TITLE: Waiting for Paint to Dry
GENRE: Women's Fiction
“I want to know why!” I storm at her.
“Matty, this is stupid. I shouldn’t have to apologize for some foolish thing I may or may not have said when I was a teenager.”
“May not have said?” I scream. I try to breathe. Try to look at her with anything other than disgust.
Eleanor sighs. “I was just, you know…” she says nonchalantly and then stops. When she doesn’t go on, I restrain myself from reaching out and choking her. The look on my face must say as much, because she finally spits it out. “I was jealous, okay? I was just jealous.”
Confused and shocked, I force myself to speak. “Of what?”
“Of you. You had a boyfriend.”
My hands reach up and strangle handfuls of my hair. “Of me? You had a fiancé!”
“But it wasn’t the same.”
“Wasn’t the same?” I say, kneeling before her. “Please explain it to me, because I feel like I’m going crazy here. What wasn’t the same?”
“Jett wanted you and I was jealous. Okay? That’s it.”
“So you…” I shake my head back and forth, eyes blinking, trying to understand. “I don’t get it. You were jealous that that jerk-off wanted me and not you?”
“No. Not that. I just… Forget it,” El says and walks past me.
I slam my hands on the floor and scream. “Forget it?” I get up and run after her, yelling. “He raped me! El!” I grab her arm, swing her around. “Do you have any, any idea what it’s like to be forced to have sex?”
“No, but at least he wanted you!”
“What the f***?” I drop her arm, disgusted by the feel of her skin on my hand. “You are insane. You are f****** insane.” I stalk back to my room.
“At least you know what it feels like to be wanted!” El yells. I hear her catch up to me.
“Get away from me,” I growl at her and grab my things. “I’m not staying here. You are out of your mind.”
“Matty, please. Let me—”
“No!” I snap, gathering up all my stuff. “You don’t get to talk to me!”
The sound of the door slamming behind me doesn’t quite hit the right note, the right amount of force, loudness, deafening roar that I need to hear. I want to crash. To out run this insanity. At the bottom of the stairs, I almost trip on the leg of a pair of jeans dangling from my arms. I take two seconds to repack, re-stuff, and then I’m off. Down the steep hill steps at the back of the yard. Through the newly paved streets at the bottom. Toward the beach.
Anywhere but here.