Chapter 32 || A Different Type Of Chill Pill....
Do you know that uncomfortable gut feeling you get when you know that something is not going to end well. Although people try to convince you that everything will be fine and you’re probably just making things up, you know that you’re not.
Despite your uneasy feeling, you believe them and think that everything will be just fine, until the moment when you realize that you should have listened to yourself.
I sat in the living room, while waiting for everyone to get ready. The more I was waiting, the more anxious I got about what was waiting for me at this birthday party, although Emma was positive that nothing bad will happen.
Well, that is exactly what Sofía when this whole thing with Marissa started and in the end we found ourselves breaking into her home.
Admittedly, I’m still curious to find out what’s up with Nate’s assumptions about Jayla, faking her illness. I thought about it all day but there was no precise conclusion that I could draw out of that. I let out a little sigh and laid down on the cream-colored couch, staring at the white ceiling.
After ten minutes I watched my sister stepping down the stairs gracefully with my little brother to her right side. Her azure blue dress was smoothly falling down her body and stopped right above her knee. She looked like a queen with her honey blonde curls lying on her chest while Max’ hair looked like a mess, but not in a bad way. Actually, it suited him more than when Emma used to brush and style it back.
“Are you ready ?“, the tone of my voice signalled them that I wanted to leave. “Yes.“, both of them said in unison, approaching the door.
“Where is dad ?”
“At work.“, Emma replied. “He said he’ll join us later.“, with that she walked out of the door, taking Max by her hand. I followed them down the stairs into the car and my mind drifted back to the robbery.
I can’t believe that there is nothing we can do about. My thoughts were revolving around my conversation with Rafael Moreno and what he said to me.
Because that would make my life even more miserable.
Was he trying to trick me ? Is he the one who has been tricked ?
I just want find out the truth but that is not possible if nobody wants to tell me the truth, not even for once. The person I worry about the most is Kyle because he is the one who suffers the most from all of us.
I texted him a lot but he barely answered my messages. Sofía said he was going to be on the birthday party but I’m not sure if he’ll really be there. Suddenly, my train of thoughts was interrupted my older sister who was about to give Max a little lecture.
“Okay, Max.“, she started while putting on her seatbelt. “The TRUMP-Rule.” running, burping, macho talk, tantrum, poor listening, unfriendly
“Emma.“, he whined, throwing his head back. “Not again.”
“You can complain as often as you want but I won’t start the car until you tell me.“, she said, stressing the last part of her sentences.
“Fine.“, Max gave in. “No tantrums, no running, no unfriendly words, no macho talk and no poor listening.“, Emma smiled contently after Max had mentioned the last point.
“Wait, macho talk ? Do you even know what a macho is ?“, I turned to the back raised my eyebrows, watching him questioningly.
“No, but Emma said that it means that I’m no allowed to be mean to girls, especially not Gracie.”
“Well, do you know what a tantrum is ?”
“Because I’m smart.”
“Huh.“, I uttered, positioning my body back into my seat. “Can’t argue with that logic.”
“TRUMP-Rule.“, I muttered to myself, while Emma pulled out of the driveway.
It didn’t take that long to arrive at Alex’ house and I wish it would have taken longer. Emma ordered us to get out of the car and attend the party while is searching for a parking spot. Unbuckling myself, I took the present out of glove box and jumped out of the car.
The last time I was here, I had been completely wasted and embarrassed myself. I thought about the night when I was sleeping next to Alex, snuggled into the warm blanket. The smell of his perfume was still stored somewhere in my brain, I could remember the scent like it had happened yesterday.
I looked down to my right at Max who was waddling along the sidewalk like a little penguin. “Are you okay ?“, he stopped walking.
“Do you think Gracie will be there ?“, he turned his head to me and stared at me with his hazel eyes, his voice being more quiet than usually. “I’m pretty sure, why ?”
“Hm.“, he mumbled and looked back at the ground, causing a smile to form on my lips.
“You like her, don’t you ? There is nothing to be ashamed of, Max, it’s okay to have feelings for someone.”
“I don’t have feelings, I’m a man.“, he remarked, gloating.
“Men have feelings too and they don’t need to hide them.”
“Plus, you promised Emma no macho talk.“, I winked at him, still smiling.
“Was that macho talk ?“, he stared at me again, his eyes being filled with great surprise.
“Kind of.“, I let out a laugh.
“Oh.“, he stopped on the stairs of Alex’ house and gazed at the door. “I’m sorry.“, he said all of a sudden.
“It’s fine.“, I responded, mentally awing because of Max cuteness.
I rang the door bell and after a few seconds Alex mom opened us the door. “Jessica !“, she exclaimed.
I tried to get a peek past her but the only thing I could gather that she invited more people than initially thought. “Hello, Katie. Happy Birthday.“, I gave her a hug and her present before she asked us to come in. “Emma is still looking for a parking spot and dad is still at work but he’ll stop by later.”
“Your dad.“, she shook her head, laughing. “Living for his job just like my husband.”
She led us into the kitchen, offering us something to drink. “Alex and your friends are in the garden.”
