He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me into his warm chest the minute he walked through the door. “Ah girly, I’ve missed you so much.” Collin lifted me up onto his body and spun me around a couple of times before he set me back down on my feet.
“Collin.” I squealed.
“Have you grown or am I shrinking?” He mocked before ruffling my hair.
“Shut up.” I replied and kiddingly smacked his chest as Clark came descending down the staircase. “Oh Clark, this is my friend from boarding school, Collin. Collin this is my older brother Clark.”
They shook hands, Clark gave a nod and then walked away.
“Come on.” I smiled and pulled Collin hand towards the basement. Instantly, he flipped on a sports game and settled back into the couch. I sat next to him, he put his arm around me, and I hid my face into his shoulder.
He took a breath and his perfectly cut, wavy brown locks brushed against my forehead. “You want to talk about it?” He asked. “Or do you just want me to go find the bastard and kill him?”
“Doubt you could.” I laughed.
“Why? He some bad ass boy who carries a gun around in the back of his pants?” He smirked kiddingly.
I paused for a second. “Maybe.”
Collin let out a laugh, “you’ve got to be kidding me! Shea, a guy from a gang? Really?” Collin demanded, though he couldn’t stop laughing at me. “He black? Got a bandana and everything? Baggy pants?” I smacked his shoulder.
“Stereotypical!” I muttered under my breath. “Actually, most of the guys in his gang are white.”
He chuckled deeply, “wow, you proved me wrong there.”
“Shut up!” I whispered, trying to keep the tears back. Collin ran his hand back through my hair.
“Alright, enough pretending like you’re totally fine. Your boyfriend cheated on you, let it out.” He told me. I shook my head. Collin let out a sigh before he leaned back enough so he was able to take my cheeks in his hands. “Baby girl, I’ve known you for about a year, and you’re terrible at holding it in when you want to cry. That’s why I’m here.”
Then the tears started coming, just out of nowhere. They came fast and furious as I tried desperately to hold them back. Within minutes, my tears had soaked through the shirt on his shoulder.
“It’s okay, girly.” He breathed and stroked his fingers through my hair.
I heard footsteps coming down the stairs at about ten so I sat up away from Collin. Clark appeared around the corner, “is Collin staying the night? He’s more than welcome to.”
“That’s be great.” Collin replied. “If that’s okay with you?” He nodded towards me.
Though Clark got the guest room ready, we both feel asleep on the couch in the basement. We’d been watching a movie when I’d fallen asleep on his chest, Collin had been quick to fall asleep later.
I woke up in the morning early enough to get ready for school and still have time to make Collin breakfast before I left. I walked to school, though I’m sure that Clark or Collin would have been more than happy to drive me. On my way, a motorcycle roared past me. It wasn’t Josh, but it still made me think of him.
When I walked in, Josh was back in his seat and Mr. Carly was lecturing him about missing a day of school so close to finals. Once I took my seat, he continued on lecturing us both.
“Can we talk?” Josh whispered as Mr. Carly began teaching the whole class again.
Biting my lip, I shook my head.
“Please Shea, I messed up. I know that. You have every right to be mad at me, but can’t we just talk? I miss you. I haven’t stopped thinking about you.”
“It’s been a day.” I silenced.
“A day since I made the biggest mistake of my life.” Josh breathed before he went silent. I dipped my head to hide behind a curtain of hair. “A day since I lost everything that was good in my life.” Tears were starting to form in my eyes, no matter how much I pushed them back. The day went slow, slower than usually, especially since I didn’t have my funny guy to distract me. The new Josh, the one that wasn’t trying to feel me up or make smart jokes at Mr. Carly, simply sat in his spot and looked at his hands. A few times I caught him glancing at me, but for the most part, we kept up a brick wall between us.
Mr. Carly excused us and I bolted towards the door. I was probably the first out of the building, greeted by a familiar sight that made me smile. Collin was lying on the top of his car with his hands above his head.
“You’re going to scratch your window or something.” I told him as I walked up.
He shrugged. “I forgot you had summer school.”
“Ends this Friday.” I replied and walked around to the side of the car. “You going to unlock it or are we just going to sit outside the school all afternoon?”
“I was waiting for your ex to come out. I’m guessing he’s the one giving me the death glare.” Bluntly, he pointed straight towards Josh, who was trying to ignore Marie. His eyes met mine, but I was already ducking into Collin’s car. I wanted to hide my face. It wasn’t the fact that Collin had come to get me, but the fact that his silver Lamborghini Reventon was probably worth more than everyone else’s cars combined.
“Sweet ride.” One of Warner’s friends commented as they walked by. “Sup Shea? Trading some bad ass boys in for rich guys?”
“Shut up, Joel.” I snapped back.
“Seriously dude,” Joel went back to ignoring me, “nice ride. Daddy’s money?” He smirked sarcastically.
I closed my eyes, knowing Collin was going to shoot off his big mouth. I had no doubts that he could handle himself in a fight considering he was on the boxing team and the football team, but it would still kill me to see his pretty face get messed up.
“Sixteenth birthday present, actually. But hey, I’m actually going to get a new one for graduation, so maybe I could pop down here next year, give my old crappy junk to,” he paused and licked his lips, “some less fortunate.”
