Feeling the desperate need to get away from everyone, I walk away from the crowd in search of someplace which less crowded. I told Kris that I need some fresh air, so she doesn’t get worried.
Almost every corner of the ground floor is filled with people. Taking the flight of stairs I reach the first floor, thankfully there is no one here. However, I feel guilty of walking around in someone’s house without their permission. I walk towards the half-opened sliding door and step into the balcony area.
Instantly, I feel better, as I inhale the fresh air. The loud noise coming from the party has died down a little, but still, the music and voices of people can be heard.
I run my fingers through my hair and lean against the metal railing of the balcony. As I stare at nothing particular in front of me. Tears prick in my eyes, as I think how much truth her words carry.
I did kill my mom.
If it wasn’t of me, then my mom would have been alive. I know it is not my fault, but still, I can’t help but blame myself for becoming the reason of her death.
I swallow and I try to stop the tears from falling from my eyes.
It is very difficult to hold your tears when your eyes are brimming with them. One blink will give them the opportunity to escape from your eyes.
“I am sorry, mom,” I whisper while looking at the sky, hoping that my mom can hear me.
Taking a few deep breaths to get hold of my emotions, I wipe my eyes to make sure they are free of any tears. I feel proud of myself for not letting any tears drop.
A sound of approaching footsteps make me turn my head towards their direction.
“Hey,” I say sounding astonished.
“Are you okay?” Alec stops in front of me, as he looks at me in a scrutinizing manner.
“Yeah.” I nod my head, “Yeah, I am okay.” I try to smile as naturally as I can.
He slowly nods his head, as he holds my gaze making me feel uneasy. I feel that maybe he can sense my lie.
“So, we met again,” I say trying to shake off that uneasy feeling, “I would have said, I am surprised to see you here, but half of the town is here. So, you being here is not surprising.” I smile and this time it is a little less forced.
“Yeah, you are right.” He slightly smiles, “You shouldn’t be surprised to find me in my house.” He stands beside me.
“This is your house!” I can’t hide the shock from my voice or my face.
“Yeah.” He nods his head, thoroughly amused by my reaction.
“I am so sorry, for wandering in your house without your permission.” I quickly say, “I know this part of the house might be off-limits, as the party is on the ground floor, but I needed some fresh air. So I just came here as I was searching for some quiet place.” I shrug apologetically.
“It is absolutely fine.” He shakes his head and gives a small smile.
“So what is the reason for the party?” I ask as I gather all my hair to my side.
“I got my life saved by someone, so this reason is enough for me to celebrate,” he says making me laugh.
“Yeah, right.” I roll my eyes and laugh.
“I will just go back downstairs,” I say and take a few steps towards the door, “I don’t want to keep you from enjoying your party.”
“You can stay,” he says, “I probably don’t know most of them, just a few people.” He shrugs.
“I mostly like being around people with whom I feel...” He pauses to think.
“Connected to.” I smile and complete his sentence.
“Yeah, with whom I feel connected to.” Corner of his lip twitches upward as he repeats my words.
He motions with his hand at the wooden chairs placed on the corner of the balcony.
“For how long you have been here?” I sit on one of the chairs as he occupies the second one.
I am sure it would have not been long since he came to this town. Otherwise, I would have known at least something about him. Because Kris knows almost everyone in this town, so even if I don’t want then also I get all information about everyone.
“Not long.” He shrugs, “Maybe three or four years.” He runs his hand in his hair.
His features illuminated by the faint glow coming from inside the house, whilst outside the sky has turned dark.
“I haven’t seen you before.” He rests his elbows on his knees, “Are you from here?”
“Umm... well sort of.” I tilt my head from side to side, “My grandpa is from here and I live with him. I was in boarding school and last month I graduated, so I moved back here to spend some time with him.”
Thankfully, he doesn’t ask about my parents. I don’t think I would have been able to talk about them now, without breaking down.
“What do you do? Other than saving dudes in distress.” He jokes and slightly smiles.
I cover my mouth with my hand, as I burst out laughing.
“I am taking a one-year break from studies.” I clear my throat as my laughter dies down, “I haven’t decided yet, what exactly I want to do. Probably something related to accounts.” I shrug.
He is really easy to talk with, even with his intimidating personality. In our little interaction, I never once felt our conversations are forced.
Suddenly, my lips stretch into a wide grin, when the music changes as the DJ plays a familiar song. I look towards the door and then back to him.
“That is one of my favorite songs.” I smile while jerking my thumb towards the door, as the voices, One Direction boys flow in the air.
“I love this song.” My head moving to the tune of Live while we’re young.
“Well, then I think instead of sitting here.” He stands up and offers his hand to me, “We should go downstairs and properly enjoy this song.” He raises his eyebrows.
