The Jealousy Game

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Chapter 7: Distraction

When I got home, I slid my key into the lock and opened the front door into the grand foyer that was sparsely decorated by a mahogany hall table with a hurricane vase filled with peonies and a gilt-framed mirror.

I sighed and rubbed my tired eyes that were aching from the night’s stresses. “Mom? Dad? Anybody home?”

The house was met with an echoing silence, so I ditched my coat on the rack and flipped on lights as I went, gingerly checking each room to make sure everything was in its’ place. OK, so maybe horror movies had been getting to me lately. But can you blame me? There are some real psychos in the world, and I was determined not be a victim.

Wow, I really am paranoid.

When I got to the kitchen, I saw the receiver blinking, meaning someone had left a message on our answering machine. I quickly pressed the button and stood by the phone.

“Hi, hon,” a voice greeted. My mom’s. “I’m so sorry but I had to fill in for Andrea and I’m working the overnight shift for her. And Dad has to work late at the office so he’ll be home around twelve. Don’t worry, Phoenix is at his friend’s and Jake should be home after his date with Jordyn. If you didn’t eat there are leftovers in the fridge. We love you, hon, and I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye!”

The tone beeped, signaling the end of the message, and I sighed. Figures that my mom would think I was the first one home. I always was. I had the social life of an awkward penguin.

Phoenix was my younger brother. He was eleven and pretty cute, but still annoying as heck. He had cropped brown hair, deep brown eyes and tanned skin, but there was something about his look that seemed devious… the little devil.

And Jake was my twin brother. One of the… shall we say… more popular boys at my school. His current girlfriend was Jordyn, but who knew how long they would last. She was head cheerleader, and had a pretty bad rep in the relationship department. Well, so did my brother, so I guess that classed them as even, right?

I walked up to my room, and stepped into it, discarding my tight dress and wiping off my make-up, dressing into my usual pajama combo of yoga pants and a camisole. I wasn’t seeing anyone special tonight that hadn’t seen me in worse.

I glanced out my mirror to see Noah’s light still on, but his blind shut firmly. I took a chance and opened the window, letting in warm night air.

Tentatively I sat on the window sill and leaned out, casting a worried look at the ground. I swear to God if I come out of this looking like a pancake because of this, I’ll haunt Noah for the rest of my nonlife. Using the sill for support, I balanced myself on the white wood, before I whispered into the night, “Noah! Psst. Noah?”

There was no response. I growled low in my throat. Maybe he hadn’t heard me. I cleared my throat and rose my voice so that it easily carried over the distance.

“Hey! Noah! Noah Fordman! Noah!”

Once again, no response. He was in his room; I was certain about that. And I knew he could hear me. He was obviously just ignoring me. Bastard.

After one last fruitless attempt on my part, I stepped into my room and shut the window loudly in frustration, before sitting on the edge of the bed and burying my face in my hands. I let out a loud and frustrated groan. You know, the ones you can only do when you know no one is at home to hear you scream.

Great, now I’m thinking more murderous thoughts, like how no one would hear me scream if a murderer came in.

What was wrong with me tonight?

I needed a distraction from Noah and Logan and fake relationships and mind games.

And also terrible thoughts.

I grinned as an idea formed, and quickly pulled out my cellphone, tapping through my contacts - which were meagre to say the least.

I created a three-way conversation and waited until both of them picked up.

“Hello?” They both chorused like twins, and I smiled.

“Chaska, I need you to bring some sappy movies and a box of tissues.” I smiled as she quickly agreed. “And Ciara,” I said, addressing my other best friend. “Bring the ice-cream.”


What had I been expecting to do an hour and a half from then? Well, I guess I was expecting to watch some sappy movie, crying into a tissue and stuffing my face with chocolate-chip ice-cream.

What was I doing instead?

Being interrogated about Noah and Logan and my feelings and things I didn’t have an answer for.

Instead of my best friends distracting me from the people I was trying to forget, they were bringing my attention to them. Thanks, besties!

“So, you kissed him?” Ciara asked, eyes wide with excitement. She currently held a large dessert spoon, but for once she had not the slightest interest in the tub of ice-cream in her hand.

What I had originally planned to tell them was what had happened, and then they could comfort me and we could cry over fictional characters in movies. Instead they were making me address my feelings.

I nodded. “Yeah, it was on impulse though. It wasn’t like, you know, I did it because I wanted to kiss him.”

Chaska and Ciara giggled together, their voices sounding tinkly and harmonious. “You just had the urge to kiss him?”

“Because of Logan,” I said quickly, catching on to their thoughts. They liked the idea of Noah and I a little too much.

“Do you like Logan?” Chaska asked. “I mean, after everything that happened with Noah and Daisy and the Jealousy Game. Do you honestly still like him?”

“Feelings don’t just go away, Chas,” I said finally. “Of course I do. What I don’t get though is what Noah meant when he said Logan played me like a toy.”

They exchanged uneasy glances, and I narrowed my eyes suspiciously. “What? Is there something I’m missing out on?”

Ciara cleared her throat and looked to Chaska to help. Chaska lowered her eyes and played with the hem of her aqua blouse. An anxious feeling twisted in my stomach.

“Honey,” Chaska said finally, her voice soft. “There’s something you should know about Logan.”

“What?”

“He isn’t the sweet guy you think he is…”

“Why is everyone saying that?” I cried. “I mean, I was with him for two years. I know him better than I know myself.”

“Maybe so. But what you need to consider is how wellyou really know him. Not just who you think he is, but how he is when he’s not around you. Just how much of Logan Hawkins do you really know?”

“Everything,” I whispered. “We were completely honest with each other. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. I know everything about him!”

“Just how sure of that are you?”

“What do you mean?” I was so confused at the moment.

“I mean that maybe you should stop and think for a second. You know what’s on the outside. You know what went on when he was with you. But just how much do you know of what went on behind the scenes?”

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