Stacey should have realized she
didn’t have a chance when Axel
didn’t know where she lived.
The day before had been euphoric
Not only had Axel broken up with
Melissa Kane – who he had been
dating for months – but he had
finally noticed Stacey. It was in the
cafeteria where Stacey was
wearing a summer dress that
stopped a few inches down her
thigh and wedged boots on.
She felt pretty.
She was sitting with her friends
who like herself, were members of
the cheerleading team. Stacey saw
him the second he walked into the
cafeteria. He looked angry, tired
and annoyed all at once. His hands
were running down his face and
he looked over at the table where
his friends sat.
They hadn’t noticed Axel yet and
after the rough break up, he wasn’t
sure that he wanted to be around
them just yet.
So then he looked around the
And his eyes met Stacey’s.
Stacey had never been happier
when he began to walk towards
her. She felt lighter – like she was
floating. Her heart was beating a
fast rhythm and her palms began to
get sweaty from nervousness.
Axel stopped in front of her table,
still staring at Stacey.
“You want to get out of here?”
That was all he said.
And that was all that Stacey needed
to hear. She glanced around at
everyone else and slowly nodded,
the corner of her lips curving up
into a smile. She stood up from her
seat, grabbing her bag and walked
over to Axel.
She didn’t notice when Melissa
Kane walked into the cafeteria.
She didn’t notice how angry Melissa
She didn’t notice when Melissa
walked over to the table filled with
Axel’s friends and began to talk to
She only noticed that his hand was
wrapped around hers as he pulled
them both out of the school and
into the parking lot.
Stacey felt completely weightless.
There was this excitement in her
chest at sneaking out of school
with a boy she barely knew.
She sat in the car, a rock song
playing in the background. She saw
how agitated Axel was. The way his
leg was going up and down rapidly
and his finger tapping against the
Axel was one of the older kids in
school so he already had his
driver’s license though Stacey was
pretty sure that he needed
someone else in the car with a
license to be able to drive.
She didn’t dare question it though.
They pulled down her street, going
past her house and to the end
where he swerved into the
driveway. Axel got out of the car
quickly, slamming the door shut
and Stacey quickly got out too.
His parents weren’t home and the
both of them found themselves in
Stacey waited – unsure of what was
about to happen or why Axel had
even brought her there for that
She walked around his room, eyes
trailing over his book shelf.
She had always loved books.
“What are you waiting for?” She
heard Axel ask and turned around
to find him pulling his shirt off and
raising an eyebrow at her.
“Um…” she began, a little startled.
“I…I didn’t think-”
“Why else would you be here?” Axel
asked and Stacey had to bite back
the hurt at the genuine confusion
on his face.
He started to undo his belt and
Stacey didn’t know what to do.
He wanted to have sex.
That was the only reason she was
But she couldn’t help but think that
there was a little inkling of hope
that there was more to this.
That there was a chance, even if it
was small, that there was an
affection in Axel’s eyes. That he
wasn’t doing this because he was
angry about his breakup.
Stacey clung onto the thought that
he was doing this out of a genuine
like towards her.
And so she held the bottom of her
summer dress and slowly pulled it
Stacey and Axel lay on top of
the bedding, sweat covering their
bodies as the sun began to set in
Neither of them spoke and for
that Stacey had been thankful. She
licked her lips nervously and looked
up at the ceiling, her eyes trailing
over the different patterns and the
faces they made in her mind.
“Thanks.” Axel said quietly.
After the euphoria of the
moment had gone – both of them
didn’t really know what to do. Axel
seemed almost hesitant to talk and
that only made Stacey more
“It’s okay.” She cleared her
throat and glanced over at him
from the corner of her eye.
“I think you should go.” He
said and Stacey nodded slowly.
She pulled herself up from the
bed, reaching down to the floor to
grab her clothes that had been
strewn across the room. She slid
them on and tried to bite back the
feeling of how…dirty she felt.
Axel was lying across the bed,
eyes on the ceiling and a blank look
on his face. He suddenly looked
over at Stacey and their eyes met
for just a brief moment.
Stacey saw the regret on his
She quickly finished getting
dressed and stopped at the door to
his bedroom, turning back to see
Axel still looking at her.
“We…we can do this again
sometime, yeah?” He asked.
And because Stacey wasn’t
perfect, she nodded her head and
slipped out of the house as if she
were committing a crime.
And to her – in that moment –
it felt like one.