4: Complicated Misery
The overwhelming feeling of commitment hangs over me as Blair sits with me. “You have to do this,” Blair reassures me as I stare into the distance, thinking about Zac. Whatever has happened to us in the past would have to be put aside, maybe we should start again. Or maybe this is it, my last chance with Zac. “Tess, just do it.” She pushes my phone in my hand, aggravated that I’ve stalled this long. Zac’s number is already up. I just needed to press the call button.
I press the button and go straight to voicemail. I let out the breath I’ve been holding and slowly put the phone down, numb. Blair looks at me expectantly and I can’t bring myself to do anything other than shake my head. If I cry I won’t be able to stop, so I take a deep breath and move away from this part of my life.
My phone vibrates and I want to throw my phone to the wall, then I read the name. I my heart reaches the moon, an indescribable feeling takes hold of me and my voice is high when I answer. “Hello?” I ask timidly. Blair gasps and I put my finger to my lips to signal her to be quiet.
“Tessa,” A long pause. “Why have you called me?” I’m still not over my high of happiness and miss his rudeness.
“I wanted to hear your voice.” I say honestly, I have missed his voice so much. The line goes quiet,
“Tess, I...” Zac’s voice trails off but I already know what he wants to say and I can’t help but smile.
“Zac...” I whisper as it seems the only word I can form. “I’ve missed you so much.” I whisper. I can hear Zac getting choked up, which only happens around me.
“Tess I left you.” The world around me stops,
Slowly, I let out another breath. “I don’t understand.” I state honestly.
Zac’s line goes a bit fuzzy. “Can we talk about this over dinner?” I nod before I realise he can’t see me, but apparently he doesn’t have to. “How about tomorrow night? We can go to the restaurant.”
“Okay,” My voice squeaks and I clear my throat. “Yeah that’d be great.” A small smile crawls onto my lips and I don’t have the will to make it go away.
Zac’s charming laugh comes through the receiver softly and that broadens my smile. “I’ll pick you up Sunday night at 7 then. I love you Tessa.”
“Goodbye.” He hangs up and Blair looks at me intently, though I completely forgot she was there. I hug my arms to myself and cover my lips with my hand, not meeting her gaze.
I feel emotionally drained already.
Blair hugs me while I gather my bearings. “This is the worst day of my life.” I try to laugh but it comes out wrong and I choke on the lump in my throat. He told me he loves me but he still left. I groan and look at Blair,
“This is going to be painful.” I state begrudgingly. Blair nods and tries to laugh, I focus on my breathing, in and out.
“It probably is.” She agrees, smiling despite my obvious nerves. I let Blair hold me and play with my hair while I gather my bearings. My phone vibrates and Blair takes it out of my hand before I can look at it.
“Uck,” Blair looks at me with disgust, “Brooke.” She shows me my phone. I flop down on my bed,
“Just let it ring, pretend we aren’t here.” I close my eyes and listen as the phone goes to voicemail. Blair gives me back my phone and it starts vibrating again, I look at the text popping up.
Brooke: I know you’re there
Brooke: You can’t hide forever
Me: Seriously? This is high school, why don’t you join us in the real world?
Brooke: You think you’re so smart
Brooke: You can’t hide behind a screen
I turn my phone off and look at Blair before closing my eyes and trying to relax. “He asked me to go out to dinner with him.” I let Blair in.
“Hm.” She replies, still playing with my hair.
I adjust my back a little and bend my head back. “I said yes.” I murmur, more nervous.
Blair stops playing with my hair and I feel Blair come around to the front. “This is good right?” I nod nervously, biting my lip. “Then you should be happy, if he comes back then you continue on with this ‘mission’ you have.” I finally look into her eyes and she sighs. “It might be good to let someone in with this.” She finalises and I nod as she goes back to do my hair.
“Life isn’t that easy.” She flips her hand around dramatically and I smile.
