• claudialymari

For Three Seconds


Prologue

The thumping of my heart woke me up like hummingbirds’ wings beating loudly against my rib cage. My heart knew what my brain had yet to comprehend. I took a deep breath and felt the heavy arm that was draped around my naked waist like a hot brand. It burned my skin, yet I wanted to sink into it and be consumed by the body next to me.

Opening my eyes, I saw a room that was unfamiliar to me. The walls were a light gray color, accents of teal all around. Fuck. When I noticed the lake outside the window, I knew I was still in Jordan's house. Then it all came back to me, the sins from last night hitting me one at a time, making the flutters I felt in my heart feel like a stabbing pain.

Prom.

Watching Gigi and Gavin.

Getting drunk for the first time since my parents died.

The hands that were wrapped around my waist pulled in closer until I was pressed up to the man who was next to me. His hard erection pressed against my rear; his lips were making their way up my nape. The brush of his lips, the feel of his fingers, the way he said my name was going to be something I would always remember. Three tears fell when I closed my eyes.

“I want everything Scar. I want to consume you in and out like you have done to me all these years.” He pressed me against the wall, his breath mixed with nicotine and alcohol. The tuxedo was long gone, he only had a black shirt the sleeves rolled up, and the top button was undone. His hair was a little messy, probably from jumping in the lake earlier. “I want to be the one you kiss when you have a good day,” he got closer, his lips taunting mine, and I got weaker. My resolve to stay away crumbling before my eyes. “I want to be the one you give yourself to when you have a bad day.” He caged me in between the wall and him. He dipped his head, and he kissed me.

One.

Two.

Three.

And I knew nothing would ever be the same.

“I want to be your everything.”

He already was, but I didn’t tell him that. Instead, I did the thing I swore I never would; I gave in.

One.

We devoured each other, our mouths clashing for dominance.

Two.

Our clothes came off. Our naked flesh was molding into each other, no matter how wrong it was.

Three.

The loss of my innocence staining the white sheets as a reminder of our betrayal.

Three tears fell.

One for myself.

The second for Gavin.

And the third for my best friend.

I slept with the man she’s loved since sixth grade, and I don’t think I regretted it.

“Scar, baby, are you up?” Gavin called, and I pretended to be asleep. He kissed my forehead, made sure that the cover was on my shoulders so I wouldn’t get cold by the morning breeze, then he left the room. As soon as the door closed, I picked up my discarded prom dress, and I left — not just Jordan’s house but mine too. I didn’t want to see my best friend or her boyfriend again.

Gavin Dunn has always been in the middle of my best friend and me. She might not have known it, but I always have. And it all came down to me. This was my fault because, for three seconds, Gavin made me feel alive. He was the only one. I knew it since I was twelve, confirmed it when I was sixteen, now at eighteen I ruined my life over it. To understand how I got myself into a web of lies, I have to start from the beginning. I have to go back to Gigi’s twelfth birthday. It was a night that changed everything between the three of us.

***

Sometimes a kiss can tell you more than words ever can. One kiss has the power to make you forget, dream, wonder, and believe. A kiss can make you happy when everything around you is falling apart. It shakes you to the very core and obliviates everything you thought to be true. One kiss has the power to cure your sadness, but in my case, one kiss was all it took for me to be ruined for everyone else.

I was twelve years old at my best friend’s birthday party when it happened to me. Giuliana, Gigi for short, had a plan that day. It was our first party flying solo, and by flying solo, I mean Gigi’s parents were going to stay upstairs while we had the basement all to ourselves. We had chips, sodas, the iPod on deck, and the perfect plan to get Gavin Dunn to kiss Gigi in a game of spin the bottle. We practiced the shit out of that bottle. I tried a gazillion scenarios just so that we could be sure Gigi’s bottle always landed on Gavin. We never took into account variables. Perfection can’t be achieved; nothing is ever guaranteed. That day at the party, Gigi’s hand wavered not a lot just a little but enough that the bottle landed on the boy after Gavin.

It sucked.

All that practicing, just so her first kiss could belong to someone else. She was horrified. I didn’t care much about my first kiss; I figured what the heck does it matter. It’s not like I even know what love is? I just thought I would kiss more boys as I got older. My first wasn’t going to be all that special compared to that. My brother kissed a lot of girls, and he was in high school. So, this kiss didn’t mean much to me since I figured high school was where I was going to find the real joy of lip-locking.

When it was my turn, I spun the bottle, no calculation, no planning, and it landed on Gavin. It was just one kiss, right? Everyone’s eyes were on us, and I had two choices balk out and be known as the girl who was too sissy to go through with one silly kiss or kiss him. Gigi kissed Dylan; she didn’t balk out, so why should I? It was one lousy stupid kiss.

We met halfway in the circle our friends had provided, and we both went for it. I wished I would have known that those three seconds would change my life forever.

On the first second, he put his hands on my nape and brought me closer to him, on the second; his lips crushed mine—and oh my Gawd, there had never been so much electricity circulating through my body. For the first time in my life, my belly flutters those elusive butterflies I always heard finally decided that now was the time to hatch. On the third second, he pulled away, and I noticed things about him I never did before. He was Gigi’s crush, not mine, but for the first time, I saw him through her eyes— except it was my own eyes. I noticed how his hair was dark but not enough to be considered black. His eyes were not blue but also not green; he had specks of both in them. It wasn’t fair that he had such pretty eyelashes, long and curled, his lips weren’t too big but also not flat. They had felt nice and cushiony.

When we went back to our seats, I was still on that three-second-high I didn’t notice the way Gigi was fuming, or that Gavin kept stealing glances my way. I was lost in my own little world I have no idea what kind of havoc I would unleash. Replaying that kiss and I knew that although it was fresh, it had become my most favorite memory. Is this how Nick felt all the time? I wondered.

After the first round, not everyone wanted to go again with fear that they were going to kiss someone they didn’t want to. I wanted to take another go and see if those magical three seconds happened with someone else, or it was just with Gavin. I hoped they happened with someone else because then that would mean I would get many more of those magical three seconds, and they wouldn’t be forbidden. Gigi was upset because her first kiss wasn’t with Gavin, and I was upset because I wasn’t going to find out if they belonged to someone else.

Life was so unfair.

Just as I was walking away, Gigi pulled me aside. “How was it, Scar?”

I heard the fear in her voice; her big blue eyes were ready to shed tears if I said something that would hurt her. I loved Gigi, and she was my best friend, the one person who always had my back. We have been friends since kinder. I couldn’t tell her how I felt. She couldn’t know that for three seconds, everything in my life made sense.

Instead, I looked at her and smiled, “Eh, it was just a kiss Gigi, no big deal.”

She wasn’t able to hide her relief, her face light up with a smile; her blue eyes started to sparkle. “I hope it goes better for me; I’m trying again at Kim’s party.” She twirled a piece of her brown hair as she spoke. I may have nodded, or I may have smiled, but I knew that I was dreading Kimberly’s party. What if I kissed someone else, and I didn’t find my three seconds of happiness? Did I want to find out if it was a hit or miss?

I did. Because not knowing was going to drive me mad. I wanted to know if what I felt was something special, or it was just a fluke. I wanted to kiss someone else, so for three seconds, I could forget about everything and feel bliss. So even if a part of me was scared that I wasn’t going to find three magical seconds with someone else, I had to try.


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