Packing my belongings up didn’t take too long. With the help of Talia, I managed to pack all of my clothes and personal items. I didn’t bring a lot of things with me. I lost most things in the fire. After it happened, Amber and I had to buy an entirely new wardrobe full of clothes. I lost many precious childhood items like teddy bears and photos. It sucks knowing I will never be able to get them back.
Talia left shortly after I finished packing, promising me she will see me tomorrow before I leave.
Trinity briefly returned to our room as I was packing earlier to collect a new pair of clothes. She didn’t speak to me as she waltzed in. I did notice her eye my suitcase and box full of personal items with interest though.
She left soon after though, without a word.
It’s late in the evening and she still hasn’t returned. I haven’t left my room at all since last night. Talia managed to sneak some lunch in earlier along with a bottle of water.
As hungry as I am, I don’t want to go down to the dining hall for tea. I know he will be there. I can’t face him, not yet and maybe never. I don’t want to face him.
So, like the coward I am turning into, I sit in my room with a rumbling stomach. Soon, I get bored of scrolling through social media, so I grab a book from the smaller box and begin reading it.
Fifty pages in and a knock at the door alerts me of someone’s presence. For a moment, I believe it’s Arlo. But my wariness disappears when Kacey’s voice calls to me.
Gently placing the book on my bed, I head over to the door.
Kacey’s pale face greets me. She sends me a small, awkward smile and lifts a paper bag up. “I thought you might be hungry.”
Nodding my head, I step to the side, allowing her to step into the room.
“Oh, wow, I heard rumours that you were leaving but I didn’t think they were true,” She comments, staring at my bare side of the room.
Word really does travel fast. Trinity must have told people. I bet she told them with a smirk on her pretty face.
“Yeah…I just…I can’t stay here, it—” I tell her.
Kacey holds up a hand, cutting me off. “Say no more, I understand.”
I hold back a smile, glad she understands. Kacey always seems to understand what I say or mean. I know she lost someone in the past. She must have found it hard being in the same place after he died. Maybe she needed a change of scenery too.
With Kacey, I don’t need to explain myself. I can simply say a sentence and she will understand it’s entire meaning.
“What did you bring me?” I ask, glancing at the bag full of food.
Kacey shrugs her shoulders, “Nothing much. Some pasta, chocolate and an apple.”
She hands me the bag and sits down on my bed.
“When do you leave?”
“Tomorrow morning,” I answer her, taking the pasta out of the bag. “My Aunt Mabel is picking me up.”
Aunt Mabel messaged me three hours ago, telling me to be ready by ten o’clock. I was quite shocked to hear she was coming to pick me up. I thought I would have to call a taxi or get a bus to the nearest train station.
“I know we haven’t spent a lot of time together, but I’ll miss you. You were my only friend here.” She announces, surprising me. I knew Kacey liked to be alone, but I always thought she had some friends. “Nobody else here understands things as you do. They don’t get it.”
She’s talking about losing someone. It takes a real toll on you. It’s like losing a part of yourself you will never get back. People can say ‘I completely understand’ when hearing you talk about losing someone dear to you but unless they have lost someone, they will never completely understand. They will not how horrible it feels waking up every morning, knowing you won’t see them. They won’t know that heavy feeling in your heart.
Kacey and I have both lost someone close to us. We have experienced the ultimate heartache. And somehow, we are both still surviving.
“I want to thank you too. You have been there for me when I needed you,” I say, gratefully. When I felt like the world was closing in, Kacey listened to me. I will carry her advice with me forever.
Now would be the perfect moment for a heart-warming hug. However, that is not Kacey. She isn’t a hugger. Instead, we stare into each other’s eyes in appreciation. A silent agreement and acceptance flow between us. Sometimes, words or actions aren’t needed. A look can say a lot.
“You know…I tried to tell you about Arlo,” She blurts out, later that evening.
I turn my head towards her, giving her my full attention. It takes me a moment to realize what she’s talking about. Or more specifically, when. “The library. You tried to warn me then.”
“I have something to tell you.”
