Groaning I pulled the blanket over my head, hopefully signaling that I was sleeping and planned to for a long time. I heard someone let out a huff and then the poking continued and became a lot harder. Now the person was shaking me, giving up on my hopes of going back to sleep I threw the blanket off, sat up and glared at the person that rudely woke me from my beautiful sleep. I saw Beth looking at me with a sheepish smile. Letting out a grumbled ‘what’ I rolled over still hoping she would leave.
She let out a loud sigh now. “Come one get up, I’ve been up for an hour and I am dying to get to the mall, and get our makeovers started.” I dug around to find my phone to check the time. My eyes widened when I saw it was only 8 o’clock in the morning.
“Uh, what are you doing up so early!”
“Come on, I am ready to go this is going to be so much fun.” I said nothing and just continued to glare at her. I don’t know how anyone can manage to have any fun this early in the morning. You only get two days a week to sleep in as long as you want and I was not wasting one of those precious days.
“Plus I think I hear someone walking around upstairs and I am too freaked out to figure out who it is.” Now I was sitting straight up.
“What?! There is someone roaming my house and you didn’t think that was important to bring up right away!” I was freaking out because I knew my parents were still away on business, so I had no clue who would possibly just be roaming around upstairs.
She threw her hands up with an exhausted sigh. “I have been trying to wake you up, you are a very deep sleeper.” At that time we heard the footsteps again. We were both staring at each other wide eyed now. I could tell she was not about to go up there and figure out who it was. She quietly motioned what I can only imagine is her way of telling me to go up there. I vigorously shook my head no. There was no way I was going up there to deal with the intruder.
She rolled her eyes at me, “Seriously this is your house it is your responsibility to figure out who is up there.” She whispered yelled at me.
“In case you haven’t noticed I am crippled, I won’t be able to run or defend myself with this huge cast on my leg!”
“Hello! You have your crutch use it as a weapon and just knock em over the head with it.”
“If you haven’t noticed I need them to walk and balance myself, waiving one around is not going to end well.”
“Oh please I have seen you walk around and stand perfectly fine with not using them.” I was about to reply when we heard a thump come from upstairs. Sighing I new she was not going to budge anytime soon so I slowly started making my way upstairs. Trying to take deep breaths my heart was pounding so loud the intruder could probably hear me coming. Pausing at the top of the stairs I took a few more deep breaths and slowly opened the basement door. Thankfully it didn’t creak so the intruder hopefully still didn’t know anyone was coming. I heard the person roaming around in the kitchen so I left one crutch by the door and held the other one up ready to use it as a weapon as I hobbled into the kitchen. What I saw really shouldn’t have surprised me due to the events of these past couple of weeks, but you could say that I was pissed when I saw Bryce Anderson standing in my kitchen and he looked like he was rinsing dishes and putting them in the dishwasher.
He turned around and saw me standing there with my crutch still in the air and he had the nerve to smile at me.
“Good Morning, I was just making breakfast hope your hungry.” He turned back around to the stove and I was left glaring at his back.
“What are you doing here?” I tried to say this as normally as possible, but I was still fuming. I don’t understand him sometimes, I have barely seen him over the past couple of years and now he keeps popping up out of nowhere and breaking into my house scaring the crap out of me.
He turned around to face me still smiling but as soon as he saw my face his smile dropped, and now he just looked confused. “What’s the matter?” I scoffed when he asked this.
“What’s the matter really? Why are you here?” At this point I was almost seething I was so angry. He didn’t answer he just kept staring at me probably waiting for me to explode which I was surely about to. “You can’t just break into someone’s house uninvited and be wandering around you scared the crap out of us.” He still continued to just stare and not say anything just had a very confused look on his face. “Can you please just leave I don’t know why you insist on being around me all the time again.”
Finally he started talking, “I just wanted to make sure you were ok, and help if you needed anything.” Hearing this set me off even more. I feel like everyone around me was just waiting for me to have a mental breakdown at any minute.
“I am fine, and what I really need is for you to stop coming around and bothering me, don’t you have girlfriend to check up on and constantly annoy.” Realizing how jealous I just sounded I looked down hoping he wouldn’t pick up and comment on that. After awhile of silence I braved looking up at his face and he was just staring at me with a blank expression on his face. Since we had previously been friends for awhile I could always tell what he was feeling or thinking, but this scared me more than anything his face just looked emotionless.
“I’m sorry to have bothered you. I’ll be leaving now.” With that he turned to walk away. Right before he left the kitchen he stopped and I let out a breath thinking he would turn around and I could apologize for the way I acted. “I made you breakfast it’s on the counter.” He never turned around even when he spoke and after just continued walking and left. I stood there to the point I could hear the front door close. I realized I really overreacted and needed to apologize so I tried to make it to the door as quickly as I could. These stupid crutches were really becoming a hindrance. Just as I made it to the door and flung it open he was already in his car pulling out of the driveway.
