Chapter 14 | I'm So Sorry Connor
The next morning, I woke up and sighed seeing that it was only eight o’clock. Suddenly flushed with everything that happened last night, I immediately reached for my phone and turned it on.
I saw a missed call from Lucy, and I panicked, cursing to myself for shutting my phone off.
I dialed her number, and sat up in bed.
“Naveah.” Lucy sounded nothing like her normal bubbly self. Even on her bad days with her mother, she sounded far more uplifting than how she sounds right now.
“Luc? Are you alright? Do you need me to come get you?” I asked, panic in my tone.
“No, I already called a cab. Just wanted to make sure you were awake.” My heart sunk at her drained tone. I could tell she didn’t get any sleep at all last night.
“Well I’m awake, and I’ll be here with breakfast ready when you arrive.” I said with a slight smile, trying absolutely anything to cheer her up.
“Aw, you’re the best.” She said, and I could tell she must have cracked the smallest of a smile.
“Only for you.” I smiled, happy that after last night, I still have my best friend.
“I’ll see you in a bit. Call Callie if you want and invite her over for breakfast. I would like to see her too.”
“Of course, see you in a bit.” I said, and then hung up the phone to call Callie.
“Hey Cal, you want to come over and have breakfast? Lucy will be here soon and she said she’d like to see you.”
“Of course! I’ll be right over!” Then, Callie hung up the phone.
I got out of bed, and went straight for a shower. After brushing my teeth and putting on a plain pair of blue jean shorts with a light pink tank top, I brushed my hair out, and then went down stairs.
I immediately began cooking eggs, bacon and some waffles, since waffles are Lucy’s favorite. I myself am more of a pancake person, but I will make an exception today.
Right after I put the last of the waffle batter into the waffle iron, the doorbell rang.
“Come in!” I yelled.
I heard the door open and close, and then Callie appeared in the kitchen.
“Smells amazing! Waffles?” She smiled, while heading straight for the coffee pot.
“Yes. Thank you, I haven’t had time to make any yet.” I said, motioning towards the empty coffee pot.
“No worries, I got it.” Callie smiled, beginning to make a pot.
After the coffee finished brewing, and the last of the waffles were ready, I placed everything on a platter and brought it to the kitchen table. Callie and I chatted for a few minutes before the doorbell rang again.
“Come in!” I yelled.
Callie and I heard the door open and close, and then Lucy appeared at the door of the kitchen.
She looked at me and then looked at Callie; having not seen Callie since before she found out her mother had passed.
They looked at each other for a moment, and then Callie got up from the kitchen table and ran immediately over to Lucy, embracing her in a tight hug.
“I am so sorry Lucy. I can’t even imagine what you are going through right now. But Naveah and I are here all the way.”
“Thank you. You both are amazing.” Lucy smiled against Callie.
They both walked over to the kitchen table and Lucy gave me a quick hug before sitting down.
“Wow, you really are amazing.” Lucy smiled, immediately going for a cup of coffee and bacon.
“Well I know you are most likely hungry, and tired from last night... so I wanted to give you some fuel!”
“Hey Naveah, are you sure it’s okay if I stay here?” Lucy asked.
“Are you kidding me? You don’t even need to ask! The guest room is all yours, for as long as you need it.” I smiled, giving her a duh expression.
“Thank you. I just don’t want to over-stay my welcome.”
“Luc, since when have you ever over-stayed your welcome here?” I rose my eyebrows teasingly.
“Hm, you know what, now that you mention it I don’t believe I ever have.” She teased right back.
For finding out at your friend’s birthday party that your mother passed away just last night... Lucy seems to be handling everything very well. Or, maybe it is just a mask to hide how she really feels inside. I know that later, when we are alone, she will show me her real emotions. Not the masked ones she is trying to portray.
I keep telling her that she doesn’t have to hide anything from any of us, but she prefers not to show her weaknesses.
“Well, I say we have a girl’s night/slumber party.” Callie stated. “We can all stay here and veg out on snacks and sweets, watching movies... the works!”
“Honestly, that sounds amazing.” Lucy sighed! “I already called into work, and they gave me some time off to get everything in order for my mom and to grieve. I don’t even know if I will be going back to work there. I mean, I guess I will have to in order to live. I don’t know what all my mother’s insurance covers and I don’t know if I will have enough money to take care of myself just yet. Either way, I will make it work regardless.” Lucy proudly stated.
“Luc, my parents get home tomorrow and my dad will be more than willing to help you with all of the legal matters. My dad knows a lot of people.” I smiled, trying to ease some of Lucy’s stress.
“Great! I need all the help I can get right now.” She sighed in relief, grabbing some eggs and waffles.
“Mark called me last night.” Lucy finally admitted, after a few moments of silence while she ate.
“Really, what did he say?” I found myself asking absent-mindedly.
“Just that he is really sorry about my mom, and that if I need anything from him at all, to call him. It was really sweet.” Lucy smiled, which in turn caused a handful of different emotions to rise up within me.
“That is really sweet of him.” I lied through a fake smile.
Okay Naveah, you really need to get over this Mark thing. Remember: it is for Lucy!
