Chapter 3: Let the Games BeginMature


A trip to the nearest Publix and two pints of ice cream later, we were sitting on the couch in the living room. She had chosen ‘Rocky road’ and I chose ‘Strawberry cheesecake’. We always chose our favorite flavors. It was rare that we ever chose anything other than ‘Rocky road’ and ‘Strawberry cheesecake’. Actually to be correct, my favorite flavor was ‘Key lime pie’ ice cream but they didn’t have that in a pint size, unfortunately. It was quiet in the living room other than us eating our ice cream, but even that was quiet.

Out of nowhere, Emma’s phone buzzed against the countertop and she raised an eyebrow at it. She didn’t speak to a lot of people on the phone and only got messages or calls when she expected them. She didn’t like texting and she had a small number of close friends… Actually now that I think of it, I'm probably the only one. I mean she had other friends she occasionally talked to but I was the only one she truly talked to or hung out with. She used to have a lot of friends but like me, she got screwed over by them so again, like me, she stuck to the ones she knew she could rely on. We didn’t feel someone was worth our time if we couldn’t trust them or rely on them. We tended to stick to a small amount of friends. It was better this way, never getting hurt and less drama to be involved in. It was so much better this way.

“Who could that be?” I asked surprised, and she shrugged just as surprised as I was.

“Uh, that was Tasha” she spoke slowly, a spoon still in her mouth, but she paid no attention to it.

“Tasha not the… please tell me it’s not the Tasha” I pleaded but, sadly, her only response was a slow cautious nod. “What could she want?” and she only shrugged again.

Her eyebrows furrowed together as she looked at the phone. She was definitely confused by whatever she read. “Tasha just texted me a ‘911’ text message” Emma said as she looked at her phone. I rolled my eyes and I stuffed another bite of my ice cream into my mouth.

“She probably broke a nail or having some useless gossip that no one cares about to share. She’s as reliable as the weatherman, and everyone cares about her just as much.” I’m normally not a mean person but she got on my nerves. Had the voice as comforting as nails on a chalkboard… she had an incredibly nasal voice.

“She said it was about you” I rose an eyebrow and she turned her phone towards me so that I could read the text. What could she possibly have to say about me, or even to me, that would be considered a ‘911’? “I invited her because she refuses to tell me over text.” I groaned and Emma just shrugged.

“This shall be fun” I lied and Emma shrugged again. She took another bite from her pint of ice cream. We ate in silence, and part of me was worried about what Tasha had to say. The gossip she had was always about someone’s lives being ruined, but no one cared about the gossip. If it had nothing to do with us, why should we care about it, plus it was usually obvious stuff, stuff everyone knew but no one talked about or even wanted to. But I guess that was what Tasha was for; to talk about other people’s lives and remind them of the problems they had in them. For example she told us that Mr. Filner was sleeping with the receptionist, everyone knew because of the times he would slap her butt in public and she would just blush and giggle, not to mention all the nights they spent working together on numbers, of which Frank, the financial advisor, already did a week before. Like I said before, she talked about pointless gossip that no one wanted to know and that no one cared about. Usually wasn’t even that drastic, usually was just rumors.

A few minutes later, a knock was on the door. Emma opened it to Tasha and immediately Tasha walked in. Sure come on in Tasha. She sat on the couch next to us and crossed her legs. And be sure to make yourself at home, get comfortable, sure go ahead and take a seat.

She was wearing a skimpy overly tight skirt, as in one you were like, did you really pick that out; oh how it does not compliment you at all! It makes her look frumpy and she wasn’t fat but with that skirt she looked like she was. She had a slight mushroom top hanging over, which she did a poor job with trying to cover with her shirt. She consistently pulled her shirt down to cover it, but instead it didn’t help. Every time she moved, I thought the skirt was just going to burst open. She reminded me of a volcano, her body getting ready to erupt from the skirt, due to the pressure. Her shirt was just as tight, trying to give a view of cleavage but the shirt was so tight, her bra didn’t fight right, and in turn that made her boobs look lopsided. Tasha, it looks like you robbed a five year old of her clothes. She had heels on, two sizes too small on her feet. It was like an elephant in a mouse cage. The feet were ready to erupt from the shoes. I looked trying to figure out how she bent her foot to fit it in the shoe. It almost appeared that her feet were at a 90 degree angle. She as usual plastered too much make up on, and looked like a clown did her make up. She had thick bright blue eyeliner with a thick layer of bright pink eye shadow over it. She had enough blush on to make it look like she got punched in the face and those were her bruises. Her eyebrows were plucked or waxed too much so she had a thin black uneven line of eyeliner as her eyebrows. It would have been better if she left her face… eyebrow less. I feel bad for her boyfriend. As much as I hate being mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was a one night stand he decided to keep around.

