36: Just breathe
I stared at my phone, as I composed the text for the millionth time.
Can we talk?
I didn't want to add anything else; it was too complicated via text. I waited for a reply, pacing around my room as I did. I thought back to the kiss with Greg, completely relieved that when we had finally kissed, it was like kissing my brother. So what if he was hot, and funny? He just didn't give me the damn butterflies I needed; yet Drake did.
But Drake was impossible to understand. I needed to know why he had gone off like he did; creating a question in my mind about Greg too.
I had to be honest; maybe I did have attraction to Greg. It may have been tiny, but it was there all the same. It had taken me virtually begging the guy to kiss me to see if I was missing anything.
Drake: Are you ok?
Yes, but no. Can I see you?
Drake: Yeah. Where are you?
Drake: I can pick you up in half an hour, but I've got plans tonight so I can't be too long.
Was he being serious right now? He had plans did he? I was now irritated. He was behaving like a dick, and I decided to gone with my usual- honesty is the best policy.
Three outfit changes later I was ready. I'd gone for the casual jeans and t shirt attire, my hair loose around my shoulders. I was so nervous it was ridiculous, as I walked outside to his car.
He didn't look up as got closer, his face concentrating as he stared at his phone. My heart ached when he finally glanced up at me, his eyes meeting mine for the briefest of minutes before looking away.
"Hi," I said as I climbed into the familiar seat, his scent washing over me as he nodded in response.
"How you doing? Did you want to grab a coffee?"
I shook my head as I gazed at him my fingers itching to reach out to him.
"Drake, we need to talk."
He sighed as he sat back in his seat, staring straight ahead. He didn't make a move to say anything, and I knew it was down to me to start.
"I don't know why we broke up, but I know we need to talk about it. I miss you," my voice began to crack slightly, as he turned to look at me.
"I miss you too," he said softly, and I nodded, biting my lip as I tried to hold it together.
"The Greg thing- I get it. It was a little odd- but we truly were just friends."
He frowned then, before speaking.
"Yeah, that was it between us. Nothing more."
"You're attracted to him though. I can't be with anyone who wants someone else," he said simply, as I tried to keep myself calm.
"I didn't realise that I was, until you kept banging on about it," I admitted quietly, looking at my fingernails intently as he stared at me.
"Fucks sake. So I was right. Yet you still continued to be around him even after we broke up," he snapped, his green eyes flashing with anger as nodded.
"Well, yeah. I did. But only when you and I-"
"Wait. Has anything happened between you two?" he demanded, his voice dangerously low.
"Can I just-"
He groaned then, as I began to panic. I felt my chest begin to tighten, the sir in the car suddenly too shallow for me to inhale properly. He looked at me with concern as I realised I was crying, tears of frustration and panic falling down my cheeks.
"Hey, calm down. It's ok," he reached over, his thumb grazing my cheek as I nodded, trying to remember my breathing exercises for times like this. The crying was now uncontrollable, as I began to shake. I closed my eyes as I tried to focus on my breathing, the feeling that I was going to either pass out or die suddenly overtaking me.
"Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth, it's ok, we've got this."
I heard his voice but it sounded like it was coming from a million miles away. I was sobbing now, the fear of never being able to breathe again taking over me.
"Breath with me ok? Listen to me," suddenly his forehead was against mine, his minty breath was all I could smell as he breathed in deeply, before exhaling. "Breathe with me," he repeated, as I clung to his hands.
"I'm sorry-" I managed, as a sob escaped my throat.
"I think you're having a panic attack, just breathe."
I closed my eyes and listened to his voice, copying his breathing as I began to slowly relax, my heart rate beginning to descend as it thumped against my chest. I didn't want him to let go of me, but I had to open my eyes eventually.
"Hey," he smiled as I nodded, unable to speak just yet. "My mom gets those, they're pretty scary right?"
I nodded again, as I took a big breath in. I was still shaking slightly, my body in full fight or flight mode.
"I kissed him," I blurted out, as I saw his face turn from concern to shock. "I begged him to. To see."
