Tessa

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story told from the perspective of a boy in highschool conflicted between his loyalty to his friends vs. his loyalty to his girlfriend.

Submitted: August 07, 2008

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Submitted: August 07, 2008

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Tessa

When I woke up on Nolan’s floor, I knew I would regret it all. Every day was like that, but worse than the day before. That was the only difference. I knew I wasn’t at school, and I wasn’t planning on going. I knew that Nolan and Kyle would throw fists later because of the accident last night. I had promised her I would see her later. I remembered when we crashed into the tree. I knew then that I wasn’t going to. I knew that when I got home, I would find a message by the phone saying she had called for me. But Nolan was going to fuck Kyle up bad, and I couldn’t choose a side when I knew I had to. Crashing Nick’s car was shitty, but the fact that Nolan let Kyle drive was a stupid fucking thing to do.
I wanted a cigarette and a few minutes with her, maybe. That might help me realize she mattered more than the rest. I’d told her she was the best thing in my life. She would look up at me, shirt peeled off in the passenger seat of her own car, hands protecting her zipper. It was obvious she thought I was fucking with her. She thought I was trying to pull one over on her. And I didn’t blame her. I told her I would call and I hardly did. But it wasn’t because I didn’t want to. There was no way to explain anything without dirtying her pretty head more than I already had, in the passenger seat of her own car. No, I’d given her enough already.
I decided I would walk home and call her. She had summer school but she was never there. That was the closest we got to something in common. She just didn’t seem to give a shit. I wished she did, but if it weren’t for that we never would have met. She told me she got sent to my school because she needed credits to graduate, but the next day I saw her pinned on the floor by two teachers. They could do that at our school. She was in hysterics. “You can’t make me stay here!” I remember seeing her face for a minute, that face I’d seen before and wanted to see more of. There was something about the way she tried to hide behind things like blue eye shadow and clothes that didn’t fit. Her pants were always falling down. But her face, smashed into the linoleum, all red and blotchy…That was the day I asked her for her number later in gym. She needed people to keep eyes on her, too.
I got home and stepped over my mom’s work papers that littered the house, and all the crap my brother never helped her pick up. I helped her sometimes but not enough to make the house look good. That’s why I never invited Tessa over, either. I didn’t understand why she liked me so much, why she let me fuck her, and why she kept calling after. When I leaned against the kitchen counter to call her, I realized she knew nothing about me. It depressed the hell out of me all over again. It made me want to break up with her, so she could just get on with her life and find someone right. I tried once but she cried and cried and I felt my guts twisting. I imagined more of those raised pink scars on her arms, having to watch her through the volleyball net in gym class, reading the letters she would drop into my locker after I stopped talking to her. I took it back, telling her I loved her and we would work it out. Things didn’t change.
I dialed her number from memory. I had all my numbers in my head because I hated cell phones. I didn’t need one. Nobody had one. She picked up after a ring and a half.
“It’s Luke.”
“I know.”
“Why aren’t you in school?”
“I didn’t feel like it. I didn’t sleep last night and stuff.”
I should have felt guilty. “Yeah.”
She asked me if I was busy. I said no, and she said she would come and get me. I hung up and went out back to have a cigarette. Greg sat across the alley in his garage. He was always in his garage, drinking or sleeping or toking with the rest of us, and when we weren’t around, he did it anyway. He lifted his head when he saw me. “Yo, what happened last night?”
I crossed the alley, footsteps scattering lose pieces of asphalt and broken glass. I lit my cigarette. “I don’t know, man.”
“What happened?”
“Kyle crashed Nolan’s car and took off. He’ll probably show later.”
Greg exhaled and his cheeks puffed out. “Damn. That’s ugly.”
I nodded and stomped on my cigarette. “I should get back, though. My girl’s coming.”
“Yeah? When am I going to meet this mystery chick?”
“I don’t know. She’s different.”
“What, is she crazy?” Greg tilted his head. “Or is she too good for us?”
I looked at my shoes. “It’s not like that,” I told my sneakers, “I’ll see you.”
“You had better be around later! We’ll need you.”
I walked back to my yard and went around to the front. I could hear the phone ringing inside and she came careening around the corner in her blue Pontiac. She pulled up and I got in. She was wearing blush and pink lipgloss. When I kissed her hello I stuck to her mouth. She started chattering about Nirvana. She talked about music when she was nervous. I didn’t know where we were going and I didn’t ask. She rolled down my window and I put my arm out.
We pulled into her driveway. Her mom was unloading groceries and Tessa offered to help. I carried a couple bags but didn’t say anything besides “How are you?” Her mom didn’t answer me because I mumble, she said once. I still asked anyway, though. Tessa’s dad left when she was fourteen. Her mom dropped thirty pounds and she had to go to the hospital. When she got out she taught herself to cook. That’s what Tessa told me, because her dad used to be the cook, and her mom wanted something to do. I thought it was ironic. Well, it was ironic. Tessa took my hand and we went into her room. I lay down on her purple bedspread and put and arm over my face. She bounced down next to me and kissed my elbow.
