WaxLyrical seemed to pull back after their last conversation. She wondered if it had anything to do with her mentioning Tina. Had it? That was the only thing that could have upset him. He had said she was just someone he knew vaguely. But Tina didn’t lie. Why would she make up a story like that and why wouldn’t she tell her?

But WaxLyrical still put up updates on his wall and she sent him a few messages that he always responded to politely: “How are you? How was your day?”

She read his updates every day but hardly ever commented. It seemed as if everyone else understood him and maybe she didn’t. There was one friend of his in particular who was always liking and commenting on his posts. It was almost like … like the woman was lying in wait for him, like they were sharing secrets that no-one else understood.

When she had given up on him ever talking to her, she logged on to find a post on his wall.

From my sweetest friend, DeeDee.

And then he shared a poem she had written.

When she saw his post, she in-boxed him a special, secret smile. He immediately took the update down. Into her inbox he fired a message:

You never comment on my updates. Why do you hide what you want to say to me? Are you ashamed of me?

No! Of course not, she typed, but before she had pressed enter, he sent another message.

I took your poem down … sorry. I thought I might have embarrassed you and you know how much I want to keep you safe. You see, I don’t want to put you out there like that. There are so many people out there wanting to bring me down. I don’t want you involved in that ugliness. I was weak for a minute there. You see the effect you have on me? I get all confused. That picture you sent got me a little riled up. Who took it? You in the bath like that? I don’t want to share you, you know that? I want you all to myself, Sweets.

And the sorrow she had been feeling disappeared. They were good again.

We’re OK, aren’t we? She had to know.

She would ask that a lot over the time they grew closer. She needed him to confirm that they were OK – that he would not leave her. He said they were going to grow old together – just as soon as he clinched that big record deal. She was going to give him beautiful babies and they were going to live happily ever after.

* * * * *

“Oh, by the way, I saw you yesterday,” DeeDee said.

“Yeah? Where?” responded WaxLyrical.

“At the mall. There were so many people there, and everyone was falling on top of each other to get to you.”

“Why didn’t you come over and talk to me?”

“You looked busy. And you weren’t alone…” she hesitated, but then continued slowly. “You were with Tina. I didn’t want to disturb you.”

“Oh, that Tina? Come on now. Tina is my soul sister from I don’t know when. We go back a long way. Really love her. And besides, she’s my best buddy’s girl now.” He looked at her then and smiled. “Hey … whassup? The look on your face!”

“What look?”

“Look at yourself … you’re jealous.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Really?”

“Of course not. What’s there to be jealous about?”

“Exactly. Our love is ours. Just me and you. Don’t involve anyone else. I’ve told you this before.”

But she was jealous. There was something about the way he and Tina were sitting. They were too comfortable together. Tina … with her pointed nose and skin the colour of coffee with creamer… it all made her feel uneasy. Beautiful Tina. She felt odd seeing them together but she brushed the feeling away. He had told her he wanted to be with her … forever.

DeeDee so wanted to believe him. WaxLyrical had said she was special. No-one else mattered. She ignored the uneasiness she was feeling and changed the subject. “So, are you still available later?”

“Of course I am Sweets. Looking forward to being with you. I’ve missed you. See you Friday. Got to run.”

As soon as he had hung up, Jimmy called. “Hey. Where you at? Been trying to get through to you.”

“Getting ready to go out.”

“Where to?”

“A friend’s place.”

“Ah … I get it. You’re spending time with him. You know he’s no good, hmm? But I guess you really don’t care. You don’t mind being one of his little – actually, not so little – harem, do you? Shame on you, DeeDee.”

She had begun to suspect that maybe Jimmy wanted to be a little more than friends, but she did not feel for him in that way. Her heart had no space for anyone but WaxLyrical. He was paying so much attention to her. She got messages at midnight, dawn, noon. She was in love with him.

But sometimes he disappeared, did not communicate in any way, and when that happened she could barely eat. She was too afraid to ask him where he went. He usually volunteered an explanation. He was recording. He did not want to be disturbed when he was busy. And she was understanding – always. She did not insist, and whenever she called him, she always started by asking: “Can you talk? Busy?”

“He preys on women and tells them love is between two people and is no-one else’s business. Be careful. He’ll lead you on and on and then he’ll spit you out the way he does his lyrics. And anyway, are you that desperate?” Jimmy asked.

DeeDee finished packing her weekend bag. She was going to visit WaxLyrical again, as they had planned. Jimmy was jealous. He didn’t own her.

***

Tell us what you think: Is DeeDee acting like she is desperate, as Jimmy is suggesting?