“So when do you want to start working with me Sweetheart?” Biggy asked as I put down the money for my tattoo.
“Well when do you need me by? Because I think that I need to quit one of my jobs.” Dad looked at me.
“No sweetheart I think you should quit both, you know be a teenager. You don’t need two jobs that take up most of your time.” I looked up at him and pulled a face.
“What about money?” Biggy chuckled.
“Bailey you will be fine on money if you work with me. It isn’t going to be a lot for a tattoo but when you draw a couple a week it will add up. “
“But 40 dollars isn’t that much.” Biggy smiled.
“Oh Bailey it will be more than 40 dollars. Much more. I did kind of cut you short there.” He laughed a little leaning on the counter.
“No you did give me my tattoo for free.” I nodded thinking about my tattooed back. It was a Marine Corps emblem in black with dog tags hanging from the anchor. The dog tag had Dad’s full name on one and the other I am waiting to put Wyatt’s dog tags when he graduates from Parris Island next year.
“True, it was one of my favorites to tattoo. You know I have a picture of it right here.” He turned and pointed to the framed picture of my tattoo.
“Okay I trust you.” I shrugged pulling my hoodie on wincing as I moved my hip.
“So should I expect you next week?” He asked raising his eye brows.
“I can start tomorrow.” Dad shook his head.
“No, not tomorrow. Next week. You shouldn’t even be out right now. You should be sleeping. Next week.” I looked at him.
“No Bailey.” He said crossing his arms across his chest.
“No Bailey your Dad’s right. Next week is when you can start.” I sighed.
“Alright. I come by after school?” He nodded smiling.
“That will be great.” Dad put his hand on my shoulder as we started to leave.
“See you next week Bailey. Good to see you again Tanner.” After saying good bye Dad took me back to the car and brought me home. I closed the door laughing at something Dad said as I was getting out. I stopped in my steps as I walked to the door. Jayden was sitting on the step watching me. I looked over at Dad as he nodded.
“What do you want Jayden?” He looked up at me.
“I need to talk to you Bailey.” I shrugged.
“Why should I even listen to you?”
“I got your letter.”
“Jayden I knew you where home.”
“Bailey I was just having a bad day.”
“You know what when aren’t you having a bad day.” He shook his head standing looking up at me.
“Can I talk to you…alone?” I looked at Dad. He smiled.
“I’ll be inside. Scream if you need me.” He walked up the stairs walking into the house shutting the door behind him.
“Again…What do you want Jayden?”
“Bailey you don’t know what I’m dealing with right now. My head is so fucked up.”
“Jay you think you’re the only one with a fucked up head? Think again because my head isn’t clear either.” He looked at me.
“I’m sorry I am. I just don’t know what to do…” I looked at him.
“Don’t know what to do with what?” He closed his eyes.
“Sophia called me last night. She wants to get back together with me.” I looked at him.
“That’s why you ignored me?” He shrugged.
“Bailey like I said my head just is so messed up.” He put his head in his hands.
“How? The girl who wants to get into your pants wants you back. I don’t see how this can mess up your head.” He looked at me.
“Bailey I am falling for you. You are the one messing up my head.”
“Well you have a crap way of showing it.”
“Bailey I know. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” I looked over at him.
“I’m sorry but I can’t.” His head shot up.
“I can’t do this anymore. I’m sorry Jayden but I can’t get hurt anymore.”
“Bailey, Al, please forgive me, please.”
“Jayden I can’t do this anymore.”
“No. You were my best friend. You are my best friend. But you changed. And it wasn’t for the better. You aren’t the Jayden I fell in love with. You aren’t guy I want to spend my life with.”
“Bail I can change.” I shook my head.
“A leopard can’t change its spots over night.”
“I can try.” I put my hand on his cheek.
“I know you can. But you aren’t for me Jay. You know I love you. I thought I was in love with you but I just can’t.”
“Why?” I felt the tears wanting to roll down my face.
“Because you aren’t the man I thought you were. I fell in love with the man who took my virginity, who stole my heart. But he’s gone. He isn’t here anymore.”
“Can’t you just try?” He asked as his eyes filled with tears. I shook my head.
“I’m sorry. I wish it was different. I really do but it’s not. You’re not the same guy. I want you to be happy and I don’t think we would be happy with each other if we were together. I wish it was different. God I do, but it just isn’t.” I pulled my hands into my sleeves and wiped my eyes trying to make the tears go away. “I love you Jayden I do. I love you so much but this just isn’t what we need. Either of us.” He looked over at me as a tear rolled down his cheek.
“Bailey…” His voice broke.
“I’m sorry Jayden. I hope, I hope he can still be friends. I would hate to lose you as a person.” He looked over at me.
“I don’t want to lose you Bailey.” He closed his eyes.
“I’m so sorry Jayden.” I stood up and ran into the house leaving his sitting on the foot of the stairs. I slammed the door shut and slid down the door sobbing my heart out………
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