A moment of silence passed and I groaned. “What's the 911 Tasha” I asked already impatient.

“Okay so I was like, I want to go to a bar, and Matt was like, fine, let’s go to a bar. So we went to a bar.” Ah, the intelligence in the room is increasing already. Matt was her boyfriend, hopefully she won’t talk about another sex story; I can’t stand to listen to another one. I still have nightmares. “So we like went to a bar and then we sat at the bar. You know next to the bartenders and not in those booths. You know what I’m talking about, okay you do. There was this guy a few stools down talking about his roommate named Zoey.” I groaned. Chris. “And I was like oh my gosh! Is he talking about my Zoey! Like oh my gosh, what a small world. And I was like about to walk up to him and go oh my gosh you live with my girl Zoey, but then he started talking about you. And honey, it did not sound good. Mm-mm no it didn’t.” Ahh, her vocabulary, is astounding! “And he was talking about how he was going to make your life hell, and that he was like going to teach you a lesson. Also he's going to get payback and give you a taste of your own medicine. He wants to torture you and all this other stuff. Basically like make your life hell.” She picked at her overly long manicured nails. God those nails, that were over three inches long. I stood up and paced around the living room, Emma watched me nervously.

“Oh, he wants to play games, I can play games. Zoey can play games!” I exclaimed. I was infuriated; he thinks I need to learn a lesson.  That I need to be taught. I’ll show him, and Zoey don’t play nice.

“His friend said it was going to be like world war 3 and your roommate agreed. And he even said that he would win.”  I laughed manically at this. “I didn’t know you got dumped. I’m so sorry.” I groaned, he told his friends about that. Mind your own business Chris. Apparently my face is readable because for some reason she kept talking. 

“Yeah he made it sound like you were dumped like yesterday’s garbage. Dumped, like a fish out of sea. Dumped like”

“Alright I got the picture” I interrupted.

“Zoey, you have to focus on your school. All the Wilson stuff. Don’t ruin this perfect opportunity because some guy thinks he's better than you.”

“You of all people know how good I am at multi-tasking, how good I am at juggling tasks, at balancing priorities. He won’t get in the way of my education. But if it makes you feel better, I won’t do anything unless he started it. When he starts it I will be the one to finish it.”

Tasha sensed the tension. “I should be going.” She walked towards the door.

“Thank you Tasha for telling me. Really I appreciate it” I said and she nodded slipping out the door.

“This is a disaster waiting to happen. I don’t like it. Just ignore his games and focus on your education” Emma began but I cut her off.

 “Can you just support me, just for once” I snap. She sits open mouthed and blinks. “You never supported me when I dated Sam. You aren’t supporting me now. There are plenty of more times you didn’t support me in.”

“And I was right about Sam wasn’t i? Every time, I’m right about what will happen, and every time you always get hurt. You always shut yourself off from the world. When this whole medicine thing backfires, and someone gets hurt, which god knows will probably be you, who will pick up the pieces? It won’t be me. It’s always me who does it, but if you go through with this pathetic childish game, I won’t pick up the pieces ever again. When it comes to this, I’m done.” I said nothing but I bit my lip thinking. “You are so used to being hurt, everyone has always screwed you over, and you love to retaliate, so what, you hurt him before he hurts you? I thought I knew you to be better than this.” I groan, I hate it when she rants, when she thinks she knows better than me. I’m trying my best to tune her out but it isn’t working. Sometimes I just need support and not a parent.

“Alright I won’t go through with it. It was just going to be for fun. But your right I need to focus on my studies, he’s not going to take that away from me”, I told hesitantly. She smiled, relieved, and pleased. She thinks she knows me so well.

“You’re not just saying that to say that” she asked suspicious. Yes.

“No.” I paused for dramatic effect. “It’s like you said, you of all people know me better than that” or at least that’s what you think. She smiled again relieved, moving her hands through her hair. Really, Emma, don’t you know when I’m mocking you? I wanted to roll my eyes so bad that it hurt but I didn’t. I just wanted her to stop ranting. I really don’t know how much I could take of it, without snapping, and doing something I would regret. What exactly? I don’t know, I’m just saying I don’t want to find out the hard way. I just want her to shut up, truly, I love her, but sometimes I wish she came with a mute button, if not Id settle with a fast forward one. Ah, friends gotta love them.



Not even an hour later, after we had dropped the subject, and changed them, she left. It was still awkward but, at least she dropped it. This is probably the only time I’ve ever lied to her. Well that and that one time in elementary school when I stole her boyfriend. But that doesn’t count… does it?

