Maybe Just One More

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Chapter 27. My Faults

Avery’s POV

Weeks passed, and Stormie hadn’t said a word to me. I was possibly high or drunk most of those days. I tried to get her to talk to me, but she wouldn’t. I spent most of my free time. I had no desire to see anyone but her.

Susie tried to speak to me on several occasions when she noticed the tension between Stormie and me, but I brushed her off as I always did, which pissed her off.

It was the first week of March, and Stormie was fifteen weeks pregnant and due on August 24th. Every time that she so much as looked at me, I could see the pain in her eyes that I caused her.

Everyone knew that Stormie was pregnant. Somehow Susie had found out and told everyone the day after our fight. They all knew that the baby was mine too. A bunch of guys high fived me that day, and at first, I didn’t know why. When I found out, I told people to shut their mouths, and it wasn’t their business.

Peyton assured me that Stormie wasn’t getting grief about the pregnancy apart from Susie. I wished I was a girl just for ten minutes so I could beat the hell out of the bitch. I told Peyton I would post bail if she beat her ass for me, that didn’t work.

Mason and I weren’t what you would call friends. We weren’t fighting, but when we talked, we didn’t talk about Stormie. If we talked at all, it was when absolutely necessary.

We won the state championship in February, not that I cared much. Most things seemed meaningless anymore. The only thing I kept in my mind was the baby. I was confident at that point that it was the baby that kept me from going completely insane. I was only about half of what I used to be.

“Avery.” Someone called me back to planet earth.

I looked up, confused. “Mm, what?” I asked.

“Can I get an ounce or what?” Howie asked.

“Yeah, man, sorry,” I said.

“What’s with you?” he asked.

“Just tired. I work a lot,” I muttered. I was working at my grandpa’s tire shop in town now to make extra money, not that I needed it. I had plenty of money, but I had to be careful on how I spent it so the IRS wouldn’t notice.

After I weighed it up, I handed it to him and spoke again. “I’m going to tell you what I told everyone else. It would be best if you told your people to find a new source. I’m done dealing by mid-June.”

“Why is that?” he asked.

“Well, for one, I’d like to not go to prison. I’m probably not going to see my kid much as it is,” I said. “And for two, I won’t be around here anymore. I’m not driving from Waco to Dallas to Granbury and back to Waco.”

“Good point,” he said and chuckled. “I forgot for a minute about the whole dad thing. How is that going?”

I shrugged. “Fine as far as I know. She won’t tell me much, and if she does, she leaves me information from the doctors in my mailbox.”

“She really hasn’t spoken to you in three months?” he asked.

“Not a word,” I said.

“What happened?” he asked.

“Man, I don’t want to talk about it,” I said. “I try hard not to think about it at all.”

Howie put his hands in the air as if in surrender. “My bad.”

“See you,” I said.

“See you.” He headed for the stairs.

I heard my bedroom door close. I turned my stereo on and laid down on the couch. Music blared loudly through the speakers. What I loved most about loud music was that I couldn’t think with it that loud.

“This fucking sucks,” I said. My voice couldn’t be heard over the speakers.

My stereo turned off.

There was only one person I knew that was brave enough to turn off my stereo. My eyes widened, and I sat upward quickly. Stormie stood upright and turned to face me.

She was wearing a tank top. Of course, I had seen her in school, so I knew that she was showing. As a matter of fact, she was only fifteen weeks pregnant and looked at least twenty weeks pregnant.

My gaze swept over her. It wasn’t like I could help it. I missed her so badly, and she was carrying my baby, which was somehow a turn on. You would think producing a baby at a young age would be a complete turn-off, but it had the opposite effect.

She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest, pushing her boobs up slightly.

The action made my mouth water, and my gaze fell to her breast, which was a little bigger.

“You’re a perve,” she said.

I laughed.

“I’m so glad you find that amusing.” She narrowed her eyes.

“The first time you speak to me in eleven miserable fucking weeks, and the first thing you do is turn off my stereo and call me a perve,” I said. “How was I not supposed to laugh?”

“I brought you this,” she said.

“Not leaving it in my mailbox? Impressive,” I said. I took the square paper from her hand and looked at it.

“Well, I wasn’t sure how many times you had seen an ultrasound, so I thought I might explain. Besides, I’m going to have to deal with you eventually,” she muttered.

“You break my heart. You know that?” I raised my eyebrows.

“Me? What about you?” she challenged.

“I told you I was sorry. I even offered to pay a couple of different girls to beat the hell out of Susie, and I would do it my damn self if I were a girl,” I said. “What the fuck do I got to do to prove to you that I’m sorry? Fuck, all I have done since I first kissed you was apologize!”

She grimaced. “Don’t make this my fault.”

