Curly Headed Cutie

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Chp. 26"I'm quitting for you."

We all sit in silence waiting for the song to start playing. The beat comes on and May, Stormy, and I all nod to the soft melody of Lover by Taylor Swift.

There’s a long moment, and I grab my brush off my dresser. I bring it to my lips, and sing into it like a microphone, “We could leave the Christmas lights up ’til January~”

“This is our place, we make the rules~” May joins in, using her phone as a microphone.

“And there’s a dazzling haze, a mysterious way about you, dear~” Stormy sings, using a pencil as her mic, “Have I known you twenty seconds or twenty years?~”

“Can I go~” I sing, standing up on my bed, “Where you goooooo!~”

“Can we always~” May harmonizes, also standing up on the bed, “Be this closeeeee!~”

“Forever!~” Stormy chimes in, standing up on the bed too, “And ever!~ And ah!~”

“Take me out!~ And take me home!~” I sing, May snapping her fingers, and Stormy swaying to the music, “You’re my!~”

“My!~” May chirps, huddling up next to me, Stormy doing the same. “My!~” Stormy chirps, clutching her fist to her chest.

“Myyyyyyy!~” I drawl out, everyone pauses. I look to May and Stormy, and we sing in unison, "Lover."

Laughing hysterically, we look to one another. “We should start a band!” May laughs, and Stormy perks up.

"OMG!!! YASSSS!!!" She yelps, excitedly, “We’ll be The Cuties.” I laugh harder, and May does also. Stormy grins cheekily explaining why she chose that name.

It’s officially the next day, and school ended about an hour or two ago. As you can see, I’m hanging out with May and Stormy in my room.

I invited them to come over, and now we’re listening to some good ol’ Taylor Swift.

As for yesterday, I had a good time hanging out with Jackson and the boys. We all played MK basically until almost midnight, and I, of course, was kicking ass.

Everyone was getting mad that I’m just such a badass at that game, and I just laughed. He’s coming back over today. They’re probably going to be playing some more MK, and I would join them but I’m hanging with my girls.

So, I have no idea if he came over or not...

As for Travis, he was a no-show today. I have no idea where is, but I imagined that he just skipped. Which is something he hardly ever does anymore now that I mention it...

Plus, yesterday was the day I realized I might have feelings for him...

Oh, who am I kidding! I definitely have feelings for him!!!

I can’t stop thinking about him!

Catching feelings for Travis was not something I intended on doing...

But...it was bound to happen...

“We need to have concerts like this more often,” May states, we sitting back down on the bed. “For real!” I agree, smiling, “What song should we do next?”

“Transparent Soul by Willow Smith!” May says excitedly, and Stormy shoots her a look. “Absolutely not! We need to listen to some more Olivia Rodrigo! I hate that song.”

“How could say that?!”

They begin arguing, and I just laugh at their hysterics. I grab my phone, and look through notifications, and frown with disappointment.

Not a single one of them are from Travis...

I texted him earlier, and he hasn’t responded yet. I’ve been checking all day, but there’s nothing there.

Maybe he’s just busy...

Daniel’s POV:

“Daniel, I don’t think we should be eavesdropping on your sister’s conversation,” Simon mumbles, we all huddled up against Tiffany’s door, “Who knows what they’re talking about in there.”

I press my ear harder against the door, listening as the girls laugh. I whisper back, “I’m not eavesdropping, I’m just trying to see if May is talking about me or not...”

“Yeah, so you’re eavesdropping?” Jackson mutters, raising a brow. I shoot him a look, “No!”

“I thought we were playing MK,” Sebastian says, walking from the kitchen with a bag of popcorn, “I can finally whoop some ass without little miss cheater in the mix.”

“I told y’all she cheats!” Simon yelps, throwing his arms up into the air, “I told y’all and you all just laughed at me...”

“Guys! Shhh! I heard somebody say something about me!!” I whisper loudly. They all fall silent as we listen closely.

“Who? Daniel?” Tiffany asks. “Yeah!” May replies, and I become hopeful.

I look to the boys, and whisper excitedly, “They’re talking about me! I told you she was into me!!!”

“I find him annoying and a pain in the ass...”

I cringe at that and just fall to my knees. I press my head against the wooden door in defeat while Jackson, Simon, and Sebastian laugh at me.

She said I was a pain in the ass...

I’m not, am I?

“I told you, mane! She don’t want you!” Sebastian chuckles, eating popcorn, “She’s with Jamison.”

“Soooo!!!” I whine, feeling like someone just stomped on me, “Jamison wouldn’t understand how to treat a girl like that...girls like her tend to be-”

“Don’t finish that thought, please,” Sebastian interrupts, repulsed, “I know exactly where this is going...”

