I watched as Greer Evans walked across the street with an unfamiliar guy in toe. Something flared to life inside of me, a foreign feeling that I had no desire to feel. I took a sip of the whiskey I had in my hand, trying to drown the feeling out. Tom, my friend who’d supplied the alcohol, was talking about his latest hook up. He was describing the girl and normally I would be keen to listen. Right now all I could focus on was the pretty-boy that was smiling at Greer.
“Come on,” I said to Tom and walked across the road after the two. I watched through the window as they took a seat. A sick feeling settled in my stomach. Anger trickled into my system, snuffing out the alcohol.
“Geez, man, not this girl again,” Tom complained as he stumbled along after me. “What’s your deal with her anyway?”
I turn to look at my buzzed friend, a part of me doesn’t know how to answer. I want to tell him that I just want to make Greer Evans the next girl on my list. The words get lost in my throat. “Nothing, man. I’m just curious.”
Tom scoffs, “I don’t see why I think she’s too much mouth for her own good. She needs to learn her place. Did you hear how she talked to Olivia Connors? The nerd needs someone to push her back down the social hierarchy if you ask me.”
I don’t know why, but I instantly wanted to punch Tom in the face. My fist clenches at my side and my body trembles. He’s right, I know it too, but I can’t get my body to agree. Greer Evans was trouble for me in the purest form, and I was addicted to trouble.
I pulled open the door to Pete’s Diner. Greer noticed me straight away. I saw her lips move as she spoke to pretty-boy across the table. He turned around to look me over. I made my way quickly to their table, trying to keep the anger in me under control.
“Hey, partner,” I say with a fake smile.
“What do you want, Kaleb?” She’s not happy to see me, that’s evident in the frustration that she lets seep into her voice.
“Can’t a friend just say hi to another friend?”
“I wouldn’t really call us friends.” She snaps at me. She’s right. I don’t want to be friends with Greer Evans. Heck, I don’t want anything to do with her. I wish I could get my heart and body to listen. All my common sense goes out the window when I look at her. My vision goes red and my anger takes over.
“Fine. Project partners.” I peel my gaze away from Greer to stare at the boy she’s sitting with. He looks like someone that just rolled off of a rich boy magazine. He looks like the kind of boy that a girl would take home to her mother. He probably owns every shade of cardigan imaginable and plays chess on the weekends. He’s the type of boy that would enjoy going to one of Greer’s stupid seminars. “Anyway, who’s this?”
“None of your business, Kaleb. Get lost.” She snaps at me. I told her at the very beginning that no one calls me Kaleb, I should’ve insisted more that she call me Kale. Before her, my real name was off limits. Then she walked into my life, and she makes me hate my name a little less.
“That’s not very nice,” I say, trying to rile her up. I know it’s working.
The pretty boy she’s sitting with finally decides to speak, “My name’s Bash.”
I’d forgotten Tom was standing behind me until he laughs out loud. I laugh as well at the ridiculous name. I’m not surprised though, it suits him. “How do you know Greer, Bash?” I ask him.
Greer steps in before he has a chance to answer, “It’s none of your business, Kaleb. Get lost.”
My eyes snap to hers and I know she can feel the anger rolling off me in waves. Bash clears his throat and I know he’s feeling awkward. He should. I want to scream at him to get lost. I want to bury my fist in his pretty face. I bite back my fury. “Well, anyway, it was nice to meet you, Bash.” I take in a deep breath. “See you around, partner.”
I turn back to Tom, nod, and then we make our way out of the restaurant. It takes everything in me not to turn around to look at Greer once more. I want to run back to her and demand that she leaves with me.
“Well, that was intense,” Tom says out loud as we make our way back towards my car. Neither of us can drive right now, but we still slip inside my Mustang. I say nothing, just grip my steering wheel until I’m sure my fingers will break. Tom digs under his seat and passes me the bottle of whiskey towards me. I take it without a second thought.
Greer Evans made me want to get drunk more often than I already was. She made me want to get plastered until I couldn’t remember the words coming from her mouth or the look in her eyes. The problem was, I couldn’t be drunk all the time. The next morning would come and I’d be sober again. I’d see her in the halls. I’d fight with her once more after school. Then I’d have to be drunk again to forget. Lately, I felt like I was repeating the process time after time.
Man, I really hated Greer Evans.