Never Ever by McKynzi Baum

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If there was one person I hated most, it was Grayson Walton. It wasn’t because he was a bully or that he hated me or even that we had history as children, it was actually the complete opposite. Grayson Walton was the infamous class clown and flirt, and also the biggest jerk at Wentridge High. Everyone liked him, to which it made it worse. Girls loved him and if guys didn’t want to be him, they wanted to be friends with him. His dark brown curly hair and his perfect height drove girls wild. Not only was Grayson tall, but his creamy, light, caramel skin, and hazel eyes was hard to miss. Especially for a girl like me; one he would never see. It wasn’t like I cared, I didn’t like him at all. At least, that’s what I thought.

Today had started out great actually. I had a great ballet and modern class, get picked out to demonstrate, being lead in one of our dances, and I did great on two of my tests. I had Government next and I felt like nothing could mess the rest of my day up but boy I was wrong. As I sat down in my seat, Mr. Swine walked into the classroom full of loud animals, closing the door behind her. “Alright class we’re doing something new today.” She said as her smile grew as big as the moster coming out of her head. I breathe in deeply, hoping that this would be something fairly easy and quick. “We’re going to do a project that will be due in 3 months and I will be assigning partners this time.” She nodded at all of us. I smiled, knowing that usually I got partnered with my best friend, Maria Griffin so I wasn’t worried at all. As I listened to her call names I heard her call Maria’s name and I sigh and slump down into my seat. Oh no, “Lastly, Delaney Thompson and Grayson Walton.’ I groan and shake my head disapprovingly. “Aww princess, you don’t want to be my partner?” I hear the sound of the devil himself and I bite my lip to keep everything that I truly wanted to say. “Ouch, that hurt but don’t worry you’ll love me pretty soon.” I ignored him, rolling my eyes.” Sure, whatever you say.” I hissed, realizing that this day had been ruined.

I walk down the quiet, little, boring neighborhood of which I lived and sighed as I looked around. Everything looked perfectly placed and put together like a Barbie dream house type of place. I focus on my breathing and the consistent clicks of my footsteps against the concrete as my phone goes off. It was Maria wanting to facetime again, even though she facetimed me right before school ended. “Maria what’s up?” I said, hoping she didn’t hear the slight annoyance in my voice. “woah there honey, I just wanted to see how you felt about working with Mr.Hottie.” She said smiling brightly and flipping her hair. I rolled my eyes as I walked up the stairs to my house and stepped inside. “He is not even hot and Hi Mom.” I exclaim, walking upstairs as she waves from the living room. “Hi, Ms. Thomspon.” Maria screamed, knowing she wouldn’t be heard. I trudged into the quiet, most green room of mine, dropping my bag and throwing myself onto my soft, comforting bed. “Do you know what this means, You could be dating and you guys could…” She continues and I zone her as I begin thinking about the project. Maybe creating a presentation where I dance and he sings and play another thing other than girls, like his guitar.

But would he actually do it? I don’t want to end up suggesting something that won’t happen. Whatever, he’ll get over it. I smiled and nodded telling Maria that I would see her tomorrow and goodnight. I get ready for bed and laid on my bed sighing. Grayson Walton was going to ruin my life for the next 3 months.

“If you haven’t heard of the 50% project raise your hand please.” Mr. Swine asked politely. I shrugged resting my hand on the palm of my hand while she begins to explain the 50% project. (which is just a project where you get to choose the topic) I liked the idea of getting to be creative without being told the limitations of rules, but I mean others don’t and that is none of my business. I was starting to fall asleep until a note was dropped delicately onto my desk. I turn to look in the direction to where it came from and I instantly regretted it. Of course, it just had to be Grayson- who was winking and smirking at me. I groan silently and roll my eyes. I turn back to face the note and slowly opened it. “Hey babe, meet me at my house to start this project? (314) 868-7468” I shook my head and turned back to him. “Nope, but you can meet me in the dance studio after school. Got it? Good.” I turned around quickly just to hear the chuckles of his friends and him saying things like “Ooh feisty” and “Damn she’s sassy.” I chuckled at how ridiculous guys were. How ridiculous he was. “Bring your guitar too.” I said, not even bothering to look at him and hearing them laugh again.

