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Head Vs. Heart
I held my hands up and I felt disbelief burn in my throat.
“Matt, leave me alone.” I said it sternly, hoping I got my point across, but he stepped forward, his eye brows down, his eyes glaring.
“You were with Nathan and his friends last night,” his voice was like a stab in my chest.
“I was at Beth’s party, which you were invited to, with all our friends, but you were off with Eric and all them, doing drugs.” I said back, trying to sound strong, but my voice quivered.
“Shut up,” he hissed grabbing my arm and pulling me closer to him. Why was he so strong?
“Don’t tell me to shut up,” I said turning my face away from his, which was inches away from mine. That just made him made. His hand not holding me flashed past me like lightening and I was nearly knocked on my back from the slap.
The silence surrounded us and he slowly let go of my arm. I stayed turned from him, my hand barely touching the sore spot where he had smacked me.
“Stand up,” he growled and he shoved me, hard. I hit the wall behind me sideways and I clawed at it with my fingers, trying to stand up straight. He walked towards me and I sucked in a shaky breath.
“Get away from me,” I said quietly, not quite finding my voice yet. He just smirked at me.
“Teach you to flirt with other guys,” and I saw his fist rear up behind him. I just squeezed my eyes shut and tried to turn away.
The next day I woke up feeling sick. I crawled out of my bed and stumbled into the bathroom in my bedroom. I got in the shower and washed my hair slowly. I took so long, the hot water turned to cold, which turned to ice cold and I got out. I wrapped the towel around myself and walked past the fogged up mirror to my room.
I put on a pair of short black shorts and a fitted t-shirt that I had bought at some charity fundraiser. I stumbled back into the bathroom and looked around for a comb. I glanced in the mirror and froze. My left eye was in a halo of blue and purple. I stared at my bruised and started to cry a little. My fingers prodded at the mark and the whole area was tender. I found my comb and combed through my wet hair, letting the tears slide down my face. I deserved to cry, didn’t I?
“Oh my goodness! What happened?” My mom rushed to my side when I walked into the kitchen that morning and I just shrugged.
“I got in some fight with a girl from Mobley.” Everyone knew the girls from Mobley college only a couple of miles away started fights for fun.
“Should I make a police report?” My mom asked pulling out a chair for me.
“Nah, I don’t remember her name, or even what she looks like.” I looked away from my mom who was still watching me closely.
“Are you hungry?” My mom asked walking back to the fridge and pulling open the door.
“Nah, just tired.” I said yawning.
“You slept in for a long time, it’s already noon.” My mom said smiling at me.
“Oh,” I said standing up and leaving her in the kitchen.
In the hallway, Jake, my baby brother nearly ran me over with a Tonka truck.
“Woah! Where did you get a black eye!” He said staring at me in amazement.
“I got in a fight with a bad guy,” I said smiling at him. I ruffled his hair and he went back to his truck. Upstairs, I examined my eye some more in the mirror when I heard my phone ringing. I picked it up off the floor by my hamper and answered it.
“Hello?” I answered walking back to the bathroom.
“Hey, babe, wanna get some lunch?” Matt’s voice seemed so casual, like last night didn’t even happen.
“Umm, I’m not hungry,” I said sitting down on the counter of my sink.
“I still wanna get lunch with you,” he said, sounding desperate.
“Ok, I guess.” I said twirling my still wet hair around my finger. How could I still be ok with this guy?
“Ok, I’ll be there in 5 minutes.” He hung up after that and I hung up, too. I looked at myself in the mirror, holding my phone, pictures of Matt racing through my head. I still loved him.
I climbed into Matt’s big truck and he just stared at me and I cringed under his gaze.
“What?” I asked, pretending like I didn’t have a huge black eye.
“Did I do that,” he asked in a quiet voice.
“Yeah, you did do this, didn’t you?” I said pointing casually at my eye.
“I’m sorry,” he said it so softly, I felt like I had imagined it.
“Well, you did it already, can’t take it back can you.” I said turning to look out the window instead of his sad face.
“What did you tell your mom?” He asked as he pulled away from the curb.
“I got in a fight with Mobley girl.” I said watching the houses go by. People were working in gardens and kids were playing around in their driveways.
“Ok,” he said, sounding relieved. I just sighed.
“I didn’t mean to do that to you. I was all high and mad about you still going to that party without me.”
“I can do things without you.” I said running my fingers through my hair.
“I know,” he said driving past a stop sign. I just bit my lip.
“I also don’t like hanging around you when your high cause you do stupid things like hit me.” I said looking at him now. He was clenching the steering wheel tightly and staring straight ahead. I could see how he was mad at this.
“I wish you would stop smoking.” I said without caring if it made him mad, he deserved it.
“Your not my mother,” he said in a hard voice rimmed with anger.
“I know, but even if your mother told you to stop, you wouldn’t.” I just stared at him.
“Shut up,” he hissed, like he had the night before.
“Take me home,” I said quietly and now he looked at me, his emotions mixing on his face. Anger, confusion, sadness, exhaustion.
“I’m sorry, Paige, please,” he said, begging like a child.
“I love you, Matt,” I said softly, and he looked like he wanted to cry. “But you problems I can’t fix.”
“I’ll try, ok!” He yelled now and I flinched as he swerved and turned into the Sonic parking lot.
“You said that last time I caught you smoking.” I said calmly.
“I mean it this time.” He reached towards me, but I leaned away. He reached farther and grabbed me roughly.
“No,” I said trying to pull my arm away. He pulled over the console onto his lap, where he pressed his lips to mine. My brain told me to pull away, but my heart said to stay and fix it.