The painful secret (1)

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Chapter three

Allison worked at the Grace Coffee Shop as the head waitress.

She had been working there for three years, starting at the age of fourteen. That was the year her mother died in a car accident and the year when her father began abusing her. When she saw a small 'hiring' sign in the window, she applied. It was a blessing to have the job and escape her father's clutches for a few hours. Plus, she was saving every penny she made so she could move out the second she turned eighteen.

Of course, her father had no idea she was working. Allison always told him she had to stay after school to make up a test or study, which was highly believable. He knew that his daughter was frequently absent because of him and figured she really did have projects and tests to make up. She just prayed he never decided to go for a cup of coffee.

Allison loved her job and her boss and the people she worked with. The downside was the fact that it was a popular hang out for teens. The relaxed atmosphere and the free refills on regular coffees were an open invitation for the students at Hilia to come by. But, to her chagrin, the popular students were regulars.

"Can I take your orders," the red-haired waitress asked the rowdy table, not bothering to look up. She already knew who was there and didn't want to make eye contact with any of them.

"A vanilla latte," Lydia practically demanded.

"A caramel one for me," her boyfriend, Mark said next.

This group came in all of the time, almost everyday, and she already knew what each person was going to ask for. Jason and Alice would both pass on coffee and ask for a scone that they would share, while Brody would ask for a fruit platter. She was correct with each of their orders, but Brian was the only order she couldn't guess. This was his first time here.

"I'll have a small coffee. Black," the dark-haired boy finally said.

"I should have guessed," Allison thought as she scribbled down his order. "I'll be back shortly." She left the table and went to prepare their orders. Of course, she couldn't help but hear Jason's boisterous voice.

"You coming to the party at my place this Saturday, Brian?" he asked. "My parents will be out of town all weekend!"

"Yeah, Brian," Lydia said, purposely setting her hand on his. This, in turn, made Mark frown and pull his girlfriend over to him while keeping an arm firmly around her shoulders.

Lydia sighed. "Stop being so jealous, Mark. Jeez."

He turned away and mumbled incoherently under his breath.

Brody crossed his arms over the table. "You should come. That's if we are good enough for you," he added with a challenging smirk.

Brian sat back in the booth. "Sure," was all he said. No one could tell if he was excited or just annoyed, but that didn't matter to Jason.

The blonde boy grinned from ear to ear. "Awesome! And you know," he started, nudging Brian next to him. "There will be tons of girls there. Maybe you'll find one that interests you."

His last statement made Allison fumble with the coffee machine, making the black liquid come out too fast and spill over the mugs edge. She jumped, startled, and then shook herself. It wasn't like her to make such amateur mistakes. She collected herself and started cleaning up her small mess.

"Oh Jason," Alice scolded. "Will you just leave the poor boy alone? He's going isn't he? That should be good enough for you." Alice was normally a shy and quiet girl, but around her boyfriend and friends she had more confidence and spoke freely.

Jason just scratched the back of his head. "Sorry, A. I wasn't trying to annoy him. I just think he needs a girl to守h字elieve some of his frustrations," he said, winking at the dark-haired boy next to him.

Brian growled dangerously. "Shut it, Jason."

By this time, Allison had returned with everyone's order and passed them out.

"It's about time," Lydia said. "What'd you do, get lost on the way or something?" she accused, taking a sip. Shrugging, she smirked up at Allison. "I guess it's alright."

"My apologies," she offered. "Just let me know if you need anything else." Bowing, Allison left to wait on another table.

"Why are you so mean to her, Lydia," Alice questioned. She was never a fan of the blonde girl, but Jason was friends with her before they started dating. So, to keep the peace, Alice didn't start any problems with the girl and she actually started to see more in Lydia than her evil side. But she couldn't let Lydia get away with acting so callous. "She never does anything to you to deserve it."

Lydia crossed her arms. "She irritates me. She acts so perfect all of the time and makes everyone else look bad. Not to mention how weird she is; always jumping at the smallest sounds or secluding herself from everyone. Hmph. I bet it's all just for attention."

"I don't think so," Alice replied, taking a small bite of her scone before Jason gobbled it down. "I was shy before I met you guys. Maybe she just needs friends."

"I don't know," Brody said. "People have tried to talk to her. She gives one word answers or doesn't even bother with that sometimes." Brody glanced at Brian. "Sounds a lot like you actually. Maybe she thinks she's better than everyone like Brian here."

Brian looked at Brody with a smirk. "Maybe you shouldn't judge people you don't know." He stood from the booth, leaving money on the table, and left the caf矇.

Jason sighed. "Good going Brody!"

The accused boy frowned. "Whatever. That guy pisses me off. I could care less that he left."

"Don't say that about him," Lydia defended. "Brian is better than you. He can act any way he wants."

Mark had enough. He left money for his latte and stood up. "You are so troublesome." When he started leaving, he smirked at Lydia's disgruntled and angry voice.

"HEY! You can't just leave me here!" She raced after him, leaving the remaining three with her bill. "I swear, Mark!" As she ran out the door, she barely avoided colliding with her friend Brittlyn. "Which way did he go?" she asked, not even greeting the brown-haired girl.

"Umm夷f you mean Mark, he went right."

"Thanks." She dashed out of the door, yelling at the top of her lungs. "I'm gonna kill you, Mark!"

Brittlyn shrugged and spotted her friends at a booth. She took a seat next to Brody and greeted everyone. Brody seemed to become stiff at her arrival and Alice knew it was because he had a little crush on Brittlyn. Of course, Jason had no idea because he was clueless about most things.

"Hey, Brit," Alice greeted. She liked Brittlyn much more than Lydia, but hated how she acted when she was with the blonde. Alice knew Brittlyn was only mean when Lydia was around, just so the girl would accept her. "How are you?"

