Hearbreaks and Facing Them
Leah’s POV :
When I woke up on Monday morning, I was surprised myself that I didn’t feel like going back to bed again, even after getting just five hours of sleep. Instead, I got up and made my bed which I usually never did and then went to shower and get ready for the day.
It took me thirty minutes to shower, brush and dress myself in a pair of black jeans and maroon sweater - an outfit too simple for Leah Carmen to wear at school but I was too tired to play dress up for other people. I simply tied my hair into a ponytail, grabbed my bag, wallet and phone and headed downstairs.
Mom looked up at me and gave me a knowing smile. “Morning sweetie.”
I managed to give her one back, not replying with words, silently thanking her for encouraging me the night before to actually get out of the bed and face the day. Grant and Dad tried but failed to cover their shocked faces. I just took my seat on the breakfast bar and ate my toast and eggs as fast as I could without choking on them and gulped down my milk in one go.
“Can you drop me off at school?” I asked Grant, not at all surprised by my hoarse voice. After all, I had been crying for past five days without talking to anyone.
Grant, who I supposed was in deep thought shook his head. “Uh? Yeah, sure. I’ll drive you.”
I pressed my lips and nodded as I walked out of the kitchen and then out of the house without biding goodbye to anyone. I leaned against Grant’s black Mercedes Benz. He came out after a few minutes and unlocked the car, gesturing me to get in. He got in too and backed out of the driveway and onto the road that led to school.
All throughout the ride, he kept casting me glances, silently asking what the matter was but the question that left his lips halfway to school was, “Are you okay, Lee Bear?”
I pursed my lips and kept looking out of the window. “I’m fine.” I brushed off his concern and heard him sigh.
“I’m always here if you’re not.” I whispered and if it wasn’t so silent in the car, I would have not heart him.
Feeling the tension rise, I switched on the radio and when Back to black by Amy Winehouse filled the silence, I willed myself to not changed the channel. School couldn’t have been far enough. When Grant finally pulled over in the school’s parking lot, I wasted no time in getting out and making my way towards the school, but with slow cautious steps.
I heard Grant’s car pull away when I allowed my gaze to sweep over the lot to see if Tracy was here yet. I could see some students eyeing me, whispering to themselves about me, of course. I didn’t meet anyone’s gaze but I didn’t keep my head down either. I stool tall in fake confidence to prove to them that I wasn’t as broken as they thought I was but my choice in outfit didn’t go along with my plan.
When I couldn’t take it anymore, I turned on my heels and towards the main doors that led to school hallways. Before I could pull them open and enter inside, the flashback of last Wednesday danced in front of my eyes and I took a deep breath. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go in, at least not alone.
So I sat on the steps leading up to the glass doors and waited for Tracy. When five minutes went by and she still didn’t arrive, I pulled my phone out of my jeans pocket and sent her a text asking where she was. It was a movement a little further from me that made me look up. A bunch of freshmen girls were looking at me, their eyes wild and curious for gossip as they approached me.
“Hey.” One of them said.
I didn’t bother replying as I kept my stoic gaze on them, daring them to continue.
“We just wanted to ask if the rumors going around were true?” Another spoke when the first one didn’t continue.
I raised an eyebrow, acting oblivious to their questions while on the inside, I was suffocating, finding it so hard to breath.
The tallest blonde one in the group rolled her eyes and stepped forward, jutting her hip and crossing her arms. “Is it true that Sean dumped you for that geek.... what’s her name again?” She paused and furrowed her eyebrows as she remembered Ronnie’s name. “Ronnie, right? So? Is it true?”
Before I could open my mouth to retort or even hyperventilate to death, another voice answered them for me. “I’ll tell you what’s true and what’s not. And if you don’t get your asses away from here in three seconds, I’m gonna reinvent all your faces into something no one would dare dare, let alone dump.”
I looked up to see Tracy glaring at them, fire falling from her eyes. Sure enough, all the six freshmen girls left faster than you could say Justin Bieber. Tracy turned her gaze towards me and smiled a smile that seemed completely normal, as if everything was good again.
“Hey you. It’s good to have you back.” She said. I stood up and allowed her to hug me.
“Thank you.” I whispered, hugging her back.
She pulled away and grinned. “Anytime, babe. Now let’s go in, shall we?” She asked as she looped our arms together and dragged me inside the school without waiting for my response. She dragged me towards her lockers first and took out her books that she needed for the first two periods before we made a beeline to mine.
As I was taking out my Calculus and AP US History books, I heard the hallway grow silent that if you even dropped a tissue, you’d hear it’s fall. Confused, I looked up to see what had cause when my eyes found their’s.
