Thursday, June 26, 2008

Going Green...

My scalp stung as I felt a chunk of hair get ripped from it. OW!

I used my elbow to push Trish back by the jaw, but her poorly manicured nails were firmly tangled in my ringlets. She was pissing me off!

“Get her,” someone yelled from behind me. I wasn’t sure which of us he was talking to, but I decided to believe it was on my behalf.

I kicked Trish in the shin as hard as I could. I swear, it actually vibrated up my leg when it connected with her bone. She screamed and moved back.

The temporary distraction gave me time to consider. I could a.) Sucker punch her, or b.) Run.

I chose c.).

“Your boyfriend kissed me,” I said, gasping for breath.

She stopped the ‘I think my leg is broken dance’ and stared at me. “You liar!”

I shook my head. “Conner stuck his tongue in my mouth on at least four different occasions. And… he said he liked the taste of my lip gloss.” Yeah. I had to throw that in.

Trish’s cheeks began to match her hair as her nostrils flared. “He…” She looked shocked. I ALMOST felt bad for her. “He told me he never touched you. He said he thought you were ugly.”

Ow. That stung. “Hm,” I said, pretending to pick at my nails. Humiliated that he said that about me. Horrified that the cafeteria was listening. “See,” I began. “He didn’t mention that when he was sliding his hand up my shirt saying what a bitch you are.”

Snap. Not bad, Stella.

“You are dead,” Trish hissed. I smiled.

Taz may have caught me off guard once, but I was pretty sure that now... now I was ready to kick her ass.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Going Green

It wasn’t like I’d never been in a fight before. Why was I so nervous?

I pushed my way through the crowded hallway, aware that people were whispering, a few snickering. Wow. Word sure traveled fast. I gulped.

The cafeteria was loud. I scanned it quickly, looking for Conner. Or Trish. Or Brandi. I only found Brandi sitting with her friends. Something told me that I wasn’t welcome at their table anymore.

Before I could turn around and spend my lunch hour hiding in the girl’s bathroom, something hard hit my shoulder. I stumbled a step before looking up to see the back of Trish’s red head walking past me.

Did she just… shoulder bump me?

“Excuse you,” I said. She stopped. Damn. I was about to get in a fight. My adrenaline kicked in, making my fingers tremble.

Trish swirled around in her hideous shoes and glared at me. She looked pretty pissed.

“Excuse me, skank,” she said.

Please. I could have thought of something wittier than that on my worst day.

“Classy. Although not nearly as classy as that outfit you’re wearing. Really? Pink and red don’t go together.” It’s true! Red heads shouldn’t wear pink.

She clenched her jaw. “At least I’m not a slut chasing after some guy that doesn’t want me.” She announced it, but then stepped toward me and leaned her head down as if whispering a secret. “Conner told me how you throw yourself at him. It’s really pathetic, Stella.”

Now, was it her fault that she was misinformed? Probably not. But when I cocked back my fist and punched her in the mouth, I felt an odd satisfaction. Her and stupid boyfriend were perfect for each other.

Trish screamed, covering her lips with her palm. And then something strange happened. The little red head with the terrible fashion sense turned into the freaking Tasmanian devil. I swear, she spun around in circles and attacked me before I even had a chance to tell her how ridiculous she looked. I just felt a barrage of punches, kicks, hair pulls.

She was kicking my ass. And the cafeteria was cheering!
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Monday, June 23, 2008

GOING GREEN...

I shifted in my seat. Class started ten minutes ago and Brandi had yet to look at me. Pretty sure it had something to do with the fact that I dissed her brother to hang out with the idiot on the other side of me.

Conner coughed.

I glanced sideways at Brandi. She snapped her gum. UGH! I couldn’t take it.

“Are you pissed?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said without looking over. “You’re messing with my brother, Stella. You’re messing with him for THAT.” She jabbed her thumb in Conner’s direction. My face warmed with embarrassment. Humiliation.

“I didn’t mean to,” I whispered. I looked up to see Mr. Powell glare in our direction. Brandi and I both looked down at the lab table, pretending to be following along with the class.

“Becker liked you,” she hissed. “I thought you were cool, Stella. Conner has a girlfriend. And you ain’t her.”

Hm. That stung. “I’m aware of that,” I said as calmly as possible. “And I’m not going to see him anymore. I didn’t mean--”

“To get caught?” she finished for me.

Okay. She was actually starting to piss me off a little.

“Just so you know,” she said, snapping her gum. “Trish has probably heard by now. Everybody knows.”

My heart stopped. “What?”

Brandi turned to me. I expected to see a scowl, but she almost looked sorry. “Everybody knows,” she repeated. “You might want to watch your back.”

I gasped and spun to face Conner. The fool was sitting there, drawing musical notes on his desk. My stomach turned.

