Chapter 41: To Tell The Truth...?
“Levi set you up to get bullied.”
Those words echo in my head over and over again, yet I’m unable to make sense out of them no matter how hard I try.
“What?” My words come out like a raspy squeak.
It should be clear and obvious, but I seem to not able to accept it.
“Back then Levi set you up to get bullied.” Silas repeats. “I’ll admit that what happened was partly my fault but Levi escalated the situation and the bullying started due to that.”
Levi wouldn’t... Would he? I didn’t think he would have caused the current situation now with the harassment I’ve been receiving lately, however all signs point to him there... So maybe it is possible? I still can’t wrap my head around everything that’s happened in the past twenty four hours and part of me still wants to believe this is all just one big misunderstanding but I guess the big misunderstanding is the friendship I thought I had with Levi all these years.
Why does it seem that everything I once believed seems to crumble down all at once?
I feel sick. I feel really, really sick. My emotions seem to get the best of me again as a sudden onset of nausea washes over me. Before I know it I’m dry heaving and gagging.
Silas gets up and leaves the room.
Just when I feel something rise up in my throat, Silas comes back into the room with the small white trashcan from my bathroom.
Just as he places it next to me I hunch over, take the trash can into my hands, and start to retch into it.
I expect Silas to leave the room again because this is nasty but feel my hair gently being smoothed down and held back away from my face by one of his hands and then his other hand softly pats my back.
This isn’t something Silas would normally do. If anything, Levi was always the one to do things like this... It’s another reminded of just how backwards things are now.
I don’t even have all the details yet and it already hurts. I thought I was hurting before, but this new wave of pain I’m hearing hurts even more. It’s like I’ve been repeatedly kicked in the chest and my eyes and throat burn.
I hate this. I really hate this.
After several minutes, the throwing up finally ceases. I leave the room with the trash can still in my hands. I wash up for a long while which includes brushing my teeth multiple times, wanting to get the sour taste out of my mouth.
After taking the time to clean up and to calm myself down. I return to my room. Silas is sitting on the edge of my bed still. He looks concerned as he asks if I’m okay.
I nod as I go to sit on the bed too, wrapping my bed sheets around me and scooting back until I’m up against the wall that the side of my bed is pushed against. “I’m ready for you to tell me what happened now.” I tell him.
It’s quiet for a moment. Silas runs a hand through his hair before letting out a long sigh. He nods now too as he prepares to tell me the truth of what happened in middle school.
“When we were in middle school Levi told that girl that I liked her even though it wasn’t true. I didn’t know about it at first. I just thought she had a crush on me in the beginning. She kept sticking to me and I didn’t want to be mean so I just along with it for a little while. When she told me she liked me I apologized telling her that she must have misunderstood. She cried and said that she knew I liked her because my brother told her so. I tried to reason with her but she wouldn’t except it. She convinced herself that I was just being too shy to admit it. She continued to chase after me. I figured she would eventually grow tired of it so I ignored it.” As Silas spoke I started to remember the things I must have forgotten about that time.
I remember that girl following Silas around like a lost puppy. She was always around in one way to another, however I thought Silas was at least slightly interested in her? Whenever I would think back at it and feel angry I always thought of Silas flirting around with that girl and leading her on.
Now that I think of it clearly he never actually showed an interest beyond what he would have showed to anyone else around him. It had always been one sided from the start with the girl following after him. He didn’t lead her on or flirt with her at all. Or at least not intentionally. His only big flaw was that he wasn’t more direct with her. Maybe he wasn’t as much of a jerk as I remembered?
I bite the corner of my lip as Silas continues to speak, “Then it went too far and she started acting like she owned me or something. She told me to stop being friends with you and how she was the only girl who I needed at my side. Even if I had liked her that would have been crossing a line, but the fact that I didn’t like her at all made it even worse. I was annoyed so I kissed you in front of the school building knowing she would see it or even if she didn’t others would see it and gossip. I thought it would make her leave me alone. It was stupid. I am at fault for dragging you into my own personal problem like that. I didn’t think about how you would feel and just used you to try to get rid of that girl.”
I take that back. He is a jerk. A big freaking jerk. A big jerk who used me just to try to get rid of a girl who was bothering him.
He shakes his head as he starts to speak again, “Actually, thinking back on it now I think it wasn’t entirely just to get rid of her. Around that time I started to notice little things like how pretty you looked when you tied your hair back or how cute that habit of yours was of trying to balance your pencil on your nose whenever you were bored during class. I started to like you around that time but I knew you weren’t even interested in relationships or anything like that.” He leans forward to push back a lose strand of hair back behind my eyes.
“So, when I kissed you it was for the wrong reason but I did sincerely want to kiss you.” He says softly as his green eyes gaze at me with a gentle expression.
I feel like I can’t breathe for a moment.
Saying things like that and looking at me like that should be illegal.
I looked away from him, glancing down at my hands as I nervously twist my fingers into the bed sheet I have wrapped around me.
“That’s still not a good excuse to do that.” I grumble. “It doesn’t change the fact that I got bullied because you choose to kiss me instead of directly telling that crazy girl that you didn’t like her.” It does make me feel a little better knowing he didn’t intend for things to happen the way they did. The grudge I feel towards him for that seems to lighten just a bit.
He shakes his head quickly. “No, I know it was partly my fault but… it’s not as simple as that.” He seems to hesitate before he finally says, “Levi lying and saying I liked that girl could have been a mistake or a misunderstanding, right? Maybe he really thought I liked her for whatever reason. That’s what I tried to tell myself at that time. I really did blame myself thinking the bullying was entirely my fault an it was partly my fault. Obviously, I unintentionally played a role in it that I never wanted to play in the first place, but not long after the bullying started I realized Levi instigated the whole thing. I thought it was unintentional at first, but I was wrong.” He pauses for a moment.
He then stands up and started to pace in front of my bed seeming nervous as he continues on, “Back then Levi was more quiet and he didn’t really take interest in anything. He was always just there. I feel bad saying that but looking back on it, that’s the best way I can describe it. For the most part he just observed everything around him and seemed indifferent but every now and then he would act in ways I didn’t understand like saying things that weren’t true or trying to start fights in a way that made him seem like he wasn’t. Me and him had just turned fourteen so I thought he was just being a moody teenager or going through puberty or something.”
I blink. It is true that the way Levi is now and the way he was back then are very different.
Levi really didn’t become as outgoing as he is now until he joined the baseball team in freshmen year of high school. Even when he and I first became closer, he always clung to me and protected me.
After yesterday though he seems different yet again. I don't know what to think.
I still can’t understand the rest of what Silas it saying as I don’t know about the part about him acting weird. I also don’t understand why Silas is saying Levi instigated the whole thing. It’s hard to wrap my head around it.
There has to be more to this…