“I’m not, Stormie. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have slept with Susie. I told you the truth when I said I don’t remember it. I don’t remember any of it. I only recall waking up to her. I asked a few people what happened, and they said they didn’t even see me with her,” I said and shrugged. “Even if I did remember, which I don’t, it would be just as meaningless. She doesn’t mean anything, just like every girl before you didn’t mean anything!” I grabbed her face between my hands and smashed my lips to hers.

Her arms fell to her sides, and she didn’t kiss me back.

I backed her against the wall and kissed her harder, but it didn’t matter. She was frozen solid. She refused to let me in. I nibbled down on her bottom lip.

She pushed against my chest. “Stop!”

“Kiss me,” I pleaded.

Tears fell down her cheeks. “Please, stop.”

I dropped my hands and backed away from her. “I’ve seen ultrasounds before. You don’t have to explain anything. Just get out,” I murmured. I plopped back down on the couch and buried my face in my hands.

“How are we supposed to take care of the babies if you can’t control yourself?” she asked. “You’ve been drinking and smoking more. You won’t talk to anyone. I’m in a room all of two minutes, and you’re kissing me.”

I lifted my head tiredly.

“You look like you haven’t slept in days,” she murmured.

“I haven’t,” I snapped. “Because every goddamn time I close my eyes, you are the only thing I see!” I shouted. I slammed my fists down onto the coffee table, and one of the legs gave out. I stood up and kicked it across the room—the opposite direction from Stormie. I fell to my knees and buried my face in my hands.

“Avery,” Stormie whispered.

“I told you to get the fuck out,” I snarled. Pain pulsed through my chest. My head felt like it exploded.

“We’re having twins. They’re fraternal. That means they could be a boy and a girl, or two girls, or two boys. I find out on April tenth. Let me know if you want to go with,” she said. Her footsteps descended, and after a moment, I heard my bedroom door close.

***

“Dude, are you okay?” Howie asked.

“He’s fine,” Mason said and laughed.

It was the most I had hung out with Mason in months.

“Come on, bro, do another keg stand,” Mason said.

The room spun violently by the time I was down from the keg.

Mason handed me a red solo cup.

“What is in here?” I asked.

“Jack and Coke,” Mason said.

Music boomed through the house. I slammed the drink and threw the cup carelessly behind me.

“Savage!” Mason hooted.

A familiar face stood in the doorway. Stormie turned and walked away. I had to know what she was doing here. I stumbled after her, but by the time I got to the living room, she was gone. Am I seeing things? Damn, I need to go the fuck to bed. I walked into a bathroom and closed the door. I puked into the sink and fell back on my ass.

“Avery, are you good?” Someone asked and pounded on the door.

My head turned, and I looked at the door. My eyes felt like they weighed a ton. I tried to answer, but I couldn’t get the words out. Then everything went black.

***

The next morning, the light poured through my windows, causing me to squint. I groaned. I propped myself up on my elbows and looked around, confused. I tried to remember how I got back to my house. The last thing I remembered was Mason telling me to do another keg stand.

“Damn,” I grunted.

“I’d say,” a high voice said behind me.

I jumped out of bed and stumbled back. I looked over myself and over at her. I was in nothing, but shorts and I wasn’t sure what she had on beneath the sheets.

She kept the sheet pressed to her chest. “Good morning to you too.”

“What the fuck?” I gasped. “No,” I shook my head. “What are you–”

My door opened, and I spun around.

The worst person that could have walked in, and she did. Her timing was impeccable. It was Stormie.

She took in me and then looked at the girl who was in my bed. The girl in my bed was her ex-best friend, Susie.

I swallowed hard.

Stormie’s face turned green, literally. She turned and dashed out of my room.

“Fuck,” I said through clenched teeth. I sprinted down the stairs and chased her out the back door. “Stormie, wait!” I shouted. I caught her and stopped her.

“Don’t fucking touch me!” She screamed. She brought her hand up and slapped me.

My face whipped to the side from the power of the hit.

“Bastard,” she spat. “God, I can’t even believe I was going to give you another chance! Go to hell, seriously.”

“Stormie, wait!” I pleaded. Tears flowed freely from my eyes.

She turned around. “I don’t know what I ever saw in you. God, if you can honestly sleep with that bitch a second time, then I know just how little I meant to you.”

I dropped my hand like she electrocuted me. “I didn’t–”

“Are you serious?” she laughed humorlessly. “You’re going to stand there and deny it?!”

“I don’t know,” I said. “I was fucked up last night. I don’t–”

“You’re going to use that story again?” she asked. “You’re an idiot. I hate you.” She turned and stormed away from me.

I ran my fingers through my hair as I tried to wrap my head around what had just happened. My stomach twisted as I replayed the last three words she said to me in my head.

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