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Luke If one dares challenge me and my princess, then I will teach him a lesson. I won't change who I am, and I won't take any crap. I have a Golden Wings and know the biggest MCs around these parts. They are no laughing matter. I don’t want to have to put this sucker on his knees but he’s surely asking for it. By now, I should know that nothing in life comes easy. If I see that clown again, I may have to rid the town of him. Maybe that's too extreme, let's just say I hope that this punk bully makes it out of town alive.
Everything’s always been uncertain. My future, my goals, my wants, my needs—all of it seems like a mystery that I can’t ever seem to unravel, no matter how hard I try. I’ve just been breezing through all my classes like nothing. It’s like I can’t figure out what I want yet. I’ve never really had to worry about much. Yet, I constantly worry about everything. I have nothing planned, and I do not have the slightest motivation to plan anything. Not even my relationship.
“Hey man, you all right?” Logan asks, snapping me out of my train of thought. I slowly slide my eyes in his direction, resting my cheek in my palm as I glance over at him. He cocks his head to the slide, his gray hood slowly shifting on the top of his head. Next to him, his girlfriend Paige munches on her fries, scrolling through her phone before her eyes find their way to me as well.
“Yeah, you’ve been pretty quiet,” Paige said, pinching another fry between her fingertips before popping it into her mouth.
I give a small chuckle before nodding my head. “Yeah, everything’s fine.” I glance down at my phone. The vibration against the wooden picnic table beneath us was enough to grab both of their attention. I swipe my phone open to reveal a text from my girl. I half smile before I send a quick text back, locking my phone.
“Carrie?” Logan asks, leaning over the table.
I nod once more, looking back up at him. “Yeah, she’s been a little pissed with me the past few days.” I chuckle, reaching into my pocket. As my fingers slide against my jacket, I feel the cool, tight plastic encasing my cigarette pack. I pull it out, setting it on the picnic table.
“And that’s why,” Paige says bluntly, grabbing another fry. “You told her you were going to stop smoking.”
I roll my eyes as I flip open the lid of my pack and pull a smoke out. As I bring it to my mouth, my lighter fights the wind to ignite the rolled paper. I let out an annoyed sigh before Paige growls and leans forward across the table, cupping her hands around mine to block the wind. My eyes dart up to hers as it finally lights and she leans back into her seat, her eyes still hard on me.
“Look, she isn’t my wife. If I want to smoke, I can smoke. I told her I would try to stop. I never promised her anything, and honestly, I do not have to. I don’t like how she drinks herself stupid every time she gets anything below a B, but I’m not nagging her to stop drinking. We make our own choices.” Logan lifts his eyebrows, crossing his arms. I take a long inhale, letting the toxins fill my lungs.
“Yeah, but you two should still respect each other enough to—” I cut Paige off mid-sentence, pinching my cigarette tightly.
“Me smoking cigarettes has absolutely nothing to do with Carrie. It doesn’t harm her, it doesn’t blacken her lungs, and it does nothing except get on her nerves. If she doesn’t like the smell of it, then she shouldn’t have gone out with me. I’ve been smoking long before I met her…”
I snap. I know I’m being an ass today, but I’ve just been low on patience recently. I’m assuming it’s mainly because of my struggle with the fuck I want to do with my life.
Carrie and I have been dating for the last six months, so many people have been taking our relationship quite seriously since we lasted through the summer and into the next semester. She’s one of the best girls I’ve ever stumbled upon, and I was lonely. We found each other shortly after midterms last semester. I couldn’t help but stare at her in class—she wasn’t the most talkative girl in the class, but she was the hottest. I always noticed how she wore her blonde hair differently every day, sometimes curling it into tight ringlets, or letting it fall straight over her shoulders. Carrie was always sharp with her words, regardless of who she was talking to. No fucks seemed to give her. One day, our history professor ordered the class to pair up into partners for an assignment. I was sound asleep at my desk when the order to pair up was given, and a foot kicking bluntly awakened me against my own. I jumped awake and pulled my earbud from my ear, my eyes glaring at her for a moment before I noticed her desk was slid against mine. Her blue eyes just stared at me, annoyed for a moment, before she finally spoke, informing me we were the only two left without a partner.
The project extended over the rest of the semester and ended right after the midterms. During that time, we spent late nights researching, gathering information, and forming opinions about certain topics with one another. We also grew extremely close quickly. Some nights, she would pass out in my dorm room after hours of burning our eyes on my laptop screen, taking notes, and building prototypes. Soon, we began talking more about our lives together rather than our project. Carrie learned that my mom was suffering from lung cancer—which is probably the main reason she was on me about stopping smoking.
But I also learned that a year prior, her mother was murdered by some thugs in town. We soon empathized with each other, and then before I knew it, I just kissed her. My brain reacted impulsively, mainly because I did not know what to do when she confided in me about her mom—she was in tears. Carrie was shaking. The strong persona that she carried with her from class to class every day was suddenly broken down in a matter of seconds. I’ve never been good with comforting others, and for some reason, that was the only way I knew how to respond. I just leaned in and cut off her sentence with my lips, almost as if I was forcing her to stop crying. And shockingly enough, she kissed me back. It was just a kiss. There was no spark, no electric feeling pulsing through me from the suddenness of it. Our bodies just acted, and soon enough, I climbed on top of her, and her hands began removing my shirt.
The morning after, we were lying in my bed naked, both of us staring up at the ceiling. I just remember her turning her head over to me, those gorgeous eyes looking at me, her lips now chapped from my rough kisses. And with those scabbed lips, Carrie just simply asked me, “So, are we going to just do this, or do you want to go out with each other finally?”
It wasn’t much of a question, more like an ultimatum, like she didn’t care what the answer was going to be. I did not know what to even respond with. Being with Carrie felt nice. It was comforting. Our friendship at the time, the partner relationship we had, all of it together, was just strange. Everything about us together just felt weird, almost out of place. But I felt like I needed just that, something to get me out of this constant rut I was stuck in, something that went against the grain. I just shrugged my shoulders and answered her with the dating option, and she just simply nodded and went back to looking at the ceiling. “Sounds good,” was all she said.
I chuckled and rested my hands behind my head, my eyes also aimed at the ceiling. “Cool.”
Back to reality
“All right, damn, calm the fuck down.” Logan snaps. “Paige’s trying to help because you seem to be in such a bad mood.” His eyes are hard on me.
I sighed. I know Logan’s right, and I shouldn’t be taking my shit out on Paige. “I’m sorry.” Taking another drag, I say sincerely. “This semester has just been off to a rough start,” I admit, exhaling into the wind behind me.
“Is this about your mom?” Paige asks before sliding her tray of fries over to me. “Take some. You haven’t eaten lunch all week.”
I sigh and pick up a fry, holding it in between my fingers. “Yeah. Mama’s seen better days,” I say, popping it into my mouth. “Good?”
“Good, that at least, you’re eating,” Paige says. “Not so happy about your mom, though.” Paige rests her elbows on the table, leaning forward as I flick my ashes onto the ground before taking another drag. “I heard she had to stop working.”
“Yeah. Not only did my dad tell her to, but her boss refused
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