Valerie

The candle light shimmered and wavered restlessly against the wall as I waited patiently for my boyfriend. The fire slowly burned through the wick, I watched as the wax melted and rolled steadily down the candle. Little by little it turned into pools of hot liquid in the tray beneath. By the time I gave up, the candle had already drowned the wick and the fire.

I sighed and walked away, knowing he was just pulling on my heart strings again. I felt a little stupid that I had waited so long too. I smiled at the waiter and shook my head soundlessly. He gave me a sympathetic grin in return; but I didn't want it, I wanted my boyfriend Jason. I should have known though, this happens a lot.

Just as I went out the door, I saw a man wearing a cool brown leather jacket, a framing black t-shirt that smelled of cigarettes and cologne. He had his short brown hair in a disheveled array around his head with sweat on his brow. His blue jeans were worn and wrinkled. He was wearing everything that makes me swoon, but I was simply disgusted.

At first the man in front of me seemed surprised to see me, and then his face regained a natural coolness filled with the utmost love. He brought his hand up to meet my bare shoulder. I moved away and shook my head. I wanted anything but for this greasy slime ball to touch me.

"Wait, Peg…" He started.

I shook my head and rushed past him. I was not in the mood to talk to him. So I went straight home and cried on my bed until I fell asleep.

The next morning, my best friend called to ask how my date went. Both of us thought that maybe this time he would follow through with what he told me. Yet every time he convinces the both of us, he turns us down and makes us drop our head in shame of being fooled again.

I didn't want to talk to her. I let the phone ring. Hoping maybe she would think I stayed the night at his place or I was still sleeping or something. But she's not stupid; she knows that I would never stay the night at the rat face's house. Once the answering machine caught the call, she hung up and tried again. And again. And again. And agai-

"Hello?" I finally answered.

"Took you long enough. So, how'd your date go?" Caitlin asked.

"I don't want to talk about it. Can I go back to bed?" I asked, feeling a fresh wave of tears well up in my eyes again.

"I'll be right over."

I groaned but she hung up, so I didn't even bother fighting it. I curled up in bed and tried falling back asleep, however unsuccessfully; I laid there, not in the mood to get up until Caitlin walked into my apartment. I wished I wouldn't have given her the key to this place ever since I put into her hand, but I must admit, its times like these where I know it was for the better. If I didn't give it to her, she would have pounded on the door until I finally answered.

She crawled into my bed next to me and held my form while stroking my long light brown hair. I didn't say anything and I didn't have to. She understood exactly what happened. Just as well as I did. It had certainly happened enough.

The time she spent here became a blur. I know I cried and fell asleep again, but when I woke up, she was gone, leaving a note in her place.

I went back home. I love you, girl.

Don't let a douche like that get under your skin.

He's not worth it.

I smiled and went to the kitchen for some food. I haven't eaten since lunch yesterday and I needed some food to relax my emotions. I pulled some salad out of the refrigerator and scrunched my nose at it. It didn't really matter though, it was food. I jumped on the couch and turned on the T.V. to watch anything that was distracting. I found myself turning and flipping through a bunch of channels, briefly seeing what was on M.T.V.

Deciding I didn't care, I flipped my way to TLC. I watched mindlessly as the programs flowed by before my eyes; each show being as ridiculous as the last. I mean, nothing ends quite this happy. How could it? Life sucked and it was only full of betrayal and disappointment.

By the time I finally turned off the television, it was well past noon. I took in a deep breath. I decided that it was time to talk to Jason about the previous night. I didn't want to, but it was necessary.

My hand was shaking as I dialed the numbers to reach his phone from mine. It took me strength to punch them all in, and several rings to get an answer, but eventually I got it.

"He-hello?" He panted with a shaken and overwhelmed voice.

I felt a sharp pain streak through me and I could almost feel the bile from my stomach working its way up past my throat. I began to get dizzy and tears threatened to spill over my cheeks. I felt immobile for a time until I eventually hung up and collapsed on the floor; collapsed wanting to drown in my own tears that I released onto the carpet below.

I got several phone calls. But all of it was a big blur. I don't remember the phone stopping its ring, but don't remember it ever starting either. I don't know who called, I could barely regurgitate my name, but other things were no problem; mainly the contents of my stomach. I don't remember falling asleep, but when I woke up, the day that had just passed was fresh out of mind, and took some working to remember why I had dried crust on my eyes and nose.

