Unfulfilled Journey

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Chapter 13-Cole

It should be against the law for Willow to leave the house looking the way she does today. When she walked down the stairs I could literally feel my heart stop. Willow isn’t one of those kinds of girls who dressed to stand out; she is more of jeans and hoodie with converse shoes kind of a girl.

However, today is not one of those days for her usual. She is wearing a gray sweater that hangs off one shoulder, with a pink tank underneath; with the tightest pair of blue skinny jeans which really show off her amazing figure.

The thing that really made the whole outfit a sin was the black leather boots with an inch heal. She looked like she was ready to do some ass whooping with those boots.

Now we are sitting in the parking lot of Highland High School, neither one of us wants to go in. Willow is gripping the steering wheel so tight her fingers are turning white. I reach over and place my hand on top of hers, and she turns her head to face mine. She gives me a small smile but it wasn’t the one I love.

“I thought I was ready for this, but I was only fooling myself,” she broke through the silence with a hint of sadness.

“Willow, you’ve got this!” I reassure her. “What is the worst thing she/they can do to you? You know the truth and everyone in that school knows who Ashley is and how desperate she is getting. I really don’t think it is going to be as bad as we are thinking. Ashley is a lone wolf in this and who cares what she thinks.”

She takes a deep breath and proceeds to get out of the car. “You’re right!” she says and we both get out of the car. We meet each other halfway; I reach over and grab her hand. I told her at the house I was going to walk in with her and show everyone she is mine, and that is just what I’m going to do. She squeezes my hand and I know she is thinking the same thing.

“Together?” I ask her before leaning over and placing a kiss to her cheek.

This time when she smiles it reaches her eyes. “Together!”

We waited for as long as we could before going in so we could both avoid the crowds, and because of that, we didn’t deal with anyone. Of course, there were a few stares, but mostly by the guys and well, who can blame them.

I walked Willow to her first class and told her I would be here to walk her to her next class and I intended on doing that all day. That is what I would do all day if it’s what it takes to get her to be comfortable.

As I was walking away, I saw Ashley walking towards me. I made sure to pull Willow into my arms. I placed a passionate kiss on her and made sure I told her I loved her loud enough for everyone to hear.

Willow wasn’t sure what to think but once she got Ashley in her sites she just smiled and did a little finger wave. That’s my girl. Ashley stomped her foot and walked off pouting. Willow burst out into laughter until the teacher told her to go sit down.

The first half of the day didn’t go so bad. I had a few people ask me about Willow and about our relationship, but nothing was brought up about the rumors. I won’t lie and say I’m not expecting something to happen today.

Ashley won’t just walk away, she has something brewing and I have a feeling it’s all about to hit the fan. I didn’t voice this concern to Willow though. I have faith in her and she can handle whatever crap gets thrown at her.

My class got out a few minutes early so I went to Willow’s class to wait for her. I was leaning up against the wall when I feel a hand touch my shoulder; it was not one I wanted either.

I knew who it was just by the smell of her perfume. I reached behind me and removed her hand away before turning around to face this aggravating person.

“You just don’t get it, do you?” I question her loudly.

“Get what?”Is she really this naïve or is just part of her act?

“There will never be a time or a place for you to ever touch me. You are very lucky you are a girl because you would be on your ass in a second flat.” I could sense she was getting nervous by the way she started to fidget. It was futile to think she would give up though.

“B…But you let Willow touch you!” She stammers out. “I bet she touches you everywhere, doesn’t she? I would wager a hundred dollars she did more than just sleep when she spent the night at your house.”

Now I was beyond pissed and was about to put aside the fact that she was a girl. I was ready to knock her out! She reaches up to touch my face but I grabbed her hand before she could. I gritted my teeth to avoid tightening my grip on her hand.

“DO NOT TOUCH ME AGAIN!” I shout. “I am not yours!” She bristles away from me but she still had a smirk on her face.

“Cole, when are you going to wake up?” She stares off towards Willow’s class. “Willow is not who is she is pretending to be.” That’s it! I followed her till she was backed up against the wall.

“Willow is not you! She will never be you; she is so much better than you will ever be!” I’m using what’s left of my self-control. “It kills you because I want her; she is everything you wished you could be. She is smart, beautiful, and kind-hearted. She puts others in front of herself."

