Talia and I spend most of the day relaxing. She fills me in on what happened at the party I missed last night—including Trinity giving a lap dance to some kid. I nearly spit my tea out when I heard that.
She didn’t ask me a single question about last night. I was grateful for that. She knew that I didn’t want to talk about it, at least, not yet.
I didn’t see Arlo all morning. I was beginning to think I wouldn’t see him. That was until I bumped into him outside.
I was heading over to Frederick tree—a place where I can think to myself.
I spot him sat underneath it, with a sketchpad and pencil.
Nervously, I bite my lip, mentally debating whether I should approach him or not. I don’t remember what happened last night, but I can assume I didn’t say many kind things to him. I should probably apologize for my behaviour last night.
Going on that thought, I head over to him before I can change my mind. He must have heard me because he glances up before I reach him. His brown eyes lock with mine and keep me as a hostage. My heart flutters and my breath hitches. He always manages to affect me, no matter how hard I fight it.
This silly crush is really getting to me. I have never felt like this before.
“Arlo,” I greet, evenly.
He doesn’t respond with words. His eyes flash with an indecipherable emotion and his nostrils flare. I remain standing in front of him, anxiously.
“I’m here to apologize for last night,” I begin, embarrassed that I must do this. “I don’t entirely remember what happened last night but I’m sure I wasn’t the nicest person to be around. I thought I should say sorry for being a pain.”
Arlo assesses me with his brown eyes. I stand there, being scrutinised for what feels like a lifetime. Eventually, he reacts.
Snapping his sketchbook shut, he lifts himself up and stands in front of me.
His taller frame towers over me. He’s standing so close to me now—I can smell his cologne. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I force my eyes to move away from his. His stare was starting to feel too intense.
“Why were you drinking last night?” Are his first words to me. My knees nearly crumble at the sound of his hypnotic voice.
No, I need to keep it together.
I pinch my lips together and nervously tap my foot. “I—um, I wanted to.” Is my lame excuse.
He arches an unimpressed eyebrow. Arlo lowers his eyes to my lips and licks his own. His eyes do not stray from my lips, causing me to think he wants to kiss them.
The thought is silly and foolish though since he has made it clear he doesn’t want me. I must keep reminding myself otherwise my poor heart might begin to believe he wants me. And I know it can’t take a heartbreak like this. I know it will crush me—ruin me. I must stay strong and keep a distance.
So, using all the willpower I have, I take a step back and look away from his desirable lips and lust-filled eyes.
He frowns at the action; quickly masks his confusion with indifference.
Clearing his throat, he commands my attention again and returns to the subject at hand. “Lily, you and I both know there is more to the story than that.”
I shrug my shoulders, “There might be, yes. But it has nothing to do with you.”
My words anger him. He narrows his eyes and presses his lips together firmly. No matter how hard he tries to hide it, I can still see through his empty eyes. He doesn’t like not knowing things about me. Why? I have no idea.
“It does,” He claims. “Do you not remember what Miss Farris said? About getting to know each other for the art project?”
How could I forget about that stupid art project?
“You don’t need to know every detail about me. It doesn’t have to be that personal.” I retort, irritated by his insistence.
“On the contrary,” He fires back, taking a small step closer to me. I copy him, taking a step back. “How am I supposed to draw someone who is hiding half of herself? How am I supposed to portray the real Lily Cartwright?”
God, I am beginning to loathe this art project.
“I don’t have to tell you everything. Some things can only be told to the people I trust. And you, Arlo Gold, are not one of those people.”
He visibly flinches at my words, much to my shock. Arlo retreats, shaking his head.
He sits down in the same spot I found him in and opens his sketchbook as nothing happened.
Awkwardly, I stand in front of him. Strangely, I don’t want this conversation to end yet; I don’t want to walk away. Whilst I didn’t like what we were talking about, I like his company. Even though he hates me and wants nothing to do with me, I still want to spend time with him.
He makes my body feel at ease.
So, sighing, I plop my bottom down on the grass beside him. Quickly, he hides his sketchbook away from my prying eyes.
