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.

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6. Chapter Five: Fights and Friends

February 2018

“Happy Birthday, Chris!” I shout as I enter his house on his birthday. I’m already a little bit tipsy.

He hugs me, taking the gift bag out of my hand, and whispers, “Have you been drinking already, Maggy?”

I roll my eyes as I pull away from him. “I had a few drinks before I came over here.”

“Did you drive yourself here?” I nod. Chris sighs and runs his hands through his hair. I forget about even looking for Brandon for a minute, and notice how good-looking Chris is. I reach out to touch his hair. “You can’t drive yourself home, Maggy.”

I smile at him, and lie to him that I have no intentions to drive myself home. I begin to look around his house. I had never been here before, but Chris had been to my house. I begin to wonder why I’ve never been here, if Chris is supposed to be my closest friend in the group.

“How come I’ve never been here?” I ask outright. Normally, I try not to hold back what I’m thinking from Chris. I like that he and I are proper friends (at least in my mind). “You’ve been to my house loads of times,” I mutter.

He chuckles a little, already dismissing the drinking and driving thing that just happened. “To study with you and Matt and Shay. I’ve never been over just to hang out.”

“Hmm,” I say. “Maybe you should come over just to hang out.” It sounds way flirtier than I mean for it to, but I don’t correct myself. After all, Valentine’s Day is next week and I’ve been feeling slightly depressed about the “big date” that Ellen and Brandon have been planning in front of me at lunch. Most of the time they’re talking about it, I have to actually talk myself out of vomiting right then and there because of how grossly cute they are together. Ugh. So, though flirting with Chris is probably a bad idea, it’s his birthday, Valentine’s Day is coming up, and Brandon hasn’t tried to have sex with me since December, so I’ve been lonely, and I like Chris. Plus, I’m pretty sure that Chris has a crush on me. I’m unsure if I’m flirting with Chris because I like him too, or if it’s because I hate Brandon. He shouldn’t care either way. He’s not my boyfriend.

“I’d like that,” Chris says to me. “I’ll be right back.” I watch as he leaves me in his living room to answer the door. I was the first person to arrive, and I already knew that Chris wanted a smaller party (hence why I am at his house currently and not Matt’s house). “Oh, Brandon’s here!” I wave nonchalantly to him, and he gives me nothing back. “I’m going to go change before everyone else starts to arrive,” Chris says to us. “I’ll be right back down.”

I watch him jog up the stairs to the second floor, and take a seat on the large couch in his living room. “So, were you over here making out with him?” I scoff, tired of Brandon’s snide remarks about Chris and I that he’s been making for the last three months. Chris often tells him to cool it, and everyone else has wondered what on earth I did to piss off Brandon so badly. Ellen, while politer to me (thinking that I had a thing for Chris) has apparently been questioning if Brandon likes me because he’s been acting jealous of me and Chris being friends.

“Did you come over here early to make sure that we weren’t making out?” He looks down at his feet, and I laugh out loud. “Oh, my god. You did! Pathetic.”

“You think it’s funny that you just moved on? I’ve been so depressed for three months and you just think you can go and flirt with Christopher the whole time?” He seems legitimately upset and I feel like I would normally care, but he’s the one who has been hiding me for two years. If he loved me, then he should be with me. It’s easy, but for some reason, he’s acting like it’s something ridiculously complex.

I scoff at him, “I have nothing to say to you.”

“Are you drunk already, Margaret?”

“Don’t call me Margaret. My name is Maggy May.” I feel as annoyed with him as I did the last time that I properly spoke to him, but I’m having a harder time holding it back tonight.

“Are you drunk?” He repeats. I roll my eyes, thinking about how when I tried to talk to him about Matt’s drinking problem, he completely disregarded it. “Maggy.”

I stand up from the couch, and turn to face him head on, “Yes, I’m drunk Brandon. And there’s nothing you can do about it. You don’t get a say in what I do.” I keep my voice low for fear of Christopher walking down here at any moment. It’s easy to tell that Brandon and I are arguing, but everyone sort of already knew that that is happening, so I’m not too worried. “Stop acting like you’re my boyfriend,” I spit.

“Oh, so that’s what this is about.”

