Home > Four Years Later (One Week Girlfriend #4)(3)

Four Years Later (One Week Girlfriend #4)(3)
Author: Monica Murphy

We’re two broke girls, Mom and I. Dad left us with nothing.

I hate him. I sorta hate guys in general. Once, when I was almost fourteen and suffering in high school as the young kid no one liked with hardly any friends, I went through a stage where I believed I was a lesbian. I told the few friends I had, I told my parents, I told everyone who would listen to me that I liked girls. I never told them the reason why I’d decided I was a lesbian.

Sixteen-year-old Cody Curtis had stuck his tongue down my throat, his rough, inexperienced hands roaming all over me one Saturday night at a birthday party gone wild, and I almost gagged. I decided right then and there if that’s what boys do to girls, I would have no part of it. I’d rather become an ostracized lesbian than deal with guys who wanted to grab my butt and lick the roof of my mouth.

Funny thing was, no one believed me. Not my parents or my friends. They all thought it was a stage. Especially my best friend, Kari, who knew Cody stuck his tongue down my throat and how much I hated it.

They were right. It was a total stage that wasn’t really a stage at all. More like a front. But I’ve never been comfortable around guys. They give me even a hint of attention and I think they have ulterior motives. They want something from me I don’t want to give.

My body. My mind. My soul.

They’ll take everything, then destroy me. Walk away without a backward glance. Look at Dad. He’s done it time and again. He leaves. My mom cries. He comes back. She gives in. He decimates her, piece by piece, until she’s a broken crumble of human spirit on the ground, and then he’s gone. This time for good.

I’m the one left who has to pick up the pieces. Glue her back together and tell her she’s strong. She’s tough. She doesn’t need him. We both don’t need him.

But I’m lying. I think she does need him. And I need him, too, only to keep her together more than anything else. I don’t love him, not anymore. He stomped all over that love until he made me resentful.

Seeing what he does to Mom makes me really wish I’d stuck to that lesbian deal. Or maybe I should just become asexual. That would work, too. I like it here in my little world that makes sense, with school and tutoring and plans to go on to get my master’s degree. I can be whatever I want. I don’t need a man to define me. Kari’s afraid I’ll never want to graduate college because I like school too much. She thinks something’s wrong with that.

It’s hard to confess to her how scared I am of the real world.

A creak sounds, startling me out of my thoughts, and the classroom door swings open. A boy struts in—there’s no other way to describe his walk. It’s all effortless grace and smooth movement. He’s tall and broad, and with a menacing glower on his face. A face that is … holy wow, it’s beautiful.

All thoughts of returning to my so-called lesbian ways are thrown right out the window. If I’m as smart as I claim to be, I’ll go chasing after them and snatch them back up. Pretend this gorgeous boy doesn’t exist.

“You my tutor?” He stops just in front of the table that I’m sitting behind and I leap to my feet, pushing the chair back with so much force it falls to the side with a loud clatter.

My cheeks are hot, but I ignore the fallen chair as though I didn’t knock it over. I am the biggest dork on the planet. “Yeah. You’re Owen?” I wince. Yeah. I’m supposed to bring up his English grade and I can’t even utter a proper yes.

“Yeah.” He flicks his chin at me. It’s a firm chin and jaw that’s covered in golden stubble that doesn’t match the color of the hair on his head. That’s brown. A rich, golden brown, though, that hints he could almost be a blond if he sat in the sun long enough. “I don’t have time for this shit, though. I gotta go to work.”

Oh. Not even a minute in and he’s blowing me off and cursing at me. Jerk. “You’re late.”

“I know. Told you I don’t have time.”

“I don’t think you have a choice.” Turning, I bend over and grab my chair, righting it. When I turn back to face him, his gaze quickly lifts to my face, as if he’d been checking out my butt, and I swear my cheeks are on fire.

More over the fact that I actually liked catching him most likely checking out my butt.

What is wrong with me?

“I really don’t need your help,” he says, his gaze locking with mine. “I’m usually pretty good at English.”

I’m at a loss for words just looking at him, which is pitiful. His eyes are green. A deep, intense green that is so beautiful, they’re almost painful to stare into. A girl could get lost in eyes like those. I bet a thousand girls before me already have. “Really?” I ask, my voice full of contempt. “Because according to your teacher, you’re failing.”

His generous mouth sets into a hard line, the lush fullness that could be considered almost feminine if he didn’t have all those harsh angles in his face to offset it disappearing in an instant. “This is such bullshit,” he mutters, running a hand through his hair, messing it up completely.

It’s a good look for him. That I’m even thinking this makes me want to punch myself. Where did my lesbian plans go? My asexual plans? Shoved aside because of a good-looking guy sauntering into a room full of attitude and doing his best to get away from me?

I’m not one of those girls. I’m smart. Boys don’t interest me and I’m okay with that. I have a protective shell that’s surrounded me for years, but I had no idea it was so thin.

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