Jack Barakat

“I don’t know, Alex. I’ve been feeling trapped. I don’t want to say anything to her but damn. I can’t even wipe my ass without her watching. I’m getting tired of it. She’s always around.”

The words still echoed in your head, you blinked tears back. You never hoped to become one of those girls. You promised you would not become one of those girls who hung tight to their boyfriends until they couldn’t breathe. You stared at your feet which were under the warm water in your bathtub. Sinking half your face under you released a large amount of air creating bubbles around your mouth.

“Fine.” You mumbled upset. You would not hang on Jack anymore. If he wanted to be the boyfriend who complained about his caring girlfriend you would show him how unfeeling you could be. You finished up your bath and got dressed. You mumbled curses as you fumbled through your dresser. Jack had been on tour for four months straight and you didn’t think that spending a week with him was too much.  

He had promised he would spend the week at your apartment instead of his when he came back. The late night phone calls on tour were always about how he wished you were there to hold him. You pulled on an oversized shirt and hipster underwear. After putting an overnight hair treatment in your hair you smiled at yourself in the mirror.

“Hm. You’ve got another thing coming, Mr. Barakat.” You humped and puffed in the mirror and then jumped on your bed. You waited for his call which you knew would be coming. Tonight, you were supposed to be going to a barbeque his family was throwing for him and the band. You planned on missing it. You knew it was going to shock him especially after what you heard him saying to Alex.

As if on cue you heard your phone vibrating on your night table. You smiled at the phone mischievously and let it go to voice mail the first three times that he called. He called again and you picked up turning the music up loud on your speakers. You went into your bathroom and shut the door. The music could be heard blaring through the speakers.

“Hey Jack.” You answered the phone sounding normal.

“You’re late.” He said angrily on the other side of the phone.

“I’m sorry, baby. I’m not going to make it. I have the worst cramps.” You lied.

“What’s with the music in the back?” he called your bluff. You smiled knowing that you were making him insecure.

“Okay, I’m sorry. I had other plans tonight and I completely forgot about your barbeque. I’ll make it up to you.” You looked out your window glad that all of your lights were over. You hear him sigh on the other line. You smiled in satisfaction. You knew that the thought that you forgot about something that was completely for him would make him feel rejected.

“You don’t have to lie. You could have just told me you forgot.” He said.

“Sorry, babe. I’m busy I’ll talk to you later.” You didn’t give him a chance to say goodbye and hung up in the middle of what sounded like an I love you. You took a deep breath and turned off your stereo.  The silence was welcoming but as you laid in your bed to go to sleep you couldn’t help but thinking of all the fun moments you were missing out on.  You went to sleep that night with a heavy heart.

The next morning you woke up early and rinsed the hair treatment out of your hair leaving it silky and smooth. You got dressed in one of your cute outfits and headed outside with your make up done and your hair styled in loose waves and a braided head band. You looked at your phone and saw that Jack was calling. You smiled and answered it brightly.

“Good Morning! Did you drink a lot last night baby?” you asked him.

“I didn’t really drink at all.” He told you.

“What’s up? Did you need something?” you asked him picking at a perfectly manicured nail while admiring your sea foam green nail polish.

“Do I need a reason to call my woman?” he tried to sound cute and you laughed in appreciation of his attempt.

“I guess not.” You shrugged and kept walking down the street. He could hear the bustling of the crowd around you. You had ventured out to a flea market. You forgot how nice it could be to spend a day on yourself completely.

“I want to see you. I feel like it’s been days.” You smiled at his confession. However, you couldn’t be sure that it was just coming out because his bandmates weren’t around.

“I’m working late tonight. I’ll stop by for a minute before I go in.” you looked at the watch on your wrist and realized it would have to be soon.

“What time and how long is a minute when it’s for me?” he asked you could hear him once again trying to be cute. 

“I don’t know. Where are you?” you asked.

“I’m by the garage.” He answered.

“Jack, I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it.” You could hear the friend you were meeting up with coming towards you. It was a family friend who was in town visiting. You hadn’t seen him in years.

“Hey, Y/N. I missed you.” You heard him say as he walked up to you pulling you in for a hug. You knew that it would be impossible for Jack not to hear and cringed a little.

“Who’s that?” you heard Jack ask frantically.

“I was out for lunch with an old family friend. It’s nothing to worry about, Jack. I’ll call you later.” You hung up quickly unable to toy with his head anymore.

“Murphy, I haven’t seen you since senior year.” You laughed. This was the guy that you knew would worry Jack the most. You hoped that they would never meet. Murphy had been your high school sweetheart. You had been an exclusive couple for three years and you had given him your virginity at the prom. It was all very cliché. You leaned into his body and smiled.

“How is Jack? I didn’t know you guys were still together.”  Murphy looked at you with his curious green eyes.

“Shut up! We are. It’s funny that we broke up because I didn’t want a long distance relationship and then I go and get into one.” You scoffed and kicked the ground.

“I guess I wasn’t cool enough?” he joked with you.

“You know that is exactly the reason. Murph, was I clingy in our relationship?” you turned away and asked him.