It was almost time for me to go to work when I had finally awakened. This, of course, had to be the job out of the two that I have where it was impossible not to be cheerful. I worked as both a telemarketer and a salesperson. With calling a bunch of people, I could cloak my voice, hide my emotions, but show what I felt on my face. That was not quite so easy in trying to communicate, sell, and greet every person I saw. No matter where I turned, there was always someone there, someone that I had to show how happy I was too. I just hoped that it would be an easy relaxing day at work.

When I got home, I decided that work was better than expected. It was anything but relaxing, which was exactly what I needed. I was so busy that I didn't have time to think about Jason or what horrible things he made me feel. I didn't have time to remember much of anything except where that CD went and what aisle that video game could be found in.

By the time I got home, I fell asleep on my bed with more peace than I had in a long, long time.

I called Jason again. I hadn't talked to him in two days. This seemed like an especially long time, considering we talked at least twice every day.

"Hey Peg. Been awhile. How you been?" He asked casually.

"Not too good. Hey, do you think you could come over today?" I tried to mimic his casualty, but I heard my voice crack. "I want to uh… talk to you about something that's been on my mind."

"Sure. Can I bring a guest too? I think you'll like him," he asked me.

I knew when he said 'guest,' he meant 'condom' and I was completely repulsed. I wanted to throw the phone against the wall and scream, trying to keep my cool, I just replied, "No. I really think it should just be you and me. I don't want any uninvited visitors."

He thought I was making a joke, so he laughed. I had to remind myself to not slam his head against a wall when he came over here, and he was laughing. I tried to breathe a smile in return, but it turned out to be an aggravated sigh.


I found myself drowning in his touch. I soaked in as much of his hand on my skin as I could manage. I allowed him to explore more of my body than I ever had before or more than anyone for that matter. He may have been a bastard, but he was a damn good lover. Wait… why was he a bastard?

I pushed him away with such ferocity and vigor that he let out a noise of shock and irritation. We stared at each other from a short distance for a time, panting and recollecting ourselves.

"What the Hell was that for?" He asked, not trying to hide his frustration.

I shook my head and began crying a little. Jason has never seen me cry, and not knowing how to react, he straightened up his clothing and told me to call when I was ready for him. Barely able to comprehend him leaving, I just cried. I don't know why, but I cried my eyes out. Even after they were bloodshot, puffy, out of tears, and sore from all of the tears I have been shedding in the past few months, I found I still had more things to cry.

I called Caitlin. I had no other way to vent. No other way to express my feelings than to tell her. She was my best and closest friend. I called her number quickly through my shaking hands.

Kate picked up on the first ring. "Hey, so… what's up? Everything ok now with you and jerk-face?"

It shouldn't have, but I was strangely surprised to learn that she knew why I called. "No. In fact, you're not going to believe this. He almost… got to me."

I could almost see her face dropping. "Girl. You got a lot to work to do on your people skills. Just dump him already. He's not worth your trouble."

I knew she was right. I knew she was. "It's just… Every time I try, it feels like he finds that one button that will let him get closer to me."

Caitlin sighed. "Val, I love you, but seriously? You got to get over him. Just break up with the fag and get some other guy. Trust me any guy would be better than him."

I knew she was right. It wasn't easy to be wrong about this type of thing. Not when Jason was around or a part at all. Yet, even still, I didn't have the courage. I wasn't able to. I couldn't just break it off. Just like that. Something wouldn't let me.

"Kate, I already tried. He wouldn't let me."

"Let me ask you something. Do you do whatever he asks of you?"

I thought about that. True, I did most things he asked, but there were borders that even I had. Like my body. I weighed the question in my mind and thought thoroughly about it. "No." I decided.

"Then why let him control you on this matter. You don't like him. Leave him. Sex isn't worth it. Particularly considering you don't even want it."

I sighed and with that, we changed the subject. Instead, we moved on to more pleasant topics. Like how she was doing with her new boy-toy and how she watched the new movie at the theaters with him the previous night and not only was the movie great, but he finally kissed her for the first time after three weeks of dating.

"So, how were the actors? I mean, were they any good?"

"No all of the actors were great. I got so into the movie I embarrassinly yelled at the main character to 'just kiss him already.' And I yelled it kinda loud too, so everyone within three rows of me could hear it. Andre just grabbed my hand and smiled. It was so cute!"

