This took a while to update, sorry about that. Had some stuff to take care of (AP homework, chores, family drama, etc.)
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P.S. sorry for any errors, i don't edit well.
Chapter 3: Confrontations, Accusations and Explanations
Dinner ends and I can honestly say that it couldn't have gone by any slower. It felt like the whole meal was being stretched out on purpose, just to further antagonize me. Then my dad and Geraldine retire upstairs, claiming that they've got big plans for tomorrow—as if I know what that means—leaving me with her.
It's obvious that we have to clean up down here considering we were the last ones to go upstairs and all. My fingers clench just a little bit at the thought of spending even a fraction of a second more with this user.
I have to get away, now. I need to have some sort of distance, some space to think without her present, looming over me and twisting my emotions. Good decisions' are never made in the heat of an emotional frenzy. I look up and see her collecting the plates and packing the food away, whilst her puppet of a boyfriend I leaning back with his legs on one of my dad's leather dining room set chairs. Getting up and dashing towards the kitchen, I don't even bother to tell Loren to get his feet off the furniture. I'm too nervous with my own emotional drama.
Uh-oh, better make it look like I'm cleaning up in here and NOT running away from her in a frenzied panic.
Without thinking I head towards the sink and dunk my hands in the water-filled basin, my hands now emerged with cold, soapy water. I instinctually begin to take the sponge and make little circles along inside of each dish. Going under ridges and searching for bits and particles of food left behind, and counting as I go. One. Two. Three. Four. Counting each time I scrub. Albeit redundant, counting little things like that helps me calm down whenever I freak or have a panic attack, and this time is no different.
But how could I not freak? The girl that I slept with two nights ago, the girl I met at a party back on campus is my father's girlfriend's daughter. If they got married, she'd be like my sister. Blood or no-blood, sleeping with anyone that could ever be called your "sister" sounds wrong. Is wrong. On so many levels, and even worse so when you find out that it didn't mean anything to them. That she was using you for an "experience".
Gah. I'm really beginning to hate that word.
I nearly drop the bowl I'm working on when I hear the clattering of plates below me. Looking back over my shoulder I see Danielle quickly walking to the dining room and coming back with more dishes just as quickly.
Analyzing her face, I see it's blank. Emotionless. As if she isn't aware that her one-night stand is standing in front of her, or that she's spending the weekend at her father's house. She's unbelievably calm and her face is unreadable. If I didn't' know any better I would believe she was meeting me for the first time. But I do, and I'm not falling prey to anymore of her manipulative tactics.
What I really want to do right now is confront her. I'm sick of dancing around her and I want to hear her admit that she remembers me. I consider it for a brief moment before realizing that I don't have the nerve to do such a thing.
You had the confidence to walk up to her at the party, why should this be any different?
Um, maybe because I'm at my father's house and not drunk off my ass at a college frat party?
The setting is irrelevant. You approached her before and you can approach her again. You don't need alcohol to hold your hand along the way for everything, do you?
No. I don't, I'm not an alcoholic.
Then stop acting like one and face your problems!
Scumbag brain and all its logic.
My conscious—I think it was my conscious—is right, I need to speak up. Lord knows she won't approach me on the topic herself, that's evident by the way she's avoided contact with me all night. No matter how much I may not want to, I'm going to have to break my main rule yet again and approach her first. Again.
But not now, later.
My bed said it's lonely and it misses me.
Thursday night went well. It was significantly classier than any Thanksgiving my dad and I had ever had in the past—these Thanksgivings, which usually consisted of watching cop show re-runs on USA network and a frozen Banquet meal. (A tradition in itself) I guess we could thank Geraldine for that.
She prepared a long, drawn out service before the meal that we all had to take part of, regardless of the fact that neither my father nor I are religious people.
"It's a tradition in our house that we pray before every meal especially on Thanksgiving," Geraldine stated, nodding her head at her daughter to confirm this. "What kind of Christians would we be if we didn't give thanks on Thanksgiving?" Danielle nodded back, an obviously plastered smile on her face. It was two to my one and before I could even question this new "tradition" my dad chimes into the conversation.
"Y'know, Melly and I aren't the most religious people, but…" But? No. No "buts"! "It would be rude not to oblige your customs in our home. Right, Mels?"
"Right." Now it's my turn to plaster a smile on my face.
"Great!" Geraldine chirps, clapping her hands together. "Let us all grasp one another's hands and join in prayer." Hand holding? Is she serious? Apparently she was because next thing I know my hand is in my fathers as she begins her "traditional thanksgiving prayer."
"Heavenly father, on this—your thanksgiving day—we bow our hearts to you and pray." I looked around and noticed everyone had their heads down in respect except for my father and I. After an awkward glance at each other we bowed our heads as well and listened as Geraldine continued on.
