“Can I get a ladle,” Natasha asks as I swiftly run over to the right drawer to fetch her one. We’re currently making crepes on a Wednesday morning during winter break. I had made plans with her several times over the last few weeks, but this time, she seems a bit more tense. I don’t ask her about it, though. I don’t want to press.
My mom is out of town, going on some Catholic retreat with her religious friends. Geez, I didn’t realize how religious it sounded until she announced it to me the other night. Instead of making me go with her and a bunch of other middle aged people, she’s left me a hundred dollars and trusted that I could take care of myself.
“So Silas came over and told you he still loves you?” She spoons some batter and pours it into the pan. “What did you tell him?”
“Nothing. I mean, I didn’t even respond to that, really.” I lean my lower back on the counter and stare at my hands.
“Bullshit. You had to have said something. Look at you,” she points the ladle at me.
I purse my lips, trying to remember if I had said something. “No, really, I didn’t respond to him saying that.”
“Well how did you feel about it, though?” She turns back around to flip the crepe with the tip of her index finger and thumb. “Ah!”
“Are you okay,” I rush over to peer at her perfectly cooked crepe.
“Yeah,” she answers as she pulls the thing off the pan and slides it onto the cutting board that I had laid out beside the stove. “But answer my question.”
How did I feel? I couldn’t sleep properly for days. The only time I got some kind of freedom from it all was when I got to hang out with Damon, but even that got weird. He seemed different from when we went on our date last Saturday.
“I don’t know,” I mumble, staring at my hands again.
“So you still have feelings for him,” she states and points at the empty crepe I’m supposed to be assembling.
I spread chocolate spread at the center and sprinkle fruits on top before folding it in. I place the whole thing on a pretty plate on the side and start working on the next.
“I didn’t say that,” I defend myself.
“But you meant it. You still feel for him. That’s why you keep thinking about it. I mean, why else am I here, if not a distraction from your lover boy disaster?” She glides her finger along the knife covered in chocolate spread and licks it. “Face it, girl. You still love him.”
“Okay, fine!” I feel tears welling up my eyes. “I still love him. But it’s not like I can trust him after what happened.”
I grip at the edge of the counter, trying to calm my breathing with my eyes closed.
I miss him so much.
“What if I told you that’s not what happened?”
My head snaps up to stare at her, standing there with a smug face. She knows something and it’s burning my insides that it could mean what I hope it means.
“What are you talking about,” I ask as I stand up straight and turn to her.
“I saw something in Pam’s locker once. It was a little dime bag with some pills.”
“She’s rich, Nat,” I roll my eyes at her, “Rich people do drugs all the time.”
“You know those little warning posters and ads that show date rape drugs at the clubs and stuff? I recognized those pills in her locker.”
She pulls the last of the crepes onto the cutting board and assembles it herself. Stacking it all on two plates, she grabs the chocolate sauce from the side to drizzle it on top of her food for some sweet gooey goodness. She then lifts an open can of condensed milk and drizzles it in the other direction on the crepes, creating an artistic look on their food.
“You mean she drugged Silas to get him in bed? Why would she do that?”
“Um, to get rid of you? It’s like you don’t watch enough bitch flicks. She felt that you were a threat so she did something to get you to willingly get out of the picture.”
She lifts both plates off the counter and walks over to the dining table.
“They slept together, though. Even if I wanted to have him back, I don’t know how I feel about that.”
“Did you see his pickle actually go into her vag-jungle?”
I stifle a giggle at her word play, “No, but-”
“So you just saw them naked and assumed that they were screwing. What if she just stripped naked and got lazy?”
“Okay, we’re entering the realm of uncertainty and I don’t remember buying a ticket in.”
“Fine. But I’m just saying, it’s not fair to date Damon if you still feel for Silas. He’s a good guy.”
I stay silent as I sit down, poking at my crepe.
Her phone rings and she checks for the text, but then knots her eyebrows at the message.
“What is it?”
“It’s Pam. She has something planned against you. I’ll see what I can do about it, but for now, I need your locker combo.”
I hesitate to tell her. I don’t mean to hurt her feelings, but she had been bullying me for years and now she’s teamed up with a maniac for some reason.
“I promise I won’t let Pam get to you, okay? She’s being a bitch about you and I have some things to make up to you. It’s perfect.”
