Tamika Wood’s Birthday Party

& Other Stories by Le Kendall

Alan Sebastian

Jeremy is much better at knowing how people work than I am, but not as good at it as Scott.

Jeremy says I have no boundaries. I don’t really know what that means, but I’m trying to get better at it anyway.

He told me that if I didn’t want to have sex with Scott then I shouldn’t. Which is good advice. But then I did want to and I did. And I don’t know if that’s bad?

Jeremy says that if Scott is just my friend I shouldn’t have sex with him. But Jeremy is just my friend too and I have sex with him. For a lot of people I know that having sex is a thing they do with people who are more than friends. It is possible that that only applies to straight people. Or people on TV. Either way most of the people I have sex with are much less than friends. And I don’t know if that’s bad?

That’s the sort of thing that makes Jeremy tell me I’m not good at boundaries.

On Monday night, the day after I saw Scott he SMSed me in the afternoon not home tonight. call Gillian for story.

My housemate Gina asked me if I needed the phone because she wanted to use the internet. She said she’d probably be using it for a while so I’d called Gillian’s house from my mobile, wanting and not wanting to know where Scott was or what he was doing.

“Papa’s gone to see Dierdre today!” Mani told me. “Do you know Dierdre?”

“I’m sure Alan Sebastian knows all about Dierdre, Mani,” Gillian said.

But I don’t know all about Dierdre. I don’t know anything about Dierdre. And by the time I get off the phone I’m working myself into a state, as Jeremy would say.

So I called Jeremy. And I don’t know if that’s bad?

I know that when Jeremy said that if I don’t want to have sex with Scott then I shouldn’t that he also meant that if I don’t want to have sex with Jeremy that I shouldn’t. But I don’t know who else to talk to about this and Jeremy is always much easier to talk to after I have sex with him.

So Jeremy was here when Scott called and Jeremy answered my mobile and said something crude about why I couldn’t answer before I could stop him and I definitely think that that is bad.

“This is bad,” I said.

He was sorry when he saw how upset I was. “Sorry. Sorry. I overstepped. I guess I thought you’d be into it… you’ve got that whole rejection and humiliation kink thing going on…”

“I don’t have a kink thing,” I said.

“C’mon man. That’s like… your whole fucking deal.”

“That’s not my deal,” I said. Because that is definitely not my deal.

He laughed. “Alan Sebastian! You deliberately seek out people who will just use you and treat you like crap! You get off on like… not even getting off.”

I just stared at him. Because suddenly I could see why he thought that. I do do that, a bit. I don’t like it when guys are too nice to me and I’m pretty good at picking people who won’t do anything that makes me wish I were with Scott. Jeremy is an exception. I’d gotten him wrong and I’m still not sure if I am glad of that.

“Isn’t that why you’re so fucking obsessed with this Scott guy? Because he rejects you over and over again. And you, delightfully weird bastard that you are, are into that.”

“No,” I said. Because… I’m not into that.

“I know you,” he laughs again, “And therefore I know him and tell me if I’m wrong but you called me over to relieve your frustration and angst because you gave in and went and saw him and he was generous enough to let you get him off while he thought about someone with tits.”

“You’re wrong.” I said.

And I realise now that while it is true that Jeremy is much better at understanding people than I am… he’s definitely not better than I am at understanding Scott.

“I don’t believe you,” he says and he reaches for me again but I push him away and start to get dressed.

And I tell him that I don’t think Scott was thinking about tits while we were doing what we were doing.

I’ve told Jeremy about Scott before. It’s mostly what I talk about with him. But I don’t think he was ever really listening. He seems to do that thing most people do where they listen to some part of what I say and then fill in all the gaps with something they just entirely made up. That doesn’t seem to happen when I talk to Scott.

But I tell Jeremy again. And he listens this time. And so I just keep talking. I tell him about Michelle and about Jasmine and about every time Scott has broken my heart. And now there’s Dierdre.

“Sounds like a hippie name. Or an old person,” says Jeremy. “Maybe she’s a psychic healer. Maybe she’s a tarot reader. Maybe she’s a therapist. Which I think you need, by the way. I thought you were weird when I thought you had, like, a rejection kink but mate… this is way more fucked up.”

“He would have told me if he had a therapist,” I say.

“So you think it’s more likely that he has a secret girlfriend than a secret therapist?” asks Jeremy. And suddenly I am not so sure.

“I don’t know,” I say.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” says Jeremy. “This thing. The thing he always does where you get together and he pushes you away and makes sure you know it doesn’t mean anything. When was the last time that actually happened?”

“Before I moved,” I admit, “But… only because I don’t give him the opportunity. I never stay over. I avoid talking to him for a few days after so he doesn’t have to remind me. That’s the problem now. I got too close. I shouldn’t have stayed over it was a mistake. I’ve got no boundaries.”

