Rooftops – Chapter 2

Ahhh, I’m so sorry this took forever to post. Back to school stress, summer homework, (finally) taking drivers ed and getting my permit, and the start of field hockey season totally kicked my ass :( but i won’t bore you with my excuses, so here’s chapter 2! thanks for being patient.

*****

Rooftops – Chapter 2

~Anthony’s POV~

I sighed as I idly channel-surfed. You would think that there would be something decent on TV on a Saturday night. But, no such luck. Maybe because it was three in the morning. Whatever.

Usually I never stayed up this late, but for some reason my body refused to let me sleep. I had already exhausted every possible intellectually-stimulating activity that would prevent boredom from taking over, which left me sprawled out on the couch watching mind-numbingly boring reruns of sitcoms older than my parents. It was way too late to hang out with friends, and also way too late to blast music (my mother didn’t really appreciate the loud sounds of heavy metal blaring in the middle of the night, though I couldn’t really understand why).  Even the internet grew boring. What had the world come to?

The boring programs and overly-bright screen seemed to be doing the trick though, because I slowly started to feel my eyes grow heavy with inevitable sleep. With another exaggerated sigh, I dragged myself off the couch as the seventh Viagra commercial played in the span of less than two hours (seriously, were that many sexually frustrated men watching TV at 3:30 AM to warrant that many consecutive ads?). I figured that was probably more than enough TV for one night.

***

~Kalel’s POV~

I ended up waking up stupidly early for a Sunday morning, so at about 11:00 I decided to go bother Anthony so I wouldn’t end up spending my entire day bored out of my mind. That’s the nice thing about being right next door to your friends.

After knocking on his window and receiving no response, I sighed and walked downstairs to go through his front door. His mom was at work, so I didn’t bother knocking. Not that I usually would anyway; Anthony’s mother is like my second mom, and I spend so much time over there that it’s not like she’d care.

“Anthony!” I called once I closed the door. “Anthony, where are you?”

“He’s still in bed,” Jack, Anthony’s younger brother, said as he walked back from the kitchen with a Capri Sun in hand, plopping down on a beanbag chair. He looked like he was playing X-box.

“Your mom’s at work, right?” I asked.

“Mmhmm,” he said through a mouthful of chips. “Can you go wake him up? I’m hungry.”

“Sure thing. Thanks Jack,” I giggled as I made my way up the stairs, taking the familiar path to the room I had spent countless hours in (not in a sexual way, get your mind out of the gutter).

“Anthonyyy,” I said, dragging out the ‘y’ as I opened the door. “Wake uuppppp.”

“Jack, fuck off and make your own lunch!”

“Aww, I’m hurt,” I joked, giggling at Anthony’s less-than-enthused reaction.

He peeked his head out from under the covers, eyes still heavy with sleep. “Oh. Hi Kalel.”

“I was under orders to wake you up.”

“Let me guess. From Jack?”

“Hmm, I don’t know if I’m allowed to disclose that information.”

Anthony slowly sat up, rubbing at his eyes. I pretended not to notice his blanket falling, revealing his naked, and impressively toned, chest. Hey, he may be my – 100% platonic – best friend, but it’d be stupid to deny that he’s pretty cute. Or, really cute. But whatever.

“Kid is twelve and can’t even make his own god damn mac and cheese…” Anthony mumbled, sleepily grabbing for a shirt on the floor.

“I’m surprised your mom left you to babysit when you were still sleeping,” I laughed.

“She didn’t. She woke me up an hour ago. I went back to bed.”

“What a great big brother you are,” I replied sarcastically.

“Jack is twelve. He can handle himself. Michael  is seven. He’ll survive.”

I laughed as we made our way down the stairs, Anthony still stumbling with drowsiness. “I have awakened the sleeping beast!” I joked, my hands held high in mock triumph.

“’Bout time,” Jack called from the living room. “Glad to know someone can wake you up, Anthony. I’ll just call your little girlfriend over every weekend.”

I giggled and Anthony just rolled his eyes, not even grumbling his usual, “we’re not dating, Jack,” which he seems to say at least twice a week. Jack seems set on the idea we’re dating, but he’s not the only one. A lot of our other friends used to say stuff about it all the time, but either they grew tired of it or realized that it’s never going to happen.

“Where’s Michael?” Anthony said instead.

“In mom’s room watching TV,” Jack replied.

After making sure his seven-year-old brother was actually watching TV and wasn’t dead, Anthony returned to the kitchen. I hopped onto the counter while he sifted through the cabinets, probably looking for something to eat.

“Kaallelllll,” Anthony whined.

“Whaaattt?” I replied in the same fashion, swinging my legs from my perch on the counter.

“There’s nothing to eat.”

“And that’s my fault?” I rolled my eyes and chuckled.

“No, it’s just your responsibility as my friend to deal with my complaining.”

“Hmm, I don’t remember agreeing to this.”

“Oh you did. When we agreed to be friends.”

“Well, then it’s your responsibility to take me to Wendy’s. Put on your shoes,” I laughed, quickly turning it back on him.

Anthony fondly rolled his eyes, but complied and started walking towards the front door where his shoes were. “It’s not fair. You girls always win arguments.”

“Not my fault, babe,” I joked.

Anthony just shook his head in disbelief and called for his brothers. “Michael, Jack! Get out here, we’re going to Wendy’s!”

***

~Anthony’s POV~

Sooner than I would have liked, it was Monday morning. Considering how fucked my sleeping schedule became over the weekend, I didn’t get the sleep I needed; even if I did hit the snooze button four times. I also had a headache. Fantastic.

After stumbling around my bedroom to try to find clean clothes, and somehow managing to not fall asleep in the shower, I finally my made my way downstairs. Kalel would be at the door at any moment, since we drove to school together. Forgoing breakfast, I simply grabbed a bottle of Mountain Dew. Hopefully the caffeine would perk me up. I wasn’t really hungry anyway.

Sure enough, I heard her knock on the door a few seconds later, followed by her entering and closing the door behind her.

“Hey,” I heard her call out, fatigue lacing her voice as well.

“Hi,” I mumbled, grabbing my bag and walking down the front hallway, yelling out a quick goodbye to my family.

“Can you drive? I’m too tired,” I asked Kalel before rubbing my eyes.

“Anthony, you know I hate to drive.” Usually I drive us everywhere, mainly because Kalel doesn’t like to, but also because I have my own car and she doesn’t.

“Please? I’m exhausted. I don’t wanna wreck.”

“Fine,” Kalel sighed, grabbing the keys from my hand and plopping down in the driver’s seat. “But I get to control the radio.”

“You’re the best,” I joked, messily kissing her cheek.

“Ew! Get your spit off me!” She laughed, rubbing her face on her shoulder to clean some of it off. Kalel then worked on the task of scooting the driver’s seat forward. “Ugh, you’re so much taller than me, it’s not fair.”

I just laughed and laid my head on my arm, which was resting on the window. We didn’t live far from the school, so we pulled into the busy parking lot less than ten minutes later. Apparently I had fallen into a weird state of half-consciousness, because I felt a hand on my shoulder as we pulled in.

“Anthony, wake up!”

“Don’t wanna,” I mumbled.

“Come on, we’re gonna be late,” Kalel said hurriedly, shaking my shoulder harder. “Let’s goooooo.”

I finally complied, since I didn’t need any more tardies on my attendance record. We had a habit of being late a lot.

“Hold on,” Kalel said, walking over to my side of the car as I was stepping out. “Your hair got messed up. You must have been laying on it.” I let her run her fingers through the long fringe, fixing it into some state of presentable. She could probably make it look a lot better than I could anyway.

“There,” Kalel said once she was done. “C’mon, we gotta hurry!”

We joined the other students hastily rushing into the building, eager to get inside so they could be out as soon as possible.

Once inside, Kalel and I separated into different corridors. We didn’t have any classes together until the afternoon, when we had the last two periods (Biology and Government) together. Of course we wished we had more of the same classes, but it was better than nothing. I still had most of my other classes with my friend Ian, so it worked out well.  Ian and I met in sixth grade and had been practically joined at the hip since. Ian was pretty much the male version of Kalel, certainly not in looks or personality, but in the “best friends” factor, if that makes sense. We purposefully designed our schedules so that we would have the most opportunity to have class together, which totally worked, because we had five of the same class periods, plus lunch. That would never have worked with me and Kalel, because she’s taking a ton of electives like Japanese and Intro to Fashion and Design or something like that. She’s also in a special English class that’s focused more on writing due to her top-notch writing skills.

I entered my first period class – Algebra 2, what a fun way to start the morning – and sat in my usual spot next to Ian.

“Hey man,” I said, stifling a yawn behind my hand.

“Hey,” Ian replied, stealing my bottle of Mountain Dew and taking a swig.

“I would punch you in the face for that if I wasn’t so tired,” I said with my best attempt at a glare. Only Ian could get away with stealing something as sacred as Mountain Dew.

“Sure you would. Your emo hair and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirt is sooo menacing.”

I barked out a laugh at Ian’s comment, but the laugh quickly turned into a nasty cough. I sat there for a good thirty seconds just hacking, expecting to cough up one of my lungs are something. Does coughing out an internal organ warrant being allowed to go home? ‘Cause that sounded pretty great.

“Dude. Are you like, dying?” Ian asked as he got out his notebook and started copying down the night’s homework.

“Maybe,” I answered, internally groaning as I saw the large amount of problems written on the board. “If I die, will you do the homework for me?”

*****

sorry this is such a shitty update after being away for like forever. it’s still exposition, which i absolute hate writing, but this plot definitely needs a lot.  things will get more interesting soon, promise.

thanks again for being patient!

Chapter 1

Masterpost 

twitter: @SmoshyJalex

thanks for reading!

<3 Rachel

Rooftops – Chapter 1

There’s a short prologue here if you want to read that! Otherwise, here you go and sorry for the wait!

Rooftops – Chapter 1

*****

*Thirteen years later*

April 1st, 2013

“Anthony,” I whined, dragging out the vowels in my best friend’s name.

“What?” He chuckled from his position on my couch. He was completely sprawled out, one leg completely hanging off, and he was slouching so much he gained about three chins.

“I’m bored. And it’s Friday night. Can we go do something?”

“Kalel,” he whined, mimicking my exact tone. “That would entail getting up.”

“Pleeeease?” I said, putting on my best puppy-dog eyes.

Even after almost fourteen years of being best friends, puppy-dog eyes still worked like a charm on Anthony. This time was no different. “Fine,” he grumbled. “But you have to go get my shoes.”

“You’re such a lazy-ass today!”

“Hey! Let me remind you who’s driving you.”

I laughed and rolled my eyes, moving off the couch to get his black Converse and my flip flops from the mat near the front door.

“Wanna see a movie?” Anthony asked as I tossed him his shoes.

“Sounds good to me. Something scary though.”

A few minutes later, Anthony and I were walking into the theatre and buying tickets. I couldn’t remember what Anthony had decided on, but I was sure it would be awesome; we had scarily similar tastes in movies, books, games…actually, just about everything.

As I went to grab my wallet, Anthony stopped me.  “You bought my ticket last time. I got it.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I forgot to pay you back for that anyway. It’s fine.”

“Oh yeah, the time you ‘forgot your wallet,’” I teased, using air quotes. “A likely story.”

