Thursday, July 24, 2008


I nearly dropped the phone. Did he just say…

“Stella, did you hear me? I’m sorry. It was me.”

I swallowed hard. “You know I got in a fight today, right?” I asked. “Because of your big, stupid mouth.”

There was a shift behind me and I knew that my dad had come to listen to my conversation. Normally that would annoy me, but at the moment, I was too concerned with telling Becker to--

“It wasn’t all me,” he interrupted. “It’s not like you’re blame free, Stella. You knew he had a girlfriend.”

Ew. Was he playing the morality card? “How is it any of your business?” I snapped. “We aren’t dating. I hardly even know you!”

“Everything okay?” my dad asked from behind me. I lifted my hand, waving him away.

“You’re right,” Becker said. “It wasn’t my business. But I thought he was making a fool of you, and honestly, you were making a fool of yourself. I was trying to help.”

“Help?” Yeah right.

“Okay. Maybe not help, but resolve. Resolving is good.”

“Resolving sucks,” I mumbled.

Becker chuckled. “I see you’re taking the high road.”

I couldn’t help it. I smiled. “Well, Snitch,” I said. “Was there anything else you wanted to confess or can I go back to my grounding?”

There was a pause. Then, “One more thing,” Becker said quietly. “When you get off grounding, I’d love to take you out.”

Oh my God. Becker just got me beat up, called to apologize, and then asked me OUT? What was going on with the guys in my life?

“I’ll call you,” I said and hung up. Man. I needed therapy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I was sprawled across my bed, waiting. Sweating.


Dad was home. “I’m upstairs,” I called.

“Fantastic. I suggest you get DOWNSTAIRS. NOW!”

I swallowed hard and climbed to my knees. Getting in a fight was bad enough. But ditching my ride(my father) to ride home with the reason for my fight was pretty stupid.

I took the walk of shame down the wooden staircase. My dad looked furious.

“So nice of you to make an appearance, beautiful daughter.” His sarcasm wasn’t lost on me.

“Dad, I…”

“Stop,” he said, holding up his hand. “I’m tired. I had to leave work early. Just answer me this.” He took a deep breath. “Did you win the fight?”

“No. She sort of kicked my ass.”

He shook his head. “Then I’ve taught you nothing.” My father slapped his hand on my shoulder. “Here’s the deal, Stella. No phone. No television. And absolutely, positively, NO BOYS.”

“Agreed,” I said. Well, at least the no boys part. The phone loss was going a bit overboard.

“Good. Now to start this punishment off, how about you fix dinner?”

“You are a tyrant,” I said and led us toward the kitchen. But just as we got in there, the phone began to ring. I looked at my dad.

“Get it.” He held up his finger in warning. “But only to tell them that they aren’t allowed to call the house for at least a week.”

“A week!”


“Whatever,” I mumbled, crossing to the phone. “Hello.”


I paused. It was a guy. And not Conner. “Who is this?”

“Sorry,” he said. “It’s Becker. Do… do you hate me?”

My stomach flipped. Hot college guy calling me on the phone to ask me if I hated him? Yeah. This happened every day.

“Of course I don't hate you,” I said. “Why would I?”

I swear I heard him gulp. “Because I’m the one that told everyone about you and Conner.”

Friday, July 11, 2008


I looked across the Jeep at Conner. I knew leaving with him was stupid. Mostly because a.) I was supposed to get signed out by a parent, b.) My father was on his way and would FREAK when he found out I was gone, and of course c.) Conner was a complete and utter tool.

“What are you thinking about, Stella?” he asked, still watching the road.

“Wondering why I’m here.”

“Because you like me.” He smirked.

“You got me beat up today,” I said. “That alone is a pretty good reason to hate you.”

“And yet you still left with me.” Conner turned and when I looked in his eyes, I hate-loved him. He could be so right sometimes. Not this time. But he had been before.

“I’m going to be grounded,” I mumbled as we pulled onto our street.

“Good thing I’m just next door,” he said. “I can sneak in your window.”

Damn. Why was he being so charming? Why was he still perusing me? He had a girlfriend. Sure. She was a total wench, but still. They were going out.

Conner parked at my curb. I stared into my lap. I was so pissed at him, but when I was with him… I was helpless. A helpless fool.

“I can’t do this anymore,” I whispered.

Conner pressed his lips in a smile and then shrugged. “You say that every time, Stella.”

I sighed. He was right.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Going Green...

So… the fight went on for about three and half more seconds. That was when Principal Pelli grabbed me by the elbow and yanked me back. I’d say it was abusive, but at the time my fist was cocked back, aimed directly at Trish’s bloody nose.

Suspension. I figured as much. Trish was suspended too, but I highly doubted we’d be chatting during school hours.

After a call to my dad, I sat in the office, waiting for him to pick me up. Trish’s ride had already showed. But I think my father was trying to humiliate me more by taking his time.

“Hey.” There was a knock at the open office door and when I looked, my heart sped up. Conner.

“Don’t speak to me.”

He chuckled. “Aw, come on, Stella. You can’t be mad at me. I didn’t tell her.”

But I was thinking about how he told her I was ugly. Even if he was just saying that to make her feel better, it still hurt. Sort of like the bald spot on the back of my head.

“I came to check on you,” he said like it made him the sweetest guy on the planet.

“And now you can go.”

“I’ll take you home.”

I exhaled. “You’re ruining my life. Just leave me alone.”

Conner tilted his adorably blond head. “Do you really want me to?”

And I didn’t answer. Instead, I got up and left with him.