‘Sex evokes emotions we just don’t understand.’ That’s never really been true for Taylor, but now it is.
-I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause he never did.-
Waves rolled in, one after the other. I held Ryan’s token in my hand as I watched. “You threw away five years for a quick high… Was it worth it?” I whispered, letting my words get carried away by the wind.
It wasn’t often that I let myself reflect on my own life. I always thought myself stronger than the rest of the world. I thought romance was a funny thing, so foolish… I always thought I was smarter than that but… Well, when I kissed Mikey last night I closed my eyes the way that girls did in movies.
And when I kissed Mikey I almost felt better again, better than I had in a really long time. What was wrong with me? Why did I even tell him anything about my old life? I wasn’t that girl anymore. I was who I made myself out to be. I was Taylor, supreme call girl… I was paid to … I was paid to make Mikey feel the things that I was feeling. What the hell was wrong with me?
“It’s beautiful.” Mikey whispered, making me jump.
“I- I didn’t hear you.” I whispered. My throat felt raw. I didn’t understand why. It’s not like I’d actually allowed myself to cry, despite how low I was feeling. I never cried. I hadn’t cried since I was 18- since then the only tears I’d shed were fake, and that’s how it would be forever. I wouldn’t hurt again. I couldn’t handle it. I was stronger than that. If I had been this strong years ago then maybe, just maybe I would have been able to save Ryan. But I couldn’t. And now this was who I was. I was bitter, and stung by the past. But I was strong.
“I didn’t mean to startle you. Are you cold?” Mikey awkwardly put his hand on me but I pulled away, as I quickly fell in to character. This was the morning after scene. I could make it dramatic. I could make him think I hated myself… well, because I did.
It just wasn’t for the reasons he had been tricked in to believing.
“I’m fine. I just wanted the chance to say goodbye to the beach. It is pretty here in the morning.” I answered, trying to keep my voice strong- but not too strong. For someone who’d never taken acting classes I was a damn good actress, in the worst ways possible.
“Taylor, I think we need to talk.” Mikey whispered. I could sense his discomfort.
“Mikey- I-“ I forced my voice to crack at the perfect moment and I blinked away forced tears. I turned to face him, just to let him see how cracked I was forcing myself to be. “I know what you must think of me… and I- you- you’re right. I’m just… I just, I’m so stupid and so… such a –a whore.” Perfection. My heart wasn’t really in to it this time though.
I didn’t understand it. I wasn’t stupid enough to form feelings for Mikey but he… He treated me like a person, and he talked to me like a friend- and I was just playing with him. It wasn’t like me to feel this way but I couldn’t help it this time. There was something so innocent about Mikey, something I’d never really seen before. Maybe it’s because I was blind to the world- and I only saw what I wanted to see. I wanted to go back to that though. I just wanted things to be black and white- and all about money. I wanted to stop questioning things, like why I was making Mikey look at me like that.
“What?” Mikey breathed in sharply, “A whore? No. Hell no Taylor. Look at me.” He snapped.
I gazed in to his eyes, with complete confidence that he would see only what I let him see.
“I was afraid when I woke up that… that I’d scared you away.” Mikey breathed out, and laughed roughly. “Then I realized I’d just slept with my brother’s girlfriend and well, you know. There’s guilt, and all those other stupid feelings… but more than that I was just worried about you.”
“Worried about me?” I feigned innocence.
Mikey nodded, “I was worried about where you were and- and how you were feeling. I don’t want you to feel like this. I don’t ever want you to feel like a whore. You’re not a whore.” He spoke the words with complete confidence and I was just a little caught off guard with his intensity and protective tone. “You’re beautiful Taylor, inside and out.” For a second I wanted to believe him. “I worry that you don’t see that.”
“I just cheated on Gerard.” I breathed out, staring in to Mikey’s eyes as I batted my eyelashes. “I’m pretty sure beautiful isn’t the word most people would use to describe me.”
Mikey chuckled, “And you’re still funny post sex.”