“You and I both know where I’m going with this...” I mumble, imagining May in nothing but a two-piece.

I smirk, looking over at him, ”She’s a lady in the streets but a freak in the sheets~"

“For the love of God, Daniel! He said don’t finish that thought!!” Simon says, kicking my side, “You always get pervy when May’s around!”

“She just brings it out of me...” I mumble, “And just imagine what I could bring out of he-”

Interrupting me, everyone begins kicking me, and I yelp. I hunch over, covering my head as they all begin shouting, ”YOU NASTY SON OF A BITCH!!!”

“HE SAID DON’T FINISH THE SENTENCE!!!!”

“WE NEED SOME DAMN HOLY WATER FOR YOUR DIRTY ASS MIND!!!”

“Stop it!!” I shout, falling over onto my side, they still kicking me, “I’m sorry! Damnit!!! I’m sorry!!!”

They finally quit, and I look up at them breathless. I frown and open my mouth to say something until Tiffany’s door opens.

Tiffany’s POV:

May opens my door, revealing Daniel and the boys standing there, “I had a feeling you all were hanging out here...pervs.”

“It’s not like that!” Simon protests, “It was all Daniel! If anything he’s the perv!”

“I wasn’t!” Daniel exclaims, blushing, “I was just being excited for my sister’s new friends! Nothing like eavesdropping or anything!!”

May narrows her eyes, “Right, perv.” She then slams the door on their faces, and I giggle. Stormy does the same, as May turns around plops back down on the bed next to me.

“Yep. He’s a real pain in the ass...” May mumbles, shaking her head, “I don’t know how you can stand him...”

“He isn’t all that bad. I mean, sure, he has his moments, but he’s still a caring brother.” I state, smiling.

“AWEEE! Tiffany loves her brother!!!” Stormy sings, bringing her hands together, “Must be nice having siblings. I’m the only child.”

“Trust me, it’s a blessing being the only child.” May says, shaking her head, “Siblings make you want to hang them by their toes.”

Stormy and I stare at her, and she continues, “And then once you’ve hung them by their toes, you watch them, and eventually, they’ll realize that you’re the better sibling. The one in charge, so they better be careful about what they say or do or else. And if they don’t admit these things, it’s off with their heads...”

“Who hurt you and why?” I ask, concerned. May glances over at me, “No one. Why?”

“Don’t mind her.” Stormy says, waving off her comment, “Anyway. Did I tell you guys what Joshua gave me as a promise to marry me one day?”

“No, but I get the feeling you’re going to tell us.” May mumbles.

“A ring pop.” Stormy says, annoyed, “He gave me a ring pop, and said ‘I love you, babe! To the moon and back! Be mine for the long run?’ Like what?”

“Awe! That’s kinda cute, ” May says, smiling, “That’s what Jam Jam did when we had our 1st anniversary. Except it wasn’t a ring pop. He took me out, and we went to this little picnic area. And then he took me to his house where I chit-chatted with his family. And then we-”

“Okay! We get it!! Your relationship is cuter than mine!!” Stormy interrupts, glaring at her, “Joshy didn’t do any of that. I was over his house last night, and he got down on one knee, and pulled it out saying, ‘Here’s something sweet for my sweetie’.”

May frowns, “Sounds like something Josh would do. I swear, he and Travis don’t think before they just do things. Both so compulsive. Especially Travis. Don’t even get me started on him.”

“And this is coming from the girl who had a fat crush on him in middle school...” Stormy mumbles, smirking, and May blushes.

Wait whaaaaaa!!!

“You liked Travis?” I ask, suddenly curious. “That was middle school!!! I don’t like him now!! I have my Jam Jam,” May explains, crossing her arms, “I fucking hate him...so annoying...”

I laugh, awkwardly.

I guess that makes one of us...

“I like Travis!! He’s sweet! To me at least...” Stormy replies, shrugging, “What about you, Tiffany?”

I tense up at that question, remembering yesterday on the bus. I begin to sweat, as I stutter, “Um, I...um...”

Should I tell them Travis and I shared a kiss? I mean, he and I promised to just keep to ourselves, but I feel like I should tell them...

“Tiffany?” Stormy says, concern written all over her face, “You okay?? You seem tense.”

“Travis and I kissed!” I blurt and May and Stormy both stare in shock. I bring my hands to my face, it probably becoming super red.

“When?!” Stormy asks, eyes wide. “Yeah! And why haven’t you told us?!” May chimes in, eyes narrowed.

