Chapter 29: "Every Tom, Dick And Harry Hides Up My Ass?!"
“I swear I don’t mind having to walk out naked in front of her entire family again. It was the best night” Ian says dreamily. I watch in amusement as the guys silently chuckle to themselves.
“Have you seen Jake?” Julian whines, as he and a very annoyed Natalia joins us.
“For the millionth time, no one cares!” Lia says clenching her jaw in irritation. My hands automatically itch to touch her. I have never felt so drawn to anyone.
But I force myself to not think about her. She does not want anything and that night made it more than clear to me. Not to mention all the boys she’s been walking around with.
“What about Eric?” Julian pouts.
“Goddamn it Julian! Do you think every Tom, Dick and Harry hides up my ass?!” Lia snaps.
“That would be really difficult, considering it’s so tight” Dylan says bending his head analyzing her back.
I could kill this fucker right now, and not care at all.
She rolls her eyes, but smiles anyway. She does not look all good. Her eyes are a dull blue today, which is itself unusual since they normally glow neon with some sort of energy.
“Well something sure is in your ass considering you are so pissed off today” Julian points out. Lia ignores him.
“No seriously” he continues turning towards us, “I just saw her turn down such a sexy guy who-”
Julian could not finish as Lia rams him into the lockers by his collar. He winces from the impact. Everybody’s eyes widen in surprise.
“Can’t you just mind your own fucking business” Lia growls. Julian mutters a sorry looking hurt and a little scared. She lets go of his collar and storms away.
“What happened to her?” Max asks in bewilderment. Julian gives a tiny shrug as he rubs his neck.
“Periods?” Ian whispers.
“No, she won’t do something like this because of mood swings. She just took out her anger on me” he mumbles.
“Should we check on her?” Max asks.
“No, she will come and say sorry when she has calmed down. Man, I am going to juice out a good apology” Julian grins though he still looked a little hurt.
“What exactly did Alex and Ian do that they are being made to sweep the entire campus?” Julian asks. We all smile unknowingly as Max answers, “They both-”
Max stops short as Lia walks past us into the house as if we didn’t exist. I did not see her at all today, even during lunch. Since she was avoiding everybody Julian hung out with us.
“Why don’t you continue the story, while I go ask her if she wants to join us for a movie?” I say to Max. I don’t wait for an answer as I jog up to their open door.
“You thought I’d never find out” I hear someone say from the drawing room.
“C’mon, why are you waiting here” Max slaps my shoulder as he also joins me.
“Find out what?” I hear Lia’s voice.
Max and I enter at the exact time Mel slaps Lia. The sound resonated through the room as I see deep red bruises forming on Lia’s cheek. We both freeze in horror.
Lia cradles her cheek as she looks at her mother in confused anger.
“What is the matter with you?!” she asks carefully applying pressure on her face to stop some pain.
“The matter with me?! You thought you could fool me by diverting all the money!” she shrieks throwing a bunch of documents at her.
Lia grabs few papers and read them. To my utter surprise she smirks.
“Oh, you found out about this” she mocks.
“How dare you, you piece of filth! Tell me who is getting all the money? Is it one of your customers? Or some of your whore friends?” Mel asks crossing her arms.
“Mom!” Max exclaims petrified.
My jaw drops in disbelief. I mean we rarely see Max’s mother considering she’s always working, but when we do meet her she’s really sweet. I can’t believe she is saying this, and that to her own daughter.
I feel Julian and Dylan coming in probably wondering what’s going on.
“I get all the money” Lia snaps. “Because it’s MY MONEY! I will not let you use me to make some extra pocket money.”
Mel raises her hand again to strike her. I unconsciously go forward to stop her but someone beat me to it. Julian caught her hand and stood in front of her. I silently sigh in relief that someone got there, because I could not have stopped her in time. Julian did not look surprised or confused like everybody. He was calm, like he expected this.
“If you touch her again, I will make you regret it” Julian says in an eerily calm voice.
“Hey, that’s my mother” Max steps in, glaring at Julian.
“I don’t care Max. She does not deserve this” Julian replies pointing to Lia.
“And you know what she deserves?!” Mel laughs bitterly. “She is a shame, who just proved she is completely useless to me” she spat. “She is not worth two cents.”
Max looks at his mother in disbelief who just glares at Lia.
“Ma, what are yo-” Max whispers horrified.
“Why?” Lia interrupts. “Why do you treat me like this? What have I ever done? For fuck’s sake you sent me boarding school when I was six! I was not even here, yet you loathe my very existence. I am your daughter!”
“Well that would be true, if I had pushed you out of my vagina” Mel rolls her eyes.
“What?” Lia asks in confusion.
