Chapter Fifteen - “But... I-I Ran Into Someone.”
Walking into school today is making me so much more worried than I should be. Maybe it’s because I haven’t talked to Denise yet about everything that we were supposed to do yesterday, even when I got my phone back. Maybe it’s because of the weird tension between Tyler and I yesterday and I’m afraid to run into him. But whatever the reason is, I just know that I would do anything to go home right now and be safe in the warmth of my blankets.
I walk up the stairs, each foot pushing forward until I reach the top. When I do, I take a deep breath and push the thoughts to the back of my mind as I walk down the hallway, not making eye contact with anyone.
As I turn the corner though to get to my locker, someone grabs my shoulders, pulling me towards them. A squeal escapes my mouth as the person shoves their hand over my mouth.
“We need to talk.”
“You’re going to explain everything to us, Harriet. You’ve been distant and we have no idea why. You have even ditched me twice now without any excuse at all.” Denise begins, propping herself up on a table and throwing her right leg over her left. Tara, who is sitting in a chair beside the table that Denise is sitting on, nods in agreement with what Denise has just said, making me sink in my chair more.
“We tell you everything. It’s time for you to do the same for us.” Tara says, crossing her arms over her chest. I run a hand through my hair, clearing my throat.
“Okay, uh... what do you want to know first?” I ask, my voice coming out raspy and Denise gives me a blank stare.
“Why did you ditch me the first time?” Denise asks and I breathe out a sigh.
“When we had made that plan to meet up at mine, I was certain nothing was going to get in the way. That’s when I had nearly hit Emma because she--”
“Wait, what?” Denise practically shouts, nearly falling off of the table. “You nearly hit Emma? Emma Peterson? Am I hearing you right?”
When realisation hits me -- Denise wasn’t there for the argument that happened between Emma and I -- I run a hand through my hair just like I did before, the memory of what happened running through my mind.
“Where’s Denise?” Emma asks, her grin growing on her face. “Didn’t care about her problems?”
Clenching my fists, I hold in my words. Just breathe, just breathe, just-- “When do you ever stop? And why hasn’t anyone told you off for what you’ve done to people?” I suddenly snap, not bothering to hold back. If anyone knows me, they should know I hate bullying, and I also hate Emma.
Before I can talk, Tara decides to speak. “She was starting the same bullshit again and Harriet snapped. But nothing happened because Principal Green stopped it.” Tara explains for me, looking over at Denise while explaining. Denise looks between Tara and I before nodding slowly, wanting me to continue.
“Anyway, after Principal Green told us to follow him to his office, he said that we are both having a week of after school detention because we didn’t tell him anything. I was going to go meet you straight after but...” I pause, taking in a deep breathe. “But... I-I ran into someone.”
“Who?” Denise and Tara ask immediately, their eyes beginning to burn into my head. I feel my chest begin to tighten as I remember what Tyler wanted me for.
“I figured you’d still be here... but for detention?” Tyler asks, his eyebrows furrowing. I furrow my own eyebrows, pushing Tyler away from me.
“You came to talk to me because I was in detention?” I ask, confused but shocked. Why would he do that? It’s not like I went to detention because I killed someone... wait, why did I think of that when Tyler is around? That could be classified as offensive, right?
“Not to talk, just to ask a favor.” Tyler says, his words still not making sense in my mind. So, he didn’t come here to talk to me, he came to ask for a favor? But why?
“Uh...” Just tell them, Harriet, I tell myself, positioning myself on the chair. “T-Tyler Adams.”
After explaining the whole story to both of my friends, starting from the party to what had happened yesterday, Denise and Tara both jumped to conclusions, especially about the whole ‘he is a Bad Boy’ thing. You’d think that they would’ve reacted more to the fact that Tyler asked me to be his fake girlfriend to prove to his Uncle that he is mature enough -- or whatever the reason was -- to stay in the gang.
