After I’d said good bye to Kristie, I walked in a daze not really knowing where I was.
What Kristie had said about Zachary played over and over in my mind like a horrible nightmare.
“I saw Zachary kissing a girl at a party last week and then I heard he slept with her…”
How could Zachary have been cheating on me this whole time? I was such a naive loser.
Tears threatened to clog my throat and pinch the corners of my eyes. “No, dammit!” I screeched. “I don’t care! It wasn’t going to work out with him anyway!” But he told you he loved you!
And I loved him. I had never felt like that about anyone before.
Then the torrent of tears came. There wasn’t anything I could do about it.
I heard crying from my room and thought it was Cheyenne. Why would she be sad?
Once I found her, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Tears streaming down her face, she was sobbing uncontrollably.
“Chey…what’s the matter?” I reached out to her.
When she wouldn’t respond, I patted her knee. “Come on…it’ll help if you talk about it.”
Rising up, she said, “I’m okay, Mateo…it’ll be….” But she couldn’t finish her sentence.
My mind went instantly to that asshole dickhead boyfriend. “Did Jockstrap do this to you?”
Shaking her head, she said, “I was so stupid…to…trust…” She trailed off then hiccuped. “Why, Mateo? Why am I such a loser? Am I ugly? He should have gone out with someone pretty like Kristie…instead of…”
Shit. He broke up with her. “Listen, if that asshole can’t see what a gorgeous, talented goddess you are then it’s his loss. Good riddance.”
“B-But he…slept with another girl…Kristie said…she saw….him…”
Fucking jerk cheated on her. Didn’t surprise me. Guys like him were all the same.
I wiped her warm tears. “It’s not your fault. He’s the loser. He doesn’t know a gift when he has it. Can’t you see that?”
But she wasn’t listening to me. All I could do was hold her and let her cry.
It was like I found myself in a nightmare I couldn’t escape.
Cheyenne had blocked me. And I knew why.
Somehow my drunk self got out of control and the news traveled to her.
Shit. How was I going to get her back?
I knew when it was happening it was wrong.
My drunk self told me over and over not to.
But I’d been lonely for so long…I just…
Can’t lie. I enjoyed it. Having a woman wrap her arms around me after some great sex. Well…
But in the morning, I fell out of that bed and reality hit like a cold slap.
The girl wasn’t Cheyenne. I knew that. But right then I realized I’d cheated. And that made me feel like shit.
If I could go back and do it over, I would. I wouldn’t have gotten drunk. I wouldn’t have even talked to Samara.
How was I going to get out of this one?
Looking again at my phone, I checked all of my social media for the hundreth time.
She didn’t leave one open to me.
I was blocked out of her life.
Mateo was so sweet. Just like the great friend he’d been since I met him. He’d grown up in the hood of Del Sol Valley being raised only by his brothers. His mother was a drug addict and he had no idea who his father was. He got along by his wits, his love for music and his awesome personality. I’d known from the first time I met him, he was someone special.
After he listened to me drone on about what had happened with Zachary, he suggested we get some fresh air.
“You realize guys like that aren’t good for you, right?” he asked. “And although I hadn’t said anything to you earlier, it’s kind of apparent. He doesn’t have anything in common with you.”
I gave him a look. “We might not listen to the same music but we do have some things in common.”
“Like what, Cheyenne? You both have been going in two different directions at light speed. In my opinion, this is a good thing. Like ripping off a bandaid. It might sting when it’s happening but it’ll be over quickly and you’ll feel better in no time.”
Every word out of Mateo’s mouth made sense. He always had a way about him that’d make me feel better. Whether it was finding our way through music or laughing at a meme or just being ourselves out on the patio, he knew how to center me. To make me feel okay.
“I…guess you’re right,” I breathed, like a storm suddenly lifted.
He caressed my cheek. “Of course I’m right.”
And I didn’t know how it all happened, but it was like the sun shone down on him, lighting him up in my eyes.
I couldn’t help myself. Pulling him toward me, I kissed him.
It was the craziest, most thrilling thing I’d ever done in my life.
And I didn’t regret it.
Not for one second.
What the crazy…fuck?
One minute I was talking sense to Cheyenne and the next minute she was kissing me.
I’d thought about doing that with her so many times it hurt. But…
Once we took it to my room, the shit got real.
Did I really want to be her rebound hook up?
But what could I do?
I wouldn’t turn her away. So I just went with it and hoped I’d be the one who’d be good to her. Turn our friendship into something real.
With our band lighting up, making a go at a relationship seemed like the best thing. Jockstrap was an inconvenient roadblock that just got swept away.
At least I’d hoped so.
I booked it to Del Sol Valley as soon as I could.
But once I got there, I wasn’t surprised by what I saw.
Her and Mateo were all cuddled up like they’d been together for years.
How long had this been going on?
And I was the cheater?
Crossing my arms, I yelled, “What the hell, Cheyenne?”
They pulled apart like the guilty people they were.
Blood boiling, I shouted, “Get the fuck away from my girlfriend, you bastard.”
Cheyenne’s eyes watered as she looked away.
“She’s not your girlfriend. You ruined that for yourself when you fucked that whore.”
Pulling her away from me, he muttered, “Come on, Cheyenne.”
If he thought he could erase everything we had by moving in when it was convenient, he didn’t know who he was dealing with.
I grabbed Cheyenne’s hand. “Not so fast.”
“Baby, please.” I looked her in the eyes. “Can we talk?”
Mateo thrust his body between us. “Not unless you want me to pound you, asshole. Now leave.”
I couldn’t believe Zachary had the nerve to come here. And now both Zachary and Mateo were about to get into a fist fight. I couldn’t let that happen.
Even though I didn’t want to talk to him (I didn’t even want to look at him), I couldn’t let Mateo get hurt. Although Zachary was smaller in height than Mateo, he was a professional athlete and would probably kick Mateo’s ass in a second.
I nudged his shoulder. “Please, Mateo. It’s alright.”
I felt like a zombie. Like I was witnessing someone else’s life on the sidelines. Sour bile flooded the back of my throat when I glanced at him as we sat on the couch.
“I’m…sorry,” he said with the worst look of guilt I’d ever seen.
I turned away. “I…just…can’t do this.”
He added, trying to touch my shoulder but I jerked away, “For what it’s worth, I…was drunk out of my mind. I didn’t know what I was doing. If I could…”
His excuses sounded so stupid. “Just stop, Zachary. It’s…over.”
He didn’t say anything for a while, then whispered, “Yeah. I guess…you’re right.”