Veronica’s “best day ever” ended with her and Travis sleeping in their own room, but not before parting with a kiss. It was weird. Veronica enjoyed every kiss and every touch that Travis gave her. In his arms she felt safe and every kiss he gave her made her insides crawl with butterflies. He had made her day perfect and she fell asleep with what felt like a permanent smile on her face.
But of course, the next day was different.
The uncomfortable silence was back as neither of them actually spoke or even mentioned the many kisses that were shared between the two of them. Veronica didn’t want to say anything about it in the fear that he had actually regretted it, or worse, he was already thinking about hooking up with another girl.
Travis’ reason was different however. He hadn’t brought it up because he was trying to sort his feelings out. Kissing Veronica had been so different as compared to the plethora of other girls he had before. His body had felt different, warmer than usual, and for once the thoughts in his head had nothing to do with getting her in bed. All he wanted to do was make her smile and laugh like he had that day. Share sweet kisses and just shower her with affection.
He couldn’t quite seem to put the pieces together. What was so different from all the other girls he had been with compared to her? Some were exceptionally more attractive than her, but for some reason she was more complex. She was the only thing he could really think about and he had realized that lately, the thought of other girls didn’t really cross his mind anymore. The other girls didn’t laugh like her, smile like her, frown like her, talk like her, they did nothing like her.
They weren’t Veronica.
Travis got up from the couch with a groan and walked into the kitchen to place his plate into the sink. It was then that Veronica walking into the living room, her backpack slung over her shoulder and her eyes refusing to meet his, or look over to his direction.
“Veronica.” He called out, just as she was about to reach the door.
She slowly turned around, her eyes glued to the floor. “Yeah?”
“Do you wanna ride with me to school?”
Taking a deep breath, smiled softly at him and nodded, “yeah, that’d be great.”
“Let me grab my keys and we can get going.”
Before long then were on their way to school, the entire time, Veronica wanting to jump out of the car. Every stop light they stopped at, she truly contemplated it, but she figured it would only be more awkwards after, so she stayed seated.
But that didn’t mean that she stayed in the car longer than necessary when the car was finally parked as they reached the school. The car had felt completely stuffy with tension and uncomfortable silence and she had never been happier to get out of a car in her life.
She frowned when she reached her locker. Why had he offered her a ride if he was just going to be quiet the entire ride? Was he going to tell her something, but then chickened out?
All these thoughts swam through her head as she walked to her first period class, this time choosing a seat in the far back away from Amelia.
Her thoughts began to completely consume her throughout the class to the point that when Mr. Thomas asked her a question, she didn’t even know the answer. She hadn’t even remembered learning any kind of information relating to the question, and she felt completely stunned as her teacher looked at her expectantly.
“Well, do you have the answer?”
Veronica bit her lip. “Um I’m sorry, I-I do-....” She took a deep breath. “I don’t know the answer.”
“Please pay attention Ms. Evans.” He turned away from her and called on another student for the answer and the entire time, Veronica didn’t take her eyes off her desk. Today was turning out a lot worse than she hopped and when she looked up for a second, she instantly wished she hadn’t.
Amelia was staring right back at her with sad eyes, and all Veronica could do was look away to keep herself from getting angry. Instead she got sad. She had just lost her best friend over a shitty misunderstanding and over a douchebag guy no less. She didn’t know whether or not she and Amelia would make up, and as much as she hoped she didn’t know when it would happen either. Both she and Amelia were pretty stubborn people so it was hard to tell who would likely apologize first.
Veronica inwardly groaned. What the hell did I do to deserve this?
The bell rang and Veronica was quick to grab her stuff and was out of the class before anyone else. Before she knew it, she was at her locker and after grabbing her stuff for second period, she closed her locker and nearly screamed. Travis was standing behind her locker with a hard unreadable expression as he looked down at her.
“Are you mad at me?” His voice was low with curiosity and Veronica shifted uneasily against her locker when she noticed the eyes of the people surrounding them in the hallway suddenly shift to the two.
She shook her head. “I’m not.”
“They why did you jump out of the car like the seat had lit your ass on fire?”
Veronica bit her lip, “I needed to get to class.”
“You just bit your lip Veronica, which means you’re nervous about something.”
Veronica sighed. “Look I’m fine, I just need to get to second. I’ll see you after school.”
Veronica went to walk away, but Travis grabbed her wrist, stopping her mid-stride. His grip on her wrist was a lot tighter than she anticipated and an overwhelming feeling of fear filled her to the brim. It started from the depths of her stomach and slowly came up and a scream was stuck in her throat, and she knew that it would soon come out, so in quick haste she put a hand over her mouth to muffle whatever sounds would slip out.
Noticing her reaction, Travis instantly let go of her wrist and placed a hand on her back. He began guiding her down the hall and to the right, the entire time he had been whispering calming words to her, telling her that everything would be alright. When they finally stopped, Veronica saw that she was on the roof and they were now sitting on the same bench that she had been on a few days ago. Travis had her sitting on his lap, her shaking body vibrating in panic, until after some heavy breathing exercises she was a lot calmer than before.
“I’m so sorry.” He whispered. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“It’s okay,” She whispered. “I’m okay, I just had a little panic attack, but I’m fine now.”
“Did he used to grab you like that?”
Veronica numbly nodded and kept her head in the crook of Travis’ neck.
Travis took a deep breath, and wrapped his arm tighter around her waist. “I’m sorry that happened. I’m sorry that sorry excuse of a man was your father. You deserve so much better than that.” He paused for a moment and rested his chin on top of her head. “But I need you to know that I would never hurt you. I would never put you through such pain, and I don’t plan on it.”
Travis leaned back some, making Veronica lift up her head to look at him dead in the eyes. She then watched as he lifted her left wrist and run his fingers over the prominent scars that stuck out almost like veins, and her eyes widened. “I want to take away your pain, not add to it. I want to fix that little broken heart of yours Veronica, all you have to do is let me.”
Veronica looked at him with wide eyes. She had no idea what to say, hell, she had no idea that he even knew about her scars. It wasn’t too shocking, but she wondered when he even found out about them. All Veronica did was wrap her arms back around his neck and hug him close, the entire time never wanting to let go.