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


10. Chapter Nine: When Maggy Found Herself

August 2018

“Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last,” I sing as I pack the remaining few things that I’m planning to take to Penn State with me. It’s been a hectic few weeks packing and dealing with my mom crying and Ben complaining that he has to ride the bus for his upcoming year. My mom had told him that I rode the bus until I could drive in my junior year, but he’d still said it was unfair. He’d also called riding in my car with me when we move my stuff up to state college tomorrow.

“Don’t sound too happy about leaving us, it’ll only make your mother and me more sad about you leaving.” I turn to see my dad standing in my doorway.

I snort, “I think you mean sadder.”

“And here I thought you were going for biology, not English.” I laugh a little. “Someone is at the door for you. And, I promise you, it took me everything to not punch him in the face.” My heart begins to beat faster. I’m not sure if Chris, Matt, or Brandon is the worst person to see. I hadn’t talked to Chris since he yelled at me in the library back in April. Matt had invited me to his graduation party and had attended mine (despite the fact that I didn’t invite him. I suspect that my mother did, even though she wholly denies it). And, Brandon, well, I’d tried to quit thinking about him the minute I left Matt’s house after our last conversation.

I nervously push past my dad and walk down the stairs to the front porch. Brandon Collins stands there, looking extremely handsome. I’m speechless when I see him. I guess that part of me had been hoping that it was him, but only because I hate him. I’m sure that Matt and Chris hate me, and that’s a bit harder for me to face.

“Maggy May,” he breathes.

“I’ve actually taken to just Maggy,” I say, feeling uncomfortable with him calling me that.

He raises his eyebrows, “When did that happen?”

“Every time someone calls me Maggy May, it makes me think of you, and that makes me want to throw up.”

He makes a face, “That was harsh, but totally fair.”

“I’m really trying to not be rude, but what are you doing here?” I ask him, finally closing the front door to my house. I see my parents standing directly inside. I feel comfort in the fact that they don’t like Brandon either.

He runs his hands through his hair. I think about when I used to love watching him do that. Now, I really, really feel nauseated by it. “I overheard Jo tell Ellen that she heard from Matt that you were leaving tomorrow.” I raise my eyebrows, waiting. “So, I wanted to come and make sure that you know that I love you still.”

“Brandon,” I start, but he doesn’t let me finish.

“Please just let me talk, Maggy May.” I don’t say anything. “I wish I was with you. I- I wish that you hadn’t left me at Matt’s house that day. And I really wish that I had left Ellen sooner.”

I snort, “I’m sorry, but aren’t you still with Ellen?”

“It means nothing,” he says, instinctively.

“I know that, Brandon. And that’s a huge reason why I can’t ever be with you.”

A tear falls down his cheek. I stop myself from wiping it off of his face. “I guess that makes this goodbye, Maggy.” I nod at him, and before I can turn away, he kisses me on the lips.

“I said goodbye a long time ago, Brandon. Please let me move on.”

“Maggy May.”

I shout at him. “Stop calling me that. Do you understand what you’ve put me through? You dragged me along like some stupid puppy who couldn’t get away. I was stupid. And- and you treated me so horribly. You fucked with my head so much. You knew that Chris was better than you so you treated me like shit for being his friend. I can’t believe that you actually care about me. Because that’s not how you treat someone that you love, Brandon.” My throat feels tight and I feel the tears pricking my eyes, but I don’t let him talk. “Sadly, I loved you, too, Brandon. And I’m sure that there’s some part of me that always will, but we’re not good for each other.”

He sighs and walks down my porch steps. But, I’m not quite done with him. “Brandon,” I call.

He turns around and I almost feel bad for the hope that I see in his eyes. “Please leave Ellen for her sake. You can’t keep hurting her.”


September 2018

From Matt Johnson, 3:42 PM: hey maggy may. I know that we haven’t seen each other in a long time, but I thought I’d invite you to my first college party. I know that how everything went down was pretty intense, but I kind of miss you, especially after you ignored me all summer. Chris will be there, and I know that he misses you a lot too. I may have told him that you’ve been in love with him for like a year now. I’ll send you my apartment address if you want to come.

He had sent me his address anyways, about twenty minutes after he had sent the original message, despite the fact that I had clearly read and ignored the message. I sigh, thinking about how different that message would have been if things about Brandon and I hadn’t gotten out (I know, it was entirely my fault) nearly five months prior. I’m actually pretty enticed to go, except for the fact that I don’t really want to see Chris. He had always had such a big crush on me, and had held me to such a high standard, that I know he’s still majorly disappointed in me for being Brandon’s mistress, as Brandon himself had once called me.

It’s nearly eight-thirty p.m. before I suck up my embarrassment and decide to go to the party. “Hey,” I say to Nancy, my basically perfect roommate, “I’m going to a party. Do you want to come?”

She shakes her head, “Nah, it’s not really my thing. I’m going to stay here and finish this paper I have to write for my introductory English class.” I nod, very uninterested in what she’s saying, especially since I’ve always really hated writing papers. “But, have fun.” She smiles at me, as she pushes her glasses up her nose, and goes back to looking at her laptop.

I pull on one of the outfits that I would have worn to impress Brandon back in high school, but decide to tone myself down for the night. After all, I’m not trying to impress anyone at this party. I’m only trying to get Matt and Chris, especially Chris, back as friends. It’s almost nine-thirty in the evening when I arrive at Matt’s off-campus apartment, that I know he lives alone in, and I briefly wonder why it has taken him nearly a month to host a party, especially since he’s really alone. Maybe he’s learned to like an empty house. Or maybe it’s because Jo left him until he can get his drinking problem under control. Or, maybe I don’t know anything about their lives anymore.

