“I told you I wasn’t doing anything, why don’t you believe me?” I yelled to my mother as I ran up the stairs. I slammed the door to my room, and turned on the radio. I plopped myself on the bed. I can’t believe she would think I could do something like that. So I missed my curfew by a half hour, but Josh and I were just talking and I forgot about the time. How could she think that I would, I would sleep with him? Josh and I have only been going with each other for two months, but it doesn’t matter now I’m never speaking to her again! I heard footsteps coming up the stairs so I turned the music up louder and buried my face in the closet. My mom rushed in the room, “Honey I think we should talk about this.” I tuned her out.
“Please honey I think we should talk.”
“There is nothing to talk about. You obviously don’t believe me nor do you trust me, so why should we talk?”
“It’s not that I don’t believe you or trust you it’s just that this is so unlike you, you have never missed your curfew so I just thought…..”
I took my head out of the closet and glared.
“I know what you thought, you thought that just because I was late and the fact that I was with Josh something had to happen. I know you don’t like him, but you should know that I’m not like that.”
“It’s not that I don’t like him it’s just that I’ve heard so many things about him, I just don’t think he is a good kid.”
“I know he’s not that good and that he has a reputation, but it’s very different when he’s with me. He doesn’t act the way he does with his friends around me.”
“But that’s just it Erin he is being a different person with you. He’s trying to fool you.”
“NO! He treats me with respect and affection, and we don’t have to have sex in order to show that affection, so why can’t you just let it go?”
“Because you’re my daughter, you’re 16 years old and your life concerns me.”
“Exactly mom I’m 16 years old so I’m old enough to make some of my own decisions, and I make good ones. Most of the girls out there are already having sex and some of them are younger than me, but you don’t see me going out and being just like them, do you? No you don’t, because I’m different and just because I date a guy doesn’t automatically mean I’m going to do it…You know what mom I don’t want to talk anymore.”
I stormed out of my room and out the door. I heard my mother call out to me as she tried to follow me, but by the time she got out the door I was gone.
It was a cold night outside; because I rushed I forgot my jacket. I walked cold and shivering. Minutes later it began raining. Not knowing where I was going, I ended up at Josh’s house. Drenched and crying I knocked on the door, but there was no answer. I knew he was home because his lights were on in his room. I pulled out my cell to call, but he didn’t seem to pick up his phone. The nerves in me made me wonder why he wasn’t answering his phone. I knocked again, then opened the door. I made my way up the stairs to his room and stopped in front of his door, hesitating, doubting if I should go in, scared to know what could possibly be on the other side. I opened the door and saw Josh lying in his bed sleeping. The tension in my chest eased. I grabbed some of his clothes out of his drawers, and changed in the bathroom. I climbed into bed with him, ran my hand across his face. He jumped up, startled to see me lying there,
“Babe your hands are cold….wait what are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be home?”
I moved off the bed.
“I was, but my mom and I got into a big fight, so I left and I don’t plan on going back until tomorrow.”
He looked at me and smiled,
“It’s okay you can stay here tonight, come on lay back down.”
He opened his arms to me. I smiled back. Climbed into his arms as if it were where I belonged. His arms felt like a warm safety blanket. I knew I was secure.
“So what were you two fighting about?” he asked
“You…me…everything. I don’t get why she can’t trust you, or me being with you. I just, I don’t understand her sometimes.”
“You know why she doesn’t trust me. Come on I have that reputation of being the troubled kid in the neighborhood.”
“I know but still she should trust that I won’t do stupid things. She isn’t making things better, she’s making them worse. If she doesn’t stop she is going to completely push me away.”
“Look, you’ll always have your mom. No matter how bad things get, she’ll always be there. She loves you. Everything will be fine. I’m sure she’ll get over it in a couple of days. So just calm down and go to sleep.”
Josh seemed to always know the right words to say to make the pain subside for that moment in time. It was those moments that constantly drew me to him. I laid there staring at the ceiling thinking of how it would be to live without my mom and be with Josh. Slowly I drifted off to sleep.
The Saturday sun was out and a cool breeze with the smell of roses and lilies, from Josh’s mother’s garden, came through the window. I woke up noticing Josh wasn’t by my side. I looked at the clock and saw that it was past noon. Josh had gone off to practice. I got up, grabbed my clothes, and headed home hoping my mother wouldn’t be too mad that I didn’t come back last night. I walked into the house, it was empty. I called out to my mom, but received no answer. I walked into the kitchen and saw a note taped on the refrigerator door, it was from mom.
“SORRY ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT I WILL BE WORKING LATE SO I WONT BE HOME FOR DINNER AND TYLER IS STAYING THE NIGHT AT A FRIEND’S, LOVE MOM”
I went up to my room, threw my stuff on the bed and called Josh. The phone went straight to voicemail. I called again, but still no answer. I wondered why Josh wasn’t home from practice yet. I took a quick shower and drove back to Josh’s house. I called his house again and then called him on his cell, but he still was not answering. I sat on the steps, waited for Josh to come home. Fifteen minutes later Josh pulled up with his friends hollering and laughing.
“Erin what are you doing here?”
