"Go away Sophie! I put up with you grinding on a bunch of guys all night, but seeing you make-out with Scott... I couldn't take that. Then you end up in my brother's bed?! There's a little thing called loyalty, and I don't think it's too much to ask for you to give me that one little thing!"
"I was completely shit-faced! I had no idea what I was doing! You could try to be a little more understanding. Why didn't you take me upstairs? You had to know I was going to do something I was going to regret! The only reason I was in Jackson's bed was because he was nice enough to make sure I didn't drown in my own puke!" I shook my head. "Maybe he cares about me more than you do."
"Oh, don't give me that! If you like Jackson so much better, fine! Date him!"
"Simon, I don't want to date Jackson. I just don't understand why you're getting so worked up. If you would've gotten drunk and done the same thing... I would cut you some slack." I wasn't sure that was true, but he didn't know that. I was determined to be the bigger person in this argument.
"I'm just stressing out about you and Jackson, I guess. "
"Why can't you trust me?!"
"I made the mistake of trusting my last four girlfriends. All of them ended up fucking Jackson!"
"So because they screwed up I suffer!? That's bullshit, Simon! If you refuse to give me a chance because of other girls' mistakes, then I don't wanna date you!"
"So we're breaking up?" He asked, meeting my eyes
The door opened and I whipped around. Jackson looked at me sympathetically.
"I couldn't help overhearing," he said softly. "Simon, I agree with Sophie on this one. She's a good girl, and if you blow it with her, then you'll never forgive yourself. You don't have to worry about me sleeping with her, because after seeing the softer side of her... I respect her too much for her to be another one-night-stand."
His words seemed to shock both of us. I felt all emotional after he said it, like I needed to give him a big hug, but I didn't think it would be a good idea in the current situation.
"Thank you, Jackson." Was all I could think to say.
"You're welcome," he said shyly.
Yes, for the first time since I'd met him, Jackson seemed shy. If I wasn't so worried about how much Simon hated me at the moment, I might have thought it was cute.
"I'll leave you two alone now," he said, giving my shoulder a squeeze before he left the room.
"Great," Simon snarled. "Now I don't have to worry about him sleeping with you... he's more likely to fall in love with you."
"Don't be ridiculous... if you really have that little trust in me...then fuck you."
"Real mature, Sophie," he muttered.
I left the room, slamming the door behind me. I wasn't going to cry... I just wasn't; I was a strong, independent woman.
"Sophie," I heard Jack say.
I turned around gave him a wavering smile. "Can you take me home?"
"Cupcake, what happened?"
"I think we broke up," I murmured, feeling a little numb. "But I'm not going to cry." As the words left my lips, tears filled my eyes. "Shit!"
He closed the distance between us and wrapped his arms around me. "I'm so sorry." For a while, I just cried against his chest.
"I was determined not to cry, dammit!" I whispered after a while.
"It's all right... you dated for six months and he broke up with you for a really stupid reason. It's his loss Sophie."
I couldn't understand how Jackson could change his opinion of me so quickly. After a morning of me puking and crying, he suddenly had respect for me? It didn't make sense. Maybe it was his new plan to seduce me. I wasn't going to think about that right now, though. I was just going to enjoy the tenderness for a while.
Simon's door opened and I heard him clear his throat. I didn't lift my head from Jackson's chest.
"Nice to see you've moved on so quickly," he hissed.
"Oh shut up," Jackson ordered. "The poor thing is devastated. You honestly think that she knew what she was doing last night? She made out with Scott, for God's sake. You know she hates him!"
"Stay out of this!"
"Well, maybe you should quit being a dumb ass!"
"I'm going out. Why don't you have some fun with Sophie? Oh, wait, you probably don't want her anymore now that I've broken up with her."
A sob escaped my lips and Jackson held me tighter. "Go to hell, Simon."
When his brother left, Jackson tipped my chin up so that I was staring him in the face.
"You should clean up before I take you home, I don't want your folks to freak out."
"How bad do I look?" I asked, wiping away the remaining tears in my eyes.
"It's nothing a comb and some soap and water won't fix."
I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Yikes! I was a beast. My make up was smeared all over my face and my nose and eyes were bright red from crying. My usually cooperative hair was sticking up and tangled. I looked positively deranged. No wonder Simon had broken up with me. I washed my face and combed my hair. I looked a little better, but I still wasn't a pretty sight. Jackson was waiting for me right outside the bathroom door.
"He'll take you back, Sophie. He just needs to calm down. Everything will be fine."
Tears filled my eyes again. "I'm such a screw up!"
"No you're not, cupcake. Come on, let's get you home. You can take a nap in your own bed and collect your thoughts. You'll be all right, I promise."
The ride home was quiet. I was pretty sure that Jackson was getting sick of being sensitive. After a couple minutes, he turned the radio on. It was on a heavy metal station, and the volume was cranked to an ungodly level. I still had a bit of a headache and the music certainly wasn't helping. I turned down the volume a bit, and Jackson glared over at me.
"I like that song," he said.
"Yeah, well, I like my eardrums."
"It's my car." He turned the volume up higher than it had been before.
"What's up your ass all of the sudden?" I snapped.
He didn't reply. I should've known that his good mood would be short-lived.
"Did I do something wrong?" I asked.
He shook his head. We didn't say anything for the rest of the trip.
As soon as I got inside I called Ellie. She answered on the third ring.
"Sophie! I'm so sorry about what happened with Jackson."
"It's fine," I assured her. "I have lots to tell you...again. Wanna come over?"
"I gotta take a shower first. I have to work at two. I'll be over when I'm done getting ready."
"Sounds good. See you soon."
