Healing Hands

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Chapter 5 | Friday Night

It’s Friday morning, and I am honestly dreading today.

The last two days, I’ve kept a low profile. I have been trying to act normal around Liam, so thank God that boy is oblivious. Ethan has been acting normal around me, so he probably doesn’t suspect anything either.

Tonight is the night we all hang out over at Ethan’s.

Jeremy will be there.

What the hell am I going to do?

An idea pops into my head, so I pick up my phone and send a group text.

Me: How about tonight we all go to the movies instead?

Ethan: What about the pool?

Liam: Yeah Dal, it’s tradition!

Lexi: I wouldn’t mind the movies (:

I can always count on Lexi to have my back.

Ethan: But I already bought all the food, and the waterslide is finally finished!

Liam: Ethan’s house it is! Oh and hurry up Dal, we’re going to be late for school.

Lexi: Don’t worry Dal, we will have fun!

I know Lexi is subtly trying to calm me down, but I hate that I can’t get out of this.

I sigh as I grab my bag and head downstairs.

“Why don’t you want to go over to Ethan’s? You haven’t been over there in a couple days now.” Liam asks when I finally make it into the kitchen. I watch as he double checks the cord to the toaster, before sticking two pieces of toast into the slots and pushing down the lever.

“No reason, just wanted to do something different tonight.” I shrug, faking the nonchalance.

“Well, we can watch a movie tomorrow night.” Liam smiles and I nod in agreement.

“Meet you in the car.” I say before walking out of the kitchen and outside.

As I wait for Liam, Lexi calls me.

“Hey.” I answer.

“Don’t worry Dallas, tonight I will stick by your side.” She says in a rushed voice. “Nothing will happen.”

“Thanks, but it doesn’t make me any less nervous. This will be the first time I see him since it happened.” I say, grimacing at the memory.

“I know. We’ll get through it together. Ugh, Jayce! Darse prisa!” Lexi huffs, “Sorry gotta go, see you at school!” Then she’s gone.

I shake my head at her crazy family, just as Liam opens the driver’s side door.

“How come you never want to drive anymore?” He huffs, balancing his toast on his leg.

“I do, just not usually in the mornings.” I smile sweetly, as I lean over to turn on the radio.

Liam eats his toast with one hand, as he steers with the other. We make it down to Ethan’s house, so Liam pulls up beside the curb and honks the horn.

The front door opens, and as I look up to greet Ethan, the eyes looking back at me are not his.

Jeremy walks outside and begins to walk down the driveway. I quickly inhale a short breath of air, before sinking down into my seat. I position my body to the right, so that I can look out of my window and away from Jeremy’s gaze.

Liam rolls down his window just as Jeremy reaches the driver’s side door.

“Hey kids.” He smirks, and I internally cringe.

“Hey man, what’s up?”

“Just wanted to make sure that you guys were still coming over tonight. I’m cooking some food on the grill.”

“Wow really? Sweet. I love barbeque.” Liam says, and I do everything I can to keep my gaze out of my window.

I hear the backdoor open, so I know Ethan is getting into the car now. That is confirmed when I hear his voice.

“We gotta get to school; we’ll have plenty of time to talk later.” Ethan says. “See you.”

“Bye guys, and bye Dallas.” Jeremy says sweetly, but I catch the hint of animosity in the background of his voice.

I face forward now and just wave, as Liam slowly starts to pull away from the curb.

“Nervous around Jeremy huh? You have a crush or something?” Liam laughs, and I quickly shake my head.

“Absolutely not!” I argue. “He’s like a brother to me.” I lie.

“Good, cause that would be weird as hell.” Ethan chuckles in the backseat.

I feel a little more relaxed now that we are down the street and away from Jeremy. I have no idea how I am going to get through the entire night being in the same atmosphere with him. I already know I am going to be on edge the entire time. It’s going to really suck.

When we finally get to school, Liam and Ethan go off with some of their friends as I walk inside to find Lexi. She’s at our lockers, so I walk over and begin to open mine.


