Font Size:  

“This can’t be happening,” I whisper.

“Ten minutes. Get her together, Reed.” This time he does leave my room, with my shitty mother following him, begging for a second chance.

The silence in my room is overwhelming. I sink into Reed’s arms. He sits on my bed and plants me on his lap.

“Tess.” He pets my hair. “It’s going to be all right. Go with him. I’ll make my dad call him. You’ll be back in a week.” He kisses my wet cheeks. “We can do a week. You have to stop crying, babe. You’re going to make yourself sick.”

I try, I really do, but I can’t. The tears won’t stop. “I… I can’t, Reed. I’m scared.” I hiccup.

“You will be fine.” He gets up and goes into the closet and grabs my luggage. “Pack, Kitten. I need to call my dad.” I watch numbly as he goes into my bathroom and gets my Valium. “Here.” He hands me two.

I don’t even drink water and instead chew them like a robot. I throw random things into my bag. Reed goes back into the bathroom and packs up my makeup and perfumes. He’s on his phone, I guess with Brad.

My dad appears in the doorway. “Let’s go, Tess. Say goodbye to Reed.” He grabs my luggage. I take one last look at my cheery yellow room. My twinkling lights are still on from last night. This can’t be happening. I have to be in a nightmare, right? My sadness almost cripples me.

My mother is nowhere to be found. Reed practically drags me to the waiting car, the driver standing like a statue with the door open. I almost want to plead for his help.

Reed turns me to him, his big hands holding my face, his eyes locking with mine.

“This is only a vacation, Kitten. You will be home sooner than you know.” Then he kisses me, but it’s short and I grab his shirt. His tongue fills my mouth, and I can’t stop crying. I kiss him like my life depends on it, and at the moment, it does. As I sob into his mouth, this feels like goodbye—like forever. He pulls back as my father grabs my arm. I look at Reed one more time; his beautiful eyes have tears.

“What the hell, Robert? Just wait… can we talk about this? Please, I need her.”

My dad stops and puts a hand through his hair. Sighing he looks around the garage. At anything but me and Reed.

“You will be fine. Talk to me in ten years, Reed. Something tells me you’ll be with someone else living a completely different life. This is infatuation, kids, and it does not last.”

He pulls me into the car, and I sink into the soft black leather seats. All the fight that I thought I would have is gone. I get on my knees and look out the back window. My heart hurts so bad, the burn is almost unbearable. Reed must feel the same way, for his hand comes up and rubs his chest, right on his heart and on my name.

I can’t do anything but stare. My father slams the door shut himself not even waiting for the driver, and I close my eyes, hot tears flowing, burning my face.

“Tess, stop crying.” He’s rubbing his forehead. “You’re my little girl. What did you expect me to do? Hand you over to Reed at fifteen? Your mother is not capable of taking care of you. I guess I’ll give it a try.”

“How long?” I hiss. Not even trying to disguise my dislike of him, I gaze out the window as my neighborhood and Reed get farther away.

“What?” He sounds distracted.

“How long do you plan on keeping me?”

“You will stay with me until college.”

“What?” I scream “No fucking way, Dad! If you think to keep me prisoner, you are crazy.” I must look wild because he frowns.

“Are you insane? Do you need help in the head? Because, if you think that any normal parent would allow their only daughter to have sex in her own bedroom and not do something about it, you need help. Should I have a doctor check you?” He waits. I’m so aghast at his lack of compassion and the question I stare mutely.

“I will tell you right now, little girl, if you’re pregnant, you will have an abortion!”

I gasp. He looks like a rabid dog. And he’s asking if I’m insane? All the air in the vehicle seems to be sucked into the black leather seats. My throat is closing up on me again. And, I don’t have Reed. Without his voice telling me to breathe, without him touching me, how will I control it?

“I’m not having sex, Dad! Although, I wish I had.” I try to swallow a gasp of air.

He must believe me, or he is done engaging with me because he pulls out his cell phone and starts texting.