Chapter Twenty Two
“You look like crap.” Ty said when he saw me walking towards him from the diner’s entrance.
I narrowed my eyes at him and flipped him the bird. Ty smiled sheepishly and gestured to our reserved booth. “You know how to swoon a girl, don’t you?” I scoffed, “It’s no wonder you don’t have a girlfriend.”
“I can have a girlfriend if I want.” he retorted arrogantly. “But I’m saving myself.”
“For what?” I asked distracted as I began to scan the menu. Ty remained silent when I looked up from the menu expectantly.
He stared at me.
Not just stared at me. But he was looking. Like a boy should look at a girl. With gentleness, wonder, and awe.
Then he blinked his blue eyes and averted his gaze elsewhere.
“For an opening.” he answered solemly. Before I could gauge what he meant, Ty quickly changed onto another topic. “So how did you survive another night with your brother?” he asked with a chirp to his tone.
I hadn’t told Ty that my parents were back. The only one who knew was Blake. But that’s only because he caught me in a moment of vulnerability.
“Restless.” I offered him vaguely.
“Oh yeah, how come?” he asked whilst flagging down a waitress.
“My parents are back in town. I was nervous about seeing them again.” I admitted sheepishly. “It’s not a big deal now, but I did lose some sleep to it.”
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner? I could have helped you. Or been there to talk to you.” he frowned clearly upset. And I can’t blame him. I claim he’s my best friend, yet I couldn’t find the urge to pick up the phone and ask him to come over.
Instead I found solace in a perfect stranger. Then to add insult to injury, it was his former friend. The one guy he can’t stand right now.
What the hell is wrong with me?
“I’m sorry, I should have called you. On the bright side I did get to binge watch criminal minds.” I replied cheekily to lighten the mood.
“You have an addiction to that show. I wouldn’t be surprised if you one day got away with murder.” Ty chuckled taking the bait and switching the topic. The last thing I wanted to do was talk about my family.
“Of course if I did commit a murder, you would be my alibi.” I swore earnestly.
“We spent the whole day looking at baby pandas at the zoo. Then we got kicked out for trying to steal one.” Ty added to our fake alibi.
“It sounds really good,the only problem is that is sounds like something I’d do. Don’t doubt my panda kidnapping skills.” I joked flicking water at him. Ty flinched but quickly retracted by flinging water back at me.
“Not today King.” he said challenging me. I narrowed my eyes at him, ready for a battle.
Taking a quick sip of my water, I spat at him. Ty’s eyes widened in shock but fired at me too. I gasped and dodged out of his way.
This time Ty snatched a few fries off an empty table and aimed them at me. One hit me square in the nose as Ty cackled in victory.
I glared at him and stole a few tator tots from a chubby kid next to us.
“Hey!” he cried out angrily.
“Sorry kid, this is serious.” I brush off the kid taking a handful of his tots and firing them at Ty.
“Those are mine you crazy-”
“Hey, that sentence better end with ‘you crazy beautiful goddess!’” I shouted cutting off the kid. I may be crazy…but I am no b^tch.
“Heads up!” Ty called before a fry hit me square in the nose again. This time I didn’t even bat an eyelash when I scooped up a handful of stolen tots.
Unfortunately my aim was a little rusty. My flying tot ended up hitting a woman. She turned to glare at me and threw a straw at me, but she sucked at throwing too.
The straw hit another woman-except she wasn’t having it. This woman was plumper and had a very short temper. So it came to all of our surprises when she threw her drink in straw ladies face.
I’ll save you the details and just say- it was a full out diner food fight.
It finally came to an end when the owner of the diner stormed into the restaurant. And boy was he peeved. By the time he came in, everyone in the diner was covered in food. It was a pretty epic picture-however he didn’t think so.
“Who is responsible for this disaster!” he growled angrily. Without an ounce of hesitation, everyone pointed towards Ty and I.
We were hiding under a booth together because we called truce long ago. Ty crawled out first and offered me a hand. Begrudgingly, I took it and prepared to meet the wrath of the whole diner.
“Sir, we’re very sorry-” Ty began to apologize politely when the owner raised his hand. He was a short heavy set man with a bad hair piece. His beaty black eyes throwing daggers at sweet Ty. I almost felt bad for him.
Almost. But then I remembered I was in the same boat as him.
“You’re Tyson Pierce, the fullback for the Illyria panthers?” The man asked in a stern voice. Ty shrugged carelessly as if the beaty eyed man wasn’t all up in his bubble. “I expected more from our towns finest. But I suppose boys will be boys.” the man sighed seemingly letting this whole debacle go.
“Once again, we’re sorry for the damages. I’m sure I can find a way to pay you back for all the damages.” Ty assured the man, like the gentleman he is.
“Nonsense!” he cried out with a chuckle, “You just help bring back our town glory at playoffs. No need to stress one of our star players.” the man added. I raised my eyebrow but didn’t question it. If it meant saving Ty and I from the damages, I was all in.
“Thank you sir-”
“Please, call me August.” he waved Ty off in good nature.
“August.” Ty nodded, “Thank you for letting my friend and I off the hook.” August frowned and shook his head, as if we both misunderstood.
