BackWash

All Rights Reserved ©

Falling Backwards

“Gabriela, table!” Kyle calls over the mass of people as I round my way to the table he’d just pointed at.

It’s difficult to hear Kyle over all the noise everyone is making. Bev’s Diner always seems to be full nowadays - unlike when I’d first began working here. It’s a small cosy restaurant where people feel comfortable, hence why Kyle, one cleaner, two chefs and I are the only employees needed. The diner grew popular through word of mouth. But on weekends especially, like today, this place is pumping.

“I’m on it.” I mumble back to him, aware he probably never heard, but there’s absolutely no ways that I will raise my voice in front of all these crowds of people. Kyle knows that fully well from past experiences.

I grab all the dishes off the table Kyle had directed me to and pack them on my arms, balancing my way back to the wash room to give to our cleaner, Lee. I don’t fail to miss the stack of cutlery before her as she lets out a loud groan upon me bringing her more work.

I raise an eyebrow, “You need a hand?”

I’ve always been a fan of Lee. She’s quiet and tends to stay out of people’s way, including mine. We don’t talk much, but we get along for the most part.

She shakes her head, lifting her face to see me as a tired smile graces her red lips, “Thanks for the offer Gabriela, but I’ll manage. It’s what I’m trained for.” She teases before adding, “Besides, Kyle needs you out there. It’s a busy evening.”

I nod, although I still feel guilty as she’d been sick for the past week and had barely recovered since.

“There you are Gabriela!” Kyle heaves, exhausted from walking up and down.

Kyle’s only as nice as work allows him to be. When it’s a chaotic night, he tends to be overly bossy and unfriendly - frankly, he’s downright rude. I know that it’s only because he’s stressed, but still, it irks me. He’s not my boss. That’s Bev’s job, hence Bev’s Diner. Then again, I’m not exactly Bev’s biggest fan either. My boss hates me. He only keeps me ’round ’cause I bring in lots of money with the Frat boys.

“There’s a couple waiting for you to take their order at table seven.” Kyle informs me, out of breath. “Stop slacking off with Lee.”

“I’m going. Jeez.” I mutter beneath my breath, unimpressed by his rudeness. Lee stifles her laughter upon hearing my comment.

Kyle’s already off to tend to his own tables as I make my way to table seven, except, I freeze midstep when my eyes land on the couple sitting at table seven, both of them making gooey eyes at each other.

Chase and a girl - presumably his date.

I watch the couple a little longer to see if this is recent or a long standing relationship. Judging by their giddy smiling and constant touching, I’d say that their budding romance has just newly blossomed.

They’re still in the ‘lovey dovey’ stage where things haven’t got too serious as of yet.

On second inspection, I notice just how beautiful the blonde seated across from him is. She is stunning - gorgeous even. It’s so like Chase to go for the blondes, that had always been his ritual - his preference for as long as I can remember.

“Gabriela, go. They’re waiting.” Kyle snaps me out of my gaze as he gives me a little push in their direction, unaware of my lengthy history with the man flirting with that woman in front of me.

Oh for the love of…

I just can’t catch a break.

I grab two menus and head over to their table rather reluctantly. It’s been a little over three weeks since Chase told me to let go and I’ve been working hard on doing so. It is anything but easy, seeing as we live next to each other. Fortunately, he is only here for the summer. He said so himself.

I put the menus down on the table before them. They’re so busy flirting with each other that they don’t even notice my presence.

I clear my throat rather nervously, “What can I get you two?” I ask politely, hoping he won’t look up at me and that, by some miracle, I will go unnoticed.

But he does look upon hearing my voice.

His blue eyes meet mine in surprise as his gaze flickers down my uniform slowly, registering the fact that I work here now.

When Chase still use to live in town, I worked with him by his side at the surf shack. I presume he figured that I still worked there. He definitely hadn’t been expecting to see me here.

