Chapter 8 Happy times
Her curiosity was eating away at her but somehow she suppressed it because she was warned not to say anything about what she witnessed, otherwise she’d place the girls life in danger.
The school had re-opened. Their classes were back on. Everyone came to school as expected. Casey was also able to come back to school, which was a huge relief for Avery.
The police were not entirely done with the investigation of Gordon’s murder, but it was safe to come back to school. The police gathered evidence, but it wasn’t enough to determine who and why Gordon was murdered. So there were some students that were still going to be questioned, especially the ones that were first at the crime scene.
Avery and Casey submitted their assignments since it was due today. Doing the assignment together was fun and insightful.
School proceeded until break time. At break time, Avery and Casey cheerfully walked outside heading to their favorite eating spot.
Avery suddenly paused when she caught a glimpse of Bradley, standing at their eating spot. Seeing him made her remember all the things Mrs. Welch said to her and her heart churned in sadness. The freaky part was that seeing him made her feel uneasy. She was starting to feel a genuine attraction towards him, but another part of her still couldn't believe that he was someone that had royal blood running through his veins. Maybe she should stay away from him from now on. Spending less time with him might be a good idea.
Maybe if Mrs. Welch sees that she's no longer close to Bradley, maybe she might let her come back home. The orphanage has been her home for years and a part of her still wants to go back despite how she's been treated all these years. She knows that she can't depend on Casey and her family forever, eventually she has to go back or find the means to take care of herself.
She grabbed Casey's arm, gently pulling her back. “Case... can we change our eating spot today?” Avery asked her looking at Bradley who was standing at their eating spot near the bleachers. He was waiting for her. He wanted to know if she was okay because they haven't seen each other ever since their last encounter at the hospital.
Casey was surprised that her bff didn't want to sit at their usual eating spot. “Why? You know I like our spot. It helps me check out my school crush.” She grinned at Avery.
“Casey please, just for today.” She desperately asked.
“Avery what’s wrong? Why are you trying so hard to make us change our spot?” Casey curiously asked then turned to their spot and saw Bradley waiting for them. "Wait, don't tell me that you're trying to avoid my cousin." she stated the obvious.
"I just want to eat at another spot." she said, almost whispering.
"Ave... is this about Mrs. Welch and her stupid ultimatum?" Casey asked her and she nodded. "You really should forget about what that old wench said. As for Bradley, he's been going nuts because he hasn't seen you for days since the schools were closed. He's really worried about you. He wanted to come to my house while we were still at home but I told him not to because it might make you uncomfortable."
"You did?" she asked feeling relieved that her bff was thoughtful enough not to let him come over while she's dealing with what's been happening.
"Yeah I did. Just go over and talk to him. Letting him know that you're alright will make him feel at ease." Casey advised.
Avery agreed and they walked to their eating spot and he saw them approaching him. He smiled when he saw Avery in piece.
"Hey, I've been waiting for you ladies to grace me with your presence and here you are. I'm so glad to see you." he turned to Avery. "Are you okay?" he asked her.
"Yeah... I'm okay." she shortly answered.
"Hearing that from you makes me feel at ease. The last time we were together you ended up at the hospital so I was worried, but I'm really glad you're okay. Anyway you returned the painting I made for you. I never really got the reason for that." he said in a questionable manner.
Casey cut in, saving her, "She didn't have space for it, but you can send it to my house. She's staying with us for a little while." she replied on Avery's behalf.
"Okay no problem. Well I wanted to ask you out for dinner tonight. There's something I need to talk to you about. It's important." he said in a serious manner.
Avery looked at him feeling a little uneasy. What was so important that he wanted to discuss with her over dinner? Couldn't he do it here?
"She'd love to go to dinner with you." Casey suddenly answered on her behalf because she knew what he wanted to discuss with her. He already filled Casey in about in. Avery looked at Casey with a surprised look.
"I'd like to reject that request on her behalf." Someone said behind them and they all turned around and saw Avery's bestfriend.
Avery was so surprised, yet ecstatic to see him because she hasn't seen him in over a week and a few days now. "Helmet!" She called him out happily, placing her tray of food down and ran towards him.
He chuckled, picking her up and spun her around in his arms as they embraced each other in a warm hug. "I missed you too." He replied in his hoarse voice.
"I missed you more." She replied, chuckling happily.
At this point jealousy was eating away at Bradley because he had no idea about what's happening right now. He didn't know the guy that Avery was so happy to see. He looked over at Casey and she just chuckled when he saw how jealous he was. He folded his fist trying hard to calm himself down.
Oliver carefully placed Avery down and they stared at each other in awe with goofy smiles on their faces. "I came to see you, mind if I talk to you for a few minutes?" He sweetly asked.
"Sure, let's go over to the bleachers. We'll talk there." She replied him.
"You don't mind if I steal her for a few minutes right?" Oliver asked Casey and Bradley.
Bradley stepped forward, taking Avery's hand in his. "As a matter of fact I do. I don't think I'm comfortable letting my girlfriend talk to someone I don't know." He said and she looked up at him wanting to stop him from mentioning the girlfriend thing but it was too late.
