Get Mad, Baby
Ryan said I was so meek that he didn't even think I would mind if he cheated on me. He thought I would blow it off as long as he gave me a puppy-dog look and said "I love you, baby." His friends even encouraged it. They cheered him on, mentioning how I was too sweet to ever get angry at him.
But I am angry. Incredibly angry. As in I'm-holding-onto-my-brother's-prized-baseball-bat-in-front-of-Ryan's-car angry.
This is out of character for me. Ryan wasn't wrong to label me meek. We've been dating for over a year and a half and I've never dared to raise my voice at him. When he forgot my birthday I laughed. When he took Carrie, my younger sister, to a Josh Groban concert, even though he's my favorite musical artist in the world, I told him she really deserved it. And worst of all, when he told me that after that concert him and Carrie had sex in the back of his car, I didn't yell. I told him that Carrie was only seventeen, too young to be having sex, and that I was "a little hurt but more confused."
Then he said "I love you, baby," and gave me the said puppy-dog eyes and asked me to forgive him. And I did. That's how meek I am.
I know, I know, it's a little disgusting. Okay, it's a lot disgusting. But I'm not the most confident girl in the world. Ryan is the only boyfriend I've ever had, and I'll be turning twenty in a few months. We only hooked up because I was in need of a date to senior homecoming and my best friend paid Ryan to take me. He needed the cash and thought I was "pretty cute" and it might be worth it. He ended up liking me and thought my wounded-puppy routine was cute.
A year and a half later my blonde baby sister with her big boobs and shiny white teeth stole him. I wasn't so surprised to find out she had sex. She stays up late telling me about all the guys she's slept with and how she doesn't believe in love but believes in loving sex. She's pretty enough that any guy in his right mind would say "yes" when she casually says, "Hey, want to mess around?"
At least that's what I told myself to rationalize what Ryan did. And at first it worked. When he quickly kissed me on the lips and said, "You are so wonderful" and ran off to football practice I silenced my aching heart. Then I patted myself on the back for being so forgiving and such a wonderful person.
But when I went home and found Carrie texting "her new boyfriend" it was harder to keep my heart in check. I asked her who he was and she gave me that angelic smile of hers and said, "Oh, just this guy." I wanted to tell her that Ryan had told me what happened between them but I'm too timid to even get mad at my little sister. Granted, she technically is taller than me, standing at an average 5'6", dwarfing my measly 5'2", but still. The big sister is supposed to be the conniving bitch but she controls me.
Sleeping was hard that night. I kept replaying the signs that Ryan was into Carrie through my mind. How could I have not noticed? Then I realized that it wouldn't have mattered. I would have let it go on even if I had known. I finally fell asleep at four AM, only to have to wake up three hours later for my Ancient Greek Literature class. Ryan and I always sat next to each other. When I flopped into the seat he looked me up and down and told me I looked awful.
I was surprised to find myself biting my tongue to keep back from yelling at him. Of course I looked horrible. I had three hours of sleep! I woke up with the hugest dark circles under my dull grey eyes, which are usually a bright and perky blue, and no matter how hard I tried my auburn hair just looked mousy brown. And you cheated on me! I would add later.
Not that I did. Instead I smiled weakly and said, "Well, you look good enough for the two of us."
He grinned at me, a grin that always sent my heart soaring, but it sunk. My mind began to whirl. That's a fake smile. He does that when he's walking all over you. He uses it to get what he wants.
When class ended he kissed me on the cheek and told me he'd see me later that day. On Thursdays I only had one class and he had three so we always split up. I headed back to the parking lot, surprised at my feisty thoughts. I opened the trunk of my car to put my book bag away when I saw it.
The baseball bat.
And then I saw Ryan's car.
And that's how I found myself standing in front of his car with a baseball bat.
I wasn't going to do anything. I swear. My mind was under a lot of stress and I was doing things out of character. I fully intended to pat his car with my hand, draw a heart in the dust on his window, then go back home. I began to walk away but I turned back around. Ryan's words kept running through my mind and I couldn't shake them. And suddenly my feet began moving back towards the vehicle and I raised the bat above my head, ready to strike.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," a voice said.
I turned sharply, expecting to see Ryan. I could only imagine what he would say. I'd get yelled out, for sure, and probably dumped. And I couldn't have that. Not necessarily because I wanted to stay together with him, as I obviously was more angry than I thought, but there was no way I'd let myself get dumped by the guy who cheated on me.
