Chapter Forty-One.Lies, Lies,Lies.
Song for this Chapter:Amber Run-Fickle Game.
A knitted blanket was thrown over my shoulders as I stared at the nothingness that was home. I felt the couch dip down from beside me before Blake sat down with a mug of hot chocolate in hand while I held on to the mug with a death grip.
″It feels great to be back here, Libby″ He spoke up, obviously sensing that I didn’t want to talk about all things related to what just occurred roughly an hour ago.
I nodded at him and took a sip of the piping hot, hot chocolate. I would have hissed at it burning me any other day, but not now when I was numb. Maybe not physically but mentally.
″Gray is going to be asking questions hearing about what happened to Hunter and noticing our disappearances. Maybe not mine but yours″.
He looked at me pulling his lip between his teeth but I looked straight ahead of me watching the bare trees from the new coming Winter. The sky was pearly white, not one sign of blue in it, just white. It looked empty like how exactly I was feeling in this moment in time.
″He’s going to put the pieces together″.
I turned around to face him and sighed. He had a point, if anyone could read me like an open book, Grayson could. He would eventually start asking questions about me ditching school just as Hunter is left with a battered face in the janitors hall.
Yeah, totally not suspicious.
He would know straight away that Hunter came in my path one way or another.
″That’s why we need to make sure he doesn’t″.
He furrowed he brows before straightening his face and shaking his head, ″Libby, you know this isn’t the right way to go about this″.
″I know″ I sighed, it probably wasn’t but there was a possibility it was and it was something I was willing to risk.
That’s what you do for the people you love, you risk losing your happiness for theirs.
″But there’s a string of hope that I can’t let go of that is telling me that this is the right thing to do, Blake. I made my mind up″.
He looked down not agreeing with my words, he wanted me to be open with Grayson. I know Grayson would want me to be open with him, to tell him the truth. But I just...couldn’t.
I knew the wrath of anger that would come to Gray if I told him about Hunter almost assaulting me. He’s been through enough, both with me and with his own personal issues.
I couldn’t bare to hurt him anymore and know I was the cause of it.
He was my brightest star and sometimes I felt like the sun, the sun that the stars didn’t like because it took away their time from the moon. And sometimes I felt like the moon because I had the stars, Grayson was all of my brightest stars.
If I told him this, I would be the sun again and I couldn’t do that to myself.
I couldn’t do that to him.
I wanted to be the moon for as long as I was alive.
And if this is what I had to do to make sure I was, then I was willing to risk my happiness for that.
He sighed rubbing his hands over his face, ″Are you sure?″ He asked uneasy, squinting one eye.
I nodded my head briefly, ″I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life, I can’t hurt him again″ I painfully admitted.
He nodded, ″If this is your choice, I’m willing to help you″.
I smiled at him gratefully, ″Thank you″ I whispered lowly.
He smiled back at me with a careful smile, ″I can see how much you love him″.
I smiled at the thought. I truly did love him, I don’t think I would ever love anyone more than him. Scratch that, I knew I wouldn’t.
He was my one and only and that’s how I hoped it would always remain that way.
″Is it that obvious?″ I asked shyly with a quiet laugh. I respected Blake from not going against my word and mentioning Hunter’s name. He really was a good friend, a friend that I knew would always have my back and I think he knew I would always have his.
He nodded, his eyes showing a look I couldn’t decipher, ″You used to look at me the same way″.
My face dropped at his confession, I instantly felt bad. I knew he still had strong feelings for me and I wish that I could at least repay him somehow but was it bad to admit that I didn’t regret not feeling the same way as he did with me?
I had Gray, he was all I would ever need. I loved him more than anyone could possibly put into words but Blake was just my childhood best-friend who I loved for a whole other reason.
″I’m sorry″ I apologised truthfully to him. I meant it, it would kill every living organ inside me if one day Grayson woke up and didn’t remember me.
I don’t know what I would do, I would of course try to get him to fall in love with me all over again and not stop until I succeeded.
My face lost all its colour at the thought that just came crashing through my brain like a ton of bricks. I bit my lip thoroughly thinking it through.
