Chapter 52: Promises
“Penny!” I heard a chirpy voice calling out from somewhere behind me. I turned around in my seat to find Leah rushing to me.
“Hey! Leah!” I tried to sound just as cheerful as she seemed to be.
“I just wanted to thank you.” She told me when she was standing right in front of me.
She’s thanking me for leaving Damien… WOW!
This is so not awkward!
Gosh! Why do I always find myself in such situations?
“You are so welcome!” I told her as I tried my best to smile.
“Oh! You’re the best!” She said as she unexpectedly hugged me.
This is not awkward…
I mean, I am sitting down in my seat at the cafeteria with everyone around and she’s bending down to hug me.
That too for something I would rather not share with everyone…
“Thanks.” I replied, patting her back awkwardly.
She let go of me and stood up straight, her smile as bright as the sun.
“I finally got my crush to ask me out on an official date all because of you!” She squealed before she gave me another quick hug.
Save me, dear god!
“Well… Good for y-you, Damien.” I heard Kara’s awkward voice behind me.
I turned around to look at Damien who has been staring at me since I first sat down in my seat.
It was almost like he was trying to compel me like a vampire or something…
And to make matters worse, I was sitting right in front of him.
“Why?” He frowned at Kara.
He’s so dumb!
“Because you are taking Leah on a date…” Ellie pointed out with an annoyed expression on her face.
I could tell that Ellie was more than angry about the news. She told me just this morning that she was still hoping that Damien and I end up together.
At least now she’s on the same page as me.
But it still hurts…
“I’m not.” Damien deadpanned.
“What?” I couldn’t help but exclaim when I heard his reply. “What did she do wrong? Did she keep a secret that was life-threatening according to you?” I demanded.
He’s so infuriating!
I don’t even know why I ever liked him!
Oh! That’s such a big lie!
I mean, it’s not like he’s the sweetest guy who might act like he has no emotions and that he doesn’t care but he cares the most. It’s not like he’s the cutest when he’s around his little sister. It’s not like he is genuine in everything he does. It’s not like…
Stop it, Penny!
You hate him!
You hate him even if you feel the exact opposite…
Damien’s face was red now. He looked furious but his eyes were full of regret and guilt.
It looked like he wanted to say something but he was afraid to…
“No, silly.” Leah giggled. I turned to her with a confused frown. “I wasn’t talking about Damien. I was talking about Ethan!” She rolled her eyes playfully.
“What?” I asked incredulously.
“She likes Ethan.” Damien’s voice said. “She and I acted like we were going out to get his attention.” He explained but I didn’t turn around to look at him.
Why do you have to open your big mouth before knowing the whole thing, Penny?!
Cotton candy cakes!
“We weren’t just getting his attention. We were trying to get yours too.” Leah shrugged.
“Leah!” Damien exclaimed.
“Oh right!” She nodded before turning to me. “Damien didn’t want to tell you that he wants you back.” She told me nonchalantly.
“Hey!” Damien exclaimed again.
“Anyways, it was because of everything you said that I finally realised who I really like.” Leah said. “Thank you.” She spoke with a genuine smile.
“I’m glad that I was able to help you.” I smiled back at her.
“And I would like to help you too.” She told me. “So here’s some advice, hear the poor guy out. I think he loves you.” She said before she walked away.
I was frozen in my spot, not knowing how to react.
He loves me?
He clearly told me that he couldn’t even trust me. And trust is a very important part of love.
If he can’t trust me, how can he love me?
Clearly, she’s mistaken… Right?
Penny! No over-thinking! No normal thinking either! No thinking at all!
Well, except when it’s about food…
That reminds me, my food!
I took a deep breath before turning around. I didn’t dare looking up at Damien and just focused on my food.
I never knew that carrots looked so interesting!
“Penny?” Damien whispered.
I bit my lip, trying to gather every last bit of strength and courage I had before looking up at him with a small smile.
“Yes, Damien?” I asked politely.
“I’m sorry.” He mumbled. “Leah was just… She’s just…” He trailed off nervously.
“It’s okay.” I told him with a tight smile. “I know how she can be.” I shrugged.
“So, you both are friends now?” Kara asked.
“Oh yeah.” Damien and I answered together.
“Wow! I really thought that it would have taken some time for you two to go back to normal.” Kara smiled happily. “I mean, I saw how devastated you were after the break-up, Penny.” She added.
“I thought you… I thought you were talking about Leah.” I frowned.
“Me too.” Damien mumbled.
So he was friends with Leah now?
You don’t care about what he does, Penny! Just let him go!
“So you two are not friends?” Kara asked, pointing at me and Damien.
I gulped as I looked up at Damien.
Were we friends?
Friends trust each other, don’t they? And Damien told me that he could never trust me. So technically, we weren’t friends.
I didn’t hate him or even feel any sort of bad feelings. We weren’t enemies. At least not for me.
We were just people who knew each other… But judging by how he had reacted, I don’t think I knew him…
So, what were we?
“I don’t know…” I mumbled as I looked down.
“But you should at least be friends, right? You do have a lot of summon friends.” Kara shrugged.
“Kara, sweetheart, let’s just drop the subject shall we?” Liam smiled at his girlfriend.
“But they should make up. It’s really awkward at the lunch table!” She pouted.
