Cade’s screaming snaps me out of my trance and I begin to slow down. When we come to a stop I turn to Cade and say, “Shit, sorry that was way too fast. I just got carried away. Um, maybe you should drive back,” He watches me for a moment, and I fidget with my fingers.
After a deep breath he quietly says, “Yeah, I just need a minute.” Then he gets out of the car. I wait a moment and then step outside and watch him. He’s bent over the hood of the car and taking deep breaths. I must have really scared him.
Once he collects himself, he starts to walk towards me. “I’m really sorry I did that,” I say.
“Hey, it’s okay. I should have told you to slow down sooner. Not going to lie I sorta did that the first day I got my license, not so fast, but yea I get it.” He says trying to dissolve the tension.
We got back in the car, and he drives back into the city. I keep replaying what I did, I need to give him an explanation. The trouble was I did that because I didn’t want to think about what Diego told me.
“Diego told me that Wyatt got released on bail last night. One of his friends that’s in jail told him.” I say.
“I thought they weren’t going to grant him bail?” Cade asks.
“Me too, I guess I overestimated our legal system,” I say with a defeated sigh.
“Wasn’t there too much evidence and serious charges to let him out?” Cade continues asking questions.
“Usually, bail works based on the probability of flight risk or reoffending before the trial. I mean when it comes to those things Wyatt’s doing pretty well. He can say he won’t run, there’s no way to prove that but he’s never been arrested before so there is no proof that he is a flight risk. And since they have so much surveillance on him the risk, he’ll re-offend is slim.” I explain.
“I guess that makes sense,” Cade says with a puzzled look, “when is his trial?”
“In 3 months, I’ll just have to watch my back until then,” I vent.
The car is silent for a while as Cade drives towards Clarissa’s house. I start to think about all the people I have to watch for, Will the cop, Mike Xavier’s sons, and now Wyatt. Plus, there’s Elizabeth, I had no idea where to put her on my ‘watch your back Lola’ list. I mean she did drug me. When I was younger, and I had this many enemies at least I had Carl and eventually the cartel he worked for watching my back. Now all I had was Leo who wasn’t around much and was mostly out doing things for Xavier to sabotage Jeffery. If I got into a situation with one of the men after me, I’d have to think on my feet.
I looked over at Cade who had gotten visibly angry after my confession. His Jaw was clenched and knuckles white from gripping the wheel. “This is fucked, I’m so mad but there’s nothing I can do,” he says in frustration.
“You could go drive this car insanely fast,” I say with a smirk trying to make him laugh. There is no point in being angry over this. We have to wait and act accordingly when Wyatt eventually comes after me.
Cade shakes his head and gives me a small smile. We arrive at Clarissa’s house where he parks in front and then we head to the front door. I ring the bell and we wait. Clarissa opens the door and greets us.
“I’m so glad you guys made it! Come in,” Clarissa directs, I notice that she is dressed as a fairy.
As we take our shoes off, I start to talk, “Thanks for inviting us.”
“Of course, I love your matching costumes. I wanted to have matching costumes with Ben, but he refused, said he’s too old to dress up. Anyway, you guys can follow me to the media room. Just to let you know Ben’s cousin came and brought some more people. I didn’t know he was coming but I said he could stay, there are 16 of us now.” Clarissa explains as we follow her through the kitchen, down a hallway, and up a spiral staircase. Typical teenage boy refusing to dress up.
“Tomás convinced Cade to dress up, we were all matching,” I tell her, and then I pull out my phone to show her some pictures Cade’s mom took of us.
“Oh my god, that adorable!” Clarissa exclaims as she reaches a doorway. She opens the door, and we walk into the media room. The lights are dimmed, and some horror movie is playing. I look around and recognize most of the people from school but there are a few I don’t.
Ben spots us and waves. We all walk over and sit down beside him on a sectional.
“Nice to see you guys here,” he says as he grabs Clarissa by the waist and pulls her closer to him.
“I see you didn’t dress up,” I comment.
“Yeah, not really my thing. But you guys look good though.” Ben says and then looks behind us. I turn to see a couple of guys I don’t know. I notice that they are holding cans of beer. I look to Cade and see him tense up when he sees this. “Hey, this is my cousin Isaac and his friend Jamie. Guys this is Lola, Clarrisa’s friend, and her boyfriend Cade.”
“Nice to meet you,” one of the guys says eyeing me.
“Nice to meet you too,” I reply. I turn and look at Cade, I want to make sure he is okay. I give him a questioning look, asking if he wants to leave. He shakes his head and grabs my hand to let me know he is okay.
“Do you two want to play poll with us?” The other guy asks.