She looked down, feeling somewhat out of place. This was her crush and this could make things complicated. What if hearing this makes Oliver move on without even getting a chance to tell him how she really feels.
"Right... I would feel the same way if she was my girlfriend." Oliver said smiling at her. Avery's heart made a few a flips when she heard that statement. "Well let me put you at ease, I'm Oliver. Avery and I are from the same orphanage." He introduced himself.
"I see, well I-" Avery quickly cut him off.
"Bradley, it's okay. He's my friend. I'm just going to talk to him for a few minutes." She quickly said, getting out of Bradley's gentle grip.
Oliver chuckled when she dragged him to the bleachers leaving Casey and Bradley behind. Casey was just amused by Bradley's reaction to Oliver. She has never seen her cousin so jealous before. It was adorable. She looked over at Avery who was caught up between two guys that cared about her.
"Your boyfriend hates my guts now. So much for first impressions." Oliver teased her after they sat down.
"It's not like that. He's just helping me out. I don't even know how to explain it." She said.
"You don't have to explain my queen." He replied with a smile, making her squirm. She always loved it when Oliver used sweet names with her. "I came to see you because no one knows where you are these days, not even our guardian." He said.
"A lot is going on helmet, but what I can tell you is that I'm safe where I am." She answered him.
He gently placed his hand on top of hers. "I'm worried about you. You've never been away from home, ever. I have a feeling that something major is going on and I can see that you're holding back from telling me, but I'm not going to pressure you to tell me what it is because I know you'll tell me when you're ready." He said squeezing her hand in assurance.
"Thanks for understanding." She said to him.
"I'm really happy to see you hey. The orphanage isn't the same without you." He said.
"I'm sure everyone is doing fine without me." She said to him.
"Well, I'm not doing fine at all. Not seeing this pretty face in the mornings makes me grumpy all day." He joked.
"You really know how to cheer me up hey." She replied with a small smile.
"I got you something. Just a little something to remember me by." He said taking out a handmade a bracelet from his pocket, showing it to her.
"Wow... this is so beautiful Brad." She subconsciously said and she immediately regretted what just came out of her mouth. She couldn't believe that she just called her bestie with her fake boyfriend's name.
Oliver chuckled looking at her. "Brad huh? He must really mean a lot to you if you call me with his name."
"No- I mean yes, he-" she paused because at this point she didn't know why she felt the way she felt. She was in front of the guy she liked for so long but she was thinking about her fake boyfriend. What was happening?
Oliver saw the confused look on her face. He knows that Avery has never dated anyone before and if she was, he'd be very glad because he always wants her to be happy and if this guy is who she liked then she should go for it.
"Ave... relax. I'm not going to judge you if you like him. It's still okay if you realize you don't like him. What I'm trying to say is that it's okay to feel the way you're feeling. I'm sure you'll figure out your feelings as time goes by, right?" He said to her
She nodded and she softly replied, "Right."
"Good. Now give me your hand." He said and she did that. He gently put the bracelet on her wrist. "Don't lose it, otherwise I'll haunt you." He joked and she hit his arm.
"Are you trying to scare me in broad daylight?" She asked glaring at him and he just chuckled. "Thank you helmet. I love it." She thanked him.
"I'm glad you do. Anyway I got to go now. I'm sure you have to go back to your friends." He said, gently patting her head.
She stopped him, then asked. "Before you leave... how are you here right now? Aren't you supposed to be at school?"
He smiled at her, then replied, "I bunked classes to come and see my favorite person in the whole world."
Those words melted her heart and she just trailed off, "Helmet..."
He looked at her in awe after hearing her call her with that name again. "I just realized how much I missed hearing you call me that." He smiled at her, she just chuckled looking at the bracelet he just gave her. "Anyway let me go, for real this time, otherwise I'll be tempted to take you with me." He added as they both stood up.
"Thank you for coming to see me. It means a lot to me." She said to him touching the beautiful bracelet she was just given.
He gently pulled her into a hug. "I really hope whatever is going on with you ends soon, so you can come home soon my queen." He softly said still hugging her.
"Me too. I'll try to solve my matters as quickly as I can." She replied hugging him back.
They both pulled back from each other, but Oliver held her hand not wanting to let go because he was going to miss his bestfriend. They were always inseparable when she first got to the orphanage but as they grew up they weren't as close as they were when they were young, due to school and other commitments, but they still spent time together whenever they could.
"I can't leave if you hang on like this." She said to him.
"Okay.. okay, I'm leaving for real now." He said, then kissed the back of her hand before letting go. "You can go now. I want to see you go first." He sweetly said placing his hands in his pockets.
"Bye helmet." She waved at him and he waved back. She turned to leave, heading back to Casey and Bradley.
Oliver walked out of their school premises, satisfied that he saw his bestfriend. He put on his helmet and got on his bicycle and left with a satisfied look on his face.
Avery was happy that he came to see her too. She couldn't stop touching her bracelet. Oliver always knew how to cheer her up and this time was no different.
