Chapter 2: New Neighbors
I needed something to do. I was beyond frustrated to the point where my car looked brand new and I was pissed that she’d rejected me so harshly. My ego was definitely bruised. How could I have been so foolish? I thought that she would come back here and want to pick up where we had left off as much as I did, but no. She was completely focused on keeping me as far away from her as possible. She was completely focused on letting the past ruin what we could be. I thought she would have been as tired of the past controlling us as I was.
It’s been an entire year of absolutely nothing from her and me trying desperately not to go making a fool of myself by just showing up, and I still get treated like a side dish. For her to throw the Clarissa thing back in my face like that… it just wasn’t fair. I get that what I did was wrong in her eyes, but she said she understood. I hadn’t know the extremities of her issues with Clarissa, but I paid her mom back every cent. How was I supposed to have known that she was just going to take off with it. I was only trying to do the right thing. I only wanted to show her that it was never about the money, it was always her. I always wanted to know her.
I had a decision to make now.
Do I continue to be persistent in my pursuit for her heart or do I just give up and find someone or something else to focus on? It’s not like I’m lacking in the girl department. She wasn’t around and neither was I. I’d be a fool to think that I was the only one to taste her and she’d be foolish to think that I’d just continue to wait. She really was just as insatiable as I was in the bedroom and together we could go all night. Together we created something I hadn’t been able to experience or find elsewhere. Or maybe I should just change my approach?
She says she just wants her friend back. I could do that. Being me made her fall in love once, why wouldn’t it happen again? Or maybe she was just over me and that was a fact that I had to accept. Either way, maybe it was good that I learned to be her friend again. What harmed could come from fixing our now rocky friendship? I missed her more than I knew was possible; more than I knew I was still capable of. I missed her in a way that differed from how much I missed Natalie, but it still hurt the same.
I never wanted to lose either of them, but clearly we can’t always get what we want. I needed to get my frustration out. I needed a different kind of distraction. Kissing her made me feel like I had fire in my veins, but she made it clear that wasn’t a feeling that I was going to feel again any time soon.
“AHHHHH!” I screamed, kicking my tire. I needed to get the aggression out and working out wasn’t helping anymore. Pulling out my phone, I texted someone that I knew could help me relax a bit. Someone that I’d realized only after it became clear that she wasn’t coming back. Her being away truly showed me how much I ignored other girls.
Dave: Hey baby, what are you doing?
Analisa: Just getting out the shower.
Dave: Feel like seeing me tonight?
Analisa: I thought you had some big family thing going on that you couldn’t get out of.
Why did any of that matter? She’d been complaining about how I didn’t make time for her unless it was for sex and I was trying to make time now. I never understood her. I made it clear what this was but she kept pressing for more. It didn’t help that she would constantly ask about Maria. I knew what she was doing, but her purpose to make me forget about Minnie for a bit, not back her prominent in my mind than she already was.
Dave: It got canceled. I’m all yours baby.
Analisa: I don’t know if I believe you David, everyone knows that Maria is back. Someone saw her at the gas station while they were working. Her being back after the way she left is big news for those who know what happened.
She was starting to piss me off. What did any of that matter? Did she just want gossip? She was looking in the wrong place if so. I refuse to let anyone in my business ever again. Only Maria had that privilege.
Dave: Then you should know that she and I are just friends. Our families planned a welcome back thing for her, but other things came up and it was postponed. What does it matter though? I’m free now and I’m trying to spend the time with you.
Analisa: Are you sure the two of you are just friends Dave? Don’t forget I went to school with the both of you. I saw and noticed more than you think.
Dave: Bye Lisa, I don’t have time for the insecure. If you were wondering why this never became more than just sex, this right here is exactly why.
I rolled my eyes fishing through my contacts for another certifiable good time. Maybe one that I didn’t go to school with who knew the intricate complications that were Maria and I. Or maybe someone who did, but still wouldn’t questions my intentions. How did she even know what we felt when we didn’t have a clue until it was too late? I had no fucking idea, but she did. Smiling as another number came into sight, I was interrupted by a big ass moving truck parking in front of me. Since when were we getting new neighbors?
I groaned tossing and turning in my bed as my frustration got the best of me. The past few nights had been rough for me and although I didn’t want him like that, having him around kept those dark secrets at bay for a little while longer. Sometimes parts of him reminded me of Dave, the boy next door that I missed more than anything.