“Oh no boy, I let you off the hook. The girl is still liable for all the damages.” he informed us before he turned to glare at me. “I want all of this paid for and I’m contacting the authorities. I don’t tolerate any of this behavior.”
My eyes grew wide in shock. He let Ty off the hook because he’s a football player. And I get the boot because I’m nothing but a girl to him?
Did I just step back into the 20th century?!
“Excuse me?” I snapped,”You just let my friend off the hook because he plays football?”
“No.” August argued, “I let him off the hook because he plays football well.” he corrected me. As if that made it any better.
“That’s just sexist!” I yelled. “We were both accountable for this. But because I don’t play football, I get thrown under the bus!”
“It’s nothing personal little girl.” the man began, resting his hand on my shoulder. I quickly slapped his hand away and started to get really angry.
“It’s personal when you discriminate against people who aren’t the right gender.” I begin to argue when Ty comes up to haul me back.
“Vivo, relax.” he said in a poor attempt to coax me, “I’m sure we can talk this out.”
I slapped his hand away and shoved away from him. “No way! Talking is long done. I want equal punishment for both of us — better yet. I want no punishment because, quite frankly I don’t feel sorry about damaging this place. Especially if a sexist pig like August- which by the way is a stupid name, it’s not even cool like Augustus- runs this establishment!” I ranted on as I grew passionate about the situation and the unfairness of it all.
“Calm down, I’m sure your parents won’t mind paying all this damage. They are loaded anyway, right?” Ty offered as a means to diffuse the problem. But that just made it even worse.
“I can’t believe you would think I would drag my parents into this. I’m not some rich snob that solves all her problems with daddy’s bank account!” I snapped growing angry at Ty for the first time. I didn’t like it, but I wasn’t going to back down. Discrimination is never okay.
“No Tyson.” I shook my head with finality. “I’m not paying for any of this. Call the cops for all I care, but I’m not going to pay all of this with my parents money.”
Ty reached for me, but I moved out of his way. It was a little too soon for comfort. To be completely honest, all I saw was red.
I stormed out of the diner before I did something I would regret. Ty was my friend, and maybe I just needed space.
After a cleansing and much needed shower, I locked myself in my room. My parents were downstairs chatting like old pals.
Nevermind the fact that my father is going to get married soon.
Sawyer was cooped up in his room too. Except I heard distinct sounds of a girls giggle. There was no doubt in my mind it was Sophia. Except for Nicky, Sawyer had rarely showed any interest in girls. For awhile I was convinced he batted for the other team, but then Nicky came along.
Let’s just say, I would have preferred a dog to that girl. She could make a nun swear.
Sophia was her polar opposite though. She was nice and wholesome through and through. I liked Sophia, so much so that I thought she could do better than my brother.
I wonder if she knew the King twin secrets? Would she still be infatuated with a liar?
Perhaps not….but she seemed like the forgiving type. We clearly contrasted in that area. I wasn’t so forgiving.
But who was I to judge so much? I lied too. I lied for weeks about being a boy. I lied to my friends in Illyria and I lied to my parents. Was I any better than Sawyer, or my parents?
No. Of course not. I was a horrible person like the rest of them. Maybe we all deserved each other. Maybe this was how life was supposed to be.
I came from a shitty family with shitty parents. So Sawyer and I turned into shitty people. We were selfish, unforgiving, liars.
Ty didn’t deserve my backlash earlier. He’s a good guy, a really good guy. Ty kept my secret because he knew how much Sawyer meant to me. He befriended me because he knew I needed someone to confide in. He defended me against his oldest best friend. He flew over to Boston to convince to come back home for the holiday.
Bad people like me don’t deserve good guys like Ty. He was a once in a lifetime friend. And though I didn’t agree with him tonight, that shouldn’t change my respect for him.
I’ve come to realize that someone like him can’t just be tossed away. I need to hold onto him because he’s my safe haven.
My best friend.
Clambering out of my bed like an oaf, I slipped into my fuzzy pink slippers and dashed downstairs. My parents watched in shock as I made a desperate run for the door.
I needed to apologize. I needed to see Ty and ask for forgiveness because I took my anger out on him.
Just as I opened the door, I found Ty standing in front of me…..staring ahead nervously. The cold Virginia air was icy and bitter. It looked like he had been standing there for awhile. His nose was red and his cheeks were flushed from the weather.
His soft blue eyes turned to me in a look of despair. “Vivo I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean anything back at the diner. Please forgive me.” he rambled nervously.
I smiled and leaped into his arms. He reacted instantly and wrapped his arms around me tight, even lifting me up a bit.
“Don’t apologize. Just don’t leave okay? I’m really sorry Ty. Please don’t leave.” I whispered into his shoulder. Ty tightened his arms around me and chuckled.
“You couldn’t get rid of me even if you tried. ” he promised.
“Oh and Ty?”
“Yeah Vivo?” he mumbled into my hair.
“Your sister is totally bumping uglies with my brother.” I added cheekily. Ty finally let go of me and glared at my house.
“I’ll kill him!” He growled.
“As you should.” I smirked throwing my around his shoulder and leading him inside.
What can I say? Bad people have bad intentions. But as long as I still have good people Ty to hold me down, I think I’ll be okay.