Damage Control

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Stories Better Left Untold

“Rise and shine people, Sienna has arrived!” Sienna’s high pitched voice rang out in my room as I felt my blanket being ripped off me. Goosebumps immediately sought refuge on my bare legs and arms as I groaned loudly and stuffed my face further into my soft pillow.

It was Saturday, yet here I was being forced to awaken at an unholy time of day.

“Leave and return in five hours.” I mumbled from underneath my pillow as I brought my legs to my chest and wrapped my arms around it.

“Oh, shut it you grouch, we haven’t hung out in forever.” I felt Sienna scold as the bed dipped with her weight. I felt my heart lurch in my chest and guilt enclose me as I realized that all the time I had spent with Easton and avoiding Cole, I had barely made time to see Sienna aside from lunch at school.

Sitting up on my bed, I pushed my hair out of my face as my eyes settled on Sienna who sat across from me on my bed. Leaning over, I wordlessly wrapped my arms around her as my attempt an attempt to apologize for our lack of communication lately.

“I’ve missed you, Mal.” Sienna softly said as she wrapped her arms around. Tightening my arms around her, I released a sigh and opened my mouth to speak but shut it immediately as Sienna’s hand came down to slap me on my arm, “That’s for being a horrible best friend and not keeping me up to date with what’s going on between you and that fine piece specimen next door.”

Caught off guard by her abrupt change in mood, I scooted back over towards the other end of the bed as I held my hands up in surrender, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I said, feigning ignorance as I avoided her gaze.

To be completely, even I was confused about what relationship Easton and I had.

Were we friends?

Acquaintances?

Perhaps business parters?

I didn’t know.

But what I did know was that in the time I had spent with him, he had become slightly less aggravating than he was when we first met.

I had seen a different side to Easton last night at the party. Aside from being an arrogant nuisance in my life, he was actually caring and considerate individual. Though the events towards the end of the night were slightly fuzzy due to exhaustion, I distinctly recall Easton bringing me home and helping me up to my room.

As much as I hated to admit it, I couldn’t deny the fluttering feeling that bubbled in my chest at the thought of the events last night. Not only had he pushed me out of my comfort zone to do something I would’ve never seen myself doing, but he gave me his warm clothes and brought me home at the end of the night.

It had been so long since I had let loose and had fun, and I owed it all to Easton.

“Oh don’t even pretend like-wait, whose jacket is that?” Sienna questioned abruptly as she squinted her eyes and stared at Easton’s sweatshirt that I was still wearing from last night.

“What jacket?” I asked nonchalantly as if I wasn’t seated right in front of her with Easton’s sweatshirt out on display.

“This sweatshirt! I have raided your closet a thousand times and I would’ve definitely remembered it if I had seen if before.” Sienna exclaimed as she fisted the bottom of the sweatshirt in her hand.

Avoiding her eyes, I glanced down at my sweatshirt quickly before looking at her and sending her a sheepish smile, “Oh this? You see...” I drawled out slowly as she let out a loud squeal and jumped off my bed. I watched with wide eyes as she jumped up and down, her hair flying everywhere as she threw fists into the air.

“Yes! Yes! Yes! My ship is sailing!” Sienna screamed loudly as I dropped back into my pillow and groaned loudly.

This is exactly why I didn’t want Sienna to know about how much time Easton and I had been spending together. She would automatically assume that we were an “item” and announce it to the whole world, when in fact, we were spending time together for a reason that I don’t think I could ever tell her.

I mean, how exactly do you tell your best friend that Easton is helping you get over her boyfriend.

‘Oh hey Sienna, Easton is actually only hanging out with me because I like Cole and need to get over it because the two of you are in love. Hope that clears things up, thanks!’

See what I mean?

“Would you shut up and stop screaming like a banshee!” Avery yelled over Siennas squeals as I sat back up on my bed. I watched as Avery glared at Sienna who simply waved her off and danced over to my bed happily.

“Sorry Aves, I was celebrating some good news.” Sienna breathed out as she finally settled down on my bed. Avery simply rolled her eyes at Sienna before wordlessly walking out of my room and down the hall to her own room. I heard the slam of a door and winced slightly before turning to Sienna who was sitting criss cross on my bed with a creepy smile on her face.

“Tell me everything! Word on the street is that you and Easton were the highlight of last night’s party.” Sienna excitedly said as she placed her elbows on her knees before resting her chin on top of her hands. I watched as Sienna eagerly waited for me to begin speaking and after a couple minutes of silently praying that she would give up, I finally let out an audible sigh knowing Sienna would be relentless.

