Today is going to be... long. So much to do, so little time. I'm already frustrated.
I was woken up an hour earlier than what I needed to, so I was grumpy as I got ready.
I changed into ripped black skinny jeans and an all white sweatshirt. I used some concealer I brought in my bag to make the bruises on my face less noticeable after I removed the bandage on my nose. It doesn't look too bad, I'm satisfied with it.
Emory left not long after I woke up, since she was taking the morning shift at the gym because she wanted to help me pack, and she couldn't bail altogether being as she did yesterday.
It was pretty lonely eating breakfast and not having her with me, but I appreciated the fact that I would be with her after school.
When it was time to leave, I climbed into the passenger seat of sheriff Ron's police car. We had met on several occasions before this due to my tyrannical tendencies, and had become mutual acquaintances.
I could have taken my Jeep, but he insisted he take me, saying it was a once in a lifetime experience to get a police escort to school. I pointed out for it to be an escort, we'd need multiple cars, to which he shrugged and stated it's the same thing.
When he entered the car, I grinned mischievously and asked, "You know what would really make this once in a lifetime?"
He glanced over at me with an eyebrow raised, "What would that be?"
"If I drove," I say.
He snorts. "As if. That's like a death sentence," he teases.
I pout, glaring at him. "Excuse you, I'm an excellent driver. C'mon, please? It is almost my birthday..."
He stares at me for a while, before sighing and unbuckling his seatbelt. "Fine. But if anything happens, you and I both will be in big trouble," he warns.
I nod excitedly, getting out and crossing over to the drivers side, settling in and buckling up. "Aye aye, Captain," I salute him.
He rolls his eyes, but smiles nonetheless. "Yeah yeah. Just get going. You don't wanna be late."
I pull out of the lot and onto the open road, twisting the radio knob to find a station I like. I stop when I hear one play Slow Down by Chase Atlantic, and turn the volume up.
I catch Ron's face redden by the lyrics out of the corner of my eye and I silently laugh before singing along just to taunt him.
"You're buried in the pillow, yeah you're so loud. I'm about to show you baby, slow down~" I sing.
Ron shakes his head. "I should've known something like this would happen."
"Oh, I'm just messing with you. I'll stop singing. It is an awesome song, though," I say.
Soon after, we reach the school. Since we're on time, there's plenty of kids getting out of buses, their cars or standing around and talking.
They all turn to the car as I park, confused and curious expressions on their faces.
I laugh, opening my door and hopping out, Ron doing the same. We meet in front the car, where he pats me on the shoulder. "See ya later, kid. But hopefully not."
"Sure, Ron. Bye," I wave, turning to strut up the steps to school. Once again, I catch people staring and whispering, but I don't really care.
Let them think what they wanna think, it doesn't matter to me.
I stop by my locker, getting my things, and head to class. For the majority of the day, no one bothers me, or questions my bruises or why I drove a squad car to school.
That is, until lunch. I was in the lunch line, not feeling very hungry, so I just got a chocolate cupcake, inputing my student number into the keypad to add the cost to my tab. I was on my way to the table I sat at on Monday, when someone grabbed my wrist, tugging on it gently.
I turned to my side, eyebrows shooting up in surprise when I saw Layla staring at me with pleading eyes.
"Can we talk?" She asks in a soft voice filled with emotion.
Confused, I narrow my eyes, but I don't see any harm in it, so I agree. "I guess," I say, still bitter towards her, but I've managed to diminish my anger a good amount in these past days.
She pulls my arm along with her, taking us out of the cafeteria. We end up in the library, where I sit on a chair, her on a sofa opposite me.
She moves her legs under her, gazing sadly down at her hands in her lap. I take the opportunity of her silence to eat my cupcake, licking the frosting off my thumb when I'm finished, tossing the wrapper into a nearby trashcan.
She still nervously fiddles with her fingers and I roll my eyes impatiently. "You said you wanted to talk but I haven't heard a word out of you this whole time," I state.
She looks up at my words, but immediately glances away again. "I know, I just... I feel so bad. I don't know where to start."
I sigh, resting my head on my hand. "It's best to just start with the beginning, to get it over with," I offer.
She nods slowly, finally looking up to me, a guilty frown on her face. The cause of it has me curious. "I... When I saw the bruises, and heard about your arrival in the cop car, I knew I had to say something."
