Wednesday morning during Spanish, Bailey had to take a piss and got permission to go. Inside the empty bathroom, he used the urinal, hoping to make it quick. As he shook the last drop from his tip, the door to the bathroom opened and closed.
Bailey didn’t think much of it until he felt someone staring at him.
He turned to find Felicia walking up to him.
He nearly jumped from his skin. “What the fu-”
“Bailey. Tell me what I did to make you dump me. I tried over and over to see where it all went wrong. I was good to you. I was there for you. So tell me, why.”
Bailey quickly tucked himself back in and zipped up. He didn’t answer as he pushed past her to leave. “I can’t believe you followed me into the boy’s bathroom, Felicia. You do realize how crazy that looks, right?” Bailey asked trying to leave, but she darted in front of him.
“But I need to know. And you keep avoiding me. And then you decide to date some tramp!” She snapped.
“Don’t call her that,” Bailey said as he tried to maneuver around her but Felicia kept herself between him and the door.
“I’m sure that’s the only way she’d have gotten you so quickly. She fucked you.” Felicia spat. “Because it took Laura and two other girlfriends before you noticed me. And I made sure you noticed me. I did everything you like,” she said getting in his face. “Everything you liked about those girls, I became for you. Sweet, kind, caring, beautiful, reserved. And yet you prefer a slut?”
Bailey backed up letting her words sink in, “Felicia, you…what?”
“I’m not going back to being some plain Jane. I will not go back to dating nobodies. We had a plan. We were going to make it together.” She sighed. “But you are selfish. You want to have it all for yourself.” She frowned, pursing her pouty lips. Her hands fisted on her hips. “You need to learn to share. And not with that bitch.”
“What plan? Felicia, what the…what are you talking about?” He asked trying to sound calm even when he was all but. If Felicia were a guy, he’d beat the hell out of her until she woke up from her fantasy.
“You would rather go off and be a superstar with that beauty queen bitch than with me? Your perfect girl? I can’t allow that. No. Bailey, it has to be me. And if I can’t go with you to the nationals, if I can’t go with you to college, and the NFL, then…” She gave a sad smile that chilled Bailey. “Then you won’t make it. Not without me. Let’s get back together, Bailey.” She stepped forward and Bailey stepped back, not sure what the hell to do. He could rush the girl, but then he’d get in trouble for hurting her.
The bathroom door opened and his Spanish teacher stood there frowning. “Mr. Radford? Ms. Collier? I need an explanation.”
Felicia pointed to Bailey. “He dragged me in here.”
The woman crossed her arms over her chest. “I got called out from class by another teacher saying you came in here on your own. Come with me both of you.”
Bailey found himself outside the principal’s office waiting to go in. His head continued to hit the wall behind his chair as he tried to think of a way out of this fuckery.
Felicia had tailored herself to him? That was just crazy…more than crazy.
When the door opened, Felicia was seen coming out of the office with tears in her eyes and the office assistant was patting her on the shoulder.
“Mr. Radford, get in here,” the principal called from inside her office.
Bailey got up from his chair and closed the door behind him. He stood before the principal who stood in front of her desk, arms folded over her chest and frowning with an odd expression.
“If your brother and Ms. Walthour hadn’t come to me weeks ago with what was going on, you would be in a lot of trouble right now.” The principal finally said and sighed. She lowered her arms, hands bracing the desk on both sides of her. “I know from what Molly said, that you didn’t want Felicia getting in trouble, but this is something we should have been warned about from you.”
“No offense ma’am, but… if I hadn’t been your star football player, would it matter?”
The woman chuckled, age crinkling the corners of her eyes. “I see where your mind is. But as the principal, I have to take all complaints of harassment seriously. I could lose my job if something goes wrong under my care. Does that answer your question?”
He nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”
“And as one of the most looked upon kids in this school, if you don’t show that harassment is wrong, how will anyone else have the guts to report it?”
Bailey hung his head. “I apologize.”
“I hate to place this burden on you when you already have championships in your site, but Bailey, when you’ve reached a certain level in society, people notice, people watch, and people learn from those at levels above them so they know what they have to do to achieve greater goals. You get it? The kids here, they see you as a role model.”
He nodded, knowing and yet… “I just didn’t want another girl getting hurt because of me.” He looked up at the woman who smiled sadly.
“Good. Then do your best in the future. Hopefully, we can get the help for Felicia that she needs.”
“What’s going to happen to her?”
“I’m going to talk to her parents. And for her own protection I’m going to ask they transfer her to another school. I’ve actually already started the paperwork.”
“When Tyler came to you.” He read between the lines.
“Yes. Your brother didn’t want Felicia hurt anymore than you do. Molly’s family has already gotten in contact with Felicia’s family. I’m told the transition should be smooth.” The principal slumped. “As much as I like you Bailey, you’re stardom chafes.”
