Status: Starting over



Another week of school flew by, it was harder than I thought it would be to stay away from Trevor. He was around every corner, in way too many of my classes, practically attached to the hip to Gavin, and still sat with us at lunch. Once he joined the lacrosse team it got easier to avoid him since he wasn’t around at lunch everyday and wasn’t there to annoy Gavin as much.

Class got easier when Rachel and Trevor started speaking again, but it didn’t last long when Mrs. Greene put our seats back together to start regular lessons again and put a hold on our project for later in the semester. During my other classes Trevor switched his seat closer to mine, trying to engage conversation any chance that he could.

It was Friday afternoon, a little over a week since I had that talk with Rachel. I didn’t tell Angel or any of my other friends that I went inside her dorm, just that I went there to apologize, to which she responded by slamming the door in my face. I didn’t know why I was keeping the conversation I had with Rachel from them, I just kept telling myself it was because I was supposed to hate her and fratranizing with the enemy would just make me look stupid.

I was walking to the dorms from having lunch with my mother in her office. Things between us were getting better, she still worked all throughout lunch with me, but having her invite me to her office to eat with her was still some progress.

Sports practices had just got out and I was watching the cluster of boys running from the field and back to their dorms or to the parking lot ready to start the weekend. I caught a glimpse of Gavin coming from the football field, looking extra sweaty and slightly more attractive with his football gear on. We waved to each other as he continued to run to the dorms.

More jocks jogged passed me, a few saying hi. I was trying to hurry back to me dorm to get away from all the sweaty male attention when a blond curly fro came into view and caught my eye as he was running towards me and waving me down. I forced a smile at Trevor as he came running up to me, making my heart lunge from my chest.

He ran his hand through his sweaty hair, making the curls slick down against his scalp before speaking, “Hey Shannon, how are things?” He shifted his gear between his hands, fidgeting with everything. It seemed as if he was purposely making himself nervous to make me feel easier around him, the sad part was that it worked.

“Things are great, I just had lunch with my mom and I was just going to go back to the dorms to hang with the girls and Jameson.” I stood there awkwardly shifting between my feet as he struggled for words.

“That’s really good!” He smiled, “So I have to ask you something and I don’t want you to get the wrong idea.” I nodded, urging him to go on, “Well there’s this sports banquet coming up to congratulate everyone who made teams. It’ll be all sports so Gavin will be there. I was just wondering if you’d like to go with me?” He rushed on with the question, as if he were too afraid to speak the words or face rejection.

I hesitated, why was he asking me when there was clearly a whole bundle of girls willing to drop to their knees and begging to be taken. I opened my mouth, struggling to find the words to get me out of going with him, “Um, Gavin usually takes me to those sort of things.” Which was a total lie, this was the first year I was single to actually be taken to the banquet, if Gavin wanted to take me he would have asked as soon as football season started. I knew he probably had someone else in mind and I wouldn’t be able to convince him to take me.

Trevor bunched his brows together at me, I so wasn’t good at lying. He looked at me with a question mark on his face, “He’s bringing Julie. Apparently they go together every year.” Damn, I’d totally forgotten about that, Julie was just talking about how excited she was to go this morning in class.

“Don’t you want to go with someone else? I’m sure there’s tons of girls that want to go with you, I don’t want you to default to me if you don’t know anyone, I can definitely set you up or,” Trevor cut me off, putting his hand on my moving flailing ones and looked me in the eyes.

A shudder went through my body, but he didn’t let go, “I want to go with you.” The look in his clear blue eyes pierced through mine, making my heart race and breathing become ragged.

Trevor looked down at the ground, obviously hurt by my lie, “You don’t have to go with me. I know you probably have other people asking you or better things to do.” He mumbled, about to turn away and go. How could I say no to him when he put it like that? Practically guilting me into it. But I couldn’t, I had to stay away from him, practically all evidence points that he’s bad news.

“Yeah, I’ll go with you Trevor.” Damn, the words coming out of my mouth did not reflect what I actually wanted to say. My brain was telling me run, this is not what you need in your life right now. This boy is too complicated for you. Then a small part of me was saying that he’s cute, and what could it hurt, there was nothing proving he would hurt you.

