Chapter 10. Deja Vu
A soft knock sounded on my bedroom door. I was lying in bed trying to sleep but failing miserably as usual. It was one in the morning. I sighed and climbed out of bed in just a pair of shorts. I threw the door open, and it was Mia. I stared at her in confusion.
She pushed past me, and I shut the door.
“Holy shit, déjà vu, anyone?” I teased. I turned to face her. It took everything I had not to reach for her. “What are you doing here?” My voice was cold. I took in the scowl that was implanted in her face.
“Is it true?” she asked angrily.
“Am I in a twilight zone or some shit?” I chuckled. “Well, it might be true. It depends on who you asked.” The smartass act was to keep from being serious. I had to try hard to keep up the act so she couldn’t see how vulnerable I was when it came to her.
“More like who it came from,” she said and placed her hands on her hips.
“Why are you even here, Mia? Regardless of what is or isn’t true. It shouldn’t fucking matter,” I said sharply. I was beginning to get curious as to what the hell she was talking about.
“Did my dad plant those drugs in your car? Don’t lie to me,” she spat.
The fact that she knew that made my head spin. “What?” I asked in disbelief. My entire façade dropped to the floor. She doesn’t know for sure, or she wouldn’t have asked. Lie!
“Tell me,” she sneered.
“No.” I shrugged. “I like coke,” I lied smoothly.
“You’re lying,” she called me out.
I was a good liar for her to see past the lie; it made me wonder how she did. “No, I’m not,” I argued with a stern expression.
“Emily told me that Jesse told her it wasn’t yours. She told me you weren’t even charged for it.”
“I have a good lawyer.”
“I know it wasn’t yours. You don’t act like some strung-out crackhead. What I don’t understand is why you would want me to believe that? Do you really want nothing to do with me? Why were you approaching me the other day?”
“I get on and off it from time to time. It was mine. Emily lied to you. I don’t want to see you, Mia. You moved on, anyways. We would never work. I get into far too much trouble, and your dad will bust me every chance he gets. I wasn’t approaching you. I was headed to class. I was just surprised to see you with someone like Matt Gibson. He doesn’t seem your type.” It was hard to keep my voice light.
“You’re lying. I just don’t understand why,” she said and shrugged.
“Think whatever the fuck you want to think. Did you ever think maybe I was just interested in getting laid?” I smirked. My voice was cold, it didn’t sound like me at all, and she knew it.
“No.” She shook her head. “I know when guys are just trying to get laid. I’ve met plenty of guys like that. You’re not one of them, I know it. I think you’re hiding something else.”
“I’m not hiding anything. I tried that, and your dad busted my ass. I like pot and cocaine. I’ve got a fake ID too. Want to see it?”
She moved toward me slowly. Her hands trembled slightly as she placed them on my chest.
The skin contact had my legs shaking. I felt like I was on the edge of collapsing. I gritted my teeth as that familiar ache coursed through my chest. I placed a hand on the wall we were standing next to in an attempt to keep my balance. My façade slipped once again.
She looked up and met my gaze. No doubt, she could see the pain in my eyes.
“I was stupid to think that getting over you was going to be some simple task. Maybe we weren’t together, but it was coming. I could feel it. I used Matt to get over you, but that isn’t going to work. I was trying anything to get over you. Then I saw you watching me, and you made getting over it impossible. I wish you would just tell me the truth. You hate hurting me. I see it in your eyes. But, God, you don’t even realize how well you are succeeding. I’m so pissed at you for it.”
I couldn’t speak. I unclenched my teeth and let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding. “It won’t change anything. Just leave,” I said through gritted teeth.
“Fine, but stop watching me. It only makes it hurt worse,” she retorted. Tears rolled down her cheeks. She stormed out of my bedroom.
A groan escaped me. I held my hand to my chest as I stumbled up against the wall. I turned my head to stare at the door she had just walked out of. She thinks getting over me is hard, but getting over her is harder–I thought to myself. It was what I wanted to tell her, but I managed to stop myself.
It was stupid what I was about to do. Every part of me knew I would regret it. I sat outside of the coffee shop and watched her through the windows. I should have left, but I could not put one foot in front of the other. My heart crashed against my ribs at the sight of her. The night air was plenty warm enough for a bike ride. It was humid or sticky, just dry and warm.
My parents and I consumed a plan. We thought of everything in case something was to go wrong. We had to first and for most protect what we were. They knew what I was going to do. Mom told me to be careful. Dad told me to go for it.
Mia’s shift was nearly over, so I pulled the bike out back. I climbed off the bike and waited for her to come out.
Mia came out and shut the door behind her. She spun around and saw me instantly. Her eyes widened in shock.
I gestured with my pointer finger for her to come to me.
Her eyes became careful. She bit down on her lip as she slowly strolled over to me.
I got onto the bike, started it, and gave her a questioning look.
To my surprise, she climbed onto the bike and wound her arms around my waist. We peeled out of the parking lot and headed toward the beach.
When we reached the beach, I killed the bike.
She climbed off the bike, and I climbed off after. Her eyes were filled with excitement from the ride, but her expression was serious.
I lifted my hand out for her to take it.
She stared at it in confusion but accepted it. We walked down the beach hand in hand. I remained silent even after we made it down to the water’s edge. I was hoping she would start the conversation because I wasn’t sure how.
