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The Teenage Dirtbag


“I told you not to call me that!” I hissed under my breath, firmly but soft enough so that no one could hear us.

“Well I never got your name,” he shrugged.

“Everyone, we will take a short five minute break and then we’ll start rehearsals when we come back, alright?” Mrs. Zee’s booming voice shouted over us all.

Everyone started dispersing to different directions and Hallee raced over to us.

“Hi Judah, welcome to theater club. I’m Hallee, co-director and writer of the play. And this is Taya, she’s playing Rose,”

“Taya?” he raised an eyebrow and nodded. “Unique name. I like it,”

“It’s Japanese. Her mom’s half-Japanese, so—” Hallee was just being friendly, but way too friendly for my liking, so I cut her off by pinching her elbow quickly. “Ouw,” she flinched.

“How’s the stomach by the way? You feeling better?” Judah turned his gaze on me, with that stupid grin still plastered on his face.

“Oh, great, yeah thanks. I just had a lot of chili that night,” I replied quickly.

“What? You guys know each other?” Hallee eyed me suspiciously.

“Will you excuse us for one moment?” I gave Judah a quick fake smile and pulled Hallee to one side, dragging her out of the auditorium as soon as I could.

“What’s going on?” Hallee said as soon as we got to the exit.

“I can’t do this. I can’t do the play,” I stated firmly.

I spent the next few minutes explaining to Hallee everything that happened last night. About drinking some poisonous drink at the party, kissing Blake in the bathroom, falling out a two-story window in order to escape Ryder, and embarrassing myself in front of someone who I thought I’d never have see again, except...

“Wow. You know I’m a sucker for rom-com stories, but damn girl, this is something alright. They really should make a Netflix movie about your life,” she snorted.

“I’m serious! Hal, help me, what should I do?”

“Well one, you need to talk to Blake. Confront him, ask him straight-up why he was being a flaky douchebag today at lunch. And as for the new guy...”

“I’ll just have to quit theater club and wear a paper bag over my head around school grounds until we graduate,” I decided right away.

“No,” she responded. “That’s not necessary. And you can’t quit the play, we can’t afford losing you,”

“But I would die in embarrassment. Do you want a corpse as your best-friend?”

“Geez, you’re such a drama queen already. You’re so perfect for the role,” she waved her hand in the air carelessly. “You’ll be fine, Tay. Sure it was embarrassing, but you’ll survive this. Remember, this is the new Taya we’re talking about. She’s strong and fearless—”

* DING *

My phone’s sudden chime broke her train of thought.

“Speak of the devil,” I commented as soon as I read the text.

“Who’s that?”

“Blake. Said he wants to see me,”

“Won’t you look at that? The universe is giving you a sign that you need to follow my advice,” she announced proudly. “You should go and talk to him,”

“I don’t know Hal...”

“What’s the worse that could happen?”

“I could die!”

“Again, enough with the drama queen shtick. You got the role already,”

I shot her a deadly glare and she quickly pulled her composure.

“Look, way I see it, clarity is better than uncertainty. Even if it’s the harsh truth, you deserved to get some answers. Go talk to him and find out what’s up, or else it’s gonna end up eating you alive anyway,”

Okay, the girl had a good point.

“Alright,” I sighed.

“If he turns out to be a jerk, you let me know... and I’ll kick his ass. Or I’ll tell RJ and have him kick his ass,” she winked and I rolled my eyes at her.

I texted Blake that I had theater club for another two hours, and he said he wanted to wait. He asked me to meet him behind the bleachers after rehearsal was over.

Rehearsal was boring, to say the least. We just did something called a ‘table read’, which was basically all the actors sitting in a big table, reading their lines out loud. I didn’t care for it one bit, I just read whatever it was that I was supposed to read, and I wasn’t listening to anything people were saying. When people would ask me for my opinion, I would just nod along and agree to everything.

I was also avoiding any kind of eye contact with this Judah guy. A girl’s brain could only handle so much, you know?

Hallee threw me a worried glance every now and then, she seemed bothered. I felt bad for Hallee, I didn’t want her to think I wasn’t taking this seriously. But I couldn’t help myself. My mind was somewhere else entirely—thinking and wondering about Blake and what I would say to him later.

As soon as the clock struck 5 and we were dismissed, I packed up my things haphazardly and raced over to the now empty football field. I found Blake, alone, standing casually by the bleachers. He had his football jacket on and his gorgeous blonde hair was all pushed back.

“Hey,” I greeted as soon as I caught my breath.

“Hey,” he beamed as soon as he saw me.

“So, what’s up?” I thought we would start with some small talks first, but Blake had other plans.

“I missed you,” he said and I gaped.

Not wasting any time, he pulled me in and his lips landed on mine, coaxing me into submission. His kiss was hot and wanting.

“Blake!” I tried to break off the kiss, but he came back right away.

His tongue grazed over my lower lip and I couldn’t help myself. For a while there, I just gave up and kissed him back. It felt really good and it brought me back to last night and how I much I had enjoyed that.

“Blake, what the hell is going on here?” I said finally, pushing him away.

“We... were just kissing?” he pointed out the obvious.

“I meant what is this?” I motioned my hand between the two of us. “And why did you tell Viviane you didn’t see me at your party last night? I mean you clearly remembered—”

“I know, but what was I supposed to say? All the guys were there. What if they said something to RJ?”

“RJ? Is that what you’re worried about?”

“I think we both know how he’d react,” he stated matter-of-factly.

I sighed and let out a small nod. Blake had a point. If Ry had found out, World War III might just broke out.

