Chapter Nine – Everything Over With
They didn’t technically know each other, but they knew of one another. Why wouldn’t they, when they’ve been going to the same school for a few years now?
The truth of the matter was that they walked in different circles, and interacted with different groups of friends. They knew each other’s names and faces and who were friends with whom, but they definitely didn’t know each other enough to call themselves friends. Barely even acquaintances at that.
Diane had always been popular. Even at her age of thirteen, she was turning out to be quite the head turner, the heartthrob. She was quickly becoming the object of most hormonal young boys’ fantasies, and the center of talk between young girls who wanted to look and be just like her. She was aware of this and certainly enjoyed the attention.
Most people predicted that come high school, Diane Briggs would take the cheerleading squad by storm.
Kristen was fairly liked by most people, though she wasn’t considered one of the popular ones. She always had a smile on her face and carried an optimistic disposition. Focused on her studies, she was an above average student and she could never be more contented.
It wasn’t that they were different people. They just moved in seemingly different worlds.
So it came as a surprise to Kristen when one time during lunch, Diane approached her like the latter didn’t have any care in the world. The brunette walked with ease and confidence and a familiarity that Kristen felt was unexpected, yet at the same time, not quite so.
“Hi,” opened the perky brunette, “there’s this party this Friday at Mark’s – he’s in high school, a sophomore – and this friend of mine, Troy, likes you and would also like for you to come but he’s too chicken to ask you out. So, I volunteered to come talk to you and here I am, asking you to go to the party, even if I’m sure you haven’t been to a high school kid’s party yet. So, you wanna come?”
And all the blonde could do was stare at Diane in disbelief and keep her jaw from dropping to the ground.
“I…” Apparently, that was all she could say at the moment. She can’t even understand how the other girl was able to say so much in so little time, acting as if they’ve been friends forever.
“Look, I’m not pressuring you or anything because if you decide not to go or if your parents won’t allow you to, then that’s totally okay. But if you do decide to go, I’ll make sure we go together so you won’t feel left out or anything,” again, there was that matter of fact tone that made Kristen wonder for a moment if they had been friends forever and she just seemingly forgot.
“Um, well,” Kristen was glad that the shock was mostly already out of her system, “I’m not sure I can go. I mean, you know how parents can be?” Short of looking like a spaz, the blonde hoped her response was good enough.
“Oh yeah. Totally,” this time, Diane smiled and Kristen noted there was no hint of arrogance in the other girl’s demeanor, just confidence and friendliness.
Kristen smiled back.
The brunette continued smiling as she declared, “Look, I know that we’re not really friends but I’m pretty sure we both know each other,” and this time, there was a twinkle of amusement in both their eyes, “but just for the heck of it, we can pretend not to, for formality’s sake.
So, hi again, and I’m Diane.”
A nod. “Friends.”
Half a month. She couldn’t even go a whole two weeks in peace before things started catching up with her. Things meaning the one person she tried to run away from…the only person who ever gave her a reason to surrender from the fight, to choose flight and get everything over with.
And she really, really wanted that. To get everything over with. She was tired of crying – tired of wasting countless sleepless nights wondering why things happened the way they did. She wanted to go past the pain – the betrayal – and move on. She knew she had to do just that: move on.
Here she thought that was what she was doing, transferring to a suburban high school so unlike her previous surroundings, trying to start anew even if that meant starting from scratch – or as scratchy as her family name would allow her. She practically left all that she had in her previous school – her friends, her reputation, the leverage she had gained through all the years – just because she couldn’t handle a broken heart. And who would have thought it? Leila Charles-Carlson, the inscrutable billionaire heiress to an empire most people would only fantasize about in their dreams, fleeing due to matters of the heart.
All the money in the world, the fortune of possessing power that her birth certificate can attest to, and here she was being another sniveling idiot who can’t mend a heart shattered to pieces and a trust stomped flat.
How possibly pathetic.
She just had to come here. She just can’t leave me the fucking hell alone. She just…
Lei wanted to hate Audrey for treating her like a lovesick fool. Lei wanted to forget all about Audrey and the way her hair shone in the moonlight and the way her eyes dazzled when she smiled and the way she made a blubbering, moronic, second-rate poet wannabe out of one of the future most powerful women in the business world. Lei wanted to stand up, look straight towards Audrey’s eyes, and tell the girl that she’s over her.
That she’s past the misery and the hurt and that she didn’t care anymore.
