Frank finds he isn't the only one who Taylor has crossed while learning just how badly Taylor crossed him in the past.
The bakery was right down the street from my place, so I decided to drop the things I’d picked up for my mom before joining Taylor there. We’d settled on getting something sweet, instead of dinner- since it was well past dinner time. The bakery was 24/7 and the perfect place to just chill… for however long we could stand each other. It seemed like a safe starting point in my friendship with Taylor.
I was really thinking of being friends with the girl that had made my life a living hell ever since we’d met. I must have been drugged at that damn party.
When I arrived I noticed that Taylor was sitting near the back, gazing out the window. She looked exhausted and just a little sad but when she heard the bell above the door clang she looked up and smiled at me. I made my way over with complete confidence, but when it came to Taylor I wasn’t really confident about anything. I had the feeling that she would stab me in the back if given the chance, so I didn’t understand why I was giving her that chance. It was complicated, and in all honesty I just hadn’t really given it thought. I knew it was a bad idea so I didn’t think about it- I just did it.
“Hey, I don’t really know what you like so I just waited.” Taylor admitted.
“My favorite thing here is a strawberry strudel.” I admitted. “And I love vanilla coffee. There is never a time when vanilla coffee is not a good idea.”
“That sounds really good.” Taylor admitted. “I think I’ll just get what you’re getting.”
“Cool.” I wasn’t sitting yet. “I’ll go put in our order.”
I knew the girl at the counter. She always worked nights on the weekends. She was usually friendly but when I approached the counter she was scowling, and her words simply reinforced my feelings towards Taylor. She’d made a lot of enemies. “What are you doing with skankzilla?” Alexis asked, her normal smile gone.
“We are actually just getting desert.” I shrugged, “It’s a little late for dinner.”
“You’re on a date with that bitch?” Alexis asked, eyes widening in horror. “That’s disgusting. I didn’t know you went that low.”
“We’re hanging out.” Once again I shrugged, “I didn’t know I had to check with you before making friends. We only went on what, like one date? … in the back of my car. Yeah, you’re totally not a skank. You’re right. That’s all Taylor.” I rolled my eyes in frustration.
Alexis’s mouth fell open. “How the fuck can you say that to me?”
I simply glared at her, unmoved by her hate towards Taylor. It was weird how I was defending her; it was even weirder that I was actually upset with Alexis for downing her. “Well, let’s see honey… again- we went on a date in the back of my car. Here I am going on a date with Taylor, in a bakery. Do you see the difference between you two? I really think you might want to stop and think before judging someone, because the name certainly fits here- just not Taylor.”
Alexis said nothing but I could tell that she wanted to. She was smart enough not to start shit at work though and as I placed my order I watched her carefully, making sure no spit made its way in to our drinks or food. I wasn’t that in to having Alexis’s spit in my mouth again. The first time was terrible enough.
Alexis smiled sweetly, but her eyes were still angry. “I hope you burn yourself on the coffee, and choke on the strudel.”
“I’ll try.” I returned her ridiculously sweet smile as I took the small tray to the table that Taylor was waiting at in the back. She was reading a magazine that had been sitting on the table behind her.
Taylor glanced up and shut the magazine. “That smells good.”
It did. “You should take a bite of the strudel while it’s all hot and gooey. It’s best that way.” I informed her as I took a bite of my own strudel.
Taylor did the exact same thing, though the heat from the strudel seemed to be too much. She pulled it away and fanned her mouth with her hand as she stuck her tongue out. It was fucking cute. I laughed, “You okay?”
“Hot.” Taylor choked out before smiling weakly and taking another bite. “I’m a little bit of a wimp, and I think my oversensitive taste buds just kind of got burned off.”
“I gave you bad advice.” I laughed again as she carefully took another bite of the strudel, blowing on it first. My strudel was already gone, my taste buds safely unburned. “My apologies. Let me make it up to you…”
Taylor glanced up, waiting to see how I would do that. I stole a quick glance over at Alexis to see that she was still watching us. With a smirk I leaned over the table, pressing my lips against Taylor’s.
At that point it was a total douchebag move on my part. I was kissing Taylor because of Alexis, so that I could rub it in. I was kissing her for all the wrong reasons, when all the right reasons were staring me right in the face. As I pulled away we both tasted of strudel, and Taylor breathed out in surprise. “We uh… We should do that again sometime.” She muttered, with her cheeks stained pink.
“How about right now?” I offered.
Taylor’s eyes consented and I didn’t need to wait for her to speak as I leaned over, spilling my own coffee. I roughly pressed my lips to Taylor’s, tasting strawberry strudel once again. It was so much better coming off her lips, and as I licked my tongue across her bottom lip we were so rudely interrupted. “Uh excuse me, you fucking spilled coffee everywhere Frank.” Alexis scolded.
I gazed at her, hiding my annoyance. “It’s a damn good thing the janitor showed up then.” I moved out of her way, smirking. Taylor stood as well, and I noticed that she was breathing a little hard- and her cheeks were still pink.
