Look at the way he's stacking up the wood, like he's some type of macho man. Obviously trying to impress me. He's completely clueless that he's overrated in my mind. And his jeans are way too tight. You know, he's not as hot as he thinks he is with sweat dripping down his forehead. And his neck. And his chest. And- Stop it.

... News flash, Owen. We're history.


4. Four

I've been home for three days, and I'm not allowed to sit on my butt for another day. I had to beg James to let me skip again, claiming that my head still hurt. He was off to work, and I'm home alone cuddling with the biggest bowl of popcorn.

I'm forced to come out from under the confines of my fluffy red cover when the sound of knocking pierces my ears. I grunt, and throw my quilt back to drag myself off the couch. I just put Grease in the dvd player, and I was just about to get my musical on. My mouth falls to see Owen propped against the door frame outside. "What are you doing here?" I quickly take my hair out of my ponytail and shake the waves, hoping that it makes me look more presentable.

"I thought you might want some company, that's all. "

"You're supposed to be in school." I remind him, allowing his body to brush past me.

"Coach doesn't need me for practice today, and I don't have to stay for lunch. I'll be back just in time for math." He plops himself on my couch and pats the spot beside him. In the process he steals my popcorn bowl. "Come on, Princess. "

"Do not call me that." I scold him with a disgusted look on my face, and he just grins his famous grin. I fall next to him and he doesn't waste anytime before nuzzling his head in my lap. I hesitate when he grabs my hands and purposely encourages them into his hair. He loves that, but it always makes him sleepy. This reminds me of when I called him my boyfriend. It was a traditional thing for us when we were a couple. I don't know if I'm surprised or not, but somehow I go along with it. My fingers manage to slip into his locks and my other hand snatches the remote. I just laugh when he lets out a groan, because he's clearly referring to my taste in movies. I press play.

The scene with the car racing is about to happen when my company's phone buzzes. "Yeah?" Owen says, not such a fabulous greeting. "Yeah I'm doing something. No." he chuckles into his phone, and he's staring right at me. "I told you earlier that I'd call you later. I'll be there. I promised, remember?" he hangs up, and resumes to his position in my lap. I bump his head with my knees. 

"I've gotta move, I've been in this position for too long." 

"Then let's try a new position." he bites his lip and I hit him in the shoulder. 

"Strike one." I tell him, standing up. I place the popcorn bowl on the coffee table and make my way to the kitchen to get a glass of iced tea. 

"What happens when I get to strike three?" Now he's whispering in my ear, and I elbow him in the gut before my nerves can get the best of me. It barely phases him, and he only pretends to look hurt. 

"Honestly Owen, that's how you ruins things."

"What are you talking about?" His tone becomes somewhat serious, and he parks himself on the counter. 

"We were having a good time. Why do you do that?"

"I'm not doing anything, Pres. And I like that you're in a good mood today." He reaches for my hand, and I don't pull away. So our fingers dangle together for a while. I think about how he used to do that in school, and how it would send electric chills through me. I stare at our hands and blink away the thoughts of the past.

"Owen, I'm not your girlfriend anymore. I'm not gonna play along when you do stuff like that." I say this while I shake my head, but I don't look at him.

"I'm not doing anything!" his voice gets louder, and his hand drops from mine. I step back and take a long look at him. I hope he doesn't think I'm afraid, but when he gets to his feet I shift back again.

"Maybe you should go." I cross my arms and sigh, backing further away from him. My sigh is shaky and I get mad at myself for it.

"You see? Why did we fight all the time? Huh?" his words remain at a high volume. My back presses to the wall, and I'm sure I look scared now. "Everything with us was always bickering. We fought over everything for no reason." His head falls. "I loved spending time with you the other day. I liked taking care of you and being there next to you in the hospital. The whole thing just made me miss you in general." his jaw was clenches when he sees my eyes get watery. "But here we are, fighting again." he sighs loudly, and my mouth hangs open. My next words are crawling on my tongue because I think I'll scream if he keeps saying things like that.

"I think you should go." My voice is hoarse and a small tear is wiped away before he can see it. Owen moves forward, and I just sniffle and hold my arms closer to my chest. "You're gonna be late for math." his frozen eyes search mine for a quick second, and he shows himself out. 


I'm on my way to the last period of the day. "Hey Ms. Hazel." I see her across the room in the light booth, and I wave to her politely, then I go to work on my unfinished project. Some kid makes a joke about me handling wooden planks and I roll my eyes at him. It doesn't even hurt my feelings, so his joke was clearly a failed attempt. I go into the workshop, and start picking up some nails that have fallen out of its proper bucket. Two minutes later I stand up to observe as Owen rushes in, his face pink. He's holding his pinky finger and pacing back and forth. I can't help but smile. "Splinter." he says in a very low voice, taking deep breaths. I have to keep my giggles to myself until I leave him. I walk to my bag and retrieve my tweezers out of my makeup pouch. When I return, I grab his finger without asking permission and he hisses. His strong arm tries to swat me away but he gives up after a second or two. He sits on the stool beside him before I start looking for the splinter. I glance up to see that he's the same height as me while he's sitting down. 