I scowl, "If it's pity, you can keep it to yourself. Besides, it's none of your business anymore. You made that quite clear."
"I know, and it's not that. But I needed to confess," she admits, her eyes anxiously darting around, unable to hold eye contact for too long at a time.
"About what," I ask, suspicious, crossing my arms.
She takes a deep breath, before speaking. "Monday night, I was with Caven at my house," she begins and I cringe at his name. "He was on his phone, and started laughing at something out of nowhere, and I asked what was so funny. He looked hesitant to tell me, but eventually gave in and said that your parents texted him that they were having you sent to their house, to give you a little 'talk'.
I was confused as to why he laughed at that, and he explained what their version of talking was. They told him they were debating killing you! I was shocked, frightened for you, but mostly awed by how casually he said it. When I freaked out, he got defensive, asking why I was acting so weird, that this has been happening forever, and that he thought I had already known, since I told him what you've told me over the years.
I realized all of the things you told me about were true, probably including the... incidents with Caven. I instantly called the police and demanded that they get to your house, that you were in trouble, and in an abusive household before he could stop me. Afterwards, he flipped, saying once they get there, his parents will go down, and he's destined to get caught as well. He high tailed it out of there, heading to the airport and booking the next flight out of the country. I don't know where, I haven't had contact with him since then."
I stared at her, dumfounded. Many thoughts swarmed my mind. It was her who tipped the police. Caven really did flee. But the biggest, she believed me. She found out the truth. She knows I wasn't lying. But the question is, what will she do with that knowledge? Disregard it, attempt to make it right, try to get back together?
She holds my gaze, a somber determination in it. "Blake, I'm so, so sorry. I know what I did was beyond wrong, and I accused you of lying when you were the victim. I was so blind and stupid, and I traded our years of love and trust for deceit and malevolence. I don't know what else to say, other than I'm truly sorry for my actions."
I don't know what to do. She was the one, my only and wholehearted love, and I want to forgive her so bad, but when I look at her sullen face, I don't feel compassion or relief. I honestly feel annoyed to a degree. While I'm happy she's not trapped under a fog of lies anymore, she never should have been in the first place.
She should have been loyal and just trusted me, but she was incapable of that. She only looked out for herself, doing what she thought was right.
If she thinks calling the police for me will put her back in my good grace, she's sadly mistaken. I don't owe her forgiveness or anything for that, because that was just the fair and human thing to do. But doing that, she could've caused many problems if it went wrong, and it wasn't her place to meddle, even if my life was possibly at stake. There's a reason I never rebeled or attempted that before.
But it was of good intentions, so I can't be too mad. Even so, her cheating and her disregard of my feelings and the things she said to me that night, hurt, so bad. I can never get over that, or forgive her for it. Even now, my heart constricts by her betrayal, the pain running bone deep, however calmed by the blossoming love trying to thread the broken pieces back together.
The pain lingers, but I've moved on. I can't continue any type of relationship with her, even just a friendship. I'm afraid it'll just continue to hurt me. I have to let go, and let myself be content without her.
"I know you're sorry. I can tell. And I thank you for aiding me then, by telling the police. It set me free from the restraints that held me all my life. But, I can't forgive you. I just can't," I say regretfully, but firmly.
She frowns, but nods. "I understand. Hopefully with time, you'll get there, but I don't expect you to. I hurt you tremendously, and I know it won't be easy getting over that. I know I'm the one who broke up with you, but if you need to talk or vent or just sit, I'm here. And if you ever need to... satisfy yourself, the least I can do is help with that too."
I blush at her offer to use her for sex, but I shake my head. What I need from you is to cut ties, don't make this any harder than it has to be, please. "That's... considerate of you, but no. I'm afraid I don't want any of that. I think distancing ourselves is what will be best for me. For both of us. I appreciate your apology, but I'm going to go. Lunch is almost over." I stand up, putting my hand on her shoulder as I walk past, trying my best to ignore the tears in her eyes. "Bye Layla."
She stares up at me with big blue, watery eyes and blinks, a tear escaping and falling down her cheek. "Bye," she says, her voice small and broken.
I tear myself away, my throat tight. That was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But I feel lighter now. Like I can truly move on with my life, having no part of my past holding me back.
