Regan and Brendon run into trouble and a call from home makes Regan question her decision to change.
We arrived only minutes before the morning bell and I had to jet across the campus to get to my first period class. It was still only my third day but I was pretty good with locations. I crashed into the classroom and took my seat just as the bell rang. I looked over at Ryan, who I could feel was staring at me, and gave him a quick smile. He said nothing but turned quickly in his chair and directed his attention to the teacher. Class couldn’t have gone any slower, I felt each and every minute slowly pass me by. When the bell rang I was the first one out of the room, headed off to go spend the next class period with Spence and my new boyfriend Brendon.
English was much more entertaining, minus the annoyance of Brendon being somewhat gushy. I guess this was what Jon had meant when we talked about Brendon – he gets coupley really fast. Spence kept laughing and I just played along as best I could. I had to admit, it was kind of cute having Brendon walk me to class, holding my hand all the way to Psychology where he gave me a kiss on the cheek goodbye before he ran off to his own class across the hall.
“OOOOOooooh” Jon called out as I got into the class room. I shot him a glare and he patted the seat next to his.
“Shut it,” I said taking the seat.
Jon smiled, “Already onto the holding hands and escort stage? He’s moving even faster with you!” he joked.
From the front of the room, a girl with curly blonde hair was giving me the death stare. I stared back until the teacher began talking and the girl turned her attention away, “Who’s the bitch?” I asked Jon underneath my breath.
“Who?” he asked. I pointed to the girl in the front and he shook his head, “Alexis,” he muttered, as if I should have known who that was.
“And she is….?” I coaxed, I needed information.
“Brendon’s ex, Alexis,” he said, “Not a fan of her. None of us were. She can be a real… whats the word..”
“Bitch,” I said. “At least, that’s the vibe I get. Why did they break up?”
“She dumped him to date some guy from another school. Left him a wreck…” He trailed off. The teacher had put up a slide show and that was the signal to begin taking notes furiously. We were still taking notes when the bell rang.
Without a miss of a step, Brendon was waiting outside of my classroom waiting to escort me to gym. After gym, I took my time, telling Brendon I would just meet him at lunch at the table we were at the day before. I took my shower and relished in the drowning feeling the water gave me – a break over the drowning feeling I was getting from Brendon. It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate the attention he was giving me it was just that, unlike most girls my age, I hated being that close to someone all the time. I needed breaks, I needed to be alone – I liked it. But this was the new me, the me that didn’t get into trouble, the me that wanted to be with someone – or at least that was who I was told to be by mom.
I got changed back into my regular clothes and walked through the halls on my way to lunch when I saw Ryan standing at his locker. “Hey,” he said.
“So you’re talking to me now?” I asked. I had already had two classes with him today and not a word.
“I was not NOT talking to you,” he said with a grin. I took a few steps closer and he pushed himself from the wall, “How are the school’s two newest lovebirds doing?”
“Fine,” I said. I couldn’t tell from the tone of his voice whether or not he was jealous or just being an asshole so I pretended not to care, “Joining us for lunch?”
“I’ve got a better idea,” he said cornering me against the locker, “We could just skip lunch,” he smiled a devilish smile that made me weak at the knees. Old Regan would have been all over him – but new Regan wouldn’t take it. Before I could react, Ryan kissed me and I kissed back – but only for a moment. The minute his hand began to tug at the edge of my shirt I pushed him away.
“No Ryan,” I said in a taunting voice, “You and I already had our fun, plus I’m with Brendon now. Kay?” and I walked away. Ryan laughed a little as I waved at him from over my head and headed out to lunch.
The rest of the day went on like a blur, as did cross country practice afterwards. My days became routine and everything began to settle down for me until lunch a week later. Brendon and I were still together but it was still like we were friends, who just kissed. At least that was how it felt for me. Everything was fine – Brendon, Spence, Ryan, Jon and I were all hanging out a lot, no weirdness, and Ryan backed off. It was finally working out and I began to feel like a new Regan. Until the blonde she-devil Alexis showed up to our table.
All of the guys, excluding Brendon, gave her the death glare as she sauntered up to the table near the end of lunch. “Hey guys,” she said, not acknowledging me. She didn’t waste a moment on waiting for their response before she dove into her reason for being at the table, “I’ll cut to the chase,” she said, “You’re going to be my boyfriend again.” It wasn’t a question, or a plea, but an order. Brendon dropped my hand and looked confused, “Things with Derek… I miss you. So I want you back,” she batted her eyelashes and I knew that she won. Over the past week I had learned about Brendon and Alexis’s relationship and that no matter the circumstances in which they broke up – her cheating, dumping, or just annoyances – he always took her back.
