The Pink Towel

“Are you ready Tiff?” Tiffany stood and lifted the pink towel from underneath her. She shook it vigorously to free it of all the sand.

“Girl, this is not a beach towel.” Qiana said. “I don’t know why you bring your good towels to the beach. Who you tryna impress anyway with yo’ Bed Bath and Beyond expensive towels?” Qiana laughed.
“Actually it is from Bed, Bath and Beyond.” Tiffany said laughing. “Girl you wouldn’t believe the story behind this towel. Do you remember Ethan?”, Tiffany asked.
 “Ugh, who doesn’t remember Ethan. Girl please.” Qiana said rolling her eyes.

Five years ago Tiffany had briefly dated an atheist real estate broker named Ethan. Ethan was 6’1, a former model and hobbyist guitar player. Tiffany knew Ethan from high school as the senior all the freshmen girls were in love with. Almost a decade later Tiffany ran into Ethan at the club. They reconnected, started dating and shortly after Ethan was all Tiffany could talk about.

One Friday night when Tiffany was driving back into town from a consulting job, Ethan called and begged her to stop by. Tiffany told him she was tired but Ethan insisted. When she arrived she walked into what appeared to be a full blown party. Tiffany pulled Ethan aside.

“Ethan, why didn’t you tell me you were having a party? I’m not dressed for a party. I’ve been driving all night, I need to shower and change.” She said.
“What, did you just come over here to use my shower? Is that the only reason you came here Tiffany?” Ethan asked defensively.
“No,” Tiffany said, “No, not at all. You asked ME to come over. What are you talking about?”

Tiffany was too confused. She had been to Ethan’s house many of times, slept over and even had used his shower a number of times. She knew she should just leave but instead she stayed, socializing reluctantly, trying to ignore her discomfort in her out of place attire.

An hour later the party thinned out and Ethan was nowhere in sight. His roommate was on the sofa with a few girls mid Uno game and half way through a Corona. Tiffany, walked back to Ethan’s room and there he was sitting in bed reading a book.

“Ethan” she said, “Why are you in bed?” “Because I’m tired.” He said, turning the page of his book. “Well do you want me to stay or go?” she asked confused. “Whatever” Ethan grunted.

Every bit of integrity was lost in her decision to stay, and Tiffany knew it, yet still she climbed into the opposite side of Ethan’s bed and went to sleep.

“Girl why you trippin?” Qiana asked, at breakfast the next morning. “Ethan is not even worth all that. You need to be done. He doesn’t even believe in God. Girl you know your Daddy would have a fit if you brought him home. And he’s hella arrogant.”
“I know,” Tiffany sighed, “I know.”

But a week later Tiffany was right back at Ethan’s house. They had an amazing night, dinner followed by drinks and live music, followed by more drinks and an after midnight stroll through the park. The next morning Tiffany showered at Ethan’s place as she typically did when she slept over. She had an early unexpected meeting with a client and her place was all the way across town. As Tiffany was finishing her makeup in the mirror Ethan strolled into the bathroom.

“What the f*ck Tiffany? Of all these towels why’d you use the pink one?” he asked angrily. “Huh?” she asked. “What are you talking about? I just grabbed a towel from under the sink.” “The pink one belongs to my daughter,” he said, “She’s coming here Wednesday, and now thanks to you, I have to do an extra load of laundry.” “Wow,” Tiffany said, apologetically and surprised. “ I didn’t know, I just grabbed a towel. I wasn’t trying to create extra work for you.”

Tiffany rushed off to her meeting without barely a goodbye from Ethan. She felt awful about the towel despite knowledge of the fact that Ethan had an in-unit washer and dryer. Regardless, after her client meeting ended, a guilt stricken Tiffany went to three Targets, two Marshall’s and four Bed Bath & Beyonds to find the exact same pink towel. Her logic was that if she could surprise Ethan with a replacement towel he would appreciate how considerate and thoughtful she was. Tiffany called Ethan that night and told him she wanted to stop by to give him something, but Ethan said he wasn’t home. Two weeks went by before Ethan called Tiffany and made plans he inevitably cancelled. And that was the end of Ethan.

Until now, Tiffany had never told Qiana about the nine stores she’d gone to in order to find the pink towel this exact quality, shade and size. She had been too embarrassed to tell her friend about this crazy, desperate act. Now five years later the two ladies laid in the sand laughing hysterically at the crazy stupid things they’d both done in the name of love.

Originally published here.

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