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Chapter 7:

I chickened out.

My initial plan was to make out with Tanner in front of Cher and Steve, that way I could show Tanner the jealousy in Steve's face and he could believe that my story was real. It seemed like a good plan just for a second, before the possible consequences occured to me.

I was afraid of Tanner pushing me away and making a fool of myself in front of Cheryl. I was afraid of Steve hiding his emotions well and making a fool of myself in front of Tanner. But I was more afraid of seeing the lust in Steve's eyes when he looked at Tanner. I just wasn't ready to face it yet. I preferred to think of that fateful day as a nightmare.

"Nevermind." I let go of Tanner's arm and stepped back. "Let's go."

Shooting a single last glance at the couple, I kept walking, not even waiting for Tanner to follow me. Tears prickled my eyes and I pushed them back, quickening my pace. Steve looked so happy, so carefree with Cheryl that it broke my heart even more.

"They make a nice couple." Tanner commented sarcastically after catching up with me. "Too bad someone's jealous."

I opened my mouth to retort back but decided not to. I had come to the beach with him to get away from stuff for a while, not to discuss my never ending troubles. It was stupid of me to think that seeing Steve would make me feel better. I simply couldn't forgive and forget yet, even if Cher and Steve were innocent in this warped reality.

"Let's get out of here." I found myself saying instead. "I'm sure you don't usually hang out at the beach and watch the lovey dovey acts of people."

"I don't." Tanner chuckled, finding my words funny and gave me a curious look. "What do you have in mind?"

x x x x x

"Woohoo!" I yelled between laughters as Tanner sped away from the crime scene. "I haven't felt that good in years!"

Tanner rolled his eyes at my childish declaration. "You'd never make a good bada**." He commented smiling.

"There are no good bada**es." I shot back, feeling dizzy from both the fun and the drinks I'd had. "If there were, they'd be gooda**es."

"This convo is dumb." Tanner shook his head, probably labeling me as a hopeless case. "Poor guy, I wonder how he'll explain it to his parents."

"He'll enjoy 'em." I said slumping into my seat, not bothering to hide the sudden sadness in my voice. "He probably has his own stash on his laptop anyway."

It was my idea to break into Steve's room. It had taken some time to convince Tanner to go into that store and buy all the gay p.orn magazines but after we'd had more drinks than we could handle, he finally saw the brilliance of my plan.

Carrying more than twenty magazines, we easily got into his house and planted them all to places like the kitchen table or the bathroom so that his parents could see them as soon as they came back home. I may also have trashed some of his belongings, mostly the pictures with Cher but I wasn't going to let Tanner mention it. Since Steve used the same passwords from my real life, we had used his mail address to sign up to some gay dating sites, setting up a profile with his real pictures.

It was cruel and we would be sc.rewed if we were caught but I needed to let all my frustration out somehow. As silly my plan was, it was still the best thing I'd done since I found myself in this completely different world, though I felt awful and great at the same time.

"Oh sh*t, mom's gonna flip if she sees me like that!" I moaned out of the blue, blood rushing to my brain. I was half drunk, my hair looked like bird's nest due to the stuff I'd done to Steve's room and not to mention the fact that it had long past midnight.

"Then be quiet." Tanner pulled into our driveway. "Don't wake her up."

I was sure that my mother was already asleep and she wouldn't wake up even if I'd tried to after the hard work of the day. I nodded and my hand found the doorknob before a burning question slipped out of my lips.

"What happened to you?" I asked not being able to stop myself. "I mean, what happened to that popular Tanner?"

I was scared of offending him but Tanner just laughed dryly. "What popular Tanner? If you're talking about that crazy imagination of yours, I was never that guy."

"I still wanna know." I insisted, meeting his eyes. "You know something about me, believe it or not. It's my turn to learn something personal from you."

Tanner stared at me for a while, thinking hard. "Fine." He said later, starting the engine again. "I know why you're crazy, it's fair that you know why I act this way."

"I'm not crazy." I muttered, relieved that he was going to talk to me. I needed to understand more, more about myself, more about Steve and Cheryl and more about Tanner before deciding on my next move. The first step was to find out what turned Tanner into the rebellious son against his parents.

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