Chapter 6: *Flashback*
The night was perfect as they sat under the tree, a single lamp sitting between them. The weather was finally decent again now that the heat wave had passed and she was enjoying every second of it. A cooling, misty breeze blew around them as she embraced the cool air it had to give. Each one grasping a book in their hand as an endless sky began to fill with an endless amount of stars. Music played softly in the background hugging their ears as they lost themselves in a routine that had come to feel like second nature to them.
From the outside looking in, you’d think they were in the most perfect relationship where nothing wrong ever happened. You’d think that she loved him and he loved her and that was all that mattered. All you saw was two people so much alike that they’re genders was the only real way to tell them apart. They were two peas in the same pod. A perfect kind of imperfection that only they knew; but they still had secrets of their own. Secrets that could one day end up destroying them. Secrets that led to emotions neither one of them really knew the gravity of. Secrets that could destroy the perfect little fantasyland they’d managed to build.
She yearned for an identity she could call her own. One where she wasn’t the daughter of former teen models. As if constantly being compared to them would fuck up her sense of indiviuality. One where she wasn’t the best-friend of the soon to be basketball/football star. As if she wasn’t talented enough in her own respective field to be acknowledged as her own person. Everyone bragged about his talent and how he was likely to go all the way which either one he chose. It was like everyone expected her to only be his cheerleader. Even her own parents gushed over how he was going to be big, as if she didn’t exist without him, but she knew him. She knew his truth. She knew what he really desired was to own his own little bookstore where he would always be able to get first dibs on the new releases.
She wanted to be her own person for once and with high school just around the corner she had a plan. She was going to make a name for herself and finally be popular and not just popular adjacent. She wanted to make friends. Real ones. Not just the ones who used her to try to get close to him and then treated her like she was less than dirt. She didn’t want to go through that again. She was finally going to embrace her curves that she’d gotten ahead of everyone else and was made fun of for. At fourteen she was a voluptuous beauty and she was ready to act like it. Ready to prove that she was just as beautiful as her parents and just as talented as her best-friend. That she didn’t need either of them to shine. She was a glamorously bright light on her own.
First, she was going to try out for the cheerleading team. She had both peewee’s and a few years of gymnastics under her belt. She may have quit both, but she still did the things she learned everyday. She was a natural tumbler and quite enjoyed it. She always put her all into it and loved every second of it, but she didn’t love the competition that came with everyone trying to be the best one. She hadn’t had a competitor’s bone in her body and rather being able to just love what she did without ending up hating it.
This year all of that was going to change.
This year she would be number one, she would date the most popular guy in her grade, she would show she was just as good as Dave if not better. She would use her inherited good looks and mature assets to get the attention she desired, but she would remain the good girl she was. Nothing would change who she really was at heart.
“Everything okay Bear.” he asked her, pausing momentarily from reading his book.
“I was just thinking Scar.” she sighed almost hesitant to reveal her inner most thoughts. It shocked her to feel like she couldn’t talk to him about all of it. They were best-friends after all and he’d always been there for her. Always made her feel like she could come and talk to him about anything, but this time he just wouldn’t understand. It was different for him because he was a boy. He had no real expectation beyond what he already was. They were barely out of eighth grade and he was already cool with all the upperclassmen. He’d always been popular. He always fit in. He wasn’t shy. He didn’t freeze up and stutter over his words. He wasn’t a spaz. He had his nerdy tendencies, but he was foremost and always a jock. He’d always been perfect. “Nevermind.” She sighed deciding against talking to him about it.
“Come on Bear don’t be like that. What’s on your mind?” he cooed trying to be gentle with her. She only found herself growing more annoyed. She wasn’t some child that needed gentle handling. She wasn’t a baby that seemed too fragile to even touch. She didn’t need to be coddled. She didn’t need to be treated softly like she was some damsel because she was female. Shrugging she said the first thing that came to mind.
“I’m just sitting here thinking how there will never be another guy that’ll I’ll trust as much as I trust you. Now I’m okay with that when it comes to kissing and holding hands, but what about sex? Am I doomed to be a virgin forever.” he began choking on his own saliva as his eyes went wide and she laughed. She’d caught him off guard.