“So what happened last night?”
“Nothing.”
“Then why didn’t you call?”
I moved my arm and sat up to kiss her. She closed her eyes, purple makeup creased on the lids. When she opened them I stared into her grey irises. I told her I loved her and she whispered she loved me too. I kissed her again, and she bit my neck. “Bad,” she breathed, “bad.” I got on top of her, pressing my hips into hers. She sighed a little and I kissed her neck, reaching for the crotch of her jeans. She pushed my hand away. I put it up her shirt instead. This was okay with her, for a little while. When I tried to unbutton her jeans she pushed my hand away again.
“What’s the deal?” I put a hand against her face.
“What are you doing tonight?” She propped herself up on her elbows. Her shirt was pulled up, exposing her stomach and the bottoms of her tits. I decided to be sweet and pull it down for her. “I have to go take care of some stuff later.”
She pulled her eyebrows together as she adjusted her bra through her shirt. “With who?”
“My friends.”
“What do you have to do?”
“It’s not a big deal,” I tried to say, but she cut me off.
“Then why do you have to go? I’ve barely even seen you!”
“I know, Tess.” I closed my eyes and flopped back down onto my back. “Do you want to go eat?”
She looked at me, her face disbelieving. We never went to dinner. She knew that. But I had some extra cash from a favor I did for Kyle. Some kid took off when he owed him for a quad and I helped Kyle track him down. We had some convincing to do but that wasn’t too hard for me. I’m the biggest out of everybody. Kyle gave me a share of what he made. But I didn’t tell Tessa that’s where my money came from. I knew she had probably figured it out, though.
I convinced her to let me take her out. She decided to change into something nicer. She took off her clothes and stood in front of her closet with her back to me. I looked her over, admiring her white panties and candystriped bra that didn’t match. She put on a blue shirt, a white skirt and Chucks. She did a twirl for me. I grinned at her. “You look great.” I meant it too. Her clothes fit and she was smiling.
“Mom! I’m going to dinner with Luke!” She swiped the keys from the table in the front hall and lead the way to the car. Her mom didn’t answer. We peeled out of the driveway and I caught a glimpse of her mom in the kitchen window, maybe watching dishes but scowling at me too.
She drove to a local diner that we’d been to once. I told her that we could go to a nicer place. She threw the car into park. We went inside and I asked for a table for two. When the hostess popped her gum and motioned toward the near empty restaurant floor I felt pretty stupid. We picked out a booth in a corner. There were scratches on the table and the air smelled like eggs and coffee. Tess smiled at me and rubbed my shoulder as we sat down together, right next to one another. I ordered for us and put a hand on her thigh. She put her head on my shoulder. We had trouble talking at first. I always ran out of things to say. She thought she talked too much, and maybe she did sometimes. But I liked listening. When I told her this she said that it was bullshit, but I didn’t want to argue.
When we got back in the car it was getting dark out. We drove to an empty parking lot and she climbed over the gearshift into my lap. I kissed her, locking a hand in the bottom of her hair. I gave it a little tug and she gasped. I kissed her throat, and I could feel her swallow. She put her arms above her head and I peeled her shirt upward. She wriggled out of her panties and tossed them into the backseat. I unbuckled my pants as fast as I could. She closed her eyes and smiled and I kissed her dry lips and folded my hands around her knees, running them up her thighs and guiding her down. Fucking in her car was rough and we never came away unbruised or unscratched. Sometimes she would grab my face in her hands and stare at my eyes, and I would bury my face in her neck.
When we were done she cracked the windows and we shared cigarettes. I reclined the passenger seat and she spread out on top of me, knee hitched up against my ribs. It was messy but I liked it. She put her head down, and I could feel the sweat bind her skin to my chest. We sat like that for a long time. I started to worry about going to Nolan’s. I knew I had to go. When I asked her if I could use her phone she started crying. I stroked her hair and her face and tried to make her stop. I told her I would see her the next day. I promised. But she just screamed louder. “I don’t believe you!” I grabbed her face and whispered her name and held her against my chest until it passed. She cried for awhile and then she wiped her nose. She handed me her phone and climbed into the backseat to find her underwear. I called Nolan and told him I would be at his place soon. He told me to hurry the fuck up.
Tessa drove me there. She was quiet and I had nothing to tell her that might help. When I kissed her goodbye, she hardly kissed me back. Her eyes were swollen and her cheeks were still wet when I touched them. I told her I loved her. She looked at me and told me I was breaking her heart. I had nothing else to say, so I just got out of the car. She watched me walk up to Nolan’s because I didn’t hear the engine pick up until I was at the door. I didn’t turn to watch her go.


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