She glares at me with hooded eyes as she sits quietly, waiting for me to say more. I try to swallow the ball of guilt in my throat, because I honestly don’t know what else to say.
There’s no truth good enough to tell her and I don’t want to lie. I just want to see her and talk to her and be around her. No level of apology could stop me from feeling like a filthy scumbag in her eyes.
Yet, there was something there when I meet her gaze, like she means to tell me that she misses me, but has to hold it back for her own dignity.
“Is that all you came here to say,” she asks in an almost whisper as she folds her arms.
“I don’t know,” I sigh as I tilt my head and pat my ear, trying to get the rainwater out of it, “I have no idea what to say to fix this.”
“Fix what,” she snaps, “There is no this.” She gestures between us.
“I guess I just wanted to see you,” I mutter under my breath, and then sheepishly add, “You look beautiful today.”
Her eyes remain unmoved, but I watch as her cheeks turn rosy. She’s still so cute.
She sighs heavily and falls onto her back. “So you’re with Pam.”
“Pam is a horror show. I’m with her as punishment.”
She lifts her head to look at me and I almost smile at her double chin as she does so. “What do you mean punishment?”
“I’ve hurt you,” I say with a piercing pain in my chest, “and the worst thing I can think of to punish myself is to keep Pam around to annoy me.”
I stare at her in bewilderment as she bursts into laughter, but as she finally looks at me, I see the tears forming in her eyes. It was dark laughter. She’s in pain.
“All this time, I thought you were doing it to torture me. She’s pretty and rich and according to her, she ‘fits into your family’, so I figure you had made your choice,” she explains as she shakes her head and laughs at herself, “You really didn’t think it through when you kept her around as punishment.”
I lower my eyes as I think about every painful glance she has given me over the last several weeks. I should have known that I was hurting her by keeping Pam around, but I truthfully didn’t know how to shake her off.
“She took my virginity,” I blurt after a long moment of silence. It felt like a million years of just me staring at the ground as she stared at her ceiling. I missed her voice and her words. I’ve missed her everything.
“What?” She shoots up and straightens her back as she blinks at me with wide eyes. “You were a…”
“I was a virgin and before you say anything, yes I am aware of the fact that I called you V when in fact, I also deserve that name.” Again, she laughs.
I sigh again, considering whether I should tell her. “I don’t remember that night. I had one drink and then woke up with bruises.”
She raises an eyebrow, “You only had one drink? Even that wouldn’t get me drunk.”
“Right? I was so confused,” I rub my face with my palms.
“You don’t remember anything at all?” She walks over to her closet and pulls out a pair of pajama shorts, which have little pigs on them.
“I remember… having a dream of kissing you. But it was all blurry and I can’t be sure of anything.”
“Uh huh,” she responds, ignoring my discomfort, and pulls up her pair of shorts under her skirt. “And where were we as you and I kissed in this dream of yours?”
“Um,” I stutter as I blink at her. She’s changing right in front of me. Is this normal? “We were on my bed.”
“What was I wearing?” She turns back to her closet and pulls out a cami tank top. Is she planning on changing into that right in front of me? Is this her way of tormenting me? I turn away. “Relax,” she rolls her eyes, “I’m not stripping in front of you.”
I watch as she pulls the tank top over her head and pulls her arms into her shirt to slip her arms through the tank top underneath the shirt. Then, she slips off the shirt with ease, only revealing her stomach before she pulls down her tank top. I did not know girls could do that.
“So…” she drawls expectantly.
“What was I wearing? I already asked you just now,” she repeats as she folds her leg and sits on it by the edge of her bed.
“I don’t know,” I answer and then finally add shyly, “bra and panties.”
She gasps and I jolt my head up to see the thoughts run through her mind.
“Nothing,” she says, smiling. Why is she smiling? “At least you were thinking of me when you slept with her. At least I won something.”
“What do you mean? What did you win?” I’m seriously so confused with her right now. How can she act like this as we speak about this topic?
“Somewhere in there,” she reaches over to tap my forehead, “a part of you thought that you were giving it away to me in that moment. I can’t change the fact that you had actually done it with Pam, but I have something she doesn’t.”
“My heart?” I sound a bit too hopeful.
“A spot in the right memory. I’m flattered to be your first in your mind, Silas. But sadly, that’s all I’ll ever be to you.” Her words burn through me and I feel upset in my stomach.
“Can’t we at least be friends again? I just need to have you around. I’ve missed you.” I can hear how desperate I sound but I’ve gone past the need of dignity.
