“I can’t even stand that place,” Jonathan protested.
He was talking on the cellphone with his girlfriend Julia.
“Trust me,” Julia said in her German accent. “You’ll love trivia. If you don’t like it, we can always leave.”
Jonathan really hated going to Duke’s. Every time he entered the place with a woman, some idiot always tried hitting on her. Also, not many black people went there. Many times, Jonathan was the only black dot in the bar. Seeing other black faces in a bar always made him feel comfortable. Years ago, those were the two main reasons he stopped going to Duke’s, the morons hitting on your woman and not enough black people showing up.
Yet, he wanted to make his girlfriend happy.
“Okay,” he said. “We can go.”
Later in the early evening, Jonathan drove to Julia’s apartment. When he arrived, her roommate Natalie answered the door. Natalie owned short brunette hair.
“Hi,” she said. “Come in.”
Then Natalie said, “Julia is still getting dressed. I’ll tell her you’re here.”
Jonathan sat on the living room couch.
As time passed, Jonathan noticed Julia took forever getting ready, which was unusual. When he picked her up, Julia was always ready to leave.
He looked at the time on his cellphone. The time was now 7:49. According to Julia, trivia started at 8. They were going to be late, something Jonathan found annoying. He liked being on time.
Finally, Julia entered the room. Her normally straight blonde hair was now curled. Also, she wore a tight white dress outlining her curves.
“Hi, baby,” she said.
In that instant, he forgave Julia’s tardiness.
At Duke’s, groups sat at tables playing trivia. Almost all of the tables were occupied. Even at the bar counter, almost all the stools were taken.
At one table, Jonathan noticed a black face among the predominately white crowd. Actually, it was an old hanging partner. His full name was Anthony Patterson. Yet, folks called him Ant for short.
Two white guys sat at Ant’s table. When his eyes caught Jonathan’s, Ant smiled and waved. Then, when Ant’s eyes landed on Julia, Jonathan could have sworn he saw anger flash across Ant’s face.
It appeared his old friend was jealous of him.
Jonathan and Julia found a table and sat down.
“They have three rounds,” Julia whispered. “After this round, I’ll grab an answer sheet.”
“I’m still surprised you wanted to play trivia,” Jonathan whispered back.
“I always liked trivia.”
Jonathan and Julia had been dating for over four months. During this whole time, not once did Jonathan ever remember Julia mentioning trivia.
During the break as Julia went for the answer sheet, Jonathan walked over to Ant’s table.
“Hey, man,” Jonathan said. “Long time no see.”
Ant smiled and held out his hand.
“What’s up, man?” he said. “I didn’t know you play trivia.”
Jonathan shook Ant’s hand and said, “My girl wanted to come here.”
A dirty grin formed on Ant’s face.
Jonathan felt like decking him.
Then Ant said, “That’s a nice-looking woman, bro.”
Jonathan turned towards his table and saw Julia with the answer sheet.
Then Jonathan said, “Let me introduce her to you.”
With his right hand, Jonathan motioned for Julia to come over. Julia did just that. Because of Ant’s obvious jealousy, the idea was to rub Julia in Ant’s face.
“Julia,” Jonathan said. “This is my buddy Ant. Ant, this is Julia.”
For a few long seconds, Ant and Julia stared at each other.
“Hello,” Ant finally said.
Julia smiled and said, “Hello.”
Julia’s smiling riled Jonathan. Yet, he chose to remain quiet.
“We’re going back to our table,” he told Ant. “We’ll talk to you later, man.”
“Cool,” Ant said. “Nice meeting you, Julia.”
Julia smiled back at Ant.
“Nice meeting you too,” she said.
Jonathan noticed Ant continued staring at Julia. Then, Julia continued smiling back.
Right then, Jonathan wished to smack both of them. He couldn’t believe it. Ant was trying to hit on his girlfriend right in front of him. Plus this silly woman seemed to enjoy it.
“Come on, Julia,” Jonathan said.
They walked back to the table.
As the second round continued, again Jonathan saw Ant looking at Julia. When Ant met Jonathan’s eyes, he smiled and looked away.
“That’s it,” Jonathan whispered. “Let’s go.”
“What’s the matter?” Julia whispered back.
“Ant keeps looking at you.”
“Ignore him, baby.”
“I don’t like it. That’s why I stopped coming to this place. Idiots always trying to hit on your woman.”
“I told you. Ignore him, Jonathan. Don’t let him get to you.”
“I think you like the attention, Julia.”
“Jonathan, you should be proud another man is looking at your girlfriend. Now, let’s just play the game.”
When the second round ended, Jonathan said, “Let’s go.”
Julia aimed him a dirty look and said, “Okay.”
The two stood up.
As they walked away, Jonathan noticed Ant watching them. He told himself one night, him and Ant were going to exchange some words.
“That pissed me off,” Jonathan said as he drove the car.
Lil Wayne played on the radio.
“Relax, Jonathan,” Julia said.
“And why were you smiling back at him, Julia?”
“I was just being friendly.”
“Friendly, my ass. You behaved as if you wanted to sit down with him.”
“Jonathan, have you been smoking something? I would never do that in front of you. With that guy? Oh please.”
Julia turned up the radio.
Soon, she asked, “Can we stop at Murphy’s? I want to get a drink.”
“You never go in there,” Jonathan said.
