Story: © copyright Shelby Little – All Rights Reserved
Soundtrack: Special Needs by Placebo
Dear Reader: This is not supposed to be a lemon. Thank you for reading this quick work. When I listen to music, music videos form in my head. Songs tell me stories in a way, and "Special Needs" by Placebo told me this story. The official music video, though, does have a locker room in it, but the stories aren't related to each other at all. Watch the music video if you haven't yet. This is a good song. Louise and Conan are in no way related to the two characters in the "SN" video. Please go to my profile for character links and full summaries. Point out any typos as well if you see them. Much appreciated. – Kitty
Disclaimer: I do not own the lyrics to this song. All rights to "Special Needs" go to Placebo.
Remember me when you're the one whose silver screened
Remember me when you're the one you'd always dreamed
Remember me whenever noses start to bleed
Remember me special needs
He and I stood in the desolate hallway that day, after school, when he broke my heart. I had promised myself that I would never be such a victim of heartbreak. That night, as I cried myself to sleep, I only let myself down, knowing that I had become a victim of just that, and of the damn male race. I swore that I would never fall again that night, but I was unable to live up to my promise. Nights would pass, and I would be able to sleep with a little more ease. Eventually, I could numb the pain. I could try to forget Conan. I knew he forgot me. Immediately after the break up, he began to masquerade around with different girls, eventually picking one final bimbo, and they were officially an item. My best friend informed me of this fact, and once again I broke down.
But thankfully, months passed and I was able to partly move on. The pain had ceased, but a new hatred slept inside my heart, and never left me. But my memories of him did spark one day in the library, after school. I sat at a table with Mark located at the back of library. Becoming distracted from his studies, he brushed my cheek with his knuckles. A smile crept to my lips and I tore my gaze from my book to meet his eyes with my own. A soft grin was placed upon his mouth. "We're supposed to be studying," I replied in a low, bubbly laugh.
He shook his head. "I don't care." Such a fine man he was. I could have been in love with Mark. I'm sure that I was at one point. My gaze once again found my book and my fingers intertwined with his, so I could concentrate without his soft caresses. We studied, or at least I did. I couldn't help but feel his gaze never left me. Truly, he was perfect. I'd be lying if I said that he wasn't popular with the girls. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised when he told me he liked me. Also, I'd be lying if I said I didn't think he was falling in love with me.
After finishing the final paragraph of the chapter our teacher had assigned us to read, I looked back to Mark. As I thought, he had been staring at me the whole time. "What?" I laughed.
"You're beautiful." It was random, but it was lovely. The butterflies began to flutter wildly in my stomach, and my heart swelled with a warm sensation I couldn't quite name yet.
"Just pack up Lover Boy," I replied comically. "And you can take me home."
He stood with a smirk, grabbing his coat. "How about I take you to my home, and then when I'm done with you, you can go home."
I let out another laugh. "That works, too," I mused, packing up my things.
"Give me a minute," unnecessarily, but surely welcome, he placed a kiss on my cheek and disappeared behind the forest of old, stacked bookshelves.
I noticed I was still smiling, and I couldn't help but. This is probably what happened with Conan. Mark would make me fall in love with him, like Conan did a year and a half ago, and he would break my heart, too. I would be back in the same pit of sadness, I would wait months to start even looking at other guys, let alone dating and the cycle would continue. Then again, perhaps this was just my mind being paranoid. I sure hoped so. Was it possible that I can love Mark more than I loved Conan? Well, Conan, after all, was my first…well, everything. My first kiss, my first life, my first serious relationship, my first. But I shouldn't compare the two, for after all, they are nothing alike.
Just nineteen a sucker's dream
I guess I thought you had the flavor
Just nineteen a dream it seemed
Six months off for bad behavior
I sat to get a proper hold of my things. I sat back down, waiting for Mark to return to me, crossed my legs and placed my chin in my hand. I found it ironic that after thinking about Conan, he decided to waltz into the library, with his lovely new bimbo on his arm. I suppose the words "new" wouldn't properly describe it. She was the one he settled for after our break up. He dates a girl for about a year and cheats on them with half of the female population. He did the same to me, and does the same to her. I grabbed my things and stood. I went to the check out counter and casually leaned against it, waiting for Mark. Unfortunately for me, Conan caught sight of me. Immediately, with no smile, no frown, but with absolute indifference I turned away, and as I did, I saw Mark approaching me. The depressing aura from Conan immediately disappeared as I saw Mark, confidently ascending toward me.
I nodded, and like kids, we linked arms together. The dark figure from my past was left forgotten and we left the library.
