It was too cold for Rosie to stay in her apartment that night. We had just left the campus as she was trying to catch up on all the work she missed when she was in the hospital. My folks were out of town with Reagan and Dylan as they traveled to their dream colleges, so I felt a lot better offering Rosie to stay with me for the night instead of in her ice box of an apartment.
“Micah, I’m fine,” Rosie tried to fight me on this. I rolled my eyes at her.
“No, you’re not. Just take the damn offer,” I responded back to Rosie. Rosie rolled her eyes as a response and continued to follow me in my direction. I guess I’ll take that as a yes.
We got back to my place around 10 that night. I opened the apartment door and turned on the lights. Rosie looks around the apartment, which really made me confused. Roe, you were just here a couple of weeks ago when you–
“Nice place you got here,” Rosie randomly said. I didn’t fight her on this; I nodded my head.
“Thanks, my parents really know how to decorate a place,” I teased Rosie for saying such a weird thing about the decor. I laughed just to let her know that I was joking. “Let me find something for you to wear to sleep.”
“I can literally sleep in my jeans and shirt,” Rosie stated. I gave her an annoyed look. “Okay, fine!” She finally gave up and sat on the couch. I smiled and headed toward my room to get Rosie some sleep clothes.
“I hope this is fine,” I came out of my room and walked toward Rosie in the living room. She jumped up like she was scared. It took me back a bit; I didn’t know how to react to Rosie reacting so hard on me walking in. Without saying anything, I handed her the clothes, which she took slowly.
“Thanks, Micah,” Rosie said. She stood there awkwardly; I did too. Fuck, why is it so damn awkward? Rosie sighed and broke the silence. “Sorry, I’m just… a little jumpy. More than usual.”
I know, Roe. I wanted to tell her that I knew what was making her so jumpy. I know why she’s not completely herself. She feels fragile like she’s still on her last legs of survival. I don’t know if I’ll get back the Rosie I know back. The Rosie I’ve gotten for the last week and a half has been just an empty shell of her old self. I fucking hate Prescott Jones for breaking her. Hurting her. Making her believe that shit was fucking normal to experience.
Still, I don’t know what I should say next. I don’t want to fight with her if I say the wrong thing; even more so, I don’t want her to run out of here while it’s literally 13 degrees outside.
“Come to the bathroom,” I simply told her.
Rosie sits in a chair that I put in there so she can be comfortable. She kept looking at me as I went back and forth, to and from the bathroom. I carried my wireless speaker into the bathroom and connected my phone to the speaker. I turned on the LED lights on the speaker and turned off the bathroom light.
“Micah, what the fuck are we doing in here?” Rosie asked, which made me smile. That sounds a lot like Roe. I turned around to face her and then picked up the tray I bought into the bathroom from the floor. Rosie watched me and my every move; it was interesting to see her so watching me so intently.
“Do you smoke?” I asked her. She didn’t shake her head no, but she was definitely thinking about what she wanted to say. “I ask because I do,” I continued, beginning to roll up.
“I remember back at the Lounge,” Rosie started as she watched me. “Did you buy this weed from there?” I couldn’t help but smile and laugh.
“Nah, this is from Tanner’s brother,” I answered as I sprinkled the weed onto the rolling paper. “I usually cop my bud from him.”
“Who’s Tanner?” Rosie asked. Before saying something smart-mouthed, I realized that I never introduced her to Dani and Tanner, which I felt terrible as soon as I realized.
“Tanner’s one of my closest friends,” I simply answered.
“Is he the really tall guy with the blonde hair? Always with that short white girl that you’re always yelling at?” I looked at Rosie, kinda shocked that she knew who I was talking about. Does she know more about me than I realized?
“Yeah, Tanner and Dani. They’re a couple, but Dani’s more like family. My parents are best friends with her parents.” I overexplained. I looked at Rosie to see if I was boring her to death. Surprisingly, she was listening to what I was saying. She nodded her head at my explanation.
“So you guys were like friends at birth?” Rosie asked. I chuckled as I finished rolling up the blunt and placed the flame over it to light it.
“She’s technically older than me. She was born in 2017; me in 2018,” I said as I hit the blunt. “But we did grow up with each other.”
“That’s cool,” Rosie blankly said. After hitting the blunt several times, I passed it to Rosie. She hesitated at first, not wanting to grab it.
“It’s okay if you wanna smoke, Roe,” I reassured her. Not trying to stereotype Rosie, but when I first met her, she gave off the vibe that she smokes bud in order for her art to come alive. I know some of my best tracks came out of high moments, smoking on the roof when my parents were asleep at night. Eventually, she took the blunt and started to smoke it. She took a couple of pulls of it before she spoke.
“What if I told you that smoking this broke my sobriety?” Rosie randomly asked. My eyes widen, almost yanking the blunt out of Rosie’s hand. She starts to laugh. “I’m totally kidding, dude!”
“It was mad convincing,” I responded, still trying to calm myself down after the scare. “You never even spoke or drank with me to know if that was true or not.” I hit the blunt a couple of times and pass it to Rosie, who’s now more relaxed and chill about smoking.
“Nah,” Rosie simply said before hitting the blunt. “I just don’t like to always drink or smoke weed. Shit isn’t really that fun.”
“Did you use to do it a lot?” I asked. I was curious to know more about Rosie’s life. Why was she the way she was and what was her normal routine like? I found myself wanting to know even the littlest things about Rosie. She was interesting to learn about, and she always had a way of telling you a story that really wasn’t the entire story. Rosie was the queen of being that way; it was like I thought I knew everything there needs to know about Rosie and then she hits you with a curveball. It was usually something I never would have guessed about Rosie.