Despite the rumors, Chase and I were never in love - far from it. But we’ve always been close to some degree. I suppose, if I am being completely honest with myself, there’s always been a bit of attraction between us. That would explain why I’m currently jealous of the latest girl he has on his arm, whilst I’m left to watch helplessly from the sidelines.

Chase goes through many phases of life - well from what I’ve seen in any case. When I first met him, he was an innocent little kid. Then primary school came and he was just your average guy next door. Then came high school and he turned into this huge flirt - still lovable none the less.

I’d watch him go through girls like tissue paper, but since we were best friends, I never dared call him out on it. But then Matt happened and the dynamics between us shifted. Chase turned into a mean grump and left his charm and playboy ways in the past - that’s the Chase I knew just three weeks back.

Recently, Chase decided to let go of me and now that he has, I see a glimpse of the flirty, man whore Chase coming back full force and it terrifies me. It’s déjà vu all over again.

Chase made it perfectly clear that he is done with me. He’d kept his word since then, purposely going out of his way to avoid me at all costs and forget my existence entirely.

It hurts like hell, but I’ll manage. I always seem to. After all, I’ve made it this far, haven’t I?

Chase keeps his eyes on me, his mouth slightly agape in shock, “I…uh…I…um…” He trails off at a loss of words, caught off guard by my presence here at Bev’s Diner.

I shift uncomfortably under his piercing gaze as I reach up to brush a strand of hair out of my face and tuck it behind my ear. Chase’s cobalt blue eyes follow my movement, making me feel even more uneasy.

His date coughs, shooting me a glare in the process as if it’s my fault her boyfriend is staring, “Chase, Hon…” She says as she reaches across the table to intertwine her fingers with his, purposely pushing her bust toward him to catch his attention again, “Let’s just order the drinks first.” She suggests over flirtatiously.

It works like a charm. For a split second, Chase’s eyes move off me and onto his date’s voluptuous bust. He’s always had a weakness for pretty girls.

I have to look away, repulsed and kind of hurt. But Chase was Chase and he never could resist a woman’s charms.

“Do you need a few more minutes?” I ask, pretending to not know Chase at all and it shouldn’t come off as offensive seeing as he’d requested it and had been doing the exact same thing with me.

Chase shakes his head, clearing his mind, as he looks at his date as if to say that she should tell me her order first.

I glance over at the girl, waiting rather patiently, if I do say so myself.

“I’ll just have a Lipton Ice Tea. Lemon.” She answers me in a stuck up voice.

I mentally roll my eyes at her for her childish behavior.

On normal occasions, where there are hoards of people at one table, I would write the order down on my notepad, but seeing as it’s just the two of them, I don’t. I can remember two orders myself.

I glance at Chase expectantly for his order, but shy away when he meets my eyes, averting my own to the surface of their table instead.

He begins, “I’ll have the-“

On impulse, I answer for him, remembering his all time favorite drink, “Homemade lemonade.” I conclude and glance up to see both Chase and the date staring at me as if I have two heads.

My actions hit me. What have I done?

“I-I mean I…” I stammer like an idiot, speechless.

“You remembered?” Chase asks with childlike wonder in his blue eyes as if trapped in some kind of dazed trance.

I nod sheepishly in response.

A lopsided smile curves his lips as he absentmindedly stares at me.

“Do you two know each other?” The date questions as she glances from Chase to me.

I bite my bottom lip, uncertain how to respond, “We uh use to-“

She interjects, clicking her fingers, as if suddenly placing a name to my face. “Gabriela Hill, that you? Oh my goodness, it is! I knew you looked familiar!”

I cock my head to the side, wondering who the heck she is and how she knows me. I’d never been well known in this town, that’s a gig for people like Chase.

Chase sees my confusion as he does a proper introduction, “Gabriela, meet Summers - my date. Summer, this is Gabriela, an old um…friend.”

Because that explanation clears up so much…

Summer? Summer? Why does that name make me cringe and flinch in fear?

