I let out a sigh in defeat, looking away as I stepped to the side, allowing him in. He walked passed me and I caught a whiff of his aftershave, the same one that I fell in love with when I first met him.
I followed him to the living room, where he didn’t hesitate to make himself at home. He placed the takeaway cup on the coffee table and then pulled off his flannel, tossing it on the arm of the couch, and revealed his toned biceps with his white tank top.
I tried my damn best not to look, but eyes were glued to him. I glanced up to him smirking at me, which led to me ripping my eyes off him with a blush.
He then spotted Chirps snoozing away on the armchair and decided to bother her instead by giving her a scratch on the head. She stirred up and chirped as she looked up and saw Cole. She immediately moved away from him and then dashed off the armchair and straight out of the room.
“She’s changed,” Cole said, looking deflated as he took a seat on the couch. “She used to love me.”
“It’s because you turned into a dirtbag,” I replied, picking up my coffee as I sat down on the couch with him. “She hates dirtbags.”
I left a considerable amount of distance between us but he closed it up by scooting closer towards me.
“Here I thought you had forgiven me,” he leaned back into the couch, resting his elbow on the backrest with his hand brushing against my head.
“You thought wrong,” I sipped at my coffee, avoiding eye contact with him.
“But you texted me and let me in your house,” he said with a sly smile, playing with my hair.
“Doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven you,” I frowned.
“But you want to,” he said.
“Not really, no,” I replied, still refusing to look at him.
He didn’t say anything as he continued to touch my hair. He moved his hand to my ear, tucking a strand of hair behind it.
“Why are you here, Cole?” I grabbed his hand, finally looking at him as I moved away it from me.
“Because I miss you,” he said, staring at me cautiously. He had this gentle look on his face and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t stir anything inside me. “I’ve been missing you for a while now.”
I stared at him, not buying an ounce of his bullshit.
“I’ve been missing you since the day you broke up with me, Oliver,” he added, softly gazing back at me.
“Sucks to be you then,” I replied.
“Don’t do this,” he whispered. “Don’t put up your walls.”
“Don’t pretend like you don’t deserve this,” I frowned at him.
He moved an inch closer, taking my coffee from my hand and putting it back on the table.
“I know you miss me too,” he said, getting even closer.
“Oh, do you now?” I snorted.
“You still love me,” he stated it like a fact.
“No-” I went to argue but he cut me off.
“I still love you, Oliver,” he grabbed my hands, squeezing them as he stared into my eyes with his own perfect set of greens. “I love you.”
And just like that, my walls came crashing down like a bad move in a Jenga game. I let out a shaky breath, unsure of how to react to that.
He got closer, reaching his hand up to my face as he caressed my cheek. I felt my heart beating like a drum, as he traced his fingers down to my jaw.
“You look bothered,” he smiled softly. “You always did get weak from my touches.”
“S-Shut up,” I flustered up.
He chuckled, moving his fingers to my chin. “You’re adorable.”
Cole leaned in, pressing his lips against mine. He then slowly pulled back, licking his lips as he raised an eyebrow, studying my reaction. I was shocked, staring wide-eyed at him in disbelief. He smirked at that and then went back for more, kissing me again. He held my face as he deepened the kiss, parting my lips open with his tongue.
It took me back to our first kiss, to when I was naive and hopelessly in love. I remembered how awkwardly shy I was while he reassured me, guided me.
I found myself becoming lost in him all over again. That even though I know it was bad, it just felt too good to stop. Cole was like an apple from Eden - sweet, forbidden. But I wonder if Eve felt this good when she took a bite.
I slid my hands up his arms, nesting one onto his shoulder while the other wrapped behind his neck. He pushed me back into the couch, leaning over me as his hands travelled down to my waist. He pushed my shirt up so his rough hands could touch my bare skin. It sent a shiver up my spine, making me eager for more of him.
I missed it so much. The kissing, the touching, the feel of his hands on my body - him. I didn’t want it to stop.
“Why,” he said into our kiss, “did we ever break up?”
While the sounds of wet kisses and heavy breathing filled the room, and as his hands found their favourite spot on my chest, I wondered the same thing.
Why did we break up?
That’s when it hit me.
Everything I felt in the moment before - the desire, the want, the need - it all disappeared and was replaced with a burning rage as my memories of his betrayal came flooding back.
God, I’m such an idiot.
“Get off me,” I moved my face away as I attempted to push him off but he stuck to me like a magnet.
He moved the kisses down my neck, sucking and biting on my skin.
