Maybe tonight I would figure out why everyone thought Alex was so damn bad.
The front door opened before I could even knock, or reach the door itself. It seemed Brendon was waiting, and he looked just as nervous as I felt. “Hi.” He awkwardly smiled, “You said it was important so I… “ He trailed off, sounding unsure as to where he should go with the sentence.
“I think it’s important.” I walked inside as he held the door open for me, softly shutting it behind me. “Hi.” I added, just as awkwardly.
“Do you want something to eat, something to drink, to sit down?” Brendon’s voice rose as he spit the words out and I was surprised with just how nervous he seemed.
What was his big secret?
“Why are you so nervous?” I hadn’t even told him what I wanted to know. Was it that big of a secret, to dominate his entire mind at the mention of something serious?
“The last time you were here you left mad, and now you want to talk about something important. How could I not be nervous?” Oh.
“Can we… talk in private?” The living room seemed too open, and I wasn’t sure how personal the conversation was going to be.
“We are alone.” Brendon answered. “My parents left for business again.” He sounded sad. He probably was. I hadn’t thought much about it but his parents were gone a lot, and it probably wasn’t something new. How long had Brendon been alone in his life?
“It just feels wrong to talk here. It’s too open.” And I was nervous. Did I want to know? Alex’s smile led me to believe that I didn’t want to know, and probably shouldn’t even ask.
Unfortunately that didn’t make the curiosity die.
“Would you like to go up to my bedroom? There is something I want to show you anyway.” Brendon said, extending his hand.
I glanced at it, bubbles erupting in my stomach. Though there was hesitation on my part, I did eventually place my hand in his and I quietly allowed him to lead me upstairs. I didn’t want to see the marks from his past. The last two nights they’d haunted my dreams. I wasn’t sure if it was normal or if I was just weird but I couldn’t get over the sixty two notches upon Brendon’s bedpost.
We stopped outside of Brendon’s door and he took a deep breath. “What’s wrong?” Did he have some skank hiding under his bed? Oh my, I was just being mean now. I really couldn’t help it though. It had been a wake up call for me.
“I hope you like the change I made, for you.” For me?
Slowly he pushed open his door and everything bad faded from my mind. The change was quite noticeable, and with it went the sixty two notches. “When did you do this?” I glanced at the brand new bed, which had a different bed frame, with a beautiful and elegant design. The design didn’t signify how many women he’d slept with… That made it beautiful enough for me.
“Before my dad left he took me to a furniture store in the next town over and I bought the one that I thought you’d like most. We gave the other one to goodwill- bedpost and all.”
Within two days he’d made such a big change- for me. Wow.
“… Do you like it?” Brendon nervously asked.
“I-“ I swallowed, sudden happiness clouding my mind. “You know you didn’t have to do this, right?”
“Yeah but… it made you unhappy and… Can I touch you in here now?” He whispered; lips just inches from my ear. I shuddered as I felt him exhale upon my skin.
“Yes.” I could barely get the word out and just as quickly as I had Brendon was directing me towards his bed, which still felt like it needed to get broken in. It was stiff, but comfortable.
Brendon laid gentle kisses all along my neck, up to my lips and then slowly started kissing down my neck again. I could only focus on the sensation, as I closed my eyes.
What did I come here to ask him?
“We can fight all you want-“ Brendon breathed out, in between kisses. “-just as long as you come back to me in the end I think I’ll be okay.”
I didn’t even know what to say so I said nothing, letting his kisses take me to my happy place- a place I had just recently discovered existed.
Brendon’s warm hand slid up my shirt while the other searched for something in his drawer. I heard the commotion and opened my eyes to see what he was doing. It was then that I saw the condom. “Um, what?” Was I missing something, and what happened to all of that ‘there is a lot we can do together before having sex’ talk?
Brendon set it down beside me. “I want you to be the first one I have sex with on this bed.” The first one? My happy place was gone, and I had lost the directions.
“Excuse me?” My throat was now dry and all I could do was pull away from Brendon, so that I wouldn’t hit him or something, because hitting him sounded really good. It was unfortunate that I wasn’t a violent person.
