Chapter 3 - A Mistake of Epic Proportions

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Chapter 3 - A Mistake of Epic Proportions

My jumbled thoughts kept me up all night. Brain tumbling, stomach churning, I tossed and turned until the sun peaked over the horizon. Wesley had managed to seriously screw with my mind and emotions, something I never let anyone do. I was strong and independent, I didn't let anyone get to me no matter what they did.

The worst part was I didn't know why. Why was it so easy for him to scale and climb behind the walls I had so carefully built around myself? If I wasn't careful, I would start feeling things for him that I didn't want to feel. Hell, I was already feeling things I didn't want to feel. That stupid hug had messed me up, and I didn't know why.

I'm not saying I had actual feelings for Wes, but I definitely was feeling something. Every time I thought of him it felt different than before. Somehow I knew that after that, he wouldn't just be my best friend anymore. After something like that, you can't just go back to being brother and sister. It was obvious we were both thinking things we shouldn't have been with just a simple hug.

Then again, maybe I was just overreacting. That's what girls do, right? I had experienced something I wasn't used to, and therefore was focusing all my time and energy on thinking about it. No big deal. Right?

God dammit, I was losing my mind!

And so when I finally let myself roll about of bed around six AM, I quickly grabbed my phone and called my second best friend, Leah. If anyone was going to be able to help me sort through these conflicting emotions, it would be her. After a minute of bouncing on the balls of my feet, she finally answered.

"I don't know what you want, but you better have a freaking good reason for calling me at six in the morning," She yawned, and I could tell she was still exhausted. "I will kill you."

"Leah, I'm freaking out," I blurted, discarding her threat immediately. Even if I had disturbed her slumber, Leah would help me. She would never hurt me, ever.

She sounded awake within a second, "What happened? What's wrong? I'll be there in ten minutes, don't worry!" As soon as the words left her mouth she was shuffling around, probably gathering her things to head over to my house.

My heart jumped. It was much too early for any of this. Maybe I should've just calmed myself down. "No, wait. It's not that important. I just-"

"Do I need to bring my baseball back to crack open a skull? How about a knife? You know I'll cut off Grayson's damn dick. What did he do this time?" Leah was on a roll, her mindset had gone from lethargic too overprotective and when that happened, there was no stopping her. My second best friend was the sweetest person in the world, but she also liked to take care of everybody like they were her own children.

I sighed, "It wasn't Grayson this time," This, I knew, would come as a shock to her. Leah and I had been friends since kindergarten, which meant she had been there for every pity party and prank that went wrong. For the most part I didn't have any enemies, so it made since her mind immediately jumped to Grayson when I had a problem. Usually, she would've hit the nail right on the head.

There was a loud thump on the other line, and Leah muttered a few choice words before shrieking, "What?!" I winced slightly, holding the phone away from my ear. Leah was turning out to make my problem even bigger, my anxiety level was rising. "Don't do anything, I'm coming over right now." And with that, the line dropped dead.

I threw the phone down on the bed roughly, gripping my tangled, matted hair in frustration. Now I was going to have to talk about what I was feeling, and I didn't even know what it was myself. It was like there was always a tight knot in the pit of my stomach that spread warmth throughout my body. It made me nervous, but also made my heart flutter and cheeks flush.

Maybe I was just embarrassed about what had happened. I mean, it was an intimate moment and felt like it should've been shared between a boyfriend and girlfriend instead of best friends. And that's all Wesley Logan and I were; best friends who had known each other forever. The kids who used to take baths together because they were so close.

Wesley Logan as my boyfriend? As if!

Due to my lack of sleep, my eyes were drooping. Even with the mess, I had on my hands I was still exhausted, and didn't know how I was going to make it through the day. Obviously, I wasn't going to sleep, so I trotted downstairs to get some coffee. My only hope was that it would get me through the unavoidable conversation with Leah that was looming ever closer.

The coffee maker immediately turned on at 5:45 AM, when my mom usually got home from the night shift. Half of the pot was already gone, so I knew my mother had returned from the hospital and was already upstairs gulping down her sleeping meds along with a tall cup of joe. It didn't make much sense to me, but I wasn't about to question her habits.

