Chapter 29: Sleep With One Eye Open
“Guys, I can explain!” I said as they all stared at me with accusations shining in their eyes.
“Oh please do!” Liam chuckled darkly. “Please explain how you have been fooling around with our enemy and pitting the twins against Ellie.” He smirked at me.
Can I kill him?
I glared at Liam. He wasn’t supposed to tell them all that! Especially not like this! I was going to tell them when the time was right.
“I didn’t do what you are accusing me of!” I defended myself. But before I could continue, Liam spoke up again.
“So you are telling me that I didn’t see you in that restaurant with him?” He asked.
I clenched my jaw, trying to maintain my cool. He was trying to rile me up and I had to remain calm if I was going to explain all this to everyone.
“I did go on a date with him.” I confirmed. “But-” Liam cut me off again.
“So you are fraternizing with the enemy!” He exclaimed with a satisfied glint in his eyes.
Okay, he’s asking for it now!
“Will you shut up for a second and let me explain everything, you dimwit?” I asked, yelling at the top of my voice.
Liam gulped as he stepped back.
“You went out with Ethan?” Damien whispered. His voice hinted at how he was feeling hurt while his expression was stony.
“He told me how he was trying to change. And that note in Leah’s locker was just a mistake. He was going to take it back but it was too late. And he told me that he just wanted a date with me after which he would get off my back!” I explained everything in one breath.
They were all silent as they stared at me. I was feeling really uncomfortable. But I didn’t squirm under their gazes. I didn’t do anything wrong.
“So it was just like Damien’s date with Leah? Meaningless?” Mason was the first one who spoke up first after almost a whole minute.
At least he broke the silence!
But was I supposed to say yes or tell them the truth? I didn’t want everything blowing up in my face later. I didn’t want to lie to them.
Maybe I should tell them everything…
“Well, it was supposed to be…” I trailed off, looking down at the floor.
“What do you mean?” Jason asked, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
“I mean, it wasn’t meaningless.” I mumbled.
“What?” Mason boomed. I sighed. I looked up to look at everyone.
Here goes nothing…
“I was just going to go on that date and get out as soon as I possibly could. But then I started to enjoy his company.” I explained. “Ethan really is trying to change. And I saw that with my own eyes.” I added.
Everyone was silent as they tried to come up with something to say. The looks on their faces told me that they were assessing the situation and not my character.
“Then what about you and Damien?” It was Ellie who asked the question.
I bit my lip as I turned to look at Damien. He was looking at me with a guarded expression. I couldn’t tell what he was feeling at the moment.
“We never happened.” I shrugged, maintaining eye-contact with him. He took a sharp intake of breath.
“And you decided that after just one date with Ethan?” Jason frowned.
“It wasn’t just the date that made me say that.” I told them truthfully. “Damien and I aren’t working. I know we won’t work.” I shrugged.
“How can you say that?” He asked me, his voice full of anger and disbelief. “How can you say that after all those kisses?” He questioned.
I laughed humorlessly before I walked over to him, standing right in front of him.
“Tell me, that day when you tried to get into detention to spend time with me, what was the real reason behind it?” I asked him with a small smile on my face which probably didn’t even reach my eyes.
“What do you mean? I was there for you.” Damien frowned.
“There for me or to recreate a ‘Xander and Ellie’ moment?” I questioned, coming straight to the point. I heard multiple gasps behind us but I ignored them.
I realised that there was no point in trying to beat around the bush because after all, Damien was doing it all subconsciously. I was sure that even he didn’t know what he was doing.
“W-what are-e you t-talking about?” Damien stuttered. This was probably the first time that I’ve seen him so unsure of himself.
“Do you remember what you said? You told me that I wasn’t supposed to get you out of trouble. You wanted to be there for me just like Xander was with Ellie.” I explained.
“But that… That doesn’t make any sense…” Damien tried to make sense of it all, getting confused.
“Hey! Relax!” I told him when his breathing turned uneven. “Relax, Damien.” I said in a soft voice as I reached up and caressed his cheek.
“But…” He trailed off, not knowing what to say. Judging by his expressions, I knew that he wanted to deny it but he wasn’t really sure if what I said was true or not.
