Confessions (Part 2)

The weekend passed by so quickly, I spent all my time with Abbie and Sarah at the beach. Both mornings we walked on the beach, getting to know each other. The afternoons were wasted tanning, eating ice cream cone by ice cream cone. The evenings were different, Saturday we sat on the beach to watch the sunset, eating chocolate chips from the bag. Sunday we sat on the deck giving each other makeovers for school. We all matched, light yellow nail polish on our toes, pale pink on our fingers, and our own ‘designer’ flip-flops.

Mom told me last night that because I’m going to school on Monday, that she’d go to work. She sells jewelry at Kay’s Jewelers in the mall, it’s interesting. The only reason she keeps the job, besides the good pay, is that there is drama. Mom thrives on drama, it’s her drug. She doesn’t like drama involving her, though, just other peoples drama. That’s why the job fits her perfectly, girls begging boyfriends to them “this one” and the boy not having enough money so the girl throws a tantrum. Boys trying to pick out an engagement ring. The old couple coming in for a new ring for when they redo their vows. Mom loves it.

Monday morning began like any other, me smacking the snooze button half a dozen times before mom comes in and drags me out of bed. Then I take a thirty minute shower, letting the warm water wake me up. I rush drying my hair so I can eat breakfast. Only one thing is out of place: my dad is not sitting at the table, coffee in hand, smile plastered on his face. This morning I had to eat by myself, listening as my mom blow dried her hair upstairs. I was ready ten minutes earlier than usual because I didn’t sit around with my dad and talk about our comedy shows. Remembering the ‘game plan’, I grabbed my bag and went over to Abbie and Sarah’s.

I rang their doorbell, the wind blowing my ponytail side to side. It was quiet since no kids were running around and the gulls weren’t awake yet. The door opened and Cam was standing in front of me. I practically fainted, he was shirtless, toothbrush dangling out of his mouth.

“Come on in McKenna,” Cam said, opening the door wide enough for me to squeeze through. “Sarah and Abbie are upstairs getting ready.”

“Why are you here,” I asked, realizing it sounded rude.

He laughed, “Parents kicked me out, so I’m getting ready over here. Do you have a problem with that?”

I blushed, “No, I was just wondering. Look about Wednesday-”

“Don’t worry about it. I shouldn’t of said anything,” Cam interrupted, walking into the foyer.

“Cam, that’s not what I-”?
“Drop it, okay? I don’t care what you meant, I was stupid to tell you how I feel about you. Let’s just act like I never said anything, okay?”

I frowned, “Yea, sure.”

“Good,” Cam said walking away.

A light flipped on over the stairway, it was one of those double staircases. One stairway on the left side of the room, another on the right, with a pair of double doors in between. The ceiling was high with a chandelier, tall comfy chairs with an ottoman table in the middle. A circle rug filled up most of the floor, with it’s flower design. The wallpaper had the same design.

“McKenna, I thought I heard you down here,” Abbie said, making her way down the left stairway. She was wearing black Bermuda shorts with a white tee that had a black flower design on it. A necklace hung around her neck with a black stone tied to the chain. Her hair was clipped back, showing her pimple free face. She had this glow to her, she was very pretty. “Sarah’s upstairs doing her makeup.”

I thought about what I was wearing, skinny jeans and a plain yellow tee, hair in a ponytail, and our ‘designer’ flip-flops, with zero makeup on my face. To Sarah and Abbie, my normal would be their ‘sick’.

“Oh,” I said, not knowing what to say.

“She normally takes an hour, hair straightening included, but since today is a big day, it’ll take longer. Sarah just wants to make a good impression. I really don’t care, there’s only three weeks of school left,” Abbie explained, grabbing her bag off the floor.

“Yup, three weeks. You just moved in in time for exams!”

“That’s what Cam said yesterday.”

“Oh.”

Abbie frowned as she looked at her watch, “Sarah hurry up!” She glanced at me then over my shoulder. “You ready to go Cam?”

