- Chapter 20 | We All Die Eventually
A N A S T A S I A
WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED? Kendall punching Ryder was something I never thought I’d see as he was never one for violence, but I guess I’m not the only one who’s changed in the past two years…
Not long after the first punch was thrown did I see why everyone feared Ryder. Before I could blink or say anything, he had Kendall on the ground as he continuously threw punch after punch.
A crowd had surrounded us and I didn’t know what to do. Just because Kendall has hurt me doesn’t mean I want to see him killed. Ryder is the leader of a gang, who knows how far he is willing to go when someone goes against him…
“Stop, please stop,” I say, but not loud enough for everyone to hear because I don’t want any more attention to be on me. To my surprise, Ryder’s fist stops in mid-air as his head snaps to me. He heard, he stopped.
We didn’t break eye contact as he stared at me. What is he looking for? Why is he the only person who doesn’t seem to overlook me when I pretend to be this person that I no longer am?
Kendall shoves Ryder off of him, causing him to look away from me as he watches Kendall stand from the ground to wipe his bloodied nose. His eyes return to mine, but I look down because I do not want him to see through me like he seems to do so easily, I’m supposed to be timid, not confident.
“Don’t start something, you know you can’t finish, Hart,” Ryder says to Kendall before walking off and the crowd begins to disperse as they realize that the fight is over.
I look up to see Kendall shaking his head before he storms down the opposite hall and out of the school doors.
It feels like there’s a war going on inside my head. Part of me feels guilty for what happened and the other part of me feels like I should be glad Kendall just got the shit beat out of him.
I guess my body made it’s own choice because without even realizing it, I’m walking towards the doors he just went through. Kendall was someone who meant so much to me for almost all of my life, so I guess no matter how much he’s hurt me, there will always be some little part of me that loves him…
The bell signaling the start of class rang as I walked out the doors, but I think it’s okay to miss one class today. As I look around, I don’t see him anywhere but his car is still in the parking lot.
After walking around the front of the school for a bit, I stop. Why didn’t I think to check before? Turning, I make my way to the back of the school where our spot was — is, I mean. There’s a large rock that we would always go sit on during freshman year when anything was bothering us.
We’d just look at the mountains ahead and forget about all of our problems…
“I can’t wait for all of this to end. I’m put through hell every single day and I don’t know how much more I can take, Kendall.”
“You’ll be okay. I’ll always be here for you, you know that right?”
“Always. You mean everything to me. I would never leave you to be alone, I promise.”
He never did keep the promise he made the last time we were there together…
As the rock comes into view, I see him sitting on it, just as I suspected. He doesn’t say anything as I climb up on it to sit next to him, struggling a bit because of my height.
Once I’m finally settled into the spot next to him, we sit in silence, staring at the mountains ahead.
Breathing in the fresh air always seems so peaceful and calming. Looking over at Kendall, he surprised me for the third time today when I saw him taking out a cigarette and lighter.
I broke the silence as I say, “That’s going to kill you one day.”
He doesn’t look at me as he puts the cigarette between his lips, inhaling as he holds the flame against the tip, lighting it. Then he puts the lighter back in his pocket before taking the cigarette out, holding it between his fingers as he exhales.
“We all die eventually,” he says, turning to me for the first time.
Looking at him now, I realize that I truly do not recognize him anymore. He keeps surprising me and when I came back here, I thought that I knew what to expect, but I was wrong.
Taking another drag from his cigarette, he asks, “What’s on your mind, Ana?”
He looks away from me, back towards the mountains as he runs a hand through his dark brown hair and coldly asks, “Why?”
It seems like the sensitive Kendall is gone and back in his place is the jerk.
“I don’t know… I’m sorry, this was probably a mistake.” I say, shaking my head as I get ready to get down, but he stops me.
“Don’t leave me alone, please?” he asks, but I’m already upset by his previous attitude and the choice of words he used probably wasn’t best, considering everything.
“What, like you left me?” I practically spit at him and he flinches.
“I guess I deserved that,” he says, which I respond to with a nod.
“I’m sorry, for everything. I really am, Anastasia.” He never uses my full name so I can’t help but sigh as I feel his honesty. “Will you ever for give me?”
“I don’t know… I guess I could try though.” I reply hesitantly.
He grins in my direction, “So friends?”
Rolling my eyes, I nod, “Friends, but that doesn’t mean I trust you yet. You have to earn it.”
Getting up off of the rock, Kendall dusts off his pants before looking up at me, “So as a friend, can I take you somewhere tonight?”
What the hell? I thought friends was just going to mean that we would be civil to each other during school, not hang out after hours…
Also, hanging out with him after school also means keeping up this persona for longer than I need to which I really don’t want to be doing.
As I get ready to say no, I see him giving me puppy dog eyes and I can’t help but roll my own with a small grin on my face. “Fine. Where are you taking me?”
“Oh nowhere crazy… We’ll just be attending a party tonight.” He smirks and my grin drops completely.
What have I gotten myself into?