“You two used to be awfully close.” Summer reminds the both us much to my own dismay.

“Tell me about it.” I mumble inaudibly so that they won’t hear.

Summer sees that there is no recognition in my eyes. She seems insulted that I’d wiped her out my memory completely. Thus, she takes the liberty to remind me, “Crappy Gabby ring any bells?”

Summer Rawlins

She’s the very same girl who use to bully me in high school. I remember. Chase would stand idly by and let her insult me because she was his main hookup. I hated him for it, but I never held it against him.

Never was and never will be one for grudges, but Chase…I’ve learnt that crossing him can pay up to years later. He’s one for his grudges and personal vendettas.

‘Gabby’ was the nickname Chase used to call me by and I loved it. Summer knew that and exploited the fact, hence why she started calling me ‘Crappy Gabby’ in turn. She had always been jealous of my bond with Chase and could never quite understand our friendship as Chase was always with the popular crowd, whilst I put in the effort to go unnoticed by most - if not all - people.

“Oh.” I say blandly, not really caring. She’s just one more person on this earth that I could do without. “You.”

“Me!” She chimes happily as if enjoying seeing me squirm.

Once a bitchy bimbo, always a bitchy bimbo.

Though, even I have to admit, she looks good. ’Good’ is an understatement, she looks like some Swiss supermodel - flawless really. I would never be able to compete with her, not that I need to.

“So is this what you’re doing for a living now?” Summer asks as she takes in my attire and glances around the tiny diner, “How…” She trails off purposely with a sickening glint to her gold like eyes, “Interesting.”

Her insults aren’t very subtle.

“Yup.” I nod, giving her one word responses because I needed to leave and move onto the next tables.

“I’m majoring in fashion design and if I do boast a little, I’m doing quite well for myself.” She licks her lips before that familiar bitchy smile makes its way onto her mouth. All she had to do was smile and I would have instantly remembered her. “But you were so…gifted. How did you land yourself here in such an unappetizing place?”

If it is so unappealing, why are you eating here?

“That’s a long story.” I sigh aloud, placing my hands on my hips as I shift my footing, ready to end this conversation.

“I have time.” She grins evilly, placing her chin in between her hands as she leans forward on her elbows, “Do tell.” She insists.

I don’t have the time and quite frankly, Matt’s death has nothing to do with her.

I open my mouth to tell her exactly that when Chase speaks over me, “She’s working Baby. Another time.” Chase says, his eyes darting back to her.

“Fine.” Summer drawls, disappointed, as she folds her arms and pouts, finally giving in.

I shoot Chase an appreciative nod before I walk back to the kitchen to give the chefs the orders. “A lemon Lipton Ice Tea and homemade lemonade please.”

Usually, the waiters would just pour the drinks, but seeing as we’re so busy, the chefs do it for us as they have more time on their hands than us.

“Got it Angel.” The elder man, Mike says, offering me a warm smile as he turns to make the drinks.

I inwardly smile. Mike, or Mikey as everyone here call him, is the closest thing I have to a father figure. He’s always here when I need him and often listens to all that I have to say, not that there is much. He’s one of the few whom I trust. We don’t talk often, but I’ve grown rather fond of him.

“Gabriela!” I hear Kyle call over my shoulder. “I got my hands full here, can you take care of the Frat guys at table six?”

I’ve worked here long enough to know that it’s not a question, but a command. I don’t have a say.

I close my eyes and release a breath, stressed out.

I hate serving the Frat boys. They’re loud, crude, boisterous, flirtatious and rough with me. But there’s no use in protesting, Kyle will make me, especially if he’s under pressure - which he is.

Usually Kyle serves them as a favour to me because he knows that they love giving me trouble and making my job ten billion times more difficult. They even know me by name now. In return, I serve the Sorority girls. They always flirt with Kyle and his girlfriend tends to get jealous easily. But on busy days, like today, our routine gets switched up.