It wasn't him, thank God. But the man standing in front of me was not someone I was particularly thrilled to see. It took me a minute to place who he was, but he had this I-could-care-less look that sparked my memory. I recognized him quickly, anyone who went to my high school would. He hadn't changed too drastically since then. He was still incredibly tall with the same shaggy brown hair, but he had shaved his beard that made him look ten years older. Instead his chin was covered by stubble.
"Girl," he repeated, "I said I wouldn't do that."
It occurred to me that I still had the bat lifted in the air ready to strike. I pulled it down and turned to face him, hiding the bat behind my back. My voice was shaking when I asked, "W-Why not?"
He was leaning against an old BMW with a broken passenger window covered with duct tape. I think it was the same car he drove back at Ridgemont High. He pulled out a pack of cigarettes from his back jean pocket and hit the end against the side of his arm. In one swift moment he pulled a cigarette out, plopped it on the side of his mouth, and lit up. After taking a long drag he said, "Whatever this guy did to you, it's not worth it. Trust me."
I blushed. "It's not what you think. And how do you know it's a guy?"
"Oh please," he smiled and the smoke from his cigarette seeped through his teeth. "Anytime you see a girl with a bat and she's not on the field, she's obviously doing some damage to an old lover."
"Well, thanks for the advice," I said, turning on my heel. I was praying to God that he wouldn't recognize me. All I wanted was to get home, eat a pint of ice cream, then maybe throw my pillows around.
Unfortunately as I was nearing my car he yelled, "Hey, didn't we go to high school together?"
"I don't know, did we?" I asked. Play it cool, Devon.
"You're Devonny, right? Devonny…Felts?" He took another drag as he contemplated my last name.
Realizing I was stuck I muttered, "Fields, actually. Devonny Fields."
"Yeah! I'm Peter, Peter Gaunt. We had biology together junior year, right?" I nodded to his question and I guess he figured this was me saying, "Why yes, let us have a conversation." He began to walk towards me. When he reached me he pulled the bat from my hands and examined it with a low whistle. "This bad boy could do damage. I should know."
"Oh, yeah?" I tried to act casual. I knew exactly what he was talking about. Peter, or "Pete" as all his friends called him, was known for being a trouble-maker. He was constantly picking fights with anyone who was willing to defend themselves. Word has it that he went to anger management three times and it never worked. I also heard he drank and did drugs. Obviously he smoked.
"You never heard the rumors?" He asked, thumping the bat in his hands. For a split second I imagined he was going to bash my head and drag me into an abandoned building and sell my organs. Peter must have noticed the horrified look that crossed my features because he said, "Ah, so you have heard them."
I couldn't avoid his eyes and I offered a small smile and said, "Well, maybe a little."
He handed the bat back to me and placed his hand on my shoulder. His grip was comfortable. Not too tight, not too loose. Peter pulled my body closer to his and whispered, "Here's a tip I've learned over the years. Whatever anger you're feeling, it never helps to take it out through violent methods."
I raised an eyebrow, "Says the guy who had to go to anger management?"
Peter looked hurt and I immediately began to apologize but he laughed and clapped me on the back. "I'm kidding, Devonny! I actually did go. Not three times, though. I only got arrested once and they just made me go to anger management and do fifty hours of community service."
I think he said this to make me feel better but it didn't. I hadn't known he got arrested. I wasn't too pleased to know either.
"How about instead of you trashing his car, I'll take you out to coffee and listen to you rant. My treat." I wasn't too keen on going anywhere with him and it showed on my face. He must have mistook it for me being skeptical because Peter pulled out his wallet and showed me a ten dollar bill, "Look. I even have it. You can trust me."
I blushed once again. "No, I trust you. I just don't think I need to talk about it. I really wasn't going to do anything. I'm not an angry person." I walked backwards and waved, "Thanks for the offer, though."
Peter didn't let me walk off. I was surprised when he jogged up to me and blocked my path. I had to look up to view his face, he was incredibly tall. Probably a whole foot taller than I was.
"Devon, can I call you that? Dev? Dev-Dev?" I made a face at the last name and he said, "Okay, Devon it is. Devon, trust me on this, even if you aren't an angry person, everyone gets angry. What's it going to hurt? Maybe your ex will see us together and get jealous. Wouldn't that be great?"
"He's not my ex," I said.
"Oh, so you never even dated," Peter whistled and tossed his cigarette onto the ground. "You really need the help."
"We did date. We are dating," I was starting to feel irritated. Today was not my day.
Peter's eyes widened and he placed his hand on his heart, mocking shock. "You mean you're still dating this jerk?"
"You don't even know if he's a jerk," I pointed out. He shrugged and began to search for another cigarette. Annoyed by my general situation and the smell of smoke I pushed his hand back down and said, "I'll talk with you if you stop smoking. For now, at least."
