XXXIII. The Break Up
Once Brody parked the car, he stormed out. I unbuckled my seatbelt and rushed after him. I grabbed his arm, “Why are you running away? Didn’t we agree that if I told you a secret, you would tell me one of yours?”
Brody turned around, “I never promised that.” He took a single step closer to me. “If I catch you around Jax Rocco. I’ll make sure you’re homeschool.”
“Who do you think you are? Who are you to decide what’s going on in my life!”
“I’m your brother!”
“It doesn’t give you the right to tell me what I can do, who I can see, how I feel, or anything else!”
Brody took a step closer to me. Somehow, his body seems bigger than usual. “I’m your older brother. You’re my younger sister. And as a younger sister, you should listen to your older brother.”
I scoffed, “As a younger sister, you should listen to your older brother,” I said mockingly. “What am I? Five?” I stomped towards the school entrance.
I cannot believe he is treating me as if I’m a little girl. I cannot believe he used that stupid big brother card on me. Even if he is my older brother, he has no right to intervene with my life. I don’t intervene in his life.
What about Krista?
That’s not my fault!
It’s not my fault that Brody decided to push me in the middle of whatever it is between them.
I rushed my hands all over my head and punched the lockers. My sudden attack caused everyone to jump back. I bit my lower lip and held my wrist. “Ow. Stupid lockers.”
“Yeah. Stupid lockers being so stupidly hard.” I turned around to see Todd.
“What are you doing here?”
Todd looks around, “Attending school?”
“Oh, right. We’re at school.” I made my way towards my locker. When I was there, Todd was also there. “Can I help you?”
“Are you okay?”
“I heard you got really sick.” He tucks his fingers into his pant pocket. “And you fell down the stairs.”
“Oh,” I laughed, “Yeah, I’m fine.” I scratched my head. “Thanks for asking.”
I cannot believe he is talking to me after what happened over the weekend.
“You’re probably wondering why I’m talking to you after what happened.”
Can he read my mind?
“No. I’m not reading your mind, but I would also be surprised if something like that happened, and the person is also still talking to me.” He’s trying his best not to sound too awkward, but it only made the situation more...awkward.
I didn’t know how to respond, so I kept my eye around the hallway. Hopefully, he will go away. Maybe, someone one of us knows will drag us away. Or maybe, the bell will ring, signaling us to cut this interaction short.
“I know this is uncomfortable for you.”
He got to stop reading my mind.
“And after the fight out th-”
I gasped, “You saw?”
“To be honest?”
“A lot of people saw it.”
I continued nodding, “Of course they did.”
“You’re probably not in the mood to talk.” Todd cleared his throat. “I don’t mean to bother you. I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.”
I smile, “Thank you.”
“Then, see you around, Jess.” I watched as Todd walked down the hallway.
He turns around, “Yeah?”
“Your first period is that way.” I pointed at the opposite end.
“Oh, yes!” He laughs, “I was going this way because I told some friends I was meeting up with them.” I would’ve believed his excuse if his cheeks weren’t turning red. “So, I’ll get going now.”
Inside the damp classroom, I twirled my pencils in circles. The water stormed outside, much harsher than usual. I have a bad feeling about today.
After a few classes, it was lunchtime. Krista continued to stare at me while the four of us walked towards lunch. I know she wants to ask about Jax, but she’s holding herself back.
I grabbed Krista’s wrist, and everyone stopped walking. “Love birds, you two go first, and we’ll meet you there.”
Shannon and Ivan look at each other. Simultaneously, their cheeks turned red. “Whatever,” they said at the same time and made their way towards the cafeteria. I smile when they subtly link hands.
“What is it?” Krista asks, her eyes brighten with expectations.
I looked around and noticed there were too many people in the hallway; too many eyes. “There are too many people here.”
“Right.” Immediately, Krista dragged me towards the back of the school and into the woods. There’s a small road that leads to the forest behind our school. Krista exhales a sharp breath, “I’m not going to force you to spill the salsa, but I won’t mind if you throw the glass container down and spread it all over the place.”
“That’s an odd expression.”
“Okay. Forget my whole salsa thing. What is it that you want to tell me? I won’t interfere.”
I exhale softly, “I’ve been meeting Jax.”
“And we have kind of been texting each other regularly.” Compared to other people, I message with Jax often.
She gasps even louder.
“And he kind of sneaked into my bedroom before.” Let’s not tell her how many times.
She gasps even louder than previously.
Well, she did say she won’t intervene with what I’m about to tell her, but I just didn’t expect to receive that amount of gasping.
Krista continued to stare at me.
“That’s all,” I said.
She inhaled a sharp breath and grabbed my arm. “That’s all? You two didn’t...you know...pew pew pew! Fireworks?”
“No. I mean, we did kiss once.”
I heard the loudest gasp in the world.
“Well, if you count CPR as kissing.”
Her facial expression immediately did a 180. “No. That doesn’t count.”
“But, our lips touch.” I acted like an innocent little girl. I place my hands on my cold cheeks and flutter my lashes.
“Girl. You were unconscious.”
“But he kissed me. He must marry me now!”
“Are you on something?”
“I wish I was on something.”
“Running away from your problem is never an answer.”
I chuckle, “Cute. You think I can run.”
Krista slapped my head, “Be serious. This is big.”
“How is this big?”
“He’s into you!”
“He is,” I admitted. If he doesn’t have an ounce of interest in me, he wouldn’t have bothered me.
Krista gasped even louder than the previous gasps. She stumbled back and leaned against a tree. “I need a moment.”
“But, it’s not like anything will happen between us. I mean, at most, he probably wants to have sex with me.” I wouldn’t say I’m the most attractive person out there. However, not to tote my own horn, but strangers wouldn’t have mistaken me for another species nor a male if they met me. My self-confidence needs to be higher if that type of reasoning satisfies me.
Krista frowned, “Why would you say that?”
I exhale, “On the first day of the autumn festival, I met his friends. He completely pretended he didn’t know me.”
“How dare he!”
“In his defense, I did tell him to pretend not to know me in front of others.”
“How dare you!”
“How can you defend him like that?” She shakes my body, “It’s his fault!”
“Logically, it really isn’t.”
“We’re teenagers! Stop it with the logic.”
I shrugged, “There’s nothing we can do. After all, Jax and I are pretty much different people. Us getting together will spell only trouble.”
“Are you saying there’s a possibility that you want the two of you to get together?”
Krista’s mouth widens, “No! Not him! He’s Jax Rocco! I heard he beat up a college student last week!”
“You’re sending me mixed messages,” I said. “One moment, you’re curious whether or not we’re going to get together. Then, you get disappointed when I say nothing happened. And, now, you’re telling me to stay away?”
“I mean, he’s hot.” I nod in approval of her statement. “And I’m pretty sure your adrenaline skyrocketed whenever you’re near him.”
“The bad boy effect.” Handsome face. Leather jacket. Motorcycle. The type of guy parents tell their daughters to stay a town away.
Jax Rocco is walking wad of cliche.
Krista nods, “I don’t know Jax, but there are rumors around him for a reason. Rumors don’t spiral out of anywhere. And above the rumors, he left the autumn festival with Megan Miller.”
“It doesn’t mean they did anything.”
“Jess, you didn’t hear?”
“I’ve been bedridden since the first day of the festival. What can I hear from my bed?”
Krista frowned, “Todd and Megan broke up.”