“Yea, I’ll wait out in the car,” Cam said, disappearing outside.

“Do you like Cam,” Sarah said, appearing behind me spinning me around to face her.

My heart raced, “No, why would you think that?”

“Oh, you always smile when he talks and you, um, glow.”

“Glow?”

Sarah sighed, “Yes, glow. You get all bright and happy, you glow.”

“Glow,” I repeated, confused.

“Never mind, forget it, let’s just get to school,” Sarah said, walking out the door.

Abbie nudged me, “Next time, just follow along. Sarah thinks she can spot love, if someone ‘glows’ when they’re with someone it means they love them. Don’t take it personally, she’s still a rookie.”


I ended up not showing Abbie and Sarah around school, the principle already arranged for someone else to. That person just happened to be Dave. I could tell Abbie was thoroughly upset, she argued with the principle about ‘stranger danger’, but she gave up when he was about to give her detention. So, I walked to classes alone, like normal.

Natasha, the ring leader of my old friends, stalked me down the halls. Her eyes starring into the back of me head. With them I was the life of the group, the one who would ‘break the ice’ with guys. For being flirtatious cheerleaders, they shouldn’t need help starting conversation, but they did. After I started talking with the guys, Natasha and everyone else would be spunky and flirt. Once when I was sick, Natasha called me asking me what to talk about with them. I just told her to talk about sports, that’s what I always did, asking how their game went or how many sets of laps they had to run at practice. She paid me to teach her the ropes, twenty bucks a lesson until she got it down pat. I ended up with a hundred dollars towards my future car. A few days after that, she started to chat and flirt with every guy possible, including Dave. That’s around the time we broke up, which makes me think he dumped me to ask her out. If that’s what he wanted, he could’ve asked me if she liked him before this mess, because she didn’t, she had her eye on the basketball star, Mike. So it confused me why she was following me, she didn’t need me anymore.

“McKenna, slow down,” Natasha said, walking faster to catch up to me, her flip-flops thwacking the floor. “Look, I’m sorry.”

“About what,” I asked, shifting my bag on my shoulder.

“Everything. I’m sorry for flirting with Dave. I’m sorry he broke up with you because he liked me. I’m sorry for laughing at you and not comforting you, like I should have. I’m sorry about your dad.”

I stopped, “How did you know about my dad?”

Natasha stopped next to me, “Well, he’s staying at the hotel my dad runs, so I would know. That’s beside the point of why I’m talking to you, though. I want you to come back. The table is quiet, even though I now know how to start the conversations, it’s just not the same. Eva really misses you, you were her best friend, I was your best friend. We all miss you.”

Eva, the only cheerleader, besides me, who had any sort of intelligence. She was quiet and small, mostly fragile. She was insecure with herself and always wore sweatshirts to cover up. The only one in the group who didn’t laugh. The only one who tried to race after me when I ran to the bathroom, but didn’t want to leave Natasha, in case she was kicked out of the group. Eva, the only one who truly understood me. Eva, the one who moved three weeks ago, but Natasha didn’t think I knew that.

“Is Eva okay,” I said, playing along.

“If you mean in one piece, yes. Mentally, no. You were the only one who can relate to her and you left. That’s why you need to come back. I just want Eva to be happy, so come back and sit with us, hang out with us. That’s if you want to,” Natasha said, running her fingers through her hair, she does that when she’s lying.

“Is that the only reason,” I asked, beginning to walk again, five minutes until class started and I still had to go to my locker.

“Yes.”

“Are you sure?”

“Okay, no, I’m kinda, well, lying. If you didn’t know, Eva moved, but I need your help getting Mike to go out with me! I flirt, talk about sports, and touch, but nothing. He keeps telling me to stop messing with him and that he doesn’t want any relationship with the championship coming up. You’re a pro at getting guys, you helped me get Ricky, remember? Can you just help me one more time,” Natasha pleaded. She didn’t change, she was still her old, lying, selfish self.

“No,” I answered.

“Why not?”

