chapter seventeen

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chapter seventeen

MASON DIDN'T TURN AROUND when I called his name. I was beginning to get embarrassed, due to everyone's eyes on me, but I knew Mason probably felt worse. I wanted to text May and ask for help, but that was completely unrealistic right now.

I followed him out the doors of school and began to run down the steps. I almost slipped because I was running so fast.

"Mason!" I begged, pleaded, yelled, prayed. He didn't turn around. He kept running down the street. "Mason!" I jogged and finally caught up with him. "Mason, please." I practically groaned. "Listen to me."

He finally stopped, which took me by surprise. His entire face and body spoke with an extreme amount of anger. I was scared, honestly, but I have to toughen up. I can't be a baby anymore.

"Mason." I whispered. He wasn't saying anything which made me even more nervous. He shook his head and looked down at the ground as his hands found their way to his hips.

I just stood in front of him as I watched him stare at the ground. He was taking deep breaths.

The second bell rung, telling us that class has started, but I couldn't care less. I had to fix this. Or, rather, I had to explain this situation to him.

     It felt like a minute had gone by without us speaking. I was waiting for his clarification; his indication that I was allowed to finally speak. He made no movements of those sorts.

     "I'm sorry." I breathed into the air. I managed to close my eyes and drop my head down as it hung from my neck. I was ashamed, embarrassed, lonely, sad, and lost all at once.

     "So it's true?" He cleared his throat and took a deep breath. I opened my eyes and brought my head back on top of my shoulders. Mason's eyes weren't the natural color they usually are. No, today they were darker and scarier. I gulped.

     "I'm sorry." I said again, this time with more conviction. The amount of negative space in between us was excruciatingly awkward. He's always on me, all the time.

     "Who'd you kiss, Ashley?" He titled his head to the side. I swear I saw his nostrils flare for a split second before they returned to normal.

     "It's not like that-"

     "Who did you kiss?" He slowed down the space in between each word. When I gulped, it felt like a million knives were suffocating me inside my throat.

     "Let me explain." I added a pause in between each word as well. Just so he could understand that I needed to explain like he needed to know who I kissed.

     He opened up his mouth and inhaled, but then shut it again. He did not look like Mason Baylor, sweet boyfriend of mine, no, he looked like Mason Baylor, a boy whom I don't even know.

"A couple weeks ago," I breathed, "I went to a birthday party. It was Olivia's birthday - she's a friend of May's." Mason stared at me with his scary eyes as his entire body remained still. He didn't move an inch. "Um," I gulped and fidgeted with my hands, "I - uh..."

"Is there just something with you and parties?" He furrowed his eyebrows together. I inhaled a sharp breath as I stared at the sidewalk.

"No." I said through gritted teeth. "But, uh..." I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

I have to tell him. There's no way in hell I can explain the kiss with Fernando without mentioning that I'm gay. It's time.

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