Precious Sins ✓

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Chapter Thirty-Six

Adrien's POV

Dread pooled in the pits of my stomach when I arrived at school the following Monday. I wasn't looking forward to school because of everything that's happened last week. Everything had been so good these past few months, and now it had all fallen apart this week and this week alone. How could so much have happened in such a short amount of time? It was like my entire world changed, and now, I was alone.

At least, that's what it felt like. I kept my phone off the entire weekend, too scared to look at it. The house has been quiet without Preston, and the bed had been cold and heartless, and I hated every minute that passed not having Preston to talk to, knowing that he now hated me. That was the worst feeling in the world, having your best-friend hate you. The feeling was similar to drinking a gallon of poison and having it kill your insides slowly. It was similar to stabbing your heart with a million shards of glass and bleeding out of every gash. That's how it felt.

I took a deep breath, mentally psyching myself up before I headed inside. I kept my head down as I passed through the main foyer and up the main stairs to the second floor. I heard a few of the seniors whisper as I walked by, and I could feel their stares all around me. It made my skin crawl. I desperately wanted to skip school and go back home and pretend I didn't exist.

Not existing seemed much more appealing right now.

I stopped in my tracks. Just as I was about to approach my locker, I stopped when I saw Preston there, grabbing his books from his locker beside mine. My heart pounded in my chest, from both pain and anxiety, and when Preston finally noticed and his eyes met mine, I fought hard not to start crying.

And I stupidly didn't do anything else but stand there and stare at him. Preston stared back, but only for a moment before a frown took over his face. He shrugged his bag over his shoulder, shut his locker, and without another word or glance, he was walking away.

It felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest all over again.

I almost started crying, but I pushed down the emotions and moved to my locker, taking off my coat and grabbing my necessary textbooks. I gasped as someone suddenly bumped into me and caused me to drop my books, and they nearly slammed me face-first against my locker.

"Watch where you're going, slut," The guy who bumped into me said to me, his friends bursting out in laughter. My face turned red out of shame and embarrassment. Several eyes turned to me and my heart pounded hard against my chest from the anxiety that was welding up inside of me.

The guy smirked at me and laughed, because I stupidly didn't answer him, and instead quickly turned to face away from them. I could still hear their laughing even as they walked away.

Haha! What a fucking slut.

Did you hear what he did to Preston? He cheated on him with that Carter guy.

Didn't know the queen had it in him to act like such a bitch.

Tears filled my eyes. I hurriedly bent down to pick up my books off the floor. Their words echoed in my head as I got up from the ground, slammed my locker shut, and hurried down the crowded hallway.

I couldn't face going to class and instead rushed to the second-floor bathroom, pushing my way into the bathroom and locking myself into one of the stalls. I sat down on the toilet seat with my hands over my face and cried. The tears rolled down my face, blurring my vision and I couldn't stop it. I just cried because of the pain in my chest, and the repeated words playing over and over in my head.

Fuck, why did I even bother to show up today? I didn't want to be here, not when everyone seemed to know about Preston and I breaking up and were hating me for it. Everything hurt.

I had never been popular. I was the one people barely sparred a second glance to and often forgot about. And now, when everything decided to turn to shit, did everyone suddenly decide to pay attention to me. All of this because of one mistake. I just wanted to go back to being the one everyone forgot about, the one that didn't exist.

I shook my head and squeezed my eyes shut, hitting myself in the head over and over with my hand bawled in a fist.

Stupid! I'm so goddamn stupid!

My phone vibrated in my pocket. I pulled my hands from my face and sat up straighter, rubbing the tears off my face. I wiped my nose as I pulled my phone out of my pocket. I regretted it immediately as the colour completely drained from my face from the amount of Instagram DM notifications that popped up onto my phone.

And when I swiped open the app, I was met with the feeling of dread that washed over me like ice water being dumped onto my back.

Videos. Of Carter and I completely took over several people's Instagram stories, and people had even tagged me in them, and sent me the videos via direct message with none too kind comments that followed. I didn't even want to read them, but the words that were said made me want to puke.

