The thing that Ari had not counted on was that Heather Hsu was…well, boring. She only listened to bubblegum teen pop music. The only books she read were full of unicorns, fairies, and elves. And her only hobbies were – well, after three months of dating Heather, Ari still was not sure what his girlfriend’s hobbies were, besides painting her toenails and texting her friends, who were all just as shallow. Ari tried his best to like Heather. He took her out to visit his junkyard. She was not at all impressed. She preferred to go out dancing at Petra’s, a seedy little pub in Ari’s neighborhood. Ari knew that he needed to break up with Heather, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. She was just so nice, that he couldn’t bring himself to say the words.
Finally, four years of high school came to an end. Ari graduated as class valedictorian. As he watched the other students file out of the auditorium and into the arms of proud family members, Ari was a little sad that he had no family present to congratulate him on his achievements. There was, however, a huge party that evening for the graduating class. Heather was there, of course, as were Isabelle and Marisol. Ari decided that he was going to have a good time that night. He ignored his girlfriend, then drank too many beers, and flirted a little with Marisol.
“Oh yeah,” said Ari. “I have a girlfriend.” He staggered away to look for Heather, but instead ran into Isabelle, and began to flirt with her instead. Isabelle did not back away. She pulled Ari close for a long, passionate kiss, then whispered in his ear, “Come over my place for your graduation present.” Ari turned away just in time to see Steven, Heather’s brother, glaring at him, and Heather fleeing the party.
“Oh shit,” said Ari. This was not good.
The next day, Ari went to the Hsu’s house. He had to find Heather, to explain the night before. But it was Steven who met him at the door. “How dare you come talk to my sister, you lowlife scum,” said Steven, sneering at Ari. Ari’s blood boiled. First Steven had stolen Marisol, and now he was insulting him? He wanted to smash his face in. In fact, he tried. The boys scuffled until Steven managed to shove Ari out the front door.
“No!” Heather shoved Ari away. “Go away Ari! Leave me alone!” She turned and ran inside, sobbing. Ari’s insides whirled in confusion. He stuck his hands in his pockets and walked all the way to Isabelle’s house. Forget about Heather, he told himself as he rang Isabelle’s front door. Just forget her. You wanted to break up with her anyway. He managed to push the image of Heather’s sad face out of his mind as Isabelle opened the door and smiled at him.
“Hi Ari,” she said softly. “I was hoping you’d come today.”
“I just broke up with my girlfriend,” Ari told her.
“Ohh, that’s too bad,” Isabelle said in a way that made it sound not bad at all. Ari followed her up to her bedroom and let her take off his clothes. This time, there was no doorbell to interrupt them.