All For Him

Maggy and Brandon are obsessed with each other in the unhealthiest way. They're hooking up behind their friends' backs, Brandon has a gorgeous girlfriend, and Maggy is totally in over her head at parties. But, she'll do anything for Brandon. And, to Maggy, everything is about him. Until their relationship is either open or over.

Cover by Zireee

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2. Chapter One: Halloween Parties

October 2017

“Maggy May,” Matt shouts as I walk into his kitchen for his annual Halloween party. “You’re late, we thought you might not be coming.” I look around the kitchen and find the usual group gathered: Matthew, Jo, Ellen, Chris, Shay, Leon, and, of course, Brandon, whose eyes are narrowed because he really thought that I might not be coming.

“I’d hardly say I’m late, Matt,” I chuckle, giving him a hug. “No one else is even here yet.”

He winks at me, and says, “You’re late for the pre-party, which you know is just as important as the actual party.”

I murmur a fake apology, with a promise to never be late for the pre-party again, and take my usual seat next to Christopher around Matt’s table. I say hello to everyone at the table and am met with smiles from everyone, including Jo and Ellen, who sometimes aren’t as welcoming to me and Shay as the boys of the group are.

Since Brandon and Ellen are together, and Jo and Matt are together, and Shay and Leon are un-officially together, that usually leaves Chris and I to hang out with one another at these types of events, which happen so often that I feel as though I can count on Chris far more than Shay to actually hang out with me.

Sometimes, though, I wonder if he really has no idea where I venture off to when I would disappear with Brandon for a few moments. When Chris would find me once again, he would always make some joke about how I always have to disappear for a few minutes during the party. I always have to force myself to not think of how Brandon had managed to get Ellen off of him for long enough to slip away with me. Brandon, naturally, sits directly across from me, his hair much longer than it had been on that cold December day two years ago when I first really met him. He now has sunglasses over his eyes, and I can’t tell where he’s looking, so I look away from him, and start talking to Shay.

It hadn’t taken me long to figure out that Brandon and I would be connected in a way that I hadn’t thought would be possible. At Jo’s birthday party, about two months after the original meeting with Brandon (Shay noticed just a few months ago that I’ve began to date everything in my mind in terms of ‘when things happened with Brandon’ and she is not happy about it because she hates Brandon), he showed up to my house when he had noticed that I wasn’t yet at the party. Realistically, I’d been getting ready to leave for Jo’s house, but was late because I’d been at my younger brother’s band concert. So, I had been generally surprised when I left the house to see that Brandon was sitting in my driveway.

February 2016

“Hey,” I say, curiously, noting that his window is down even though it’s been extremely cold day, and an even colder night.

“Hey.”

I climb into the passenger’s seat of his beat-up car. “What are you doing here?”

“You weren’t at the party,” he says to me, while winding his window up, as if it’s not at all weird that because I hadn’t shown up to Jo’s birthday party yet (I had even told Jo that I wouldn’t be there until later, so that she wouldn’t think I had been planning to ditch her birthday party), he should come to my house and get me. I pull my jacket tighter around me, and notice that Brandon sits in just a t-shirt and jeans, while I’m freezing with a winter coat on.

I nod, and say, “Yeah, I was about to leave. How long have you been sitting here?”

Brandon doesn’t answer my question, however. Instead, he leans over and kisses me square on the lips. And because it had only taken me two months to fall completely in love with Brandon Collins, I kiss him back without hesitation. With a million thoughts racing through my head (Does this mean he’s single? Does this mean that he’s interested in me? What would happen if my parents walk out right now and see me making out with this boy that they hardly know?), we spend the next ten minutes making out in his car, before he pulls away from me and backs out of my driveway. When we arrive at the party, I watch as Ellen immediately pulls Brandon into a long kiss, and I watch as he doesn’t pull away from her.

I find Christopher and immediately ask him to make me a makeshift margarita (Matt tends to never have the salt, which is the most important part to me, but he usually has the other ingredients) and he doesn’t even question why my eyes are swelled or why Brandon had gone to pick me up (I later found out that it was because Brandon had told everyone that my car broke down and I had messaged him asking to pick me up).

For the next few weeks, I try to avoid speaking to Brandon at all. He had tried to find me at the party, but I asked Chris to make sure he stayed away from me. Chris hadn’t questioned it. I’ve not rude to him because I don’t want anyone else to find out what happened between Brandon and I, but I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way to speak to him like I’d done previously.

