Jack pulls the car up to the curb and I throw my bag in the back and hop in. After last night, I’m happy to be getting away for a few weeks. Hopefully, while we’re gone, Kate will sort herself out and finally tell those two which one owns her heart.
“You look like shit,” Jack says as he pulls away from the curb.
“I’m sure I do. It was a long night,” I reply with a yawn.
“Yeah, well, I took care of Matthews and his friends but he still fucking hates your ass.” That makes me laugh. I think Mike is always going to hate me. Not that I don’t egg him on, because I do and I always have, but he’s the one who started it so he deserves it. I know Kate loves him but he was such a little bitch when we were kids.
“Someday I’ll tell him what I did and maybe he won’t hate me as much. But since I don’t really like him, I just don’t feel the need to go out of my way to ease his pain.”
Jack ponders my words for a few minutes before responding. “You know, now that you’re older and he really has nothing to lose, he might just tell Kate what a pervy creep you are. You might want to think about explaining what you did to him and why before she loses her shit on you. She’s your best friend. The last thing you want is for her to be angry with you.”
This isn’t anything I haven’t told myself many times before, but he’s right. Now that Mike is back, I probably should be a little concerned about it now. When he was out of the picture it was a non-issue, and when they were together he didn’t dare tell her and risk losing her. But now…he doesn’t have anything to lose but he’s got everything to gain.
Once we board Jack’s private jet, he heads to the small bedroom in the back to get some sleep. Jack needs this trip. The club is his life and he stays up almost all night to ensure things run smoothly for the guests once the club shuts down. I wish he’d finally pick a chick and utilize one of the rooms instead; the boy is wound too tight.
After the plane is in the air, I recline my chair and think back to see if I even remember how my battle with Matthews got started. If I’m going to come clean to Kate, I’ve got to remember the details. The girl has a memory like no other and she’s going to want to know everything. I’m sifting through the memories in my mind as if they are photos I’m holding in my hand. I remember meeting Katie Grace for the first time and how euphoric I was that we were on the same gymnastics training team. She was shy but the smile she graced me with when I started talking to her made me even happier. I’m not even sure why…we couldn’t have been older than six or seven.
Over the years, our moms became good friends. They would chat during practice and at least once a week we would go out for frozen yogurt or dinner. When my mom got sick, Kate’s mom spent a lot time with her and she would usually drive me home from practice while my dad was still at work. After my mom died, Lila always picked me up after school and took me to practice, too. Then a few months later, when she died, my dad and Kate’s dad got us a driver to take us back and forth to our sessions. By then, I was on the boys’ team and she was on the girls’ team but the practices were at the same time. Even all the way back then Kate loved Mike. Their relationship was inevitable and I was admittedly jealous.
I’m not exactly sure when I started thinking I had fallen in love with Kate, maybe not until Matthews dumped her and left her high and dry. But I’d always had feelings for her going all the way back to that first day. Matthews and I hated each other as far back as eighth grade. I know that for sure because that’s when I kissed Kate for the first time. Right after that, the same night if I remember correctly, Matthews asked her to be his girlfriend and successfully crushed my teenage soul.
That’s it. Now I remember exactly what started it all. It wasn’t long after I saw Matthews hugging Riley. Riley was my friend Josh’s sister and she was in love with Mike. When I saw them together, I made a really crude comment about how I was going to fuck Kate and make her mine. I think I was twelve at the time. I knew about sex but not enough to make that kind of comment. Of course, now I know I shouldn’t have used my friend as a way to piss him off but at the time I was angry that Kate liked him and he was leading her on…Riley, too. I was just acting like a badass and I wanted to get under his skin.
It worked, too. I saw the nasty looks he was giving me and I know he wanted to say something about it but since he was all wrapped up in Riley, he couldn’t. After that, he was always glaring at me and trying to keep Kate away from me. Poor Kate had no clue what was going on and I figured that was best. Matthews and I could have our war and she wouldn’t have to be in the middle. Ultimately, she was in the middle anyway.
The time we played Spin the Bottle at Kate’s birthday party was another way I tried to get under his skin. I’ll admit he played the game well; I never stood a chance once he teamed up with Jess. After Jess and I left them alone, we went our separate ways in the hall. I knew I eventually wanted Kate and kissing her best friend would crush any chances I had of that happening. Jess bounced down the stairs while I pretended to use the restroom. When I walked back to Kate’s room, I saw her and Mike kissing and I knew I was going to have to wait for my chance with her.
Imagine my surprise when the very next weekend I saw Mike with his tongue down Riley’s throat. I wasn’t about to let my girl get played like that. I left Matthews with his flavor of the week and went and told Kate. I’ll admit, looking back, that was a really shitty thing to do but back then I just thought I was protecting her. Turned out she already knew, and that might have been the first time I realized Kate was wise beyond her years. Kate explained all about how she and Matthews decided they were too young to be involved if they wanted something bigger between them later. I realized how screwed I really was. If Kate wasn’t mad about Riley, she was going to wait for him forever. I felt bad for her but I was pissed off for myself and determined to make Matthews feel it.
I tried to cool down for a while but it didn’t work; I was still really pissed off. Not because Kate was waiting for Mike, but because Mike seemed all too happy letting Kate wait while he was having fun. Looking back on it now, they were just kids and Kate wasn’t ready. I see that now but I bet Mike was able to see it then. Even though I was one of her best friends, he was hands down her best friend and knew her better than anyone.
