The Girl Next Door (Inside Me)

It was the fall of 1996 when we broke up. She said she kissed another guy and told me how I didn’t mean much to her, anyway. I slammed our pictures to the ground, shattering glass, the frame and all. I’d stopped short of setting the clothes she bought me over the years ablaze. God knows I wanted to, though.

I met someone else, and I just don’t love you anymore. That’s the story of my life. I’m the lonely kid, standing outside the circle of cool kids. The kid who thinks everything’s fucked up, and it will never get better–that is until the day she bumped into me on my way home.

“Watch where the fuck—”

“Is that any way to talk to a lady?”

“—you’re going! I say as I look up. Fuck me, I thought. I didn’t mean it.

“Just having one of those days, huh?” she asks.

“You could say that,” I say, helping her pick up her books. “Late for class?”

“The story of my life,” she says, tucking her bangs back behind her ear.

As she swooped to help me collect her books, I could see down her shirt; I was impressed.

Mary, that’s her name, lived across the street. Growing up, she was knees and elbows, but now she’s filled out well. I choked back spit, and a lump in my throat.

“Look, I’m sorry. I…”

“What are you doing tomorrow night?” Mary asks.

I look down and away and shrug.

“Come on,” she says, bumping my arm. “I know you’re single.”

I felt my narrow eyes turn to crinkle slits, and heat flood my veins.

“I didn’t touch a raw nerve, did I?”

“What? No, nothing like that,” I say.

“Single?”

“Huh?”

“You’re single, right?”

“Oh, that, yeah.”

“What do you say we hang out on V-Day?”

“Am I dreaming?” I say. “Is this real life?”

“Are you in special ed or something?”

“Wait? What? Me? Hell no,” I say less confident than I’d like to admit.

A smile tugs at the corner of her mouth. “I’m only kidding,” she says, stroking my shoulder. “Listen, I’m late for class, but I’ll see you tomorrow night, OK?”

“Sounds good,” I say. As Mary walks away, I look either way, hoping I wasn’t talking to myself.

I wait and waited, but she hadn’t shown up yet. What the fuck, dude? I thought. I should have known this was a prank or something like that. 

Someone knocks the door, shocking me to my feet

Someone knocks the door, shocking me to my feet. There Mary stands in the rain that slaps against her hooded sweatshirt.

“Any day now!” she says, waving her arms.

“Of course, come in,” I say, waving her in, hoping I’d turned off the Jessica Drake Instagram feed I’d been viewing.

“What do we have here?” Mary says as she plops herself on the couch. “Who’s Jessica Drake?”

“I was just doing some research,” I say, slamming my laptop shut.

“Have a drink,” I say, handing her a wineglass.

“Didn’t spike it, did you?”

“Me…spike a drink?” I say, almost outraged that she’d ask such a reasonable question.

“Kidding…I’m kidding,” she says.

“I gotta stop doing that,” I say.

“Don’t get sarcasm, do you?”

“I could work it out,” I say.

My heart rushed with beats after she pulled her bangs behind her ear, and I saw freckles run the length of her neck.

“You gonna kiss me or not?”

I leaned in, pressing my lips to hers.

Mary pulls back. “Who taught you how to kiss?” she says, cackling to tears. She grabbed my cheeks. “This is how you kiss.” Mary pressed her lips to mine.

A euphoric rush of passion flooded with dopamine flushes my insecurities. And now, the only thing that matters is her cherry lipstick and taste of her blush on my tongue. My fingers travel the length of her sides and her mine. I ran my fingers through her hair, tracing her thighs with my tongue.

The doorbell rang.

“Expecting someone?” Mary says as she sits up to cover her body with a blanket.

“I have no friends so, no.”

“And, I’m no opening the door,” I say. “I don’t care if my mother is dead.”

“Good because I’m not leaving until I feel you inside me.”

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