Her Dad's Friend(10)

By: Penny Wylder

“No, wait—” I start to say, but he’s already out of the kitchen. He rushes past Emily, who looks at me, then at Paul, then at me again and her mouth falls open. Once he grabs his keys from the hook beside the door, he’s gone without even looking back.

“Oh my god, what just happened?” she asks.

I sigh. “I don’t know. Everything was perfect. We were … you know, getting there, then he heard the door and completely panicked.” I plop down on the couch and cover my face with my hands. “Now he’s probably never going to talk to me again.”

Emily sits beside me. “I’m so sorry. I fucked up. I should’ve called first.”

“It’s not your fault,” I say, though it kind of was. Still, if he wasn’t feeling it, and things went farther than they had, he might’ve looked at me like that after sex and I would’ve felt ten times worse than I do now.

“Want some ice cream?” she asks.

What I want is to call him and find out what the hell just happened. But instead of being that girl, I decide it’s probably best to drown myself in sugar rather than do something I’ll probably regret later.

Chapter 3

It’s been two days and I haven’t heard from Paul since he escaped from my apartment without so much as a wave goodbye. I know he’s still in town because my dad called, asking if I wanted to go out to dinner with them last night. But I couldn’t go. If Paul doesn’t want to see me, I’m not going to force myself on him, no matter how badly I wanted to accept the invitation.

In class I can’t focus. Which is crazy because English is my favorite subject, but all I can think about is where exactly I went wrong with Paul. Things were going so great, then as soon as there was a distraction, he looked at me as if I were a leper.

We’ve spent the last couple of years flirting, which felt like years of foreplay building up to the moment we finally found release. Now I can’t help but wonder if, for him, the fantasy was better than the reality. I feel stupid for not thinking about that consequence. Rejection sucks. It sucks even worse when the person rejecting you is someone you might actually—dare I say it—love.


My self-pity party is crashed when I hear my name. Looking up from the window, I see the entire class staring at me and Mr. Oliver standing by my desk. A pretentious academic, his brow-beatings are stern enough to leave a bruise. I don’t know how he can stand to wear that tweed jacket in this heat while I’m sweating oceans wearing a tank top. He bends over my desk to look out the window.

“Is there a riot out there, someone streaking, perhaps?” he asks.

My face is so hot it’s numb. I know I’m a horrible shade of pink. “Not yet, but I’ll keep an eye out just in case” I say, which gets a few snickers from my classmates.

Mr. Oliver is not amused.

“Is my lecture boring you?”

I shake my head. “Not at all.”

“Then why don’t we leave the day dreaming for the musicians and artists, shall we?”

Says the man who moonlights as a creative writing instructor at night. Looks like I won’t be taking that class any time soon.

Mr. Oliver goes back to his lesson. Despite the boy next to me reeking of B.O. and the girl on my other side grinding her teeth, I’m able to concentrate long enough to make it through the class.

At noon, Emily and I meet up for lunch at a pizza joint down the street. I’m a nervous eater so I order way more than I should be eating by myself.

“You know what you need?” she says.

I take a giant bite of pepperoni with extra cheese and talk with my mouth full. “I’m all ears.” Because bad advice is better than nothing, and bad advice is all Emily has ever given me.

“You need rebound sex.”

A group of boys walking by slows at the mention of sex. I stare them down until they move on.

“Don’t you need to be broken up first for rebound sex? Paul and I were never dating.”

“Doesn’t matter,” she says, popping a grape in her mouth and squirting me in the eye with the juice when she chomps down. She laughs, but keeps talking. “Just hear me out.”

I sigh, wiping my eyes. “The answer is still no, but keep talking if you want. I’m too busy making out with this pizza slice to care.”

Without skipping a beat, she says, “I know you like your guys with age spots and pumped full of Cialis, but there are guys at this school who are perfectly capable of doling out orgasms.”

I throw my crust at her. She laughs and tosses it to the pigeons stalking us. “There’s this guy, Jeremy, who was at your party and I have it on good authority that he’s really into you, and that he has Thor’s hammer hidden in his pants, if you know what I mean.”

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