“What’s going on? You haven’t said anything,” she said. She stopped walking.
I sighed and turned to face her. “I didn’t want to do this, but I hated hurting you. I care about you so much that it honestly scares me a little. You could destroy me. You have no idea. I’ve never been the type to care about someone so much before. Not like this.” I played with her fingers for a moment before I dropped her hand. I ran my fingers through my hair and dropped my arms back to my sides. I shrugged. “I lied.”
“I know,” she said and shrugged.
“I wasn’t lying about one thing. I do get into trouble. Sometimes I do shit I shouldn’t, and I hate knowing your father could fuck my life up,” I said. “The only reason the charges were dropped was I used you to piss your dad off. It worked, and he hit me. That fucked up the interrogation. They had no choice but to drop the charges. Don’t get me wrong. My parents have the best lawyers in the world. It would have disappeared regardless.”
Mia kept her eyes on mine. She opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out, so I continued.
“That doesn’t mean I want something illegal planted on me every time I go to drop you off. I’ve liked you from the moment I laid eyes on you. I can’t even describe the feeling. You were unreal. You still feel that way. I become ridiculously crazy every time I see you. I hated seeing you with Ricky and Matt. I tried telling myself that you moved on and that it was what I wanted,” I paused. “Then you showed up at my house. You saw right through everything. I wasn’t sure whether to marvel at you or be afraid. I never thought I’d get so attached to someone.”
“Are you hiding something?”
“No,” I lied. I could see she didn’t believe me. “Just understand that in time you will learn more about my life and my past. But I’m not going to just tell you it all in one go.”
She knitted her eyebrows together and looked toward the ocean.
“You have to accept it for now and trust me, or this won’t work, Mia,” I murmured.
She looked up at me. She had a decision to make, and she knew it. It wasn’t easy to accept, but it wasn’t easy to walk away, and I knew that. Depending on how things worked out, I planned to tell her the entire truth, but not right away.
Some part of me expected her to walk away. Why would you want to be with someone who couldn’t tell you the truth? However, like my dad said, if someone feels for you what you feel for them, you can’t just walk away. My dad is a smart guy, and I was counting on him being right.
There was a flicker of some sort of emotion in her eyes that I couldn’t describe. She cringed for a moment.
I looked away and waited for her to turn her back on me. But for whatever reason, she doesn’t. She must be crazy – I thought.
She dashed toward me. She threw her arms around my neck and stood on her toes. Our lips collided with an equal desire. It was a desire to be together.
At that moment, something inside of me clicked into place. It was the most whole I felt in months. I kissed her back, fiercely, and tangled a hand into her hair. It felt as if the entire world was lifted from my shoulders. It was such a freeing feeling that I felt like I could fly.
We were never going to work out as friends because friends don’t dream about the way you taste. I nibbled on her bottom lip. I needed this kiss to be more than the one we shared before. My tongue slipped into her mouth, and I pulled her closer.
She molded her body to mine, and she fit so perfectly. A soft sigh escaped her. Her fingers tangled into my hair.
It was always undeniable. It was too perfect to be just some teenage crush. There was a sort of reassurance to the kiss that this was it. Nothing was going to come between us, not even her dad, or at least I hoped.
We broke apart breathlessly. My insides felt like they had all bursted. I had to look down to be sure I wasn’t burning alive.
“You do bad things to me, mami,” I murmured.
She smiled wistfully. “You do bad things to me, too,” she said.
We pulled up a block from Mia’s. She climbed off the bike, and I killed it. She bent down slightly to kiss me.
When we broke apart, I smirked. “I’m never going to get tired of kissing you. Give me another one,” I said and chuckled.
“You’re greedy,” Mia said. She pressed her lips to mine again.
“You taste good.” I licked my lips.
She chuckled and shook her head. “See you tomorrow,” she murmured.
“See you,” I said. I watched her as she walked away and disappeared around a corner. I kicked the bike to life and peeled away. I sped through town but didn’t run into a single cop.
When I reached the mansion, I put my bike away and headed inside. There was a wide grin across my face, which was sure to be questioned, considering the grump I had been.
“How did it go, lover boy?” Dad teased.
Austin, Benny, Luis, Dad, Abel, and Joey were sitting at the kitchen table. They were playing poker.
“Well, I didn’t get kicked in the nuts, so...” I trailed off and shrugged.
“Girl troubles?” Austin chuckled.
“Not anymore,” I smirked.
“Must have the Garcia charm,” Austin said and laughed.
“Maybe he gets it from his papa.” Papa walked into the kitchen. He sat down next to dad.
They all started to argue about who I got the charm from. I grabbed a beer and sat down at the table.
“Do I get to get in on this game or what?” I asked.
“Have your balls dropped yet?” Luis chuckled.
“Want to see?” I challenged as I stood up and started to unzip my jeans.
“Don’t even,” Mom said as she strolled into the kitchen.
I chuckled and sat back down. “Chill, Ma, I was just playing.”
Dad laughed and dealt me in.
“I’m going to kick all your asses.” I chuckled.
They all booed me.
Mom sat down on Dad’s lap to watch him play.
I wasn’t bad at poker, but I haven’t ever won against Dad, Mom, or Papa. Maybe tonight I would win. It sure as hell felt like my lucky night.