Crossroads: Book 1

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Chapter 53


My door creaks open after a knock that I didn’t answer. “Elena, sweetie, I need to get to work. I made some pancakes and bacon. Your plate is in the microwave,” dad tells me.

I still don’t answer. My back is facing the bedroom door. I lay here staring out my window at the blue siding of the place that is the home of a boy that I will never understand. The bright sun is covering me with warmth causing my eyes to burn even more. I know they are puffy from crying all night.

There’s a soft touch on my shoulder. “Hey kiddo, I’m really sorry for what happened between you and Michael, but perhaps it is for the best,” dad soothes. My eyes roll; of course, he’d be a tad happy about it. “Try not to stay in bed all day, okay? I didn’t raise no quitter.” I know he means it as a joke - he’s trying to lighten the dark mood that consumes me.

He’s right, though. I turn over to look at him. “I’ll be fine. It just hurts, you know?”

Dad nods his head and kisses my forehead. “I know, honey. It won’t last for long though, I promise,” he tells me while walking out the door.

A few thuds from his boots later, I hear him shout on his way out the front door, “Keep the door locked!”

With a heavy sigh, I roll out of bed and reach for a fresh pair of sweatpants. I take Mike’s hoodie off to change my shirt then put it back on. Once I’m in the bathroom, I wash my face and pull my hair up into a bun on the top of my head.

I take out the plate dad made for me in the kitchen and sit at the table. I sit here alone with my thoughts, very burnt bacon, and pancakes with mini chocolate chips placed strategically on top for a smiley face. I stare at the food, for I don’t know how long until I hear the flap of our mailbox rise and fall with a light clatter against the house.

The mail is here. I pull myself up out of the chair, unlock the door, and stretch around the corner to retrieve the mail. My eyes charge through the glistening bright green grass from the night’s rain right to the crimson shining object with little droplets covering the windows and the finish.

There’s a red chevy Cruz in my neighbor’s driveway. I’ve seen that car at school. Oh, please, no. Right on cue, the straight-haired, platinum blond, gossip queen walks out from the garage with Mike not far behind her. My throat clenches and my teeth grit; I want to run over there and pound her head into the dirt.

As she walks to her car, Mike pulls on her hand to twirl her back to his naked chest. He kisses her while squeezing her bottom. The girl turns and stops on the way to her car; she sees me.

“Hi, Elena!” her cerise mouth shouts with cheer. She is at a distance, but that lipstick is a very bright red. I just look at her with a sneer. My eyes wander between her and Mike. How could he? Granted, he might not know that she was the one who spread the rumors about me... but still.

Kara. I would have expected Kara. At least that wouldn’t have been a surprise, but this? This is a slap in the face. I didn’t think I could hate anyone, but now? Maybe.

With the excessive cherry red lips, the blond gets into her car, closes the door, and backs out of the driveway with my eyes following her as she drives down the road. My glare snaps over to see Mike standing in his driveway wearing only those same grey sweatpants he had on when he snuck into my room mere nights ago. He still looks so good as he stands there facing me in his defined muscles and painted skin with hands in his pockets. From what I can tell, his face is neutral – no emotion. It hurts looking at him; he is a beautiful human being. I feel like a stupid girl for thinking that he could ever possibly love someone like me.

The sound of paper crunching in my hands jolt me out of my pity party. I look down to see the mail all crinkled; I don’t remember crushing the mail. I turn back inside before Mike has the chance to say anything. After closing the door, I try to flatten out the mail on the table in case there is anything important. As I try to fix the creases, I realize there’s a specific name on the envelope, and it burns my blood.

Ashley Lane. I’ve never despised the name of a street so much before in my life. I decide that the mail is junk as I throw it all in the trash, where Ashley belongs.

I sit back down at the table and stare at my breakfast once more. The smiley face is now mocking me. I lost all my appetite, but I don’t want to waste the food, so I rearrange the smiley face to a frown, place cling-wrap over the plate, then put it in the fridge for later. With heavy feet, I gravitate myself to the sofa and turn on the television.

All the stations that I like have a romantic comedy playing. My eyes roll, and with a grunt, my thumb punches the power button. I am not in the mood for a romantic comedy. When you want blood and guts, it’s not there.

It’s so lonely here. I really want to talk to someone; maybe I can call Rose...fill her in on everything and see if she has any words of wisdom or advice.

I really don’t know her that well though...

Without much thought, I dial a number and wait for an answer.

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