Chapter Sixteen: “He has a stupid face and a stupid haircut and I once saw him sneeze milk out of his nose while he was drinking”

Oscar had left things at Katy’s apartment. Technically, it had also been his apartment, but that had changed when she’d torn his beating heart out of his chest and lit it on fire. Then he’d been forced to move into his new apartment, the one he shared with Ramsay that was plagued with fruit flies. He felt it was kind of a raw deal. He went from living with a nice-smelling, beautiful, kind woman who used to do his laundry sometimes to living in a hellscape of nightmares that he had to share with a hairy, excessively grumpy man and eighteen billion bugs that tried to crawl into his nostrils while he showered. The more he thought about it, the more he began to realize that she had gotten to keep a lot of things. Essentially, as Ramsay said, he’d been shafted.

Oscar had left his and Katy’s shared apartment in something of a hurry. He didn’t think that was unreasonable, but it did mean that he had left behind roughly a quarter of his things. They were all things he could clearly live without, because he had been for weeks, but undoubtedly things that Katy no longer wanted cluttering the back of her closets or the underside of her bed. To be quite frank, Oscar didn’t really give a shit. Katy, however, wanted to return it to him. He told her to throw it all out. She said she would drop it off for him because she was kind and considerate. He said he knew she was kind and considerate, but to please just throw it the fuck out. She politely declined. All of this occurred via text message over six days because every time she messaged him he had to lie down for at least an hour. He spent a lot of time lying underneath his desk at work that week.

Eventually, it was decided that Katy would swing by his apartment and drop it off one Friday evening with her friend Colin. Oscar hated Colin. He had always hated Colin. The fact that he would never have to see Colin’s smug face again had been the only positive in his and Katy’s break-up. And now he had to see Colin’s smug face again.

“I fucking hate Colin,” Oscar grumbled darkly on the day Katy and Colin were set to stop by.

“Nobody fucking likes Colin except for Katy and Colin,” Ramsay returned. “And Katy only likes him because she’s too nice not to.”

Oscar wasn’t sure if this made him feel better or worse. He was lying on his back on the living room floor. It felt like he was waiting for judgement day. In reality, he was waiting for several things. Primarily, he was waiting for Katy and Colin and his belongings, but he was also more abstractly waiting for the gaping feeling in his chest to dissipate. Beyond that, he was waiting for the rest of his friends to arrive because they were having a party.

The party was Miles’ idea. He said that Oscar would look less sad if Katy showed up when there were tonnes of people around, having a good time. The effect would be two-fold: it would show her what she was missing and also that Oscar was fine on his own without her. Oscar saw two major flaws in this plan. Firstly, he didn’t have very many friends to invite to this literal pity party because she’d taken most of their shared friends and he’d driven the rest away by drunkenly vomiting in a bouncy castle during an infant’s birthday party. Secondly, he was most definitely and very obviously not fine on his own without her. He’d eaten at least four fruit flies while he shaved that morning.

“He’s so smug,” Oscar continued his rant from the floor. “What does he really have to be so smug about? He has a stupid face and a stupid haircut and I once saw him sneeze milk out of his nose while he was drinking.”

Ramsay just stared at him, evidentially done with being supportive. Really, it was a small miracle Oscar had gotten one response at all.

Miles and Robin were the first people to arrive to the “party”. Joey would be showing up later. Apparently he had some work to do before he could relax for the evening.

“So he’s selling drugs,” Ramsay said.

“Yup, pretty much,” was Robin’s response.

The next to arrive were Melly and David. They brought their baby, which pretty much solidified Oscar’s feeling that they were about to have the world’s lamest party. Melly was reluctant to leave Madison at home with a babysitter, even if that babysitter happened to be David’s very willing mother, so they had brought Madison with them. Within the first ten minutes of their arrival, Madison had already cried and Melly had ordered them all to get a good look at her.

“She’s bigger than when you last saw her,” Melly explained as she rounded them up. Oscar badly wanted to point out that most babies tended to grow over time, but managed to restrain himself. Instead, he reluctantly hauled himself off the floor and walked over to look at Madison where she lay in Melly’s arms with Ramsay, Miles, and Robin. Robin and Ramsay hadn’t even met Madison before.