“I was telling the truth!” Anthony retaliated as he stepped up to buy tickets. “Two for The Last Exorcism please.”

“That’ll be $11.50,” the girl behind the counter, who couldn’t have been older than seventeen, smiled. Anthony slid a ten and a few ones over to her, and as she was printing off the tickets, she turned to face us. “If you don’t mind me saying, you guys make a really cute couple.”

I immediately started giggling. “Oh, no, we’re not dating. But, uh, thank you,” I said in between laughs.

“Oh, I’m sorry! I just assumed…”

“It’s cool. No worries,” I smiled at the now scarlet-cheeked employee.

She slid the fresh tickets across the counter. “Uh, enjoy your movie.”

“Thanks,” Anthony smiled at the clearly flustered girl. I felt bad that she was so embarrassed, because it really wasn’t that big of a deal. Anthony and I get mistaken for a couple so often that it doesn’t even bother me anymore. I don’t find it insulting or anything, just kind of funny. I’ve been best friends with Anthony since we were four, practically as long as I can remember.  Now we were both seventeen and almost done with our junior year of high school. So really, we had grown up together. Anthony was practically like a brother to me, and it was weird to think of him as my boyfriend. Not that he wasn’t great – Anthony was everything I could ask for, he was supportive, caring, and hilarious – but I guess I just never thought of him as “more of a friend”.

“How many times have we been mistaken for a couple?” I asked with a chuckle, sipping on my freshly bought Icee.

“Oh, once, twice…three hundred times? Approximately,” Anthony joked back.

We walked into the very back of the theatre, sitting down just as the lights started to dim and the preliminary trailers started to play. Once situated, I grabbed a huge handful of popcorn and shoved it into my mouth. Fuck being “ladylike”, Anthony could deal.

“Thief!” I said through a mouthful of popcorn. Anthony’s hand bumped into mine, which was still located in the huge bucket of buttery popcorn I decided to consume. “Get your own popcorn!”

“I am. It’s right here,” Anthony whispered, holding a handful of my popcorn with a smirk. “But I think most of it is in your mouth anyway.”

“You love it,” I smirked back, though with the popcorn still being in the process of being chewed, it came out more as “oo loaf eet”.

“I’m not even going to pretend I know what you said.”

“That’s okay. Just give me a Sour Patch Kid,” I giggled, reaching for his bag.

“No! They’re my favorite!”

“Exactly! So you should want to share them with your best friend!”

“No way in Hell!” Anthony said and moved the bag to the other side of him, out of my reach. I was quick though, and leapt across his chest and dove for the bag.

“Gimme!”

“Ow!” Anthony laughed, earning a few glares from the other movie goers. “You elbowed me in the ribs.”

“Oh my god, Anthony, you’re so disruptive!” I loudly whispered in mock annoyance. He just stifled another laugh in reply, trying his best to keep quiet as the trailers ended and the movie started.

“I hate you,” Anthony whispered in my ear. He was obviously kidding, and now it was my turn to stifle a laugh.

