Her cell phone buzzed and she glanced at the screen to see who the message was from. She glanced at the name and sighed, wondering what he wanted.
She picked it up and read the message. A simple, "How was your day?" was displayed on the screen. She shook her head, knowing exactly where this conversation was going.
"Fine. Yours?" she replied, even though her day had been terrible. Her roommate's cat had shredded her favorite quilt. She had discovered she was failing Calculus down at the college. Her brother was coming to visit next weekend and he always made her feel insignificant. But he didn't want to hear any of this. He didn't care. He just wanted to vent.
Sure enough, "It sucked. Anna broke up with me. =("
She rolled her eyes at the emoticon. He was a twenty-two year old man, he shouldn't be doing that. She felt like it took all the seriousness out of the conversation, but she would never tell him that.
"I'm sorry." She paused in the midst of her message, tempted to include, 'That skank wasn't good enough for you anyway.' She decided against it. Anna was a skank, but she gave it a week before the two got back together. She sent the message as it was.
"Yeah… Wanna go do something?"
She sighed again. He only ever wanted her around when something was wrong. When he needed an ego boost or some cheering up. He never wanted to spend time with her, even talk to her, when he was happy.
But for once, she needed his help. "Come tutor me in Calc?"
"Ugh. Hate Calc. On my way."
He lived twenty minutes away, so she still had some time. She wondered what had made her think this was a good idea. She couldn't turn him away, though. She'd known him too long, been his support system for far too long. He needed her and she'd be there for him, even if it was the only time he wanted her.
She grabbed her Calculus textbook from her bedroom and set it on her coffee table. There was a test tomorrow. If she passed, she would be passing the class. He could help her out, he owed her that much at least.
A knock at the door. It had been fifteen minutes. She frowned. He'd been speeding.
She opened the door and there he was. He smiled at her, but it didn't reach his eyes. His blue eyes just looked super sad. She realized he had been dating Anna for six months and had to suppress the urge to give him a hug.
"So, failing Calc again?" he asked, trying to keep the tone light.
"Yep. Our teacher doesn't speak English that well and trying to read the textbook is like trying to read Latin."
He rolled his eyes and took a seat on her couch, opening the book to the page marked. "Derivatives? Are you kidding me? I don't think I can be much help."
"Damn. Are you sure? I need to pass that test."
He sighed and pulled her down onto the couch beside him. "If you would at least do your homework, it would do you so much good." He shook his head, but launched into his explanation. He went over it four times before she finally understood it enough to at least get a C on the test.
"I owe you my life," she told him, not longer suppressing the urge to hug him.
"I'm not exaggerating. My parents will kill me if I fail Calc."
He rolled his eyes again. "Alright. Do you want to go do something now?"
She glanced at the clock. It was nine. Her Calc test tomorrow wasn't until noon. Her first class didn't start until nine. She shrugged. "Why not? Any cheesy horror movies out right now?"
He nodded. "There's another serial killing movie out. I think it has some zombies in it, too."
She grinned. "When was the last time we saw a good zombie movie?"
"Never. When was the last time we saw a zombie movie and had a good time? It's been a while."
She nodded and grabbed her jacket. "Let's go."
He pulled out his phone and checked the movie times as they headed down to the parking lot. "Alright, the next showing is in fifteen minutes, previews are about twenty minutes, and the theater is forty minutes away. We should get there in time."
"You're going to drive like a madman, aren't you?"
"You know me so well."
She smiled at him and clambered into his Jeep, making sure her seatbelt was buckled and she had a death grip on dashboard.
He peeled out of her parking lot and they made it to the movie in enough time to see half the previews. She had to buy a Sprite to settle her stomach after his driving though.
They were in the midst of laughing at the bad special effects when his phone buzzed with a new text. It was Anna. He ignored it and it vibrated with four more messages.
Then she called and with an apology to her, he stepped outside of the theater and answered.
And once again, she was his second choice. There only to cheer him up. Easily left for the nearest hot girl. She sighed. He used her and then tossed her away like garbage. And she let him! She let him and she always would, because he needed her.
She dug through her purse and found her phone. Four missed messages. All from her boyfriend, Doug.
"You busy tonight?" 7:04 pm, just after she'd begun being tutored in Calc.
"Babe?" 7:30 pm, after she hadn't answered. She had wondered if shooting herself was preferable to telling her parents about her grade.
"Guess you are." 8:32 pm, after she'd ignored him for over an hour.
"Wish you were here. =(" 9:58 pm. She couldn't help but roll her eyes at the emoticon again. She was a twenty-one year old girl, it was reasonable for her to use them, and she still didn't.
"Sorry. Cheering up a friend. His gf dumped him." As she sent the text, she realized something. Even though she came second to him, he came first to her. She wouldn't abandon him in favor of her boyfriend, wouldn't leave him to go flirt, wouldn't ignore him when he needed her. He came first to her and he always would, just like she would always be his second choice.
"Can I come over later?"
"Calc test tomorrow. Need my sleep. Hang after school?"
"Sure. Pizza and nerd movies?"
"Awesome. :D" She felt the emoticon was acceptable. It didn't undermine the tone of the conversation.
"Kk. My apartment then. I love you, babe."
"Love you, too," she replied.
She put her phone away and munched on popcorn, enjoying the rest of the movie. It was dampened by the lack of his presence. It just wasn't as good. Well, the movie was awful to begin with. It was the experience that was dampened.
The movie ended and she left the theater. He was still on the phone, arguing with that skank. (Those were her thoughts on the matter.)
"Anna, I have to drive home. We'll finish this conversation later." He hung up and shook his head.
They went out to the Jeep and drove to her apartment in an awkward silence. She wished she'd taken her own car. It would have been so much more bearable to drive home alone.
"So you and Anna…?"
"She wants me to take her back. She feels terrible for breaking up with me. Blah, blah, blah."
"You going to do it?"
"Probably. It's my fault we broke up in the first place. We had a huge fight and ugh. I love her, but she's so stressful sometimes."
"You'll manage. She's your longest relationship so far."
"I know, I know. Thanks for letting me vent. Talk to you soon?"
She nodded, getting out of his Jeep, slamming the door behind her. As she watched him drive away, she knew it wouldn't be soon at all. He wouldn't text her again until he and Anna were through. Or they had another fight. Or his rabbit died. He wouldn't talk to her until he needed something, wanted something, or had no one else to turn to.
She was his ego boost.
His last resort.
His second choice.
Her phone buzzed. It was Doug. She ignored it.
I've been dying to write this, but I forced myself to get a chapter out first.
I'm not actually sure how much plot it has... I sort of lost myself along the way.
Also, no you didn't misread. They are nameless, only their 'insignificant others' have names.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed!