Everything was depicted so realistically, from the vivid descriptions of the Ireland landscape to the emotions Liam experienced. There was even a fun bonus chapter written from the dog’s point of view at the very end. I had found only a few grammatical errors and jotted them down in a notebook for him.
By the end of the story, I’d felt as though I’d fallen in love with the characters, which was a testament to his writing. At the same time, I felt closer to him and was so honored that he’d given me a glimpse into his incredibly creative mind. I needed to find the right words to properly explain to him how amazing this was…how amazing he was.
So, the next day, I decided that I would sit under a shady tree after school and write down all of my feelings in a letter that I would give him when I returned his manuscript. I poured my heart into it and explained why I felt he was born to write and that it didn’t matter if his father wasn’t proud of him but that I was so incredibly proud of him.
That afternoon, I planned to drop the letter off at his room. When I got to the top of the stairs, my stomach turned when I heard a girl’s voice from behind the closed door.
Lips smacking together
Elec hadn’t brought anyone home since long before the night we kissed in my bed. I thought that maybe he’d been respecting my feelings for him or that he’d changed.
I was wrong.
Knowing he was with another girl used to annoy me and make me jealous, but this time, it felt different. It just made me incredibly sad. I couldn’t even bear to stay in the house, so I left the book along with the note in front of his door and ran back down the stairs, worried that his writing wasn’t the only thing I’d fallen in love with.
It upset me that he hadn’t even acknowledged my letter after several days.
Victoria had also given me no choice but to finally tell her the truth about my feelings for Elec. She wouldn’t stop talking about how she couldn’t understand the fact that he never asked her out again after their kiss at the diner. I had no patience for it anymore and told her everything that had happened between us. She was shocked, but at least it got her to stop talking about him once and for all.
Elec continued to basically ignore me over the next week. He took on more hours at the bike shop and during the other times, stayed in his room with the door closed. He obviously knew that I’d overheard the girl in his room that day since I had left the book on the ground outside. He clearly didn’t care to apologize or address what impact that might have had on my feelings.
So, when Corey Jameson asked me out on a date that week, I said yes. Corey was probably one of the sweetest guys at school. Truly, I was not physically attracted to him but needed a distraction and knew at least, we would have a good time together. He was one of the few males I’d considered a friend, although it was obvious he wanted to be more.
Friday night rolled around. I had styled my hair into waves and put on a royal blue dress I’d bought on sale at the mall, but my enthusiasm level was the same as if I were going over to Victoria’s to watch a movie.
When Corey came to the door, my mother opened it and yelled upstairs, “Greta, your date is here!”
There was low music coming from Elec’s room, and the door was closed. A part of me wanted him to see me leaving with Corey, but another part didn’t want to deal with him.
Corey was waiting at the bottom of the stairs with flowers, and that made me feel oddly embarrassed for him. I could never picture Elec picking up a girl and handing her Gerbera daisies. Let’s face it; he didn’t need to.
“Hey, Greta. You look awesome.”
“Do you mind if I use your bathroom real quick before we leave?”
I hesitated to send him upstairs in the event Elec were to come out of his room. “Sure. It’s upstairs. Just take a left, and it’s at the end of the hall.”
I waited on a stool at the counter.
“He seems totally nice,” my mother said.
“He is,” I said, placing the flowers into a vase.
That was the problem. I’d grown to love a little mean mixed in with my nice.
After a five-minute wait, Corey had an odd look on his face when he returned.
“Are you ready?” I asked.
“Sure,” he said without making eye contact. He walked in front of me and led me to his Focus parked out front.
He was still acting strange after we got in the car and before he started the engine, he turned to me.
“I ran into your stepbrother upstairs.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Oh?”
“He said to give you these, that you’d left them in his room.” He handed me a pair of pink lace panties, the second to last piece of underwear that Elec had been harboring.
I took them and stared out into the street in disbelief, confused as to whether I was angry or slightly amused.
When I composed myself, I turned to him. “He’s just trying to mess with you…and me. It’s sort of what he does. I know this sounds silly, but he took all of my underwear as a joke and hasn’t given them all back. Nothing else is going on.”
He sighed but still seemed a little uncomfortable. “Okay. That was just really weird.”
“I know. Believe me. I’m sorry.”
Corey was looking straight ahead at the road, so I took out my phone and discreetly sent Elec a text.
Greta: Why would you do that???
Elec: Don’t get your “panties in a bunch.” It was funny and you know it.
Greta: It wasn’t funny to him.
Elec: You don’t even like him.
Greta: How would you know that?
Elec: Because you like me.
Greta: You’re full of yourself.
Elec: You wanted to be full of me too once, remember?
My jaw dropped.
Greta: Why do you always do this?
Elec: What’s that?
Greta: Revert back to your inner asshole.
Elec: In her asshole, huh?
Greta: You suck!
Elec: I do…very well. I’d show you if I could.
Greta: Why are you doing this?
Elec: Because I can’t fucking stop.
I wasn’t going to write back. He texted again.
Elec: Come home.
Elec: Come home. Hang out with me.
I shut off my phone and glanced over at Corey who was still looking ahead quietly.
Elec was out of his mind. Who did he think he was, trying to prevent me from casually dating while he continued to whore himself out?
Elec had cast a shadow over the rest of the night, and while we were able to make small talk at the Mexican restaurant, I knew that Corey was totally turned off by what Elec did. The sick thing was, I wasn’t even that mad. If I were being honest with myself, it secretly satisfied me that Elec cared enough to want to sabotage my date.
I tried to focus my attention solely on Corey and was doing a half-assed job while eating my flan dessert. All I could think about was Elec. He’d not only gotten under my skin tonight, he’d hijacked my entire mind.
My phone chimed just as we were getting ready to pay the bill.
I need you to come home.
Elec: I’m not messing around this time. Something’s happened.
My stomach suddenly felt unsettled.
Greta: Everything ok?
Elec: No one hurt or anything. We need to talk.
Elec: Where are you? Will it be faster if I come get you?
Greta: No, Corey will take me home.
Elec: Ok. Don’t take too long.
My heart was pounding.
What was this about?
I’d made up a story about severe stomach pains and asked Corey if he wouldn’t mind driving me straight home. He wasn’t too thrilled, but then again, the whole night was shot after what Elec pulled.
I couldn’t get home fast enough.
Corey hadn’t even waited for me to go inside before he drove off. I headed straight up the stairs and knocked on Elec’s door before opening it.
He was sitting on the bed waiting for me with a troubled looked on his face. Actually, I’d never seen him look so upset. He got up from the bed and caught me off guard when he immediately pulled me into a hug. “Thank you for coming back.”
His heart was beating through his chest as he held me firmly. My body yearned for him to hold me even tighter.
“What’s wrong, Elec?”
He released me then led me by the hand over to the bed where we both sat down. “I have to go back to California.”
All of the food I’d just consumed felt like it was coming up on me at once.
“What?” I put my hand on his knee because it felt like I was losing my balance. “Why?”