The First Last Boy

By: Sonya Weiss



She shook her head and tucked one side of her hair behind her ear. “That you and I are friends was my whole point. I figured if it was with someone I care about, you know...it’d be better. I don’t want my first time to be with someone who treats girls the way you treat your...uncomplicated ones. I don’t want to go to college a virgin.” She let out a long sigh when I didn’t answer, then bit her lip. “I guess I can try Brett.”

“Brett?” The mention of him made my temper flare. Hidden behind the smooth face, flashy car, and grin, was a guy who had a habit of not taking no for an answer. “You talk about assholes. That guy is a major one.”

She shrugged. “He seems nice and he has asked me out.”

“He’s not, and when did he ask you out?”

“Couple of weeks ago right after graduation.”

“You didn’t tell me.” Now that I knew, I’d spell it out to Brett in blood and broken bones that Tana was off limits.

“Yeah, Ryan, I didn’t. It’s not like you’re my diary or anything.” She crossed her arms against her chest and leaned her back against the sink, putting some space between us. “Just go play a game with Mark and leave me alone.”

What the fuck had just happened? I was trying to protect her and now I was the bad guy? “Tana—”

“Go!”

I hated when she acted like that. Girl drama drove me bat shit crazy. Shrugging, I turned around and left the kitchen to go into Mark’s room. He looked up at me when I entered.

His eyes were wide and sad in his small face. “Are you and Tana fighting?”

“We’re disagreeing.” I shoved aside a pile of toys and took a seat beside him on the floor at the foot of his bed. I leaned my back against the blankets and picked up a remote.

“Dad and Mom fought, then he left.” Mark maneuvered his player through a jungle and sent me a side-eye glance.

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“Promise?”

“You know it, buddy.”

“Ever?”

“Ever.”

Mark looked relieved, then said, “I don’t like Brett.”

I paused to look over at him. “What?”

“He came over when Mom wasn’t here and talked to Tana. He gives me a mean look when he sees me and he scares me.”

I was gonna beat Brett’s ass twice as hard. “I’ll make sure he doesn’t come back.”

“Cool.” Mark stuck his tongue out of his mouth and bit down as he concentrated on the game.

Keys jangled and the front door opened.

“Uh oh.” Mark threw the controller aside and jumped up. “I’m grounded. I’m not supposed to be playing.”

We exited the room and Mrs. Shaw smiled when she saw me in the narrow hallway. She was a shorter, slightly heavier version of Tana with eyes that crinkled in the corners whenever she smiled. “Ryan. I didn’t know you were stopping by.” She liked me okay, but that was because she didn’t know about my past. If she did, I doubted she would want me around either of her kids. Turning her head, she saw the pizza box on the kitchen counter and frowned.

“I bought a pizza. Hope that’s okay,” I said, flashing her a wide smile.

“Yes, of course.”

Tana joined us and her mom said, “I’m going to take a shower. Mark, did you already shower?”

He rolled his eyes but didn’t let her see him. “Yep.”

“Then you need to brush your teeth and get in the bed.”

“It’s Friday,” he whined.

“Now, Mark.” She said in a weary tone as she walked past me into her bedroom.

Mark stomped into his room. “When I’m an adult, I’ll do what I damn well please.”

“If Mom hears you talking like that, you won’t live to be an adult,” Tana said.

Mark slammed his bedroom door and a photograph of the three of them hanging on the hallway wall fell onto the floor. Tana picked it up and sighed as she brushed it off and put it back.

“Has your dad been around this week?”

“No. He was supposed to take Mark to an amusement park but he didn’t show. Mark waited on the front porch for hours. This is the fourth time in a row he’s blown him off. I hate that Mark is hurt, but I’m not sorry my father isn’t around much.”

From what I’d gleaned about her father, he was pretty much a selfish asshole. I hated the sadness in her eyes and wanted desperately to fix it. “I have to work at the garage a half day tomorrow but you wanna do something after that? We could hit the party at Kurt’s house. I’ll be the key man so you can have a good time and I’ll get you home safely.”

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