Chapter 30 | It's Over
It was currently Valentine’s Day, and I was sharing a bowl of popcorn with Riley. We were sitting in her bedroom on top of her bed while The Notebook was playing on her TV.
I had already been over to Lucy’s to help her pick out an outfit for her date with Dean. We got her into a tight red dress with a bit of lace near the top that shows just enough cleavage to keep the man guessing, but not enough so he thinks she’s easy. We paired it with black pumps and left her hair down. I straightened it for her and did some light makeup to finish off the look.
She honestly looked amazing and I wished her luck that her date went exactly how she wanted it to.
I still didn’t know what Red had planned for Callie, but I was sure we would hear all about it on Monday.
“God, Allie is so dumb for agreeing to marry that other guy.” Riley said with a scoff.
“Well, to be fair, she hadn’t heard from Noah in like years so it’s understandable that she would eventually move on.” I replied with an eye roll.
“That’s just a technicality. Her mother is the reason why she never got those letters from Noah. I swear if she was my mom, I would never forgive her for that. No matter what her reason was.” Riley huffed while throwing a few more pieces of popcorn in her mouth.
“Well, maybe I just like the fact that there’s two sides to every story.” I shrugged, throwing a piece of popcorn at Riley’s head.
She laughed while throwing a piece at me, and then we continued with the movie.
My phone vibrated, so I picked it up and saw a text from the last person I expected to hear from.
Mark: You busy?
Me: Kind of. Why?
Mark: Oh, sorry. Never mind.
Me: Just tell me what you wanted Mark, I’m just watching a movie with Riley.
Mark: Oh, that new chick. Okay well, can you possibly ditch her to meet me?
Me: Meet you where? And why?
Mark: Meet me at the lake next to the park on 2nd street. See ya there in twenty.
Okay so he didn’t ask, he just told me to go. Should I?
“Hey Riley.” I said suddenly.
“If it’s about the sex scene, I always replay it at least twice so don’t worry.” She shrugged casually as I laughed.
“No um, actually, I wanted to know if you would be okay with me leaving for a bit.” I asked.
“I promise I won’t be gone all day and I’ll come right back to watch another movie with you.” I added with a smile as she turned around to look at me.
“Where ya going?” She raised an eyebrow.
“Um, well... Mark asked to meet me at the lake.” I sheepishly said as I looked down at my hands.
“WHAT! AND YOU’RE SITTING HERE ASKING ME FOR PERMISSION? GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE AND GO GET YO MAN!” She practically screamed with a look of excitement on her face.
“He isn’t my man, we agreed that we were better off apart, so that’s why I’m a little confused.” I admitted with a sad smile.
“Only one way to find out.” Riley winked, “Maybe he wants some goodbye sex.” She shrugged.
My eyes widened, hoping that wasn’t true, then again, it was Mark we were talking about.
“I’ll be back in a little bit.” I shook my head with a smile as I stood up and grabbed my bag.
“I’ll be right here, crying as Noah and Allie die together in bed.” She faked a sniffle as I rolled my eyes.
I left Riley’s house and got into my car. I drove until I pulled into the entrance of the park and as I parked my car I got out to head toward the lake.
There, sitting on a blanket, was Mark.
I tried not to smirk as I saw a flower laying on the blanket, with a small basket beside it.
“Ahem.” I cleared my throat with a sly smile.
Mark jumped at the sudden noise I made and instantly turned his head around to greet me.
“You came.” He smiled.
“Yeah well, I was curious.” I shrugged while sitting down beside him on the blanket.
“What’s all this Mark?” I then asked.
“Well, I took my mom to that rehab center and I’m finally excited for something.” He replied.
“Excited for what?”
“The future. I am honest to God, excited for the future and I just needed to share that with you. I needed to tell you because, well, you’re my best friend.” He admitted with a sad smile.
I felt something twist inside of my stomach, and I wasn’t exactly sure if it was a good twist, or a bad one.
“I know we agreed to go our separate ways for now, but I just can’t do that. I need you in my life Naveah, and even if we’re not together, I still need you to be my friend.”
“Mark...” I began, but he cut me off.
“Please Naveah. We can’t just forget that each other exists. At least, I can’t.” He reached into the basket and pulled out a turkey sandwich, handing it to me.
I looked at the sandwich and tried to gather my head around everything for a second.
I didn’t want to be without Mark either, but I just didn’t know if I could be his friend without wanting to be so much more than that, and that scared me.
We might be a little toxic for each other. I mean, look at all who we were willing to hurt just to be together.
“Enjoy this lunch with me, we can casually just talk and then afterward you can give me your answer.” He raised a hopeful eyebrow.