“Shot Angel.” Mikey says as he hands the drinks over to me on a serving tray.

“Thanks Mike.” I feign a smile, but it’s as real as my smiles get. The only time I really smiled was when Brent was still around. Now there’s just no reason to smile.

I head straight back to Chase and Summer who are directly opposite table six - the Frat boys. How convenient? I know Chase is good friends with all of them. He’s mega popular and the whole town practically knows him by name.

Chase has always been that person that you either hate or love, not surprisingly, most adore him.

I place the tray on their table before taking their drinks and handing the drinks over to them. From behind me, I hear the wolf whistles of the Frat boys. They’re already starting. They do this when they want me to give them my time of day and it irks me to the bone.

Summer, thinking that it’s her they’re whistling at, sits up straight in her seat and puts on her sickly sweet smile as she gives them all a suggestive wave, “Hi boys.” She charms and no doubt she knows them.

I block out the racket and Summer’s attention craving as I make eye contact with Chase to find that he is already staring at me, “What do you want to eat?” I ask.

He winks at me playfully, “You tell me.”

I do a double take at his action. What’s up with him?

He’s actually being decent and civil with me. Maybe he has moved on. But I know better. I know it’s just a front he’s putting up in front of Summer and his beloved Frat boys who all worship the very ground he walks on. He has to play the ‘golden boy’ part for his fans and many admirers. Thus, if his Frat boys love me, he automatically has to too.

I would tell him what he wants seeing as I know, but I’m not making the same slip up twice.

“No.” I say blatantly, not amused by his fake joyful spirit. I don’t buy this nice act for one second and he should know better than to try pull the sheep’s wool over my eyes.

I know him better than anyone else.

“Oooh burn!” The Frat boys laugh from behind me, amused, as they watch my every move like hawks eyeing their prey.

“Why you gotta wound him like that Gabba Bear? Always so fesity.”

I cringe at the words slurring from one of the drunk Frat guys - Jason. I was hoping he wouldn’t be among them today. He’s usually the one that causes the most crap; he goes out of his way to touch me.

But that, I can still handle.

It’s when he calls me ‘Gabba Bear’ that I feel like clouting him over the head with a baseball bat. Brent’s the only one who called me ‘Gabba’ and I loved it. This idiot doesn’t have the right to refer to me as ‘Gabba Bear’ when he doesn’t know the first thing about me. He really has no dignity nor self-respect.

Chase nods at his fellow Frat boys, acknowledging them as if going along with them. He always did fall into peer pressure easily.

Summer frowns at me when she realizes that the Frat boys are paying no heed to her but taking interest in me. She should know that this isn’t highschool anymore. Things have changed.

“Your order?” I remind Chase in an impatient tone, snapping his attention back to me.

“One Greek Salad for Summer and I’ll have your special.” Chase finally answers with a care free grin as if he’s his old self again. Again, I know better. I see through his little charade. He’ll never be his old self ever again and he and I are the only ones who know it.

He’s broken.

I go back to the kitchen to give the orders to Mike, place the tray back down, then do a ‘three sixty’ and head back to take the Frat guys’ orders.

“Gabriela Baby!” They all chorus, “Long time no see.”

“Orders?” I ask, trying to ignore the attention as all twelve direct their stares at me as if I’m some piece of meat. It sickens me and actually frightens me.

I can feel my hands trembling as I hold my notebook and pencil to my chest, but discreetly avert their attention before either of them realizes my anxiety and take advantage of it. They would do that. They’d see me as weak and exploit it to their advantage. I wouldn’t be able to fight back. It’s why I put on a brave face and force courage, when inside I feel nauseous from fear.

Frat boys, in general, have no respect for woman. They use woman to satisfy them and some of them have been trying to seduce me for months on end. I’m sure one day they’ll get impatient and do what they want with me. That day awaits for me and I’m rather petrified. I have no Brent to protect me anymore and they know it.

I never understood how Brent was friends with them to begin with.

