Chapter 22 | Monkey's
Over the next few weeks, Jared kept a low profile and I did the same. I never went anywhere without someone with me, and needless to say, it began to annoy me.
“I’m going to Starbucks.” I say, grabbing my bag and heading for the front door.
“I’ll go with you.” My mom smiles.
“I can go alone.” I sigh.
“Absolutely not. Hang on just a few minutes sweetie; I’m finishing up this power point for work.” She smiles over at me, and I roll my eyes while walking over to the dining room table to sit across from her.
“New magazine cover?” I ask.
“Yes! I can’t wait for everyone to see it.” She smiles enthusiastically. I love how passionate my mom is about her work. I hope a career comes that naturally to me. I still don’t really know what it is that I want to do with my life yet, but I know times ticking. Next year is senior year, and a lot will be happening so I need to get my head in the game.
“Mom, really, I can drive myself to Starbucks. It’s no problem. I’ll keep my doors locked the entire time and I won’t stop anywhere else.” I plead, feeling increasingly impatient.
“Ugh, fine. Just keep those doors locked and come straight back home after!” She scolds with a point of her finger.
“Deal!” I smile wide. “Be back soon.”
I head for the front door and happily leave, ready for my delicious caffeinated beverage. I recently got my driver’s license and my mom has been letting me drive her car around sometimes, with her as the passenger of course. I think she forgets that driver’s license means no longer having to have a legal twenty-one year old or older in the car with you at all times. Angie got her driver’s license the same day that I did, and Jax congratulated us as he’s already had his for a while.
Shane brought us out for a celebratory lunch at Fred’s, since he’s had his license for a while as well. Angie and I hated that the boys had theirs before we had ours, but we were still happy nonetheless.
I get into my mom’s car and turn the radio on. I don’t turn the volume up too loud, I can thank my nerves for that. I’m still a little wary while driving in the car, but I’ve had a lot of practice over the last year with my dad’s numerous sessions and I feel fairly confident. I’ve driven a few times alone, but every time, I still get a little nervous.
I click my seat belt into place around my body and finally pull out of the driveway.
As I come upon Starbucks, I feel my tummy smile. I decide instead of going through the drive-through, I will park and go inside to sit at a table and just enjoy some alone time.
After I walk inside, I give the barista my order and wait patiently. After receiving my white chocolate iced mocha, I go over to a small table by the window and sit down.
I pull my phone from my pocket and start to scroll through Facebook. I see a picture of Angie and Jax so I hit the like button. Jax is kissing Angie’s cheek while Angie smiles at the camera. The caption says, “Date night with babe”, and a little heart emoji next to it. I suppose they went out last night.
They are so cute sometimes.
Suddenly, I feel a presence standing in front of me. I nervously look up into the brown eyes of Rebecca.
“Rebecca? What are you doing here? Where have you been?” I ask, clearly in shock. I haven’t seen her much since she suddenly disappeared from my porch weeks ago after confessing that Jared beat her. Her face looks good as new, if not better, and there are no signs at all of any new abrasions.
“Addilyn. It’s a pleasure. I was taking my morning run, and saw you sitting in here. May I sit?” She smiles. I can’t tell if it’s a genuine smile, or if she’s got something up her sleeve. She’s wearing a tracksuit, so I can assume she’s telling the truth.
“Are you going to answer any of my questions?” I raise an eyebrow.
“Indeed.” She pulls the empty chair out across from me and sits down.
Without thinking, I discreetly pull my phone out of my pocket from underneath the table and turn on the recorder.
“So?” I urge for details.
“I noticed you never did stop the trial from happening.” She says, sparking interest in me.
“Nope. The trial starts next Monday.” I sigh. “Why?”
I push my phone to my upper thigh and make sure it won’t fall before bringing my hand back up to hold onto my coffee with both hands.
“Well, I wanted to let you know that I will testify on your behalf. If you see it needed.” She smiles. I almost want to leap across this table and hug her, but I know that it would be pushing it, plus I don’t need to give away the fact that I’m recording our conversation.
“Really?” My smile is as wide as my eyes.
“Yes. I’ve been steering clear of Jared, and I don’t associate with him anymore. He is a bad guy, and after what he did to me...” Her confidence falters ever so slightly, before she picks it back up and continues. “I just think he needs to get what he deserves. Money shouldn’t be able to protect him from dealing with the consequences of his horrid actions.” She simply explains.
