I came to college for two main reasons: earn my degree in order to make more money than some of my high school classmates after graduation, and to meet my future soulmate. My suburban high school had provided me with a less-than-stellar selection of guys who were interested in me. Since my List put “must be a Black man” at the top of it, a preference instilled in me by my parents and the media, any of the gentlemen I dated casually already had a strike against them.
So when I came to M______ College and met Aaron*, an intelligent, half-Black, straight freshman from California, I couldn’t believe my luck. We started dating no more than three weeks after school started. Three months into our relationship, Aaron asked if I wanted to come with him to Los Angeles to meet his family for Spring Break. Thrilled and in disbelief, I said yes.
Upon arrival at Aaron’s mother’s house, we slept in separate rooms: me in Aaron’s childhood bedroom and Aaron sleeping on the futon in the living room down the hall, his mother’s bedroom in between us. This arrangement satisfied my over-protective father but made no difference to Aaron’s ex-hippie mother. She had no qualms with taking off for work early in the morning, leaving us, two horny and eager to catch up young adults, alone in the house. During our stay, Aaron would frequently awaken as soon as his mom had left and creep into my room for some pre-breakfast excitement.
One particular morning, I opened my eyes to Aaron’s regular wake-up call. This time, however, he had a specific plan.
“You wanna take a shower?” he asked mischievously.
“Are you serious?” I replied, nervous and excited at the same time. He nodded and led me to the bathroom.
As we waited for the water to heat up, kissing the entire time, we heard a sudden noise from the front of the house. Then we heard footsteps.
Oh my god, it’s his mom! I thought, and the look on Aaron’s face said the same. Panicking, he shooed me into the tub shower to hide behind the curtains, and he went out to survey the situation.
“Hey Yolanda*,” I heard him say in a forced casual tone to his older sister. She had come home briefly from her boyfriend’s house to take a quick shower.
“Is it cool if I use the bathroom?” she asked, already pushing her way in.
Helpless, Aaron stammered, “Uhhh, okay. I mean, well …”
Not hearing his hesitation, Yolanda walked into the bathroom and set about putting toothpaste on her toothbrush, her back turned to the shower. Freaking out and knowing Aaron had been unable to come up with a lie for why I was in the bathroom, I realized there was only one logical, easy solution to the fast approaching problem.
“Um, hi.” I blurted out in a high pitched voice from behind the curtain, announcing my presence.
You can probably guess what happened next, but it’s better if I tell you. Yolanda gasped and ran out of the bathroom, calling out, “Sorry, sorry, sorry!” My attempts to let her know that “it’s alright” went unheard—she was already gone. Aaron said she walked right out of the house, with her boyfriend in tow, who had apparently been waiting for her by the front door.
I collapsed on the bed, laughing, while Aaron sat beside me, mortified. I barely saw his sister for the rest of the vacation, and to this day, Aaron says they never talk about his sister’s new insight into his private life.