Willow's entire life has been on hold because of people like you and her parents. You would never know what that is like because you are too conceited. You would never let something go for the sake of someone else. That is why I fell in love with her, because of her kind heart.”

Of course, Ashley had something to say about that. She looks at me skeptically and laughs. “Come on, Cole, you can’t be that stupid! You can’t fall in love with someone after a week, and especially with someone who is a fake and a fraud.”

“Not everyone is stupid enough to believe it when someone says they love you just to get in your pants, Ashley!” I knew that was a low blow but she deserved it. “As for calling her a liar I really don’t know what basis you have for calling her that.”

“She said she would stay away from you because she knew I wanted you!” she shouts. “She pretends to be the poor picked on little girl when she is the most spoiled princess.”

“How can you be so selfish? Oh wait; you don’t know how to be anything else. I have tried to be nice but you have crossed the line here and I’m tired of it. Willow is not a fake or a liar. I have spent the last three years with a liar and an abuser. I have learned the difference and I can see Willow’s heart."

"That girl has been to hell and back and a lot of it is because of you and your cousin.” I’ve had it with this chick. “All I ask is that you back off, she has had enough and deserves some happiness."

"As for her staying away from me, she did. I pursued her. If you want to be mad at someone then be mad at me! Take whatever crap you have and throw it at me. Just for hell’s sake just leave Willow alone!”

Ashley starts to laugh. “What has she been telling you, Cole? She begged my cousin to sleep with her! She threw herself at him and wouldn’t take no for an answer. She really is playing you for a fool!”

I was about to say something and walk away when I heard, “A fool, really Ashley? You are a fool to believe anything Tyler has told you. I did not ask him to get Drew to drug and assault me! I did not beg him to knock me out so I would be too out if it too fight back while Tyler raped me that night!"

Willow was screaming now and by the looks of it, she didn't care who knew her secret. "I did not ask your vile cousin to take my dignity. I did not plead for him to give me nightmares that plague me every time I close my eyes. He robbed me of so much and I refuse to let him take anymore. I will also not stand by and let you do that same exact thing."

"So if you want a war, Ashley...then I say bring it! I’m done hiding from you!"

I held back the laugh as Ashley’s face turned a bright shade of red and Willow continued. “If this is really what you want if you are so hell-bent on this mission to ruin me. Just remember I have grown tired of carrying around your secrets. I haven’t said anything to protect you but I will tell the entire school if you want to keep this war going. It’s all up to you.”

By the time Willow was finished the hall was filled with most of the student body since it was time to go to lunch. Erin had walked up and put her arm around her friend and smirked at Ashley. I walked over and took her hand. I made a mental note to ask her about Ashley’s secrets.

We turned to walk away but we were stopped by a teary-eyed Ashley, “I’m so sorry, Willow!” she cries. “I really had no idea what really happened with Tyler. I was so mad at you because Cole wants to be with you and he is right, I am jealous! I want what you two have."

"Cole isn’t like any of the other guys in this school and I hoped he would be the one to help me change. I’m not asking you for forgiveness or to even want anything to do with me, but please tell me what I can do to help you get through this?" What the eff is going on? Ashley apologizing must mean hell has frozen over. I look over to Willow who looks confused; she stares at Ashley for a second before she responds.

“I’m not sure I believe you and I don’t doubt for one second you will mean anything you say or your tears. However, if you really want to help me get through this, then please just leave me and Cole alone. That’s all I ask of you.” Willow grabs my hand and turns to walk away once again but stops and turns back towards Ashley.

“Oh, there is another thing you can do for me...well not just for me but for all of us. Stop being a bitch to everyone! Stop making everyone scared of you. No one really cares who or what your dad can do because once all is said and done; he really is nobody."

"You need to want to change and not need some guy to do it for you. You really are a beautiful young woman, Ashley, and if you really want to be happy then stop being the girl you are and be that sweet girl I know is in there.”

Everyone in the hall started to applaud and all looked to Willow like she was some kind of hero, and I guess in a way she was because she was the only one finally able to stand up to her. I really don’t know if Ashley is truly sorry and is really going to leave us alone but as for right now, I’m just going to focus on my girl and getting through this week.

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