“Oh, Red told me to give you his sincere condolences. He’s really sorry to hear about your mom. He even stayed the night with me at my place last night, to keep me company.” Callie shrugged, as if it were no big deal.
“Wait, Red... spent the night!” Lucy squealed with a bright smile.
“Oh um... yes?” Callie shrugged with a smirk.
“Cal, that’s big news!” I smiled wide, really happy for her.
“So, did you shag?” Lucy casually asked.
“Lucy!” Callie yelled, throwing a napkin at her head. “Shut up. No, we did not shag.”
Lucy and I kept our smirks on Callie.
“Seriously! All we did was cuddle. What kind of girl do you think I am?” She almost looked offended, but laughed it off knowing we were only teasing her.
“No, but for real, that’s great Cal. I am glad you have Red now. He seems to make you really happy. However, just let him know, if he hurts you in any way... Naveah and I will be on him like white on rice!” Lucy urged, pointing her finger towards Callie while stuffing a piece of her waffle into her mouth.
“I will pass on the message.” Callie chuckled.
Things were almost starting to feel normal, until Lucy got a phone call.
A few moments of silence went by as Lucy listened to the person on the other end of the call. Lucy’s eyes began watering immediately and she placed her hand over her mouth.
“But... you said she would be fine!” Lucy suddenly yelled into the phone.
That is when Callie and I knew that she was referring to Maria.
Lucy ended the call and slammed her phone down onto the table, the loud slam being the only noise in the entire house.
“Luc...” I said softly.
“She’s gone too. Just like that. I just left her this morning and she’s gone.” Lucy started to cry while placing her head down onto the kitchen table against her hands.
“Maria... oh no. What happened?” Callie asked, standing up and moving over beside Lucy.
“I suppose the same thing as my mom. Too many breathing complications.” She shrugged. “I can’t believe I lost both of them.”
“I feel like a broken record, saying sorry. So I will not say sorry anymore. But we will help you get through this, as hard as it may be.” I said, placing my hand on her shoulder.
“I just don’t know where I go from here. Maria was going to come stay with me after leaving the hospital. She said she was going to take care of me, since she used to take care of my mom. She doesn’t have many family members, and no kids... and she always saw me as one of her own.”
I could see that Lucy was falling apart as the seams, and I had no idea how to help her. One thing I knew for sure, I was going to do anything in my power to make sure she is okay.
“I’m sure she loved you and your mom very much, Luc. You were her family. I will help you figure everything out just as soon as my parents get back home.” I frowned looking down at my distraught best friend.
“Well, I suppose I need to go home and pack some bags.” Lucy stood up from the kitchen table and began walking towards the front door.
“I drove my mom’s car here, so I can give you a ride and help you.” Callie said.
“Yeah, and I will get the guest room all set up and ready for you.” I smiled, pulling her in for a hug.
“Thank you both. You’re amazing.” Lucy smiled while wiping away a few stray tears from her cheeks.
Callie and Lucy both left, and I went straight up stairs to get the guest bedroom ready for Lucy.
I froze in my tracks after hearing some noise coming from my bedroom.
I slowly opened the door and peered inside.
“Connor? How’d you get up here?” I rose my eyebrows at the sight of him standing near my bedroom balcony doors.
“I climbed up and came through.” He shrugged.
“Well... would you like to come down stairs to talk?” I was sort of at a loss for words. We haven’t spoken since last night at the hospital, and I knew there is still some unfinished business that needs to be aired out between us.
“No, I just wanted to see your room for one last time.” He simply said, looking around at all of the pictures of him and me, taking in all of our memories.
“One last time?” I asked, instantly feeling the strings of my heart tugging.
“Yep. I just... I can’t do this anymore Naveah. You’re so distant a lot of the time, and I know there is something going on between you and Mark.”
I completely froze.
“What! There’s nothing going on between Mark and I. That’s crazy.” I said, not letting my face falter.
I could have just accepted it and told him the truth. I could have just agreed to be over and let him go. I just kept hearing a voice in the back of my mind telling me that I still want him in my life. I need him as my friend and if he knew I was hooking up with Mark, he would never forgive me, and I would never see him again.
I decided to take Callie’s advice, and end things with Connor, but still keep the whole Mark and me thing a secret from everyone who doesn’t already know. I can’t have Connor hating me, and if he knows Lucy will find out and then I will lose her too. I can’t lose her. She can’t feel that type of betrayal from me of all people, especially after losing her mother and Maria all in one night.
Callie and I are all she has. I need to be there for her through this, and I can’t be if she hates me.
“So you and Mark never hooked up?” Connor asked, raising his eyebrows. His gaze on me felt constricting, and I found it hard to breathe.
“No, never! That’s insane. I can’t believe you would even think that.” I lied.
I am a horrible person.
Keep thinking about Lucy, you can’t lose Lucy.
Connor thought about it for a few seconds, and I saw him let out a breath. I couldn’t tell if it was a breath of relief, because he believed me... or a breath of anger, because he didn’t.
He honestly looked hurt for a split second, and then he smiled. I couldn’t tell if it was a fake smile or not.
