|Let Me Count The Ways
Author: The Fourth Fate PM
Sick of Bryce taking advantage of her, Melina creates the ultimate list of everything he should do and be with only 30 days to change. As the day of judgement draws closer, the two learn that even when you think you know what you want, love suprises you.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 3 - Words: 7,551 - Reviews: 30 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 08-15-06 - Published: 07-05-06 - id: 2206546
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Let Me Count The Ways
"G-d, you look hot when you're mad," Bryce sighed, leaning in to kiss Melina who sat beside him on the couch, glaring at him. She held up a hand in front of her mouth, consequently causing Bryce's face to collide with her palm. His eyes snapped open as she pushed his head back slowly.
"No, I look intimidating when I'm mad," Melina corrected him from under a curtain of side swept blonde bangs. Bryce groaned internally.
"Okay, okay, I get it. You're pissed. Just tell me what's bothering you."
"And if I do…" The pursing of a certain pair of full, rose colored lips followed the statement.
"I'll apologize…" Bryce groaned internally again.
"And then…" More pursing.
"We'll make out?" Bryce teased, flashing his girl friend of 6 months one of his dazzling, heart winning smiles.
"No." More pursing. Less smiling.
"I'll be better." He conceded.
Melina's big hazel eyes searched his dark, mystifying ones for a drop of sincerity. Not one drop. How typical 17 year old guy of him, Melina fumed.
"Bryce, our junior prom is in 30 days. 30." Melina was an active member of the prom committee. "Did you know that?"
"I, I did know that…" Bryce shifted uncomfortably, hoping he'd given her the right answer.
"How exactly did you know that?" The petite almost 17-year-old rolled her eyes.
"Well, I listen when you, uh, tell me about prom meetings…" Bryce felt heat on the back of his neck.
"Are you planning on going to our junior prom?"
More questions he didn't know the right answer to… He mumbled an "I think so…"
"Are you planning on taking any one in particular…? As in, a date?"
Bryce felt as if a weight was lifted from his shoulders. He knew this one.
"Yeah," he answered confidently.
"And who would that be?" Melina's typical laid-back personality had clearly been consumed by a burning rage. And Bryce knew exactly the one word to get her back to her benevolent self.
"You." He had this one. She would smile, relax and tell him she couldn't wait to go hair shopping or something like that.
"G-D!" She exploded, throwing her arms up.
Or… She would fume, rant and continue to bear ill will towards him.
"Bryce, I am SO sick of this. You can't possibly imagine. I'm leaving." She stood up, smoothed out her white skirt and grabbed her purse from the table.
"Sick of what? Why are you leaving?" Bryce jumped up after her.
"Good bye, Bryce," she cooed in fake affection.
"Melina, what are you mad about?" Bryce bit back the urge to curse.
"Well, the fact that you don't care to know… Maybe that's part of it?" More pursing with a touch of venom in her voice. She was intimidating. Well, for a 5' 3" blonde who weighted practically nothing.
"Can I call you later?" Bryce practically begged. Melina, who had her back to him as she headed to the stairs that led out of his basement, sighed and her shoulders fell. She turned around slowly.
"I would highly recommend it," she said, shaking her head and rolling her eyes simultaneously.
"Great, love you babe," Bryce said as if it was all one word. He was suddenly beside her, kissing her cheek. Melina grabbed a small fistful of his shirt and pushed him away.
"Just call me, okay?" She asked. He nodded, smiling sadly.
Melina disappeared up the stairs.
"G-d… You take them out, listen to them talk for hours, do whatever they want, see all of their little girly movies, and they still hate you," Bryce grumbled, turning the T.V. on.
"I heard that." Melina called over her shoulder as she slammed the door that lead down to his basement.
"Good," he shouted from the couch. Then he groaned internally for the third time that day. "I mean, I'm sorry."
"Then don't forgive me," he yelled.
"Fine, then I won't," Melina sounded farther away. He heard his front door slam.
