Chapter 25: Truth Be Told (Part 2)
I sighed as I finally was able to lay in my own bed. I still wasn’t talking to my mom, dad had me running all kinds of errands and I had made breakfast plans with John. To top it all off, I found myself thinking about Dave and wondering if he was okay.
I knew it was stupid and I regretted everything I said to him the moment I did it, but the facts hadn’t changed.
I was a hypocrite.
He was paid to be my friend.
I didn’t care if it was once, or if it was for the entire year and some change that we’ve known each other, he shouldn’t have accepted it. My mother damn sure shouldn’t have offered. We were both wrong, but he took it just a step further.
I missed him and I thought about him a hell of a lot more than I was willing to admit, but I wasn’t ready to forgive him. I doubt I was ready to even attempt to try to understand. I just wanted to lay down and sleep. I just wanted to be able to forget him for a day. Just one day.
My phone was going off incessantly while increasingly pissing me off. I now hated being awakened out of my sleep when I haven’t been sleeping that well in the first place. I groaned picking up the phone to see who it was. The moment I saw Dave’s name flashing across the screen I was wide awake.
Why was he texting me? What could he be saying that required so many messages coming through? Finally the pinging stopped. Did I really want to read this? Did I want to know what he had to say? What if he needed me? Would I run to him? Or would I continue to pretend to still be pissed at him?
I had forgiven him already, my heart told me that much. It was a one time payment after he met me. It was only because of that first day that I’d forgiven him. We had spent hours together just getting to know each other, talking and arguing about Forbidden Spaces. It was one of the most relaxing, carefree days I’d had in awhile. I missed having that with him. That’s the only reason I picked up the phone and unlocked it. Besides, I wasn’t too innocent in the grand scheme of it all. I’d done something I wasn’t too proud of also.
Dave: Minnie, I know you said not to call you that, but I want you to understand just how much you mean to me. You have no idea all that you’ve done for me and it’s partly my fault for that. I’ve kept secrets from you and once I tell you, maybe you’ll understand. I never wanted to hurt you, I never expected for things to get this far. I never expected to get so close to someone like this again. With you it’s like being with her, but still different. I’m in love with you. She was just my best-friend. It was never supposed to have been like this. I wasn’t supposed to have fallen in love with you. I wasn’t supposed to lose her either, but now I don’t have either of you and it’s me killing me inside.
I gasped. He was in love with me? Since when and what did this other girl have to do with everything? I ignored the knot in my stomach and opened the next group of messages.
Dave: Her name was Natalie. Natalie Bradfort. She was a sweetheart. She was an animal lover, quiet, a little bit shy, a charmer and more beautiful than she ever knew. This is also the part of you I met that first day. I was so open to getting to know you because, if only for a moment, it felt like I had my bestfriend back. How we argued and laughed over books. How easy it was to talk to you. How I felt like I could actually just be myself for once. It intrigued me, but it was still something else about you that had me captured. I became glued to you in a way. That something plus how I lost my best friend is why I accepted the money from your mother. It’s not what you think Maria. Seven thousand dollars or not, I was going to get to know you, and I’d still tell you you’re mine. The fact alone should’ve told you that I, almost immediately, had gone against myself and what I wanted when we first moved here.
Despite everything I smiled. Three months later and after a huge argument where I threw hot food in his face and he was still trying to claim me. I would be lying if I said it didn’t feel good to be wanted for once.
Dave: Before we moved here, when I was just a freshman, I made the varsity basketball team. I was basically a benchwarmer at first. Natalie used to try to encourage me. Yeah I was good, but the older kids would always be better. I hadn’t been ready and now I know that. I just wanted them to accept me and like me at first. So much so I had begun to blow off my childhood best-friend. I neglected her when she needed me most. I didn’t find out until after it all happened. While I was chasing popularity with the older kids, she found a guy that was turning black and blue. He happened to be one the popular kids I was so desperate to fit in with.
I wanted to text him back my fears getting the best of me. I was worried that he was saying goodbye to me and not in a good way. Secrets like these were kept for a reason. I was scared for him to be alone. I could feel his sadness in each group of messages and it was still two groups left.
