Chapter 4 | Badass Lexi
The rest of the day seemed to drag on way longer than I wanted it to.
I was just about to walk outside of the school doors when I heard my name.
I turn around just in time to see Lexi walking over to me. She’s struggling to hold her three textbooks while her hair whips around her face due to how fast she’s walking.
“Oh, hey.” I fake a smile, forgetting that I told Lexi I would go over to her house today. I really wish I hadn’t of said yes this morning. I just want to go home and sleep.
Just as Lexi and I make it outside, Liam and Ethan approach us.
“Hey Dal, are you riding with Lexi?” Liam asks.
“Uh, yeah. I’m going over to her place.”
“Then let me have the keys to the jeep. Ethan and I are going over to his place.” Liam says and the thought of Ethan or his house makes me want to run and hide. Anything associated with Jeremy causes my stomach to flip, and not in a good way.
I reach inside of my bag, and pull out the keys to our car. “Here, go for it.” My tone is harsh.
“Well, I can see you’re still in a mood. Later.” Liam shakes his head before he and Ethan walk away. Ethan is hesitant at first, because I notice him eyeing me a little. I turn my head and begin to walk away before he has a chance to say anything, and Lexi is quick to follow me.
Lexi manages to press the button on her key ring, which causes all of the doors to unlock. She opens the door to the backseat, and tosses her textbooks inside along with her bag. I’m already sitting in the passenger seat when I hear the back door slam shut.
Lexi gets into the driver’s seat and presses the button to start the car. I wish our Jeep was a push to start.
When we finally make it to the main road, Lexi begins her questioning.
“So, are we going to talk about it?”
“Talk about what?”
“The fact that you’ve been in a mood ever since last night, according to Liam.” She says, and I internally sigh at the fact that I know she isn’t going to let this go.
“I’m fine okay? It must be PMS or something.” I shrug, which she glances at me just in time to see.
“You’re lying.” She says as her eyes go back to the road.
“No I’m not!” I defend myself.
“Are too! Your period just ended last week!”
“What are you? A period fairy?” I deadpan.
Lexi makes a left turn onto her street. “No, but we’re in sync so I think I would know.”
I turn just in time to see her roll her eyes.
“Whatever. I’m fine okay? Girls have mood swings all the time. No need to fuss over it.” I slouch down into my seat just as Lexi pulls into her driveway.
“Yes, I’m aware of that, but this is different. I can tell.” She replies as we both get out of the car.
Lexi goes into the backseat to grab her books, while I walk to the front door of her home and let myself in.
“Dallas!” Jayce launches himself at my legs.
“Hey kiddo, how was school today?” I smile down at Lexi’s little brother.
“I learned how to write my name today!” He smiles proudly.
“Really? Show me.” I smirk.
Jayce runs into the living room and in a flash, he’s back at my feet with a piece of paper in his hands. I see the small lettering of his name and chuckle at his cute handwriting. Honestly, it’s better than a lot of Seniors I know.
“Wow! That’s amazing. You’re so smart.” I smile while patting his head full of dark curls.
“I know.” He shrugs casually with a smile. I roll my eyes as Lexi finally walks inside the house.
“Jayce, go play or something.” She says and Jayce frowns before turning around and stomping back into the living room.
“Kitchen?” I ask and Lexi nods.
We both walk into the kitchen to see Lexi’s mom hunched over inside of the fridge.
“Ma, what are you doing?” Lexi says and her mom instantly jumps, causing her head to smack against the top of the fridge.
“Jesus Lexi! Don’t sneak up on me like that. Como tu padre!” Regina sighs while rubbing the top of her head.
“Lo que sea.” Lexi sighs while sitting at the island in the middle of her large kitchen. I take a seat beside her.
“Cuida tu lenguaje.” Regina warns.
“Yeah, so I only know the words Hola and gracias.” I say and they both give me a blank stare.
“Sorry.” I sheepishly smile.
“How are you Dallas? I’m so sorry to hear about your mother.” Regina frowns over to me.