I purse my lips as I pull a napkin over and write down the combination with a pen.
I hope I won’t regret this.
I crouch in the sofa chair as I attempt to distract myself with a book I found recently at the swap meet. Nothing is working.
Silas is everywhere.
I even have the little Superman bobblehead down here on the coffee table and I have to get up every so often to tap its head for my own satisfaction. I keep finding myself smiling at it, thinking about that first night when he struggled to carry soup and climb into my window.
I shake my head as I remember him calling me V. Now that he knows my past and what happened to me when I was younger, the name hardly fit me.
I jolt at the knock on the front door and as I tilt my head over to see who it is, I sigh in relief to see Damon. “Come in! The door’s unlocked.”
“Hey,” he greets me with a strangely stern look.
“What’s up?” I sit up straight and close my book, laying it on the table. He follows my hands with his eyes and they land on the bobble head in the center of the table. A look of discomfort crosses his eyes as his eyebrows meet and his jaw clenches.
“I need to talk to you about something,” he says, sounding cautious as he places a flash drive onto the table and slides it over to me. “I know you still have feelings for Silas.”
“No, please,” he cuts me off to grab onto his momentum. “This flash drive proves his innocence in the whole Pam incident.”
I stare at the little thing sitting on the table in front of me. I lightly pick it up and study it. Gray with a streak of red on the side, it’s smaller than my thumb. I turn it around and read the label. “Dylan”
“I’ve noticed the way you’ve been acting, and while I know that I can make you happy, I’ll never be able to make you as happy as you were with him. If he never hurt you, I wouldn’t have had my chance. This is the only way to rectify that.”
“I need you to watch that,” he points at the flash drive in my hand, “and by midnight tonight, pick up your phone, and call either me or Silas. If I don’t get a call from you by midnight tonight, I’ll assume that you’ve chosen him, and that’s alright.”
He sends a soft smile my way, and even with the sadness in his eyes, I am still dazzled by the way his lips widen.
I feel hot tears falling from my face as I tackle the confusion clashing inside of me. I feel him pull me up onto my feet and into his chest. I don’t make a sound as I try to remind myself to breathe.
Finally, after a long moment, he pulls away to look down at my face. His thumbs brush against my cheeks and he kisses my forehead.
“You’re so precious to me, Tammy,” he whispers as he caresses my cheek, “I just want you to choose your own happiness. Don’t worry about me. Even if you don’t choose me, I’ll stick around. We were friends first, remember?”
I reach up to tug at his shirt, and he leans down to allow our lips to touch. This kiss is different, feels different. There is a desperation that turns our actions raw and our emotions haywire.
We move into each other and I feel his arms around me as he grasps at my thighs to lift me up and place me on the kitchen counter. I wrap my legs around him and he reaches up to hold my face, twisting his fingers into my loose locks. His other hand wraps around my waist, pulling me toward him, onto the edge of the counter so that I can only lean on him to not lose balance.
With his body so close to mine, I feel a hardness pressed against my sex and can only guess that my touch is causing such an effect on him. As we continue to move our lips against each other, I feel myself pressing on it harder and even moving my hips to do more than just press. We’re closer than we’ve ever been and a moan escapes my throat.
He pulls away suddenly, pressing his forehead onto mine and trying to control his ragged panting. I hold my breath as he leans in again, but this time, he just gives me a simple kiss, like a goodbye kiss. I frown and wonder why this feels familiar.
It was what happened that night, when I saw Silas with Catherine and I ran out to kiss Damon. That evening, my goodbye kiss was a simple peck, and not even on the lips. This was a reminder for me, but I can only hope that Damon hasn’t done this intentionally. I don’t know what I would do if he thinks I kissed him only because Silas was kissing someone else.
I’m a jerk.
He finally pulls away as he looks at me with his bright green eyes. “I should go, but I want to make sure you know that it’s okay if you don’t choose me. I’ll be okay.”
He then grabs his keys off the coffee table and walks off.
That night, I sit on my bed staring at my phone, which lays flat on my sheets. I press the home button and the screen turns on. It’s 11:50.
I bit my lower lip, deep in thought and finally grab my phone to switch the display on. My heart beats fast as I finally tap on the contact number and hear the phone ring against my ear.
“Hello,” his voice is deep and strained.
“I need you here,” I take in a deep breath, “Kent.”