By Mackenzie Rossero, For The Miami Student
She's wearing a bright pink headband. It's metallic and reads "Happy Birthday!" in big, block letters. She's a few Trashcans in, but her roommate has had more.
Her roommate holds her shoulders and pushes her through the bar, approaching boy after boy and insisting that they kiss her. It is her birthday, after all.
She keeps rejecting them, and her roommate keeps yelling, keeps asking. She just wants her roommate to shut up. She wants to go dance.
Another boy, right in front of her.
"Kiss her! It's her birthday!"
The boy looks at her curiously and, when he leans in, she doesn't cover her mouth or step away like she did to the other boys. If she does it once, if she just kisses one boy, her roommate will stop and they can get back to their night.
It's just a kiss, after all.
When she pulls away, the boy smiles at her. He introduces himself.
A deep frown forms on her face. She does not like Jakes.
• • •
To her, the name "Jake" is as horrible as a swear word. There have been three notable Jakes in her life.
Jake #1 - her freshman year boyfriend. He asked her to be "[his] girl," stood her up and then dumped her over text. And, in case that wasn't enough, he later dated her best friend and broke her heart as well.
Jake #2 - the guy from health class. He was a year older, but she knew he was trying to use her. She never let him.
Jake #3 - the Homecoming King. He came to her for advice and later asked her to the school dance. He left her at the after-party to have sex with his ex-girlfriend.
That was it. Three bad Jakes to prove that the rest of them were surely rotten. She was done with Jakes forever.
• • •
The guy in front of her looks nice, but didn't they all? She has met plenty of Jakes since coming to Miami and is willing to be friendly if, and only if, there were no feelings, no relationships and no heartbreaks.
This Jake's smile begins to fade but his arm still reaches for her hips, trying to coax her into dancing with him.
Her frown turns into a scowl. She defiantly sidesteps him and his hand hardly brushes her.
She looks into his eyes and speaks honestly.
"I do not like Jakes."
• • •
Later, through a post from a mutual friend, she finds a photo of Jake #4 on Instagram. Shamelessly, she clicks on his profile and scrolls through it. The most recent post was a #WomanCrushWednesday for his girlfriend of two years.
She expected this. He is a Jake after all.
Still, she can't help hoping that someday, she'll meet a Jake that will prove her wrong.