Chapter 11: Awakened (Part 1)
~Two Days Later~
I was trying to keep my mind blank and refrain from looking out the window. I needed a distraction, the right kind of distraction this time. This was killing me though. Was she still mad at me? Did she still want me around? Was it because of what I said, what happened or both? Why did it bother me so much not knowing? I’d gotten what I wanted, right?
“Ugh!” I groaned, pushing my dresser a few inches to the left until I felt like it was perfect. I was sweating and seconds away from caving in when there was a knock on my door. “Come in.”
“Hey Jr.” came my dad’s concerned voice forcing me to face him.
“Hey dad.” I sighed before sitting on my bed.
“Is everything ok? I mean, don’t get me wrong I like the house being so clean and all, but it’s been consistent cleaning for two days son. No one accumulates that much dirt in a few hours. What’s going on?” A part of me was happy about the fact that our relationship was back to where we could have these father/son talks. I was ecstatic that this time they revolved around if I was okay and not how I could be better, but I didn’t want to revert back. We’d come too far to go back now.
“I don’t know dad.” I groaned trying to find the right words to explain it. “Women are confusing as hell. I think she’s mad at me for something I did, the problem is I don’t know exactly what it is that I did wrong.” I don’t know what I expected, but I do know I didn’t expect him to laugh. It was a hard laugh too. One straight from the belly.
“Jr, you have a lifetime of that ahead of you. In my experience, it’s best that you go over, find out what’s bothering her and then apologize. Don’t try to plead your case. Let her explain, understand where she’s coming from and then apologize for the misunderstanding. Do that and I promise you, if she’s level headed enough, she’ll be apologizing too. Or at least make amends. If not, tackle the garage next.”
… … … … … …
It had taken me a minute before I got up the courage to come over here. I was standing in front of the door and still every last nerve in my body was telling me this was a bad idea. I wanted to run and wait for her to come to me, but I knew that was a bad idea and I wasn’t too proud about how I knew.
Scar: Are you done being ridiculous?
Bear: Stop. Texting. Me.
Scar: How can you still be mad Bear? You’re being ridiculous!”
Bear: I fucking swear I will block you. Stop. Texting. Me.
Scar: Fine! Continue to be a bitch! Continue to lie and keep secrets! I don’t care anymore!
Taking a deep breath and for once putting faith into our friendship while trying to get out of my head, I raised my fist and knocked on the door. It was a quick three taps. The following seconds had been the most nerve-racking before finally she was standing in front of me. I smiled seeing she had on the same white and yellow jogging pants I had, but more fitted, paired with a yellow tank top instead of a white t-shirt like I had. Seeing this allowed me to release the breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding.
“Well I guess this is a good sign.” I gestured to our clothes.
“How come?” she asked confused as she crossed her arms over her chest. Okay, so maybe she wasn’t quite ready to forgive me for whatever I’d done.
“Apparently no matter how mad you get at me, we still seem to think alike.” More emotion was wrapped around my words than I intended. I couldn’t place where it was all coming from. The past and the present seemed to be blurring together and I couldn’t help myself. My arms reached out to pull her into a tight hug before I could tell them too. “Don’t do that again.” I whispered in her ear.
“I’m sorry.” she whispered back, finally hugging me as tight as I held her. We separated as she allowed me over the threshold before closing the door behind us. I still had to ask and apologize before I could feel completely comfortable.
“Were you mad at me because of what I said? Look, I was just being stupid. I didn’t mean it how it sounded.” I rushed out and to my surprise she just laughed before shaking her head no before going back to making her a sandwich. Once we were done discussing things I was definitely asking for one. Right now I was too scared I’d end up wearing it.
“It wasn’t anything like that. It’s just when Clarissa kicked Cocoon it really got under my skin and pissed me the hell off. I don’t care what she does or says to me, but no one is going to hurt them. Then you told me to cool it. I felt like you had taken her side.” I was shocked. I had grown used to everyone thinking so little of me, but I never expected it from her. It hurt. Without even thinking about it, the words began to form and were spilling out.
“I’m so sorry that you felt like that Minnie. You know I love them and trust me Clarissa knows how wrong she was.” She’d called me later that night and I wasn’t really in the mood to talk. I felt bad for spazzing out on her like that, but she needed to hear it. “She had to hear my mouth for hours and then I blocked her for a few days.” Feeling the weight lift off my shoulders, I sat at the island and smiled the same way I did anytime she cooked. She knew I was getting ready to ask for one and was just waiting.
“Well that’s good.” she smiled before going serious. “It happens again and I’ll kick your ass for restraining me.” I stared back at her wide-eyed as she went back to smiling. “Remember I choose non-violence. Doesn’t mean that I can’t kick some ass when I want.”