But she did care. And she wasn’t even close to getting over the misery and the hurt.
She just couldn’t get over the feeling of knowing that she was being shattered bit by bit the same way that she couldn’t deny the truth that she was still hopelessly, utterly in love.
With Audrey. With no one else but Audrey.
“So where were you last night?”
Sven looked at the smirk that seemed to be permanently plastered on her friend’s face and even though she wouldn’t mind having the redhead in a good mood, it was still too early in the day to be that smug. “Nowhere.”
The scowl that Sven sported only served to urge Julia on. “Well, you sure weren’t anywhere near your house last night.”
The leader of the GSA was only met with a brief look and a grunt as the other girl continued on her way to her first class for the day.
“So…where were you?” It only amused Julia that no matter how Sven acted like she was trying to avoid these friendly chats, in the end, the musician would still let her catch up.
And catch up she did.
“Come on, Sven. You want me to guess?”
Indifference was a look that suited Sven well.
“You were at Jamie’s, weren’t you?”
At this, the other girl came to a halt and Julia didn’t bother hiding the condescending grin.
“Am I right, or am I right?”
“How do you even know I wasn’t in my room last night?”
“I swung by your apartment. Pizza night, remember?”
And when a look of realization came across Sven, the redhead interjected, “And no, I didn’t bring pizza because I knew you’d forget and ditch me for Jamie.”
The dark-haired girl sighed. There was no excuse for her inability to be someone who was deserving enough a friend for Julia. And if her continual fuck-ups were proofs, it seemed as if there was no cure. “I’m sorry for forgetting all about pizza night…” she finally said, looking everywhere except actually at the person she was talking to, and unconsciously biting her bottom lip.
The redhead observed her friend’s stance – the usual impassiveness now mixed with a little fidgeting and discomfort to which the lip-biting was clearly a sign of – and laughed softly. These were a few of Julia’s most treasured moments – when Sven would actually look kind of…cute. “At least one of us is getting any.”
At this, the musician finally dared to look at her best friend and found no trace of annoyance at her seemingly plaintive disregard for an agreed night of kinship over pizza.
“And I’m entitled to saying, ‘I told you so’…”
“You never said anything,” Sven’s relief was palpable as she went back to the familiar stoicism with a raised eyebrow as final touch.
Julia smirked. “I insinuated. I mean, come on. No screwing her brains out, again, ever? Who’d actually believe that crap from you?” And she punctuated it with a gentle poke to the other girl’s arm.
Sven pointedly looked at her friend as she gently rubbed her ‘injured’ arm. “Are you calling me a slut?”
“No,” the redhead replied, amusement obvious as she proceeded to grab Sven’s maltreated arm and keep them moving towards their respective classes, “I’m calling you a nymphomaniac.”
“Call me whatever you like, Julia. The sex is great and Jamie’s not looking for a relationship,” still being dragged through the school halls, Sven thoughtfully observed the hand that now gripped hers and finally raised her gaze towards the back of the girl who owned it. She smiled, “Life is good.”
She spent a whole weekend doing everything she could to forget. Shopping, trips to the spa, getting her nails and hair done, girl time with Kristen over chick flicks, these were activities that once had seemed glorious and she certainly wouldn’t mind doing them over and over again. Now, as she looked back on the past two days, Diane realized that she had never had any one moment of fun. Even with Kristen’s presence, things just seemed rather wearisome and as the last few hours of the weekend came, she finally figured out what was wrong…besides what she already knew was wrong to begin with.
She was trying so hard. All she did was make a chore of things that were supposed to relax her, to comfort her. And she knew exactly why.
No matter how much she wanted to bury what happened to the back of her mind, put the memory in a box, lock it up, and throw away the key, it wasn’t possible. No amount of pretending would completely eradicate the feeling of losing herself in those few minutes where nothing and no one else mattered but the heat that physical contact brought. The passion. Unwanted or not.
Diane felt betrayed.
By her own body, nonetheless.
She clearly remembered Kristen’s concerned gaze that night. And she also remembered feeling ashamed, confused, but if the tingling at certain parts of her body was any indication, she was also very much turned on.
And she hated that feeling above all.
Actually, what she hated was the sad reality that all these feelings were being caused by an unacceptable source. Unacceptable and supposedly impossible.
Because who in their right mind would even consider the possibility that Diane Briggs would even so much as like making out with someone such as Sven, a definite freak from the wrong side of the tracks? And get turned on by it too?