She immediately turns to me. “I’m sorry! I should have pushed the movies more.” She frowns.

“No, it’s okay. Not your fault. There was no changing their minds, unless I explained the real reason why I don’t want to go over there.” I sigh.

“Maybe you should. We have no idea how long he’s going to be in town, and you can’t keep avoiding Ethan’s house and/or continue to feel uncomfortable anytime we go over there.” Lexi says, and I know that she’s right.

But I just can’t tell anyone else. It’s all too weird.

“Maybe I will, just not now. I want to see how it all plays out before I say anything.” I reply, and she’s hesitant to agree, but a few seconds later she nods.

“Alright, I won’t say anything.”

“Thanks.” I smile as I shut my locker. “See you in third.”

I walk away and before I make it to my classroom, my phone vibrates. I pull it out of my pocket to see a text from an unknown number.

Unknown: Can’t wait to see you tonight ;)

My stomach drops as my brain manages to figure out who the text is from. I believe my subconscious already knows, because I am immediately replying.

Me: I don’t know how you got my number, but please stop texting me. Avoid me at all costs tonight, or I will tell everyone what happened the other day.

A few minutes go by, and I get no response. Maybe he finally took the hint.

One can only hope.

After school, I meet Lexi and the boys outside in the parking lot.

“Ethan and I are going straight to Ethan’s. You want to ride with us, or ride with Lex?” Liam asks me just as I sling my bag over my shoulder.

“I’ll ride with Lexi. We have to go by her place, and then ours first.” I say, hoping to prolong the inevitable for as long as possible.

“Alright, see ya there. Oh and Dal, since you’re going by our place can you grab my swimming trunks?” Liam asks just before getting inside our jeep.

“Sure thing, see ya.” I wave and then they pull out of the parking space and leave.

“Don’t worry; I’ll drive as slow as possible.” Lexi smirks as we climb into her red Toyota.

“No don’t. I want to get this thing started, so it can be over.” I finally realize. The quicker this starts, the quicker it’s over and I can go home.

“You got it boss.”

We drive to Lexi’s house and as soon as we walk inside, we hear yelling.

“Deja de tirar papel y haz tu tarea!” Regina yells from inside the kitchen.

I glance into the living room just as Jayce rolls another piece of paper into a ball. He sheepishly smiles at me, and I shake my head no as I catch on to what he’s been doing.

“Jayce, enough with throwing paper. You’re making a mess.” Lexi scolds as we pass him and head into the kitchen.

“Hey ma.” Lexi smiles. I look over to see Regina stirring something that’s on top of the stove.

“Hey girls! How was school?” She asks once she stops stirring, and turns around.

“It was fine. We’re about to head over to Ethan’s. I just needed to grab my bikini.” Lexi replies, and Regina gives her a look.

“Oh come on, stop. It’s only Liam and Ethan.” Lexi waves her mother off, and Regina shakes her head.

“You kids are growing up so fast; I just hope you don’t start to feel certain urges.” Regina says and I let out a laugh as Lexi’s eyes widen.

“Mom! Silencio!”

“Oh whatever, you girls have fun!” She smirks before leaving the kitchen.

Lexi rolls her eyes. “So yeah, I’m just going to grab my suit. I’ll be right back.”

As I sit and wait for Lexi, I feel something lite hit the back of my head.

“Jayce!” I shout and immediately hear his footsteps running away.

It took Lexi and me no time at all to stop by my place so I can grab Liam’s swimming trunks, and my bikini. I made sure to grab my wrap so I could keep most of myself covered throughout the night. I don’t need any excuse for Jeremy to want to try anything stupid.

I take notice that Lexi also grabbed her bikini wrap. I can only pray that Jeremy doesn’t try anything with her too. She is my best friend, and I do not want him hurting her.

“Ready for this?” She asks, just as we pull into Ethan’s driveway.