“I have a twin sister called Amber. My favourite colour is orange, I like dogs and I used to play the piano.” I blurt out of nowhere, averting my eyes away from his.
Arlo stiffens beside me and stops drawing. From my peripheral vision, I see him lift his head and glance at me. Instead of meeting his gaze, I keep my eyes on the view in front of me.
“I used to live in London, where I attended a public school. I used to be in a big friendship group. That’s where I met my ex-boyfriend, Joe, who I dated for a while.” I tell him, in a rush. Memories, once again, rush through my mind, leaving me sad.
I can now feel Arlo’s eyes penetrating my face, searching for answers. He is interested in me and wants to know more about me. My heart warms at the thought but I dismiss it.
“I was so in love with him so when he broke up with me, I was devastated,” I whisper, my voice cracking.
His anger rolls off him in waves. I try to ignore it and focus on my next words. I have to be careful with what I say—I don’t want him knowing about my parents. That’s the one piece of information I will never tell him.
“My favourite book is Wuthering Heights. You already know that though,” I say, dragging my eyes to his.
“Yes, the party.” He comments, vaguely, nodding his head.
“So, there you go. You know more about me.”
He stares at me knowingly. He knows there’s more. But he also knows I won’t reveal it to him. Not yet, at least. I hate that he can read me so well. Whilst I struggle at it, he does it so well. I know I’m not an open book so how he does it is beyond me.
“I used to have a younger brother. His name was Asher. He passed away when I was two.” He announces, sadly. I listen to his words intently, savouring everything. Who knows when I will be able to get him to open up to me again? “I’ve always lived here. Actually, my family have been here for centuries. I love the forest more than anything else in the world—the city is too cramped. I hate it.”
I’m the opposite. I love the city. I’ve always lived in the city. There is something about it that provides you with a sense of belonging. I love the chaos.
“My favourite animals are wolves and I love the colour blue. To be more specific, sapphire blue.”
I could listen to him talk all day. His voice calms me yet causes a stir in my stomach. Everything about him causes a contradiction. It makes zero sense. But I revel in it, nonetheless.
He continues to tell me things about him. I mentally make a note of everything, putting it into my long-term memory. We sit there for an hour, telling each other things. It’s only when Arden disturbs us, that I realize I need to go and find Talia. I said I would meet her for a coffee in the small town close to here.
Arden gives us a curious look. He greets me with a friendly smile, asking me how my headache is. It makes me wonder if he knew about my disagreement with Talia earlier. He shows no hostility towards me so I’m guessing not.
“I’m going to go now,” I announce, standing up. After dusting the grass off my bottom, I give Arlo a small smile. “Thanks for that. I’ll see you both around.”
As I begin my trek back to the school, I feel Arlo’s eyes on my back. I start to wonder what he is thinking about me—what his thoughts are. If only I was a mind reader…
As I’m walking to Talia’s room, I bump into Trinity. She immediately scowls at me, giving me a glare.
“Watch where you are going,” She snaps, angrily.
“Sure,” I mumble and step to the side to get past her. However, Trinity has other plans. Her thin fingers wrap around my arm, stopping me. She grips my arm tightly—so tight I think she might bruise my arm.
God, this girl is very strong.
“I can see what you are doing,” She hisses, shooting me daggers.
Once again, I have no idea what she is talking about. Frowning, I attempt to free myself of her vice-like grip. But she only tightens her hold on me, causing me to wince.
“You’re hurting me, Trinity,” I tell her.
Trinity only smirks. “I don’t care. I need you to listen to this.”
I brace myself for whatever rubbish she is going to spout.
“You need to stay away from Arlo,” I exhale tiredly at her demand. Here we go again. “You aren't good enough for him. You’re just as bad as your mother.”
Hearing her mention my mother, again, I snap my head to her, focused.