I knew it was a temporary fix to what I really craved, but it was better than the horrible silence of the nothing I already had. Tears brimmed the corners of my eyes as the memories I wanted erase plagued me like a bad cold. The more I remembered the clearer the face behind the voice became. All it did was add to the list of things I didn’t want to believe and make me wish I could turn back time even more. I just wanted to go back and stop it all from happening.
There was a burn in my throat making me wish I was dead. Making me want to call the one person I knew would drop everything and be here in no time at all. I wanted to call my dad, but he didn’t deserve me bothering him after being away for so long. It wasn’t fair to make him worry when I didn’t even bother to call just to say hello. I only had one option left. I’d be surprised if he came, but I wouldn’t blame him if he was tired of me already. I’d be tired of my games also, he didn’t need to know the reasons behind them. He didn’t need to know that they weren’t games, they were basic survival tactics I'd been forced to learn.
In fact I'd learned that lesson more than once. I would never let my guard down like that again. Picking up my phone I sent the text.
Maria: I’m not trying to be a bitch, but I won’t beg you for anything. If you want to get your dick wet and have some of the best pussy you’ll ever have, I’ll be waiting. Don’t show and I’m on to the next one.
Nix: I’m on my way.
I smiled. It’ll always be easier to avoid and thankfully I had someone to help me for the moment. Even if he’d never be better than what I really craved.
After my reunion with Dave, a shower was definitely something I needed. My entire body felt hot and sticky and I needed to get rid of it as soon as possible. It didn’t help that I ended up taking a whole lot longer than necessary because I just couldn’t get him and his dirty promises off of my mind. He was right though; I hadn’t found someone who’d take the time to learn me and what I like. Not like I’d ever give them the chance too. No one was allowed to get too close to me anymore, and although I found one guy who seemed possible, I was too afraid that he’d hurt me also. I didn’t want to relive anything.
When I left here I vowed never to again be the sad sack little bitch just letting everyone walk all over her. The one too afraid to go after what she really wanted. I sighed, how was it that life only kept getting harder. Did it ever take a break? In my case, it didn’t. All I did was get one betrayal after another. Instead of my mother manning up and apologizing, all she did was up and leave. As if saying ‘sorry honey, I was wrong. I want to fix our relationship’ was too hard of a sentence for her to spit out of her mouth.
Then again, maybe we were better off without her. Life was just a little bit easier, no one stood around just waiting to criticize everything about me. Dad, although he was sad and frustrated, seemed to have more money around allowing him to do and get a lot of the things that she wouldn’t let him. He wouldn’t though, because now all he wanted was his wife back and for his daughter to no longer hurt. He wanted the family he thought he had instead of seeing the truth in how we were. I was experienced enough now to understand that my father and I stayed close because he wasn’t around that often. Shaking away the thoughts, or at least trying to, I put on a pair of all black workout shorts that showed more ass than it should and a red tank top with ‘sexy’ written in black across the chest. Paired with my all black thigh high socks with red stripes to match and some black gym shoes. Finally, putting my hair up in a ponytail. Maybe going for a jog would help me put my guard back up again. Coming into Dave so soon and the unexpected kiss definitely had me shook. Definitely had me wanting more than my heart was willing to give to him.
Just as I was getting ready to leave out my room, I heard my window open. I groaned before turning to face the intruder.
“Mickey, you can’t be doing this.” I sighed.
“I don’t care.” he grunted as he lifted himself inside. “We need to talk and I’m tired of you just walking away from me. I’ve waited a year for that to happen and I’m tired of waiting.”
“I don’t have time for this.” I spat turning around and rolling my eyes. Who in the hell did he think he was?
“Damn it Minnie.” he growled before grabbing me by my arm and spinning me back around. I gasped as I ended up pressed up against his chest. “I said we need to talk and I do not feel like playing games with you. Not anymore.” he spat as I just nodded my head in agreeance. I took the moment to sit here and study him. He looked frantic at best. He kept glancing at me and then looking away. As if realizing just how close we were, he uprighted me before stepping away. I was actually a little hurt. Why was he being so hot and cold all of a sudden?
“WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM?!” I yelled my fist flying at him with a vengeance. I walked in on him with my journal in his hands. The journal where I had admitted everything. From the day that my life change up until the day where I broke the boy I loved heart; and the asshole had been reading it. I felt exposed and seen and I snapped. I lashed out at him.
