Feelin' You (Excerpt #2 )
***Unedited and subject to change
“Is it true?” I looked up towards JD trying not to lose it. Not just yet.
“Man,” JD pulled a shirt over his head and walked towards the bathroom. “You think I’d be this calm if it was?”
“That would imply that I knew you well enough to know that about you.”
He scoffed and proceeded to brush his teeth.
Unsure if he was going to respond, I got dressed myself, sliding back on my jumpsuit.
“There’s a t-shirt on the bed for you,” he muttered putting on his sneakers. I saw it and put it on, thankful I’d have some covering from the cool of air of the morning.
“We need to check on Lacey.” He spoke as we stepped out of his front door.
“Together? No.” With the amount of drama already occurring, us popping up together would be the cherry on top. “I’ll check on her, just bring me home. Go check on your... friend” I barely got the noun out. If Nate thought I had it out for him last night, he was about to feel my wrath.
“You know,” JD started as he pulled out from his complex, “you felt comfortable enough to tell me about your sexuality. About your father. Allowed me to see you in a vulnerable moment and yet, you don’t know me well enough? Think that I would be associated with someone that disrespected women? He ain’t that dude. He’s not the stereotypical athlete you want him to be. Flawed? Yes, but who isn’t.”
My face was impassive. “And as his closest friend, I wouldn’t expect you to say anything different.”
He was shaking his head in an annoyed fashion. “Conversations held upright can help with ignorance.”
I blinked a few times trying to figure out if he’d just insulted me. “Excuse me?”
“Nothing. Don’t bother,” he kept his eyes directed towards the road. “Wouldn’t matter anyway.”
Alright now. He only had but one more time to say something slick to me.
When we pulled up to my parent’s home, he unlocked the doors. “I would tell you to keep me updated with Lacey, but I know the drill by now.”
The urge to slap him had my hand shaking, but I couldn't risk getting the cops called from this neighborhood's bland and overly watchful residents. “Kiss my ass. You and your ain't shit friend.”
Still not bothering to look in my direction, he muttered dryly, “Got it. Loud and clear.”
I slammed car door hoping I broke something, hating the feeling of being dismissed. Then he had the nerve to wait for me to unlock the front door before he pulled off.
“Who was that?”
My mother’s voice stopped me in my tracks as I headed up the stairs. I look down to see her emerge from the living room. She seemed...refreshed. Like she’d gotten the wind back in her derogatory sails.
“Nobody.” As if I would give her any inclination about who I associated with. She already had a preconceived notion about me scissoring every woman in the Northeast.
“Nobody was a… man.” She sounded surprised. She had to have been staring out the bay window of the kitchen to see that.
“Yes mother. Glad you can still be so keen without a wine glass attached to your hand.” I turned to go hurry and change. I needed to get to Lacey, who I'd just sent a text message asking her if she was still with Nate although I had the answer. I had to seem unknowing.
“Young lady who do you think you’re talking to?” She approached the bottom step.
Filled with a sense of vigor from JD and this entire bullshit with Nate and Lacey, I looked back. “I’m talking to the woman whose vomit I had to scrub out of the living room’s rug yesterday.”
A hint of guilt flashed across her face, but she didn’t back down nor did I expect her to. “I don’t care what you did, you will not disrespect me in my own home.”
Again, the attack was on me and not the person who deserved it.
“Are those words for me or my father because now I’m confused?” I took a few steps down until only one separated us.
“What occurs between me and your father is none of your damn business?”
“Yet I’m always thrown in the middle of it!” I countered. Was she damn serious? “Do you think staying here was my choice?” My disdain for being home was understood but never spoken about until now.
“Nobody is holding you hostage,” her voice was shaky. I could almost bet she was calling my bluff, but today...today was the right day.
“You know,” I let go of a cynical chuckle, “you are absolutely right. And could you two do me a favor and leave me alone to enjoy the life that neither one of you care to know about. I might finally have some peace instead of being succumbed to whatever misery has permanently attached itself to your crappy ass marriage.”
My head flew to the side so fast that I wasn’t sure what happened. My face stung and I realized that it was the first time my mother had put her hands on me since I was a child. Refusing to react, I lifted my chin in defiance.
“Did that make you feel better?” I asked stoically. “You slapped your sexually perturbed daughter and your husband still isn’t home.”