Through His Lens (edited version)

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Girls just wanna have fun

'Why didn't you tell me?'
Everyone fell silent. You'd be able to hear a pin drop if it weren't for the roaring fire that Zara had managed to make borderline out of control.
'Do you not trust me?' The hurt on Taliah's face made me feel like the worst person in the world.

My heart pounded at the fact that I may lose my best friend over my lie and my words stuttered to reflect my fear.
'No, it's not that! Of course I trust you it's just I..I was scared how you'd react. I thought you'd think I was an idiot for going back there.'

'Ouch...you really think I'm that judgemental? I just want you to be happy Evie. I've always just wanted you to be happy.'
Before I could respond she stormed away from the group leaving me standing by the fire pit staring at the space where she had been.

1 day earlier

'Ok if any of you have plans for Saturday night you need to cancel them.' Zara excitedly slammed her lunch tray onto our table making us all jump back in surprise.

'Why?' Natalie said in between a mouthful of pizza.

The first time Natalie joined our table we were all a little surprised. Most of the year above ate lunch on the balcony only glancing down at us peasants when they wanted to act all smug, but it was now starting to become more of a regular thing that Natalie would eat with us. She admitted to us after a week that things had become awkward again with Adam, her on again off again ex/friends with benefits. I wanted to say she's probably making things more awkward between them by avoiding him but there was no point. As far as the rest of the group were concerned it was great as now we were hanging out with her more we were starting to get invited to all the cool higher year parties.

'Why? Because I've just come up with the best idea. It's come to my attention that I'm single.'

'You've only just noticed.'

Zara glared at Natalie but carried on.
'So single in fact that I haven't even had as much as a boob graze in an embarrassingly long time.'
It's a shame the boys weren't here yet as I'm sure Xavier would've been more than happy to help her in that department.
'I also realised that you're all single too! Well apart from Taliah.' She said with a dismissive hand.

'I'm may be joining the club very soon.' Taliah mumbled as she played with her untouched food.

'Why? What's happened?' I asked realising I was the only one that heard her.

She looked at me wide eyed like she didn't realise she'd spoken out load.
'Oh nothing I'm just being dramatic.'

'Evie pay attention please! I'm only going to say this once and I want you all to tell me what a brilliant idea I've had.'
I gave Taliah one last concerned look and then rolled my eyes at Zara's bossiness.

'Calm your tits I'm listening.'

'Ok, I'm proposing a girls night-'

Jennifer scoffed.
'What, you want us to help you find a guy to make out with?'

'That wouldn't be unappreciated, but no and stop interrupting me.' She gave us all one of her bitch if you dare looks and then carried on.
'I'm thinking we have a girls only party at my house, no boys allowed. We play games, get drunk, it'll be great!'

Not surprisingly Natalie was the first one to pipe up.
'Well I'm in. It'll stop me waking up in Adam's bed on Sunday morning.'

'I'm in too. I've missed getting drunk and making a fool out of myself.' Taliah said making me frown.

The girls turned to Jennifer who raised her eyebrows.
'Like you even need to ask.'

And then they were looking at me.
'Come on Evie. Surely out of all of us you're in need of a good night with your best friends.'

Of course I was so up for a girl's night, but they still didn't know I was back with Harrison and that concerned me. This was Zara's single ladies' night after all and I knew they'd be determined for me to let loose. I should've told them at that point that I was no longer one of their single friends but with all their eyes on me I chickened out.

'Ok fine... I'm in.' I said sighing in defeat which made them all cheer and grin like the Cheshire Cat.

What the hell had I just signed myself up for?

'Why didn't you just tell them about us?' Harrison asked using his thumbs to draw circles on the top of my thighs as he held my hips.
After we got home from school today, I told Taliah I was heading over to Paige's house but really I used it as my cover up to come to Harrison's instead. To be honest I think I could've told Taliah I was going to Harrison's house and she wouldn't have batted an eyelid.

I could tell something had been on Taliah's mind for the last couple of days. She wasn't her usual upbeat cheery self which concerned me. The other girls had noticed this too but every time we mentioned it, she said she was just tired.
She nodded and gave me a forced smile just like she'd been doing all day before going back to painting her nails. I was going to stay and ask her what she meant at lunch about being single soon, but I had a feeling she'd brush the question off again. Instead I made a note to force her to tell me tomorrow.

As soon as I got to the end of our street and out of view of the house, I turned left walking the opposite direction of Paige's house and over to Harrison's instead. Although I was excited to see him, I took my time with the walk enjoying the late afternoon sun. Winter was fading away here in California and I was ready to welcome spring with open arms.

