Always Alone

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter Twenty

"SPRING BREAK CAN'T come fast enough, huh?" Mrs. Ruiz says by my side as we wait for the class to get in a line. "Do you have any plans with that boyfriend of yours?"

That boyfriend of mine is an enigma, tugging at my heart with every smile, every touch. After Mom's visit and my realization that Devin used to self-harm, we have fallen into a pleasant routine.

He sleeps over almost every day, holding so tightly to my waist that every morning, I wake up sweaty. But I don't mind because I rather he be with me than alone in a room drowning in his thoughts. Thoughts that could lead him to the past, a past I've yet to know, but I'm slowly finding out.

Mrs. Ruiz playfully bumps my shoulder. "You've got it bad."

I shrug and answer her previous question. "Isn't spring break like a month away?"

"Next year you'll be asking for spring break in January." She laughs. "My husband already has plans. He wants to go to Disney World with the kids. I told him I can't spend hours and hours trying to get on a thirty-second ride. I want to relax and get away from everyone for the entire week, including my children and husband."

I laugh, motioning for my group to start walking to parent pick up. I don't think I'll ever get to the career stage Mrs. Ruiz is at. I love this job with a passion, and if I had a husband and kids, I'd do anything to spend time with them.

Through the cluster of students and parents shouting their kids' name, I manage to hear my own being called. I catch Mr. James jogging to me, his sunny hair bouncing in all directions.

"Miss Peterson." He intakes a full breath and adjusts his peculiar glasses that are close to falling off the bridge of his nose. "I'm glad I caught you."

"Did something happen?"

"I wanted to ask you something before you left for the weekend."

"If you'd like we can talk about it on Monday."

"It's not school related."

My eyebrows scrunch. "Oh, um, what is it then?"

"I think you're a very kind teacher and you care a lot about your students; I admire that. I was wondering if you—"

My phone rings loudly from my pocket. I quickly excuse myself when I see hottie from the gym flashing on the screen.

"Hey, Hottie," I say in a teasing matter.

"I'm glad to hear you still keep me under that name. Now I know for sure you think I'm hot," I manage to hear through the muffled voices in the background.

"Where are you?"

"At Brass Pro Shops," Devin says.

"Isn't that a fishing store. What are you looking for?"

"That's why I'm calling. A few friends and I were thinking about going down to the Keys for the weekend."

"Friends? I thought you only interacted with computers."

He chuckles. "They're high school and college friends. But listen, it's not just us guys, they're all taking their girlfriends, too. I would like for you to go with me..."

My nerves start to wreck at the thought of spending three days with people I don't know, but calm when I realize that Devin wants me to meet his friends. I felt the same way about meeting his family and they turned out to be caring and welcoming, except Camila, of course.

Even though I don't know much about men and the thought of seeking approval from his friends terrifies me to death, I know this is an important step in our relationship; this means a lot to him and me.

"I'll go. I think it'll be fun. Thank you for inviting me."

"There's this one thing..." I can picture him scratching the back of his neck as he cautiously says, "Alexa's going, too."

"Oh." Alexa, Devin's "best friend" who he's also had sex with, who I'm more than positive is in love with Devin.

"You don't have to go if it'll make you feel uncomfortable, but she's a part of my life just like you are. I think it's time for you to meet and it would be great if the two of you would get along. I'm-I'm trying, Genny."

"I know you are and it's not like I hate her or anything. I don't know her and I think her feelings for you are more than she lets on to believe."

"No, that's not true. Ernesto loves her. He's an asshole to her, but he loves her."

"Yeah, but does she love him?"

"Of course."

"If you say so. Where would we be staying at, by the way?"

"My buddy Mason has a house down there. He's the one who invited us. Wait until you see this thing. You can see the ocean from all angles of the house."

"That sounds lovely," I say dreamily. Mrs. Ruiz was right, after all, I do need a break. Crap! "What about Angie? I can't leave her alone."

"I already asked Isa if she could take care of her and she said it was fine. We can drop her off before we leave."

I chew on my lip. "I don't know. She's never been away from me for that long before."

"She'll be fine. I promise."

Hmm, I wonder how Angie will act with a stranger around. She seemed fine with Mom and Dad, but that's because I was there, too. "Okay. Okay. I'll start packing as soon as I get home."

We end the call and I turn to Mr. James whose eyes are on the black buttons of his navy-blue cardigan.

"I'm sorry about that Mr. James. What were you saying?"

His face falls when his eyes meet mine.

"Nothing. It''s not important anymore." He swipes a hand through his curls and turns around, his shoulders slumping as he walks away.

That was weird.

I make a mental note to ask what he wanted to talk about on Monday.

When I get home a few hours later, I find Devin anxiously waiting for me on the front steps. His head's down as he rests his back against the wall and plays around with the keypads of his phone.

"You're all packed?" I ask, eyeing the gray duffel bag slung over his shoulder.

I stand on my toes and give him a hello kiss. He circles his arms around my waist, drawing me closer to him. My eyes close, I moan into the kiss.

"I'm excited about today."

"Me, too. I'm a little nervous about meeting your friends, though."

"Why? You weren't nervous when you met my family."

"I was nervous about meeting your family, but we weren't dating back then, so it wasn't as much pressure. Now we are and...I don't know. What if they don't like me?"

"They'll love you." He kisses the tip of my nose and grabs the keys from my hand. "I'll take out Angie while you pack. We should be leaving in a few minutes so we don't get hit by traffic."

I nod, heading to my room to pack for what I'm sure will be an interesting weekend.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.