what the very first step in her plan had to be. She didnât want to put it off. Thereâd be no arguing, no insults, not even any hard feelings. She just wanted to get Josh on the phone and tell him that it was over. She just wanted to be her own person for a while. She wanted her independence.
Losing Jenn Tara arrived home to a large, empty house at six oâclock. There were two messages on the voice mail. The first was from Josh. âHey, Iâm sorry I havenât called you sooner. Man, itâs been a hectic week. I canât believe Iâm going to actually win this student-council thing. But look, thatâs not what Iâm calling about. I know I shouldnât do this on a stupid voice mail but, like I say, my life is pretty complicated. I think I better just say this and get it over with. I feel kind of bad about doing it this way ...â There was a pause. Then he was cut off. She figured the second message must be Josh, part two. She wasnât sure she was ready to hear it. This wasnât the way things were supposed to work out. She knew what was coming next. How could the jerk do this to her? She hung up and walked around her room. She looked at the plaques sheâd been awarded for academic achievement, her old skating trophies, all the little treasures sheâd accumulated. And the photographs. When she came to the photo of Josh tucked into the corner of her mirror, she shredded it and threw the pieces around the room. Then she went back to the phone to hear the other message. âLook,â the big jerk said, âitâs me again. I almost didnât call back, but I figure you deserve to hear this. I only want to be honest and fair. Isnât that the way itâs always been with us?â Tara had an impulse to throw the phone onto the floor and stomp on it. She resisted. âI just think weâve outgrown each other,â Josh said. âI think we should see other people. I want us to stay good friends though.â And that was it. Tara lay down on her bed and looked up at the ceiling. Right then she hated Josh. How could he do this? She couldnât believe her bad timing. She had missed out on dumping him first. She knew that her reaction wasnât logical. It should have been comical. They both wanted the same thing. But she got dumped first. Josh had said the words. This was hard to take. It really hurt. She wanted so badly to talk to someone. Why wasnât her mother home, or even her father? They were off doing their own thing. On a long shot, she phoned Jennâs parentsâ house. âSorry, sheâs not here, Tara. I donât know where she is. You know what sheâs like.â Tara did know what Jenn was like. Screwed up, running from one problem to the next, changing like the wind. Free. Independent. Probably on the street, or with her new loser boyfriend, Rob. Why couldnât she ever listen to Taraâs advice? And why couldnât Jenn ever be someplace that Tara could find her when she wanted to talk? Realizing that she didnât want to spend the evening alone, she phoned up Carla and then Lauren, but they were both out. âWhatâs the use?â she said out loud. Tara walked downstairs to the kitchen, picked up the credit card left by her father, and phoned Tonyâs Pizzeria. âWhatâs your most expensive one?â she asked. âGood. Iâll have two of them. Delivered.â Tara admitted to herself that she wasnât that hungry. It wasnât the pizza that was important here. She just wanted to try racking up a big bill on her fatherâs credit card. She wanted to piss him off. Maybe heâd actually scream at her for this one. Maybe heâd stop being such a nice guy. Tara survived an evening alone with too much pizza and too many hours watching MuchMusic. It all seemed to blend together into one hip hop/ metal/rock/pop wave of music and commercials, except