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I drove my suburban the short distance to the Stanley's house.
Ever since my cousin in New York went all environmental, I sometimes felt guilty about driving such short distances and the wasting of finite resources. She would always make me feel bad about driving down the block or to the other side of town—which was what I was doing now—but what could I do? Hybrids were expensive and I was just a rising senior in high school whose only source of income was a job at their parents' store. And since I was working for my parents, my paycheck was more like an allowance—which made it significantly under minimum wage.
There was one good thing about that job, though.
Bella had started working there at the end of June, which meant I got more time to hang out with her—without her boyfriend lurking around.
There was something about Bella that made me so…in love. She's got a nice body, but the clothes she wears say she either doesn't know it or wants to hide it. She's got a pretty, heart-shaped face framed with straight brown hair and full lips.
But most alluring of all are her eyes. She's got really wide brown eyes that make her seem so helpless, almost like a damsel in distress who I need to rescue.
Unfortunately, she seems to have been rescued already.
I could have sworn they had hated each other, but all of a sudden Bella started going out with Edward Cullen.
I really hated Cullen.
I had never liked him—ever since he and his beautiful adopted family moved to town two years ago. Especially since they all seemed to think they were better than everyone else—which was weird since all of their parents had died a while ago. They're all beautiful and I have to admit that that is one reason everyone hates them so much. The sisters, Rosalie and Alice, spark envy in all the girls and lust in the boys, while the three Cullen brothers do the opposite. It's painful showering after gym with Cullen there. Everything about him is perfect.
They're rich, too, and they flaunt it. While a Volvo isn't supposed to be a flashy car, theirs is. And to anyone who knows cars, they know it takes some money to buy a Volvo, unless it's one of the pre-used ones from the '90s that looks like crap—which theirs definitely isn't.
Cullen was such a pompous pretty-boy and I had no idea what Bella saw in him. And they were always together, too. Such sickly-sweet puppy love. I couldn't stand it.
There were some times when they seemed tense around each other, though, and I'd always get my hopes up—but then they would be back to gooey love the next day.
I guess it's a little bad that I was thinking about another girl while on my way to pick up mine, but I couldn't help it.
I had never really liked Jessica, but she liked me and Bella never responded to my subtle and not-so-subtle flirting, so I took her to a few dances and dates and then we were officially going out.
Don't get me wrong, Jessica's really nice, but she's also really annoying. And she'd been getting even more annoying recently.
She's got a great body, though; real curvy and short. I liked short girls—it makes it more romantic when they have to stand on their tip toes to kiss me—but she would always start talking about some new piece of gossip she had heard—or made up—about someone. She would even talk about her best friend, Lauren.
Pardon my French, but Lauren Mallory's a bitch.
Now let me explain.
I went out with her in freshman year, and I don't know what I was thinking.
After the beautiful new Cullens turned out to be anti-social, Lauren easily became the most popular freshman girl.
I don't mean to be immodest, but I consider myself the most popular guy in our grade, and I thought that doubly so when I was a freshman.
I was finally in high school; I was a grown up but without the responsibility; I was at the top of my game—all of those teen movies would be happening to me. So when Lauren started showing interest in me, I took the initiative to ask her out.
We were the quintessential high school couple. Everyone would tell us that when we were seniors we'd be the prom king and queen, and I kept wishing that our school had a football team so I could be the quarter back and she could be my cheerleader.
But then Lauren caught the eye of a then junior, Daniel Levine. He was one of the better-looking juniors and must have given up in trying to get together with Rosalie of the Cullens, who was the star in many boys' fantasies. So Lauren dropped me like I was nothing and went out with him for a brief period.
It was humiliating at first, getting everyone's pity. But I took it like a man, and realized that I never liked her anyway. She reminded me of Regina George from the movie Mean Girls, and I didn't need to go out with someone like that.
I pulled into the Stanley's driveway, parked my car and went to ring the doorbell.
Jessica's mom answered the door.
"Hi, Mike, come on in," she said, ushering me in to the living room.
"Hello, Mrs. Stanley, how are you?" I never forgot my manners around the parents. It always gave us a little more time, too, if they thought I was such a well-mannered boy.
"Fine, thank you for asking." Her smile was smug and seemed proud that her daughter was going out with me. "Jessica will be right down," she said, and disappeared into the kitchen.
I had been forced to sit through the movie Clueless recently, so I knew that girls always had to make their men wait, even if they had been ready and waiting in their room for ten minutes. So I sat down on the couch and made myself comfortable for the wait.
After a few minutes, Jessica came down the stairs. "Hi Mike," she said with a small smile. She was wearing a black halter top that accentuated her curves and showed a little of her stomach, and tight low-rider jeans. I momentarily forgot the fact that she was annoying.
"Hey," I said. I walked over to her and gave her a kiss, a little taste of what was to come. We weren't going to the movies to watch a movie.
Jessica was standing on the bottom step and still had to stand on her toes to reach my lips. I smiled at that.
Mrs. Stanley reappeared in the doorway. "Have her home by eleven," she said.
"Mom," Jessica whined, her face in the perfect "please mommy" look.
"Oh, alright. Around 11:30—twelve at the latest," she revised. Jessica was always good at getting us more time. "You take care of her, Mike," Mrs. Stanley called after us as we walked toward the door.
"Don't worry Mrs. Stanley, I will," I said, and Mrs. Stanley looked pleased.
She watched us from the front door, so I held open the passenger-side door of my car for Jessica, just like a gentleman—and something I had seen Cullen do for Bella plenty of times. Oh, how I wished it were Bella getting in the car and not Jessica.
On our way to Port Angeles, Jessica regaled me on what was going on with Tyler and Lauren, Ben and Angela, Eric and his new girlfriend, and what movie we were going to see.
"Does it really matter?" I asked jokingly, wiggling my eyebrows in mock suggestion.
Jessica played along and gave me a look of mock offense. She gave me a playful slap on the arm. "I don't tell my mom everything. I need to tell her some of whatever movie we see." I laughed.
Since Port Angeles isn't a huge city, the movie prices aren't nearly as bad as they are in some places. I bought our tickets to what was at that moment the "best comedy of the year," and we went to our seats.
We sat in the back of the theater as the characters on the screen went unnoticed and the cup holder a futile barrier between us.
Jessica's a really good kisser—one of the best I've ever kissed. At risk of seeming vulgar I won't divulge too much, but there are a lot of things that Jessica can do well.
She was leaning forward, her hands entwined in my hair. My eyes wandered down to the plunge in her neckline, and I sighed internally. My tongue and my hands kept doing as they pleased, though.
I am going to miss this, I thought as I continued to explore her body.