He grinned and placed the cigarette in the pocket on my left breast. He came awfully close to touching me and I blanched. My sister is a sex kitten but I am definitely not. Peter held out his arm and said, "This way, then."
I hesitantly reached out my hand and patted his open arm, then put it back down on my side. He frowned and grabbed my arm and looped it around his.
"My dear," he said, "a scorned woman must travel in style."
What am I getting myself into?
We had been sitting at the coffee shop for twenty minutes and I still hadn't said a word about Ryan. Peter kept trying to get me to talk but I remained mum. I really did want to tell someone, anyone, but I couldn't bring myself to admit it. The whole situation was really embarrassing. Any other girl would have dumped her boyfriend on the spot but I had to stupidly tell Ryan that it was a-okay.
"Dev, your knuckles are turning red from clutching your mug so tight. What's the deal?" He leaned back in his chair and placed his hands behind his head. "You have my full attention."
I looked at him over the top of my mug of hot chocolate and sighed. What could it really hurt? It's not like he could judge me. He was arrested!
"My boyfriend, Ryan," I tapped my fingers against the porcelain, "he cheated on me with my younger sister."
Peter took this in thoughtfully, then raised an eyebrow. "I thought you said you were still together with this guy?"
I smiled, "Yeah…I am."
"Ah," he leaned forward, placing his elbows on his knees and fiddling with his pocket watch. His knuckles, unlike mine, were pure white. It took me a moment to realize they were scarred. Probably from punching walls. "Let me guess. He apologized, told you it was a one-time deal and that he loves you, and that he's really sorry and will do anything to make it up to you. And even though you're going to give him another chance you still feel a little bitter and felt like taking it out on his car."
"No," I said. It came out harsh and very bitter. Against my better judgment I said, "He told me that he knew I wouldn't care, or make a big deal about it, and figured why not. But he did say he loved me."
Peter's mouth dropped open and the pocket watch fell from his hand. It clanked against the side of his chair and it was the last sound I heard for a very long, excruciating moment.
He finally said, "And you…are okay with that?"
"Well, how am I supposed to react?" He gave me a blank look, as if he was implying what I should have done through his facial expression, but I ignored him. "Listen, in high school you were known for having a ton of anger, right? Well, I was the opposite. People knew me, if they knew me at all, for being really meek. I don't get angry. Things happen to me and I let them."
I expected Peter to shake his head, or roll his eyes, anything that meant he didn't understand me but wasn't going to say anything. That's what my mother and best friend do. They don't argue with me because I've never changed.
That's why it surprised me when he said, "That's stupid."
I felt oddly offended, "Why is that stupid? Lots of people say it's commendable."
"No, it's commendable to forgive and be a genuinely nice person. It's stupid to be a door mat."
I stood up, not wanting to be there anymore. "Thanks for the hot chocolate. I need to go."
He grabbed my hand, engulfing it in his own. Peter squeezed my hand gently, then pulled me back. He patted to the seat next to him and I sat down. I didn't want to, I swear, but who am I to refuse a guy who has been arrested?
"Listen, Devonny," he put his hand on the back of my head and forced our foreheads together. We were staring eye to eye and I noticed the gold in his brown eyes. "I need you to listen to me, and listen carefully. I don't mean to attack you, I'm doing this for your own benefit. You need to break up with this guy before he hurts you anymore. You don't want to look like a fool, right?"
"No," I muttered, misery evident in my tone.
"That's what I thought. Dump him as soon as you see him, because you should really do it in person. Wear something really sexy, show off those nice legs of yours and your tiny little waist," when he said this I flushed and due to our close proximity he noticed. "What? I'm a straight guy. I notice things like this."
Straight? I wasn't shocked to hear this, he didn't strike me as gay. But it was odd. Guys don't usually point this out to me, especially after complimenting on me. Or was he hitting on me? I didn't have time to worry about it because he continued on his lecture.
"Just tell him that you do care, and that he's scum, and you don't want anything to do with him. Tell him that he better think twice before double-crossing you. Then give him back anything of yours he gave you, go home and slap your sister, then buy yourself something as congratulations for standing up for yourself. Afterwards you can watch a sappy romance movie, I'll even go with you if you want company, although I prefer action flicks if you're feeling like paying me back for this advice.
"And once you're finished with all of this you will never again let yourself be a doormat. You will stand up to anyone that tries to take advantage of you. And the next time a guy wants to date you you'll tell him that he better not double cross you."
When he finished he gently shoved my head forward, pushing me away from him. I was a little disappointed, although I'm not sure why. Normally I'm not a fan of the smell of smoke, but it came off him in a musky, cologne-like fragrance.
