Jessica Thompson as That Girl

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VI. Panty Dropper

Jessica’s POV:

He laughs.

He laughs so fucking hard; I thought he was going to shit himself.

“Y-Y-You...f-fuck u-up...m-m-my-” he waves a hand in front of his teary red face and laughs more. He pounds his fist against the lockers.

He turns back, muffling the sound of his thick, enticing laugh and mockingly copying my stance of squatting and resting his elbows on his knees. “Yo bro, yah got the goods from the hood,” his voice deepens, choking on his newly emerged laughter.

After a few blinks, I realized what he was doing. I sat there, deciding whether I should walk away or continued playing this sick mind game of his, “Nah bruh, I ain’t got those dope. I got the other shit, though, yah in?” I wave a single-arm once, lazily lifting my shoulder for the effect

He blankly stared at me as if not expecting my response, probably thinking I would’ve run away. “Bro-” he said in a soft tone, leaning closer to me while I continued squatting there. “I’m always in," he whispers gently in my ear. I can smell the fresh cigarette mixing with some strong musky cologne.

I knew he expected to get a reaction out of me from the words, but two can play that game. I leaned back, seeing the smirk lying on his lips. Gently, I tilted my head, swaying it closer to him and pressing it on his high cheekbones, feeling him frozen in confusion.

While stunned, I lean towards his ear. “Game on Panty Dropper,” I whisper.

“Hey! Why aren’t you two in class! Rocco!” a teacher shouted for Jax.

I smirk, knowing the teacher was there earlier, so I tilt my head on purpose. Instantly, I spirit down the hallway with Jax hot on my trail. “Stop!” the teacher screamed.

Jax didn’t know; the angry unknown teacher didn’t know, I was one mutherfucking fast runner.

However, just in case -

While running, I extended my leg and tripped Jax down.

It hurts, but I must make sacrifices to survive.

I peek back for a millisecond to see Jax scowling at me. “You bitch!” The anger in his voice was not one to miss.

While I was running, I lifted both fists in the air, knowing it’s my win.

“I’ll get you!” Jax’s vocals were angrier by the second.

I did the best thing I could do to pissed him off while not turning around, so the teacher couldn’t see me.

I slap my ass.

In the way of saying - kiss my ass.

I stood there staring at my sizable black hoodie and baggy sweatpants. There were bags under my eyes due to the constant binge-watching of cell killing shows and mindless gaming. Horrendous ache gifted by mother mature was popping in the most apparent area for some odd reason.

Releasing a heavy breath, I nod, “I’m sexy.” I grin creepily at myself while giving me two thumbs up in the mirror.

“What are you doing?” Brody asks, passing by my room.

Ever since our mom caught one of Brody’s little ice cream flavors, sugary bubblegum in his room half-naked, mom ordered us to always keep our door open even during sleep. I called her sugar bubblegum because she is sweet, and her hair is pink.

I don’t understand why I’m always punished for whatever it is that Brody does. Mom says she believes in group punishment, so when one goes down, we all go down.

When mom first started this group punishment concept, shit got down for real. It was when Brody was ten, and I was eight. We were both playing with fireworks, and we blew up the kitchen. Brody threw me under the bus and said I was the one who did it. I kicked him off the cliff by saying he was the one who found the hidden fireworks. We ended up grounded, and the war started between us.

Brody switches my toothpaste with shampoo.

I flatten his cool new bike tires.

Brody cut off all my stuffed animals’ heads.

I colored his hair pink and green.

He cut off my hair

I gave him food poison.

He filled my room with dog poops.

I made him believe he wet his bed.

He set Mister Detective, my favorite bear, on fire.

I set him on fire.

Things got bad, really quick, and soon, our parents had enough. Instead of grounding and punishing us individually, that’s when group punishment came into play.

Although that wasn’t what got us to stop. One of Brody’s friends thought it was funny to start bullying me because of what Brody did by throwing poop at me. Brody beat him up.

It was amazing, what he said: “Nobody throws poop at my sister except me! Nobody gives her funny haircuts except me! Nobody makes her cry except me! Touch her, and I will let you meet God!”

Such an amazing older brother.

That was sarcasm.

“I’m about to go out,” I respond. I grab my backpack and head for the door.

He raised an arm, blocking me from exiting, “Oh right; I need your car keys,” I said, placing out my palm.

“I’ll drive you. Where to?” He asks.

I stood there staring at his penetrating eyes, debating whether I should tell him I’m meeting Todd for a study session. Is it not a big deal, right? It’s merely Todd and me, together, studying. It’s not like we are going to go out.

“A house,” I replied vaguely, wondering why I felt the need to hide it.

“Which house?” His suspicion only grew worse with the passing silence and lingering doubts.

“Krista,” her name jumped out of my lips without my permission.