And you’re just making it even more awkward!
“I have to go.” I spoke up. I stood up from my seat. “I had to go to the library to return a book.” I lied, smiling at everyone.
“Penny, wait!” Damien called out as turned around, picking up my book bag.
“Yes, Damien?” I turned to him with a forced smile.
“Can we talk?” He asked, scratching the back of his head.
“NO!” Xander, Liam and the twins yelled out together.
Everyone in the cafeteria was looking at us now with curiosity.
And everyone even included the janitor and the lunch lady…
What do I do now?
“I just want to talk to you.” Damien told me. “Please, Penny!” He whispered in a desperate voice.
“No means no, Damien!” Mason snapped.
“You’ve said enough to her already.” Jason sneered.
It’s official! God hates me!
I couldn’t say no right now. The whole school was staring at us.
Usually, I would have said what I wanted without caring about the consequences but I was scared to react wrongly here.
I didn’t want anyone to think anything bad about Damien.
He might’ve hurt me but he was still a good guy.
“Guys! It’s okay.” I told the boys before turning to Damien. “Let’s go to the library.” I whispered to him so that nobody else would hear us.
You never know, people can follow us just for gossip!
“Thank you.” Damien smiled at me as he picked up his bag.
The two of us walked side-by-side to dump our trays in the bin before walking out of the cafeteria.
I was a bit relieved to get away from the eyes but that relief was nothing compared to the anxiousness that came with being alone with Damien in the hallways as we walked to the library.
There were a few people in the library and I guess that was why Damien didn’t say a word till we reached the library.
“Penny…” Damien started once we entered the library but he was trailed off when he noticed how people in the library were staring at us now.
I guess they’ve never seen Damien in the library… I know that I haven’t!
But this was good. If people were looking at us, he wouldn’t say anything hurtful… I think…
“What did you want to talk about?” I asked him with a hidden smirk.
Damien narrowed his eyes at me before he looked away sighing.
“Can you come over to my house after school?” Damien asked me as he looked back at me. “We really need to talk.” He told me.
No, we don’t.
I’ll be fine not talking to him in this lifetime!
“I can’t.” I told him.
“Why?” He questioned.
Why can’t I?
I should have thought about that before speaking up!
Not what do I say?
Damien raised an eyebrow at me in question when I was silent for a few seconds.
“I… I h-have a thing.” I stuttered. Damien rolled his eyes.
“What thing?” He asked.
Why is he asking so many questions?
Who does he think he is?
My ex, I guess…
But he still shouldn’t be asking any questions!
“A very important thing.” I told him seriously.
“You know what?” Damien said as he walked closer to me. “You are going to be there.” He smirked down at me.
Why is he so damn tall?!
“I’m not!” I shot back.
“Do you remember that promise you made a while ago? About how you will babysit my little sister whenever I ask?” He asked, staring right into my eyes.
“What?” I asked, gulping as I remembered the promise I made to him to make him go out with Leah when Leah asked for it in return for forgiving Ellie.
“You remember it.” He said as his face suddenly got a lot closer to mine.
If I lean a little closer…
I’ll be close enough to head-butt him!
“But why do you want me to babysit Aria?” I asked.
“You promised that you would babysit her whenever I wanted.” He shrugged. I opened my mouth to say something when he continued. “No questions asked. That’s what you said.” He reminded me.
Why did I ever say that? Couldn’t I have guessed that something like this would happen?
Wait… I actually couldn’t have guessed that…
“Okay. Fine!” I huffed. “But I will just come to babysit Aria.” I told him sternly.
“That’s alright.” Damien smiled at me. He bent down and kissed my cheek, his lips lingering on my cheek for a few seconds as I held my breath.
Why can’t I punch him?!
He pulled away, smiling down at me, before he left me standing there, walking away with a satisfied smile on his frustratingly handsome face.
But since I did make that promise, I will have to keep it…
Me: I know that a lot of you don’t want this story to end. And believe me, I’m one of you! I don’t want this story to be over either.
Penny: But, every story has an end.
Me: So that the author can move onto writing a new story and the readers can move on to another amazing journey.
Mason: Besides, every ending is a new beginning. Even if we don’t know about it at the time.
Me: And full disclosure, I wrote this story and The Players Playmate to remember all the good things about friendship... Well, until my best friends completely bailed out because I didn’t call them and ask about them when I was myself having a mental breakdown ALL FREAKING ALONE!
Mason: Umm... Are you okay?
Me: *sighing* I’m sorry about that... Well, even if I didn’t get the ideal friendship in real life, I tried to bring my characters’ friendship to life with my words. And in return, I got so many amazing readers.
Penny: Search for friendship in the world and you’ll find how much the world has to give back. Friendship and love increases if you share it...
Ellie: Not getting anymore emotional, @that_smiling_earthling guessed the answer in the last chapter...
Me: But the real stars are [email protected] and Disha and a_blithe_soul and Alicia for all their support and love. I really wanted to dedicate separate chapters to each one of you but I am kinda running out of chapters... *chuckling nervously*
Penny: Brace yourselves for the last chapter!
Damien: Which will be up the day after tomorrow.
Me: *chuckling nervously* See you guys then!
Jason: Until next time, stay safe!
Me and Mason: And eat CAKE!
Curtains close as all the characters and the author start crying...