The smile that crossed Trevor’s face lit up his pale complexion, the grin going ear to ear and his eyes squinting up in pleasure. “Yes! Okay, it's tomorrow at seven. Attire is formal and I’ll pick you up at your dorm.” Before I could speak another word he skipped off in victory, smiling all the way back towards the boys dorms.

Damn, I sighed, walking slower to my dorm. The plan of staying away from him didn’t work. Everything in my body was telling me to say no, but my mouth didn’t cooperate with it. I knew I wouldn’t be able to say no, I was just too nice. That's how I got into most of my problems, because I was just too dang nice.

How could I have said yes? Knowing that he was trouble and avoiding all the warnings everyone had given me. What if he tried the same thing with me as he did to Rachel? What if he didn’t stop or I didn’t push him off like Rachel had? How far would he take it? I knew I couldn’t be alone with him for more than a few minutes. I was afraid something would happen.

More importantly I was afraid that I would enjoy myself. I was afraid that he would be the perfect gentleman and put a facade over what everyone else saw him as. What if we kissed? And what if I liked it? Then what if I had fallen for him and he would be the monster that I suspected him to be?

There were too many what if’s and possibilities of how the night might or might not end. I already said yes and couldn’t back out now. I was totally fucked.

I came up to my dorm room, opening the door and slugging inside as my friends all talked around the beds about some type of fashion or shoe issue. I fell face forward on my bed and dramatically screamed into my pillows.

“What’s wrong with the Drama Queen over there?” I heard Jameson ask, kicking my feet that were hanging off the bed. I screamed and groaned again before flipping myself over and sitting up crossing my legs.

I looked at my friends, all giving me questioning looks. I sighed and rolled my eyes, “Guess which idiot agreed to go to the sports banquet with Trevor?”

Jameson gasped, “Rachel?” The girls and I filled the boys in on Trevor gossip shortly after everything happened. Not like they cared, however Jameson was all for it, and he was ready to be involved in whatever plan we cooked up next.

I shook my head, I pointed to myself, immediately slapping my hand to my forehead and resting my head in my palm for a while before looking at the shocked disbelief on my friends faces. I nodded my head, yeah, I was that idiot.

“How? What even happened? Why did you say yes?” Emma had so many questions, while her sister was squealing over her chatter, obviously excited that I was coming with her.

I exhaled, ruffling my hair and prepared myself to answer their dying questions. “After lunch with Mom I ran into sports practices being over, Trevor ran up to me and asked me. I tried to come up with an excuse to say no, I told him that Gavin was taking me.” I looked at Julie, she shyly smiled and shrugged, “Then I tried telling him that literally any other girl would die to be his date and that he didn’t have to default to me.”

“Then he basically guilt tripped me into making me say yes. With his little sad boy act and puppy dog eyes, saying that he only wanted to go with me. I wanted to say no but I couldn’t, I told him I would go with him.” I groaned, “He’s picking me up tomorrow at seven.” Julie squealed, trying to talk over the others with her mousy voice.

Angel talked over everyone, causing them to quiet down, “Shannon what if he’s rough with you like he was with Rachel? What if he tries something?”

“I know, I know. I thought about all of that,” not mentioning that I also thought about kissing him and actually having a good time, “I won’t be alone with him. The banquet is only about three hours, after that I’ll have him take me back to the dorms and then I’ll stay away from him. For good.” I could already feel the lie building up in my chest as my stomach fluttered and cheeks became hot.

Angel nodded in approval, “Good, now, what are you going to wear?” She wiggled her brows and laughed, suddenly back in her good mood. My friends weren’t dumb, they knew there was something up with Trevor, but they also knew when a hot guy asked one of their girls out it was always means for excitement.

They began throwing dresses at me from my closet and eliminating ones I shouldn’t wear. I ignored all the banter and excitement, only thinking about my evening with Trevor tomorrow. I couldn’t decipher the feelings in my head. Was I excited or scared?