“We’re close by and I need a drink. You should get a drink too. You need it.”
“First, the trivia. Now, you want to go to Murphy’s. You’re full of surprises tonight.”
Then, she said, “Let’s stop at Murphy’s, Jonathan.”
He loved Julia with all his heart. When he had problems, she always listened to him. Some nights, she gave him back rubs. These were things American women never did for him.
“Okay,” Jonathan said. “Anything to make my German beauty happy.”
Murphy’s was nearly empty. At the bar counter, Jonathan and Julia sat down and ordered drinks.
As time passed, Jonathan enjoyed the intimacy with Julia. They even engaged in a long kissing session.
Yet, in walked Ant.
Immediately, Ant looked over at the couple. He grinned and shook his head.
Ant’s annoying behavior roasted Jonathan’s nuts all night. He definitely felt the urge to knock Ant the fuck out.
Ant walked over to them.
“You two stalking me?” he said.
He continued smiling.
“No, bro,” Jonathan said. “Looks like you’re stalking us.”
Then, Julia said, “I’m going to the bathroom.”
Then, she got up and walked off.
“Hey, man,” Jonathan said. “Why are you constantly looking at my lady?”
Ant’s smile transformed into seriousness.
“How long have you known her, Jonathan?” Ant asked.
“Why?” Jonathan asked.
“How long have you known her?”
“Ant, you act like you know her or something.”
Ant shook his head again.
Then, he said, “Nigga, how long have you been dating Julia?”
“About four months.”
“What?” Jonathan said. “You know, you’re pissing me off with all that smiling.”
“Four months, right?” Ant asked.
“That’s funny because I broke up with her about three months ago.”
Shock slapped Jonathan silly.
“For one month,” Ant continued. “It seems like Julia was dating both you and me at the same time.“
Then, Jonathan said, “You’re lying.”
“She has a daughter that doesn’t live her with, right?”
“Her ex-husband was ten years older than her, right?”
To Jonathan, the world turned from a rose garden into a dog shit garden. Right now, he was swallowing dog shit.
“Yea,” he answered. “He was ten years older.”
“Think about this, bro,” Ant said. “Twice in one night, you run into her ex-boyfriend. Doesn’t that seem unusual? Too coincidental, if you ask me.”
“I didn’t ask you,” Jonathan said.
“Hey, you don’t have to get snappy with me. I’m just pointing out the obvious.”
Jonathan hated agreeing with the ugly truth. Tonight, Julia played him.
“And I have never known Julia to have any interests in trivia,” Ant said.
“Me neither,” Jonathan said.
“Looks like she’s been cyber stalking my Facebook page.”
“What do you mean?”
“You see, I always post my whereabouts on Facebook. That’s probably how she knew where to find me.”
The idea of Julia viewing Ant’s Facebook page raged inside Jonathan.
“I don’t use Facebook much,” Jonathan said.
“Well, did you really have a look at her profile page?”
“Not really. I just saw that she was single.”
“Her birthplace says Vienna.”
“Julia says she’s German. But Vienna is in Austria.”
Embarrassment burned Jonathan’s face.
“Why she says she’s German, I don’t know,” Ant said. “Maybe, it had something to do with her being adopted. Maybe, she moved there later on. Yet, she damned sure isn’t German.”
Then, Jonathan said, “She never mentioned being born in Austria.”
Next, he placed his face into his hands and said, “This can’t be happening tonight.”
“Sorry, bro,” Ant said.
“It isn’t your fault.”
“Looks like I better go, man.”
“Wait a minute, why did you break up with Julia?”
Anger twisted Ant’s face.
“One night, we’re lying in bed,” he started. “She has her iPad with her. She wanted to show me something on YouTube. After she turns the iPad on, I see some other black dude’s Facebook page. Without saying anything, she went straight to YouTube. I didn’t ask about the page. Yet, right then and there, I knew I couldn’t trust her ass.”
“It could’ve been a friend.”
“It could’ve been. Still, my gut feeling said different. So, I text message her saying it was over. Her and I were through. Didn’t even say why. I just walked away.”
“But that could’ve been a friend, Ant.”
“I don’t think so now.”
“Why is that?”
“Because now I know whose Facebook page she was looking at. The morning I caught her ass, I didn’t get a good look at the page. Yet, during trivia tonight, an idea hit me. After you two left, I searched Julia’s Facebook on my cellphone. Then, I looked at her friend list. On the friend list, I saw the dude who Facebook she was looking at. He never changed his profile picture. And you know whose Facebook page I found out Julia was looking at? It was yours, Jonathan.”
Jonathan wished for his rose garden back, the one containing the beautiful girlfriend. Not the dog shit garden containing the lying slut.
Julia returned wearing a frowning face.
Again, Ant smiled a dirty grin.
“I’m leaving,” he said. “You two lovebirds enjoy your evening.”
“See ya, man,” Jonathan said.
When Ant walked away, Julia looked at Jonathan.
Then, she said, “I guess Anthony told you.”
Jonathan stared at Julia. Apparently, Ant didn’t want her back. If he did, Ant probably would have stayed and attempted hitting on Julia in front of Jonathan. Yet, when Julia returned, Ant left bar. So, despite Julia’s foolishness tonight, it appeared Jonathan and Julia was still a couple.
Then, Jonathan said, “Well, I guess instead of calling you my German beauty. I might as well call you my Austrian beauty.”