Sighing I closed the door and turned around only to be greeted by Beth standing there with her arms crossed staring at me. Uh-oh I wonder how much of that she heard. Deciding I didn’t feel like talking about it I put my head down and tried to make my way to the kitchen before she cleared her throat stopping me.
“What happened there?” Maybe she hadn’t actually heard everything.
“How much did you hear?”
“Nothing, what did you do? I just saw him walking out it looked like you crushed the poor guy.”
“Let’s go into the kitchen and I’ll tell you over breakfast.”
“Well I’m not making anything, that’s on you.”
“Don’t worry it’s already prepared.” With that I walked away into the kitchen ignoring her questions of who made breakfast. I walked over to the counter to see what he had made. There was three plates of waffles with whipped cream and strawberries. Now feeling even worse because he made me my favorite breakfast and he made one for Beth too. Grabbing two plates I hobbled to the island and sat down on the bar stools and slid a plate over for Beth to sit and eat as well.
We ate in silence neither of us saying anything, although I could tell she really wanted to ask but maybe she was giving me time. Too busy in my thoughts I realized she was done eating already and I was only half way through. I quickly finished so she wouldn’t have to wait for me, and got up to start cleaning up from breakfast.
Just as I made it to the sink I heard her start talking.
“So are you going to tell me why Bryce just walked out of here like a dog with his tail between his legs.” I stopped and turned to glare at her and she put her hands up in defense like I was about to attack her. “I’m just saying it looked like you just told him his favorite childhood pet died.”
Moaning I laid my head down on the table and started hitting it onto the table repeatedly. Next thing I know I’m no longer hitting the table but something soft, lifting my head I looked and Beth had put her hands under where my head would hit.
“Ok, why don’t we get ready and head to the mall and you can explain on the way.” Nodding to agree we made our way upstairs and got ready in complete silence. I was still thinking about everything that happened. Finally finished I looked at her and I was glad we both decided to be lazy today and just wearing hoodie and leggings. We were now both seated in her car since I still couldn’t drive with my leg and on our way to the mall.
“So are you ready to tell me what happened.” Nodding I started from when I almost attacked him with my crutch at this point she was laughing until I started to tell her how mad I was. Then by the time I was finished she was looking at me with an accusatory glare.
“Wow that was a little harsh wasn’t it, the man made you the most delicious breakfast and you yelled at him.”
“I know, I know and I feel horrible about it. I just can’t stand how he keeps showing up everywhere.”
“Why do you really think it bothers you so much?” Thinking about her question I wasn’t really sure why it did bother me, we used to be friends. Then it hit me.
“That’s the thing.” She looked over at me confused. Obviously because she didn’t hear the first part of the conversation that was in my head. “We used to be friends we aren’t anymore.” Making sure I emphasized the used to part. It was true we were no longer friends and haven’t been in a long time.
“Yes, but it seems like he is really trying again. Why don’t you give it a shot?”
“Because it wouldn’t work, his girlfriend would eventually realize and she would definitely not be ok with us being friends.”
“Really, is that the reason or is it because you still have feelings for him and don’t want to get hurt again.” Man we had only been hanging out for a little bit, but it was like she knew me her whole life. I just stayed silent as she continued to drive to the mall. What she said was true even after all of these years I still have feelings for him. No matter how hard I try to get over him and realize it will never happen between us, I just can’t help it. He loves Valerie and for that reason we can never be friends and we will never be anymore than that either.
After awhile longer of silence we finally made it to the mall and I was ready to get out of the car and get this makeover, over with.
As I grabbed my crutches from the car I asked her where we were going to first. She didn’t answer me she just smirked almost evilly and told me to follow her. We first ended up at the hair salon. When I looked over at her with my eyes raised she still just had an evil smirk on her face, but now she also looked extremely excited.
“Welcome to phase one of my plan.” Looking at her questioningly I think she didn’t mean to say that out loud and soon corrected herself. “I mean phase one of our shopping slash makeover.” Still giving her a weird look we got taken back right away because it seems Beth made appointments for us already. She really thought this all through before hand.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my hair it was really long almost past my butt and had alot of dead ends, since I hadn’t cut it in awhile. Beth said she had the perfect idea of what to do so I said I that was fine but I did not want my hair dyed. I liked my natural color and didn’t want to change too much.