“Cole, stop it!”
I went to push him off again but he refused to listen, continuing to make art on my skin.
“Enough!” I snapped. “I said stop it!”
I pulled my knee up, kneeing him where it hurts most. He coughed and fell back, holding his crotch as he hissed with pain. I scurried to sit up, glaring at him as I wiped my neck clean.
“What’s the matter with you?” Cole whined. “You don’t just do that to a guy.”
“You should’ve listened to me,” I frowned. “Now get up and get the hell out of my house.”
“Are you serious?!” he looked at me, shocked.
“Get out or I’ll make you get out,” I fumed. “Find someone else to screw around with. With your pretty mouth full of lies, it shouldn’t be that hard.”
He stood up with a scoff as he scowled at me. “You’re the one that wanted me.”
“And now I don’t,” I flashed a thin smile. “So shoo.”
He shook his head.
“You don’t get to act like a tease and then kick me out, Oliver,” he frowned down at me.
“Oh you see, the great thing about consent,” I said, “is that I can.”
He rolled his eyes, letting out a dark laugh.
“You’re a piece of work, you know that?”
“Bye, Cole,” I waved at him, watching him clench his jaw and fists with frustration.
He gave me one last look and then huffed out of my living room. A few moments later, the front door slammed shut and silence fell across the house.
I looked around the living room, spotting the black and white portrait of my mother on the wall. She was sitting on Dad’s armchair, looking up at the camera with a soft, tired smile while Chirps was curled up asleep in her lap.
“Yeah, don’t look at me like that,” I frowned at her. “I know I fucked up.”
Part of me felt disappointed in myself while the rest of myself just didn’t want to think about it. I let out a tired sigh and then decided to get up and brush my teeth.
I went up to the bathroom, loading my toothbrush up with toothpaste and then went to work by scrubbing my teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue clean. I wanted to remove every bit of Cole from my mouth. I looked up at myself in the mirror as I scrubbed, making sure my entire mouth was filled with foam.
I glanced down at my neck, noticing a nice little mark and then look back at my face. It took a second for me to process what it was and once I realised, I choked on my toothpaste and ended up coughing it all out into the sink. I washed my mouth out, wiped my mouth clean and then pushed my face right up to the mirror as I stared down at the ‘fuck you’ that Cole left on my neck.
“Oh shit,” I said as I inspected it. “Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.”
It was a dark purple hickey, the size of a ten cent coin -small but big enough for others to notice.
Curse my easily-bruised skin.
The first thought that came to my head was Max. She could spot a hickey from a mile away and I had no idea how to explain this. I could make up a lie, say I joined Grindr and had a hook up with a stranger who left the mark.
But damn it, she knows I’m not into stranger-danger dates.
Second thought was Elliot. He would connect the dots instantly and realise Cole was over, and then he would tell Dad, and then both of them would give a lecture on bad decisions and how I should be lucky I can't fall pregnant because it probably would've happened at this rate.
They wouldn't be wrong.
Third thought was leave town for a few days. Leave a note with some bullshit explanation on 'finding myself'. The reaction to that would still be much better than the reaction to this nightmare on my neck.
Maybe I could say I was vacuuming and accidentally got it stuck.
“It’s useless,” I groaned, hanging my head down in shame. “There is no way to cover this up-”
I gasped, getting struck by an idea.
Before Cole and I broke up, during the time he had a fondness of leaving hickeys, Max taught me the skill of makeup. I remember her finding my first ever hickey after I tried to hide it with a goddamn band-aid.
I rushed back to my room, hoping I still had my makeup. I rummaged around in my desk drawer, finding half a bottle of concealer. Max would kill me for storing it the way I did. I sighed, looking around to see if I had anything else. I couldn’t just use concealer.
I wondered if Max had left her backup makeup supplies somewhere. I searched through my wardrobe, hoping to find something to help. I let out a frustrated sigh as I closed the doors, glancing aimlessly around my room. In the corner of my eye, I spotted something glittery in my bookcase. I leapt over to it, recognising it as Max’s makeup bag.
“Oh bless your high maintenance soul, Max,” I said as I opened it up and found her makeup goods.
I went back to the mirror and made an effort to blend the makeup into my neck, covering the hickey up. The first attempt was a mess and second time wasn’t any better with my neck looking like a bad photoshop edit. But third time lucky and I actually manage to conceal the mark. There was a slight difference around the area but it wasn’t too noticeable.
At least I hoped it wasn’t.
