Life After You

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Chapter 13

“Keep your cool, Olivia. Everything will be fine. Nothing weird will happen. It’s just a casual conversation about the past, right?” I tried to reassure myself as I came upon Noah’s dorm room.

Yeah right.

I stood in front of his door for about ten minutes before I finally raised my hand to knock.

Of course, someone came bursting through the door the second my fist was about to meet the wooden surface and I sort of hit him in the face.

“What the fu- Oh, Olivia. Hey.” Dustin suddenly said as he noticed me standing in front of him with my hand cupped over my mouth.

“I am so sorry!” I squealed.

“No, its fine. I should have seen right through the door that you were standing there. My mistake.” He sarcastically smiled as he rubbed his forehead.

I rolled my eyes.

“Is Noah here?” Dustin is Noah’s roommate. I know Dustin from our math class, though we hardly exchange any words.

“Yeah, he just got back from the showers.” Dustin moved aside so I could enter the room. “Hey Noah, your booty call is here. Can’t you arrange these things for when I am gone?”

I stood with my mouth dropped open. “Excuse me!” I glared. “I am NOT here for that!”

“Yeah, yeah. It’s alright toots, no need to feel embarrassed.” Dustin smirked.

Well, I could tell that he and Noah were roommates.

“In case you did not know... I am Landon Cavalier’s ex. You know the one who just died in a car accident. You inconsiderate jerk.” I snapped.

His face instantly drained of any color. “Oh my... fuck, you’re right. I am so sorry. Landon was a good buddy of mine and a few other guys from the football team. I had no idea.” He genuinely looked apologetic.

“I-It’s alright. I’m sorry for being rude too. I guess I am still just a little shaken up over the whole thing.” I sadly smiled.

He returned the sad smile and the averted his eyes to the figure standing before us.

“Olivia... what are you doing here?” Noah genuinely wondered as he stepped forward towards me.

“I um... wanted to talk. I-If you’re not busy.” I began.

“Oh um, alright. Hey Dustin, can you give us a minute?” He looked to his roommate.

“Sure! I was just about to head to the café anyway. Meet me there. You too if you would like Olivia.” He turned to me and smiled before he exited the room.

“H-how are you?” Noah finally asked after a few seconds of silence. “Please, come sit down.” He pulled the old shirts that hung from his desk chair and threw them aside.

I slowly made my way to the chair and sat down as he sat on the edge of his bed.

“Well I... I just wanted to talk to you about, well everything. I don’t really know where to even begin.” I nervously chuckled.

“Listen, Olivia... I just want to start by saying I feel incredibly sad about what happened to Landon. I know I sound like a broken records, but I know you really loved him.” He slightly frowned as he spoke his thoughts.

“Thank you. That means a lot.” I smiled. “I wanted to talk about us though. About what really happened that night that I was apparently drunk off my ass.” I cringed.

“Oh um... okay. Well you’re not lying, you were wasted that night. First, you called me and mumbled “Congrats daddy to be!” and when I questioned you, you must have taken it as I didn’t believe the baby was real or something, because you abruptly hung up on me.” He began.

I slowly nodded. “T-Then what happened?”

Noah let out a sigh as he leaned back against the wall and stretched his legs out. “Then about twenty minutes later, you showed up at my house. You sort of pushed my mom aside from the front door and darted upstairs. She said she never seen you in that state of mind before. She was honestly a little scared of you.” Noah slightly chuckled while rubbing the back of his legs.

“Oh my God...”

Way to go Olivia.

“Yeah... then you barged into my room and basically threw yourself into me. It was almost as if the phone conversation never even happened. You started kissing on my neck and trying to get me into my bed. I grabbed you by the arms and stopped you. I really didn’t know what else to do.”

“I-I’m sorry.” I mumbled.

“Hey, it’s okay. It’s all in the past.” Noah reassured.

“Keep going... what happened next?” I pushed for more answers.

“Well, when I stopped you, you complained that I didn’t love you anymore. Then you began to tell me that if I couldn’t love you, how could I love the baby. After that, you began chanting repeatedly that your dad was right. I just didn’t know what you meant.”

I remembered that night about my dad telling me that a baby at such a young age would ruin my life. I suppose that is what I was chanting about drunkenly in Noah’s bedroom.

“After I finally got you to stop chanting, you said that you were going to take care of everything. I asked you what you meant and you just placed your hand over your stomach and said ‘we won’t have to worry about this baby anymore.’ And that’s when I knew you were talking about an abortion. After that you just began crying and stormed out of my room before I could say anything else. The next day, I got that friendly visit from Landon. By then I knew there was no going back and I knew that it was the end of us.”

