Authors: Mercy Amare
Before I can wake Ty up and ask him exactly what happened, I feel a sharp pain in my stomach and take off towards the bathroom. I puke up every bit of alcohol in my stomach.
And I am
never drinking again.
Why did I do this to myself? I don’t even
the taste of alcohol. It was so not worth it. This is miserable.
As soon as I finish vomiting my guts up, I brush my teeth twice. When I walk out of the bathroom, Ty is sitting up in the bed.
He doesn’t look hungover.
“Why did you let me drink that much?” I ask.
“How could I stop you after Andrea gave that speech about me not interfering?” Ty asks.
Andrea basically said that Ty couldn’t leave me alone to make my own mistakes. It’s not true. Sure, Ty looks after me, but he won’t stop me if I am insistent. So he left me alone last night and I know that I shouldn’t have drunk so much.
“Thanks for stopping me from kissing Andrea,” I tell him.
I am so embarrassed about how I acted last night. I drank enough to say stupid things, but not enough to forget the stupid things I said. I almost wish that I didn’t remember.
“You’re welcome,” Ty says.
“I have a question,” I say. “Why, exactly, are you in my bed?”
“I carried you in here last night, but you were sick so I stayed just in case you needed me,” he answers. “I held the bucket for you while you puked in your sleep and made sure you didn’t get any on the carpet in your new room.”
I hold my hands up to my face, wishing that I could disappear. “Oh, my God, I am so embarrassed.”
“Don’t be,” he says. “I know you’d do the same thing for me.”
“The difference between you and me is that you would never need somebody to hold a puke bucket for you, because you would never get that drunk,” I say.
“No, but I have several times before.”
“I haven’t seen you drink in a long time,” I say. “At least not the point of you being sick from it.”
He shrugs. “I don’t really see the appeal anymore. Alcohol can lead to a lot of stupid decisions, and I want to be in control of my actions. I like to get drunk enough to forget all my problems, but stay sober enough that I don’t do or say anything I will regret. It’s a fine line.”
“You’re right. I am never doing that again,” I say.
Though, I’m pretty sure I said the exact same thing last time.
“If I try to drink again, remind me of this conversation and how I feel right now,” I say, walking towards the bed. I lie down, and hope that the room stops spinning. “Thank you for taking care of me.”
“Anytime,” Ty says. “I am going to go get you some breakfast. I’m pretty sure I owe you from the time I stayed in your dorm room at the beginning of the school year.”
I grin, remembering that day. “Yeah, I guess you do owe me.”
“I’ll be back,” he says, then gets out of bed and walks out of my room.
Ty is a great guy and I, in no way, deserve to have him in my life.
Safe isn’t always right.
I am done making stupid decisions.
Well, I guess I can’t say
. Sometimes, I have no idea if a decision is good or not, until I make it. I’m talking about the really stupid decisions. Like getting drunk and almost kissing my best friend.
From now on, I really want to think about things before I do them. Last year, I was more of an act now, ask questions later. But no more. I am ready to be a better person. A person my mom would be proud of.
I have become comfortable in my own little bubble. I never push myself out of my comfort zone. I hang out with familiar people—Ty and Gabe. They are people I
will never let me down. I trust them. And sure, I let other people get close, like Andrea, but I never fully bring her in. Same goes for Micah.
But not anymore. I am going to start letting people in, even if it means they end up hurting me in the end, it will be worth the risk.
I’m also going to be honest. I will tell everybody exactly what I’m feeling and what I want, which is something I’ve really struggled with. It won’t be an immediate transformation, but it’s something I will work on daily.
Andrea comes over Saturday afternoon to help me get ready for my date. I am officially no longer hungover, and I feel pretty good. We listen to my favorite band while doing my makeup.
I am decent at putting on makeup, but I suck at doing eyeliner. Andrea is teaching me how to achieve perfection when it comes to eyeliner. I swear, she can work magic.
“I can’t believe we almost kissed last night,” Andrea says, giggling. “I also can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m glad Ty intervened when he did. No offense, you’re a beautiful girl, but I don’t want to kiss you. Especially not a party with horny fraternity guys cheering us on. I always thought girls who kissed other girls at parties were just attention whores.”