They begin rambling their orders at the same time and I have to pay close attention and write it all down carefully in order not to jumble it all up. They do it on purpose, but I never fail to deliver each one of them the right order and it frustrates them endlessly.

They’re all just waiting for the day I mess up. So am I.

Just as I turn around, one of the Frat guys smacks my ass and laughs along with his buddies. I close my eyes and tell myself to keep breathing as I head back to give in the new orders to the chefs.

“You okay Angel? You’re looking flat.” Mike tells me as I let out a yawn.

“The Frat guys are here.” I explain in one sentence and that’s all it takes for him to understand. Mike knows they give me a hard time.

“You just hold your ground Darling.” He says as encouragement.

I let out a breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding.

Mike gives me a little pat of reassurance on my shoulder before handing me the Frat guys’ drinks.

There’s so many drinks on my tray that I have to walk slowly as I take it to them. They make they’re crude comments as always, but I tune them out.

“Forget the drinks, when I’m done with you you won’t be able to walk for days.”

I don’t say anything back, I never do.

I turn to leave, but to my despair, an arm reaches out and laces itself around my waist so that I can’t move. I put up a struggle and try to get out of his hold, but to no avail. Eventually, I turn around in his grip to see that it’s of course Jason and he’s looks like he’s lost all patience with me.

I’ve been fearing this day.

“Hey Gorgeous, miss me?” He asks before drawing me closer to him, purposely groping me in the process. “I know I missed you.” He whispers seductively in my ear.

I am use to this.

“Let me go.” I demand with fierce fire and spunk, trying to remain calm. I have to keep a level head in these kinds of situations.

In past encounters, when I asked to be let go, Jason would always listen. Always.

But today there’s a hunger in his eyes that scares me.

He chuckles in my ear before placing a sloppy kiss on my neck and forcing me down onto his lap, holding me there in place against him so that I’m straddling him.

“Come on Jason. I’m working.” I try again to dismiss him, but I can smell the alcohol on his breath, all the others drinking too.

He’d never gone as far as to not listen to me when I asked, and by now you can imagine that I’m panicking.

“Dude, let her go.” I hear a voice say and then turn to see Logan, Brent’s old buddy. I let out a breath of relief at the sight of him. “That’s Brent’s girl.” Logan informs Jason and then offers me a sympathetic stare.

Well this is a first, Logan never usually comes with his boys to the diner to drink. It’s always the usual and occasionally a random outsider. Logan might be big on partying, but he’s never been big on drinking. He reminds me of Brent in that way.

Jason doesn’t seem to care, “I’m just having some fun Logan.” He says as he tightens his grip on me so that I can’t move off his lap.

Just then, Logan’s phone begins to ring and I can tell that it’s an important call just by his reaction, expression and body language. Logan quickly points a finger at Jason in warning, “Bro, I’m serious. Let her go.” Then he brings the phone to his ear and answers, walking away from the loud chattering crowds to hear properly.

He leaves me with Jason and it’s no shock that Jason doesn’t listen to him.

Jason places another drunken kiss on my neck before whispering in my ear, “Baby, how about we go back to my place and take this from there?” He suggests huskily.

He’s never been so forward before.

I shudder in disgust as I try to remove his arms off me, “Jason, please.” I beg, glancing around for help. Kyle’s nowhere in sight and all the Frat guys don’t give a damn. “I have to work.” I try to explain, looking for ways to get out of this.

“You’re always working. How about you let me work on you for once? You’d enjoy it. I promise.” Jason is not giving up this time.

I glance around frantically, searching for someone to help me, when my eyes land on Chase’s. He’s looking right back at me. “Chase, tell him.” I plead, hoping that Chase’s ‘nice side’ was still currently intact. Please let his cold resolve toward me be dead - at least for now.

Chase opens his mouth to say something, hopefully to defend me, when Jason cuts him off, “My man Chase would never spoil my fun. We’re bros.”

