When I woke up this morning, I questioned whether I was sane for wanting to go to the reunion. I knew I was taking a huge and unwarranted risk in going. My classmates had tortured me. I was opening myself up to renewed rejection and possible ridicule after being able to put all of that behind me.
But Marcus encouraged me. He had become supportive in the days preceding the reunion. He encouraged me to get my hair done. Get a mani/pedi. Buy a new, sexy dress. Tan. He wanted to show me off.
As a result, I loved what I saw when I looked in the mirror. My normally dark brown hair had been dyed to bring out its natural red undertones. I wore a curve-hugging black dress, which accentuated all the curves that drove Marcus insane on a daily basis. I thanked him for encouraging me to give myself a makeover. He gave me the confidence to face the kids who used to give me so much grief.
Despite my confidence, I dreaded the awkward moments of first getting there and not recognizing anyone. Luckily, Blake’s two best friends arrived just as we did. Jason and Sean hurried over to meet me, hugged me, told me how great I looked, and introduced their girlfriends.
I was so happy not to have to walk in alone. I scanned the auditorium for Blake. I saw him almost immediately. I couldn’t miss him. He was surrounded by admirers. He looked up, saw me, and smiled. My heart nearly leaped out of my chest. It all came back to me. The feelings I got every time I was near him. The nervous anticipation. The longing. The old love.
He still looked beautiful, just older. He had cut his mess of blonde curls short. His features were a little fuller. That was all. Otherwise, he looked like the same guy I had known. And wanted to know again.
He saw me and smiled broadly. I melted, but I didn’t want to seem too excited to see him. I stayed right where I was. My arch nemesis from high school saw the smile he gave me and made a very obvious attempt to keep him engrossed in conversation with her.
Blake gave me a “help me” look. I smiled, laughter apparent in my eyes, and returned my attention to everyone at my table. Marcus was engrossed in a conversation with Jason. I pretended to listen. I looked at Blake and gave him a teasing smile. He looked at me helplessly.
It felt exactly like old times. I was soaring somewhere on cloud 9. So happy he wanted to talk to me so badly. So happy my nemesis was desperately hanging onto him. And feeling oh so sexy.
I decided to get a drink, which required me to walk past Blake. Blake grabbed my hand as I walked by and pulled me into hug. He spun me around. I laughed but insisted he stop.
He put me down, but held onto my forearms. “I’m so glad you came!” he exclaimed, making no attempt to hide his excitement.
My nemesis quipped, “Yeah so am I,” and walked away defeated.
“I’m glad I did too. You know how high school was for me. This gives me a good kind of closure.
He smiled and looked into my eyes, “You look ten times better than you did in high school and you were gorgeous then.”
My heart jumped. My smile couldn’t have been any bigger. “Oh please.”
Blake glanced at my table. “Your boyfriend looks a little mad and quite frankly, he scares me, so maybe, we should go sit down.”
I smiled, not caring what Marcus thought. I didn’t realize how obnoxiously big my smile was until I saw the look on Marcus’ face. His features were contorted in barely-disguised anger.
I introduced them cautiously. Blake spoke first, “I’m so glad Lana came. I haven’t see her since college.”
“Yeah, I saw how happy you were to see her.”
“Maybe I got a little carried away, but she was my best friend for so long. Did she tell you we were friends before we dated?”
“I know the whole story. She tells me everything. She even told me how you dumped her right before college.”
The others at the table looked uncomfortable, but Blake’s confidence never wavered. “Yeah, I was seventeen and a moron.”
Jason changed the subject and the awkwardness dissipated. I didn’t worry about Marcus. Everyone faded into the background of my conversation with Blake. Blake wasn’t lying when he said he had been my best friend. I had forgotten that. We were so comfortable with each other that it felt as if there had never been a break in our relationship.
The principal announced they were closing the auditorium. Everyone immediately began making plans to continue the party elsewhere. Marcus made clear we were not going.
He grabbed my arm and yanked me close to him. Everyone was too busy making plans to notice the force with which he pulled my arm.