“You’re right. He does need to pay for what he’s done. First his assault on me, and hitting me... and then beating you for trying to help me. He’s a monster. Thank you so much for this Rebecca, really! It’s really going to help my case.” I smile, still in complete shock that she would ever agree to help me.
“May I ask why you want to help me though? Other than the fact that Jared deserves it.” I sheepishly ask. “I mean, you’ve always made it pretty clear that you hate me.”
“Yes, I have. I’m sorry about that. It’s true, I take on the roll as the bully, but I regret it now. It isn’t nice to make someone else feel small, no matter what the reason. You never did anything to me, I just sought you out because I knew you were weak and I knew you would fall under my scrutiny. I apologize for everything that I’ve said or done to you, Addilyn. I hope you can forgive me.” She smiles, genuinely.
I sit there dumbfounded for a minute. Rebecca Moore, the Rebecca Moore is apologizing to me.
She looks at me, waiting for some kind of response, so I just smile and nod.
“I forgive you. Sort of. I mean it’s going to take some time for me to fully believe that you’ve changed.” I say.
“Of course. Take all the time you need. Just let me know when you need me for trial, okay?” She replies.
“Okay, thanks.” I smile, still clutching my coffee in my hands.
“Goodbye.” She waves, getting up to leave. I say goodbye and watch her walk out of Starbucks.
After picking up my phone and saving the recording, I finish my drink and then get up to leave.
On the ride home, I call Angie.
“Can you come over?”
“Sure, be there in ten.” She hangs up the phone just as I pull into my driveway.
Upon walking inside, I meet the angry face of my mom.
“You said you were coming right back! Where have you been?” She scolds.
“Mom! Relax! I sat in the Starbucks to drink my coffee. I just needed some alone time.” I sigh.
“I don’t care Addilyn. I don’t need something bad happening to you again, do you understand me?” Her raised eyebrows told me she meant business.
“Yes mom.” I monotonously reply.
“Thank you. Now, where’s my coffee?” She crosses her arms over her petite chest.
“You didn’t ask for one!” I whine.
“I know.” She smirks. “Just teasing. Listen, I gotta head to the office for a bit. I’m going to call your dad to come home.”
“You don’t need to. Angie will be here any minute.” I wave her off, heading for the living room.
“Okay good. I’ll see you in a little bit. Call me if you need anything.” She smiles while grabbing her laptop and bag and heading for the front door.
Just as she pulls it open, Angie walks through.
“Perfect timing Lindsey.” Angie smiles.
“Bye Angie.” My mom shakes her head with a smile. “Have fun girls!”
“She actually apologized?” Angie’s agape mouth told me even she didn’t believe it.
“Yes and she agreed to testify on my behalf!” I smile while grabbing two colas from the fridge.
I give one to Angie and then open my own.
“I mean, that’s amazing, but I can’t help but feel like she might be planning something else.” Angie thinks out loud.
“I feel the same way. I think those are just instinct feelings from all the crap she’s pulled in the past. I honestly think she is genuine and I hope that her testimony and mine will be enough to put Jared behind bars.” And if for some reason she tries anything funny, I will always have that recording.
I frown at the mention of his name again. Images from that night at his party, and images from him kidnapping me still periodically pop up into my mind. Sometimes I have bad dreams, but those have since subsided almost completely.
I hate feeling powerless and vulnerable. I’ve even stopped eating as much again, despite my brain telling me this isn’t the time. I suppose it’s from nerves and stress of the trial soon approaching. Maybe all of the doubts about what could go wrong, are igniting my old feelings of not being good enough or not being important enough to be heard. The feelings of needing to prove that I am worth more than I appear to be. The feelings that make me feel like I need to look a certain way, to gain approval.
It’s like a disease, plaguing my brain and clouding my vision.
I haven’t told anyone, but I’ve started to feel bad again, really bad.
Some days, all I can think about is food and wanting to binge. Other days, just the mere thought of anything going into my mouth makes me nauseous.
I know this isn’t how I’m supposed to be feeling, but I can’t help it. It’s there, constantly. No matter how hard I try to act normal, I can’t stop myself whenever I go into a bathroom and face the toilet.
It’s my weakness. It’s almost like an addiction, one that I can’t break.