“Okay.” I nodded. I took a bite of my sandwich and smiled at him.
“Can I ask you something?” I said after a moment of silence.
“How are you? Like really? With your mom and everything. What exactly happened?” I raised an eyebrow, “If you want to talk about it at least.”
“Well, to be honest, she almost burned our house down.” He stated and my eyes went wide.
I was instantly brought back to what happened with Lucy and her mom, and Mark nodded in understanding.
“I know, I thought the same, but it wasn’t as bad and I was able to get her out before anything happened. She passed out in the kitchen and the stove caught fire. The firefighters got the fire out before it ruined our entire house, thankfully. After she got discharged from the hospital, I took her to the rehab center.” He explained while taking a few bites from his sandwich.
Of course, he got ham. His favorite.
“I’m so glad that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. No body deserves to go through what Lucy did.” I said with a frown, “That was just horrible.”
“I know.” He replied with a small nod.
“You think she can do it? Become sober and stay sober I mean?” I asked.
“Well, honestly, I really don’t know. That all depends on her and if she thinks it’s worth it or not.” He replied, “I just hope she does stay sober, for not only my sake but for hers. She almost killed herself over alcohol and I just pray that it’s enough of an eye opener to make her want to change.”
“Well, I hope she makes it through. I know that deep down she must be a good person.” I said with a small smile.
“How do you figure that?” He smirked.
“Because of you Mark. Deep down, past all your tough exteriors, you’re a good person too. The apple can’t fall too far from the tree.” I smirked.
| Mark’s POV |
I watched her as she finished her sandwich. Her lips were in a permanent smile and I couldn’t help but mirror that. I’ve missed her so much and I can’t believe we went two months without really speaking to each other.
I’ve noticed a change in her, and I really like it. I hope I’ve had the same kind of change. Lord knows I needed it.
“So, how are things with you and Connor?” She suddenly asked.
“Well, he actually helped me with my mom. It will probably never be the same as it was before everything, but we are slowly trying to make it work again.” I replied, and almost smiled just thinking about it.
I’ve been the biggest pile of shit to Connor and I honestly didn’t even know how he could stand to look at me. I mean, I did the ultimate sin. I screwed his girlfriend behind his back. That’s just something you don’t do to your best bud.
I think he knew just how much I regretted it, and I’m honestly happy that he’s been able to move on. Even if it was with a conniving girl like Marissa, though everyone has a past and a reason for being who they are.
One thing I have learned through all of this is you can’t judge a book simply by its cover or colorful pages. You need to analyze every word and detail before you make a final assumption.
“I’m really glad to hear that. I should have never come between the two of you.” She frowned and I slowly lifted her chin with my index finger, bringing her bright brown eyes back to mine.
“Would it be bad to say that I am glad you did?” I found myself asking.
“Maybe just a little bit.” She admitted in a hushed tone. We stared into each other’s eyes for a couple of seconds before I tried to lean in a little bit closer.
She realized what I was about to do and suddenly pulled away to take a drink of her soda.
“It’s such a nice day out, I’m glad you picked a spot by the lake. I used to come to the park a lot whenever I first moved here.”
I dropped my shoulders in defeat and realized that this was really over between us. It’s clear she didn’t want me anymore, so why was I still sitting here in this stupid park eating this stupid sandwich trying so hard?
I abruptly got up and threw my half-eaten sandwich into the basket.
“Mark, what’s wrong?” She asked but I ignored her question.
“Keep the basket. Enjoy your lunch Naveah.” I dryly stated before storming off toward the entrance of the park.
“Mark, wait!” Naveah shouted, but she didn’t get up to come after me.
Why didn’t she come after me?
I took in a deep breath and got inside my car. I sped off down the road, turning the radio all the way up.
Eyes on Fire (Zeds Dead Remix) by Blue Foundation was blaring through my speakers as it slowly started to rain.
I quickly turned on my headlights and began to slow down when suddenly a biker came out of nowhere from my right hand side.
I swerved, but still clipped the back tire of his bike before skidding against the newly wet roads. The next thing I knew, I was rotating upside down and then right side up again as everything went numb and eerily quiet. I could’t hear the metal from the car crashing against the concrete and I couldn’t hear the screams that were coming from my own mouth.
Before I knew it, the car finally came to a stop. I opened my eyes and realized that I was still upside down. I smelled gasoline and burnt rubber before I noticed a small, glowing light coming from the back of the car.
I felt something wet sliding down my face before it dropped from my chin and fell to the roof of the car below me.
All I saw was red before everything went black.
T H E E N D.