Jessica had her second nervous breakdown last night. The first came when Whitmore told her he didn’t put on a condom and she might be pregnant. Thankfully, her period came three days later. The second nervous breakdown came when he asked her to move in with him and she practically scratched the skin off her forehead.
Instead of checking her into the hospital, Whitmore took her back to his house. He undressed her, tucked her into his bed, and clipped her fingernails. He placed a cool damp washcloth on her bruised, red forehead. Then he took off his clothes, got in the bed with her, and kissed every inch of her body as she slept.
When Jessica woke the next morning, she didn’t know where she was. She didn’t recognize the beige colored walls, the ebony dresser or the flat screen TV on top of it, the queen-sized bed she was lying in—the only other furniture in the room—or the lone window, missing curtains or blinds. Whitmore was lying on top of her, his head resting on her breasts. It was then that she realized she was in his bedroom. She wiggled from underneath him, hoping not to wake him. She was completely naked, and she worried he might have done something to her while she was out. She didn’t think Whitmore was that delusional but she believed he was smitten enough to try something.
She searched the room for her clothes. The room was empty. The floor void even of lent or a tuft of public hair. She gave up looking and moved for the dresser. She didn’t want to still be there when Whitmore woke up. He would try everything in his power to keep her. She could already hear his excuses…
I’m washing your clothes. Wait for them to dry before you leave.
You’re not well. You fainted at the restaurant. Let me cook you something.
You look so sexy. Don’t put on your clothes. Get back in the bed. I love you.
Jessica put on the first article of clothing she saw: basketball shorts and and t-shirt. She didn’t care that it might have been freezing outside—it was still in the dead of winter—she was dressed enough to catch the city bus back to her apartment. She retrieved three dollars from Whitmore’s wallet and put it back on the dresser, then tiptoed out of the room. In the living room, she found her clothes folded on the couch. On top of them were her flats and her purse. She gathered the jeans, sweater and purse, and put on her shoes.
As she carefully opened the front door, making as little noise as possible, she searched her mind for ways to rid herself of this attachment. Whitmore had become too clingy, too needy, and she couldn’t take it anymore. It was only after she closed the door behind her and walked down the pathway to the street that she realized it was Valentine’s Day.