I cracked a small smile, “Did you expect that your dick would magically turn me in to someone else?”
“Hey, sometimes that shit happens.” Mikey teased.
“I think usually when that happens it was the alcohol the night before, not the girl the morning after.” I informed him.
Mikey laughed again, “Right, of course.”
“I’m sorry Mikey… I’ll- I’ll tell Gerard when we get back and… I’ll shamefully move on.” I wiped at my eyes as if I were crying, though I hadn’t let a single tear drop free yet.
Mikey sighed heavily and took hold of my hand. He gazed at my brother’s token from NA. “For five years he did good.” He whispered, “For five years he fought.” I easily kept up with the subject change, seeing as how this subject was close to my heart- and hard for me not to keep up with.
“Just to lose in the end.” I whispered back, and this time the tears I held back were real. I let Mikey in an inch, but even that was too much. He knew what could really hurt me. It wasn’t like me to be so careless; to be so open.
“Maybe that’s not the end he chose to remember.” Mikey informed me in a somewhat cheerful voice. His hand was still holding on to mine, the hand that was holding the token. “What happened in those five years?”
That was something I’d never talked about to anyone. “He went to school… um, he got a two year degree. After that he got a job that he really liked and he found a girl. Her name was Alex and-“ I laughed as I thought of Alex and Ryan. “They fell in love. God, they were so perfect. I used to think that I’d give anything to be like them.”
“So, for five years he was pretty damn happy.” Mikey commented.
“Yeah but he- he broke her heart. He ruined not just his life, but hers too!” I could still taste the rage he’d left me with.
“Hey-“ Mikey leaned closer and I felt a little faint as he lightly pressed his lips to mine again. My eyes fell closed, though I tried so desperately to keep them open. “But they were happy, and even if they were only truly happy for a second… and even if they fought- and even if they hated each other sometimes… They were happy Taylor.”
“What are you getting at?” I whispered teasingly.
“Happiness is everything Tay.” Mikey answered, as his lips teasingly kissed mine again but only for a second. “So, why don’t you let go of all that anger you’re so obviously holding in? Why don’t you let go of this stupid notion that you’re a whore… and why don’t you be happy, even if only just for a second?”
I gazed at Mikey questioningly, “What makes you so sure that I’m not happy already?”
“Because you hold on to that token for dear life and it’s not a good thing.” Mikey replied.
“W-what?” Okay, so he was confusing me. Was he trying to read me? … Was he right?
“How do you feel when I do this?” Mikey lightly kissed me again, but the kiss lasted long enough to cause my eyes to fall shut once again- though only for a moment.
“I feel… good.” I admitted, dropping my act completely. “But it’s wrong.”
“It’s wrong?” Mikey’s fingers pried the token from my hand, “Like it was wrong for your brother to leave you and Alex?”
“Uh, yeah…” I felt bare without the token.
“Maybe it wasn’t wrong at all Taylor… Maybe it was-“ I cut Mikey off promptly as I pushed him away lightly.
“Don’t you dare take his side. He- he left us all. He selfishly just gave up…” My words trailed off as angry tears surfaced in my eyes.
“Maybe he held on to the time when he was happy but he knew deep inside that he would never get that back, and maybe he understood that by continuing to ruin his life he was just causing pain.” Mikey reasoned, in an all too calm tone.
“So, giving up is the right option?” How had we even gotten here?
“He gave up so that you could live without worrying about him.” Mikey whispered, “Maybe he knew that the temptation was too strong… and he didn’t want to be a burden anymore.”
I felt the familiar burn behind my eyes and I tried so hard to push it away. It had been years since I’d last cried, truly cried. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do this in front of Mikey. “He could’ve tried.”
Mikey glanced down at the token before placing it back in to my hand, “This is proof that he did try Taylor.”
“Why are you doing this to me?” I finally asked, “Why are you trying to make me feel this way? Is this payback? Look I’m sorry that I cheated on your brother and I- I’m so-“
Mikey cut me off with another kiss, “Last night made me happy.”
