I kept strumming the same damn song on my guitar. Fuck. Why couldn’t I stop thinking about Mala?
She didn’t deserve one electron in my brain. So what the hell was I pining away for? She was a bitch. Good riddance. I kept telling myself that over and over again.
And then I’d go back in time to when I’d first sang her the song I’d written especially for her. I thought it was brilliant (yeah, right) but she really seemed touched.
Her eyes were captivated and she looked as if she was spellbound. In fact she was speechless. And her beautiful face told me everything she felt from the melody.
Tears pinched the back of my eyes. I’d never get to see that face again. Those eyes that showed love only for me.
When I’d finished the song, she’d jumped into my arms, so overwhelmed that I’d do something that special for her.
God. I was an idiot. A stupid as fuck, dumbass idiot!
Why couldn’t I stop thinking about it? I wanted everything of hers erased. I’d trashed all her love notes, the shirts she bought for me, the golden game controller she gave me as an anniversary gift, her pictures, unfollowed her from every social media outlet on the planet. But there was one thing I couldn’t wipe.
Liam didn’t show up yesterday for our archeology club meeting like he said he would. I got stood up. And although he was going through every level of hell right now, he couldn’t get away with that. Not even him.
“Where were you yesterday?” I asked, coming up behind him.
He didn’t even have the decency to turn around and face me. All he did was sigh.
It was hard to see him mope about. He needed a swift kick or he’d sink down a river he wouldn’t want to go. “Listen, Liam. Just because you’re throwing yourself a ginormous pity party doesn’t give you the right to ditch people. Next time, just say you’re not showing or text or call or do something that’s in some way not acting like a total douche.”
He whipped around and said, “Look, I’m sorry, okay? I’ve got a lot on my mind and I forgot. I didn’t mean to not show.”
I threw my hands up. “You know, Liam, excuses are like assholes. Everyone’s got ’em and they all stink. Like why didn’t you answer the 155 texts I’d sent asking where you were?”
He rubbed his head. “I don’t know. I was going to text you but…my phone was downstairs and I was practicing on my guitar and I just…”
My head bobbed hard like it was going to fall off. “Fine so I get it. You just blew me off like I just said you did. Well, if you want to make it up to me you can show up at the Harvest Festival on Saturday. We’re raising money for Deadgrass Isle if you care about that. If not, whatever. You can just have fun drowning in your own misery.”
I didn’t mean to make Ginny so freaking mad at me. I honestly didn’t. It was like I was in a haze with nothing going on around me but my own miserable thoughts.
And I deserved her anger. I did blow her off. After she gave me a tongue lashing, she stomped off, making me feel two feet tall.
Then I got an eyeful of my misery right in front of me.
God…couldn’t they do that in private? It was like Mala was trying to hurt me, shoving her new relationship in my face.
Ginny was right. I was drowning in my own misery. And Mala was winning. She hurt me every chance she got. Why was I allowing her to do this to me?
So on Saturday, I showed up early. “I’m here, okay? You can stop giving me those angry eyebrows now.”
“Okay, you’re officially forgiven. And I’ve got a surprise for you that I think you’re going to like. Just the thing to take your mind off your troubles.”
“What is it?” I asked. Her face looked like she was a leprechaun hiding a bag of gold.
She pulled me over to the side of the festival and my stomach dropped. “No the fuck way, Ginny.”
“But Liam, it’ll be fun! Think of all the babes you’ll meet.”
In front of us sat two kissing booths. Was she crazy?
I put my hands in my pockets. The autumn wind just got chillier. “I’m not going to kiss a bunch of strangers. Sorry. You’ll have to get someone else.”
“Oh come on. I’m doing it, too. It’s for charity! And besides, you owe me. So pull up your underroos and put on some chapstick. It’s time to do some first class smooching.”
In the end, Ginny was right. It was a lot of fun! I did get to meet a ton of babes. And I got to kiss them, too! By midday, I was really getting into my role. “Step right up, ladies,” I said, arching an eyebrow. “No need to fight over me. As long as you got the money, I’ll dole out the love.”
I winked for added effect. Usually, they’d shyly blush and laugh at my jokes.
This set of girls were over the top pretty, too. They must have gone to a different high school. I didn’t recognize them.
“Go ahead, Emma, he’s cute!”
“Emma? That’s a pretty name,” I said, trying to put her at ease. When she wouldn’t move, I added, “Come here. I promise I’ll be gentle.”
Her face turned a nice shade of pink as her friend pushed her toward me.
Not gonna lie, she was an amazing kisser. Since this was just for grins, I only gave quick ones, but I lingered just a bit with her.
Ginny should have been a fortune teller because she could predict the future.
This was just the thing I needed to take my mind off Mala.