Kai and I couldn’t get our hands off each other. Our first time might not have been perfectly planned out, but it was the first time.... were they ever? We were so inseparable that even by spending ten minutes of catching up with Connor and my old friends while sitting right next to Kai, the dudes all became quickly irritated by our public displays of affection. Sometimes Lilith looked at us sadly which made me think if she missed Skye.
“So, we were sitting there at the cafeteria when principal approached us and asked why your Mom just pulled you out of school. A lot of people overheard and then the news started to spread. Diana and Adelaide tried to deny it because they thought it was a prank at first. Diana, however, had her own agenda,” Connor said.
“She probably saw how talking about you would make her even more popular or something,” Nathaniel added.
“She started saying that you were never friends in the first place, that she only kept you around to look good for helping someone less fortunate and people actually listened to all her crap for a while. Until...” Connor stopped talking, looking at Delilah.
“Until?” Lilith asked, leaning back casually. Nothing about her body language was casual, however. I knew that looks could be deceiving and just the unnatural way of moving sent alarms off in my head, telling me Lilith was pissed. She couldn’t hide it from me no matter how hard she tried.
“Until Delilah came up to her and punched Diana. Then she went on a rant in front of the entire school, insulting both Adelaide for going along with it and Diana for being such a selfish liar. She got detention of course but things turned around from there,” Connor finished.
Kai squeezed my hand and I looked at Delilah, who was sitting across from me.
“Thank you,” I said to her, grateful that she stood up for me even when I wasn’t there. True friends always had your back. It surprised me because Delilah and I didn’t spend nearly the same amount of time together than I spent with Diana and Adelaide. Yet she cared about me enough to defend me.
“Nobody likes them anymore. Whenever they sit down or try to talk to people, they just get up and leave. Reese and Adelaide are still together though but I don’t think it’ll last,” Nathaniel added.
“He wanted to break up with her for a while, especially after you left, but he told me she kept crying and you know how he can’t deal with crying girls. They freak him out,” Beck laughed.
“Enough about them. How was your flight?” Delilah changed the subject.
“Not that bad,” I spoke and looked at Lilith.
“I had to distract her from freaking out,” she said, then diving into the story of how lucky I was to have her on the flight and how that came to be. She wasn’t being humble at all, bragging about her awesomeness every other second but it was endearing.
“You know I appreciate you,” I told her, winking at her.
“You better,” Lilith teased but I knew it meant a lot to her. Our entire friendship was unlike any I’ve ever had before which was refreshing to me. I knew what she was thinking even if she was the most unpredictable person in my life. Nobody else could sense her moods but I somehow knew what was going on in her mind. Perhaps because we weren’t that different at all. At least not on the inside.
Lilith wanted to say something else but Delilah’s phone rang and she left the room to answer it.
“Have you heard from your family yet?” I asked Lilith and she shrugged.
“I had a brief phone conversation with Abbott and he said that I should prepare you for the craziness if you do decide to come to Bora Bora with me,” she replied.
“What’s that? You’re going to Bora Bora?” Kai asked, raising an eyebrow. I met his eyes and smiled.
“It might be good for me to get rid of my fear of flying and see more of the world. I’ll be in good hands,” I told him. “Besides, I really need a break from school and I don’t mean anything bad by saying this but being here is a lot of work.”
It took a toll on me. Every time I went out of the house, I feared running into people from school or having to listen to the rumors about me. I’ve had two girls approach me yesterday and asked if I really left because I got pregnant. When I asked why they thought that, they replied that it was just something Diana hinted at. Lilith then came up to me and snarled at them. Yes. Snarled like a rabid wolf.
“That’s understandable,” Connor said and I had to admit that he was the last person I expected to understand. “You can’t heal in a place that made you sick. After you left, it was kind of eye-opening to see how toxic our community is and I think we’ve all just tried to make things right. Or at least tried to raise awareness and redeem ourselves because what we all did to you was really unfair.”