I could sense that Noah was getting uncomfortable talking about this subject, and I felt really bad about making him relive such a horrible night.

“God Noah... I am so sorry. I don’t even know what to say.” My eyes must have looked glossy with tears because Noah jumped up from his bed and kneeled down in front of me placing his hands gently on my knees.

“Olivia, don’t cry please. It is okay. We were both so young... we had no idea what we would have gotten ourselves into with a child. I will admit that I was mad at you for a long time after you did it and left me for Landon. But, after a few years of thinking about it, I realized that you made the right decision. Neither one of us would have been able to raise a child. We were children ourselves.”

“I know... I just cannot believe that I got drunk and then turned you into some monster. I turned everyone against you... even some of our friends. I was horrible to you, and you were still so nice to me. Why?” I found myself asking.

“Well... I loved you Olivia. It was young, naïve love... but still love. At least to me anyways.” Noah nervously looked away and stood up from kneeling.

I stood up too and placed my hand over his. “I truly believe that I loved you too, but I suppose I was just too weak to handle things properly. I have never been one-hundred percent after losing my mother. Now, after losing Landon... I am afraid I will never be whole again.” I frowned.

“Na don’t say that. You have a child growing within you, Liv. Once he or she is born, you will forget ever feeling empty. Trust me.” He smiled.

I smiled back and suddenly I reached out to hug him. All I needed in that point and time was human contact. I needed someone to hold me together, before I completely fell apart. It felt wrong to be in another man’s arms... but it felt good to know that Noah forgave me for how I treated him.

Noah held me tightly and after a few seconds of comfort, my brain started sending off warning signals to back away from Noah before he got any weird ideas about us.

I softly pushed him away and apologetically smiled. “Um, t-thank you for letting me talk and for filling me in on the details. Again, I am truly sorry for how I treated you and I am so glad that you have forgiven me even if I didn’t deserve it. In a way, you’ve helped me a lot.”

“Oh, no problem. Maybe we can be friends?” He asked with rose eyebrows.

“Oh, um... maybe. Baby steps.” I chuckled.

Noah smiled with a nod. “Well, I got to get going. Have to meet up with Dustin. If you find yourself bored later, maybe come out with us. No drinking I promise.” He smirked.

“I don’t think so, but thanks for the offer.” I smiled. “See you around.”

Noah nodded again and with that, I turned around and headed for his dorm room door. I pulled it open and just as I was about to exit, he stopped me.

“Olivia, just so you know... Landon really loved you too.” He gave a sad smile.

I held back the waterworks as I nodded. “I know. Goodbye.” Then I shut the door after me and headed back to Tori’s dorm.

I walked in and instantly brought my hands to my face, shielding my eyes from the horror before me.

“Oh my freaking gosh! RILEY PUT ON YOUR CLOTHES!” I screamed.

“DAMMIT OLIVIA... MAYBE KNOCK NEXT TIME!” Riley yelled as I heard him scrambling around for his pants.

“Um, I live here Einstein! I don’t have to knock.” I scolded.

“Technically you live in your apartment that you refuse to go inside of! Not here.” Riley deadpanned as he walked up to me and grabbed my hands from my eyes. “I’m dressed now.” He glared.

The only other noise in the room was Tori’s laughter.

I am so glad she finds this hilarious.

I frowned at the mention of my lonely apartment, and Riley instantly turned into my protective big brother as Tori’s laughter instantly ceased.

“Crap, I’m sorry Liv.” Riley said as he gave me a side-hug.

“It’s okay... but I’d rather not hug you right now after seeing your bare ass up in the air.” I glared to which Tori started laughing again.

“This is NOT funny babe.” Riley glared at his girlfriend.

“Oh it totally is. Both of your faces were priceless! I wish that I had a secret recorder somewhere.” She said in between giggles.

“ANYWAYS!” I shouted. “I just got back from talking with Noah.”

Tori and Riley instantly went silent as they turned their weary expressions towards my own.

“And?” Riley said.

“And we cleared the air. I apologized for how I treated him, and he forgave me.” I said with a soft smile.

“Forgave you for what? From what you told me he is the one who needed to apologize.” Tori said with a confused face. That is when I realized I had not yet told her the full truth.

“Oh um, about that. What I said that happened between Noah and I... isn’t really how it actually happened.” I began.

“Why am I always the last to know everything?” Tori asked to herself.

