Chapter One: Brody
It has been 4 years and six days since I last talked to Melanie Ryans. Actually, that's a lie. I said hi to her in the hallway once last year; she ignored me. Nevermind, I don't know if that counts. She was the first girl I'd ever seen naked, though I'm sure she looks much different now. That was in middle school. She was my best friend for about four years; the days when we talked about never sacrificing our grades to be popular and how girls that had sex with boys they weren't dating were sluts. I think we spoke too soon.
I watched Melanie evolve into the one person we both promised never to be. She is a cheerleader. Right now she is, I believe, single, but she has definitely had her fair share of football players in her bedroom. Granted, I have also had my share of girls, but I don't broadcast it to the school. She acts dumb as a post, though I know she's not. She brushes off nice people because they don't fit in with her group of friends. She's not the MOST popular girl in school, but she's definitely second or third. She dropped me like a bad habit when Ashlee (another very popular girl) started to notice her during our freshman year. This is how the conversation went:
Ashlee: "Hey Mel, you wanna sit with us at lunch today?"
Melanie (as she started to sit down next to me): "Definitely! I only sat here because I didn't see any other spots."
That was the last time I really heard her speak indirectly towards me. I figured it was just a one-day thing. Sooner than I expected, no responses to my texts or calls. I even went knocking on her door once. Her mom answered and said she wasn't home, but I knew Melanie had told her to say that. As school continued to go on that year, I could tell she felt bad; but she started to feel less and less bad. Obviously, now, she doesn't feel guilty at all, but it's still tense if we even make eye contact.
Regardless of the unfortunate transformation, I have loved that girl since day one. I've given up on trying to forget about her, because I can't. I've been sitting here, waiting for the day that she needs me again. That's just how karma works. She's going to have to need something from me someday. That has been my mentality since she last time she spoke to me.
Today was that day.
I was driving home from school. It was raining really hard, which is so annoying to drive in. It was basically impossible to see, even with my wipers on, so I pulled over to the side of the road to wait out the rain until it got a little lighter. I looked out my passenger window and saw someone sitting on the sidewalk, just curled up into a ball, probably crying. They had a hood on, but when they looked up I knew it was Melanie. I ripped off my seatbelt and forced my door open against the wind. I ran over to her and clutched her face to make sure she was conscious and hadn't been hurt. "Melanie?" I asked hurriedly, "What's wrong?" She just shook her head and avoided eye contact. I scooped her up and carried her back to my car. I shoved her into the passenger seat and buckled her in, scurrying back into the car to get out of the rain. I started to drive back to my house but kept trying to pry information out of her. "Mel, talk to me. I need to make sure you're okay. Do you need me to call someone?"
"No," her voice crackled to life and my heart sang.
"Do you want to go home or ... ?" I looked over at her, and for the first time in four years and six days, she looked directly into my eyes. I knew she didn't want to go home, so I stopped talking. Clearly she was fine. She must have just gotten into a fight with her mom or something. She used to fight with her a lot, mainly over stupid things.
I pulled into my driveway. I walked to her side of the car to open the door for her but she had already gotten out on her own. The rain had let up. I looked at her, and she looked back at me expectantly. She was wearing a tight black zip-up hoodie and black yoga pants. Her makeup was running down her face and her hair was saturated by the downpour of rain. She looked beautiful. I led her into my house, which hadn't changed much since the last time she'd been in it. My parents were still at work and I had one older brother who was away at college. Mel used to have a crush on him.
"Do you need something to eat? Or drink? What do you need?" I asked in a way that I hope didn't sound irritated. She shook her head. "Melanie, you gotta help me out. I can't do much for you if you don't tell me what to do."
"Um, actually, could I ... Um .." she trailed off, embarrassed, I think.
"Just tell me," I spoke softly.
"Could I take a shower, maybe? The rain was freezing." I had only just noticed that her lips were a light purple color. Then I thought about Melanie taking a shower in my house. Melanie taking a shower in my bathroom. Melanie naked in my bathroom. I swallowed uneasily but nodded reassuringly. She let out a breath she must have been holding. I think she tried to smile but didn't quite make it there.
I led her to my room and into my bathroom. I got out a towel for her and went to grab my mom's shampoo and conditioner. I didn't think she would want to use mine. She just stood in the bathroom quietly while I gathered things for her. When I thought I had finished I asked if she needed anything else. She shook her head and looked at me appreciatively. "Okay," I whispered and walked out, shutting the door behind me. I heard the shower turn on and wondered how long she would be. I walked into the kitchen and made the only thing I knew how to make; grilled cheese with tomato soup. I couldn't remember if she liked it or not but I was hopeful. My mom wouldn't be home for a few hours so she wouldn't yell at us for eating before dinner.
"Brody!" I heard her call from the bathroom. I dropped the bag of bread I was opening and ran to help her, thinking she was hurt. I stopped at the bathroom door. What if she was naked? "You can come in," she said gently. For some reason, I started to get really nervous. It's not like I hadn't slept with girls before, but Melanie was so different. Not that I was expecting to sleep with her, but I'd be lying if I said the thought hadn't occurred to me.
I opened the door and walked in how I hoped looked confidently. The shower was on but she wasn't in it. She was still dressed in her wet clothes. "Are you okay?" I prodded.
"I just," she smiled a real smile and exhaled something that almost sounded like laughter, "I think my wrist is sprained and I need some help getting my clothes off."
My eyes widened. "Okay." She had already taken her sweatshirt off on her own and was dressed in a blue t-shirt and her yoga pants. I stepped towards her cautiously because I could tell she was nervous. I looked down. Her whole left forearm was bruised pretty badly. I put my hands around her hips to start lifting up her shirt and her breathing stilled. I pulled her shirt first over her right arm, then peeled it down her left arm so she didn't have to move her wrist. She was in only a bra and her pants but I made sure to look at her face and not her body. Still, I could feel my dick getting hard. Her face turned bright red so I knew she saw it too but she pretended not to notice. Why would she blush? It's not like she hasn't been with guys before.
"Could you just unsnap my bra and take my hair out of the tie and then I can do the rest on my own?" she asked shakily. I began to take her hair out of her ponytail after she turned so her back was facing me. I made quick work of it then moved my fingers down her back to help her with her bra. I heard her gasp quietly. "You okay?" I asked. She nodded. I unsnapped it and she held it against her chest, obviously waiting for me to leave. I turned to exit, practically shaking. "Thank you," she squeaked out. I cleared my throat, "You're welcome."
I walked back into my room, closing the door behind me once more. I let out a breath I didn't know I had been holding. I sat down on a chair in the corner of my room to try and get my shit together. I ran my hands through my hair and locked them behind my neck. How did this even happen? Fuck karma. What are the actual odds of her ever needing me? And yet, here she was, taking a shower in my room. I went back to the kitchen to finish making the food. I set out some plates and put everything out on the counter so she could choose what she wanted.
I heard the shower turn off and my bathroom door open. She walked into the kitchen with a towel wrapped around her small body and I couldn't take my eyes off her. I could tell she didn't have any makeup on. She looked embarrassed, but she looked beautiful. "Forgot to ask for dry clothes," she mumbled but smiled politely. "Right," I answered breathlessly but didn't make a move to go get them. She looked around nervously and I got it together, "I'm gonna grab some from my mom's room for you."
"Oh. Brody, are you sure that's okay? Maybe she wouldn't like that."
My heart shook. She had said my name for the first time in four years. "My mom still loves you, Mel." I returned with simple clothes for her in no time. I went back to my room to change and to get her wet clothes to wash them. After I had done everything I thought necessary, I sat down with her and we devoured all the food in silence.