My phone screen was blurred by more tears. I couldn't help but watch the video over and over again, of Carter kissing me, and I hated how much it looked like I had wanted it when I didn't want it. A sob choked up in my throat, and I covered my mouth again, hunching over, silently sobbing into my hand.

I cried so hard that my head throbbed, and I cried until my hands trembled and turned numb. And I kept crying until my chest throbbed in pain and until I got lightheaded. I smacked myself in the head again, anything to put the pain anywhere else.

I just wanted to disappear.




***



Preston's POV

When the bell rang for lunch, I skipped going to my locker and instead headed straight down to the main floor, stopping at the cafeteria to grab myself lunch. I didn't want to end up running into Adrien again like I did this morning, because if I did, I wouldn't know how I would react.

A part of me missed him so fucking much. I missed sleeping next to him, missed holding him against me. I missed his presence, and just seeing him in the hallway after two days being apart, it stirred the feelings that I fought to keep down the last couple of days, because the other part of me was so angry at him for betraying me as he did, and that he could so easily throw away what we had.

It hurt so bad. I've never been so hurt by someone. I've never missed someone like I missed Adrien. He had been my best friend, and now losing that ten years of friendship and watching it be shattered into a million pieces was hard to handle. I wanted to punch a wall, and punch Carter. I swear, if I saw his face, I wouldn't be able to hold myself back from beating the crap out of him.

"Hey, are you okay? How was your morning?" Phoebe asked me once I reached our usual table and sat down with my sandwich wrap and wedges. Joseph was with her as always, and Kourtney was there as well, eating her lunch while texting on her phone.

"Uhm...it was okay I guess. I saw Adrien this morning," I sighed, unwrapping my sandwich wrap after sitting down. Phoebe frowned.

"You did? Did he try talking to you?" Joseph asked, his eyebrow raised. I shook my head.

"No. He didn't say anything."

"Did you say anything?" Phoebe cut in. I shook my head once more and took a bite out of my sandwich wrap.

"Hey, did you guys see the video that's spreading around on Instagram?" Kourtney spoke up with a concerned look. I turned my gaze to her with furrowed brows.

"What video?"

Kourtney showed us her phone screen. My brows furrowed when I saw the video of Adrien and Carter kissing was on her screen, shared on someone's Instagram story.

"What the fuck?"

"Holy shit," Phoebe cursed, her lips tugged into a frown, "do you know who videotaped it and posted it first?"

"No idea. But most of the seniors have posted it all over, so I don't doubt everyone's seen it now," Kourtney commented, a concerned look on her face. I could feel the anger boiling inside my chest; who the hell decided that it a good idea to spread other people's private business all over the internet? Even if I was pissed at Adrien, it wasn't like I wanted our break up exposed to everyone. He didn't deserve to have his face posted everywhere.

"What the hell is wrong with them? People are already fucking sticking their noses into mine and Adrien's private life like that? Don't they have something better to do than to ruin other people's lives?" I scoffed, shaking my head. Angry wasn't a strong enough word to express the fire burning in my chest.

"I mean...Adrien kind of brought it on himself. I'm not saying it was right to post that video, but he was the one who decided to cheat on you, and that has consequences," Phoebe said, "People exploit their cheaters on social media all the time."

Just before I could say something, Kourtney beat me to it with a scoff.

"Are you serious? Even if Adrien did cheat, that still doesn't give people the right to exploit him like that so viciously. That's just cruel," Kourtney said, "plus, I know for a fact Preston would never do that, so why do others have the right to? This is Adrien we're talking about here!"

"Yeah, and he's a fucking cheater! He made out with Carter so openly at that damn party, where anyone could have seen them, and guess what? People did see them. I wouldn't be surprised if they had been seeing each other in private. Not my fault Adrien got caught doing it," Phoebe snapped at Kourtney with a glare, "why are you taking the side of a cheater?"

