Chapter 22 | Amazeballs
After Lucy and I got home, she went up to her room and I went up to mine. I told her I was exhausted from the strange day at school, and she agreed.
I locked my bedroom door, and went over to open my balcony doors. A few moments later, Mark climbed over the edge and walked inside my bedroom closing the balcony doors behind him and pulling the curtains.
“What do you want?” I asked, feeling impatient. Seeing Mark fight with Connor over Marissa kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Does Mark still have something with Marissa? If not, then why would he get all worked up over her and Connor?
Nothing made any sense anymore. I suppose that’s what happens when you stem everything from a lie and a flimsy hook-up in a janitor’s closet.
“Gee, thanks for the pleasant greeting.” Mark rolled his eyes.
“Well, what do you expect after what happened today?” I raised my eyebrows.
“I expect you to come over here and give me a much needed hug.” He replied, a slight smile on his face.
I tried my best to resist his soft gaze, but I instantly abandoned all of my doubts as I slowly made my way over to him, embracing him soft at first, but then hard, clinging to him for dear life.
“Are you okay?” He asked.
“No. Nothing is ever okay, Mark.” I sighed against his chest.
“It can be.” He reassured.
“No, it really can’t.” I replied, slowly starting to pull away from him.
“Don’t you get it? Everything is screwed up. Connor is with Marissa, which clearly you’re upset about,” I began, giving him a warning stare, “And I can’t be with the one person I need right now because then everyone will figure out everything and I can’t even breathe when you’re around and just... ah!” I yelled, almost startling myself.
“This is just all too much for me to handle.” I softly said, sitting down on the edge of my bed.
“You don’t have to handle everything on your own Naveah. It’s okay to ask for help. Just because we can’t be a couple, doesn’t mean I can’t still be here for you as your friend. Everyone knows we are friends since we come from the same circle. Who cares what else they may think or imagine. We know the truth and that’s all that should matter.” Mark tried to reason with me, and I slowly started to agree with him.
“You’re right... I just, don’t really know what I’m doing anymore.” I sighed.
Mark walked over to me and knelt down in front of the bed so we’re facing each other.
“Neither do I, but we can learn together, yeah?” He smiled.
I softly bit my lip while staring directly into his deep brown eyes. They were alive with lust and I knew where this would end up.
“The weirdest thing happened today...” I began, trying to change the mood.
“Lucy suggested that I go on a date with you, to get Connor back for dating Marissa.” I sheepishly smiled.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” He sighed.
“This whole entire thing started because you couldn’t tell Lucy that we were a thing, and now she suggests that you date me to make Connor mad? Could this be any more ironic?” He chuckled.
“Don’t say that, you’ll jinx us!” I laughed, shaking my head slightly.
“So does this mean we can date officially now?” He smirked, leaning closer to me and placing his hands on my upper thighs.
“No, not quite.”
He dropped his head low with a pout on his face, “Why the fuck not?”
“Because, I told Connor when I broke up with him that I wasn’t ready to date anyone, and that includes you. I told him that breaking up had nothing to do with you, and if he sees us together he’ll know that I lied. Besides, I honestly don’t think Lucy meant what she said. I feel like she may have caught on to something and she’s just testing me to see if I’m a good friend or not.” I confessed, the thoughts still swimming in my brain as they have been all day.
“Wow.” Is all Mark said in reply.
“I don’t think you want to be with me at all.” He suddenly stands up, only to take a few steps away from me and toward the balcony doors again.
“What do you mean?” I furrowed my eyebrows.
“You aren’t with Connor anymore, and Lucy basically told you that she wouldn’t care if we were together, and you still won’t just be with me.” He frowned, looking slightly pissed off.
“It’s not that simple Mark. I told you, I think Lucy is only testing me.” I stand up, taking a few steps toward him.
“Bullshit. Lucy isn’t the kind of girl to test anyone. If she wants to know something, she has always been pretty upfront with asking about it. I told her that I only saw her as a friend, so she knows nothing will ever happen between us and she’s okay with that. Why are you putting up all of these unnecessary obstacles whenever it comes to you and me?”
“I... I don’t know!” My eyes began to water.
“I think I know.” He stiffened.
“W-What do you mean?”
“You still have feelings for Connor.” He suddenly said, causing me to stare at him in confusion.
“That doesn’t make any sense. Why would I still have feelings for Connor?” I asked.
“I don’t know Naveah, you tell me. I think that maybe you only want the guy that you can’t have. I think that you just like sneaking around. That you like being a cheater.”
His harsh words cut me like a knife. Of course, none of that was true. Right?
It couldn’t be. I love Mark.
“Mark I...” I began, but he instantly cut me off.
“No Naveah. I’m tired of your little mind games. If you don’t want to be with me for real, then we’re done for good.” He looked at me with pleading eyes, begging me to accept his offer and just be with him.
I still didn’t feel right about it. Something told me if I did agree to go out with him officially, it would still mess everything else up. I still felt as though Lucy would disown me, and Connor would never talk to me again.
Why is everything so confusing? Maybe I am just entirely out of my mind.
“I... I can’t.” I finally said softly.
“Then neither can I.” Mark frowned as he slowly turned around and opened the balcony doors.
“Goodbye Naveah.” Then he was gone.
I collapsed onto my bed with tears falling from my eyes.
How did this happen?
Suddenly, there is a loud knock on my bedroom door.
“Not right now.” I mumbled, pleading for whoever is standing on the opposite side of the door to go away.
The knocking continued.
I slowly got up and walked over to my bedroom door, yanking it open.
“What part of not right now didn’t you understand?” I glared as the door fully opened, revealing a very confused Arabelle.
“What are you doing here Bell?” I asked, motioning for her to come inside. “How did you even get here?”