“My sweet Natalia, you are no daughter of mine” Mel speaks venomously. “My husband brought you home as a bonus from one of his foreign trips.”
Safe to say, every single person’s jaw was on floor, except for Lia, who looked a little pale.
“Your mother-” Mel spat “-is some Mexican waitress, who died two years after you were born. So the responsibility fell on the father of the child, my husband. God curse the day I forgave that vile man, and let him bring you into my house.”
“You are lying. This is a lie. If there was something like this Nana would have told me” Lia shakes her head refusing to believe.
“That old hag was just glad that she got to pretend she got a grandchild to bond with. She knew it all. I guess the only sensible thing she ever said to me was to divorce your father. Otherwise she is just charity and big-talk”
I want to leave. I want everyone to leave. This is not meant for us to see. We are intruders who will make the situation worse.
Lia tries to say something but she could not get the words out.
“I would have sent you to your father if I had known where that treacherous son of a bitch was” Mel says gritting her teeth.
“Mom!” Max exclaims.
“Relax Max. I’m not throwing her out. No matter how much I want to.”
“I’ll leave” Lia says in a quiet voice.
“Shut up Lia! You are not going anywhere” Max says already looking scared.
“It’s nothing new Max. I have always been on my own” she replies.
“Stop being dramatic” Mel rolls her eyes.
I hope her eyes fall out.
“Max and I had to deal with your that asshole walking out on us. All you had to face was sitting alone in few PT meetings. You had a easy life there.”
“Easy life?” Lia laughs in disbelief. “There was nothing easy about it. I was a scared 6-year old who never had anyone visit me. I did not know shit and I had not a soul to tell me what the fuck was happening?!
While all kids went home for holidays, I spent mine locked up in my dorm room all alone, terrified witless out of my fucking brains, because the janitor kept banging on my door so that he could feel me up.
I had all girls bully me because I had no one to go to. Teachers beat me up to take out their frustration, because I had no guardians who would raise a complaint. Does this sound normal to you?!”
What the absolute f-
Dylan sucks in a sharp breath beside me while Mel has a blank face. Max looked close to tears. Julian just stood their quietly, clenching his jaw. This is more fucked up than I thought. Now everything makes sense. Why she hid her feelings, why she looked at mothers walking with their children in such longing.
“You could have called your father” Mel mumbles.
“You think I never did that” Lia laughs. “I called a million times. I called every goddamn number written in my files. I never got an answer. Until I got so sick of myself, that I stopped it.
I started to vent out my desperation through stupid pranks. Which by the way, thanks for being so supportive when I got kicked out of school. If I hadn’t found Nana, I would have been happily living on the streets” she says her eyes flashing in anger.
“I thought you had your father’s support” Mel says defensively. “I did not know until your grandma told me.”
“Sure. The guy who walked out on his wife and son, would support his illegitimate daughter” Lia says with a sarcastic smile.
“Don’t try to blame me. You are the reason my family broke” Mel narrows her eye at her.
“I did not choose to be born that way. Blame your stupid husband with whom you are still in love with! You are a pathetic woman, who is blaming me for her failed marriage. For the love of God, stop defending that man!” Lia roars.
Mel’s mouth parts in surprise as she comes forward to probably kill Lia with her bare hands. Julian effectively stands in front of her like a tower, making her back off.
Max is now sitting down in the corner with his head in his hands. I feel like I’m watching a soap-opera, only that this is more painful to watch. No one dares to say anything, afraid to make things worse.
“You are an ungrateful brat. Don’t forget I let you live here.”
“Only so that you could give me to some modelling agency. You wanted me here only for money” Lia snaps.
“I can’t imagine what crawled up my ass, to allow you to stay here. That’s it! I want you out. Out of my goddamn house!” Mel shouts.
“Mom! No! Where would she go? Lia you are staying here” Max says standing up and coming to her. Lia shakes her head no.
“Lia look, I’m your brother-”
“Half-brother” Mel coughs.
“-you are my little sister. I’ll protect you. I’ll make it up for not being there” “Max says desperately, a few tears escaping.
“Max, I know. I know you love me, and you the best brother anyone could want. But I can’t live here. Please” Lia pleads taking Max’s hand. Her eyes shine from suppressed tears but she doesn’t cry.
Fuck, I think even I got a little misty..
“She can live with me” Julian butts in. Max looks at him in bewilderment.
“Well she was basically living with me anyways” Julian shrugs. “I know Lia won’t mind living with me.” Lia nods agreeing.
“I don’t know” Max mumbles.
“She is not living under my roof for sure. Maximus stop siding with her. If it hadn’t been for her, your father would still have been here” Mel utters.