Remember me when you clench your movie deal
And think of me stuck in my chair that has flow wheels
Remember me through flash photography and screens
Remember me special dreams
My idiocy caused me to think about him. My idiocy then caused me to dream about him. When Conan and I were first together, and it was difficult for us to get alone time, we would meet in the locker room. Indeed, it was crazy. Intimate interactions on school ground alone were crazy, but having sex after school in the boys' locker room, and in the girls' locker room was even crazier. And we loved it. I dreamed of the note he left in my locker with his quick, capitalized hand writing on it, saying, "Locker room." That's all it would say. I dreamt of a replica of me walking down the desolate, late afternoon halls finding the girls' empty locker room. I would place my things down, and wait. And he would come, and we would spend our time together. After that, we would sadly part, only to want more time together.
I dreamed of our first time doing this.
I woke up feeling as if I were bundled up in a blanket of shame. Conan was the wrong guy to be dreaming about. Perhaps I hadn't fully gotten over him. The shame lasted throughout the day as I continued in a daze. Eventually, I was again in the library, in the exact same spot. This time I was not with Mark, but instead alone. The library was a tad populated. I hadn't a clue why until I looked up to see Conan yet again.
"He's fucking haunting me," I whispered to myself. And perhaps he was, because as soon as my eyes found him, his found mine. My stomach twisted and turned in a painful motion that turned into nausea. I looked down, hoping that he'd go away. But he didn't. I heard the sound of the chair's legs scraping against the tile. My eyes remained glued to the book.
Then, in his low, smooth voice, he spoke my name. "Lou."
Immediately, as he called me his nickname for me, I lifted my head, and retorted. "It's Louie. You don't have the privileges of nicknames anymore, Conan." My tone was stern and serious. I wasn't kidding with the man. That nickname brought back bad memories when he spoke it, and it was the name Mark called me.
He held his hands up in defense. "Whoa, okay. Don't bite my head off." He laughed. He wasn't taking me seriously, apparently. My head fell again, and I concentrated on my history book. "So."
"You know, you make studying at the library pretty pointless," I spat, lifting my eyes up again. "If I wanted to be bothered, I wouldn't have come to the library."
"So feisty," he sang.
"What do you want, Conan. Honestly. What is it?" I demanded.
He was sitting in the same seat Mark sat in yesterday.
The only change in him was his age. His hair still thick and dark, and a mess, as usual. But now, he was a man, like now, I was a woman. His dark green eyes smiled at me, and his lips smirked. He didn't say anything. I looked back down to my book, hoping he'd leave me alone. Seconds of silence passed, and I felt his fingers on my wrist. He had hold of my bracelet, playing with one of the beads. "What's this?" he asked, twirling the little heart-charm in between his fingers.
"My boyfriend gave it to me," I replied quickly, smoothly. He let go of the bracelet immediately.
"So cliché," he commented. "Charms, but still I guess genuine," he sighed a deep sigh, as if stalling his mind.
Coldly, I stared at the bastard. Who was he to talk? A year ago, he began walking around campus with a guitar pick tied around his neck. He didn't play guitar. What was wrong with this picture? "Says you," I laughed nattily. "You're the one with a damn pick around your neck, and you've never picked up an instrument in your life!"
"Michelle gave this to me," he said back nonchalantly, leaning back in his seat.
I rolled my eyes. Really? Honestly? Childish. "What's your problem?" I inquired calmly.
"I just want to talk," he replied. Again with the nonchalance. He continued on. "Michelle gave this to me on my birthday." Was that the new one's name? Too bad it was a pretty name, and too bad the girl was probably a decent person. She won't be feeling so loved when he's done with her. Such dark thoughts, I know.
"And Mark gave this to me for mine," I continued. "Now, what do you really want?" Conan hadn't so as much looked in my direction in a year and a half, let alone wanted to talk. He wanted something. And he wasn't going to get it, whatever it was.
That smirk of his fell from his lips, and he turned around and scanned our surroundings. I hadn't a clue why, because we were in the very back of the library. "It wouldn't be smart to talk here," he whispered.
I leaned into him, and whispered back, "too bad."
He let out an exasperated sigh. "Louie."
"Conan. You and I aren't exactly friends," I cut in with an obnoxious smile. "So why would I have any interest in listening to you…yap?" I feigned confusion. Observing his features I noticed that he was actually offended by my attitude.
Deep down, I felt as if I owed him absolutely no nice words. If anything, I owed him a slap in the face. A wave of infuriated victory thrashed in my stomach as he stood, willing to walk away. "Sorry I bothered you," he spoke sullenly.
