“God dammit, Gemma!” He ran his hands through his blonde hair and pulled at the carefully gelled strands, as if he could force the words out that way.
“I love you. Not like a brother or a friend. I am in love with you.” He laughed resentfully, “You tell everyone we’re just friends, but that hasn’t been true for me in a really long time. Jebus, I think you’re the only one who still stubbornly clings to that idea.”
He smiled at me then. “The patron saint of morning after’s isn’t gonna help you with this one, Gem.”
“Don’t tell me what Jebus is or is not capable of. I made him up. As far as I’m concerned I can invoke him at any point.” I curled my legs underneath me and nestled against the arm of the couch. I heard Chase sit back down and I lifted my eyes from the couch pattern. I stared at this stupid, stubborn boy: feet firmly planted on the ground, head in his hands, small smile forming on his lips.
“Wasn’t that the night I decided 33 shots was a good idea?”
“I tried to say Jesus when you told me how much you were drinking, but I was drunk too so I said Jebus instead.”
“And that’s the only thing I remember from that night.”
“Oh, Jebus how did this happen?”
“Jebus, help us through this difficult time.”
“We’re very strange people.”
He slid off the couch and crouched in front of me. His hands held onto my shoulders like manacles. “Gem, we could be good.” Hope was painted over his face, but all I could think of was how his hands were restraining me. And still he promised me, “I would never leave you.”
I kissed him then, a thank you and a goodbye. A testament to the broken-down person that I was.