As Macy walked back to her car, it took all her strength not to break down into tears. What Dalton did was cruel; he was cruel, she kept telling herself but that didn’t erase how she felt.
She couldn’t even be sure if she could manage showing up at Raine’s after what had happened. She felt bruised and broken, emotionally and physically but deep down she knew she’d go to Raine’s no matter what. He made her feel safe … as safe as she could be right now.
And at that moment, Macy wondered where they really stood. They weren’t dating but they were flirting, and liking each other and hooking up. Hooking up, she thought sadly. That made her felt even more like trash.
Even after what had just happened, Macy started thinking back to her plan. She never heard from Stan; he wasn’t around to protect her today. And he was the key to her plan being accomplished. She really didn’t want to wait for Dalton to do something else. She wanted this over and done. Now.
Macy collected herself on the ride over to Raine’s. She certainly didn’t want him to be suspicious of her. She stopped at a gas station near his neighborhood though, so she could fill up her tank and change into her short shorts. Macy parked in a space behind the small Hess gas station, slipping off her jeans. Her hand touched her own bare waist and she flinched; Dalton’s hands had just been there. Slowly, to avoid the pain her body was enduring, Macy changed into the shorts before pulling to a stop in front of a pump.
She got out sluggishly and then forgot her wallet, climbing back in. As her head popped back out of the car, someone called her name. She cringed and turned to see who felt like interrupting one of her most horrible days. It was Stan.
Immediately, Macy felt like crying. She and Stan had not left each other on a good note the day before and she was supposed to be still mad at him. But she didn’t have the power to muster up that kind of emotion. Instead all she felt was hurt. And pain. And sorrow.
Stan strolled toward her quickly, seeing her expression. “I’m so sorry,” he blurted out.
“Why are you sorry?” she asked in a quiet voice though they both knew he had a lot of things to be sorry for.
“I … I’m sorry about Dalton and everything that he’s doing. And I’m sorry I went along with it. And … and I’m sorry I wasn’t there today. I probably could have stopped whatever the hell went on ther—” she cut him by holding up her hand.
“I get it.”
Stan nodded, bouncing on the balls of his sneakers. “So … are you okay?” Macy gave him a look that clearly said no. In fact, he believed that a “hell no” was probably running through her mind. “Well here … I’ll pump some gas for you.” She let him reluctantly; after everything that happened he owed her even more. As her bug car gassed up, Stan cleared his throat a couple times.
“What?” she finally asked.
“Um … uh Liam said you were looking for me earlier. I mean I guess I know why … I just … wanted to make sure …”
“When’s your money due to the judge?” she asked him suddenly, able to tell that wasn’t the question he was expecting.
“In two weeks. Why?”
“No reason.” Macy scooted past him and stopped the pump, putting in thirty dollars. She wasn’t up for conversation now and Stan could definitely sense that. It was obvious.
Still, he hesitated to walk away from Macy. He really wanted to tell her the whole truth because technically … he’d failed to do so the day before. But her mood seemed so bad-tempered, so quiet and introverted that he didn’t think laying it all on her would help.
Who knows? Maybe Dalton will man up and tell her how he really feels.
Or maybe the sky will fall … and the world will end in 2012.