“Stop!” he cried as my fist connected with his mouth and split his lip down the middle. He was curled up trying to protect his face. A part of me felt like I was taking advantage of him knowing he would never raise his hand to hit me back, but a bigger part was too pissed to care. I laughed.
“Bitch move there Nix.” I spat standing up and kicking his in the stomach. I didn’t even care anymore. It felt good to be the hurting someone for once.
“Mickey, what’s going on? Why are you freaking out?” I asked, starting to worry. Him being like this was how we ended up having sex in the first place.
“Minnie I am so sorry. I really am.”
“What in the hell are you apologizing for?”
“I didn’t tell you everything about me. In fact I kept the worse thing to myself.” What the fuck? How much more shit could there be?
“Worse than accepting money to be my friend?” I asked cringing at the amount of pettiness coming off of my words. I hadn’t meant to come off so bitter.
“Worse than paying all that money back and your mother using it to skip town just to get away from you.” he snapped back. I deserved that. It still pissed me off, but I deserved it.
“What’s going on?” I sighed, sitting down on my bed before inviting him to join me.
“Like I said,I haven’t told you everything about myself Minnie. About who I was after Natalie’s death… and I’d rather you hear everything from me.” he groaned. I could see he was tortured by this memory, but I wouldn’t pass judgement until I knew the entire story. I’d already learned that lesson once before.
“Then tell me Mickey. I’m here and I’m listening.” I all but whispered.
For a moment we just sat in silence. I studied him as he stared at the wall. Before I could even blink my eyes, his lips were on mine.
“I’m so sorry.” I cried as he sat in the darkness of my room. I felt so ashamed. I’d been apologizing every since I saw his face. I truly was a bitch and I needed help. I shouldn’t have abused him. I should have never raised my fist towards him. I’d lost it for a split second and I was wrong. The tough exterior I thought I had become permanent shattered right before me and all I could was cry and apologize. “I’m so sorry.”
My arms didn’t hesitate to wrap around his neck as he pulled me onto his lap straddling him. I could feel his hands pulling my hair tie lose as my hips took a stand of their own making me grind against him. The shower hadn’t helped at all and once again the need for him to fill me up was full blown.
“Talk later.” I shushed him, pressing my lips harder to his. Already I was tired of fighting this desire only he seemed to ignite within me. Fuck the little game we’d started, I needed this as much as he did.
“Can talk later.” I growled grinding against him harder. For a split second I was airborne before landing safely on my bed.
“Damn it Maria listen! I just wanted to kiss you one last time before you officially hated me for whatever amount of time you deemed fit. As I was saying after Natalie’s death I was depressed. I believe everything everyone was saying. I drank. I smoked. I did whatever it took to ignore it and not feel. Almost got kicked off the team it was so bad. Almost ruined my life completely. That year someone moved to town. A family of four. A mom, dad and twins. One boy. One girl. They heard the rumors, but she wanted to see for herself. She wanted to fix the once popular now damaged Dave.”
“You have an ex, so what?” I shrugged, pissed that now I was horny again for nothing.
“You’re insufferable you know that?” he snapped as I rolled my eyes. I was used to his tantrums by now. “The point is, it took a lot of work to get back to me. It’s because of her that I learned to work on my anger. Well, it wasn’t really like I had a choice in the matter.”
“What the hell are you talking about David?” I snapped.
“I hit her okay!” He yelled his voice sounding more ferocious than I’d ever heard it. It actually scared me, making me backup a bit as I stared at him wide-eyed. Did he really just say what I think he did?
“Mickey no.” I whispered tears coming to my eyes. I really had no clue who this person was anymore. I don’t think I ever did. To make it worse, this was definitely a sign that we shouldn’t be together.
“Look, you don’t give tequila and weed to someone with anger issues; but still somehow I got them. No one was home. I hadn’t even gone to school that day. I was wallowing in my own self pity every negative thought playing on repeat in my head. No one cared that I witnessed the whole thing. No one cared that it gave me nightmares. No one cared that he threatened me. No one cared that I in danger that night too. No one cared about me and I was pissed. Music was blasting. I didn’t even hear her come in. She got to nagging me about how I should be in school. Her voice kept getting louder but it just sounded like ringing in my ears. Then I heard it. She was saying Natalie’s name. It was really the only thing she could’ve said that brought my attention back to her. She calling me pathetic for being in love with a dead girl who just wanted the captain of the team. It pissed me off. She had no idea what she was talking about. I struck her. Then I did it again. I kept hitting her as she begged me to stop. In my intoxicated state it felt good to alleviate the pressure I felt, but once I was sober I felt horrible. I begged them to press charges. I begged them to lock me up. I begged her father to put a bullet in my head, but my mom managed to talk them down to anger management and community service. A lot of both. When it came close to me finishing both her parents and Natalie’s parents thought it was best that we moved and started elsewhere. I agreed with them and that’s how we ended up here.” his face was wet with tears. He showed genuine remorse, but I was completely shocked by what I heard. I was still in shock from what I was hearing.