Ring! The bell screamed at us letting us know it was time to go, well everyone else but me. I grabbed my bag and trudged down the hall leading to the dance studio. Usually, I would be overjoyed to be there but he was there. The big bright smiling jerk was tuning his guitar, waiting for me. As I sigh loudly, I open the door slowly. “Baby you’re here and on time too.” He said, with that stupid playful smirk on his face. I rolled my eyes and threw my bag down and faced him. “First off, I’m not your baby at all. My name is Delaney to you and ever heard of the words shut up before?” You really should invest in it. He chuckled as he walked towards me slowly. “Now, now there’s no need to be feisty Laney.” I pushed past him and huffed, looking at my tiny figure though the tall mirror. “Whatever, let’s just get this done please. For the project I was thinking that you would choose a song and I’ll dance to it. Is that good enough?” I ask, not really caring if it was good to him or not. “Sure, whatever the princess wants.” He smiled and winked at me as I looked at him through the mirror. He annoyed me but at this point I just wanted to be done. “Ugh fine and let’s hurry this up. The less time I have to spend with you, the better.” My breath hitched as I felt his arms wrap around my tiny waist and his breath against the back of my neck. “You know, that’s not true at all sweetheart. You know you want to stay here longer.” He whispered making sure his nose against my neck a little bit. I knew that I would be lying if I said I hated this moment but I couldn’t let him know that. So I had to use whatever strength I had left in me to push him off. “Get the hell off of me and play a damn song.” I said through gritted teeth looking at him. I hoped he didn’t see me blushing the whole time because I was partially a tomato. I heard him mumbling as he walked away then began playing and singing some Ed Sheeran song. I tried to come up with something the second time around, but I couldn’t. Grayson freaking Walton was taking over my thoughts and I couldn’t stop it.

After that incident though, Grayson and I spent more time together partly because we wanted to see each other. The worst part is that I started liking him and didn’t want to. Mom had always told me not to let anyone take advantage of me in any way because I am born a natural naïve child but that was hard because everyone can hide their true selves. So, I built a wall around myself to protect me from ever hurting like she did when my dad left. Grayson made it hard for me not to fall and break my walls for him.

We were walking around the peaceful quiet park breaking the silence by arguing about him doing dance. “Dance is amazing and I think you should totally try it!’ I exclaim, giggling as he says, “Hell no, have you lost your mind? Real men don’t wear tights.” He scuffed and shook his head looking up at the sky. “That’s such a lie Gray, don’t say that! Real men show women their vulnerable sides and don’t feel stupid about it. They don’t try to hide them all the time and play with a girl’s emotions.” I snap back realizing who I was talking to and looked down. “Sorry I didn’t mean it, Its just- I mumble and look back at him. “Hey, its alright. No offense taken, baby girl. I’m all good plus you’re cute when you’re mad. He flashed me a toothy smile and I felt all my insides melt into mush. Looking into his big beautiful brown eyes I fell into a trance.

I was pretty sure he knew how I felt about him or at least he had an idea by now. He chuckled running his hand through my dark long hair walking me out the trance. I blushed immensely noticing we stopped walking and turned my head away so he wouldn’t see me looking like a tomato. “Laney, baby don’t turn away I love seeing you blush and smile. I love that I’m the cause of it when we’re together. He said gently grabbing my chin to turn back to him as he smiles that genuine smile I had seen a few times for a while. He pulled me in for a hug and it felt good to be in his arms. “Delaney?” Grayson said barely above a whisper against my ear knowing it gave me chills. I stutter slightly as I respond to him with a quiet yes. “I was wondering if you wanted to…” I bit my lip hoping he was going to ask me what I hoped he would be asking me. “Race me to the swings?” He pulled away and chuckled knowing that I was now worked up. “Yeah, sure.” I replied with slight disappointment and slight relief. Even though I was sure he might ask me soon, hopefully. “Okay! On my count of three alright? One.. Two.. Three!” Screeeech. As I sprint towards the swings not looking back knowing a glimpse of him would slow me down I approach the swings and sit down on one of them. As I look up, I see him looking down at me and smiling with eyes filled with love. No not possible. He couldn’t possibly love me. Could he?

“Delaney Ciara Thompson,” He began, looking nervous and I nodded for him to continue. “I want you to always love me the way I do for you. Never leave me babe, ever.” I smiled and pulled him” in for a kiss, then against his lips, I whispered. “Never ever, Gray.”

We became an unofficial but official couple and I enjoyed it. I never had this kind of affection before and Grayson spoiled me rotten. Finally, it was the day of the project and I was pretty excited. I had arrived to school pretty early and everything seemed to be perfect. I walked to my locker and felt arms wrapped around my waist. “Goodmorning baby.” He said speaking into my neck. “You smell good by the way. He lifts his head smiling at me. “Goodmorning Grayson, but shouldn’t you be getting ready for class?” I asked pulling my books out my locker and he immediately grabs them from me. “I’d rather walk my baby to class.” He winked and I blushed brightly and took a hold of his hand as we walked to my algebra class.

