I'm sorry if you have already read this story and thought that the ending wasn't exactly up to par! That was the original version... this is my edited and final (maybe, unless it has some serious grammar issues...) version of this story!
Girl and Boy
"Hey, there's my favorite girl," Reagan called out, making his way over to me.
I had decided—two nights ago, when he was out on his date and ditched me for her that I was pissed at him. Not just one of those normal I'll-get-over-it-in-a-few-minutes kind of pissed, I mean an all out pissed off. Seriously, had he really not figured out—in the year and a half that we have been friends—that I have been crushing on him majorly? And then he goes on and dates all of these… well… no, I can't judge them, I mean who knows, maybe somewhere… deep… deep down they are good people.
"Sammie," he said, snapping his fingers in front of my face as I stood studiously behind the cash register of Howard's Books and Coffee shop.
"Can I help you?" I asked. It was cruel of me to be pissed at him, I'll admit. The truth is, though, that I am a very selfish person, and since I am incredibly jealous of those… those girls that he dates, I… well it hurts to be with him.
I had been distancing myself for a few weeks, trying to push him away, but he wouldn't go for it. That was why I got seriously pissed at him a few nights ago. I mean he was constantly telling me how he would never choose a girl over me, but there he goes, canceling plans that I had made three months in advance and just left me hanging. It was singularly the most embarrassing thing that I had ever had to attend.
And it was all because he didn't tell me he was canceling, so I had to attend by myself.
"Sammie… hello…it's your best friend, I need a reason to come see you?" he asked, smiling as he leaned over the counter.
I looked up at him, and it just annoyed me more at the fact that he didn't even know how jealous I was; he didn't even know how pissed I was at him. "I'm working, Ray."
"…and? When has that ever been a problem before?"
"Now, Ray, now it's a problem," I said, sighing threw my nose. "I have to go, I'm working."
I walked around the counter and started straightening all the books that I had already straightened, trying to look busy.
Ray—per usual—did not get the hint.
"Sammie, come on, are you mad at me?" he asked, in that baby voice that people use when they try to make you laugh.
Oh yeah, I'm laughing right now. Not.
"Go away, Reagan."
"Wow," he said, actually stopping, "The first name? What did I do?"
I held myself back from letting out a giggle, because the way he said it made me want to smile at least, but then I remembered that I was mad at him, and immediately swallowed it.
"Sammie?" he asked, tentatively.
"Hm," I asked, shelf-reading as I slowly walked down the isle.
He reached out and pulled me into a hug from behind, pressing his face into my neck. He was strong, incredibly so, and I could feel all of his muscles as he wrapped is arms around me. Shivers ran up and down my spine and I almost closed my eyes at the feel of him so close. My head fit right against his chest, since he was a whole head taller than me, and somehow that just made him that much better. How long had I wanted to be with him? I was in love with the guy for God's sake and he didn't even know! "Sammie, what did I do?"
"Nothing, just go away."
"I obviously didn't do nothing if you had to use my first name. You never use my first name."
"Whatever, it was a slip, Ray. Happy now?"
"I'm getting there," he said, pulling away slowly. Instead of turning to face him, I quickly wandered down to the next isle so he wouldn't see the flush in my face. Now that would be embarrassing. "Wait, I want to talk to you."
I sighed, "As much as I don't want you to right now, Ray, you already are talking to me."
"I'm being serious," he said, although I knew he was smiling.
"So am I."
"Samantha," he warned, pulling on my arm so that I would have to face him. I blushed, when I realized that his hand fit all the way around my upper arm, and even over-lapped a little. His hands were huge, and immediately, my mind started to wander. Oh, god, bad thoughts Samantha.
"Reagan," I said back, raising an eyebrow in a silent challenge.
"Look, I actually came to apologize," he huffed, frustrated that I was being so difficult.
As soon as he said it—apologize—I put my best poker face on (it's actually amazingly good, but don't worry, I don't gamble) and turned away from him.
"Geez, what was that face for?"
"What face?" I asked; my voice carefully controlled as I went through files avoiding his eyes.
"Well the blank face, but also the very cold vibes I'm getting from you."
"What's wrong with vibes?"
"Come on," I said, rolling my eyes, "Vibes are not real."
"What, of course they are!"
"No, it's called body language. 'Vibes' is such a weird word," I said, scrunching up my nose as I went back to my files.
"Oh my god," he said, laughing, "You would say something like that."
"I prefer to take that as a compliment," I said, putting the file back and taking out the next one.
"Hey, you changed the subject," he said, narrowing his eyes at me.
"You changed the subject too," I said, trying to avoid this conversation. If he asked me to forgive him I would have to, because for some reason it's insanely hard to say no to the guy. Then if I forgave him, I would have to hang out with him more and then if I hang out with him more I would get even more hurt over the fact that he chose all those other girls over me and… yeah.
"No I didn't."
"Yeah, you did. I asked if I could help you, and then you went right back to ask me if you had to have a reason to see me. Clearly I was asking if you needed help but you answered my question with a question; you changed the subject."
He rolled his eyes, "What I meant was that you changed the subject from me apologizing."
"For what, you have nothing to apologize for."
