After the whole dramatic and passionate kiss that Damon and I shared, we left to talk in his car. As soon as my first yawn came up, he took it as a sign of exhaustion and started driving me home. As we arrive in front of the worn out building, he reaches for my hand, squeezing it. I look into his eyes, which almost glow under the reflection of a streetlight. Those beautiful green eyes always catch me off guard. His hair is still messy from having my fingers desperately grip onto them.
He walks me up to my front door, and while there was a twinge of guilt in the back of my mind, I couldn’t be more glad to have him by my side. With him, I’m sure that I’m going to be content at the least, if not happy all the time. My hand in his, he pulls me in for the same embrace as the night of the party last week. It was familiar and reassuring, all while leaving me with my melted heart and wobbly knees.
He cradles my head and kisses the top of it before gazing down at me with a sea of green. His eyes were overflowing with joy, and as he looks into mine, I feel them filling me with a sense of what I can only recognize as muted passion.
“Goodnight,” he whispers as he kisses my forehead and gazes down at me, at my lips. I know he’s expecting a true goodnight kiss on the lips, but that twinge of guilt in the back of my mind has finally grown enough to occupy the majority of my thoughts. I kiss him on the cheek and wave at him as he walks off awkwardly. I hope he didn’t think that was too weird, full on making out with him in front of everybody and then only giving him a chaste kiss on the cheek when we’re alone.
He probably thinks that was too weird.
I see him glance back with a puzzled look shown through his eyebrows.
He definitely thought that was really weird.
I turn around to open my door, slowly slipping inside with caution as to not make a sound. Once I managed to close both doors quietly, I lean my back on the wall adjacent to them, sliding down until I’m sitting while hugging my knees. My breathing is uneven and I can’t get Silas out of my head. I think about his lips on someone else, where his hands were on her, how he looked when he saw me, and how he must have looked when he saw me kiss Damon.
I’m not mature enough to handle this situation and I don’t like to think about one guy when I’ve somehow managed to make it semi-official with another, but I can’t stop myself. Damon is fantastic and I can’t wait to see where this goes, but I can’t forget the excruciating pain I felt at the pit of my stomach as I saw his lips on someone else.
It doesn’t make sense. It’s not like he was mine, but I somehow allowed my heart to make him mine anyway. All he did was prove otherwise.
It’s best, I decide, to act normal and still accept him as a friend. He’s made his decision and in response, I’ve made mine. Maybe he wasn’t really that into me anyway.
I crawl into bed, drained from the events of the day and crippled from the numbness that creeps around my mind, allowing it to finally give into the sweet and brief release that slumber offers. There won’t be a visitor at my window tonight, I suddenly remember, and I could feel hot tears dampen the pillow that wraps around the side of my face.
The next morning, I went through the usual routine with my mom reserved for all Sunday mornings. It was particularly warm today, so I wore a plain deep red tank top and tucked it into a flowy white skirt with tiny flowers on it that my mom made me a couple months back. Because it was frowned upon for me to wear something sleeveless to church, I threw on an almost see-through beige kimono that I found at the swapmeet a month back to be a few sizes too large. When I got home that day, I tore all the edges and even added extra thread to it for the extra flare of volume in the fringes.
“Con gái của ai đẹp quá vạy!” I’m sure the neighbors could hear my mom exclaim in her adorably sweet compliment. I don’t get called pretty often, so every time I do, I blush. She pinches my cheeks and pulls me into a tight hug that makes me laugh a bit too hard before we head off.
Church is, well, church. It was very warm, which my mom and I had prepared for. In her car, we kept a collection of collapsible plastic and wooden fans.
When I was finally dropped off at home, I was also told to wipe the floors, since she forgot to do that this morning. I nod obediently and see her drive away.
Walking inside, I hear my phone ring and pull it out of my bag to see Vinh’s silly face on the screen.
“Hello?” I greet into the phone as I pull out a pair of earphones with a microphone and plug it into my phone. I tuck on earbud into my right ear, the one with the microphone, and I slip my phone under the waistband of my skirt.
“Hey, Mama Bear. How’s it going?” Vinh decided to spend most of his days with Scarlett now, and that just means they sometimes need time to themselves. I was honestly so glad when he told me his decision, but I realize now, that the only person I can look to for conversation can only be Damon or Silas.
“Nothing, just doing some cleaning,” I answer, reminding myself to go get the Vietnamese straw broom that my mom hid in the garage. The thing was massive, but always did the job when it came to sweeping the floors. “How’s Scar?”
“She’s doing alright. I think she’s starting to get her mind off of things, especially that super hot makeout scene you did with your Damon last night.” I can hear his suggestive smirk over the phone.
“He’s not my Damon.” I start sweeping from the front door.
“Yes, he is. Unless…” he pauses and I could tell he’s probably giving Scar a look before he continues, “Wait are you still deciding? Because of Silas? He was practically making a low rated porn scene with Catherine.”
The reminder hurt, but it was necessary. “I don’t know Vinh. I don’t want to stop being friends with Silas.”
“Then don’t. What does that even have to do with this? You can be friends with him and keep Damon as your lollipop boy toy.”
“My what?” I finish up sweeping.
“Don’t lie to me, you know you want to lick that face.” I could hear Scar giggling in the background.
“Okay, I have to hang up now if I want to finish up my chore. Talk to you later?”
