Chapter 26 | I Need Your Help
It’s been an entire two months of silence, rumor after rumor being spread and constant stares or glares anytime I’m seen in the halls at school.
Lucy, Callie, Mark and Connor haven’t spoken a word to me since that eventful day in the cafeteria when Marissa outed me to the entire school. Even Red has avoided me, most likely the doings of Callie.
Connor ended up staying with Marissa, and seeing them around school together was the biggest, most disgusting reminder of what all has happened this year. It’s mid-February, and it pained me to know that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I have nobody to share it with.
My relationship with my mom has been a little rocky after I hurt her feelings, but I’ve been nonstop apologizing and she’s almost completely forgiven me for what I said to her. I didn’t mean any of it, or maybe I did, I just didn’t want her to know that it was how I felt. I do wish she would stand up for herself more around my dad. I know they love each other, but he’s just so mean sometimes for no reason and she just takes it. It drives me crazy, but I guess not every relationship is all peaches and cream.
I should know first-hand.
Since I currently have no more friends or boyfriend, and my parents are both clueless, I’ve been spending an awful lot of time alone. At first, I kind of liked it. It gave me time to reflect and give myself a much needed personality makeover. But now, I’m extremely lonely and haven’t had any ounce of fun since before the Marissa incident.
“Naveah!” I heard my father shout from his study.
Without a word, I got up from bed and walked down the hall and into his office. My hair is a knotted mess and I’ve been wearing the same pajamas since yesterday. Thank God it’s the weekend.
“What’s up dad?” I asked while taking a seat in one of his plush leather chairs.
“Why are you here?” He asked in return, and I furrowed my eyebrows, not understanding.
“Well, I kind of live here dad.”
He rolled his eyes and pinched the spot between his eyes. “I mean in general. You’re almost usually never home, and here lately I’ve noticed you haven’t been going out much.” He inquired. I’m almost shocked that my dad has been paying that much attention to me. Usually I just fly right under his radar.
“Yeah, I’ve just been kind of spending some alone time with myself.” I replied, and then internally smacked myself at how weird that sounded. “What I mean is I just haven’t wanted to go out as much.”
“Hm.” My dad pondered, as if not believing me. “Naveah, I’m a pretty cool dad, no?”
“Is that a trick question?” I chuckled.
I noticed the ends of his lips twitch upward at my reply, and then right after, he was serious again.
“I just want you to know that whatever may be bothering you, you are allowed to talk to me about it. I am your father and I do care about your happiness, despite what you may think.” He said, giving me a pointed look.
“Well I um... I do have something.” I began.
“I’m all ears.” I watched him reach over to silence his phone, which he never does for anyone, not even my mom.
“Well, I may have done something unforgivable. My friends won’t speak to me and the boy I like won’t give me a second look. I just don’t know what to do to make them wanna be my friends again.” I frowned, thinking my thoughts out loud.
“What was this unforgivable thing that you did?” My dad pressed for details.
I can’t tell him the actual reason, it would be too weird to talk about.
“I can’t say, but it’s pretty awful. I feel horrible all the time, and I haven’t been sleeping much.” I confessed for the first time. I watched my dad as he took note of the small, dark circles under my tired eyes.
“Well, given the vague details-“, he began as he gave me an amused look, “All I can say is, you need to come up with a grand gesture in order to win them over.”
“You want me to buy their friendship back? How is that going to work?” I asked, not liking the idea.
“Not buy Naveah, a grand gesture can be anything. It doesn’t have to be materialistic, just something that will make them see that you aren’t your mistakes. Something to help them see that you are still the same Naveah that they grew to love. Even something as small as a genuine apology should help.”
I let his suggestions sink in, and I actually came to agree with what he had to say. I needed to show them how truly sorry I am for all of the wrong doings that I’ve done this past year. I needed to own up to my mistakes and I needed to do it fast. The end of the year is steadily approaching, and I want to be able to graduate with all of my friends beside me.
I know that Mark hasn’t been hanging out with the old crew as much either. After his big blowout with Connor, they haven’t spoken at all. Callie and Lucy hasn’t spoken to Mark much since the announcement Marissa made either. I feel so horrible knowing that what Mark and I did, made the entire group suffer as much as it has.
I wish Mark would allow me to explain why I acted the way that I did. I wish he would allow me to tell him how much I miss him and how much I do actually care for him. I need to tell him that I love him.
I suddenly remembered that I’m still standing in front of my dad, and I glanced up at him with a smile. “Thanks dad. I like our little talks.”
“Well let’s have them more often then, yeah?” He smiled back, getting up to meet me on the other side of his desk. I stood up and gave him a hug, feeling safe as he wrapped his strong arms around me.