"Sammie," he growled, starting to get ticked off at me. Whatever, he can get as pissy as he wants; I really don't give a shit. "I'm going to apologize, whether you like it or not."
"You're right, I don't want you to, because you didn't do anything wrong. Everything is all good in my world right now, so why don't you go get a book and a coffee and go take your girlfriend on a date. Maybe you're world will be all good then too, and you'll realize that you don't need to apologize."
He looked like he'd been slapped. "That—you're—you… are you kidding me?"
I blinked a few times, finally raising my head to look at him.
"God, I wasn't with my girlfriend because I don't have a girlfriend! I've wanted you to see how much you love me since forever. I can't believe you would be mad at me for meeting with my sister! She was coming to visit me because I haven't seen her at least fifty years, and I wanted to reconnect!" He then leaned across the counter and kissed me passionately, declaring his un-dying love, then we lived happily ever after.
Clearly, that is not what happened.
"You… you're—you're jealous?"
"What? Why would I be jealous? Of whom would I be jealous of?"
"I… I can't believe this right now," he said, shaking his head back and forth.
My face hardened in anger, "What are you talking about?"
"I can't believe that you're pissed at me because you're jealous of Heather."
I quirked an eyebrow, "Who's Heather?"
His face darkened, "My girlfriend is Heather."
"Oh," I said, my face flushed with anger and slight embarrassment.
"I don't know what the hell your problem is, because you've never had a problem with any of my other girlfriends, but seriously, chill out. She's my girlfriend, and I've been dating her for almost an entire month—which is quite an accomplishment—and I may be in love with her, and you are not going to screw this up."
He just… no, he didn't actually… did he?
No, actually: in love?
He didn't… he just said that.
I gaped at him; my mouth parted slightly, my eyes wide in shock. The picture of them together that he showed me a few weeks ago flashed through my head. She was tall, almost as tall as he was with long blond hair. I was short, tiny and had brown hair. She was everything I wasn't. The masochist in me kept saying over and over again how gorgeous they were together and how much better she was than me.
"Oh," I said my voice small and weak.
It was embarrassing, obviously. I wish I was stronger; lash out with anger at him and just tell him the truth. I couldn't though, because that just wasn't who I was. She would, I was sure, because she was just so amazing and everything.
I swallowed, "Um… oh… she was, I mean, I didn't know she was that important to you—I though that… uh… um… she was… a girlfriend, and… I'm—I'm sorry?"
He furrowed his eyebrows at me in concern, "Hey, are you okay? I didn't mean to be such a hard ass, but I had to give the same speech to Danny about ten minutes ago, and it was like word vomit. I don't think I've ever heard you stutter like that before."
"I just… um… well I was—I just… thought you and… well… I um… um… I'm sorry."
"Why are you apologizing?"
"I… well I just thought… aren't you mad at me?" I asked, confused.
"No," he said slowly, drawing out the word.
"Oh… right—um… okay, then—that's… well… that's, uh, good. Right, that's good—so… um I have to go and do some stuff… um… back here… I—I guess… um… right, I'll just see you later."
"Wait," he grabbed my forearm before I could slip away, "Are you okay? What's wrong?"
"Wrong? Nothing. I mean why would something be wrong?" Even I could hear how fake my answer sounded, and I winced, knowing that he wouldn't let this go.
"Sammie, what's wrong."
"Excuse me," a nasally voice droned from isle three, "Are you working here or are you just there for show?"
"I…" although flustered by the man's words, I couldn't help feeling relieved that I would be able to escape, "I'm here to show, I mean help. I'm here to help. Yes, what can I help you with?"
I was completely brain dead. Really, this was embarrassing. I kept telling myself over and over in my head that I don't need him. I am perfectly fine on my own. Why would I want to boyfriend, anyway, right?
Well, suffice to say, I had not convinced myself, because part of me, a small, tiny sliver of me had hoped that he was in love with me. Now that I knew the truth… well let's just say that there is no hope left.
"Can I—I help you?" I stuttered, trying to focus on his lips as he talked to me, but my brain was all whoosh-y with random thoughts.
"Book… thought you… a girl of mine… thought she could… book here… coffee."
"This book?" I asked, trying to sound like I had heard what he just said.
"Yeah, I mean… didn't know if… good romance… not very happy… fight last night… coffee."
What was with the coffee? Ray loves coffee… "Yeah, this is a very good romance novel, although it's a kind of predictable, I loved it. I'm sure she will too."
"I'll buy it then," he said, nodding.
I quickly walked over to the cash register, acutely aware of Reagan still standing across from me, giving me the look. "…happy for her… book and pages… burnt down three days ago… not everywhere… coffee."
Smiling politely, I rang up the book, trying to pay attention. "Thank you, have a nice day."
He nodded, still muttering about coffee and some girl. As soon as he was out the door, I turned away from Reagan and walked to where the radio was. I turned up the volume so I could drown out whatever he was going to say.
Like I said, I'm selfish.
"Samantha," he tried, leaning over the counter to reach me.
"Can't you take a hint?" I snapped, glaring at him. "Clearly, I don't want to talk to you."