Brittlyn smiled. "Good." Allison came over and asked if she wanted anything. She shook her head and the red-haired girl left to attend to other matters. "I can't wait until your party on Saturday, Jason. School has been kicking my ass and I need a drink or two to calm my nerves."

"I hear ya," Brody said. "I'm going to get completely wasted."

Brittlyn smiled. "Oh, you're going too, Brody. Save me a dance then?"

Brody almost choked on a piece of fruit. "S存ure," he coughed.

Jason raised an eyebrow. "You alright, Bro. You're acting kind of weird."

Alice giggled along with Brittlyn when he nodded, blushing a bit. "Yeah. I'm fine."

~~~~

Allison was exhausted after a long day of working. She folded up her blue apron and stuck it in her bag. Slinking the burlap strap over her shoulder, she said goodbye to her boss and headed home.

Night had fallen and the street lamps were the only lights guiding her through the streets. Her pace was fast, knowing that she had a ton of work to catch up on. She would probably end up staying up all night just to finish everything, but it was worth it. She strived to achieve good grades, even if there was a lot stacked against her.

Her house was close and she never worried about walking home alone. Since Allison's father was wealthy, they lived in a good neighborhood. In fact, the only danger she ever came across was from her own father.

As she neared her house, Allison drew in a deep, cleansing breath. She walked up to her door and unlocked it after fishing the key out of her bags. Her father was supposed to be on a business trip until Sunday so she was at ease when she entered her dark home.

Flipping on the hall light, she went to the kitchen and found a pint of Cookies n' Cream ice cream in the freezer. Grabbing a spoon from a nearby drawer, she hopped onto the counter and popped open the lid.

The first chilling spoonful instantly melted in her mouth, fusing with taste buds, and then gliding down her throat like silk. Ice cream was her favorite treat, but didn't often have it because her father was also fond of the sweet cream. She would have to buy a new pint before he came home, knowing that he would have a fit if he found out she ate some of it.

Sighing, she took another spoonful. Allison knew she had a ton of work to do, but wanted to procrastinate a little bit before hunkering down and studying for the rest of the night.

She couldn't get Brian out of her mind and it was killing her. She had never messed up in work because of a boy and she never had one on her mind. It seemed like a waste of time to think about a boy so much. It wasn't as if she would ever invite him over or anything like that and she knew her father just wouldn't allow her to have a boyfriend.

Besides, Brian didn't seem like the type to settle down with a girl. He was more of a free spirit, Allison thought.

He didn't put up with bull-shit and was serious to a fault. Seeing how he was with Jason's annoying bull-shit, not to mention Brody's comments, she decided that she would just erase him from her mind and steer clear of him.

After making her resolution to forget about the dark-haired boy, she hopped off the counter and headed to her room to start her work, ice cream in hand.

~~~~

The party had only started two hours ago and Jason's house was already packed with people drinking and dancing to the blaring music. The host was already drunk out of his mind and it was a good thing that his girlfriend wasn't into parties or else she would have been up his ass all night for how ridiculous he was acting. Of course, even through the haze of alcohol, he was still aware that women were off limits. He wasn't one to cheat or deceive Alice. He was loyal to her, intoxicated or not.

Then there was Brody. He was working on getting wasted as he smoothly danced with Brittlyn amongst the other party goers. His hands slinked over her hips and abdomen as she grinded seductively against him. It was always this way. At parties, they were all over each other, but the next day, they acted like nothing ever happened. Brittlyn was well aware of his lust for her and she, too, liked him, but she would wait for him to ask her out or make a move. Until then, she enjoyed ruffling his feathers.

Mark was a no-show, but that didn't stop Lydia from flirting with all the boys there. Apparently, or so she says, she and Mark are still fighting because he walked out on her. So, as if to get back at him, she was sure to dance and tease as many guys as possible so it would get back to him. As her azul eyes scanned the room, she spotted a certain dark-haired male leaning against a wall with a drink in his hand. She smiled wickedly and slunk over to him.

"Hey there, Brian," she greeted seductively.

Brian glanced at her and then away, taking a sip of his drink. It was clear that he already had a few already since his ebony eyes had a bit of a glaze to them and his face was flushed.

Lydia wasn't about to give up. "You wanna dance?" she asked, running her hand up and down his arm. "I promise it would be worth your while."

Brian smirked. "I doubt it."

The blonde planted her hands on her hips, her face turning red with anger and embarrassment. "Fuck you, Lake. You aren't worth the trouble!"

The dark-haired boy watched her storm away into the crowd. He sighed heavily, bored. Then he noticed Jason stumbling his way and frowned even more. The last thing he wanted was a drunken Jason hanging all over him. But before he could disappear into the crowd, a heavy arm hooked around his shoulders.

"He-y, man," the blonde boy greeted. His face was rosy and his hair was mussed. "You havin' a good time? Did ya" He brought his head to Brian's ear, breathing. "Did you find a chick to lay tonight?"

Brian's nose crinkled from the alcohol stench wafting into his nose from the boy's mouth. He didn't reply and shrugged his friend's arm off his shoulder.

"Aww. Come on, man. Don't be that way. I just wan you te hav a goo time" As he continued to talk, his words became more and more slurred.

The annoyance in Brian was clearly showing now and he grunted out of anger. Not replying, he shifted through the dancing crowd. His eyes scanned over the people until he spotted a girl who could barely stand because she was so drunk. Without introductions, he grabbed her arm and pulled her into a room. By tomorrow, she wouldn't remember a thing, which was how he liked it.

Just as he closed the door to a bedroom, he heard Jason scream 'Way to go, man'. Brian grumbled and continued with his business, letting out some built up frustration.
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