"We give you thanks for all you have done, especially for the gift of Jesus, you son. For beauty in nature, your glory we see. For joy and health, family and friends. For daily provision, your mercy and care." Dear God, if you're listening, show mercy and get me out of here.
"These are the blessings you graciously share. So today—on your thanksgiving day," in case we didn't know what day it was. "We graciously offer this response of praise with a promise to follow you all of our days. Amen."
"Amen?" I respond a second after everyone else, causing them all to give me a curious look.
Cough. "Well," Dad begins clearing his throat, "Let's eat, yeah?"
The meal was over quicker than last night's drawn out ordeal and before I knew it everyone was gone.
So now I'm here, yet again, cleaning up with her. Only this time the roles were reversed: she was doing the dishes and I was cleaning the table. I guess I can't use the counting method to soothe my nervousness this time. I want to confront her about the situation, as I had promised myself I would do the previous night, but I can't. Her boyfriend is still down here. He doesn't need to hear this conversation. Well he does, just not like this. I glance over to him, feeling slightly sympathetic. Poor guy doesn't even know he's being used.
He must've felt my eyes on him because he looks over to me, giving me a strange look. In all my awkwardness I dart my eyes and walk away continuing to collect the remainder of the dishes. A few seconds after that Loren's on his way upstairs, shouting something about washing the hair gel out of his scalp. Did I scare him away? No. This is good, just the privacy you've been waiting for.
"See you upstairs, Danie."
"See you upstairs," she replies, her voice faltering for a moment," babe.
Minutes pass after Loren left and I still haven't said anything. We're just about done with the kitchen and she'll be heading upstairs soon as well. Quick, before you lose your chance again!
"Loren seems like a great guy." I blurt out. For a couple of seconds my statement is left there, hanging in the open with no response. And then…
"Yeah. He's a good guy." Pffft. Good enough to use for your own personal gain I bet.
"Seems like it." That's all I can manage to say without calling her out on cheating on this "good guy". Not to mention using me for her own sexual desires and "experiences".
"Yep." Yep? That's all you have to say for yourself you little –Gah! Her answers are short. She's trying to make sure this conversation doesn't steer in the direction I so desperately want it to.
"You guys look great together." I say between clenched teeth, biting my tongue from saying anything stupid. Not yet, approach slowly. Like lioness going in for the kill. Build it up… She was trying to end the conversation with a one-worded response, but I'm not letting that happen.
She let's out a short laugh, "I bet we do."
Permission to go in for the kill?
"It's too bad we didn't run into him at that party last week, I would've loved for you to introduce us."
Crash. The sound of broken glass fills the room and a small smile appears on my face. Told you, didn't need the ol' liquid courage to speak up after all.
I look at her face and she's paled again. That look is back, the look she had when she first recognized me. She blinks her eyes a few times and then clears her throat nervously.
Cough Cough. "I have no idea what you're talking about." Cough.
Oh but I'm sure you do. "Really? Wow, that jungle juice sure does put a cap on your mind, huh? Bet you don't remember a thing." Like when we played tonsil hockey in the dorm hall and boinked like rabbits afterwards.
"Like when we played tonsil hockey in the dorm hall and boinked like rabbits afterwards."
Gasp. My hand immediately goes over my mouth and the sounds of yet another glass dropping echoes throughout the kitchen. I cannot believe you just said that.
"I cannot believe I just said that."
"Neither can I." She whips around and by the tone of her voice alone; I can tell she wants to kill me, "What the hell is your problem? Our parents are upstairs. Do you have any discretion whatsoever?"
"Screw discretion! Your boyfriend's upstairs too, want me to speak a little louder for him to hear t—" she silences me in the middle of a sentence; this time with her hand instead of her mouth.
"What the fuck is your problem?" she says, lowering her voice as she continues "Are you trying to get us in trouble? Do you want them to hear us?"
"Us? You're the one who cheated on L—"My eyes go wide and my body starts to go numb when she covers my mouth again and steps closer to me. The height difference is significant and I'm beginning to regret opening my mouth. Stupid! Why don't you think these things completely through? Abort mission!
The fear is probably quite evident on my face and I let out a loud gulp, just like in the cartoons, when she starts talking again, "I'm only going to say this once, okay? So listen up, fire-crotch." I don't know whether or not to respond, so I just stare blankly at her.
"Last week? It never happened. You and me? Just met each other yesterday. Got it?" These are all lies. We both know that.
I nod my head anyway, though, probably because of the piss-my-pants feeling I get as she towers over me as she towers over me.
"I asked you a question." Her voice is tough, like it just ate a bowl of nails, and I know she's not playing around. Yeah that's definitely it.
