Never been nerdy, p.19
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       Never Been Nerdy, p.19

           C.M. Kars
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  “MacLaine,” I can hear him grinning, “and Sera are going to get married and you’re going to be crazy ecstatic for her and scream at the top of your lungs because that’s what girls do when they congregate and get excited over shit. It’s adorable and hair-raising at the same time.”

  I scrunch my nose but he can’t see me. “It’s actually a special language we use in front of guys so they won’t know we’re talking about them.”

  Dean’s hold loosens on me and I wonder if I’ve said something wrong. But I get a smile when I look down at him, crinkly eyes and all.

  “I knew it! How about we stow the serious crap, and watch a movie? Return of the Jedi or Return of the Jedi?”

  Chapter 20

  Surprise, surprise, we end up watching Return of the Jedi. And while I think the movie has its strong points, I’m not insane into it like Dean is.

  Out of the corner of my eye, I can see him mouthing the words, and just being totally absorbed in it. I think if I took his pants off right now he wouldn’t even notice.

  God, I hope he doesn’t want me to dress up like Princess Leia with that hair-do. Hell, no.

  I’m separated from Dean by with Potter back in my lap, and Pongo and Kal have somehow found a way to wedge their bigger canine bodies between my curled legs and Dean’s stretched out ones. I don’t even know how I got to the far corner of the couch. One second I was snuggled all close and warm to my Viking, next, the whimpering started and Dean got up to put the DVD in and I lost my spot.

  I swear Kal’s giving me the stink eye, making sure I stay on my side of the couch. It’s like he knows I’m no good, and he’s tolerating my presence being even this close to his master, but he sure doesn’t like it.

  I can’t concentrate on the movie. Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are just another face, and my thoughts are in turmoil. I keep staring down at my phone, now nestled in my hand, wishing and hoping Sera would call me, text me, teleport me into her presence so she can swear at me and excommunicate me from her friendship circle.

  I deserve it, I know I do, but there’s a tiny, niggling part of me that thinks I can somehow turn this around, that I can somehow make this alright.

  Maybe I should just call her up and warn her about what Hunter’s going to do. About what he’s going to ask her. Maybe then she’ll have to really think about it and get herself ready for the proper answer she wants to give.

  I nearly jump out of my skin when the call display shows her smooshed face against the window, and stare down at my phone for a few heartbeats. Should I answer? What if she yells at me, screams and cries? What if she says all the truthful hurt-filled words right back at me?

  Swallowing, and looking away from Dean, I put my hand on Potter’s back and feel myself calmed by his doggy breathing pattern. Shit, I really do need to buy a dog of my own.


  “Katie?” Sera’s voice is pinched and quiet and my heart starts running the hundred-meter dash.

  “Yeah?” It takes me three tries to get my voice working right.

  “I’m… I’m engaged.”

  “Yeah?” I hope I put enough surprise into that. Then again, maybe not.

  “Yeah… I’m… I’m a bit of a wreck right now. And I had no one else to call.”

  Well, motherfucking shit, that slices me deep.

  Well, what did you expect? Confetti?

  “I’m glad you called,” I say, but I don’t sound perky at all. I sound like I’m waiting for the bomb to go off and I don’t know which direction to run.

  “Congratulations, Delos. I’m so happy for you.”

  “Are you? Are you really happy for me?”

  I squeeze my eyes shut, until all the blackness fades away, and fireworks start dancing behind my closed eyelids. “Yeah, Sera. I’m very happy for you. You deserve to be happy. You know that, right?”

  Her breath hitches, and I hear murmuring in the background. Maybe Hunter’s crying, too.

  “I don’t know anymore. It just seems… kinda unreal right now. I… I’m no longer pregnant. I went to the hospital and everything, and I miscarried, and all that shit that my parents used to tell me came bubbling up and that’s why I couldn’t go with you to your mom’s rehearsal dinner, K. I wanted to be there, but I was bleeding, and I couldn’t get up out of bed, and I thought Hunter was going to go crazy and Matty was crying right along with me.”

  I pull in a sharp breath like I’ve been stabbed. My lower lip trembles, and shame burns me right through as I think of all those awful things I said to her, all those words I meant in the heat of the moment.