“Love you too, babe,” I replied in the same demeanor.

~~~

After we drove home, we retreated into our individual rooms. Usually that would spell the end of an evening, but not for us. Not only did we live next door to each other, but our rooms were directly across from each other. You could easily see what the other was doing if their curtains weren’t drawn.

As if that wasn’t weird enough, there was something else that made us practically inseparable.  You see, there was a glitch in the design of our houses; we each had a ledge outside of our window. Our neighborhood contained too many houses for its small size, so every place was taller than it was wide, with small yards and minimal space in between houses. The window ledges were less than a foot apart, making it easy to simply step from one to the other, or just sit and talk into the late hours of the night. Honestly, I don’t understand how the builders didn’t notice it; it’s pretty damn obvious. But nevertheless, I was grateful for our little ledges.

That’s perhaps the reason Anthony and I became so close. Ever since we were little kids, we would just sit out there and talk. In almost fourteen years, our parents still didn’t know of our “spot”. It was quiet and private, where we could both escape from life’s many bullshit moments. I personally found it incredible how after all of this time, we could still talk each other’s ears off. You would think we would’ve run out of things to talk about a long time ago, but I guess that’s just another reason we’re such good friends.

I had other friends of course, and so did Anthony, but nothing else really compared to him. He understood me in a way that no one else did, or as I was convinced, no one else ever would. He was always there to calm me down, cheer me up, or even just make me laugh. He was truly everything I could ask for in a friend.

“About time,” I said from my perch on my own ledge, having walked out several minutes ago.

“Someone’s needy,” Anthony chuckled as he stepped out of his window and sat down cross-legged.

We sat there silent for a few minutes, admiring the quiet atmosphere and clear sky. It was nice out, the air finally warming up to summer temperatures. It was perfect “reminiscing” scenery, at least according to cheesy movies.

“Remember when we found this ledge?” I asked, leaning back against the cool glass of my bedroom window.

“Yep. It was a few days after we met, right?”

I nodded. “We were both too scared to step on out here though. We used to just yell out of the windows.”

“I was the first to step out though,” Anthony said with a mischievous grin. “You were still too scared.”

“Hey, just remember, that was after your fifth birthday. I was still only four.”

Anthony fondly rolled his eyes. “Fair enough.”

/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\

~flashback~

“Kalel! C’mon!”

“Anthony, no! That’s not safe!”

“It’s so cool though! See, I didn’t fall!”

“But I don’t want my mommy to get mad.”

“She won’t see! C’mon, please?”

After a few more minutes of childish persuasion from the boy, Kalel relented and slowly stepped out onto the ledge. Holding the window for dear life, she slowly moved her tiny feet closer and closer to the other side, her light-up shoes illuminating her path. [1]

“C’mon,” Anthony urged, holding out his hand for the girl to take. Kalel accepted, squeezing her friend’s hand harder than what was probably necessary. After a few minutes of tiny movements, Kalel finally made it over to Anthony’s side and took a seat next to him.

“See! You did it. Told you,” Anthony smiled over at the small girl.

Kalel returned the wide smile. “You were right,” she replied, letting out a breath she didn’t know she had been holding. “I hope we don’t fall though.”

“What if we just hold hands? Then we won’t fall,” Anthony said. The naïve offer obviously didn’t make much sense, but it was enough to visibly relax a mere four-year-old Kalel.

“Okay,” she smiled, clasping Anthony’s hand tightly.

That was their first night of friendship on the ledges.

/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\

~Kalel’s POV~

I smiled at the memory, a happy blush creeping on my cheeks. We had been so little, but it didn’t even feel like that long ago. Growing up was a strange phenomenon.

“’Let’s hold hands so we don’t fall’. Great proposition, Anthony. Makes so much sense,” I giggled.

“Hey, make fun of it all you want, but you’re the one that bought it,” Anthony laughed, grinning and holding his hands up in mock defense.

I returned the laugh. “Touché, my friend. Touché.”

*****

[1] light up shoes are the shit.

Well, there ya go. Sorry for the wait, and sorry it’s pretty short, but exposition is a bitch to deal with :P Stay tuned!

the flashbacks are in 3rd person whereas the rest of the story is in 1st – i can’t decide if i like it like that or if it’s awkward. Feedback is appreciated!

twitter: @SmoshyJalex

thanks for reading! <3

-Rachel

PROLOGUE

MASTERPOST

CHAPTER 2 

Rooftops – Prologue

Here’s a teeny little prologue, for some extra exposition. Keep in mind that it’s written from a four year old’s POV, so that’s why it’s not as articulate as usual ;)

*****

Rooftops – Prologue

July 1st, 2000

~Four-year old Kalel’s POV~

My daddy told me that we’re moving into a different house. He said that it’s far away, in a place called Sacramento. I knew that’s not in Missouri, where I live now. Sacramento is in California, which Daddy showed me on a map. It looked really big.

When I asked, Daddy said that he got a job and that’s why we had to move. I didn’t really understand, because he had a job here. But when I saw our new house I decided I didn’t care that much. The new house looked really pretty.

Mommy said that next month I would start kindergarten in the school near our new house. We took a walk there, and it looked really big and scary. Is everything in California big?

One day when Mommy, Daddy, and my big brother were unpacking the boxes with our stuff in them, I walked into our backyard.  It was tiny, and there was a small waist-length fence around it. The next house over had a small yard too, but their house had a swing set.  I wish we had one, ‘cause I really love swing sets.

I had seen the swing set before, but this time there was a boy sitting on it, his feet kicking himself off the ground. I walked to the fence and stared, hoping he would notice me and maybe ask if I wanted to play.

He saw me staring and was the first one to say something.

“Hi.”

“Hi,” I said back with a wave.

The boy jumped off the swing. My mommy said that was unsafe, but I didn’t tell him that. I watched him as he walked over.

“What’re you doin’?”

“Uh,” I said, “Looking at your swing set. It’s nice.”

“Oh. Thanks. My daddy built it.”

“I wish my daddy would make me one.”

“Do you wanna swing on it?”

I smiled at having gotten my way. “Yeah.”

I crawled under the fence and followed him.

“What’s your name?” I asked the boy. He had brown eyes and brown hair, and a Pokémon shirt on. I liked Pokémon too!

“Anthony. What’s yours?”

“My name’s Kalel.”

“Kalel?” He said, scrunching up his eyebrows. “That’s a weird name.”

“Oh..”

“No! I like it though. It’s cool,” The boy, who I guess was Anthony, said quickly.

I smiled. This boy seemed really cool. “Thanks.”

“Wanna be friends?”

I smiled again. “Totally.”

He smiled back, and I saw that he was missing a few teeth. “Cool. Want a push?”

We swung on the swings until our mommies both said it was time for dinner. I waved goodbye to my new friend as I stepped into my new house. I decided that Anthony was one cool new friend.

*****

It’s pretty short, but there ya go! Next chapter is also posted! :)

CHAPTER ONE

MASTERPOST

Something Better- chapter 25

I don’t know how to introduce this. So, here’s the last chapter :)

Something Better- chapter 25

~Anthony’s POV~

Finally, after an excruciatingly long few days, I’m cleared to leave the hospital.  That wretched place become a million times more unbearable when I realized that Kalel lost part of her memory.  This all could have been avoided.  We would have been fine and well and healthy if I hadn’t crashed my car.  Above all, we could have been happy.  Happiness seems like a distant emotion now.  Distant and out of my reach.

That evening was fine and happy, but I was a fool for thinking all of the problems would just magically drip away. It’s my fault for thinking everything ends in a happy ending.  It doesn’t.  Nothing ever does.  That’s just the world we live in, and there’s nothing I can fucking do about it.

It’s a Friday, so I have a whole weekend before I have to return to school on Monday.  That also means I have an entire weekend to do the make-up work I didn’t feel like starting when Ian gave it to me on Tuesday.  I’m really regretting that now, but I didn’t feel like doing anything while I was in there.  Even playing video games and watching TV didn’t spark my interest.

The drive home is nearly silent.  I make small-talk with Katherine, although she pretty much dominates the conversation.  That’s fine with me, because I just can’t wait to get home and sleep.  I’ve been sleeping a lot lately.  Sleeping is nice.  It’s an escape where I can go anywhere I want.

As planned, as soon as I reach my house I make my way into my bedroom.  The familiarity of my bed is nice.  It’s so weird thinking I’ve been away in the hospital for a week.  The warm sheets are such an improvement over the scratchy and dry sheets at the hospital.  Just one more thing I hate about that place.

I lay in my bed for a while.   Even nestled tightly in the soft sheets, sleep won’t come; probably because I can’t stop thinking.  What will school be like on Monday?  Will people even know that I’ve been gone for a week?  I wonder if Jen knows.  Maybe she feels bad that she put us in this position.  It’s very easy for me to say that she doesn’t; but the better part of me thinks that she might.  How far can a person really take revenge?  Well, that’s just one more thing I’ll never know.

The idea of going to school sounds awful with one fourth of our group still missing.  I guess we haven’t been a complete four for weeks with all the stupid drama, but maybe that’s what makes me miss it so much.  We were whole for a few hours a week ago; we’re close to it now.  Or rather, were close.  Well, I don’t even know.  There’s still a small prospect that we could make everything okay again; however the more realistic part of me says we may never be the same again.

Somehow, with all of those intrusive thoughts, I’m able to fall asleep again.

*****

~Kalel’s POV~

It’s Saturday now, meaning I got moved out of ICU two days ago, on Thursday.  Yesterday I spent my time mainly sleeping; I guess the pain meds they’re giving me are making me drowsy.  When I wasn’t sleeping, I just watched TV.  The small television in the hospital room only has five channels, but that’s fine because I don’t have the energy to click through any more than that.  So far today, I’ve slept more, watched more crappy TV shows, read a little bit, and even walked around the hospital.  I was bound to the hallway, but it felt good to just get up and move.  Being trapped in that little room is driving me crazy.

I’ve been recording every single move I make as a mental note.  After I overheard that conversation between my parents and nurse about my memory loss, I’ve been mentally tucking every small thing away for fear that those will be taken away too.  Between rounds of TV watching, reading, and sleeping, I’ve been trying to remember what happened after I went to the mall.  I know something happened, but I just can’t find it.  It feels like someone just cut my head open and took that away.

It feels like it’s right in front of me, but I’m just not fast enough to grab it.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see someone walk through my door.  Thinking it’s just a nurse, I ignore it and keep my eyes trained on the novel I’ve been staring at but not really absorbing.

“Hey you,” I hear a familiar voice.   Not the familiar voice of a nurse, but the familiar voice of my best friend.

“Melanie!” I say excitedly as I tear my eyes off of the book pages.  She walks over to me and gives me a tight hug.

“How are you doing?” She asks with a bit of a wince, like she’s expecting the worst.

“I feel a lot better, actually.  Just bored.”

Melanie laughs.  “When do you get out of here?”

“Sunday!” I say, not able to contain my excitement of being able to go home.

“That’s awesome! Oh, and Ian says sorry he isn’t here.  He’s hanging out with Anthony…he’s not doing the best.”

“What’s wrong with him?” The last thing I can recall about Anthony is that we were broken up because he kissed someone else, yet I’m still weirdly concerned about him.

“It’s a long story…well, what’s up with you?  How are you passing the time?  It must suck here.”

I sigh.  “Trying to remember.”

“Oh yeah, I heard about that…”

“Melanie,” I say, looking into her eyes. “Can you tell me what happened?”

She breathes heavily but nods.  “What’s the last thing you remember?”

*****

~Anthony’s POV~

“Anthony, wake up.”

Someone’s voice wakes me up, but I make no move of getting up.  My face is buried in my pillow and there’s even a gross spot of spit on my chin where I must have drooled.

“Anthony, seriously.”

I groan, not wanting to open my eyes up to the bright light escaping through my blinds.  Or rather, was escaping, because I can tell that someone opens them to allow even more intrusive light in.  I groan again.  I still have a headache and that’s not helping.

“Jesus Christ, I know you have a serious concussion and all, but you’ve been in here for hours.  Get up, Ian’s here.” I can identify the voice as Katherine’s.  I perk up a little knowing Ian’s here, and finally pull my aching head out of the huge mound of sheets and pillows.

“Hey dude.  Comfy?” Ian chuckles.

I yawn and sit up, pulling on the t-shirt I must have discarded before I fell asleep.  “Immensely.”

Ian sits on the spinny office chair and kicks his feet up onto the corner of my bed.  “How’s the concussion?”

“Hurts like shit,” I groan.

“Well according to your sister, you’ve slept for the majority of the past week, so how would you know?” Ian jokes.

“Hey, in my defense, the pain meds cause drowsiness,” I retort, a smile creeping over my lips nonetheless.

“Fair enough.  Want to go do something?  You can’t tell truthfully tell me you’re not bored.”

“You read my mind,” I say, and move to roll out of my bed.  It doesn’t go as gracefully as planned, and I end up on the floor.  “God dammit.” I chuckle.

Ian laughs at me but offers me a hand nonetheless. “Where are we going?”

*****

~Kalel’s POV~

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I say once Melanie is finished telling me the entire story.  It’s so far-fetched and strange that it feels like it is made up.

“I know, it sounds weird huh?  Kendyl coming to tell us what actually happened…but that’s what actually went down.”

“I don’t even know how to take that,” I rub my head where a frustrated headache is forming.

“I know.  I can imagine it’s hard for you,” Melanie says consolingly.

“I know you’re not lying, but it’s just so weird…God, I just wish I could remember!” I yell.

“Hey, don’t get too worked up,” Melanie says, squeezing my shoulder. “The doctors say you might get it back in a few days.”

“And what if I don’t?” I groan, inevitably tearing up.

“We’ll figure it out then.  Just rest up, okay?  I need you back at school.  It’s been so freaking boring!”
Melanie says, and I laugh.

Time passes, and Melanie and I sit and talk about stupid little things until visiting hours are over.  I’m sad to see her go, especially because she’s my only form of entertainment in this stupid place, but I’m so glad she came.  She’s such a great friend, and I can remember that much.

*****

~Anthony’s POV~

It turns out that my mom actually doesn’t want me to leave the house because of my concussion, so Ian and I just hang out there instead.  We try to play Pokémon, which was really fun until the flashy lights started to hurt my head.  Instead, we just get on my computer and mess around online.

“Can I ask you something?” I randomly ask as we click around and change the layout of smosh.com, just for the hell of it.  I just randomly blurted it out, and I would be kind of embarrassed if it wasn’t Ian.  We really don’t have much shame around each other, which is what makes everything fun.

“What?” Ian says nonchalantly as he clicks around the screen.

“What are we going to do if Kalel doesn’t remember anything?”

*****

~Kalel’s POV~

“And that’s why I kissed him.  And I’m so, so sorry.”

“I missed you so much, Kalel.”

“Can we start over?”

“I’m addicted to your love, don’t you know that you’re toxic?!”

“Kalel!!!”

I awake from a short nap with a start.  My mind feels jumbled, like I just spent the last half hour on a spinning amusement park ride.  Slowly, gradually, I begin to wake up more.

What were those voices?  The things they were saying were so random.  No one’s in this room; it’s like they came from my head.  Was that some kind of dream?  It doesn’t make any sense.  I think I heard Kendyl’s voice, Ian and Melanie’s voices mixed with my own, and above all, Anthony’s voice.

Was that a dream…? I think to myself, trying desperately to decipher what just happened.  At first I can only remember the voices, but after a few minutes I start to picture some images too.  The four of us screaming “Toxic” in a car, Kendyl talking, and, most puzzling of all, me hugging Anthony. They’re really hazy, as if I’m seeing them from a different world.

What the hell kind of dream is this?!  Everything is random, and it’s never happened before.

At that moment, it clicks.

*****

~Anthony’s POV~

“What are we going to do if Kalel doesn’t remember anything?”

“Stop being so negative, Anthony.  The doctors said she might start to remember stuff in a few days.”

“Might.  What if she doesn’t?” I groan.

“Then we’ll tell her what happened.”

“It’s not the same,” I say, inwardly wincing at how much I’m complaining.

“I didn’t say it is.  But it’s the least we can do.”

“Yeah, I guess…”

“We’re not having any more drama.  That was stupid,” Ian continues, turning to look at me.

I nod.  “I just hope she isn’t pissed.”

“Stop being such a downer.  Who knows, she could get her memories back soon and everything will be fine.”

*****

~Kalel’s POV~

At that moment, it clicks.  I’m getting my memories back.

I almost forgot the story Melanie told me.  Each hazy little image I can remember fits, and they begin to become more and more clear in the span of a few minutes.  Kendyl talking was her telling us why she kissed Anthony.  Why she did.  Oh my gosh, I can remember her story!  I can remember.

“I missed you so much, Kalel…Can we start over?” That’s Anthony and I making up.  I can suddenly picture the scene: we were standing in the food court like idiots, holding on to each other and never wanting to let go.  That was when we agreed to get back together.

We must have crashed after the four of us were messing around and singing “Toxic”.  That’s the last of what I can remember…but I think that’s all.  It’s like a newly discovered movie that I keep playing over and over.

I’m overcome with joy.  I’m not a half-crazy.  I’m not partially empty.  I’m Kalel Cullen, who caught her boyfriend Anthony Padilla kissing someone else and later learned that he was innocent.  The other girl, Kendyl Rogers, did it because of being blackmailed by that awful person Jen Calstar.  And now, with the help of my friends, Ian Hecox and Melanie Moat, everything is almost back to normal.  Almost.  When I get out of here in two days, it will be completely normal.

*****

{Sunday}

~Anthony’s POV~

“Change the channel, this show is stupid,” I say as I absent-mindedly write something down in my notebook.  I’m finally chipping away at the huge amount of homework I have to make up, and Ian and Melanie are over to help me learn the lessons I missed.

“Aren’t you supposed to be reading anyway?” Melanie laughs as she too works on homework.

“Yeah, but this is boring,” I laugh as I close my book. “I’m starting something else.”

I put one book away and grab another, but I barely have time to open it before the doorbell rings. “I got it,” I say, thankful for a little break from the mounds of schoolwork.

“Good, because I’m way too comfortable to go get it for you,” I hear Ian joke.  Melanie replies with something like “you lazy ass”, but I can barely hear it by the time I reach the door and open it.

Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.  Standing on my porch, still a little sickly-looking but as pretty as ever, is Kalel.

I stand there with my mouth wide open, barely able to form a coherent thought. Luckily, Kalel breaks the silence.

“You haven’t seen your girlfriend in over a week and that’s your response?” she jokes with a huge smile.

“Wait..what..you…?” I stutter, trying to make sense of what she just said.  Girlfriend.  Has she…finally…

My thoughts are cut off when Kalel speaks again.  In a sweet voice, she softly says, “I can remember everything now.”

My stomach does a flip, but in a good way.  Those five words sound so perfect.  “So you know about Kendyl…and everything at the mall…and how…” I trail off.  Kalel nods and steps forward.  Without a second’s hesitation, I pull her into a huge hug.  A huge weight has just been lifted off my shoulders, and I feel a lot better now with her in my arms.

No more fighting, no more drama, no more depression.  Just two couples, or four friends, finally back to doing what we love most; dealing with high school and having a fantastic time doing so.

Luck may have evaded us completely for a long time, but I think it’s definitely on our side now.  Ian was right; I shouldn’t have been such a downer.  Because even though it’s rare, sometimes things do work out perfectly.

The End. 

 

chapter end notes here! http://racheltheattacker.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/something-better-thats-all-folks-chapter-end-notes/

Something Better- chapter 24

Hello ^_^ so this took me so long. I have no excuses. I just had a rough few weeks, haha.

whatever though ENJOY! :D

~Kalel’s POV~

I feel a faint sense of impact, and then the sensation of spinning; but it’s completely overshadowed by what follows.  The hard, intense touch of Pain’s fingers overtakes every part of my body.  I can’t even pinpoint where I feel it.  I must have screamed, but I barely even feel capable of doing that.  I want it to come to an end, a merciful, joyous end, but it feels like it never will. Seconds feel like hours.

Eventually, the spinning comes to an end, taking with it the ear-splitting sounds of screeching cars and screams.  I don’t even want to think about whose mouths they belong to.

The end finally comes; the feeling of blissful sleep slowly creeps over my body, sending me into unconsciousness.

*****

~Anthony’s POV~

After what seems like forever, the nurses finally leave the room.  As soon as they’re gone, Katherine sits across from me on the hospital bed and starts to explain everything.  I don’t even have to ask her to, she just knows I’m desperate for the information.

“Don’t worry, Anthony. Everyone’s fine,” she reassures me.

“Are they…are they injured?” I ask, feeling almost no relief at her words.

Katherine slowly nods grimly. “Ian got away with only some scratches, bruises, and a bloody nose.  The same for Melanie, except she also sprained her wrist.  They’re not in the hospital, they’re fine, don’t worry.”

I let out a breath I wasn’t aware I was holding.  “And Kalel?”

Katherine looks hesitant, but explains regardless. “The car hit you at a diagonal, on Kalel’s side.  She got the worst of it…they won’t tell me much…”

“What did they tell you?” I prod.  I can tell she doesn’t want to tell me, but that doesn’t stop me.

She opens and closes her mouth, uncertain of what to say. “Katherine…” I say, my voice sounding more threatening than I meant it to.

She sighs.  “A few broken ribs, cuts and bruises, bad whiplash – they still won’t tell me what that’s going to do to her head and neck – and a ruptured spleen.  She’s…umm…in emergency surgery right now.”

It feels like someone punched me in the stomach. “Oh, God…” I groan, once again covering my face with my hands.  “What have I done?  I’m so, so, stupid…”

“Anthony, it wasn’t –”

“If I would have just moved out of the way –”

“It was the other guy’s –”

“I was too distracted, I wasn’t paying attention, I –”

“Anthony –”

“I’m an idiot, I’m such an idiot –”

“It wasn’t your –”

“I may have killed her, I could have killed all of them, oh God, what’s wrong with me, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!”

“Anthony!”  Katherine screams over me as she shakes my shoulders.  My entire body is shaking and my heart is beating a lot faster than it should be.

“I’m an idiot, Katherine.  Look what I did,” I whisper.  Tears form in my eyes, but I make no effort to will them away.  “I h-hurt them all.  I hurt them all. I…I…”

Katherine scoots closer to me and wraps her arms around me in a hug.  I don’t care that she’s my sister, I don’t care that we sometimes fight, I don’t care how much she annoys me sometimes.  I just return the hug and bury my face into her neck, wanting more than anything to shut out the rest of the world and to get comfort from someone I love that I didn’t manage to hurt.

“Anthony, it wasn’t your fault.  You had the right of way.  The other driver was drunk and ran that red light.  It’s not your fault.  It’s not your fault,” she whispers into my ear.   I know my body is still shaking like a leaf, and she must notice it too. “Anthony, you need to calm down,”

We remain silent for a while.  I slow down my breathing and Katherine sits across from me with an uncharacteristic worried expression.  I eventually break the silence with more questions.

“Where’s Mom and Dad?”

“At home showering,” as I open my mouth for my next question, Katherine cuts me off. “Ian and Melanie are at school.”  Damn, she knows me well.  “They’ll probably be here soon, actually.” I look at the clock and it reads 2:45.

“How long was I asleep?”

“A few days.  It’s Monday.  You actually woke up a few times, but you were so out of it that I’m not surprised you don’t remember it. They were worried that you might slip into a coma as a result of that concussion, hence all of the stuff you were hooked up to.  Luckily you didn’t though,” she informs me.

I nod my head.  I’m a lot more at ease now that I know what’s going on, but I know that I won’t be completely relaxed until I’m out of this place.  I move my left arm to scratch my nose, but it’s weighed down by a heavy cast.  I forgot that was there.

Katherine must have seen me look at it, because she says, “You know, you had to have surgery on that.”

“Really?” I say in amazement, moving my arm around to see how it feels.  It feels sore, but nowhere near as painful as I figured it would be post-surgery.

“Yep.  They had to re-set the bones.  You broke it in like three places.  One of your bones was sticking out and everything,” she explains, wrinkling her nose.  I chuckle; Katherine’s always been squeamish.

“Why aren’t you at school?” I ask her.

“I needed an excuse to skip and I thought this was good enough,” she smirks as she jumps off the bed and grabs her bag. “Scoot over, fatass,” she kids as she sits down next to me.

“Please, I know you were just going to miss me too much,” I joke back.

“You’re right, I could never handle school without my big brudder,” Katherine says sarcastically as she rolls her eyes.  “Give me your arm, stupid.”

She takes out a sharpie and starts to write on my cast.  As she’s writing, two people walk through the door.  At first I think the nurses are back, but I’m delighted when I see Ian and Melanie walk in.

“Hey!” I say excitedly, my mood instantly improving.

“Hellllooo,” Ian says as he sits in a rolling chair and rolls across the floor.

Melanie shakes her head in bemusement. “Hey, Anthony.  How’s the head?”

“Hurts,” I shrug.  “How are you two?”

“Oh, we’re fine.  School was so boring today without you and Kalel there,” Ian sighs, continuing to roll the chair back and forth across the room.  “How long have you been awake?”

“About a half hour,” Katherine says, not taking her eyes off whatever she’s drawing on my cast.

“What are you, my nurse?” I joke, looking at her.

“Don’t look!” Katherine insists as she bats my head away from her drawing.

“Ow!” I grumble, the quick motion not benefiting my headache. “You’re a mean nurse.”

“Pussy,” Katherine smirks.

“I came here yesterday and you were loopy on pain meds,” Ian laughs.

“Oh God, you’re kidding.”

“Nope,” Ian continues to laugh.  “Got it on camera.”

“You asshole!” I say, but I can’t help but laugh.

“Yep…maybe we should put it on smosh.com.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“Would I?”

“I would beat the crap out of you if I could move,” I laugh.

“You’re bluffing!”

You’re bluffing!”

“Pipe down, you two,” Melanie says through laughs. “Those nurses can probably hear you.”

“Done!” Katherine says, capping her pen.  “You can look now, oh impatient one.” I look down at the cast, where Katherine drew a detailed Link from the Legend of Zelda.

“I love it,” I laugh as I read the note under it.  It reads, “from your favorite person of all time <3 Katherine, p.s. stop being a pansy.”

It only feels like a few minutes pass, but apparently hours later we’re still talking.  At 6:00, a nurse comes in and tells everyone they have to leave because visiting hours are over.  At 6:15, she comes in again, saying, “I was serious the first time. Visiting hours are over, you need to leave.”

Reluctantly, Ian gets off the rolling chair.  “See you tomorrow, Ant.  Feel better.”

“Thanks dude,” I reply.  “Oh…and sorry about, well, you know…”

Ian reads my mind in a second.  “Dude, shut up.  That wreck wasn’t your fault.  Don’t worry about it!”

“I know, but…”

“Listen to Ian,” Melanie adds, capping the sharpie she used to mark my cast. “That wasn’t your fault.”

It is 6:20!” the nurse says as she pokes her head into the door, clearly very annoyed.

“We’re leaving!” Ian says, putting his hands up in mock surrender. “See you later.”

“Rest up,” Melanie adds as she leaves with Ian.  Both of them smile warmly and wave.

I return both gestures.  Despite the fact that I feel like crap, this afternoon was fun.

“Young lady!” the now familiar voice of the nurse yells when she sees Katherine sitting at the end of my bed.

“I’m his freaking sister!!” she snaps back, and I have to suppress a laugh.

~~~~~

~The next day~

I don’t think I’ve ever been so bored.  There’s nothing to do in this place.  Tuesday consists of playing my Game Boy until it dies, trying to sleep, trying to turn my Game Boy back on even though I really know it’s dead, talking to Katherine, and even studying for my exams that are in three short weeks as a last resort.

Normally around this time of year I, like almost everyone in my school, would be stressing about exams.
Unfortunately, I can’t even bring myself to care about them; not with worries about Kalel looming over my head.  They still won’t tell me anything, except that her surgery went fine and she’s in recovery.  Even with the little reassurance that offers, I still can’t stop thinking about her.  I need to know if she’s okay.  I was refused when I was asked to see her, which only adds to the pile of annoyance I have at this place.

Ian and Melanie visit again, and stay just as long as they did the day before.  That was by far the best part of my day.  I wish the stupid visiting hours were longer.

At about 7:00, a nurse comes to do the night rounds.  “How are you feeling, Mr. Padilla?” she asks.

“Fine,” I sigh, not bothering to correct her mispronunciation at my last name.

“Pain meds working?”

“Yes.”

“Nothing hurts?”

“Correct.”

“Are you comfortable?”

“Yes.  When do I get to go home?” I ask, briefly stopping her slew of questions that she’s required to ask.

“On Friday, if no complications arise,” she responds.  She doesn’t miss a beat as she starts questioning me again, something I’ve grown used to in my few days here.

“Can I go see Kalel?” I ask.  It’s worth another shot.

“Who?” I can tell the nurse knows exactly who I’m talking about.  She’s just trying to avoid the question.

Kalel Cullen.  She was in the wreck with me.”

“Oh, yes, well, she’s in the ICU.  No non-family members allowed in there.  I’m sorry,” she gives me the same answer I was given earlier.

After another few minutes, the nurse sets down a tray of food by my bed and finally leaves my room.  I have no appetite, and the gross-looking food does nothing to help it.  I instead push the food around the plate, just like my little brother does at dinner.  I know that by not eating I’m just going to piss off the doctors and nurses, but I’m not the slightest bit hungry and I could really care less anyway.

My newly-covered cast catches my eye.  Katherine’s Link makes me laugh, along with the dragon Melanie drew and the note Ian wrote that says “I can’t draw like those two. But here’s a smiley face. J” Today he left another note that read, “I’m so posting that video…” Despite my boredom, anxiety, and general crappy mood, I can’t help but laugh at my awesome friends.

*****

~Kalel’s POV~

I awake in an unfamiliar environment.  Everything is bright, which gives me a headache.  Something is scratchy against my skin, and I smell something I can only describe as “too clean”.  My eyes slowly open and adjust to the invasive light.

I’m definitely not in my bedroom. In fact, I have no idea where I am.  I try to say something, but my words come out as chokes.  What the hell is this? I think to myself as my eyes focus on something protruding from my mouth.  It’s a hard, clear plastic, and the more awake I become the more I feel like it’s choking me.

I let out a small moan, hoping that someone will hear.  Fortunately, someone does, but no one I know. An unfamiliar face appears above mine.

“Hello, Miss Cullen.  I see you’re awake.  Let me get that out for you,” she says gently as she removes the thing from my throat, which I infer to be a breathing tube.  Why the hell do I need a breathing tube?

“Do you know where you are?” she asks me.  I slowly shake my head, still alarmed.  Where are my parents? Where the hell did I wake up?

“Well, you’re in the hospital.  You got into a pretty nasty car wreck.  Don’t worry though, the other passengers are fine.  You’ve been through the ringer though,” she explains, and I slowly recognize that she’s a nurse.  Her name tag says Cindy.

I must look really confused, because she next asks, “What’s the last thing you remember, Kalel?”

It feels like I can’t even form a coherent thought. Everything’s just buzzing around my head.  After what seems like minutes, I slowly begin to remember what happened.

“I…I was at the mall with my friend.”

“And what’s your friend’s name?” Cindy asks as she checks my vitals.

“Melanie,” I say slowly.

“Do you remember why you were at the mall?”

After a few more moments of struggling, I’m able to gather that thought. “Umm…I think I had just broken up with my boyfriend.  She wanted to distract me.”

“What happened after that?”

I try to sort through the thoughts buzzing through my head, but I can’t bring myself to remember the rest.  I must have been silent for too long, because Cindy says, “Can’t remember?”

I shake my head.  Cindy looks alarmed for a second, but quickly covers the expression up.  “None the matter.  Are you feeling alright?”

“Yeah,” I nod.  I definitely feel odd, but I wouldn’t really describe it as pain, or even discomfort.  It’s more of a dull ache.  Numb: that’s a good word.

“Well, I’ll be back soon.  Press that button if you need anything,” Cindy smiles and leaves the room.  I don’t have the energy to do anything in the empty room, so I merely just close my eyes and fall back asleep.

~~~~~

The next time I awake, I feel unrested.  Just as I was about to fall asleep again, I hear voices in my room.  My curiosity overcomes my exhaustion, and I will myself to stay awake.

“When the car hit, your daughter experienced some pretty bad whiplash.  We’re still not sure what this may have done to her brain,” I think I recognize the voice as Cindy’s.

“What do you know?” that’s my dad speaking now.

“She doesn’t remember the crash, or what led to it.  Kalel only remembers what happened about three hours before the crash took place, and even that seemed hazy.  It’s still unknown whether or not that was the only part of her memory affected.”

“So you mean more of her memory could be gone too?”

“Yes,” Cindy says grimly.  “It’s hard to say.  Hopefully only her short-term memory was affected, instead of her long term.  For now, we want her to rest up.”

“Will she ever get it back?” my mother’s voice asks.

“Hopefully, but it’s hard to say.  Amnesia is tricky.  If she’s lucky, she’ll get it back in a few days.”

At that point, I have no time to ponder anything as my exhaustion takes over.

*****

~Anthony’s POV~

By Thursday, something miraculous happens.  Kalel is moved out of ICU, and the doctors finally allow me to see her.  Visiting hours start at 1:00, and the minutes drag until then.

A nurse helps me into a wheelchair and wheels me to her room, which isn’t that far way from mine.  She looks like she’s holding back a few tears, like she knows something I don’t.  I ignore it, instead dead-set on finally seeing Kalel and making sure she’s okay.

The nurse opens the door to her room.  Kalel’s sitting on her bed, in a robe identical to mine.  She’s reading a book, which I take as a good sign.  Reading is hard for me because of my concussion [1], so hopefully if she can then she isn’t concussed too.

“You have a visitor,” the nurse says, wheeling me in and promptly leaving.

“Hey, Kalel,” I gush as I wheel myself closer to her bed. “How are you feeling?”

“Anthony?” she says with a confused look on her face.

“Yeah,” I nod. “Are you okay?  That crash was awful, I’m so sorry –”

“Why are you here?” she cuts me off.  Her face remains impassive; I would have thought that she would be smiling like me by now.

“What do you mean?”

“We…we broke up,” Kalel says slowly.

The smile disappears from my face, replaced with dread.  “What?  We made up, remember?  We met at the mall and listened to Kendyl, then made up, and hung out with Ian and Melanie all night…”

“No…you cheated on me,” Kalel insists with a hint of a glare.

“Kalel, what are you talking about…”

“What are you talking about?  Why are you even here?”

Reality sets in, and hits me hard.  I don’t even try to explain.  It’s no use.  I instead wheel away, opening the door and going back to my own room.  The nurses give me sympathetic glances; they must have known about this all along.

I feel like crying.  She doesn’t remember.  She thinks we’re still broken up.  She still thinks I cheated.  That time spent at the mall meant nothing. I have to resist the urge to throw something.  What if she never remembers?  She’ll just hate me forever, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Nothing.  As if the past week wasn’t hard enough!  Just my luck.  Just my fucking luck.  I feel like screaming.  Why me? Why us?!  I was close.  I was so, so close.  We were just happy again, and all of that’s been thrown out the window.

I crawl back into my own bed, ignoring my aching body.  I lie back down and fall asleep, with emotions I can only describe as “pissed off at the entire world.” Maybe I’ll wake up and realize this was all a twisted dream.  Maybe.  If I’m lucky.  But it doesn’t seem like luck is on my side today.

~~~~~

[1] I’m going to trust my formerly concussed friends on the fact that’s it’s impossible to read things when you have a concussion, haha :P

Well, I hope you enjoyed :) feedback is much appreciated.

twitter- @Lax_Smosh_Love           email: lax_punky97@yahoo.com

Next chapter will be the last…:): haha, it’s kind of bittersweet. I’ve grown quite attached to this story :P

Thanks to much for reading, and i hope you all have a fantastic life :D

-Rachel

Something Better- chapter 23

Hellllooooo. Well, after much struggle, I FINALLY finished this! Ugh, it took me too long and gave me too much trouble.  Whatever, I hope you enjoy! :)

 

Friday, April 23rd, 2004

~Kalel’s POV~

Before I knew it, six people became two as Ian, Melanie, Trey, and Kendyl left the table.  Now, it’s just me and Anthony.  We don’t even speak to each other, instead trying to recover from the shock of the conversation.

If you would have given me a million guesses, I still would have never guessed that we would be meeting Kendyl here to hear her side of the story.  At this point, I’m not even thinking about Anthony sitting a few feet away from me.  How could I, after hearing that?  That bitch Jen made her do all of those things.  It’s so horrible that I almost didn’t believe it, however I don’t doubt it after a few minutes of thought.  Kendyl has no reason to make any of that up, and I can definitely see Jen doing something that awful.  Who else would go that far for the sake of revenge?  Silly, juvenile revenge.  It’s not often you get the side of the story from a girl in Kendyl’s position, but I’m sure glad we did.  That girl is so brave for even telling us.

Now, of course, brings the inevitable question; what now?

Despite the awful events that led up to it, I can’t help but be a little happy at the fact Kendyl kissed Anthony and not the other way around.  My suspicions and disappointment were proved completely wrong.  However, my happiness is short-lived, quickly being replaced with guilt.  Anthony tried to tell me, but I refused to listen to him because I thought he was a cheater.  If I would have just heard him out, this could have been avoided.  I thought my actions were justified at the time, but now – not so much.

Of course Anthony wouldn’t do that.  How could sweet, loving, amazing Anthony sink to that level?  Everyone makes mistakes, but I can’t see Anthony making that major of one and lying about it.  If I know Anthony right, one thing he can’t stand is when people lie to him; so how could he lie to me about this?  Damn, if only I had remembered that from the start!

After who knows how many slow minutes of silence, I finally find my voice.  “So she did kiss you,” I begin.

Anthony nods.  “Yeah.  I was so surprised that I was almost paralyzed.  I didn’t know what to do when I saw you, so I panicked.  I was stupid, so, so stupid…”

“Anthony…” I whisper slowly, “I’m so sorry.”

You’re sorry?  Kalel – ”

Yes.  I should have just heard you out.”

“Well, I didn’t handle everything well either,” Anthony says with a cute half smile.  “The way I yelled at you and grabbed you…it was awful.  I can’t believe I did that, I was just…just so angry at the situation, I guess.  I thought I had lost you forever.”

“It’s okay,” I say softly with a faint smile on my lips.

“No, it still doesn’t excuse what I did.  I’m so sorry, Kalel.  I just hope you forgive me.”

“There’s no reason to forgive you,” I insist, and Anthony’s face falls for a second.  “Because you didn’t do anything wrong.”

“I still shouldn’t have grabbed you like that,” Anthony says with a disappointed sound to his voice, like he’s beating himself up for one little mistake.

“And I should have listened to you instead of ignoring everything you tried to say.  We all make mistakes,” I remind him softly.

The next second, Anthony is closing the large gap between us and pulling me into a hug.  I don’t protest as the familiar feeling of his arms around me returns after so many weeks of absence.  I don’t even care that we’re in the middle of the mall, in front of who knows how many people; I’m just glad I have Anthony back.

“I can’t believe how much I missed you,” I whisper as a few tears drip from my eyes, wetting his neck.

“I missed you so much,” Anthony murmurs into my hair.  “Those weeks were hell.  Promise we never do that again?” I nod and Anthony pulls away just enough so he can look me in the eyes.  “You’re crying,” he chuckles as he wipes my tears away with his thumb.  It may be my imagination, but I swear that I can see excess water in his eyes too.

“I’m happy,” I reply, a huge cheesy grin overtaking my face.

“Can we…start over?” Anthony asks slowly, an identical grin on his face.

“I was hoping you’d say that,” I hug him again, holding him tighter than I knew possible.  It’s like we’re in our own little world.  I hear nothing except our conversation, and only feel his arms around me.  Nothing else really matters.

***

~Melanie’s POV~

Ian and I stand behind a wall near the entrance of the food court, trying our best to catch a glimpse at what’s going on.  We look around the best we can behind the wall, just to see how they’re handling the situation.  It must be at least a little weird for them.

“Wonder how it’s going,” Ian says after he sips the drink in his hand.

“Dunno,” I respond.  “Hopefully they at least forgive each other.  Getting back together would be great, but I just hope they at least get to the point where they don’t hate each other.”

“Exactly,” Ian agrees.  “They need to be happy again.  Especially with finals coming up.”

“Uck. Shut up about finals,” I say good-naturedly.

“As if you won’t do fine!” Ian laughs.

“You will too,” I insist with a wave of my hand. “Ian! I see them!”

“Really?”

“Yes!  They’re hugging!” I feel stupid for spying on my friends, but I can’t take all of that suspense. “They must have made up, if I do say so myself.

“Mission accomplished,” Ian says like a spy in a movie, earning a laugh from me.  A wave of relief rushes over me; our effort wasn’t in vain.  I didn’t know if forcing them to meet here was a great idea or not.  It seemed like a good idea on paper, but it could have gone very badly – but thank goodness it didn’t!  We still don’t know if they’re “back together”, but that doesn’t matter nearly as much as them finally forgiving each other.

Ian wraps his arms around me and plants a kiss on my cheek.  Like usual, I get happy butterflies in my stomach.  This time for two reasons; one, Ian’s amazing.  Two, our best friends are finally happy again.

