Chapter 5: Here We Go Again
Updated: May 7, 2019
One week later.......
"What the hell did you think you were doing?!" I yelled, storming through the front door of his all too familiar apartment. He stood in the doorway with that goofy smile he wore when everything he made a plan for fell perfectly into place. He knew exactly what he was doing. He knew that that picture would lead to me banging on his front door, huffing and puffing and pissed off enough to kill him.
"Now I know for sure that you haven't lost that temper," he said, still smiling. I fought to keep my jaw from dropping from shock. "You're gonna see a lot more of it if you don't start explaining!" I said through gritted teeth. I was hoping that I looked threatening, but honestly, I probably looked like an angry Smurf.
"And that's what makes me so crazy about you," he said as he closed the door and walked over to me. I was confused. "I did it just to get you over here."
I was nowhere near being in a joking mood right now. I had spent the last week ignoring any and all questions my friends had about me and Danny. I couldn't give them any answers because I wasn't quite sure about how to even answer their questions. After seeing my picture with at least a hundred likes on it, I distanced myself from him. I wanted to take things slow and see where they were meant to go, but now everyone knew that I left the party with him that night. They knew that I had been the first person he ran to when he came back. People were going to talk and it made me incredibly nervous.
"You know me. If I see something I like, I want it, and I have it," he said, shrugging his shoulders. That was a good comeback. It actually gave me goosebumps and made my heart race. But I was still agitated and now wasn't the time for it. I rolled my eyes and stood there trying my best to make it clear that I wasn't in the mood. Hip stuck out, tapping my foot, and arms folded across my chest.
He uncrossed my arms and held both of my hands in his. "Alright. I know it was a little overboard," he said, hanging his head, "but I want you to know that I'm serious about you, Syd. You give me these feelings that I've never felt before." I knew that that was hard for him to admit. He was known for being stone cold and numb.
When we met a few years ago, he came to the football game with Ryan. Ryan was pretty tight with Reggie, so while Rachel was draped all over him, the rest of us kind of just lingered around them. He stood there with a hard expression on his face with one hand holding a cigarette and the other stuffed in his pocket. I was still with Dean back then and it never failed for us to fight every Friday night because I wanted to be at the games with my friends.
Dean took it upon himself to show up just because I did. I was doing a damn good job at avoiding him and enjoying myself just because he hated it and was fuming after the first thirty minutes. To get a reaction out of me, he ended up at the fence, eyeing one of the cheerleaders that was breaking her neck to show off for him. It almost looked like a private dance in a strip club and he was drooling. I was disgusted and pissed off. Reggie and the rest of my friends knew what was about to go down and they were praying that they would make it to me before the police did.
I called him out on his bullshit, we exchanged some insults and spewed some hate, and the next thing I knew, I snapped and went charging after him. I pulled myself together immediately upon being hoisted into the air by who I thought was Reggie. "REG! GET YOUR GODDAMN HANDS OFF OF ME!" I screamed as I flailed my arms, trying to wiggle out of his grasp. Turns out, it was Danny."Whoa there, short stuff!" he said gently, smiling widely. I looked up into his eyes, with his arms still gently wrapped around my waist, and I felt like any and all strings holding me to this earth had been clipped. My mind went blank and I calmed down immediately. He held me in his arms and gave me the most beautiful half smile I had ever seen in my life.
We stayed that way until we noticed people staring at us. "I'm Sydney," I spit out, sticking out my hand for an awkward handshake. "Danny." My friends were beaming. I think they were more thrown off guard than I was. I don't think anyone had ever caused a spark in my heart the way he did in that moment. "That's Sydney motherfucking Trent!" Rachel yelled, smiling widely.
