Short Story, Two Plus One, Plan of Deceit

It was no secret every since high school Melissa hated Karen, and with good reason. Karen has taken Melissa boyfriend to the parking lot, the night of their Senior Ball and had made a joke of him in front of dozens of classmates.

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It had stuck in Melissa’s thoughts all through college. Karen would see Melissa on campus and start to laugh, and when she was with friends, they too would laugh.

Melissa felt betrayed by men, from that night until the present. She rarely dated in college and maintained her 3.9 GPA with a major in science. It was like she was in a daze all through her college years, nothing truly mattered, not even her future career. She was smart, she could pass any course she was enrolled in, and the fact that she realized that she was depressed, made little difference in her ability to discern and make decisions about her future.

That horrible night at the Senior Ball, seemed like the whole senior class was in on the joke. Karen had lured Walter out to the parking lot and started to kiss and feel on his private parts, according to the post on the popular networking site.

Before long, Walter was in the back seat of Karen’s car with his paints down thinking he was going to get laid, when the lights from surrounding cars were turned on, and everybody started laughing.

Melissa had been coached out to the parking lot by girls who knew about the prank, and wanted to embarrass her and destroy her relationship with Walter. She arrived in the parking lot just in time, to see Walter jumping around trying to pull up his paints after Karen, slipped away from him, and started to laugh.

It was the cruelest joke, Melissa had ever encountered, and it took her years to get over the embarrassment and the break-up with Walter.

Fortunately, Walter was attending another college and she didn’t have to run into him on campus. She tried to avoid Karen, because she felt like she was telling everyone on campus what had happened in high school.

Melissa’s heart had been broken twice that night, once when she saw Walter trying to hid his private parts with his paints down around his ankle and when she got home and her mother laughed at her because she cried over Walter.

Melissa was a product of her father, she was sure. Although she had never met her father, she was nothing like her mother. When they said people should be tested before being allowed to have children, Melissa was sure they were talking about people like her mother.

Drunk on some nights, high on other nights, Melissa’s mother often went on trips with men, only to return home with money to pay the rent and buy food. Melissa had basically raised herself. From the time she was eleven or twelve years old, she remembered waking up to an empty house, with a note on the table.

She learned to comb her hair, pop popcorn in the microwave and dress herself for school at an early age. She would walk to school alone and come home after school and do her homework before watching TV and falling asleep on the couch.

It had been in the summer after her junior year in high school that she had started to tutor Walter, one of the football players, so he could pass his math test and continue to play football. Walter was smart, he just had a problem with math. They had started to date, at first in secret, and then openly.

The cheer leaders and other girls were not happy that Walter had started to date Melissa exclusively. Melissa couldn’t believe that a popular boy like Walter was really into her. They had a special bond, one that was unspoken, yet close. Walter’s father was a very much like Melissa’s mother, gone for days and when he did show up, he was angry. Walter’s mother was an attorney who traveled for her work, so this left Walter alone on many nights.

Because Melissa and Walter were two kids who basically raised themselves, they understood each other in ways that they couldn’t share with the other kids. Sometimes, one or two nights a week, Walter would spend the night at Melissa’s house, and they would go to school together.

The young couple dated from November of their senior year in high school until the night of our Senior Ball, the last week in May. The emotional blow tore through Melissa like a sharp knife. And when she got to college, she knew she was in trouble emotionally. She focused on keeping her grades up, little else. And before she knew it, four years had passed and it was time to graduate.

There was not one at her graduation. No grandparents, no mother, father or anyone. She had supported herself through college on a scholarship and the work study, program. As far as she knew, she was totally on her own. Her mother made all kinds of excuses about not being able to come to the graduation. Melissa was determined not to allow her mother’s bad behavior upset her life.

Melissa endured a lot of emotional pain during her college years. There had been some parties, field trips, and one or two friends, but nothing spectacular. She didn’t feel she could make it all the way through medical school and settled for specialized nursing.

Her hourly wage as a Registered Nurse was more than she had ever hoped to earn. And after passing her certification exam, she had several offers and decided to move to southern California, were the weather was warmer and if she had to work the night shifts, she would freeze on her way from and to work. Northern California was a good place to be from, she thought as she packed her clothes, to begin her a new life. Having been born and raised in northern California, she was looking forward to a change.

San Diego was beautiful, the hospital and the staff were magnificent. Melissa became close to the other nurses and even flirted with a doctor or two. However, she always kept her distance, because of the pain she had suffered almost five years ago. She didn’t have it in her to go through another disappointment.

Melissa rented a small apartment which had a partial view of the ocean. She would often leave her window open so that she could hear the sound of the ocean late at night.

It was a coincidence that late one night while working the midnight shift at the hospital, a woman came into the emergency room because of a server car accident. The woman had blood all over her face, clothes and neck, and seemed to be concerned about the man who was driving the car. Much to Melissa’s surprise, the woman turned out to be Karen.

Melissa was shocked at first and almost froze in her duties, when the ER doctor screamed at her to wake up. She then hurriedly completed the tasks which were required of her to help save Karen’s life. Karen never really recognized her, she was out cold, shortly after she arrived in the ER. The male who was driving the car, had been taken to another hospital, and Melissa didn’t find out until much later that the man driving the car was Walter.

When Karen was better, she left the hospital, but not before apologizing to Melissa for what she had done to her in high school. She told Melissa that she was sorry, and she wished she’s never married Walter. He had been drunk and had caused the accident.

Melissa accepted her hollow apology, but deep down within she felt freed from the emotional pain Karen and Walter had caused her. As it turned out, they had all planned the high school parking lot incident so that she and Walter would break up. And what hurt Melissa even more, was that her own mother, had given Walter the cruel idea.

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