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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1. Prologue: When Maggy Met Brandon

December 2015

“Shay I do not want to go to this party. I won’t even know anyone but you and you’ll spend the whole time with Leon,” I had whined to my best friend on December 22, 2015. I remember the date so prominently now because it was a) the first time I met Brandon Collins and b) the birthday of the effervescent Matthew Johnson, who I would later learn had a party at every possible chance, especially if there was an occasion to celebrate.

She’d laughed at me, slightly, and then had begged me once more to go with her. “Maggy May,” she had said. “It will be so much fun. My parents never let me go out, so please let’s just enjoy this night of hanging out at Matt Johnson’s house with my crush. Maybe you’ll be able to meet a boy, too,” she’d wiggled her eyebrows when she said that. Shay had known that there was no way that I would ever say no to her, and after that night, she would only blame herself for me getting so involved with Brandon Collins.

We’d gotten ready at my house. Not too dolled up, because if pictures of the two of us ever got out looking like, as Shay’s mom had said, “cheap hookers”, things would not have boded well for either of us. I’d driven, because Shay didn’t yet have her license, under the pretense that I would not have a single drop of alcohol. Unlike Shay’s parents, my parents had some idea of what happened at a high school party. Luckily, they’d never been as strict as Mr. and Mrs. Williams, and they’d trusted me enough to know that I wouldn’t ever consider drinking and driving. When I was practice driving with my dad, he had begged me that if I ever went to a party where I felt pressured into drinking and then did drink, I would call home immediately to make sure that someone else would pick me up instead of me driving myself.

When we had arrived at the party, I remember feeling anxious. I had taken one of my pills before leaving the house, but my chest still felt like it was tightening more and more, like the pill had yet to take any effect even though it should have already. I had pushed through the feeling because Shay Williams, my dear best friend since the third grade, had been invited by Leon James, her crush since he had moved into our school district about a year beforehand. I remember walking up the front stairs, a hollow ringing in my ears, as I smiled at some kids who were saying hello to me and Shay.

Shay had promised that I wouldn’t feel weird, that I wouldn’t be third wheeling, and that I wouldn’t be abandoned by her as soon as we walked through the door. She had only been right on one of those accounts, because I couldn’t have possibly been third wheeling her and Leon when I didn’t even know where they were. I’d stood in the doorway until someone pushed past me, muttering for me to move out of the way. The ringing in my ears had grown exponentially, and I’d began to see black spots. I was having a panic attack, and I knew it pretty quickly. I had stumbled through a crowd of kids dancing in the living room, and remember briefly wondering where Matt’s parents were on his birthday, until I had found his kitchen where I could get a glass of cold water, which had always been the first thing to help me get through an attack.

It was at some moment in that kitchen when my life had been changed forever. “Are you feeling okay?” I’d barely heard it because the ringing in my ears was still deafening, but I had heard it. I’d turned around and seen the most gorgeous boy I’d ever seen in my life. Of course, I had known him even before I’d met him. Brandon Collins: Ridgewood High’s biggest hottie. He’d been the star of the soccer team for as long as anyone could remember, and there was also a rumor that he could sing extremely well. I’d looked into his bright blue eyes as he asked me, once again, “Are you feeling okay?”

I’d noticed immediately that I’d heard him much more clearly that time. “Oh, yeah. I’m fine.”

He’d chuckled, and his brown curls bounced along with his body. “Have you had too much to drink?”

I’d shook my head no, and tilted my cup towards him. “Water,” I’d told him. “I have anxiety, and I think I’m in the ending of a panic attack.” I still don’t know what it was about him that made me tell him that I had anxiety. No one besides Shay and my parents knew that I suffered from this horrible disease, but something about Brandon had drawn me in entirely that first moment I met him.

“Do you want to go outside, to get some air?” It wasn’t until he said that that I noticed how hot my body felt. I was sweating so badly that I looked like all of the kids dancing around, even though I’d only been in the house for under five minutes. When we got outside, Brandon and I had sat down on the steps of the back porch. Over the next two years, we would find ourselves placed on the steps of Matt Johnson’s back porch many, many times. But this one was the most important. “My younger sister has pretty bad anxiety,” Brandon had said to me. “She always needs to go somewhere cooler to help her.” As he spoke to me, I’d noticed that, in record time, I felt fine.

 I’d smiled at him. “Thanks, I do feel a lot better.”

“I don’t want to seem rude, but you’re Maggy May, right?” I’d nodded at him. “Right. I thought I noticed the back of your head, seeing as I stare at it in World History every day.”

I’d chuckled a bit, and lied, “I didn’t even realize we were in that class together.”

Brandon had liked that I hadn’t noticed him. Because, of course, every girl in our school had noticed Brandon at one point or another. It was nearly impossible not to. He’d laughed at me once again. “I can’t believe I’ve never talked to you before. You’re not like any girl I’ve met before.”

“Do you meet most of the girls you talk to around these types?” I’d said, gesturing to the large party house behind me. He’d nodded. “Well, I don’t come to these kinds of things often. My best friend dragged me here tonight.”

He’d leaned in toward me, kissed my cheek, and said, “I hope she drags you to more,” before standing up and walking inside. He’d left the door open, probably presuming that I’d follow him inside, but I’d decided to surprise Brandon Collins at every chance I got, and stayed put.

 

In the weeks that followed, I’d found myself becoming acutely aware of Brandon Collins in every way. I’d noticed him prior to that night that I officially met him, but after that I’d began to notice everything about him. I’d noticed that he always was in world history before me, and that he’d started waving to me as I walked into class. I’d noticed that he doesn’t answer any questions in class unless Mr. Walter is randomly picking people to answer questions. I’d noticed that he sat with Shay’s crush, Leon, and Matt and a boy named Chris at lunch.

I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but Shay and I were introduced into Brandon’s friend group, and began to hang out with them much more frequently. We went to more parties, and were invited to sit at lunch with them, which is where I’d also noticed that Brandon had been dating Ellen Jones for an incredibly long time.

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