“Well, let’s just hope she’s genuine. You’ve been through a lot already because of her and that asshole Jared. I don’t want you to go through anything else.” Angie empathizes, giving me a sad smile.
“Thanks, me either.”
“Where’s Shane? I thought he spent every waking moment with you?” Angie smirks.
“Shane’s fine. He’s at home watching Peyton. She’s sick and he told me to stay home so I wouldn’t catch anything before the trial.” I smile just thinking about how considerate he is with me.
“Awe, he’s so cute.” Angie laughs while grabbing an unopened bag of potato chips from our cabinet.
“Sometimes.” I smirk, following Angie to the living room to watch a movie.
We put on Netflix and sit in comfortable silence.
“In his room napping. He should be waking up here any minute.” I reply.
“Sissy!” We both hear from upstairs.
“Spoke too soon.” I laugh.
I went upstairs to tend to Jacob.
“Hey bubba. Have a good nap?” I smile.
“It was okay.” He shrugs while sitting up in bed. “Hey sissy?”
“What’s a trial?” He raises his little eyebrows.
“Well, it’s something where two people get to tell a story how it happened in their own eyes, and then a group of people listening to those stories, gets to decide who’s telling the truth and who’s lying.” I try my best to explain.
“Oh, so you have to go tell a story and people have to say if you’re lying or not?” He asks.
“Pretty much.” I smile.
“Can I be in the group? I know you’re not lying.” He smiles wholeheartedly which makes me melt.
“Awe, buddy. I wish. Trials are only for adults though.” I frown.
Jacob frowns too and then crawls into my lap. “I know you’ll win!” He smiles wide.
“Thanks bub.” I hug him tightly and in the process pick him up with me while standing.
“Hey, guess who’s downstairs.” I smirk.
“Who?” His little brown eyes go wide in excitement.
Jacob all but pushes himself down from my grasp and runs for the stairs.
“Jacob be careful!” I yell while following him down.
“Angie!” He yells, running over and leaping into her lap on the couch.
“Hey! How’s my little monkey doing?” Angie smiles wide.
“I’m not a monkey!” Jacob pouts.
“Do you jump around a lot and make weird noises?”
“Well, sometimes...” Jacob mumbles.
“Then you are my little monkey.” Angie coos, pinching Jacob’s cheek to which he swats her hand away.
“Sissy, tell Angie I’m not a monkey!” Jacob whines, pushing himself off of Angie’s lap and rushing over to me.
“Angie, Jacob’s not a monkey,” I begin, causing Jacob to turn to Angie and stick his tongue out at her. “Jacob’s a little monkey!” I smirk, causing Jacob to turn to me with a glare.
“Hey!” He whines again. “I’m telling mommy!” He pouts.
“Awe, it’s okay Jacob. It’s cool to be a monkey.” I try to make him feel better.
“Not-uh! You’re a liar!” Jacob accuses.
“Angie, isn’t it cool to be a monkey?” I peer over at Angie who has a smile on her face.
“Oh of course. Monkey’s are way cool.” She nods.
“Really?” He asks both of us.
“Really, really.” I smirk.
“Yay!” Jacob cheers while running into the kitchen to get a juice.
“Kids, so gullible.” I shake my head with a smile while sitting back down beside Angie.
“I know I love it.” Angie laughs.
Suddenly, Angie’s phone goes off.
Instantly a frown appears on her face.
“What happened?” She yells into the phone.
“Shit!” Angie suddenly ends the call and turns to me with worried eyes.
“It’s Jax. Something happened to him. He’s in the hospital!” Angie’s eyes begin to tear up as mine go wide.
“Oh no...” I shake my head looking down into my lap.
I pick my phone up to call my dad. I tell him what happened and he assures me he will be home in five minutes to take us all to the hospital. I hate the thought of bringing Jacob to the hospital where he can potentially see a hurt Jax, but we have no one to watch him since it’s the weekend.
“I can’t believe this... What do you think happened?” I wonder.
“I don’t know. But I swear to God if this has anything to do with Jared...” Angie trails off.
“Then what?” I ask, feeling as though she may try to blame me if anything bad happens to Jax.
“Let’s just wait for your dad.” Angie says, leaning back into the couch with a straight face. “God I hope he’s okay.” She mumbles.
“Me too.” Is all I can say.