No, he couldn't walk away so quickly. Yes, he was offended, but I didn't want to end there. "No, no, sit down," I called back.
He only looked back at me and stared, searching to see if I was serious or not. Indeed, I was. I motioned for the chair he had just left. With another exasperated sigh, he sat. "Like I said, we can't talk here." My face screwed in confusion, but he continued anyway. "Just meet me in the locker room."
Just nineteen a sucker's dream
I guess I thought you had the flavor
Just nineteen a dream it seemed
Six months off for bad behavior
He told me to meet him the next afternoon, a Friday. Thursday night, I couldn't sleep. I drowned my sleepiness with curiosity, preventing slumber. Also, it triggered guilt, which didn't allow me to speak to Mark when he called, canceling our date for Saturday. I didn't find this out though until I saw him at school Friday morning. He apologized and explained his reasoning. With laughter, I forgave him. Silly Mark.
But that afternoon, the optimism my Perfect Boyfriend supplied me with ran out, and I stood in the locker room, shameful, worried, and ripped. The hatred and sadness churned inside of me so, that it turned into sly content. Sly? Why? I did not know. But I did just as I did when Conan and I were together. I threw my stuff down, and I sat on the bench. Then, I waited.
It was like time travel. I'd lay down on the bench, one foot placed on the surface of the wooden slab, the other on the floor. I stared at the ceiling. I didn't bother taking my book out. I just sat there, and stared. But the only difference between now and a year and a half ago, I thought about Mark, not Conan. The fact eased my conscious. It eased the guilt. I was only here to talk, after all, right? But something in me… something in me knew that talking was not all what Conan had planned.
The sound of a heavy door slamming echoed throughout the locker room. I sat up, recognizing the system. In seconds he appeared past one of the set of lockers that visually blocked off the rest of the locker room. He found me with his eyes. I was in the spot where I had sat before. He leaned against the lockers, his hands in his pockets. "So," I called out, "What was it you wanted to talk about?"
Silently, he walked toward me. He sat down on the floor across from me, his back against the opposite set of lockers. "I've been thinking."
I lay back down, and stared back to the ceiling. "Of?"
"There is no us, Conan." Once again, stern and serious tone.
"There used to be," was his quick reply.
"Note the past tense, for me," I said snidely.
"You know I loved you, Louise."
"At one point," I turned my head to look at him, and swiftly sat up, "I believed that."
"And you don't anymore?" There was hurt in his tone. But there was hurt in my heart.
"Not anymore." My tone was clean, cut, and solid. There was nothing rude to it, nothing smart, and nothing emotional. Polite, yet indifferent.
He slammed his fist against the locker and stood quickly. "God dammit Louie!" Immediately, at the sound of his loud voice, at the fact of him yelling at me, I stood, alert. He turned to look at me, and in a distressed tone he said, "You're all I've been able to think about the last six months!"
"What?" I said in a weak voice. He had been thinking of me? A collage of the tears, the break up, and sights of him and different girls fused into my mind. I remembered the pain he put me through, and the hatred I had grown to feel for him. I had to hate him because it was too hurtful to love him. It was easier to hate him, because I wasn't allowed to love him. I can't love a man who doesn't love me back. But at the idea of him thinking of me a little piece of me became excited, that perhaps he still has feelings for me. Half of me hoped so, half of me hoped not.
"I've never been dependent on a lover before," he exhaled deeply. "And I couldn't stand it, but as soon as I broke up with you, I knew that I had made the biggest mistake of my life."
Showing signs of weakness, my eyes began to well; my breath became weak. I felt as if he were breaking up with me all over again. I didn't know why, but I just felt that way. I turned away. "Why couldn't you tell me this before?" I asked in a small, small voice.
"I was afraid you wouldn't take me back."
I snorted at the thought. Of course I would take him back. I loved him, and at that time he was the only thing I could think of before and after the break up. "You would have deserved it," I said. And he would have. I wanted to cause him the pain he caused me, whether or not he loved me. I was pissed off at him, for making me think he didn't love me. He was the only person, thing, anything that I ever wanted. When I had him, I didn't want anything else. He was my everything, and the only man I could ever think about wanting. He was my heart, he was my happiness, and at the thought of him not wanting me, not loving me, and at the thought of not having him anymore tore me to pieces. Mark was my saviour, because he restored my self confidence, independence, and loved me. And I truly believed that I could fall in love with him if I allowed myself too, and this is what fueled my anger at Conan.
Just as I begin to move on…
I find this shit out.
