"Congratulations." I said as I got into Josh's car. It was the night of the Fall Sports Banquet which honored all of sports that had taken place in the fall. Josh had gotten MVP due to his "leadership, stamina, and game-winning touchdown" as the coach had put it.
"Thanks," he beamed proudly, carefully setting his trophy on the backseat. The cheerleaders had been required to attend, and I had sat and applauded dutifully as all of sports had been recognized, one by one, until the cheerleaders had been brought up right before the football team. After a short speech given by the cheerleading coach, a leadership award given to Angie, and a scattering of applause, my responsibilities were over for the night. Or so I had thought.
Josh leaned forward to turn on the radio to some pop station blaring a song about a girl and a boy with a love like a flame or something ridiculous like that. I rolled my eyes.
"You really like music like this?" Josh glanced at me.
"No, I thought you did."
"We've been going out for almost three months. You should know I hate this kind of music." The words came out sharper than I had meant them to.
"I don't know, I figured you were that kind of girl. I mean, Angie used to love this kind of stuff," he said as he turned the dial to a different station.
Angie. Of course. I hit the power button, silencing the radio altogether. "That kind of girl? What do you mean, that kind of girl?"
"Jeez, Jay, calm down. I didn't mean anything by it." By now his voice was defensive and a bit annoyed. His eyes were focused on the road, but I saw his eyebrows were tensely turned down. And I hated it when he called me Jay.
My fire was churning in the pit of my stomach, and I yearned to just let it out. But I had to control my emotions. The last time I lost control of my Talent, I had hurt someone. Hurt him. And I couldn't do that again.
"I'm sorry. I guess I'm just a little defensive. I'm not 'that kind of girl'. I just thought you would know that by now." Neither of us said anything for a few minutes, just the black of the street silently moving us along. By the time we pulled into my driveway, I wasn't mad anymore. Just tired. Tired of these pitiful games I had been playing with this boy, my friends, my life. It was all too overwhelming to think about that late at night.
"Goodnight, Josh." I unbuckled my seatbelt and started to get out of the car when he grabbed my wrist.
He smiled innocently. "Doesn't the MVP get anything special tonight?" This is a very bad idea, I thought, especially tonight with my Talent out of control like this. But I could at least try to make him happy, right?
I leaned back into the car for a quick kiss, but that was not all he wanted. Soon it was going further than I was up for that night, and I started to hold back.
"Oh, come on, Jay, lighten up," he muttered, and tried to kiss me again.
"No!" I almost shouted as I shoved back against his chest. His arms were around my arms, pinning them to my sides. I didn't want this. I never did. I was only trying to make him happy, make all of them happy!
The fire ran up my forearms and he shouted and released me. Then I punched him in the face.