Romy and Kerri talk. Gerard makes his choice.
At around 11PM on Saturday night the doorbell rang. Dad was at work, Ray was sleeping so I was the brave one who had to go downstairs and open the door.
It was Gerard. I greeted him with a smile but he didn’t return the favour “Something wrong?” I asked him, frowning.
He shrugged “We really need to talk.”
So I let him in. Although it was eleven at night and I was exhausted. I was just trying to be a good girlfriend. At the time, I thought it was a family issue or something that he wanted to talk to me about. I don’t know why I thought that, I guess I just thought he just trusted me.
I should’ve realised that a guy starting a conversation with ‘We need to talk…’ was not going to end happily. For the one receiving the ‘we need to talk…’
We stood awkwardly in the hall for a moment before I asked “Do you want to go into the living room or into my room…?”
“The living room please.”
I led him into our living room and sat down on the sofa. He stood there for a moment, trying to decide whether to sit on the sofa next to the one I was sitting on or whether to sit next to me. In the end he chose to sit next to me.
He sighed “Tatiana… Things haven’t been going well for us recently, have they?”
“What do you mean?”
“All we’ve done lately is argue!”
“The last argument we had was like ages ago!”
“Okay fine Tatiana, make me say it.” Gerard took a deep breath before admitting “It’s Charlie. It’s always been Charlie. When she was going out with your brother I thought she was over me. But she isn’t… And I haven’t been able to get her out of my head. I don’t know why, I’ve never been attracted to her until she told me she liked me. I thought it was you Tatiana, I-“
“You’re breaking up with me for a stupid user?” I asked him “You’re leaving me for the girl that crushed my brother’s heart like a… Like a…”
“Why a peanut?”
“Peanuts are pretty easy to crush.”
“Whatever, it doesn’t matter. He broke his heart, what makes you think she won’t do that to you?”
“I know her better than you do,” Gerard protested “I know her better than anybody! She’s my best friend and I want to be with her. I’m really sorry, I never meant to break your heart.”
“But you are!” I told him, starting to cry “Gerard I really like you!”
“And I really like you too!” He lied “But as friends. This relationship, it’s not really working out.”
“I was happy.” I told him bitterly “Weren’t you?”
“Of course I was and I still am!” He told me “I love hanging round with you. We should still do it! But I just… I just want to be with Charlie. I’m really sorry; it’s just the way it is.”
“Get out.” I hissed at him “Get out of my house! And when I tell Ray he’s going to be so pissed off…”
Gerard laughed “You see? This is one of the reasons we couldn’t work out! I’m so much older than me and you still run to your older brother when you get upset. You moaned that he was getting too involved in your relationship when we started going out and now suddenly you want him to stick his nose in? You can’t keep doing that Tati. When things are going well you insist that you’re mature but when things go wrong, you decide that you can’t handle being mature.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“If you go running to Ray about this, he won’t think you’re mature enough to handle any relationship. This break up is between us, not Ray. This was our relationship; Ray was never a part of it.”
I blinked at him before sighing heavily and saying “You’re right. I do choose my times to be grown up and when I want to be treated like a kid. I never really thought about it to be honest. I thought I was mature Gerard… But you’ve made me see that I’m not.”
He pushed a piece of hair out of my eyes “Maybe your next relationship should be with someone your age. Ray would probably be more likely to approve of someone your age. Someone that won’t lie to you-“
“When did you lie to me?”
“Remember? I told you that Romy fancied Ray when she really didn’t?”
Gerard got up off the sofa “I’m going to go now Tatiana. I’m really sorry things didn’t work out between us but you’ll find someone.”
I stood up too and smiled at him “Thanks. And I really hope things work out between you and Charlie. And I’m not just saying that, I mean it.”
I showed him back to the door. Before he left, we shared an awkward hug. He whispered to me “I hope things work out for you.”
And then he left. Surprisingly, I felt a lot better. It kind of hurt that Gerard had broken up with me but the words he’d said made me realise. He was a lot older than me, it just wasn’t right. I needed to start dating someone nearer my own age. And that whole mature thing. I really needed to hear that and I’m glad it was Gerard who’d told me. Right then, I felt superior. Like I could take on anything. That night, I slept with a smile on my face.
“How did you get into my bedroom?” Kerri yelled at me “What the fuck are you doing?”
“I climbed up the uhh thing outside your house!” I told her “That plant like stuff crawling up the side of your house? Yeah, I climbed up that.”
“Well get out!”
“Not until we’ve talked about this!” I said “I feel really bad about what I’ve done.”
“Romy, we’ve already tried talking about this.” Kerri sighed “All that happened was that we got mad at each other.”
I sat on her bed “No. You got mad at me and you had every right to get mad at me. I just wanted to talk to you about something. Before you yell at me to get out please just sit down and listen to me.”
Kerri sighed but sat on her bed opposite me “What is it?”
“I completely humiliated you,” I started “You can’t walk down the corridor without people laughing at you. You’re scared your boyfriend will break up with you.”
“Where’s this going?” Kerri asked angrily.
I sighed before moving on “But the only reason people are laughing and saying mean things is because it’s the latest thing. You get what I mean? If something even more embarrassing happened to someone else… Then they’d leave you alone, right?”
Kerri thought about this “That actually makes a lot of sense.”
“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I feel terrible about what happened because it was obviously all my fault.” I took a deep breath “So I’ll be willing to do the even more embarrassing thing to take the attention away from you and Mikey. I’ll do something so humiliating that it’ll be all people will talk about for ages.”
Kerri gaped at me for a while before asking “You’d do that for me? Or are you doing it for Mikey?”
“I’m doing it for you!” I cried “Mikey’s having a hard time processing this I know but he’s not suffering as much as you. It must be so hard for you. You have home pressures what with your Mom and everything and you can’t even escape it at school. Because people are doing nothing but torment you. It’s not fair and I know it’s my fault. I need to mend it Kerri so please let me.”
Kerri actually smiled at me for a second before saying “I was wrong about you Romy. What you did to me was terrible… But you really are sorry. And you’re doing everything to make it up to me. You’re a lot nicer than I really thought you were. When I first met you I thought you were a little bitchy. But I can admit I was wrong.”
“I was wrong about you too,” I told her “I thought all you cared about was looks and popularity. But there’s a lot more to you than that.”
“Oh my god that’s what I thought about you!”
We both giggled and for a while, we completely forgot about what I’d done.