Oh, and that’s another thing. They definitely do not like that Tyler is in a gang, especially since it’s the gang that is known to most of the town. They’re notorious, dangerous, and simply just insane. I haven’t heard a lot about the gang but what I do know is that they definitely come up in Dad’s work load.
Also, tomorrow night is when the whole thing with Tyler’s Uncle is going to happen. I still don’t know why the plan is, if there even is a plan, or how to not mess anything up. I mean, I already feel bad with what Tyler went through with his sister and the depression. I don’t know why but I feel like I owe it to him.
And with the secrets that Tyler had told me at the party, I didn’t tell Tara or Denise. I felt like I would be breaking some sort of trust that is between Tyler and I so I left it out. I may have told Tara that he had said some serious things that night but she has no idea what those serious things are.
When I had told Denise everything though, she had then told Tara and I what had been bothering her. Of course it had something to do with her Mom and the whole wedding thing but it still affected Denise and we could see that. That was too obvious, I think to myself as I remember the conversation we had just a few hours ago.
“Okay, now that we’ve got that done with, what’s been happening with you?” Tara asks, positioning herself so she is now facing Denise. I glance over at her, my eyes holding nothing but sadness. I can already guess that it’s going to be something about her Mom. I mean, that would hurt any daughter no matter what the relationship between the two was like.
Denise sighs heavily, “Remember that day when I came to school looking like -- well, not myself?” Denise asks and Tara and I nod, sharing a quick look before directing our attention to Denise. “Well, the night before that, I had talked with Mom again. The talk quickly turned into an argument, which led to Mom blurting out that I was a...” Denise begins to tear up, her eyes watering with fresh tears. Tara and I both go to stand up but she stops us by holding up her hand.
Denise wipes her eyes, not wanting to cry. “She called me a mistake, saying that I’m not her child, I’m only my Dad’s because I didn’t want her to get married to that other guy. And to top of my night, I realised that my Dad hasn’t called me in two weeks, which has started to get me worried. I’ve never gone a week without having some sort of contact with my Dad and I don’t know what happening with him.”
After she had said that, she immediately started to ball her eyes out, the tears not stopping as she continued to sob. Tara and I instantly felt bad, especially me. I didn’t know what was going on with Denise and everytime that I wanted to help her, to see if she was doing okay, I was always held back by Tyler because of these situations.
So now, Tara, Denise and I decided that after tomorrow, we will go and hang out at her place to make sure she is doing okay and just spend the weekend with her. We both owe her anyway so of course we didn’t tell her no -- she needs us.
Suddenly, the teacher who is sitting at the desk rings the small bell, which signals everyone that detention is over. Jumping from my seat, I grab my bag and shove the sheet, that I had drawn on, in my bag. Not bothered to push my chair in, I run out of the classroom but am stopped by a certain brown-haired boy named Tyler.
“Oh, dear Jesus.” I mutter, placing a hand on my forehead. “You scared me.”
Tyler nods, grabbing my bag from my hands. “Good to know. Now, we need to practice a few things at your house.” Tyler explains and I sigh, running a hand through my hair.
“What things? And why at my house?” I ask, not really wanting to get caught by Dad if he ends up walking in at the wrong time and sees Tyler. As we walk down the hallway, Tyler throws my bag over his shoulder.
“Just a few things. And we have to go to yours because I currently don’t have a place to stay at the moment.” Tyler says, his words making my eyebrows furrow.
“Huh? Where have you been staying then?” I ask, walking towards Tyler’s car. When we get in, he throws my bag in the back seat, not caring about what I have inside my bag. I mean, I don’t have anything valuable, like glass or whatever, but I still don’t want people throwing my property around.
Tyler starts the car, “I’ll explain later--”
“No,” I say, narrowing my eyes at Tyler, grabbing his arm. “Tell me. Remember, you’re suppose to tell me things and I do the same in return.” I explain, my features softening. “I’m here for you.”
Tyler looks down at my hand, his eyes dark. I notice his jaw begin to clench but he doesn’t say anything. Instead, he shrugs my hand off and begins to drive out of the school parking lot.
“I’ll explain later.”