He looked over at me and I smiled, “Its fine,” I said, “We’re better off as friends anyways.” All of the guys looked at me confused but I managed to get across the point to let it go and they did. Alexis took Brendon away and they all stared at me,” What?” I asked.
“Smooth,” Spencer said, “Never seen this side of you Regan. Three months ago you would have clawed the bitches eyes out.”
“This is me trying to change,” I said, “But I still want to claw her eyes out.”
The rest of the day went on like normal, though Brendon tried not talking to me during the few classes we had together that day and I let it slide. Practice was just what I needed and by the time I got home, I felt brand new – like everything washed away with my shower. I got out and changed into some brown shorts and a yellow tank top throwing my damp hair into a pony tail. I crashed onto my bed and was surprised at the feeling I was getting – rejection. I knew to expect it when I saw Alexis approach us but the fact that I was so easily dropped by Brendon stung more than I thought it would have. It had gotten me down, as much as I hated letting it show.
I picked up my phone to play a good old game of scrabble when it began to ring. It wasn’t a number I had saved in my phone but I recognized the area code was from my old area in DC. “Hello?” I said answering it on the second ring.
“Regan?” A voice said.
“This is Regan, who is this?”
“This is Katrina’s mother, Susan,” the voice said. My heart stopped. I used to be best friends with Katrina back home until about six months before I left. Katrina and I had gotten into trouble one night after a party and when the police came, she threw me under the bus and claimed I had drugged her and forced her to come to the party so she wouldn’t get in trouble. The police believed her. After that, Katrina became even more reckless now that she figured out that she could just lie and get off scotch free with her mom.
“Mrs. Evanston,” I said, “How are you?” I was confused, was something wrong? Was Katrina missing? My heart began to race at all of the thoughts.
“I thought you should know that Katrina passed away two days ago,” Mrs. Evanston said slowly, it sounded rehearsed.
“What?” I said. I couldn’t believe it. “What happened? I mean.. How….”
“What do you mean ‘How’?” the woman spat out. “Drugs. And its all your fault. She was a good girl until she met you. You had to drag her down with you into teenage hell and it got her killed. It shouldn’t have been her,” there was a moment of silence that seemed to stretch for hours, “It should have been you. You went and took an innocent, sweet girl and turned her into a monster. A monster who thought she was invincible. It’s all your fault.”
I had nothing to say. I didn’t have the heart to tell her mother that Katrina was the one who died to go to all of the parties and made me go with her. That Katrina was that one that pressured me to get into most of the stuff I was involved in back home. “I’m so sorry Mrs. Evanston..”
“You don’t get to be sorry. I had to bury my daughter today and it shouldn’t have been her, it should have been you that got put underneath the ground today.” And she hung up. I held the phone to my ear, expecting to hear her say something else. To apologize. Anything. But all I got was silence.
I sat thinking for the next I don’t know how long… Maybe it was my fault. I shouldn’t have abandoned her when I did. Maybe if I had forgiven her she wouldn’t have become so reckless. But I was only seventeen! I shouldn’t have been the one shouldered with the responsibility to look out for her. After I stopped being friends with Katrina I had settled down a bit, not a lot, but enough for my mom to notice. It must have been my fault. In the beginning, I was never comfortable going out all the time, doing drugs or drinking, but I loved being with Katrina and then the lifestyle just grew on me – became me. It was my fault, in my own ways.
Changing who I was didn’t change the fact that the world still fell apart around me. It didn’t change the fact that I was the reason my dad left my mom, it didn’t change the fact that Katrina died because I didn’t stand up for myself, it didn’t even keep Brendon from dumping me. Changing was useless. “Fine,” I said, “If the new model isn’t working, maybe I should just stick with the classics.”
I picked up my phone and hit my contacts list. I scrolled down near the bottom and hit the number I was looking for, “Hey can I come over?” I asked. The voice gave me the go ahead and I snatched up my purse and took off, leaving a note for Spence that I was hanging out with some girls from school and would be home by ten.
“Surprised that you called,” Ryan said when he opened up the door to his house, “Come on in.”
“Me too,” I said.
“So whats up?” Ryan asked, “Everything okay?” He almost seemed like he was actually concerned. I shrugged it off, “Anything I can help with?”
“Well now that you mention it,” I said giving him a grin. Old Regan was back to play. I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him – obviously catching him off guard.
His hands instinctively wrapped around my waist pulling me closer and he laughed a little, “Well then,” he said. He lead me upstairs to his bedroom and closed the door behind him. I dropped myself down onto the bed and quickly stripped off my tank top and he took off his shirt. Within a matter of seconds we were both without any article of clothing and intertwined once more in between the sheets.