"Sammie, what did I do? I don't understand!"
"Good, then why don't you think about it somewhere else?"
He shook his head back and forth, a look of hurt crossing his face as he slowly made his way out of the book store.
Relief washed through me when I heard the bell above the door declare that he had finally left. Why was I acting so weird? In my defense I had never allowed myself to love anyone before, and this—being the first time—and the fact that I am the most un-trusting person ever to walk this earth spelled out disaster when my own feelings came back to knock me breathless.
"I'm pathetic," I groaned, letting my head drop heavily onto my arms on the counter.
Okay, so I told Sammie that Heather was my girlfriend, and suddenly she freaks out at me, and stops talking to me.
Confused doesn't even begin to explain it.
Jesus, though, I had never seen her that vulnerable I mean, getting her to trust me was like pulling teeth. No, actually, it was harder.
That tonight's gonna be a good night
That tonight's gonna be a good-good night
I got' a feeling
I laughed at myself, realizing that the song was coming from my cell phone, because it was ringing. Wow, that's not embarrassing or anything.
"Hey, man, what the hell? I've been trying to call you, like, forever," Danny laughed into my phone.
"What' up?" I asked, pressing the phone closer to my ear.
"Dude, I told you that we're all going to a party. Why aren't you here?"
"Oh, right, yeah I forgot, man, I'll go over now," I said, eager to just get wasted and not think about this anymore.
"Ray you sound way to serious for a Saturday," Danny said, sobering slowly, "You all good?"
"Yeah, I'm coming over," I said, trying to sound more up-beat.
"You, uh, you don't have to come you know, I mean—"
"I'm coming, Danny, don't wait up."
He laughed, "Whatever, you know I can stay conscious longer than you."
"You keep telling yourself that."
"No shit, Sherlock."
"Ooh, Sherlock, someone's pissy."
"I'm hanging up on you."
"No! Wait, I—"
I sighed, snapping my phone shut.
The guy was an asshole.
He was also my best friend.
He was my other best friend.
God what was Sammie's problem?
I took three wrong turns and knocked on two wrong houses before I finally remembered where the party was. One look around told me all I needed to know: there was no beer and everyone was wasted. At only nine at night that meant the party was going to suck, but at least I wouldn't remember it.
"Man, we're leaving, perfect timing," Danny said, walking over to me, and not even slurring.
"Tammy just called, apparently the barn is packed and they still have three kegs," Justin said, showing up on my left.
"Three? Let's go," Steven said, bouncing on the balls of his feet, "All the girls here are passed out, or about to pass out."
I rolled my eyes, smiling, "When has that ever stopped you before?"
"Look who's talking Sir Ladies Man," Steven said, mock bowing.
Danny snorted, "He's right."
"Screw you," I said, laughing good-naturedly.
"Hey, I—wait, whose phone is that? Is that… is that Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star?"
Yes it was.
And it was coming from my phone.
"Um, hello?" I asked. No way—even drunk—had I bought Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star.
"Hey, Ray, where are you?" Heather asked.
"Did you buy this ring tone?" I asked.
"Yeah," she giggled, "You like it?"
"Uh, not so much, no," I said, smiling.
"Oh," she said, "Sorry, it was either that or the Sesame Street theme song."
"Aw, come on, you didn't get the Sesame Street one?"
She sighed, her voice getting serious, "Look, I have to talk to you…"
"Uh-huh," I said, not really paying attention. Danny was trying to mime drinking something, pointing to me, him and then our group, and then mimed drinking again. He wanted to get drunk. He wanted us all to get drunk. I nodded, motioning towards the door.
"Are you listening to me?" she asked.
"Yes," I said trying not to trip over the passed out people on the front lawn. They must have been freshman or something, I mean everyone knows you don't get wasted and then pass out on the front lawn.
"I don't think we should see each other anymore."
"Oh shit," I muttered, accidentally stepping on someone's hand, "Sorry, what? I think I just stepped on someone."
"I said," She snapped, "That we shouldn't see each other anymore. As in we're done. As in, I'm breaking up with you right now."
"What?" I asked, stopping at the driver's side door of the blue mustang Danny's parents had bought him last year. The year before, he got a red convertible mustang from his parents so he gave it to me. Needless to say, Danny's family's loaded.
She took a deep breath, "Look, you're a great guy, Reagan, but… you just aren't for me."
I repeated the words over and over in my head, and realization dawned on me. "Who was it?" I asked, as calmly as I could.
Danny, obviously impatient, leaned across the center consol and pushed the door open for me, and told me to get in the car or they were leaving without me.
"Who was who?" she asked, her voice innocent. Come on honey, you're not fooling anyone.
"Who was it?" I asked again, holding my hand out for the keys. The car started, literally, shaking as everyone felt their pockets looking for the keys.
"I don't know what you're talking about, Reagan," Heather said, trying to use her 'authority' voice to tell me to drop it. Finally, Steven dropped the keys in my hand and we drove off, Danny pointing which direction to go.
"Heather, just tell me who it was and I'll leave you alone," I said, anger starting to seep into my voice. She cheated on me, broke up with me over the phone, and she was trying to pull the innocent card. Please, the least she could do is tell me who.
