The Girl Next Door

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Chapter 22: Shock

I woke up Sunday morning face down at the kitchen table. My head pounded. I was hungover as hell. I looked around myself and saw empty can upon empty bottle upon empty can of beer.

I heard the shrill ring of my cellphone somewhere around me. I groaned at the pounding in my head and located my phone. “Hello?” I mumbled.

“Matthew? It’s- it’s Jackson.”

“Who?” I asked rubbing my eye.

I heard the guy on the other end sigh. “I’m the guy Shaina was kissing last night. Don’t hang up!” he yelled before I could react. “Please. Let me explain.”

Everything that happened last night with Shaina came flooding back and I was pissed. “You’ve got 2 minutes.” I growled clenching my fist.

“Alice has some dirt on me I’m not proud of. At all. And she threatened to tell everybody if I didn’t, you know, trick you into breaking up with Shaina. I would never have done it if Alice didn’t have what she has on me. It was not Shaina at all. It was all me.”

I ran a hand down my face. “Wow. Okay. Thanks for the heads up, Jackson.” I hung up the phone.

I cleaned up my mess in the kitchen as my dad staggered in. I froze. He looked at the mess of bottles and cans and laughed. “Just like your old man, huh?”

That woke me up to reality so fast. I dropped the garbage I was holding and looked at him. “I’m nothing like you.” I spat.

He just cackled, “That’s what you think.”

I clenched my fists and pushed past him and out of the house. I spent the night at Nick’s house that night. Shaina never tried to call me. Not once.

Monday morning

“Come on, man. Quit being so down.” Nick said as we pulled into the parking lot. “I get you loved her and she cheated on you but dude, you’ve got to cheer up.”

“Thanks for the pep talk guys but I’m gonna head inside. Don't wait up.” I said grimly.

As I entered the front doors, I was met with a crowd of students yelling and screaming. I pushed my way through and was shocked to find Shaina and Alice in a heap on the floor.

Shaina sat on Alice’s midsection. I watched in total disbelief as Shaina slapped Alice. “That’s for paying Kyle to rape me!” she screamed. She reared back and punched Alice in the nose. I heard the sickening crunch of bones breaking. “And that’s for having his friend try to finish the job.” She grabbed a fist full of Alice’s hair and yanked it. “And that’s for the flyers.” Finally, Shaina landed a blow that rang through the hallways, “And that’s for Matthew!”

Two teachers pushed through the students and towards the two fighting girls. Before they could pull they apart, Alice landed a solid punch to Shaina’s nose. Blood ran down her face. As the teachers pulled them apart, students scattered in all directions. Shaina caught my eyes. She wiped the blood from her nose and allowed the teacher to pull her away.

As crazy as it sounds, I was so proud of Shaina for standing up to Alice. Really proud. And I decided, as they led Shaina off down the hall, that it was time for me to stand up to my own monsters.

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