Chapter 16: Breakdown
It was going on day four and I was fighting nicotine withdrawals, puking half the time,and Danny was being a pain in the ass.
D: I'm coming to find you. I need to figure out what's going on..
Me: Don't bother..
This had become our new norm. I would wake up to a text from him demanding to know where I was and I would keep it short, sweet, and to the point. I didn't want to be bothered and I definitely didn't want to see his face. A few days passed since our fight and just as expected, he was on the hunt for me. Thankfully none of my friends were willing to give him any information. We'd all threatened Reggie and Derek's lives if they even so much as thought about telling him anything.
I pulled my legs up to my chest just to roll over and sulk some more. I curled up into the fetal
position and closed my swollen eyes, hoping to calm my nerves a little.
I thought it was because I was still in shock from seeing two purple and pink lines over and over again. But I was fooling myself. I was experiencing some serious PTSD and I hated to admit it. I was afraid of all the negative possibilities that could happen. I was afraid of the pain, the sorrow, the blood, and the loss of another baby.
My heart continued to break due to the feeling of impending doom. I knew that I couldn't just lay in bed for the rest of the summer because that wouldn't solve anything. I surprised myself because the old Sydney would have been willing to take as long as she felt like it in an attempt to escape her problems. I was still pissed off by the fact that he was trying to treat me like I was his property and the rage that grew inside me just from the thought of it would have been enough to kill him.
D: What? You're going out tonight?
I squinted my eyes to make sure I was reading the text carefully. I know he wasn't trying to be a smart ass.
I groaned in defeat because he was only trying to say anything he could just to make me mad. He knew that I was only going to take his bullshit through text for a short period of time before I got up to hunt his ass down. I had a short fuse and he was pulling out all the stops to get to me.
I buried my head underneath my pillows when I felt my phone vibrate again.
R: How ya holding up?
Me: Barely making it. Same shit, different day.
R: Well, the guys still haven't said anything. He has no resources, so you're in the clear.
I was relieved by that at least.
D: Do you. I don't even give a shit anymore..
Seeing the new text from him pissed me off to the point of tears. Who the hell did he think he was? He couldn't just say whatever he wanted just to get a reaction out of me. He was being a dick. There were no other words to describe it, but I felt like I deserved much better. Being in a relationship with Dean showed me how strong I was. I spent more time that you could imagine protecting myself and even in the first few months after we broke up, I made sure that he knew I was going to be just fine without him. I was constantly putting myself out there, always looking for a good time to disguise the fact that I was hurting. I did everything he didn't want me to do plus more.
The tone Danny was using made it seem like we were complete strangers preparing to go to war against each other. I never thought that things would turn out like this. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be able to compare him to Dean. And if I was doing that, I felt like things had the potential to escalate and turn into a nightmare.
Dean may have tried his best to break me, but in all reality, I was the shit before him and I was the shit even long after he was gone. I'm pretty sure guys thrived off of seeing a female in pain and loved it even more when they were the cause of it. I was beginning to realize that I was going to have to let Danny find out who I was. And he was going to have to learn it the hard way.
I pulled the conversation back up between Rachel and I, realizing that August 3rd, my eighteenth birthday, was only a few short days away. I was a Leo, completely ruled by the Sun. I was supposed to be loyal, caring, generous, ambitious, and I liked to have things my way. I couldn't deny the fact that I was stubborn and entirely too impatient. I was often straightforward and always said whatever I was thinking. I held this drive in my heart that always pushed me to do the things others said I couldn't do or what they didn't want me to do. I could be dominating and arrogant and if you got on my bad side, you were going to hear me roar and you were going to regret it. My zodiac sign always painted the perfect picture of who I was.
I quickly jumped out of bed, snatching my phone as the perfect opportunity to set the record straight and remind me who I was became clear.
"Rach, are you still trying to throw me that party?" I said, trying to hide the fact that I had a recipe for disaster brewing in my mind. "Hell yes! Glad that you're finally on board," she replied happily. It still made me a bit nervous to be pulled into the spotlight for a party in my honor, but I had ran out of fucks to give as soon as I called her. "You know what I like. Just hit me with the details," I said bravely. In the mirror across my room, I could see an evil grin spread across my face as a million dramatic ideas hatched in my head. This could have been a bit dangerous, but it was going to feel so damn good.
Our fight was stupid. He didn't know it, but I had so much shit running through my head. I had
to process it for myself before I could get myself together to share it with him, but I refused
to take his fucked up attitude and verbal abuse. I wouldn't let him get to me. If he wanted to be an
asshole, I was going to let him. It was my birthday for fuck sake and I wasn't going to spend the night pouting when Rachel and Reggie were throwing me a huge party at his house.
I stood in front of my mirror for the first time in what felt like an eternity and stared at everything
from my tangled mess of hair to the white cami and baggy gray sweat pants I was wearing. I turned to the side to get a good look at my stomach that was mostly flat with a tiny bulge at my
waistline. I couldn't have been more than a few weeks along, but given that I had lost track of my
periods, there was no telling. But soon, it would be too much to hide. I was already walking on
eggshells because I didn't want to get comfortable and end up falling apart all over again.
I pushed that to the back of my mind and went back to focusing on the events planned for
tonight. I wasn't going to sit around and cry because Danny was treating me like shit. I was Sydney
motherfucking Trent and whether I believed it all the time or not, I was the shit. I was falling in
love with Danny and tonight, I was either going to have him crawling back or piss him off and I
was going to enjoy every single minute of it.
I was completely stumped when it came to figuring out what to wear. It had been so long since I wanted to leave the house in something other than blue jean shorts and a baggy white v-neck. I wanted to dress up, but not be too dressed up. Like sexy, but comfy just in case I needed to make a bee line out the door to puke. I wanted to wear something black since the sun wouldn't be beaming on us and I wouldn't be roasted alive and I wanted something tight, but also loose enough to keep
anyone from noticing my bump. Curls. I definitely wanted to wear curls. That was something I
had always loved but never really had the energy to actually tackle. I wanted to wear my favorite
black velvet choker and I just needed to figure out the shoes to wear.
Suddenly, it was like a light bulb came on in my head and I saw the perfect outfit beautifully
mapped out in my mind. I dove under my bed, knocking the wind out of my body and I quickly
panicked and cupped my hands to my abdomen. "Sorry!" I shouted. My friends and I were the
only ones with any knowledge about what was growing inside of me and I was both scared and felt
extremely peaceful. Finally, there was something I could keep quiet about without the entire town
telling their own fucked up versions of it to each other.
With shaky hands, I calmed myself and reached under the bed to pull out a dusty shoe box that
held my favorite black suede high heels. An evil grin crept across my face because I knew the
perfect thing to wear with it.
News of our relationship spread around like the common cold in the beginning and the same
thing was probably happening about our hiatus. I may have went off the deep end initially, but tonight I was going to turn heads.
Later that night. . . . .
At the stroke of midnight, the one thing that I coveted the most finally happened. I was eighteen. That meant that I could legally do half the shit I had been doing since I was fourteen.
Reggie's house was more packed than the first night of the Rough and Rowdy every year. When I
pushed the door open, I turned heads and probably broke a few necks. The only thing you could hear was a few gasps and whispers while the music played.The lace dress with half sleeves that came to the middle of my thigh paired with my heels and hair curled to perfection isn't what people expected me to show up in after getting dumped, according to all of the rumors. If no one noticed me before, they were going to now.
My eyes scanned the room and landed on Danny. Showtime. His eyes locked with mine and with
a wink, I strolled through the crowd, smiling at the girls and batting my eyelashes at the boys. He
was already fuming. Any minute now, he was probably going to be headed in my direction ready
to snatch me up. I couldn't blame him. The guys we went to school with and knew around town
were savages and each and every one of them were looking at me like I was a piece of meat.
I was all for making him jealous, but it kind of made me feel uncomfortable. On top of that, with all eyes on me and I felt like they knew what was I was hiding beneath my dress.
"Happy birthday, Syd!" Rachel screamed, ambushing me with a hug. I was pulled away from my
mind and tried to focus on what she was saying. "You're not a baby anymore," Candace said,
smiling as she walked toward me. I plastered a fake smile on my face and continued greeting
I heard Step in the Name of Love by R. Kelly rumbling throughout the house and I raised an
eyebrow at Rachel, wondering why they were playing songs from the early 2000s. "We know you
don't really like being the center of attention and you're not big on parties anymore, so we kept the theme simple. We're playing the music that probably helped make us. That means 90s and early 2000s music unless you want to request something as the guest of honor," she said, beaming
with pride. I rolled my eyes and smiled at the fact that my friends put forth so much effort. At least I had that to be happy about.
"Happy birthday, little sister," Reggie said warmly and also greeted me with a hug. "A drink for the guest of honor," Derek said as he offered me a red Solo cup filled to the brim. It was obviously alcohol. We were standing three feet away from each other and I could smell how strong it was. "Come on. You're the birthday girl," he said, pushing the cup closer to me. I didn't want anyone to get suspicious because of me turning down a drink, but I knew for damn sure that I couldn't do something as stupid as drinking alcohol with a baby in my uterus.
