“Are you okay?” Conrad asks me.
He’s holding me tightly against his side as our breathing returns to normal.
“Better than okay,” I reassure him.
Even though it just happened, my mind replays every detail. The way Conrad went so slow, how gentle he was. How he looked so worried when I winced in pain at first until the slight pain turned into pleasure like I’ve never known. His hot skin on mine, our bodies connected, nothing but the sound of our heavy breathing. It was amazing.
“I wouldn’t mind doing that again,” I add, running my fingers suggestively down Conrad’s chest.
“Already?” Conrad asks, sounding surprised.
I nod and smile coyly, though I have nothing to be shy about with him anymore. He turns his body towards me.
“I think that could be arranged,” he says, shifting his body so that he’s on top of me again.
He kisses me softly, before his lips trail down my throat, down to my chest, and back up again.
Just as Conrad reaches for his bedside table again, we hear a loud noise come from the living room, followed by the sound of cheering and hollering.
“Uh oh, it sounds like the crew is back,” Conrad grumbles, “I’d better lock my door.”
Conrad untangles himself from me and stands up. I feel myself blush as I ogle his naked body. Before Conrad can lock his door, it bursts open.
“What the fuck!” Conrad growls, quickly turning away to grab cover.
Horrified, I quickly pull the sheets up to my chin. Conrad grabs his underwear and almost falls on his face as he puts them on, as our intruder watches in amusement.
“Sorry guys. I didn’t mean to interrupt,” Violet says with an evil smirk.
“Get the fuck out, Violet!” Conrad shouts at her.
I’m surprised to hear Conrad shout, but I can tell he’s genuinely pissed, and now so am I. How dare she? Who does she think she is?
The situation gets worse when Jake and Harrison appear in the doorway. Jake frowns at Violet.
“What the hell are you doing, Violet?” Jake asks her. He too looks pissed off now.
“I was just looking for my jacket,” she snips, “what’s everyone freaking out for?”
I catch her glance at me with a look I can’t decipher, and I see her looking Conrad up and down.
“Well, for one, you don’t come barging into my room without knocking, or at all for that matter,” Conrad barks.
“Yeah Vi, what made you think that would be a good idea?” Jake asks her.
“We’re all friends here,” she says with a dismissive shrug.
“I care to differ,” I quip.
“Sorry, Conrad. I didn’t know she was coming over tonight,” Jake tells him.
“What are you apologizing to him for?” Violet asks Jake, “what? I’m not supposed to be here because everyone lied to me and told me that these two broke up? Now, why would everyone do that, huh, Jake?”
“I don’t know Vi, you tell me?” Jake retorts, “Why would we have to do that?”
“I don’t know Jake, what are you implying?” she snaps.
“Maybe we’re all sick of you butting into matters than don’t concern you,” Harrison offers.
Violet’s head swings around to face Harrison.
“Shut up, Harrison, I do not,” she argues.
“And what would this be?” Conrad asks her.
“I was looking for my jacket!” she tries to defend again.
“Bullshit, Violet, stop lying,” Jake now shouts, “You don’t think I notice how you look at Conrad? You don’t think that everyone notices?”
I’m fully aware that while all this drama is unfolding, I’m still naked.
“Oh, you want me to stop lying, do you? How about Conrad? Maybe he should stop lying too,” she says.
My ears perk up? What is she getting at now? Conrad’s jaw clenches.
“What are you talking about Violet?” Jake asks her, and then he looks at Conrad in confusion.
“Violet, don’t,” Conrad pleads.
“Don’t? Well everyone here deserves to know the truth, so let’s just put it all out there, then none of us will have anything left to hide,” Violet says.
“Somebody better tell me what the fuck is going on,” Jake says.
I can tell he’s trying to keep his voice level. A bad feeling starts to creep into my gut then, and it makes me wish even more that I were fully dressed. I look to Conrad, then at Violet.
“Okay, here it goes. A few months or so ago, Conrad and I slept together,” she announces.
“What!” Jake shrieks.
“God damn you, Violet,” I hear Conrad curse under his breath.
I feel sick.
“Conrad? What the fuck?” Jake turns on him.
Before I can bear to hear anymore, I’m searching for my clothes. I wrap the sheet around me, no longer caring about everyone else. I don’t think anyone is paying attention to me anymore, anyway. I just need to get the hell out of here. I find my clothes and quickly put them on.
“It’s not what you think,” Conrad tells him.
“Are you kidding me right now?” Jake winces and jabs Conrad in the chest with his fingers.
Everyone is standing in front of the door, blocking my escape. I catch Harrison looking at me, and he looks apologetic. I think he realizes what I want to do, and without a word, he steps aside to give me an opening. When I go for it, Conrad notices and steps in front of me.
“Wait, Syd, please don’t go,” he pleads, reaching for me.
“Don’t!” I say.
It comes out louder than I expected, and I shrug away from him. I see the hurt in his eyes, and it makes me want to stay, but I can’t stay here right now. I have to get out of here and quickly. I move past them and out into the hallway.
“Bye-bye Sydney,” I hear Violet call out after me.
Tears spring to my eyes at that exact moment, and I don’t even care to hide them as I rush through the living room, past over a dozen drunken people I don’t know, and out the door. I hear footsteps behind me, and I expect, or hope, that it’s Conrad. Unfortunately, I realize its Harrison when he calls after me.
