"He's an asshole."
“What’s up?” he says as he comes in. I shrug.
“Homework,” I reply.
“So you had a nice night, huh?”
“Yep,” I answer, scribbling something down in my notebook.
“So… your girlfriend is very shy.”
“She doesn’t like people.”
“How long have you guys been having sex,” Patrick asks, sitting down on his bed. I keep my back to him.
“We haven’t been for very long.”
“What happened to her?”
I look over at him, “What do you mean?”
“It’s kind of obvious. She hides behind you. She doesn’t ever look me in the eye. The only time I’ve ever seen her talk to someone directly was when it was you and once to a girl that I brought over. Otherwise she’s very timid. She’s got that wicked scar across her eyebrow. Plus I could hear what you were saying to her last night; when you were asking her if she was scared.”
I go back to scribbling, “It happened a year ago.”
I pause mid-sentence to consider if I should tell him or not. I figure maybe if I tell him he’ll be a little less rude around Amber. Maybe it will prevent him from coming onto her like I am afraid he is going to do. Maybe he’ll be less likely to ask Amber himself.
“She was raped,” I say finally.
I see Patrick nod out of the corner of my eye, “That’s really sad.”
“Yeah,” I go back to scribbling.
“She’s really cute though.”
I pause again, finally turning to look at him, “If you ever lay a hand on her, I’ll kill you.”
Patrick puts his hands up in mock surrender, “Easy dude, I was just saying.”
“So was I,” I answer before turning back to my work. Neither of us says another word to each other the rest of the night.
Although I was pretty sure Patrick got the hint to leave Amber and I alone, he proves me wrong. There are a few times when he tries to get me to go party with him on the promise of meeting girls. I always decline. Patrick also spends a large majority of his time in the cafeteria hitting on girls. His game is to tell them their boyfriends are cheating on them and that he is a good shoulder to cry on. I cut off all communication with him when he tires to bring me into it.
It isn’t until Friday that he completely steps over the line. I am heading back to my dorm after classes when I find him in the hallway with Amber. She is waiting for me like she said she’d be…Patrick has his ‘game face’ on. It is apparent that Amber is not only uncomfortable but shaken as well. Her eyes are glistening. Patrick is smirking.
“I’m going home,” I hear Amber say as I continue down the hall towards them. “Tell Frank I’ll call him later.”
Amber turns to walk away but Patrick grabs her wrist, pulling her back to him. To say I am angry would be an understatement. Instead of showing it I keep level headed and quicken my pace.
“Let me go,” Amber says.
“You don’t have to go. Stay with me a little while longer. I hate to brag but I’ve been told I’m an excellent listener…even better at comforting a broken heart.”
Patrick is using his ‘your boyfriend cheated on you’ routine. Why he thinks Amber will fall for it, I’m not sure. Maybe he’s just trying to be a dick.
“The problem is that I hate your fucking guts and I want to go home.”
“I understand what you’re going through right now, Amber, but you can trust me.”
“Leave me the fuck alone and let me go.”
Finally I reach them. Unable to keep my anger locked up inside any longer, I grab a handful of Patrick’s hair, yanking him away form Amber. I push the cocky jackass against the wall on the other side of the hall.
“Don’t fucking touch her!” I shout.
Patrick puts his hands up in a defensive gesture, “Chill out, man. We were just having a conversation.”
“I already fucking told you to stay the hell away from her. If you ever touch her like that again I’ll kill you.”
I turn around to go back to Amber. Her green eyes are welling up with tears, a hurt look plastered to her face. Something Patrick has said really upset her.
“Aw, c’mon, Amber, are you really going to trust this fuck?” Patrick says from behind me.
I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to do this. Mainly because I am afraid Patrick will kick my ass and also because I don’t want Amber to see me doing something violent. In the end I figure I just have to do it, the prick is never going to get the point unless I do it. So, in my moment of bravery, I spin around and throw my fist forward. It connects with Patrick’s cheek, causing him to fall back against the wall. I wait for him to come back at me, but he doesn’t. He’s finally got the message…that’s all I care about. After a few seconds I take Amber’s hand and pull her away from Patrick.
“What did he say to you?” I ask Amber as I lead her down the hall, cautious in case Patrick comes at me from behind.
“He said you’ve been cheating on me. He said to ask you about a girl named Sierra.” I roll my eyes. “That you were riding her like Seabiscuit the other day.”
I sigh heavily, “Amber, I’ve never fucking cheated on you. That’s his game. He’s a fucking prick and I knew he was going to try something like this eventually.”
I do my best to keep my anger under control. The last thing I want to do is scare Amber.
“Sierra’s his sister’s name. She’s fucking fourteen. I’ve never even met her. Otherwise I don’t know any other Sierra’s. He’s a sick fuck. I hate him. I’m done with this fucking place.”
“What are you going to do?”
When we get to the stairwell I turn Amber to face me, “I’ve had an idea for a few weeks but I haven’t done much about it yet. It just depends on what you want to do and if our parents are willing to help us out and if they won’t freak out for that matter.”
“I found a few apartments for rent that are pretty cheap. I was thinking if our parents would be willing to loan us the money for the down payment we could get jobs and well… move in together.”
Amber looks at the cement steps, Patrick’s words are bothering her more that I ever thought they would, “You promise you’ve never cheated on me?”
“Amber.” I take her face in my hands and force her to look me in the eyes, “I’ve never cheated on you, okay? The thought has never even crosses my mind. Beside you’re with me all the time except for at night. We’ve spent maybe a total of three days apart since you started taking art classes. I promise you that Patrick is a fucking bullshit liar who wants to get in your pants. I’ve never cheated on you; Amber…I’d never want to.”
She nods, a few strands of red hair falling in her face, “I’m sorry, I just…maybe I’m naïve.”
“You’re not naïve. That’s just his game. I’ve even heard him use that one once before in the cafeteria. I stopped hanging out with him after he started trying to get me to join him. Why would I do something that could potentially destroy our relationship when you’re the only person I want to be with…to do it with, anyway?”
“Don’t be,” I answer, gently stroking her cheek. “I’m sorry he cornered you. He’s an asshole.”
Amber smiles, “That was a good punch.”
I laugh and kiss her quickly, “So what do you say…want to move in with me?”
Amber smiles and nods, “I’d love to.”