And almost ripping Grandma’s blanket out from under the sheets, I go for Rory’s journal.
I’m not interested anymore in every little detail about his school life. So I flip to the more recent pages and settle in.
The little bugs in Princess’s bed worked pretty damn good. He was really close to freaking the fuck out. The look on his face was kind of priceless. Of course, Mom got in my face about it, and I promised her it wouldn’t happen again.
Way to go, Mrs. Harwood. You’ve birthed a lying asshole.
The shower might’ve gone too far with him. I didn’t see him get in, but when I got back, everyone was asking me about it. Mom told me to go say sorry and Jackson was fucking burning himself in the shower and blamed me for it.
I scratch the gauze on my arms. I want to take it off and peel the dead skin off me. The blotches of red still sting, and Mr. Harwood told me not to touch it. But it doesn’t feel clean to me.
And I’ve never seen someone so broken than the way he looked at me.
Finally, it’s getting good.
Mom screamed at me like the way Dad screams at football when his team’s losing. I’ve never been more scared in my life of her. Dad ripped me a new one too, and I think this was the first time I’ve apologized to him.
I don’t think he’s accepted. I wouldn’t.
Good, he feels like shit. I flip ahead a page and continue reading.
Jackson doesn’t look at me anymore. He didn’t like looking at me before, but now he actually avoids it. It kind of sucks.
I don’t think Mom and Dad trust me anymore either. They also grounded me. Jackson’s parents aren’t leaving him alone.
I think I fucked up.
The next few pages are surprisingly poetic, but it’s mostly just him complaining about how he was wrong and is actually getting punished for it.
I put it back under the mattress and lie down, blanket between my fingers. Someone knocks on the door and Rory’s peeking out from the hallway. “Hey.” He’s quiet and is trying not to look at me.
He doesn’t have an answer. He’s literally pulled away by someone, probably his mom. But then his Dad shows up, watching his son go back downstairs. “How’re you feeling?”
I sit back up. “I have a headache, and my arms hurt.”
“I got some ibuprofen from town,” he says, tipping the small bottle into my hand for one greenish pill. “I’ll get some water for you in a second. But before that - ” Mr. Harwood stands to close the door. “ – have to reapply.”
I take off my shirt, which fucking hurts. “I have the best sunburn ever.”
Mr. Harwood smirks, but it looks too serious.
“…I don’t know what Mom and Dad’ve told you, but I didn’t do it on purpose.”
“I-I know,” he says, squeezing the aloe vera gel into his hands. “It just…happens, and I understand that.” He isn’t looking at me. “But what Rory did wasn’t okay, in any capacity.” Then he looks at me. “This childish feud between you two ends this summer.” The way he says it makes me shiver.
I eye the journal.
‘This feud will die this summer, definitely. But not until Rory’s had his just desserts.’