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 Teasing Me 

Season 2

Episode 29

“It sounds kind of like you’re falling for him.”

“Would that be so bad?”

She smile., “If you never see him again, yeah, that might be bad.”

“Yeah.” I can’t bring myself to say more than that. It’s true, but now that I’m not going to be working there, I don’t know if he’ll want me. And I’m too much of a coward to find out. At least today.

Cosette sighs. “This kind of sucks. I really want to stay, have a girls’ night, but I need to go to work.”

“That’s okay. We’ll have a girls’ night your next night off.”

“Deal,” she says. “Pizza and Project Runway?”

“You know it.”

Cosette bounces off to her room to finish getting ready, and I finish my water, relishing the hydration after my long climb up the mountain. I don’t really want to be alone tonight, but I’m not going to stop Cosette from going to work. That would be more selfishness on top of what I’ve already done. Cosette comes back with her bag, and gives me a hug. “I’ll see you later, okay? Try not to mope too much.”

“I’ll try.”

She winks at me. “But there’s cookie dough in the fridge just in case you want to.”

I laugh, and as I do, our doorbell rings. I look at Cosette. “Was that the doorbell?”

“We have a doorbell?” She laughs. “Shows how much we entertain.”

A knock follows, insistent. “Guess they really want us to answer.”

“I’ll get it. I’m heading out anyway.”

I follow her to the entryway on the off chance it’s, you know, an axe murderer waiting on the other side. But it’s not an axe murderer. Cosette opens the door, and there, breathing like he’s run a marathon, is Julian.

“Libby,” he says, “I need to talk to you.”

I honestly didn’t expect him to come here. My mouth is open and I’m staring, but I can’t seem to make my body function.

“Can I come in?”

Cosette looks back and forth between the two of us, and I know that if I give her any sign that I’m uncomfortable, she’ll stay with me. But this is Julian, and my heart is beating so fast, and even though it feels like everything is falling apart, it feels good to look at him. I took his advice last night, and talked it out with Cosette. It made things better. I need to talk to him too. “Come in,” I say.

Cosette grins at me. “Guess I’ll see you later then.” She closes the door softly on her way out, and then Julian and I are left staring at each other. I gesture for him to come in further, and he follows me to the living room.

“Libby,” his voice sounds desperate. “Please tell me what’s going on. Last night, I thought you were shaken up, but now you’re quitting the club, and I’m not sure that you even want to see me. I just don’t understand.”

“I just took a lot of time today to think, and this is for the best.” I take a deep breath and begin to explain. I explain to him how I realized that Cosette was jealous, and how we’re better, but not perfect. That I’m not sure how much of this is my own blind selfishness. How I was so happy, only to find out that everyone around me was miserable. “You didn’t tell me that you used to tip the other dancers. That you used to spread it around. Now because you don’t, because the patrons like me and I get all the attention from you, they all hated me.” I take another deep breath. “And after that, I wasn’t sure if it was all real. We talked about it, but we never actually left the club together—aside from last night—and if an entire group of dancers was able to fool me into thinking they liked me…I just thought…I don’t know.” I can’t bear to finish the thought out loud, to admit what I thought.

Julian sighs, crossing the room to me. He pulls me into his arms, and I let him do it. “I’m so sorry you thought that. Not for one second was my intention to make people hate you, or to use you.” He cups my face with his hands, making me look at him. “All I ever wanted was you. I still do. I want you inside the club, outside the club, wherever. If you end up on the fucking moon, Libby, that’s where I’ll want you. Being at the club was just convenient for both of us, but if you think that I wouldn’t want to see you just because you’re not dancing at the club, then I don’t think I’ve done a good enough job showing you just how badly I want you. All the time.


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