Ellie came over forty-five minutes later, dressed for work. We sat out on the deck and drank lemonade, a tradition we'd had since fifth grade.The first thing I told her was, "Simon broke up with me.""What!? Why?""Apparently, I fucked up bad at the party last night. I made out with Scott... and then I was with Jackson all morning, because Simon wouldn't take care of me and he wanted to make sure that I was okay. Simon just doesn't trust me at all!""It feels like you guys have been together forever... I mean I know it was only six months... but it seems like so much longer. Is there anyway you'll get back together?""Jackson seems to think so... He wassosweet, it was kind of scary.""He wasn't sweet to me at all. For like the first five minutes, maybe.""Why did you have sex with him?""It just kinda... happened.""Mm-
I decided to call my mom to make sure she wouldn't come home while Jackson was over."Sophie, dear, Mommy is busy," she said as if speaking to a five-year-old. "What do you need?""Are you guys coming home tonight?""Oh, well... I don't think so. We'll probably just stay with Markus and Lindsey tonight. Unless you need something?""No, I'm fine. Just curious. I'll see you tomorrow.""All right, sweetheart. I love you.""Yeah, you too," I muttered.The minute I hung up the phone the doorbell rang. I took a deep breath and answered.Jackson looked me over as if I was lunch. His eyes lingered a little too long on my sports bra and I crossed my arms.
Thinking about Jackson didn't get me anywhere; thoughts of his lips on mine and the intoxicating scent of his cologne that still lingered in the air only made me feel one thing, and I'm not going to talk about it. I figured it was best to just let it go. Every time I closed my eyes, however, I saw Jackson. It wasn't an unpleasant image, but it made it really hard to sleep. When I finally did get to sleep, he haunted my dreams. I woke up feeling refreshed, but I was a little worried about riding with Jackson. Sure, we'd supposedly gotten rid of temptation, but I had the feeling that it wouldn't stop Jackson from making a move.At 7:40 in the morning, Jackson honked his horn. I grabbed my purse and rushed out the door. I got into the front seat of the car and gave Jackson a smile."Morning Sophie," he said."Hey.""About last night...""Yeah?""It'd be best if no one knew about it."
Turns out that Jackson was lying. He didn't come back. Not after five minutes, not after ten. All right, I'm lame; I actually sat on the couch for ten minutes waiting for Jackson to come back with my drink. Finally, I got up and went into the kitchen. I didn't see Jackson, instead, I saw Simon drinking orange juice out of the carton."Sophie?!" he cried, almost spitting out his juice."Um... Where's your brother?""He left... what in the hell are you doing here?""What do you mean heleft?!""I mean he got in his car, started it, and drove away," he said slowly.I sighed in frustration. "He was supposed to help me get you ba-ahh... never mind.""What were you going to say Sophie?""Nothing," I said defensively."What was Jackson supposed to help you with? Oh and why did he go to your place last night?""Simon, we were jus
"I hardly think this is the time!" I said. I didn't want to lie, but I couldn't tell the truth. "Jackson has been very good to me these past couple days, and that's why I'm so freaked out. We're friends.""Whatever, Sophie.""There's that lack of trust again," I growled. "You know what a cry baby I am; I can't believe you're surprised that I'm getting all worked up about this."He said nothing until we pulled into the hospital parking lot."I'm sorry," he said when we got out of the car. "I'm just stressed out; I didn't mean to snap at you." He pulled me to him and kissed my hair. "Jack is going to be fine, I know it."Simon's mood swings were worse than mine, and I had an excuse once a month. At least he'd apologized, though."It's okay," I said, taking his hand. "Let's get out
By the time Simon and I got to his house, I wasn't even eager to see Jackson. I just wanted to go home and bury my disgusting face in my pillow and hide."I'll be back," he told me when I'd settled on his bed. "I'm gonna go check on my brother."He came back a few minutes later. "Want to run out to grab something to eat with me? I'm just going to get McDonald's or something. Jackson is really hungry."I frowned. "Simon, I really don't wanna go anywhere. I had a shitty day."He looked thoughtful. "All right," he said finally. "I'm going to let you stay here because I… I'm going to trust you. Don't betray that, all right?"I nodded. "Thank Simon, for giving me a chance." I got up and kissed him. "You're a doll.""If Jackson needs anything, don't feel like you have to get it. He can wal
"Um… hi Mrs. Sutterfield. We were just napping… we weren't doing anything… We're still wearing clothes…"She stared at me.Maybe I should have stopped at 'hi Mrs. Sutterfield'."Hello Sophie," she said finally. "Could you wake him up, please? I need to speak with him."I shook Simon lightly. "Mon, wake up.""Mm…" he leaned up to kiss me, not opening his eyes."Simon!" His mother snapped.He backed away from me, slowly turning to face her. I'd never heard anyone use his full name before, so I knew she had to be pissed."Hi Mom," he said awkwardly. "You look pretty today.""Come with me," she ordered."I'll be right back," he told me, rolling his eyes.
Around 5:30 the next night I stood staring at myself in the mirror, just as I had before the first party. I was a little more sexed-up this time. I'd curled my hair, my gray eyes were lined heavily in black, and my pimple was completely gone. I thought I looked kinda hot. Maybe hot was an overstatement, but it was the best I was gonna look.I arrived at Simon’s house around 6:00. I went in without knocking. Jackson was dragging a table from the garage to the living room."Let me help you with that," I said, approaching him."I'm fine," he said through clenched teeth."You're going to hurt your ribs.""They ain't going to get any more broken. You look pretty; go see your boyfriend before I lose self-control.""Can we talk first?"He shook his head. "I'm busy," he said