Pucked Page 95

I give her a look as she flounces out of the room. She thinks if she leaves it here after saying something like that, she’ll entice me into reading it. It’s difficult not to give in, but I manage not to look.

When I get back to my apartment, I find a gigantic box of maple sugar candies in front of my door. Alex has been by again. My stomach rumbles in anxious anticipation.

Ms. Bullock must have been waiting for me to get home because she pokes her head out the door, cigarette dangling from her lips like a semi-flaccid, burning penis. Holding it between two gnarly fingers, she hides it behind her back so it’s in her apartment rather than the hall. “Your friend stopped by again.”

“I see that. When was he here?”

“He left a few minutes ago. Stayed for a good three hours, he did. The only reason he left was because he got a phone call and it sounded important. He brought me a little present, too.”

Three hours is a damn long time to wait around. His perseverance makes more than my heart hurt. She disappears from the door and returns a minute later with her own little box of maple candies. Goddamn Alex for being a smooth bastard.

“Did he say anything?”

“Oh yes. He had lots to say about you. Lots of questions, too. That boy has it bad for you.”

“I don’t know about that.” I pick up the box of maple candies. Underneath is the same magazine my mother tried to entice me to read as well as a USB stick and note.


I know you’re hurt and angry, but please watch the interview on the USB.

It airs tonight at eight. I miss you.



It says “love.” In all the notes and emails Alex has sent, not once has he used the word. If he’s looking to get my attention, it’s worked. I toss the magazine in the recycle box without looking at it, but I can’t find it in me to dispose of the USB stick. After five minutes, I crack under the pressure, insert the USB stick into the port on my flat screen, and pull up the movie file. My stomach feels as though a dying fish is flopping around inside as I wait for the video to cue up.

Alex’s face greets me as an interview with a popular entertainment news show pops onto the screen. He’s dressed in a button-down and casual pants, and he’s still sporting the beard. Alex looks uncomfortable and uncertain as he answers the invasive questions. I hang off every word and nearly fall off my couch when he says:

“I’m in love with Violet.”

I pause and replay it several times, processing the words. He’s talking about me. On a show watched by millions. This is one heck of a way to get my attention. I would’ve preferred to hear those words face-to-face, but then, I haven’t given him the opportunity to say them to me with all my avoidance techniques. After I get past the initial shock, I listen to the rest of the interview.

When I’m done, I’m certain of two things. One: Alex is in love with me. Two: Nervous Alex is adorable, and his former agent is an asshole. Okay, that’s technically three things I’m certain of. Whatever. The point is there.

I nab the magazine from the top of the recycling and flip to the earmarked page. There it is in print:

“I’m in love with Violet.”

My heart is all sorts of gushy over his public declaration. I almost want to forgive him. Almost. Just because he’s said he loves me doesn’t mean it’s true. While the article definitely makes a statement, it could easily be another publicity stunt meant to help redeem him in the eyes of his fans. I don’t want him to have advance warning that I’m going to be at the game. It’s only fair since I had no warning when he threw our relationship under the bus and ran it over.

I call Charlene and freak out. She already seems to know what’s going on, so there’s no explanation necessary.

“Should I call him before the game tomorrow? I don’t think I should call him. He doesn’t deserve a call.”

“Do you want to call him?”

“Yes. No. I don’t know.”

“This is probably an in-person conversation,” Charlene says.

“Right. Okay. Can you come over? I think my head’s going to explode.”

Charlene spends the rest of the day with me. I make a list of pros and cons, which ends up being a list of all the things I miss about Alex. Surprisingly, his MC doesn’t even make the top five. Afterward, I make Charlene watch the interview with me four thousand times. I should probably do yoga, or meditate, or take art therapy, so I can stop being an idiot.

Lying in bed later, my mind continues to spin for several hours before I finally pass out. I have the weirdest dreams ever. Alex’s monster cock is a superhero. He saves me from a giant boob ball that's rolling through the streets and crushing people. Super Penis has googly eyes, and he talks out of the come hole. His balls are his feet, and he wears a red cape with MC emblazoned on it. Oh, and he has a little mustache and a French accent. Like I said, it’s a bizarre dream.

The next day, I do something I usually try to avoid: I go to the spa with Charlene and my mom. We all get mani-pedis while drinking mimosas. Then we get our hair done and buy new outfits.

My stomach is in knots when we arrive at the arena. I’m so anxious, and Charlene’s reassurance is the only thing capable of keeping me from bolting. We have the same awesome seats as we did the first time I saw Alex play. Other than looking at him through my peephole, it’s been a month since I’ve seen him in person.

“Oh. Here.” My mom reaches into a huge bag at her feet and pulls out three black, puck-shaped pillows. She hands one to Charlene and one to me.

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