Finally, the summer after eighth grade, I got tired of waiting for them to get together and made my move. We were at the movies and she let me hold her hand. When we got inside, I made sure we were in the last row against the wall. I was so nervous. Finally, I got the courage to lean over and kiss her. At first we were just kissing, but as soon as she opened her sweet little mouth to me I accepted the invitation. My heart was racing and her hand quickly reached around the back of my neck. Then, just as suddenly as it started, she pulled back and I knew she was still stuck on him.
Once the movie was over, she apologized to me over and over but I assured her it was fine and I understood. And I did; Kate had loved Mike since before they even knew what love meant. But it didn’t mean I liked it and I wasn’t going to make Mike’s life hell. So I continued to go out of my way every chance I could when he was around to make him jealous. I hugged her, spun her around, took her places, tried to out gift him on special occasions, whatever I could.
One day, though, he took things way too far.
We were waiting outside of Katherine’s house for her and Jessica to get back from the mall. It was a few weeks after they had ‘officially’ become a couple. I could tell from the looks he kept giving me he was pissed about something and I’d had enough of his shit.
“What, Matthews? Just spit it out and stop with the fucking glares. You obviously have something to say so just spit it out. What are you pissed off about now?”
“Fine. What the hell are you doing here?”
That’s it? That’s all he’s got?
“I’m waiting for Katherine to get back from the mall with Jessica. What are you doing here?” I know we have plans and she knows we don’t like each other. Katherine would never invite Mike and me at the same time unless it was a special occasion.
“I’m her boyfriend, so I can be here whenever I want,” he said, puffing his chest out as if his scrawny little ass could take me.
“Whatever. We have plans, so why don’t you just go home and call her later? Just because you’re her boyfriend doesn’t make you the ruler of her kingdom. She is allowed to hang out with her other friends.”
“Look, Marc, I don’t know why you can’t take a hint but Katherine is only your friend because you guys both lost your moms. If you didn’t keep using that to your advantage she wouldn’t even be friends with you.”
Hell no, he did not just go there. I jumped up and poked him in that puffed out chest of his with my finger but I really wanted to knock his ass out.
“Listen, fuckwad, I was her friend first. You came along a few months later. So if anyone has rights to her friendship it’s me. You just can’t stand the fact that I kissed her.”
He pushed me and his face got really red. “No, I can’t stand the fact that you’re using her, thinking you’re going to get to fuck her like you told your friends. She’s not like those skanks you hang around with at school.”
His rant was almost comical, especially with that red face. He hasn’t hit me yet because he knows he won’t win. When I can finally speak without cracking up, I do it with confidence. “Have no doubt in your mind, Matthews, when you least expect it I’m going to fuck the hell out of her. I’m going to fuck her so good that she’ll never go back to you.”
I knew as the words flew out of my mouth he was going to hit me and I deserved it. Not that I didn’t want to be with Katherine someday, because I did, but she didn’t deserve to be disrespected at all. Matthews just brought out the worse in me. As his fist connected with my jaw and my head flung back, he screamed at me. “You’ll never get the chance to fuck her because she’s going to be my wife, asshole. Don’t you ever fucking talk about her like that again or I will tell her what a ginormous dick you really are!”
Damn, he hits harder than I could have ever imagined. Maryanne pulled up with the girls as I was wiping away the blood from my mouth.
We ended up telling them Mike accidentally nailed me with a baseball; he didn’t want them to know what happened any more than I did.
After that day, I heard Mike make the dead mom comment a few times too many. Not actually from him but through mutual friends. I’m not sure if it was an easy way for him to justify Kate spending time with me to his friends or what but I’d finally had enough.
A girl I was seeing my junior or senior year of high school went to the same gym Matthews did. I was there with her one day and saw him and expressed my dislike for him. For one reason or another she didn’t like him and asked me if I wanted to play a joke on him. This girl was older and definitely more sexually experienced than I was at the time. She made some crude comments about us fucking and my dick size right in front of Matthews. I knew he heard and I was content with that.
She suggested taking it a bit further. I knew she was kinky because she liked to role play. That wasn’t something I really knew at seventeen. But she was all too happy to teach me. Her plan was for us to have sex in the shower around the time Mike would walk in. She had her friend text her when he was coming so we could put the plan into action. As I came, I called out Kate’s name and said some other things I don’t really remember now. Her friend said he came running out with his hand over his mouth like he was going to throw up.
That was great except I felt like I was going to, too. I didn’t mind messing with this girl and calling her other names, but to bring Kate into it felt sacrilegious somehow. I still feel almost dirty thinking about doing that to Kate. After that, Matthews never looked at me again with anything other than hatred in his eyes and he did whatever he could to keep Kate away from me. Honestly, he did the right thing because if it would have been reversed I would have done the same. I’m not sure why I went along with the plan other than the girl was kinky as fuck and I was being led by my dick.
I hated what I did and I still do. I’m not sure why he never told Kate other than they broke up a few months later and he just never got around to it. Since he was a non-issue, I never confessed but now I need to confess. I know Kate and I know she’ll forgive me, it just might take some time. I’ll call her as soon as I get back into town.