"That's the first time I've ever seen that guy smile. He always looks like he either wants to kill someone or he has a stomachache. You must have put a spell on him," Derek said in amazement when the game was finally over. "Yeah, well the only expressions I ever see are the smirks from people that always got me fucked up," I growled before I took a puff from my cigarette once we got to the car. As mad as I still was at Dean, I couldn't get Danny off of my mind.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I started distancing myself from Dean and all of his toxic energy and I found myself texting Danny night and day. I usually tried to dance around the idea of hanging out with him alone and his constant flirting.
We would text back and forth about any and everything.
D: So, tell me that your name isn't really Sydney motherfucking Trent... S: No lol my name is actually Sydney Gayle Trent D: Ohhh. Sydney Gayle lol like Sidney Prescott and Gale Weathers from Scream? S: Gross lol I hate my middle name and no. I was born long before Scream came along. D: Nah. It has a nice ring to it. Sydney Gayle Connor D: Trent* I meant Trent ;)
Eventually word got around town that Danny Connor had the hots from Sydney Trent and the rest was history.
He looked up at me with those familiar wide puppy dog eyes and I nearly melted when he pulled me against his chest. He intertwined his fingers with mine and I instantly forgot about the situation we were in. "I like you a lot. I just need to make sure my head is in the right place." For a minute, I thought that I might have needed to be pushed into the right direction to keep from hurting him again and avoiding the elephant that would always be in the room. "I know you're gonna hate to hear this, but are you afraid of Dean? He wasn't exactly easy to get rid of in the past," he said nervously. "Absolutely not! He bleeds just like I do! I've kicked his ass before and I would do it again!" I said proudly.
I was getting so frustrated with myself. I wished there was something to show me what to do. I was terrified of walking on eggshells, too scared to let him get closer to me and too scared to push him away and lose him forever. "Well, for starters, we need to stop beating around the bush. We haven't really been up front with our feelings for each other since I came back. You always change the subject." Shit. He was right. We'd only had a screaming match about the day he left and my past that he swore he would never bring up. "All you want to talk about is how fucked up you are and I don't like that. You're Sydney motherfucking Trent. Own that shit and don't let the bad shit in your life define you." He was telling me exactly what I needed to hear. It was like he was tapping into the part of my brain that I thought died a long time ago.
I allowed my arms to wrap around his waist and it calmed me just to hear his heart beating through his shirt. I felt his hand make it's way to my face where he used it to grab my chin to pull me into a kiss. I was overwhelmed with euphoria. Nothing ever seemed so beautiful and so natural. I didn't have to rummage through my mind to figure out whether this felt right or wrong. It just felt like the entire world was melting away.
His hand went around to the back of my head to deepen the kiss. The blood rushing through my veins felt like fire and my knees were getting weaker. My legs literally felt like noodles. I felt like I was slipping further and further away from reality.
Before I could get completely lost, he pulled away. "Slow down. That's all until you figure out what you want," he said with a wink. I giggled like a school girl. "So you just took it upon yourself to give me a little sample," I said, smiling like an idiot. "You're exactly right. I hope that doesn't make it too difficult for you to decide."
"Well, I'm glad we got it out of our system as much as we could today," I said as I looked down at my feet. "It was amazing. But that was also my way of apologizing for the picture. I can take it down if you want. I hope you're not still mad." It dawned on me that there was no way that I could stay mad at him. "No, it's perfectly fine. I actually appreciate. No one's ever shown me off before." I noted the butterflies going insane in my stomach. It felt so damn good to feel wanted. "On the way over, I just kept looking at the post and somehow it made me feel all shiny and new," I said with a shrug. "Like a virgin?" he asked, raising his eyebrow and smiling at me. "Shut the fuck up," I said playfully, pushing his shoulder. I walked past him and headed toward the door. "I'm still up for the beach trip, by the way," he added. "Good. I wasn't going to let you back out anyway," I said as I looked over my shoulder and sashayed away. I was only wearing a pair of worn out jean shorts, a plain white baggy v-neck shirt, and some low top Chucks. My hair was in a messy ball on top of my head, but I was hoping that I looked even the slightest bit sexy with the way I dramatically left his apartment.