"I'm not taking anyone's side!" Kourtney fumed, slamming her hands onto the table, "Yes, I feel for Preston deeply, and I'm upset that Adrien did this, but I'm not fucking cruel like you seem to be, Phoebe. Would you do that to Joseph if he cheated on you? Because if so, I feel bad for him."

Phoebe looked at her in disbelief. She opened and closed her mouth, but no words came out. Kourtney didn't say anything else either, neither did I, nor Joseph. Instead, there was thick tension that blanketed us, leaving us all silent and uncomfortable.

Kourtney gathered her lunch and stood up, shoving her phone into her pocket, "Kade is spending his lunch in the gym playing floor hockey, so I'm going to go join him. I'll see you guys later."

I nodded my head slowly, speaking when no one else did, "yeah...see you later Kourtney."

Kourtney flashed me a tight smile. She shrugged her bag over her shoulder and on her way out of the cafeteria, she placed her hand on my shoulder and squeezed it in reassurance. I released a heavy sigh, once she was gone, and glanced over to Phoebe, who still remained silent.

"I think I'm going to go too. Hang out in the music room for a bit," I voiced in the tense silence. I gathered my lunch and my bag, standing up from my seat. Phoebe acknowledged me with a quiet smile and a nod, but nothing more.

"Text me if you need anything...okay man?" Joseph said to me.

"Yeah, I will."

With that, I made my way out of the cafeteria, muscles tense, with the burden of an invisible weight stacked up on top of my chest, heavier than it's ever been.




***



Adrien's POV

I don't know how long I spent hiding out in the bathroom stall, but I didn't end up going to class. I was too scared to go, seeing now that a video of me was being shared all over Instagram, and I didn't want to face my peers.

So instead, after spending god knows how long in the bathroom stall, crying until my back was hurting and my legs were numb from sitting in the same position for too long, I snuck out when the halls were vacant and decided to hide out in the library. I found a spot in the back corner of the library, far away from other people's sight, and hid behind the large wall of books. I sat on the ground with my legs crossed, back leaning against the bookshelves with my sketchbook in my lap and my earbuds in my ears.

I didn't want to interact with anyone and wanted to remain non-existent for a while, so I turned my music up loud and kept my gaze on my sketchbook, scribbling a random picture that came to mind. Drawing always calmed me down, and I needed something to distract me from this morning's chaos. Something to lull my brain out of reality and into a fantasy world for a little bit. Just a little while.

As I was deeply focused on the sketch in front of me, shading in details, I jumped as my earbud was yanked out of my ear. I snapped my head up to see a frustrated-looking Asher, Daniel standing right behind him.

I furrowed my brows, "Asher?"

"Fucking god, there you are! I've been looking EVERYWHERE for you!" Asher exclaimed with a scoff, placing a hand onto his stomach, "Is this where you've been hiding out all day?"

I frowned, my teeth sinking into my bottom lip, and I anxiously fiddled with the pencil in my hand, "Uhm...yeah, I've been here."

"Why haven't you been answering my texts?? I've been worried sick! You didn't even show up to class this morning," Asher ranted on, practically scolding me like a child, "but whatever. I found you now. So, wanna tell me what the fuck is going on?"

A heavy sigh left my lips, and I lowered my gaze down to my lap, still fiddling with the pencil, "I...I guess there is nothing to tell, really."

"What, are you trying to tell me that the rumours about you cheating on Preston are true? Because I don't believe that for a second."

I furrowed my brows, "you don't?"

"You honestly think I would? I know you would never cheat on Preston, you're like so in love with him it's crazy," Asher scoffed. He sat down on the carpeted floor across from me, leaning his back against the bookshelf, "So, wanna tell me what actually happened?"

I blinked. I shifted my gaze to Daniel, and he looked at me with a sympathetic smile on his face. Daniel sat down beside Asher with his knees pulled up, his arms resting on his knees. A deep frown painted my lips.

Honestly, I was surprised that they didn't buy into the cheating rumour, but I was also relieved. At least I had someone I could talk to, and someone that didn't hate me because of this.