After what felt like eternity she finally turned me around I was shocked at what I saw. My hair was still long reaching down to about the middle of my back and was layered with the shortest layer at my shoulder. That part all looked nice. What I was most shocked about was my forehead covered by bangs going all the way across. I had not had bangs like these since I was a little girl when my mother still cut my hair. Turning around I saw Beth she had gotten her hair dyed a dark red color and her hair was now rested right on her shoulders, it looked very nice on her.
I then noticed she was looking at me too with a very nervous look on her face.
“So, what do you think of your hair, I know it is a bit different. It may take some time getting used to, but it really does look good. At least I think it does. Oh gosh you hate it don’t you. I’m so sorry! It will grow back I promise!” I don’t think she stopped to take a breathe in her little meltdown she was having.
“Beth!” I was trying to get her to stop ranting but she wasn’t listening so I had to scream her name and that finally shut her up. “Take a few deep breaths, I actually really like my hair, it looks nice.” After I said that she plopped back down in one of the chairs letting out a sigh.
“Phew, that’s good I was so worried you would hate me forever. I know bangs is a bold move and not everyone can pull them off, but you look lovely in them.” Finishing up we paid and left the salon, I turned to Beth to see what are next plans were.
“I think next we should go shopping for a whole new wardrobe. No offense but if I see you in sweats and a hoodie one more time I may lose it on you.” I knew she was right and now that it was getting closer to summer I needed to get some new lighter clothes anyway.
We walked around for what felt like hours going in every store possible. After we had too many bags we could both not carry anymore we decided to drop them off at the car and then get lunch. Getting our food we sat at an empty table in the food court. I had noticed the entire time we were shopping something seemed a little off with Beth and I wanted to ask her what the issue was.
Even know looking at her she just looked depressed about something and I wasn’t sure what. “Is everything ok.” She didn’t answer just slowly nodded her head and gave me a half smile. Ok, now I knew something was going on in the little time we’ve hung out she always had something to say or a comment to make.
“Seriously, what is wrong.”
Letting out a sigh she looked at me. “I saw you that day.” Now I was confused I had no clue what she was talking about.
“The day Valerie threatened you. I was there.”
Flashback - Bethany’s POV
It was another day of eating lunch alone in the library. Ever since I came back to school everyone has treated me differently and if I have to sit through another lunch with all the fake cheerleaders I would probably end up punching one of them. I had just finished my apple when I realized I had already finished my book and got up to go get a new one to read. Looking around I decided to check out the back aisles were no one really went to actually read. All of the sudden I heard the library door slam open and then it sounded like a bunch of girls laughing. Great it was probably the cheerleaders that I was specifically trying to avoid.
I decided to stay hidden and I just peeked through the shelves while still hiding behind the books. Sure enough I was right, there was a whole group of cheerleaders led by the Queen B herself Valerie. I also noticed it looked like they were all surrounding something. I couldn’t exactly see so I moved over a bit trying to look. All of a sudden though the rest of the cheerleaders moved and all stood behind Valerie like they were an army waiting to attack their foe. Now I could clearly see what they were all surrounding. Standing on the other side facing the cheerleader army was Isabella. She looked a little nervous and like she just wanted to run out the door as fast as she could, but the cheerleaders whether tactfully planned or not were blocking the only door out of the library. It was weird seeing Isabella without Kate they were usually attached at the hip and you never saw one without the other. I was always so jealous of their friendship, they didn’t need a big group of friends because what they had was real friendship. I realized they had all stopped laughing and Valerie was talking now.
“Listen here bitch, I want you to stay away from Bryce.” Isabella had been looking terrified until Valerie said that and now she looked very confused.
“W-w-w what do you mean, we are just friends.” I felt so bad seeing her stuttering and I was thinking about going out there but there was too many and they wouldn’t listen to me.
“Don’t lie to me” at this point Valerie looked like she was about to have steam start to come out of her ears and she was seething. “I saw you come into his room last night while we were busy.”
“I- i-i did mean to interrupt and I left right after. I didn’t realize you were there with him.”
“Yes well even after because of you he went running out and when he got back he kicked me out and we didn’t get to finish.” I was sort of confused about what was going on, but I figured out what Bryce and Valerie were doing and it sounded like Isabella interrupted and Valerie left without being satisfied. I felt so disgusted hearing Valerie talk about her needs.
“I-I’m sorry I really didn’t…” Before Isabella could finish I saw Valerie’s hand go flying and she backhanded Isabella across the face. Letting out a gasp I saw some of the cheerleaders look over in my direction so I quickly ducked down and slid over so I could still see but wouldn’t be where they were looking. One of them ran up and whispered something to Valerie who turned and also looked in my direction.