Although she didn’t care much – or at all – for gossip, she still couldn’t help but overhear a few conversations around the halls and inside classrooms. And try as she might to block the irritating sounds of pathetic students who had nothing better to do than talk about the lives of others, she eventually realized that most of their overeager talks and not so hushed whispers circulated around the events of last Friday, particularly the GSA party.
More particularly, the sudden departure of Lei Charles-Carlson and all the events that led to that.
It was to be expected, she had to admit. The party at Lei’s house was a blast and almost everyone came, so surely, if the owner of said house made a hasty retreat with no second thoughts, leaving behind an unknown sobbing girl, there were bound to be some rumors. Some being one hell of an understatement.
The fact that there was absolutely no sign of Lei in any of her classes or even lurking anywhere around campus only served to incense the buzz.
Of course, Sven wasn’t witness to any of these things. She was too preoccupied with making out and then laughing her ass out at the time all the ‘excitement’ was happening. When she finally came back inside, the source of her laughter was gone and so were Lei and Kristen. Julia filled her in on what had apparently happened while she was MIA, and she eventually helped the other girl get back some semblance of control in the party when they realized that all the other organizers were gone.
No questions asked, that night was definitely a source of amusement for Sven. The thing that happened with a certain head cheerleader, wherever the hell it may have come from, although unusual, was absolutely not unwelcome. Watching the expression on the other girl’s face after their impromptu make out session had certainly made her day.
And going home with a hot blonde guitarist? Now, that made her night.
Two nights in a row to be exact.
Sven smirked as she kept walking down the hall, not minding the looks that other students she encountered passing by gave her. She didn’t have English Lit today so she really didn’t have any other class worth going to, and she definitely felt like skipping her classes for the rest of the day. The only reason she even went to her first class was because she wanted to see Julia and knowing her best friend, the redhead would not let her cut by walking her to class and making sure she did go. Julia wasn’t even in that class.
As she proceeded to make a turn, she found herself being dragged rather forcefully and before she could do anything else, she realized that she was inside a girl’s bathroom.
“What is it with people and dragging me around this morning?!” As soon as she said this, she finally saw the person responsible for hauling her around and her scowl turned into an amused grin. The other girl, however, locked the door and immediately spun to face her.
“Look, I dragged you in here so we can talk and get everything over with. And I want to do this as fast as possible.”
Sven raked her gaze over Diane’s figure – taking her precious time – from head to foot and back again, settling on the other girl’s face with a raised brow and a grin. “Whoa, feisty much?”
The cheerleader looked at Sven with disgust. “Whatever,” a pause and then, “What happened last Friday? It didn’t happen.”
“Really? Because if my memory serves me right, it was definitely you I was swapping saliva with.”
This time, Diane’s eyes were wide, “No! Nothing happened! And I sure as hell wasn’t…swapping…whatever with you!”
Sven laughed sarcastically and folded her arms, “You called me a chain smoking psycho loser. And now, are you actually saying that I’m a liar?”
Sven watched the other girl bite her lip and start walking back and forth before finally looking back at her, “You can’t tell anyone! You can’t!”
She approached Diane with no hesitation, but also with no rush. “And why is that, Barbie?”
She saw Diane’s glare upon hearing the name of every – yeah, right – little girl’s dream doll, but then realized that the she was slowly approaching and in panic, started backing up. “Don’t you dare come near me!”
“Why shouldn’t I tell anyone?” Sven continued, ignoring the other girl’s pitiful attempt at a semi-threat.
“I’m a girl and you just can’t be gay? What could Lei possibly say about that?”
“It’s not that! I have nothing against –”
“Then why?” Sven was definitely milking this for all it was worth and she couldn’t help but enjoy the look of panic, anxiety, and undeniable desire in the cheerleader’s eyes.
Diane felt the hardness of the wall against her back and immediately, the panic she was feeling doubled. She looked to her sides for a possible exit but as soon as she did so, her attention shifted back to Sven. The musician was now directly in front of her, definitely too close for comfort, and when Sven rested her hands on the wall just to the sides of her waist, the cheerleader found herself involuntarily swallowing a lump in her throat.
“Or maybe it’s because you’re the head cheerleader and I’m just Sven, the chain smoking psycho loser, right?”
Diane forced herself to look directly at Sven’s face in defiance but as soon as she did just that, she found out too late that that was a mistake. Defiance quickly turned into something else, and that something else became irrefutably evident when the musician leaned towards her, just to whisper to her ear.
