French Kissing

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28. Josh persists

Marcy should have guessed that Josh wouldn’t give up so easily. After breaking up with Gretchen he had nothing to lose.

She was in the hallway just before recess when he showed up yet again.

"Hey babe."

Marcy resented the style of greeting. It sounded kind of presumptuous, like she was still his "babe". When she was so far from that it wasn’t true. But she didn’t want to pick a fight or sound petty.

"Hi Josh. Can’t talk right now, I’ve gotta run." She certainly wasn’t going to hang around for more of his pleading.

Unfortunately, he had decided to try a different tactic.

But before Marcy could get away Josh had taken a step towards her. Suddenly his hands were pinning her against the lockers and his mouth was on hers.

It was a shock. It was awful.

And then things got worse.

Just as Marcy tried to push him away - which was immediately - the unwanted kiss was broken up for her.

"Exactly what is going on here?"

At any other time that voice would have sent thrills of happiness through her. Right now it sent chills of fear and frustration.

Mr Grayson. Looking white with fury. Even angrier than Marcy felt towards Josh, if that were possible.

Before she had a chance to explain, Mr Grayson was reprimanding them both.

"This is completely inappropriate behaviour in school hours. You can both take detention. Report to Mr Hailsham’s room after class."

Marcy tried to catch his eye before he left, to send him some kind of look to explain it was totally unwanted on her part, but he looked at Josh rather than her. Then he left, and she could hardly chase after him.

Damn. Damn. Damn. She was in absolute turmoil, freaking out over what he must think. Absolutely furious with Josh, she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, wanting to rid herself of his saliva. She’d forgotten what a sloppy kisser Josh was.

"What the hell did you do that for?"

Josh at least had the grace to look sheepish. "I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for us to get caught."

"Us? There was no us about it. You assaulted me."

"C’mon Marcy, you were into it too. If that French asshole hadn’t gotten all uptight."

Marcy was losing hope that she would ever get through to Josh. Of course she could hardly tell him that the "French asshole" was one of the many reasons why she would never, ever get back with him. "No, Josh, I really wasn’t. I don’t want to kiss you, I don’t want to date you, right now I don’t even want to remain friends with you. It’s over, and if you try anything like that again, I will report it."

She really should report his behaviour now but given that Mr Grayson had blamed both of them, probably no one would believe her.

Josh looked numb. Marcy found it hard to care. She was too miserable about the memory of Mr Grayson’s face, completely despising her. She really hoped she would get a chance at rehearsals that night to explain.

But it was the worst rehearsal ever. Gray completely blanked her, and was completely focused on his role and talking with his fellow actors about their scenes.

Marcy tried to approach him but he dismissed her. Not coldly, so that anyone else would notice anything was wrong. Just politely, but with zero warmth or friendliness.

Even worse was that she hadn’t had a chance to tell Revel about it, and Revel was very late for rehearsal and then was on stage practically the whole time or busy with her lines. Everyone was super serious about trying to remember their roles. After tonight they couldn’t use scripts anymore, and suddenly it was starting to feel like Opening Night would come all too soon.

When they had a break half way through, Gray disappeared and Marcy had no idea where. She finally got a chance to speak with Revel who guessed instantly that something was wrong.

"You two have a row?"

"Far worse." Marcy told her about stupid Josh and his stupid kiss.

"That’s easily fixed. It’s just a misunderstanding. Go and talk to him."

But Marcy had tried this. "He’s avoiding me, he’s just giving me the brush off every time. I don’t even know where he’s gone now."

"He said something to Martin about needing to make a phone call," Revel told her.

Marcy was sure this was just another way of avoiding her.

"Have you tried texting him?" Revel asked.

Marcy had. She had sent "We need to talk" and "it’s not what you think" but he had ignored them. They did, admittedly, sound like just the kinds of texts one would send if they had cheated.

The problem was that Gray had no idea of the history of Josh and her. Marcy felt so stupid that she had never told him about all that, because if she had, he would surely have realised the activity he witnessed was completely one way. It had just never come up. Neither of them had mentioned exes.

Marcy had also been a bit embarrassed about the whole Josh thing. It had all seemed so childish and so high school compared to Gray. Plus all the Brittanny Paige-Mean Girls stuff. It just drew attention to the fact that she was still a high school student, which she preferred to forget when she was with Gray.

If she would ever be with Gray again. She was even supposed to be staying with him that night, and told Revel.

"It’s probably his ego, even if he realises he’s been an idiot he’ll need some time to brood. You’re welcome to stay over at mine if you like," Revel said. "I’m not singing tonight, though it would still be cool if I were."

"Thanks. I’m not sure if I’ll be great company though."

"No problem. Grandmother’s home made raspberry wine will knock us both out to a nice deep sleep. It smells like candy, kicks like a horse," Revel told her. "It’s perfect for banishing a dark mood."

They were interrupted by Mrs Helberg hustling everyone back to the stage for the rehearsal of the second half, and Marcy had no future opportunity to talk with Revel or Gray. Len was now really relying on her as Assistant Director, so Marcy spent all her time in the audience stalls next to him with no opportunity of sneaking backstage and cornering Gray.

Marcy wasn’t surprised to see Gray leave immediately afterwards, not even giving her a chance to say goodnight. He must absolutely hate and despise her. Her heart was sinking deeper and deeper into a pit of black despair.

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