***

~Anthony’s POV~

It’s amazing how quickly we can bounce back from something like that.  A few hours ago, I was stupidly sullen and depressed; gosh, I must have been such a pain in the ass.  At least now I feel like I’m back to my old self.  I can’t believe that I allowed myself to be that way for three weeks.  That was so stupid.  No one should just mope around depressed for that long.  You’ve gotta find your happiness.

With the sudden change in our attitudes, the four of us actually go out and do something fun for the first Friday night in weeks.  It feels so refreshing to actually be having fun and laughing again instead of being caught in an endless spiral of negativity that I was stuck in for those three long weeks.  I can’t believe Ian and Melanie actually put up with our crap.  I personally tried to hide it with faked smiles and enthusiasm, which Ian saw through in a second.

A few hours ago, I would have found it impossible to believe that I would meet up with Kendyl and Trey to talk.  When we walked over and sat down, I had to resist the urge to be a total jerk and just get up and leave.  I had so much pent up anger towards that girl, and it’s pretty incredible how one heart-felt story was enough to make all of that melt away.  I judged her to be this whorish, bitchy girl, when in fact she’s extremely brave and strong to admit to something like that.

I’m just glad this whole thing can finally be behind us now.  I’m perfectly okay with shoving it into a random corner of my brain, never to remember it any time soon.

~~~~~

“Nooo, not this song again!” Kalel says exasperatedly as the familiar beats of a song glide through my car’s speakers.  Ian, Melanie, Kalel and I decided to return to my house to hang out, since none of us are really ready to return home.

“Britney Spears!  You know you love it,” Ian responds sarcastically.  This radio station pretty much plays the same ten songs on repeat, so we’ve heard quite a bit of this song (“Toxic”); more than we would have liked. [1] “I’m addicted to you, don’t you know that you’re toxic?” Ian sings loudly and terribly.

“Your face is toxic,” Melanie jokes back.  Ian, however, is unphased and continues to belt out the lyrics.

“It’s getting late to give you up, I took a sip from the devil’s cup!” I join Ian as I turn up the volume, so loud that the speakers are vibrating.  Melanie and Kalel simply laugh at our terrible singing, but eventually join in.

“Too high, can’t come down!”

“It’s in the air!”

“And it’s all around!”

“Can you feel me now?”

“With a taste of your lips I’m on a ride!”

“You’re toxic, I’m slipping under!”

“With a taste of a poison paradise!”

“I’M ADDICTED TO YOU, DON’T YOU KNOW THAT YOU’RE TOXIC?!”

The four of us chant the lyrics in non-unison, singing progressively worse as the song continues, but laughing more and more nonetheless.  Halfway through, the sounds coming out of our mouths are a mixture of catchy lyrics and hysterical laughter; naturally paired with dancing.  Well, the best dancing we can manage in a small car.  Most of it includes moving from side to side and banging our heads.  The girls whip their hair.  We’re aware that we look like idiots; but who cares?  We’re having fun, finally.

We hit a red light and I brake. The people in the cars next to us are giving us curious stares, but we hardly notice.  I try and angle my car to the left, where I plan to turn so that we can leave as soon as the light turns green.  I can’t wait to get back home.

“Intoxicate me now with your lovin’ now!” I yell, horribly in tune with the song as the light turns green.  Without really thinking about it, I slowly turn over into the next street.  When I’m about halfway there, a car comes charging at us out of nowhere.  Ian, Melanie, Kalel and myself quickly go from shouting lyrics to screaming in terror.  I try my best to turn into the next street before it hits us, but it’s no use; the other car, which I can now see is coming at us at a diagonal (despite the fact that I have the right of way), is travelling much faster than I am.

Time seems to slow down as the other car makes contact with mine.  I can feel a faint sense of my car spinning before I’m slammed up against my window with enough force to knock me out.

~~~~~

A faint smell of chemicals enters my nostrils as I awake.  Despite the fact that my eyes are still closed, I can tell the room is bright.  I don’t like it.  It only fuels my intense headache; why do I have such a bad headache anyway?  Something rough and scratchy is rubbing against my skin, and my whole body seems to ache like I’ve just gotten beaten to a pulp.  Even behind my eyelids, I know this isn’t a good place.

My throat feels dry, but I try to speak regardless; not a good idea.  It feels like I’m being gagged.  What the hell is this place?

“Anthony?” I hear a familiar voice as I finally snap open my eyes, grimacing as I adjust to the intrusive light.  The face of my younger sister, Katherine, appears above mine.  I try to speak again, unsuccessfully.  “Anthony, shut up, you have a breathing tube in,” Katherine says gently.  My eyes widen as I look around my room.  IVs, needles, medicines; I’m in a hospital.  Why the hell am I in here?

I look at Katherine, and she deciphers the pleading look in my eyes within a second. She starts to say something, but is interrupted when two nurses hustle into the room.

“I see you’re awake,” one of them says.  I bite back a sarcastic retort, and she continues: “Do you know where you are?”

I gag as she pulls the stupid breathing tube out of my throat. “The hospital?” I respond after a few coughs.  My voice sounds sick and raspy.

The nurse nods. “Do you remember how you got here?”

I begin to respond “no”, but a few memories re-enter my brain before I can say it.  The last thing I remember is making up with Kalel…and then hanging out with Ian and Melanie…and then us acting like idiots in my car…and then…oh God.

“Car wreck?” I choke out, clinging to the hope that I dreamed all of that.  My heart drops when the nurse nods.  The second nurse is fiddling with the IV in my hand, but I use the other hand to cover up my face. “Oh God,” I whisper.  What happened to Ian, Melanie, and Kalel?!  What if they got hurt, or worse…no, no no.  That couldn’t have happened.

“Don’t worry, you’re just fine now,” the second nurse waves her hand.  I resist the urge to roll my eyes.  “You’re very lucky, Mr. Padilla.  You only suffered a broken arm, some bruises, and a pretty nasty concussion.  It could have been much worse.”  Well, I guess that explains my wicked headache, and the heavy cast on my arm.

The nurses go on and on, but I only reply when necessary.  I don’t want to talk to them about what happened. I just want them to leave.  I need to find out what happened to everyone else, but I sure as hell don’t want to talk to them about it.

Maybe when they finally stop chattering about what happened to me, they’ll leave so I can figure out what’s more important; what happened to my friends.

*****

[1] “Toxic” by Britney Spears. I just found this on the top 100 list for 2004, and I thought the lyrics were funny.

 

….you probably all want to kill me now. I know, I’m evil xD two cliffhangers in a row, yikes!

Oh, and I finally decided that this will be 25 chapters long. I could easily change that though, so I might depending on how things go! But wow…I’m almost to the end! woah O_O

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading. Thanks so much for reading! It means a lot :D

Twitter: @Lax_Smosh_Love        Email: lax_punky97@yahoo.com

Thanks again for putting up with my crap procrastination and posting D: it means a lot though, so thank you! :)

-Rachel

Something Better- chapter 22

Hello! ^_^ hope you’re all doing well. My weekend has consisted of sitting on my ass and doing nothing, which is the best weekend possible for me :D

Here’s 22! :D fair warning, there’s LOTS of dialogue, but it’s kind of necessary for this particular one :P

 

 

Friday, April 23rd, 2004

~Melanie’s POV~

It’s been almost two weeks, but things still haven’t improved between Anthony and Kalel.  It’s scary how quickly they went from being so happy with each other to broken up on awful terms.  If that can happen to them, it can happen to Ian and I too; and that’s not a comforting thought at all.  On top of that, I’m worried for my friends.  I can tell they’re both still really upset; they may try to hide it with fake happy attitudes and plastered-on smiles, but it’s pretty easy to tell that they’re hiding something.  Ian said he’s never seen either of them this upset, and I believe him.

“Melanie!” Ian chuckles as he waves his hand in front of my face.

“Sorry,” I mumble as I rub my achy head.  School has just ended, and Ian and I are walking to his car.

“You seem distracted,” Ian says.

“Yeah…” I sigh. “I know I shouldn’t be this worked up, but I am.”

“Anthony and Kalel?” Ian questions.  I nod and he wraps his arm around my shoulders and squeezes my arm comfortingly. “I know how you feel.”

“I hate seeing them so depressed.”

Ian kisses the top of my head. “I know.  Do you think they’ll ever solve this?”

“I thought they would, but it’s been almost two weeks.”

“Should we get involved?” Ian asks slowly, as if thoroughly contemplating his statement.  Ian and I agreed when all of this started that we would stay out of it and let them solve it themselves, so to not compromise our friendships with either of them.  Maybe we should just forget all of that now, though, considering they’ve made no progress and are only growing more upset (despite their weak attempts to act happy).

“I don’t think they’re solving it themselves any time soon, and I can’t stand seeing them like this…” I trail off, torn between what I want to do and what I think is right.

“But how?” Ian asks the inevitable, yet unanswerable, question.

“Good question,” I sigh as Ian unlocks his car.

We’re just about to drive away when Ian exclaims, “Wait!  Who’s that girl right there?  It looks like Kendyl.” He points to a girl that looks completely and utterly disheveled.  Even from a distance, I can tell she has massive bags under her eyes and she hasn’t been bothered to look like her usual self in a while.

“Oh my gosh!  That’s her!  Should we say something?”

“Say what?  Maybe ask her why she had to go all whore-out on Anthony?”

“Ian!”

“What?!  She’s the one that caused all of this!”  Ian grumbles.

“I know, I know, but maybe she can tell us something about the situation,” I say calmly, not wanting Ian to get upset as well.

The next second Trey jogs up next to Kendyl.  I haven’t really talked to him since the one time at Anthony’s house, but he seemed like a pretty cool guy.  After all, he did tell Anthony the truth about Jen, and that made everyone happier.

Trey waves his arm in our direction.  “Wait!” he yells, his muffled voice through the car doors.  Ian and I look at each other with confused looks on our faces, but we get out of his car nonetheless.

“I…I have to tell you about Anthony…” Kendyl says quietly, her voice shaking.  Her eyes are glued to the pavement.

“Wh-what?” I stammer.  This whole situation is somehow becoming even more confusing.

“Kendyl just told me everything.  Anthony didn’t kiss her –” Trey begins.

“Well, yeah…wait, why are you telling us this?” Ian asks with perplexed lines between his eyebrows.

“I kissed Anthony,” Kendyl declares, abruptly looking up from the ground.  “But let me tell you why.”

~~~~~

An hour later, we finally leave the school parking lot after having an intense conversation with Trey and Kendyl.  I wouldn’t believe the things Kendyl said if they didn’t fit exactly into place with everything, like a perfect puzzle.

With the information at hand, we make plans to meet at the mall later tonight. All six of us; I’ll convince Kalel to go, and Ian the same for Anthony.  Kendyl and Trey will explain everything once again, and I can’t wait to see Anthony and Kalel’s reactions.

~~~~~

I borrow my mom’s car and drive with Kalel to the mall a few hours later.  I told her we’d just walk around and get some air after the troublesome week.  Kalel seemed more than willing to kill some time wandering around.

We weave in and out of shops, talking about nothing in particular.  Despite her happy demeanor, I still can’t shake the feeling that she’s burying her emotions.  Hopefully in an hour or so she won’t feel that way anymore.

“Want to go get a bite to eat?” I ask Kalel after we walk out of a music store.

“Sure!” she agrees, and we begin to walk over.  My watch reads 7:15.  The plan was to meet there at 7:00, so I figure by now everyone should be there.