"Got it." I muffle through her fingers. Her hand is still covering my mouth and behind the obvious anger I see a glimmer of fear as she removes it. She's afraid you might blow her cover.
"Now how was that party last week?" she prompts and I'm tempted to blab again.
I could open my mouth, with the unmentioned (but totally obvious) threat of death lingering in the room. Or… I could play dumb.
"What party last week?" Playing dumb, excellent choice.
She begins walking away and I can feel again. The numbness goes away and I feel the dried up soap, tingling my face where her hand had been. Was it the residue of the soap that was causing my face to burn or was it because I was blushing furiously at her touch?
Just that fast she's at the top of the stairs. She turns, looking down at me before uttering a single sentence, "You don't know shit about me, okay?"
She doesn't make eye contact with me as she says—spits this,. "I'm a liar, I admit it, and a bitch on top of that, but if there is anything I'm not, it's a cheater."
I want to respond with a, "But you cheated on your boyfriend of nearly a year with me. The random redhead you met at a frat party", but I could see how an offhanded remark like that would get me snatched up faster than a pre-pubescent boy at a NAMBLA convention, so I keep my mouth shut.
"I'm not a cheater." She says it again, and it seems to me like she was trying to convince herself more than me. "You don't know the whole story, so don't come up to me with your fast-ass accusations. Just keep your mouth shut and the rest of the weekend won't be a problem for us." Then she laughs," Hell, I might even take you up on that date I promised when we get back to campus." I would snort if it weren't for that piss-my-pants feeling looming over me. As if that would ever happen.
She cleared her throat, just as she had done before. Cough. "Goodnight." Her voice had changed; it was now calm and smooth, much unlike the coarse voice of terror I had heard just moments before. It was kind of weird and slightly eerie, like a switch from a horror movie demon to a perfect young lady. Scary.
I'm left in the kitchen. Sitting here, her words circling in my brain. I'm not a cheater.
Oh what planet? Last time I checked having sex with someone other than the person you're in a relationship is considered cheating in most societies. Unless you're in one of those open relationships, but that's a whole different bag of worms.
And what did she mean when by "the whole story". Sure I didn't know everything that happened before that night but, come on. What could possibly be an excuse for cheating?
So many questions floating around in my head, ones that would probably go unanswered, seeing as how I'm not allowed to talk about the incident. And on a side note, was she serious about the date? Not that I'm interested or anything…
There is one thing that I am interested in, however.
I want to know what "whole story" is.
"What was that…?"
"What was what?"
"Well don't just stand there, open the door."
"Ugh." the door swung open and there I was, caught. Stuck in my spot, eyes widened like a deer in headlights.
Pause. Let's just stop for a moment, before this scenario gets anymore confusing. Let's back up to just 10 minutes before.
After that nice chat I had with Danie I went to bed, trying to rid my mind of the thoughts circling round and round inside my head. I don't know how long I stayed like that—an hour maybe? —Just trying to figure out what it all meant.
Was there a story I didn't know, or was this some sort of trick to get me to shut my mouth? If so, what is the story? Slowly but surely my curiosity demon picked the lock to its cage and escaped. I had to know what she meant. My body wouldn't allow me to sleep until I did. I'd be in torture, her cryptic words forever haunting me. I don't know why, but not knowing something, it bothers me. A lot.
Eventually I fell asleep, only to wake up what felt like minutes later. Looking around the room it was dark. The only light was the red glow of my alarm clock, blinking 4:23 am.
I note in my head that there's plenty of time before I have to get up and roll over to sleep. Well attempt to. There's this…well…throbbing sensation in my lower region—and no, it wasn't the throbbing of a sex depraved female (not this time, at last).
"I have to pee." I mumble to no one, slowly rolling over and out of bed. I'm in zombie mode, barely awake and drool hanging down my chin. Not a pretty sight at all.
Once in the bathroom I collapse and let the waves flow. I think we should just skip this part. None of you want to hear about my peeing habits (not unless it's some weird urophilic fantasy of yours). When I'm done I wash my hands, turning the knob ever so slightly, it's really early and I don't want to make too much noise.
Unfortunately some people don't have the same manners as I do.
Right as I'm about to turn the little handle on the side of the toilet to flush, a pair of voices picks up my ears. And they don't seem too happy, either.
"We need to leave today. Seriously, this guy doesn't have central air. I need to maintain a certain temperature or my hair'll frizz up, and we both know that isn't a pretty picture."
"Well we're gonna have to, considering the fact that you botched the dinner scene. We have lines. We practiced them. Now please, don't fuck things up anymore before we go because honestly, I'm sick of having to come up with excuses to tell my mother for your inconsistent behavior."
