Chapter Twenty One
“So that’s why I’m at a park in the middle of the night.” I concluded after I told Blake everything.
Well everything surrounding my parents returning home.
He frowned sympathetically and for reasons unknown, I didn’t feel pitied. Then Blake stood up and held his hand out to me. I took it tenderly and met his morose eyes. His vibrant blue eyes were dull in the night. But still as beautiful as they were in vibrant light.
“Let’s go to the swings.” he suggested taking my hand and guiding me away.
“Blake-” I protested taken back by his sudden mood change.
“We did talking already. Now it’s time to do the one thing you should do when you’re at the park.” he said taking a swing and taking off. “Just have fun!”
I stared at him dumbstruck as he swung higher and higher. What was he doing? I just spilled my personal turmoil on Blake…and he wants to have fun? This was the same guy who nearly beat me up when I went on a date with Soph.
Albeit, I was dressed like a guy.
Has he gone bonkers? Taken too many balls to the face.
That’s what she said….
Okay, I’m too immature for my own good.
“Get to swinging Vivi, it’s a lot of fun!” he chuckled carefree. And I don’t know what possessed me to listen to him, but I did.
I grabbed a swing and before I knew it, I was neck in neck with Blake. Soon all my nerves were gone. I just lived in that small blissful moment. In a place where my parents were just parents who loved me and Sawyer was my best friend again.
And it was all thanks to Blake. The brooding love sick footballer.
“This is so fun!” I cried out laughing hysterically. Blake laughed at me as my hair slapped me in the face.
“I say we jump.” he suggested. When he saw me hesitating he narrowed his eyes in a mocking manner. “Is Vivi really scared?” he teased me.
“Of course not….I just don’t want to….out jump you.” I retorted lamely.
“Chicken.” he muttered. I snapped my eyes to him in a threatening manner.
“What did you say?” I narrowed my eyes.
“Nothing….chicken.” he teased me before he took the jump, and swiftly landed on his back. He flexed his arms behind his head and leisurely waited for me.
“I’m not a chicken!” I snapped taking a huge jump. My plan may have backfired just a tad when I landed on top of Blake. I groaned in pain, but I was more concerned about Blake.
“OhMyGodI’mSoSorry!” I cried out frantically when Blake didn’t so much as huff in pain.
Blake opened up one of his eyes and smirked at me. I glared at him then punched his chest. He didn’t seem to mind though as he laughed at me.
“Easy there Rambo!” He laughed as I kept pounding fist after fist into his chest, “You should have see your face when you jumped. It was hilarious!”
“I thought I killed you, jerk!” I snapped pushing myself off of him. However, his arm shot around my waist and pulled me closer. My breath hitched and I followed his lead. “Umm…”
Blake’s sharp blue eyes pierced me. It was the same look Tyson had given me. It was like a pull between us.
“You’re here.” he mumbled, mindlessly tucking a strand of my hair away.
“Blake-” I began when he cut me off. His calloused hand touched my cheek and stroked it tenderly.
“I let you forget about your parents for a little while. Now it’s time to face them. Can you do that?” he asked me cautiously. I could only nod in agreement because I lost my voice.
“Good.” he murmured. I made a move to get off him, but his grip on me tightened. I raised my eyebrow in question but he deliberately looked away. “Umm…thanks for being here. And for attempting to mend whatever friendship Tyson and I have.” he shrugged sheepishly.
“Friendship is a great deal for me.” I said honestly, “Mark my words Orton, I never back out of a promise.” I winked at him.
“I’ll hold you to that King.” He smirked then gestured to our pressed bodies, “Really, I will.”
Then we laughed. It wasn’t forced and awkward. The night was just two new friends enjoying each other.
But in the back of my mind, I knew what I had with Blake was exceptional. It was something I wouldn’t find in anyone else.
“Vivian, wake up. Mom and dad are back.” Sawyer said attempting to wake me up.
“Five more minutes!” I groaned into my pillow.
“No-can-do. They heard you were here and are eager to see you.” Sawyer warned me solemnly.
I moved the covers off me and glared at Sawyer. He was already dressed in a pair of black jeans and a black v-neck. I internally cringed at the lack of color in his wardrobe.
“Don’t you own any color, dracula?” I raised my eyebrow. Sawyer smirked and his hazel eyes lit up.
“I threw out everything colorful you added into my wardrobe.” he laughed going in to ruffle my hair. I quickly caught his arm and twisted it until he yelped.
“That wasn’t an invitation to playful banter.” I clarified, “That was an insult. And I don’t care if they’re here. Go away!” I demanded pointing to my door.
Sawyer sighed and looked away. I could lie and say it didn’t make a difference. But it was incredibly hard being mad at him. He was always my shoulder to lean on. Now he was the shoulder I ran from.
But as hard as it was to stay mad at him. It was even harder forgiving him.
“I’m really sorry.” he whispered before walking to my door. But he stopped short and turned back to me with a blank expression. “And I hope you don’t make it a habit of hanging around Blake. He’s not a good guy and I don’t trust him.”