I pick at the source of pain until I finally snatch it out. I giggle by accident as Owen grimaces in pain, squealing. Before I have time to think about it, I kiss his finger and place it back at his side. He takes a minute to stare at me and it makes me blush. So I resume, placing my tool back in my purse and moving to the stairs. It takes me a good twenty minutes to spray paint the first coat. I eventually find myself coughing and coughing, desperately trying to wave the smell out of the way. I can see Owen gazing at me from the workshop, pretending to be working on a prop. With my face turned away from the smelly fog, I watch as he reaches for something, and makes his way over to me. He hands me a mask and I just nod politely until I can spit the word out. "Thanks." I finish the second coat and he returns to my side when he notices that I'm done.

"I think you need some fresh air." I don't say a word. I just allow him to lead me to the back door. The door closes, and we walk to a brick wall on the side of the school. He just sits down, so I go down with him. "Listen." He sighs with his eyes fixed on a little pink worm thats less than a foot away from us. "I didn't mean to make a big deal yesterday."

"It's fine." My expression remains shy,  and I tug my knees up to my chin and smile lightly. "I didn't know you felt that way."

"I don't really know how I feel, Pres." He rubs his face like he's frustrated, his huge biceps flexing in the process. "I have so many things going on." I'm feeling generous, and I do feel bad for him in this awkward moment, so I put my head on his shoulder. And I can't help but tense up when I see him grin. I haven't been comfortable around him like this in so long, and I don't know if it feels good or not. "I like you when you're like this." He huffs out a laugh, scratching his stubble. Then I wonder what he meant when he said he had a lot of things going on. I sigh out loud, pulling my thumb up to my mouth to chew on the nail, my regular habit. He swats my hand away. "Why are you nervous?"

"Who said I'm nervous?"

"You bite your thumb nail whenever you get nervous."

"I'm not nervous." I whisper, and I didn't mean for it to be a whisper, it just came out that way. My voice sounds raspy from a lump caught in my throat and I think about clearing my throat but I don't. Nine and a half months is good enough time to get to know some one. And he knows me. The nail biting thing isn't so much when I'm nervous, it's when I think too much. My mind goes crazy in all different directions, certainly much more than it's even capable of. It's just a habit to bring my thumb up to my teeth.

I don't know how he feels about me. He doesn't know how he feels about me, and I don't even know how I feel about him. All I know is that right now this whole thing is one big mess and part of me is refusing to feel for him again. The other part is chanting do it do it do it. I bite away and repeat, "I'm not nervous."

He hums in response, making me roll my eyes.

"Why did you kiss me?" I burst, piercing my bottom lip with my teeth.

"Hmm?" His head is turned away, and he's just looking into the parking lot.

"You kissed me the other day."

"I know I did. "

"Why?" When he finally turns his head and looks at me, he waits for a second before answering my question.

"I don't know." He shrugs. "I guess I wanted to see what your lips felt like again."

"Come on, Owen." I make fun by laughing at him. "That's bullshit." I laugh harder, although my insides are exploding and my head is wondering if what he said was true.

"No it's not." He chuckles himself, showing his teeth while he smiles.

"You are a such a corny bastard, you know that?" I'm still smiling when we begin to stand up. "I nev-" He cuts me off, his lips pushing against my smile in an instant. I don't even remember what I was trying to say. All I know is that -unlike last time- I wanted to keep going. I kiss him back and large hands find my hips, squeezing them. I'm okay with it this time, and I know he's surprised but he doesn't tense. 

I'm the one to pull away after a whole two minutes without oxygen. I notice that he's not struggling for air, just staring at me with a smile plastered on his face. I dive in again, only because the grin gets to me, wrapping my arms around his neck and holding him like I'll never let him go. There's a decorative brick digging into my back, and I don't even care. I find myself growling lightly, wanting more and more of him. He's like a drug, just as I remember. And now that this is happening, I feel like things are just going down hill. But at the same time I want it. I crave it.

Surprisingly, I push him away, hard. And I cover my mouth, because I'm shocked by my actions. But I'm not regretful. All of a sudden I can't breathe and the anxiety is building tall. 

I get really bad panic attacks. And he knows that. He senses it. 

I use my hands to shield my face as I sip desperately for oxygen. The atmosphere is dry and my lungs feel like they're collapsing. Typical. That's the thing about anxiety attacks, you feel like you're dying, like this is the end... every single time. You have to be trained to control it. I start mumbling, "I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't. I can't." I'm letting out tiny sobs by the time he reaches to pull my arms away from my face. I'm against the brick wall, crying because a make-out session with my ex-boyfriend has triggered a panic attack. Real tears are streaming down my face when he begins to blow on my skin, just like he used to. "Don't do that." I almost shout it, turning my face away. I don't want to think about him anymore. He's caused me too much pain for me to go through it again. I can't believe that I actually allowed myself to push that far. "Owen I can't." my voice is hoarse, and my breathing is finally starting catching up to me. "I can't do this with you." I'm sure my face is pink. "What we had was.. it was... it's over. It's been over."

"Not for me. Pres, you don't understand how much you meant to me." 

"It's done. I'm done with you, I have been for a long time." I sigh hard, trying to wipe away my mascara disaster. "And then you come in outta nowhere trying to pick things up where we left off? It's not gonna happen because you hurt me." My tone turns into a whisper and my finger is suddenly pierced into his chest. I can't help but grind my teeth for a second, because I don't want more tears to spill out. My thumb nail is shoved in my mouth and I humbly walk back to class, leaving him there. With my my other arm wrapped around my torso, I fight back my tears. Tears. He's been the cause of so many tears. I bite down harder, probably drawing blood. 

He doesn't follow me back inside. 

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