You can call it Home

Chapter 24

So, apparently when your best friend gets hospitalised for three days and doesn’t come to school, rumours spread. A lot. I’d at least expected it to be a few days before people heard about it, but nooo, they all knew from day one. Except they didn’t. None of them had any idea what had actually happened, and the questions a received about it were ridiculous. Was pregnant? Was she jumped? Did she get hit by a car? Did she fall from a window? Yup, they had no idea.

“Bad day?” Arizona asked when I walked in after school that day and dumped my bag on the table before collapsing unceremoniously onto the couch. I looked over at her to see Meredith standing there too, with an only-just-walking Bailey attached to her leg. I smiled at her.

“Hey.” I greeted her.

“Zola and Sofia are upstairs, apparently playing with Sofia’s Frozen keyboard.” She informed me, and as if on cue there came a few very loud and off key notes from down the hall.

Arizona flinched and shook her head. “I was ready to strangle my mom when she bought her that thing.” She laughed, walking over and sitting beside me on the couch. “So, tough day?”

I shook my head and shrugged. “Not a tough day, just a long day. I’m still getting so many questions about Lizzie. But I’m not saying anything to anyone. They just don’t seem to get the hint.”

“People are like that. Once they hear something they stick to it, and of course everyone hears something different so everything’s confusing.” Arizona shrugged. “When I broke up with my girlfriend in Maryland and moved here people thought I’d slept with a man and gotten pregnant.” She laughed. “Rumours get crazy.”

“Yeah. It’s just annoying.” I sighed. “Anyway, what’ve you been doing today? I thought you were at work?”

“I didn’t have much to do; it was basically just paperwork and stuff.” She told me and I nodded.

“And I had the day off. Sofia and Zola get along so well, it’s great. Keeps them busy for a while.” Meredith laughed.

For the next hour or so we just sat and talked, before I decided that I would go and see Lizzie, agreeing to meet Clara there. Lizzie had been going stir crazy because Arizona had told her that she had to stay at home for two weeks because her ribs would take time to heal, and were bound to be giving her pain.

“Hey, cutie.” I greeted Clara outside Lizzie’s front door, giving her a quick kiss. After it lasted longer than originally planned, I heard Lizzie call pout from her living room.

“I can see you guys! Stop sucking face and get in here and keep me from going insane!” She called, making us both laugh. I took Clara’s hand in mine and pushed open the front door, ready for an hour or two full of catch up and gossiping.

“So Zach’s definitely not gonna be anywhere near you anytime soon?” I double triple checked for the fifth time over the last week.

“No way at all. He has a restraining order put on him, he can’t come near me.”

“And we’ll kick his ass in to next decade if he tries.” Clara added, backing up all of my earlier threats.

“I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you guys sooner when you said there was something up with him.” She said for what must have been the millionth time that week. “I really didn’t know.”

“Of course you didn’t.” Clara agreed. “Stop beating yourself up about it.”

“So how’re you dealing with all of this?” I asked Lizzie, who hadn’t said much about the actual event itself yet.

She shrugged and raised her eyebrows. “I’m being completely honest when I say I’m fine. I expected myself to be a lot more affected by it, and I am physically because I’m in bed right now when I could be going out and seeing actual people apart from you guys.” She paused. “No offense.”

“Offense taken.” I sighed dramatically in fake hurt, putting a hand across my heart.

“Oh, shut up.” Lizzie rolled her eyes sarcastically. “But mentally I’m fine. I kind of just see it as a bad thing that happened and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

“Yeah, I get that.” Clara sighed, before smiling. “Anyway, the senior dance is coming up, what’re you guys wearing?”

Lizzie and I both rolled our eyes in unison. Clara loved events like these. There was always a themed dance at the end of each school year, and this year was 1950’s. “Clara, it’s in June. It’s only just March.”

“I don’t care, we need to prepare! Now, any ideas?” She said seriously, taking out her phone and opening up the notes app. Lizzie and I shared another eye roll before deciding to go with it, because Clara was extremely stubborn.