I knew the answer was both, I was excited to get out and spend time with friends, rather than sitting in the dorms and watching movies. I was also excited to be going with a really cute guy, even if I did feel uneasy around him and all my friends told me to stay away from him. Although, I was also scared because of that exact reason, that everything and everyone was telling me to stay away. I was scared to actually start liking him too. Ultimately, I was scared that I would be hurting Brian in a way. Would he hate me for moving on?

In other words, I was completely fucked.


Julie stood before me in a beautiful short light blue slip dress, with her long dark hair flowing down slicked behind her ears. I smiled sheepishly at my friend as I sat on my bed still in pajamas, but my hair and makeup done similar to hers. Julie gave me glaring eyes and pointed to the black dress I had laying beside me. It was similar to hers as well, except it had short flowy sleeves and it wasn’t as form fitting as hers.

I shrugged, I couldn’t help it if I was an idiot and accepted Trevor’s invitation to the banquet and now I was having second thoughts. I should have said no in the first place. Now I had to pay the price with butterflies flying around my stomach making me feel terribly uncomfortable.

“Shannon if you don’t put that dress on I’m going to do it for you,” Julie urged, throwing her tiny purse on my bed and marching closer to me. I lifted my arms over my head, indicating for her to do it if she wanted to. She groaned and checked the time, “The boys are going to be here any second, Gavin already told me they were leaving the room five minutes ago.”

I kept having second thoughts of going, even though I spent all night contemplating and convincing myself to go since I already said yes. However, the thought in the back of my mind that still lingered was that I was somehow betraying my loyalty to Brian. He had only died a short year ago, I couldn’t possibly be already thinking of moving on and replacing him. He had been my childhood sweetheart after all.

I couldn’t be going on dates when thoughts of Brian still had me occupied and when he still had all my love. But, I knew that I had to get over him, I couldn’t be celibate the rest of my life. I had to live when he couldn’t. I knew he wouldn’t want me to be afraid to move on my whole life just because of him

A knock on the door echoed through the room, knocking me out of my short daydream. Julie gave me a glare as I leaped up from my bed, grabbing my dress and shoes and headed toward the bathroom. I quickly changed, fluffed my hair, and made sure my makeup was still in tact. Before leaving the bathroom I took three deep centering breaths and looked in the mirror. I reminded myself of the three rule I established last night before going to bed: have fun because Brian is dead and he would want me to move on instead of being sad my whole life, don’t be alone with Trevor, and don’t kiss Trevor.

Nodding to myself reassuringly, I left the bathroom and smoothed out the few wrinkles in my dress. I heard as Julie and Gavin talked about the night and compared it to how every other sports banquet they went to was.

“Wow, Shannon you look great,” Gavin stopped talking to Julie once he saw me, keeping his arm around her waist but giving me a glowing smile. Julie agreed and gave me a wink, then urging her date to go on and they walked out the door.

Trevor walked towards me, grinning bigger than I’d ever seen before, “You do look great.” He held out his arm for me to take and guided me towards the door, shutting it behind us. “I’m sorry that I sprung this up on you last minute. You could have said no, I didn’t mind coming alone, I just really wanted to go with you.”

I put my hand on his arm that I was holding to stop him from talking, “Don’t worry about it. I’m glad I came, gives me a chance to actually get out the dorms and do something rather than hear Angel snore.” We laughed and made our way to the auditorium, following shortly behind Julie and Gavin, who both kept turning back and looking at us.

Coming into the auditorium was loud, music was playing and jocks were happily yelling at each other simultaneously. Most of the boys dates were sitting in clusters at the tables, talking and gossiping to each other. The auditorium had twinkling lights set up, with sheer white curtains covering the large bleachers, and a food and drink table close to the entrance.

The boys gestured for Julie and I to sit at the table that was reserved for us. We sat there for a moment in an awkward silence, Julie and Gavin gave each other looks, then Gavin stood up saying, “Trevor and I are going to go get drinks.” He then took Trevor by the shoulder and guided him toward the refreshments table.