I didn’t even bat an eye. Of course Sawyer must have known I was with Blake. I had his Letterman jacket draped over my bed post.
He offered it to me as the temperature in the park dropped. I planned on giving it back to him after breakfast
“I didn’t either-at first. But at least I know he can’t hurt me. You know, because I’ve been known to trust all the wrong people.” I replied sarcastically just to spite him. I know he feels guilty, but I didn’t like the way he talked about Blake. He was a good guy who was easily misjudged.
“I didn’t mean it like that!” he snapped teetering on the edge. “I wasn’t thinking-“
“Sawyer, when do you ever think about anyone other than yourself? Just go away, I’ll be downstairs later. I just need to get this over with.” I sighed tiredly. Arguing had been our new norm and I was tired. I just wanted to get to Boston.
Sawyer left without another word. I idly wondered if this was our new reality. Had we became so disconnected that our relationship would always be strained?
Was I ready to move on?
Well this thanksgiving holiday would be the answer.
I sat across from my parents and ignored their eager gazes. Instead, I shoved another mouth full of lucky charms in my mouth. Sawyer ate his silently but made no attempt in talking to me again.
Needless to say he learned his lesson yesterday.
“How’s school Vivi?” Mom asked feigning interest in me. The hard truth was that she had months to contact me and had did it so sparsely.
“It’s educational.” I answered nonchalantly.
“That’s great to hear pumpkin!” Dad cheered too enthusiastically for my liking. I pressed my lips together to keep from snapping back.
It was the most I could do.
“Do you like your roommate? Is she a nice girl?”
“Is she a designer too?”
I rolled my eyes at them both. Why were they interested now? I would have killed to have just a second of their time as a kid. But now I would have killed to disappear.
Being a teenager comes with its perks. One of them being is that the element of surprise is always in your corner. I can’t speak for all of us- but I thrive in pissing my parents off. Especially dad.
And I saw the perfect opportunity.
“He’s actually studying to become an actor and he’s very nice.” I grinned devilishly. This is what set off the time bomb I had anticipated.
“What!” Dad shouted.
“A boy? I thought the school was for girls only?” Mom scolded running her hand through her brown hair….only to realize it was in a tight bun. “Crap, my hair!” she cried out frustratingly..
“Relax, Antoine is a cool guy.” I waved them off, getting up to rinse my bowl. Like a pack of wolves all three of them followed my every movement.
“A guy Vivi. The dude is a guy!” Sawyer yelled throwing his hands up angrily. “You could have at least told us. We would have transferred you into a different dorm.”
“And miss out on a great view?” I replied sarcastically and resisting the urge to spill the beans about Antoine.
There was a better chance of him hooking up with a tree than me. Trust me when I say that Antoine was as gay as a pride parade. There was no way in hell he would ever cheat on his boyfriend for a anyone-much less a girl.
“She’s not going back-”
“She has a voice of her own!” I cut off Sawyer. His hazel eyes cut daggers in me but I merely pinch his cheek hard and coo at him. “That’s so cute, you think I’ll actually listen to any of you. Well I’m off, enjoy yourselves.” I wave at them mustering a charming evil smile.
“Where are you going young lady? Your father and I came to spend the holiday as a family.” My mom seethed, clearly trying to keep her anger at bay. But I saw the cracks in her act. My parents had a motive for coming back.
“Some family.” I scoffed crossing my arms and rolling my eyes. “For years Sawyer and I have fended for ourselves. Now you want to talk about family? Get real mom.”
“That’s no way to talk to your mother you little brat!” Dad snapped taking a menacing step forward. However I had enough and I stood my ground.
“Hit me you coward!” I narrowed my eyes at him — challenging him. When he stumbled back in shock I laughed bitterly. “Oh that’s golden! You won’t hit me now? Well daddy I have to say I’m pretty shocked.”
“Vivian stop it.” Sawyer warned me coolly. But like mother like son-I saw the cracks behind his words. He was stopping himself from blowing up.
“Stop what Sawyer? I’m only expressing myself.” I shrugged carelessly. I turn back to my parents who are wearing identical looks of horror. It was rare that I lost my cool on them. Usually I was passive towards their own behavior- but moving to Illyra had changed me. I wasn’t going to stand around and be moved around their board like a game piece. “I don’t know why you two came and I don’t care. But I didn’t come for family. I came to take care of some business and then I’m going back to school.” I told them coldly.
“Sweetie-” mom began softly trying to reach out to me. I flinched back and stared blankly into her hazel eyes. The same eyes Sawyer and I shared with her. She sighed and let her hand fall limply to her side, “All we wanted was to mend our family before it was too late.” her bottom lip quivered but I had enough strength to turn a blind eye.
“You can’t mend what was never there.” and with that I left. There was work that needed to be done.
I could only think of Blake and Tyson. They needed my help mending their friendship. Because it was real- and it could be fixed.
The same couldn’t be said for my family.