“‘I don’t feel like it. Now I have to get to class,” I said, walking faster and faster away from Natasha. She yelled something after me, but I didn’t hear it and I think that’s a good thing.

When it was finally lunch time, I saw Abbie and Cam, Sarah was no where in sight. We were watching the doorway for her to burst in and come sitting by us, but she didn’t. I figured she was lost and would, at some point, enter the lunchroom with a teacher showing her the way.

“I can’t believe her. Dave pointed the lunchroom right out to us this morning, but it probably went in one ear and out the other. She fell head over heals for him, I know it, they way she looked at him gives it away. Knowing Sarah, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom, wondering why there’s butterflies in her stomach, happens every time,” Abbie said, scanning the lunchroom one last time. “Oh my God.”

“What,” I asked, setting my pudding cup down.

“Well, I found Sarah.” Abbie pointed over to the far lunch table, the one I knew so well. Natasha was sitting on the left of Sarah and Dave on the right. “She didn’t even tell me she wasn’t gonna sit with us. That’s Sarah for you, inconsiderate little brat. Probably didn’t think we’d care, but we do.”

“You care, Abbie,” Cam said, pointing a thin carrot at her. “You’re the one making a fuss about her not sitting with us.”

Abbie blushed, “You don’t care?”

“Nope,” Cam replied, shoving the carrot in his mouth.

“Oh, look at that,” Abbie moaned. “She’s already gonna have a boyfriend, I knew she fell head over heals in love with him.” I looked up at the table, Dave was slowly putting his arm around Sarah’s waist, pulling her close. She didn’t seem to notice, she probably was okay with it. He pulled her so close that she was practically sitting on his lap, I turned away. “She’s in deeper than I thought, if she’s letting him touch her.”

Cam glanced up at me but said nothing, his eyes hurt. Dave was the reason I turned him down. He used to be a part of me, the skin to my flesh, the sand for my water, the prince for my princess. He was pulling her into his web of love to use her, but maybe she’d make it out alive. Maybe Sarah would be the girl Dave always wanted, the girl I apparently wasn’t.


By Friday it was official, Sarah and Dave were going out. It wasn’t hard to figure out that they would be, on Tuesday Dave drove Sarah home. Wednesday, Dave took Sarah out for lunch and totally missed fourth hour. Thursday, Sarah and Dave went to see the newest movie after school, after they left the theater, he asked her. Sarah told Abbie everything, from what she was wearing, to who was walking by, to the look on Dave’s face. Of course, Abbie not knowing I went out with Dave, told me the story, me cringing the whole time.

Dave asked me out basically the same way. Played nice boy for about four days, walking me to class, driving me home, buying lunch, and helping with homework, before he asked me out. It was a Saturday afternoon, we were walking the beach. He grabbed my hand and said that he really liked me and wanted to be more than friends. I remember he sounded nervous when he asked, his palm sweating in mine. As the story goes, I said yes and hugged him tightly. Dave left and Cam came, wanting to tell me something, but I interrupted telling him about Dave and I. From then on, Dave and I held hands, kissed in the halls, and spent our afternoons and evenings together. That’s basically what’s gonna happen with Sarah.

Abbie was sitting in my room, music blaring. I was getting ready for my date with dad, not really knowing what to expect. We were going to our favorite pizza place, Louis’s Pie, downtown. That place wasn’t formal, but I didn’t know if I should wear something nice just because I was seeing my dad for the first time in a week.

“Just wear that,” Abbie said, making her gum smack, pointing at the orange tee.

“This? Really,” I replied, holding the tee up against me.

“Well it’s better than that yellow blouse you were thinking about wearing. Look, just wear what you have one now, I want to go to the beach before you leave.”

I smiled, “Fine, let’s go.” I set the orange shirt on my bed and followed Abbie out the door of my bedroom.

“I can’t believe you’re ditching me for your dad. I’m gonna have to put up with Sarah all by myself. That’s not fair,” Abbie teased as we walked on to the deck, the sun shining at us.

“Hey, that’s not funny,” I said, kicking off my “designer” flip-flops.

