Justice stopped answering Max’s text messages. He had lied about who he was and she didn’t know if he was lying about anything else. She couldn’t trust him anymore.
That didn’t stop him from reaching out to her. In fact, ignoring him had the opposite effect. He contacted her constantly. She read ever message. It was always the same thing.
y r u ignoring me?
She just chose not to reply back to any of them. Instead, she immersed herself in her life. School, sports and her friends took priority. It distracted her from whatever was going on with Max.It stopped her from replying to his messages to find out why he had lied to her and sent a picture that wasn’t him.
When she sat with her friends one Saturday morning and her phone continued to chime letting her know that she had new messages, she shut it off. It was something she tried not to do in case her mother tried to get in contact with her, but at the moment it was necessary.
“Is he still texting you?” Brittany asked noticing the frustrated way Justice shut her phone off and dropped it into her bag.
“Yeah,” Justice sighed. “It’s all day, everyday.”
“Why don’t you just talk to him?” Rachel asked.
“Because I don’t want to.”
“But he’s your boyfriend, right? I think you should just let him tell you what happened.”
“Maybe he’s ugly and he didn’t think you would like him if he sent a real picture,” Quinn suggested.
Justice thought about that. It was possible.
“It’s possible,” Brittany said as if reading her thoughts.
“Yeah, it’s possibly but what if that’s not the reason?”
“Oh,” Rachel said excitedly. “What if he’s like some horribly old guy who like has your pictures plastered all over his walls and he’s trying to lure you back to his dungeon so that he can do really terrible things to you?”
The three girls stared at her.
“Way to go Rachel,” Brittany said.
“What?” she asked innocently.
“Now, I’m freaking out,” Justice said. “What if what you said is true?”
“Please,” Rachel rolled her eyes. “Things like that only happen in movies. He probably has pimples all over his face so he found a picture of a cute boy online and sent it to you. Pimples are that bad, as long as he’s working on his skin to clear them up.”
Justice didn’t know what to say. She didn’t know what to think. He could have sent a picture because he was afraid she wouldn’t like him or he could have sent the photo because he was a pervert. Justice knew one thing for sure. She wasn’t going to talk to him and ask him. She didn’t want to know. Neither answer would make her feel better. Especially if he ended up not being a fourteen year old boy like she had first thought.
Her friends talked around her and she tried to tune into the conversation but her mind kept wandering back to Max. What had she done? She had spent so much time confiding in him about everything. She had broken her mothers rule and exchanged numbers with him. No one that wasn’t from her new school could have her number. Yet, she had been so desperate to continue talking to him, that shed had given him her number. Even more he had her address and had promised to one day come to see her.
Justice’s mind was racing because she didn’t know what to expect. She didn’t know if he was someone that she could go on trusting or if she had made a terrible mistake in judgement by trusting him in the first place. Now it was too late to take it back. He knew practically everything about her and she didn’t know if the things she knew about him were even true or if they had all been apart of some ploy to get her to lower her guard.
She considered telling her mom but she was afraid of what she would say. Justice hadn’t listened to her. She had done the complete opposite of everything her mother told her to do when they moved. Now, she had a boyfriend who she knew possibly nothing about. Her mother would probably never forgive her for what she had done.
Justice glared at Rachel. Thanks to her, she now had all type of thoughts running through her mind and she couldn’t stop them. Before Rachel had said a thing, the worst Justice thought was that Max was hiding something from her because he sent her a fake picture. She thought it was something small. Now she thought his secret might be huge. Too huge for her to even think about being able to handle at her young age.
Justice turned her phone back on before splitting up with her friends and heading home. There was a constant chime of her phone as all of the messages she missed while it was powered off came through. She glanced at the phone and saw that they were all, of course, from Max.
Her phone chimed in her pocket while she walked home. Over a hundred text messages. She didn’t even bother to read them. She was only slightly aware of the car parked across the street from her apartment when she got home.
Her phone started to ring as she walked into the apartment, locking the door behind her. Without looking at the screen, she answered the phone.
“Why are you ignoring me?”
The voice made her stop moving. She moved the phone away from her ear and looked at the screen. Max’s name was lit up. Justice put the phone back to her ear, confused. The voice was not that of a fourteen year old boy.
“Max?” she asked hesitantly.
“I miss talking to you? Why aren’t you answering my calls?”
His voice sounded familiar but Justice couldn’t place it. One thing was certain, Rachel’s deduction about an older man had been spot on.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“It’s me Max. Your boyfriend.”
Her heart sank. She was secretly hoping that it was a wrong call or something. Anything that didn’t involve what was currently happening. She didn’t know what to say.
“I miss you.” Justice couldn’t speak. What could she say. She missed the boy that she had gotten to know and who she called boyfriend, but the man on the other end of the line was not him. “You look very pretty today.”
Justice’s mouth dropped open in shock. “What are you talking about?”
“I love that purple top you’re wearing.” Her blood ran cold. How did he know what she was wearing. Justice ran to the window and looked out. The car that she had noticed before was no longer there. There was no one standing around outside. “I know that’s your favorite color.”
“Why are you doing this?”
“Doing what? I love you. You haven’t been answering my calls. I want to be with you, Justice.”
She couldn’t take anymore. She hung the phone up and dropped the phone on the couch. A shudder ran through her. Everything she thought she had known had been washed away with just one phone call.
She carried her book bag into her bedroom and dropped it on the bed. The girls didn’t get much homework done so Justice would have to finish it later. She made herself some lunch and then walked into the living room when her phone started ringing. She picked up and dropped it back down when Max’s name popped up.
Why was he calling her? Did he really think that they could go on being boyfriend and girlfriend? Their entire relationship had been a lie.
The call ended and just as she was about to breath a sigh of relief. Then the phone started to ring again. She picked it up and immediately refused the call. That didn’t deter Max, though. He quickly called back causing her to turn her phone off again. She logged onto the computer and sent her mom a email telling her that something was wrong with her phone so it was powered off in case she tried to reach her.
Justice spent the rest of the night locked in the apartment afraid to turn her phone on, be on the computer for too long or going outside.
Max or whoever he was, appeared to be in the same city and if he was, she didn’t want to go outside out of fear of running into him.
Who was the guy that had made her believe that he was a cute fourteen year old.
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