XoXHow do I love thee? Let me count the ways.XoX
Melina sat on the end of her bed, holding the phone up to her ear with her shoulder and painting her toenails.
"He still doesn't get it?" Arianna's disbelief was loud and clear in Melina's ear.
"Nuh-uh," Melina clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth.
"And you told him why you were pissed?" Arianna asked.
Meanwhile, a few houses down the street from Melina, Bryce pressed the phone up to his ear.
"Tell me what happened," Chase sighed.
"Well," began both Melina and Bryce.
"He was being a total jack ass and tried to kiss me when he knew I was clearly pissed," Melina seethed.
"We were just hanging out, everything was going fine, so I tried to kiss her and she just explodes out of no where," Bryce told his friend, animatedly.
"--So I'm like, 'wait, we need to talk.' And he's like 'G-d, you look hot when you're mad,' and tries to kiss me again."
"--So I was told her she was hot and she freaked out."
"--He asked me to tell him what was wrong and promised to try and fix it… As usual. He always does the same exact thing, Ari. He promises me he'll be different, completely lets me down, then expects it all to be better just because he says it'll be."
"--She pulls the whole "tell me what I want to hear," act so I tell her I'll be better and some shit like that."
"--Only even though he was being a total jerk, I believed him and reminded him about prom."
"--Then, she starts interrogating me about prom which isn't for like another month or something."
"--And he still didn't get it so I left," Melina finished.
"--She never once said why she was actually mad and then just stormed home all of the sudden," Bryce shook his head, done.
Arianna giggled. "Trouble in paradise?" she teased.
"Yeah…" Melina whispered quietly, letting her voice trail off. "You know, I really love Bryce. I thought he was better than the whole awful boyfriend deal. I guess not. I mean he was supposed to be perfect. Younger guys are gross. Older guys move too fast. But Bryce is our age. I mean, was I crazy for thinking maybe, maybe he could be okay?"
"No, you're right. She was a bitch," Chase scoffed answering Bryce's previous question that went along the lines of: "Was I wrong about the whole overreacting-about-the-prom thing?"
"Don't say that about her," Bryce snapped.
"You still care about her!" Chase laughed. "What are you going to do to fix everything?"
"I'll…" Bryce scratched his head. "I'll call her. Yeah, I'll call her," he decided, resolutely.
"…And apologize?" Chase let his question hang in the air.
"I guess," Bryce shrugged.
Melina finished painting her toenails and screwed the top back on the bottle. "I just don't know what to do, Ari," Melina sighed. "He just… takes me for granted. It's like he doesn't even care sometimes. When he doesn't care about little things like the prom or my birthday coming up in a week… I don't mind that. It's the big things. He never calls me. Ever. I don't think he's ever called me once, except when we were first going out. After like a month he just stopped caring. That's what hurts," Melina felt satisfied with her explanation. If only she could tell it to Bryce…
"Just wait," Arianna soothed. "He'll come around. And remember, Melina: it's only high school. You can't expect a perfect relationship. And if you do, try it with one the other zillion guys in our school."
Melina opened her mouth to reply when she heard a faint beeping in her ear. Bryce was calling in. She gasped, and did a double take. That was definitely his name on the caller I.D. in her cell phone. She smoothed her hair and put some edge in her voice.
"You'll never guess who's finally calling," she drawled.
"Bryce. Go talk to him. Bye!" And Arianna was gone, leaving her no choice but to answer Bryce. She swallowed hard.
"Hello," she greeted him, her voice cold.
"Melina, I'm sorry. I really am. I want to talk to you about everything, Bryce recited.
"Start talking." Ouch. Ice.
"Well," Bryce scratched the back his head out of habit. "I think you want me to ask you to the junior prom."
"Um, yeah, wait, what?" Bryce stammered.
"Wanted. I wanted you to ask me to the junior prom." Melina rolled her eyes.
"So you don't want to go anymore?" Bryce asked hopefully. No tux for Bryce. Sweet.
"Oh I still want to go," Melina's lips curled into a smile. "I just want to go with someone else."