“Look, Taya, I like you and last night was real fun. But we don’t know where this is going and RJ is my best friend. So I don’t know, maybe we could just take things slow, yeah? See where this is going. If it’s serious, then maybe we can start telling everybody. Starting with RJ, of course,”

“You... like me?”

“Of course I do,” he smiled. “But we gotta be careful with this. Until we’ve figured things out, I think it’s best that no one knows,”

I bit my lip to stop myself from smiling. Blake Harrison said he likes me!

“And I don’t want you to get in trouble because of me too,” his hand went to cup my cheeks. He studied my face for a while, waiting for me to answer.

“So is that a yes?” he asked cautiously.

I looked up to see his gorgeous blue eyes. He had such kind eyes, my heart melted into a puddle just at the sight of it.

“Okay,” my lips curved up a smile as I gave him a nod.

“Awesome,” his eyes lit up and he leaned in, placing another soft long kiss on my lips.

I could feel something stirring inside my stomach. Were those butterflies?

We finally pulled away after we were all out of breath. His hand lingered on the side of my face, and he was smiling from ear to ear.

“I gotta go now, I’m meeting the guys for a quick surf,” he murmured.


“I’ll see you around,”

“You will,”

Blake gave me a quick kiss on the cheek before he turned to walk away. He jogged a few steps, but then he turned around, waving his hand at me. I waved back and I used my other hand to pinch myself, making sure this wasn’t a dream.

When he was finally out of sight, I turned to my heels to head for the parking lot. But that was when I saw Judah, just a few feet away from where I was standing. He was sitting casually by the bleachers, having a smoke.

Our eyes met each other and my smile dropped to the ground.

“Sup, Blondie?” he said, with a cigarette hanging on his mouth.

“How long have you been here?” I said nervously.

“Long enough,” he raised an eyebrow at me playfully.

Shit on a stick! Does that mean he heard everything?

Pretending to be unfazed, I strode over and took the seat next to him. He leaned back and his face was up to the sky. He was huffing and puffing smoke like a freaking chimney.

“Those things will kill you, you know,”

“We all die in the end. This is just helping smoothing out the process,”

I didn’t expect that answer at all. What a crazy ass dude.

“What are you doing here Judah? Were you eavesdropping?” I straightforwardly asked, pointing a finger at him.

“Like hell I was,” he scoffed. “I have no interests in high school drama, Blondie. This here just happens to be my favorite smoking spot,”

“Well, fine... You didn’t hear anything and you didn’t see anything. Capisce?”

“Sure,” he said, taking a long drag of that cigarette in his mouth. Somehow that got me to notice his Adam’s apple slight movements, his lean neck, his sharp jawline, his lips—

“You likin’ what you see?” he said suddenly, catching me off guard.

Oh crap. Quick! Think of something witty to say!

“Uh, I read somewhere that one cigarette on average shortens a person’s life by seven to eight minutes,”

Not my best.

I mentally smacked myself in the head as soon as I said it. Meanwhile he just stared at me with that blank expression on his face, as if I was real stupid.

“Well this conversation just shortened my life by seven to eight minutes,” he smirked.

“Ok, well great talking to you, see ya around,” I slapped my knee awkwardly and I got up. A girl could only handle so much embarrassment in her lifetime.

I took about three steps away from him when I suddenly heard him spoke again.

“Never wouldda took you for a surfer groupie,”

“Excuse me?” I turned around immediately.

He flicked the used cigarette butt off his finger and it landed on the ground.

“I just thought you were better than that, that’s all,”

I blinked a few times, making sure I had heard him right.

“You don’t know me,” I narrowed my eyes at him.

“And apparently, you don’t know guys,” his tone was playful, somewhat mocking.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“The dude just gave you a shitload of lame excuses and all you got out of that was; you liked me?” he said it mimicking my tone.

My mouth fell open instantly. I had never been more offended in my life.

Then he sat up straighter and said, “When a guy really likes you, he won’t be afraid to tell the whole world about you. Hell, he’d want to tell the whole world about you,”

“Listen, Judah. You’re new here, you don’t know anything about this place. You don’t know me and you don’t know Blake. And the situation with us is kind of complicated, alright? So I suggest you just butt out and keep your opinions to yourself,” I was fuming, crossing my arms in clear distaste.

“Sure,” he sneered. “Whatever helps you sleep at night, Blondie,” he took out a fresh new cigarette from the box and put it in his mouth.

He was about to light it up too when my hand just swept up, grabbed the cigarette, and pulled it out of his mouth in an instant. In rage, I scrunched up the little white thing before throwing it on the ground. All the while he looked at me with his mouth wide open.

I was pissed. This guy didn’t know anything about Blake and I, and yet here he was, being a smug, stinky know-it-all.

“You... are annoying as fuck!” I spat and turned to my heels.

I could hear him laughing in the background as I walked away.

“Hey,” he called out suddenly. My tracks stopped instinctively but I didn’t turn around.

“Just so you know. If you were my girl, I’d never keep it a secret,” he said, and I heard the sound of his lighter clicking a few times.

“I hope you enjoy lung cancer!” I shouted back, throwing him the middle finger as I walked on.

Pssh, what he said sounded a lot like something Ry would say.

Sure, maybe there were a lot of terrible guys out there. But Blake was different. He wasn’t cocky or annoying like Ry’s other friends.

Blake was kind, smart and charming.

Keeping things a secret was a wise decision on our part. Blake only did it because he had my best interest at heart. Judah didn’t know anything about the situation, at all.

I really hate that Judah guy. That stupid, chain-smoking, judgmental, sexy, a-hole. Wait—what? Sexy?

That can’t be right.

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