“Ha,” I sneer. “You’re the one who started this. You’re the one who’s been being a dick to me for three months.”

He runs a hand through his curly hair, something he always does when he’s stressed out. Trust me, I’ve seen it enough times to know. “Do you think I want to be fighting with you Maggy? You’re my only friend.” I roll my eyes, but at least I know he’s being truthful with me now. After all, Brandon and I have only ever had one fight before. It also had to do with me being ‘too friendly’ with Chris.

June 2016

“Maggy, I’ve been searching for you all night.”

I turn around to see an already tipsy Chris heading my way and I smile at him. Any night where Christopher Long is more drunk than I am is bound to be a fun night for the two of us. He often gets a lot more confident around me, and I like that side of him so much more than when he’s shy. Maybe that’s why I’m basically in love with Brandon. After all, he’s the most confident person that I know, at least outwardly.

“I’ve told you time and time again to call me Maggy May,” I say, laughing at him. He shrugs, letting me know that he doesn’t really care what I wish to be called, he’ll always just call me Maggy. Oh well, I think to myself, At least he doesn’t call me Margaret. “Are you drunk, Christopher?” He laughs at me, and I notice that we’re in our typical spot in Matt’s kitchen. I’m sitting on the end stool at the island and Chris is standing right near me.

Throughout the course of the night, one of us will leave or both of us will, but we always find our way back to one another. It’s the first time that I realize I could actually like Chris. Since February, he and Matt had been steadily coming over to my house for study sessions, and through this, and spending time with him in school, I had come to realize that Chris makes me laugh and makes me feel happy. When I’m with Brandon, I feel upset and anxious most of the time. Literally all of the time unless we’re having sex and sometimes when I forget that he’s dating Ellen. It’s at the very intimate times when he tells me secrets that he promises he’s never told Matt or Chris or Ellen, that’s the only time I feel like I’m actually happy with Brandon. Again, unless we’re having sex, because nothing beats sex with Brandon Collins.

During one of my trips up to Matt’s private bathroom is when Brandon finds me for the night. “So, are you fucking Chris yet?”

The smile that had formed on my face when Brandon first walked in disappears. “What are you talking about?”

He rolls his eyes at me, clearly annoyed. “I mean the two of you have been basically making out in front of me for the last three hours.”

I make a face at him. “Seriously, why do you always act like this?”

“Why do you always act like a slut, Maggy?”

I feel my heart speed up. What? How was being friends with Chris making me a slut? I feel confused on how to even respond to him. He doesn’t look like he’s sorry for saying it, like it was an accident. No, he looks angry. His nostrils are flaring and he’s running his hands through his hair like he’s planning to pull it all out. Brandon paces the floor, not saying anything to me, but I have no response either. Instead of trying to rationalize what he just said to me, I simply exit the bathroom, hoping to make a quick escape from the party.

As I walk through the kitchen, I notice Chris waiting for me in the same spot he was in when I left to go to the bathroom. “Hey, thought I was going to have to come find you, make sure you were okay.” At this point, I could feel that I had tears threatening to burst out at any second, and unfortunately, Chris could tell, too. “Maggy, what’s wrong? Did something happen?”

I shake my head, feeling embarrassed about crying at this stupid party. I literally only ever come to these parties for Brandon and he spends the entire time either ignoring or insulting me. I think it’s bullshit and I’m not about to stand around and let it happen. Not right now. “I just ran into Brandon, and he called me a slut,” I say. I don’t really mean to, but I’m pretty intoxicated and Chris is too nice to completely lie to.

“Wait, Brandon Collins?” I nod my head, tears slipping down my face. “Why is he always so mean to you?” I shrug my shoulders. I know that, realistically, Chris is the only one who ever sees Brandon be rude to me, because it’s always due to jealousy over me and Chris. “Do you want for me to take you home?”

“I think you’re kind of drunk.”

He nods his head, agreeing that he is too drunk to drive me home. “I can walk, it’s nice out.” Then I sigh, “I told my parents that I’m staying at Shay’s house. They’ll know I’m drunk if I come home without my car.”

“Here, we’ll go up to Matt’s guest bedroom. We can just hang out in there away from everyone until Shay is ready to leave.”