I'd only just made it up to the front door, my hand in a position to knock when the door swung open and his arms were around my waist pulling me into a hug.
'I've missed you so fucking much today London.' He growled shutting the door behind me.

He lowered his hands to my upper thighs as I wrapped my legs around his waist and pulled back slightly to look at his handsome face. God I could spend hours just taking in every single detail of him. The golden flecks in his forest green eyes, the smattering of freckles across his cheeks and nose and god those lips. As I looked at them, they twitched in to a smirk bringing me back up to his mischievous eyes.

'I'm guessing you've missed me too.'

'I spend every second I'm not with you missing you.' I said breathlessly.

Harrison growled a little, his eyes going darker and dilating before crashing his lips onto my own. I moaned as he nibbled on my bottom lip which I could tell turned him on more. I could feel us moving as we carried on kissing, me running my hands through his soft hair. Suddenly I came to my senses and pulled away.

'What about your parents?' His green eyes wandered down my neck to my chest which was rising and falling more quickly due to the fact I was out of breath and turned on.

'Dad's away until Sunday and Mom's at a conference. She won't get back until 9.' He nibbled my earlobe before trailing kisses down my neck which was more than enough to completely forget my earlier fears.

When we reached the stairs to go down to his room, I started to get out of his embrace but he held onto me tighter.
'You can't carry me down the stairs.' I chuckled.

'I can and I will.' He said to my amusement.

Of course, to my annoyance he managed it with ease giving me a cocky grin and flexing his muscles.
'Your boyfriends spent a lot of time at the gym during our break.'

'Why, frustrated?' I wiggled my eyebrows and ran my hands along his biceps.

He moaned making me laugh.
'You have no idea.'

'Go on then, take your shirt off.' I purred. 'I need to see those muscles of yours.'

And that was how we ended up spending most of the afternoon making out with me now straddling him as he sat back against the headboard, his eyes closed as I traced shapes on his chest.

Harrison was right, I really should've just told the girls at that point that we were back on.
'I know but I bottled it at the last minute. It's an all-girls singles thing but I'll understand if you don't feel comfortable if I go.'

Harrison opened his eyes and grabbed my hands bringing them up to his lips where he placed kisses on my fingers.
'Don't be silly, I trust you. Plus, I want you to have fun with your friends.'

So, on Saturday night I along with Taliah headed over to Zara's house with nerves in my stomach at what this night could entail. Thankfully as Zara's girl's night grew from just 5 of us to 15 the whole singles thing went out the window. Knowing Zara, she'd still have something up her sleeve but I hoped the fact that more girls with boyfriends would be there would stop anything stupid from happening. It really wouldn't have surprised me if Zara had previous planned on having strippers or something like that. I knew how much she loved the film magic mike.

Zara threw the front door open as we walked up the front steps and grinned at us both like a mad lady.
'Oh chiccas we're going to have so much fun tonight. A few of the girls are already here so head on in to the kitchen where there's cocktails with penis ice cubes.'

'I feel like I'm on a hen do.' I whispered to Taliah as we put our overnight stuff into the dining room.

'Let's make a deal that we'll dip out when the male sacrifice begins.' This was the first joke I'd heard Taliah make in days and I hoped this meant she was feeling better about whatever had been on her mind.

'Agreed. I think they'll take my Visa off of me if I get arrested.'

To satisfy Zara we did indeed go and get our penis cocktails. To be fair to her the cocktail wasn't put half bad and the ice cubes didn't stay dick shaped for too long.

Once everyone had arrived the party really got started and everyone let loose. I'll give it to Zara, she really knew how to throw a party. Having gone to an all-girls school for most of my life it seemed like they only knew how to have fun if boys were involved. Not that I would really know as I was a antisocial loser, but that's what Nora always used to complain about.

No one at this party seemed too concerned about the lack of the opposite sex though. It seemed like they were having more fun because they weren't here. It was quite refreshing to see some of the girls who were usually too concerned with having their lips perfectly glossed and hair poker straight to let go and have fun. It was funny how they didn't give a shit about how ridiculous they looked dressed up in pink feather boas and comedy glasses.

In one room a group of girls we're playing truth or dare, whilst I was in the lounge with everyone else as we did karaoke. Apparently, Zara's parents and friends did karaoke whenever they were drunk which was supposedly quite often so they decided to invest in an expensive machine and sound system which was set up in the living room. We quickly arranged some sofas and a table as our stage and then we were set. With the theme of independent woman/boss bitch we all took turns singing and dancing our hearts out to the rowdy crowd.