"Are you sure I'm not just a one time stand?" I stated, angrily. I was turned away from him. I didn't want to see him.
He let out a growl-like noise. "Lou, I've cheated before, but never did I cheat on you."
"I don't believe that." But I did believe it, and I couldn't let him know that.
I heart his heavy foot steps. Quickly, he turned me around and looked at me, a deadly, tearful look in his eyes. "Louise, I've never cheated on you!" he told me desperately. "I've cheated on girls before you and I cheated on girls after you, but never did I cheat on you."
"Are you sure this isn't because Michelle won't give out!?" I spat her name. I shouldn't be mean to her.
"I'm not trying to get in your pants, Louie!" he argued. His voice was firm, and I could hear the distress in it. "I never wanted to be with anyone but you when you and I were together. Even before you gave me your virginity," I noticed then that he had my arm in his hand, pulling me closer to him as he spoke, "I was in love you. Sex didn't make me love you anymore. I fell in love with you hard, and before we slept together for the first time."
I shook my head, the tears falling quickly now, and looked away. He was distressed, just as I. Upset, just as I. I couldn't look at him. "What are you saying? That you had feelings for me all this time?" I fixed my eyes on the door that I had come through, only yards away from me.
Barely audible, he said, "Basically."
That was it.
The sensation of anger and confusion pumped through my veins and fueled my rage as I began to frantically pound on his chest. "You bastard! You son of a bitch!" I would pause to yell at him, and then continue to punch at him. "How dare you! Break my heart! Twice!"
"Lou! Stop!" he warned me. He was desperate for me to calm down before I said something stupid.
"I JUST begin to get over you!" I bellowed at the top of my lungs, "AND THEN YOU TELL ME YOU'RE STILL IN LOVE WITH ME?"
"Lou! Calm down!"
"I won't!" I refused defiantly. "You-"
He grabbed hold of my wrists and ceased the insistent thrashing I had been doing against him and yanked me toward him. Our chests collided and I think he did it just to shut me up. He slammed his lips against mine violently and almost frantically. At first I pushed against him, to get away, but he wrapped an arm around my waist, preventing it, forcing me to fall into him. My tears began to fall quickly, and for some reason, I couldn't help but give in. At that moment, I was content, and I was happy. No one else existed. Only he did. I wanted it, so, like an idiot – I kissed him back.
His body tried to dominate mine. His other hand released my wrist and my hands snaked around his neck and easily, he supported me as my knees became weak. The desperation between us soon turned into a passionate embrace. Chills ran down my spine as I felt him run his tongue along my bottom lip, the surprise causing my nails to dig into his skin. Our breathing became heavy and my knees became weaker. Soon he was all the support I had. He cupped my face in his hands, and lovingly continued to kiss me, no longer attacking me like an animal.
But as our acts slowed, my mind began to work again. Coming back to my senses, so reluctantly, I pulled away. Immediately a wave of guilt parked itself in the bottom of my stomach and all the little butterflies died. It was like earth crashing down, but really, it was reality crashing down on me. I turned my back to him. I picked up my jacket and began to fold it, and then began to put it in my bag.
"Lou," I heard him whisper.
Considering that I kissed him back, I thought that I deserved to look him in the eye and explain things to him. So I did just that. I turned around, and looked him in the eye. His dark hair was messy from my fingers, his shirt was now wrinkled, and there were red marks on his pale skin from my nails. I loved it, but I couldn't continue with him. This conversation –if it even was a conversation -- needed to end. Whatever it was, it needed to end. "You're with Michelle. I'm with Marcus. He loves me," I cleared my throat. "And I'm not hurting him."
"I'm not asking you to hurt him," he replied, his brows furrowed, his tone confused.
"Then what are you asking of me?" I pleaded, my fists clenching.
"I don't know, Lou. Being in the same room as you makes me at ease."
I looked back to my bag. I distinctly heard his footsteps as he walked away, heading for the door, I assumed. Stupidly I followed him with my eyes. Sadness filled me every step that he took farther from me. I began to count them. "One…two…three…" But he stopped right in front of the door. He turned around to look at me. His eyes sullen, his posture slouched. He was ridden with sadness. But that sadness turned into determination as his fists clenched and he began toward me with great speed and confidence. I gasped as he took my face in his hands and once again, for the second time, he collided lips to mine. I didn't bother fighting it. I just gave in, but as I did so, I let out an unintentional moan. He snaked an arm around my waist and supported my weight, pressing our chests together.