“Well, if you say nothing happened, then I believe you.” He came over to hug me and I hugged him back.
He went in for a kiss, but I stopped him.
“I think we still need to talk.” I admitted, looking down at my feet.
“Is this the part where you break up with me?” Connor asked, frowning.
“I just...” I walked over to the bed and pulled Connor with me, making him sit beside me. “I think we maybe need some time apart. And no, it isn’t because of Mark or any other guy for that matter. I just for some reason... don’t feel the same. I’m so sorry Con. I love you, and I always will... but I don’t believe that I am in love with you anymore, at least not like I used to be.”
Connor’s face instantly fell, and I felt sick to my stomach for breaking his heart.
“You mean so much to me Con, I’ve never cared about anyone else the way I care about you. I just, don’t feel the same way as back then. I’m not sure what’s changed, or what’s shifted, but I can’t help how I’m feeling, and I don’t want to hurt you... but I feel like staying with you when I don’t feel the same will hurt you even more in the long run. I feel like if I keep this going and pretend those feelings are still there, I will grow to resent you in a way and I don’t want to do that.”
I kept trying to come up with anything to reassure Connor that I do care for him, and that I still want him to be a part of my life. Everything I am saying is entirely true, despite leaving out the fact that I did in fact hook up with Mark, and that I do have unresolved feelings for Mark. I just feel like that would be too much too soon for Connor to hear.
“I know this sounds totally cliché, but I still want to be friends.” I said, placing my hand on Connor’s knee.
He lifted his hand and placed it over my own, stroking small circles against my skin.
“Well... if this is what you want Naveah, who am I to stop you? I can’t make you feel things for me, if you don’t. And I don’t want to force anything. If you don’t want to be with me anymore, I guess I will learn to live with that.” He sounded so sad and broken, I honestly couldn’t breathe anymore.
“It may not be forever. Maybe with some time apart, those feelings will return... but for now, I just can’t keep this relationship going with no destination.” With so many emotions boiling up inside of me, I let out a few tears.
“I’m so sorry Connor.” I wiped my cheek.
“No, don’t cry Naveah... please.” I looked up into Connor’s eyes, and I felt as if I were going to throw up. He had tears in his eyes. I could tell he was trying so hard to keep them from falling.
I brought my hand up to his cheek and slowly ran my thumb across his skin. “Please don’t hate me Con.”
“I could never hate you Naveah.” He smiled weakly, and leaned forward pressing his lips to my forehead.
“I’m going to go now.” He abruptly stood up, and headed towards my bedroom door.
“Wait!” I said, causing him to turn around to face me again. “Promise me, we will still see each other and hang out, you know... with the group. I still want you in my life Connor.” I pleaded.
“Of course Naveah. I just need to be by myself for a little while, to clear my head.” He gave me one last sad smile, and then left my bedroom and my house, leaving me alone on my bed crying.
“I’m so sorry Connor.... So sorry... for everything.” I said up into the air, more so apologizing for the lies as opposed to the actual break up.
I finally got up a few minutes later, and turned on my stereo, blaring music all throughout my house.
I went into the guest bedroom and fixed it up for Lucy, putting new sheets on the bed and a new pillowcase. I went into the guest bathroom and put in some toilet paper, along with a new tube of toothpaste. I placed some clean towels in the guest bathroom closet, and plugged in the TV that sits on the dresser, so Lucy can watch her shows.
After finishing the guest bedroom, I went to turn off my stereo. I went down stairs to wait for Lucy and Callie to show up.
I turned the TV on and smiled at the sight of one of my favorite shows: Say Yes to the Dress.
I got through one and a half episodes, when Lucy and Callie strolled inside.
“Hey Navea-“, They took one look at me crying and immediately dropped their bags to come sit beside me.
“What’s wrong?” Lucy asked. Both her and Callie saw the large amount of snacks on the table and the show on the TV and their eyes widened.
“Did you and Connor...” They both said in unison and all I could do was nod.
“Holy shit! What happened?” Lucy said, wrapping me up into a hug. Callie seemed concerned too, though she pretty much figured out on her own what happened.
“I just... I don’t feel the same for him as I used to. Things have shifted I guess, and I told him I wanted some time apart. We broke up.” Was all I could manage to say.
“I mean, it’s what I wanted, but I guess just the initial shock wore off and now I am feeling everything intensely.” I shrugged, putting the packet of Oreo’s on the coffee table and out of my lap.
“Oh man... I’m sorry girl. I had no idea you had your own issues going on. I’m such a terrible best friend!” Lucy frowned, hugging me tighter.
“No! You’re not! You’re the best! Both of you are.” I smiled, wiping away my tears. “Honest, I will be okay. I just needed to let my emotions out.”
“So... we are all good for our sleepover?” Callie smiled, trying to lighten the mood.
“Of course!” I said, standing up and dusting off the few crumbs I had on my lap.
“A night to forget about everything is exactly what we need!” Lucy said, putting an Oreo into her mouth and turning up the volume on the TV.
I smiled at my two best friends and in this one moment, I knew we would all get out of this dreadful time together. I knew we would all be okay.
Slowly, but surely... I hope.