As I was nursing a cup of coffee in my hands, Leah came bursting through the back door. She was still in her pajamas, looking a bit frazzled. This girl was a small person, slightly shorter than me and extremely skinny. Her blond hair was a mess, sticking out in all directions. Big brown eyes looked at me, concern just screaming from her chocolate orbs. She was also clutching an aluminum baseball bat in her hands tightly.

"Where's the bastard? I'll kill him this time! I mean it!"She growled, taking three steps towards me with her pink, slipper-clad feet. I struggled not to laugh at the sight, because the last thing Leah was was threatening. She looked more like a teddy bear than a murderer.

"No one needs to die, Leah," I chuckled, setting my mug down on the counter. Slowly, I started to pry the baseball bat from her fingers. "Calm down." As a reaction, she scrunched her face at me, but let the bat go. It felt icy cold around my fingers.

"Okay, what the hell is going on, Imogen?" She asked, coking her head to the side. "You look like shit."

I narrowed my eyes into slits, "Gee, thanks." I deadpanned and set the bat on the ground. While Leah stuttered and laughed an apology, I grabbed my coffee mug from the counter and moved to grab the vanilla creamer from our silver refrigerator.

Finally, Leah sobered back up, "Seriously though, what's going on?" She hoisted herself onto the kitchen counter and motioned for me to tell my story. "Tell me what's wrong."

I hesitated. I actually hesitated. Normally, I was perfectly okay with spilling my guts to this girl. Normally, I was more than happy to tell her my deepest darkest secrets so she could use her limited source of wisdom to help me through a sticky situation. This time, however, the situation was a bit more complicated, and definitely a lot more touchy.

Leah sensed this, "Hey, you know you can tell me anything, right? I'm here for you." Her motherly side was coming out, I could tell by the compassion that literally dripped from her tone of voice. Even though my back was to her, hand frozen on the refrigerator handle, her motherly facial expression that was burned into my memory flashed before my eyes.

"It's so hard to explain," I finally sighed, abandoning my coffee quest completely. I set the mug down by the sink before fixing my whole attention to the problem at hand. "Wes came over here yesterday, and he was just...weird."

She smirked, "Weirder than usual?" Even though I should've expected an answer like that, it still made me groan at her. Wesley and Leah didn't exactly get along. They were civil, but not close. She lifted her hands in surrender, "Sorry, sorry. I'll shut up. Continue."

How was I even supposed to begin this story? I bit my lip, wringing my hands together nervously. Expressing my feelings had never been my forte, especially when I needed them to come out the most. Whenever I tried to talk about matters of the heart my throat constricted, my heart raced, and I just got all around awkward.

It didn't help that Leah was looking at me expectantly. She could tell I was struggling, so she knew this was a big deal to me. Practically bouncing, she smiled what I'm sure was supposed to be an encouraging smirk at me. It didn't do any good. In fact, it made me even more nervous.

Finally, after a solid minute of internal rambling and outward silence, the words came tumbling out of my mouth like vomit. "As I said, Wes was here, and I was just getting a snack and that's normal enough but then he grabbed me around the waist from behind and started nuzzling his head into my neck like he was a freaking puppy, and then he told me that I didn't deserve to be treated so badly by Grayson and he's right but he's never said it before and it was just so cozy and intimate that I didn't know what to do and I'm not even sure what I'm feeling now, like how do you even process something like this, oh my god."

After my incredibly long run-on sentence, I took a long gulp of air. If my goal was to make Leah think I was a psychopath, then mission accomplished. Her mouth was hanging open, shoulders hunched over and eyes bugging out likes she had just seen a dude naked. Her mouth opened and closed a few times like a fish out of water before she finally said, "So let me get this straight. You're freaking out because Wesley gave you a hug?"

My face fell flat. That's why she got out of my mini-rant? That Wesley had given me a hug, and that's what was causing such irrational behavior from a usually level headed person? Either I hadn't been specific enough, or she had an even thicker skull then I had originally thought.