How did I know that lunch was going to SUCK!?
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Going Green

The movie sucked. No surprise there. Becker didn’t come back in the theater and I found myself looking over the faces trying to figure out who he’d been here with. Other than a few couples gratuitously making out in the back, there was one rocker- looking dude by himself. Maybe a band mate.

“You okay?” Conner whispered in my ear, his hand sliding over mine.

I swallowed hard. I just wanted to go home. I was… ashamed. I was so freaking embarrassed for myself. But I waited until the end of the movie, ignoring all of Conner’s attempts to make out with me. I was done. I NEEDED to be done.

Conner drove fast. And when he slammed on the breaks in front of my house, I almost hit my head on his dashboard.

“Goodnight, Stella,” he said without looking at me.

I narrowed my eyes. “What is your problem?” I asked. He had no right to be pissy. He was the one with the girlfriend.

“Nothing,” he said and looked at me. “Absolutely nothing. And that’s the problem. If you’re going to be a freaking bitch, Stella. I’m not gonna keep taking you out.”

My face stung. “So… me being fun. You mean hooking up?” Don’t cry, Stella. Hold it together.

He scoffed. “Well, yeah. What did you think?”

I stared at him for a second, knowing what he was saying. Knowing that I knew it all along.

Slowly, I pulled the handle and pushed open the door. I got out, my hands shaking, but I turned back to him one last time.

“You know,” I shook my head. “My dad was right. You are a tool.”

I slammed the door and went inside.
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

GOING GREEN>>>

I darted out of the house before my father could see Conner’s Jeep. He thought I was going out with Becker. I SHOULD HAVE BEEN. But I was being stupid. Absolutely foolish.

“Hey,” Conner called as I climbed in his car. I looked at him, temporarily melted by his gorgeous grin.

“Just drive,” I said and turned to look out the window. Yes, I was guilty. Yes, I knew this was a mistake. And yet… I was still sitting in his passenger seat. Ugh.

Conner didn’t take me to the main movie theatre, a fact that reinforced our top-secret status. A fact that reinforced that I wasn’t good enough to be his “real” girlfriend. We went to the crappy dollar theater that played movies that were already available to rent.

We stood in line and for a minute, things were normal. Conner reached out and put his arm over my shoulder, pulling me into him. “What do you want to see, beautiful?”

“Something with a lot of blood,” I said. Something that could make me come to my senses. But instead, I looped my arm around his waist. He smelled good.

Conner leaned over, bringing his face close to mine. “Give me a kiss,” he whispered. Man. This boy knew how to make me tingle.

Softly, I pressed my lips to his. Sweetly. We stayed like that for a second until he pulled back, smiling. “Let’s go,” he said, sliding his hand into mine.

And for now, it felt right. Like somehow, the rest of it didn’t matter. His girlfriend. Becker. MY DAD!

Conner bought our tickets and we made our way through the concessions. With a bucket of popcorn in one hand, Conner still managed to keep his arm around me. We were being cute. Not fighting. Not suffering from Temporary Make-Out Insanity. We were… like boyfriend and girlfriend.

Theater five was on our right and just as we paused at the door, it pushed open.

My. Jaw. Dropped.

“Stella?” Becker asked, looking between Conner and I. His expression…. Yeah. Not good.

I stood facing him, another guy’s arm over my shoulder. The Sour Patch Kids in my hand feeling like they were a million pounds. I’d said no when Becker asked me to the movies. And now, here I was. With someone else.

The three of us stood, staring, no one moving. Until finally, Becker clenched his jaw, shot a dirty look at Conner and then bumped his shoulder as he walked past us. Without another word.

“Hm…” Conner said.

“Shut up.”

“I hope he doesn’t tell Trish.”

My stomach dropped. He mentioned his girlfriend. He was out with me and he was still worried about his girlfriend. I blinked back the tears and stepped out his arm to open the movie theater door. I didn’t wait for him and instead walked to the seats, dropped down, and put my face in my hands.

This was what I deserved.
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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

GOING GREEN

The phone seemed to ring for a ridiculously long time. I almost hung up.

“Hello,” Becker said. I gulped.

“It’s Stella,” I blurted out. “My dad told me to call you.” Wait. I didn’t mean to say it like that. That sounded… positively lame. But he laughed.

“I knew I liked your father.”

I smiled and cradled the phone closer to my ear. I looked from my spot on the stair I was sitting on into the living room. My father was staring at me. Not trying to be slick, not trying to spy. Just out and out listening. He even waved.

“My father’s sort of on this kick where he likes guys that look him in the eye,” I said. “He’s SO ANNOYING.” I said loudly toward my dad. He gave me the thumbs up.

“Yeah,” Becker said, the phone rustling on his end. “He told me that.”