Max looked crushed, as he desperately tries to wrap his head around everything. I mean even as an outsider, this is some pretty twisted shit to come in terms with. I can’t imagine what it must be like for Max. This is his family.
“I-I can’t” Lia’s voice breaks. “I’m done. Earlier I had the obligation that you were my mother, now there is none. I do not want to see you ever again.”
With that she pushed past everybody and ran out of the house.
“I cannot believe you!” Max shouts at Mel, and runs after Lia.
“I hope you rot in hell!” Julian barks making his way out. Dylan and I also just leave not wanting to stay inside.
Max looked like an angry bull, as he looked left and right in panic.
“Where is she? For fuck’s sake tell me before I lose my sanity” Max pulls his hair.
“Max, Max” Julian says, “She must have gone to my place, as she’ll be living there. Just calm down.”
My shoulders sag a little in relief on hearing Julian’s answer. Everybody has a grim look on their faces.
“We’ll get the car” Dylan says to Max, putting a hand on my shoulder.
“Ok, we have officially lost her” Julian declares.
“You think?!” Max growls.
“Look, we checked everywhere we know. Let us just give her time. She’ll be back herself” Julian mumbles.
“No! I don’t care! She is out there alone” Max snaps.
“Max we’ll find her, relax” Dylan says kindly.
“We should just spread out. That way we could look faster” I suggest.
“Now, this is what I want. Good ideas” Max says looking grateful. “Okay, everybody just spread out.”
We all go different ways. Max and Dylan go in one car, while Julian takes his own. I drive through all streets hoping to catch a glance of blue-black hair.
Like a thunder bolt, a thought flashes across my brain. I pull the brakes so suddenly I jerk forward. I quickly make a U-turn.
“Crap I was hoping you won’t look here.”
I turn around and I swear I could have wept with relief, as I see a red-nosed Lia sitting beneath a tree.
“Thank God!” I mumble, as I kneel down and hug her. Her chin trembles as she holds back her sobs. I should have known earlier that she would come here, as no one knows about it and the park was not far from her house.
“Please let me tell Max” I plead pulling back. Her cheek has deep red marks. I gently soothe my hand over her them.
“No. I don’t want to see anyone” her voice quivers dangerously as she snuggles her face in my palm.
“Lia at least let me say that I found you. He’s going crazy” I say wiping a tear with my thumb. She thinks for a moment then nods.
I get up and dial his number walking towards the lake.
“For fuck’s sake Dylan. She won’t hide in the trash!” I hear from Max’s side.
“-there could be chances that she fell in one of them! I am just trying to be imaginative here man” I hear Dylan’s voice in background.
I have half a mind to say nothing and let those idiots swim in trash.
“Max would you listen for a second” I speak into the phone, not letting myself indulge in temptations.
“Yeah Luke, I’m liste-”
Max gets cut off by a loud shriek and some weird noises which sounded like someone was vomiting.
“Ew, is that a diaper on your head?” Max asks.
“It’s a used diaper” I hear Dylan wail.
I rub my head in irritation.
“It’s ok man. This experience will come handy in future when you have your own kids” Max comforts.
I don’t like shouting.
I don’t want to shout.
“So?! Now I can’t show my head in front of anyone” Dylan cries. I can sense a full-blown fight starting to form.
“I found Lia” I say as soon as I get a moment of silence.
“Wait really?! Luke you found Lia!” Max exclaims. I let out a breathe that I finally got his attention.
“So that means I put my head in trash for nothing?” I hear indignant cries in background.
“Where are you Luke? Tell me, I’m coming. Is she ok? I mean she’s not harmed right? Is she safe?” Max asks desperately.
“Max, listen to me. She wants to be alone. She doesn’t want me telling you. But if-”
“-no, it’s ok” Max interrupts. “Don’t say you’ll tell me or you might make her run away. Just please stay with her, for my peace of mind.”
“Of course. I promise I’ll bring her back as soon as she’s ready” I assure him.
“How i-is she?” Max’s voice breaks a little.
I look back at Lia sitting under the tree, lost in her thoughts.
“She’s hurting Max. But she’ll be fine. Don’t worry.”
“I hope so. I trust you Luke, keep her safe” Max mumbles. He hangs up the phone, cutting off Dylan’s ‘Aww’ in middle.
“I’m sorry I can’t leave you alone. I’ll be sitting in back” I say reaching Lia. “If you need anything-”
Words die in my throat as I register Lia’s angry glare.
“You” Lia growls. I take a step back in precaution, confused out of my mind.
“You and your ‘you need to get it out of your system’” she spat. “I was doing just an awesome job hiding in my emotions. But you had to waltz in ruin it all.”
