Stay Strong

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Chapter 15

Several days have passed and I haven’t had the chance to apologize to Landon for the way I spoke. I think he may be ignoring me. Vanessa and Bryson say they can’t get enough of it.

I remember yesterday I called out to Vanessa and Bryson. I spent a few minutes talking to them when Landon came over. He said hello to Vanessa and Bryson but only nodded in my direction. I had looked at him with my arms crossed and my eyebrows raised. He left shortly after and Vanessa had burst out laughing.

I had asked her why she was laughing and all she said was that Landon and I were like her own little soap opera. I shook my head and told her that my life felt like a soap opera and that was the end of the conversation because the bell had rung.

As of today, Landon’s behavior was getting on my nerves. I guess I was a little rude but he was just acting like a child. I walked into my class and sat in my regular seat at the back, hoping that I would be able to talk to Landon today since we had this class together. But when he came into the classroom he glanced at me before sitting in the front.

I watched as a few girls argued over who would sit beside him so I quickly took my chance and speed walked to the seat, leaving my bag beside my own seat. I plopped down in the seat next to him and grabbed his shoulder. He pulled away from me and I sighed harshly through my nose.

“Landon,” I say, irritated. “Listen to me. I’m sorry I was rude.” He covered his ears with his hands so he wouldn’t have to hear anything else I had to say but he wouldn’t have to worry. However childish he was acting, I had said what I was going to say because I was sure he wasn’t going to listen to me anyway.

I sighed and put my hand on his shoulder before standing and walking back to my own seat. I didn’t really understand why he was acting like this. It was just Sonia. And he’s not my father, he doesn’t really need to know who I talk to or what they say.

I pinched the bridge of my nose and decided that I was just going to focus on class. If Landon wanted to act like this then all the power to him. I wouldn’t let his childish behavior distract me from more pressing issues.

A few minutes into class, the intercom came on. “Please send Aspen Peterson to the office. Thank you.” I stood up and grabbed the hall pass from the teacher before heading out of the classroom.

Once I stepped into the hall, I felt nervousness settle in my stomach. I didn’t know why I was being called to the office, but I had a suspicion.

When I walked through the office doors the secretary ushered me into the principle’s office. I walked through the door and I knew that my suspicion was correct. My nervousness turned to dread. The realization brought a reality with it that I didn’t want to face just yet. But I would deal with it. Like I always have.

“Gavin,” I nodded my head towards the black-haired man sitting in one of the two chairs across from the pale-faced principle.

“Aspen,” Gavin said as he rose, “please sit.” I did as he said and looked at the principle. He looked slightly terrified and uncomfortable. I almost felt sorry for the graying haired man.

“What did you call me up here for?” I asked, crossing my legs and leaning back in the chair.

“The results have come back,” Gavin stated as he handed her a yellow envelope.

I examined the envelope. “Why isn’t it opened and why didn’t you wait till after school?”

“I felt that you should be the first to open it and that you would want to know once they came back,” he said matter-of-factly while nodding at the envelope.

It felt heavy in my hands and I slowly opened it. I pulled out the result sheet and glanced over it. It confirmed what I already figured was true. I pass the envelope to Gavin and he quickly reads the paper before smiling broadly at me.

I stared straight ahead, not making eye contact with anyone. “Remember what I told you. You’re going to have to work to be considered my father. You may be legally, but it’s not blood that makes a dad.” Gavin nodded his head. I hoped he understood that I was willing to give this a shot. One shot. That was it. He would not get another chance. He already had one all those years ago. This was his second chance.

I got up and looked at the principle. “Can I go back to class?” He quickly nodded his head.

When I got out of the office and into the hall I ran my fingers through my hair before heading back towards my class.

“Aspen, wait,” Gavin called out. I turned around and glanced at him with an eyebrow raised.

“Can two of my friends and I come over for dinner tonight?” he asked hopefully.

I was tempted to tell him no and leave it at that but he had promised to work on our relationship so I would too. “Not tonight. I work. But Sunday I don’t have to.”

“Great. We will be at your house at six that night.” He turned and walked away.

I stared at his back when I realized something. My anger sparked to life and I was tempted to take off my shoe at chuck it at his retreating figure. How in the hell does he know where I live?

I stormed back to my class, slamming the door in my anger, although I didn’t entirely mean to. I tossed the hall pass on the teacher’s desk and walked back to my desk, flopping down into my chair. I glanced up from the desk in front of me to find Landon looking at me worriedly. When he made eye contact he quickly looked away.

I rubbed at my forehead, trying to banish a headache that was starting to form. I couldn’t deal with this shit right now.

I sat in class, fuming, for another hour before the bell rang. I packed my stuff up quickly and followed the crowd of students through the door.

At lunch, I was sitting with Vanessa and Bryson when Landon walks up beside me. I barely glance at him. I wasn’t in the mood for childish behavior.

“Can I talk to you for a moment?” he asks, resting a hand on my shoulder. I pinch the bridge of my nose but stand up anyway and follow him into the school’s main hallway.

“Look,” he sighed, “I am sorry about the way I was behaving.”

“Apology accepted. And I shouldn’t have been so mean to you, I’m sorry,” I tilt my head to the side as I say this.

“Don’t worry about it,” he mumbles. I walk past him and go back to my seat. He followed and sat down beside Bryson.

“Trouble in paradise?” Vanessa asks, looking between the two of us. I roll my eyes while Landon blushes.

“Holy. Shit. Vanessa, look! He’s blushing,” Bryson coos. Vanessa laughs and Landon ducks his head. I smile gently while unwrapping my sandwich.

The rest of the school day goes by slowly and it seems to take forever to get to my car. I toss my bookbag into my passenger side seat and put the key in the ignition.

“Hey, Aspen!” I look up and see Bryson running towards me.

“What’s up?” I ask as I sit down in the driver’s seat.

“Sunday Vanessa and I are going bowling. Want to go?” he asks.

I shake my head, “I have something else I have to do that day. Sorry. Rain check?”

“Sure. But next time you’re our ride,” he calls over his shoulder with a smile as he walks away.

“I’m always the DD!” I yell back with a smile of my own. A few people glanced my way but I didn’t really mind. I probably wouldn’t see them after graduating high school anyway. I pull out of the parking lot and head home.

When I got home I quickly changed into my work clothes and got back in the car. I went to work with thoughts of Gavin on my mind. I wanted to know how he knows where I live. He is an FBI agent so I suppose he would have the ability to locate my house.

I pinched the bridge of my nose and dug through my dash. I took some ibuprofen before starting my shift, hoping it would get rid of my headache.


Here’s the second chapter of three that I’m posting today. I hope you guys enjoy!

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