I shrugged, feeling a bit uncomfortable. I was always the kind of person who didn’t like it when others felt sorry and kept trying to shrug things off even if they hurt me. I always tried to pretend it was nothing despite the fact that what I felt was valid.
“You know, I spent hours lying awake at night, wondering if I overreacted and left without a real good reason. Now that I look back, I see the many ways things could have been solved but I don’t regret what I did. In the end, everything we’ve all been through and the things that happened through the years piled up and led me to the decision that I made. And I do believe it was the right decision. I needed a change of scenery to find myself and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” I spoke.
“Things happen the way they’re supposed to,” Lilith concluded. “If you didn’t go, you wouldn’t have met me and everyone around you would still be set in their ways, playing games and feeding into the negativity.”
At that moment, Delilah came back to the room and said that she needed to leave because her mom needed a ride to the doctor. We said our goodbyes and I really hoped to spend more time with her in the following few days before I left for Bora Bora with Lilith.
Connor escorted her to her car and I turned my attention on to Nathaniel and Beck who were awfully quiet.
“So, what’s going on with you two? Found yourselves girlfriends yet?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Astrid,” Nathaniel gave me a pointed look and I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Okay then, boyfriends. Sorry, I don’t really know who you guys are into these days,” I shrugged, poking fun even though I only wanted them to be happy.
We talked briefly about Beck’s short fling before Lilith started looking at her phone, her brows furrowed. She left the room and I knew something was off.
“Umm, guys, I’ll be right back.” I said trying to fake a smile. Kai raised his eyebrow because he knew something was wrong but I gave him a kiss before I followed Lilith. The guys continued their usual chatter as Lilith stopped by the staircase.
I read the conversation between her and Skye on her phone because she left it open. She waited for me to finish reading it and I handed her phone to her with one of my eyebrows raised.
They got into an argument about them being in Las Vegas right now after Skye accidentally sent her pictures he took with other half-naked girls sitting in his lap, true Las Vegas style.
In the end, Skye just texted her that he didn’t think it would be an issue because he wasn’t doing anything with any of them and that he didn’t want to be tied down by a jealous girlfriend who didn’t even seem that interested in him.
One thing led to another and they ended their conversation with Skye breaking up with her via text.
“I’m sorry,” I said, hugged her and patted her back.
“I can’t believe it. He can’t just break up with me over text,” Lilith responded, unable to grasp what had happened.
“It’s his loss,” I told her.
“Whatever, I don’t need to feel sorry for myself. I’m Lilith Arwen,” she spoke with confidence to which I could only respond with a thumbs up.
We returned back to the room and this time, only listened to the conversation between the guys. Lilith asked several questions, really trying to get to know them and I realized something too.
The guys liked Lilith. When Nathaniel and Beck were on their way out, they stopped to talk to me in private and gave me their nod of approval as well as saying how happy they were to see me back.
After they left, I told Kai he needed to get some sleep because he hasn’t slept ever since the hospital visit. He looked very tired and I didn’t want to keep him up any longer. We kissed goodbye and I focused my attention solely on Lilith. I knew she felt uncomfortable. She wasn’t used to being alone. She wasn’t the typical normal girl who would cry over a guy and she has told me that she never tried to date anyone so she wouldn’t know what it felt like to get out of a relationship.
She didn’t cry, but she didn’t laugh either. She just looked like she felt emptiness and was bored. But that reminded me of who she always was. Lilith was serious yet at the same time badass. There wasn’t really a word for it but she was definitely special and I wanted to be there for her. She needed me and even though she didn’t exactly feel upset, she felt like she should have.
So, we ate ice cream and we chatted, watched awful chick-flicks and made fun of the actors. It was around three in the morning when we finally headed off to sleep, each on one side of the bed. Before we said good night, she hugged me from the back and whispered, “Thanks for being my best friend and having my back tonight. But tomorrow’s a new day and I’m ready for whatever it brings.”
Well, her breakup phase went by fast.