“You dance?” I ask feeling astonished as I stand up, but I don’t hold his hand.
By looking at him, you can never say that he can dance. He seems so... serious.
“I may look boring, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to have fun.” He shrugs as he put his hand in his jeans pocket.
“Okay, so let’s go,” I say feeling slightly excited, “And live while we’re young.” I lightly laugh as we make our way back to the party.
Two songs later, we are still on the dance floor. We are not dancing, just swaying lightly on our spot to the music, talking about random things which we find interesting. But now there is a slight carefree look in his eyes, which makes him look younger.
“Don’t you think almost everyone is kind of staring at us?” I look around to surely find eyes on us. He just shrugs nonchalantly.
“They haven’t seen you dancing before?” My eyes widen when I realize the reason behind getting attention from everyone around us.
“I never found anyone with whom I wanted to dance,” he casually replies not bothered by stares which we are getting.
“Holy crap!” Kris says as she approaches us looking slight tipsy, “I can’t believe he is the one you got along with.” She grins as we stopped swaying, giving her our full attention.
What does she mean by he is the one? He seems normal to me.
“I am so happy, that my girl has made a new friend on her own.” She laughs, “This calls for a celebration.” She walks towards the bar leaving us on the dance floor.
“Are we friends?” I turn my face to Alec.
“I don’t know, maybe.” He shrugs.
My eyes widen as I understand what she meant by celebration.
“If I am not mistaken by celebration she means, being wasted.” I look back at her retreating figure, then I glance back at Alec, who nods his head in confirmation.
“Oh, God!” I shake my head thinking about the disaster I may have to witness when Kris gets fully drunk.
I have seen her smashed once, and it was not a pretty sight.
“I am sorry, Avery,” Kris quietly says, as she puts her head on my shoulder, “I am so sorry.” She swallows.
We are sitting on the porch steps of her house after Jake has dropped us back at her house, from the party. Thankfully, Jake didn’t let Kris get drunk.
“Why are you saying sorry?” I frown in confusion.
“Have you ruined my clothes with your drool?” I cringe and slightly pull back from her.
“No.” She wipes her hand across her lips, “I am not drooling.” She angrily pouts.
“Victoria hates you because of me.” She sighs.
“I don’t think I would have felt delighted if she loved me.” I stretch my legs in front of me and cross them.
“Somewhere, it is because of me that she says all those hurtful things to you.” She looks down at her hands.
“You remember, she was sort of my friend before you came here.” She continues, I nod my head in reply.
“I wanted to be your friend, but she never liked you.” She plays with the end of her hair, “Because you instantly gained everyone’s attention when you came here. And she always wanted to be the center of attention.” She scoffs.
It is true, I did get a lot of attention, but it was more of a sympathy. Whoever I met, used to pity me for being an orphan. People here know my mom and dad, and they also know what had happened, so they had a soft corner for me.
So, when Pops sent me to boarding school I was kind of glad, as there no one would remind me of my misfortune.
“She mostly used to order me around and me trying to please her, used to follow her.” She humorlessly laughs, “I tried to be like her so that she remains friend with me.”
“But when the first time you came to our house, for dinner, with Frank.” She looks at me and smiles, “I instantly liked being around you. As you were more interested in listening to me, rather than forcing your views on me. You didn’t make fun of my braces, instead, you told me these braces will make, my smile more beautiful.”
“When I told you that I liked your Powerpuff girls’ bracelet.” She smiles at the distant memory, “Instead of bragging about it, you happily gave it to me as our friendship gift.”
I still remember how tightly she had hugged me when I gave her the bracelet.
“Avery, you made me realize that if somebody wants to be your friend then they have to accept the way you are.” She turns to me, “I should not change myself to please somebody.”
“So, then I stood up to her and kicked her stinking ass,” she says with the prideful tone, “I actually felt better as I was no longer someone’s shadow. And strangely, people actually started to notice me and they liked me. That made her hate you more, even when you had nothing to do with it. She started talking all the nonsense stuff about you.”
“Becuase of me, you have to listen to her hurtful words.” Her eyes fill with tears, “You are not cursed, Avery. You are a blessing to me and to others.”
I blink rapidly to dry my tears so that she can’t see them.
Showing emotions is difficult for me.
“Should I be worried that you were sniffing Victoria’s ass?” I move away from her as I try to joke, “That’s kind of gross,” I make a face.
“Avery!” She recoils in disgust, “Here I was being emotional and all. And you just have to ruin this moment.” She laughs as she wipes her tears.
“Thank God, the moment is ruined.” I laugh, feeling satisfied with the change of the mood, “As I was thinking to run away from you before to decide to kiss me,” I say trying to sound serious, but we both started to laugh.