"What?!" Bryce was near shouting. His girlfriend couldn't go with someone else to the junior prom. She was his girlfriend. If he didn't take her, she didn't go. He had to take her. If he didn't, all of his friends would think she'd dumped him and then… He'd be the only one of his friends without a girlfriend and not getting any. Though he wasn't getting any to begin with. Melina had a thing about making him wait. For everything.
But this was junior prom. That stupid thing that everyone without a life obsesses over. Their first real prom. He had to take Melina. End of story.
"Yeah, I don't really want to be your girlfriend anymore, Bryce," Melina was getting an idea. She beamed. Bryce was wrapped around her finger, putty in her hands. And he deserved to be manipulated. He hadn't been a decent boyfriend in months and definitely didn't deserve treated like one.
"Wh-what?" Bryce felt hollow. Hollow and cold. Holy shit. He really did still like her.
"You don't treat me right. I don't even know why I've been putting up with it for so long. Bryce, if you want me, you have to act like it."
"Melina, I'm, I'm sorry. I'll be better, I swear," Bryce was sweating. Sweating. She couldn't dump him.
"You really think you can be a better boyfriend?" Melina's plan was about to be unleashed.
"Definitely. What do you want me to do?"
"Call me in five minutes."
"That's all?" Bryce was shocked. One of the reasons he loved Melina was how creative she could be. What was this?
"All right…" Bryce scratched the back of his head again. "Five minutes… Talk to you then."
They hung up.
Melina set to work. She called Arianna back as soon as she was sure Bryce had hung up.
"What happened?" Arianna demanded.
"I'm making a list," Melina smirked.
"A list…" Arianna asked.
"And I need your help," Melina's smirk broadened into a grin.
Bryce sat back on his bed and stared at his computer. His eyes slowly moved from the computer to his chair, to his floor, to his doorway, to the hallway. He wondered vaguely what Melina had planned. She was usually so easy going and carefree. Almost happy go lucky. But this new Melina… Something had to be seriously wrong. He checked his watch. It'd been about four minutes. He watched the seconds tick by until finally it had been another minute. He picked up his phone and punched in Melina's phone number. He had always felt funny about calling her. He was scared he had to have a reason to call. In result, he rarely called her. She always called him. And that was okay with him. He figured she still knew he cared.
"Hello?" Melina sounded mischievous. Bryce liked it.
"Hey, it's me," Bryce answered.
"Great. You still want to be a better boyfriend?" Melina sounded happy. A little too happy. Bryce gulped.
"Yeah, I do," he tried to sound more confident than he felt.
"Are you willing to comply to a set of… suggestions?" Bryce could hear her trying to mask her real intentions.
"Suggestions? Like what?" he asked suspiciously.
"Bryce Derek Riley," Melina used his whole name. This was definitely serious. "You have been a neglectful, rude and heartless boyfriend. You took me for granted. So you have to make it up me or I go to the prom with some one else and you get to explain to everyone at school why I dumped you."
"I'll do anything," Bryce swore, his nonchalance nowhere to be found.
"Good. You have a lot to do, actually. And not anything, Bryce. Everything. Let's review the list."
"List?" Bryce gulped.
"Yes, list. I've composed a list of everything good boyfriends should do. And you've got 30 days before the junior prom to do everything. If you do, I'll go to the prom with you and stay your girlfriend. If you don't, consider yourself a lonely little boy. Let's start reading. You might want to have a pen and some paper handy. There's a lot to be …accomplished."
Bryce felt sick. "Accomplished" sounded… noble. Melina's girly list sounded… Bryce shuddered. How important was junior prom, really? And Melina? Was she really that great? Bryce shook his head and took some paper out one of the drawers of his desk. He grabbed a pen from his bedside table.
"I'm ready," Bryce announced.
"Oh no. You just think you're ready."
And Melina was right. Nothing could have prepared Bryce for the assignment he was about to receive. Nothing.
So these are the characters. Melina and Bryce. They're really writing this more than I am.
Time for a life lesson in story juggling...
The Fourth Fate