“… What?” I pretended to be speechless.
“You make me happy.” Mikey responded matter-of-factly. “I like you. It sucks that you’re with my brother but I like you, I really do. I’m saying that this happiness is worth it to me. It’s worth it happening. I’m happy that it did so I wish you could be happy too. I guess what I’m saying is… don’t tell Gerard. Don’t ruin his happiness just because we decided to uh, have our own happy time.”
I nearly laughed out loud, “Our own happy time?”
Mikey chuckled, “Yeah.”
“So, you’re saying I should lie to Gerard?”
“No, don’t lie to him. Just don’t… don’t tell him about this- or this.” Mikey kissed me again, but this time it was deeper. His hands rested on the back of my head as the kiss deepened and I allowed his tongue entrance. I suddenly became all too aware that I hadn’t had a toothbrush to brush my teeth with upon waking. Mikey didn’t seem to take notice though, and as he pulled away he was smiling. “Let that token mean something other than unhappiness to you. Let it mean that happiness counts, no matter how short of a period of time that happiness lasts.”
That was surprisingly… deep, and I was still a little lost on how he reached his conclusion but I think he was too.
Mikey glanced out at the water, “Uh, Mikey?” I gained his attention quickly.
“Yeah?” My lips tasted like him.
“I liked last night too.” I whispered, watching as a smile grew upon his face.
For the first time in a long time I hated that I was just pretending. I hated that I was a liar by trade. I hated myself completely, and I wasn’t hiding that fact from myself. I was just a high class prostitute, selling more than sex. I sold heartbreak.
Mikey and I were sitting on the dock watching the water, and listening to the birds when he suddenly spoke up, “Can I talk you in to trusting me?”
“I don’t think that’s something you talk people in to doing.”
“Okay, can I talk you in to giving me the benefit of the doubt on this then?” Mikey proposed.
“Uh, on… Okay, fine.” I suddenly gave in, deciding that whatever Mikey had in mind couldn’t be that bad. Well, I hoped.
Mikey stood suddenly, extending his hand. “Come on.” I took his hand and let him pull me up.
He excitedly walked me off the dock, to the water line on the shore. “We are going in.” He informed me.
“Uh, okay?” I awkwardly walked in to the water with him, letting the cold water shock my skin. “Okay, that’s far enough.” The water was a little above my knees now.
Mikey stopped, “No Taylor… We are going in, like actually going in. I’m going to give you a quick swimming lesson.”
“Yeah, you’re right. It’s not actually a swimming lesson because I swear I’ll be holding on to you the whole time but it’ll still be a full water experience.” Mikey replied, with a ridiculously cute grin.
“Mikey, its cold.” I turned to face him.
Mikey’s grin grew as his hands slipped to my waist. “You’re right. It is cold.”
“We still have to get home in these clothes.” I reminded him, “And they are soaked all over again.”
Mikey laughed, “Yeah, but they are already soaked so getting out now really wouldn’t change anything.” He moved further, pulling me with him.
Suddenly my feet couldn’t touch the ground.
I closed my eyes tightly as I pushed my body to Mikey’s. “Mikey- Mikey… I don’t like this.”
Mikey laughed, “Taylor, honey… my feet are still touching the ground.”
“What?” I opened my eyes in surprise and found that if I was on my tippy toes I could still touch. Oh…
Mikey laughed, “Hey, its okay. We don’t have to go any further. You still have control out here… You just use me for support. I’m your control, okay?”
“That means I don’t have control.” I informed him, “You have control.”
“Yeah, well I give all my control to you so there, you’re in control again.” Mikey grinned.
I couldn’t help but smile as well. “Fuck, fine. Come on… let’s… uh, swim.”
Mikey chuckled and pushed us both forward in to the water.
Well… It was cold, and I was drowning… but then there Mikey was and I was safe. I was safe, but in such a dangerous predicament because the look he was giving me… that look was mirrored upon my own face as I looked at him.
But that wasn’t the game plan.