Sighing, she rushed out, "It-was-an-accident-I'm-sorry-it-was-Gordon."
I slammed on the brakes, shock coursing through me. Gordon? Turning slowly in my seat, using my best death glare, I said, "You're shitting me."
"Please don't do anything stupid, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, it was my fault not his, I love him! You can't—"
Gordon looked left at Steven, then right at Justin, looking for a way out. I just glared at him, my foot firmly on the brake, and the car still in the middle of the street.
"What just happened?" Danny asked, looking from me to Gordon and back.
"Why don't you tell him, Gordon? Don't you already have a girlfriend, anyway?"
He swallowed nervously, knowing that I was bigger, stronger and could kick his ass without him laying a scratch. "I… I mean, I didn't…"
"Dude, what the fuck happened?" Danny asked, glaring at Gordon. My confidence shot through the roof at knowing Danny would be on my side no matter what; even though he didn't even know what happened.
"You slept with her."
"No, I swear, I didn't. It was just… just kissing, and only one time, and then, well, I was drunk. I thought it was Casey, and she already bitched at me about it—I mean I deserved it!" he said quickly, pressing himself back against the seat at the look on my face, "I deserved being bitched at! I know, okay! I mean they came both dressed exactly the same, and I was too far gone to even notice, so I kissed her, and then when I said 'Casey' she flipped at me and told me she was Heather, and then… well then I went back downstairs and that was when I puked all over Trevor…"
"You fucking asshole," Danny snapped angrily, his arm cocked back to deck him.
"Leave him," I said to Danny, "It's so not worth it. I snorted, "If she seriously thinks she's in love with the guy because she made out with him drunk, she's clearly not worth getting this worked up about."
"She thinks… she thinks she loves me?" Gordon asked, horrified.
Steven burst out laughing, "Oh this is so good."
"She was all 'don't hurt him' and 'I love him' and shit. Yeah, she thinks she loves you," I said, turning back to the road.
"Dude, I'm so sorry, I swear I—"
I sighed through my nose, "No joke, if you say you're sorry one more time, I will kick your ass. I forgave you, get over it."
"Right," he mumbled.
"So?" Danny, asked, elbowing my side.
"What?" I asked, trying to find a good radio station.
"Are you going—no, take a left here—are you going to finally ask that hot "just-best friend" of yours out?" He asked, smirking.
"Sammie?" I asked, raising an eyebrow at him.
"Man you've been after that girl since before you met her."
"He's right," Justin said, laughing from the back seat, "Remember when you saw her under that willow tree in front of the Freeman Center and you actually tripped when you saw her?"
Gordon laughed hesitantly, still cautious about whether or not I would blow up at him, "Oh, yeah and then he started stuttering and everything when she was in his English class."
"Oh man, you are such a goner," Steven said, shaking his head back and forth, "And you don't even know it."
"Jesus, you're all a bunch of girls," I said, finally parking at the party. "Tammy better be right about this party."
"Don't change the subject," Danny warned, shoving my shoulder, "You need to grow a pair and just ask her out."
"Just friends," Steven and Justin mimicked at the same time I said it.
"Yeah, we know," Justin said, shaking his head back and forth, trying to hold back a smile.
"Seriously, guys, drop it. I came here to get wasted and not think about this shit. It's Saturday and I feel like I should be in one of those crappy reality shows Gordon watches. Way too much drama for one day," I said, taking the stairs two at a time to get to the main floor of the barn.
"Ah, the man of the hour," Rachel trilled, skipping over to me, five beers in her hands, handing them out to each of us.
"Who?" Justin asked, taking a healthy swig.
"Ray of course, I heard about the break up."
I spit out all the beer that was in my mouth and glared at the four guys. "Which one of you gossip whores told her?"
She whacked my arm. "I didn't hear it from them," she laughed, "Heather called me, completely hysterical, going on and on about how she was in love with some other guy and that she felt bad breaking up with you, blah, blah, blah."
Danny and I burst out laughing at the look on Gordon's face, "Man, I told you she thought she loved you!" It was easier than I thought it would be to get over Heather. The still rational side of my brain realized that if Sammie was mad at me I would be freaking out, begging her to forgive me… and when Heather broke up with me I just let it happen… oh man, too much to think about.
"Shut up, Ray," he muttered, gulping down the rest of his beer.
"Come on," Rachel said, smiling, "We saved the shots until you guys came, let's go!"
"This is it 'Sherlock'," Danny mimicked, nudging my shoulder, "I will so own you."
"Right, because the last three times we've done this, you haven't passed out first. It was—"
"Man, you're phone. Again," Steven said, poking my phone in my front pocket.
"Who this time," Danny asked, seating himself at the table.
"I got' a take this," I said, quickly jogging down the stairs and outside where the noise was considerably softer.
"Hi, Reagan," Annie, Sammie's best friend, said, "Um… you haven't seen Sammie recently, have you?"
"What do you mean? She was at work… what time is it?"
"Ten-thirty; she was supposed to be home an hour ago," Annie said, worry creeping into her voice, "Do you know where she is? I've called everyone else I could think of! What if someone kidnapped her or something?"
