The moment I realized he didn’t want me anymore I was in the backseat of his 2014 Ford Fiesta.
It was well past midnight and I was drunk, as per usual. Davis had just picked me up from a party I had been at and we were casually sitting in the parking lot of my old elementary school. I breathed in the familiar scent of cigarettes and the cologne he always wore. My head was buzzing from all the rum and cokes I had drank that night but I didn’t care. I always felt drunk when I was with him. Smiling, I put my hands over my head and held on to the top of the seat with my eyes closed. God, I wanted to breathe in this smell forever. I opened my eyes, still smiling, and glanced over at him. He was watching me with searching eyes. I caught him doing this a lot.
“Whatcha lookin’ at?” I ask him with a hint of playfulness in my voice. I must have taken him by surprise because he took a minute to answer.
“Wanna move to the backseat?” He asked innocently.
I smiled knowingly. This was how we did things. There was never any awkward small talk or questions. I liked that about him. I got out of the car, closing the door a little too heavily behind me. Oops, I thought, giggling to myself. I really don’t know my own strength when I’ve been drinking. I opened the door to the backseat a little more carefully and slid in, closing the door neatly behind me. I waited for him to do the same and then rested my arm on the top of the seat, cocking my head slightly while keeping my eyes on him. He didn’t have his eyes on mine though. His eyes were looking down at his hands, which were fidgeting nervously. I think I knew right then that this was going to hurt but I again tried to find his eyes. After what felt like hours of silence he looked up at me with a frown.
“Please don’t say what you’re about to say,” I barely whispered. He reached out for my hands but I crossed my arms and continued to look anywhere but at his face.
“Stell… I’m worried about you. You don’t ever talk about… About what happened to you. You’re drunk so often now that I can barely keep track of when you’re sober. I can’t continue being your way of avoiding how you’re feeling.” He sighed heavily and began stroking his chin. I knew he was trying to catch my eye. F*ck, I wish he would stop stroking his f*cking chin. Slowly, tears rolled down my cheeks falling lightly onto the light wash denim of my jeans. For as crazy as I’m sure I looked, I felt even more so.
“Yeah? How about you stop f*cking worrying about me.” I breathed and wiped the tears away impatiently. He looked at me for a long time, I guess trying to figure out how he was going to respond.
“I’m going to drive you home now. It’s late and you’re drunk.“ He said this with a kind of finality, like he knew this was how I was going to respond. Like he had given up a long time ago. I suddenly hated the smell of his car and got out so abruptly I was sure I was going to trip and fall.
“Stella stop you’re too drunk you can’t walk home at this time of night.” I snorted as I continued walking away from his car towards the direction of my house. I stopped a few feet away and suddenly turned around, glaring at him through my blurry eyes.
“F*CK YOU. F*ck you. I don’t f*cking need you.” I screamed at him and then turned back and starting running. I could barely see where I was going. I just wanted to be as far away as possible from the smell of his cigarettes and cologne.
I hated being in the black zone.
I remember the first time I got into Davis’ backseat.
He never drank but could always be found at a party on the weekend. This night he offered to drive me home and I thought, hey this might be my chance to see what this guy is all about. I stumbled into his backseat, which soon became my typical Saturday night routine. Glancing at his face searchingly I began to open my mouth to say something, anything, to get rid of this awkward silence but he beat me to it. He said, “Stella Connors I want to know you.”
What… The… Hell. He wants to know me? How the hell do I even respond to that sort of question? I want to know you… What does he want to know?
Immediately I think of all my likes and dislikes and start blurting out something about how I prefer sunflowers to roses and hate watermelon but secretly like spinach. But he held up his hand to silence me and had this cute little smirk as he ran his fingers through his hair and looked at me.
“Stella, I mean, I want to know you. I want to know why you are the way that you are. What makes you, you. Know what I mean?” He said this so easily that it confused me for a minute. Well, like, what the f*ck. How can he just ask me such a simple question that has such a complex answer so nonchalantly? You don’t just ask people why they are the way that they are…
I could feel my anxiety starting to kick in and I really wanted to be as far away from him as possible. This stupid boy asking me all these stupid questions… Why the f*ck did he care so much about me? I looked down at my dark wash jean shorts and started picking at the undone pieces of thread that would surely unravel them over time.
“I am the way that I am because I… I don’t know I just am.” I swallowed back all my anxiety and looked up at him. He stared back at me with searching eyes and reached up and tucked a stray piece of my hair behind my ear. I really wished he would look away. I couldn’t seem to pull my eyes away from his though. There was just something so enigmatic about him and it forced me to stay right there in that moment when inside all I wanted to do was be alone.
Gently he tugged my hand away from pulling out the thread in my shorts and put it in his hand. It fit perfectly. He then slowly took his other hand and cradled my face in it. I just couldn’t f*cking look away even though I knew what was going to happen. His face slowly came closer to mine I guess giving me the opportunity to stop him if I wanted to. But there was no way I was going to give him that satisfaction. I wanted to see if he had the balls to do it. Finally, he was so close to me I could feel his breath on my face. I closed my eyes and grabbed his neck, forcing his mouth on to mine, and kissed him with all the anxiety I had pushed aside a few moments ago. After what felt like hours he pulled away, tracing my lips with his thumb as he did.
“You are seriously f*cked up aren’t you?” He said breathlessly. I giggled.
“Yep” I smiled before pulling him in again. “I am seriously f*cked up.”
I never wanted to be in the grey zone. The grey zone has silenced me. I can only hope that soon these zones become clear. I would even trade this to be back in the black zone. At least there I knew where I stood. I only know Davis from my Saturday night benders. I wish every day Davis and I could be in the white zone. Always laughing, always happy. That isn’t meant for me though. I will always just be the girl in the grey zone.