“I love you dad.” I found myself saying.
“I love you too, kiddo.” He said back, and then I left his study to go back into my room.
I picked up my phone, and hesitantly hovered over his number before pressing call.
“Naveah, I shouldn’t be talking to you.” He said upon answering the phone.
“Please Red, just hear me out.” I began. “I need your help.”
“Is this a plan to get the group back together? ’Cause if so, it’s about dang time!”
I laughed at his reply and smiled knowing that he was willing to help me.
“Thanks Red.” I smiled, ready to tell him what my plan is.
“So, whatcha have in mind?” He asked, and I already knew had a smirk on his face.
| Mark’s POV |
These last couple of months have been shit. Literal shit.
I haven’t spoken to Connor or Red at all, and Lucy and Callie have also been nonexistent. Normally, I would go over and talk to Naveah about my problems, but being that I can’t do that anymore, I literally have no one. My mom has been getting drunk pretty much every night now, and trying to keep her under control has been nearly impossible.
Last week I had to bail her out of jail for public intoxication. She actually decided it would be a good idea to get damn near naked at a sports bar. The cops showed up just as she was in her bra and underwear. She’s lucky she didn’t get charged with indecent exposure, because that would’ve costed me even more money.
She is out of control and whenever I catch her sober, I try to bring up rehab, but she instantly shuts me down. If she keeps it up, I’m going to have to just wait until she’s drunk, throw her into the back of my car and then drop her off at rehab myself. I won’t say a word, I’ll just check her in and then leave her there.
One way or another, I want to make sure she gets some type of help.
I wish I could talk to Naveah about this, I need her comfort and advice. She always knew what to say to make me feel better, but I can’t just forgive her for how she played me.
I thought she actually gave a damn about me. I thought she may have felt the exact same way that I did, but man did she prove me wrong. All she cared about was herself, and while I should have seen it coming, I decided I would give her the benefit of the doubt. This girl drives me crazy and I can’t seem to stop thinking about her. She’s every damn where I look and I’ve felt myself want to just give in and talk to her so many times, but then I find a way to stop myself.
I know everyone has been ignoring her, and making her feel like crap at school. She must be going through a bad time right now, I just don’t get why she keeps coming back to school. If I were her, I would’ve transferred a long time ago. I guess she feels as though maybe someone will see things from her point of view eventually, whatever that point may be.
I wish I could just understand why she did what she did. I’ve tried, over and over again, but I just can’t get a straight answer as to why.
I’m taken away from my thoughts when I feel my phone begin to vibrate in my pocket.
I put my Starbucks coffee down, and picked up the phone.
“Red?” I haven’t heard from him since my fight with Connor. I knew he would take Callie’s side over mine, since Callie was always on Connors side from the beginning I suppose. I knew he wouldn’t want anything to do with me any more than Callie did.
“Uh, what’s up?”
“Well, I’ve been thinking and I want to try to help your relationship with Connor.” He said casually, as if he had been rehearsing this conversation for a while.
“Oh yeah? Why?” I asked, because something smelt fishy.
“Well, I notice how alone you are at school, and I want to help. You guys have been friends for too long to let this bull get in the way. I haven’t told Connor this yet, but he’s supposed to be meeting me in the gym after school tomorrow to talk things over. I didn’t tell him that you’ll be there. Will you come? Maybe we can all talk this through together.”
Is he serious right now? He wants to arrange a meeting with Connor? I can already see Connors face appear in my mind, and I knew exactly what he would do if he sees me enter that gym. He’s going to turn right around and leave.
“I don’t know how well that’s gonna play out.” I replied, not believing for a second that it could work.
“Oh come on, at least try it? What have you got to lose?” I could tell he was smirking on the other end of the phone. He does have a point. I can’t lose anything, if I’ve got nothing to lose.
“What time?” I sighed, finally giving in to his request.
“Right after the last bell rings.” He said, and then abruptly hung up the phone.
I finished my drink and left Starbucks. I got into my car and just sat there for a couple of minutes, letting my thoughts get the better of me.
Could this actually work? Could I get my best friend back?
I shook my head with a laugh. This isn’t going to work.
I’m in for a real treat tomorrow.
| Lucy’s POV |
“Hey Luc, what should I wear to the movies tonight?” I heard Callie shout from my bedroom closet. She spent the night last night, and we’ve got plans to see a movie later.
“I don’t know, jeans and a sweater?” I deadpanned. “It’s the movies, not a five-star restaurant.”
I entered my bedroom and found Callie glaring at me from my closet door. “Very funny.”
I watched as she put on a pair of black skinny jeans, with a maroon red crop top.