I went back to my bed and laid on it, with my dog curled against my side. I was thinking of ways to torture him. Every way I thought of torturing him ended up with me hitting him with my car, I guess I just wanted to hit him with my car. I turned towards Goober and his breath hit me in the face.

“I have never hated anyone so much in my life. Ever. Do you know what I’m talking about Goober?” he just wagged his tail in response. He probably doesn’t even know what I’m talking about. I heard a click and then the front door opening. “Speak of the devil” I muttered. I got up and Goober immediately rolled over taking up the entire bed. “Douche” I muttered this time to Goober.

I opened the door and found him going through the fridge. Immediately I saw a car come through the wall and hit him, pinning him against the wall. I smiled at my fantasy but realized I was on the 9th floor, so unrealistic. Eh, I’ll just wait until I see him in the lobby on the first floor and reimagine my dream down there. I giggled at the thought mindlessly until I heard his voice, his annoying voice, the voice that came from the man I despised more than anything else.

“Are you high?” I instantly stopped giggling and stared at him with a serious face.

“No.” He continued to glare at me with an eyebrow raised. Confusion and hatred radiated from his face.

“Then why were you laughing?” he prodded like he was some sort of cop. I imagined your death you imbecile. Isn’t it obvious with the death glares I give you?

“I imagined something amusing. Is that okay with you?” He rolled his eyes but he dropped the question game.

“Whatever.” He narrowed his eyes as he realized I was still staring at him. He was probably trying to imagine a way to irritate me. Bring it. “So what's it feel like?” Here we go.

“Whatever do you mean?” I sarcastically said but he just rolled his eyes to me, more determined on annoying me. ‘To teach me a lesson’. I got you, oh-ho I’ve got you so good, I know your game Chris.

“To be back on the market and not wanted by anyone?” He smiled leaning on the counters. Oh you think you have me so figured out, don’t you Chris?

“I’ve only been single a few hours, and I haven’t even started looking. I don’t even want a guy right now. And for your information, I am wanted” or at least I will be. He scoffed at my response.

“You haven’t gotten a single text, phone call, anything since you were dumped for yourbest friend.” Your attempts at trying to break me aren’t working Chris.

“You haven’t been home all day since that first happened” I responded calmly, but it was all I could do from snapping.

“It doesn’t matter, if guys wanted you, they would be blowing up your phone, all day nonstop, instead, you haven’t. In fact, you don’t even check it, not even for the time, so somewhere, subconsciously you know you aren’t wanted.”

“Not many people know I’m single now.”

“The way you were dumped, the way they were so confident when they told you tells me, they’ve been planning this for a while. I’m sure people knew a head of time, which makes this worse. I’m sure the nerdy girl in your senior class is wanted more than you. Unless, that was you. Were you that girl with the big glasses, the braces and the bad acne who stalked the popular boys? The one who drew hearts around their faces in the yearbook and wrote Mr. and Mrs. Impossible. The one who wrote Zoey and not a chance in hell in giant letters? Ah, that’s so cute, you’re all grown up.” No. I was the loser-loner who had issues and stayed at the back of the class and didn’t talk to many people. Eventually I turned into the popular girl but I still was never close to anyone. Still her today. “Whatever, I’m sure you’re going to deny it, but I bet you were her.”

“And were you the loser who didn’t know his place and pretended he was cool but at the end of the day you spent it with your tech buddies? Or were you dumb jock that slept with every girl and has almost every STD known to man on your penis? I bet you have a pickle penis.” I smiled but his smile only grew at my remark. Seriously, is there not a way to annoy this man?

“No I was the smart jock who slept with the popular girls, and not the losers like you. And pickle penis? Nah, but if you don’t believe me I’d be more than happy to show you. Shall we go to the locker room?” He laughed as though this was the funniest joke he's ever heard.

“You're sick” I sneered and he smiled a crooked grin at me.

“Oh, Zoey, you have no idea.” He leaned in as an attempt to intimidate me, but I balled my fists and stormed to my room, slamming the door behind me. I heard his chuckle continue but I covered my face with the pillow and screamed until my throat hurt.

That’s it. This means war. You want to play games Chris? I’ll play games with you. I lay there, beginning to truly plan, devise maniacal plans. I smiled evilly as I came up with a few ideas I was going to do.

“Oh Chris if you only knew what I had planned for you. The only person’s life who was going to be hell is yours. If you only knew what I had planned. Just you wait and see and you’ll be the one learning a lesson” I smiled again at what I had planned. I was pumped and ready. Surprisingly, I actually fell asleep a few minutes later.

Let the games begin.


The End

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