Chase’s mouth falls shut as he nods along with what Jason had said. He averts his eyes from me in shame. He distracts himself by leaning in to finish his kiss with Summer as if I am not in trouble and don’t need his help.

It kills me to see him kiss Summer. I shake it off and focus on getting away from Jason before this gets more out of hand.

“Chase please.” I hear myself ask desperately, pathetically.

He doesn’t break the kiss to listen to me, not that I expected him to. I was just hoping that he wasn’t this far gone. But clearly he really is lost to the world, to me.

“You’ll be saying ‘Jason please’ soon enough Doll. Ease up.” Jason whispers again.

I’ve had enough. I shove him away from me with as much force as I can, but he’s just too strong and merely chuckles mockingly at my failed attempts in escaping out his arms.

I begin to lose hope. No one cares when they’re not directly involved and those that do care, back away. It’s all just fun and games to them.

But then out of nowhere, a fist comes flying down into Jason’s nose, just missing my head in the process.

I momentarily freeze.

All to be heard is a cracking sound as if bone has split. I take my chance and quickly scramble out Jason’s arms as his own hands release me to touch his nose that I’m sure is now broken.

Thinking it to be Chase, I turn around to thank him, only to see someone else entirely - someone I’d never expected to hit someone for me seeing as he’d never been the violent type.

Caleb

“What the f**k dude?!” Jason roars as he stands up, his Frat boys backing him up as they all stand up too.

Caleb ignores them and turns to me to see if I’m okay. I, on the other hand, am too shocked to even say thank you. I simply stand there, gazing up at him and wondering where the hell that came from.

How come I didn’t see him earlier and who knew he could pack such a punch? I figured he’d never been in a fight before. Judging by his smooth technique, I was wrong. It just seems so unlike Caleb to be fighting.

Jason, with his nose bleeding, sees that Caleb has his back turned to him and tries to make a shot at Caleb. I open my mouth to warn Caleb just as another muscular body places himself in between Caleb and Jason as if to defend Caleb.

“You lay another hand on Gabriela and just see what happens. I f**king dare you.”

Tyler

“This is none of your business Ty. Back down.” Jason warns Tyler in a threatening tone as Caleb throws a protective arm around my shoulder, drawing me to his warm side as if to comfort me.

Instantly, I feel safe again. Caleb’s hugs do that to a person.

Tyler is one to do anything but back down - the complete opposite of Caleb - but I suppose that’s what made their friendship so powerful. If there’s a fight, Tyler’s usually in it. He’s always been temperamental and challenging.

Jason must be quite close to Tyler if he calls him Ty.

Still, Tyler won’t budge.

“It became my business as soon as you involved Gabriela.” Tyler replies back quietly through gritted teeth, getting all defensive over me. For some reason, my heart skips a beat. I haven’t had anyone defend me since Brent.

Jason’s eye twitches and I know that it is a sign that he’s about to lose it and go ape sh*t. I’m not the only one who sees it, because soon enough Chase is here too, only now getting involved. “Break it up guys. You don’t want to fight each other. You’re supposed to be friends. Just let it go.”

Tyler and Jason glare at each other, waiting for the other to make a move, but it becomes clear that neither are going to. Jason senses it too and backs off when Chase gives him a small shove backward. He sits back down, his Frat buddies joining him. “You’re lucky Chase saved your ass Ty. You better watch your back.” Jason threatens as he takes a clump of serviettes and holds it to his nose to prevent further bleeding.

Gosh! I have to clean that up later.

Tyler laughs humorlessly, “Only cowards attack from the back.”

Chase gives Tyler a reprimanding look as if to say ‘don’t provoke Jason further’.

Tyler isn’t having it though, “You think I’ll still listen to you? That was back in the day when you still had Gabriela’s back, when what you said still mattered. You’re a f**king idiot Chase. I watched her ask you for help and you just sat back and did nothing. You piece of sh*t. You stay far the hell away from Gabriela. You hear me?! It’s not a warning, it’s a threat!” Tyler roars, seemingly more furious with Chase than Jason.