“Because!” I pout, standing up; starting to pace, “Travis and I both agreed to keep it a secret for the both of us, and I hate breaking promises! So, I kept my mouth shut, and just tried acting like it never happened, but no! Turns out, I might actually have feelings for him!! I can’t get him off my mind and to make it all worse, he supposedly didn’t mean to kiss me but when we kissed, it was like we both wanted this so bad!!! But it was a mistake because we were both extremely tipsy and that makes me sad because I enjoyed the kiss we shared but I guess he didn’t!! And now I’m conflicted, lost, and just downright crushing on a guy who probably doesn’t want me back! And I texted him this morning, but he hasn’t said anything yet, and I think he might be purposely ignoring me or something!!!”

Woah! I just admitted some things I didn’t realize I felt...

May and Stormy stare in shock as I avoid their gaze. “Tiffany, that’s....” Stormy mumbles, thoughtfully, ”THAT’S AMAZING!!!!"

I look back at her as she begins giggling girlishly, ”YOU AND TRAVIS WOULD BE SO CUTE TOGETHER!!! YOU’D BE SO MUCH BETTER FOR HIM!!! And don’t worry about him, he always skips. Probably driving around town and ignoring his phone as per usual.”

I blush at the thought of Travis and I together.

Holding hands, going out on dates...

Kissing...

I bring my hands to my face, feeling my heart begin to race.

“No! No! I will not let Travis take away this sweet girl’s innocence!!” May protests, shaking her head, “Just look at what Joshua did to you!”

“Joshua did nothing to me. I just matured.” Stormy explains, rolling her eyes, “And besides, adding Joshua into my life made me a more confident woman. Who’s to say Travis won’t do that for Tiffany?”

May narrows her eyes at her, and Stormy wiggles her eyebrows, “Or even vice versa??”

“Travis doesn’t need any more confidence boosters. He’s already cocky enough,” May states, rolling her eyes, “But maybe you’re right...”

“I know I’m right! Tiffany would be a great change for Travis! Especially with all the girls he’s dated in the past!”

I watch as they continue to talk about Travis and me starting a relationship. I swallow hard, unsure if I should interrupt or simply get ideas from them.

I sigh with frustration, and May and Stormy both look to me, “Guys, I really don’t think any of this is necessary. Travis and I agreed to just keep our little kiss to ourselves, and now I need for you two to keep it to yourselves. Don’t breathe a word of this to him or anyone, okay??”

“But why keep it a secret??” Stormy asks, confused, “Clearly if he kissed you, some part of him wanted to.”

And that’s what’s bothering me...

Some part of him that night wanted to kiss me, but I just feel like maybe...

I’m reading too much into it...

“Maybe you’re right, maybe you’re not, but nonetheless, it’s something that we agreed was a mistake. So, please??”

Stormy and May both look at each other with worried expressions. May looks to me, and nods, “Alright. If you say so.”

Daniel’s POV:

“You fatasses ate all of the hotpockets,” I grunt, as we pull into the grocery store parking lot. Simon points to Sebastian, and shouts from the backseat, ”IT WAS SEA!!!"

“No it wasn’t, dipshit!!” Sebastian retorts sitting next to Simon. He shoves Simon’s finger out of face, grumbling, “It was you too!!”

“Both of you did it, so why argue??” Jackson chimes in, sitting in the passenger seat scrolling through his phon.

“Thank you, Jackson!!” I reply, parking the car in a parking space, “Finally there’s someone in this car that isn’t stupid. Aside from myself that is...”

“Riiiight, because you’re just so smart, Daniel,” Simon says, narrowing his brown eyes at me through the rearview. I narrow my eyes back at him, unplugging my keys from ignition, “Fuck you...”

I unbuckle my seatbelt, and look around the car, “Anyway, you dumbasses want anything???”

"FRUIT ROLL UPSSS!!!" Sebastian and Simon chirp excitedly. “I haven’t had a fruit roll up since I was like 8.” Sebastian states, shaking his head.

"FOR REAL!!! A fruit roll up sound good as hell,” Simon agrees, nudging his shoulder. I roll my eyes, “Okay, fruit roll ups. Anything else? No? Okay!!”

I quickly hop out of the car, slam the car door shut. I grin as I hear their loud shouts of protest. I chuckle, shoving my keys into the pocket of shorts.

I walk across the parking lot, girls from my school staring at me, lustfully. I pull open the grocery store door and the rings as I enter. I look around the store and suddenly become tense recognizing a familiar face emerge from the candy aisle.

I ball my hands up into my fists, my jaw becoming tight as our eyes meet, “Luka.” He awkwardly waves, walking up to me, “Hey...Daniel...”