“Right,” he says. “So it’s not a thing he always does. It’s a thing you always do. You get together and then you push him away and you make sure that HE knows it doesn’t mean anything. I don’t know who this Dierdre is and if she’s a girlfriend or a fuck-buddy or a chiropractor but I do know that one of you is sleeping with another person in order to throw this fucked up relationship you have in the other ones face and it’s you, Alan Sebastian, you absolute fucking piece of shit. Oh my god. FIVE YEARS AGO he wouldn’t come out of the closet for you. And YESTERDAY…”

“The day before,” I correct him

“WHAT THE FUCK EVER. Recently. Right now. This week. He’s always wanted you and he kissed you at the train station and begged you to visit him. Do you think, just maybe, he’s fucking changed his mind about a few things and you haven’t given him an opportunity to tell you? Jesus Christ just fucking talk to each other. Call him. Tell him I’m a dick-head who made a very bad joke or tell him the truth and beg him for forgiveness and then for fucks sake just fucking tell him that you love him and talk like human beings about what you actually want from each other because this is fucking goddamn ridiculous.”

I look at him.

He hands me my phone. “CALL HIM.”

“Okay. I will.”

“NOW,” he demands, “Because secretly I still think maybe you’ve got that humiliation thing going on and I am going to stand here and fucking denigrate you until you fucking do you absolute fucking dick-head.”

So I dial the phone while Jeremy stands, still shirtless, in the doorway. And when he answers the phone Scott’s voice is hoarse like he’s been crying.

“Is your… friend gone?” he asks.

“Yes, ” I lie, “he is gone.”

Jeremy gives me a thumbs up and a ridiculous grin, picks up his shirt and silently closes the door.


“Is it true? What he said?” I asked. Even though I’d told myself I wouldn’t.

“Do you want to know?”

“No,” I said

“Okay. Shit where is it?

“It would probably just upset me. I saw you yesterday…”

“You don’t get to have feelings about who I spend time with,” he said, “You’re not my boyfriend.”

“Okay,” I said. “But you can’t actually tell me what I have feelings about. I’m not trying to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do I’m just…”

“I know,” he said. “There is a reason we don’t talk about that. About who we spend time with. I’m sorry you had to hear that. It’s better if we keep it from each other… I can’t find my phone charger. It’s not here. My phone is running out of battery so I might cut out…”

I asked him if he could call me from the landline but he said his housemate was online.

“I’m not keeping anything from you Al,”

“Alan Sebastian,” he said, “You don’t tell me anything.”

“I tell you everything.”

“Oh? And who’s Dierdre? Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.”

“She’s my therapist. And yeah okay. I didn’t tell you about that. I wasn’t hiding that I just didn’t tell you but I’m not… ”

“You never say anything. You never tell me anything. About people. Which is fine. You don’t have to. You’re not my boyfriend.”

“Ask me.”

“I don’t want to know, I would rather not know. I don’t need to know. You’re not my boyfriend,” he said again.

“Okay. I get it… is he your boyfriend?”

“Who? Jeremy? No.” he said decisively.

“Ask me. Ask me who the last person I had sex with was,” I said.

I don’t want to know.

“Ask me.”

There was a long silence.

“Who was the last person you had sex with?” he asks at last.


“Heh. Before the weekend?”

“You. At Christmas when you were here.”


“And before that was you. When you were here before that. And the last person I had sex with that wasn’t you was Jazz. Before she broke up with me. Quite a while before she broke up with which was sort of the reason we broke up. And you’re right that about her. And if I’d been self-aware enough to talk to you about her I wouldn’t have gone out with her in the first place, I guess… Did you do it on purpose? To hurt me? To get back at me? To make me realise how much I’ve hurt you? Because I know that. I know. I was there.”

“I thought… crap my phone is almost dead.”

“I know… I know what you thought,” I said.

“I’m sorry,”

“It’s okay,” I said.

I told him how I’d made the appointment on purpose. Just in case I freaked out about things again and did something I’d regret. She’d even made a special appointment for me out of hours.

“I don’t think I can be upset at you for thinking I was doing something I also… thought I might do.” I said.

“You talk to your therapist about me?”

Alan Sebastian isn’t the only thing I talk to Dierdre about. But he is the main thing. It’s not like I don’t have other things to talk about with a therapist of course, but none of the stuff about my parents is going anywhere. But I wanted to work out why I kept messing things up with Alan Sebastian and how to stop doing that. And it isn’t like I couldn’t have told Alan Sebastian about that in the first place but I was worried that if I told him I was seeing someone he’d insist that I needed to talk about D

“Am I the one messing things up now?” he asks.

“I really thought it was just me.” I say.

“Me too…”

“Maybe we could… both stop messing things up,” I suggest.

“What happens now?” he asks.

“I guess that’s up to you,” I say. “I think you know how I feel so…”

“Do I?” he asks, “because I’ve thought that before, Scott. I’ve really thought that and you’ve always made it very clear how wrong I was and… I don’t know how… my phone isn’t going to last.”

“I’m in love with you.”


“Do you remember one time you asked me to be your boyfriend and I said I wasn’t ready? And you said you’d wait. Are you still waiting. Because I’m ready now. I love you.”

But he doesn’t answer and the line is dead.

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2 responses to “3.3 Rejection or: Monday 22:04”

  1. Chani Avatar

    @lekendal I spotted a typo 🙂 "you’re whole fucking deal." Should be "your"

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