“I asked my friends mom to drop me off. Connor told me that you guys broke up. Why?” She frowned as I sat her down onto my bed beside me.
“We just... didn’t have the same feelings as we used to, that’s all.” I tried my best to explain. “Sometimes as you get older, feelings fade.”
“But you two were in love or whatever. You were like Betty and Jughead!” She whined.
“Uh, who?” I questioned.
“Oh my gosh! You’ve never seen Riverdale? You should, it’s amazeballs.” She smiled happily.
I shook my head of my thoughts. “Is that the only reason you decided to drop by?” I asked.
“No...” She frowned again. “I wanted to ask you if you could help me with a school assignment.”
“Oh, okay. Sure. What is it about?”
“Well... I have to write a short story about what I think the meaning of the word ‘love’ is. I already planned on asking you for help, but that was before I found out you weren’t with Connor anymore.”
I felt bad. Arabelle was like the little sister I never had. We instantly clicked whenever I first started seeing Connor. She used to follow me around everywhere I went, always annoying Connor who only ever wanted alone time with me. Sometimes I miss that.
“I can still help.” I offered.
“Are you sure? It won’t be like, weird?” She asked.
“Of course not. Connor and I ended in a somewhat okay place. I don’t see a problem in helping you out.” I smiled, which caused her to smile even wider.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” She yelled while leaping over to me for a hug.
“You’re welcome, welcome, welcome!” I smirked.
“So, tomorrow after school? You can come over right?” She asked, raising one of her eyebrows.
“Um, sure. I’ll call you when I’m on my way.”
“Great! I gotta go, see you later!”
“Wait, how are you going to get home?” I stopped her to ask.
“Walk.” She replied.
“Nope, absolutely not. You are not walking home by yourself. I’ll walk you.” I replied instantly, getting up to throw on my sandals.
“Okay!” She cheered, leaving my bedroom to head down the stairs.
“Was that Arabelle?” Lucy asked, lazily walking into my room.
“Yeah, I’m gonna walk her home.” I replied, pulling on my last sandal.
“Wait, have you been crying?” She asked, studying my red and puffy eyes.
“Huh? Oh, yeah a little. Just kind of overwhelmed with everything going on lately. It’s no biggie.” I shrugged, reaching for my phone to stick into my back pocket. “You good to wait here?”
“Sure, see you later.” She smirked. “And good luck.”
I’m almost halfway down the stairs when I stopped and looked back up to her. “Good luck on what?”
“You’re walking Arabelle home, which means you might run into Connor.”
“Wanna walk with me?” I asked, giving her my biggest grin.
“Nope, have fun!” She smiled, waving goodbye before heading back into her room.
I glared into the air as I made my way down the stairs.
“Ready!” She smiled, yanking me out of the front door and down the street.
“Arabelle...” I sighed.
“I didn’t mean to!”
“What happened to your house key?”
“I uh... must have left it over at my friend’s house.” She sheepishly smiled.
“Ugh... let me call Connor.” I sighed again, pulling out my cellphone.
I could hear her snickering, but I ignored it.
“Uh, hello?” He awkwardly answered his phone.
“Yeah, I know this is weird or whatever... but I have a problem.” I began.
“What? You know I can’t just drop everything every time you need help.” He sighed, not hiding the irritation in his voice.
I hear muffled speaking in the background and assumed it was Marissa.
“Well good. This isn’t for me. It’s for your sister.” I replied with an edge to my tone.
“Yes, unless you have another sister I don’t know about.” I joked.
I could practically feel the glare he was giving me through the phone. “What is it?”
“Long story short, I walked her home and she doesn’t have her house key so we’re locked outside.” I said in one quick breath.
“Okay give me ten minutes.” Then he hung up the call.
I looked down at Arabelle who was currently smirking at me.
“Ten minutes.” I said, mimicking Connor.
Around twenty minutes later, Marissa’s car pulled up in the driveway and Connor leaned over to kiss her goodbye before getting out of the car.
I looked away in disgust, but quickly looked back once I knew the kiss was over.
“Bye Con!” Marissa yelled through the window, and I looked up to see her staring directly at me.
I gave her a sarcastic wave and a smile as she pulled out of the driveway, doing nothing but glaring at me.
“Boy, you picked a winner there.” I found myself mumbling as Connor approached us.
“Don’t.” He coldly said, pulling his house key from his pocket.
“Bell, how many times have I told you to make sure you have EVERYTHING before you leave your friends house?” Connor scolded her as he unlocked the front door to their home.
“I’m sorry!” She whined. Before she ran up the stairs to her room, she smirked as she turned around to face me. “See you tomorrow Naveah!” Then in a flash, she was gone.
“What does she mean by ‘see you tomorrow’?” Connor looked at me weird. “And why were you walking her home?”
“She showed up at my house, what was I supposed to do? Let her walk home alone?” I glared.
“No, I guess not. Thank you for walking her home.” He replied, a bored expression on his face.
“No problem. Anyway, she asked me to help her with a school assignment tomorrow, after she yelled at me for us breaking up.” I laughed, which caused Connor to smirk.
“How did I know that telling her would result in this.” He chuckled, in reference to me having to walk his little sister home.
“You both are closer than you think.” I slightly smiled, feeling a little less uncomfortable.
“I suppose you’re right.” He agreed. “So then I guess I will see you tomorrow? You know, since you’ll be here helping Bell.” He quickly explained.
“Yep, see you.” I nodded as I started to turn and walk away.
“Hey Naveah...” He began.
I turned back around to look at him, “Yeah?”
“I’m sorry for today.” He said as he rubbed the back of his neck nervously.
“I know Connor.” I nodded, and then I turned around and began my long walk home.