I hesitated, but I eventually told them everything. I told them when I left Preston and his friends to get food and stand outside for a bit. I told them when Carter came up to me to talk, how Carter grabbed me and kissed me, and even as I tried to push him off, he wouldn't let go. I told them how Preston saw us, punched Carter, and broke up with me. I told them all of it.

And the entire time I spoke, my heart ached in my chest as I relived every detail. I was barely holding the tears back, barely keeping my voice together. Just thinking about it all was painful.

"What the fuck," Asher spat bitterly, an aggravated look on his face, "I can't believe that shit head forced himself onto you! I swear the next time I see him—"

"Babe, calm down," Daniel said gently, placing his hand on Asher's shoulder.

"I am not going to calm down! This fucking bitch forced himself onto Adrien!" Asher raised his voice, and Daniel gave him a look that told him to lower his voice, because well, we were in the library.

"Yeah, and yelling about it to the entire library isn't exactly helpful," Daniel told him calmly. Asher frowned, "I know you're mad. Hell, I'm angry too, but yelling isn't going to help, and I think Adrien would appreciate it if you didn't make a scene."

Asher released a sigh at that, and nodded his head, before he turned his gaze back to me, "sorry about my yelling. Carter is still a bitch though. I can't believe he did that."

I forced a smile, "yeah...he is. But I mean...it's kind of my fault too. If only I could have pushed him off me—"

"Are you kidding?" Asher scoffed at me, "don't be ridiculous. None of this is your fault. This is all on Carter."

My smile was gone instantly. I frowned and lowered my gaze to my lap. I stared down at my half-finished sketch and fiddled with the pencil in my hands, my teeth biting into my lower lip. I fought the tears that suddenly threatened to blur my vision and quickly took a deep breath to calm down. Asher noticed, and he was by my side instantly, his arms wrapping around me as he pulled me to him and hugged me tightly.

I let him hug me, but the moment he did, the tears rolled down my face and I couldn't stop the sob that spilled out of me. I pulled my knees to my chest, my head against Asher's shoulder as I cried quietly, and Asher let me. He didn't say anything, but his silence was all he needed to say because the words were in his actions. He squeezed me tight, rubbed his hand over my back soothingly, and eventually, Daniel sat down on the other side of me and hugged me too until I was squished between both their embraces.

And we stayed like that for who knows how long, sitting there at the back of the library, with me crying in their arms. It felt like my crying was never-ending, and I honestly didn't know how to stop myself from crying. It wasn't just Preston that I was crying about; it was also those videos. It was Carter. It was the fact that he kissed me and I was facing the consequences of it. I hated it all.

I didn't know how Phoebe, Joseph, or Kourtney felt about the situation either, but if I had to guess, they were on Preston's side and were probably mad at me too.

"Hey, why don't we just...skip the last two periods and just head out? I know you definitely do not want to go to class, and I know that you too, babe, would rather do anything else than be at school," Daniel suggested to me and Asher.

"Wow, you're actually going to let me skip?" Asher scoffed. Daniel chuckled.

"Well I mean, if we had it your way, you'd never show up to school for the rest of the semester."

"Yeah, cause people are shitty, and Adrien agrees with me," Asher said, "right, Adrien?"

I smiled crookedly, nodding my head softly as I took a deep breath, and sniffled, "yeah, people are shitty."

"See? Point proved."

Daniel rolled his eyes and laughed, "okay, well, do you want to leave or not?"

"Of course I do!" Asher said, "and since it's a lunch break, wanna go to Sunset Diner? I'm desperately craving a burger and fries right now."

"Yeah, we can do that," Daniel smiled at his boyfriend, then turned to me, "what about you, Adrien? Did you want to go?"

I paused for a moment to think, and then I nodded my head with a quiet smile, "yeah...I could eat a burger or two."

"Perfect!" Asher cheered. I let go of Asher so that he could stand with the help of Daniel, and then Daniel helped me up to my feet as well. I thanked him quietly, brushing away the tears stained across my cheeks before I followed Asher and Daniel out of the library.
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