before she uttered the accusation I had been hiding from all day. “You’re a cougar.”

For the record, I think one has to be in her 40s to qualify as a cougar.

The next day my parents left and I came out of hiding -- it was my last day at the beach and there was nothing my brother and his friends could tease me about that would keep me out of the sun.

But they didn’t tease me. It was just like any other day; but then I noticed Forbidden Fruit wasn't wearing a shirt. Did he not wear a shirt the whole week? Huh. Well, we are at the beach, no one wears a shirt at the beach? But in the house? I mean most of us had the decency to put on our cover-ups as we were making our lunches and taking a break from the sun.

Then he took a shower and came back downstairs in just low-slung shorts. When he walked past me I closed my eyes and reminded myself of all the reasons that I am not interested in him. And then wondered if he always smelled that good.

That is when I got up, put my book down and started cleaning the kitchen -- sanitizing is more like it.

When I asked Ivan is he saw a vacuum cleaner and he responded yes, Larry chimed in, “Wow, Tati, you are quite the Suzi Homemaker this evening. What is up?”

I made up some lame but possibly true excuse about being charged if we didn’t clean up the house before we left.

Once the kitchen and dining room and living room and two of the bathrooms were spotless I decided the best thing to do was go to bed.

I was washing my face when I heard FF calling my name. I stepped out of the dirty bathroom. Oh, sure, now he puts a sweatshirt on.

“What time are you leaving tomorrow?”

“I don’t know, early-ish.”

“Because Ivan thought you might want to follow me home.”

We had a brief conversation about my getting lost (it was the stupid Garmin’s fault) and whether or not I would feel better following him home. I told him I would survive.

“Are you sure? Because if you aren’t going to follow me, I am probably going to leave really early and I don’t want to leave and have you change your mind.”

“No, really, I think I’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure? You aren’t doing that chick thing where you say one thing but expect me to do the exact opposite are you?”

I smiled. “No. Actually, I think it would be less stressful to not follow you.”

He looked at me. “Okay. That is completely contradictory.”

I wanted to say, “Yeah, ask Ivan, when Calvin Klein came out with 'Contradiction' he joked that someone had finally created a perfume perfect for me.”

Or, “Well, here’s the thing. For the past two days I have been having really inappropriate thoughts about you. I have tried to stop thinking these things, but I can’t. And so I think the only way to stop is for you to go downstairs and get back on the phone with your girlfriend and for me to go to bed and try to think about anything else and for us to not see each other again for a long, long while.”

But for the first time in my life (probably) I managed to just say nothing. He looked at me for a while, then turned and yelled downstairs, “Ivan, she said she doesn’t need to follow me.”

By the time I got home I hadn’t gotten FF completely out of my system which isn't terrible because my apartment can use a good scrubbing.