“I’m glad he pulled me back, too,” I admit. “I can’t believe I got that drunk. We
“Remind me not to give you tequila again. You are a lightweight.”
“And what is your excuse? You were so wasted last night.”
“I had a lot more than you,” she says. “I was just trying to keep up. Though, I regretted it around three o’clock this morning.”
“Me, too,” I say. “Apparently Ty held my puke bucket all night.”
“Aw,” she says. “That’s really sweet. I wish I had a Ty in my life to hold a puke bucket.”
But inside, my heart melts just a little bit.
I don’t deserve a guy like Ty.
Part of me wishes I had met the Ty I know now, a year ago. I wish I could undo all the bad things that happened last year. I wish he had never cheated on me, and that I had never hooked up with Gabe. If Ty was the guy then, that he is now, I have no doubts we’d be together.
But then again, I was a different girl, too. I probably wouldn’t have appreciated him like I do now. Things happened the way they were meant to. I just wish I could undo the pain and forget the past.
“Do you think if I gave Ty a second chance that he would cheat on me?” I ask Andrea, knowing that she will give me an honest opinion.
“Wait, aren’t I helping you get ready for a date with Micah? What is all this Ty talk about?”
“I’m just... thinking.”
She smirks at me. “Well, how can I truly answer that question? I can’t see the future, and I have no idea what is going to happen. But, if I were to bet, I would say no. I don’t think Ty is going to cheat on you. A guy doesn’t try this hard to win a girl he plans on breaking up with, in a few months. In fact, I’d say that he has a lot more planned than just to be your boyfriend. I’d say the guy is hoping that someday he’ll be your husband.”
“I am eighteen years old,” I remind her. “Don’t say stuff like that to me. It freaks me out. I have too much to do before I settle down.”
“It’s not like you’re going to Vegas tomorrow,” she says. “Besides, you can date somebody and still have your adventures. I don’t see Ty being the kind of guy who would ever hold you back.”
“Why are you going out with Micah?” Andrea asks.
“Why not? Micah is a good guy,” I answer. “He’s sexy, fun to hang out with, and we have a lot in common. I love to hear his band play. I wish I had half as much talent as he does when it comes to music, not that it matters to him. He’s going to throw it all away on a business degree to make his parents happy, which I don’t understand.”
“You just named off all of his good qualities,” she says. “You talked about him like he’s your best friend. But, Kihanna, you’re going on a date with the guy tonight. And he has legit feelings for you. Everybody can see that, especially Ty. That’s why he freaks out so much at the mention of Micah. I think Ty is scared that he’s going to lose you to him.”
“That’s silly,” I say.
“Is it?” she asks. “Because the way I see it, you have Ty, a guy you’re in love with, deep in the friend zone, while you are going on dates with guys you don’t even like as more than a friend.”
“I don’t do love.”
“I don’t know. Ty was the one who pointed it out. I dated him for three months. He tells me
I love you
, and then I break up with him. Then Gabe and I get serious, we start dropping the L-word, I break up with him. Then, Brian and I start saying the L-word, and we break,” I say. “It’s like I’m love cursed.”
“Wait. Didn’t you and Ty break up because he cheated on you?” she asks.
“And Brian stalked you for nine months. Obviously the two of you broke up because of that,” she says.
“And Gabe... well, sometimes people grow apart,” Andrea says. “The two of you may have been perfect for each other last year, but after everything that happened to you, the two of you just weren’t at the same level. You needed more than what Gabe was giving you.”
“Right,” I say, agreeing.
“What I’m trying to say is, what if you’ve never been in love?”
My eyes widen as I look at her. “What I felt for Gabe was—”
She cuts me off. “Yeah, yeah. I get it. Fireworks. Blah, blah, blah. It was hormones, sweetie. Gabe is hot in a boy-next-door kind of way. Nobody can blame you for lusting over him. And sure, maybe you loved him, you probably still do. But I’m talking about real, true love. The kind of love that leaves a mark on your soul.”
