I knew I would be grounded.
In fact, I thought I would be murdered; so grounded was an improvement.
I'm seventeen, and I'd spent the night away from home without touching base with my parents once. In hindsight, I could've sent a text; I was so wrapped up in Cal I didn't think of my parents, and now I am in serious shit. I am sitting in the lounge with my parents standing in front of me, talking about me as though I'm not there.
"She is changing, Ted. Trust me, I was her age once. This is NOT a good sign."
My mother looks at me, worry creasing her beautiful face.
"Staying out all night, without thinking to tell us where she was? She barely sees her friends- there's some new boy called Cal she is hanging around with-"
"Leave Cal out of it," I interrupt, causing my Dad to raise his eyebrows at me in surprise.
"Don't you understand how scared we were? We didn't know if something had happened to you. We woke up this morning to see your bed empty; all your things gone. Then you walk in wearing the clothes you wore yesterday?"he murmurs, his voice full of hurt.
"What's happening Gretchen?"
"You wouldn't understand," I whisper as my Mom folds her arms, narrowing her eyes.
"Actually I think I might. Luke came over last night to see you."
I look up in shock.
"He's worried about you. So are we, Gretchen. Luke said this boy is his cousin. He said he was expelled from his last school for fighting and that he skips school regularly."
She curses under her breath, her hand rubbing her temples, as my Dad's mouth opens then closes as he stares at me with disappointment. I feel a surge of hatred towards Luke, knowing that he did this on purpose to fuck me over.
"Good God Gretchen, I absolutely forbid you to see him anymore. What were you thinking?!" my Dad demands, his eyes flashing with anger.
I start to cry then, huge sobs racking my body at his thunderous tone.
"Go to your room Gretchen, you are grounded. Completely. Until you are out of college." He shouts, walking away from us.
My mother was clearly furious, avoiding my desperate gaze. I grab my bag and run up the stairs to my room, my chest heaving with the thought of not seeing Cal anymore. I have to calm down, but I just can't- I'm dizzy and nauseous, my heart rate going through the roof as I try to breathe normally. Why is Luke doing this to us? So he was hurting; but he had his tongue down Krystal's throat earlier-not to mention the girl at the rink.
My door opens and my father stands in the doorway, disappointment etched on his face. His jaw clenches as he studies me.
"Give me your phone and your laptop. I will not have you communicating with him. We will take you to school and drop you off from now on. The only way you could see him would be at school, and by the sounds of that, he doesn't go," he shook his head in disbelief. "This is for your own good."
I throw myself onto my bed as I sob into my pillow, hearing my father disconnect my laptop and leave my room quietly.
Why were my parents so controlling and involved? I couldn't wait until I was able to leave and do whatever I pleased.
Until then, how was I going to cope?
So it begins.
A letter addressed to Leonardo Cape arrives today.
I stare out of my window into the street, feeling the familiar fury rising within me. I punch the wall, hot white pain shooting up my arm.
I hear the door open behind me.
"Bro. Whats wrong?"
I turn to see Drake watching me warily from the doorway, his eyes filled with anxiety as he watches me rub my hand.
"As usual, fucking everything."
I throw the letter at him, as he unfolds his arms and reads it quietly. He lifted his eyes to mine finally, sadness all over his face.
"We left you to it. You needed to try and live a normal life...but stealing your cousin's girl wasn't really the best idea, knowing what he knows about you."
He attempts a smile then, but it fades too quickly to be genuine. He closes the door behind him, before walking over to me.
"I love you, even though you've fucked up quite a lot over the years. You know what I think?"
I close my eyes, not wanting to hear what he had to say.
"Mom and Dad like it here. They've been through so much."
His voice goes quiet.
"I think we should leave. You and me."
I whirl around to him, my eyes wide with anger. He couldn't be serious.
Drakes eyes fix on mine.
"Yeah. You heard me. Leave. I'll come with you. Fuck school. Fuck the girl; if you care about her then this is the best thing you can do for her. If anyone finds out you care for her, she is as good as dead anyway."
I feel sick. How had all my shitty decisions led me to someone so fucking incredible, yet I couldn't be with her?
"I can't leave her Drake. I've ruined her fucking life. She'll be alone if I am not here."
Drake sighs and looks down at the letter in his hand.
"You don't seem to have much choice."