We walked down to the beach, sanding sinking in between my toes. It was five o’clock, only an hour before my dad shows up. Of course he’d be five minutes early, like he normally was when he had to pick me up from friends’ houses or school events. He’d drive his beat up truck, Beauty, with the rust spots on the hood and the bed in the back would be full of beer cans, like always. Dad would honk the horn three times, pause and honk once more; our special signal for each other, even though I’ve never needed to use it because I don’t have a car yet.

“McKenna?”

“Yes,” I asked, starring at the clouds floating in the sky.

“Do you like Dave or something,” Abbie whispered, she stopped walking and looked at me. “Whenever Sarah or I even say his name you cringe and your eyes get all watery. I never wanted to point it out but today when I told you about their date at the movie, I thought you were about to cry.”

“No, I don’t like Dave.” I glanced at my watch, only forty-five minutes left. I was hoping that she’d leave it at that and not ask anything else, I didn’t feel like explaining. If I did, I’d be in a bad mood for my date with dad.

Abbie walked slowly towards me, “Then why do you get all sad at his name?”

“It’s a long story,” I replied.

“We’ve got time.”

“But you’ll have questions.”

“Good point,” Abbie laughed, kicking some sand.

“Maybe tomorrow you can come over and I’ll tell you,” I said, “I should go fix my hair and stuff before my dad arrives.”

“Bye,” Abbie said, coming over and giving me a big hug. “Cya tomorrow.”



A car horn honked three times, then paused and honked again; dad was here. My stomach was doing flips inside me, which was totally weird because I was just going to see my dad. Mom made it clear days before that she wouldn’t be here in case dad came in the house or something, so she went to get her haircut and get a manicure. I grabbed my purse and walked out the front, shutting it behind me.

Dad was in the front seat of Beauty, cigarette in his mouth. He saw me coming and threw the butt out onto the street, like it mattered anyway when it didn’t. A smile crept on his face, he popped open the passenger door as I walked up next to it. I slipped inside, Coldplay playing quietly, like it was background music. Dad took off down the street, not saying a word.

I decided to break the silence, “Hey dad.”

“Hey,” dad answered, glancing at me.

“What’s up?”

He didn’t say anything for a couple minutes, thinking of what answer I was looking for. “How are you?”

“You didn’t answer my question dad, what’s up?”

“I really don’t want to talk about it.”

“Oh. I’m okay, I guess. It’s been kinda hard on me with you leaving and all.” I said it like it meant nothing, like I was just talking about the weather, in plain monotone and disinterest, and it was totally fake.

“I don’t want to talk about that, McKenna.”

“Mom’s been upset, she skipped work until Monday, same with me and school. We’ve decided to get it together, though.”

“McKenna, I said I don’t want to talk about it right now.”

“Dad, you left us! When you called last week you said we’d talk about it, how can you not? It’s sitting out there in midair, you’re too scared to talk about it and here I am starting the conversation! Why in the world did you leave us? What made you do it? Is there some other women or something,” I yelled, asking anything that came to mind.

Dad looked at me, starring hard at me, “You think there’s some other woman? You think I left your mother, for someone else? Is that what you think?”

“I can think what I want because I don’t know the truth!”

We sat in silence, our little argument lingered in the air. He didn’t know how to reply, he was speechless. Dad bit his lip, the sign that he wanted a cigarette. I wanted to apologize for what I said, but somehow I couldn’t. If dad wasn’t seeing any other women or woman (hopefully it would be only one), he should’ve answered, but he didn’t, which is a bad sign.

Approaching Louis’s Pie, dad turned to me, “We’re not going to talk about it here, okay? Don’t explode like fireworks on me again, understood?”

“When will you tell me what’s going on,” I said, simply annoyed.

“Later, when I take you somewhere special.”

Somewhere special, I wonder what place could possibly be special.

