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I turn around and, suddenly, she’s upon me from out of the blue. Hands weaving themselves through my hair, she presses her lips against mine. The feeling of her smile hints that perhaps I should do the same so I force myself to grin, the corners of my mouth turning up on cue. Feeling a little too statuesque to be normal, I allow my hands, previously static by my side, to move to her waist, cradling her hips. I know that that make her knees go weak. I know that that’s what she wants.
Everything about her is a little bit too sweet and sickly, from her lips to the scent of her perfume, but I do not complain. I don’t really want to. It will make her unhappy and I can’t have her being unhappy. Not now. I need everything to go as smoothly as is humanly possible.
More so, in fact.
The thing is, as much as I hate myself for it, I don’t love her. I don’t see her the way that she sees me. Butterflies don’t fill my stomach whenever she is near and my heart doesn’t ache whenever we are apart. We’re meant to be a couple and, on the surface, I know that that’s what people see but, if they scratched away and dug a little deeper, they’d see otherwise. Well, with me they would but she is oblivious to everything; smitten, perhaps. In my mind, however, she’s just a piece of my disguise, part of the facade that I’ve built for myself.
She’s the mask that I hide behind.
Despite all this, I refuse to believe that I’m toying with her. Fake or not, I’m a good boyfriend. I hope. Whatever she points out in a shop window, I’ll pay for it. Yes, I’ll pay for it and wrap it up nicely, surprise her and then watch her face light up. I’ll let her take all these ridiculous photographs of the two of us, painting on the smile that she says she loves so much and acting the part perfectly. When she shivers, I give her my jacket and I’ll hold her hand when she holds mine. I’m not a horrible person; I’m just not a truthful one.
Like I said, I hated myself for it.
Finally, our lips part and she buries her head into my shoulder. ”I missed you last night, where did you disappear to?“
I freeze as the words leave her mouth. She had noticed. Secretly, I kick myself for being so naive. Of course she noticed; she’s my girlfriend. It was optimistic of me to hope that she would have forgotten. Trying to compose myself, I run a hand through my hair nonchalantly and kiss her softly on the cheek, distracting her as I think of an excuse. ”Jon wasn’t feeling too good so I took him home. I’m sorry Cass, if you were worried about me.“ Instinctively, I blush bright red, feigning guilt. Well, not perhaps feigning but, still, it’s all about the delivery; I have to make her believe me. ” I should have told you where I was going.“
She giggles, reaching up onto her tiptoes to press her lips against my cheek. ”My Good Samaritan.“
Breathing a sigh of relief, I laugh along with her but then something hits me. I am her Good Samaritan. Not a Good Samaritan or even the Good Samaritan but hers. Her use of the possessive frightens me.
I don’t know if I want to be hers.
Suddenly, the bell rings out loud and clear, piercing through the chatter of the hallway like an arrow. Taking my hand, she leads me down the corridor but not before I spot him.
He has been stood there all along, in the shadow of the lockers, watching. As I catch his eye, he blows me a kiss, winking at me suggestively, and something inside of me shivers. For the life of me though, I cannot decide if it is a good shiver or not. My cheeks flush even hotter as I think about it, trying to decide. I can’t think about it, I can’t let myself, not even for a second. It was an accident, right? It’s not going to happen again.
I am not going to allow it.
He finds me at lunchtime.
Just as I escape the classroom, he pounces on me, dragging me into the janitors’ closet. I don’t protest. There’s no point. I knew that this was coming; it was inevitable.
”Let’s pick up from where we left off, shall we?“ he whispers, shoving me against the wall roughly. Breaking into a smile, he presses his lips against mine and the feeling of the pressure there immediately makes me grin too. No thought required; not this time.
But then I remember. I had sworn not to let it happen.
As though he were on fire, I push him away, disgusted at myself. ”No,“ I shake my head, eyes wide. ”Jon, last night was an accident.“
Taking a moment to see if I am serious, he breaks into fits of hysterics, his shoulders shaking from the laughter.
Personally, I do not see what is so funny. It was an accident, a mistake; I never meant for it to happen.
Finally, he pulls himself together, wiping tears from his eyes. ”Spencer, things like that don’t just happen by accident. Stop kidding yourself, man.“
I furrow my brow. ”It was an accident. I have a girlfriend, Jon, or haven’t you noticed?“
Giving me an all knowing look, his eyes meet mine and my heart skips a beat. He shouldn’t be able to make me feel this way; it’s not right. Seeing my reaction, he breaks into another floppy grin. ”I think that we have established that you don’t love her, my friend.“
”How do you know?“ I snap bitterly, not wanting to let him know that he’s right. He’s oh so right. Butterflies don’t fill my stomach whenever she is near and my heart doesn’t ache whenever we are apart. Nothing changes when I’m with her but-
”She doesn’t make you feel the way that I do, does she?“ Illustrating his point, he places a hand over my chest where my heart is beating at thousand miles a minute. Suddenly serious, his voice turns grave. ”Why do it, Spence? Why lie to yourself?“
I swallow hard, my mouth as dry as a desert. ”It was an accident, Jon. I swea-“
Shaking his head, he refuses to let go of me. ”You can’t keep this up, you do realise that, right? I mean, what happens when she’s ready to have sex and you keep saying no? What do you think that that’s going to do to her? What happens when she’s starving herself because she thinks that her body repulses you? You’re not doing anyone any favours by lying Spencer; you’re being selfish. Just, do the right thing by her, okay? Whether you love her or not, respect her enough to let her go,“ he sighs, letting go of my hand that he’s been holding since he lead me in here, ”and respect yourself enough to be just admit the truth.“ He reaches for the door handle but pauses, remembering something. Turning back to me, he leans in slowly, preparing for me to push him away, eyes closed. ”Please Spence.“ His lips linger for a second and then he is gone.
My heart dropping as I realise that he is right, I fall to my knees, exhausted from all the lies.
It hadn’t been an accident at all.