“Hey, wear the black converse with that.” I smiled, helping my friend complete her outfit.
Suddenly, my mind wandered to Naveah. Normally she would help Callie and I both pick out our outfits. It didn’t matter where we were going, Naveah always knew what would look best on both of us.
I hated to admit it, but I really missed her. I’m still so mad at what she did, but here lately, I find myself thinking about her more and more. I wish things were different. If she would have just told me right from the beginning about her and Mark, I wouldn’t have been as mad. Yes, I still would have been hurt since I liked Mark, but I would’ve been a lot more understanding. She’s my best friend, I would’ve chosen her over any guy, even Mark.
Callie and I haven’t really seen Mark too much lately either, nor have we seen much of Connor. He’s been all about Marissa, and I still get sick to my stomach knowing that he actually went from Naveah to that. There are so many better girls in our class that he could have went for, but of course, he had to go for the evil witch herself.
I hated how Marissa publicly humiliated Naveah the way that she did that day in the cafeteria. Callie hated it too, but wasn’t big enough to stand up to Marissa at the time. I was mad at Callie too for switching sides so suddenly, but we talked everything over and decided our friendship meant more to us than all of the drama that’s happened. Callie even said she wishes she could go back and do things differently, but what’s done is done.
I sighed thinking about it all.
“Are you okay?” Callie asked.
“Yeah, just thinking.” I shrugged.
“Do you really wanna know?” I sheepishly smiled.
“Maybe in time things can be different. Maybe one day we can all be friends again.” Callie said, looking down at her lap while she sat at my desk. I know she misses Naveah too, though she wouldn’t admit it out loud.
“Maybe.” I nodded. “Let’s go though, don’t wanna be late for Fist Fight.”
“I can’t wait to see it. I love Ice Cube!” Callie smiled, getting up to follow me downstairs.
My house is big and empty most of the time, but it’s times like these when I have someone around me that I don’t feel so alone.
On the drive over to the movie theater, I got a call.
“Cal, why is Red calling me?” I asked, glancing at my phone’s screen.
“How should I know?” Callie furrowed her eyebrows. I shrugged and picked my phone up to answer it since Callie was driving.
“Hey Luc, what’s up?”
“On our way to the movies, why?” I asked, wondering why he’s calling me so randomly.
“You’re with Cal?” He asked.
“Yes, and she wants to know why you’re calling me as well.” I laughed.
“Well, I wanted to know if you both could meet me in the gym tomorrow after school.” He said, after I put him on speaker phone.
“Why babe?” Callie asked, not taking her eyes off the road at all.
“I uh...wanted to do something different for my senior project, and I need all the help I can get.”
I looked at Callie, and her face said exactly what I was thinking: He’s lying.
“What’s your senior project?” I asked.
“It’s a surprise. But don’t worry, it’ll be worth it. Will you both come?” He asked again, eager for an answer.
I looked at Callie who only shrugged, and so I sighed.
“I guess so. What time?”
“Right after the last bell. Thanks!” Then he hung up.
“Well that was weird.” I commented.
“Yeah, he’s a weird one.” Callie shook her head, but there was still a small smile on her lips.
Callie and I got to the movie theater and after getting a large popcorn and soda to split, we headed over to the theater to take our seats. I loved the new recliner chairs they’ve recently put in. They are much more comfortable than the old chairs. Plus, you don’t have to worry about anyone putting their smelly feet up behind your head anymore.
While the previews played, I thought back to the conversation with Red. Something seemed definitely odd about him wanting us to meet him in the gym, but I had no idea why. I shrugged and brought my thoughts back to Naveah. I remembered her telling me she wanted to see this movie whenever the trailer first came out. She loves Ice Cube too. I looked ahead at the other chairs and I could have sworn I saw Naveah sitting in one of the seats. Or at least, it was a blonde who looks like Naveah, but it was hard to tell from this angle. Callie picked seats all the way at the top so we didn’t have to strain our necks just to see the screen.
The girl turned around to speak with someone behind her, and I saw that it wasn’t Naveah at all. I sighed and continued watching the boring previews. I wished they would just get on with the movie already.
“Hey, what do you think Red has planned?” I leaned over to whisper beside Callie.
“How should I know?” She replied at regular volume.
“Well, he’s your boyfriend.” I rolled my eyes.
“That doesn’t mean I know why he does what he does. That boy is something else.” She laughed, handing me the bucket of popcorn. “Here, take this before I eat it all before the movie even starts.”
I laughed and took the bucket, placing it onto my lap.
I ate a few pieces and took a drink of the soda, but I still couldn’t seem to stop thinking about tomorrow.
Something was definitely up.