I looked past him and saw the girls marching in my direction. "Babe, why don't you get a towel to clean up this mess," Mel proposed. Derek looked around. "What mess? Do I look like a janitor?!" he yelled in outrage. Her hand came down on top of his, slapping the cup out of his hand, and causing the liquid to splatter all over the rug. "That mess! Now do what the fuck I said!" she snapped, adding a smile before he turned to walk away. "Great thinking," I said with a chuckle. "No problem. He'll get wasted and pout about it later but he'll be alright. I told you that we're going to watch over your ass and have your back no matter what. We're in this together." I appreciated those words, but I should have been hearing them from Danny. I wanted so badly for all of this to blow over once and for all.
I scanned the room for Danny again and thankfully he was looking down at his cup as he leaned
against the wall. "You and Lover Boy still not speaking?" Candace asked. I shook my head, answering no. She could tell that I was trying my best to ignore it in order to have a good night. I was determined to have a great night whether Danny and I were speaking or not. He wasn't going to ruin my fun.
After dancing my ass off and laughing until my stomach hurt, I almost forgot about Danny.
Occasionally, I would glance over my shoulder and lock eyes with him, but I acted like he wasn't
even there. That pissed him off even more. I would even throw a smirk or two in just for shits and
giggles. I was definitely teaching him a valuable lesson. Don't fuck with me.
I had mostly been with my usual crew. During a couple of songs, I'd jump in and sing
and dance with people like Karlie Mitchell and Ashley Ball because when we cheered together in
midget league our most memorable dance routine was to Right Thurr by Chingy. We all had only
been 3 or 4 years old, but after all this time, it made my heart smile because they held onto those
Me and Candace took to standing up on the couch with the help of Reggie and Derek just to
belt out the lyrics to The Boy is Mine by Brandy and Monica. I was always Brandy and she was
always Monica and we didn't miss a single note. For most of the night, I was digging through my
memories, trying to find songs that stood out to me for most of my life. I remember my mom
waking up on Saturday mornings to clean while she played some of these songs as loud as she
We finally hopped off the couch as the song faded out and I quickly slipped back into my shoes.
I looked my dress over to make sure it hadn't bunched up and I wasn't about to flash my ass
to the entire crowd. "Why is Danny Connor talking to Kelsey Marcum?" I heard someone say
out loud. I froze and heat swarmed over my entire body. In a few seconds, I would start seeing
red and when I saw red, I would usually start throwing punches. I whipped my head around,
curls flying everywhere, and my eyes landed on Danny, held up in a corner by one of the nastiest
bitches I've ever known.
I never knew why, but she was always at my neck when it came to the boys I liked. We even had
problems more than a few times because she tried to he cute and disrespect me when I was
dating Dean. It was like she was so desperate to have my leftovers that she would have probably
died if she didn't try to go after whoever I was with. If looks could kill, I would have murdered them both on sight. He didn't seem entirely interested in her at first. He actually looked pretty bored and annoyed. I knew that he could feel my eyes burning a hole in his face.
When he finally locked eyes with me, he carefully snaked his arm around her waist, pulling her
close enough for her chest to be pressed up against his. Her eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas morning.
I felt like I had been kicked in the heart. I stood there with my hands on my hips, getting angrier by the second. He was definitely playing a sick game with my emotions. I felt like I was about to throw up, not because of my obviously raging hormones, but because the thought of him being with somebody else and being all over them made me feel like I wanted to puke and kill them both.
I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to be greeted by Eli Andrews. He was pale, lanky,
and about the same height as me. He wasn't the type that I would date, but way back when
everyone discovered their hormones, we would slip away from our classes at random times
during the day just to make out in the band room. We parted ways on good terms and that was that. Just a year or two of heavy make out sessions and at one point we wanted more, but we were like night and day. He even got clingy and jealous. Still, he didn't try to harass me when I threw him to the side because I started exploring much sooner than he did. I can't say that I never had feelings for him, but the idea of being in love while being so very young was and would only ever be a fantasy. We remained pretty good friends throughout the rest of middle school and into high school.
But right now was the perfect timing for him to come strolling my way. Danny knew that I had a
history with him. I never really went into depth about it because there was nothing to tell, but he hated the idea of me being with someone else or even breathing the same air as someone else.
"Happy birthday, Sydney Gayle," Eli said with a wide smile. His eyes were glassy and he smelled
like a watermelon Four Loko mixed with a little bit of weed. The only thing that kept Eli in a
league where he was able to even look in my direction without me telling him to piss off like a lot of
the guys we never really hung out with was the fact that he had become a huge pothead over the
years. It actually made him much more laid back than he used to be.
The smell of the combination made me gag, but I had to put up a good front. A sober Eli would
never cross those lines when it came to getting in my personal space without my permission. He wrapped his arms around my waist, resting his hands just above my ass. "Thank you, Eli. Eighteen is a hell of a lot different than thirteen," I said with a wink. I cupped one of his cheeks with my hand and pulled him close to kiss the other. Gasps filled the room and I heard nothing but silence as one song ended and another began. I got what I wanted and had everyone's undivided attention.