"She's gone," I asked, my voice rising in pitch.
"I don't know! Where is she? Oh god, what if she—"
"I'm sure that she's okay," I said, not wanting to have a hysterical woman on my hands. "Just calm down, I'm sure she's okay."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes," I said, "I'm sure."
"Where is she, then?"
"I'll look for her. I'll find her, don't worry," I said, trying to convince both of us.
"Okay," she said quietly, "I'm sorry for calling, I mean I'm sure you're busy and she said that you guys fought and that you were in love with someone and that I shouldn't call you if I was looking for her because you would be with your girlfriend and, you probably are, but I—"
"No, thank you for calling me, I… okay, I'll call you when I find her, okay?"
"Okay," she whispered, hanging up.
I took a deep calming breath. Annie's worries raced through my head. Although Sammie was notorious for taking off, she would always pick up her phone no matter what.
Oh, shit, what if someone did take her?
Then they're dead. Consequences be damned.
Thinking hard, I walked back into the party, finding Danny watching Justin and Steven play a drinking game, shouting with everyone else.
"Danny," I called, at least five times, before he heard me.
"Dude, you missed it! Gordon was beat by Rachel! Man it was hilarious!"
"I've got' a bounce, I'll see you later. You can get a ride, right?"
"Wait, you're leaving?"
"Yeah, it's kind of important, and I kind of have to go now."
"Dude, more drama?"
"Believe me, this shit is legit."
"Everything all good?"
"Yeah, it will be," I said, "Later."
If she was just messing with us and just hadn't picked up her phone… no, she wouldn't do that, would she?
Were the guys right? I mean yeah, of course I noticed Sammie as being a girl, but… but nothing. They were right. I had nothing whenever I talked to her. She always through me off and I could never get a handle on what she would say next.
I was a goner.
No wonder she was so freaked when I said I loved someone else. She loves me back.
She did, didn't she?
Annie's freak out proved that Sammie was jealous "…she said that you guys fought and that you were in love with someone and that I shouldn't call you if I was looking for her because you would be with your girlfriend…" … that had to count for something, right? And, as bad as it may be, it felt good that she was jealous about me. I mean that would definitely mean that she liked me back then.
It had to, because for God's sake if she doesn't I'll make her because I'll be damned if I won't get her. After all this time of running in circles, we were going to at least try.
"Now, that was productive Reagan, great, so you'll tell her that you love her, now just figure out where the fuck she is," I muttered to myself, getting into the mustang and driving off.
I drove to every single building on campus looking for her, and she wasn't at any of them. The only thing I had to show for those two hours of searching was a very nice red mark on my face from waking up Mrs. Pence asking if she had seen Sammie.
Apparently she needs her beauty sleep as much as she claims. She was scary looking.
"Come on," I yelled, banging my hand on the steering wheel, "Where are you?" I rubbed my hands over my eyes in fatigue; I had to keep telling myself over and over that she was fine, but the lack of real progress in finding her was seriously taking its toll on my very tired body.
Caffeine, that's always a good start. At midnight there was only one place to go for coffee that was any good. The crappy stuff they sold at the 24 hour diners across from the bars sucked. The only place was All Hours Wake-up Call.
They had pie, coffee and every once and a while—when Freddie, the chef, decided to cook—there would be pancakes and sometimes burgers. Sammie had introduced me to Freddie, and apparently I was on his 'nice list' because he liked me. Sammie had told me that he rarely liked anybody, but if he liked you, you could go places. He has connections everywhere, and had helped out a shit-load of people who are now famous one way or another.
I pulled up outside, sighing deeply. Sammie, this place reeked of her. Everywhere I looked there was a memory that would spring up and attack me, making me groan. I came here to get coffee and wake up, not kill myself over the fact that I had lost her, she could be seriously hurt or—no. She's fine.
"Hey sugar," Freddie's wife, Nancy, called from behind the counter. The two of them always seemed to be there, although I knew that they had to sleep at some point, I had always seen them in the café.
"Hey Nancy, got some coffee for me?"
"'Course," she said, sliding an extra large coffee, made exactly the way I always have it, to me. "Oh, you want some muffins?" she nodded her head over to a table behind me, "Sammie loved them, apparently they're even better than her mother's; blueberry?"
I took it, and then realizing what she had said, snapped my head around and my eyes immediately landed on her.
She looked even more beautiful than I remembered. Sammie was picking at a muffin, with three other used napkins next to her. Her iPod was playing loudly, and I thanked whatever god or fate was out there that she hadn't run away. My face broke into a huge smile, as I thanked Nancy and left her a twenty dollar tip; she wouldn't let me pay.
I slid slowly into the chair next to her, putting my coffee and muffin in front of me, watching her closely, noticing more about her than I ever had before. Her hair was somehow the most amazing colored brown, and her eyes—which were at least four different colors—that had always attracted me seemed even more amazing. The light tan of her skin matched perfectly with her hair… and her lips. I can't believe I had never kissed her.
There had never been a girl that I had been hesitant to kiss before, never.
"I'm not in the mood for company, you can go away now," she intoned, not even looking up.
