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A Time For Lies ch.1 pt.1
I didn’t want to let him go. It was the beginning of summer and Jaxen was going to be gone the whole time. I would miss him and his hotness.
“I love you, Angie Star.” He whispered in my ear as we were in a deep hug.
“You, too.” I never could force myself to say the words out loud to him. I never could. And the adorable nickname he gave me. Angie Star. I loved it when he did stuff like that for me. We could always be silly.
“I’ll really miss you this summer. Don’t go getting any other boyfriends while I’m out of the country so I can’t beat him up.” Jaxen added a laugh and hugged me tighter.
Gosh, I could stand here forever. “Don’t worry, I’ll beat him up for you.”
“I know you will.”
We stood there a few more minutes, savoring the last a each other’s presence. Then he was called off to his flight. Paris, he was visiting his family. And I was stuck here. Jaxen bounded up the last steps and turned to look at me, blew me a kiss and then entered his plane after I had returned his kiss. I left the airport and climbed into Jaxen’s Hummer. He was going to be gone, as well as his family, so he let me use it for the summer. If I could pay for the gas, that was the only overlooked clause. No one tells you that Hummers only get about 15 miles to the gallon and that gas in virtually impossible to pay for, unless you’re Jaxen. Jaxen’s father owned an oil rig in Texas and was one of the richest people I knew. They had millions of dollars and his mother stayed home all day making the house look ‘presentable’ as she called it. Their house looked like it could be on the cover of a magazine. That was presentable. The drive home was boring and my mind started remembering the first time I ever met his parents.
* * *
My sister had left a few things in her closet so I was picking through them. Blake was at college. Blake always had the best and latest thing there was. Be it an electronic or article of clothing, whatever she wanted, she got. No fits or questions asked. She left a few sweaters and skirts in her closet because they were old and she didn’t really want them anymore. Blake was what you would call spoiled. Two button up cashmere sweaters and one regular black one with the tags still on. She never failed to amaze me. Jaxen had warned me before hand to dress super nice. His parents were, his words not mine, uptight. They expected everything to be perfect and serene.
I ended up choosing the black sweater with a pastel pink oxford underneath. The cuffs rolled over the bottom sleeves and the collar set above the black seam on the back of my neck. I chose another tagged item: a black tweed, A-line skirt. I looked good, my only worry was that I didn’t look good enough. I probably would never look good enough for them though.
Jaxen picked me up in a black Audi, his car then. Jaxen didn’t have the regular male taste in cars. Most men liked cars that went fast, Jaxen liked cars that were big, roomy and showy. He’d never admit to it, but I think the reason the speedometer never went passed 70 was because our friend had been killed in a high-speed crash the year before. And death scared the crap out of Jaxen.
“You look great.” he whispered in my ear as he put his arm around me and led me to the car.
“Thanks.” He tried to kiss me, “Jaxen! My parents are watching us.”
“Sorry, babe.” I smiled a weak smile of forgiveness. He knew there wasn’t a chance I would stay mad at him for more than about two seconds.
By the time we reached his house, my heels were already hurting my feet. I guess they were another item that Blake felt the need to have, and never wear. As he reached to open his door, I stopped him. “Do you think I look good enough?”
“You’re already here, you can’t change.”
“That’s not what I meant!” Jaxen was so dense. “Do you think that your parents will think I look okay?”
“Yeah, sure. Come on, they’re waiting.”
Walking up to Mr. and Mrs. Phelps was like walking the plank on a pirate ship surrounded by sharks. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears and multiple waves of nausea hit me. It couldn’t have been more than 20 steps, but it felt like a lifetime. I focused on putting one foot in front of the other and somehow looking everywhere but their eyes. I couldn’t avoid the eye contact any longer as I reached them.
“Mom, Dad, this is Blair Cavanaugh. She’s my girlfriend.”
“Nice to meet you both. Your house looks lovely.” I told them, maybe all the compliments they would be receiving from me tonight would help my chances of them liking me.
Mr. Phelps shook my hand. His hands were pale and crackly, badly in need of lotion. He had a firm grip and gave one of those polite business smiles that never quite reached his eyes. Mrs. Phelps felt the need to hug me. She was one of those open and welcoming people that were so nice until you said one little thing and made them completely hate you.
I hadn’t been lying when I said the house was lovely. The foyer had tables and plants and pictures all around. It was probably a 50 foot walk until you reached the main staircase where the house branched out to the left and right; it also went up. The staircase was made out of some kind of stone, granite maybe, and was wide enough to fit five people standing side by side. We didn’t go up, but I was led to the left. I hated the left. I would always pick the one on the left as a kid when someone would play a hand trick on me. The left was always wrong. I would always say left when I was supposed to be remembering what way my parents had told me to remember when they reached the turn. We usually got lost. It wasn’t until I got a little older and realized I could pick right, I didn‘t have to choose left. Left was bad luck. But I couldn’t say that tonight was going to go bad just because the only dining room in the house was off the left of the staircase. It was how the house was built, not some stupid game. I forgot to watch my steps as I was deep in thought. My ankle twisted and I almost fell, making quite a bit of noise. Jaxen quickly grabbed my arm and made sure I didn’t hit the floor. By the time his parents looked back at me I had composed myself and it looked as if nothing had ever happened, save the blush from my cheeks.