We walk in the Food Court’s entrance just as Anthony and Ian walk into the entrance of the mall.  Like a cliché movie, Anthony and Kalel lock eyes immediately.

“Melanie!  Oh God, he’s here!” Kalel whispers with panic in her eyes.

“It’s fine,” I reassure her. “You’ll be okay!”

“Let’s go back.”

“Kalel…it’s time you guys talked.  C’mon.”

Kalel, bright as she is, realizes what I’m trying to do immediately.  “You planned this!” Her blue eyes are set ablaze with what I infer to be a mixture of fear and anger. “The only reason you wanted to come here was so you could force me to talk to him?”

“Kalel, listen to me.  I’m worried for you.  It’s been almost two weeks and you guys still haven’t even talked.   I’m not trying to force you guys back together if you don’t want to be, but you need to figure things out.  You’re both so depressed and upset, and I hate it!  Just talk for a few minutes.”

Kalel looks momentarily stunned by my carefully-thought-out speech. “But I…I don’t k-know if I can, Mel.”

“Please try? For me?”

Kalel takes a deep breath. “You’re right.  This is stupid.  Let’s go.” I broadly smile at her willingness to proceed and give her a quick and reassuring hug.  In mere seconds, we’ve reached the table where Ian, Anthony, Trey, and Kendyl are awkwardly standing around.

Obviously, Anthony and Kalel didn’t expect Trey and certainly not Kendyl to be in attendance.  Their faces appear split between looks of confusion and anger.

“Well, this is awkward,” Ian says lightly, trying to diffuse some of the obvious tension. “Care to sit?”

Everyone slowly takes a seat around the circular table and I notice that Kendyl, Kalel, and Anthony sit as far away from each other as possible.

In a nasally, pompous-sounding voice, Ian says, “We are gathered here today…” Anthony shoots Ian an annoyed glare, effectively shutting Ian up.  At least he’s trying to make things a little better for everyone.  That’s one of the things I love about Ian.

“Alright, sheesh,” Ian starts back up again.  “You two have been acting awfully upset lately, and we’re not going to let you continue to push everything away.  Before you get all pissed, just listen to what they have to say.”

Kendyl takes that as her clue. “I’m so sorry.  Unbelievably sorry.  I didn’t think I would hurt anyone like this…but, let me explain.”

*****

~Flashback~

~Kendyl’s POV~

“Hello, Kendyl.” I know that voice.  I haven’t heard it in a while, but it just keeps coming back like a sick fungus.

“What do you want, Jen?” I say with a sigh as I close my locker and swing my bag over my shoulder.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get past her quickly, because I don’t want anything to do with her.

I should probably start from the beginning.  As much as I hate to admit it, Jen and I used to be friends.  Good friends.  She wasn’t even that nice to me; God, I can’t believe I was so stupid last year!  I thirsted for her approval and acceptance – I guess I just wanted to be “cool” and accepted by the school. She’s terribly manipulative; it makes me sick to my stomach now, but back then I subconsciously pushed it away and refused to realize it.  Eventually, I saw the error in my ways. The final straw was when she told a cutter to kill herself and to join her dead father in Hell.  When she said that, my naïve and foolish mind realized how sick of a person she is.  At that moment, I vowed never to get involved with people like her ever again.  The way she treats people is absolutely evil, and I’m glad I’m not so blind anymore.  I don’t need her approval, and I’m a lot happier now because I hang out with good people that treat their peers right.

“I need you to do me a favor,” Jen says pointedly, with a stupid grin on her face.

“I’m not interested,” I say automatically.  I move to leave, but she pushes me back up against the locker. “Hey!” I yell in indignation.

“Shut up, whore.  Now, here’s what I need you to do.  You know Anthony?”

“That guy that dumped you?” I can’t help but laugh as I say it.  It really was rather hilarious when the whole school found out that he broke up with her.

“Shut up! Okay, tomorrow right after school, he’ll be standing by the trophy case in the entrance hall. I need you to go up and kiss him.”

“What?! Why?!” I ask, perplexed.  What could Jen possibly be plotting this time?

“That’s not important!” she hisses. “Just do it. Tongue, hip-to-hip contact, everything.  It has to look real.”

“What is wrong with you?!  Forget it Jen, I’m not doing that.  You’re sick.” I push her away and start to walk down the hallway, but I don’t get very far before I hear her snarky voice behind me again.

“Not so fast.  You think I didn’t plan for this?” I turn around and roll my eyes, but she follows me.  When she’s right behind me, she says in a sinister whisper, “If you don’t do what I tell you, I’ll tell the entire fucking school that you had an abortion last summer.”

I stop dead in my tracks, practically paralyzed by her words. “T-That’s n-not fair, J-Jen.  I had that abortion because my uncle molested me.  H-How did you even find out about that?” I answer in a shaky whisper, trying to force the tears to stay in my eyes.

“Your ex opened up pretty easily after a little…hmm, persuasion.  And I don’t care about your reasons.  Kiss Anthony or I’ll tell everyone that you’re a filthy fucking baby killer that can’t keep her legs shut.”

My heart drops down to my stomach.  I’d like to think she’s bluffing, but I know she isn’t.  Jen doesn’t bluff.  Not only did she bring back horrible memories, but she’s threatening to tell everyone about it.  I had the abortion for a good reason – I couldn’t bring a baby into the world that was conceived from rape, especially incestial rape.  My hands shake and I begin to feel dizzy as the horrific memories reenter my brain.  I’m usually quite good at keeping them locked away, but now it’s as if the levy broke, allowing the memories to rapidly flood back in.  I remember feeling so violated and dirty; I only just fully recovered, and my uncle has only just now been sent away, but now I feel awful and depressed again.

The whole school can’t know that I had an abortion.  Everyone will think I’m a whore; I can’t have that!  I’m not a fake person, and people know that and like me for it; but I’d be shunned if everyone found out about that.  I’d be called a whore and a liar, and God knows what else.  The people of this school thrive off of rumors and gossip.  If something as big as my secret got out, I’d never hear the end of it.  Being ostracized by my peers is an understatement; I’d be ranked lower than dirt.

“I’ll do it,” I whisper.  The words taste foul in my mouth and create a sickening nauseas feeling in the pit of my stomach.  It’s for the best, I try to persuade myself.  Nobody will probably see me anyway – right?

“Good,” Jen says with a triumphant grin on her cakey face. “Like I said, make it look genuine.  Go all out.  I’ll be watching.”