“As ready as I’ll ever be.” I weakly smile as we both get out of her car. As soon as we make it to the front door, it’s yanked open.

“Hello ladies.” Before I have time to react, I’m staring at the smirk resting on Jeremy’s smug face.

“Hi.” Lexi glares just as she grabs my hand and pulls me inside. We walk directly around Jeremy and head for the back door that leads to the pool. We can hear Liam and Ethan already outside.

I try my best not to look behind me, but I can’t help it. I glance back at Jeremy to find him glaring at the back of Lexi’s head. My eyes slightly widen, just as I’m pulled outside. Lexi shuts the back door and my shoulders instantly relax.

“Hey girls! There’s some beer in the cooler!” Ethan shouts from his raft as he floats in the pool water.

“Here.” I toss Liam his swimming trunks and he catches them with ease before heading over toward the outside bathroom.

Lexi pulls off her wrap and takes a beer before walking into the pool water. “Wow, nice and warm.” She smiles.

“I peed.”

Lexi glares at Ethan and splashes him with water as he laughs and jumps off his raft, landing in the water himself.

“Do you have to make everything gross?” Lexi asks as soon as Ethan resurfaces.

“Absolutely.” Liam smirks as he passes the entrance to the pool and heads in my direction.

“Not swimming?”

“I will, just not in the mood right this second.” I reply, debating on if I want to drink any beer tonight. Do I want to accidentally become buzzed and forget that I’m trying to avoid Jeremy?

I internally shake my head. I need to stay sharp and focused. Especially if Lexi is drinking tonight. I need to keep an eye on her, to make sure nothing weird happens.

“Just don’t be a buzzkill tonight. You’ve been acting weird lately.” He says while taking a seat beside me on the lounge chairs.

“No I haven’t.” I lie.

“Dude, you’re my twin. I can tell when something’s off.” Liam says with a raised eyebrow. “If it was anything serious, you’d tell me right?”

“Of course.” I smile with a nod. “We tell each other everything.”

Liam smiles before getting up to join the other two in the pool.

My smile immediately vanishes once he’s out of sight. I hate lying to my brother. That’s the one thing we swore we would never do to each other, no matter how bad things got.

A few seconds go by, and the backdoor opens.

“How are you Dallas?” Jeremy casually asks as he walks over to the cooler to grab a beer. He opens the bottle and chucks the cap onto the table.

“Fine.” I answer short while crossing my arms over my chest.

“You don’t seem fine.” He smirks while taking a seat opposite of me. “Why aren’t you swimming with them?” He points his head over toward the pool, and I glance in that direction to find Lexi’s eyes on me.

I give her a small smile and she nods while throwing a ball over to Ethan.

“Just not ready to swim yet.” I shrug.

“Well don’t wait too long, the water will get cold.”

I eye him up and down, wondering what I did to deserve this. Jeremy has always been someone that I could look up to. He’s been a friend, a brother, family. Why does he have to ruin all of that now?

I decide that I’m not going to let him ruin my life. I’m going to move on from the incident that happened, and I’m going to continue to ignore Jeremy until he leaves for college again, and is out of my life for good.

I let out a deep breath before standing up and removing my wrap. I immediately feel Jeremy’s eyes moving over my body, which causes goosebumps to appear against my skin. I push my shoulders back, and with my head held high, I walk over to the pool and get in the water.

I feel his eyes on me the entire time. It feels disgusting.

Once I am in the water, and away from him, I feel more relaxed.

Lexi is immediately by my side, giving me knowing looks and I simply shake my head with a smile.

“I’m fine.”

“Okay cool.” She smiles back to me.

After a couple hours of messing around in the pool, we all get out to eat dinner. Jeremy has been handling the grill while the rest of us swam.

“Wow, this smells amazing!” Liam says as soon as we sit down at the patio table.

