“Wanna tell me what’s wrong?” Matt whispered into my ear. I shivered at his proximity, then scolded myself silently. This was Matt, not some rock star or something. There was no reason to get all gooey in the knees. I wondered at my reaction to him. Was I freaking out about Martinez? Was that why I was focusing on Matt? Was it some kind of weird transference thing? “Scar! Come back to earth.”
“Sorry, Matt,” I said, flashing a smile at him. “There’s nothing wrong. Really.” Matt didn’t believe me, but he didn’t push me about it, either. I was grateful as I didn’t have the wherewithal to make something up. At least, I thought he wasn’t going to push me about it. I was wrong, however, as he was just marshalling his forces.
“It’s us, isn’t it?” By now, we had stopped in the front hall and had lost sight of Banana and my mother. “You’re confused.”
“No, nothing of the sort.” I still had the fake smile pasted on my face, and I wondered when I had started lying to Matt. He was one of my best friend and had been for ten years. Why couldn’t things be the way they always were? “I’m just tired from all the excitement. You know. Banana woke me up early this morning and—” I stopped because I didn’t want to lie. “Matt, yes, it is us, but I really don’t think I can talk about it now. Give me some time, ok?” This time, the smile refused to come, but the tears returned. Matt wiped one from my cheek which caused me to totally break down.
“There you are!” My mother said, bustling into the hallway. “Banana was wondering—” She stopped short when she saw I was crying. “Scarlett! What’s wrong?” She hurried to my side, peering up into my eyes. “Did that detective do something to hurt you? I knew you should have stuck with Matt.”
That made me cry all the harder, and I raced up the stairs to my old room and flung myself on my old bed. My mother kept all our rooms as they were when we were home. Not out of love for us or anything like that, but because it was cheaper than redesigning them. I cried in earnest, unsure of why exactly I was crying. All I knew was that it hurt when I thought of giving up Matt, but it hurt more when I imagined ending things with Martinez. How ironic that I was a woman who couldn’t hold on to one man in my life, and now I had two. I didn’t have more time to think as the door flew open and Matt came into the room. I was thankful it wasn’t my mother, but I wasn’t sure I could handle Matt, either.