She’s absolutely freaking gorgeous. How is this real life? I gape at Pam, standing there in her tight yellow dress, respectably lengthed, but still hot as hell. I hope I don’t develop a crush on her like every other person in this room. She adjusts her little sweater that clings to her shoulders and waist, which only brings everyone’s eyes to the massive difference in size between her tiny little waist and her perky breasts. Her bright red curls bounce around as she greets Silas excitedly.
I look down at my outfit today and frown. I don’t own designer clothes, and I guess I had to choose today to wear an entire outfit made by my mom, not that it’s something to be ashamed of. It’s just that the colors on my floral skirt, which had watercolor style flowers on it, have faded over time and my short sleeved beige top has loosened after the many machine wash cycles it’s endured over the years. If I stood next to Pam in a clothing store, she’d be the bright new arrivals rack and I’d be the sad clearance rack.
Although I did make some effort today: I brushed my hair all they way through and clipped half my hair up behind me, leaving the extra long strands draped over my shoulders.
But my looks don’t even come close to hers.
Suddenly very aware that Silas is probably watching me, I remain silent and try to calm myself. I hear his nervous voice from behind me.
“Wh-What are you doing here?” I feel my hands start to sweat uncontrollably.
“I go here now, silly,” she responds with a piercingly high pitched tone, approaching him to sit in the seat beside him.
“Oh,” I hear him mutter. He sounds unexcited and almost annoyed. This brings joy to my heart. Then, he clears his throat, “Pamela, this is my girlfriend, Tammy.”
I try not to show a reaction to the fact that he had just called me his girlfriend. Had we even talked about that? Are we official? I just thought that there would be some official acknowledgment before this happened. I turn, because if I don’t I’d be rude. As I do, I catch her look of disgust, like I’m ugly. Like I’m gross. Like I’m trash. I feel the back of my neck burning.
Bitch I will whoop your ass right here. Ugh.
I hope I didn’t say that out loud.
“Hi, nice to meet you, Pamela.” I offer my hand and flash her a smile. Although, it’s more like I’m baring my teeth to her, to show her my very strong, possibly very sharp, pearly whites.
She grabs my hand and shakes it firmly with a stiff smile. “Likewise,” she spits.
Almost immediately, her eyes return to Silas, drinking him in. “So Silas, you want to hang out sometime? Maybe outside of school, at your place? I just love the new furniture style your parents tried out.” I hold myself back from slapping her, but suddenly notice the entire class whispering to each other about us. Clearly, there is an unspoken, tangible air of drama between the three of us.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he mumbles in response, glancing over at me to read my expression. I keep my face straight, with no emotion, no reaction.
“Well, you know how I am. I’m just uncomfortable around… others. But I’m cool with you. We’ve known each other forever.” She drags the last word out as if to make sure that I’ve heard it, that I now know that I’ve stepped on her territory.
Like she’s peed on him and now he’s hers.
We all sit back down and I turn my back to them.
We endure an entire class period with no side conversations, no note passing, nothing. I was starting to let my jealousy take over. Since I was facing the front, I started imagining them staring at each other lovingly, and I was afraid that if I turned around, they’d turn to me as if I was interrupting something intimate.
Maybe I was, in general. Maybe they were the lovebirds and I showed up at the wrong time to swoop in and snatch him away. Maybe I was a villain.
When class finally ends, I rush out with little to no eye contact. I feel Silas on my heels, and wrap his large hand around my wrist.
“What?” I snap.
“I’m sorry, I had no idea she’d be here,” he explains sincerely. For a moment, I almost break away from the coldness I was giving off. But I don’t.
“Did you just forget to mention that she’s a freaking bombshell? Holy crap, man, compared to her, Catherine is C grade meat.” I shouldn’t be this upset, but I can’t take it. His parents want her. Her parents basically raised her to be with him. They even look good together. I’m just some loser girl who happened to meet him a couple weeks before.
“I-” he sighs, looking a bit speechless, “Look, I know I’ve messed up, but believe me, I don’t want her here.”
“Silas!” I hear her shrill voice from down the hall. She struts up to us and looks only to him as she speaks, “Would you please show me to my next class? I’m not familiar with the place…” One of her hands reaches for her other forearm, and the motion pushes her breasts together, making her cleavage more visible.
I catch Silas looking and glare at him.
“I have to get to class.” I turn on my heel and head off.
By the end of the day, I was emotionally exhausted. The sadness and paranoia keeps flooding in, but at this point, I’m just a bit numb.
I walk from class to my locker, holding two heavy textbooks in my arms. As I turn the dial on the lock, I see Silas approaching me. Behind him was a pretty little redhead walking away while talking on her phone. I purse my lips and turn back to my locker, which seems dark and empty. I stuff my books in and grab my sweater which I’ve been forgetting to bring home for a while now.
“Hey,” he greets with a somber expression, “Can we talk?”
“Yeah,” I answer without meeting his gaze.
“Lane, come on. Just look at me,” he begs. I turn to him and glare. He sighs, “I can’t control where she goes to school, or that she’s in my presentation group, but I can promise you there’s nothing going on.”
“I disagree,” I object, “there will always be something going on. I may not follow Asian stereotypes, but I can do the math. Smoking hot redhead plus parent’s approval equals happy future Silas with 13 babies.”
“I don’t want 13 babies.”
THAT’S what he chooses to respond to?!?
“I just think,” I start again, “that if your parents like her classiness, and your eyes clearly like her breasts, then maybe I should step out of your way so that she can give all the boobjobs in the world and you two can have tit-babies and live happily ever after!”
Clearly, I’m not making any sense. Jealousy is blinding my thoughts right now.
“What are you even talking about?” His eyes show bewilderment and I press my lips together to avoid sounding even more stupid. We’re both silent for a while, with him watching me with worried eyes and me staring at the ground, the sky, the walls, anything but his stupid beautiful face. “Do you need a ride home?”
“No, I need some air. I’ll walk home,” I manage to answer normally before walking toward the open gate.
As I start walking, I notice Silas’s car drive past me, but as I look on ahead, I see him parked in the distance, too far for the intention of offering me a ride, but far enough that I wouldn’t get a chance to yell at him without having me look like I’m yelling at air.
I decide to ignore him as I continue pondering. Did I make a mistake when I chose Silas? I should have known that I’d have trouble with other girls in the school, but a girl from his past? I groan, thinking about how devastatingly gorgeous she was today. I’m so plain.
Just then, a black van stops by me on the side of the road and the side door opens. Before I could react, two men grab me, one holding my legs, the other covering my mouth while wrapping his arm around my waist. They both have masks on, and as I get shoved into the van, I realize that the two in the driver and passenger seats have masks on as well.
My screams are muffled by the hand of the man still holding me down.
My wrists are being tied by the second man. Then my ankles.
I silently curse at myself for not taking Silas up on that ride home.