I knock on the locked door, feeling slightly awkward. I’d never had to knock to get into a party with Matthew Johnson before. I guess things are always changing. When Matt opens the door, he looks both genuinely happy and surprised to see me. “Maggy May,” he says, leaning in to kiss my cheek, just like he had always done. Maybe not everything has to change. “You’re late, but I guess you’ve always arrived late to my parties, haven’t you?”

I instantly wrap my arms around his torso, pulling him into a hug. I’m still slightly unsure of what to say to him, even though I had spent the entire walk from my dorm to his apartment practicing what I would say when I saw him. “I’m so happy to see you,” I say, finally, before pulling back.

“I’m happy to see you, too, Maggy May. Things haven’t been the same for anyone since May.” I nod. “I just have one question for you, and then we can put this whole thing to rest.” I nod once again, willing to answer any question in order to have my friend back again. “Did Brandon ever love Ellen? Or was it always you?”

I sigh. “I don’t know when it started for him. I don’t know if he never loved Ellen, but I know that he loved me. I’m the only one he let see the real him.”

He nods, and I wonder if he and Brandon are in any contact anymore. They didn’t hang out much in school after the fight, and I never saw them hanging around together when I would see one of them during the summer. As far as I knew, everything got messed up with everyone. “Well, come on in. There aren’t many people here. I’m trying to keep things more lowkey than before.” I notice the lack of drink in his hand, and also the lack of alcohol sitting out. “Um, and it’s okay that you ignored me all summer. I wish you hadn’t, but I’m really trying to make sure that we’re friends again, Maggy May.”

I wrap my arms around him once again, “I really am sorry for that. I, uh, almost didn’t come because I was so nervous that you would hate me for going AWOL.”

He doesn’t say anything back, but instead kisses my cheek just like he had always done at the beginning of his parties.

I smile at him and look past him to see the room of twenty or so people, but one person stands out to me, and I know that he’s been watching me ever since Matt opened the door for me. He stands up, walking towards me, even though he looks incredibly hesitant and nervous.

“Maggy,” he says, and I try to remember the last time he’d called me Maggy May. It takes me only a moment to realize that he never did.

“Chris,” I breathe, looking him directly in the eyes. I remember all of the times I’ve avoided looking him in the eyes, and how he’d commented on it when everything about Brandon and I had come out.

He doesn’t say anything for a minute. I’m tempted to hug him like I had just hugged Matt, but things with Chris are just a little more complex. He had been so patient, caring, and kind with me. He had always been the exact opposite of Brandon. Unfortunately, for both Chris and myself, I hadn’t thought that that was what I wanted at the beginning of the year. I realize now that Chris is everything that I’ve needed in my life. I just didn’t realize it until it was too late. “I wanted to message you every day. I was waiting for you to make the first move.”

“I thought you hated me,” I say, my voice quiet, and try to keep the tears that are brimming my eyes at bay.

He sighs, “Maggy, I know I said some harsh things to you, but I was upset.” I nod. “I also said way worse things to Brandon. The whole group kind of broke off without you.”


“Yeah, I sort of hung out with Matt, since Jo left him. She stayed with Ellen, even though Ellen for some reason stayed with Brandon, and Shay and Leon quit talking to all of us, and so did you.”

I want to explain myself. I want to explain that I didn’t want to cut myself off from everyone. I want to say that I should have tried to contact him after the night he yelled at me. He was right, but he was nicer that day than anyone else had been afterwards, probably with the exception of Jo. I think back to the day that I’d seen him wiping some derogatory stuff off of my car windshield. I know he hadn’t seen me watching him, but I can only imagine how many other times he had done something like that for me. I want to tell him that I didn’t call him because I’d been ashamed of the manipulation I went through with Brandon, and that I hated myself and punished myself by not seeing him.

“I know now that you, Christopher Long, are everything that I had ever needed. I just hadn’t seen it before.”

His eyes widen, just slightly, before he regains his composure, listening to what I just had said. It would make so much more sense if I had told him everything that I was thinking of, but I’m hoping that I have a lot more time to explain to Chris everything that has been going on in my mind for the last six months, and also for the two years prior to that. “Do you mean that?”

I nod, and take a deep breath. “I’m sorry that I didn’t notice until it was too late for us.”

“It’s not too late, Maggy. I’m still head over heels for you. I’ve been waiting for you for nearly two years. You did something wrong, sure, but I know that there’s a lot about it that I don’t understand.” The tears begin to fall down my cheeks. “Maggy, I want you to help me understand what was happening. I care for you so much. We all know that Brandon was emotionally abusing you. It’s why Matt and I aren’t friends with him anymore, and, between you and me, we’ve got Jo trying to get Ellen out of it, too.”

I feel relief build up in me. So, they mostly hate Brandon more than me. Which, I suppose is fine. I hate him, too. “He visited me,” I admit to Chris. “He told me that he loved me, and wished that I would have stayed with him.” He raises his eyebrows, silently telling me to continue. I don’t say anything else. I don’t think that this is the time for it. But, Chris just made it clear that we have plenty of time to talk about what happened. He pulls me into a hug. “I missed you so much, Chris,” I mumble into his shirt.

“I missed you, too, Maggy.”

“It’s going to take me a while. Both to explain everything to you and to be ready for anything romantic. I just want us to be friends again and see where we go from there.”

I’m nervous he’ll be upset, Brandon would have been upset. He surprises me, though, by smiling at me. “I’ve waited two years to hear you say that you want me. I can wait until you’re ready, Maggy.”

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