Survival

The First Time I Met Him, I Hated Him

That is an excerpt from Cheater.

Faker. Troublemaker.

Jan Vaek

You were so damn amazing.

First time I saw you, you scared the shit out of me.

You walked around like the ground couldn’t grip you, and when gravity couldn’t grip you, how could I?

But you changed the game. You called my name and called me outside ’cause I had been a really poor boy, with a very bad rep, but you made me wanna do better.

Now you didn’t believe my bullshit.

You saw right through it, you saw my entire life falling apart, but you held me down.

With that smile, which laugh, and the way you looked in that jersey.

And I fell so difficult.

So I chased you difficult, ’til you kissed me hard, and let your guard down just for me. You let me push you up against these lockers that night, and God, I wished you’d ever been my firsteverything.

My very first kiss.

My very first time.

I wanted to backtrack the foundations and start over with you.

You never made mistakes, you never played games with anybody or allow anybody play games with you, and I loved your innocence.

I loved how you laughed when I kissed you, how you sighed once I touched you, how you cried ’make it hurt but you never tried to conceal it.

I loved that you weren’t fearful of getting ‘caught, or fearful of rumors, or fearful of me.

You took off your heart like you took off your jersey, and you let me wear your number in my sleeve.

I still love that jersey.

I still love considering the occasions you’d take off running towards the outfield, in that jersey, on school grounds, after midnight just like you didn’t care about breaking rules.

But you let me break yours.

You’d let me grab you and kiss your double-bubble lips just like it was the very first time.

Every. Damn. Time.

You didn’t care about the wet grass under our backs, or the sweat in our bodies, because you held onto me in that area, on these nights, just like they were the only nights that you felt genuine.

I fell in love with your actual. I fell in love with you below these bleachers, under those celebrities, under all that darkness like it wouldn’t ever take you away from me.

Like we’d have enough memories for a million years.

We didn’t even have a fourteen days.

Cause things got nasty, folks talked ugly, life got dreadful, I got ugly.

But not you.

You stayed beautiful.

So. Damn. Beautiful.

***

My cousin hired a man-slut to pick me up at the airport. No joke.

Thirty seconds fresh off a six-hour flight, and I spotted him trapped against a pillar holding a sign with my name on it in 1 hand, and fondling some redhead with another.

Seriously?

In the beginning, I thought maybe I’d read my title wrong because the “Alex” part was sort of legible, but “Summers” could as well have been Sanskrit. However he was my guy, my only ticket out of LAX, and instead of meeting me with a warm, friendly “hi”, he had his tongue down another girl’s throat.

What an L.A. welcome.

I fought my way over to Skanky Bonnie and Chlamydia Clyde through a flow of angsty passengers, pushing and pushing for survival like neurotic salmon. The midday mob spit me out fast, leaving my hair static, Ray-Bans crooked, and my tank top crumpled to the point of being completely unattractive.

Not that it mattered because my Chapstick commercial of a chauffeur hadn’t even noticed that my plane had landed. I shuffled closer and tightened my grip around the straps of my handbag trying to determine an un-awkward approach to disrupt their “conversation”.

“Hello, you’re Caleigh’s friend, right? I’m Alex, her cousin. ”

Neither of these batted an eyelash. I stood my ground. The closest thing I got to an answer was that dreadful sucky sound couples make when they think they’re the only ones who will listen to it. Not to sound like the PDA authorities or something, but dry humping was moving too far. For me.

Chauffer extended a helpless hand to me from around his probably girlfriend’s midsection.

“Hello, Caleigh’s cousin. I’m Elias. Call me anything you want. ”

He frees his palms out of his tawny, tattooed princess just to give himself enough space to get a perfectly rehearsed introduction. Elias was some thing else. Problem was, he knew it.

A dark-haired, dark-horse of a boy wearing a closely controlled smile, he stood six-foot-something over the majority of the world with light green eyes made for trouble.

Not the good kind of trouble, maybe not the sexy-mysterious trouble, but the worst kindRory’s.

Redhead faded into the backdrop while he pulled me to some half-hug. From the furrows in her forehead to the quiet tension in her mouth, the familiar ache of her insecurity ate off at the pit of the stomach.

She wasn’t his girlfriend. She had been his bubblegum girl, only fun until she lost her flavor.

“I’ve a few bags downstairs should you’re cool with helping me take some of my stuff,” I stated.

He’d stopped listening somewhere between “bags” and “trendy” and allow his eyes do the talking. They darted down to my own lips, grazed across my lack of chest, and glazed over faster than a donut. Never in my life had I been happier to see that a person of the opposite sex completely un-attracted to me. He seemed like a list guyquick to select and sort hot or not girls in their rightful places.

I’Id popped out of the plane looking like I’Id escaped a perspiration monsoon. Pleasant Airlines, my father’s option, incidentally, lost its air somewhere over Kansas, so by the time we landed the location was a stink box. I’Id walked into LA, completely un-glamorous within my pit-stained tank top, rocking smudged eyeliner that Vogue promised would flip out smoky but didn’t, and wearing my comfy travel jeans that weren’t precisely skinny.

Elias came off as he enjoyed his girls well-dressed, wild, and raven-haired. A week before, I’d chopped my un-wavy, un-beachy, brown hair down to some pixie cut and then transformed into the anti-hookup, asexual, queen of New Jersey. If LA didn’t like it, screw ’em.

The creeping disgust on Elias’s face formally confirmed that I’Id landed on the exact top of this “not” side of the hot girl hit record. His mouth crinkled at the corners. He straightened up as a plank and reunite to redhead.

Mission accomplished.

“Tell you what, Adrian”

“It’s Alex,” I stated.

“Whatever. Anyhow, you proceed, and me and Mindy will meet you downstairs somewhat afterwards. ”

Anyone who understands anything about guys knows that “a little afterwards” means never, so Elias went right back to Naked Shades of Grey-ing her on the wall just like I wouldn’t notice.

But I discovered everything. Within seconds, they graduated from make-out-mania to complete on grope-fest, and the more time they sucked face, the louder I needed to yell at them to quit. But I stood my ground and stared at them in complete silence waiting for the moment when theyd finally realize I was still there.

But Elias and his redhead phased me into the background the same way my buddies phased me out of the hangouts straight home. After Rory, everything shifted. Sophomore year turned into a thing I had to learn how to survivenot because I wanted to, but because I had to when I didn’t need the rest of the world to know I had been busted.

So, I learned to conceal the cracks. Notably from the people I cared about. But Elias wasnt among these peoplejust a pain in the ass who thought he could ignore me until I disappeared.

He thought wrong.

Remember when I said I wasn’t a violent person? Scratch that. It started with my footmy toes tightened, my muscles tensed, and I sent my shoe sinking through the air and straight into his surfer-strong shins. He crumpled over just like a twig at the end and redhead cracked a smile and winked at me.

Enjoy the bruise, douchebag.

Enjoy,
Adrian

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