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Complicate Me(10)

By:M. Robinson

I went home that night after seeing Lucas with Stacey and looked at myself in the mirror, and for the first time in my life I didn’t like what I saw.

I didn’t look like any of those girls that hung around the boys, not even close. I wasn’t girly like them. I didn’t move like them, I didn’t even talk like them. I was on the other end of the spectrum, the one that put me in the “Little Sister” box. After I picked apart everything I wasn’t in comparison to what they were, what they offered, I lay down in my bed and tried not to think about Lucas and that girl.

The way he touched her.

The way they moved in sync with one another.

The way he kissed her.

The sounds she made echoed in my head. It vibrated so damn loud that all I wanted to do was scream to drown out the noises. I couldn’t get it to stop and it didn’t want to. It illustrated what Lucas made her feel, the way he touched her with such determination and abandonment made me sick to my stomach. It appeared as if they were made for one another, both of them touching parts of their bodies that made me blush just thinking about it.

Why did I have to be such a little girl?

Why did I have to be so young?

I didn’t realize I was crying until I felt the tears falling down the sides of my face. He hadn’t done one of those things with me.

Not one.

I thought our kiss meant something. I didn’t understand how to play those games, how to say one thing and act another. Maybe that’s what boys did? Acted one way with you in private and then another one out in public.

That’s not Lucas, is it?

The confusion and unanswered questions pegged me, engulfing me like the waves of the ocean, taking me under and not allowing me to breathe until the traitorous waves were ready to let me go. The exact same ones Lucas rode with such purpose and resolve. The irony was not lost on me. I lay in bed with nothing but my thoughts, they were coming one right after the other, it was a non-ending assault of torturous questions and what ifs and I couldn’t get a break in between. One would form before the other even fully surfaced.

I drowned in them.

If things couldn’t get any worse my lower abdomen cramped, a new, unfamiliar pain enveloped my core. I went to the bathroom and right there before my eyes was the evidence of my very first period.

“Oh no…” I breathed out. “Mama! Mama!” I screamed.

She ran into my bathroom and behind her was Lucas’s mama.

“Oh my God, honey, what’s the matter?”

And then I broke down. I was emotionally spent, and there were no hiding the fervent feelings that were boiling all around me waiting to erupt like a volcano. I started bawling. The tears were uncontrollable and it was all too much to bear. I cried for everything that happened, and for everything I didn’t understand. I cried for the feeling of deceit, and the loss of an emotion, that I desperately wanted to hold onto. The memory that hung around my neck stung, it burned badly, leaving behind a trail of sadness, despair, and betrayal.

It was the first time Lucas had ever hurt me, and I hated that more than anything else. All the other stuff I could endure, but knowing that he caused me pain.

The boy I grew up with.

The boy I loved.

The boy that promised me he would never hurt me.

My best friend. My boy. My Bo.


“It’s okay, Alex, calm down,” Mama coaxed. She helped me finish in the bathroom and then we walked into my room.

Mrs. Ryder sat on my bed. “Congratulations. Welcome to womanhood,” she celebrated.

I leaned into my mom, needing the support and comfort.

“Is this about my boy, Alex?”

I looked up at my mom and she nodded in reassurance. I lowered my head, shrugging.

She sighed. “You know your mama and I have actually been talking about this for a very long time.”

I immediately looked up at her.

“Yes. That’s right.” She nodded. “This isn’t much of a shock to us. My boy has been smitten with you since the moment you were born. I remember when your mama was pregnant, he would go up to her belly and say that it was his baby in there.” They laughed, no one had ever told me that before.

“He loved you before you were even born, Alex. He just knew you were going to be a girl. Every time we corrected him he would vigorously shake his head saying girl. He’s growing up, honey, you both are. I know it may hurt now, and you may not understand what is happening, but it’s part of life. You both need to try new things, make new friends, go places, be teenagers. Let other people in besides those good ol’ boys of yours. You’ve been attached to those boys since the day you were born, just like they are to you. Life is too short for you to ever question that something better could have come along. Do you understand?”

I sadly smiled, wiping away my tears. “You don’t want Lucas and I together?”