One day in World History, he passes me a note asking me what he had done wrong. I roll my eyes and write back that he knows exactly what he had done to hurt me. I hear as he begins to scribble his note back, but I don’t look at what it says. When the bell rings, I throw the note away, never bothering to look and see if Brandon could see me or not. I don’t care if he had.

That evening, Brandon pulls into driveway like he had nearly a month earlier, and told my parents we were supposed to work on a project together, so he was there to pick me up. I don’t know why, but I got into his car, even though he’d lied directly to my parents, and had made me cry a countless number of times because he kissed me while he had a girlfriend.

The drive to his house is silent, and before I even get out of his car I know that his parents aren’t home. He doesn’t apologize to me for what he’d done, he doesn’t even acknowledge that he had done anything wrong. As soon as I get inside his house, he kisses me, and I kiss him back, stupidly. Then we have sex.

October 2017

“Want to do some tequila shots?” Christopher Long asks me now, nudging my arm, a smirk on his face and a twinkle in his eyes. I nod. He knows that I’m always down to take some tequila shots. He takes my hand like the gentleman that he is, and leads me over to the built-in bar in Matt’s kitchen. I study Chris’ face closely as he rummages through Matt’s parent’s liquor cabinet, trying to find his favorite brand of tequila. Christopher is a very handsome guy. His mother is from Japan and his father is American, which is apparently a beautiful mixture because he turned out to be almost as good looking as Brandon. Almost.

He holds a shot glass out to me and says, “Lick your hand.” I do, almost numbly, while staring at Brandon and Ellen, who are dressed up as a sexy cop and robber, and Chris pours some salt on my hand. I roll my eyes, and Chris laughs about that. He’s told me a few times that he thinks they’re a disgustingly cute couple. “We should have done a couple’s costume,” Chris says. “Everyone else did.”

He’s right, of course. Shay and Leon had dressed up as Beyoncé and Jay Z from their ‘Crazy in Love’ music video, and Matt and Jo had dressed up as a doctor and nurse. I look at Chris, who is dressed up as Captain Morgan, and then down at my own costume, a last-minute birthday present costume. “I guess we should have,” I say, and laugh. “Clearly I hadn’t gone to the length of figuring out what I wanted to be. My mom made this for me today.”

 He smiles down at my costume. “At least it’s classy.”

We toast to classy costumes, albeit quietly because the other girls are still in the same room as us, and down our shots, which earns a whine from Matt for us not having involved him. “We’re all supposed to take shots together, Maggy May,” he whines again.

“I guess that just means that I’ll have to take two,” I laugh as Chris begins pouring shots for the three of us.

Brandon ventures over to us, raising his dark sunglasses onto his mop of hair. “Whoa, I want in on Maggy May taking shots!” I smile weakly at him, thinking that maybe he’s fine with me being late this once. Brandon winks at me, which prompts Ellen to latch onto Brandon’s waist, ordering Chris to pour her a shot, too. The other three join us, and we toast to our final year of high school, even Shay, who nearly never drinks.

Once the guests begin to arrive, I know that it won’t be long until Brandon comes to find me. He’ll tell me that he’ll be at my place once we leave here, or that we’ll go back to his place. Ellen doesn’t let him leaver her for very long though. While I know that she doesn’t hate me, and am mostly positive that she doesn’t suspect that her boyfriend has been cheating on her for nearly two years with me, Ellen is definitively wary of Brandon spending time with me. I’m fully aware that Jo has tried to tell her multiple times that Brandon is not ever going to break up with her, and I feel bad for Ellen that she’s still so scared he’ll leave her.

After seeing Brandon and Ellen completely all over each other for the first half hour of the party, I’d drank more than I ever had before. So, now, Chris is beside me as I throw up into the bathroom toilet, while crying because I absolutely hate throwing up. I had been right about Brandon waiting for the right time to find me, because he sneaks into the bathroom, saying my name in a sing-song voice.

“Dude, she could have been doing something else in here,” Chris shouts at him, clearly concerned about my privacy. It almost makes me laugh. Brandon Collins has seen more of me than anyone else ever has.

Brandon doesn’t know what to say, clearly, as his mouth is slightly ajar in shock. Whether it’s from the state of me or from Chris yelling at him, I’m not sure. I look up into Brandon’s eyes and feel nothing but hot white hatred for him. I hate that he comes to my house, has sex with me, and then leaves. I hate that he tells me all of his deepest fears and secrets in private but acts like we’re only casual acquaintances in public. “Get out,” I say lowly to him, my eyes filling up with tears once again. Chris thinks that it’s just from the vomiting, but it’s not, and I’m thankful that this is the only time I had seen Brandon since getting completely wasted. I throw up again, crying my eyes out, but this time it’s from all the hate I have built up for Brandon Collins.