There they were, Sean and Ronnie at the latter’s lockers as their eyes locked with mine. Ronnie’s eyes were wide and guilty while Sean’s were unreadable and from what I could feel, almost frustrated.
Mine were about to be filled with tears.
Before that could happen though, Tracy came into view. “What are y’all looking at?” She called out in the silent hallway. It was then that I noticed that everyone was looking at the three of us, waiting for something or someone to break and I without doubt knew that it was going to be me.
Tracy’s words brought back the commotion and I started ruffling through my locker to distract myself.
“Can I talk to you for a second?” I heard Sean’s voice before I looked up to see him looking directly at me, Ronnie behind his back, not meeting my eyes. I immediately looked down.
“What do you want, Cooper?” It was Tracy and I was glad she was here with me, for once, I couldn’t talk without breaking into tears.
“I just wanted to talk to Leah for a minute.” Sean said through gritted teeth.
Tracy’s anger matched his. “You’ve done enough already. As of right now, she isn’t ready to talk so you better leave.”
“She can speak for herself.” Sean countered back.
I could still feel the students trying to be discreet while eavesdropping on us and it made me feel more vulnerable than ever. I also felt Tracy brimming with retort and I knew her next words wouldn’t be nice so I squeezed her hand which had found mine when Sean and Ronnie had approached us.
“Leah.” A small, petite and nervous voice voiced my name.
I met Ronnie’s eyes and saw the same quite, innocent, nerdy girl I once knew more than I knew myself. Not anymore though. “Yes, Veronica.” I replied icily.
Her eyes widened and she flinched as if I had slapped her. I saw Sean grip her hand and squeeze it slightly as his eyes turned slightly angry too.
“Don’t talk to her like that.” He gritted out.
I met his eyes with my own icy glare, surprised by my sudden confidence but I knew it was just anger masking my empty soul. “You are in no position to tell me what to do.”
“If only you stopped being a bitch and listened to me once.” He whisper yelled but I’m sure most of the student body heart him.
More hurt than being offended by his words, I slapped him without thinking. Was it the same Sean that told me he loved me and held me in his arms whenever I got extra cranky during my period? Was it the same person who shared his pain with me and called me his angel grace? I wasn’t too sure.
“I might be a bitch but at least I’m not a cheating, two timing asshole.” I said louder than I intended to and without waiting for any reaction from anybody, I walked out of their towards homeroom. I was glad Tracy followed me.
For the rest of the day, the incident of me being a bitch to Sean had spread like wildfire throughout the school. I got nasty looks and glares from girls and snickers from boys. It was bad enough that their whispers flowed into my ears and broke me even further with each jab.
What a slut.
Did you hear how she talked back to Sean this morning? Bitch even slapped him. Poor guy.
It must have been her who made him cheat. Why else would he be tempted to see that nerd girl Ronnie anyway?
I always knew she was a bitch behind a kind exterior.
Finally Sean sees her like the trash she is. I’m so glad he dumped her. I never liked her anyway.
OMG, guys, doesn’t Ronnie and Sean look cute together. Although I’m jealous, they make a cute pair.
I totally ship SeRon.
Their words hurt and tore me apart but obviously it didn’t matter to them. I was automatically the slut and the bitch of the school when I was the one who was cheated on. And Sean and Ronnie who were the guilty parties, became the school’s new ‘it’ couple.
Of course, it had to be me who had forced Sean to cheat, right? And Ronnie, who was an outsider till now was now their favorite girl.
I can never tell Tracy how grateful I was that she chose to stick by my side throughout and even got in bitch fight with a few students when she heard them talking about me. Sean and Ronnie approached me again during lunch but I stood up and left.
It didn’t help that I accidentally tripped and spilled my orange juice over Ronnie - Sean’s sweatshirt that Ronnie was wearing. The school as well as Sean presumed that I, again, was being the bitch and had done it intentionally when Ronnie ran out of the cafeteria crying.
When Sean shouted at me for being ‘petty and bitchy’ I slapped him again and warned him to never approach me again before I left with Tracy.
The rest of the day was same, hearing different versions of me being slutty and bitchy, getting random guys’ offer to hook up and my favorite, hearing one sophomore group of girls talk about my creative ideas with which I planned to torture Ronnie for stealing my man.
When the day finally ended, Tracy offered me a ride back home but seeing Grant wait for me in the parking lot, I rejected the offer. I know he saw Sean and Ronnie riding together and gave me a questioning look but I didn’t speak. Somehow, I knew he’ll figure it out and I was kind of glad that he’d know without me telling him because it still hurt to think about it all.
But one thing that I knew was that if these people wanted a bitch, I’ll give them a bitch.
That was my last thought as I looked myself in my room again and allowed sleep to drown the exhausting day I had at school.