Zara started us off with her version of Woman by Kesha and then next was Jennifer who sang Bikini porn by Tove Lo. Natalie and I have been learning to lyrics to Boss Bitch by Doja Cat over the last week so we tried our best to recreate the sassiness in that song. Pink's So What and Little Mix shout out to my ex were amongst some of the other songs sung particularly badly.

I can honestly say that even though I was a little sceptical about how tonight would turn out, I haven't had this much fun in a long time. I don't think I've laughed to the point that I thought I was going to piss myself in so long either. It was just a shame Taliah didn't want to get involved. I'd asked if she wanted to join me in a rendition of No Scrubs by TLC but she shook her head saying she was happier sitting back, getting drunk and taking videos of us instead.

When Karaoke was over and done with, we carried on listening to music and dancing until Zara decided it was time to interrupt us.

'Ladies can I have your attention please!'
She jumped up on our make shift stage as everyone gathered around her.
'It's now time for the burning ceremony!'

A few girls hollered and cheered whilst rest of us looked confused.

'The what?' Natalie asked on behalf of us.

'I'll explain outside. Everyone follow me to the fire pit.'
Like some kind of over excited cult we all followed Zara out to the fire pit area in the back garden. The fire had already been turned on, throwing out heat to the seats circling it.

'So it's this ritual that I saw online that helps you release things from your past.' Zara explained as we all sat down and cosied up by the fire.
'It's like a way of gaining closure by burning an item that reminds you of something or someone. Look here, I've got a bunch of shit guys I've dated have given me. They all ended up being lying assholes.'
Zara threw down a box filled with random items. On the top I could see a Valentine's Day card and old worn t-shirt.

'What if we didn't bring something to burn?' A blonde-haired girl I recognised from the cheerleading team shouted.

'Then we'll write the persons name on a piece of paper and burn that!'
Jennifer said running over to us, her hands holding onto markers and coloured paper.
'Or write down a shitty memory you want to burn!'

Natalie who'd been quiet up until this point jumped up excitedly like she'd just thought of something brilliant.
'I've definitely got a condom in my bag that Adam gave to me to look after.'

'Hell yeah then burn that!'
Zara getting overly hyped in all the excitement, poured a load of liquid onto the fire pit making the flames roar up and leap at those of us sat nearest.

I jumped up and took the bottle out of her hand.
'Woah, I think someone who's had as much to drink as you have needs to put down the lighter fluid.'
Zara giggled and slapped me on the butt.

'You're a good girl you know that Eviebug.' Zara said with a sappy smile on her face.

'I know. And I really don't want my eyebrows to be burnt off. It took you such a long time to get them matching.'

Now Zara's over the top tendency had been contained, the group started taking it in turns to throw things onto the fire. Zara threw in everything from her box, Jennifer burned the phone number of a guy who hit on her but ended up having a girlfriend. Most of the girls not being prepared enough to bring anything with them threw in names of guys who had screwed them over.

'What're you doing?' Jennifer asked as Taliah pulled and tugged at something around her wrist.

'I'm throwing in this bracelet Lucas got me.'

'What why?' I asked wide eyed. 'You love that bracelet!'
She'd had her eye on this bracelet from a boutique jewellery store for months before Lucas got it for her. When he eventually gave it to her, she practically skipped around the house for days showing it off like he'd just bought her a diamond ring.

'Yeah..well... not anymore. Damn it why can't I get the fucking thing off?' She clawed at her wrist but it was no use. In her drunken state she'd obviously forgotten it was one of those bracelets that only comes undone with a screw. To my relief there was no way in hell she'd be able to get it off.

'Hey stop, you'll hurt yourself.' I caught Taliah's arm just a she stumbled dangerously close to the fire. She glared at me before sitting down and throwing back a shot.
'Don't you think you should slow down a bit?'

'Ok, sorry Mommmm.' Taliah slurred rolling her eyes at me.
I wanted to make her tell me what the hell was wrong with her but it was suddenly my turn and everyone was looking at me expectantly. I took the folded piece of paper and threw it into the fire as everyone cheered.

'What was written on it?' Emma Jenkins from my English class said with a evil gleam in her eyes.

'I threw Harrison's name in.'
I didn't, I actually wrote down the name of a boy that pulled my skirt up in the playground to reveal my groovy chick knickers when I was 6, but they didn't need to know that.

My audience obviously wasn't satisfied enough with this though.
'Aww come on don't yah have anything of his here?'

'What about his hoody?!' Emma said jumping up and down excitedly. I happened to hear a rumour that she'd had a crush on Harrison when we first started seeing each other so I'm sure she would get some kind of sick pleasure out of me burning it. Or she'd steal it off of me.

