Lori Ryan

Rachel Thompson

Aicha Zoubair

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Be Good by Dakota Madison

“You can’t just leave like this.”

“Why not?” I knew my tone was clipped. Being mean to get out of the room would be a lot more humane that him finding out the truth.

He blinked a few times as if he was searching for the right words. “Because I don’t want you to.”

My withered heart actually fluttered a bit. It felt strange—good but unfamiliar. It definitely wasn’t something I was used to. I didn’t normally do feelings or emotions, other than anger and rage.

Angry words spewed from my mouth. “Why? Do you want to fuck me again? You didn’t get enough last night. You want another piece?”

He dropped my arm. “No, that’s not what I meant. I just want to spend time with you.”

He was so sincere it made me want to punch him. Or kiss him. Maybe both. I decided on the former rather than the later but not in the literal sense. I didn’t have to lay a hand on a guy to give him a blow to the gut.

“What did you think was going to happen, Brett? Did you think because we fucked that I was going to be your girlfriend? There’s a reason they call it a one-night stand. It was a hook up. Nothing more. Deal with it. You live in Palo Alto. I live here in Phoenix. We’ll probably never see each other again.”

He looked like I had just punched him. Score a direct hit. Now it was time to make my exit.

“I may not be smart (Flaw 4) and I may not be nice (Flaw 12) but I do know when I’ve overstayed my welcome.”

“What are you talking about?” He seemed confused. I thought I was being pretty damn clear.

“I’m going back to my room.”

“I mean the flaws with numbers.”

“People aren’t shy about telling me how flawed I am. Some people aren’t shy about telling me repeatedly. I decided to make a list. I have one hundred and twenty six flaws.”

He crossed his arms over his chest and shook his head. “You’re really messed up.”

“I know. It’s flaw 38. Now can I leave?”

“Just one more thing. How much do you remember about last night?”

Shit. I froze. I could feel my stuff fall from hands but I was physically unable to stop it from dropping to the floor. Was I scared? I didn’t remember what that felt like. The last time I remembered being scared was when I broke my arm falling from a tree house. I was eight.

Brett seemed to be looking right through me. I found it hard to swallow and I could feel my heart racing. How did this man manage to make me feel so many things I hadn’t felt in years?

“How much do you remember?” he pressed.

“Nothing,” I shouted. “Is that what you want me to say? Is that what you want to hear? That I don’t remember a God damn thing. There. I said it. Are you happy now?”

“No,” he said solemnly. 

The look on Brett’s face was beyond hurt, beyond pain. It was complete and utter disgust. He shook his head as if he could shake everything that happened between us away. Or maybe he was trying to shake me away? He reached down, grabbed my stuff from the floor and handed it to me.

“Maybe you’re right.” His expression was pained. “Maybe it is time for you to go.”

I didn’t even glance back as I ran down the hallway.

I just about made it to my room before I started crying again. I flopped on the unused bed, buried my head in the oversized pillow and sobbed. I had cried more in one day being with Brett than I had in the last ten years.

When my tear ducts ran completely dry (at least I hoped they had), I took an extremely hot shower. The water soothed my raw nerves a bit but I just couldn’t scrub myself enough to feel clean.

I never felt bad about hooking up with someone but what I did to Brett made me feel dirty. I wished I could have remembered just one thing about being with him but I truly didn’t and it made me feel awful. It was strange to think that all those years he felt like he didn’t deserve to be with me and now I was the one who felt like I didn’t deserve to be with him.

After I dressed and packed and was ready to leave, I noticed a note had been slid under my door. It was a piece of hotel notepaper folded in half. It had my name written on the front. When I opened the note, it said, “I’m so sorry.”

That’s it. Just: I’m so sorry. I assumed it was from Brett but I couldn’t be sure because he hadn’t even signed his name. I placed the note in the front pocket of my jeans and headed to the lobby.

I checked out of my room and dragged my suitcase out to my Kia Soul. As I was placing my bag in the back, I heard a voice call my name.

I turned and saw one of the other bridesmaids, Tiffany, headed in my direction.

“A bunch of us are staying for brunch if you want to join us. I tried to find you last night to tell you but you must have gone to bed early.”

Something like that, I thought. “Sure, why not.” It wasn’t like I had anything better to do. I was one of the few people in our social circle who had grown up in the Phoenix area, gone to college in town and stayed in town after graduation. I lived on the other side of the Valley, about 30 minutes from the hotel. The only reasons I had booked a room was because I knew I would be drunk by the end of the night (I had to take advantage of the open bar) and the wedding rate was cheap. It was also a plus that I didn’t have to spend the night with my freaky roommate and her evil cat.

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Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – R

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Website http://12novels12months.tumblr.com/


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