She purses her lips and considers it for a moment. I hold my breath as she starts answering, “I don’t know. I really don’t…” She bites down on her lower lip before she continues, “Silas, I don’t think we were ever really friends. We were just two kids slowly in transition of falling head over heels for each other.”
“So you fell for me?” I hadn’t ever heard a confession from her. It surprises me now that I think of how much we went through in the short amount of time we’ve known each other.
“Hard,” she whispers as her eyes lower, “That’s why it hurt so much seeing you with her. Or when you were with Catherine. God, Silas, you fucked me up.”
“I’m sorry! I know I’m stupid and I know I come off as a horny moron. I’m sorry I hurt you and if I could, I’d wish for us not to ever have met so I couldn’t have ever hurt you, no matter how much I don’t want to forget you.” I kneel on the floor by her and she gazes down into my eyes.
Then, she holds my face with both of her hands and I feel her press her soft lips onto my forehead. I shiver at the touch of her skin and I fall into a euphoric trip from the feel of her fingers running through my hair.
“It’ll take time for me to heal, but I’m sure I can somehow take you back as a friend one day. Please be yourself, you’re amazing. Don’t let Pam take that from you.” Her tone is resolute as she lies down in the center of bed and turns away from me, implying my dismissal.
With a sense of relief in my stomach, I climb back out into the cold night air and head home, holding onto the memory of her touch.
As I step into my echoing home, I see Dylan’s head pop up on our couch. He looks excited, but also a little red. He must have had a lot of Red Bull.
“Hey! I’ve been waiting for you!”
“Hey, yeah,” I mutter as I drag my feet over to the living room, “Thanks for covering for me with Pam. Why were you waiting for me?”
“You know,” he says as he peels himself off the couch, “I would make a great detective or something. I didn’t even have to try that hard hiding the camera.”
He picks up a laptop from above the fireplace and hands it to me. I blink at him, wondering what he wants me to do with it.
“Dylan, I swear if this is another one of your gross sex tap-”
“No! Just open it and watch!” He points urgently at the laptop.
I open it to see him and Pam sitting in the very seats that he and I are in right now. On the coffee table are more than a few beers and a full bottle of vodka, almost empty. I press play.
“So you and my bro, huh?” Dylan slurs.
“Yeah.” Pam burps and then giggles at herself.
“I wish it was you and me,” Dylan stares at her breasts.
I give Dylan a look of disgust and he shrugs.
“You wish what?” This caught her attention and she leans closer to him.
“I wish it was you and me. I want you, but you’ve slept with my brother and I think that’s honestly so gross to share someone with my brother.” He didn’t sound drunk anymore, since his words are loud and clear. He almost winks into the camera.
I roll my eyes. Wow, such wonderful acting.
“Well,” she starts, placing a hand on his thigh, “What if I told you that you can have me? That I never really had sex with Silas?”
She starts nibbling on his ear.
“But he said you guys had sex…”
“I just wanted to get rid of that girlfriend of his. I’m still a virgin. Does that turn you on?” She kisses him along his jawline.
“But why would he think that you had sex?”
“Let’s just say I gave him a little something and got him into something a little more comfortable.”
“So are you sure we can… Are you sure you two didn’t have anything happen?”
“Yessss,” she hisses and tries to take off his shirt.
The video stops.
“Oh my god. Did you sleep with her?” I stare at my brother in disbelief.
“No, even if she was a virgin, I wouldn’t want that maniac. I sent her home promising it tomorrow night.”
“And what happens tomorrow night?”
“My flight is tomorrow afternoon,” he beams at me.
“So we didn’t sleep together,” I thought out loud. All this pain over nothing, over a lie. All the struggling with Tammy…
“I still can’t be with Tammy, though, but at least I know the truth.”
“What? Why can’t you be with Tammy?”
“She has Damon now. I can’t do that to her. She deserves to be happy.”
“I saw her today, man. She’s still feeling something for you. Let me take care of Damon.” He pats his chest like an ape.
“What do you mean take care of Damon?” I raise an eyebrow and give him a suspicious look.
“Nothing violent, I swear. By the way, I made a few copies of this video and left two in my room, two in yours. Girls like Pam stop at nothing to destroy evidence like that.”
“Um, how do you know that?”
“I made some friends with girl drama. Actually, I’ve made some friends who cause girl drama.” He shakes his head as he recalls a memory I don’t share.
I sigh, feeling the bricks of guilt starting to fall off my chest.
I didn’t do it. I was drugged and stripped.
I don’t have to keep a false memory of losing my virginity to Tammy.
She could still be my Lane.