Brody nodded, walked into his bedroom, came out, and threw me his keys. “Have fun,” he said casually while then to the bathroom.

I exhaled a heavy breath and shook my head. Going downstairs, I pulled out my phone, messaging Krista.

J: Mind covering for me tonight?

K: Oh! You’re finally doing something bad! I’m in!

Such a supporting friend.

Mom was downstairs, cutting up vegetables for dinner. “Where are you going?” She asks.

“Krista, to study,” I lied again.

She nods, “Have fun, sweetheart.”

I rarely lie unless it comes to my failing tests, so whenever I say something, my family always believes me. Heading towards Brody’s car, my stomach twisted with immense guilt, wondering if I should’ve told them the truth.

I let out a grunting sound and walked back inside. Even if I can’t tell Brody the truth for some inexplicable reason, I can always tell my mom. “Mom, I lied, I’m going to Todd’s house,” I said to her.

“Oh, you and Todd finally made up? How sweet. Have fun,” she casually replied and threw the vegetables into the boiling soup.

“Mom, I’m going to a boy’s house,” I emphasized, causing her to chuckle.

“No, you’re going to Todd’s house. I like the boy; he’s sweet as a cupcake. Plus, he has a girlfriend,” she pauses, eyes narrowing dramatically. “I trust you both to do the right thing,” her voice was lethal, carrying a massive warning.

“Mom, I’m not going to be the other girl, ever,” I stated dramatically, and her smile returned.

“Good.” She laid a kiss on my cheek. “Never settle for being the other woman’s sweetheart because, in the end, the other woman always gets her heartbroken,” she said poetically.

Mom is a professor at this college in our town, where she teaches poetry and English. When Brody and I were younger, instead of reading us books like normal parents, she would read Shakespeare and Hamlet.

Granted, Brody and I passed English with flying colors since we were experts. English teachers love us.

“Got it, mom,” I smile, “Mind not telling Brody since you know, it’s weird.”

“Why are you at Todd’s house anyway?”

“I’m tutoring him in math.”

She nods in understanding, “He sucks at math.”

“I know.”

She smirks mischievously, “Our little secret.” She pinches my cheek, and I kiss hers before walking out the door, feeling a bit lighter.

Starting the car engine, I drove towards Todd’s house. Reaching my destination, I grabbed my backpack and threw out the door, heading inside. The wind picked up, and my face was getting chilly, so I threw up my hood. With a shaky, cold finger, I rang the doorbell, hearing feet shuffling.

When the door opens, my eyes widen, seeing Todd standing there half-naked, water glistening down his toned stomach. He pushed his hair back, smirked on his lips, knowing I was checking him out. “Like what you see?”

I didn’t reply.

He tilts downward, closening our faces, “You’re red, you know that?”

“I’m not helping you; you know that?” I spoke in a mocking voice and turned around

“Come on, Thompson, chill. I was playing around,” he held my wrist and pulled me back into the house, ignoring my grunts.

“You look like a serial killer out there,” he said, causing my brows to furrow.

“Nuh-uh. I was just cold, and what serial killer rings the doorbell?” I threw my backpack into the living room and snuggled my way into the couch.

My eyes scanned the room, seeing everything precisely the same as when I was younger. Todd’s house is the same as every other house in the neighborhood, cozy and medium-sized.

He threw a fluffy blanket at me, “Stay,” he said in a stern voice.

I placed two paws in the air, “Woof.”

He gave me a bleakly chuckled as I wrapped the blanket around myself. Todd went upstairs to throw on some appropriate clothes. I walked around the room, seeing photos of his family hanging on the walls. A smile crossed my lips, seeing a picture of us together when we were younger. I scraped my knees at the park, and Todd carried me all the way home, which was a good two blocks, but at that time, it felt like a long walk for his short legs.

“I thought I told you to stay,” he deviously whispers into my ear. I whip around to see him merely inches away from me.

My heart was racing, his ocean blue eyes piercing into mine, his heated body basking in every inch of my own, causing the chills to disappear, but a new kind of fire ignited.

“I-I....photo...you still have it.” I take a step aside so he could take a better look at the photo I’m talking about,

“Oh yeah, mom thought it was cute, so she kept it there.” He chuckles slightly, crossing his muscular arm, “This photo gets me in a lot of trouble.”

“How?”

“Girls keep asking me who it is, and when I tell them it was you, their imagination gets wild.” He placed a finger near his temple and circulated it, indirectly telling me they were crazy.

Although, that explains why all his girlfriends, including his current one, gave me that look. I thought they were just constipated and trying to hold it in.

“Ready to study?” I question.

He nods and grabs his backpack from the couch.

“Want to study here.” He points in the ground in the living room. “Over there.” He points at the kitchen. “Or up there.” He points to his bedroom.

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