She never got to tell me though. Arlo had stormed into the library, preventing her from telling me the truth. God, things might be different if I had known earlier. I was still confused about my feelings. I wasn’t in love with Arlo then. The cut wouldn’t have been as deep.
Kacey pinches her head and hesitantly nods her head. A defeated look flashes in her eyes for a moment.
“You don’t blame yourself, do you?” I ask her, suddenly worried she does. When she averts her eyes and leaves me hanging, I have my answer. “Kacey, it wasn’t your fault. Out of everyone, you tried to tell me. I don’t hate you. I hate him.”
She lifts her eyes to mine and smiles. I never thought Kacey would worry about someone else’s opinion of her, but it appears we are all full of surprises. Some bigger than others.
“You should hate him. Some wolves might not agree with me here, but you had every right to reject him. He hurt you in so many ways. In fact, I think it was overdue. Arlo deserves to feel the pain you felt.” She speaks her mind, putting all her thoughts on the table. “Now, don’t think I hate the idea of mates because I don’t. But I also believe in respect.”
Kacey’s perspective is different from most. Deep down, I know Talia is disappointed in my choice. She has a mate who she loves dearly. She also cares about Arlo a lot and doesn’t want to see him in pain. She wants me to be with Arlo.
I am happy I get to hear Kacey’s thoughts. It’s refreshing. It’s also nice knowing you have someone in your corner.
“Thanks, Kacey,” I reply, simply.
She does a single nod in satisfaction as if her work is done and rises to her feet.
“I should probably go. I have a few things to sort out.” She announces, sounding sad and reluctant. “I won’t be able to see you off tomorrow, so I’ll say goodbye now.” She pauses and inhales a large amount of air. “Good luck on your road to recovery. I hope you find someone new and better. You deserve to be treated right.”
A sad smile slides onto my face as I memorize every part of her. I know we will see each other again—I just don’t know when.
“Oh, and here’s my phone number. If you ever need me, give me a call.” She adds, handing me a scrappy piece of paper. She lingers in front of me for half a minute, gazing at me softly and then walks past me.
When the door behind her clicks shut, I let out a shaky breath and drag a hand through my hair. It’s never nice saying goodbye. Ever since my parents died, it feels worse. You never know when your last meeting with someone will be. For all I know, that could be the last time I see Kacey.
I never used to think like that. The death of my parents did that to me.
After Kacey left, I read a bit more of my book and got ready for bed. Before I closed my eyes and shut the world off, I set an alarm for seven o’clock. I’m hoping I can sneak into the cafeteria and grab some breakfast before Arlo gets there. I know he sleeps in late so seeing him in there early in the morning is unlikely.
Finally, after a long day of packing, I allow my mind to wander off. For once, I have a peaceful night.
The second's tick by slowly. At least, it feels slow.
I’m sitting in the reception area at school, surrounded by my luggage, waiting for my Aunt to arrive. I’m aware I’m here early. Too early. I couldn’t find the willpower to stay in my room any longer with Trinity, who finally returned early this morning after I retrieved my breakfast.
Thankfully, as I hoped, Arlo was not in the dining hall. I managed to eat some food in the dining room before it got too busy. It was only when more students began filing in and latching their eyes on me, I knew it was time to move.
Now, I’m waiting patiently in the posh reception room. The nice receptionist made me a cup of tea a few minutes ago.
I sit comfortably on my chair, reading my book.
“Lily, there you are! I thought you left!” Talia’s high-pitched and worried voice drags me out of my own world, back into reality.
She rushes over to me and hugs me. Arden and Cabe follow closely behind her, also looking relieved I’m still here. I also don’t miss how Arlo is absent. Not that I wanted him here to see me off. It’s just an observation.
“No, I’m still here,” I chuckle.
She lets go of me and observes me for a moment. Her beautiful eyes well up with tears and her chin wobbles. She’s trying her best to remain strong, but I can see her exterior faltering.
“So, you came to see me off?” I question, trying to ease the atmosphere. The anguish surrounding them is suffocating me.
Talia scoffs, “Of course, we did. We weren’t going to let you leave without a goodbye from us.”
“Well, I’m glad you’re here,” I tell them, honestly. I still haven’t completely forgiven them but I’m glad they are here. I don’t want to leave here without saying a proper goodbye to them.