“Yeah.”

Uh, YEAH! Uncomfortable silence. I didn’t want to be rude and ask, Hey, Becker. Why did you want me to call you? I thought he’d volunteer the information on his own. But we were both silent. It was almost too late to talk. As if not acknowledging the silence would somehow make it more awkward. I considered hanging up and pretending my line went dead five minutes ago.

“Stella?” he asked, sounding confused.

“What?”

“Do you want to see a movie?” His voice was quiet. Almost like he expected me to say no.

“No.” Damn. I just said no.

“Oh. Okay.”

What was wrong with me? I was such a spaz!

“Well,” Becker said, sounding embarrassed. “I’ll… I’ll see you around then.”

“….” But before I could say anything, he hung up. My stomach turned. It was a movie. Why did I say no? I didn’t have anything else to do. The phone rang in my hand.

“I’m sorry,” I said instead of hello.

“Stella?” It was Conner. I darted my eyes nervously toward my father.

“Yeah?” I asked into the phone. My heart was racing.

“Hey, baby,” he said. As if in some alternate universe I was, in fact, his baby.

I stayed quiet. Daddy Dearest was leaning forward, resting his elbows on his knees, listening intently.

“I’m free tonight,” Conner said. “Wanna catch a movie or something?”

Definitely not. “Sure.” Holy shit. Did I just say sure?

“That’s my girl,” Conner said. Condescending jerk.

“Wait…” I started to say.

“I’ll come get you in ten minutes.” And he hung up.

I swallowed hard and looked at my father. He straightened, smiling. “What did Becker want?” he asked.

“Uh… he wanted me to go to a movie.”

“You’re going, right?”
Well, I was going to a movie. “Yes.”

“I’m glad.” My father stood and began walking to the kitchen. “Anything to keep you away from that tool Conner,” he announced over his shoulder.

“Yeah. Thank God for Becker,” I said as he disappeared around the corner.

Man. I was so dumb.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

GOING GREEN

I burst in the door of my house, tears stinging my eyes.

“Stella,” my father asked. I jumped and then turned to see him sitting on couch, his hand still holding back the curtain.

“Were you spying on me?” I sniffled.

“Was that the neighbor boy? The one that came over to fix our power that time?”

“Yeah.” He was also the one that had been screwing with my head since that very same day. Rock climbing jerk.

“He seems like a tool,” my dad said, letting the fabric fall back into place. I stared at him for a second and then laughed.

“Fathers can’t say words like ‘tool’,” I said.

“How ‘bout asshole? Does that work?” My father grinned.

“Much better.” The sickness that Conner left me with began to fade as I stood, listening to my father insult him. Sometimes making fun of someone helped. Sometimes it made things hurt a little less.

“By the way,” my dad said, picking at his fingernails. “A boy stopped by earlier.”

“A boy boy, or a guy?” I think he liked to use boy to pretend we were all still in grade school.

He rolled his eyes. “A guy. Becker. He seemed nice. At least that one could look me in the eyes. Definitely not a tool.”

I stared at the wood floor, feeling both guilty and happy that Becker had come by. Stupid Stella needed to get over herself and the blond boy next door.

“You…should maybe call him,” my dad said. “He mentioned something about taking you to a concert.” He chuckled. “Asked my permission even.”

I looked up at my father and he was beaming. A real bona fide boyfriend for me that wasn’t a jerk off? Unheard of.

“I’ll call,” I said. And I would. Conner was over. I needed to move on.

But without thinking, I peeked out the window and saw Conner’s Jeep in his driveway. And I sighed.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

GOING GREEN

It wasn’t until the drive home that the guilt began to creep in. Not over Conner’s girlfriend. Hell no. Trish was a bitch. But over Becker. I’d blown him off to come and make out with this idiot. I looked at Conner.

“Whatcha thinking about?” he asked, grinning slyly.

I was thinking I was a fool. “That you’re a fool.”

He laughed. “Stella, I know you like me because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t talk so sweetly to me.”

I looked in my lap, the wind from the window blowing my hair around. “So what now?” I asked. “Trish still your girlfriend?”

Conner was silent and that was all I needed for an answer. We didn’t speak the rest of the way and as he stopped in front of my house, I swallowed hard. What was I doing here?

“Wanna hang out tomorrow?” he asked.

I got out of the Jeep and turned back to look at him. Admiring his blond curls. His handsome face. But there was a sickening twist in my stomach. He’d done it again. He made me his “other” woman again. I should be on a freaking soap opera.

“No,” I said and straightened up. “That was the last time.”

He smiled. “I think we both know it won’t be.”

I slammed his door as hard as I could and spun around. I stalked up my stairs, needing to lock myself in my room and cry. But instead I heard, “Hey, Stella. I really like the taste of that lip gloss.”