“No, honey, I don’t want either of you to settle down until you know what else life has to offer, and if one day you find your way back to each other then you know. You know it’s for sure. There will be no doubts and no regrets.”

I lowered my head. “Yeah,” was all I could say.

“Now,” Mama interjected, picking up my chin. “Enough of this crying, Alex, I think today is a great day.” She clapped her hands. “You want to know why?”

“Why?” I chuckled.

“Let’s celebrate! Because you’re a officially a young woman and I think that maybe you should consider—”

“Being a girl,” I interrupted.

They beamed and we spent the next hour giving me a makeover.

I never imagined I would get the reaction that I got from the boys. They all seemed pleased and satisfied, almost as if they’d been expecting it to happen.

Except Lucas.

I ignored him, mostly because I didn’t know what to say or what to make of his overbearing demeanor toward me. It burned a hole in my side and I wasn’t going to let him affect me when I felt so pretty. This was all new to me, especially that reaction. I watched Lucas and Jacob from afar, and I could see both of their pissed off faces from where I sat at the table.

“What’s going on out there?” I asked Dylan.

He shrugged. “Guy stuff.”

I scooted my seat out.

“Half-Pint, don’t get involved.”

I walked toward them before the last word left his mouth.

I felt their hostility as soon as my sandals hit the sand. “What’s going on?”

They both spun, facing me.

“Nothin’,” Jacob announced, his attitude calming.

“It doesn’t look like nothin’.” I paused, taking in Lucas’s heated composure but not toward Jacob, toward me. “What?”

The glares in his eyes were intimidating to say the least, and all it did was add to the confusion that had been brewing between us. Except this time Jacob witnessed it. At least I thought he did. I could feel his pissed off stance and he wasn’t even touching me. Everything was directed at me. The eye of the storm was right in front of me, and his stare held mine until he couldn’t anymore and then he receded, walking away from me for the first time. Which did nothing but enrich the hurt in my heart.

“Stay away from him till he calms down, Half-Pint.”

I glanced at Jacob. “What’s wrong with him?”

“Don’t worry about it.” He grabbed my chin, locking my gaze with his. “You look really pretty.”

I smiled. “Thanks. I feel, I don’t know, different I guess. I’m still one of you. You know that right?”

He smiled back at me. It comforted me in a moment of pure chaos. Lucas had taken his hurricane with him, but this time Jacob held me down and I wasn’t dragged along with him. It wouldn’t be that way always, and somewhere along the way I learned to appreciate it when I could.

“Of course. Except now you’ll be much nicer to look at.”

I punched him in the chest.

Laughing he said, “Ah! There she is, finally making an appearance under all that hair.” He put his arm around my shoulder. “Come on, let’s go finish eating.”

I spent the rest of the day with the boys, minus Lucas. No one talked about the fact that he wasn’t around. Dylan walked me home and before I opened the door, I felt him. The wind picked up, his presence was all around me. I didn’t have to turn around to know that he waited for me, and he had been waiting for me for a long time.

That night would lead to many more firsts that only added to our complicated love.

She descended down the stairs. “Hi,” she shyly whispered when she stepped onto the last step.

I reached out my hand for her. “I want to show you something.”

She placed her hand in mine, and I helped her onto the handlebars of my bike. She tucked her dress in between her thighs and nodded when she was ready. We rode a few miles from her house, heading in the opposite direction we usually traveled. I parked my bike near the back of the abandoned house, making sure no one would see it.

“Where are we, Bo?” Even though she wore a dress, she still jumped off the front of my bike, making me grin.

“Come on.”

I led her up the wooden stairs, having to shove the patio door a little to get it to open, it made a scraping sound on the floor, the hinges old and rusted. I stood by the door wanting to take in her surprised expression. She slowly treaded all around the room, her eyes fluttering every which way. Alex loved the different architecture when it came to the homes that were right on the water. There was nothing else like it in Oak Island, we were known for our beachfront properties. I knew she would love the open floor plan, the bay windows toward the water, the tray ceilings, and the open decks throughout the entire house. Anywhere you stood in the three-story house you could see the water.