I recognize the second voice as Danie's. It had to be. The guest room is only but a few feet away from the bathroom. That and the talk her and I had earlier that night caused her authoritative tone to be engraved in my head.
Her words, the ones that had been racking my brain as I tried to sleep closed in once again. I found my curiosity demon poking its head out, wanting to hear more of this conversation.
"Well there's always the truth, but we both know you'd never tell her that."
What the hell was that supposed to mean?
You're missing something…
"Oh, because you're telling your family the whole story."
There's silence for a moment and judging by the length of time before the next response I could tell that comment struck a nerve.
"Your mother is not going to stop asking questions, Dan. Just like my parent's aren't going to stop asking to see my mystery girlfriend and one day they'll find out that I—"
"Shush. What if someone's awake?"
"You're right. They need to know, but not like this."
Funny. They were the same words I'd said about him…
I stood there in the bathroom, my ear pressed to the door, waiting almost desperately for someone to speak up. Minutes went by and still not a word. Every few seconds I would hear the rustling of someone moving the covers or a cough escape them, but nothing else. Nothing that would feed my little demon.
The thing must've retreated because I suddenly no longer feel the need to wait anymore. The compelling feeling that glued my feet to the ground and kept me stone still released it's grip and I was able to move again
But maybe I shouldn't have.
"What was that…?"
"What was what?"
I thought they were asleep. It had been long enough for them to fall asleep, hadn't it?
Your judgment of time isn't always correct, you know. Crap. What was I supposed to do? I couldn't just stand there; I'd get caught for sure.
Maybe if you step a little lighter you won't make as much noise.
Oops. I guess my judgment isn't always correct either. I am you after all.
"Well don't just stand there, open the door."
"Why not you?"
"It could be like, a raccoon or something."
Creak. Creak. Creak.
Sigh. "Fine." There's shuffling and the bouncing of the bed as she got off, her footsteps getting louder with each step as she got closer and closer to me. I must've gotten piss-in-my-pants syndrome again because I didn't even attempt to move as she reached the door. I was like one of those dumb bimbos in a low budget slasher film; so in a state of shock by the impending doom headed my way that I don't even try to make a run for it.
The door swung open and there I was, caught. Stuck in my spot, eyes widened like a deer in headlights.
"You know in some cultures, eavesdropping is considered a breach of someone's personal space." It was the first thing she'd said to me after forcing me into the guest bedroom for questioning.
Held captive in your own house, how's that for holding you ground…
The Loren chimes in. "Eavesdropping? So unfetch."
"It's not eavesdropping if it's in your own home." That's what I want to say, but given her cleverly thought-out opening statement, I figure I need to reply with something a bit cheekier.
"Personal space? That's funny I don't remember you complaining about your personal space when you slept in my bed last night."
"I told you not to mention that around—"
"Your boyfriend?" I say nodding my head towards Loren.
I'm surprised at my behavior. Where was this smugness coming from? Was I because I thought I had some sort of advantage over her? Talk all you want, she can't harm you. Not In your own home.
"Why? Don't want him knowing about what happened at the party?"
"Don't want him to know that you're a cheater and a user? How you're using him to impress your mother, not because you—"
She blinked her eyes angrily at me, "I said shut up. You're only gonna make this harder on yourself."
"Just like you used me for sex."
"I didn't use you!" she snaps. "And I'm not a cheater. If you would shut your mouth for half a second and let me talk, I could explain to you—"
"Explain to me what? What could you possibly say that would make me think any different?"
Looking at Danie, I'd expect her face to be a deep brownish red, fuming with anger. But it wasn't. Her face held the calmest expression and her lips tilted in the corner, showing the smallest of smiles.
I'd just exposed her. Insulted her right to her face and she's smirking? That's not a good sign. She should've had her foot so far up my ass right now…
But it wasn't. Truth be told, I was a little scared. Only crazy people laugh when they're angry.
And then Loren looked at me too, both cheeks red, but not in anger. In…could it be?
Amusement? Not the expression a boyfriend should have after finding out their girlfriend slept with another woman. Especially if the other chick was right there, being smug as hell about it.
He walks up to me and his lip is trembling. Where should've been trembling in distraught, it was instead was shaking like he was trying to hold back a laugh.
Is this some kind of joke to him?
He reaches out to me, grabbing my left shoulder and tilting my chin up with his other hand. I'm wearing a confused expression (a trademark classic) and he looks like a middle schooler, ready to burst into a fit of giggles at any moment.
Had I stepped into the twilight zone? Why were they both smiling at me?
"Honey," Loren says, slowly nodding his head.
They are in an open relationship. Maybe the brunette was scouting for someone to join them in an ménage a trois?
His next set of words break my thoughts and my eyes widen. Hearing these words make me realize how wrong I was and how far off I was. About everything.
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