  “But you didn’t have to tell me those awful things, K.” Sera’s voice gets harder now, meaner, and it’s nothing less than I deserve. Maybe my bad luck rubbed off on her, and made her lose the baby.

  Maybe somehow, with my shit personality, my shitty behaviour, hell, with every single word I’ve ever said to her since we became friends, I didn’t help her out as much as I thought I did. I didn’t make her believe in herself more, I didn’t do enough. And maybe that’s why she lost the little spark of life in her belly.

  Just as I’m wallowing in my self-pity, Sera continues the conversation, weaving in the lyrics from Gotye’s “Somebody that I used to know”.

  I stand up quickly and nearly cause Potter to bungee jump off my lap without the safety of being attached. I somehow grab him with one hand, and start yelling. I’m not even sure Dean realizes what I’m doing. If he tells me to fuck off after ruining his movie I might just kick him in the balls. Or stomach. He should be able to have kids someday.

  “Are you fucking kidding me? Here I am, thinking you’re going to tell me to suck it, and you never want to speak to me again and you’re playing nerdy reference games that aren’t even nerdy?! What the hell?!”

  “Don’t you yell at me, Katie! Don’t you fraking dare! Next time I see you, I’m gonna punch you in the boob!” She growls. I want to throttle her right now.

  “You’re the one who can’t get your head out of your ass for five minutes and see what you’re doing to yourself and the people around you. Fraking hell, what is the matter with you? Where the hell are you, you and I are going to have words, and they ain’t going to be pretty, I promise you that!”

  I don’t know what to say. I can’t call her a bitch because that’s exactly what I would’ve said if the roles were reversed. Huh.

  “I’m with Dean right now.”

  “Has he knocked some sense in you, yet? You better not ruin him, K, he’s too good for that! I swear to Castiel, you do anything to hurt him, I’m going to… I’m going to find another maid of honour and you’ll have to live with the shame for the rest of your life!”

  I feel like I’ve been slapped. There was just too much information to deal with.

  “Maid of Honour? What? Dean? Who?”

  I’m making no sense but Sera knows what I’m saying. “Yeah, you’re going to be my maid of honour! You said some real shitty things but I know why you did, and even though I didn’t deserve any of that, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt. You were angry and riled up and terrified and humiliated and you took it out on me. Not cool, K, but that’s fine. The Winchesters know I’m not going to hold it against you. That’s what you do, K, even when all the cards are down, or some other Poker analogy I don’t understand - you still keep fighting for who you care about. You don’t just give up, and I’m not giving up on you.”

  My throat’s on fire, and I’m struggling to breathe. There’s a hole in my chest, expanding, getting wider, tearing everything open with harsh hands.

  “I don’t think you should give me another chance, Sera,” I whisper and start walking towards Dean’s bathroom. I set Potter down at my feet, who just curls up between them and starts napping again. Man, I envy him that ability.

  “I’m an awful friend. You shouldn’t give me another chance. You shouldn’t do that.” I swallow hard, and rub the tears off my cheeks. I hiccup and chew on my lip to keep quiet.
r />   “Hang up on me now, and go celebrate with Hunter. Have some hot jungle sex and orgasm twelve times, okay? Be happy for me, Delos, just be happy.”

  I hang up, and grab a wad of toilet paper to soak up my tears.

  The only thing is they don’t stop falling.


  “Are you okay in there?” Deans asks, after knocking on the bathroom door. Maybe he has to take a piss, and I’m hogging the bathroom.

  “Yeah, I’m okay,” I say, but my voice is all watery and weak and he has to know that I’m in here, bawling my eyes out, no matter how quiet I tried to be.

  “C’mon, kitten, come on out. I’ll make you some hot chocolate from scratch and top it with homemade whipped cream, okay?”

  “You keep feeding me like this, I’m going to weigh a thousand pounds!” I whisper-yell, and blow my nose.

  “Hot chocolate, kitten. Homemade. Did I stutter?”

  That’s probably a reference, too, but I don’t know from what movie. There’s no pressure though for me to understand, and because I can’t see him, he doesn’t give me the crazy eyes begging for me to understand the reference like Sera sometimes does. I never told her, but it always made me feel stupid, and left out.