“I know.” I sighed with a soft smile. “I know that you are confused. But if you think about it, you kissed me just like Xander kissed Ellie when Aria asked her to choose her prince. You have been trying to recreate all those moments. You were trying to be with Ellie through me.” I whispered, making sure that Ellie and Xander didn’t hear it.
Ellie and Xander were standing on the other end of the room so I could tell him all this without worrying about them finding out.
I wanted Damien to be the one who told those two about it if they ever do get to know about it all.
“That’s…” Damien gulped, not completing his sentence. He looked me in the eyes, taking a deep breath, he shook his head. “I think what you are saying is true.” He whispered sadly.
“I know. That’s why I said that we won’t work.” I told him. He was about to ask something when I explained in a whisper, “If I would have let it go any further, it would have been toxic for both you and me.”
“I am sorry, Penny.” Damien breathed. I smiled in response. “But can we still give it a shot? Start over?” He asked.
“No, Damien.” I sighed. “You are not over Ellie. You still like her. Try to work on letting it go and then maybe if the conditions are in our favour, we can give it a shot.” I told him.
I had chosen my words carefully there. When I came to this town, I wasn’t looking for any relationship but things were different at this point.
I wasn’t even looking for friends and I found a bunch of amazing people to call friends. I wasn’t looking for parental love but my uncle and aunt were giving that to me. I wasn’t looking for an amazing high school experience but I was getting that.
So maybe if I tried to find something meaningful, maybe I would find that too. And if not, then at least I would know what that meaningful relationship should not be…
For once in my life, I was feeling optimistic about what the future holds!
I didn’t want to wait around for Damien to get over Ellie because that would make him try to speed it all up which could end up in a disaster.
So, I was going to give Ethan or whoever I liked a chance.
I was going to change into Penny 2.0!
“You are right.” Damien told me, determination clearly visible in his eyes. “And if Ethan makes you happy, then go and be with him. And if he breaks your heart, I’ll break his bones!” he said seriously.
“Us too!” Mason and Jason said in sync. They both had sad smiles on their faces. They were standing right behind me so they probably heard everything.
“Thanks, guys.” I chuckled.
“No worries, Penny.” They replied in sync.
I then turned to look at Liam with a glare.
“I would advise you to sleep with one eye open for a while.” Mason told him in a matter-of-fact tone, making me smirk.
I will get my revenge on him. He threw me under the bus just to change the subject and to stop the twins from saying anything else.
Even sleeping with an eye open won’t save him. He wouldn’t know what hit him…
Me: This time, I didn’t forget...
Penny: She just fell asleep while writing the next chapter...
Me: But I didn’t forget!
Ellie: And when she woke up, she ate cake and went to sleep again...
Me: But I didn’t forget!
Mason: And then she updated the chapter in her dreams...
Me: But I... Wait! That didn’t happen!
Mason: Why didn’t you just play along?
Me: Because everyone knows I’m not as stupid as you are.
Jason: Ha! She thinks you are stupid! *laughing*
Mason: She also thinks that I am cute!
Me: I never said that!
Mason: But you think that, don’t you? *smirking*
Jason: No she doesn’t! *laughing*
Mason: Dumbass! We have the same face! If I’m not cute then you’re not cute either!
Jason: Wait! I am cute!
Me: *sighing* Moving on... I just wanted to see some panic...
Xander: You’re so mean!
Me: *rolling my eyes* I like to think of myself as evil.
Damien: Anyways... The next update will be up on 31st July 2021.
Xander: Which is Saturday!
Ellie: Which is the day after tomorrow!
Me: I’ll update a little more frequently because I just realised that I atleast need to finish typing the whole story before 15th September...
Penny: Because that was the historic day when she started writing The Player’s Playmate...
Me: So I need to end this story before then. That’s my aim... Because I don’t want it all to overlap and create a mess!
Ellie: That only makes sense in her brain...
Me: *grumbling* It makes sense to intelligent people...
Jason: So, until next time, stay safe!
Me and Mason: And eat cake!
Curtains close as the characters start helping the author as she writes the next chapter...