We ate dinner, two large pizzas, one with pepperoni and the other with chicken, in complete silence. It was different, like we were complete strangers meeting each other for the first time, not knowing what to say, that was sort of true. I didn’t really know my dad anymore, he slipped from my fingers so quickly and everything changed. When he was at home, he’d talk about anything and everything. School, dating, boys, or even puberty, he would talk about it, with jokes to ease away the tension. He’d hug me before bed and quote the funniest thing he said that day, just to hear my laugh. Now, sitting here, I didn’t feel like bringing up school and have to explain how I’m now single. I didn’t even want to say I watched the newest show of Saturday Night Live or that I recorded Modern Family, just to make him happy that I was keeping up with the storyline. I wonder what Abbie and Sarah were doing right now, Sarah was probably with Dave and Abbie off at the beach taking pictures of the sunset, her new found passion. I wanted to be with her, wherever she was, anywhere but here.

The drive to the “special place” was long and quiet, no place would be quiet as special as home. I didn’t know what happened to my old dad, the one I told all my secrets with, the one who knew me so well, right now I think he borrowed Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak to hide himself.

Dad pulled into Bedtime, Anytime, the hotel Natasha’s dad owns. This is so not a “special place”. He glanced over at me as he got out of the car. I slowly got out and followed him into the hotel and through the hallways, like an obedient dog. When we reached room 36, dad pulled out his key and unlocked it. I walked in before him, turning on lights.

The room was massive, the size of our living room and kitchen combined. There was a whole separate kitchen area with an oven and everything. The living room was huge and had a really nice TV. The bedroom was a whole different room, which was defiantly a plus.

“What do you think, McKenna?” Dad asked, kicking his shoes off.

“It’s a nice hotel room.”

“Oh, don’t call it that, this is my home.”

“Well, where’s the bathroom in your house, then?”

Dad laughed, “Right next to the bedroom.”

I walked into the bathroom and shut the door behind me. After washing my hands, I quickly blew my nose with a Kleenex. There was no trash can next to the toilet, like there should be. Then I remembered, this was dad’s house, he would keep the trash under the sink. I opened the cabinet up and found the trash, along with a box that made me feel queasy and proved to me there was another woman involved, it was a box full of feminine products.


I stood in the bathroom, speechless. A wave of total confusion swept over me, what the heck was going on? So dad leaves mom and finds some over woman, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was a stripper or something. I didn’t know if I should be furious or just disappointed or even both. Slowly, I shut the cabinet and walked out of the bathroom. I went to the kitchen to talk to dad, but all my questions were answered.

She was standing in the kitchen, hands on her hips, starring at dad. She was tall and green bean skinny. Her skin was slightly tan and she had gorgeous blonde mane flowing down her back. The dress she was wearing, a dress that cut off high at the thigh and had a very low V-neck, was totally inappropriate . This was mom’s replacement.

“I told you not to come home until eleven, McKenna’s here. She can’t see you or I’ll be in a bigger pickle than I am right now,” Dad whispered, he didn’t see me, that’s good.

“Oh baby, just make her leave. You can see her some other time, I want to be with you right now,” she said, pulling dad closer to her, kissing him on the cheek. “I had a surprise for you...”

Dad sighed, “I don’t know Celia.”

So her name was Celia, what type of name is that?

“Just tell her that you have a slight change of plans or something,” Celia breathed, kissing my dad along his neck.

“I can see what I can do...”

I had to say something, this was totally disgusting. My parents were still married. “Um...Dad?”

Dad shot around so fast, his mouth hung open, he looked at me shocked. Celia put her hands back on her hips, clearly annoyed. “How long...?”

Rolling my eyes I said, “Long enough to realize you have a woman living with you.”

“McKenna, let me explain...”

“Don’t waste your breath dad, I think you’ll need it tonight when Celia gives you a surprise. Oh, and Dad? Don’t get her pregnant.” I shoved my way right past Celia and dad and walked right out the door. I didn’t look back, I just kept my head high and went out into the night.

My head spun, my heart was racing a hundred miles an hour. Boy, mom was gonna hear about this. I hugged myself and picked up my pace, it was a long way home. The sky was dark and stars were visible. Maybe I should’ve asked dad for a ride home...

