Turns out my mom had called Rachel’s house looking for me when I hadn’t returned her phone calls or texts. She wanted to confer with me on pancake recipes, or something equally asinine. Of course, I wasn’t there. And Mrs. Bradfield -(who Rachel had annoyingly told the truth to-) filled her in about our lovely evening away in the woods. To say my parents were angry was an understatement. I’m surprised I lived through the epic screaming that followed my arrival back at home.
My father confined me to my room until Monday morning, only allowing me to leave to use the bathroom and to eat. I was grounded for a month and I was not allowed, under any condition, to see Clay outside of school.
Of course, they blamed him almost entirely for encouraging me to lie to them and to go away overnight with him. (-The fact that my friends were there was inconsequential to them-). Even when I, very maturely I might add, tried to take responsibility for my choices, my parents insisted on viewing Clay as the villain.
I was able to send Clay a few quick texts before they confiscated my phone. Busted. Grounded until I’m fifty. Love you. I received his reply less than thirty seconds later. I’m so sorry, baby. Any way I can bust you out of Alcatraz? Should I send a file in a cake through your bedroom window? 🙂 I love you!
I smiled and furiously typed back, trying to be sneaky so my parents didn’t flip again. I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ll meet you at school. Dad will be driving me. No file necessary, though I may be forced to resort to cyanide tablets from the sheer boredom. xoxo
I quickly turned off my cell. My dad took the phone, unhooked the internet in my room and confiscated my car keys. Yep, I was a prisoner. And I was also receiving the silent treatment. My mother barely acknowledged my presence and my father just shot me looks of hurt and disappointment. Disappointment was 100 times worse.
They were the champions of the guilt trip. So I sat in my room all of Sunday evening, alternating between catching up on my homework and staring blankly at my wall. And all I could think about was last night and everything that had happened between Clay and me.
I hadn’t taken off the butterfly necklace he had given me. I felt it lay warmly above my br**sts. It was almost like having his fingers touch me. I was still so blown away by his thoughtfulness. And the words he had told me, how he opened up and revealed things about himself that were painful, only made me love him more.
I tried not to let our earlier fight taint my memories of our evening together. But no matter how much I pushed them away, they simply bounced back, bringing with it the memory of his anger and my hurt.
But despite the painful start, the night ended in the most romantic and toe curling way possible. I hugged my pillow to my chest and let the delicious memories of us together fill me. I shivered as I remembered his hands touching me and the feel of him as sank inside me. I rolled onto my back and groaned. Hell if I knew when we’d have a chance to be together intimately again. I may be under lock and key until I start collecting social security.
I thought about Clay whispering how much he loved me and how he wanted to be with me forever. And I, in my naive, young- adult mind, thought that it would happen. That, of course, Clay and I could overcome anything and we would follow each other off into the sunset.
I ignored the nagging voice in my head that whispered doubts and concern over Clay’s intense need to be with me. How he used me as a bandage for all of his other problems. I pushed aside the annoying realization that perhaps that wasn’t a healthy way to be…that I couldn’t make everything better for him; as much as he told me that I was all he needed.
Instead, I focused on my memories of making love to him and holding him the entire night. Of feeling safe and secure as his arms wrapped around me, purposefully ignoring any and all thoughts of what had occurred before that. The point was that I couldn’t imagine ever loving someone the way I loved him. And I swore I never would.
“Wow, grounded for a month with no cell phone or car! You might as well be dead, Mags.” Rachel said sympathetically as we sat around the lunch table commiserating over my horrible fate the following day. Clay squeezed my hand tightly, pressing close to my side. It felt like a week since I had seen him, when it had been less than a day.
I turned my head and met his mouth, kissing him deeply, not caring who saw it. Pulling my lips from Clay’s with a groan that made him smile, I returned my attention back to Rachel. Who was sitting closer to Daniel than usual. Daniel, when he thought no one was looking, would lightly rub her back and then drop his hand back to his side. I hadn’t had a chance to talk to Daniel about everything-( you know, with the whole grounded until I die thing-), but you’d have to be blind not to see the change in their relationship. I couldn’t help but smile at them, feeling happy for my two best friends.
“I know. But they went nuclear.” I crunched on my carrot stick. Clay rested his hand on my lower back. “We’ll find a way around it. Maybe I should start sneaking into your room after your parents go to bed.” Clay teased. Though, looking into his eyes, I knew he was being serious.
“I thought you hated heights.” I reminded him, lightly pinching his leg. Clay shrugged. “If that’s what it takes to see you alone, then I’d climb Mount f**king Everest.” I appreciated the sentiment. I really did. But I knew him doing something like that, given the precarious state of my relationship with my parents, could only spell disaster.
“Yeah, I don’t think you sneaking into my bedroom is the greatest idea.” I said, trying to dissuade him. Clay frowned at me. “Well, if you don’t want me to come over, then I won’t bother.” His mercurial mood changed in an instant and he turned away from me, pulling his arm from my waist and started eating his lunch.
Rachel cocked her eyebrow at him, and then looked at me. I rolled my eyes, trying to make light of it, though I hated when he did this. When he would become upset or angry and then shut down. I watched Clay from the corner of my eye and saw he was doing just that. His body language was stiff and he wouldn’t make eye contact with anyone. Rachel and Daniel talked quietly to themselves, making a point to ignore the scene that was brewing between Clay and I.
I couldn’t take this stupid wall that had suddenly gone up between us, so I scooted over to him on the bench and put my hand on his upper thigh. I leaned in and rubbed my nose on his chin. “Don’t be like that, Clay. Please.” I whispered. I felt him pull away slightly, but I didn’t give up. “You know I want to be with you all the time.” I insisted, kissing the corner of his down turned mouth.
I felt him soften and he covered my hand with his. “I just can’t take not seeing you or talking to you at night. I need you.” He told me urgently. His eyes met mine. “We’ll figure something out. I need you too.” I reassured him, kissing him gently.