Chapter 5: The Girl Next Door, Maria (Part 2)
I fucked up.
There was no other way to put it. I don’t even know where it all went wrong. My parents were going to kill me. Not only had I been gone all night, I hadn’t bothered to call and check in. They were probably freaking out. To make things worse I was going to walk in smelling like weed, booze and sex. They would automatically know I was back to my old ways just from looking at me. I couldn’t handle the amount of disappointment that will take over their features.
Maybe that guy was still a bigger part of me than I liked to admit. Maybe it was too soon for him to be out like this, in this environment.
“What the fuck did I do?” I groaned, my head killing me as I tried to detangle myself from the red head next to me. I was disgusted with myself. I had no interest in Clarissa and it wasn’t right for things to go this far. I had no idea how it happened. All I remembered was having a drink or two and smoking a joint. It was less than tamed compared to what I used to do. It made no sense.
Finally after getting dressed, I found my phone and damn near hightailed it out of there. As soon as I felt like I could breathe again my phone rnag. I looked to see it was my dad calling. My bad feeling doubled, making me sick to my stomach. I didn’t want to lie to them, but they didn’t even know I had gone to a party. I never realized how much unsupervised freedom I had before, I just knew they were rarely around. I never really thought about the fact that we barely had adults around us. Sighing I did the only thing I could do, I answered the call.
“Jr where the hell are you? When did you leave? Why didn’t you at least text one of us?”
“I’m sorry dad, I really am. I was just having a bad night. I couldn’t escape and your liquor cabinet was becoming too big of a temptation. So I went for a walk and,” I felt sick again playing on their emotions like this. “And I found a park and sat in it for a minute just swinging. I didn’t realize what time it was until the sun started coming up. I thought you and mom would just assume I was still asleep and leave. I didn’t want to bother you and have you worrying over nothing.”
“It’s not nothing Jr. you feel that urge you come and talk to one of us. Time doesn’t matter. Making sure you know that you are loved and wanted is what really matters. Just… don’t do this again. Right now we always need to know where you are and that you’re ok. Understood?”
“Yes sir.” he hung up leaving me filled with conflicted emotions. I had no idea how to feel about the short conversation, but I didn’t like the tone I heard behind what was said. It was all pretty words covered in concern parenting to the untrain ear, but all he meant was we need to make sure you don’t fuck up again. You can’t afford to. It left a bitter taste in my mouth knowing what my parents thought of me, but I guess it was my own fault.
Only positive thing out of all of this was noticing no one talking about Maria. So whatever the hatred was, it only appeared when she was in the room. I knew from experience, if they only talk when you are around, then the problem is theirs to bear. You are just unfortunate to be the subject of it. This was a big thing for me. It meant that now I could introduce myself to her, and I had the perfect idea on how to do it.
… … … … … … …
The least I could do was get this right. After my chores were done, I sat and waited. It had been a few days and finally she was on her normal routine again and headed towards the dog park. I didn’t bother to follow her like a stalker this time. Instead I had something else planned. Again we were dressed alike and although I could’ve changed, I liked the idea that we were on the same wavelength somehow. I enjoyed this little coincidence of ours. As soon as she was out of sight I began my plan.
My parents were going to be gone for the day. Something to do with work. Apparently, I was the only one who had to make all of the changes. The biggest part of my plan was keeping busy for the hour and a half or so until she came back home. I had no idea how I was going to do that, so I did the first thing that came to mind.
I deep cleaned the bathroom.
When my alarm rang and scared the fuck out of me I put it all into action. First I tossed a few dog treats into the yard and then I hid on the side of the house. It took about five minutes before I heard their barks.
“Hey girl. Butterfly? Butterfly over here.” I cooed a wide smile on my face as she ignored the treats and ran to me. To my surprise the other two followed her. I couldn’t help it. I derailed the plan for a bit too curious how that carefree feeling felt. They chased me barking happily as I ran. I understood why she did this. Something about it made it feel like there was no wrong that could be done. No evil in the world. I tripped, not watching where I was going.
They attacked me with kisses and jumped all over me as I laughed. This was the most amazing feeling. After this, whether it went bad or not, I needed dogs of my own. Or at least the encouragement to ask her to share hers. I had almost forgotten why I was doing this. That was until I heard her clear her throat. I turned towards her and almost fell to my knees.
It was one thing to see her from a distance, or to follow her, but up close was something else. She was more than a goddess. Her gray eyes shone beautifully and seemed to be glossed over with emotion. I was stuck in a trance as we just stared at each other. One of us had to speak and I guess it would be me.
“Hello. I’m Dave.” was all that I could come up with.