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“You can either get up, or stay in bed and miss out on all these awesome presents and pancakes we have for you!” I heard Callie’s muffled voice exclaim from where my head was buried in the pillow. I thought I could at least count on Callie to not be up so early, but nope. Arizona had apparently convinced her to get up, from what I could see from an angry glance at my alarm clock, was seven in the morning. On a Sunday. In the Easter holidays.

“I’m up, I’m up…” I half grumbled, smiling when I saw all of them standing there with a tray of pancakes and a bag of what I assumed were presents.

“Happy Birthday!” Arizona exclaimed, rushing over to hug me. I had learned over the last year and a half that Arizona loved celebrating other people’s birthdays, but absolutely refused to consider her own. I had no idea why.

“Good morning to you too!” I exclaimed, taking the glass of orange juice from the tray and chugging it down. After that I did a round of hugs, Sofia telling me that she’d been up for ages while waiting for me to wake up.

“I’ll try to wake up earlier next year, promise.” I promised her, taking the package she held out to me and beginning to unwrap it. I smiled when I finished, seeing two things. One was a selfie just like last year’s, in the very same spot in the park. I could see a tradition in the making. The second thing was a white t-shirt which said ‘I have the most awesome sister’ on the front. I laughed at that. I really did.

“Awww thanks Sofia!” I exclaimed, giving her a big hug.

The rest of the presents were mainly from Callie and Arizona, ranging from framed photos to a new set of Harry Potter books. Since I’d read my old ones so many times they’d become very worn, the pages were yellowing and some of them were falling out.

“Clara and Lizzie will probably be here soon.” I told Callie as I ate my pancakes with help from Sofia. We were all just sitting around my room and talking about anything and everything while I ate.

“There’s a surprise.” Callie laughed and I could see her point. There was rarely a time when I was around but they weren’t, we were kinda all joined at the hip. I loved it though, because Lizzie was my best friend and I loved her so much, not like loved loved her, just as a sister. It was Clara who I loved loved, as Lizzie had put it the other week.

“Yeah, everyone’s coming around 2.” Arizona said from across the room where she was examining my biology homework. I loved when it was someone’s birthday because everyone would always get together and it was great fun to see them all. Especially last year, when Alex ended up with a piece of cake in his ear. Long story.

The rest of the day went annoyingly fast. The house was packed with people, and chatter filled the room. Meredith and Derek were there with their new baby, Ellis, who was utterly adorable, and Owen gave me a card which contained a long description of why I should become a trauma surgeon, and to be honest, trauma was what was appealing to me the most. It just intrigued me how they never knew what was coming, how fast they had to think and what a rush they must get. It was pretty awesome.

“I’d probably panic though.” I joked to him as we sat at the kitchen table, watching a bunch of people playing soccer. It appeared to be Callie, Sofia, Jackson, Jo, Clara and Zola on one team, and Arizona, Alex, Richard, Tuck, Lizzie and baby Bailey on the other. Bailey could only just walk so he wasn’t really playing, but he was having a good time as heard from his ecstatic laughter. Callie’s team appeared to be winning.

“You think April didn’t panic at first?” Owen said, nudging a pretending to be hurt April in the shoulder. “Now she’s a brilliant trauma surgeon.”

April scoffed. “I did not panic, I was just shocked.” She tried to convince us but her tone didn’t even sound halfway convincing.

“You panicked.2 Owen insisted and she slumped her shoulders.

“I know.” She laughed. “But there was, like, half a tree sticking out of the guy!”

In the end, it turned out that Callie’s team won by a long shot. Her and Arizona were actually halfway bickering about it when they came in, Arizona trying to argue that it wasn’t that bad a loss. It was 7-0.

“Children, children, be quiet or you’re going on the naughty step.” I said sarcastically, just for Arizona to stick her tongue out at me, proving my point.

“Did you have a good day?” Arizona asked me as we washed dishes that night. That was a thing we did every day. I would wash, she would dry and we’d talk quietly about anything.