“This is really good, Mrs. Phelps.” I told her midway through the dinner.
“Thank you, dear. I was just so excited when Jaxen said he was bringing his girlfriend home, he doesn’t do that often.” She daintily put a vegetable in her overly-glossed mouth. It was weird seeing an older woman wearing lip gloss.
I looked over at Jaxen. A blush was creeping up the side of his face and he had his head down, concentrating on cutting a piece of meat.
“That’s interesting.” Jaxen looked over at me and I smiled. He didn’t smile often, but I could see the smile in his eyes then and I knew I was forgiven. He reached over and grabbed my hand, tracing a couple of circles onto the back while his parents weren’t looking. Jaxen was the greatest boyfriend.
As I look back on that night, it didn’t go terrible or turn into a train wreck. I was able to keep my mouth closed and my opinions to myself. Jaxen’s parents seemed to like me well enough and invited my over again. No matter how nice they were though, I never really felt at ease with them. They were always too perfect and too put together to seem like actual people. They never raised their voices and I never saw Mrs. Phelps without makeup. To this day they’re nice, but there’s just something that never really made me feel comfortable in the Phelps’ residence.
“Hey girl, what’re you doing?” Amy looked up at me as she reached down to get some drinks. The drive home was so boring and all I had to look forward to was going home and seeing my mother. So I decided to stop in and see my cousin, Amy. “I thought your man was leaving today?”
“He just did.”
“Oh.” An awkward pause rang out. “Why’s he going to where?”
“Jaxen is going to Paris to visit his family he hasn’t seen in a few years.”
“Wow.” Amy made a surprised face, “Paris.”
“Yeah, why?” What was she talking about?
“The romance capital of the world, that’s all.” She looked me dead in the eye, “Romance capital.” Amy giggled, “Even better than Vegas.”
Amy, who was 22 and her boyfriend Anthony, who was 23, had been planning for years to go to Las Vegas and elope. They never got around to it. The date was set again for October 18th. I was the only other person who knew this. Anthony Carmichael had dark brown hair and a slim face. He worked for a local concrete company and was inside the house, asleep. Amy and Anthony had been together since their sophomore year of high school and they loved each other greatly. Amy’s parents didn’t approve of her moving in with him, so she doesn’t talk to them much.
“Are you implying that he will be unfaithful?”
“No, but don’t be surprised when he sends you an email that says, ‘we need to see other people’, that’s all.” Amy always said what was on her mind, one of the only negatives. She also used the words ‘that’s all’ too much.
“I’m having a party tomorrow, Blair. You should come. He didn’t say you had to sit at home and mope the whole summer. Come on, have some fun.”
“I don’t know,” I lied. I did know. I wasn’t going, I knew how Amy’s parties were and I didn’t know if I could handle that right now.
You would get out of you vehicle and walk toward the hose. There would be a bunch of random people milling around outside, and somehow Amy and Anthony knew them all. They would be ranting and raving and obnoxious. Some drunk guy who thought he knew you would come up and try to talk to you. A lot of girls, a lot of guys, and lot of craziness. Multiple guys hitting on you when you boyfriend was standing right next to you.
I wasn’t sure if I was ready for the craziness without Jaxen at my side to knock out the grabby ones. What was I going to do this summer without him?
Last summer it had been him and I having the best time. We had started dating around Christmas time of our sophomore year. We were going to be seniors this year, one last carefree time before tests and college pressure. The last time to just have fun, and we wouldn’t be together. Well, I knew he was going to have fun, so I might as well also.
“I don’t think I’ll come. I just can’t deal with the way your parties always turn out. Sorry, but I can’t.”
“Come on, Blair, please?” Amy looked at me almost begging.
“Sorry, I just can’t.”
“I always love having you there.” She looked off into the distance, sadly, like she was just waiting for me to feel bad for her and agree. I wouldn’t though.
Amy finally gave up and we started talking about this and that. I left about an hour later and went home for supper.
I arrived home to find my mom still in her work uniform, starting to cook. She was cooking some kind of low-carb, nasty stuff since my dad was working that night.
“Hey mom.” I dropped my purse on the island and sat down on a barstool.
“Hello, honey! How was your day?” She turned around to face me and put her palms on the counter behind her.
“Fine, kind of depressing, but generally okay.” I added a shrug. Maybe if I acted sad enough she would cook some actual food. But if I acted too sad she would get all clingy. I didn’t want her clingy right then, that would’ve made it worse.
“Oh, Blair!” She came and gave me a hug. “It will be okay. I know you miss Jaxen but it’s only for a little while. You’ll see him soon enough and he’s getting a great enriching experience that he won’t be able to get anywhere else. Enjoy the time you have to yourself and have fun!” She let me go and looked into my eyes, “Have fun.”
I really didn’t need all of this, I would be fine without Jaxen for a while. I mean, I would really miss him, but I could make it. We would email and text. The only thing I would really miss were his kisses. And the random, unexpected, “I love you’s” whispered in my ear at any moment. It was only about two and a half months, not that long.
“Okay mom.” As if I would listen to her.
She released me and I went upstairs to take a shower and get into my bed. It was going to be a long day tomorrow. It was going to be a long day as far as I could tell, too.
* * *