“You weren’t clingy but you were always around. You were just loyal like a cute little puppy. I felt like whenever I was gone you were gonna run right up to me and shower me with attention like a happy puppy.” Murphy smiled at you.

“How did we become best friends?” you laughed at him and punched his shoulder. You put your sunglasses on after seeing a few all time low shirts. You sighed.

“Oh dating a boy in a band…Murphy…he thinks I’m clingy…” you sighed. Murphy looked at you shocked.

“What are you doing?” he asked. Murphy was one of the people who knew that you lashed out to prove people wrong. He probably knew that you were trying to show Jack that you could be the girlfriend who didn’t care.

“Y/N, don’t do what I think you are doing.” He warned you.

“I’m not doing anything.” You shrugged with your lie.

“He’s gonna think that we are something we aren’t. Given our history, I wouldn’t blame the guy.” Murphy took a few steps away from you. You glared at him from behind your sun glasses.

“Fine, I pretended I had more important plans than going to his barbeque. He wanted to see me today and I told him I was working late tonight and wouldn’t be able too.” You huffed and puffed and gave Murphy what he already knew. 

“Don’t push him too far.”  Murphy said.

“Anyways, let’s go. I hear there is a new horror movie coming out soon.” You nudged Murphy. He looked and flashed you his pearly whites with a nod. You had shot him right in his weakness.  His weakness being horror movies was far too easy for you to take advantage of.

When you got home that night you found Jack in your apartment. The lights were dimmed and you could see that he had work hard on the macaroni he had prepared for the two of you. You smiled. Then the words echoed right back again when his eyes met yours. 

“This is so sweet.” You kissed his cheek and walked into your room. He followed behind you eagerly.

“I feel like you’ve been avoiding me.” He confessed you smiled a little bit at him and felt him grab your hands in his.

“I’m not. I have a lot going on. You know I’m trying to get a promotion. You don’t really realize how much I work because you’re never here.” You could feel your voice thin out towards the end. He sighed deeply, he felt guilty and you didn’t want that.

“We knew things would be this way when we started this. I said I could deal with it and I can.” You added seeing his face fall.

“I should appreciate you more. You know I love you. I would love nothing more than to be with you every free second.” You scoffed as the words left him. You didn’t doubt that he liked you, or even loved you.

“Babe, I’m so tired from work. I don’t even feel like eating. Maybe you should head over to your house. I’ll clean this up.” You motioned to the kitchen which was now a mess.

“I’ll clean.” He ran into the kitchen and started cleaning. You sucked your teeth and growled a little annoyed. It angered you that he had the nerve to say that he wanted to spend every free moment with you after complaining to Alex.  

“Jack! Please!” you growled at him. His surprised eyes sent a pang of remorse through you.

“Do you even want me around?” his eyes darkened as he grabbed his jacket.

“Jack, I love you and I want you around just not tonight. I’m tired and I have a mess in my kitchen.” You walked over to your door and saw Murphy leaning on the wall down the hallway. He was on the phone.

“Goodbye, Jack. I love you and I’ll see you tomorrow.”  You kissed his cheek and shut the door. You looked at the kitchen and started cleaning the dishes in the sink. Once they were done you heard a knock on your door. You took slow careful steps as you drew closer. Pressing your eye to the peephole you saw Murphy looking in.

“The couch is all yours.” You opened the door and left him to lock it and shut the lights off.

Later that week you found yourself walking arm in arm walking with your high school sweetheart turned best friend into the theatre. You caught sight of brown hair with a blonde streak. The height and body told you it was Jack. You grabbed on to Murphy’s arm tightly and started to dash for the horror theatre. You ran in and sat in the back.

“You okay?” asked Murphy. J

“Yea, I just saw Jack. He’s here. If he sees you here with me…I don’t know how he’ll react.” You whispered as the credits began. You took a deep breath and took Murphy’s hoodie. You always got cold in theaters. You covered half your face with the hood and started watching the previews. After fifteen minutes your phone started ringing.

“Sorry.” You whispered trying to run as quickly as you could out of the room. You could feel people giving you dirty looks as your ran out. It was Jack. Your blood froze.

“Babe?” you said quietly making it out into the hallway.

“I just wanted to see how work was going. I miss you.” He said.

“It’s going great. I’ll be out in about an hour and a half. I’ll go see you.” You sighed.

“Y/N. You know I love you right.” He said.

“Yea…” you weren’t so sure. He had shaken your heart with his words to Alex.

“Why are you lying to me?” he asked you.

“Jack, what-“ you heard him hang up and turned to go back into the theatre. He grabbed your wrist and pulled the hood down from your back. Your eyes met his and he was tearing you up piece by piece with his chocolate eyes. They were filled with confusion. They were filled with betrayal. Your own were filled with shock and dread.

“This isn’t serious.” You stammered. He grabbed your wrist and dragged you behind him until you were outside and pressed against his car.

“What the fuck are you doing?” he growled at you.

“Babe, it’s nothing.” You tried to calm him down but you knew he was beyond that point. 