  Dean doesn’t make me feel like that at all.

  “I’m coming out, just gimme a sec.” I get up off the toilet and Potter hops to it with me, looking at me like we’re going to go on an adventure together and he’s game. I look at my reflection and try to wipe off the meager makeup I put on this morning, wiping the mascara trails under my eyes, practically rubbing my skin raw ‘cause that shit is waterproof.

  When I’m satisfied I come out, and smell the deep cocoa smell that is homemade hot chocolate.

  “You know,” I sniff, “my dad used to make me hot chocolate almost every school night because I had trouble sleeping. Even when I didn’t have trouble sleeping, I never told him, because I loved getting something that he made from scratch. Pretty stupid, huh?”

  Dean looks back at me from stirring the pot of milky deliciousness. “Not stupid at all. It’s a long con if I ever heard of one. I wouldn’t mind making my little girl hot chocolate every night. With toasted marshmallows on top topped with cinnamon. Yeah, that sounds about right.”

  “You want kids?” The question is very…intimate. I mean, I don’t even know if the Josh, Eli, Russia and Alex want kids. We’ve never talked about it, and knowing this about Dean seems more than a bit invasive.

  “Yeah. My little brother Max is in New York, I think I told you that already.” I don’t tell him he didn’t.

  “I don’t get to see him much and I miss the little asshole. I don’t know, I always wanted a bunch, now whether a bunch means three or five kids, I’m not too sure.”

  I listen to him whisk the milk. “That’s a lot to ask of somebody.”

  “Yeah, I know. That’s why I’m single.”

  I snort, rubbing my eyes and cheeks again. “You’re single because you want kids? Yeah, there’s got to be something else wrong with you.”

  Dean shrugs and pours the hot chocolate into giant-sized mugs. He then gets to work on the whipped cream, even beating it by hand. I admire the bulge and contractions of his forearms and biceps. Wow.

  “I’m sure there’s lots of things wrong with me to at least one person on the planet. But I don’t see anything wrong with me. I just haven’t found the right girl, I guess.”

  “And who’s the right girl, what’s she like?” My heart’s thumping hard, and all I want to yell out is: Me, me, me!

  “She calls me out on my bullshit, and laughs a lot. She knows all my favourite movies and leaves me alone when the Habs are playing or if it’s playoff season. She won’t mind my patchy beard growth during November, and she won’t mind at all that I collect comics and toys. She’ll love my dogs, and won’t mind getting dirty when we go for long walks. She lives in sneakers, and doesn’t care what she looks like without makeup on, but to me, she’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

  “We can spend evenings with Netflix playing in the background and we just sit reading whatever we feel like. I don’t mind cooking for her, because she loves my cooking, and doesn’t care if I put butter, and use all the real ingredients. I could spend the day planning out a meal and just watch her enjoy it, listen to all the sounds she makes as she devours the food.

  “We can go for long walks with the boys, and I’ll be completely enchanted by the blush on her cheeks, or the way she puts her hands in the bend of my elbow. She wouldn’t mind that I read too much, or spend most of my time thinking about how to design my own Death Star and if I really could be seduced by the Dark Side. Nah, she wouldn’t mind that at all.”

  Dean’s finished with the whipped cream and tops it delicately on top of our mugs. He adds a sprinkling of cocoa on top with a few shakes of a Darth-Vader-shaped sieve, and walks over to hand me my hot chocolate.

  I stare down at the awesomeness that I’m about to devour and want to bite my lip. I don’t want to say, that sounds nothing like me. But what’s the point? Dean just blatantly told me that I’m not what he wants, and that doesn’t even matter – I’m going to break his heart, again, and he’ll never forgive me for that.

  So I keep quiet, and slurp up some decadent hot chocolate, getting whipped cream on my nose and laughing because I probably look ridiculous.

  “This is amazing,” I smile up at him, and watch him wipe the whipped cream off his nose.

  He takes another sip then concentrates hard enough to get his tongue to swipe the bottom of his nose and get the cream. I let out a giggle and slap my hand over my mouth. I don’t think that sound’s come out of me since the third grade.