“Oh no, that came out all wrong.” Brendon spit out, frowning.
“No, I think it came out just how you meant it but you just didn’t want me to catch on to the meaning.” I pulled my shirt down quickly, tossing his condom at him. I felt somewhat proud that I had gotten to throw something, even if it was just a flimsy little condom… which with how flimsy it was… I really didn’t believe in condom use for prevention of pregnancy. I wholeheartedly believed that every single birth control method should be in effect before sex, well… at least for me. So until I discovered them all my pants weren’t coming off.
“Well, I- So what if I might have sex with someone after you? That would be after you.” Oh, I did not want to have this argument.
“That’s nice and you’re right. I don’t have some contract that says if you sleep with me you can never sleep with another but you know, it’s kind of nice to just think of it that way when we are doing something intimate- even just kissing. Can you see how unappealing it is to think of you sleeping with other girls, before we’ve even slept together? You’re planning for it, and that’s just disgusting. Do you have no respect?”
“I do.” Brendon’s face was turning red. “I respect you a lot Juliet.”
“Why?” How? When? “Why do you respect me Brendon?”
Surely he could answer such a simple question.
“Well, because I- I’m supposed to.” Brendon spit out, looking confused.
“I think I’m going to leave now. Why don’t you get back to me when you figure out the real answer to that?” I stood but Brendon stood up faster, and then he was blocking my exit.
I didn’t want to do this.
“Please don’t just go. Look, I don’t have all the answers and I’m not used to doing this-“ Brendon ran his fingers through his hair.
“Aren’t used to doing what?” I wasn’t aware that what we were doing was so unnatural.
“I’m not used to the whole talking thing and being asked things. Usually it’s just sex but you’re different and you’re right- the only woman I’ve ever respected is my mother but I do respect you, or I try to.”
“You might try to but you don’t actually respect me, not yet.” I decided to sit back down on the bed since Brendon wasn’t moving away from the door. “I never thought that things like this would have to be taught. You’re in high school Brendon; you should be a little more… knowledgeable in this area. I’m not all knowing or anything but I do think that two people should respect each other before having sex.”
“It was too soon to even pull the condom out.” Brendon shook his head. “I just got excited- and I forget sometimes that we are taking things slow.”
“A lot slower.” I answered, nodding. “We aren’t even dating…” Though we’d made out how many times now?
“Oh, right.” Brendon blushed. It was kind of adorable and absolutely unexpected. I didn’t know that I had the ability to embarrass him actually… “About that…” Brendon cleared his throat, “We are doing things kind of backwards and though I should be taking you on dates that aren’t disasters before asking this… I’m just going to give it a shot. Will you be my girlfriend?”
Arguing and then this?
I was just a little stunned.
“Yeah.” I answered, not really having to think about it. I did want Brendon. I did like him. Just because I wasn’t good at showing it… didn’t mean I didn’t want to be with him and I couldn’t penalize him for doing what he was used to doing. He just had to realize I wasn’t like the other girls he’d been with, and I didn’t just want to sleep with him.
Brendon’s shoulders relaxed as he let out a sigh of relief, and I cracked a smile. “Come here.” I gestured to his bed, and his eyebrows rose. “I wasn’t done kissing.” I answered his unspoken question.
“Oh, crap. I need to get home.” I checked my cell phone, realizing it was nine, and I still had a lot of reading to do for homework. “Have you been doing your school work while on suspension?”
Brendon was grinning at me, like I was an idiot. “What do you think Juliet?”
“Well, can you at least try to get something done? You still have tomorrow off.” I’d ran my fingers through his hair at least a million times while his lips found every sensitive spot on my body and now his hair looked adorable, though it always did. I actually hadn’t ever caught Brendon on a ‘bad’ day, looks wise.
“How hard do I have to try?” Brendon asked, groaning.
“Hard enough to get it all done.” I fake glared at him, “All of it Brendon.”
“Fine, but those lips of yours better meet me here tomorrow after school. I’m not done with them yet.” Brendon teased, leaning over for one last kiss.
When he pulled away I still got that satisfactory tingle.