“Natalie please tell me you aren’t asking me to have sex with you.” he all but whined. She could hear how disgusted he was in his tone. What was meant to only be a joke had now shattered her ego. Her intention hadn’t been that, but now she was offended.
“What’s so wrong with that Scar?” she spat dropping her own book before folding her arms across her chest and staring at him daring him to say the wrong thing.
“It’s not like that Bear.” he breathed trying to find a way to dig himself out of this hole he’d been put in. “Honestly, had I been any other guy I would’ve jumped at the chance, but I’ve known you my whole life. We’ve bathed together more times than I care to admit. You’re like my sister at this point. Hell we are damn near related. It’s just…”
“Would you want someone else to do it?” she asked not willing to drop the conversation anymore.
“I kind of don’t really want to think of you as having sex with anyone Bear. You’re a good girl. You’re smart, beautiful, crazy talented in art and you command attention even if you don’t know it. Sex isn’t going to change that. It’ll just make dumbass guys try harder to get you in bed for a taste. Who’s going to protect you after I kill the first one who tries?” he asked confident that he had diffused the situation. How wrong he was.
“That’s kind of my fucking point David!” she growled, shocking him for two reasons. She didn’t curse and she’d never raised her voice at him before. “I don’t need your protection, asshat. I’m just as much of a trained fighter as you are. Your daddy trained us both in the backyard. I can handle them myself. Matter-of-fact, I’ve kicked your ass enough times to know that I’m better than you and don’t say you let me win because each time you wouldn’t talk to me for a few days. This high school popularity has gone to your head. You’re different now and it’s like I just don’t know you anymore.” she spat growing more and more frustrated.
“Where is all of this coming from Bear? This can’t be because I said I don’t want to have sex with you. Or because I don’t feel like it’s my place to choose who you give your virginity to.” he asked honestly confused. She stared at him with an open mouth in complete disbelief. He really didn’t get it at all.
“Fuck! Why are you so insufferable?!” she yelled hot tears starting to fill her eyes as they burned her cheeks.
“Just tell me what I did so I can fix it.” he pleaded throwing his hands up and surrendering.
“That’s the thing, Scar, you can’t fix this one. I’ve become your shadow and I don’t want to be anyone’s shadow anymore. I want to be my own damn person for once. Finally stand out on my own. Date. Have sex. Party. Everything you try to shelter me from. I’m tired of it Dave. I want to be a normal teenage girl. Before you say it, that doesn’t mean that I want to have sex right now or any time soon, but at some point in the distant future I will want too and I don’t need to worry about you killing him because he bragged. It’s bound that I’ll meet a douchebag painted in pretty colors at some point. Then you can beat him up for me.” she smiled her frustration finally starting to settle down.
“I won’t have to. You’ll kick his ass on your own.” he smiled back at her as they both laughed and went back to a routine they had grown accustomed to.
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~A Few Months Later~
I feel so bad about everything I’ve said to Dave a few months ago. It’s not his fault that I became a shadow of his. I’ve stepped out into the light every chance that I had, but it’s not too much you can do to stand out in junior high. High school has officially started and I can’t quite grasp how truly different it is here. The boys are all hot and big. Like I thought Dave was big, but he has nothing on them. I give him a few months to get there though.
Speaking of them, Dave yelled at me last week. It was only the third week of school and due to the fact that we’d both been so busy, it was the first time we’d been able to have lunch together. I was feeling amazing seeing as I was starting to get some recognition outside of him and my parents. I’d made the cheer team and was making friends fast. Had even begun to get the boys attention. Everything that I wanted was starting to happen for me, including the one thing I feared. Anyways, diary I didn’t mean for it to happen. It just kind of did.
We were sitting at the jock table. As usual everyone was talking over each other and not really paying attention to the others. I had made eye contact with this cute boy from the team. He flashed pearly whites at me and winked. It made me blush. Immediately I was intrigued with him and I guess that was the problem Scar had. He probably was reliving our conversation that night.
“Bear what’s wrong?” asked Dave, trying to find my line of focus.
“Nothing Scar. I’m just still taking everything in and I think I got caught. Who’s that?” I asked, still trying to be subtle in my curiosity over the blue eyed boy who winked at me.