Drake blinked repeatedly, before he dropped his hands from mine.
"Wow, I wasn't expecting that," he said sadly, his voice suddenly quiet. I studied him intently as I wiped my eyes with my sleeve.
"I'm just being honest. I wasn't going to tell you-"
"I wish you hadn't," he groaned, covering his face with both hands.
"There was nothing there, Drake. Not like when we kiss."
He exhaled slowly, before sitting up to look at me.
"Right. But you still did it, despite having no attraction to the guy. When was this? At the party?"
"No. It was...recent. He didn't want to-"
"I bet he didn't," he snapped, as I began to sweat with anxiety. I was still focusing on my breathing, as he looked at me coldly. "So like two middle graders you decided to kiss and see what it was like. It was shit so you decided to call me, is that it?"
He was bitter, and I understood it. But I did feel better for telling him.
"I take it you've been an angel this whole time."
"Pretty much," he shrugged, as I felt my stomach drop.
"Pretty much?" I repeated, my voice slightly over a whisper.
"At the party...when you walked in... people thought you were a stripper. Hired to come in and dance," he confessed, his eyes watching me carefully as I felt a nervous laugh escape my lips.
"What the fuck?"
"It was embarrassing. That wasn't you."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. We'd fallen out over what I looked like?
"You could barely walk, your dress didn't even cover your ass-"
"You said you liked it!"
"I did! For the bedroom, not a fucking party," he scowled, as I sat back in my chair.
We were silent then, as we both absorbed the information that lingered in the air.
"So I embarrassed you."
"I'm not saying its right, it's just how I felt at the time."
I nodded, my cheeks burning with humiliation.
"Shannon chose my outfit and did my make up. It's called a make over. Normally guys go crazy for it in all the movies," I said quietly as he nodded.
"Yeah but you don't need a fucking makeover. You're stunning as you are. You look perfect now, even with swollen eyes and rosy cheeks," he smiled softly, his hand caressing my cheek as I closed my eyes.
"You should've just spoke to me about it."
"I also kissed someone," he admitted, staring straight ahead whilst I absorbed this new information. I stared at him, unable to imagine him with anyone else.
"Right ok. I'm not going to ask who-"
"Good, because I don't know."
I couldn't help but laugh as he looked at me in surprise. He began to smile, before his gaze fell to my lips.
"I'm going to fucking murder Greg for kissing you," he murmured, as my stomach leapt with the confirmation that he cared.
"You're not. I asked him drunk, he said no-"
Drake closed his eyes as he shook his head.
"But I asked him when I was sober. So he did, but he really wasn't excited by the prospect."
"How could he not be excited about kissing you?" he murmured, as I felt myself smile.
"I don't know. Maybe because he was afraid of you."
I rolled my eyes as he turned to me.
"He came to see me. Told me to sort my shit out with you. I didn't take it too well."
I froze, realisation dawning on me.
"You hit him?"
He nodded, grimacing as he did.
"I'm not proud of it-"
"Drake! He is my friend!"
"Who still kissed you after! Look I'm sorry, I just reacted. It was wrong. I just- hated him. He is all intelligent and witty- whereas I'm... well. I'm me."
I gazed at him as my fingers reached out to move his hair from his eyes, as I spoke.
"I love you though, for being you."
"You still love me?" he asked, a cheeky smile on his face.
"Of course I do," I said softly, as he kissed my hand.
"I'm sorry, Victoria. I've been a dick."
"I'm so sorry too. I really am."
He nodded then, as I gazed at our hands which were still laced together.
"Does this mean we're...you know, back together?" I asked quietly, as he turned his emerald gaze to me.
"You asking me to be your boyfriend, Rose?"
He silenced me with his lips on mine, as I let out a low moan.
"Just reminding you what a kiss should be like," he muttered, before continuing his assault on my mouth. I shivered as his mouth moved to my neck, the familiar feel of his lips on my skin soothing my nerves with each movement.
"What are you doing tonight?" I murmured, as our lips found each other again.