His eyes grew wide and he had a smile across his face, exposing every tooth in his head as
a response. I glanced over my shoulder to Danny and Kelsey. Her arms were draped on his
shoulders and she was batting her eyes like she was trying to use those cheap, trashy ass
lashes to fly away. The lower halves of their bodies were pressed together at this point and
Danny could have won an Oscar for the fake ass performance he was putting on just to get a rise
out of me. It was going to take a lot more than that. Two can play that game. At first I just wanted to piss him off, but now I was about to do him dirty.
"Syd, what the hell are you doing?!" Rachel hissed in my ear. I tried to play it off like I was
completely clueless. She grabbed the top of my ear and pulled it down to her mouth seeing as
though I towered over her with my heels. "Are you crazy?! You are pregnant! You haven't even told
Danny yet! What are you doing?!" she said, surely getting ready to send herself into a panic. Rachel only panicked when things were about to get messy. It was definitely about to become a shit show.
It was obvious that we were playing a cat and mouse game and I was getting bored. That only
meant that it was time to take it up a notch. I came here tonight with one thing and one thing
only on my mind. I refused to be hurt, so I knew that I needed to get even.
I looked over at them once more and my heart ached a bit. I knew that he wasn't going to fold,
so I had to pull out the big guns. I stepped away from Rachel and seductively strolled over to Eli
who waited eagerly to dance with the birthday girl. I tried to sway my hips as much as possible
without losing my balance. The people in the middle of the living room parted like the Red Sea. I
grabbed his hand and pulled him to the middle of the homemade dance floor. Locking eyes with
Danny once more, I smirked and said, "Play Anywhere by 112."
His jaw fell so hard that it could have put a crater in the floor. He mouthed the words, "you
wouldn't," and I replied, "watch me." It was one of our songs. Just a few short weeks ago, we were
curled up in bed back at the beach with Pandora playing my favorite R&B station. We loved it so
much that I couldn't tell you how many times we let it play on repeat as we got completely lost in
each other. We didn't leave the bedroom for at least a day, playing that song non-stop, making up
for lost time and it had been the best day of my life so far. It was one of the many 90s songs that I held close to my heart.
The intro to the music flowed through the speakers and I started feeling it. Tonight was honestly
the first time in forever that I danced without being on the verge of blacking out.
I turned with my back to Eli's chest, making sure I was able to press my ass against him as
much as possible. He was honestly so far gone that I felt like I was dancing with a mannequin.
I decided to grab his hands and guide them over my body as we grinded against each other.
Starting at my waist, running them down my hips and the tops of my thighs, then running one
of them up the center of my chest while the other one stayed at my thigh. I continued to grind
against him to the beat of the song much more provocatively than everyone else around us. No
one but Danny saw his fingers linger at the hem of my dress where he attempted to raise the
material to cop a feel. I quickly guided his hand back up over my hip where he made his way to
my neck. He was weird enough to always be obsessed with touching my neck. I was disgusted
but hiding it as he pushed all of my hair over to one side. He grazed his lips sloppily from the
back of my ear down the exposed skin on my shoulder as the song ended. His breath reeked of
alcohol and getting hit with the smell again caused my stomach to turn even more.
"Get the FUCK away from me!" Danny shouted, roughly pushing Kelsey off of him. Finally, he'd seen all that he could handle and it became clear that I had won. On the inside I was jumping up and down because I didn't have to torture myself by dancing with Eli anymore. He pushed through the crowd, rushing outside, and slamming the door behind him. I don't think I had ever seen him get so angry.
Everyone kept dancing while my friends along with Derek and Reggie flocked around me. "Eli,
man go home. You're pretty fucked up. I'm sure Syd appreciates you stopping by," Derek told him politely. He literally had the hiccups which made him take forever to spit out what he was trying to say. "No.... I think you meant, 'I'm going to fuck pretty Syd." That was proof that he couldn't handle his shit and he needed to get out of here. The five of us girls looked directly at him. "Thanks for the dance, Eli, but Hell would have to freeze over for you to get my panties wet," I snapped. We were friends and all, but he crossed the line when he tried to raise up my dress.
I stood there feeling ten feet tall and proud with one hand on my hip. I had an evil grin painted
across my cheeks. Kelsey finally looked in my direction. "Check motherfucking mate," I said as
I smiled, showing all of my teeth. "Well done, Sydney Gayle," Candace said patting my back. I
knew that I had made a mess of things and I had gotten out of character, but Danny really must have forgotten who I was. "Who am I?" I asked. "Sydney motherfucking Trent," they all said in unison.
I turned on my heels and pushed through the crowd once more, protecting my belly the entire
time. I was brave and bold a few minutes ago for the sake of my heart, but now it was time to face the music.