“Oh that’s Justin. He’s captain of the basketball team. He is also a senior and definitely too old for you to date. Besides, I don’t want to have to hear the locker room talk about you and you dating him will legit make my life hell if it goes wrong. So please don’t and just stay the hell away from him. For my sake at least?” It was something about the look in his eyes and the way he had said it that threw me off. He was hiding something, but I was more focused on the fact that it seemed like he was trying to control me again and it pissed me off.
“Oh shut the hell up you selfish bastard I just asked a question. Do you always have to take it too far?” I yelled furrowing my brows at him. He returned a glare back to me just as fierce as the one I was giving him. I hadn’t noticed what he was doing until now, but he definitely had distracted me in a way only he would know how.
“Do you always have to be a whiny little bitch? What’s your problem? Are you finally getting your period?” before I knew it my entire tray was covering him as I yelled obscenities at him. I knew he still wasn’t used to my filthy mouth and that’s the main reason he was cringing and cowering away from me, but all anyone saw was a girl kicking his ass. Not only did we get detention for two weeks, but the team is making fun of him calling him a wuss and the cheerleaders now think I am too volatile and manly to be one of them. I hadn’t meant to ruin everything we were working towards, but diary you know I’m an early bloomer in everything but that. I forget that people won’t understand the relationship that Dave and I have and try to make it something that it’s not.
He’s mad at me now though and it’s kind of serious this time. I may have lost my best-friend over something as small as a high school career and I hate it. I’ll give him some time to calm down before I try to make up with him. It’s the least I could do. Well I’m tired diary. I’ll talk to you later.
P.s. We have a game tonight and after lunch Justin caught up with me to ask if I wanted to go out after. He said that it would be most of the jocks and cheerleaders, but I still feel like it’s a date. I told him yes. I hope doing so won’t make Scar hate me more. I don’t want to lose him, but I still want my own identity more than anything.
… … … … … … … … … … … …
I have a busted lip and bruise so big that I don’t have a clue how to cover it. There’s finger size bruises on my neck and wrists and I can’t stop shaking. I can’t stop crying. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what went wrong or why I even froze up the way that I did. One minute everything was fine and I’m joking with Scar as usual. The next Scar is gone and I’m being abused. I have no idea what went wrong. I don’t know what changed.
These first two months with Justin have been amazing, but clearly he isn’t who I thought he was. He says it won’t happen again and I want to believe him but right now I’m just scared. I’m so fucking terrified and I don’t know what to do. I know I can defend myself against him, but for some reason I keep freezing up. I don’t know why, but I do. I get scared and end up frozen in my spot. Seeing that look that came over him before he struck me, isn’t something I ever want to see again. It sent a chill right up my spine.
I just don’t know what to do anymore diary. Scar and I hang out less and less lately and when we do something always comes up to end it early. I just wish I could talk to him about this and ask for his help, but I can’t. I’ve never felt more alone. Besides, he’ll hate me even more if he knew I went behind his back and did exactly what he asked me not to do. Maybe this was the something that he’d been hiding when I asked about Justin that day in the cafeteria.
Well goodnight diary, there’s a game tonight and I have to find a way to hide the evidence. I don’t want people asking questions, but I’m not too good at makeup yet and it’s not like I can ask my mother for help. I know I’ll lose Scar for sure if he knew I went behind his back anyways.
P.s. Right now I wish I was dead.
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I should have listened to Scar.
I really should have listened to Scar, especially when he hinted at locker room talk. Of course he’d know more than I would.
I should have stayed away from Justin.
He says he’s going to kill me if he sees us together again. I believe him and I’m fucking terrified. I don’t know what to do. Scar is my best-friend and I have been trying this entire time not to lose him and now I have to choose between him and my own life.
If something happens to me or I go missing or anything and someone is reading this question Justion James. Nine times out of ten he’s the one who did whatever it was that happened to me because I didn’t want to give up my best-friend. I have so many bruises now that make up will no longer cover it up. I even had to quit the team. It’s like things got worse after we had sex. I didn’t even want to do it. He pressured me into it and I was too scared to deny him. I hate myself, I hate my life and I miss my Scar.
P.s. Scar played a really good game the other day. He’s everything everyone always said he would be. I’m so proud of him. I wish that I could tell how proud, but I can’t. I wish that I could tell him that I’m sorry and that now I realize I do and will always need his protection.