Chapter 13 <None of it was real>
I wanted to get out for some time. So I got dressed in somewhat decent clothes and went outside for a walk.
I needed someone so I called Riley. I just hoped I am not bothering her.
‘Hey Riley. Sorry for not answering. Do you want to meet up with me?’ I asked nervously what if she changed her mind. But she said yes almost instantly. .
‘What do you say about mall food court?’ And she agreed
I was walking around mall and there was few familiar faces from school but they didn’t say anything or even look weirdly at me. It was like I didn’t even exist.
I waited for Riley but I was thinking about what she thinks of my situation. Does she just think I’m weak? That I’m a slut? Stupid? Naive? It’s just a picture. Why would it matter that much to me?
Riley got out of nowhere and sat opposite me. Straight to the point she started speaking “how are you feeling?” She asked, but she looked sad, I didn’t know why, it’s not like it’s her picture.
“Better than yesterday.” I say coldly and force a laugh out.
Riley exhaled deep breath “tori. I wanted to come to your house yesterday so you are not alone but I had this thing and so I called Aaron, I know you are not great friends but he is the only person I could ask that″
″Thank you. It was what I needed at the time. He was understanding. And suggested for me to stay home for a week to let things die down a bit. And I think that’s what I will do...”
Riley took my hands in hers “okay. But we still need to hang out.” She says in a smirk.
Meeting Riley really made me feel better. It wasn’t anything she said, she just has this aura of feeling welcomed...
The week went by faster than I thought. I and Riley hung out at her house a lot after school. None of my other friends questioned my lack of going to school and that hurt, I simple text would be nice.
It was finally time to go to school today. And I was scarred because I didn’t know what to expect. I was eating breakfast with my dad who was reading newspaper, who even reads newspapers? Cameron was still sleeping but he should be up any minute now.
Suddenly doorbell rang. This early! My dad looked up from newspaper and eyed me. Questioning if it’s for me. I just shook my shoulders.
Maybe it’s Grandma Lauren. But what could she do here this early and alone because house would be empty.
My dad got up from the chair and walked to the door. It was time for me to go so I put away my breakfast plate and picked up my bag. I was walking to school so I needed to go out early.
I walked to the door and my dad was arguing with someone. “I can drive her to school!” He said sternly. Was he talking about me? He was always fine with me walking.
I walked up to see who is on the other side. And it was Aaron. I shot him questioning look. “Hey Victoria. Didn’t you tell your dad I’m driving you to school?” He asked me without any face gesture. It’s not like he could otherwise my dad was looking his every move. I didn’t know what was he talking about but I decided to play along. Otherwise he would look extremely dumb right now.
“Um yea sorry dad, I forgot. Aaron is taking me to school.” I explain.
“Why?” My dad asked.
“Well. I mean...” he didn’t even let me finish.
“Victoria you are not allowed to drive around with random boys” he pointed out but still eyed Aaron. “Or maybe he is your boyfriend?” he asked daring me.
His statement made blush creep on my face but I think it wasn’t that obvious. “We are friends” I say “and we have a project so we need library.” I make up an excuse. Library really? Who even still uses library.
“What kind of project?” He asked.
I rolled my eyes and walked out the door. “Dad I’m going.” I exclaimed and I and Aaron started walking, but he stopped to open his cars door for me. And I thought chivalry was dead.
My dad yelled form behind “Aaron if you touch a hair on her head it will have consequences.” He said and walked inside.
Aaron smirked. “That went well.” He gestured for me to get in. But I didn’t.
“Why are you here?” I question.
“Well we both spend week off school and I thought why not go together?” He said.
“Are you dumb? “I asked, but he was confused “everyone will stare if they will see me in your car.” And I didn’t need it.
“Everyone will look anyway. Why not make most of it?” He was actually crazy and his ideas were out of ordinary. It was like saying ‘hey you will die anyways why not make most of it and just kill yourself.’
“Aaron! Seriously. Everyone will think that I am your new... night stand” I didn’t know what else to call it. Everyone thought I slept with Liam probably Aaron too. No. I am positive that Aaron thinks so too. I mean that picture is pretty graphic. “Everyone already thinks I am a slut, whore and everything between that” I got angry and turned to walk to school but Aaron didn’t let me by holding my hand.
“You are none of those things. Liam is just a stupid prick who needed to win a stupid dare to look good in front of his friends” Aaron explained.
“A dare?” I questioned. I looked at Aaron but it looked like he regretted saying that.
“Victoria I... shit. I thought you knew” he exclaimed.
“What kind of dare?” I asked.
He let out a sigh and gave up “They have this game. They need to get girls who are not likely to be with them”.
None of it was real.
I wasn’t in the mood to argue so just gave up. The drive there was quiet, it’s not like we had in common subjects to talk about.
When driving in the parking lot I saw a group of people standing - Riley, Max, Jack, Harry.
Why were they here...
I stepped out of the car. And everyone walked up to me. “Hey Tori” Max greeted “are you ready for the walk in the water with piranhas?” He asked but Riley shut him up.
“God you are unbelievable.” She said to Max. “What he means is that, some people may not be as nice and understandable as us...”
“I can handle myself. It’s not like it’s any of your faults. It’s only mine.”