She laughed and shook her head. Lifting from her desk, she began to walk around it toward her chair. “Go home for the day. I’ve called your father and informed him of what’s going on since he’s your primary contact. I’ll tell your brother to collect your homework and your belongs-”
“What about practice this afternoon?”
“Let me try this again. Go home, Bailey.”
“Am I suspended?”
“No. I’m giving you the day off, whether you like it or not. Out!” She pointed to the door. “And if Felicia calls or drops by the house, call the cops. I’ve already spoken to the Sheriff.”
Bailey went home with mixed emotions. Part of him was relieved that he didn’t have to worry about Felicia anymore, but part of him wondered if she would be okay. The words she said to him kept swirling his head.
“I made sure you noticed me… Everything you liked about those girls, I became for you…You would rather go off and be a superstar with that beauty queen bitch than with me? Your perfect girl? I can’t allow that. No. Bailey, it has to be me.”
Bailey greeted the housekeeper as she came in to clean up the house. He helped her out trying to ignore the feeling of wrongness that kept haunting him in Felicia’s words. Laura said that Felicia was fake. How fake? What was Felicia like before? He only noticed her at the beginning of his senior year. He needed to know and knew one person who could tell him.
“Hey, Bay,” Tyler said answering his call.
“You at lunch?” Bailey asked.
“Tell me what Felicia was like… Before we dated.”
Tyler’s deep chuckle made Bailey frown even as he got hard.
“Finally asking the right questions.”
“Not everyone is as brilliant as you are.” Bailey sighed.
“True. Okay, I might as well tell you while Molly and George are sitting here too so you all know. She was your average “B” student. Pretty enough but she didn’t get much attention, until she dated a basketball player. That was her first year and he was a bench warmer. Never got to play in the game. An extra. She went from bench-warmer to a basketball regular. Still no one really noticed her slight change of makeup and clothes. Her circle of friends changed slightly in her second year. By third year, she was dating our forward on the soccer team. By then, she hung with a group of girls that included Laura. Laura talked about you while she dated. Your other girlfriends were once her friend, too. Felicia learned and watched…” Tyler laughed. “Then came senior year. Laura was gone. You just broke up with another girl, and Felicia looks pretty. Prettier than pretty. She’s able to make friends with Molly and Molly’s little group of friends, the rich kids. She befriends George, who introduces Felicia to you at one of Molly’s parties. Felicia’s goal was achieved. She was not only the envy of the girls for dating Bailey the star quarterback, captain of the team, and Mr. MVP, but she was in the popular group.”
“That bitch used me?” Bailey heard Molly shout through the phone.
He imagined George pulling Molly onto his lap to restrain her from flipping out.
“She used more than you,” Tyler replied bored.
“And you knew all about this?” Bailey asked frowning.
“I didn’t do the research until you started dating her.”
“That’s why you intervened.”
“Ah, Bay,” Tyler groaned. “She was slowly sinking her fangs into you spreading her poison. Making you think she was such a good innocent girl. I had to act before she took over you completely…no way in hell was she keeping you. I only ignored your other girlfriends because I knew it wouldn’t last.”
“I sure hope George and Molly aren’t hearing you.”
“No, I left when Molly started cursing the whole cafeteria.”
Bailey laughed. Then sobered, “Why didn’t you just tell me instead of using tricks.”
“Who listens to someone he doesn’t trust?”
Bailey grew quiet wishing he had understood Tyler and known his brother as deeply as he did now.
“Thing is, she doesn’t want you,” Tyler said low into the phone. “She wanted what you could make her. A king that could make her queen. If she wanted you for you… saw you for you. Loved you like I do…”
“You’d kill her,” Bailey said not realizing it until the words left his lips.
Tyler only laughed.
“Don’t ever do that. I need you. I can’t have you going to jail or staining your hands with blood. Do you hear me?”
“I do. But Bailey, if she hurts you-”
“No, Tyler. Promise me.”
“I can only promise you I’ll love you forever.” And Tyler hung up.
Bailey cursed and closed his eyes. It was so wrong and yet, those words that Tyler would love him forever, kissed his heart.
Bailey finished cooking dinner for his brothers when the house phone rang. He answered it.
“Bailey.” A deep dark voice overtook the phone and made Bailey swallow the lump that formed.
“What’s this girl’s full name?”
“It’s not necessary to get involved.”
“Bailey, I didn’t voluntarily separate myself from my sons to keep them protected only so that some girl can come along and harm one of them. Name.” He demanded and Bailey did as he was told. “Tell me more,” his father instructed after getting the name and address.
Bailey gave his father the whole details of Felicia that he got from Tyler and the events after the break-up.
“Cody Lynn Delarosa…” His father hummed. “Walthour’s girl. I know about her.”
Bailey wasn’t surprised. His father dealt in intelligence among many things.
“I’ll try to get there in a week or so. I can’t break cover easily. Too many eyes. Love you.” And his father hung up.
Bailey sighed. He tried to relax but his stomach was in knots. Talking to his father did that to him.