The Coincidence of Callie & KaydenJessica Sorensen
“I’m sorry if I pushed you too hard, baby girl,” he whispers. “I feel bad. ”
I reach for his shoulders and step closer to him so the tips of our shoes are touching. “You didn’t pressure me, although, you could have warned me that it was going to burn that bad. Then I would have tried harder not to choke and not look like a complete moron. ”
“Trust me, neither of them think you’re a moron. ” He laughs, like he knows a secret. “I don’t want to lose all that trust I’ve earned with you. ”
“You didn’t lose anything. ” I squeeze his shoulders with my fingertips, inching in as a guy in a fedora rams into my back. “The day you told me all your secrets was the day I knew we’d be friends forever. You’re the bravest person I’ve ever known. ”
He smiles brightly and draws me closer. “Are you feeling okay?”
“I feel fine,” I tell him and rest my cheek against his. “Although, Im a little iffy on going up to the cliff with them. ”
“People go up there all the time. We won’t be the only ones there. You need to stop thinking of every guy as being like him, otherwise, he’ll always own you. ”
I blow out a breath. He’s right. I need to let go of my fears and rid my brain of the guy who instilled them, but how can I let go of the one person who holds such a huge part of me?
I can’t take my eyes off the dance floor. Even when my phone vibrates from inside my pocket, I slip my hand into it and press the off button on the side.
“Don’t do it. ” Luke plucks a piece of ice out of his drink and pops it in his mouth.
“Do what?” I ask, distracted as my heart thumps when Callie throws back her head and laughs.
A hand knocks against the side of my head and my hand shoots up. “Okay, what the fuck was that for?”
“That’s payback for when you hit me back on the curb,” he says and his eyes roam to a girl with long red hair strutting by our table in a short black dress. “And it was also to distract you from doing something really stupid. ”
“It’s not what you think,” I say. “I was just watching people dance. ”
He rolls his eyes. “Do everyone a favor and send Daisy a text to break up with her. Then you can do whatever you want. ”
“You want me to break up with her in a text?”
“Like you care. You don’t care about her even though you tell her you love her. ”
“What is your problem with her, besides the fact that she annoys the shit out of you?”
He tosses his straw onto the table, grabs the cup, and pours the rest of the Long Island Iced Tea down his throat. “I’m going to go buy another round. ”
I let him out, and then start to lower myself back into the booth, but my eyes find Callie again. She’s smiling as she talks to Seth. I’ve never been that happy before about anything. It makes no sense to me and maybe that’s why I’m drawn to her.
Even though I shouldn’t, I move across the dance floor, turning sideways to fit through the couples dancing, and getting rubbed on by a couple of girls along the way. Seth’s eyes locate me first and he whispers something into Callie’s ear.
Turning her head, she looks at me and her eyelids lift slightly. Her pupils look huge below the hazy lights, her skin pale, and her hair soft.
“Mind if I cut in?” I ask over the music.
Seth lets go of her hips. “Be my guest. ” He winks at Callie and walks backwards off the dance floor, turning as he arrives at the edge, where the crowd closes in.
Callie’s gaze lingers in the spot he vanished from, her shoulders stiff and her fingers tucked into her palms.
I put my lips beside her ear. “You don’t have to dance with me, if you don’t want to. ”
Her shoulders jolt upward and she rotates her tiny body to face me. Her gaze scrolls up my legs, my stomach, and it makes me kind of uncomfortable. She knows where my scars are hidden and she’s the kind of person who wonders things.
“It’s fine. We can dance. ” Her nerves show through the shakiness of her voice.
I hold out my hand and she wavers before placing her palm on top of mine. Enclosing my fingers around her hand, I slowly lure her body toward mine with my eyes fixed on hers. She’s looking at me helplessly, like she’s praying I won’t hurt her. It takes me back to a time when I was younger and my father was furious with me because I’d knocked a vase off the shelf. He came at me with a belt in his hand and rage in his eyes as I dove under the table trying to hide. The cuts from the previous days beating hadn’t healed yet, and all I could do was hope he didn’t kill me.
“Can I put my hand on your hip?” I ask and she nods.
I spread my fingers around her waist and her eyes get a little wider, especially when I position my other hand on her side. I listen to my heart thud inside my chest, louder than the music. I’m feeling things I haven’t felt before and I might be getting in over my head. What if I continue to get to know her and the feelings amplify? I don’t deal with feelings.
She unwinds a little as her hands glide up my chest and hook around my neck, her head angling back so she can look up at me.
“I don’t really like to dance,” I admit. “I kind of developed a fear of it when I was little. ”
Her lips twitch upward. “Why’s that?”