"But the most important thing is to stay dignified," Peter added. "Don't trash his car. Don't resort to insulting him. It won't make you feel any better. I swear. I always used to think it would help me but it never did. It only screwed me over."
I smiled, "Is that what they taught you in anger management?"
"Nope," he tucked a piece of my hair behind my ears and wiped a tear from my eye. "That's a life lesson."
I hadn't even realized I'd begun to cry until he touched me. I wasn't bawling. I've never been much of a crier. But a few tears were rolling down my cheek, slow and steady. He hadn't removed his hand from my cheek and for the first time since meeting Ryan I felt butterflies in my stomach.
Butterflies. From Peter. From the delinquent in high school. From the one who got arrested!
I didn't have much time left to think about the effect he had on me because out of the corner of my eye I saw Ryan. He was standing outside the coffee shop, walking next to a pretty girl. He slipped his hand into the back of her jean pocket and she slapped it away. He smiled at her playfully, a smile that he gave to me. Ryan slung his arm around her shoulder and she rested her head on his. They walked off, a picture-like couple from a movie.
"Now, look at those two," Peter pointed to Ryan and the slut. I mean, the girl. "They look so happy together. Don't you want to be like them?"
Uh…yes. Yes I did. In fact, for a very long time I thought I was them. That used to be me. The girl who Ryan would smile and tease and flirt with. We'd go on movie dates and stay up late into the night making out in the back of his car. The guy that I actually gave my virginity to, even though I didn't want to. And in the span of two days he suddenly became a creep. A jerk. A guy that girls are told to stay away from. And he was my boyfriend.
"Devon?" Peter nudged me. "Don't you?"
I turned to him with a fierce look. Without giving him an answer I stood up, gathered my books from the chair, and left the coffee shop. Ryan was too far away to notice me but I was glad. I made my way back to the parking lot, Peter trailing behind me. He began to talk about how he was sorry for whatever he said and he didn't mean it. I ignored him. Suddenly I was a girl on a mission.
When I reached my car and opened the trunk Peter began to look worried. I pulled the bat out once again and smacked it in the palm of my hands. Peter held up his hands in front of him and said, "Woah. Listen. I'm really sorry."
"Peter," I reached out with my free hands and placed my finger on his lips. "Shh."
I turned on my heel and began to head towards Ryan's car. I didn't bother to check if Ryan could see me, or if there was a security guard. For once in my life I was enraged. And I wanted revenge. I tied my hair into a pony-tail and pulled up my sleeves.
I am meek no longer. I swung the bat high in the air and shouted, "I am woman! Hear me roar!"
Peter began to shout "Devonny, don't!" but it was too late. With a loud crash the bat hit the front of his windshield. It cracked, sending glass splinters in every direction. I hit the windshield a few more times until it was ruined. I moved onto the sides of the car, making dents everywhere I went. I swung the bat so hard into the side mirrors that they flung off. I kept hitting the car until I was tired and it barely resembled the nice car it once was.
I wiped my forehead with the back of my arm and stared at my work. Reaching into my purse I dug out a pale pink lipstick. This wouldn't do. A girl was standing a few feet away, her mouth wide open. I yelled to her, "Hey, do you have any red lipstick?" She nodded and reached into her pocket and tossed me the lipstick. I rolled it up and smiled it satisfaction.
Bright red. It was daring. It was crazy. It was totally everything I used to be.
On the side of the car that was the least damaged I wrote, "Suck it, Ryan! We're over!" Then draw a little heart and wrote a "D" next to it. I was hit with one more burst of inspiration I added, "How's this for meek?" When I was happy with it I tossed the lipstick back to the girl and gave her a sweet smile. "Thanks!"
She nodded numbly and walked quickly to her car. I turned to look at Peter who was shocked.
"D-Devonny?" He asked finally, staring at my work.
I walked over to him and handed him the bat. "I thought about what you said. I really did. But then I noticed Ryan with another girl, a girl different from my sister, and I got angry. And I thought I would trash his car."
Peter grabbed the bat and held it loosely at his side. I grabbed my shoulder and offered him a small smile, "I'm really sorry. I couldn't help it."
Peter stared at me for a long while before he threw the bat on the ground. In a low voice he said, "No, it's fine. Get mad, baby. Get real mad." He placed his hands on my hips, pulling me close. "Do whatever the hell you like as long as it makes you crazy like that. I like it." He said breathlessly.
I grinned. Perhaps it was the butterflies from before, or maybe I was still flying high from the adrenaline, but I reached my hand to grab Peter's neck and I pulled him down. When we were staring eye to eye I said, "Well, I'm still feeling crazy." With that I kissed him.
