I’d put an ice pack on the side of my face and fell asleep. Stupid Peyton he only hit me because he knew I was right. He wasn’t deserving of her, I was.
two weeks later
Here’s my chance I thought arriving at a party thrown by one of the other super popular kids in Lexie’s school. No doubt they’d be there since Mason and Peyton were popular kids. So many people come to these things there’s really no invite needed so anyone could show up.
I walk in and see alcohol and people dancing with each other everywhere. I look around for Lexie and I spot her she’s heading upstairs giving me the chance I've been waiting for. I quickly follow her into the room she’s going to. The bathroom.
“Lexie,” I say.
She turns around shocked and then smiles when she sees it’s just me.
“Tristan hi, you scared me,” she says giving me a hug, I hug back.
She had on a short blue dress and some black heels. Her hair was curled and she looked good, really good.
“What’s up why haven’t you been answering my texts?” She asks I’m glad she’s getting to the point faster then I am.
“Listen I need to talk to you about something, it’s Peyton,” I say, making her 100% interested in the conversation.
“Yeah?” She says.
“About two weeks ago he came over and he attacked me. He told me to stay away from you” I said and she looked at me like she understood.
“He told me to stay away from you or he’d tell you my secret, but I rather you hear it from me,” I said and she nods so I can continue.
She sits on the toilet top and waits for me to start.
“Lexie I was a really violent kid throughout the beginning of middle school. There was one fight where I hurt a kid really bad, really bad and I ended up going to court an having to go to therapy and anger classes” I stop to look at her face.
She doesn’t look scared to my disbelief.
“Lexie a year or two after, a girl got hurt. The papers they make it seem like I was at fault but I wasn’t, I was trying to help her. They made it seem like I was strangling her and then. Well, I wasn’t strangling her, I was trying to help her to throw up the pills she’d taken. She was trying to kill herself and I caught her, I couldn’t let her go through with it. I stopped her but then she yelled at me blaming me and she told me that wanted to die. She blamed me for saving her. We had words an I lost it, I hit her I hit her and I couldn’t believe i'd done it but I couldn’t believe she wanted to die so badly it made me angry. I got 8 months juvenile detention after” I finished.
“Tristan..” Lexie starts, “they made you the villain when in reality you were the hero. I wish you hadn’t hit her afterward but it wasn’t on purpose, it wasn’t right though. Peyton said he’d expose your secret? He hit you too that’s why his hand was red” she says putting two and two together.
“I don’t blame him for wanting to tell you, he’ll do anything to keep me away from you, ” I say.
“It’s not his secret to tell and he had no reason to hit you” She says getting up to leave.
“Lexie wait,” I say “When can I see you again? Peyton won’t let me near you ” he says.
She writes an email address in on my phone and tells me she’ll talk to me through there and tell me when we can hang. She hugs me and I hug her, I held her for a bit and then she leaves.
The party was awesome but Lexie seemed really out of it. We got home and she went to shower without saying a word to anyone really. I wonder what’s wrong? I shower too then I go downstairs and get some ice cream for her and I. I walk in with the cups of ice cream for us and find her on the windowsill looking outside at the stars.
“Hey, babe I-” I start only for her to cut me off.
“When did it become okay to keep secrets, Peyton?” She asks. I can hear it in her voice, she’s upset, she’s not looking at me either.
“I don’t understand,” I say, seriously having no clue what she’s talking about.
“Your hand Peyton,” she says turning around to show me her pink eyes from crying.
“I thought you said you’d let it go?” I say to her feeling guilty.
“I did let it go but now I know the truth and I can’t let the truth go. How could you? ” She says her voice breaking.
“How could I what?” I say.
“I’m not stupid Peyton I know you hit Tristan. I know you threatened him by exposing his secret. And you kept all of it from me, what about trust Peyton?” She said making me feel terrible but I had a good reason though.
“Lexie, babe it was to protect you I-“ she cuts me off again.
“Protect me? Protect me from what? Tristan? You didnt learn from last time” She says annoyed.
“Yes. He’s dangerous Lexie if you know the truth then you know what he did. I did learn from last time” I say explaining myself to her.
“He’s not dangerous Peyton he-” she starts but I cut her off this time.
“Yes, he saved you! And you ran to him when you found out the truth about what happened at that party I went to! He’s dangerous and I’m trying to protect you but all you can think about is him being there for you like I’m never here for you?!” I yell at her making her flinch.
I didn’t mean to yell at her but I couldn’t help it. I was right and she couldn’t see clearly because he’d talked to her and filled her head with lies most likely. All she could think of was all the times he’s been there for her because when I’m there for her it didn’t matter.
“What are you talking about ?! You think this whole thing is about who I like most? I chose you remember? He was there for me, yes as a friend. I get that you want to protect me but that was all uncalled for” she yells back.
“Yet you remain on his side because all I’ve done is hurt you,” I say leaving her room slamming the door behind me.
“Yet you remain on his side because all I’ve done is hurt you,” Says Peyton leaving the room, slamming the door behind him.
“But I chose you, Peyton,” I say as the tears start to stream down my face.
I’d chosen him and now everything was falling apart again. I laid on my bed and cried myself to sleep. It wasn’t long until Nate came up to talk to me I heard him enter asking if I was awake. I was but I’d rather go back to sleep all that crying tired me out and left me with a bad headache. I woke up with now a minor headache it was late at night and I hadn’t left my room since the argument.
Nate hadn’t tried to come in and talk to me again. I felt bad fighting for with Peyton, but I wasn’t wrong to be upset either. I sigh and decide to go talk to him this time calmly. I open the door to leave my room, step out and to my right I find Pey.
He’s sitting on the floor knees up to his chest with his head between his hands. I sit down slowly next to him. He hasn’t noticed me yet, he didn’t look good. I hated seeing him this way, I knew he felt terrible. I laid my head softly on his shoulder and shut my eyes.
“Babe” I heard Peyton say.
I took my hand in his and made little circles with my thumb.
“Lex I’m so sorry, i-” he starts sounding terrible but I stop him.
I get up and extend my hand for him to take and then follow me. I bring him into my room and pat the bed for him to sit. We sit pretzel style opposite each other in the center of the bed.
“I’m sorry pey I-” he cut me off.
“Wait, what you’re sorry? I’m the one who needs to apologize here. I didn’t mean to yell earlier or slam the door” he says running a hand through his hair.
I sigh “I’m sorry too I shouldn’t be upset over you trying to protect me” his eyes light up a bit, I know he loves being right but I shut his happy up instantly.
“But you can’t keep things like that from me, ” I say and he’s readying himself to argue with me again.
“Lex I just wanted to protect you,” he says and I extend my hand to hold his.
“I know” I sigh ” I know that’s all you’re trying to do but you’ve got it all wrong, yes Tristan has a violent past but the incident with the girl, it’s not like it seems” as I say this he tightens his grip on my hand.
“Lex whether I’ve got it right or wrong, Tristan wants you to himself, he doesn’t want me in the picture. He doesn’t think I’m deserving of you, that he is” he says with a hint of sadness in his voice which makes me question what’s really going on here.
“What’s this about Pey?” I say frowning.
“Lexie, he’s dangerous,” he says running his hand through his hair.
“Dangerous or not something else is bothering you it has to do with what you just said,” I say hoping I can get it out of him.
“Lexie please just listen to me Tristan-” he starts but I cut him off
“Said you aren’t good enough for me and you think it’s true?” I say looking dead into his eyes.
He looked away and I had my answer.