That night I finished my homework quickly, though I lacked passion as I answered each question presented. It was hard to think of logical things when my mind was somewhere that lacked logic completely. The two didn’t mix well and my head was filled with hearts and happiness, two things I’d never really connected before.
I picked up my guitar, the taste of toothpaste filling my mouth. All I could think to do was sing. I was dating Brendon now.
The word fit just perfectly in my mouth and I found I liked the way it sounded.
Just like I liked Brendon.
… My boyfriend.
It wasn’t my alarm that woke me up but instead the ringing of my cell phone. Why hadn’t I turned it on vibrate? “Hello?” I sounded sleepy, mostly because I was. I was still partially asleep actually… until Brendon spoke.
“Hi. Did I wake you?” I glanced at the clock.
It was 5 am.
“It’s a good time to get up anyway.” I lied. “What’s up?”
“What did you want to talk about yesterday? You said it was important but then other important things ended up coming up.” I could hear the smile in his voice.
“Oh, Alex asked me to ask you something actually…” I couldn’t quite think straight since I was still so tired but I definitely registered the sharp intake of breath that Brendon took on the other side of the line.
“Alex?” The smile in his voice had disappeared. “You still talk to him?”
“Well, we still go to school together…” What was I supposed to do, place my fingers over my ears as if I were in kindergarten when he spoke?
“I don’t want you to talk to him anymore, okay?”
“Not okay actually.” What was his problem? “He said you have something that you regret and I should ask but I don’t really know… Does it even have anything to do with me?” If it didn’t then I probably should just back off. It was Brendon’s business then.
“Just don’t worry about it babe.” Brendon answered, sounding a little more confident. “Alex is just an asshole, and he just wants to break us up.”
“We just got together.”
“I know. It was a preemptive strike.” He joked.
“I’ve been studying it.” Brendon joked.
“It’s doing your vocabulary some good.”
“It impresses you and that’s all I care about.”
“It does.” I couldn’t hold the yawn back and from there I got stuck in an attack of back to back yawns.
Brendon laughed, “Go back to sleep.”
“Gladly. Good nigh- morning.”
I woke up clutching on to my cell phone, drooling like an idiot. Spencer was sitting on my bed, close enough to make me jump in surprise. “What?” I finally spit out, startled that he was in my room. I glanced at the clock. Oh, I was late. “Why didn’t you wake me up?”
“I was enjoying your whole sleep talk thing, all involving Brendon.” Spencer’s smile grew. “So, you guys are dating now… Or is that just a dream thing?”
“We’re dating now.” I mumbled, cheeks burning in embarrassment.
Spencer stood up, silently laughing. “Well, congrats.” He looked through my closet for a few moments before pulling out a loose black dress, with a white belt. It was more fashionable than I was, and it was something my mother had picked out but I’d never worn. “Wear this.” Spencer said, looking through my top drawer.
“Are you…” My cheeks burned hotter, “Are you picking out underwear for me?” Oh please say you aren’t.
“Well, yeah. We’re a little late.” Spencer replied.
Oh, this was an embarrassing way to start the day.
“You don’t really have anything sexy in here.” Spencer mumbled.
“And why are you trying to have me dress up? Second drawer, in the back.” Why was I telling him that?
Spencer pulled open the second drawer and looked through the back, pulling out a black and pink pair of underwear, and then he quickly found the matching bra. “Perfect! Wear this.”
“Are you gay?”
Damn. A girl could hope.
So, this was as humiliating as I thought it was.
I got out of bed, grabbing the underwear and bra from Spencer quickly. “Turn around or get out.” I snapped, well rested but not ready for this morning.
Spencer turned around, “So, now will you stay away from Alex? I saw you talking to him again yesterday.”
“No.” Where had I put my deodorant? When had my room become so disorganized? Oh, there it is! The upside to wearing a dress was it was easy to put on. “Why would I?”
“Because you’re dating Brendon now and they aren’t friends anymore.”
“So then they can stay away from each other. That doesn’t mean anything to me though.”
Spencer sighed heavily, “He’s not a good guy to be around.”