“Well I came here to see you but I see that you’re busy so I’ll just go back home.”
“No Erin its okay, come hang out with us”
“No Josh I’m just going to go home but call me later.”
I kissed him on the cheek, passed his friends, and got in my car. I never liked being with Josh and his friends because he seemed to act different around them. It always feels like I’m getting the cold shoulder from him, or he is trying to avoid me somehow because they’re more important. But since it was the weekend I wasn’t going to think about Josh blowing me off. I called up Kelsi, my best friend, to go out on the town and do what girls do. Kelsi and I have known each other since kindergarten and been inseparable ever since. Together we’ve gone through the toys to boys bridge and the friends with all the girls to the separated cliques phase, but we still remain us. I drove to Kelsi’s house to find her making out with Gary Cooper, her creepy neighbor, on her front lawn. Kelsi is my polar opposite. She is the crazy, outgoing one, with outlandish ways and corrupted thinking, who is not afraid to be who she is. She generally has a problem with most of the girls at our school because of her popularity with the guys. As my best friend, I can’t help but love her and all her glory. I honked my horn to get her attention as I pulled into her driveway. She looked at me in embarrassment and shooed Gary off. Gary shot me a look as he passed by me. I couldn’t help but laugh at Kelsi and her humiliation. Of course she wasn’t embarrassed because she kissed Gary, but because I caught her kissing Gary.
“So I can see you were enjoying yourself.”
Completely mortified, Kelsi walked into her house.
“You’re gonna forget that you ever saw that, and we’re gonna move on to a different conversation. Okay?” Laughing, I agreed. “So how come you and Josh aren’t smooching in a room somewhere?”
“You should never say smooching again, and we’re not together because he’s with his friends right now.”
“So I’m a back-up since your boyfriend is disregarding you, that’s rude…”
“Ha, just kidding. Thank you for gracing me with your presence. What shall we do on this beautiful Saturday?”
“I think we should go into Casper and hit a club or two. Melissa Shorener’s older brother started working at The Attic, so he could get us in.”
“Let’s do it.”
Once the sun set we dressed in our club attire. Kelsi’s outfit more revealing than mine of course, and went to the new dance club downtown. The club was overly packed with people that night, so getting in was no hassle. Immediately at the bar Kelsi and I received attention from men who looked old enough to be our fathers, and others we wouldn’t be caught dead with in public. With drinks in hand we moved to the dance floor to enjoy ourselves without the company of men. While dancing for what felt like hours, Kelsi looked over my shoulder, her face turning a shade of white I’d never seen before. She spun me around to see what she witnessed. I was shocked to see my boyfriend dancing with some bleach blonde girl. I felt my heart stop for a slight moment. The view of them dancing was playing in my head in slow-motion. I walked over to them and nudged Josh’s shoulder.
“Josh! What are you doing?”
“Baby sorry I didn’t know you were here”
“Well that’s obvious; I thought you were staying at home with your friends?”
“Well I was but the guys wanted to come out so we did.”
“That doesn’t explain why you’re dancing with this girl.”
“She asked. I couldn’t be rude and say no.”
“Whatever Josh I’m going home okay, you stay here and have your fun, I’m gone.”
In anger I threw my drink down, and ran out of the club. Josh followed after me, but by the time he got out I could see him in my rearview mirror as I sped off. I felt bad for stranding Kelsi in the club, but the anger stopped me from going back for her. It’s the worst best friend move I could ever make, but I couldn’t help it. I knew she’d get home safe and yell at me in the morning. Driving back into town, my anger subsided and reincarnated into hurt. I pulled up to my house crying, my eyes burning as the tears fell. I ran into my room, buried my face in my pillows, and continued to cry. I knew I shouldn’t be crying over him, especially over something as little as him dancing. It wasn’t like we were way into our relationship for something like that to matter, but it didn’t stop it from hurting. The way my dad used to sneak around and lie to my mom, and my brother and I, scarred me. I don’t know for sure if tomorrow Josh would lie about being at the club had I not saw him, but it’s the thought that he could and that he was with that girl to begin with. It was around three in the morning, and the hard buzzing of my phone on my dresser woke me out of my sleep. I looked at the caller id. It was Josh. I wasn’t in the mood to answer and talk. The next day at school Josh came up to me at my locker and tried to talk, but I just ignored him. I grabbed my books, and headed off to homeroom. When I came home Josh was on my steps waiting, I knew I couldn’t ignore him any longer. We sat on the steps for an hour talking. After all the talking I realized my feelings were too strong, and letting go so quickly wasn’t an option for me. After that issue our relationship was better than ever. We still had our occasional fights, but for the most part we were getting along great. I never thought I could be happier. My mother wasn’t interfering in our relationship as much, and even we were starting to get our own relationship back. I believed nothing could go wrong in my life thus far, but Spring break had come, and Josh and I had to go our separate ways. I wasn’t ready to test the waters with a long-distance relationship, as exaggerated as it sounds, even if it was only for two weeks. Josh was to go to Mexico, and I to Florida to spend with my father. We spent our last days together before Josh left to Mexico. I left the day after he did.