For a while she forgot about everything that's going on. She finally arrived where Casey was, but Bradley wasn't in site. A part of her felt a little bit empty when she didn't see him. That feeling felt more like disappointment. She was hoping to find him sitting with Casey. She slowly sat down, taking her juice from her tray of food, drinking some of it.
Casey saw her gloomy expression, then asked, "Is everything okay?"
She quickly put a smile on her face, "Yeah...yeah." she shortly replied. "Anyway, where's Bradley?" She quickly asked.
"I have no idea bestie. He just up and left when you left with Oliver." She replied. That statement made her feel like she did him wrong and she wanted to fix their relationship. She was wondering if he was mad at her? That feeling made her feel uneasy.
"Is he mad?" She found herself asking.
"I'm really not sure. Does he have a reason to be mad?" She asked purposely.
"Casey, I think I like Bradley." She bluntly said to her bestfriend.
A smile formed on Casey's lips. "Really?" She asked.
"Spending that short time with Oliver made me realize that I like Bradley. Oliver has been the guy I liked for a very long time but I don't feel any romantic feelings towards him anymore. He's my bestfriend and that's all there is to it." She explained how she felt and that made her very happy. Explaining her feelings made her realize that she has been her happiest whenever she was with Bradley.
"I think you should accept the dinner date with Bradley because you two have a lot to talk about." She advised her.
"I have to find him." Avery said with a smile on her face.
"Come, let's go and find him." Casey said taking Avery's hand.
They walked and ran around school looking for him. They found him at the sports field playing with his teammates. Avery couldn't believe how happy she was when she saw him. She got out of Casey's gentle grip and ran towards Bradley, not caring that he was in the middle of practice.
He caught a glimpse of her and saw her running towards him and his teammates automatically stopped playing when she entered the field because she disrupted their game.
"Someone get her off the field." Their coach said out loud but no one dared to go after her.
She threw her arms around Bradley, standing on her toes and he hugged her back, but he still didn't know why she was so happy to see him because she just saw him a little while ago.
"Ask me again." She breathlessly said to him.
"Ask you again?" He cluelessly asked.
"To dinner, ask me again." She replied trying to catch her breath.
He gently pulled her back and looked at her sparkling eyes. "Avery what's going on?" He asked cluelessly and she took a deep breath catching her breath from all the running.
"I don't want to be your fake girlfriend anymore. I like you." She confessed.
A huge smile formed on his face when he heard her say that to him. She caught him by surprise, but he was happy to hear that. "Please say that again." He said with a smitten look on his face.
"I like you Bradley." She repeated those words with a smile on her face.
"You have no idea how happy I am to hear you say that. This is what I was going to tell you over dinner tonight Avery. I like you too. I've been dying to tell you, but I couldn't find the right time." He confessed.
"Geez, me and my big mouth. I ruined the surprise." She grinned at him.
He slowly cupped her face and ducked down, then claimed her lips, giving her a slow intimate kiss as she held onto him for dear life. All his teammates, including Casey were screaming and whistling when they saw the pair locking lips.
They shortly broke off the kiss and smiled at each other. "I have permission to do that now, right?" He asked her and she nodded, then they embraced each other in a warm hug.
They pulled apart and walked hand in hand out of the field, walking towards Casey.
"You're okay with this, right Case?" Avery asked her.
"I'm not actually, I don't think you two should date." She said in her straight face.
"Casey, but I like her and I told you." Bradley said, gently squeezing Avery's hand in his.
"Then why did she ask me if I'm okay with this? Am I not supposed to place my opinion?" She asked him.
"Case, but you helped me find him and you encouraged me to accept his dinner date? Why are you being like this?" Avery softly asked.
"Why am I being like this? You're my bestfriend. Am I not supposed to look out for you?" Casey asked and an amused look appeared on her face when she saw how tongue-tied they were. Then she chuckled and shook her head looking at them. "You two should really see the look on your faces. Geez I'm just joking hey." She laughed at them.
"Geez Case, you play too much." Avery said with a relieved chuckle.
"I honestly thought you were going to give us a hard time about this." Bradley said to her.
"Well you two don't need my approval to date or anyone else's for that matter. And I'm honestly saying this to you, I'm okay with this. My cousin and my bestfriend dating makes me extremely happy." She stated.
"You girls need to get off my field, you're distracting my team." Coach Josh said to the girls. "Bradley, back on the field right now!" He exclaimed irritated.
"I'll see you later Montgomery, I-" the coach cut him off, separating them.
He dragged him back to the field and Avery slightly waved at him. Casey placed her arm over Avery's shoulder and they walked out of the field. "So how does it feel to have your very first boyfriend?" Casey asked.
"Surreal." She replied with a grin on her face.
"Look at you all smitten. I have to say I love seeing you like this." She grinned back.
The school bell rang and after break classes resumed.
At least today there wasn't any tragedy after school. What happened still lingered on everyone's minds but it was slowly becoming the thing of the past. They just hope that nothing like that happens again.