My fingers tangled in his hair and slightly tugged. He emitted a husky growl from the back of his throat as I did this and moved his lips from mine to my neck. Indeed passion from him that I hadn't felt in the longest time. Slowly, he backed me up against the locker, pressing me firmly to the surface. I could feel the heat of the arousal in my womb, and I could feel it travel throughout my body already. Once again, he took my face into his hands and kissed me, but this time, his hands slid from my cheeks to my shoulders, to my breasts, to the hem of my shirt, and without hesitation he stripped me of the clothes article. His lips came back to me and I tucked my fingers in between his belt loop and pants and quickly began to unbuckle him. My fingers shook so that I gave up and went for his shirt.
My breathing was so hard and so quick. The sensation of his warm breath on my neck sent chills down my spine and I could feel a jolt in my womb, stirring the need that was beginning to manifest. I moaned loudly as he nipped at my neck and I knew then that I was in trouble. I shouldn't be doing this, but I wanted to.
My trembling fingers attempted to unbutton his shirt and every time I moaned, Conan's nails would dig into my lower back. Eventually his hands found my breasts and as he kissed me, he kneaded him softly, making the moans insistent. He still knew all of my sweet spots after all this time. Finally, I did away with that damn shirt. I could feel my core begin to heat just as Conan's fingers trailed to my shoulder. I observed his facial expression, how his eyes drooped with memorization, how he bit his lip as he began to slowly pull down my bra straps.
He pulled down one and then the other. His hand disappeared behind my back and unhooked the blue, polka dotted bra. He smiled. "It's cute," he commented. I thanked him, but my state of mind caused it to come out as a deep moan as he ran his lips across my neck once again. His hips pressed to mine and slightly, he grinded himself against me.
"We shouldn't be doing this," I tried in a whisper.
"I'm not making you do anything," was his muffled reply.
No, he wasn't. And I knew I shouldn't, but I couldn't help but want it. The caresses became heavier and the kisses became more frantic. We fell to the floor and stripped each other of our remaining clothing articles. My nails dug into his back as that godly mouth of his trailed down my torso to my panties. He looked up at me, and slowly asked me, "Are you sure you wanna do this?" in a husky, breathy voice.
I nodded. "I know I shouldn't, but I'm going to anyway." At that, he swiftly pulled the last article from me. He found my lips for a last time and I wrapped my fingers in his hair.
It was a lewd, regrettable act we performed in the locker room, like we had many times before. I knew it was regrettable because as I lay next to him, my head on his chest, his arm wrapped around my shoulder, I began to think of Mark. I had held Conan's "cheating" (or so I thought before now) against him. But I turned around and did just this to Mark, I cheated. It was a fairly simple concept to grasp, and most nowadays like to call it – hypocrisy.
I looked up at Conan. He was dozing in and out of unconsciousness. He was tired, but soon the school would be locking up and we would have to leave. And at the thought of going home, I began to wonder. What would become of us? Yes, I did love Colin. But I was not in love with him. My feelings for Mark were still present and a dark ghost of guilt haunted me as well over it. If I truly loved him, would I have cheated? If I had truly hated Conan, would I be here now? Where did I belong, and where would I be tomorrow?
I was in the wrong man's arms. Conan was a figment of my past that I was in desperate need to let go of. But if he was in my past, then what was this? I rested my head on his chest. "I'm sleeping with ghosts," I thought to myself.
I didn't wake Conan. I dressed and left for my car, but on my way home my cell phone went off. My heart leaped when I read that it was Mark. The guilt of betraying such a wonderful man almost convinced me to not answer. But it was Mark, not a friend, not a teacher, Mark – my boyfriend. The man I was sure that was in love with me. I couldn't ignore him. I just couldn't. And I couldn't let the guilt win, either. So, reluctantly and with a sigh I flipped the phone open and held the contraption to my ear.
"Telephone," I answered.
"Lou, hi," I heard Mark's voice. He sounded cheerful, and it ripped my soul to pieces. "Can I see you?" he asked.
I paused, visions of my afternoon with Conan racing through my mind. The tears, the kissing, the sex. And with each visual, a pile of guilt tagged along. Though I tried to ignore it, and said, "Sure, now?" My tone sounded so normal. That disturbed me.
"That'd be great!" A tone of excitement laced his usual composed voice.
"Give me half an hour." I didn't even wait to say good bye. I closed my phone and threw it into the passenger's seat. I pulled my care over and turned around, changing directions from my home to Mark's. It was like changing from home base to enemy lines in a heartbeat. But part of me thought that Mark wasn't the enemy, I was. I was the one who betrayed, I was the one who will spend the rest of the relationship lying. I was the one who would have a guard up, built of guilt. I wouldn't be hurt by Mark, but I would be hurting myself.
