l was taught to be a good man; a gentleman. Hold doors open for others, not just women. Say "please" and "thank you". My mom would scream at me if I wasn't polite and respectful, especially out in public. She must be rolling around in her grave these days. 
You must think my story is a bad one, like a romantic love story about a girl that falls in love too quickly. However, mine's way different. You know, you read those books all the time about the love and the romance, but you don't often read about their lives and about how they got to where they are in life. 
This is our story.


3. Chapter Three

I moved my hand around the bed to find it completely empty. I opened my eyes and looked over and sure enough, the right side of the bed was perfectly made as if no one was here. But I know for a fact she was here and it was not a dream. I would've known if it was a dream. Maybe she went to school already. Maybe she needed to leave early. 

"Hey, dad, I know I didn't come home last night, but I'm on my way to school now so you'll see me when I get home. I have practice after school, so I'll be a little late but I'll be home for dinner. Bye,"


Jason smiled as I walked into my third class with an apologetic look. "Sorry, sir. Won't happen again I promise you," my teacher nodded and waited until I got to my desk next to Jason to continue his lesson. 

"Rough night?" Jason asked. 

"Shut up, man. At least I'm not hungover. Just leave it alone,"

"Hey, I had a rough morning. Talia and Amber drove to school, can you believe that? We're living together and she wants a ride with Amber and not me? You'd think she'd let me drive her to school. But no, God forbid she's seen with me

"You're leading her on, you realize that, right? You do these things and offer to drive her places and yet, you're still screwing Sophia. Honestly, I don't blame Talia, plus she barely knows you. Give her time." A slight movememt outside sparked my insides as I stood up quickly. 

"Mr. Phillips, where do you think you're going?" 

"Bathroom," without another word, I hurried myself out the class and into the hallway in hopes Amber would be walking down. 

"Amber!" She turned out quickly then continued her way back to her class. "Amber, wait,"

"Jackson, usually when a girl walks away from you, it means they don't want to talk to you or see you."  

"I don't understand. Last night was-"

"A mistake. I should've never slept with you."

"I was gonna say it was great. Why the sudden change of heart? You were so into it last night,"

"Look, yeah, sure last night was good, it was fun. But it can't happen again. Ever. If any of your friends knew or found out, God if any of my friends found out, I would be dead and the talk of the school."

"You mean Talia and Jason?" She just stared at me. "If that's what you're worried about, them finding out, don't be. We don't have to date or anything. We could be friends who just sleep together,"

"Are you kidding me? That's like, like sleeping with the enemy. I could never do that to Talia. And anyways, I just got out of a relationship,"

"How about this. You don't tell Talia, I don't tell Jason. We meet up after school and after practice at your house. Jason knows I go out after practice. What Talia doesn't know won't hurt her."

She tapped her foot, "only after school and practice. Never on weekends and never on Thursday's. Nobody says anything,"

"Got it. You still never answered my question."

She sighed, "Talia called and asked for a ride to school. And plus, I'm never late to school and you won't change that. I may be who I am and sleep around a few times but I am never late for school,"

By the time I got back into class, the bell was about to ring for lunch. Of course, Jason had his casual comments and assumptions but finally dropped it after seeing Sophia. I smiled as Amber talked to Talia about who knows that these days.

Talia is another person who has major problems. After her dad died in a fire, she lost it. Unlike Jason, her problems are mentally, physically, emotionally, socially and unfortunately, I am one of the people who caused her to be that way. But the girl has been though so much so no wonder why she's so messed up.

"Going to the party tonight?" Jason asked.

"It's Tuesday, Jase,"

"Your point? There's always time for partying."

"Well, your mom has a doctor's appointment that you need to take her to. Did you think about that?"

"Yes and it's at four,"

"And what if something goes wrong and she has to go to the hospital? You're gonna leave her alone so you can get drunk?"

"Alright, damn I won't go. I didn't think it would be that big of a deal. But obviously, it is,"

"Jase, you know your mom has appointments every Tuesday that's why you don't go to practice on Tuesday's. Dude, Amanda wrote it down in your calendar on your fridge and a reminder in you truck. And plus you don't want a repeat of what happened last year, eh? Just you inside a house with no technology, no friends and no outside world. Just you and your aunt tutoring you." I'm mainly the only one who truly cares about Jason and his health and although it sometimes seems like I'm bossing him around but in reality, I just want him to be healthy and not sick and addicted like last year.

I watched from my seat at the lunch table as Amber tried to pull Talia back down to their table but had no such luck. However, I did see what went down with Sophia and Talia.

"You're not gonna do anything?" I asked as Jason ate his lunch.

"Why should I? Dude, stop caring and just let go. You're too nice sometimes," I shook my head and stood up without another word. Amber and I are really the only ones who know what went down with Talia and unfortunately, right now, Sophia is the icing on the cake. She enjoys to watch people get humiliated. And a couple years ago, that used to be me. I used to be that person.

I never knew what was going through my head back then. I think I wanted to feel like I meant something and at the time, Jason and I were drifting apart as friends and I felt like if I didn't do something that he would do, we wouldn't be friends. I hit rock bottom a couple years ago when my dad lost his job and we started getting eviction notices. Jason was fighting with his mom about stuff and then found out about her illness and he drifted from me when he started partying and drinking. So I did what I thought was the right thing to do in a situation like that. I made up rumors and jokes and people took it seriously. Talia ended up going to therapy after that and started to have serious health and mental problems.

What changed? My attitude changed and I got older. I didn't want to be the person who was known for making a girl have health problems. But I ended up being that person. I really never forgave myself after I found out she was seriously damaged. I'm not that person anymore and I never will be.

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