Bastard.
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Sunday, June 8, 2008

GOING GREEN

Conner took me to the river. We climbed out of his Jeep and he threw a backpack over his shoulder as I followed behind him. There was a picnic table next to the water. Seriously. You wouldn’t have found anything like this in Arizona. No, Oregon was way more into… being outside.

In the backpack was a bunch of food. Bananas, cookies, warm soda. At least he'd tried. We sat at first, next to each other, not saying anything. It was nice being here with him. It was quiet except for the sounds of nature.

“So…” he began. “Are you dating Becker?”

“So… Are you jealous?” Because my answer depended on his. Not that Conner had any rights to me. He had a girlfriend.

“I am,” he said. “I’m pretty jealous.” He laughed and peeled a banana, taking a bite and then offering it to me. Right. Like I was going to act out some fantasy of his.

“No, thanks.” I pushed his hand away. A moment passed and I had to know. “You and Trish broke up?”

He seemed to gag on his fruit. “Um…” He coughed.

My mouth fell open. “You have got to be kidding me.” I raised my voice. “You.. you’re still dating Trish? Liar!” I pushed his shoulder. I looked around the table, realizing that I was nowhere near my house.

“I don’t want to be with her,” he whined, trying to take my hand. “I want you, Stella. I told you that.”

I slapped his hand and pulled mine out. “What is your deal? Stop messing with me. Just leave me alone.”

“I can’t.”

My heart was racing and Conner’s face was so close. So beautiful. Damn. I was going to hate myself in the morning.

I leaned forward and kissed him. But I was still pissed.
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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

GOING GREEN!!!

I looked at Conner as he drove. Man. He was ridiculously hot. If only he could break-out or lose a tooth or something. Something to make me LESS attracted to him.

“Where are you taking me?” I asked him. He grinned and looked over. “Listen,” I laughed. “I’m not scaling a cliff this time.”

“No,” he said, turning back to watch the road. “I think you deserve something a little more romantic.”

Wait. What? What was going on? Conner had been a jerk, a user, a LIAR. He couldn’t…start being romantic. I shouldn’t even be in his Jeep!

“Stella,” he sang my name. “What are you thinking about over there?”

I was thinking I was an idiot. “I was thinking you’re an idiot.”

“Me? Why?” He turned onto the freeway, pretending to be offended.

He needed to hear it. “You have a girlfriend. And she’s a bitch, but your girlfriend nonetheless. What do you plan to do about that?”

Conner pulled his eyebrows together. “What do you mean?”

My mouth fell open. “I mean are you going to break up with her?” My chest began to ache with what I knew was coming. I just knew what he was going to say.

“Yes. I already did.”

But that wasn’t the answer I’d expected. “You…did?”

Conner reached over and intertwined his fingers with mine. “I told you, Stella. I want you.”

I looked down at his hand. And smiled.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

GOING GREEN

There’s something about getting off grounding. The freedom of it all. It makes you do…really stupid things.

I had barely gotten in the door from school when the phone rang. The bus had just dropped me off, but Brandi was obviously excited about going out tonight. I was too. Her brother and me had some things to talk about. Hopefully with our tongues.

“Hello?” I put the phone to my ear and dropped my backpack on the wood floor of the hallway.

“Hi Stella.”

Shit. Conner. “Why are you calling me? Can’t you stalk from a distance like a normal psycho?” But my heart was beating kind of fast. I didn’t know he knew my phone number.

“I heard you’re going out with that college guy tonight.”

Oh, snap. Was he jealous? “I am.” I smiled. Conner deserved to be jealous. He kissed me and then went back to his girlfriend. The girlfriend he said that he didn’t have.

“That guy’s a tool.” There was a rustling on Conner’s end of the line. It sounded like he was outside. No way.

“What do you want?” I asked, walking slowly to my front door. I swung it open… and there he was, in all of his blond-headed glory. He grinned.

“I want you,” he said into the phone as I stood two feet in front of him.

Okay, my entire body tingled. I was pissed at him, but something about a guy, showing up, looking hot. Ugh. I couldn’t do this.

“Go away,” I said into the receiver and clicked it off dramatically. Conner stood there and slowly brought his phone down. He looked at it, pressed a button and brought it back to his ear. My phone rang in my hand.

I laughed. He was too much. Too much freaking trouble! But I still answered it.

“What are you doing? You are seriously a freak.” I was smiling at him. He’d gotten to me. Again.

“Come out with me, Stella,” he whispered. I shivered. “Come out with ME tonight. Pretty please?”

Not the puppy dog eyes. Damn. I’d just gotten off grounding. I had a date with cute, SINGLE guy. I knew the right thing to do.

“Okay,” I said despite myself. “But this is the last time.”

He grinned.
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