“Oh, thank you. I’m as fine as I can be.” I fake a smile and she nods in response.
“Lexi, I have to go out and pick up your dad from work. Watch Jayce.” Regina says and Lexi gives her a pointed look.
“He never listens to me anyway!” Lexi argues.
“I don’t care, Lexi. You’re older so you are in charge while I’m gone. No me hagas llamar a tu padre.” Regina points her finger at Lexi and Lexi only nods while looking down at her books.
“You girls have fun, I’ll be back later! Dallas are you staying for dinner?” Regina asks while grabbing her purse from the counter.
I look over to Lexi and she nods with a smile.
“Sure thing Gina.” I smile up at her, and she nods before walking out of the kitchen.
“Jayce! Escucha a tu hermana.” Regina says and Jayce sighs before mumbling an, “Okay.”
I notice Lexi smirk at her mother’s request. "See Jayce, I'm in charge so listen!" She shouts toward the living room. We hear another sigh in response.
“You know he still won’t.” I say and she nods.
“I know, but it’s still nice to hear her tell him.” She shrugs. “Should we do some homework?”
“I’m really not in the mood.” I say.
“You haven’t done any homework and it’s the second day back. Don't wanna fall behind before Christmas break.” Lexi teases me with a smirk.
“It’s not like we have a lot of homework anyway. Just a few worksheets.” I sigh, and Lexi nods.
“Can you please tell me what’s bothering you? I know you well enough to know that it’s not nothing.” She suddenly says in a soft voice. “Is it your mom?”
“No.” I reply harshly.
“Then what is it? Come on, you can tell me.” She urges me to explain, and I actually debate on whether I should confide in her over what happened with Jeremy. I don’t want her to freak out and blow it way out of proportion, but I still feel like I need to talk to someone about it.
“It’s just… something happened yesterday after school.” I say.
If there is one person I can confide in, it’s Lexi. I couldn’t possibly tell Liam or Ethan and I definitely couldn’t tell my dad. He would go to prison for killing Jeremy and I already lost one parent.
“You mean your tire going flat?” She asks.
I nod. “It’s what happened after that.”
“Come on, let’s go upstairs.” She says while standing up. “Jayce, stay down here and watch TV!” She shouts as we head for the stairs.
I follow her upstairs and into her bedroom. I take a seat on the bed and she sits down beside me.
“Okay, so what is it?” She asks once we’re comfortable.
“Well, before I could walk down the street to my place, Jeremy came outside and saw me with my car.” I begin. “He invited me inside for some hot chocolate, and you know me with hot chocolate.”
“Duh, it’s like crack to you.” Lexi smirks.
I laugh, but soon after my face returns neutral.
“Well, it was completely fine at first. We were talking about how we’ve been, and he told me he was sorry about my mom. Everything seemed so normal between us.” I continue to explain.
By this point, I’m staring directly at the white carpet beneath my feet.
“But then things got really weird.” I grimace.
“What do you mean?” I hear Lexi ask from beside me. I don’t have it in me to look at her in the eyes.
“Well, I was just about to leave when he practically dragged me upstairs into his bedroom. He told me he had something he wanted to show me.”
I see Lexi nod from my peripheral vision.
“It was a picture of Ethan’s tenth birthday party. I was on Jeremy’s shoulders and Liam and Ethan was on either side of us.”
“I remember Ethan’s birthday party. It was so much fun! I don’t remember where I was when the picture was taken. I don’t even think I knew about it.” Lexi says and I nod in reply.
“Well, that’s the picture Jeremy showed me. At first I thought nothing of it, but then…” I trail off.
“What?” Lexi asks softly.
“I don’t know what was going through his head, or why he thought I was interested… but he managed to push me up against the wall and kiss me.” I finally say.
“Wow. Bold move on his part. Have you ever had feelings for Jeremy?” Lexi asks, not catching on to the seriousness of the situation yet.
