The White Lies
Judah just stared at me for the longest time without saying a word. There was something about him, his face was downcast, which made me even more self-conscious about this whole thing.
“Should I?” I repeated my question again when he wasn’t responding.
Please tell me to stay.
He kept his head down and took a deep breath. Then he looked up at me with a dejected look on his face as he said, “You… should go,”
“What?” I gaped, but my voice came out in a whisper.
“I said you should go,” he repeated himself, his tone was cold and flat.
I was still waiting, thinking that he would say something else, or say that he was joking. But he just stood there with a dead-serious expression.
After everything that happened between us, could it be that Judah didn’t feel the same way?
I felt the air escaped my lungs and my chest tightened in pain.
“You really think so?” I asked again.
“Yeah, isn’t it why we started this game in the first place? So you can get with him?”
“You really think that’s what I was doing this whole time?”
“Yeah, what other reason is there?”
“Right, there would be no other reason, would it?”
“It’s done, Blondie. Game’s over. You can go back to your perfect little life with your perfect little boyfriend now,” he scoffed.
The knot in my chest tightened more than ever before. I never heard anything more painful in my life.
“So everything that we’d done, was it all just a game to you?” I breathed, holding back the tears that were pooling in my eyes.
He didn’t say anything and he just watched me. I was getting more and more frustrated—at him and at myself. How could I be so stupid? How could I let myself be in this position?
“Even that night at your house?” I croaked, referring to our most intimate moment together.
He bit his lip and let out an irritated sigh.
“What, when I fingered you? Yeah, that was fun,” he said mockingly. A slap to the face would hurt less.
“So you were just using me, this whole time?” my voice cracked involuntarily and I hated how weak I sounded. I wished it didn’t come out like that.
“You were using me too, but that was our deal, wasn’t it? No attachment. No heartbreaks. Why are you getting so upset all of a sudden? Wait—what, are you actually having feelings for me?”
I didn’t have the strength to respond, I could barely keep it together. And then I heard worst sound I had ever heard—he started laughing.
“Ha! Didn’t I tell you this was gonna happen?” a smug smile plastered on his face. “Sorry Blondie, but it’s over, you lost,”
I never hated his smirk, until now. I had never hated anything more in my life. This was just plain cruel.
“Right. You win. Congratulations, dick,” I spat, and a tear trickled down my cheek.
“That I am,” he retorted back.
Judah wasn’t what I thought he was. Everything I thought I knew about him, everything we went through together, everything was just a lie. This hurt more than anything I had ever felt in my life. I couldn’t even stand looking at his face anymore.
“I never want to see you again,” I gave him one last glare and he was still smiling at me.
Taking whatever was left of shredded dignity, I turned to my heels and headed for the door. Deep down inside I was still hoping that he would call out my name and tell me he didn’t mean any of that. That it was just all a big, sick joke.
But no, the only joke under this roof was me. I was just a stupid, naïve little girl. I believed in him, took a chance on him, even after he clearly warned me that this was all just a game. Maybe he was a monster, but this was all my fault. I was the dumb little rabbit that volunteered itself into the trap.
I put my hands over my eyes and I raced out of the auditorium. My chest was burning and my throat was clogged up. I just kept running and I didn’t know where I was going until somebody pulled me to the side.
“Hey, hey, what happened? Are you okay?” I felt two strong arms grabbed me. The person then peeled my hands from my face and I saw Blake standing in front of me.
“Taya? What’s wrong?”
His blue eyes widened as he tried to search my expression. I just shook my head frantically at him, not being able to respond in words. I was whimpering and Blake grew even more worried. He pulled me into his chest, securing me in a tight warm, hug.
“Hey, it’s okay,” he cooed me, his hand gently stroking the back of my head. “Tell me, what’s wrong?”
“Please… just take me away from here,” I sobbed with my face pressed against his chest.
My heart was aching and it was about to burst. I was having trouble breathing and all I wanted to get out of there and away from Judah as far as I could.
“Please,” I said again.
“Okay, okay,” he said finally. “Don’t worry, I got you,”
He kept stroking my hair and whispering comforting words to my ears. My hysterical crying died down a little and I was grateful for Blake for being there. I felt safe in his arms as he led me to the parking lot.
It felt like my insides had been ripped to shreds. Although I wasn’t hysterical anymore, the tears weren’t stopping. I was still bawling my eyes out as I sat in Blake’s car and he drove away.
“Do you wanna go home?” he asked cautiously.
I shook my head slowly, still with my hands covering my face.
“Is there anywhere you wanna go?”
I shook my head again.
“Do you wanna tell me what’s going on?”
I bit my lip and shook my head. I realized he must be frustrated at my answers, but these were the best that I could do.
“Is there anything I can do?” his tone was soft and patient.
“Just… keep driving,” I mumbled in between my sobs.
“Okay,” he sighed.
We drove around for a while, and I didn’t even notice that we were already on the other side of town. We arrived at the Harrison Resort—the place where Blake to me on our first date.
“I didn’t know where to go, so…”
“It’s okay, this is fine. I just needed some air,”
“Taya, whatever it is that’s making you so upset, you know you can tell me, right?”
I nodded my head lightly, but I wasn’t speaking still. We sat there in silence for a few minutes. I started wiping my tears and rundown make up with the tissue paper and Blake was watching the sky above us.
“It’s a full moon tonight,” he noted.
That reminded me of the full moon party I went to at his house. That was the first time we talked, and kissed, and where I also met Ju…
No, I’m not gonna cry for that bastard again!
“Blake…” I trailed and his head turned to me almost immediately.
“I’m… hungry,” I said, biting on my lower lip as my poor stomach began to grumble. A soft smile appeared on his face as he stifled a laugh.