“It was great. Thank you so much.”

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

It was June now, and the weather was getting ridiculously warm. What made it worse, was the heat from the curling iron that was being pulled through my hair countless of times and the hairspray that was enough to make me choke.

“When is it gonna be done?” I whined to Clara who was doing my hair, hers up in rollers waiting be taken out.

“Now.” She smiled, letting the curls hang loose. “Arizona, you’re up.”

Tonight was the night of the dance, and it appeared that the only one who wasn’t obsessed over getting ready was me. We had agreed to get ready at our place, since Arizona had agreed to help with hair styling. There was a whole system worked out:

First, you would take a shower, and then go to Clara who would dry your hair and straighten/curl it. Then to Arizona, who was a genius with hair styling and she would style your hair. Next, to Callie who would do your makeup and Lizzie was helping when she wasn’t getting ready. I was just kind of doing what I was told.

Arizona nodded importantly and started on my hair, and it wasn’t long before the loud noise of the hairdryer started up again signalling that Lizzie had gotten out of the shower.

“Feels like a freaking beauty salon in here…” I muttered as Callie worked on my makeup twenty minutes later. Arizona had done my hair in a completely photo shopped ponytail, with a slight quiff at the front and a white bow. Callie had told me that she was going for natural makeup, because I had told her nothing dramatic because I didn’t suit it.

“All worth it though.” Clara chirped as she began on her own hair, Lizzie moving over to Arizona. Sofia and Zola were in the living room watching Frozen, and I could tell that they didn’t dare come up here in fear of overheating. It was absolutely boiling in here.

“Yeah, we’ll get there, dance a little, not be able to hear each other over the music, come home and sleep.” I replied sarcastically, blowing a stray hair away from my face. To be honest, I was actually quite looking forward to it; it was just the getting ready part I hated.

An hour and a half later we had all made it through, and if were to be honest, we looked good, I I do say so myself. Clara looked absolutely stunning in a sky blue knee length dress with light pink roses (at least that’s what I thought they were) on it, and blue heels. Her hair was in curls with a bit pulled back and her makeup was done flawlessly.

Lizzie was also wearing a knee length dress, this one dark blue with white polka dots, paired with vibrant red heels. Her hair was curled, and since it was short it fell only to about just after her ears, but it looked uh-ma-zing.

I was wearing a mint green one with capped sleeves and buttons on the chest, and the netting from underneath showed just a little at the bottom. I loved it. I went with a simple pair of white heels, but not too high because my feet were annoyingly small and it hurt to wear high heels for more than ten minutes.

“You all look beautiful.” Callie complimented as we got ready to leave. Clara was my date and Lizzie was apparently was taking a guy named James, although she stated that she had no interest in him.

Lizzie had completely recovered from the, uh, incident. As soon as Arizona had cleared her to go back to school she hadn’t hesitated in joining right back in with all the sports she done and no one could get her to stop. To be honest, if I’d been stuck in the house for two weeks then I’d be going insane too.

“My baby girl…” Arizona started to tear up, making me laugh. Although she’d only met me two years ago and had never actually seen me as a baby, or a child for that matter, she still got emotional because she said it felt like she had known me all my life. And Callie always said that she knew exactly how I’d be as a baby.

“Chill, guys. It’ll be worse at prom.” I rolled my eyes, putting my phone, lip gloss, money and keys into my purse. When it had come to my outfit, I’d let Clara and Arizona take full reign, not trusting myself to make sure that everything matched. I love how Clara and Arizona seemed to be forming a team, while Lizzie and Callie were on the other.

“Be safe! Call if you need us! Don’t be back at crazy hours in the morning!” Callie called from the car as she dropped us of at the school. I could already hear swing music coming from the gym hall and the front entrance was littered with people greeting each other or waiting for their friends.

“Yes, Madre.” I agreed, before taking Clara’s hand and followed Lizzie and James into the hall, ready to dance and have fun.


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