Seeing Jen with a girl at the Christmas ball still left a bad taste in Caitlin's mouth. She couldn't help to scowl as she thought of her.
How could she?
She tried to stop the thought from coming, but she'd had it out with Jen in the hallway that night when she discovered Jen's true colors.
"What does it matter to you?" Jen was head strong as usual.
"What will people think!" Caitlin was cross about the matter. Her best friend, a lesbian. It made her head hurt just to think it.
"What? They'll think worse of you? Is that it?" Jen shot back. and Caitlin didn't have a comeback.
It was just mad. What was wrong with Jen?
Perhaps, it was why she was so quick to respond to Rico when he found her out in the cold. She needed fresh air, but the wind was like ice and it chilled her so. He'd given her his jacket and they went in, off to where no one went, high in the bleachers where the heat blew so hard, she couldn't even really think.
But he'd sat with her, and that's when she let it slip about her love for Roman.
"You see, he made me cry." She felt she might spill with tears thinking of Roman, then and now. "He's that beautiful."
But was that really love or only chemistry at work? It was true, she'd lost herself in him. She'd never lost herself in anyone. And now she felt so gullible.
Oh, it was true, she could ride high with the best of them. Maybe she was a mean girl, once. Maybe she'd bent the rules a little with Jen. But she was only wanting perfection. She really wanted people to love her.
Now she frowned with disgust thinking of all she'd put up with, with Jared. Honestly, someone must have been looking out for her. Up there, perhaps. It was a wonder she'd never gotten a nasty disease from him. Finding so many ways to keep herself a virgin and yet not. Not really. Not in the head.
And here she was alone again. She didn't really know if she was smart. Oh she thought she was in so many things that, of course, weren't academic.
Her brother was finally coming home for a visit. Even if it were a frozen January in the heartland. But what would she tell him?
She texted Rico.
Can you come to dinner?
She sighed in relief when he text that he could.
Oh, Christmas was fun. Vada couldn't believe Alo was here, for good he said. At the time, he was the best Christmas present ever. Having him home for the holidays.
The snowball fights, the rush of nature almost taking its course. Then not. Yeah, it was beginning to get miserable. What was he going to do?
She had school. Although, he picked her up every afternoon. Yes, she could get used to it. Sort of. Still, the looks her mother and her father gave her.
What was going on?
"Well, I'll be at the Uni, here." Alo was all so casual about it.
"I don't want,you, to neglect your studies." She'd hate to deprive him. Maybe it wasn't a good fit, after all.
"You, had nothing to do with it, you know." She thought he would tell her he would just take courses on the computer. Something smooth with no worries. But no, he was actually going to study here.
She pressed her lips in concern.
"I don't know why its upset, you?" Now he looked a little cross as he hugged himself there in the cold of the high school parking lot.
"Its..you know, how are my parents, going to feel?" She knew he'd been looking at apartments since Christmas. Only, he didn't have furniture, but he could easily find him a house, if he wanted. She knew that would worry her parents more. Her spending all her time at his place.
"So, that's what this is about." He sounded the sooner he left the better. "They're really on pins and needles, about the two of us? Together?"
They got in his lime green SOL that his brother had given him for Christmas. Of course, he could have had a sports car, but this was what he wanted.
"Maybe its my imagination." She winced a wink that might not be entirely worried. She nursed her bottom lip, as if she'd been waiting an eternity to be with him, again.
"I did find a place. newly re-did, and all. They need boarders, you know." Alo looked at her as if he could do this without her parents worrying. He shook his head, with a sly smile. "I just don't see them thinking the worst of us." He looked at her as if maybe Vada was the only one thinking such rot.