Dave: I remember the first game I ever played as a freshman, but I remember it for different reasons. We won of course. The caption of the team, Justin, invited me to hangout afterwards with the promise of a ride home. Natalie wanted to come with us, but I knew how they were and wanted her nowhere near them. She deserved a nice guy and not some dickhead jock. So she went home without me. Justin and a few guys from the team all piled into the car leaving the passenger seat open for me. I later found out Justin wanted it that way. I realized now that she wanted to come to protect me. While we were driving they were drinking and smoking weed. Justin had the music blasting and was swerving through the streets laughing widely. I got scared and was begging him to just take me home already. He just laughed and told me to stop acting like a bitch and drink my beer. I threw it out the window and told him more sternly to take me home. He started talking about Natalie then. Calling her my little girlfriend and calling me whipped. I thought nothing of it at first because we all went to school together, but the more we drove the more he talked. I later found out Justin was the boyfriend and the only reason he invited me to hangout was to ensure that nothing was going on between me and her. She only wanted to protect me and I failed her.
I gasped truly shocked by how that ended. I damn near dropped my phone as I struggled to open the next group of messages.
Dave: To make a long story short, when he did finally drop me off Natalie was leaving from my house. I assumed she had been looking for me. Her parents said that she had wanted to talk. A kind of jealous rage filled Justin and he deliberately drove onto the sidewalk trying to hit her. I screamed out the window for her to watch out, but it was too late. She flew over the car landing on hood before rolling off. I jumped out the car running to her to make sure she was okay while calling for an ambulance, but it was too late. She hadn’t made it and he drove off laughing. I told the police everything. The drinking. The music. The weed. How I’d been stunned at first before calling, but Justin was the golden boy of our town and no one believed me at first. Then they read her diary. She wrote about it all....including wishing that she could just talk to me about it. Everyone in town hated me because I got Justin locked up or because I failed her. Her parents blamed me. They figured if I hadn’t chased popularity with a guy like that I would have known what was going on before it got too dangerous. They were right. They were all right. I had failed her. The next year I tried to save money for my own car just in case I was blessed with another friend. I never wanted to get in the car with someone besides my parents ever again. When I met you that fear came back, but then your mother offered the money. A weight was lifted off my chest. I had found a way and had enough money to ensure I could never put her, or anyone else in harm’s way again. I couldn’t lose you like I lost her. It wouldn’t be fair, but it was still wrong for me to accept it and not tell you about it. I intend on paying back every cent if it’ll help.
Dave: That’s everything Minnie. I understand if you still hate me. I understand if this makes you see me as more of a monster than you already thought. I am a monster and I’m sorry that I dragged you into this. I do love you and I never expected to be this close to anyone ever again. I never anticipated you Minnie and I’m glad I didn’t. You’re the best thing to have happen to me since then. I hope you can forgive me.
I didn’t know what to say.
My feet were moving without me having to tell them too. My heart was pounding fearing what I would find when I got there. Tears were in my eyes as the image of his dead body flashed repeatedly. Those messages sounded too much like a final confession for me to be able to breathe correctly. I didn’t want to alarm anyone just in case I was wrong; and I was hoping beyond belief that I was. It wasn’t fair to assume something like that, but after everything it seemed like such a viable option.
I was trying not to panic as I moved the ladder from my window to his climbing as fast as I possibly could. His blinds were drawn, the curtain closed and the window locked tight. I couldn’t breathe as my chest kept tightening into itself.
“He’s fine. He’s fine.” I repeated to myself as I knocked urgently on the window. Not even a full second later my eyes met his beautiful brown ones with golden flecks as I sighed out in relief. He stood there frozen in disbelief as he just stared at me. It took a moment for him to snap out of it before he finally realized I was at his window standing on a ladder.
“Maria?” He asked, letting the window up and helping me through. “What are you doing here? ” he asked. I didn’t really know what to say, but I knew I didn’t really have the words to say whatever it was. His eyes were hopeful as he started at me staring at him. I opened and closed my mouth so many times that it was going dry. I still didn’t know how to say what I felt. It all sounded so confusing. I forgave him, but I didn’t. I understood why he took the money and what he was feeling hence why he was forgiven; but there was no real explanation on why he waited so long to tell me hence why he wasn’t forgiven. Still I missed him like nothing I’ve ever known was possible. Before I could register what I was doing I was planting my lips against his. Instantly his arms wrapped around my waist as he lifted me slightly off my feet and kissed me back just as deeply and passionately as before. In this moment I was able to delude myself into believing nothing had changed. “Wait. Maria Stop.” He whispered as I groaned placing my head in the nape of his neck. “I’m sorry but I don’t want this,” he paused to stand me upright before gesturing between the both of us. “I don’t want this just because you feel sorry for me. I want you to understand and really forgive me.”
