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***Based on True Events***

Seventeen-year-old America Gil has one goal in mind before starting college: to lose her virginity. At the heels of high school graduation and summer about to start, she decides to date Luis. Blinded by her caprice, America is unable to see the signs. When she and Luis are faced with an unforeseen revelation, America soon finds out that not everything is as it seems.

Growing up without a father has been difficult for Athena Gil. When she was young, she was forced to leave everything she had known behind to meet her dad. Athena loathed him ever since. Even though they have lived together for many years since then, the hatred has not banished. She wants to know why it took eight years for them to become a family again. But when her father begins to confide in her his deepest secrets, she uncovers the story of a man she had no idea she has been living with.

After her boyfriend of three years breaks up with her, Blythe Wright finds herself lost. Willing to do anything to forget him, she goes out on a date with a stranger. After the one-night stand, Blythe swears never to do such thing again and goes on with her life, not realizing that the stranger has left her with something she never wanted.

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4. 03. Blythe

Blythe

I'm in my room crying my eyes out once again. How did this happen? I thought we were fine. I thought everything was fine. My boyfriend of three years has broken up with me. I just...I don't know when everything went wrong. He just looked me in the eye and told me he needed a break, that he couldn't do this—us, anymore.

I hear a knock on my door, "Blythe, are you okay? Do you need anything?" my mother asks.

"No mom, I'm fine, and I don't need anything. I just want to be left alone."

I was kind of hoping that by now he would have missed me and texted saying he made a mistake, that he loves me and wants to get back together, but nothing. It's been two weeks, and I have not heard from him. It's like he doesn't exist, rather, I don't exist to him. Being with someone for three years, you see them constantly, talk every day and learn to be a backbone for each other. A safety net. Once you lose that it's hard to come down from the high love puts you in and get back to normal life.

I'm going to check his Instagram and see if he has gone out. I know I should probably not do this. It will only hurt me more, but this thought doesn't stop me from grabbing my phone, entering my passcode and opening the app. I don't have him as a friend anymore, so I have to look him up. I just hope his page is still public. I search, Adam Rodriguez, and come upon his beautiful face. Yeah, I know it is weird to describe a man as beautiful. They are usually sexy, smoking hot, or whatever people call men nowadays. But Adam is beautiful, he looks like the type of man God took his time to create. Hand sculpted him with sun kissed skin, dirty blonde hair and the bluest eyes, the color of a clear sky. He was totally made in heaven.

I tap on his face and I'm shocked at what I see. What? There is picture upon picture of him surrounded by girls and alcohol at a club in downtown Miami. Another has him blowing smoke out of his mouth with a marijuana joint in his hand. Since when does Adam smoke? I scroll down to see when these pictures were posted. The most recent one was from yesterday while the other ones are from a few days ago. I can't believe he is out there having fun, not a care in the world, while I'm in my room wallowing in self-pity and sadness. I wipe at a tear that happened to make its way down my cheek. I'm not going to cry anymore. It's time for me to stop this nonsense; if he doesn't want me so be it.

I've heard my coworkers talking about an app that lets people meet up by just a swipe of a finger. I go to the app store, type in the name and download the application. A few seconds later I'm creating an account:

Blythe. 19. Recently single because my stupid ex-boyfriend broke up with me. I'm just creating this account to get back at him and show him what he's missing and that I could have a good time without thinking of him. P.S, I might shed some tears, but that just means I'm happy to meet you, not because I'm thinking of my ex.

I wonder how many swipes I'll get with that description?

Ugh, this is harder than I thought. How about:

Blythe. 19. Just a single girl who wants to have a good time.

Better. Left means you don't like, right means you like, got it. Let the fun begin. Left, left, left, left, oohh, he's cute. Left. What? Oh no! I meant to swipe right. Fuck! Just move on Blythe, you got this. Right means yes. Right, left, left, right, right. After, about 10 minutes of swiping left and right, my thumb is a little sore. I wouldn't doubt it if I have a few blisters. I think I'll go shower and text Athena to see if she wants to hang out. Maybe I'll just head straight to bed.

After a much needed shower, I head back to my room. Picking up my phone to text Athena I notice a notification letting me know I have a match. Excitement followed by a little bit of uneasiness are the first emotions that hit me. I go and take a look at the three guys that also swiped right, but I am only attracted to one. His name is Michael, he's twenty-three, and lives just a few minutes away from me. He's the complete opposite of Adam. Where Adam is blonde with blue eyes, Michael is dark with brown eyes.

[Michael] Hey, what's up?

[Blythe] Nothing much just heading to bed. You?

[Michael] What? No way. It's still early and it's the weekend.

[Blythe] I know, but I have nothing else to do.

[Michael] Wanna meet up? We could go for coffee or frozen yogurt.

Oh, I don't know if I should. I mean, I've never met him before and what if it gets awkward or if I don't think of him as attractive when we meet? Well, we would be meeting at a public place...I think back to those pictures with Adam surrounded by girls.