Digging my fingertips gently into her hips, I draw her toward me so our feet touch and I feel the heat of her breath on my neck. “When I was ten, my mom went through this dance faze where she took all kinds of dance classes and when she practiced at home, she liked to use my brothers and I as her partners. I’ve hated dancing ever since. ”
She smiles. “That’s cute that you danced around with your mom. ”
My fingers inch around her back and graze the sliver of skin between the top of her jeans and the bottom of her shirt. “You can’t tell anyone that. I have a reputation to uphold. At least I did back home. Here I’m not so sure. ”
Her smile expands as her head tips forward and pieces of her hair veil around her face. “It can be our little secret. ”
I laugh softly as she looks back up at me. She seems happy. As the music shifts to an upbeat rhythm, I decide to show off, just to keep her smiling.
“Hold on,” I warn.
She bites down on her lip, and the urge to kiss her compresses at my heart. Suddenly, I can’t decide whether to leave her there on the dance floor, or continue to show off.
Shoving her away, I glide my hand up her arm until our fingers interlace. Her eyes widen as I yank her back toward me and twist her around, before colliding her body into mine. Her lips are inches away from my mouth as her heaving chest brushes against mine.
“Do you want more?” I ask in a low voice, hoping to make her shiver.
She doesn’t shiver, but she nods with excitement gleaming in her blue eyes. My palm slides down her back possessively, feeling the heat of her skin emitting through the thin fabric of her shirt. I pull her hand forward and tip her body backward. Her hair dangles to the floor, her back arches, and I have the perfect view of her tits and the sliver of skin peeking out from the bottom of her top. Taking a deep breath, I glide my hand up her back, until she’s standing upright with her chest pressed against mine again.
“Don’t tell anyone about that either,” I whisper in her ear with my arms around her waist.
“Okay,” she says, breathless, her fingers gripping my shoulder blades.
I continue moving with her in my arms until the end of the song, and then we let go of one another and go back to the table as if nothing happened. Something did, though, but I’m not sure whether to pursue it or run like hell.
#3 Try to be Happy
#3 Be Stupidly, Drunk Happy
I’m happy, like stupidly happy. I don’t know if it’s because I have a buzz or because it has been a good night. I’ve accomplished what I thought was impossible and I am so proud of m
yself that I practically skip to the cab. I danced with Kayden, let him touch me in a way no one ever has—at least with my permission—and I liked it!
Seth and I take the backseat in the van and Kayden tells the cab driver where to go. The inside smells like old cheese overlapped with a pine scent. The cab driver is a round guy in his fifties who doesn’t look that thrilled to have four loud eighteen year-olds in the car. There is some 80’s music playing in the background and Seth keeps giggling about the lyrics, telling me they are secretly dirty and talking about pussy.
Luke overhears him and rotates around in his seat. “Is it really talking about that?
Seth points at the speakers. “Listen to them. ”
We sit quietly, staring at the speaker, listening to the lyrics. Seth balls his hand into a fist and puts it up to his lips like a microphone as he begins mouthing the words.
“How do you know this song?” I wonder. “It’s not the kind of music that you listen to. ”
He grins, leaning in, finishing out the lyrics. “My dad is a total 80’s freak. He has the mullet and everything. ”
I giggle as he does this weird jiving movement with his hips.
“It is talking about pussy, isn’t it?” Luke declares and the cab driver cranks up the stereo to muffle out our conversation.
My cheeks heat and I turn my head toward the window, pulling the top of my shirt over my nose to hide my laughing. I shouldn’t think it’s funny, but I do.
“Oh, Callie’s drunk,” Seth announces as he lets his hands fall to his lap. “Did you finish off the Long Island Iced Tea?”
I shake my head and let my shirt fall off my nose. “Only half. ”
“Lightweight,” Kayden teases me with a grin and my blush magnifies.
“Hey, it’s her first time,” Seth protests in my defense, patting my head like I’m a dog. “She did good. In fact, she did great. ”
I turn toward the window, knowing what he means, and loving him for saying it.
“I feel like we’re going to get robbed,” Seth whispers as we head toward a store that is located near the foothills of the mountains. We decided to stop and get some flashlights and spray paint before proceeding with our plan, otherwise, it’d be a pointless journey.
There’s a group of guys in front smoking cigarettes. They watch the four of us walk across the parking lot, through the sliding glass doors, and into the store.
“Everything’s supposed to be a dollar in here. ” Luke grabs a shot glass on a display just in front of the doors and peers at the bottom. A piece of glass falls from the rim and he hastily sets it down. “Yeah, I can see why. ”
There’s some funky music playing from the ceiling and Seth bobs his head as he walks to a shelf and picks up a hideous orange and brown scarf.
“Oh, I think I remember my grandma wearing something like this. ” He shawls it around his neck and skips up the aisle, examining the shelves.
“We should split up,” Luke states. “And look for flashlights and spray paint. It’ll make it faster. ”