“Why not?” I placed my hands on Spencer’s shoulders, turning him back to face me. “Why does everyone say he’s so bad? He hasn’t really been bad to me. He’s a little rough around the edges but he’s not horribly evil or anything.”
“It’s not just one thing.” Spencer replied. “And it’s just something you’re going to have to take my word on. Being around him won’t bring anything good. He’s just out to hurt you, because that’s what he does. He hurts people.”
“I’m ready to go.” I didn’t want to discuss it anymore. I didn’t have anything else to say. Brendon, Spencer, Ryan, and Jon could all butt out. I would have to learn these things on my own, and I wasn’t just going to take the whole ‘he’s bad’ thing and run with it.
“You look great.” Spencer commented, winking at me. “Brendon’s an idiot if he doesn’t do this right.” I didn’t quite know what that meant, but I could guess. Spencer didn’t want Brendon to fuck up our new relationship. That made two of us.
“Ow.” I muttered, as the note hit the back of my head. What the hell? Oh shit, I’d dozed off. So much for feeling well rested. Thankfully the teacher didn’t seem to have noticed, and Ryan was fast asleep beside me still.
“Juliet.” Alex was whispering my name, and another note flew past my head, landing on the edge of the desk. I grabbed for it, unfolding it.
-Did you ask Brendon?-
I scribbled back a simple answer, since he didn’t need the details. He didn’t need to know that I didn’t know. He didn’t need to know anything. Damn it. Spencer and Brendon were really making me start to dislike Alex, and it wasn’t fair. That was a call that I should be able to make on my own.
The next note had seemingly dropped the subject, and instead brought up another.
-Will you go out to dinner with me tonight? You can pick where.-
I bit my lip, staring at the note. Was he hitting on me?
-I’m going out with Brendon now.-
I felt stupid but relieved when Alex’s answering note landed on my desk.
-I just wanted to go as friends. It would be nice to talk, without teachers interrupting us.-
I laughed at how backwards that really was, but quickly put my hand over my mouth. Thankfully the teacher hadn’t noticed. Ryan was starting to wake up though.
-Sure.- Seconds after I sent that note I sent another, with my number on it.
Then the bell rang.
Oh shit. I was supposed to go over to Brendon’s after school. I had so much homework though! And then plans with Alex. I didn’t really have the time. Hopefully he would understand.
He didn’t let his phone ring for long. “What’s up?”
“I’m heading home. I have so much homework to do tonight.” I groaned, weirdly not looking forward to the homework.
“Is my nerd starting to hate homework like the rest of us?” Brendon joked.
“Just a little. I won’t be able to come over though.”
“Damn, are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’m sorry.”
“Well… okay.” Brendon sounded hesitant though. “Want to study together tomorrow after school?”
“By study do you mean-“ I instantly cut myself off as Spencer raised an eyebrow, waiting to hear what I had to say. “Sure. I’ll call you later.”
Brendon laughed, “Talk to you later then.”
“Don’t edit yourself because of me.” Spencer said, eyes lit up with amusement.
“Do you want gas money or something?” It felt weird not driving myself to and from school but I was saving a lot on gas.
“Nah.” Spencer pulled in to my driveway. “Be here tomorrow. Maybe I’ll catch another interesting sleep episode of the great life of Juliet.”
I rolled my eyes but stayed in place, “I’m going out to dinner with Alex. Is that weird?”
“What?” Spencer’s eyes widened.
His reaction alarmed me. It wasn’t like I’d just told him I was going to hook for the night. “We are just going to hang out, as friends… We don’t really get a chance to talk in the classroom, for obvious reasons.” Why was I explaining myself to Spencer? I felt nervous about the whole thing, that’s why.
“If you’re just going out with him as a friend then why didn’t you tell Brendon?” Spencer’s tone was accusatory.
“Because he would stop listening the minute I said Alex’s name and you know that.”
“It’s not a good idea.”
“But I’m doing it.”
“Then why tell me at all?”
“I don’t know.” I got out of Spencer’s car, saying nothing more. I hadn’t gotten the reaction I wanted but it didn’t really surprise me.
Maybe tonight I would figure out why everyone thought Alex was so damn bad.