We sit down and talk for a while about everything and nothing. Nobody brings up what happened the other night. None of us wants to part with that.
Five minutes before ten, my Aunt’s Mercedes rolls into school grounds. She parks outside the main doors and exits the car gracefully. Her fading blonde hair is pinned up in a tight ponytail and there’s a scowl on her face.
I guess she must keep up appearances.
She strolls into the school with her head held high.
“Lily,” She greets me coolly. Her eyes briefly flicker over to the guys, who acknowledge her with a smile and then returns to me. “Gather your things. I’ll tell them you are leaving.”
Nodding my head, I follow her orders and grab onto my suitcase and travel bag. Arden and Cabe pick up the boxes from the floor and take it over to the car. Talia takes the last bag.
My Aunt begins to formally talk to the receptionist and signs a few documents.
As I leave the building, I can’t help but glance at the building one last time. Through the large staircase window, stands Arlo who watches me intently. His eyes shine with so much anguish it physically hurts. There are bags under his eyes and his hair is dishevelled. He looks completely different. A shell of who he once was.
Quickly, I lower my gaze and continue walking to the car. His burning gaze stays on my body as I dump my things in the car.
When everything is in the car, I turn my body to face them. All three of them stand next to each other, their eyes on me.
Talia is the first to lunge at me, pulling me in for a bone-crushing hug again. She sniffles quietly whilst whispering how much she’s going to miss me in my ear.
“Good luck,” She mumbles.
We pull back and I stare into her eyes, silently begging her to not cry. “Thanks. I’ll call you when I can.”
Next, is Arden.
“I hope you find what you’re looking for,” He murmurs to me, giving me a brief hug.
“Thanks, and take care of her,” I order, pointing to Talia.
He sends me a look to say ’of course, I will’.
Finally, it’s Cabe.
Cabe isn’t much of a talker. He normally stays in the shadows, observing. I still count him as a friend though. He has always been kind to me.
He wraps his big, burly arms around me and brings me in for a comforting hug. I smile, shifting my head so it’s more comfortable on his shoulder.
“If you ever need me, give me a call.” He says, sincerely.
Taking a step backwards, I flash him a grateful smile.
My Aunt saunters down the steps, holding a few pieces of paper as she heads over to us. She gets into the car wordlessly and starts the engine.
I suck in a breath and shuffle over to the passenger door, keeping my eyes on them. Arden slings an arm around Talia, pulling her into his side.
A silent agreement falls between us. This is not the end. We will see each other again.
Before I get into the car, I peer up at the window. Arlo still stands there, hopelessly. His left hand is pressed against the window as if he is reaching out to me. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I shake away any guilty thoughts and slide into the car.
Aunt Mabel shifts her gaze to me, her eyes asking me if I’m ready.
Inhaling sharply, I nod my head. My heart is pounding in my chest and my limbs feel shaky. I’m nervous and excited. Nervous about the future but excited to start fresh.
This is it. I am actually leaving.
Forcing my eyes to stare directly in front of me, I say the two words confidently. “Let’s go.”
Thanking you so much for reading Hating Arlo! It has been an honour writing for you guys.
Some of you guys might have noticed that there is a #1 next to Hating Arlo and that’s because this is the first book in a series. There will be a book two and it will be a sequel. *squeals in delight*. The reason I’m not continuing Lily’s story in Hating Arlo is that the new book is going to be a lot different. This is a new step in Lily’s life. There will be new characters and secrets. And obviously, there will be more drama.
Book two will be called Forgetting Arlo and the first chapter will be up tomorrow (so you guys can add it to your library). I won’t start it straight away as I need to work out a few things. But it will give you a taste of what’s to come.
I’m looking for a cover for Forgetting Arlo. If you’re good at graphics or are bored, I would really appreciate it if you made a cover for it. Email me at [email protected]
Whilst you wait for Forgetting Arlo, please check out my other books!
Thank you so much for reading! Remember to check my profile tomorrow to find the book! And remember to add it to your library!
Are you enjoying my ongoing story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Lydia RoseWrite a Review