“The kind worth fighting for,” I add.
Truthfully, that’s all I’ve ever wanted.
“Exactly,” she says.
But when I think about commitment, I literally feel sick to my stomach. Then I remember part of a conversation that I had with Ty last night while I was intoxicated.
“Why can’t I love somebody now and not know if I love them enough to spend my life with them?”
“You can,” Ty answers. “You’re the one who chooses to complicate it. And for the record, I’ve never asked you to spend forever with me. Just right now.”
“I always say that I love being single,” Andrea says, disrupting my thoughts. “And I do. When I look back at my high school experience, all the good times that I remember are times when I was single. Going to concerts with friends, having sleep-overs, hanging out at the mall... I don’t remember stupid fights I had with my boyfriend at the time, or even any of the dates we went on. But, then again, my ex-boyfriends aren’t worth remembering. But, if I met somebody who loved me unconditionally, like Ty does you, and I felt the same way, you better believe I would change my relationship status.”
“I’m scared,” I admit. I’ve never said that out loud before, but I’m glad I did. For once, I’m telling the truth. It feels good.
“I know,” she says. “But even if Ty does cheat on you again, even if he rips your heart out in the end, I know that it will be worth it. Every path we take in life is for a reason. I don’t know why Ty is in your life. Maybe he is the guy you’re meant to be with. Or maybe he’s just the guy who helps direct you somewhere else, somewhere better. But you’ll never know if you’re too scared to try.”
“Micah is the safe choice,” Andrea says. “But safe isn’t always right.”
My phone buzzes on the desk beside me. I reach over to read the text.
The band was just offered a last minute gig. It would be a lot of exposure for us. Do you mind if I postpone our date? You can come watch us play tonight and we can hang afterwards :)
I almost feel relieved. I am all dressed up, but it doesn’t feel right anymore. It feels like a lie. A lie to me. A lie to Micah.
So, I pick up my phone and decide to send Micah one more lie. I can’t tell him what I need to via text. It has to be in person. And I can’t tell him right before he goes on stage. It will have to wait until tomorrow.
It’s okay if we postpone. I’m not feeling well anyway. Raincheck on watching the band?
Deal. Feel better!
I put my phone down.
“Date is canceled,” I tell Andrea, and then explain the text conversation I just had with Micah.
“It’s a sign,” she says.
“What is?” I ask.
“You’re all dressed up, looking hot, and nowhere to go,” she says. “You should go hangout with Ty.”
I roll my eyes. “I just told Micah I wasn’t feeling well. I can’t just say that and hang out with Ty.”
“Why did you tell Micah you’re not feeling well? Why not go see his band?” she asks.
“Because I’m feeling confused about Micah right now and I need some time to think,” I tell her. “It’s not fair to him that I go out on dates when I have strong feelings for somebody else.”
“So, go figure out your feelings for Ty.”
Is it really that simple?
I do have strong feelings for Ty, and I know he feels the same for me. Am I really ready to just jump in?
“Don’t complicate it,” Andrea says. “It’s not a marriage proposal. It’s just you hanging out with Ty. You two hang out all the time.”
“Yeah, but not in a date setting. We haven’t been on a date since...” I think about it for a few seconds. “Wow, we haven’t been out on a date since we broke up the first time.”
I always liked going on dates with Ty. He planned the best dates.
Which was totally backwards from Gabe. I don’t think Gabe and I ever went out on a date.
“He might be busy,” I say, bitting my lip.
“Stop being a chicken,” she says. “Just go knock on his door and ask him to hang out.”
“Isn’t it weird that up until five minutes ago, I was getting ready for a date with Micah? How can I just ask Ty out?” I ask.
“It is weird. But the two of you are weird,” Andrea says.
“Fine,” I say, then take a deep breath.
I guess I’m asking Ty on a date.
Worth the wait?
I am standing in front of Ty’s door, focusing on breathing. I am trying to get up the courage to knock, but I’m scared. I have no idea what I’m going to say or even if Ty will say yes. It’s usually the guy asking me for the date, and I’m not sure that I like to be on the other end of things.