"Leah, no, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that I have no clue what I'm feeling right now, and it's scaring the shit out of me." Wow, surprisingly simple. I ran a hand through my hair, sighing in relief. It felt like someone had just lifted a bolder off my chest and I could finally breathe again.

Leah, however, looked like she was having a mental breakdown. "Oh my god," She gasped dramatically, "Oh my freaking god! Are you trying to tell me you have a crush on Wes?!" Immediately, I froze like the air had been punched from my lungs. All the blood drained from my face, the words knocked completely from my mouth.

Me, Imogen Hanson, have a crush on Wesley Logan? That was absolutely ridiculous! There was no way in hell that I could possibly have developed feelings for a boy who was practically my brother because of one stupid, asthma-inducing hug. Right?

"What?!" I finally shrieked, "No! God, no! Where the hell did you get that from?!" At that point, I was practically hyperventilating. It literally felt like my chest was closing in on itself, crushing my lungs and cutting off my oxygen supply. Is that what a panic attack feels like?

I wasn't freaking out because of what she had said, it was the idea itself. She had spoken the words I hadn't let myself think all the time I was lying awake in bed. I had forbidden it, and Leah had brought it up within the first five minutes of being in my house.

To make matters worse, she rose her eyebrows at me like she knew I was lying. "I'm telling you the truth!" I sighed exasperatedly, "I don't have a crush on Wesley." I don't think...That part Leah didn't need to know. If she knew I wasn't positive I didn't have feelings for Wes, she would make a huge deal about it.

But I'm not going to lie, her accusation had brought up some doubt within me. A crush would explain my fear to seem again, and yet my excitement. It would explain why my stomach was in knots and my heart was constantly racing. No, it wasn't possible. It wasn't happening.

"Okay, fine," Leah surrendered, sliding off of the counter, "If you're sure." Unfortunately, she still looked at me like she could see through my skin. I could tell she didn't believe me, but I didn't care if she would just leave it alone. All I wanted was a day of distraction, not a day of confrontation and soul searching.

I ran a hand over my face. It had been such a stressful twenty-four hours that I felt like crawling into a hole. Grayson's prank had even been pushed to the back of my mind! Under normal circumstances, I would've been furious for days and been secretly plotting my revenge that I would never carry out, but instead, I had been worrying about his brother who had done nothing wrong.

"Come on," Leah grabbed my upper arm and yanked me out of my thoughts, a smile on her face. "Let's do something to take your mind off of things."


"Absolutely not," I deadpanned, crossing my arms in defiance. Leah had been great all day, she had taken my mind off of Wes and not asked any more questions. We had watched movies, ate pizza, and even got our nails done. It was just what I needed, a girls day without any drama to stress me out even more than I already was.

But around six o'clock she pounced on me like a lion, and I realized why she had been so amazing all day long. Not that Leah wasn't amazing all the time, she just usually got bored and went home after a few hours. This time, however, she had an ulterior motive. There was a party, and she wanted to go.

"Come on Immy, please," She begged, sticking out her bottom lip. I wrinkled my face, not only at the use of the nickname Immy but also because of her puppy dog face. I knew I wouldn't last long. "It'll be fun, and it'll help you get your mind off of Wes."

I bit my lip and looked at the ground. No matter how much I didn't want to admit it, Leah had a point. Partying was not within my comfort zone, but it would definitely keep me distracted. If I stayed at home by myself I would likely stay up all night alone with my thoughts again.

"Fine," I finally gave in, earning an ear piercing squeal from Leah as she flung herself off of my bed and around my neck. "Who's throwing it?"

"Jason Vazquez, his parents are out of town," She exclaimed, running to my closet in a hurry. I didn't have to ask to know that she would be using my clothes for this party, without my permission.

Jason Vazquez was a senior at our school. He had just graduated, so I guess it was a sort of going away party. He was famous for his ragers, where every kid in our high school got drunk off their rockers and spent the whole night hooking up. His parents were filthy stinking rich and lived in a huge mansion on the east side of town.

I had never personally been invited to one of his parties. They were open to the public, but I had always felt weird about showing up unannounced. It felt like I was trespassing, so I had always stayed far away. The closest I had come to his house was standing on the front lawn, staring at the house with flashing lights and booming loud bass. I had fled immediately.

