Dave (Bonus Book 4)

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Chapter 35: Mickey and Minnie (Part 1)

Maria’s p.o.v.

My heart sunk as I watched the scene before me. The way she laughed. How she slowly tilted her head to right with her eyes locked dead on his. The way she gently placed her hand on his chest as if whatever he said was so funny she lost all motor skills. I’ve seen it too many times not to notice. She was making her move. She wanted the new guy simply because he’d shown interest in me.

The first friend I’d managed to make since she’d stolen them all away from me, and she wanted him too. It wasn’t enough to leave me one friend. One person that I could talk to and learn to smile again. She wanted him too. By now she was probably telling him everything; both truth and rumors. She knew more than she let on, but we were no longer friends. Besides, she was part of the crowd to have started the rumors.

She was probably telling him how I got drunk at the party and let two brothers go to town on me. It was a lie though. I was examined and the doctors ensured me that I was still a virgin and that nothing had been entered into my anal cavity.

She was probably telling him how I became a bitch and made everyone hate me. That’s probably true. I had a temper issue and often couldn’t control my mouth, but I don’t think that I’ve ever said or done anything to make someone hate me so much they’d start those horrible rumors about me.

She was probably telling him how I made guys run off. How I wasn’t as innocent as everyone believed. How I was both a virgin and a slut. She was going to make me lose him when I had just started to feel better again. She caught me staring from across the lot and smirked at me. I frowned.

I hated her.

She was once my best-friend, but now I hated her. Her and everyone that was in the crowd I’d been a part of once upon a time. I rolled my eyes and sighed as I began walking away. He’d get a ride from one of them and be one of the popular kids. I’d once again be alone. I’d managed to make it through one time, I could do it again.

Holding my head down so I won’t have to be humiliated as I walked passed them, I struggled to keep my anger in check. It wasn’t fair for me to be living like this, but I couldn’t take all of them down. I’d rather it be me they did this too than some poor unsuspecting girl who had no idea who they were.

“Maria, wait up!” he called and I gasped instinctively, turning to face him. It felt like time stopped as everyone watched him abruptly ignore Clarissa calling for him to come back and head towards me. “You weren’t going to leave without me, where you?” he asked, his tone teasing as he smirked.

“I didn’t want to interrupt your conversation.” I said shyly, still in disbelief.

“Well next time please do, I need someone to save me every now and then.” he smirked again as I shook my head laughing.

“Me too.” was all I said as we began the walk home. A part of me knew he was going to ask what I meant and this time I would answer honestly. We were friends now and losing him to them terrified me. I didn’t want to be alone again.

I couldn’t wrap my head around any of this. It was all too much and my head was starting to hurt. There’s no doubt in my mind or heart that Dave had told me the truth, but some of the things that Nix had said seemed true. Some of them seemed to fill in the blanks I was desperate to fill in. The excuse I would need to push him away instead of letting him get emotionally too close to me again.

Had Dave been obsessed with Natalie? Was he trying to build up the courage to tell her he was in love with her and just waited until it was too late? Had the choice to confess been taken away from him because she’d chosen someone else? Had he used basketball to keep himself busy and not think about her? I mean he did tell me that I reminded him of her a few times. Is that why he’s been trying to convince me incessantly that I was his? It made sense, it was all the same things he’d done to me.

Does he only want me because I remind him of her? Is he only claiming me as his because he missed out on his chance to claim her?

My head was killing me and my heart was starting to hurt. I needed to find some way to make sense of it all. It felt like I had no one to talk to, but I was willing to take the chance. Trying hard to maintain composure I drove around until I couldn’t take it anymore and finally pulled into a random, mostly empty parking lot, pulling out my phone.

It rang for what felt like forever before his voice finally came through the phone and I broke.

“Hello?”

“Daddy I’m so sorry I’m not your perfect little girl anymore and I hate that I ran away from you. You have always been everything for me and I just ran when I couldn’t handle disappointing you anymore. My head has been all jumbled up for the last two years and the only thing that was making it better is now making things worse. I don’t know what to do anymore and I… I just need you right now.” I cried, heaving sobs leaving me as a panic attack slowly began to approach.

It was late… middle of the night late. Thankfully I had a single dorm because I didn’t know if I could explain what was happening right now. I couldn’t handle everyone talking about me again. I didn’t want to be the class freak anymore. I didn’t want everyone knowing my name for all the wrong reasons. It felt like I couldn’t breathe.