For once I was so thankful I'd left his hoody at home, safe and sound under my pillow. I normally slept with it every night as it smelt like him and made it easier to fall asleep but I knew it would look way too suspicious if I'd brought it here. I was now so grateful I didn't bring it as there was no way I'd let Zara burn it.

I gave Emma a strained smile and shrugged.
'Nope sorry.'

'The letter.'

I turned to Taliah who'd momentarily forgotten about being in a mood and was looking at me expectantly.
'What?'

'The letter he wrote you. I know you have it on you as I saw it in your bag.'

Shit I forgot I'd brought it with me.

'Yes that's perfect! It's the letter he wrote you asking you to forgive him right?' Zara said making the whole group buzz.
'Burn it Evie, it's like the perfect way to close off that chapter of your life.'

'Burn it! Burn it! Burn it!' They all chanted.

'I can't!'

'Why not?'

That letter meant so much to me, so much so that I'd been stupid enough to bring it everywhere with me since I'd been given it.
Oh god I just couldn't hold it in anymore. It was on the tip of my tongue ready to be blurted out to everyone.
'Because...because..look I've been meaning to tell you all but I've been trying to find the right time..'

Taliah grabbed onto my arm and pulled my attention to her emotionless face. She took one look in my eyes and sighed.
'You're back together aren't you?'

'Omg are you actually!?' Natalie said excitedly. 'I knew you two would manage to work it out, you're literally perfect for each other!'

'I can't believe this! Why didn't you tell me? Do you not trust me?' The hurt on Taliah's face made me feel like the worst person in the world.

'No it's not that! Of course I trust you! It's just I was scared how you'd react. I thought you'd think I was an idiot for going back there.'

'Ouch..you really think I'm that judgemental? I just want you to be happy Evie. I've always just wanted you to be happy.'
Before I could respond she stormed from the group leaving me standing by the fire pit staring at the space where she had been.

At first everyone was silent and then the whispers started. It wouldn't be long until a mass text would be sent around to the entire school with tonight's juicy gossip.

I was dreading the fact that Zara and Jennifer would probably storm off hurt that I'd lied to them as well but I was surprised to feel Zara take my hand and pull me into a hug.
'Hey I know you're upset but I'm really am happy you're back together.'

Jennifer pulled me into a hug once Zara had let me go.
'Me too.'

Zara cringed as she took in the scene around us and looked me in the eyes.
'Sorry if that all got a bit intense. I tend to get a bit carried away when I'm drunk.'

'That's ok, it's not your fault. Look I'm really sorry I didn't tell you all. It's not that I didn't want to tell you, it's just that it was nice just keeping it between Harrison and I for a little while whilst we figured everything out.'

'Don't worry we get it. We're all guilty of keeping some things to ourselves sometimes.' Jennifer said with a comforting smile. 'Omg I'm so happy you're back together though. Natalie's right you really are perfect for each other.'

I looked at all three of them who grinned enthusiastically.

'Thanks guys, and I love you. Thank you for being supportive.'

Zara squeezed my hand and grinned.
'We love you two. Now go and find Taliah and figure out why she's acting all grumpy. I know it's not just because of you because she's been like it for days and it's giving me a headache.'

After searching for a while, I finally managed to find Taliah sitting down by the lake at the end of Zara's garden. I sat down next to her on the grass and stared out at where the moon was reflecting off of the almost completely still water. We sat in silence at first the both of us too stubborn to say anything until Taliah sighed at glanced at me.

'What do you want?' Her voice was cold in comparison to her usual upbeat self which made me want to shrink away. I forced myself to try and get through to her though because that's what she'd do if the roles were reversed.

'For god sake Taliah after everything I've been through you've always been there for me. There's no way I'm going to let you push me away when you clearly need someone to talk to.'
I realised I was shouting a little bit so I took a deep breath and carried on a little softer.
'I know you're upset with me because of Harrison and I but this can't just be about us as you've been like this for a few days. So spill.'

I thought it taken it too far when I realised tears were running down her cheeks but when she turned to look at me I knew her walls down. She took a deep breath and finally told me what she'd been worried about for days.

'I think Lucas is going to break up with me.'

.............................................................................

Hi readers!

Sorry to leave this on a bit of a cliff-hanger, I know I have a habit of doing that! This chapter was starting to get quite long so I thought I'd break it into two.

I have a question for you that I'd love to know the answer to. What do you prefer, longer chapters which means a longer wait for an update OR shorter chapters and more regular updates?

Lysette x
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