“Ever since that all I do is cry and do a horrible job at holding my walls” she gets up, coming towards me, tears leaking down her face.
“It. Is. Your. Fault.” she hits me with every word. She fists her hand in my shirt as she cries into my chest.
I wrap my arms around her, softly petting her hair.
“I am so sorry baby” I murmur. My apology makes her cry harder. My heart beats painfully on hearing whimpers. She wraps her arms around my waist as her body shakes with waves of sadness.
“She is dead Luke. I never even got to know her” I hear her muffled voice. I tuck her head beneath my chin as I offer her silent comfort.
I park the car in front of Julian’s apartment. Lia was sitting with her chin on her knees as her shoes rest on the car seat.
If it was anyone else, I would have kicked them out of my car. My car is like my baby. I adore her. She is precious. But I let it go since it was Lia.
“Luke, would she have loved me?” Lia asks resting her cheek on her knee, looking at me. Her eyes are a little swollen and she has bright red nose and cheeks.
“Of course. She would have treasured what a beautiful, strong, confident albeit a very devilish person you’ve become” I answer with a small smile.
I get a dimpled smile.
“Sorry for shouting at you. That was childish” she apologizes.
“It’s already forgotten. No need to mention it again” I wave it off. Her eyes shimmer in bright blue.
“C’mon lets go before Max faints with worry” I say taking out the car keys.
“Luke, thank you” she says grabbing my wrist.
I frown and open my mouth to scold her, but she puts a hand on my jaw and pulls me towards her, placing a faint kiss on my cheek.
I sit there a little dazed as she quickly exits the car thankfully not witnessing my flushed face.
“Oh thank fucking jalapenos!” Max scoops Lia into a bone-crushing hug as soon as he opens the door. Lia gingerly pats Max’s shoulder.
I let them be and go inside joining Julian and Dylan, who were sitting on the couch drinking beer. Dylan tosses me one too.
“I promise I will manage her. She won’t speak one syllable to you” Max pleads walking behind Lia who is going towards one of the rooms.
“Max forget it” she turns around. “I cannot live with her. Seeing her would remind me of...”
We all exchange worried glances as the tension thickens.
“Look, I’ll be absolutely fine with Julian. Even back when I was with Nana, he would set camp in the house all the time. So it’s nothing new” Lia explains.
“Alright, but you should live in your house and that is your house” Max argues.
“We are going in circles and I don’t have the energy for this” Lia says rubbing her forehead. “I am living here that’s final. Please just accept it.”
Max nods his head downcast. Suddenly he turns to Julian, “I know you are gay, but if you try anything-”
“He’s kidding right?” Julian asks Lia in disbelief.
“Do you have ANY idea what I am sacrificing letting this minx live here?” Julian turns to Max. “If anything, I am in constant threat of getting raped by this thing over here” he says pointing towards Lia, who is now smiling.
“Can’t wait to start our lives together Judy darling” Lia winks at him. Julian looks at Max terrified.
Max rolls his eyes, “Quit it you both. Is there anything you want us to do?”
“Yes, get my things. I don’t want to go back there” Lia requests.
“We’ll get them. I am incharge of panties and bra” Dylan eagerly raises his hand. We all give him an unimpressed look.
“Max and Julian shall put your things in boxes, me and Dylan shall transport them” I assure Lia. Lia smiles at me gratefully.
“You are no fun man” Dylan whines as he punches my shoulder.
“And Max, one more thing” Lia says suddenly.
“Anything. Just say it” Max asserts.
“Could you..” she says timidly. “Like.. I mean..”
“What is it Lia?” Max asks softly.
Lia sighs shakily, “Could you ask about my mother? Anything would do. Maybe her name..”
Max nods as his eyes fill up again. A tear escapes as he goes and again hugs Lia. Ironically, it was Lia who was comforting Max.
“How long before we can tease Max for crying like a little girl?” Dylan whispers to me. I silently smack his head.
“C’mon, lets start the cars” I mumble quietly walking out.
“And then today, I was making a call and it switched off on its own! The battery was at 85%!”
“Let me see” I pluck the phone out my mom’s hand as we go up the stairs.
“I am telling you, it’s like the damn thing is possessed” she continues complaining, glaring at her phone.
Even tonight, during dinner, she kept cursing and grumbling about her phone. At one point she said, “Thank Jeeves these people don’t make rubbers that worked when it wanted to”, making dad choke on water while I looked down to hide my grin.
“It must be some virus, or a bug. I’ll clean it up for you” I assure her, opening my room. “It would hardly take five minu-”
I stop just in time and bang the door shut again as I catch a glimpse of blue-black hair. My mother looks at me in bewilderment.
Sorry for the delay! Hope you liked this chapter!!