It only took minutes to arrive to his house, for it wasn't far from my own. For a moment, I paused and just stood in front of his house, thinking, trying to remember what used to be between us. It was there, still, but my mind tainted it, now. I couldn't change any past choices, I understood that. But man was the guilt killing me. I knocked on his door, and immediately, the big oak door swung open and there he was. Mark always stood out to me. He always glowed, and he was like my savior. He put my heart pieces back together and was in love with my every flaw. And now, as he stood in the doorway, my heart began to race. He was still glowing and all of my doubts about the relationship simply vanish at the mere sight of this masterpiece of mine.
I couldn't help but crack a smile, or how weak my voice sounded when I went, "Hi."
He didn't bother to say hi. He smiled back and snaked an arm around my waist and pulled me to him, crashing our lips together in a short but very intimate kiss. I sighed into his mouth and my knees went weak as he nipped at my lower lip. He pulled away gently and droopy eyed I looked up at him. "If this is what I get whenever I come to visit you then I'm doing this more often."
He let out a laugh, amused at my statement. The thought I was kidding? I giggled inwardly. "But your bed is more comfortable than mine," he allowed as he stood to the side to allow me entrance into his house.
"Oh hush," I replied. Such playfulness, a playfulness that was never present before Conan. But this was only because I suppose Mark was my best friend before my boyfriend. We had fallen into friendship with each other, learned about each other, and became inseparable. It's when he passionately kissed me two Christmases ago when my feelings for him were set into stone.
But that's a different story.
He entwined his fingers with mine, a light smirk on his lips. "Come with me," he said in a composed, caramel tone. I drug along behind, up the staircase, a stupid smile on my face. There was no sign of the guilt in my stomach, only the happiness that I felt with Mark, and only he could give me this kind of feeling. The butterflies were back and fluttering.
He pulled me into his room and swiftly shut the door behind us. And just as he did so he took my face into his and brought his lips to mine. On their own accord, my arms wrapped around his neck, and I craned my neck to access his lips more easily. He ran his tongue along my lips, and I moaned in surprise. He usually wasn't this straightforward. His lips trailed from mine enticingly down my neck, nipping and leaving small licks along the way. He wasn't lapping at my skin, but his tongue gave just enough presence to be known but not too much to form an uncomfortable air.
I pulled away, gasping for air. Immediately he smirked. "Sorry, couldn't help myself," he told me in a whisper, gazing into my eyes as he ran his thumb teasingly across my bottom lip. I shook my head.
"Was there something you wanted to talk about Mr. Tease?" I giggled.
"Actually – yes." His voice had something somewhat close to finality in it. I sat on his gallant bed, wrapped in black sheets and that giant fluffy black comforter I adored so. I fell within the confines of the bed, even kicking off my shoes as I did so. The pillow I'd landed on supported my aching back well and I was rather comfortable. Ready to just go to sleep, really. "Comfy?" he called. I nodded happily.
"Sit, sit." I patted the bed. His sexual demeanor had lightened and now he seemed keener into thought.
We laid sideways on the bed, level with one another. I gazed into his eyes as he stared into space, deep within his cavernous thoughts. "I'm trying to think of a good way to put this," he told me. He ran a hand through his thick brown hair, messing it up (and not caring what he looked like). "Louie," he began with a sigh. "When I wake up in the morning, you're the first thing that comes to mind. Not only that but I dream of you, too." I smiled at this fact. I was glad he felt the same way. "Sometimes, I just can't get you out of my head but I don't try. I like thinking about you." He chuckled. "And the thought of not being with you tears my soul to pieces really because I can't help this feeling. It's like I'm lost out at sea and I can't swim because the waves are so violent. But I love these feelings I have for you." Finally he looked me in the eye and held my face in his hands again. He leaned into me, causing me to fall onto my back. For the third time in the last ten minutes, our lips meshed together, and I fell into him. "And sometimes – I just can't help but kiss you," he whispered, pulling away reluctantly.
To fill his absence, I wrapped my fingers with his. "I really don't know how to explain how I feel, Lou. I wish I could continue, because I really do think of you pretty much…all the time." There we went with that dry humor of his. "You seem to be the only person in the world that matters to me, and I don't mind it. I know for a fact that if anything ever happened to you, I wouldn't survive it."
Just nineteen a sucker's dream
I guess I thought you had the flavor
Just nineteen a dream it seemed
Six months off for bad behavior
His every word was genuine, and at his sudden spill of emotions for me, I couldn't believe that I began to well up. "Louie, I'm falling in love with you."