I start running water on a soaped up rag. Starting at the front door, I squat and start stepping backward as I wipe the floors down with soap and water. Then, I start again, without soap. Just as I finish my second wipe, I hear a light knock on the door. I as carefully as I could over to the door and open it to find a nervous Silas standing there with his hands in his jean pockets.
“Hi,” he greets me, sounding breathless as he gapes at me in my church outfit.
Why didn’t I change out of this?
“Hi,” I answer flatly as I open the door for him to come in. “Careful with the floors. They’re still wet.”
I turn around and walk to the sofa chair, where I could sit alone to distance myself from him. He sits down as close to me as he could on the full sofa.
“So what’s the plan about Scar?” I can tell he’s trying to avoid the hot topics, and at the moment, I’m just glad he has his priorities in line. Scar really needs this.
I tell him the plan that Vinh and I had devised the day before while he was getting drunk on god knows what and screwing god knows how many girls. Okay, Jealous Tammy, keep it down.
When I was done, I could feel him lingering. There was an undeniable sadness that was oozing from his presence, starting from his warm chocolate eyes, which now droop downward, to his lips, which now part as if there was a good enough apology about to slip from his tongue. Today, he wore a black henley, with sleeves pulled up near his elbows. His jeans hang from his hips snugly and the dark colors of his clothes work well with his deep brown hair. I want to rip them off.
I bite my lower lip, as if it would help me hold back my thoughts. I’m sure he could read my thoughts from the way my eyes just ate him up.
“Okay, well that was the plan so you can lock the door on your way out.” I need to get away from him. It’s intoxicating, seeing him here. After turning to walk away, I feel his hand around my wrist, pulling me back.
“Wait, Ta-” His tug pulls me to turn around, and I slip on the wet floor, pushing him onto the sofa chair and me along with him. With his neck on one armrest of the chair and his leg bent on the other, he groans in pain. I lay flat on top of him, with my hands supporting me as I push against his stiff chest.
I look down at him, my hair curtaining, shielding us from the light that shines in from between the blinds.
“Lane…” His eyes say more than his words as his hand reaches up to pull my hair from getting in my face.
I don’t say anything and immediately get up from the awkward position. He does the same, but grabs my wrist to keep me in front of him.
“What you saw at the party last night, with Catherine, it didn’t mean anything. I was drunk and everyone was cheering it on,” he explains, looking at me with a glint of hope.
“Are you trying to tell me you didn’t enjoy it? Because I saw you and I know you liked it. And why are you telling me this anyway? It’s none of my business!” I could hear myself yell, but volume control is not a skill I can control right now.
“Because you’re important to me! And how do you know I liked that it was her? What if I was thinking about you?” His words take a moment to seep in, but as it does, I feel my heart withering to the thought that he was touching her the way he would have wanted to touch me. But he touched her, and that’s that. No turning back now.
“So what if you thought about me? You kissed her and that’s what matters. It shouldn’t mean anything to me anyway,” I lie as I fail to hold back the tears burning my vision of his face. His beautiful stupid face.
“Don’t lie to me. I know I mean something to you. I know you feel it too, or you wouldn’t have looked so hurt when you saw me…” He steps closer to me, holding my face and wiping away a tear as he continues, “It’s only you, Lane. There’s only you. I wish I could take back everything I’ve done to every girl ever, if only I could have met you sooner.”
Another tear falls onto my other cheek and he uses his free hand to pull my waist in closer to him. He kisses the warm tear that left a cold trail on my cheek. I close my eyes, overwhelmed with the sensory overload as he presses me close to him. I rest my head on his chest, fitting perfectly under his chin, like two puzzle pieces joined by fate.
“You’re the only girl who’s ever meant anything to me. I wish I met you sooner,” he whispers. I pull away to look up at him, his eyes red and glistening. I reach my hand up to caress his face, and he closes his eyes as he leans into my gentle touch.
He opens his eyes and I think he sees it in my expression. I want him with me. I like being close to him and even though it blinded my senses, it makes me feel more alive than ever. His eyes dart down at my lips and I move a few inches closer to him, until his lips and mine were a choice away from touching.
He leans down and kisses me, holding my face and pressing my body against his. We don’t stop until we pull apart for air, and then we kissed even harder, until I somehow found my back pressed against a wall and him all around me.
My kimono has slipped just off my shoulder and I become sensitive to his touch as he runs his fingers along my shoulder. I moan, whether from his touch or just from him being this close to me, I don’t know. I wrap my arms around his neck and pull him closer, if that was possible. I feel his hands on my bottom, lifting me up with ease so that our faces are leveled. My legs dangle in thin air, so I wrap them around his waist, tugging him closer to me.
In the heat of this weather, both our bodies start to sweat and I watch as a drop of sweat runs down the side of his face as he starts nibbling at my neck. I moan again, and our lips meet for more pleasure. I couldn’t think. I could only feel and right now, I feel hot and happy and wanted.
I push him away, resulting in a hurt look on his face. “I can’t do this to Damon. I don’t want to hurt him. He’s so good to me and I like having him around. This isn’t fair to him.” My desire for more Silas was killing me, but my guilt was growing at eating at me. I have to stop this.
He doesn’t say anything, and I know he at least partially agrees with me.
Then, there was a sudden knock on the door. I rush over to open it, glad that there’s an excuse to step away from Silas.
“Damon?” Oh my god. This cannot be happening.
“Hey, Tammy,” he greets with a smile before stepping in to see Silas staring at him blankly. “Silas? What are you doing here?”
I hold my breath, hoping it knocks me out before I hear Silas’s answer.