I raised a brow at Julie, “Ugh, this is so awkward. Trevor’s supposed to be this bad guy and we’re supposed to stay away from him yet we’re here with him.” She fidgeted in her seat and looked in the direction that the boys were heading to.

I glared at Julie and rolled my eyes, “Twenty-four hours ago you were excited that I was coming, plus we don’t even know his side of the story. I’m not trying to excuse whatever happened with Rachel, but we know nothing about what happened at his old school. He could be an alright guy with some awful habits.”

This time Julie rolled her eyes, “You are excusing his actions. Even if he didn’t do anything with Rachel or if he was a really good guy, we don’t know him.” I nodded, I agreed with everything Julie was saying, yet there was still part of me that wanted to know more about him and see what he was really about. “I’m going to dance with Gavin,” Julie said once she saw the boys approaching us with drinks.

My eyes widened and I shook my head, “Nuh huh, you just said we shouldn’t be alone with this guy and you’re doing just that? Leaving me alone with this guy?” My voice got a little higher than I wanted, and when the boys joined our table and Julie took Gavin’s hand to lead him to the dance floor I quickly whispered, “Traitor.”

Once they left the table Trevor turned to me with a smile on his face, “Having fun?” he asked, I just nodded and smiled. Now that Julie mentioned it, everything had me worried. The silence filled the table, yet I didn’t know what to say, I wanted to go and dance, but I didn’t want to give him the wrong impression. Instead of making a fool of myself I sat there and let the silence engulf us as the music played and Trevor occasionally said hello to his sports buddies as they passed.

After a long while Trevor asked me to dance during a slow song, which I quickly and reluctantly agreed to. He lead me to the dance floor and swiftly lead me along to the song. We swayed with our bodies uncomfortably close to each other.

“I hope I don’t step on your toes,” Trevor whispered. I laughed and assured him he was doing fine. My heart was practically beating out of my chest and I could feel the anxiety bubbling in the back of my throat. I couldn’t tell if it was because I knew I shouldn’t be dancing with him right now or because I was deciding if I liked it or not.

We swayed together for a while, dancing through two slow songs before something more upbeat came on. Trevor awkwardly held on to the palm of my hand while everyone around us jumped around and danced, “Do you want to go outside and talk for awhile.” I shrugged and nodded, letting him take me by the hand and lead me outside.

Before we exited the auditorium I caught Julie’s eye, hers widened when she saw me going with Trevor. I nervously smiled at her mouthing ‘I’m fine’, but I quickly added the thought ‘I think’. I silently sent a prayer up to whomever was listening that I wouldn’t be another Rachel incident or whoever was left on his list of innocent girls. Even though Rachel is anything other than innocent.

We walked through the courtyard, between the auditorium and dining hall, where a small garden was located and there wasn’t much noise from the banquet overshadowing our conversation. We sat at a bench that faced a mural art club had done years ago before I enrolled at the school.

Looking up and not really staring at anything Trevor spoke first, “Are you sure, you’re having a good time tonight? You’ve just seemed odd around me lately, I didn’t know if it was something I had done or not.” I swallowed a lump in my throat and grabbed the ends of my hair, twirling it around like I did when I’m nervous or anxious.

I coughed the tension away from my throat, “I’m having fun. I just didn’t know how to react around you, my mother said something about you being a troublemaker at your old school, and then what Rachel told me about your date. Plus you’re a new kid and I don’t know much about you. It was all so much I didn’t know what to believe or how to act,” I confessed truthfully. I didn’t want to lie to him, but I also didn’t want to make him seem like a bad guy.

Trevor fidgeted in his seat before turning to me, “I thought you didn’t like Rachel?”

“I don’t!” I answered a little too quickly and loudly. “I mean I do hate her, but at the same time I don’t,” I said again. My head whirled in confusion, everything still hurt, but I couldn’t hold a lifelong grudge. I couldn’t let a travesty define my life and push me into being a mean spirited person.

Looking a little confused Trevor interrupted me before I started to go on about the confusing hate/non-hate between Rachel and I, “How about this, if I tell you the truth, you have to tell me yours too.” I cocked my head to the side, more confused than he was about Rachel and me. “I’ll tell you about my past and you tell me about yours.” I nodded, giving him the okay to start.