I smiled. Genuinely. I was really happy that Caitlin could find some one who seemed to care about her. Every past boyfriend, and one girlfriend, just wanted her for a different agenda…

"Ok, well, I was supposed to call him back like, twenty minutes ago, so I'm going to hang up with you ok? Unless, is Jerk-face still on your mind?"

I shook my head. "No. You call Andre back. I'll be ok."

"Call you tonight. Bye girly."

"See ya."

With that, we hung up and I was once again left to my own devices. Speaking of devices… I grabbed my cell phone and sent Jason a text saying, "Gotta talk to you. Call me when you get this." I know this is almost exactly what I did earlier today, but damn it, I am going to break up with him, today.

Almost instantly, my cell rang. I picked it up and before he could smooth talk me otherwise, I said, "I told you this earlier today, and I meant it. We are over Jason. I can't stand the pain you cause me and I can't stand to see your ugly face again." Ok, I could have been nicer, but that was the best I could think of at the time.

"Fine. I feel the same way. You are way more trouble than I thought you were. Way more trouble than you're worth. Today taught me that. And for the record, your body has a lot to be desired. Have a nice life."

Click.

No matter how I looked at it, that could not have gone better. He was planning on saying that right from the get-go. I could tell. It sounded rehearsed. Does that mean it's true? I just didn't get it. Ugh. None of this would have happened if I hadn't been so uptight about my stupid virginity. I hated this. I wanted it gone.

You are way more trouble than I thought you were, way more trouble than you're worth.

Just break up with the fag and get some other guy.

So, that's what I planned on doing.

I rummaged through all of my clothes in my closet and looked for the one that would be the most fitting for this excursion. I wasn't quite sure what that would be though. I knew that my work clothes were out of the question. I knew that a t-shirt and jeans wouldn't fit, but, after that, I was at a loss. It took me almost an hour and a half to find something that might be suitable. I put it on, did my hair, make-up, and looked in the mirror to see my hard worked for results.

My brown hair hung just below my shoulders in perfect waves. My eyes which usually seemed to be brown-gray mud puddles on my face now seemed to be the most beautiful asset on me. The light pink blush and lipstick I put on tied everything together.

I wore a short dress that would sparkle and shimmer under any light. It was a dark blue and reminded me of the ocean under the moonlight. The tiny spaghetti straps which should have made me feel self conscious showed off my slender arms. The dress formed my breasts and flattered my thin waist. Looking in the full length mirror, I had to admit. I was fucking hot. And that was exactly what I wanted.

I went out of my apartment and walked down farther than I ever have before. I wasn't quite sure where I was, but I knew where I was going. Not really, but I hoped I would find a cab and just have them take me.

As if on cue, I saw a small yellow cab wondering aimlessly. I whistled loudly and stopped it. It was almost as if he knew where I was going. "You going to Off Yo' Ass?"

I wasn't quite sure what it was, but when I asked, it sounded perfect. It was public, with a lot of people, and a pretty fun place to go by the sounds of it. He sped down the highway and made several fast turns, picking up a couple people on the way, by my request. The three of us split the bill, so it didn't cost me nearly as much as I had feared. I was a bit tight on money, but every now and then I found that I had saved enough to do fun little excursions. None quite like this, but…

When I saw the building I was about to walk into, I found that I was not ready. But I had already paid the cabbie. And even if I didn't do what I had planned, I could still have fun. With that, I walked in.

It was loud. I could scarcely hear myself think. Let alone try to talk to people. People were dancing, some a bit more erotically than necessary, under the multi colored lights all throughout the dance floor. The music was happy, upbeat, and in a strange way, hard core techno sounding. It had edge, if that makes any sense.

I went past the people to the back of the club where the bar was and ordered a Piña Colada. I have never actually had one of these before. So I promised myself that even if I absolutely loved it, I wouldn't order any more alcohol. I wanted to be sober tonight. Sober and aware.

About halfway through my drink, which was totally disgusting, I felt like I was being watched by someone behind me, Abruptly, I turned around.


A/N: OK, so I really hope you like the story. And, as some added encouragement for you to keep reading, I will be posting one chapter everyday until it's finished. (Unless I get caught up in something one day.) Please review! I really like the story and I want to hear all of your thoughts on it.