I followed Leah to the closet, "Are you sure about this? I mean, we probably won't even know anyone." Like that would stop Leah. She was a social butterfly and thrived around strangers. She would get all bubbly and excited, clicking in with new friends in an instant. I, on the other hand, was much more awkward.

Leah turned away from my clothes to look at me, placing a hand on her hip, "Look, I'm going to be honest with you right now, okay? So don't flip out. I spent the whole day with you, and even though you try to look like you're having fun, I can tell you've been miserable. I don't know what's going on in that head of yours, but you need to take a break. Go to the party, have a drink or two, and forget about Wes for at least one night. You need it."

Was Leah right? Had I been so consumed within myself that I hadn't been appreciating her friendship? It made me feel like crap to realize that all day I had been focused all on myself and my problems when Leah probably had plenty of her own. She had woken up at six AM for me, and I hadn't even taken three seconds to ask how she was doing!

"Okay," I gave in, "I'll go." I had to, I didn't have a choice. She was an amazing friend and I was slowly coming to realize that I had taken her for granted. Even though I would probably have no fun, and even though it was against every rule I had set for myself, I decided I owed her this much. The least I could do was spend a few hours at Jason Vazquez's house.

The next hour of my life was torture. Leah wanted me to make an effort with my appearance, and since she had already guilt tripped me into going to the party, I felt like I had to comply. I shoved myself into some too tight booty shorts and a black tank top. It was black with a sequined zebra on the front.

Leah took the time to tame and loosely curl my ratty brown hair, making it look nicer than it had in a long time. She also expertly applied makeup to my face. When she graduated Leah wanted to go to beauty school, so she was able to make me look, in my opinion, pretty good. I looked nicer than I had in a long time.

By the time we pulled up in front of Jason's house, I was about to throw up. My dinner was literally about to take a trip back up my esophagus. Teens were scattered around the lawn with cliché, red plastic cups clutched in their hands. They were already a little bit tipsy. You could hear the loud, blaring music all the way down the street.

Oh god, what did I get myself into? I asked myself as I got out of Leah's convertible. She looked beautiful with her hair in a messy ponytail, short red dress, and coal black hooker heels. Most girls would look like a prostitute, but Leah made it classy. That was just part of the amazing charm of Leah Leonard.

"Don't just stand there like a lost puppy, come on," Leah sighed, grabbing my hand and dragging me up the walk. I almost tumbled to the ground in the black stilettos Leah had forced me into, but I managed to catch myself a mere second before embarrassing myself in front of all my classmates.

As soon as the front doors opened, I gasped, "Bloody hell." The music blasted us, getting ten times louder as the barrier between me and the chaos was broken. Give it 2 U by Robin Thicke was shaking the whole building, a sea of horny teenagers basically having sex crowded the whole living room.

Lights were flashing, cups were sloshing, and I was freaking out. I was in way over my head and there was no way out. Leah and I had been swept up in the crowd and were slowly being pushed and shoved to the other side of the living room. Every few seconds I was ground on or groped, and I officially wanted to throw up.

Next thing I knew I was shoved into what looked like a kitchen, and I was all alone. Leah had disappeared, and I had a feeling I wouldn't be seeing her for a while. So, taking a deep breath, I took in my surroundings. It was a large kitchen with tubs of ice and beer littering the floor. For the most part, it was empty, except for a few teenagers who were mid-make-out session.

"You look lost," I jumped when I heard the voice, eyes locking with none other than Jason Vazquez's. He had dark skin, spiked up black hair, and a kind face. He smiled at me, "Sorry, I know these things get a bit...Out of hand. Here," He held a beer out to me, lid already popped off and ready for me to down.

I only hesitated for a moment before I gripped the cold bottle in my hands and started to chug. It didn't matter that I had never had any kind of alcohol in my life, or that I had no clue what I was doing. All I knew was I was desperate to forget about my Wes issue, and I would take any means necessary to take my mind off of it.

That turned out to be a huge mistake.

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