Blake ended up getting us a suite room at the hotel. We ordered room service and it came with a bottle of champagne. I was munching down on my burger like there was no tomorrow. I was so hungry. Being caught up in the play and everything, I forgotten I hadn’t even had dinner. Blake watched me in amusement as he sipped his drink.
His hand reached for a piece of my fry and I wanted to swat it away, saying, “hey, don’t steal my food,” but I stopped.
I thought Blake was gonna stuck the fry in his mouth, but he brought it up to mine instead, feeding me.
Of course Blake wouldn’t steal my food. Unlike a certain someone.
“Hey, do you remember, you asked me once, why did I take you to the other side of town on our first date?” Blake said to me as I took a big gulp of the champagne to wash down the food.
I nodded my head and waited for him to continue. He chuckled and grabbed a napkin, before using it to wipe the side of my mouth.
“Well, this year my parents just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They threw a big celebration and picked this place as the venue. I remembered seeing them and how happy they were. They were so in love. I told myself, someday I’m gonna find a girl that I love, and I’m gonna bring her here too,”
Blake’s blue eyes were warm and tender. He put the napkin down and flashed me a small smile.
I was caught in a daze. I thought Blake brought me here because he didn’t want other people to see us or that he was embarrassed to be seen with me. But I was deadly wrong about him...
“Blake, do you mean it when you said you like me?”
“Do you even have to ask? I’m crazy about you Taya, in case you haven’t noticed. I still remember the first time I saw you,”
“At the party, at your house,”
“No. It was way earlier. I think I was around thirteen or something. I went by RJ’s house to borrow some surf-wax, and you and your brother were there. I was with some other guy friends and we were all checking you out, like a bunch hormonal boys. Then RJ was like, ‘that’s my sister. Don’t talk about her like that, or I’mma fucking kill you’,” Blake laughed and I smiled.
I remembered that. There was this one time when Kai and I were at Ry’s house and his friends showed up, but Ry just chased them out suddenly. I thought it was weird at the time. But now I knew why.
“I’ve always liked you, you know? I just never really admitted it. Sorry it took me such a long time to figure it out,” Blake said again, taking my hand and lacing it with his. Maybe it was the champagne, but my I felt my stomach fluttering a little.
“When I finally told RJ about how I feel for you, you know what he said to me? After he beat me up a few times, he said; I guess if any of the motherfuckers on the island were to date my sister, it’d better be you,”
I couldn’t help but smile.
“I like you a lot, Taya Williams. To a degree that scares me, how much I’m willing to do in order to show it to you,” Blake spoke again, with his ocean blue eyes intently fixed on mine.
A lump was stuck in my throat. Just moments ago, my heart was shattered into a million tiny pieces. But with his words, Blake was somehow able to fix me back up again. Not completely, but piece by piece.
I should’ve always stayed with Blake from the start. He was the right choice all along.
“Blake, the answer’s yes,” I found myself saying suddenly and he looked at me quizzically.
“Yes, I’ll be your girlfriend,” I continued.
For a few seconds there, he just stared at me with eyes wide open. I blinked a few times, waiting for him to respond. Finally, his lips twitched into a smile and he leaned closer, his lips finding mine.
He tasted like the champagne he just had. Sweet and intoxicating.
I kissed him back as Blake put his hands on my shoulders, pushing me down gently. I laid on my stomach and he started kissing my neck. His hands roamed my body and my hands trailed his chest and strong arms.
Somehow I found myself remembering Judah and noting the differences between the way Blake’s touches felt compared to his. Pushing those thoughts to the side, I pulled Blake’s face back to mine and I kissed him hard. He let out a low growl as my tongue pushed into his mouth and tangled itself against his.
Then I felt something hard being pressed against me, there, and my eyes jerked open. For a split second, I saw Blake’s face had turned into Judah’s and I freaked.
“Wait!” I panted and pulled away. Blake looked taken aback.
“I’m sorry... I mean… I think… we should take this slow, is that okay?” I said again.
Blake’s eyes were clouded and dark. But he took a deep breath and let out a sigh, and soon after his ocean blue eyes returned to normal again.
“Of course,” he smiled sweetly.
I propped myself back up and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. He put his arm around me and hugged my side as his other hand reached for the TV remote.
“Do you have to go home right away?” he said as he started flipping through the channels.
“Umm, no,” I paused for a beat and said, “I can tell my mom I’m staying over at Hallee’s,”
Blake and I spent the night watching TV, drinking champagne, and ordering more room service. It was a fun night, I had even forgotten about my little heartbreak from moments before. We ended up falling asleep on the couch, cuddling with each other.
I didn’t realize what time it was, when I noticed my phone buzzing on the floor. I saw the screen and I almost choked on air.
I debated with myself, whether or not I should answer him. It was 2.30 AM. What could he possibly have to say to me?
Against my better judgment, my thumb swiped across the screen and I pressed the phone to my ear.
“Hello?” I said in a whisper, careful not to wake Blake up.
The person on the other line didn’t say anything, but I could hear him breathing.
Judah? Why are you calling me? – I wanted to say, but I didn’t say it.
I couldn’t sleep. Thinking of you. – I imagined hearing him say it.
But there were no words exchanged. Just empty breaths in the air. And we stayed like that for probably a good minute, when Blake started shuffling in his sleep.
“Taya? Who is it?” Blake spoke groggily.
And suddenly the line went dead.
“Just… nobody,” I muttered and dropped the phone back to the floor.
“Come sleep,” he pulled me back into his arms and held me tight.
He was warm. It felt nice.
But no matter how many times I knitted my eyes shut, I couldn’t sleep.