My phone rang, dragging my attention away from my neck. I went back to my room, where I left it on my bed earlier and saw that is was Lily calling.
“Hey,” I answered, plopping back onto my bed.
“Ollie, hi!” Lily squeaked. “Looks like I’m the favourite, guys!”
I heard an uproar in the background, recognising Max’s voice as she yelled out some nonsense I couldn’t understand.
“Do I even want to know what that was about?” I asked.
“Max is just upset because she got worried when you didn’t show up today and then you didn’t answer anyone’s calls,” Lily explained. “She says she had a bad feeling about you.”
Spot on with your predictions, Max.
“I’m fine!” I quickly clarified. “Just took a sick day, no big deal.”
“Well, you didn’t answer our calls,” Lily sadly replied. “You can’t worry us like that, Ollie.”
“I’m sorry, I just left my phone in my room while I was-” I halted, stopping myself before I confessed my crime from earlier. “- uh, watching TV.”
“Watching TV without your phone?” Lily doubted.
“It needed to… charge,” I winced at my hesitation. “Anyway, I was in the middle of something so if that’s all then-”
“Oh, no, there is something else,” Lily quickly said. “You see, I feel like we need to all hang out again - properly. We haven’t had a big day out together as a gang for a while.”
“Oh, yeah, I guess we haven’t,” I agreed, wondering what she had planned.
“So since it’s hot and all, I am declaring a beach day this Saturday,” Lily said.
“A beach day?” I questioned.
I thought of my hickey and how the makeup wouldn’t last with the water, sand and sunscreen.
“Yeah, no, I’m good thanks, Lil,” I replied. “It’s way too hot for that.”
“Exactly why we need to do it!” she argued. “We need to go out of town for the day and just hang out at the beach, get a tan and get ice cream later.”
“Lily, neither of us can tan,” I stated.
“A girl can dream, Ollie!”
I didn’t need to see her to know that she was pouting.
“Listen, I’m just not feeling up for that,” I continued. “I really like the idea of it but just not this week.”
“But I bought a new bikini!” Lily whined. “And you hung out with Max and Oscar for the majority of the holidays, but not me!”
“You were busy with Trent!” I argued.
Oh my god.
“What is it with you girls?” I groaned, face-palming.
“What’s with you boys?!” she retorted.
“I’m sorry, Lily, but it’s not happening,” I said, feeling a little bad.
“You remember that time you broke that plant pot in year 3, and I took the blame for you because you already had a warning?” She asked. “And if you got in trouble again, you would have to miss out on free time?”
“What about it?” I said through gritted teeth, thinking back on it.
That day was a big day for me. When I broke that plant pot, I was fearing for my life from our strict, grumpy teacher that seemingly had it out for me. Lily immediately made it look like she did it and got her first ever warning, ruining her perfect goody-two-shoes image. I realised that day she was going to be my friend forever, and while she cried over it, I promised her an ‘IOU’.
I remember her laughing it off, saying it was fine because that’s what friends do. She never cashed in on that IOU before. Eight years, and not once did she bring it up.
“You promised me a favour,” she said.
“Are you actually wasting it for a beach day?!” I exclaimed.
“Damn right, I am!” she stated. “So tomorrow, at Pilly Cove, you’re meeting us there with Max and Oscar.”
“Fine, alright, I’ll be there,” I said. “I promise.”
“Yay~!” she squealed. “I’m so excited! And don’t worry, I’ll bring the sunscreen!”
“I’ll bring some just in case you forget,” I replied. “Like you always do.”
I got off the phone with her and sprawled out across my bed, staring up at my ceiling. I heard Chirps enter the room, letting out a squeak.
“Hi, girl,” I said to her, not moving from my spot. “What I going to do tomorrow with this huge piece of Cole evidence on my neck?”
She suddenly jumped up, landing right on my gut with all of her might.
“Oof!” I coughed, knocking her off my stomach as I rolled over into a fetus position. “Brutal, you girls are brutal!”
I was pretty certain I coughed a lung out. She chirped and then purred, rubbing her head against me.
“I deserved it, I know,” I looked up at me, kissing her as she rubbed against my face. “Don’t tell anyone about today, okay?”
I pulled my phone up again, opening up Cole’s contact. I stared at it for a bit longer, remembering back to when he kissed me earlier and how good it felt. Then I remembered what an absolute dick he is. I let myself get angry, thinking of how I was the goddamn idiot for believing his words. I flicked through the messages and then decided I needed to do right by me.
>Block Cole Peters?<
I think the fuck yes.