Jack got involved. “Hey it’s not your fault it’s only that assholes who Aaron beat up” he shouted in victory and I was about to ask but Aaron hit him on the head and Riley walked up to me. “Okay.... let’s not talk about that. How about we just go inside” she was rushing me. Why? I still needed to go to the maple three. I couldn’t just show up to school and pretend like they don’t exist.
“No guys I can’t. I need to go see my friends” I protested.
Everyone avoided eye contact and no one spoke. Until Aaron. “We noticed that They don’t hang at that tree anymore. Not since... that day.” He explained. Only one looking straight at me.
They left me... “Ow.” I let out almost not myself.
“But that’s why we are here” Riley cheered and lead me to school.
Entering school there were a lot of stares but I almost thought it was because of this random group gathering. Four bad boys, weirdo, good girl who turned out slut. That’s quite a mix.
I didn’t know where we are going but I followed it wasn’t like I had anything else to do.
We stopped at the lockers which was the most people place in the morning.
“It’s better to get it all out now. You know the stares n stuff.” Jack said.
To be honest it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I guess everyone seemed to forget about it slowly.
I spotted my friend group walking all together, but without me... I decided to walk to them. I walked off eyeing Riley and she nodded understanding.
I stood in front of them “hey” I say looking at all of them.
At first none of them answered. But then Layla came closer. “We have somewhere to be” She pointed out. And it was obvious in a way. They all tried to avoid eye contact.
It was Alex that now spoke “people are starting to talk about us badly because of you. And it doesn’t really look good on our part.”
“What?” I asked shocked not because people are talking but because my friends are acting like that.
Layla held my shoulders “Victoria listen without any hard feeling let’s just go our separate ways. Okay?” She said and walked away with everyone else following.
The rest of classes were okay I guess it’s just that it was bothering me that I had a group of friends and I have known them whole my life. How could they turn their backs on me...?
After school I was waiting for Riley outside the school but not only she but all four boys came too. I really didn’t understand their purpose of this friendship but now I know that no friendship lasts forever so why even bother? I’ll just try to make the most of it.
I don’t know what came into me but I walked up to them and started speaking with Max just because he seemed the most talkative out of four boys “Max.” I got his attention but didn’t really know how to start this “do you guys... ” I tried to find right words but just shook my head taking a deep breath and spoke what came out “are you still up to take me to that old abandoned school?” That game that they were offering me before now sounded great start to this weird friend group. “Just this time Riley too” I add up to be clear. Riley looked confused.
“Are you kidding? Hell yaw” he cheered. Everyone seemed okay with it except Aaron didn’t say a thing. I guess we are now back to the start, to hating each other.
We agreed to go exploring tonight when it gets dark. After saying goodbyes. Riley spoke up to me “what the fuck are we doing? Because I don’t understand a damn thing.” And just then I realized that Riley didn’t know about they’re game, but I just guess it would be a little different and we will stay friends after not like with their other gamers. One way or another I explained everything to Riley. I like how she is always cool about almost anything. We are supposed to meet at my house and Harry will pick us up. While Aaron, Jack and Max will be going with different car.
I walked to my house and there was a car outside, dad’s car. Why so early?
I slowly walked in and heard laughter’s coming from kitchen. “Oh you are funny.” I heard Women’s voice. And from my side I see Cameron leaning on the kitchen counter. He looked at me “hey Tori. Come here.”
I do as told and there is dad and women. They were both sitting down and sipping coffee.
“Victoria, you are home early” my dad pointed out “this is my colleague from work, Meredith” he said and pointed to her direction she was very beautiful women. She had ginger hair and it was tied in a very elegant bun, and also her clothes looked very professional, very work like, but in a good way. “Me and Meredith were heading back to work from our meeting I asked her for a coffee, since the meeting was near our house” he explained.
I smiled at her. “It’s nice to meet you I’m Victoria.” I shake her hand.
“Oh I have heard a lot good thing about you from Daniel but I am shocked he didn’t mention just how beautiful young women you are.” She exclaimed looking shocked. “Because all he ever talks about are you two” she said in mocking tone, but she meant good.
Meredith was funny, beautiful and smart. Now wonder dad likes her. I think to myself almost smirking. Dad wouldn’t bring her here to meet us if he didn’t like her. And I am happy for dad and hoping him all the best.
Since Meredith was here and dad can’t say no now I used my chance. “Dad. Can I go hang out with some friends tonight? I will be back late? “I asked.
“On a school night?” He questioned.
I rolled my eyes “I can handle myself. I will have just enough sleep.” I tried to reason.
My dad wanted to hesitate. But Meredith spoke up “oh come one Daniel. It’s only once in a lifetime when she’s young and enjoying her youth. “She said and that was all that made my dad agree. I like Meredith.
And now of course Cameron saw what I did there and tried it too “can I stay at friend’s house?” He asked.
My dad put both of his hand on his face “boy. You. Will be the death of me.” He looked at him “No” he said.
Cameron pouted “but what about my youth?”
“Ha. Dream on Cam. I’m the privileged here.” I say and walk out talking Cameron by his hand with me ’he was about to protest “let them have their alone time” I whispered and he understood because he smirked at me.
I walked to my room and I kind of couldn’t wait for tonight.
It’s not that going for a movie with friends or going shopping what I liked to do.
Wild nights are what I crave for the most...