 

Unfortunately for me, Shay didn’t bother to come wake me up when she left last night. Chris and I fell asleep in the same bed, and I was woken up moments ago by Brandon and Matt. I wake Chris up too, and he seems confused. I hadn’t been too drunk, so I’m fully aware that we did not have sex, but Chris looks concerned. I promise him that we just seemed to have fallen asleep, and we get up to face the other two boys.

“Finally made a move, huh, Chris?” Matt laughs when we exit the room. Brandon normally doesn’t stay at Matt’s after parties, so I know that he only stayed because I had been there.

We both just shake our heads. “Maggy needed some time away from the party,” Chris says with a pointed look at Brandon. “We just fell asleep.” It’s the entire truth, and Brandon still looks visibly pissed about it. He spends the next month and a half not talking to me.

February 2018

“I don’t deserve the way you’ve been treating me,” I spit at Brandon, who still looks entirely too angry.

We do not get to continue the conversation, though, because Chris comes bouncing back down the stairs. “Sorry,” he says sheepishly. “I had to find the perfect birthday outfit.”

I smile at him. He’s wearing a pretty basic outfit: khaki pants with a nice shirt and his hair all over the place, much like it normally is. “I think you look perfect.” I can practically feel Brandon roll his eyes at me, but I don’t much care. The doorbell rings again and Chris leaves us to get whoever is here. It’s a weird dynamic from Matt’s house, where everyone just bursts into the house at any time.

“Let’s get this party started!” I hear the very same man shout. I see Jo silently tagging along behind him. She looks embarrassed by him, and I begin to feel genuinely sad for her. It’s hard for me to watch her try so hard to stay beside Matt even though he clearly has some issues. Her eye catches mine and she smiles slightly at me. I don’t smile back. I’m not happy for her right now.

“I think we should chill on the booze tonight, Matt,” Chris says, his eyes quickly flicking my way. I feel upset by this, but I guess I did drunkenly drive to his house, so he has a fair point. “I just kind of wanted to hang around and play some board games, you know?”

I realize that my birthday fiasco may be playing into his decision to host his own birthday party. After all, I did not want a party and got one anyways. Chris, while friendly and social, has always preferred to stay within our group of friends. Spending his birthday surrounded by people from our school who hardly care about him is definitely not the Christopher Long way to do things. “I say no booze tonight, too,” I say. Brandon smirks at me, probably because I literally showed up here drunk, but I don’t care. Not tonight. It’s for Chris.

I don’t end up going home with Brandon, probably because I was sober enough by the time came that he asked me to. “Not tonight,” I’d told him. He thinks that just us speaking is enough but it isn’t. He’s been nothing but hurtful to me for the last few months, and I think it’s going to take a little bit more for us to be okay again.

“Where are your parents, anyways?” I ask Chris, now that we’re once again alone. Brandon, Jo, Matt, Shay, and Leon had all already left. Ellen hadn’t shown up, and no one questioned it, so I figured that she must have mentioned it to someone, or, more likely, everyone except for me and Shay. She still doesn’t really care for either of us.

“They went out for the night. I asked them to let me have you guys over, and so long as there was no drinking, they would trust me enough to stay away for the whole night.”

I realize that he wants to talk about me showing up drunk earlier, but I really, really couldn’t come here and face Brandon. After Christmas, Matt’s parents came home and they were here until last weekend, so he’s not had any parties there. Which means that outside of school, I hadn’t seen Brandon for three months. “Well, technically no one drank here.”

“You should have called me or Shay to pick you up, Maggy.” I groan. “I’m serious, I don’t know what I’d do if something were to happen to you. You’re way smarter than to drink and drive.”

“I’m sorry,” I concede. “It was kind of irresponsible of me to drink and drive to your house.”

He nods, a small smile appearing on his lips, letting me know that he does forgive me. When it comes to Chris, I always know that he just wants the best for me. “You’re fine now, right? I can drive your car home and I’ll walk back here.”

I shake my head. “No, I’m one-hundred percent sober. I’ll be fine.” I make my way to his door. I half expect him to follow me to the door to say goodnight, and I kind of feel like I want to kiss him, but I don’t know if that’s me or my hormones talking, so I’m glad that he stays on the couch. “Thanks for caring about me, Chris.”

“Always, Maggy.”

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