You have to tell me (Zach Dempsey, 13 Reasons)
The tapes were a complex situation to say the least. Zach Dempsey knew everyone’s dirty laundry. He did and everyone’s tape varied in how much it weighed on him. Justin’s second tape, that was shitty. He had to admit he didn’t look at his friend the same way anymore. Zach, he had a girlfriend now. He’d been talking to her for months until she finally agreed to go out with him. Quiet, but in theater and dance, Y/N never really wanted to date jocks. He pursued her for a while.
She had the wrong class with him, biology. Watching him in the class was captivating. He was so engrossed in the material and it was obvious he loved it more than basketball. She’d gotten stuck at basketball games because her friends would want to go. She’d seen how good Zach was. Probably the best on the entire team. But there was a look in his eyes that he got when he learned more about biology. AP biology was the only advanced placement class he took.
That’s when she knew he was different. After being made table partners in biology, she noticed him staring at her during tests and other activities where the teacher wasn’t lecturing. He started sitting with her at lunch. At first her friends stayed, but then they moved over a table, leaving the two of them alone. His friends watched from afar, with huge grins on their faces. She didn’t really know what Zach Dempsey’s intentions were.
He seemed different, but at the same time, at times he would speak like any other jock would to a girl. She tried to bore him at first, it didn’t work. Even if she was completely silent, he would sit there, watching her eat, a slight smile on his face.
After two months of lunches like this, she opened up to him. She began to like him. He began to sound like a person when he talked, rather than a fumbling idiot. And sooner rather than later she was his official girlfriend.
It was Tuesday, the day she and Zach would get together and study. Or ‘study’ depending on how much biology they had to work on. The last few Tuesdays had been weird. Usually, they’d get home right after school so they could beat her parents home, and they’d fool around. Right away, he’d get handsy. The last few Tuesday’s it hadn’t been like that. She had to initiate everything. He’d let her do some things to him, but he wouldn’t really do anything for her. On this Tuesday, she leaned in and kissed his neck, he didn’t really move and continued to read out of the biology textbook.
“Okay, I know I’ve gained weight. We just need to stop going for dessert so much. But am I really that gross? We haven’t been together that long. This is the honeymoon stage. We’re supposed to fool around. Like constantly.” Zach shut his book, laying back on the bed, looking more than beaten down.
“Not every couple’s the same- we don’t have to do stuff constantly.” He said, still reading out of the textbook. She felt herself turn bright red.
She backed away from him, cuddling up to a pillow at the head of the bed. He sighed, shutting his textbook.
“It’s not you, of course it’s not you. Come here.” He laid next to her, his arms snaking around her waist. He eventually moving to where he was on top of her, hovering.
“Is this okay?” He mumbled. She nodded, guiding his hands up her shirt. She didn’t respond verbally, she just ran her hands through his hair as he kissed down her neck. He suddenly rolled over, moving to sit on the edge of the bed and button up his shirt.
“Okay, you have to tell me what’s wrong, Zach. Do I bore you now? What’s wrong?” He was breathing heavily, but he wouldn’t look up at her.
“I just never want you to be overpowered. Or trapped.” His head was now buried in his hands. She couldn’t tell if he was crying or not.
“What are you talking about? If I was uncomfortable I would tell you.” She crawled over to him, wrapping her arms around his neck from behind.
“Promise me that.” He mumbled, interlacing his fingers with hers.
“I promise. But why are you freaking out about this all of a sudden?” She asked in almost a whisper.
“I’m huge, I’m 6'3 and your so small an-” she cut him off, letting out a breathy laugh.
“You’ve always been a tree, and I’ve always been small, compared to you. There’s something else going on.” She got off the bed and went to her desk, taking a makeup removing wipe and beginning to take all of her makeup off. She was simply finding something to do.
She didn’t know what to expect of his answer. She wondered if he knew how much this was eating at her.
“Y/N it’s not your fault. I don’t want to hurt you. I’m sorry if you don’t get it I-” she sighed, not understanding how he was so dense.
“You’re hurting me by not telling me what the hell is going on, Zach! You’ve been acting weird for weeks now.” Her eyes became watery.
She wasn’t sad, necessarily, but she had severe anxiety that would force her to tears at times. Whether she was sad, or nervous, or frustrated. Sometimes even if she was confused. This was one of those times. Zach knew she was getting anxious and concern filled his eyes as soon as he saw the tears.
“Hey, hey-” she turned her back to him sharply, bowing her head as she tried to catch her breath.
“Get out. Now. Leave.” She said, still not turning to look at him. He rubbed the back of his neck, not knowing what else to do.
“Okay, okay. I’m sorry. Some stuff has happened and I don’t know how to feel.” She felt herself softening. She sniffled, biting her lip as she regained her composure.
“Specifics.” She said simply. He rolled his eyes. He didn’t know how to tell her. But he knew he had to. He could feel her trust slipping through his fingers.
“It’s just- a friend of mine. I found out he raped a girl. Actually, he raped two. And it got me thinking- I just- I don’t know how I’d live with myself if I ever did something and you were uncomfortable. I love you. I hate the idea of hurting you.” She turned around, he wasn’t crying, but he was trembling.
She covered her mouth, tears spilling out of her eyes. Someone she likely knew was a rapist. She didn’t know what to think. Of course she was curious. Who the hell was the rapist among Zach’s friends?
She felt dirty, as it was true that she hung out with them quite frequently.
“You’re not a rapist, Zach. I’d tell you if I didn’t want to. You have to trust that I trust you. You have to trust yourself.” She took his hand and led him to sit on the edge of her bed.
She sat on his lap, hugging his head against her chest. She did this quite a lot. He said he loved hearing her heartbeat, that it made him feel less lonely.
“If you’re worried about consent, I give it to you every time. I’ve never been uneasy or wary about anything.” He let out a groan. She looked at him as he looked around.
He acted as if he was thinking about what to say next.
“What qualifies as consent? Words, I guess. But how else am I supposed to know for sure?” She smiled at him. It wasn’t a great topic, sure. But he cared. He was showing how much he cared and that was beautiful.
“I guess I don’t really know. But, do you know how many times I’ve shoved you off of me? A lot. But guess what?” She looked at him. He bit back a smile, probably thinking of how hormonal he could be at times. He mumbled for her to continue, his cheeks blushed over a bit.
“After I push you away, you don’t keep at it. You accept my answer. All the times I haven’t given consent, you’ve listened.” He smiled and she grabbed his face, making him look at her. She looked him in the eyes for a while.
“Maybe you’re trying to keep me out of this for my benefit but.. please tell me you’re going to report this. Or that someone has already reported it.” He looked away from her. How was he going to tell her that he’d given the evidence to the next person?
“I-I don’t have the evidence anymore. It’s this process. I wish I could tell you, but I can’t. It’ll come out, though. And if it doesn’t, I’ll- I’ll go to the police.” She smiled sadly at him, wrapping her arms around him. He would, she knew he would.
DIDNT KNOW ID GET TWO UP TODAY! Keep requesting all! If I haven’t responded to you, don’t think that I didn’t get them, I’m working on them all and have a lineup. There will be a part two of this to simply fill the request’s specifics more, so look for that. Thanks :)