That was exactly what Blake was doing with me, he was trying to fight for my love back when my heart is in the hands of someone else. I was the one he was fighting for.
He smiled sadly, ″I won’t ever give up on you, Libby″.
I was left speechless, all possible words in my brain void from my memory. It was like I just lost my vocal cords and could no longer speak. I couldn’t possibly explain how sorry I was to know that Blake was living one of my worse nightmares and it was all my fault.
″I never meant to hurt you″ I murmured looking back up into his bright blue eyes, his face looked deeply saddened but he smiled to try make me feel better about myself but I could always tell a genuine smile from an artificial one.
″I know″ He sighed, ″I wanted to hate you for pretending I didn’t exist. But finding out about your memory loss, I couldn’t possibly hate you for not remembering me, and either should you Libby″.
He placed his finger under my chin reminding me oh so much of Grayson, ″This isn’t your fault, Libby″ His eyes searched deeply in mine for a sign of light but frowned when he couldn’t find any, ″I’m sorry for throwing my feelings at you so forcefully, I was just angry that my cousin had you and I didn’t. But I know now that he makes your eyes light up like I once use to″.
″I do love you″ I admitted blinking away my tears, ″Just not in the same way you love me″.
He nodded in understanding, ″I know and I’m not going to lie and say I can accept it quite yet, but I hope one day I will love the way you once loved me″.
″I know you will, you’re a great guy Blake″.
″But just not the great guy for you, right?″.
I sighed and nodded at his solemn words, ″right″.
″I’m sorry″ He admitted quickly.
I waved him off. I didn’t care, he was finally speaking the words to me that he had been waiting years to say and if he wanted me to listen all day, I would. I owed him that much at least.
″How do you plan to hide that″ He pointed to my tingling eye from Hunter’s lash, ″from Grayson″.
″I’m skipping school for the rest of the week, I have a stomach virus. Just stick with that story and everything should be fine″ I conducted.
He chuckled at my excuse, ″A stomach virus?″.
I nodded, ″Yeah, it seems the only reasonable explanation to skip school for a week″.
He shook his head leaving me confused. It wasn’t that funny or funny at all. ″I’m not laughing at that Libby, it’s just I meant it when I said you never changed. You used to use that excuse all the time when you tried get off school″.
I smiled at hearing that, maybe he was right. Maybe I wasn’t that much of a changed person after all. I had hoped I wasn’t but I couldn’t help but feel my history of bad friends and an abusive ex changed all of that.
″I guess I was always smart thinking then″ I smirked.
″Yeah, you were″ He agreed slyly with a roll of his ocean eyes.
I hit him with the nearest cushion beside me, ″What’s that supposed to mean?″ I laughed.
″Oh, nothing″ He whistled setting his eyes all around the room as if he was clueless.
″I hate you″.
He rolled his his and quirked a brow up at me, ″Yeah, I hate you too″.
I smiled, not at him but really at nothing. Just the thought of us being civil again was making me smile, he was a great friend. A friend I was grateful for, I was blessed by his presence and comfort.
″What time is it?″ I asked curiously knowing that as soon as that school bell rings signalling the end of school, Gray was no doubt making his way over here to make sure I was okay. It was one of the many things that made me love him. He cared about me endlessly no matter how many times I fucked with his head.
″Just gone four, why?″.
I sighed, ″I’ve got to try hide this″ I pointed to my left eye.
He nodded in understanding knowing Grayson too well, I think the whole school knew just how much Gray and I cared about each other. I was always filled with warmth in my heart at the mere thought that someone was always thinking about me, and I knew that boy knew I was always thinking madly about him.
I quickly ran up my creaking stairs knowing full well that Gray was going to be speeding it down the lanes to reach my house in a heartbeat.
Walking into my bathroom I huffed at the sight of Jackson’s used clothes thrown around on the floor just as if he was expecting me to pick them up and put them in the laundry basket for him which was literally located beside the bathroom door.
And he thought right.
He knew I had a pet peeve of clothes on a bathroom floor, it just creeped the living daylights out of me to know that something you wear was once on the floor of a bathroom where people do their business.
I shivered at the thought of it and quickly jumbled up his used clothes and threw them into the laundry basket.
