Home > Four Years Later (One Week Girlfriend #4)(9)

Four Years Later (One Week Girlfriend #4)(9)
Author: Monica Murphy

Fuck. I’m a pig.

“Only if you score me a J,” she throws back at me, and I grimace.

Des is my weed source. He can score me an entire gallon Ziploc bag of joints if I ask him for it. “Whatever. If that’s what you want.”

“Smoke it with me? We could talk. Like we used to.” She sounds hopeful, and I want to be sick. This is her idea of bonding with her baby boy. The two of us passing a joint back and forth, getting high.

We did it a few times when I was thirteen. Before she ditched us. That’s our little secret. I never told Fable.

She’d die. Worse, she’d want to kill Mom.

“Maybe.” I shrug, and her eyes go even dimmer if that’s possible. “I gotta get ready for class.”

“Class.” She sneers. “Have fun.”

“Will do.” I watch her walk away, staying on my front porch long after she disappears.

Our relationship is a mess. I hate that I keep this a secret. It’s eating me up inside. I want to tell Fable, but she’ll be furious. I’d love to confide in Drew, but he’d tell her. He’d have to. She’s his wife. And he’s so loyal to Fable, he’d freaking die for her if that’s what it took to keep her safe. To protect their relationship.

So I can’t do that to him. Can’t expect him to keep a secret like that. It’s too much.

Instead, I let it fester inside of me. Growing like a noxious weed, its long, grabby tendrils moving through me, within me, wrapping around my arms and legs and gut and heart and brain, clutching me hard in its grip until my secret is all I can think about.

I need a f**king distraction, and quick.

Chelsea

I dressed for him. So ridiculous, but I went through my closet meticulously. Pushing aside each hanger, dismissing everything with harsh words I utter out loud. Easy to do since I’m alone, as usual, and no one is around to ask me what the heck I’m doing.

Old. Ugly. Cheap. Bad color. Frumpy. Makes me look fat. Makes me look sickly. Makes me look like a slut.

The last one I pull out is the slut shirt. I wore it on my eighteenth birthday. Kari dared me to buy it and I did. Back when I believed I could still afford frivolous purchases, though the financial ax fell less than a month after.

It’s black. A halter top that dips low in the front, with a drapey neck and completely backless. I wore it that night at the restaurant Kari took me to with a few friends. I felt so daring, so grown up. We ate a bunch of food, then went back to someone’s house and got drunk on cheap beer and wine. That’s where I had my second kiss. A true make-out session on a couch and everything with a boy whose tongue wasn’t as disgusting as Cody’s, but who really didn’t know how to use it.

At least, I don’t think he did. Not that I have much to compare it to.

God. I’m so pitiful it’s freaking painful.

I shove the slut shirt back into my closet and keep going. I can’t look like I’m trying too hard. Like I’d wear a halter top to school on a Thursday afternoon. I mean, really? But my wardrobe is seriously lacking, considering it’s mostly full of T-shirts. So boring.

I settled on a cute pale yellow shirt I got last summer on clearance and throw my favorite black cardigan over it. My favorite pair of faded jeans. Gray Converses I snagged at Target, which means they’re not real Converses but close enough. I skip through classes with a restless energy that hums just beneath my skin. I finally recognize it as anticipation.

If he knew, he’d laugh at me—I just know it.

My one tutoring session before Owen’s is a nightmare. My energy isn’t in it and my student, a senior named Wes who’s been on a downward spiral with English since his freshman year, knows it. So he screws around and gives me crap, spends way too much time texting and not enough time listening to me until I finally end the session ten minutes early.

Big mistake. Now I’m left waiting around for Owen Maguire for twenty-five minutes instead of fifteen. And considering how late he was yesterday, my wait will probably be longer.

Feeling like a first grader told to take a nap, I cross my arms on top of the table and rest my head on them, closing my eyes. I didn’t get much sleep last night, so I’m super tired. I doubt I’ll sleep now, I rarely take naps or anything, but what else am I going to do to pass the time? Pace the room? Wait out front for him to finally show?

Sounds like torture.

I let my mind float. I think of Mom and how she wants me to come home. She misses me. I’m her only child and she’s super lonely. Her friends don’t come around much now that she’s in Concord and Dad is in jail. She’s got no one. She likes to tell me that every time we talk. No one but me.

But I can’t afford to go visit her whenever she wants me to and I want to save up for Thanksgiving, when I have a week off. That makes more sense. Somehow, I need to convince her of that.

But how am I going to get a week off from my job at the diner? The tutoring comes to a stop because it’s school break, but it will still be busy at the diner. I haven’t even dared ask my boss for any time off yet, which is dumb. I need to prepare early. I need to stop being such a chicken …

I need to stop thinking about boys with pretty green eyes who think I’m a joke. I saw the amusement in his gaze at the diner. He probably laughed about me with his friends when they left. They might have asked who I was, and I bet he said she’s nobody.

Nobody.

I’ve always been nobody.

Why can’t I be someone’s somebody? I’m lying to myself when I say I’d rather be asexual or a lesbian or whatever other silly scheme I come up with. I want a boy with a sexy walk and glittering green eyes to like me. I want him to whisper sweet words in my ear that make me shiver. I want him to touch me. I want to know what it feels like to be cherished. Just once …

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