  “You have a nice laugh, why do you cover it up?” he says, grinning at me and it’s like we’re back in high school and that smile destroys me all over again.

  “I don’t like the sound of my laugh. It’s too girly. Not professional at all.”

  “Kat, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, and I’ve seen a lot of shit movies in my time, so I know what I’m talking about. “

  I shake my head, slurp up some more hot chocolate. “Do you have any straws?”

  Dean nods, and turns around to go into his cupboards. He fishes out a green one for him and a blue one for me, the special silly straws that were the coolest thing you’d ever seen when you were a kid.

  I wanted to keep my nose from being cream-ified any longer, but Dean’s gone ahead and started blowing bubbles into his hot chocolate. Giant bubbles erupt from the mug and Dean’s face is a perfect mask of concentration, keeping the bubbles from exploding over the rim of the mug and spilling onto the countertop.

  He’s just a big kid and I don’t think he’ll ever grow up.

  “C’mon, kitten, blow some bubbles and get your face dirty. You’ll still be beautiful if you get chocolate milk on it, I promise.”

  How can he just say those things to me and go back to blowing bubbles like what he just said hasn’t made my eyes all big and my heart trip over itself?

  How does he do that – disarm me completely?

  “You and Sera okay now?” Dean asks, and that’s it. There’s no probing for details just a general question if everything’s okay now. And I like that a lot.

  “I think so. She wants me to be her maid of honour.”


  I shrug. “I’m not too sure how to feel about that. I want her to be happy, but I’m getting in the way of that. I should keep my distance. At least for now. I’m going to screw things up for her, and I don’t want to do that. It’s actually the reason why I’m staying far away from my mom’s wedding tonight. She’s getting married at city hall, but a whole bunch of her friends and family are supposed to show up later, but I don’t want to go.

  “I don’t want a repeat of last night. I’ve got enough bad luck as it is, and I don’t need to make that situation worse,” I sigh, drinking some more hot chocolate.

  “You need to explain this bad luck
thing to me.”

  I look nervously away from him, anywhere but at his face, but the pull of his eyes are magnetic, pulling me back.

  “You mumbled something when you were drunk, kept me up all night. And again, just now.”

  “I’m sorry about that. Didn’t mean to keep you awake.”

  “Kitten, why aren’t you looking at me?”

  I will myself to keep calm. Being a bitch never did anything good for me.

  “It’s a curse that’s been put on my family by my nona. She got pissed that I wasn’t named after her and she always hated my dad so she cursed the DiNovro name. Stupid old-school-paysan shit, you know, village idiot type stuff. So I have a lot of bad luck, I ruin a lot of things for a lot of people, and maybe it’s better that Sera and I stop being friends. I’ve always pushed her to get someone better, hell, even suggesting one of my boys would be a more suitable replacement. I was really wrong Dean, incredibly wrong.”

  “We all make mistakes.”

  “Yeah, but my mistakes take on epic proportions. And you’re one of them.”

  Chapter 21

  “I had you completely erased from my memory, you know? I tried really, really hard to forget you, and all that stupid shit I did when I was sixteen.” I’m going to start crying again, it’s just a matter of time.

  “Dean, I don’t want to hurt you again, I don’t want to hurt you. Thank you for being so nice to me, and treating me with respect. For letting me meet your dogs, and for always feeding me delicious food when you could have just left me to starve. I’m sorry for hitting you with my car. Dean, I’m just on a downward spiral and I’m going to drag you down with me, and I can’t bear to do that to you.

  “Find that girl of your dreams, alright? Be happy, for me.” I’m full-on crying now, and my hot chocolate is all blurry in front of me, so I whirl around and try to find my way out of here. I trip over Potter but don’t turn around to see if he’s okay.

  All the tears, all the frustration I’ve forced down since my parents’ divorce strangles me, expands all my rage and has me sobbing, sobbing so very hard that I feel my ribs crack and I can’t get a good breath. The whole world is a watery blur, and straight-edged lines become distorted, until I practically nose-dive into the door just in time for Dean to take a handful of my shirt at the small of my back and haul me upright.

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