Honk! “Do you need a ride?”

I turned to my left, a car was slowly driving next to me. The driver inside wasn’t visible, it was too dark. “Um...you are?”

“Cam. Do you need a ride,” Cam asked again.

“Yes,” I said, hoping in the car when he parked next to me. “Thanks.”

“No problem, what are you doing out here alone anyway?”

“Nothing.” I wanted to pour everything out to him, about Celia and dad, Sarah and Dave, everything. Something inside me told me not to.

“Kay.”

Silence, oh I hated silence.

“Were you at a club or something,” Cam asked, sounding serious.

“No!” I yelled, “Why would I be at a club?”

He laughed, “I don’t know, I was just wondering.”

“What are you doing downtown?”

“I was at work.”

“Where do you work?”

“Flora’s.”

A flower shop, wow. “Ah.”

“So, why are you downtown?”

I sighed, “I was on a date with my dad, which turned out horribly wrong.”

“What happened?”

“Well, he’s changed. We went out to Louis’s Pie and then he took me back to his hotel room. I used the bathroom and found...um...women products, sure enough, when I went into the kitchen there was this...lady..., Celia. He was talking to her about how she wasn’t supposed to be home yet because I was there and she told him to make me leave because she wanted to...get it on...I guess I could say. Not the best of dates.”

Cam didn’t say anything.

“It sucks, you know?”

“Yes, I know how it feels to walk in on someone who’s with someone else. It hurts, you feel like you were shot in the heart. You wonder what happened..., like you said, it sucks.”

Now I didn’t say anything, he was talking about me and Dave, it wasn’t that hard to figure out.

“It hurts...,” Cam repeated.

“Cam, I’m s--”

“Why? What’s wrong with me? I know I’m no Dave but...”

“Nothing is wrong with you Cam, why do you ask?”


“I really...I think I love you,” Cam whispered, turning away, focusing on the road.


My heart burst out of my chest, millions of bells rang in my ears. I closed my eyes, this was happening, this wasn’t a dream. What should I say? Did I like him? What were all these feelings inside of me, begging to escape? Maybe Sarah was right, maybe I did like him...


“You don’t have to answer, it wasn’t really a question, just a statement.”


I didn’t say anything, I really couldn’t breathe, everything was happening so fast and all at once. First Cam tells me to forget that he likes me, then I find out my dad is dating some other lady, and now he retells me he likes me - maybe even loves me. We pulled into my driveway and I got out of his car.


“Thanks for the ride home, Cam,” I mumbled, shutting the car door. I ran up to the front door and went inside.



Saturday, the day after Friday, and now the day I have to explain my relationship with Dave to Abbie. It wasn’t something I was looking forward to, it was something I was dreading ever since she asked me to explain. I knew she’d find out eventually, but I wished it was later. I finally got out of bed and took a shower, replaying the events from last night. My head throbbed, confusion filled my brain, this was insane.


“McKenna, your friends are here,” my mom shouted, pounding on the bathroom door.


Friends? I thought just Abbie was coming... “I’ll be right down.” I quickly dried my hair and went downstairs where Abbie and Sarah were sitting on the couch.


“Sarah wanted to come too,” Abbie said, frowning.


“That’s fine,” I lied, won’t this be fun? Explaining the relationship I had with her boyfriend, that seems like fun. “Let’s go up to my room and I’ll tell you about, um, my ex.”


Abbie and Sarah followed me up the stairs and into my bedroom. The floor was covered in my clothes from the other day when I went through my closet looking for the perfect outfit. My bed was unmade, it seemed like too much of a hassle to make it when I was going to sleep in it later. Sarah, being her neat self, avoided my clothes and whatever trash was on the floor. Abbie hopped on my bed, ready to listen.


“So, what’s the name of your ex, McKenna? Was he a total hunk,” Sarah asked, finally settling into her spot on my bed.


“His name was...Dave.”





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