It was a movie kiss. My first-ever movie kiss. Peter had perfect lips and was a great kisser and obviously into kissing me just as much I was into kissing him. He slid his arms down my waist, down to my thighs where he pulled me up and placed me on Ryan's broken car. One of his hands ran through my hair and the other he ran down my arm. It was…perfect.
Perfect until I heard a high-pitched shriek yell, "Devonny!"
I broke away from the kiss and Peter leaned forward, still wanting more. I covered his mouth with my hand and turned to the sound of the voice. I saw Ryan running down the hill, horrified at the state of his car.
"What the hell did you do?" Ryan yelled. His voice raised several pitches and he was completely horrified. The girl he was with from before was trailing behind, her mouth hanging open in an unflattering way. I thought that I must look a trillion times better than she did, what with my lips red from kissing Peter. Ryan always said I looked the best after he kissed me, and he was only an okay kisser. I must look like Aphrodite after Peter's kiss.
Ryan stared at me expectedly, waiting for me to explain what I did to his car. I glanced at the car underneath me with a little curiosity.
"Oh," I pointed to the side of the car where I wrote him a message, "I would read that."
Ryan looked down at it, read it, then back at me. "What the hell were you thinking?"
"I don't know," I pushed Peter gently away so that I had room to hop off the car. "I think I was thinking that you are an asshole. And that I deserve better. And that you'll have to find a better place to have sex because I'm sick of people other than me having it in the back seat."
Peter snickered under his breath and Ryan shot him a dirty look. "And who the hell is this?"
"Peter?" I tilted my head and caught Peter's gaze. He grinned and nodded. "You don't know Peter? He went to high school with us."
"Remember?" He slid up to Ryan, the difference in their height apparent. "I was the guy that got arrested for almost killing that guy."
The color drained from Ryan's face and he took a step back. He turned to his new girl toy and muttered, "Candy, let's just go." Candy was staring at him Peter, checking him out from head to toe with a coy smile on her face. She wiggled her fingers at him but he ignored her.
When Ryan was a safe distance away from Peter he shouted, "I hope you know that you'll pay for this!"
I was going to tell him I didn't care and I'd steal it from Carrie, but Peter yelled back, "I'm her mother-fucking lawyer. We'll figure something out!"
I've never seen Ryan run faster, even when he was on the track team. When he was out of site Peter turned to me with a grin. I grinned right back, suddenly feeling as if my teeth were just as bright as Carrie's.
"So, what now?" He pulled me close. "Are you going to revert back to your timid self?"
I pulled the pony-tail out and shook my hair loose. Some of it hit Peter in the face but he didn't mind. I lowered my arms around his neck and narrowed my eyes, "I don't know. Probably, to tell you the truth. I don't think I can be like this all the time."
"I kind of like it," he said, rubbing the lower left side of my waist. "It's like a surprise. Sometimes you're quiet, sometimes you're crazy. You should be like this all the time."
I raised an eyebrow, "You seem to think we're going steady now."
He gave me a fake-hurt expression, "Dev Dev, you wound me."
I slid my arms away from his neck and trailed them down to grab the bottom his shirt. I began to tug him backwards, "I'm not saying I don't like you. I'm just saying we should date first."
"You do owe me an action flick," he pointed out.
I shook my head, "Nope. Sappy, romantic movie. I'm not going to let myself be walked over!" He sent me a look and I laughed. "I know you won't do it. But I want to see a romance movie." I lowered my voice, "It gets me in the mood, you know."
This put a smile on his face and he dived in for another kiss. Before his lips touched mine I saw Ryan's car from the side of my vision and blurted out, "Oh…my…god! What did I just do?"
Peter rested his head on his shoulder and began to laugh. My heart rate began to speed up and I began to blabber about how stupid I was and what I just did. So much for the dramatic side of me.
"Devonny," he said. I was whirling my hands around so much, raising them to the heavens to curse God for making me so stupid and Peter grabbed them with his hands. "Devonny," he repeated.
"What?" I shouted.
Peter grinned and placed his finger on my lip, "Shh." Peter gave me my second movie kiss, capturing his lips with mine to silence me. I began to mutter through his mouth but he licked my lip and whispered, "Just be quiet."
And for what I swore would be the last time in my life I obeyed a guy and enjoyed the after-effects of my crazy mood.
AN: This is just kind of a silly, hopefully cute, one-shot that I felt like writing. It's not meant to be anything too amazing. I wanted to try to stay in the 5,000 word area. I forget what inspired me to write this, but I wrote it all in one sitting. This is the first time I've written in this point of view. Let me know what you think.