My throat was closing up as tears ran down my cheeks and I rocked myself back and forth. I needed help, but I still didn’t know how to ask for it. Asking had become somewhat of a foreign concept. One that was too hard for me to grasp.

I was reliving it. Reliving the moment where I hated myself the most. I couldn’t escape it. No matter how fast I ran away, it always seemed to be faster. Struggling to control the sobs that encased me in their grasp I picked up my phone and dialled the one number I knew I could always call.

“Hello?” he asked after the third ring. His smooth velvety voice hit me like a pound of bricks. I’d awaken him out of his sleep and I felt like a bitch for it. He needed to rest, not be worried about me.

“Daddy I’m… Daddy I’m so...so sorry.” I choked out feeling another wave of anxiety wash over me.

“Bug? Bug what’s wrong?” he asked, sounding more alert than he had been.

“I’m not a good person daddy. I’m not even a good daughter. I deserved everything that happened to me. I-” my words were cut off as I dissolved into another puddle of tears and let my dad hear all the pain I was in. I felt horrible doing this to him. I didn’t want him to worry. I just wanted the chance to say good-bye. “I deserve to die.”

“Princess, princess breathe. It’s okay. I’m here and I’ll always be here. You just have to talk to me. You don’t really talk to me anymore. I can’t know you need me Bug if I don’t know what’s going on. Tell me what’s going on.” His voice was soothing. It comforted me a little and made me feel safe. What I was feeling made me regret leaving him for so long. When there was nothing else, it was with him that I truly found my solace. I wasn’t naive though, I could hear him trying to conceal his panic. I knew he was reliving the last time I called him in tears and that only made me feel worse.

“Daddy, ever since I found out the truth about that night with Clarissa and John I’ve felt dirty. I’ve felt like I was no longer myself. To find out that someone had been allowed to caress and grope me in my sleep made me sick to my stomach. To find out that he was going to let it go further before he decided to stop it, makes me want to curl into a ball and die. Mom hated me for not being who she wanted me to be and then when the truth came out, when I needed her most and she could have redeemed herself, she disappeared. Why would she do that? I’m forced to believe that she left me because it was too hard for her to admit her wrongs and apologize. How fucked up is that to think about your mother? What hurts the most is she didn’t even bother to say good-bye? Because of her I lost hope in the one person, besides you, that made me feel alive again. When I lost him it was like I lost myself. I became someone that I barely recognize anymore and I’ve done things that I regret. I’m ashamed of my actions. I almost got kicked out of school for constantly breaking the rules. I was having sex in public and random places with the intention of getting caught. Being drunk beyond belief. Fighting anyone who dared to challenge me, and sometimes just because. I didn’t realize how much I was hurting daddy. I just wanted someone to notice that I needed help. For someone finally to hear my pain. I don’t even realize how much I’m still hurting most of the time and all I want to do is sit down with you and have you tell me it’ll be alright. I was scared though. I thought you blamed me for mom leaving and you being alone. I thought you hated me for doing the same and leaving you alone. I thought you were disgusted with the truth of what happened to your daughter and liked not having me around. I thought I made life harder for you. I was afraid to come back. I didn’t want you to hate me more for putting you in the spotlight again. I don’t want to be a victim. I don’t want to whine. I don’t want pity, but I want to stop hurting. I want to be better, but I don’t know how to start. I want Dave to want me in the same way that I want him and not be confused if he’s mistaken me for someone else. I don’t want to be a replacement for him. I don’t want to be confused. I don’t want you to stop loving me like mom did, you’re all I have left. I don’t want you to disown me because it’ll make life easier on you. I need you now more than ever daddy. I tried getting help and it’s just not working. I don’t need a therapist, I need my heart; I need you daddy. You are my heart.” I was sobbing even heavier now as I tried to catch my breath and calm down. He stayed quiet until I was. A part of me wanted to hang up because I was embarrassed, but a much bigger part knew I had to stay on the phone.

“First and foremost, you are my daughter no matter what. I don’t care what you do, did or have done. You are a much bigger part of my heart than I am of yours. Everything I do is for you babygirl and I don’t care how old you get or how much you change that is never going to happen. You can’t lose me. You can’t replace me. If you happen to lose your way I’ll be there with a light to try and guide you back. I’m here for you no matter what. If you want me to drop everything and just hold you, say that and I will block out the world for you. Nothing else matters to me, only you. Your mother did what she did for whatever reason. That’s her burden to bear. Don’t ever think that I would choose her over you. You come from me and you are my world. You are still my perfect little girl in my eyes. Don’t you dare let a low-life nothing have that kind of power over you. You, babygirl, my little princess, my Bug are and will always be perfect in my eyes. Do you understand me?”