“Good to know.” I shrugged, laughing nervously. “Um… so what kind of sandwich are you making? It looks so good.” I was back to smiling goofily as she rolled her eyes. Just like that we were back to ourselves. I had to remember to thank my dad for the advice.
… … … … … … …
Somehow a sleepover became part of our plan. At first I wasn’t hesitant. The urge to kiss her only grew the more we were alone, but she had made herself clear. I no longer wanted the friendship to end. Suffering around her was better than being without her. That much had become clear after the past two days. Still sitting here trying to ignore what I’m feeling while playing board and card games was easier said than done.
“I win! I win!” I chanted, laughing as she pouted. “Awww, isn’t that little pout so cute on you.” I mocked laughing harder.
“I quit and I don’t want to play anymore. You are such a freaking cheater.” she whined rolling her eyes and folding her arms across her chest. I really should stop teasing her, but I was having too much fun.
“I didn’t cheat Minnie, you’re just a really bad sore loser.” My goofy grin was back as I sat back down and threw my arm over her shoulders. She really should know what I’m going to ask at this point. “So, how about the loser cooks?” I knew she was going to be sarcastic before she even opened her mouth.
“If you really had wanted another pizza, you should have ordered it when I told you to. I warned you that they stopped taking deliveries at nine and stopped delivering at nine thirty, but no you were too lazy.” Her sarcasm only made me smile harder. She knew if she really wanted to, I’d drive and get her whatever she wanted.
“Please!” I begged. “I’ll even help you.”
“No Mickey.” I knew it was no point in pulling out the charm on her. She only saw me as a friend and seducing her to get food definitely didn’t work, but it didn’t mean it wouldn’t be fun to try. Making my voice deeper, I pulled her closer to me and began stroking her hair.
“You know you want to Minnie. I’ll even make it worth it for the both of us if you do.” I smiled leaning over to whisper in her ear. “Come on Minnie, you know you want too.” To my surprise, it worked. She groaned before going into the kitchen. For a minute I sat there shocked. Had I been misreading the situation this entire time? Was it possible- Before even allowing myself to finish that thought she called to me from the kitchen.
“Mickey, how do you feel about steak or chicken tacos?”
“I feel like both. I’ll help you cook.” I offered starting to feel guilty.
“No!” she shouted, shocking me as I paused mid step over the threshold. “I mean I can prep and cook it. You can help by cutting up and cleaning off the condiments. You can set the table and whatnot, by the time it’s all done the food should be ready.” I only nodded.
As we worked silently, I kept sneaking glances at her honestly confused. I had no clue how the seduction had worked, or even why it had. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but I didn’t want to deny the possibility entirely. The more I watched her, the more she seemed determined to ignore me. Hell, by the time she began shredding up the chicken with a knife and fork she seemed to be completely dazed herself.
“Minerva!” I panicked as the blood trickled down her finger. What in the hell was on her mind that she didn’t feel the knife slicing through her skin. “What the fuck are you trying to do cut off a finger?!” I yelled, getting mad. Again I didn’t know if it was her I was mad, but she didn’t help it.
I felt bad for going off on her like that. I don’t care whatever the reason, whether through text or in person I shouldn’t talk to her like that. I wanted to apologize, but she had blocked me for the time being. I had no clue when she’d stop being mad at me, and I was risking going over to her house. She’d kick my ass without warning, and I’d be too blindsided to be able to stop her.
“Damn it Bear.” I groaned, deciding to just go over to the window and see if she was in her room. Hopefully the window would be up. It was ideal, but it was the best option I had. The minute I saw her, I had no idea what to do. She was staring in the mirror at herself crying and wiping her nose.
Nosebleeds weren’t too uncommon for her, but she didn’t cry. I wondered if it was because of me that she was, but I had no idea what to do. She was keeping secrets and not talking to me, but I had no reason to be truly worried about her. Did I?
I was trying to shake off the panic attack as I got closer to her to see how much damage she’d done. It hadn’t even registered to me just how close we were. I couldn’t shake the memory. “Damn it Minnie. You’re bleeding.” I sighed, grabbing a towel and wrapping it around her hand. The cut hadn’t been as deep as I thought and was more on her palm than her finger, but she should have been paying attention. Deciding I’d overreacted, but not wanting to take the chance, I told her to relax and I’d finish. Once that was done, I’d gone back over to her to help clean the wound. I still wasn’t ready to speak and felt like I couldn’t breathe, but I had to maintain myself long enough not to scare her.
“I’m sorry Mickey.” she breathed finally coming down from the shock.
“It’s okay Minnie.” I sighed, finally able to find my voice. “Just be more careful please. Let’s just eat now.”
We ate in silence before I gave up on trying to calm myself and decided it best that I just go home. I barely made it to my side of the gate before I was on my knees gasping for air with hot tears sliding down my cheeks. The past gripping my throat tight. It had been right in front of me and I still hadn’t noticed.