Not to say I magically feel perfect, and I no longer care about what happened. Because I don't, and I'll undoubtedly feel that pain and sorrow for a long time. But I'll do my best to focus those negative emotions into love, love that I can give and that I'm not afraid to give anymore.
I clear my mind, not wanting to think about this. I take a deep breath, releasing all these thoughts as I exhale. Today is a day for new beginnings, I'm moving into my grandparents house and it's going to be great. Alright, good, I'm okay, it's all okay, everything is okay and will be okay, I say to myself.
Efficiently calmed down and further relaxed, I finish the rest of the school day, including tutoring.
I'm surprised I was able to focus, my mind feels drained. But otherwise, I'm feeling relatively good, especially when I walked outside and saw Emory's Camaro sitting right up front, waiting for me.
I grin, and get into the passenger seat. The effect I get whenever I catch her jewel like eyes never ceases to amaze me.
Warmth floods my body, and I feel myself transitioning into an affectionate mood, not that I'm complaining.
When Emory leans over the console to give me a quick peck 'hello', I immediately cup her face and deepen the kiss, the urge to do so too strong.
I pull away after a while, my face flushed. "Sorry. I just really wanted to do that," I apologise.
Emory smiles, taking my hand. "It's alright. I liked it."
She starts the car and turns onto the road, still holding my hand on the console. I can't ignore the rush of comfort and passion I get by that fact.
I can't go on without officially making her mine. It's eating me up and all I want to do is scream that she's my girlfriend to the whole world.
I glance over at her, driving calmly with music playing softly in the background. "Emory?" I query.
She turns to me for a second before looking back. "Yeah?"
I mull over it, trying to choose the right words. "I know I said I wanted to wait to put a label on anything, that I needed time to recover. But, I spoke to Layla today. She admitted she was the one who informed the police of my situation, cause she found out from Caven. He actually did leave, by the way. But that's not the point. What I'm trying to say is, I let her go during our talk. Not completely of course, because I obviously can't just disregard those memories and emotions, but I no longer hold her in my heart as someone that I love. When I did that, I realized that empty spot in my soul was already being filled. By you."
Emory blinks, her eyebrows up and her lips parted. "Wow. I can't believe it was her. And I know that must've been hard for you, Blake, so I'm proud of you, for doing what was best and would make you happy. As for me, I'm glad I helped you get there, and I'm honored to be the one that holds a special place within you," she says and my cheeks heat up again.
"Thank you. But what I really wanted to say was, I want to be with you. I care about you so much, it's shocks me and I don't even know how to begin to explain how much you mean to me. I want to be your girlfriend, I wanna be the first person you think of as well as the last, and I want to spend all of my free time being with you and getting to know you. So, will you go out with me, Emory Corbyn?" I rush, breathing out heavily once I'm finished.
Emory's gaze stays fixed on the road, but a broad smile graces her full lips as she squeezes my hand tightly. "First, you are already on my mind at all times, but yes. Yes, I'd love to go out with you, Blake Hornwood."
I grin and giggle cheerfully, leaning over to press a quick kiss to her cheek, afterwards holding her hand to my lips with both of mine once I'm settled in my seat again.
For the rest of the ride, I'm filled with glee, smiling to myself and playing our conversation over and over in my head.
It was late at night as I lay on my new bed, staring up at the ceiling, snuggled up in the soft covers. We had picked up my Jeep and met Grandma and Pap to sign the custody papers, then moved most of my fall clothes and other necessities into their guest room, and shared a delicious meal of grilled chicken together with Emory and Mr.Davidson.
Unfortunately, they both had to leave soon after, but it gave me time to spend with my grandparents. We sat on the patterned sofa, watching some actually entertaining cowboy movie, with them telling me stories of mom as a child.
It was weird to hear about her, having no memory of her and seeing them tear up as they smiled and recounted the tales of her childhood. It was sad, but also fulfilling in a way. I felt closer to them, and my mother by it.
They eventually went to bed, and I stayed to finish the movie, then I retired to my room as well, laying on the comfortable mattress littered with half a dozen blankets that got me warm and toasty.
After such a long day, it was easy to fall asleep, my breathing steadying as dreamland took over, conciousness drifting away until I floated among the clouds of sleep.