. . . . . .
"It's about time you showed up," Candace snapped when I reached her front porch. She looked pissed. My aunt and uncle's cars were gone which meant they were still at work and probably weren't the reason behind Candace's foul mood. "I have a life, you know," I replied as I bounced up the three stone steps leading to the porch. "All you do is drink, smoke, and stick with us the majority of the time. Lie again," she said with her eyes burning a hole into my face. "You're in too good of a mood to have just crawled out of bed," she added. "Dude, what's your problem? You having withdrawals?" I sat down in the plastic white chair next to her. Usually when I brought up her habit, she always lost her attitude. Nothing I ever did could top her drug problem and I knew she was ashamed of it. It felt wrong, but sometimes, that was the only way to tame her."Fuck you. No. You spending time at Danny's?" she snapped back.
I chuckled. "And so what if I am?" I asked, resting my elbows on my knees and my chin on my hands. "I don't like it. I don't like him, his brother, his sister-in-law, and I don't like the idea of you getting wrapped up with him just for him to leave you again." There it was. Candace always had the ability to put a damper on anything. She was never optimistic. Not while she was sober anyway.
"Chill out. He's a friend and there's nothing going on. Plus, we put all of that shit behind us a long time ago." I wasn't exactly lying. A kiss or two didn't mean that I was ready to ditch everybody and marry him. He wasn't my boyfriend and we didn't have ties to each other. We were just friends.
From the corner of my eye, I could see her viciously scratching a dark purple bruise in the crease of her right arm. My heart sank. I hated the fact that she was doing hard drugs, but I hated seeing it and the side effects right in front of me even more. I knew that the only reason why she was being such a bitch was because she was sober. Candace was always in the worst mood imaginable when she went more than a few hours without getting high.
"I thought you wanted me to be happy," I asked calmly. "I do, but not with that piece of shit. You can do better." I rolled my eyes and stood up, pulling my cigarettes from my pocket and I put one to my lips. I stepped off of the porch and prepared myself for the walk back down the street to my house. "Well, I'll just go. When you're ready to do more with your life than being strung the fuck out, call me." If Candace could be cold to me, the only person that's taken care of her time after time when she couldn't even form coherent sentences, then I could be cold to her. "You're really gonna get pissed off because I said something about him?" she said, standing up. She stumbled a little as she tried to make her way down the stairs. She was clinging to the hand rail for dear life.
She stopped at the second step, deciding that she wouldn't be able to make it the rest of the way. "No. I'm pissed off because you of all people have no right to tell anyone how to live their life," I said, pointing my finger at her. I tried my best not to get mad enough to yell so no one would hear us. "I'm the only person willing to take care of you when you're fucked up and you pull this shit out of nowhere. Danny has never done anything dirty to me. Yeah, he did jump up and leave, but you know every detail of what went on with me and Dean and Danny is far from Dean. I love you and you're basically the only sister I have, but I can't stick around and deal with your addiction. You're not just killing yourself and I won't let you drag me down too." It was like word vomit was pouring out of my mouth and I never realized that there was so much about her that I kept to myself.
"Fuck you, Syd! You can do whatever the fuck you want to do! Excuse the hell out of me for being concerned!" she yelled. I was clenching my fists so hard that I had completely snapped my cigarette in half. "Fuck you too!" I screamed. I turned and walked away. As badly as I wanted to break her jaw, I knew that she was incredibly vulnerable and it wouldn't be a fair fight. I just didn't have the heart to do it even though she deserved it. I knew that any minute, Rachel, Jamie, and Mel would be calling me wanting to know what the hell just happened and I would cave and eventually sink back into tolerating all of the chaos that was Candace. But, for a minute I thought, am I ready to let it go and throw in the towel? We all knew that she was a lost cause and I always gave her the benefit of the doubt when it came to her getting clean. Was I ready to cut all ties and give up on trying to save her?