“Weplayedtruthordareandwentskinnydipping.” I let out in one breath as Sienna’s eyes widened before she once again jumped off my bed screaming like a mad woman.

God, if she continued screaming like that, the cops would be at my doorstep in a matter of minutes.

How she even managed to understand my jumbled words was beyond me, but at the moment I was more occupied with ensuring that my ear drums wouldn’t burst. Bouncing off my bed, I rushed over to Sienna and slapped my hand over her open mouth as I glanced outside my open window to see if any of my neighbors had called the police on us since Sienna wanted to scream like she was starring in the latest horror film.

“Shut up, Sienna!” I hissed into her ear as her screeches finally dwindled into whimpers as her shocked eyes stared at me in disbelief.

“If I remove my hand, promise you won’t scream?” I slowly asked Sienna who continued staring at me with wide eyes before bobbing her head up and down.

“Good.” I lowly said before cautiously removing my hand. I watched as Sienna silently walked back over to my bed before stuffing her face into my pillow and letting out another scream, which was thankfully less audible due to her voice being muffled by the pillow material.

God she was insufferable. This was the exact reason I avoided the topic of boys around her. Sienna has tried setting me up with nearly every suitor from Westbridge High since our freshman year of high school and just the thought of her best friend within the same vicinity of a male would get her riled up like crackhead receiving his daily dose.

“Did you guys kiss?” She suddenly asked, breaking me out of the trance I was in. Feeling the heat rush to my face, I swing my head in her direction before vehemently shaking it.

We may not have kissed but we sure as hell came close to it.

I had never felt a pull so strong to Easton than what I had felt last night. Maybe it was the aura of the party or the way the night had ended, but I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the way I had felt last night.

Regardless of how much it pained me to admit it, I was attracted to Easton.

But at the end of the day, it was Easton.

Pushy, arrogant, and irritating Easton who could also incredibly sweet, hilarious, and charming when he wanted to be.

But he was completely off limits.

The last thing I want is for lines to get blurred between Easton and I. We had a deal and it was simply for Easton to distract me from the crush I had developed on my best friend’s boyfriend.

But why did it feel like it was becoming more than that?

“Hello! Earth to Mallory!” Sienna loudly said as she waved a hand over my face. I felt myself being pulled out of my thoughts as Sienna tugged on my arm as we trudged over my closet, “Since you aren’t going to spill any details from last night, can we at least raid your closet for some cute tops? I haven’t had a chance to go to the mall and Cole is taking me out tonight and I don’t want to repeat any of the same clothes again.” Sienna asked as she plopped down in front of my closet before pulling drawers open and going through the loads of clothes thrown in there.

I waited for the usual sting of pain to hit me whenever Sienna talked about Cole around me but it never came.

Well that was odd. I found myself thinking to myself as I stared over at Sienna who was currently dumping piles of clothes onto the floor in front of her.

“Oh sure, just go right ahead, make my room a giant laundry pile.” I sarcastically said to Sienna who waved her hand in the air dismissively as she continued sorting through my clothes, holding random tops up to her chest as she debated on which to wear tonight.

Leaving Sienna to rummage through my clothes, I walked over to my CD player before playing an old CD from The 1975. My mom absolutely loved this band and after playing it in the car all throughout my childhood, I couldn’t help but find myself singing along to it.

I felt my hips swaying with the music as I walked over towards my bed that was spilling over with my blanket and bed sheets. Glancing around my messy room, I got to work and began tidying up, completely avoiding Sienna’s corner.

I had just finished making my bed when I heard Sienna let out a small gasp. Turning towards her, I watched as she gazed down at a random piece of material longingly before slowly pushing it back into the drawer she had found it in.

I felt my curiosity spike as I slowly walked towards her before crouching down on my knees beside her, “What was that?” I asked with my brows raised as Sienna avoided my eyes. I could feel my confusion spike and my heart rate increase as I watched Sienna pull her bottom lip in her mouth.

Oh god.

Sienna only ever did that when she was scared to tell me something.

The last time she had pulled her lip into her mouth was when she confessed that she too had a crush on the guy I had been in love with all throughout middle school.

Though it crushed my seventh grade heart at the time, we had quickly gotten over it and swore to live by the ‘sisters before misters’ mantra for the rest of our lives.