“That’s it!” Joel screamed and rushed towards Collin before his friends stopped him For once, I was thankful for Issak and Carne.
“Come on, Joel, he ain’t worth it. Probably have his daddy’s buddies sue us for just talking to him.” Carne spat on the ground by Collin’s feat. With a smirk on his face, Collin jumped into the driver’s side and revved the engine. Josh met my eyes once more before he flicked his helmet on and sped out of the parking lot.
“You really miss him, don’t you?” Collin broke the silence.
“Of course.” I whispered.
“How’d your teacher like you skipping out yesterday?” Collin smirked.
I rolled my eyes and shot a tough look at Mr. Perfect Attendance Record. “He gave me and Josh a good lecture, but I’ll be ready for the final. Not sure if I can say the same about Josh, though.”
“Leave him.” Collin muttered under his breath. “Owen’s been bugging me to take him to the park.”
“Yeah, I take him as much as I can, but Clark doesn’t really help much there.” I replied and sunk down in the seat.
“You ashamed to be seen with me or something?” He chuckled. I shook my head, not with him, just in the car. He groaned, “what’s wrong then?”
“I just hate flaunting wealth.” I whispered.
He breathed, “yes sweetie, I know.”
“So you want to go to the park?” I asked him.
“Am I going to have to deal with all those guys again? Because I might have to throw my gun in my waistband, just to make sure.” He winked. I shoved his shoulder away jokingly before putting my head in my hands. Collin gave me a questioning look. “This isn’t like other break ups, is it? I mean, Nick cheated on you about a year ago, but you weren’t this beat up.”
“Collin, Nick didn’t mean half as much to me as Josh did,” I stuttered, “does.” “Does?” Collin raised an eyebrow.
I bit my lip and nodded.
“Sweetie, you’re pretty beat up about this boy, aren’t you?” He rubbed my shoulder gently. I nodded quickly and buried my head into his shoulder. We got back home, threw my bag into the house, grabbed Owen and headed towards the park. Knowing my low comfort level at the park, Collin threw his attention towards Owen as he led him through the grassy field.
I could feel the eyes of millions on me, watching my every move as I sat down on the bench and squished my hands under my thighs. Suddenly, a body was next to me on the bench. I tried to ignore Marc, but he was persistent in lightly chuckling.
Across the play ground, Collin was pushing my little brother back and forth on the swings, laughing along with the squealing child. The blonde boys made me smile as they danced bath and forth through the playground equipment, laughing hysterically and making stupid jokes.
“You okay?” Marc finally asked.
I shook my head slightly. “Do I look okay?” I asked him almost silently.
“Come on, don’t be like that, Shea. I’m just trying to help.” He whispered lightly.
I sighed, “I know, I’m sorry.”
“Who’s the dude?”
“Friend from boarding school.” I shrugged. “Why?” My tone suddenly got defensive.
Marc snuck a look over his shoulder at his friends who were smoking in the far baseball diamond. “Josh saw him and almost stormed over here. I told him that I’d come and talk to you about it instead. You know you’re really killing him with bringing another guy around.”
“He cheated on me!” I snapped back.
Marc threw his hands up in surrender, “I’m not saying he has the right to be upset! Josh does stupid things when he’s drunk.” Marc pushed himself up to sit on the backrest an plant his feet next to me. “Sweetie, I’m not saying that Josh didn’t hurt you, but is it that bad to talk to him?”
After thinking about it for a minute, I nodded. “I still care about him, and I still like him. I feel like if I talk to him, I’ll have to restrain myself from jumping back into his arms.”
“No second chance?” He asked me.
I shook my head. “It still hurts. Just seeing him, having to sit next to him in class! I couldn’t stand it today, Marc.” I almost wailed quietly. Collin looked up for a second and gave me a questioning look. I smiled so he went right back to playing with Owen. It was nice to have him here, nice to have my best friend back.
“So that dude,” he said pointing right at Collin, “he’s just a friend?”
“Nothing between you two?” He nudged me with his knee.
I sighed. “Well he’s asked me out, but I don’t like him like that.”
Marc laughed and ran his hand back through his hair. “Alright, I’ll tell Josh. Maybe he’ll cool down a little bit then. Why’s he here though?”
“I called him yesterday morning when I got back from your house. He’s like my best friend. So he drove down to see me.”
He nodded once before slipping off the bench and strolling back towards the gang of guys getting high. I pushed off the bench, walked up to Collin, and sat down on the playground step a few feet away from them.
“Who was that?” Collin barely looked up as he helped Owen build a sandcastle in the sand, but the jealousy in his voice was more than evident.
“Josh’s best friend, Marc.”
“Want me to kick his ass?”
I gave a small giggle, “though I’m sure you could, no thanks. Marc’s a sweet guy. He’s just trying to help.”
We left the park an hour later, Josh’s eyes following us as we did. When we got home, it was mid afternoon. Collin rubbed the back of his neck as he walked by his car. “I should really be heading home, Shea.”
“I understand.” I replied and allowed Owen to sprint into the house, right up to Clark who was walking out.
Collin pulled me into his arms and up against his rock hard, comforting chest. I breathed in his cologne, letting myself get lost in the familiar feeling. “Call me anytime.” He kissed my forehead before getting into his car and heading off, away from me.
I breathed in, only a few more weekends and then I was gone.