“I do understand Mickey. I get why you accepted the money and I forgive you for doing so-” before I could finish his lips were back on mine in a heated kiss as we staggered towards the bed, me removing my shoes in the process. His warm hands caressing my cold skin beneath my thin shirt as I fell on top of him. A part of me wanted to stop going in the direction we were headed but a much bigger part still trusted him enough to let him be my first.
My actual first. I was ready for it.
That bigger part of me wanted this moment more than I could describe with words. His lips were magical. My brain was in a fog and I couldn’t think. I could only move and had to trust that my action based instincts wouldn’t steer me wrong. I wanted him and clearly he wanted me too.
I laid there speechless with a faint throbbing between my legs. He was softly snoring in my ear as I laid tucked into him. I couldn’t believe that I’d just lost my virginity to him, in his house and with both of our parents having a game night downstairs. They had no clue I was even here let alone the amazing time I’d just had with him. I’m not surprised that they didn’t hear us with how loud they were. It wasn’t like we’d tried to be quiet. We were too caught up in the moment to even pretend to care about being caught.
Why have the music up so loud anyways just to yell over it? It made no sense. Yes, I’m trying to distract myself from thinking about what I did. I don’t want to think about the way he kissed my neck. Or the way he teased my lips as his fingers touched my nether regions in a way no one had before. I didn’t want the thought of him sliding inside me to keep replaying. I didn’t want to remember how the pain slowly turned into pleasure as he moved on top of me. I didn’t want to remember how his kisses drowned out my screams as I came harder than I knew was possible. Remembering made me horny and the moisture that would grow between my legs would drip down my leg and make me want him more. Nothing would be able to stop me because we were still naked.
I would want him to teach me about each possible feeling all night and I couldn’t let that happen. I couldn’t just fall back into his arms because I now knew that this well sculpted beautiful, but damaged piece of art came well endowed. Even more so than what I had felt in his kitchen. I had no idea being stretched beyond belief could lead to something so wonderfully magical. All the horror stories I’ve heard at school would make anyone fear what we had done, but that was nothing like what I’d heard.
Maybe it was because of the feelings we shared. If I didn’t want to think about the sex, I’d much rather stress over the fact he had confessing to being in love with me. Sighing I slowly slipped out of his grip and began getting dressed before heading towards the window. I turned one last time watching him sleep soundly as a tear slid down my cheek.
“I’m so sorry for using you as a distraction Mickey.” I whispered the guilt eating away at me. “Maybe you’ll understand, but I’m with John now.” With that I scurried down the ladder and back to my house to shower. John would be here in less than an hour to take to me on our date. I felt horrible doing that, but the minute I saw him a vengeance filled me and I wanted him to hurt like I was hurting. I was glad he was okay, but that didn’t change that he’d pissed me off.
When I woke up she was gone. A part of me was confused, but a bigger part wanted to bask in the afterglow of our love making. She felt better than I ever imagined she would. The connection I felt with her in that moment made me think this little thing was something we could get passed. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. She was officially mine.
I had made her mine and it was something I’d forever remember. Her forgiveness was something I would always cherish and be gratuitous over.
I ran the brush through my hair a few more times before reapplying my lipstick and giving myself another once over. My already too tight dark grey skinny jeans felt tighter and somewhat uncomfortable. I was sweating in my long-sleeved crop top even though it was near freezing out. John had taken me out to eat, as always, I couldn’t really focus. I compared everything with him to how it was with Dave.
Dave wanted big meals and whatever we didn’t finish was brought home for later. John wanted to eat then and there. He didn’t like the idea of leftovers.
Dave and I laughed and joked during the meal no matter if we had food in our mouths or not. John was the type to only talk when he wasn’t eating. We spent most of the time quiet.
Dave made me feel like I could be myself and noticed if I was too distracted. He’d asked me if I was alright before bringing my attention back to him completely. John just ignored me.
If this was the reason why everyone wanted to date and go out every weekend as if it would kill them if they didn’t, I wasn’t understanding the hype. I’d rather hangout with Dave and completely trust him again, before I continued to be this bored.
“John, what are we doing here?” I asked to frustrated with the silence to bother trying to contain myself.