“You can be pushing me away now. You can be slapping my face so hard, it’ll leave a bright red handprint. Or you could have just pretended that last Friday didn’t happen, without even talking to me about this, because you know as well as I do that if I ever tell anyone, no one’s probably going to believe me other than Julia anyway,” and then Diane felt the gentle brush of lips to her neck, “You didn’t do any of those things because you don’t want to.” Another tender kiss and the brunette definitely felt herself shiver at the contact, “You know what you want, Diane?”
“You,” hand on her inner thigh and the cheerleader had a fleeting realization that being pinned to the wall was the only thing keeping her from falling to the floor, “want me.”
“And I,” at this, Sven smirked then pushed herself off the other girl and turned around, “am so out of here.”
The cheerleader helplessly watched Sven walk out of the bathroom as she finally slid down to the floor in a daze.
“I just want to talk –”
“We have nothing to talk about.”
Lei knew that opening the gate was just not the sanest thing to do, but watching Audrey on her driveway from her bedroom’s window for the past three hours couldn’t be considered sane either. And from the looks of it, Audrey wasn’t going anywhere.
The brunette sighed, “Audrey, I am asking you one last time, please leave me alone.”
“I really just want us to talk, Lei.”
“I told you, we have nothing to –”
“Yes, we do!” Audrey cried out, in a desperate attempt to make Lei listen just for a small amount of time. “I understand that you have every right to hate me right now, Lei, but you can’t just leave and expect me not to worry about you! Where you are. How you are. Are you lonely? Are you okay? Are you…”
Audrey trailed off as she closed her eyes and tried to calm the emotions that were rapidly becoming too much for her.
“You can’t just leave and expect me to not look for you. After what happened last Friday, I knew I had to give you some more time, and I did! A whole weekend, Lei! I gave you a whole weekend to finally get over the fact that I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. You can’t just keep running away. And if you didn’t open the damn gate, I would’ve waited, however long it takes.”
Lei calmly looked at the beautiful features of her ex-girlfriend, and the unwelcome tears that were now flowing openly on the girl’s gorgeous face, “But I opened the gate and now I’m telling you to leave…because I know you want to explain and I don’t want to hear any of your fucking explanations.”
“It was a drunken mistake, Lei.”
Now this time, it was the brunette who cried out, “And what do you expect me to say?! That I forgive you?! That you made a fucking drunken mistake and people make mistakes all the time so I should forgive you?!” They were both crying now, and Lei hated herself for letting Audrey see another one of her weak moments. “It’s not that easy, Audrey. I trusted you, and you know how hard that is for me. I could have given you everything you asked of me. I would give you everything you ask of me. But what do you do? You fuck someone else. No, wait. You don’t just fuck someone else, do you? You fuck my best friend!”
“I’m sorry –”
Lei held her hand out to stop the other girl from talking, “You know, Audrey, irony of the situation here is, you didn’t even trust me enough to accuse me of doing something that I would never, ever, do to you. And as it turns out, you did it to me.” The brunette opened her arms wide in defeat, “So tell me, Audrey, what am I supposed to think? How am I supposed to feel?”
Audrey could only nod as her gaze fixed on the ground. Still crying.
“I love you so much, Lei.”
“And it’s not enough.”
Audrey choked back a sob, “I know.”
“Audrey,” Lei moved to wipe the tears on Audrey’s face but stopped. “I still love you, you have to know that. But I can’t be with you…”
Lei turned around to walk back.
“I’m transferring to Wright-Duncan.”
Lei halted her steps and looked back at her ex-girlfriend in disbelief, “What?”
The other girl was finally looking back at her with a tentative gaze, “I’m going to do everything I can to win back your trust…even if we could only be friends. And I can’t do that if I’m not here. I’m transferring to Wright-Duncan, Lei. I’m transferring for you.”
Lei shook her head and finally walked away, “Not for me, Audrey. Not for me.” This isn’t for me.
End of chapter Nine…
Coming Soon on Of Tears and Broken Hearts:
She heard the low moan and felt the arching of Sarah’s back and in an instant, something inside Lei snapped. Abruptly, she stood up and backed away from the couch, not being able to look at the dazed model lying on the couch.
“You know I’ll always be here for you, right?”
“You have no idea how much that means to me.”
Face flushed, and breathing still not quite in control. “I don’t know what I want anymore.”