“Why are you telling me this now?” I breathed.
“Because they just moved across the street Minnie.” I didn’t even know that I gasped until it hit my ears.
I just stared at him. I thought my life was bad, but it seemed like his fuck ups were following him like crazy. It just something else we seemed to have in common. Still, I didn’t know what to say to him. It’s not everyday a six foot five, godlike creature stood in front of me with tear stained cheeks and pouring his heart out. When he was like this my heart went out to him. I didn’t fear him, what could happen or the everlasting feelings between us. He was simply my Mickey and he needed me. Getting up from my seat on the bed, I walked over to him and wrapped my arms tight around his waist.
“You aren’t your mistakes Mickey, you are so much more. Please don’t let them cloud who you really are. Don’t let them define you.”
“The kind of mistakes I’ve made are defining Maria. Maybe, it’s who I really am. Maybe-”
“Stop. Damn it Mickey you aren’t a bad person. I know bad people. A bad person is someone who drugs people and forces them to have sex and uses it against them. A bad person is someone who saves a girl, then pretends to be into her because she and her best-friend are their next target for their sick game. A bad person is someone who pays the first person to speak and treat their child like a normal human being, just to be their friend. A bad person is someone who doesn’t believe their child and instead of admitting they were wrong and trying to fix everything they leave. A bad person is someone who betrays their best-friend for the sake of their own disgusting desires. You aren’t like any of them Dave. You aren’t a bad person.” I’ve seen the faces of bad people and he didn’t look like any of them.
“I’ve done bad things though Minnie and there’s nothing I can do to change that.” he sighed, sitting down on the bed the weight on his shoulders making it too hard for him to continue standing.
“Yes, you’ve done bad things, but did you learn from them? Have you continued down that path? Have you done it again? Are you trying to make better decisions? That is the difference between a mistake and a bad person. By definition you are mistaken by your mistakes. A mistake is an action or judgement that is misguided or wrong. You had lost your best-friend in the process of being scared for your life and it led you to make some poor judgment that no one tried to get you help for. Your misguidance led to a year of build up anger, guilt, remorse and regret and anyone who said the wrong thing would’ve unleashed it. It could have been anyone Mickey, but unfortunately it was her. It led to you waking up and you got up and you became the loving person that you are once more. You piss me off to no end and yes for a moment I hated you, but it was never about you. I was mad at the fact that my mother saw me as so pathetic she would actually stoop so low. I was mad that you accepted it and although I knew the reality, I rather hate you than admit that I still had feelings for you. It was easier being away thinking that I was over you and still hated you. It was easier for me to runaway and avoid everything. ”
“It was easier having you away thinking that you hate me, but things do have to change Minnie. I need to try harder to be better. I want to make it up to her however I can, but her family hates me. They are going to realize who their neighbors are and try to persuade you to stay away from me. It’s all you’ll hear about. How I’m dangerous and shouldn’t be trusted and blah blah blah.” he was up and pacing the room again. I groaned as I grabbed his arm and stood in front of him. Without my heels I could truly see just how tall he was over me. Nearly a full foot.
“I know who you are. You are my Mickey and nothing nor no one can change that.” he smiled and finally seemed to relax a bit as he leaned over to put his forehead on mine. I closed my eyes enjoying the little surges of electricity flowing through my body from the simple contact. I truly missed being this close to him, being able to freely express things that normally we wouldn’t with anyone else. I miss being able to be who I was and having to hid big parts of what made me who I am. “Thank you for taking care of the kids while I was gone.” I smirked finally opening my eyes to see him trying to hold back a laugh.
“What kind of father would I be, had I not?”
“As bad as their mother.” we both laughed as he pulled me into a tight hug. Sighing I melted into his touch and silently wished that we could just go back to the way that it used to be, before secrets were revealed. Before we weren’t us anymore.