We stare at one another, Luka looking as guilty as ever. I bite my bottom lip, feeling that sting of hurt yet anger all at once.

What he did...is unforgivable...

And yet I can’t help but wish it all was fake...

That none of what happened that night was just some really fucked up rumor.

But I know Travis and Tiffany would never lie about anything like that...

Especially Tiffany...

Sebastian, Simon, Jackson, Tiffany, I and pretty much everyone has been avoiding him ever since the incident. And it’s been hard as hell to do that since I have football practice with him and all I want to do is punch his damn, stupid face in.

And now, here I am face to face with the damn asshole...

“Look, Daniel...” Luka, mumbles, looking down at his feet, “I...I just want to say-”

“I don’t give a damn about what you have to say,” I reply, bluntly, and he goes silent, “You’re lucky I don’t beat your fucking ass for what you did...”

The only reason I haven’t is because of Tiffany.

She asked for me not to make this whole situation worse than it already is...

“I know...” He replies, sighing, scratching his bruised face, “I know I fucked up. I know what I did was wrong. I didn’t mean to-”

“Hurt her? Scare her?” I interrupt, narrowing my eyes at him, that stinging feeling returning, “She was shaking when Travis brought her out of that party. I was seeing red when they told me everything. If it wasn’t for her or Travis, I probably would’ve done something I would regret.”

I grab him by the collar of his shirt, yanking him closer to me, and he gasp staring at me in shock, “I was about ready to kill somebody for hurting my sister and to make it all worse it would’ve been someone I’ve known since I was in elementary school. Someone who knows everything about me and my family.”

He gulps, his eyes full of guilt as I continue, “Someone that I trusted the most and he did nothing but prove to me that he was a fucking piece of shit who didn’t deserve an ounce of my respect.”

My eyes soften and my hearts aches as I remember all of times we had shared together growing up. We stuck to each others sides like glue. Always going places together and if the one wasn’t going neither was the other.

Tears come to my eyes at those memories, I feeling angry yet sad all at once.

I lost a really good friend...

One of my best friends to be exact...

“You have no idea,” I say through gritted teeth, trying to hold back my tears of frustration, “how your actions affected everyone. Some of your closest friends that you completely discarded for your own selfish needs. And for that...I’ll never be able to call you my friend again...”

His eyes grow sad and gloss over. He gulps again, avoiding my gaze, “Yeah...I get that...I...totally respect that...”

“Is there a problem over here?” A store employee asks, walking over staring between us curiously. “No sir...” I reply, letting go of Luka’s shirt, aggressively, and he stumbles back, “Everything’s just fine.”

*************************************************

Tiffany’s POV:

I lay in bed staring up at my ceiling, lost in thought. It’s almost midnight, and I haven’t gotten a wink of sleep yet.

Ever since Stormy, May, and I talked earlier about Travis, I can’t seem to get him off my mind.

It’s like he’s running a marathon through my head...

I look to the photo of Mom on my dresser, and sigh, “This boy...is driving me crazy, Mom...” I yawn and grab my phone. I start texting Travis.

Me:

Hey! You didn’t show up for school today!

I stare at the send button for a moment, feeling nervous.

Should I send it?

It’s just a harmless message...

I shake my head, and before I know it, I press the backspace button. Feeling annoyed with myself, I set my phone back on my nightstand, and pull off my glasses. I set them on the nightstand too, and just roll over onto my other side.

I stare at the wall, sighing, pulling my blankets closer to me.

Just go to bed, Tiffany, you’ll probably see him tomorrow...

I close my eyes, and suddenly, I hear a loud thump against my window. My eyes fly open, as I look over my shoulder at my window. The thumping continues, and I sit up.

I grab my glasses and slip them onto my face before hopping out of bed. I carefully make my way over to my window and slowly pull back my curtains. I jump as my eyes meet his, “Travis?!”

“Holy shit! I found the right window!” He says, excitedly, look around, stumbling a little. I look him up and down, noticing that he’s shirtless.

I blush profusely as Travis then asks, pointing to the lock, “Hey! C-Can you o-o-open your window? I need to t-t-tell you somethin’.”

His words sound slurred...

Don’t tell me...

I slowly open my window and stare up at him, eyes narrowed, “Travis, what are you-” “I’m-I’m quitting for you. Okay? I’m going to-to stop street-fighting for mon-money...for you, Princess..”

He then leans over and whispers in my ear; the smell of alcohol coming off his breath, “D-D-Don’t tell the boys I said that! They don’t know I left the match and drove here...”

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