I took my cue, “Well, we have a long ride home, so we’re just going to go now.”
Everyone protested. Marcus made up something about having to help his dad fix his car in the morning as he guided me to the door. I couldn’t hug Blake goodbye. I could only waive and say goodbye to the group as a whole, which is what Marcus wanted.
Marcus barely spoke to me on the way home. I didn’t care. When he did speak, it was to tell me how horrible of a person I was. I didn’t defend myself. Instead, I ignored everything Marcus said and did. My mind was elsewhere. On Blake. And I couldn’t help but be happy about it.
When he finally pulled into the parking lot of our condo, I sighed with relief. I got out of the car as quickly as possible. I was already opening a beer by the time Marcus came in. He yanked the beer from my hand and set it down.
I sighed, “Leave me alone. Didn’t you have enough time to tell me how horrible I am in the car?”
“Do you want him back?”
I lied, “No.”
I tried to walk away from him. He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me toward him.
“What?” he asked, “You’re trying to tell me you don’t want the pretty white boy? You were smiling like a fucking idiot the entire time you were talking to him.”
“Don’t try to make me feel stupid.” I tried to loosen his grasp on me. “Come on, let me go. You don’t even like me. Why touch me?”
“I didn’t say I didn’t like you. I’m pissed at you, but I don’t hate you.”
“Well good then let me go.”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that. I don’t hate you, but you need to be disciplined.”
“I’m not in the mood Marcus.”
“You’ll be begging me for it in five minutes.”
He kissed my neck. I tried to pull away.
“Stop being an asshole. I told you I don’t want any.”
“Please, all I have to do is blow on you and you’re ready to go.”
“Not today jackass.”
He nibbled on my ear and my resolved weakened. My knees bent involuntarily. I leaned into him. Felt him hard against my back.
His voice became husky. “I told you.”
He grabbed my forearms and led me into the bedroom. He threw me onto the bed so quickly I didn’t have time to react. I landed on my side. He was on the bed instantly. He flipped me onto my back. He pinned my legs down with his knees and held my arms down. I looked up at him stunned and turned on.
He let go of my arms to unzip his pants. He was exposed. He grabbed me by the hair and forced my head forward.
I gagged so hard as he shoved it into my mouth that I saw stars. He held onto a fist full of my hair and forced me to blow him. The degradation turned me on.
He threw me backwards and angrily took off my dress and panties. I stared as he took off his shirt. I tried to sit up to touch his chest, but he shoved me back and took off his pants.
Naked, he grabbed my hair, hurting me as he pulled me up.
“Get on your knees.”
I did as I was told. He entered me from behind, grabbed my waist and pulled me upward, until I was sitting up and my back was pressed to his chest. His cheek touched mine.
He spoke through clenched teeth. “You still want the pretty boy?”
“No,” I whimpered.
I came closer and closer with every thrust.
He cursed me. “Goddamn you for embarrassing me. Tell me you’re fucking sorry.”
He held my breasts. Squeezed my nipples.
“I’m sorry. Please. Please, I’m sorry. Please.”
I was coming so close.
He yanked my hair again, bending my neck back so he could see my face.
“Not good enough.”
“I’m sorry. You’re the best. I’ll do whatever you want.”
He yanked my head back even further. My neck bent over his shoulder.
“Oh my god!” I came.
He kept going, holding me by the hair, working his way toward climax.
He yelled as he came, emphasizing each word, “You. Fucking. Bitch.”
He threw my onto to the bed and collapsed next to me. Even as I laid panting next to him, my first thought was Blake. I wasn’t going to be able to sleep.
“I need a cigarette,” I said.
“You’ve been doing so good. You haven’t smoked for days.” He mumbled, “Unless you’re lying to me.”
“Please. You expect me not to smoke after that?”
He chuckled. “Okay, I’ll allow you one.”
I wanted a cigarette, I wanted a beer, and I wanted to check Facebook for any messages from Blake.
I lit a cigarette and waited impatiently for the Facebook page to load on my phone. When it finally did, my heart leaped. There was a new message from the prom king.