“Yeah!” Caleb pipes up, “You suck Chase. I don’t know what happened to you because the Chase I knew, used to be cool.”

I hold back a smile. That’s my Caleb.

Chase’s face drops at their words as if he’d been punched several times in the gut.

Chase meets my gaze and I instantly see the depth of his guilt and sorrow that his eyes hold so deep in place. I can see he wants to say it. He never does. For the life of me, I have no idea why it’s so difficult for him to apologize to me - maybe because he has so much to apologize for.

Summer stands up and forces her way beside Chase, “Don’t worry Baby, you don’t need these people. They’re your shameful past. You have me now.”

Caleb snorts in laughter, “Okay Summer, now you’re just making us pity him.”

I stifle my own giggles. Oh how I’ve missed Caleb.

Jason agrees with Summer and locks his eyes onto me as he speaks as if to direct his words to me, “They’re not worth it Chase. We’re your present now. They’re f**king losers.”

I shiver at his words, genuinely afraid of Jason. Caleb feels it and narrows his eyes on Jason, “Want another one?” He asks Jason whilst holding the same fist up that he’d punched Jason with.

Jason backs down.

“You don’t need them.” Summer repeats loudly to Chase to get him to stop staring at me in contemplation.

But to no avail, Chase keeps his eyes on me and nods, agreeing with Summer and his so called ‘friends’. “You’re right.” He speaks up, “I don’t need them. I never did.” His eyes don’t waver from mine, making it clear that what he’s really saying is that he doesn’t need me, that he never needed me.

A pang of excruciating pain sears through me at hearing his words. We use to be best friends and now it’s come to this.

How the wheel of life spins…

Tyler shakes his head at Chase, thoroughly disappointed, before turning around and leaving, motioning for Caleb to follow. Caleb steers us forward and begins to lead me away, his arm still wrapped protectively around my shoulders.

No!

I’m done being walked over. I will not leave this time without first having my say.

I pull away from Caleb as he watches me, moved by my courage.

I turn back around and say his name. It’s enough to catch his attention as he turns to look at me after having finished laughing with his stupid friends. No doubt they were mocking us.

“I’m not the one holding you back. You’re holding yourself back. I said I was sorry and I said I forgave you numerous times. I wanted to move forward, but you’re the one who insisted on always falling backwards. But you were right about one thing, you’re not the same Chase without me. Because right now, I’m looking at a selfish, arrogant jackass instead of my beloved best friend. And that, that is all on you. I’m done being your scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in your life. So fine, pretend for all your so called friends that you’re okay on the outside, but just know that I will always know what’s really going on with you on the inside. If you decide to ever change back to the real you, the one I sincerely cared about, you know where to find me.”

I don’t bother to see Chase’s expression.

I turn around, grab Caleb’s hand, and stomp out the diner - well not before Kyle stops me with raised eyebrows, “Where are you going?” He asks.

I open my mouth to speak, but yet again, I’m cut off, “She quits!”

I couldn’t have said it better than Tyler himself.

“What he said.” I say to Kyle, untying my work apron and putting it aside along with my name tag. It feels refreshing, like I finally regained my dignity back.

I’m done falling backwards. I’m done being torn. I’m done mourning. I’m done hurting. I’m done living in the past.

I’m most certainly done trying to save Chase when it’s become apparent to me that he doesn’t want to be saved.

I’m done with him.

Starting now, I’m not going to just survive, I’m going to thrive.

I’m not just going to fly, I’m going to bloody well soar.

I’m going to live again.

*~*

Hey all :)

As you can see, things are now starting to lighten up :D

1. Who did you think, before reading onward, punched Jason?

2. Glad to have Ty and Caleb back?

3. Mad at Chase?

Thanks for supporting :)))

~CJ

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.