Throughout the whole class, I couldn’t stop thinking about Grayson and I didn’t want to. My dance class seemed to fly by as fast as I hoped to see him again. I had gotten so excited to see where I was actually the first person to leave the class. I happily walked down the hall and turned the corner just to see Grayson and another girl all up on him. But not just any girl, it was my best friend Mara. Grayson’s eyes seem bewildered as they connect with mine and I shake my head. I quickly turned around and started walking around when I felt his hand close around my wrist. “Babe, please let me explain.” He begged, trying to get me to look at him. “Grayson get off of me anddon’t ever talk to me again.” I said, holding back tears and shaking him off of me then I ran down the hall and soon, I found myself back home. I knew it was too good to be true. For a guy like him to truly love me even if I gave him all of me was impossible. In the end, all I was to him was another toy doll he’d found interest in for a while. So I made the promise to myself to never trust in love like I did with Grayson.

I hadn’t been to school in a week because I was scared to whatever I’d come back to. In the movies, there’s always rumors going around and it feels like the whole school is against them. That was something I could never ever deal with and then there was Grayson. My first love and heartbreak, all in one. Like the holy trinity or something, no matter what I did, I still wanted to please him. Mara had been trying to visit and apologize, but after I told everything to my mom, she quickly felt immediate disappointment and stopped talking to her. Apparently Grayson has shown up everyday to my house with apologetic gifts like candy, flowers, card, stuffed animals, and more, but I wasn’t having it.

I walked into the kitchen and grabbed a bowl of cereal before trudging my way into the living room. I plopped on the couch and grabbed the small, grey remote flipping through channels until I saw my favorite show, “Spongebob Squarepants.” It was just getting to the good part when the doorbell rang. I sigh, thinking it was most likely the mailman because no one would be here this early. I walk to the front door and unlock it. I pull it open and instantly regret it. “Grayson.” I sigh, looking down then back up at him. “Delancy! Babe, I miss you so much and I promise you that I didn’t do anything. She was on me and I—“ I clear my throat indicating for him to stop. “How can I be sure that I can trust that you’re not lying to me?” I ask more to myself than at him, looking down at my feet. “Delaney,” he began, lifting my chin to bring my head back up. “I would never ever hurt you like that. I promised myself never to hurt a girl I truly had feelings for.” Grayson said, mumbling the last sentence and I wasn’t sure how to respond. ‘Just come in and we can finish this, but my legs are getting tired.” I sigh, opening the door more for him to walk in then I walked into the living room again. I heard the door close and his footsteps close behind me before I sit on the couch. He steps close behind me before I sit on the couch. He remained standing looking rather uncomfortable and it was. “Grayson, sit down and let’s just end everything.” I say, rubbing my face and turns to him as he shakes his head. “No, I don’t think you understand. I don’t want to end anything, Delaney. You are the first girl I’ve ever had strong feelings for. I want all of this, all of your love, all of your pain, everything. I want to be the one for you, baby. You make me happy. Happier than I ever been for a long time. Delaney, I want to be your hero and your love. I want you to be mine and only mine. Delaney Ciara Thompson, will you be my girlfriend?” He asked, holding my hands and smiling. I hadn’t noticed I had been crying until I felt his hard, yet comforting hands caress my face and he whispered, “Baby, don’t cry. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you anymore than you already are.” He sighed and began pulling away, but I pulled him close and crashed my lips against his. I felt him smile in the kiss and I pulled away, just enough to rest my forehead against his. “You didn’t upset me, Grayson. You make me happy and I would gladly love to be officially yours.” I blush as I see him grinning like a cheshire cat and he pulled me in for a hug. “Delaney, I promise to try to never hurt you again and babe? I’m not going anywhere okay?” I smiled and kissed his cheek. “Thank you, Grayson for loving me and being there from the beginning with the project.” He smirked that stupid, playful smirk he had when we were in the studio. “I told you that you’d love me soon and you totally do now.” He chuckled and I rolled my eyes, giggling.

“Mhm sure babe, whatever you say.” I shake my head and rest my head on his shoulder. He pulls me onto his lap and we sit like that for what seemed like forever. To me, it was forever and he want a part of my forever. He had asked me to never leave him. Never every, Grayson. Never ever.

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