“I saw her come in here a while ago. I tried knocking but I guess you guys couldn’t hear me,” Brandon explains himself. “I just wanted to make sure she was okay.”

Chris nods at him, and says, “Thanks, dude. I’ve got her, though.”

Brandon looks sorrowfully into my eyes as he leaves, but I turn back to throw up into the toilet before he even gets to the door.

Shay drives me home. She hadn’t driven herself, and she hadn’t gotten drunk, so she drives me home in my car, and says that she’ll spend the night. She helps me brush my teeth and change into some clean night clothes. I cry into her arms about Brandon until I fall asleep.

At about two a.m., I wake up to my phone ringing. My head still feels a little foggy, but I’m not entirely drunk still. I answer it without looking at who is calling. “Hello?”

“Maggy May? I’m outside.”

I stand up and cross my bedroom to the window, careful not to wake Shay up in the process. Of course, standing in my driveway, right outside his beater car, is Brandon Collins. “Why are you here?”

“You know that I like to spend party nights with you,” he says, his voice low, almost as if he can sense that someone else is in my bedroom with me. “Can I come up?”

We’re still looking at one another through my window. I shake my head. “Shay is here. I was too drunk to drive home.”

“Come on out, then. We’ll go to my house.”

I told myself a few hours ago that I hated Brandon Collins, and felt like I would never want to see him again, but I still say yes, and quietly sneak down my stairs and out the front door. I climb into his car, which he had already gotten into since we got off the phone. “I didn’t see you much tonight, Maggy.” I sigh. I’ve always hated it when he calls me just Maggy. It’s his way of being short and angry with me, without ever seeming either emotion. But I know Brandon Collins better than anyone else knows him, and I can decipher him incredibly easily: he’s mad at me for telling him to leave the bathroom earlier. “You and Chris were nearly inseparable tonight.”

“Well, what do you expect, Brandon?” I ask, my voice strained. “All of you couples are off together for the entire night. You guys always leave Chris and I on the outs.”

He hums lightly. Brandon likes it when I actively point out that he and Ellen are a couple. He doesn’t like it when I point out that him and I are not. “If it were me throwing up, I’d want you in there rubbing my back,” he says to me. “But instead of finding me, you had Chris take you there and he was all about touching you.”

“That’s hilarious, Brandon.”

“What?”

“You think that I could have come and asked you to come hold my hair back while I was throwing up.” His eyes briefly leave the road, and he raises his eyebrows, asking me why I couldn’t have done that. I know that he’s playing a game with me. He’s playing a game where he has complete control over my emotions, over my feelings, over my life. I don’t want to bend to his will and point out again that he has a girlfriend, but I do. “In case you didn’t realize, you spent the entire night with Ellen on your arm. I couldn’t exactly get your attention off of her.”

He reaches over and grabs my hand, it’s only then that I realize we’re sitting in his driveway now. “Maggy May,” he coos, his voice soft and loving. “We both know that you held my attention the entire night.”

Sometimes when Brandon takes me to his house, we immediately hook up and then I demand to leave because I hate myself. But, tonight, like happens the rest of the time, Brandon and I lay on his bed and begin to talk. He asks me if I like Christopher, and when I say no, tells me that Christopher likes me. I laugh at this, but he insists it’s true. “He talks about you a lot at practice,” he says. “I don’t want for you to date him, though, Maggy May.”

He tells me that he hadn’t gotten any soccer scholarships, that the season is almost over, and he’s terrified that he’s not ever going to leave this shit town.

“You’ll stay here with Ellen, then, right? She’s planning to help her mom with the hair salon and you’ll stay here and work for your dad.” I know this, of course, because Ellen always talks about the dream life her and Brandon will live once high school is over.

He sighs, “You know that isn’t what I want, Maggy.”

“So no scholarship automatically means no college, and that’s it?”

He nods. I can’t see it, but I can feel his curls softly moving up and down my face. We’ve spent countless nights talking about how his grades aren’t good enough to garner him any scholarships for school, and about how his family can’t afford to send him to school. I already knew the answer to the question, but I had to ask it anyways.

"You're the only one who's ever understood me, Maggy May."

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