I leaned over, whispering in to her ear. “You act like it’s the best you’ve ever had.”
“It was.” Taylor answered in a normal tone.
Well, that was a surprise.
We didn’t stay at the bakery, since Alexis wouldn’t stop glaring at us- and hovering. She was making her point very clear. We were not welcome there on her shift. It was still fun making a mess. I ended up ‘accidently’ spilling Taylor’s coffee as well. Somehow Taylor didn’t pick up on the silent war between myself and Alexis, and I only felt a little guilty that I was using Taylor to make a point to Alexis.
Taylor had done a lot of shit to me, so her momentary kindness didn’t mean it would always be this way. Why not get a little out of it?
I mean… it wasn’t that cruel to do, was it?
We were walking down the road together, having left our cars in the parking lot. “So your style seems to have changed a little.” I commented.
“I’m having a mid-high school crisis.” Taylor frowned, “Though I’m not in the middle of high school. Um, a mid-senior crisis, at the end of senior year? I’m just having a little crisis of identity. That was a little too difficult to explain, and it really shouldn’t have been.”
I chuckled, “You got your point across. So you think that changing the way you dress will change who you are? That’s kind of a … popular girl way of thinking things through.” So I was teasing her. I was still listening.
Taylor sighed but didn’t look over at me. “I know it sounds ridiculous but I don’t know what else to do. I’ve let everything I wear, and who I hang out with define me… and now I just don’t want to be defined that way.”
Whoa, that was deep for Taylor.
“How do you want to be defined?” I stopped walking and so did Taylor. She looked around at all of the rocks and graffiti.
“I don’t want to be defined.” Taylor replied quietly, “I just want to be.”
“I- I think that’s kind of what we all want.” I replied, uncertainly. “Do you really think I want to be the bad boy of the school? Half of the school thinks I’m going to stab them, while the other half frequently asks me for drugs.”
Taylor gazed at me curiously, “Do you even do drugs?”
“Nope.” I shrugged, “I don’t even know where that rumor came from.”
Taylor’s smile was tight. “Do you want to know?”
“Sure, I wonder sometimes but it doesn’t keep me up at night. It’s high school bullshit. It was probably just some idiot with a grudge against me.”
“It was me.” Well, that wasn’t exactly a surprise.
“Why?” I asked.
“I don’t know.” Taylor whispered. “Because that’s just who I was. I started rumors, and I fed them. I turned friends against each other, and started drama… It’s just always been what I’ve done. I never even thought of a reason.”
“Do you know how stupid that sounds?” I asked, shaking my head. “The school called my parents over that. My room was searched- I was watched for months after that. My friends constantly asked me if I was high. No one trusted me.”
I watched as tears built in Taylor’s eyes. “I’m so sorry. I… don’t even have an explanation for you, and that just seems to make things worse. I can’t reason anything in my mind because I’ve never really done anything for a reason. The most thought out thing I’ve done all year is apply three different kinds of lipstick to make an appealing color.” To her credit she did look ashamed.
“That’ll be something great to put on your college application.” I sarcastically remarked.
Taylor didn’t say anything, and I started walking again. I didn’t hear her footsteps though. As I turned I saw that she was just standing there, looking lost.
I stopped again and stared at her, as she nervously brought her eyes to mine. “You… you’re mad, aren’t you?”
“Nope.” I awkwardly answered. “I’m just wondering why you stopped walking.”
Taylor looked completely confused, “You… you still want me around?”
“Well, yeah. I did make this date with you tonight, not with myself- as much as I enjoy my own company.”
Taylor’s blush was obvious, even in the dark of the alleyway that we’d wandered in to. “I’m sorry- I just, I guess I don’t get it. I’ve done so many terrible things to you, and said so many things… out of all the people to be here for me it’s you. I just don’t get it.”
I was surprised by another emotional admission from her. She was anything but what I expected. I kind of expected to be going out on a date with a robot, because that’s always what I’d linked her to in my mind. Taylor, the popular robot girl- a mind made up from pages out of fashion magazines. She hadn’t mentioned make-up, or clothing though. She hadn’t gone off about social circles, and the importance of popular people being above ‘common’ nerds. She hadn’t insulted anyone. She’d simply been honest, about her feelings and her past social crimes.
I figured I might as well be honest too. “I don’t really get it either. I’m just some loser, but tonight I’m willing to ignore the fact that I’m blurring the social lines and just be with you. Tomorrow things will be different I’m sure, but tonight I want to hang out and… Hey, have you ever played Mortal Kombat?”
Taylor turned away and frowned but once she turned back to me she was smiling, “Nah. Is it fun?”
“Fun?” I rolled my eyes. “It’s epic! Come on. We need to get back to my car. I’m kidnapping you so that we can play video games. Do you think your parents will mind?”
Taylor just shook her head as she gazed at me in amusement, “I’ll probably suck. I’ve never played video games before.”
I was in shock at that statement. “I’ll teach you.”