“You first, what happened between you and Rachel?” He asked. My stomach fluttered and I sucked in a breath of air. I figured it was coming, but I also would have thought Rachel would have done her own gossiping and he would have gotten part of the story at least.

I struggled on where to start with the truth, just blurt out Rachel took my boyfriend from me and then he committed suicide, seemed easy enough. But that would just leave him with more questions, I decided to start from where I thought was most important, “Rachel was never really my favorite person with her snobby attitude and ‘I’m better than everyone’ personality. We just never got along. Well, I had this boyfriend, Brian, we were dating for four years. Things were going great until he started to get distant, and his mother got really sick.”

“I decided to give him some distance, that’s when I found out he was cheating on me with Rachel.” The breath I let out was shaky, but I continued, “When I found out I was so upset, I would have done anything to have them hurt as much as they hurt me. So, I slept with Brian’s twin brother, Brandon. He sort of convinced me to sleep with him, but we both agreed and consented to it. He said it would hurt Brian and make me feel better by moving on, and I wanted Brain to hurt as much as he hurt me. I think it hurt Brian more than he hurt me because I lost my virginity to Brandon. After that everything went terribly, Rachel and Brian were over, I secluded myself from everyone. Then one night I get a call that Brian had committed suicide, he jumped off a bridge.”

Trevor took my hand in his, I blinked away the tears. I looked in his eyes and saw the sincerity in them, “And you blame Rachel for it? Or do you blame yourself for it?” he asked too many questions at once, not waiting for me to answer either of them. Or perhaps he asked questions I wasn’t ready to answer and that I hadn’t completely figured out myself.

I breathed again, feeling the ache in my heart as I sucked in, “I don’t know who to blame. I try not to point fingers, especially since I don’t know what was going through his head at the time. I blame Rachel for stealing him from me and making everything turn to shit. I blame myself for letting it happen and sleeping with Brandon. We’re both to blame, really.” I never really said it out loud, but I always knew I was to blame just as much as Rachel for his death, I was just putting all my anger and pain on her.

I let go of Trevor’s hands and wiped my tears, forcing a laugh and to wipe away the pain of the past, “Alright, enough of my tragic tale. Tell me, why does everyone think you’re this awful guy?”

Trevor breathed out and slumped in his seat, “I’m really not as awful as everyone makes it seem, I’m not a good guy but I’m not all bad either. At my other schools I did do some awful things, like starting fights, vandalising, stealing, anything, you name it. Most of it was because of my father or because I was just bored.” I nodded, I understood wanting a parent’s attention just as much, but I didn’t go to extremes to get it.

“My father is very powerful, he owns a lot of businesses, a lot of people too.” Owns people too, that struck me and I snapped my head to look at Trevor. Maybe he meant owning people in the legal sense, not literally owning people. He ignored my look and continued, “I’m supposed to take over when he retires, however my behavior has proven otherwise. He told me this is the last time he was sending me away in hopes of doing better. Since I’ve been here I’ve been trying to hold that promise to him, to be a better son in order for me to take over his company.”

He wasn’t a bad guy after all, just a kid caught up in some parental heartache and too much responsibility. I could one hundred and ten percent understand that. “I was also a player at my other schools,” Trevor said. “When I went out with Rachel it was like that all over again, when we were about to go up to her room I remembered what I promised my father, I got angry about all the responsibilities and what my father was making me do. I guess I scared Rachel away when I was lost in my anger.”

I sighed heavily, he was really just a normal kid. It was still possible that he hurt Rachel, but it was also possible that he was just overwhelmed by all the pressure. I wasn’t on either side of this dilemma, but I knew that I shouldn’t be completely afraid of Trevor. “That’s it? I was worried it was some big secret or something,” I chuckled.

Trevor’s laughter rumbled through me, giving me goosebumps and letting the anxiety at the pit of my stomach return, “Everyone has secrets. Mine is an answer for another day.”