“No, never. I’ve only ever seen him as another older brother figure. But that’s not everything.” I finally look up at Lexi and the frown on my face must have given her a clue.
“Oh no, what else did he do?”
“He, um, he tried to force himself on me.” I just barely manage to say.
“As in…” Lexi trails off.
“Oh my God, that asshole!” She glares. “What did you do?”
“Well, I pushed him away, but he kept me pinned to the wall. I had nowhere to go.” I frown deeper.
“Dallas… please tell me he didn’t do what I think he did.” Lexi’s eyes widen as she grabs my hand for comfort.
“No, it didn’t get that far, but it definitely could have. I resisted obviously, so he punched me in the stomach and that’s when I had enough.” I say and Lexi gapes at me.
“He punched you?” Her eyes tell me she’s in complete shock.
I slowly stand up and lift my hoodie and T-shirt. Lexi’s eyes look watery as she takes in my purple and blue stomach.
“Oh Dallas…” She frowns. “How did you manage to get away?”
“Well, I kneed him in the balls and got out of dodge.” I say as I drop my hoodie and sit back down on the edge of Lexi’s bed.
“Wow. I’m proud of you.” Lexi tries to smile. “But Dallas, you should really tell someone else. You know, like your dad or something.”
I immediately shake my head. “I can’t Lex. It’ll be my word against Jeremy’s and I already know how that will play out.”
“You can’t just let him get away with it! What if you weren’t able to get away so easily and he did something worse than just punch you?” I know she’s talking about rape, but I tried not to go back to that dark place.
“Well I was able to, and he didn’t. If I just avoid him and wait until he leaves for college again, maybe things will go back to normal.” I say, though I’m not so sure I believe myself and I think Lexi noticed.
“Ethan said he took the next semester off. He isn’t going to be leaving anytime soon.” She frowns.
“Well, then I just won’t go over to Ethan’s anymore.” I shrug.
“You know you can’t just do that. Ethan and Liam will question you. Besides, we always go over to Ethan’s on Friday nights to hang out at his pool. It’s tradition.”
Lexi does make a valid point, but I don’t even want to imagine being in a pool in my bikini with Jeremy around.
“I’ll just have to figure something out. Maybe it’ll be okay to be there if there are other people around. Surely he won’t try anything stupid with witnesses.” I sigh while leaning back and laying against Lexi’s bed.
“I’m really sorry you had to go through something like that.” Lexi says, and I eventually sit back up to look at her.
“Thanks. I just hope nothing like that ever happens again.” I look at my hands that are lying against my lap.
“Were you scared?” She asks, and I want to tell her ‘duh’, but I refrain.
“Yes. Very.” I nod. “I’ve never experienced anything like that before.”
“Wow, I just can’t believe it. Jeremy. He was always so cool growing up.” Lexi shakes her head in disbelief. “I mean, that could have just as easily been me.”
I nod immediately. “I know, believe me, I’ve already thought about it. My minds been a complete mess lately with everything that’s been happening.”
“I can’t even imagine. Well hey; you can stay away from Ethan’s house if you want. We can only go over for Friday nights and I will be beside you the entire time. I won’t let him come near you.” Lexi smiles.
“We’ll see. You aren’t exactly the toughest.” I smirk.
“What? Are you kidding? I’m beyond tough.” She flexes her arm and I give her a pointed look.
“Yes Lexi, you are so badass.” I laugh more, and I’m grateful that she’s able to take my mind away from things for a while. That’s what best friends are for.
“Badass Lexi, at your service.” She winks and I shake my head with a smile.
“Okay, tone it down.” I roll my eyes.
“Lexi!” We hear from downstairs.
“What Jayce?” Lexi shouts back.
“I think I broke the TV!”
Three… two… one.
“I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!” Lexi yells as she bolts out of her bedroom and down the stairs. I hear a high-pitched shriek come from Jayce and I can’t help but laugh as I get up to go save the poor kid from Lexi’s wrath.
Brothers: Can’t live with them… well really, that’s it. You can’t live with them.