“Come on girls I’m done with this loser let’s go.” Before she actually left though she grabbed something, I couldn’t see what it was as it was still hidden behind her back. She stooped down low to talk to Isabella who had fallen to the floor after she had been slapped and sneered, “If I ever see you near Bryce again I will make sure the punishment is way worse next time.” With that she held out what she grabbed earlier, which I now realized looked like a coffee cup from Starbucks, opened it and dumped it on her head letting it run all down the front of her. Then all the cheerleaders turned and left. I kept watching and Isabella just sat there for a minute before she slowly got up gathered her things and left as well.
Finally my reasoning kicked back in and I quickly grabbed my stuff and ran after her to make sure she was ok. When I got out of the hallway she was already nowhere to be seen. I kept looking for her for the rest of the day, but I didn’t see her. In fact, she didn’t show up to school for the rest of the week. By the time next week rolled around I felt to guilty about not helping her that day so I just went on and pretended like I never saw anything and never brought it up again.
Present Day - back to Isabella POV
I remembered that day very well. It was definitely one of my lower points in life.
“I’m so sorry I didn’t step in to help you at the time. I realized too late that I should have stood up for you, but I wasn’t sure what to do.” I realized after Bethany started talking again, that I hadn’t said anything for quite awhile now and she probably did get the sense that I was mad and ignoring her, but really I was just thinking.
“It’s okay, I’m really not mad at you. There was nothing you could have done, if they saw you they probably would have just tormented you as well.”
“I know I still feel so bad, and never seeing if you were ok afterwards. I ran out to find you, but you were already gone and I didn’t see you at school for the rest of the week.”
“Yea I got a ride home from someone and then I took a couple days off.” She looked at me questioningly when I said that probably able to see the pain in my face when I spoke about that incident. So I decided to tell her what happened after that day.
It was actually the last time I ever hung out with Bryce. He saw me running out of the school covered in coffee and followed me. When he caught up to me he offered to give me a ride home and I accepted. I know what Valerie just told me, but I just wanted to get far away from school as possible. We actually hung out at my house all day just the two of us which was the first time in awhile that Kate wasn’t there too. We just mostly ate and watched movies. At the end of the day when he had to leave to go to hockey practice I decided that this was enough. I realized I couldn’t just be friends with him as I liked him too much and since he liked Valerie and with her threats it would be best to just stay away.
As he was leaving I followed him, and told him that I couldn’t hang out with him anymore and it would be best if we just stayed away from each other. I’ll never forget the look of hurt on his face. He tried to convince me otherwise saying he didn’t know where this was coming from and didn’t want to lose me as a friend. But hearing the word friend again hurt more and I told him again a little harsher this time my point and then all but slammed the door in his face. I heard him knocking on the door and saying to let him in, but I just went upstairs and cried myself to sleep. That was the last time I truly talked to Bryce he tried to call and come over a few times but I always ignored him.
After staying home from school and even avoiding Kate for a few days she finally broke into my house one day and demanded I tell her everything. I told her what happened with Valerie and how I couldn’t be around Bryce anymore. She offered to go and talk with Valerie for me, but I didn’t want to make matters worse. From then on we would still hang out but it would only be at my house or hers if we knew for sure Bryce wouldn’t be home. A little while after she said she talked to him, and he was confused about what went on and wanted Kate to explain. She apparently told him it wasn’t her place to say and tried to convince me to talk to him, but I adamantly refused and that was the last time she brought it up.
When I was finished Bethany just sat there looking very surprised, “wow, so Bryce knows what happened and he still chose Valerie over you.”
“Well not exactly…” Beth just kept looking at me confused now waiting for me to answer. “I didn’t exactly tell him what happened. He kept bothering me about it so, I just told him I spilled my coffee and was too embarrassed.”
Now she was back to looking shocked “WHAT?!” Shushing her to be quiet I looked around and everyone was staring at us.
I decided then it was finally time to leave, not wanting to stick around after she made a scene and now everyone was staring at us judging us.
“Can you please slow down now.” Finally turning around I noticed Beth was standing behind me huffing trying to catch her breathe, form running after me. Giving her a minute to calm down we walked to the car and started heading home. “Ok, can you please explain to me why you didn’t tell Bryce the horrible things she did to you.”
“I don’t know I guess I figured he liked her so he was going to side with her anyway so I’d rather not get hurt and just cut off our friendship. Besides it needed to end anyway, it was the only way to get over my feeling for him.” All I got back was a scoff. “What now.”
“I just don’t believe you I think you really like Bryce still, and you were just too afraid to tell him and have him choose Valerie over you. Which isn’t really fair on his side, because he never knew what happened and then you just cut him out of your life with no explanation. Even is he choose Valerie you should have gave him that choice and I think you would have been surprised by the outcome.”
I knew she was right again I really should have told him, but I just know that if he had chosen her it would have hurt me a lot worse then if he never knew and we just stopped being friends.