“You have been blowing off every plan I try to make for the past week. You said you’ve been working late. I called your job, Y/N. You took your vacation this week.” He was yelling now. You looked at him becoming scared. You had taken vacation so you could spend time with him. That was before he called you clingy. It was before he complained about you to his friends.

“Let me explain.” You started to say.

“God knows how many other guys you’ve been with while I’m on tour. God only fucking knows, especially if you do this shit right under my nose when I’m in the same city as you. Or maybe is it that I’m the other man? You’re just another fucking groupie. Or are you just another band fucking whore?” He snarled at you before throwing his paper soda cup at you. You were covered in coca cola as you heard the cup fall to the ground.

 “Who is that guy then?” he asked you.

“He’s my best friend.” You breathed out shaking, tasting the sweet coca cola on your lips. You sat in your car and texted Murphy to come out. He came out and looked at Jack angrily before throwing him against an SUV close to yours. He saw that you were drenched in some kind of liquid when he saw you.

“How long have you been fucking this guy? I didn’t think you were into the jocks, maybe anything with a cock will do.” You heard Jack yell at you.

“Give me the keys to the car, Y/N.” Murphy ordered you tossed him the keys and he opened the passenger door for you.

“You better not fucking do this, Y/N.” you heard Jack yell. Murphy looked at you with that I knew this was going to happen face. You knew that he was still going to protect you from Jacks wrath.

“You tell him. You tell him what you told me Y/N.” Murphy told you as he pulled out of the parking.

“I thought you wanted to be alone when you wiped your ass. I didn’t want to make you feel trapped. I was just giving you space.” You watched his face drop as he dropped to the curb. He wanted to say something to you. What could he say after throwing his soda at you and calling you a whore? There was nothing that could be said in the moment that would change the way you felt right now. Murphy watched you as you began sobbing.

“Murphy, I’m sorry. You were right. I shouldn’t have started this.” You managed to calm yourself down enough. When you reached your apartment you pulled out the sofa bed for Murphy and headed for the shower.

“He should have been honest with you. He shouldn’t have just complained to his friends.” Murphy put a hand on your shoulder and returned to the living room. You stared at your beverage soaked reflection and touched your sticky hair. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The entire week was a bust. You stripped and got in the shower. 

The warm water ran down your skin and hair washing away the cola. You groaned and started getting dressed. You knew that he was going to be heading back on tour soon. As your phone rang you ignored it. You didn’t want to talk to him. He had belittled and embarrassed you in front of the entire parking lot. The bed was warm and inviting as you slipped underneath the covers. They would be your shield tonight.

“I didn’t mean for this to happen.” You hugged your pillow and drifted into slumber. In the morning you could hear two voices in your living room. Each voice was recognizable as Murphy and Jack. They seemed to be acting civil. You sat up in your bed and stretched your arms out then hugged your knees. Jack stood up, you heard Murphy stand up too.

“What are you two?” Jack asked him.

“I promise you we are not sleeping together. She is my best friend and that’s it.” Murphy assured Jack. You knew that in a fight Murphy would win no issue. Jack was not on his level physically.

“I’m an asshole.” Jack sighed walking away from your door. Murphy stopped him.

“You are an asshole and she loves you. You are gone for most parts of the year but she loves you.” Murphy said to Jack. It was more than you had ever done for him. That’s how Murphy knew how much you loved Jack.

“She heard what I said to Alex. It hit me right after you put her in the car. I wasn’t being serious. I just needed something anything to complain about. Things are so perfect with her around. I didn’t want the other guys to think I was whipped.” You smiled hearing Jack say that.

“I’m going to get some coffee so you go apologize to Y/N.” Murphy said you heard the door close behind him. You threw yourself back in a natural sleeping position and pretended to sleep. You felt Jack sit at the end of the bed. He rubbed your leg attempting to wake you up gently.

You yawned and moved away from him. He climbed over you and enveloped you in his arms.

“Stop faking it.” He said into your ear. You smiled and looked at him trying to keep up with your upset expression.

“I’m sorry about what I said to Alex.” He nuzzled in your neck.

“I never meant to be clingy, Jack.” You frowned.

“I didn’t mean what I said. You aren’t clingy. You are the only thing I look forward to coming back from tour.” He kissed your neck and flipped you under him. He planted his knees on either side of your hips and your arms around his neck.

“Why did you say it then?” you looked up to his eyes for the answer.

“I just needed something to tell them, so they wouldn’t think I was whipped.” He confessed the truth to you.

“That’s stupid.” You bit your lip.

“I was stupid for saying it. I love you.”  Jack grabbed your face and kissed you. You had missed his lips against yours. The way he grazed his tongue across your bottom lip and bit your tongue lightly if you were beating him in a battle drove you crazy. You rested your hands on his pants and found a sharpie.

“It’s for autographs.” He smiled breaking away from you. You switched positions and straddled his clothed hips. His hands were on your waist and you uncapped the sharpie. Your eyes connected with his as you wrote on his formerly pristine white shirt.

Proud To Be Whipped.

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