“Wait, Syd, I’ll give you a ride home,” he says before I reach the end of the driveway.
“No thanks,” I grumble, still walking away.
I’m only a little ways away from the house when Harrison pulls up next to me in his truck.
“Come on, get in, please. It’s really cold out there,” he implores me.
As much as I dislike Harrison, it is pretty cold outside, so I decide to take him up on his offer. The sooner I get home, the better.
I hop into his truck, and he takes off down the street. I feel my phone begin buzzing in my pocket, but I ignore it.
“I’m sorry that happened to you back there,” He says, sounding genuinely apologetic.
I don’t have the words to respond, so he continues.
“He really loves you though, Sydney. Don’t let that little purple-headed bitch come between you guys.”
“Right now, it feels like the whole universe is out to get us,” I sniffle, still wiping away tears, “I can’t believe he slept with her.”
“I’m sure there’s more to that story, Sydney. I know Conrad fairly well, and he can’t stand Violet. There’s got to be a misunderstanding in there somewhere. I can’t see him doing anything to hurt Jake, and especially not you.”
A minute later, we’re already on my street.
“I’m staying at Desiree’s,” I tell him.
Harrison nods and pulls up in front of her house. I can see the light from the living room is on despite it being after two in the morning.
I see the front door open, and Desiree comes outside.
“Hey, maybe not tonight, but can you ask her to call me?” Harrison asks before I get out of his truck.
I just nod dismissively.
‘Thanks for the ride,” I say as I shut the door behind me and walk towards Des.
I think I hear the faint sound of an approaching bike, so I walk faster and usher Desiree back into the house before she can ask any questions.
“Conrad called me,” she tells me as she shuts the door behind her.
I don’t say anything; I just go to the front window and peek outside. Sure enough, I see that Harrison is still parked out front, and Conrad is next to him on his bike talking to him. Desiree joins me at the window.
“You’re not going to talk to him?” she asks.
“I don’t know,” I mumble.
I feel my phone start vibrating again. This time I pull it out and look at it. In the last fifteen minutes since I left the house, I have five missed calls and three unread text messages.
“What happened?” she then asks.
“He didn’t tell you?”
“No, he just said that you were on your way home and that you’d be upset.”
“Understatement,” I say under my breath.
“Spill it Sydney, tell me what happened,” she pushes.
I know she won’t give it a rest, so I just tell her.
“He slept with Violet,” I say.
“WHAT?” she exclaims loudly, “when?”
“I don’t know. A few months ago?”
“What the hell?”
“I know,” I nod.
“Don’t you think that you should hear his side though before jumping to any conclusions?”
“Yeah, I want to, but I don’t think I can right now,” I say.
“Because tonight, Conrad and I slept together for the first time, and then all this came out almost immediately afterward. I don’t think my heart could take it,” I reveal.
“Oh my god Sydney,” Des wraps her arms around me then, “I don’t know if I should be happy for you or incredibly sympathetic.”
“I don’t know yet either,” I say, “that’s why I’m not sure I’m ready to find out yet.”
“I think you need to talk to him now Sydney. Talk to him before this eats away at you and drives you crazy. Conrad is a good guy. He deserves the chance for you to hear him out. I’d bet he’s a total wreck out there.”
I look outside again, and now Harrison’s truck is gone, but Conrad remains. He paces in front of the house, and I can see him pull out his phone again. My phone buzzes once more.
“Look at him,” Des encourages, “Give him a break. It’s probably not as bad as it sounds.”
“And if it is?”
“It’s not. If anything, I can guarantee that it was before he met you. You can’t really fault him for something that happened before you even met.”
“I’m positive that’s the case,” I agree, “but it’s the fact that he didn’t tell me, and I thought he didn’t like her at all, and she so obviously has feelings for him.”
“Just go out there,” Desiree says again, “go get the whole story.”
I look out at him once more. I want to go to him, but a part of me has this weird desire to punish him a little bit. I know it’s probably not fair, but then the image of him ever being with Violet that way, even if it was before me, makes me feel ill, especially after having just been with him that way. I thought what we had tonight was sacred, and the thought that he shared himself with someone like her… I can’t even think about it or I’ll puke. My heart aches and my head hurts, and I just want to have a shower and go to bed. I turn away from the window and head towards Desiree’s bedroom. Desiree is hot on my heels.
“Really? You’re not going to talk to him?” she asks in disbelief.
After a long shower, I pull on my pajamas and get into Desiree’s bed with her. She doesn’t say anything as I get under the covers and turn away from her. Pulling the blankets up to my chin, I begin to cry. Desiree turns off the light, and I feel her behind me. She puts her arm around me to comfort me, knowing right now I don’t need her to say anything.
Sometime in the early morning, after a restless night tossing and turning, I decide to look at my phone finally. I can’t help it; I’m too curious to see what he’s said. I peek over at Desiree, who is snoring loudly. I reach for my phone and open the screen. It’s now up to seven missed calls and five text messages. I open the first one.
*Please come back!
Then I read the rest.
*It’s not what you think. Please answer my calls.
*Sydney, please! I love you.
*I’m outside. Please come out. I need to talk to you.
*Okay, I’m not going to push you anymore tonight. I understand you probably feel overwhelmed and unsure and hurt. I will tell you everything when you are ready. Just know that I love you, and tonight was the best night of my life (before all hell broke loose), and I’m not going anywhere. You are everything to me, and this will not be the end. Xoxo