Rosie shook her head no to my question. “It was never really my thing. I also never had the money to buy it, so I just stayed away from it…”
She passed me the blunt and I sparked it up to keep the flame going. I was too focused on lighting the blunt and didn’t even realize Rosie was watching me as I did so. I hit the blunt and looked back at Rosie.
“My ex-boyfriend was a junkie,” Rosie said out loud. I felt like she didn’t mean to say what she said, like it was meant to be a secret she was meaning to keep to herself. “He would get all stupid and high and drunk and think he was a man. I once found him passed out near the Girard Point Bridge and when I tried to get him back to our place, he nearly decked me in the face, thinking I was trying to steal his trash-ass drugs.”
“Roe,” I wanted her to stop but she kept going. I wanted to know and now that I know, I wish I didn’t. But she didn’t stop, and a part of me allowed her to keep going because this was the most I gotten to know Rosie since first meeting her.
“I… don’t tell this to everyone, but I stayed with him for most of my years as a teenager. There was no one telling me how guys should treat ladies and shit like that. I thought that shit was normal, until I learned it wasn’t.” Rosie confessed into the smokey air. She stopped talking and looked at me, in which I passed the blunt back to her.
“Your parents didn’t do anything?” I asked.
“My parents didn’t give a shit,” Rosie answered. “They were too busy dealing with their own issues to even care about me. That’s why I seeked it out through guys and shitty relationships.” Rosie passed the blunt to me and I declined.
“Finish it,” I told Rosie. I felt like she needed it more than me at this point. She nodded her head and pulled the blunt once more.
“It’s why I don’t go back to Philly to visit and shit. Why go back to the place where you felt like shit, were treated like shit, and had everything good turn into shit?” At this point, it very much felt like Rosie was talking to the air, confessing everything that had been bottled up inside her for what felt like years.
I understood Rosie in a sense. Rosie felt like a lost girl more than anything, just trying to make her way through life and keep afloat. I felt like my life was built in a similar way: live another day to keep your parents proud! I love my family, but I always felt like the odd one out, the one that can’t do anything right, the black sheep.
“Sometimes I wish my family didn’t care about me,” I admitted. Rosie looked at me, and I looked at her before continuing with my thought. “Maybe then it would’ve been easier to kill myself when I was younger.”
“Well,” Rosie began. She shifted in her seat and crossed her legs up onto the chair. “I’m glad that you didn’t follow through about it. And I thank your family for caring about you enough to let you know that if you did kill yourself, they would be completely missing as a family without you there. You are an important part of this society.”
“You too, Roe.” I looked at Rosie with sincere eyes. I meant what I said; Rosie’s life felt so important to me because she is important. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why she would allow Prescott to treat her so badly. Rosie deserves the fucking world after living a shitty past couple of years, and to not have her family support and care for her… I can only imagine how heartbroken and lonely that could feel.
“Am I though?” Rosie asked in the air. “Nobody would truly miss me if I was dead.”
“I would,” I said immediately to cut her sentence off. “I would fucking lose my shit if I found out anything bad happened to you. I lost my shit when you got put in the hospital. Like, fuck Rosie.” I couldn’t keep my thoughts in anymore, and this would’ve either make the tension go away, or make Rosie run away. “No one gets me like you do. No one; not even my best friends and family. Just you. You just fucking get me.”
“And you just fucking get me too, Micah,” Rosie said with a smile. She leaned over to grab the tray from the bathroom floor and I gently placed my hand in her palm. I looked at her, who was now looking at me.
Micah, don’t. I don’t want to listen to my mind in this moment, even though I knew it was the smartest thing to do in a situation like this. I knew I didn’t want to be like the other people in her life; use her, then abuse her, and then she’s back at square one and not trusting anybody with herself. I wanted to show her something different. I wanted to show her just how fucking amazing and frustrating and awesome and beautiful she is–
“Micah,” Rosie said, gently. I snap out of my thoughts and focus on her. “Do you mind if I rolled the next blunt?”
I don’t answer her back right away. I keep looking at her under the LED lights from my speaker. Her eyes are low, but still open enough so that I could see her dilated pupils.She has freckles that mainly run down her cheekbones, nearly touching her jawline. She has one single beauty mark near the corner of her mouth. Her nose piercing is placed weirdly on her nostril; something tells she she didn’t get it done at a shop by a professional. It still suited Rosie perfectly though.
For fuck’s sake, am I falling for Rosie Delgado?
With my free hand, I place it along Rosie’s hair and brush her hair back with my fingertips. She doesn’t move or fight. Nothing was said. We just kept looking at each other. I quickly looked down and took my phone out, which Rosie looked confused about. I played a song on the wireless speaker, blasting the song in the small bathroom with Rosie and I. I look back at Rosie and let the music just play with the lights flashing all over the dark bathroom. I cupped her face with my hands and closed my eyes before slowly kissing her on the lips. To my surpirse, she deepens the kiss; her fingers are now running through my locs. I never thought I’d be sitting in my bathroom, making out with Rosie. I don’t know if it was just the weed talking, or maybe this was always meant to play out this way. I don’t question it, and I take this moment for what it’s worth; even if she doesn’t remember ever kissing me like this, I know I won’t ever forget.
How can I? She just gives me even more reason to fall in love with her.
“So are you rolling, or…” Rosie asked after we broke up the kiss. I look at her ot get a good reading on her face. Is she going to run away? Is she ging to think I just kissed her for the hell of it? Micah, she kissed you back, bro. I couldn’t help but think about what the fuck we were going to do after our high wears off. I didn’t care in that moment, and she seemed like she didn’t as well. Maybe we both know this was just a night where we can not think too hard about our lives outside this bathroom. I smile at her, and she smiles back at me.
“I got you, Roe,” I said as I softly kissed her on the lips before grabbing the tray to roll up.