“Sienna?” I questioned as I cautiously watched her. After a couple seconds in utter silence, I reached into the drawer and ignored Sienna’s protests as I pulled out the item she had stuffed earlier. I could feel the blood rush to my ears and my heart drop in my stomach as my eyes fell on the familiar piece of cotton. Though faded away, the photo was still visible on the cloth as my eyes remained locked on the smiling faces plastered on the wrinkled sweatshirt. Faded ink reading ‘Family’ stared back at me as my eyes locked onto the four beaming faces. As I kept my eyes trained on the piece of cloth clenched in my hand, I could feel the familiar ache in my chest return.

An ache I had spent years pushing away.

An ache I no longer wanted to feel.

“Mal...” I heard Sienna whisper beside me as she placed a hand over my shoulder, as if it could soothe the pain I was feeling.

Oh Sienna, I don’t think anything could ever take away the pain.

I couldn’t pull my eyes off the sweatshirt as my eyes locked onto the one face that I hadn’t seen in years. The face that will always haunt me and leave me wondering to myself, ‘what had we done wrong?’ It was as if that one photo had triggered a series of unwanted images and words to flash back into my mind.

Memories of laughter and happiness faded into blackness, and were suddenly replaced suddenly by sounds of yelling and doors slamming. Images of myself years back clouded my brain and I suddenly felt like I couldn’t breathe.

I could see Sienna’s mouth moving but didn’t hear any words coming out of it as the past I had worked so hard to forget inched it’s way up to my brain. Just as the first tear escaped from my eye, my bedroom door was pushed abruptly pushed open. As if a glass of ice water had just been doused on me, I felt myself being whisked away from another dimension and back into the real world. Glancing over to my doorway where Avery and Brandon stood, I watched with teary eyes as Avery stared at me with a sorrowful expression, one I knew all too well.

I watched as her eyes drifted towards the sweatshirt in my hands before landing back on me. I watched as she clenched her eyes shut tightly before opening them again, a blank expression now marring her face.

She made it seem so easy,

As if forgetting the pain was as simple as clicking a button.

“Mal! Why are you crying?” I felt a terrified voice question as tiny hands held my tear-filled face in their hands. Glancing up at Brandon who watched me with worried eyes, I let out a small smile before pulling him into my embrace.

“Nothing baby, I just remembered something sad.” I softly told him as I held his tiny body in my arms.

“Okay! Don’t cry! Me and Ave are going to the park, and I’ll make sure to bring you any nice rocks that I find!” Brandon cheerily promised as I let out a small laugh before nodding my head.

He was too sweet for own good.

“Have fun, baby.” I said before placing a small kiss on his cheek as I watched him run out the door. Looking up at Avery, I watched as she flashed me a small smile as if to say, ‘you’ll be alright’ before she taking a couple steps out and shutting the door behind her as she followed Brandon to the park.

“Mallory, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to find it, it was just in the pile of clothes-” I stopped Siennas rambling as I placed a hand on her shoulder knowing that Sienna truly had no intentions of me seeing that sweatshirt.

It was an honest mistake and I didn’t want to dwell anymore on the topic.

“Don’t worry about it. I’m sorry about my reaction, it’s just..“I trailed off as I felt my eyes gloss over as memories of my past rushed back into my mind. Clenching my eyes shut, I walked over and shut off the CD player before making my way over my bed.

I could feel my head pounding and needed to lay down before I lost my balance and fell over.

I could feel Sienna’s eyes on me as she made her way over to the bed before taking a seat on the edge of it, “Do you want to talk about it? I know it’s forbidden territory but maybe it’ll do you some good letting out some of your feelings.” Sienna softly advised as I stared at the wall in front of me while shaking my head.

The ache in my chest hadn’t dwindled, but only intensified as the thought of remembering that godforsaken night flashed through my mind.

No.

I couldn’t do it.

Talking would just make things worse and the last thing I wanted to do recap my childhood with Sienna, even if she had been there to pick up the broken pieces.

Best friend or not, there were some things I just couldn’t bring myself to speak about.

You know the saying ‘some things are better left unsaid’?

Well the same applies to this,

Some stories are better left untold.



Hello, people of the world!

I am not dead!

Yes, I haven’t updated in nearly two months and yes, I’m horrible.

But in my defense, senior year has been quite the whirlwind.

Please find it in your kind hearts to forgive me!

Thank you all for your endless support,

Much love!

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