Where Tiberon had been a bad boy and man of action – drinking, partying and riding his motorcycle – JJ was a gentle soul who read La Actress poetry and loved to go see plays. I found JJ and La Actress and odd couple, if only because of how much he loved to read and absorb new cultures while La Actress had read one book voluntarily (not assigned through class) in the three years we lived together. Every non-textbook in our bookshelf was mine. But JJ adored her and wooed her.

One thing that made it difficult for me was the fact that JJ was less accepting about me being around. When Tiberon was with La Actress, I could wander around our place or relax and I knew he didn’t care if I was there. He’d actively make me a part of the conversation and would invite me to join them occasionally when they went out to parties. JJ would glance at me uncomfortably until I left the room and seemed to find my presence (in my own home) annoying. Luckily, I spent most of my time with Boss, Smokey and Elle so I wasn’t around much anyway. We just didn’t warm up to each other very well and I began to feel irritated when I got home and saw him sitting on the couch. He would glance up and sigh, like I was interrupting something even when they were just sitting around watching TV. I wasn’t happy to hear this response from him when it was my apartment with La Actress, not his. Especially once he started sleeping over every night. Every single night. Without a break.

One tradition that Boss, Elle, Smokey and I had was Tuesday Night Love (get your minds out of the gutter!). Every Tuesday night we would meet up at my place (since Elle and Boss lived with their parents and Smokey had three roommates and one TV) and we would watch Big Love. I didn’t have Showtime, I would buy the DVD when it came out and we would savor the drama, eating food that Elle brought from work and sipping wine. Usually, La Actress had her night class so we would rarely see her unless it was cancelled. One week, we were watching a particularly dramatic episode in Season 3, eating pasta and clutching our wine when JJ and La Actress walked in. I’m not sure why they looked so put out – this ritual was the same time and day every week and it wasn’t like we lingered. After our hour episode we would walk (…well, drunkenly stumble) a few blocks to Smokey’s house where we would spend the next few hours.

That day, La Actress and JJ sat down at the kitchen table only a few feet from the couch and began to loudly whisper. Since I’d started drinking before my friends showed up, I was caught up in the drama between Nicki and Bill and didn’t give a damn what JJ and La Actress were talking about. Elle, who was sober at that point, was treated to a very intimate conversation about what JJ and La Actress planned on doing once we left. Even drunk Zoogie2 began to feel uncomfortable once their whispers grew louder. Especially when they started debating what position to have sex in. Well, TMI guys.

We blew out of the apartment as quickly as possible and on the walk to Smokey’s we started talking about how rude that had been and how much we disliked JJ. Things only became more and more strained between me and La Actress.