I flinched back at the sight of myself in the mirror. I looked drained, like a pale ghost with no colour in my skin or light in my eyes, besides the purple slowly building its way to my left eye and my cheek flushed red from his hard hand.
In all honesty I looked dead, unrecognisable. I knew if Grayson had seen me like this he would have a heart attack and make sure Hunter had to eat through a feeding tube, but truthfully I’ve had worse.
The day I knew Grayson was good, the day he made sure I was okay. The day outside Kroger’s when I had fell to the ground and dropped all my groceries on the pavement from being hit by Hunter. That’s when it was worse, because it had been the first and surely not the last.
I cringed at the soreness of touching my eye with my concealer brush, but it had to be done. What I was risking was harmful but it was for the best, I just wanted Gray and I to be perfect. To be happy and in love and it was going that way up till an hour or two ago and I wasn’t going to let that effect our relationship.
Once I was pleased with the results and my face now looked at least pleasant, I walked down stairs to hear muffled voices coming from the living room.
I know that voice all too well.
I walked slowly into the living room masking on a sad face to create the effect that I wasn’t healthy to Grayson. ″Hey″ I groaned, coughing falsely.
He turned around at the sound of my voice, concern washed over his face as he turned around to face me. ″Libby″ He sighed, his face flashing with relief. ″I thought you got hurt, or that Hunter did something to you″.
I shook my head, ″No, I just came down with something and asked Blake to take me home. I didn’t want to bother your meeting with the football team″.
He furrowed his brows and took a step closer to me but I stepped back. I couldn’t risk him seeing past my lies. ″Lib, you know I would have left no matter what I was in the middle of″.
I nodded, ″Yeah, I know″ I agreed with a small smile, ″I just thought it would be better if Blake brought me home since he was sitting at the table with me and I needed to get home- like urgently″ I rubbed my hands up and down my arms nervously.
″I just have a stomach virus″ I shrugged carelessly,″it’s contagious so don’t step too close to me″.
He frowned making my heart break. I knew he hated a distance between us and I did too and it was killing me not to just run into his arms and kiss him when it felt like there was a magnetic current pulling us together but I just couldn’t. It was too big of a risk.
″I don’t care″.
I opened my eyes frantically making him furrow his brows together in confusion, ″Lib-″.
″Grayson, I think it’s best if you stay a bit back from her. What she has isn’t pretty″ Blake butted in to aid me of my frantic eyes.
I mentally thanked him for stepping in, Gray shook Blake’s comment off, ″I don’t care if she’s sick or not, Blake″.
″I don’t think Coach Ennis would agree with you playing for championships with a stomach virus, Grayson″ Blake spoke up.
Gray sighed and nodded in response to Blake. In this moment in time I had never been this thankful for Blake’s presence in all my time of knowing him since the accident and being reunited again than today.
″He’s right Gray, championships are only a week away and by the look of things this virus is going to last a while. So I think it’s best if you stay out of reach of me until it passes″.
Or until my soon to be black eye fades away so it isn’t apparent to the human eye.
Those words hurt much more than I had intended them to. It was like each lie that left my mouth was one axe to my heart. I hated lying straight to his face, it killed me more than I could have possibly imagined.
He sighed in defeat, his brown locks falling across his forehead. I so badly wanted to just push them away like I usually did but of course that would defeat the whole purpose of my plan in the first place.
″You guys should leave before my germs spread even more″.
They both looked at me with sad faces, Gray craving to reach out to me. Me too, Gray, me too.
″Come on man, we should leave her alone″ Blake guided, placing a hand on Grayson’s broad shoulders.
Gray shook his hand off, ″Lib, you looked after me when I wasn’t well. I can’t leave you here″.
I masked a fake smile across my face, ″Please Gray, you’ll be doing me a favour by leaving me alone to puke until I go to bed″.
Lies, Lies, Lies.
That was the one word pounding in my head like a migraine every two seconds. It would eat me alive as long as Grayson was stood in front of me mere five inches away from me. I wish I could just hug and inhale his cotton and pine infused hoodie as I hugged him tightly.
But I couldn’t.
And I hated myself for that.
This was going to be one hell of a long week.