“Umm… eating.” He laughed with a shrug of his shoulders.
“No. I mean us. What are we?” I groaned. “I mean for the past three months we’ve become kind of inseparable and I just... I kind of just want to know what it all means.”
“We’re friends.” He stated bluntly before taking a sip of his drink. He sounded so unbothered as he shrugged and continued on. “I mean I apologize if you thought otherwise, but I just don’t see you like that Maria. You’re cool and all, but you aren’t really my type.”
“What is your type?” I snapped. One minute he was praising me. Calling me beautiful and everything else, but suddenly I wasn’t his type. What the hell?
“Someone who doesn’t have sex with their so called bestfriend who hasn’t even talked to her in three months and then turn around and try to fool the guy she actually likes.” He spat back as I turned into a goldfish just opening and closing my mouth too stunned to find the right words. “No need to lie about it Maria, I saw you climbing out of his window. When I rang the bell you answered in a completely different outfit. I’m not stupid.”
“It’s not what you think.” I breathed. He had no idea that I’d already been with the guy I really liked and he was just the rebound. The only fool here was me for thinking otherwise. “He texted me something really bad that had me worried about his mental state. I went to check on him and he just broke down to me. I had to change because my clothes were damp with his tears and my sweat. Just because he’s been a bad friend doesn’t mean that I have to be one too.” It technically wasn’t a lie. There had been tears but it was after and we kissed so long that I had started to sweat before my clothes became part of the decor.
“You still aren’t my type Maria.” He shrugged. “I no longer feel like I can trust you. Goodbye. Find your own way home.” He walked off.
He really left me and not once did he turn around. I was stunned clueless. No idea what had happened or what made the events turn. He didn’t even pay for our food, or at least half for his own, and I didn’t have any money on me. I knew I had to call someone to come bail me out from this unexpected situation I found myself in. Right now I only had one person I knew whole-heartedly I could trust.
Picking up my phone I sent him a quick text.
Maria: Daddy please come get me. I’m stuck and I really need help. Here’s the address.
My anger was through the roof and my mother, whom I still hadn’t confronted, was drunk and pissing me off. My father was rolling his eyes so much I thought they’d get stuck or fall out. I explained what had happened and why they had to come get me and she’s been mouthing off since.
“Why can’t you just be normal for once? You used to have friends. You used to go out. You used to have the perfect life and you ruined it. I don’t know how you did it but you did. No matter what you always ruin it and I know it’s you, I’ve seen the change in you myself. Damn I deserve a normal daughter who wants to experience the same popular life I had. What is wrong with you?!”
“Helen shut the hell up? It’s her life. We lived ours.” Snapped my dad, his eye starting to twitch.
“I’m just saying-”
“You’re just belittling and degrading our daughter because she isn’t you. Just shut the hell up already.”
“It wouldn’t hurt her to be a little more like me.” She spat a little hiccup escaping her. I knew she was drunk and I wanted to believe she meant no harm, but I was pissed and I exploded.
“I DON’T WANT TO BE A DAMN THING LIKE YOU!” I cried. “I WANT NO TIES OR SIMILARITIES TO SOMEONE WHO WOULD PAY THE NEW GUY NEXT DOOR NEARLY SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS TO BE MY DAUGHTER’S FRIEND!”
“What?!” Yelled my dad making me jump as he parked in our driveway. I had never heard my dad’s voice get so loud before. It boomed with the base of it vibrating all around us. “You said that money was an investment in her future.” He was livid.
“It was. You ungrateful little brat you should be thanking me. I know the rumors. I can’t believe I raised such a little slut. You should be happy that I paid him before you could run him off too.” She rolled her eyes and got out of the car slamming the door behind her as I sat there with tears in my eyes.
“She didn’t mean it sweetheart. She’s just drunk and stressed from work.” My dad sighed, rubbing his temples.
“A drunken mind speaks a sober tongue dad.” I cried before getting out of the car myself. Only I didn’t go in. I kept walking heading towards the park down the street and ignoring my dad’s pleas to come back.
Based on what she said and the fact that she called me slut proved it true that she really thought so low of me. It was like that night freshman year kept haunting me. I didn’t remember much and although I wasn’t sure how, I know Clarissa set me up. I know for fact I didn’t let two brothers fuck me upstairs in a room before just passing out. It was a lie. It was all a lie. I wouldn’t have done that to him.