All I Want for Christmas is You
The house was nearly silent. Kitty abandoned me for bed a few hours before I reached my lowest point of pity. The ride back was unbearable and Jason’s absence only made it worse.
His mom didn’t seem too concerned that her sinner for a son was missing though. Especially since she pieced together what he was doing with his free time.
I didn’t mean to wait for him or to be stretched across the couch with trash TV playing as the soundtrack to my wallowing but that’s what happened.
I heard the keys rattling as he found the lock and pushed open the door. I glanced a the fish clock hanging on the wall.
Jason appeared and stopped when he saw me on the couch. His hair was ruffled and messy on both sides and there was red lipstick smudge in the corner of his mouth.
“Looks like someone’s been having fun,” I spoke before I could stop myself.
“You’re one to talk,” Jason said while beginning to walk up the stairs. My body tensed up.
“What’s that suppose to mean?”
Jason stopped his ascent to look me in the eye and make me feel his response, “You’re fucking Ethan.”
It felt like a cement block dropped on my chest. I paused before answering, “How’d you know?”
Jason sighed and looked away, “Your silence just now was pretty damning.”
“Is that what Amber was about, me and Ethan?”
“There’s a you and Ethan?” Jason asked while gripping the railing. The icy rain drenched his plaid flannel on the way in but he didn’t budge.
“No, we just-”
“Fuck?” Jason offered.
I sighed, “It’s not like that.”
“Like you rejected me for him?” He tugged on the little string connected to my heart.
Then I remembered how it shattered when he kicked me out, “After you pushed me away? No.”
Jason threw back his head and laughed,“Why don’t you take some responsibility for once.”
“You chose to give in to me and you chose to leave. Just like you chose to screw Ethan.” Jason clenched his jaw as I stood in shock.
“I was hurting.” I finally willed myself to fight back.
“Yeah, well, so was I.”
I scoffed, “What was I suppose to do?”
“Not him.” He spoke without hesitation or time to process what he was saying to me. In his mind, we already discussed Ethan a million times. I betrayed him a million times and he wouldn’t forgive me a million times. Jason turned away from me to end the night.
He wasn’t getting away that easy.
“Why not?” I got off the couch and marched to the base of the stairs, “Because he was there for me when I needed him?”
He abandoned his mission to get upstairs and suddenly his eyes were burning into mine.
“Oh come on, Tara,” Jason scoffed while walking back towards me, “You didn’t need him.”
I stood my ground,“Why do you think you have the right to determine what I did and did not need? We only knew each other for a few months.”
“Seemed like enough time for you to fall in love with me.” Jason shot back with venom dripping from his teeth.
“You came to my window in the pouring rain professing your love.” He stood in front of me. His wet clothing hanging off his shoulders.
“Yeah, and you walked away like it was nothing,” He took a step closer and we were nearly touching, “Like I was nothing.”
I struggled to find something to say.
He continued, “Then you starting working with Ethan and I knew, I knew he would do anything to get under my skin but he really outdid himself this time.”
I laughed, “Get over yourself. You’re making it sound like he’s plotting against you.”
Jason threw his hands up in the air, “He is and he’s only using you as a pawn in his sick game. He’s been doing this since college!”
“Using me? Like you did?” Now I was a reluctant part of two eighteen-year-olds ongoing pissing contest.
“I never used you. Not like this.”
“That’s a load of bullshit.”
Jason threw his hands up in mock surrender, “Fine, but you liked it.”
“You enjoyed every time I showed up at your door with an apology.”
I scoffed, “You know that’s exactly the kind of pain in the ass thing I’d expect you to say.”
“Keep saying pain in the ass like I don’t know you’re into it.”
Before I could reign myself in, the anger of a year spent mulling over every last moment with him raged through me. I shoved Jason as hard as I could.
As soon as I did it I started an apology.
Jason furrowed his eyebrows and put his hands on my shoulders before pushing me even further from him.
It was a soft shove but it sent me flying down a rabbit hole.
I glared at him while he just stood a few feet away with the cockiest expression a man could have. Forget apologies.
I balled my hand into a fist, “Stop it.”
“Saying I enjoyed it.”
“It’s the truth, Tara.”
“The truth?” I was a mad woman, “You made me crazy. For no good reason. You couldn’t even look me in the eye when you told me to get out.”
Jason expression softened, “I know.”
“You never cared about me. If you did you wouldn’t have done that. You wouldn’t have hurt me like that.”
“I had to.”
“Yeah, well I had to take the job that Ethan offered.”
The sound of rain and another late night Christmas commercial filled the space between us.
I pushed past him but before I could make it up the stairs he grabbed my arm. I turned to face him but was surprised to see the resentment on his face melt away, “I’m sorry.”
I wasn’t prepared for an apology. Let alone one with sincerity behind it. My mind reeled with the events of just one day.
“Tara,” Jason called me out of my trance, “I’m so sorry.”
I froze with the intent to march away as soon as I regained control of my feet. I never expected for him to give in, to let go of his pride, but after he did I didn’t know what was next.
I opened my mouth to respond but nothing came out. Jason released his grip on me but he had no intention of letting me go.
When he leaned in electricity ran up my spine. The excitement buzzed around in my stomach like a dozen bees but before he could kiss it all better I remembered Amber.
He sighed as I pulled away.
“I can’t be your toy anymore. Not if you’ll just set me down when you get bored.”
The sound of my footsteps as I went to bed echoed through the halls. Jason didn’t follow and I didn’t look back.