[Blythe] Okay.

[Michael] Cool. So coffee?

[Blythe] Coffee sounds great. Send me the address and I'll be there in 30 minutes if you'd like.

Michael sends me the address of a coffee shop that's five minutes away. What to wear, what to wear? I put my index finger on my chin thinking. I got it. I turn toward the closet and go for a simple long, dark blue maxi dress and sandals. I go to the bathroom, brush my hair and do a side Dutch braid. After a few tries I finally get it to look just right, my natural blonde highlights make the braid pop out a little. I apply some mascara, natural looking eye shadow with a cat eye, lip gloss, and perfume. I look at myself in the mirror and I think I look pretty nice. Adam who? I'm not going to think of him anymore, he's not worth my time. I can do this. I will do this and I will have fun.

• • •

I'm in my car outside the coffee shop. Breathe in, breathe out. I repeat this mantra in my head. I don't know why I'm so nervous; it's just one date. I'm not obligated to anything. If I don't like him, I can just walk out. That would be really mean, though. I turn off my car, open the door and get out. I enter the coffee shop and look around for the man in the picture on my phone. I spot him waving a hand, smiling at me. Mhm, he looks just like in the picture, so I was not cat-fished. Michael is wearing a black V-neck with black jeans. As I get closer to the table, he stands up and kisses my cheek to introduce himself. Okay, too friendly.

"Um, hey, I'm Blythe." I say.

"I know," he says smiling. "I'm Michael. You look really pretty."

"Thanks." I smile and look down at my pink toenails.

"Do you wanna get something to drink?"

I raise my head and look into his hopeful eyes. "Yeah. Let's go." We go make the line. I can smell his cologne, it's intoxicating and not in a good way. He put way too much. I have a feeling he showered in that thing.

"What can I get you, Miss?" The barista asks.

"Can I get a Caramel Frappuccino with whipped cream on it, please?"

"Of course, is that all?" Just as I was about to say yes, Michael interrupts and asks for an iced tea.

"Is that all?" The barista asks once again. We both nod. "$12.15," I reach for my wallet, but Michael says he's got this. We wait for our drinks in uncomfortable silence.

"There's no need to be nervous." Michael says with a grin.

"I am not nervous." I say, as the barista shouts our order. We get our drinks and sit at the same table he was sitting earlier. "So, what do you do for a living?"

"I am a mechanic; my dad and I own a shop," he says. "Where are you from?"

"Here. Miami, you?"

"Here as well," he takes a sip of his drink.

"Oh."

"What about your dad? What does he do?" Michael asks.

"He was a sports broadcaster."

"Was?" he questions.

"Yeah, he died when I was two."

"Oh, I'm sorry," he says.

"It's fine; I don't remember him, so it doesn't really hurt me." What a first date conversation. Think Blythe! Think of something else to lighten the mood.

"You go to school or work?" Michael asks before I have a chance to change the subject.

"Both." I say. I tell him that I just finished my associates degree and will start working on my bachelors in the fall. That I'm majoring in Human Resource Management, and I'm currently working at a clothing store as a cashier.

The coffee door opens and just as Adam enters with two girls on either side of him laughing. Are you kidding me? I cover my face with my hands and begin to shake my head no, because I cannot believe this is happening to me. I feel like there is someone out there writing my life story on their computer just thinking of scenarios that can go wrong in my life.

'Oh! How about we make her ex-boyfriend walk in on her first date after they broke up. And, rather than one girl, how about he walks in with two? Yeah, that sounds better.'

Whoever is doing this needs to get a life, preferably not mine because this is not funny!

"Are you alright?" Michael asks with worry in his eyes.

"Yeah. No. That's my ex-boyfriend," I point to Adam.

"Oh, you wanna get out of here. We could go to my apartment and finish our drinks. Talk for a little?"

"Oh, um I ..." Woah, did he just kiss that girl? "You know what? Yes. Let's go."

As we both stand up Adam's eyes land on mine. With a fake smile on his face, he waves a hey to me. I roll my eyes and flip him the bird, locking hands with Michael.

Michael sends me his address as I enter my car. Don't think about him, Blythe. Don't. But it's so hard to not think about Adam. I start the car and put Michael's address on the GPS. Two girls? Really Adam? Is that why you broke up with me, because I wasn't enough for you? You needed two girls to make you happy?

I don't know how I got here, but I'm outside Michael's door waiting for him to open it up. Something in the back of my mind is telling me to get back in my car and drive home. The warning bells are ringing in my head, that this is not who I am. But it's too late, I'm already inside his apartment, seated on his couch.

"Do you need anything?" He asks.

"No. I'm fine." I say, looking around his living room.

The walls are light grey and a brown leather L-shaped couch is against the wall facing an entertainment stand with a t.v on it. A coffee table sits in the middle of the room where I put my Frappuccino. It's really dark in here, all the windows are covered by black curtains and there's only one lamp on. Michael sits next to me and puts his hand on my knee.