I grabbed her ear-bud and gently pulled it out of her ear, "No, can do."
"Ray?" she asked, her face flushing a very endearing pink.
"Were you expecting someone else?"
"N-no, I just," she started, obviously flustered. In seconds though, her confidence came back. "… What are you doing here?" she snapped, "Did you really not get that I don't want to talk to you anymore?"
"Oh I don't know," I snapped back, matching her glare with my own, "Maybe because you all but dropped off the face of the earth and scared the shit out of me?"
"Maybe I didn't want to be found," she said, her voice quiet and controlled.
"Great, so you were going to have everyone else thinking that you were kidnapped? Or hurt?"
Her jaw clenched, "What do you want me to say? Sorry?"
"No, I want you to say you won't do it again."
She was clearly pissed off at me, but God, I didn't know how scared I actually was until I saw her, and relief just about had me falling over. "Fine, I won't do it again. Happy?"
We sat in silence for a few minutes, Sammie glaring at the table, me eating my muffin.
"Heather broke up with me," I said finally, taking a sip of my coffee, although ever since I had noticed her all thoughts of fatigue went out the window; I was wide awake.
"Great, so, what, you told me so that I would take pity on you and now everything will be all la-di-da again?"
She got up and made it to the door before I grabbed her arm and stopped her, "I told you, because I have to talk to you about something."
"Well, you had your talk. Now you can go and do something more productive."
I let her walk outside; making sure she couldn't get too far as I psyched myself up to just tell her. Doubt was eating at me, and it felt weird. Since when was I worried about being turned down? I watched as she leaned against the wall, and looked up at the sky… she was crying.
Swallowing hard, I winced, knowing that it was my fault. I exhaled loudly, before walking outside, confidence renewed.
"Sammie," I said possessively, boxing her in with my arms on either side of her, "look at me."
Her head slowly lowered, and the look on her face had me almost shocked to silence. She looked so hurt and broken that I would go to hell and back if it would make her happy. It hurt to see her like that.
I took her face in my hands and looked at her deeply, "tell me what's wrong."
"I'm just… you know… dealing with stuff…" she said, trying to avoid looking at me.
"Stuff…?" I asked, rolling my eyes when she tried to avoid this conversation.
"Yeah… I mean… I'm just stressed… freaking out over… stuff… and… stressed." She pushed, or tried to push, me away from her, but I stood my ground, "Why are you even here?"
"I have to tell you something," I said, staring down into her eyes, looking for some sort of confirmation.
"You already told me that Heather—"
"Stop," I ordered, "This isn't about Heather. This is about you and me."
"You and… um, what?" She asked. The subtle shift in her demeanor told me all I needed to know. So, I kissed her, and, thankfully, she kissed me back.
He's kissing me? What about…?
When I realized that I wasn't doing a very good job of participating I fisted my fingers into his shirt and kissed him back eagerly, all of my emotions screaming at me happily.
He just broke up with Heather. Come on, Sammie, and you're on your way to get a Ph. D?
I pulled apart, my eyes angry that he would ever do something like this to me.
A rebound? God, I thought he was above that.
Blinking rapidly, I tried to look away from him. He looked amazing, his blond hair tousled, his green eyes dark, and his lips parted slightly, begging me to kiss him again.
"Sammie," he said, breathing hard, "I love you. I'm in love with you. I've been in love with you since before I met you. Since before we became best friends. I know I've been an asshole to you. I know I've screwed up, majorly, but it's the truth. I will do anything to prove it to you. I love you."
"Perfect timing," I snapped, glaring at him, trying to look over his shoulder, at the street light to my left, at the squirrel to my right; anything but him. My face was flushed in embarrassment. I can't believe I let myself get that carried away.
"Sammie, please, let me—"
"Let you, what? Explain how you're just oh-so-sorry that you just happened to fall in love with me right after Heather broke up with you? Come on, give me a little credit."
He blinked a few times, staring at me in confusion.
"Come on, Reagan, put two and two together," I patronized, finally turning my glare on him.
"You think…" he trailed off, realization dawning on his features. "Hey, I would never—"
"Save it. I'm so not in the mood."
"No way am I—"
"Let me go," I spit out. I could almost feel the anger radiating off of me in waves and he must have felt it too, because he finally stepped back and let me go.
"This conversation isn't over," he warned.
"Actually yes, it is." I said dismissively, turning and marching back to my car.
"Sammie, please," he was actually pleading with me to listen. My step faltered for just a second, before I shook it off and walked faster to my car, telling myself I did the right thing. I mean I did… didn't I?
My fingers shook as I dialed Annie's number, blinking back tears that were threatening to fall. I did the right thing. I did the right thing. He would never hurt me like that. He just broke up with Heather, I was a rebound, it was a mistake, and I did the right thing. He loves me, he would never—
"Annie! Hey, sorry about the slip, I was… I was… it's a long story…"
"Oh my god, what the hell do you think you were doing? God you scared the crap out of me! I thought you had been kidnapped and then I called Reagan and I know that you told me not to but I had to! Oh god, you're okay, right? I mean you're not hurt? That would be my entire fault! I should have called him sooner! You're hurt aren't you? No, you have to be fine, I mean you're calling me right now so that means that you have to be fine, right? I mean you would be at a hospital something if you were hurt, right? God, I thought you had been kidnapped! What do you think that meant for me? I…"
I let her continue her rant, smiling as her voice went from patronizing to anger to lecture to comfort and back again.