“Oh and one of my friend brought her daughter with her, her name is Anna, and she is your age, Max. Do you want me to introduce you to her ?“, Max nodded excitedly.
“What about Gracie ? She is right over there.“, I whispered in ear, almost kneeling down on the floor and pointing at the living room.
“But she is talking to Luke and I hate him and if she sees me and Anna, she could get jealous.“, I just rolled my eyes at how proud he was of his plan.
Max and Katie left the kitchen and I seated myself on one of the white, classy kitchen chairs. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that, I was at first but now.
“You got this, Jessica. Just like you rehearsed. Eye of the tiger.“, I mumbled to myself and let out a deep breath.
“Jessica.“, I heard a voice saying. When I looked up from the colourful table cloth to see Kyle standing in the door frame. “There you are. Katie told me you arrived and I’ve been looking for you everywhere.”
“Yeah.“, I tapped on the table with my index finger.
“How’s Jayla ?”
Kyle lowered his face at the mention of her name. “She looks fine but I think she is pretty miserable.”
My thoughts went back to the conversation I had with Nate earlier. If she is faking it and managed to trick Kyle into believing it, then she is pretty good at it.
“Her friends are just so annoying. The one with the tooth gap said that the song Toxic by Britney Spears is bullshit. Britney Bitch Rule Number 1: if they don’t like toxic, they are toxic.“, he shook his, took the chair next to me and sat down.
After a little while of arguing, he managed to convince me to join them in the garden. It was really awkward since everyone was staring at me but no one said a word, but they soon started to devote themselves to their conversations again.
I spend most of the time talking to Nate and Jana who looked everything but delighted. Sofía was talking to Noah and Kyle and Jayla sat there like she was about to die. We all sat around a huge white plastic table which was located in the middle of the garden.
Jana was about to say something when Jayla started to rummage around in her bag. “Is everything okay ? What are you looking for ?“, Alex gave her a concerned look.
“I’m just looking for my pills. The pain is getting worse.“, she answered his question and revealed a transparent plastic box in her hand with a section for every day of the week. Every one of them had one red and one blue one, except for the Monday and Tuesday section which were already empty.
“What did the doctor say yesterday ?“, one of her friends asked her, more interrogatively and fake than actually concerned.
“The symptoms are getting worse, especially when it comes to my eye vision and the dizziness, but the worst thing is the constant pain that’s why I need to take these pills if the pain is becoming unbearable. First the red one and then the blue one.“, she swallowed dramatically and took the red pill out of her box.
I gaped at her weak and sunken body when I felt someone taping on my shoulder. “Can I talk to you ?“, Nate asked me, pointing at the back of the garden.
I nodded, we both stood up and walked over to Alex’ tree house. When we stood underneath it, I leaned against the tree, waiting for Nate to start talking.
“Jayla is faking it.”
“What ? Look I know that Jayla is a bitch but she really looks horrible and I don’t thi-”
“No, you don’t understand. I know that she is faking it.”
“What ?“, I pushed my body away from the tree. “Where from ?”
“Because she took the red pill.”
“Yeah, because she was supposed to that.“, I commented, not knowing where Nate was getting at.
He made fists with his hand and started to make wild gestures. “No you still don’t understand. She said she had problems with her vision. I had a professor at university who is a specialist for multiple sclerosis and tortured us with that topic in every time. He made us learn all the symptoms by hard. He told us that the eye is mostly the part of the body which is affected first. You start to get a blurry vision, yeah, but regarding the fact that she said she is already at an advanced stage there is a symptom that is more severe and of prime importance in this situation.”
“Uh huh.“, was all that could answer to his vivacious lecture. “And that symptom is ?”
“Colour-blindness.“, my body froze. “If she was colour-blind, she would not be able to tell them apart. Although there is a slight chance that I’m wrong since her colour-blindness could be still weak, I’m pretty sure that she is not ill.”
Anger rose up inside of me and aggression and hatred took over my mind when I turned my head to the table, watching Jayla carrying on with her charade.
I was sick of this. I was so damn done with this, with everything. With the drama, with people not believing me, and with people telling me I’m a bad person while someone is sitting over there pretending to have multiple sclerosis.
I didn’t care if there was a slight chance that Nate was wrong because something told me that he wasn’t.
All the time, I felt bad for what I have done to people and I thought that I deserved to be treated badly by others because the universe tried to make me pay for everything, and I did, although I never thought that karma existed
But now, now my karma account has been set to zero, not necessarily because of the amount of bad things that happened to me but because I’m done with thinking that I deserve to be treated like shit.
I stormed over to the table, furious, not thinking about what I was doing. The box was still standing on the table, to my luck. I took it from the table, picked the blue pill out of the box and bit off half of it, much to everyone’s astonishment because everyone was looking at me shocked.
I started chewing, but stopped after a few seconds and my gaze went down to Jayla who was scared to death. “M&M’s.“, I must have looked like I was about to murder her which wasn’t far from the truth.
“I’m so done with this.“, I didn’t even look at any body’s faces. I just snatches my bag from my chair, approached the garden gate and left.