“I’m sorry! When I told you what happened, I actually believed that what I was saying were true, but after talking to Riley and Noah both... I realized that it isn’t true at all.” I frowned as I sat down on Tori’s beanbag chair.

“Well, I’m going to go now and let you girl’s talk.” Riley turned to face Tori. “Now that our plans have been interrupted, I’ll see you later.” He glared before giving her a kiss to which she giggled again.

“Bye!” I waved.

“Yeah, bye. Oh and please, erase the image of my bare behind from your memory. Thanks.” He stated before sprinting out of the dorm room and closing the door behind him.

I let out a laugh to match Tori’s and then it became quiet again.

“Alright, spill the new details please!” Tori pointed with her finger as she pulled her shirt back on over her bra. I had not even realized she was still without a shirt until now.

Two hours and six slices of pepperoni pizza later, Tori now knew the entire and very true story of Noah and me.

“Wow. So you were so drunk you thought that Noah told you to get an abortion, so you did and then went to Landon... even though he actually didn’t want you to get an abortion?” Tori asked for the tenth time to confirm.

“Yes Tor. Yes. I am not proud of it either, so please, no judgements.” I frowned.

“Liv, I am your best friend. I would never judge you. You were young and scared and drunk... you did what you thought was right and even if it wasn’t the right way to go about it, you still made a good decision in the right time and place.” Tori smiled.

“I just feel so shitty. I broke Noah’s heart, accused him of being a creep who told me to get an abortion because he didn’t want anything to do with me or the baby, then I got the abortion and left him for Landon.” I said into the air.

“I don’t regret getting the abortion, and I do not regret ending up with Landon. Not one bit. I do regret hurting Noah though. I shouldn’t have done it the way I did it.” I felt another tear fall from my face as I sat up in bed.

“Olivia... none of that matters now. It’s all in the past. You can’t change it. Noah forgave you, so you don’t have to beat yourself up over it now. At the point in time of the abortion, you knew you were doing the right thing. Nothing else needs to be discussed.” Tori said as she took her last bite of pizza crust. “Noah understands why you did it and he gets it.”

“I know, I just wish I could have done it differently.”

Tori nodded in understanding and then her eyes turned to slits.

“Did Noah try anything while you were there talking to him?”

“What? No! I mean we shared a hug, but that’s it.” I confessed.

“Olivia... don’t do that. Don’t feel bad for what you did and then start something up with Noah. It’s way too soon!” Tori scolded.

“I am not starting up anything! I would never disrespect Landon by running back to Noah right after he dies. That’s unthinkable! How could you even think I would do that?” I shouted.

Tori took in a breath of air and then sighed. “I know... I’m sorry. I just got nervous at the mention of a hug. I don’t want him creeping his way into your brain this soon. Landon would probably turn over in his grave!”

As soon as Tori finished her sentence, I lost it.

I began sobbing uncontrollably and Tori instantly felt regret. “Dammit... I, I am so sorry! I have a bad feeling I am going to be apologizing a lot...” Tori frowned as she scooted next to me and wrapped her arms around me.

“It’s not that... I just, Landon’s funeral is next weekend and I have to fly home for it. I don’t want to go and see him in some casket Tor. I just can’t.” I sobbed into Tori’s shoulder.

“Riley and me are going with you. Plus your dad will be there. You won’t be alone I promise.” Tori held onto me.

“But Tori... Landon’s mom wants me to speak at his funeral. What am I supposed to even say?” I cried.

“I will help you write something beautiful. Landon won’t be disappointed. Besides, he will love it if you went and spoke on his behalf. You knew him better than anyone.”

I nodded and pulled myself away from Tori’s shoulder. “This is the first time I will see Landon’s parents since the accident. I didn’t even allow them to come see me when they found out I was pregnant with their grandchild. What am I supposed to say to them?”

“Just tell them the truth. That you were in a lot of pain and scared. You just couldn’t face them that soon.” Tori sadly smiled.

“Ugh, you always know what to say Tor. You’re the best.” I sniffled with a smile.

“That’s what I am here for! Oh... and if you plan on staying here any longer we need to come up with a system.” Tori grinned.

“Sock on the door? Or is that too cliché?” I laughed.

“Actually, it’s perfect. Subtle. I like it.” She laughed with me and we turned our attention to a few comedy flicks before bed.

“You think Riley would mind if I tracked down Johnny Depp and slept with him just once?” Tori giggled.

“Actually... I honestly don’t know. He may be so impressed that he isn’t mad at all.” I laughed out loud.

“Score.” Tori shot her fist in the air and I giggled at my best friend.

Maybe, just maybe, I will be okay.

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