"… Reagan went and said he would call me as soon as he found you. Is he there with you? I have to thank him, I mean here I was sitting at home like a worried mother—not to say I wasn't worried, I mean obviously I was, but I wasn't—am not—your mother, but really, I feel like half the time I have to be because you do shit like this and make everyone completely terrified that you died or something! I mean…"
Shaking my head back and forth, I started the car and backed out of my parking space. When I looked over my shoulder, my breath hitched as my eyes connected with Ray's. He was just standing there, watching me, his face twisted with hurt.
I did the right thing. I did the right thing. I did the right thing. I did the right thing.
"… listening to me?"
The sudden silence broke me out of our staring contest, "What?"
"Sammie, are you okay?"
"Yeah," I cleared my throat, and sped out of the parking lot, "I'm good, I was just… looking for a good radio station."
"Right, of course you were," she said; disbelief thick in her voice. "So… what happened with Reagan?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, you act different when the two of you are in a fight…" when I didn't say anything she huffed, frustrated, "… and you're acting differently."
"Um… oh, well it's nothing."
"Sammie, I'm not your best friend for nothing, you know."
"Yeah I…" I sighed, forcing the tears to stay at bay. "I… well… ok, he—he, um… he—he sort of told me that he loved me."
The silence scared me more than if she had started yelling at me.
"Samantha Taylor," she started, her voicing rising slowly in pitch, "What the hell are you doing talking to me?"
"Why aren't you out there with him and declaring your undying love and making out with him in the back of his sexy car?"
"Annie he—I was—I mean—I'm a rebound."
"He just broke up with Heather today… I'm obviously a rebound."
"Oh, honey, what did he do?" she soothed. I felt myself smile at her change in demeanor. This was how she always was, two seconds she was angry, two seconds she was yelling at me, two seconds she was comforting me…
"He… he kissed me, and then told me all this stuff about how he loved me and then… then I realized that he would never kiss me like that… and then I realized that he just broke up with Heather… and then… I realized that I was a rebound."
"God, I'm going to kick his ass," she muttered.
"It's not worth it," I sighed, "I already yelled at him."
"Alright, I've got sundae stuff out, you almost here?"
"I jus pulled up."
"Good, get your ass inside."
Seven days and three hours—give or take a few minutes—ago. That was when we had our fight. Outside of Annie and my apartment I was my normal, collected self. Inside, though, was a completely different story.
I was a mess.
Depressed Sammie: Baked goods were everywhere, nothing was organized, clothes were on my floor, and I was running out of hot water every hour or so because of my compulsive showering.
Normal Sammie: Everything was neat and organized, I didn't shower every hour, and I almost never baked.
Spot the difference? It was embarrassing and depressing.
I sighed, pouring vanilla into the current baking project.
Reagan had tried to talk to me twice on the first day. Then he stopped, and I had a suspicion that Annie had something to do with it.
I cracked an egg into the bowl when the phone rang.
To pick it up or to not pick it up, that is the question… You're hopeless; quoting Shakespeare is so not a good thing.
"Hey, is Sammie there?"
"Depends on who this is," I sighed, dumping a cup of flower into the cake batter.
"This is Danny, I'm Ray's best friend… or… um… best guy friend I guess, I mean I know Sammie and him are—"
"Just spit it out already."
"Right, so… wait, this is Sammie, right?"
I debated my options. I could probably find more out if I was Annie… "No this is her roommate; can I tell her something for you?"
"Yeah, actually, you got' a help me out."
"My man Ray… well he's a wreck. He quit his job; he goes over to Sammie's work every day but never goes in because you threatened him or something. I mean, he just gets wasted every god damned day and I want the old guy back. You need to tell Sammie that he has been so head-over-heels for her that it's almost pathetic. You also need to tell her to grow up and admit that she loves him back."
I sighed through my nose, and ignored the jab, "If he was so stuck on… her, than why'd he date all those other girls?"
"He's been trying to get her out of his head! Dude, he's a guy. He's terrified of the whole falling in love bullshit, and he was trying to convince himself that he hadn't fallen in love."
"Would love really be that bad?" I asked, trying to keep the hurt out of my voice.
"Look, love means you're tied down. No one is more independent than Sammie, and Ray thought that she didn't love him, so he freaked and tried to date other girls."
"So it was to make her jealous?"
"Guys are stupid," I snapped.
"I never claimed anything else."
Swallowing hard I finally got out, "Yeah, I'll tell her for you."
"Right, thanks," he said.
I hung up, and then just stared at the phone for a few minutes. The bitch in me was happy that he was as hurt by all this as I was.
"Just grow up, Sammie, you don't need him, remember?" I muttered, grabbing the bag of sugar and slamming it on the table.
Two more days passed before Annie had to leave for an entire weekend, leaving me to my own devices.