"He's an asshole, Blythe. He doesn't know what he's missing." He gently touches my cheek and pulls a blonde strand behind my ear. "I can make you forget about him."

He leans forward. "Let me make you forget." It sounds like a plea, like he's asking permission to kiss me.

I close my eyes and nod. The warmth of his mouth touches my lips. Then, his lips are on mine. He tastes like iced tea. It's a simple kiss at first, a getting to know each other kiss. He sucks on my top lip, while I suck on his bottom one. I put my arms around his neck and then move them downward to his shoulder and biceps. I give it a little squeeze. I am a sucker for a man with muscles. His tongue pokes at my lips probing me to open up. I do and our tongues begin a dance of their own.

We kiss like our lives depend on it, our breathing increases. He puts his hand on my arm and slowly makes his way to my chest. With just a flick of his thumb, he touches my nipple and it instantly peaks. We break apart. I'm breathing heavily now.

Michael stands up and stretches his hand for me to take it. I connect my fingers with his, and he guides me to the hallway of the apartment to where I assume his bedroom is. He opens the door, and the room is dark, darker than the living room. All the lights are off. I can't see anything, not even his bed. Michael pushes my dress up, throws it on the floor while I take off his shirt and jeans. Our shoes go next.

We stand there, in the middle of his bedroom in just our underwear. He steps forward and leans into the crook of my neck and gives me a kiss. His breath makes my skin turn to goose bumps. Michael moves from my neck up to my earlobe and pulls it between his teeth, giving it a tug. A moan escapes my mouth as he says, "You like that, don't you?" I nod, but I doubt he can see me. He moves his hands to my back and unhooks my bra. I don't know how to feel about this. I have only been with Adam before; no other man has seen me naked. His lips are on my cheek now and back to my lips in seconds. This kiss is hungry, like we are each other's favorite drink and can't have enough.

My bra hits the floor as his hand grazes both of my breasts and I arch my back to get more friction. I can feel his erection on my belly as I begin to swing my hips.

"You're on birth control, right?" Michael asks.

"Yes." I say, breathless. He takes off my panties and leads me to the bed.

• • •

What did I just do? I had sex with a total stranger, just to spite Adam. But I didn't have sex with this stranger at all. No. I had sex with Adam because his face was the one I saw hovering above me. I swept blonde from a sweaty forehead while lustful blue eyes looked into my soul.

Michael crashes on top of me, kisses my forehead and asks, "Did you come?"

No. "Yes." Please get off of me. I just want to go home and wipe your smell off me.

He moves to the other side of the bed and after a few minutes his breathing calms and he falls asleep.

I get out of bed and snatch my things from the floor as fast as I can. Once I'm dressed, I tiptoe to the living room, grab my purse and head for the door. I can't believe I did this. I feel nauseous. Instead of heading for the elevator, I decide to use the stairs. I have to get out of here. As I run to my car I can feel Michael's semen running down my leg. I put my hand over my mouth to swallow a sob that wants to escape. I feel so much hurt in my heart, so disappointed in myself. Dirty. That's how I feel. How can I have let a stranger ejaculate inside the most precious part of my body?

I feel like a zombie as I drive home. Dead, with no emotion. I turn off my car, open the door, get out and close it. I lock the car and enter my home. All the lights are off. Good, I don't want to talk to my mom right now. I don't want her to see me either. As I walk to my room, a tear falls on my cheek. I open my bedroom door, and go directly to my bathroom. I bury my face in the toilet and throw up. When I'm sure no more food is going to come out of my mouth, I stand up and begin to strip off my clothes and turn on the shower as hot as it can get.

I open the shower curtain and get in, letting the water cascade over me. Burn my skin. And this, this is when I break down. I feel disgusting. I grab the loofah and pour body wash on it. I'm dirty; I need to get cleaned. I don't want any reminiscence of this night on my body. Because I know that I will never be able to get it out of my mind. I start to scrub my shins, calves and thighs as hard as I can. I can see it turn bright pink, almost red. I want to see blood. I want scabs all over my body. A new skin to come out, because I know this is not my body anymore. I want to erase this night from my body. When I get to the most sensitive part of my body I break down once again, as a sensation of repugnance hits me. I scrub the rest of my body letting the water wash away my cries and few droplets of blood.

I shudder as I get out of the shower. Goosebumps covering my body. I look at myself in the mirror and recoil in horror, as I do not recognize the person before me. My hazel eyes are blood red and my skin is pink. I begin to shake, teeth chattering and the tears keep running. A sense of repulsion passes through me. I put on my pajamas and go to bed.

In hindsight, I would have never downloaded that app, I would have never gone out with Michael. Little did I know that this was the day my life ended. That in just a few months I was going to get agonizing news that would impact not only myself, but Holden's as well.

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