“Cute baby,” Robin said, although it sounded like he had said it simply to say something. Melly and David beamed at him nonetheless.

Bear turned up next, smiling genially. He stopped to look at Madison when Melly instructed him to and smiled genially at her as well. Melly told Oscar that Bear was the nicest of all his friends, which was undeniably true and not the least bit surprising that she thought that. Bear was polite and socially acceptable in a way that most of Oscar and Miles’ other friends were not, specifically Robin, who was a nice cross between apathetic and needlessly cruel. Oscar couldn’t wait for her to meet Joey, especially since he’d likely turn up with a bloody nose and some cocaine.

By the time Katy and Colin finally showed up to drop off Oscar’s belongings, the only person yet to arrive was Joey. All things considered, it was about as sad as Oscar had been expecting. It didn’t make him look particularly cool or like he had very many friends. In fact, it mostly looked like some of his friends had gathered at his horrible new apartment and had also dragged along some of their other friends and a newborn.

Katy smiled sadly at Oscar when she began handing him boxes of his possessions. One of the boxes had a pair of pants he didn’t even remember owning. He really wished she’d just pitched it all like he’d asked her to. Colin was grinning at him smugly. Oscar wanted to punch him in his smug face. He kept looking around the apartment with disdain, like he could tell that all the people there had gathered for the sole purpose of making Oscar look slightly less sad than usual.

“How are you?” Katy asked as she handed over the last box. Oscar had been passing them off to Ramsay and Miles, both of whom looked unimpressed at having boxes of random shit shoved at them.

“Fine,” Oscar lied. Katy looked at him sadly like she could tell he was lying and Colin looked at him smugly.

“It’s so great to see you, Katy,” Melly stepped in unhelpfully, holding out her baby.

“Oh, is this Madison?” Katy asked in return, smiling at Melly and going over to look at the baby. Oscar wanted to push them all out of his shitty apartment so that he could go lie down on his bedroom floor and be done with it. He had no idea where he was going to put all the shit she’d brought over. He was probably just going to throw it out.

“She’s so precious, guys,” Katy continued, unaware of the emotional strife she was causing Oscar. “Look at that hair! So thick!”

Miles had told Oscar that Iggy thought madison looked like Kim Jung-Il. It was such an amazingly accurate comparison. In that moment, he really, really wanted to be the one to first break it to Melly and David that their daughter had the hair of a North Korean dictator. He managed to keep it to himself, though only barely and essentially just because the arrival of Joey prevented him from saying anything at all.

As predicted, Joey turned up with a split lip and a bruise across his left cheekbone. He was grinning from ear to ear though, like a maniac. He was also carrying two enormous bottles of wine and a beat up backpack that looked suspicious by sheer existence. He was wearing yet another white tank top underneath his open, red satin bomber jacket. He had on his gold chain, his Nike Frees, and a pair of black jeans that had holes in the knees. He looked like every unsavoury person Oscar’s mother had warned him about as a child. Melly, who had never before been exposed to Joey, looked horrified. She was so stunned, she actually stopped talking mid-sentence about Madison’s nap schedule.

“Is this a party or a wake?” Joey asked, stepping into the apartment behind Katy and Colin through the door they’d left open. “Jesus, you fuckers look like someone just took a shit on your grandma.”

He looked directly at Melly, David, and by extension Madison, when he said this. If possible, Melly looked even more horrified than she had before. Oscar didn’t necessarily blame her, but he was delighted about it.

“Boy, you sure have let your standards drop,” Colin said snidely to Oscar, shooting a pointed glance in Joey’s direction.

“Fuck, bro, what’d I ever do to you to deserve that?” Joey stepped in before Oscar could defend his new friend choices. “At least I’m fun to have around. You look like you got a stick rammed so far up your ass, it’ll be a fucking pearl by the time you see it again.”

And without another word, Joey pushed further into the “party”, brandishing his wine and demanding that all the “non-loser fuckheads” grab a glass because his nona made it with her own goddamn hands. As everybody began gathering around Joey with their glasses, Oscar ushered Katy and Colin out the door with a quick thank you and good-bye.

The following morning, Oscar threw out all the things she’d brought over.


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