Count On Me(6)

By: Melyssa Winchester

I feel the burn immediately, but as I wipe at it with my fingers, I’m happy to see there’s no blood. She’s got one hell of a head butt, but not one that can beat my made of steel nose.

Making out the paper in front of me, I see the words ‘I’m sorry’ first. In an effort to make sure she knows she has nothing to be sorry for, that it was my dumb ass idea to bend over her, I reach out and touch her hand.

I don’t know how she reacts to touch. It’s been too long since I’ve spent any real time with her, but she doesn’t jump and that makes me feel pretty good. I don’t understand this. I’m not supposed to give two shits about this girl, so why is it that the simplest things she does and the way she reacts get to me this way?

“It’s my fault, I was being nosy.”

You’re a nosy walker.

Again on the paper in front of me is a happy face. It’s almost as if the damn smile has some kind of spell over me, because I’m smiling again. Even her cheesy joke has the desired effect. Instead of being a nosy parker, I’m a nosy walker. I think I’ve smiled more since getting in the car with her today then I have in the last ten years.

“Now that you’ve officially made me never want to be nosy again, can I see what you were writing?”

Nodding, she passes me the pad and as my eyes run down the page of things we’ve said, I stop dead the second I see what it is she was so furiously writing before the head butt.

If they come for the really dumb blonde girls like you say, then it means they’re sure to come for me. I’m retarded and that’s even worse than being dumb. I want to be like Super Girl and fight back, but I would probably just get scared, pee my pants and cry like the big, stupid baby I am.

I don’t know much, but what I do know is, the minute I get to school tomorrow and see Dillon; he’s a dead man. The problem is, if I blame him then I have to blame myself too. The guys on the team aren’t the only ones that called her all those names and thought things about her. I have too. I’m just as guilty as they are, maybe even more so because for the first ten years of our lives, we were sort of friends.

“None of that is true, Isabelle. Shit, I’m sorry. We never should have said those things about you. We’re all just a bunch of dicks.”

She sits still and silent for so long I start to worry. Before I can ask her, she turns to me, the tears from earlier present in the corner of her eyes and I’m left with the horrible feeling that I’m the cause and there’s nothing I can do to fix it.

You said those things about me?

The way I see it, there’s only two ways I can handle this. I can lie to her, tell her I just worded things wrong, or, I could do the right thing and tell her the truth. I didn’t just say those things about her like everyone else.

I’m the one that got everyone saying them to begin with.

I’m a complete pussy though, so I go with a third option, one that I know almost as well as I do lying. I evade the question and change the subject.

“Isabelle, look. I think you should get out and go home now. I know you’re afraid to go in alone, but you need to get cleaned up.”

It’s a dick move, but it’s me, so it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. I can’t answer her questions because I can’t hurt her, at least not this way. If I tell her the truth, I will break her, so being a mean asshole is the only way I can go now. Better she hates me for making fun of her then learning the real reason she gets made fun of at all.

She picks up the pad and quickly scribbles out one final statement before undoing her seatbelt, opening the door and sliding out, slamming the door behind her. It’s only when I’ve watched her make her way across her lawn and inside her house that I dare look down at her final words to me.

The circle of pain has been completed as I read it. I’ve done exactly what I set out to do. I’ve made her believe me to be the dickhead I already know I am.

It’s only two words and a sad face, but it’s the impact of those things that makes everything that much worse. Scribbled on the paper I can’t seem to pull my eyes away from, is the simplest of statements yet the hardest at the same time.

Goodbye Kayden.

As I pull out of her driveway and peel forward into my own, it hits me. If I’m the bad person I think I am and I want her to stay away from me, why does the sad face hurt so god damned much?

Chapter Two


I’m such an idiot.

When he was asking me questions in the car, I really thought he might be one of the good guys. Despite knowing it was his friends that did everything to me earlier, I thought by saving me and taking me out of there, he was proving he actually cared.

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