“What did you just say?” I ask her, in a low and dark tone. Flashbacks enter my mind from a few days ago when I nearly punched Trinity. She had mentioned my mother then as well. She said my mother knew Trinity’s mother, somehow. On top of that, she claimed my dad never loved my mother. I know she’s wrong for a fact. My parents were happily married, they were so in love.
Trinity’s eyes gleam in the light. Her smirk is dark and sinister. It gives me chills.
“Your pathetic mother stole my mother’s ma—lover. You see, your dad used to attend this school. He was happy with my mom until he met your mother,” She spits with so much venom. I have never seen someone so pretty look so ugly. “Your whore of a mother stole him from my mother, leaving her heartbroken. Did you know she tried to kill herself?”
At this point, Trinity has let go of my arm, enabling me to take a frightening step back from her. Pure hate shines in her brown eyes. Hate for me—for my dead mother.
“Your mother ruined everything,” She claims. “She deserved to die.”
Instead of fighting back, I remain frozen. I can’t move, from shock.
Questions zoom around in my mind. Is it true?
Her last comment stuns me the most. Even though my mother might have done a terrible thing to Trinity’s mother, it doesn’t mean she deserved to die. Nobody should wish that on someone. It angers me so much that she said that.
I lost my mother. My best friend. As someone who played no part in this event, I don’t deserve to feel the pain I feel every day. I don’t deserve this hole in my heart. My mother did not deserve her fate. Neither of my parents deserved it.
“Don’t say that,” I whisper, brokenly.
Trinity’s glare hardens. “I will say what I want. Your mother destroyed my mother. She had what was coming to her. Call it karma.”
I throw her a look of disbelief. “You’re heartless.”
She laughs, bitterly. “No, I’m not. I care deeply about my mother; she didn’t deserve to feel the way she did. Every day, she wakes up with a heavy feeling in her heart. She struggles to get out of bed because of your mum. If the roles were reversed and if your mother was like mine, you would be saying the same things.”
I honestly don’t know what to say. I’m lost.
What can I say? Sorry? That wouldn’t suffice. It’s not my fault.
“What—what happened then? Why did my parents never mention coming here? They said they went to a public school.” I ask her, suddenly confused.
“Your dad left in his last year. He met your mother at public school, which is how they met.” She explains, irked.
“I—I don’t know what to say, Trinity,” I confess, spluttering for words. “I don’t want there to be any tension between us since we are sharing a room. I understand your pain and anger but that’s in the past and—”
“Don’t,” She cuts me off, harshly. “Don’t pretend you understand. You will never understand what it feels like to see my mother like that.”
I swallow the lump in my throat. “I lost my parents, I’m in pain.”
“It’s different,” She spits.
Once again, she interrupts me.
“Stop talking, I can’t look at your face anymore. You look exactly like her. It’s disgusting.”
My heart pangs in my chest. A part of me feels sympathetic towards Trinity. Seeing her mother depressed her whole life must have taken a toll on her. Perhaps that’s why she’s so mean. She’s a kid, she shouldn’t have had to grow up in an environment like that.
However, another part of me doesn’t want to be empathetic towards her. She said my mother deserved to die. That causes hate to flood through me, to flow through my veins. Despite everything she said, my mother was a good person. She was kind to everyone she met, she cared deeply about everything.
It’s hard to even imagine this event happening. But then again, is it really my mother’s fault? My dad met my mother and felt an attraction to her. It’s not his fault either.
It’s no one’s fault.
But Trinity will never see it that way. She wants to blame someone. I guess if I was in her position, I would too.
It’s at that moment, I spot Talia strolling down the corridor. Trinity also notices her arrival. She scowls and marches away without a word.
Talia glances at Trinity curiously when she purposely bumps into Talia as they pass.
“Who crawled up Trinity’s ass and died?” She jokes when she’s within hearing distance of me. Not in the mood for jokes, I shrug my shoulders.
The smile on Talia’s lips slips. “You okay?”
I shake my head, “No.”
So, did you see that coming? I'm sorry this chapter isn't as long as usual.
My next update will be this Friday (hopefully).
You can support me at https://ko-fi.com/littletroublemaker_