Home > Did I Mention I Miss You (The DIMILY Trilogy #3)(7)

Did I Mention I Miss You (The DIMILY Trilogy #3)(7)
Author: Estelle Maskame

“But you gotta help me!”

Rachael lets out a deep sigh while she presses her index finger to her temple, her Voice having adopted a condescending tone when she asks, “What do you need help with, Jamie?”

“Help me get away from her,” he says, and when I steal a look over my shoulder, he’s jabbing a finger in my direction, his bloodshot eyes narrowing in disgust when our gazes meet. “She’s a freak.”

“Get over it already,” I snap back at him as my grip around the wheel tightens, accelerating even faster along Deidre Avenue and ignoring the way I can feel Rachael glancing between Jamie and me. She knows we don’t get along anymore, but I don’t quite think she’s ever witnessed it like this.

It’s almost impossible for her to remain quiet, for her to let an argument break out, so she peers around the headrest of the passenger seat to fix Jamie with a stern look that warns him not to say anything more. “Word of advice: You’re drunk and you’re being an asshole, so shut up.”

Almost indignantly, Jamie slumps against the backseat, staring at Rachael as he dares to muster up a reply. When it comes, he sounds almost nonchalant, his lips moving slowly as he says, “I’m drunk? Huh. I’m being an asshole? Even bigger huh. Sound familiar to anyone?” Slowly, he sits up again and leans toward me, a drunken, lopsided smile capturing his face. It’s far from friendly, yet he places a hand on my shoulder as I drive, squeezing way too hard as his eyes flicker back to Rachael. “Throw in some weed and she’ll be falling in love with me too.”

Immediately, I shove his hand off my shoulder, elbowing his chest and pushing him away from me. The car swerves slightly, but I’m quick to move both hands back to the wheel, and then I flash my eyes back over my shoulder once more to fix him with the fiercest glare I can possibly pull off right now. It doesn’t take much effort. “What the fuck is your problem?”

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Rachael slowly settling back against the passenger seat and throwing me a disapproving glance. At the same time, she slowly moves her hand to the wheel too, as though she’s afraid I’ll careen the car off the road. “He’s just drunk, Eden.”

But I can’t listen to her, because I’m not referring to what’s going on right now, I’m referring to everything from last summer until this exact moment. Jamie hasn’t been able to accept the truth, despite having a year already to do so, and I’m starting to wonder if he’s ever going to let it go. I’m starting to believe he’ll forever hate Tyler and me. “Seriously,” I snap, throwing a hand up in exasperation, “what is your damn problem? Spell it out for me.”

Jamie swallows hard before leaning over the center console and setting his rolling eyes on me, slowly spitting out the words, “You. Are. Gross.”

I’m quiet for a while. The only thing I can hear is my car engine as I drive and the grinding of my teeth. Part of me wants to kick Jamie out of the car. The other wants to cry. The truth is, I know Jamie feels that way. I know he thinks I’m crazy and gross and disgusting and out of my mind, yet he’s never actually said it out loud until now, and for the smallest fraction of a second, I feel sick.

“I don’t know what you expect me to say to you,” I say quietly. “I really don’t. There’s nothing going on between . . .” I pause, clear my throat, and then try again. “There’s nothing going on between Tyler and me anymore. He and I are long over. So please, Jamie. Please stop hating me.”

Jamie stares at me blankly for a second and then flops back against the seat once again, but this time he reaches for the bucket and promptly throws up. Rachael squeals, pressing a hand to her mouth as she gags, and she backs up against the dashboard again, trying her best to stay as far away from Jamie as she can get. My nose wrinkles and I roll down all four windows, allowing fresh air into the car.

“And yet he says you’re the gross one,” Rachael murmurs sideways to me through her hand.

Jamie continues to hurl and wheeze and groan and curse the rest of the way home, which is thankfully only a few minutes away. Neither Rachael nor I say anything, only listen to the wind in silence as Jamie suffers. The second I see the house, however, he is not the only one who’s cussing. I am too.

As if Satan himself had planned it, Dad and Ella are walking back from Rachael’s house at the exact same time as I’m pulling up. They both pause on our front lawn when they notice my car approaching and Dad’s hands immediately go to his hips as he presses his lips into a firm line, his eyes narrowing in the sternest of ways.

“Shit,” I say for the fifth time. “Shit, shit, shit.” Slowly, I bring the car to a stop against the curb and roll all the windows back up before cutting off the engine. Through my windshield, I can see Ella frowning as she squints to see who I’m with. Unfortunately for her, I have her drunk son throwing up in my backseat.

Rachael shakes her head and throws a pointed glance back toward Jamie. “Someone is so dead.”

“He sure is.” Taking a deep breath, I yank my keys out of the ignition and kick open my car door, stepping out at the same time Rachael does. Slowly, I turn around to face Dad and Ella.

“Rachael, I believe your parents were wondering where you were,” Dad says stiffly, with the smallest of nods in the direction of her house. All the lights are still on, shadows still moving around.

“Thanks, Mr. Munro. I’ll go let them know,” Rachael replies in as innocent a voice as she possibly can, but I can still hear the air of sarcasm in her words. Because Dad is in his forties with graying hair and without a single memory of what it’s like to be a teenager, he doesn’t pick up on it, only gives her a tight smile and waits for her to leave. She spins around and heads for her house, but not without brushing past me and murmuring, “I can’t wait to move out.”

There’s silence out on the street for a minute. I don’t want to be the first to speak. Jamie is still in the back of my car, Ella’s still squinting, and Dad is waiting for Rachael to disappear. The second she does, his eyes flash over to me and he asks, “Where the hell have you been?”

Not only is Dad the aforementioned aging asshole, he’s also quick to make assumptions. Right now, it’s clear by his expression and tone that he’s already assuming my reasons for leaving the house are on the reckless side, like I can’t possibly leave the house at 12:30 at the age of nineteen without planning to cause trouble.

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