“Yes sir.” I whispered after a sniffle.

“I’ll be home tonight. We’ll get through this together. As for Dave, sweetie go home and talk to him. Ask him whatever it is that is bothering you and for once get through it. You’d be surprised by what you hear. You can’t claim to love him Bug and then give up on him because of your own assumptions. It’s not fair to play with his feelings like that. Now go. It’s already getting late and I really rather you not drive when you can work yourself up into a panic attack. Go home, talk to him and I’ll call you later. I love you princess. Don’t you ever doubt that.”

“I love you too daddy.” The call ended and admittedly I felt a little bit better after talking to him. He was right though, the one thing Dave and I didn’t know how to do was be completely honest with each other unprovoked. It was time to change that. It was time to learn how to stop running away.

Dave’s p.o.v.

It took forever trying to get things set up all the while constantly looking over my shoulder. I was terrified that she would show up before I was ready. I was so nervous I had butterflies in my stomach as I ran around on wobbly legs.

I had it all planned and had even managed to get the team to help me.

Throughout the backyard I had fairy lights strung about. I had even managed to get the ones that twinkled. The lady said it would give a better romantic feel once it got dark. I’d managed to get a large white screen that would spread the width of her wide back yard and a projector to connect my laptop too. I’d even paid one of the JV boys to make sure there was no dog poop laying around, which turned out to be a waste of money. Nothing was there, not even an old forgotten turd lying around.

I had all of her favorites. Her favorite movies were downloaded on my laptop. Her favorite foods were sitting on a long table in their own containers waiting to be eaten. Her favorite drinks sat in a cooler of ice getting cold. Her favorite cake and ice-cream had been left in the house and was causing me stressed thinking she was going to see it.

The guys had helped me to put up a waterproof tent around everything. I remembered the last time I tried to do something like this and it rained before I even had the chance to put the plan into action. This time nothing was going to stop me. Nothing was going to make me not ask her to be mine.

The last thing I had to do before my hours of work would be done and hopefully worth all the stress was setting up our seats. Weeks ago I’d order giant bean bags for us with the hopes that she would actually come back for the summer and we could start over. I’d gotten hers in a galaxy-like style because she loved to look at the stars. I’d even paid the extra to have her name spelled out with the stars like a constellation. Mines was a simple grey and blue color with my name spelled across it. Mickey and Minnie.

They were big enough to lay in like a bed, whether it be alone or together. I had also customized blankets in a similar pattern; and just to make things a little bit more comfortable I had gotten some decorative pillows just to add around it. After setting the cooler between the two bean bags behind the table, I was finally done and couldn’t wait for her to get home.

Tonight was the night. Tonight was the night that I finally asked Maria to be my girlfriend. I was finally in a good place… a better place than I was accustomed to. I was learning to move on without hating myself for doing so. I was finally starting to understand that I wasn’t a bad guy. Yes, I’d done some bad things and made mistakes that I couldn’t take back, but I had learned from them. I was better because of them.

I was finally able to look at myself in the mirror and not have to struggle to make eye contact. I was able to stop walking around with the weight of shame holding me down. I was beginning to be a better man for her. I was headed down a road I had no intention of turning back from; not this time.

… … … … … … … …

I was starting to get worried as I checked my phone for the time again.

Where could she be and why was she taking so long to get here? I had time to grab a shower and all. With the way I was sweating from concern and nerves my grey wife beater was starting to stick to me and the blue joggers were turning out to be a bad idea.

Was she mad at me?

Did she hate me now?

Would she really believe Phoenix over me?

She’d known me since I first moved here what now felt like forever ago and it was like- no. I wasn’t allowed to go there anymore. I had to have faith in the girl that held my heart in her hands. I had to believe and understand that she truly knew me in a way that I wasn’t sure even Natalie would understand. In a way that I didn’t even understand but I had faith in. She was my other half and all I had to do was wait. I’d waited this long a few more minutes wouldn’t hurt. Just as I sat down my phone vibrated. I got excited thinking it was her, but it was just her dad.

Mr. Anise: She’s on her way. David I’m trusting you with my little girl. I see what you two can’t, what you are only beginning to see. Don’t let me down son.

Now my heart was pounding. It felt real. This was it. This was finally my moment. I was scared shitless.

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