I'm Not Letting Her Go

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Lunch Discussion

Scarlett

I wasn’t lying when I said I see the same lost soul in him as I do myself. Something tells me, just from me observing him all week, he has a lot of responsibilities within his family. I don’t know the whole story, but gram told me his family is important. They have a lot of power in this town, hell this state, that it seems to take a toll on him.

I know that’s why he’s such a man whore. He sleeps around to get the release he needs without having to become serious with anyone. “There you are.” I hear Stewart yell from down the hall, as he waves me over to the lunch line. I give him a smile and make my way to him.

Once we have our trays of food, we find our table and sit down, listening to the girls talk away like they normally do. But I’m not paying any attention to them. No, I keep my eyes, on the doorway to where the lunch line is. I see everyone getting their lunch, but still no Declan.

Turning my head back around, I look to the table he usually sits at with his friends and the other popular crowd. Patty is sitting on one end of the table, her arms crossed over her chest glaring at me, but I don’t give her any attention. Instead, my eyes, make their way down the table to his friends and cousin.

Sure enough, his seat is empty, and the guys are all huddled together. They keep looking in my direction, making me turn my head to the side, to look out the window. Where could he have gone? I wait what feels like an appropriate amount of time before turning my face into the view of their table.

Nope not safe at all, they are all still looking at me. Some are smiling, his cousin Donny is studying me with a serious look on his face, and Andy once again pushes the boundaries by winking at me. I cannot help but feel my lip curl up in a smirk.

“So, you want to join us this weekend?” I hear come from my table.

Blinking my eyes a few times, to clear my thoughts and focus my attention on my friends, I see they are all looking at me expectantly. “I’m sorry, what?”

“This weekend, we all go to the King’s mansion for their epic Halloween party. The whole towns invited. You want to go with us, you know like in a group?” Leslie asks showing her pearly whites.

“Uh, they have a Halloween party every year?”

“Yeah, it’s amazing. One part of their house they make into a haunted house, one of the best I’ve ever been to, and then in the part of the mansion where they have a ballroom, they hold a dance for the teens, while the adults all gather around in their costumes for a dinner.” Beth answers.

“Oh, well I would have to see what Grandma Bee would like to do. If she has plans than I’ll probably just stay home with her and hand out candy or something.” I give a small smile hoping that will be the end of the conversation. I should know better, I’m never that lucky.

“Oh, pish posh, I can guarantee that sometime on Halloween night your grandma will be making her way to the King’s mansion. I don’t know many people of the town that don’t attend.” Leslie intervenes.

Knowing they won’t give in, especially Leslie I agree just so then we can discuss something else. “You know it’s a good thing you came to our school when you did, I’ll be it a little late in the school year, but it’s the best time. Fall is in the air, the leaves are changing, and all the great Halloween traditions are coming out all this week.” Leslie is practically jumping in her seat with joy.

“Can you tell it’s her favorite holiday?” Stuart grumbles from beside me.

“Oh, shut up mister, this used to be yours too. Until the incident.” Leslie points her finger at him.

“What incident?” I ask.

Everyone at the table grows silent, except for Stuart who is yelling at his cousin to shut her mouth. Then, he gradually picks up his tray, and huffs away. “What was that about?” I wonder.

“It’s nothing. Just something that happened a few years ago, and he’s still humiliated by it.” Leslie brushes off.

“Wouldn’t you be?” Penny finally says something.

“I suppose so, but I mean come on he really needs to let it go.” Leslie rolls her eyes before picking up her tray and walking away.

“Okayyyy,” I draw out. “Something tells me I missed something big here.” I look to Penny and Beth for any signs of what they could all be discussing.

“It’s nothing, just let’s say the popular crowd played a big-time joke on Stuart a few years ago, and it affected him severely. They all still bring it up.” Beth nods her head in the direction of Declan’s table. And my heart drops, what could they all have done to Stuart that was that horrible?

“Anyway, we don’t discuss it. Well,” Beth looks thoughtful for a moment, “we here that are left at this table don’t discuss it. Leslie is a different story.”

“Why does she bring it up if it hurts Stuart so much?”

“Because even though we have a good group of friends, and each of us some close friends outside of this small group of ours, Leslie has always wanted to fit in. Always wanted to be one of the popular girls. Having the guy’s fawn all over her, being able to sit at their table, and to have them all talk with her.” Beth says.

“Two questions. Why would she want that? Because those girls seem awful,” I look over to Patty and her friends.

“Because they are the ‘it’ girls. They are who every girl wants to be, and most guys want to be seen with. Leslie craves that.” Penny looks me in the eyes, and I can see the sadness there.

“Your other question.” Beth says.

“Yeah, why don’t they. I mean from what I can tell Stuart and Leslie’s family have money. So why aren’t they a part of that group?”

“You’ll have to ask Stuart that question. I would say Leslie, but she will get defensive about it, and throw a fit. Believe me you don’t want that.” Beth says.

“You don’t know?”

“Not the whole story, no. Just a small part of it, but apparently there’s a lot more to it.” Beth and Penny pick up their trays and walk away after our discussion. Leaving me alone at the table pondering all the things I’ve just heard.

Leaving me with more questions than answers. What happened to Stuart years ago that embarrassed him so much? What is with their family and the rest of the rich over there? Why are they so different that they aren’t a part of their little group? Most importantly, as my eyes make their way back to Declan’s seat, where did he go?

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