"Okay… so you used all the flour, sugar and margarine… so cooking is out of the question… no more ice cream… you can't shower for another hour at least… movies?" I asked out loud.
I just started opening the cabinet when there was a loud bang at the door. I jumped so high I banged my head against the top shelf of the movie cabinet and caused all the movies to fall at my feet. I just stared at them for a few seconds before there was another bang at the door, which startled me enough to go and open it.
"Sammie," Reagan breathed out, looking me up and down.
"Reagan?" I asked, blinking a few times to make sure that yes, he was real.
"Sammie, I have to talk to you."
Furrowing my brow, I thought back to what Danny had told me. Was he serious? Or was he just saying that? There wasn't a reason for him to make it up, right? "Was he telling the truth?" I finally asked, hesitantly.
"Who?" he asked, leaning against the door frame, while trying to catch his breath.
"Danny… he called me so I—"
"Wait," Ray said, straightening, "He called you?"
"What'd he say?" he asked, wincing.
"That you were a wreck. He said that I had to grow up and that he wants the old you back."
"You're kidding," he deadpanned, rubbing his face furiously with his hand.
"Nope," I said. The interaction brought me back to life, all confusion was gone, and I realized that this was it. This was a crossroads; there was no going back.
"Right… well…" he started awkwardly, obviously uncomfortable with what Danny told me, "That's kind of what I came to talk to you about."
"What do you mean?" I asked, crossing my arms over my chest, still debating with myself about what to do.
"I mean," he started slowly, shifting from foot to foot, "I mean, that I'm moving."
He picked at a hole in his jeans while trying not to look at me, "Well, I can't deal with the whole… you not talking to me thing… I mean, yeah, Danny was right, I'm in love with you, and you don't want to believe it or… you think I would hurt you or… well whatever your deal is… whatever…"
"You… you're moving?" I asked, still stuck on that fact.
"Yeah, so I came to say goodbye. Danny made me actually… something about closure or whatever."
"Closure," I repeated, trying to make the words make sense in my head.
"Yup…" he trailed off.
We stood there for a few seconds, me trying to work out what he was saying, he trying to feel less awkward. "Well, I'm just going to go… right, yeah no point staying."
I watched as he turned and walked away. I just let him keep walking, my brain still not completely caught up with what was happening. He wasn't leaving. He couldn't be… right?
I'm never going to see him again.
The fear that I felt at that thought sent me sprinting down the stairs. I careened around corners and tripped over my feet a few times before I finally made it to the front door. Breathing hard, I looked left and right, searching for his car.
"Reagan!" I yelled, spotting car start to back out of its space all the way at the end of the parking lot. "Reagan!" Jesus, I'm in love with him and I let him walk away? God, I'm a wimp.
Relief washed through me when I saw the car stop and Danny literally push Ray out of the car.
"Reagan," I called again, running right into him, making him stagger back in shock. "You're dumb," I snapped.
"God, you thought that I would just let you leave? You're stupid." By this point I was glaring at him, my finger poking at his chest, "You actually thought that I didn't love you back? Are you high? I'm in love with you and you were just going to leave?"
"No, I'm not done," I yelled, "I'm in love with you, and you were going to walk away from me? Don't you ever, I mean ever do that to me again, are we clear? I promise you, I will haunt your ass if you ever plan on scaring me like that again, got me?"
He smiled slowly, looking down at me, "Sammie, did you just ask me if I was high?"
"You're completely missing the point of this conversation," I huffed, slapping him across the chest, "If you love me so much, you'll never leave me like that, so why the hell are you starting now?"
"I figured you didn't love me back… I mean you didn't exactly sound too happy when I told you a week ago."
"Come on, Reagan," I snapped, "What did you want me to do? You just broke up with Heather for god's sake! Of course I thought that you were using me!"
"But why would I ever do something like that to you?"
"Well, why would you ever love me?"
"That's a stupid question."
"So was yours," I said back, shrugging lightly, my right hand still gripping his arm tightly, while me left hand pressed against his chest. For some reason I had to keep convincing myself that this was actually happening.
"No, mine wasn't."
I looked up at him and bit my retort back. Instead, I started giggling. It was just now hitting me that he loved me back. He loves me. I started laughing, leaning against him as support. He loves me.
"What?" he asked, smiling at me.
"You love me?"
"Yeah, I did say that," he said, rolling his eyes.
"I love you to. For real love; like, legitimately."
He smiled, "You better."
"Don't get all full of yourself mister," I warned.
"What? The most beautiful girl ever just told me that she loved me. Of course it's going to go to my head."
I blushed deeply, "Whatever."
"Uh-uh, you're not going to do the whole I-don't-believe-you-about-this-stuff shit, I—"
I kissed him, effectively cutting off whatever embarrassing thing he was going to say. My arms wrapped tightly around his neck, as his arms circled my waist. He loves me. Oh man, that won't ever get old.
"I take it you don't want to hear what I have to say?"
"What gave it away?"
"I think it was when you did something like this."
I've been trying to fashion a guy's point of view for a while now, so I decided to mix it up. I am definitely not male so I'm not sure if I got into Ray's mind very well. Please tell me how I did!