“Sure,” Cade replies. We get up and follow them to a room that is attached. On the way, I stop and ask Cade if he wants to leave. He assures me that he is alright. I decide to listen to him and continue.
As we play against the two guys, they slowly realize I am actually good at pool. I can see on their faces that they are supersized. As we watch Jamie line up the cue Cade asks me, “when did you get so good at pool?”
“When I was 16 and had to hang around in bars to watch different people. I played as a way to blend in with the crowd.” I explain.
By the end of the game Cade and I win. We decide to go back and watch some of the movies since the two guys didn’t want a rematch. When we step back into the room, I notice there is a lot more tension than when we left. I scan the room and by the door I see Elizabeth talking to Clarissa. Clarissa looks angry.
I walk over to the two and Cade follows, I stay out of their sight so I can listen.
“He’s out Clarissa, I just thought you’d want to know!” Elizabeth says referring to who I assume is Wyatt.
“Why did you come to my house to tell me this though?” Clarissa asks.
“Because you won’t reply I wanted to make sure you knew, so you could tell Lola. ” Elizabeth explains.
“Why are you pretending to care?” I butt in. The two girls looked shocked to see me, but I don’t care. I’m not going to stand around and let Elizabeth lay another trap for Wyatt to catch me in.
“I, I- I’m not pretending. I wanted you to know. I’ll go now I’m sorry. I just want my best friend back.” Elizabeth says, then she spots Cade. She gives him a glare and turns back to Clarissa, “Look you guys I fucked up bad but please let me prove I’m sorry. All I’m asking for is a chance.”
“Look, I don’t trust you and I’m not going to give you a chance. As far as I’m concerned, we were never friends. Thanks for making sure I knew Wyatt was out of jail. I’m going to go and maybe you and Clarissa can work things out.” I say. Then grab Cade’s hand and we leave. On the way out I turn to Clarissa and say, “thanks for having us, I’ll see you at school.”
When we make it to the front door, we put our shoes on and leave. Clarissa didn’t follow us, so we show ourselves out.
“What a fucking night,” I groan as we walk towards the car.
“Yeah, I can’t believe she showed up tonight as if she didn’t know we’d be there,” Cade Replies.
“Maybe she cared that I knew, or perhaps she misses Clarissa that much. Or maybe she’s working with Wyatt and trying to weasel her way in only to lead me to him so he can hurt me,” I say voicing my initial suspicions.
“You think? That would be horrible, I mean she’s done bad stuff to you, but I don’t think she meant to harm you,” Cade says.
“Yeah maybe. But I don’t trust her, and I never will. I’ve learned the hard way to not trust anyone,” I say thinking about various times I had learned that lesson.
“I think that’s the safe call,” Cade says with kindness.
When we get into the car Cade asks, “So where to now? It’s 11:30 so most places are closed.”
“How about your house?” I ask. Honestly, all I want is some alone time with Cade. This may be my only chance for a while since I’ll be bringing both my siblings next weekend when I go to his place.
As Cade drives, I respond to a text from my mom. Cade gives me a questioning glance, “My mom, she wants to know where I put the peanut butter. I guess she’s at home now. No questions about where any of her children are though,” I say with an eye roll.
“How has she been lately,” Cade asks.
“A bit better than 2 weeks ago but not great. She comes and goes at all hours. I want to get her help but that is a very complicated task.” I vent.
“Well, if she goes into any kind of treatment, even just a day program, social services will get involved since she’s had kids go into care before. Then there is finding a program, since she’s bipolar and has serious addictions issues it is hard to find something that deals with both. Also paying for the program. And even if I were able to get all that sorted, she’d still have to agree to go.” I elaborate.
“Man, I didn’t realize how complicated it would be. I wanted to get my mom to go to a program. Honestly, I didn’t look into it that hard though. I am so happy she’s trying to get better now,” Cade tells me.
“Me too, your mom is great,” I say with a genuine smile. I am so glad she is getting help. “If we are ever in a situation like tonight where there is alcohol, I’m totally fine if you want us to leave,” I say changing the topic.
Cade nods and says, “yeah, it wasn’t too bad. I’ll let you know in the future if I need to leave though.” Cade tells me.
I’m glad he’s started to communicate with me over his addiction’s issues. I couldn’t say the same for me, not only was I lying to him, but I also almost killed us instead of talking about my problems to begin with. I knew that I needed to work on my communication with Cade, I did just not use to having someone be there and listen to me. I needed to remind myself that it was Cade, he had never judged me for anything I had told him yet and he was extremely supportive and caring. I was so glad I had met Cade even though there was still so much he didn’t know that could ruin everything we had. I was determined to figure out a way we could be happy together in the future. for the night I was going to focus on the good and push my guilt and all my other problems to the side. Tonight, would be about how much Cade and I cared for each other.