“So, what do you say to us having a taco date? It’s been too long since our last one.” he asked being the one to break our hug.
“I’d love too.” he grabbed my hand as we journeyed from my room and down the stairs, ignoring the curious look of my father whom I hadn’t noticed was here, and out the door.
“When does he leave?”
“Tonight apparently. You’d think he’d want to spend some time with me since I’m back and all, but no work comes first.” I snapped a little sore about the situation. Another reason I feared coming home was because I knew my father blamed me for my mother leaving, but that was not something I wanted Dave to know just yet. I didn’t want his image of my father to change.
“He didn’t believe you’d come. I don’t know why, but that’s what he told me.” he whispered as I held my head down trying not to cry. Only for a moment did I pause. First I heard my name and then I saw punches. What the hell? Phoenix?
It was all happening so fast. I couldn’t believe my eyes and I had no clue what to do, but what I feared was the look in his eyes. Maybe I had been wrong about him. Maybe he was the monster he feared he was.
My phone hadn’t stopped vibrating since I’d noticed them and it was giving me a killer headache. I knew he saw me when I tried to dip away. It couldn’t have been anyone but him. No one else from their family would be texting me like this.
Then again it could have been one of my many hookups. Or maybe Analisa was texting me like a manic stalker trying to apologize for her accurate assumption and seeing if I still wanted to come over. Whatever the reason it was still annoying. I finally get my Minnie back and for some reason the fates won’t ever let it just be simple for us. Something always gets in the way.
“Maria?” came his voice confused from the sidewalk. I guess he was on his way to meet the new neighbors, but then he saw her. I was curious as hell how they already knew each other, but I knew she’d tell me whenever she was ready. Then I noticed him noticing me and everything changed. I saw the rage and jealousy in his eyes and that really pissed me off. Clearly she had better taste than that. “Get away from her you fucking psycho!”
So many emotions filled me at once.
A bit of relief.
Then I was being hit and all I could see was red.
I never thought of Phoenix as the type. When I first met him he was so sweet and shy. I actually gave him a chance because he reminded me so much of the untainted version of Dave. He was just as tall and muscular. His long blonde hair complimented his olive skin. I later found out that he was mixed and although I loved the way he looked, I loved Dave’s look more. The more I hung out with Phoenix, the more he reminded me of what I had left back home and it was killing me. Inevitably I broke up with him.
It was easy. I just stopped calling, texting and responding and he quickly caught the hint. It never crossed my mind that they could possibly know each other. Looking back I’d ignored all the signs, especially the biggest one. He’d told me more than once where he lived. If I had been paying attention I would have noticed it was the same one that Dave had named during our conversations; but still what were the chances?
“David! Dave stop hurting him!” cried a voice from behind me. That must have been her. The sister. The one Dave hated himself for hurting. She sounded terrified and even I could hear the tears in her eyes as she pleaded for Dave not to kill her brother.
I was still stuck.
Dave looked animalistic as he defended himself. Phoenix had gotten in a few good licks, but something he did made a look I’d never seen from Dave cross his features. He definitely wasn’t my Mickey anymore and looked as if he was enjoying the violence. It broke back memories. He stood over him fist flying over fist making blood spray across Phoenix’s face.
I was both scared and a little turned on.
I’d never seen someone act like this before, but I also felt more confident than ever before that Dave would protect me at all cost if I ever needed him too.
Still as animal-like as he was, his true self shined through. He must’ve heard the same fear as I did in her voice because he stopped as soon as she screamed at him. He may have been calm, but he was still pissed. It was understood, I’d be pissed too if someone attacked me out of nowhere. Despite the reasoning.
“He attacked me Persephone.” he spat. “I was only defending myself.”
“I told him to stay away from you after we first realized it was you. I told him to stay away.” she cried. I stood there trying to decode their body language.
Dave looked like he was stiff. He almost looked like he was forcing himself not to make any sudden movements so that he wouldn’t scare her, but she wasn’t scared. She almost looked like she missed him. It almost looked like she was more pissed at her brother than she was with Dave.
“Clearly he didn’t listen.” he groaned. “Just come on Maria. Let’s go.”
I followed behind him but I kept looking back. She had tears in her eyes as she helped her brother up. Dave was still ridged in his stance as he headed towards his truck. As petty as this sounds, a very big part of me was jealous over the exchange. I wasn’t going to lose Dave to anyone anymore. He was mine and mine only.