As he spoke his words my heart had swelled, but when he had finished, the butterflies froze. I'd been waiting for this moment, but hadn't been expecting it to happen lately. I loved that he loved me. I had felt that he was in love with me, and truly, I was falling in love with him. But traditionally, when someone says "I love you" you're supposed to say it back, right?
My deceit and betrayal clouded my judgment, halting all brain function. He read my thoughts through my facial expression. Apparently I had the, "Can I Say It Back?" look on my face. He laughed.
"I don't expect you to say it back, just yet, Louie. You deserved to know. And if you can't say it back," he looked away from me, just the thought causing him remorse, "I'll understand. I'm not gonna force this on you."
…What was he talking about? "I don't expect you to say it back, yet." And, "I'll understand if you don't love me back," is basically what he said, right? What in the world is this crazy man going on about? Looking at my Mark, I was surprised that this beautiful wonderful man, the only person who existed to me before this afternoon thought that I didn't have those feelings. Did I? Probably, yes.
Why probably? The question was not, "Do I love him?" Indeed, the question was, "Do I deserve him?" Of course, he didn't know of my betrayal, and as far as I was concerned, he wouldn't know. I took a moment to think as he rambled on. I didn't catch any words of his, no matter how important they might be. I decided that I wouldn't confess my feelings now but think about where I stood with Mark. The confusion and the harsh facts of life prevented me from enjoying this moment thoroughly.
Would I tell Mark?
No, out of the question.
He still rambled. I laughed. This time, it was I who took his face into my hands and kissed him. As I'd intended, he silenced. "Thanks for letting me get my say in," I replied sarcastically. He laughed.
I guess I thought you had the flavor
Just nineteen a dream it seemed
Six months off for bad behavior
Possibly the only thing good that came out of my rendezvous with Conan was that he chose the day before Spring Break to meet in the locker room. It would be difficult to ignore him at school, but at home I could ignore his calls, emails, IMs, and if he had decided to visit I could just not answer the door. After Mark confessing his love for me, I spent every waking moment possible with him. When with Mark, I was able to forget my deceit, because my undeniable admiration for him took hold of my heart and emotion. With him, I was happy. Some days he would spend at my house, some I would spend at his. When our parents got sick of seeing us, we would go out together.
After Conan broke up with me, it was difficult to forget him. Even when Mark and I began to fall for one another, I wasn't able to forget the pain Conan had put me through, but I was able to numb his memory enough. But after Conan's confession, of his regret of ever breaking up with me, of his constant thoughts of me, after the lewd acts within the girls' locker room, I was able to forget him. Was this closure? I doubted it. How was the man you believed you were in love with telling you he regretted ever breaking your heart and your stupidity allowed you to have sex with him hours before your boyfriend confessed his love for you anything close to closure? Exactly – it wasn't. But why was I able to forget him, then?
Mark was just…Mark. When he walked into a room, my heart race quickened, the butterflies did back flips in my tummy, and my entire being glowed with happiness. I remember feeling this way with Conan, but I also remember the drama with Conan when we were in a relationship together. He would have mood swings and he would just cut himself off from me.
But I needed to quit comparing the two. Conan and Mark weren't comparable. They were human beings, and were individuals. Comparing the two didn't change things. I wanted to be with Mark, but Conan wouldn't like this. This was just my luck. I move on and the ex-boyfriend comes back. But as I crossed that mental boundary, a simple question floated to the top of my mind.
Do I want to be with Mark? Yes.
Do I want to be with Conan? No.
I just miss him is all. Conan was regret. I regretted losing him. I regretted the heartbreak. But would I break up with Mark for Conan? Certainly not. I would be with him again.
I found Conan the first day back to school. He was leaning against his locker conversing with some friends. As his friends' eyes found me, his followed, and as soon as he saw me, his lips lit up with a smirk. The boys walked away, snickering and smiling stupidly, but I ignored it. Confidently, he stood, gazing down upon me. "I need to see you after classes," I spoke as indifferently as I had managed. My back broke and my voice cracked, showing weakness within my intentions. He didn't notice. He only smiled.
Such a devil, he is.
Classes sped by and I was pleased. Mark and I shared our last class. "I need to see someone about something," I stated, looking up at him as he wrapped his arm around my shoulder.
"I'll go with you," he offered automatically. Such a good boyfriend, I giggled inwardly.
"No, it's fine," I smiled. "It'll take about twenty minutes, will you wait for me?" I stopped, and turned to look at him, sounding almost hopeful for some reason.
He released my shoulder and laughed. "Even if I didn't, I would have to. I'm your ride, anyway."