“Oh Yeah totally.” Blair shrugs and I continue, “This life is so... unpredictable.” I mutter before sighing.
My nightmare is full of Zac, as usual but this time he was actually leaving my life and I hated the outcomes that kept coming and coming. My throat feels raspy as I fight awareness; a kiss still burns my lips even out of sleep.
I stretch out of my bed and expect to feel Blair but don’t. I sit up quickly, confused. The smell of pancakes wafts into my room and I quickly run down stairs.
I find Blair stuffing herself with pancakes and I take a seat at the bench. My mum hands me a stack of large pancakes, I pour some maple syrup and spoon some butter onto them. I sigh once more before eating and disappearing into my dream, still at the bench. There was a time I used to crave Zac, because he was my sense of adventure. Now I’ve learnt to live without it, will it be worse with him back here?
When I finish breakfast I grab Blair and haul her up to my room. I shut the door and turn to her,
“We need to have some fun.” I finally say. Blair looks at me closely,
“Since when do you need fun?” Blair laughs.
“I don’t care, look I got invited to this party a while ago...” My words start mumbling together, “We should go.” Blair jumps up, eyes curious.
“Sounds like fun!” She exclaims. I grab her hand and sit her on the bed,
“It definitely is.” I try on a few dresses before settling on black jeans and a singlet with lips painted the American flag on it and some black Vans. Blair picks out a short purple dress I’ve never worn.
“I have to say that dress looks better on you then it ever would have on me.” I compliment. Blair smiles at me before turning to leave the room. We walk down the stairs together and stop when mum approaches.
“We’re going to a friend’s house okay?” My mum nods with a cheery smile on her lips. I think she’s just like me and forgot how to love people properly; after all she never did meet anyone after my dad.
We drive slowly, knowing that people won’t be expecting us because I told them I wasn’t coming. We arrive at the door of the head footballer’s house.
He answers the door and slurs something illegible and leaves the door open. We take that as an invitation and walk in to the smell of sweat.
I automatically smile at the atmosphere, I look back to make sure that Blair is still with me. She looks as if she needs to say something so I walk up to her ear.
“I just saw someone I know, you go on.” I nod before turning. Blair grabs my arm quickly, “Are you sure you want to do this?” I grab her into a hug and whisper into her ear.
“I have to do this!” I walk off before she can object.
A random girl walks into me lazily and I immediately feel smaller and smaller, regretting this decision just a little bit. I don’t fit in here.
Before long I find Jake, one of the guys from school who hangs out with the head footballer. He puts his arm around me and reeks of alcohol. “I know you.” He breathes heavily and I almost throw up. “You go to school with us.” I nod my head just as I trip on my shoes but quickly recover.
Jake leads me to a small break in the crowd and smack bang in the middle is Tyler, kissing some blonde girl. My heart clenches, it’s not like I’m jealous but really? So cliché. I walk over to him and almost pull the two apart myself.
Tyler jumps when he sees me and they spring apart. “What the hell?” I want to scream at him.
Tyler looks a little bewildered and doesn’t say anything. My hand rears up behind me, and I’m ready to swing when I realise that it’s not worth it. “Have fun with your play thing.” I seethe and make my way out of the crowd.
My heart is hammering in my chest and I ignore Tyler’s muffled attempts at calling my name, when I reach my car I accidentally drop my keys and have to waste time grabbing them so Tyler catches up. “Don’t even bother Tyler.” I mutter before he can say anything, trying to open my door. “It doesn’t matter.”
“Tessa!” Tyler growls at me and his words startle me, so I look at him. “What’s wrong?” His voice softens and my shoulders relax.
“Nothing, like I said. It doesn’t matter.” I open my door and Tyler’s fingers press on my elbow. I stop my frantic jerky movements take a deep breath, not meeting his eyes. “I just didn’t think you were like that.” I trail off and get into my car.
Before closing my door I can hear Tyler mumble, “I’m not.” But it barely registers as I drive away.