“Thanks, it’s our dad’s famous rub.” Jeremy smiles while pulling the last of the chicken from the grill. Beside it is barbequed ribs and already sitting on the table are a bunch of different sides. Potato salad, baked beans, and corn on the cob, which all look mouth-watering.

“Fantastic, because I’m starving!” Lexi sighs while fixing herself a full plate of food. Everyone else does the same, and I am the last to go.

“Here, let me.” Jeremy takes my plate and puts a little bit of everything on it, before sitting it down in front of me.

“Thanks, but I could have done that myself.” I deadpan.

“He’s just being nice, relax.” Liam laughs.

“Nope, she’s right. She’s a woman; she can manage on her own.” Jeremy winks at me, and I try my hardest not to vomit right here on the table.

“Anyway, what’s the plan after we eat?” I ask, looking at Liam and Ethan.

“Well, we could go inside and play some cards or we can watch a movie on Netflix.” Ethan says, looking at everyone for any objections.

“Sounds good to me.” Liam shrugs.

“I like Netflix.” Jeremy smiles.

I look down to my lap and start to pick at my food with my plastic fork.

“How about we get out of the house? We’re always cooped up here on Friday nights.” Lexi suddenly says, and my eyes snap to hers as I smile.

“Well, we’ve all been drinking and I doubt Dallas wants to drive us around all night.” Ethan smirks.

“Great, Netflix it is.” Jeremy says, and I sink in my chair a little bit.

As I finally begin to eat my food, I barely notice when Jeremy makes his plate and takes a seat beside me. He took it upon himself to grab a chair from the other table, and pull it over to ours.

Right. Beside. Me.

I notice Lexi try to discreetly glance at me, but I do good to keep my eyes focused on my food as everyone continues to eat. I guess it’s a good thing that both Liam and Ethan are oblivious.

Everyone starts to talk about nothing in particular, and it almost starts to feel normal until I feel a hand brush against my leg.

My eyes immediately shoot to Jeremy who has a neutral expression on his face as he continues to eat.

My heart rate starts to increase, but I try my best to keep my cool.

As his hand starts to inch further up my thigh, I suddenly can’t take it anymore and I shoot up from my seat. Jeremy’s hand falls to his lap and I quickly grab my half-eaten plate of food.

“What’s up?” Liam asks.

“I’m just full. Do you want to finish this for me?” I look at him and he gives me a confused stare.

“Uh, sure.” He takes my plate and I begin to walk toward the back door.

“I’ll be right back.” I smile, and once I’m inside I take a deep breath before heading to the kitchen. I grab a glass from the wooden cabinet, and get some water from the sink.

I take a few minutes to collect myself, as I take sips of the cool liquid.

I don’t notice the back door open and close again.

I am almost relaxed again when I feel hands wrap around my waist from behind.

“Stop acting so fucking weird or people are going to catch on.” He whispers harshly against my skin.

“There’s nothing to catch on to Jeremy! I don’t want you!” I snap, and his grip on my waist tightens.

“Oh stop. I saw you eyeing me earlier.” I can practically feel him smirking from beside my ear, so I quickly turn around and push him away from me.

“Stop it. Just stop, please. What happened to you? I never expected this kind of behavior from you. You’ve changed, and I hate who you’ve become!” I glare while crossing my arms over my chest.

Jeremy’s eyes widen for a second, as if he’s realizing how badly he’s been acting. But then, his lips turn upward into a smirk and he raises his hands in the air, as if he’s surrendering.

“We’ll see.” Is all he says before disappearing from the kitchen and that’s when I hear the back door open and close.

A few seconds later, Lexi walks into the kitchen.

“Are you okay? He said he was going to the bathroom, but that was way longer than it needed to be. He didn’t try anything, did he?” She asks, her eyes full of concern.

“I’m fine. Let’s just finish this evening so I can go home.” I say with a neutral expression on my face. I almost feel numb to everything that has happened in the last five minutes.

I can still feel his death grip against my waist.

This is one of my best friend’s house, and I no longer feel safe here.

That is definitely, a problem.

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