This fact made me laugh. Rolling my eyes, I turned to the general direction of the girl's locker room. "Twenty minutes!" I called behind. I heard his footsteps and his laughter fade as he began away from me.
The locker room was easily found, and to my dismay, Conan had already planted himself within its confines. This allowed me no time to think of what I was going to say. As soon as he saw me, he rose from the bench, and began toward me. Immediately he wrapped an arm around my waist romantically. I placed a hand on his chest and pushed him away. "No, stop," I turned away as soon as he released me. "This is what I needed to talk to you about."
His brows furrowed and he backed away, giving me my space generously. I had rehearsed what I was going to say many times in my head, making several changes. My final decided words could have been better, but their lack of satisfaction didn't matter considering I'd forgotten them completely. After a long pause, he became impatient. "What is it, then?" I could tell the frustration in his tone, and this bothered me, made me feel a little bad.
Taking a deep breath, I struggled for my words. He looked as if annoyed. This took a toll on my self confidence, so, I gave up. "I wanted to address this properly, but that seems impossible," I sighed. He shot me a questioning glance. "Mark told me last Friday that he's falling in love with me." My tone was small, sounding sorrowful. Conan's eyes fell and a look of defeat registered on his features. "I'm sorry, Conan." I wasn't exactly sorry, I just felt awkward, as if I was stuck in a puddle of thick mud and I had no one to help free me. I could have just walked away and left it at that. But I owed him an explanation at least.
"Sorry?" he replied in a disdained voice. "Do you love him back?"
"I've had a week to think of my intentions, Conan." In the back of my heart, I felt a tiny emotion. Remorse. It was almost nonexistent, but nonetheless, it was there. But I stood tall, and a strange lace of confidence tied within my tone and mind, clearing my thoughts of uncertainties. I was subtle yet strong.
"And what are your intentions?" Mocking.
"What's with the tone?" I asked incredulously. Mocking? Why was he mocking?
"It sounds like you don't want to be with me, but that's not what you were saying on the ground Friday before last." Quickly, he stripped himself of his jacket and threw it onto the bench. He ran his long fingers through his thick auburn hair and let out an exasperated sigh. "I shouldn't have ever broken up with you."
"Considering your current wishes, no, you shouldn't have!" I laughed sarcastically.
"And I thought I led people on," he turned his back to me, giving me the cold shoulder.
That remorse in the back of my heart snapped into anger. "Go be with your girlfriend, Conan," I spat. "When I'm finally able to move on, you decide to tell me you never fell out of love with me. You had independence issues."
"Your point?" he said, barely audibly.
"You shouldn't take out your insecurities on others," I whispered, venomously. I wanted to turn away, to walk away. Leave him in his brooding sadness. Only one minute into the conversation, and he was already pissed off at me. I couldn't leave on terms like this.
The silence was cold and uncomfortable - until he spoke. "I know…" he began slowly, "that it was unfair, my reasons for breaking up with you. And indeed, I regret it." To my surprise, he turned around and looked at me. He indeed looked sad, his eyes deepened with discontent. "Just because I'm still in love with you after all this time doesn't mean I've got the right to ask you to leave him to be with me again."
It was like he was doing the work for me.
"That's true," I replied, thankful.
"I won't ask you to leave him. And even if I did, it looks like you wouldn't."
"No, I wouldn't." Professional.
"But can I ask something else instead?" Curious.
"If you weren't with him, would you be with me again?"
"Probably not," I replied curtly. He laughed.
Mark was leaning against his car when I finally found him. He looked content when he was deep in thought. He looked away from me so he had yet to notice me. I smiled. "Thinking?"
"Hm?" he turned his head to me, quickly being shaken from his thoughts. I laughed at his zoning out. It was always easy for him to fall into his own world.
"Nothing," I giggled. I approached him, and lovingly, he held his arms out for me. Wrapping my arms around him, I leaned up to kiss him. He was so tall he had to bend down to meet my lips. (I felt so short when I was with him.) Without warning, the relief of Conan being out of the picture and the sheer presence of being with Mark, the butterflies quickened, and the little sensation that I wasn't able to name began to beat through my veins took over my thought process. "I love you." It just came out. I couldn't help it. But Mark didn't seem so stressed about it, though. He immediately began to beam at me, pleased with my choice of words. "Well," I laughed, "It's true!"
He rolled his eyes and kissed me.
Author's Note: When I read this, I did not like it. I think the flow is off and I didn't finish looking for typos. DO NOT POINT OUT MY TYPOS. I'll eventually find them when I finish proof reading.