Jen waltzes away and leaves me paralyzed in the middle of the hallway.  I feel like I’m going to be sick, and my shaky knees can barely support my body.  I can’t believe I let myself fall victim to her stupid little tricks again; I’m supposed to be stronger than that, better than Jen.  Now, I’ve merely sunk to her level.  Damn it!  I’m so spineless; and the worst thing is, I can’t take back my agreement.  She knows I have to follow through with it; and follow through with it I do.

~~~~~

The clock goes at lightning speed the next day, as if it knows I’m dreading the events that are about to perspire.  My stomach is in knots from the guilt, and all I want to do is get it over with as soon as possible.

My legs carry me to the entrance hall slowly, and sure enough Anthony is standing there.  I can feel Jen’s eyes piercing through the back of my head, watching my every action like a starving hawk; but I don’t bother turning around.  It’s as if she’s always behind me, no matter where I am [1].  My knotted stomach somehow aches more than before, swimming with lethal amounts of worry, dread, and guilt.  I’m praying that the entrance hall will remain empty.

I trudge over to him and start talking in a pathetic attempt to flirt.  With shaky hands, I grab his hands and place them on my waist, wrap my arms around his neck, stand on tiptoe, and complete the task I’ve been assigned.

*****

~Melanie’s POV~

The entire table is silent as Kendyl tells her story.  Even though I’ve heard it only a few hours before, she tells it with so much detail and emotion that I’m absolutely captivated.  Tears are streaming one by one down her cheeks, and she does her best to wipe them away as quickly as possible.

“I’m so sorry.  I ruined you two because I’m too much of a coward.  It’s pathetic!” Kendyl sobs as Trey wraps a friendly arm around her shoulder.

“Kendyl and I have been friends for a long time.  I know her and I know how Jen can be; and I can honestly say that she wouldn’t have done all of that unless Jen gave her those exact threats,” Trey adds quietly.

“I’ve felt absolutely awful since I saw you walk in, Kalel.  I could barely eat or sleep because of the guilt, so I found Trey and explained it to him.  I decided that I had to tell you guys the truth.  I wanted to protect myself; but that’s not important to me anymore.  I never wanted to hurt you two, and I did.  And I’m so, so sorry,” Kendyl explains with a voice thick with tears.

Anthony and Kalel remain silent, but Anthony slowly nods his head.  Kalel keeps her eyes trained on the table.

“Why don’t we leave you two alone for awhile?” I say quietly as I slowly stand up from the table.  Trey, Ian, and Kendyl follow suit.  Anthony and Kalel remain unmoving, but I hope that they’ll at least talk to each other after that.

“Thanks for everything, Kendyl.  That was really brave of you,” I smile, giving her a tight hug.  I may not know her, but I know what she said was genuine.  She looked so tortured and guilty as she told her story; and why would she make it up anyway?  She’s been through some seriously tough stuff – I can’t help but respect her for reliving all of it for us.

Ian and I thank them again and say goodbye as they walk into the parking lot.  We instead walk back into the mall, content with roaming until we hear the verdict from Anthony and Kalel.

I take a deep breath, attempting to recollect myself after the intense series of events that have perspired so far today. “Wow.  Just wow,” I say in awe, unable to articulate much else.

“And now,” Ian sighs as he interlocks his fingers in mine, “we wait.”

*****

[1] SLENDERJEN! (sorry, you have to put up with my lame attempts at being funny)

 

I hope you liked it! :) shit just got INTENSE. hopefully I did it justice.

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated! I will love you forever.

Twitter- @Lax_Smosh_Love                     email: lax_punky97@yahoo.com  (I made that email when I was 11. Don’t laugh at the dumb name xD)

Thank you SO much for reading! I really appreciate it. I hope you enjoyed. Sorry for the cliffhanger…mwahahaha ;)

Bye for now!

~Rachel

Something Better- chapter 21

Hello! ^_^ don’t worry, this is my blog…just with a changed theme :P yay or nay? I can’t decide if I like it or not so don’t be surprised if I change it again. There was this freaking awesome one that I really really liked but it costs 60 DOLLARS. WTF?!

Well, I’ll stop meaninglessly typing about themes. Here’s 21! :D

 

***

[Later that same day]

~Kalel’s POV~

At eight P.M., I was officially completely and utterly bored.  Most people can tolerate boredom, myself included. But at a time like this, boredom means thinking; and the last thing I want to do right now is think about what happened. I completed all of my Algebra 2 homework for the entire week and finished a few projects that aren’t due for weeks. I even re-arranged my bedroom, desperate for anything that would make my brain busy. That probably wasn’t a smart move, because now there’s literally nothing to occupy my time with.

Every time the image of Anthony and Kendyl pops back into my mind, I immediately push it away. It’s almost a reflex by now, because the mental picture of them exchanging spit has returned to mock me probably a thousand times so far today. Despite the frequency of the reoccurring image, every time I think of it my stomach does a flip and I feel like crying. Even though my knotted stomach has kept me from eating all day, I’ve succeeded in holding my tears back. I refuse to let Anthony – cheating, back-stabbing Anthony – make me cry again.

Even though my nails are perfectly painted, I wipe the polish off and open a new bottle of dark blue polish. Maybe concentrating on something like this will help my brain rest. Music can’t hurt either, so I switch my radio on and let a random station play, thankful for a bit of background noise.

The only aspect of my day I’m willing to think about is Melanie. God bless that girl. Who would have thought that the new girl from New Jersey would become one of my best friends? I feel bad that she had to deal with me all day. I even told her to leave me and my depressing demeanor and go have fun with other, happier, people, but she refused.

“Mel, you can go eat lunch with other people. I completely understand if you don’t want to hang out with a moping annoying girl all day.”

“Kalel, maybe I want to hang out with you.”

“It’s fine if you don’t…”

“My best friend is upset and I’m going to support you whether it lasts a few days or a few months, got it kid?” [1]

Melanie is too good of a friend. She could have talked to Ian, or her other friends, but she stayed with me all say. We didn’t talk much, but she didn’t even have to say anything for me to know that she was there for support. And as I think about it, Ian did the same for Anthony today. That speaks a lot about their character – I feel beyond lucky to call them friends.

As I’m blowing on my nails to dry them, a slow song begins to play on the radio. Something about the pretty piano chords immediately grabs my attention. As soon as the singer’s melodic voice is added in I stop everything, almost mesmerized by the sound.

Your fingertips across my skin

The palm trees swaying in the wind

Images

 

You sang me Spanish lullabies

The sweetest sadness in your eyes

Clever trick

I really like the pretty sound of the song, and the soothing verses and soft instrumentals are almost enough to calm my nerves. However, my relaxation turns back into sadness in the matter of a few seconds as the next verse begins.

 

Well, I’d never want to see you unhappy

I thought you’d want the same for me

 

Goodbye, my almost lover

Goodbye, my hopeless dream

I’m trying not to think about you

Can’t you just let me be?

So long, my luckless romance

My back is turned on you

Should’ve known you’d bring me heartache

Almost lovers always do

[2] Once the words sink in, I almost break down. The tears which I’ve managed to hold back until now flood over my eyes. My hands begin to shake, and a few ugly chokes escape my lips. They’re the kind of chokes you get when you’re biting back sobs.

I love music, but I’ve never felt such a connection to it until now. It’s creepy how close this song matches my exact situation. I’d never want to see you unhappy; I thought you’d want the same for me. Those were my exact thoughts simply sung by a professional with a beautiful voice. Anthony means the world to me. I love him; I never wanted to see anything bad happen to him. But obviously…he doesn’t feel that way about me.

I cannot go to the ocean

I cannot drive the streets at night

I cannot wake up in the morning

Without you on my mind

So you’re gone and I’m haunted

And I bet you are just fine

Did I make it that easy to walk right in and out of my life?

As the song keeps playing, the lyrics only get more and more accurate. I’ve never had a song speak for me that well before. I guess that’s because the majority of songs are depressing and I’m generally a happy person.

So you’re gone and I’m haunted; that’s been me the whole day. It was pretty stupid to think that I could push the thoughts away each time they reappeared; it may have worked temporarily, but it didn’t really make me any happier.  If I had succeeded in not letting it bother me, I wouldn’t be sitting here bawling alone in my bedroom.

And I bet you are just fine; this is the part of the song that I don’t know if it’s true – but I really, really hope it isn’t. The sickening thing is that it probably is accurate. While I’m sitting here crying, Anthony is probably acting like nothing happened. I thought we were special, but obviously I was mistaken.

Did I make it that easy to walk right in and out if my life?  This part also kills me. I can blame Anthony and Kendyl all I want; but what did I do? I thought Anthony was a perfect guy. Perfect guys don’t cheat – so was I a bad girlfriend? Did I make him that unhappy? Anthony obviously wasn’t happy being with me. Honestly, I was pretty stupid for thinking a silly teenage romance could mean that much. We’re only sixteen. The more vicious part of my mind is insisting that Anthony is awful and that nothing justifies cheating; but the part of me that still cares for him figures that he must have had his reasons. Maybe I just wasn’t what he was looking for. Considering he’s been with Jen and now Kendyl, I don’t really think I’m his type. Our time together was the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced. I thought Anthony enjoyed it too, but clearly not. I didn’t know he was into the popular girls, but they obviously have something I don’t.

I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. At least I had fun while it lasted. When we were just friends, Anthony could always cheer me up and make me laugh. When we were a couple, he made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. Valentine’s Day was the first time he told me that he loved me; I remember feeling so happy that nothing could ruin it. I felt invincible, like nothing could ever hurt me again because he was there to protect me.

The memories bring about more tears, and make my heart ache with want. I’d give anything to go back to that. Even just back to our friendship; because I’m sure that’s ruined now. I don’t even think I can look him in the eyes without crying, much less go on with a friendship like nothing happened.

My phone starts to buzz, and Anthony’s name and number pop up on the screen; speak of the devil. First the song, and now this. Tonight’s been full of unwelcomed coincidences. I consider answering him, but I quickly hang it up instead. He will not hear me cry. Even if he wasn’t happy with me, he still cheated. He definitely did, too; he looked fully committed and he was completely making out with Kendyl. And then he lied to me and said that he didn’t. Part of me wants to listen to him, but I just can’t handle being lied to by someone I love again.

A few minutes later, he calls again, but I still ignore it. The same thing happens three more times. I try to tell myself that I’ll talk to him later, when I’m more composed, but deep down I know that I’m lying to myself.

I hear the house phone start to ring. There’s no doubt that it’s Anthony, but I make no move towards it. With my knees drawn up to my chest, I anxiously await what’s about to come. My mom doesn’t know what happened between us, so in a few seconds I know that she’ll call up the stairs and tell me that the phone is for me.

“Kalel, phone for you!” Yep. Of course. As I walk towards the hallway where the phone is located, I contemplate my course of action. I grab the phone off of the receiver and move my finger to click the red hang up key, but some outside force stops me and instead raises the phone to my ear.

“Kalel?” Anthony’s familiar voice says. He sounds different somehow; his voice is choppy and shaky.

“What?” I respond, closing my bedroom door. I try my best to make my voice sound confident, instead of depressed and teary.

“Babe, you have to listen to me –”

“Don’t call me that,” I say before I can stop myself. It comes out meaner than I intended it to, but I still don’t regret it.

“Kalel, please. I didn’t kiss Kendyl. I swear.”

“You’re right, you didn’t kiss her. You made out with her right where you knew I’d be in a few seconds. Did you want to show her off to me or something?”

“Kalel, listen. She came up to me and kissed me. I don’t even know why.”

“What kind of person just comes up and makes out with random strangers?”

“I don’t know! Apparently she does! Kalel, I didn’t cheat on you. I don’t even know Kendyl. Please, Kalel…”

“I get it. You weren’t happy with me. But you could have just told me instead of – ins-s-stead of exchanging spit with that whore right in front of my face!” My attempts to keep my voice normal are futile, and the tears start flowing again.

“Kalel, I could never cheat on you! You just have to believe me. I know it looked bad, but I promise. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I don’t want to lose you.”

“Well, it looks like you did,” I whisper.  I hang up the phone and quickly bury myself in the covers of my warm bed. A psychologist would say that I’m hiding from my problems, and I’m not embarrassed to admit that I am. Sleep is the only thing I want right now. Tomorrow, I’ll probably regret everything that I said. Every mean, unfair thing that I said out of anger I’ll want to take back; but for now, I’m not thinking about any of that. I’m going into a dreamless sleep where nothing can hurt me.

I fall asleep almost immediately, effectively putting off my problems until I have to think about them tomorrow.

***

[1] I’m sure you all know this by now, but italics are for flashbacks. I really like using them, but hopefully it doesn’t make things confusing. I plan to use them in the future so tell me if you like them or not! :)

[2] this lovely song is called Almost Lover by The Fine Frenzy. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do a “song-fic” but I’ve never found a good one. This won’t be a frequent thing but it was fun to do this time! A few things about the song:

-this story takes place in 2004, and the song came out in 2008. That’s annoying but I loved the lyrics so much I said eh, whatever.

-the song is so beautiful! Here’s a link to it if you’d like to listen to it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOIMcbP0FCI

-I didn’t find this song by myself! My lovely twitter friend showed it to me. THANK YOU BRIANNA! She’s @smoshmazing on twitter. She’s awesome and nice so follow her ;)

I promise that’s the last all angst chapter :P those are actually really hard for me to write, lol. This one was a little short, but I’ll make up for it with 22. I can’t wait to write 22!!! I think it’ll be interesting. Should be out in two weeks :)

Twitter- @Lax_Smosh_Love                    Email: lax_punky97@yahoo.com

thank you so much for reading and putting up with my awful inconsistent posting! You’re awesome.

Bye for now ^_^ stay cool.

<3 Rachel

Something Better- chapter 20

Hello everyone! ^_^ thanks for stopping by. I can’t believe I’m already at chapter 20! I’m actually very proud of myself for sticking with something for this long. It’s been what, over 8 months? AHH! :D

Well, I’ll stop rambling. Here’s chap. 20! :)

[The next day]

~Ian’s POV~

“Hey Anthony,” I say in my usual demeanor as I sit down next to him in World History.

“Hey,” he replies without looking up from his desk.

“Ugh, I’m exhausted,” I say after yawning.

“I didn’t sleep.”

“How come?” I ask, but Anthony merely shrugs in reply. “Wanna come over after school today?”

“No,” Anthony says abruptly. Upon seeing my inquisitive look prodding him for an explanation, he adds, “I don’t feel like it.”

I was just about to ask him why he’s acting so strange when his eyes suddenly flick to the door. He perks up from his slumped state, like a dog that hears “walk”. I follow his eyes and see Melanie and Kalel walking into the classroom. I wave in their direction, and Melanie waves back and smiles warmly. Instead of walking towards us like they normally would have, the two girls switch direction and take seats at the other end of the room.

Something’s definitely wrong here; what would compel them to avoid us when we’ve been sitting together all year? Everything seemed perfectly fine yesterday. I make eye contact with Melanie and give her a perplexed glance; in reply, she mouths something I guess to be along the lines of “I’ll explain later”. Melanie jerks her head a fraction of an inch to her left, towards an unhappy-looking Kalel. She’s smiling and talking to Melanie, but her eyes look dark and defeated. I’d bet money that her smile is fake. Trying not to gawk, I look over to Anthony; he has the same saddened and upset demeanor Kalel seems to have.

My brain makes the connection just as the tardy bell rings and Mr. Linsey starts class. Anthony and Kalel must have had a fight. They’re both such happy, lighthearted people; I hardly ever see them upset, especially this upset. They’re always trying to bring smiles to people’s faces, and now they look so depressed that it’s making me sad. Despite the fact that a fight or break-up would be the only logical explanation for their behavior, I can’t imagine why it would have happened. I’ve never noticed any tension between the two. I’ll have to remember to ask Melanie if she has. She probably knows about the entire situation by now. Anthony and Kalel are crazy for each other; it’s weird that all of that seems to be gone now. Maybe I’m just over-analyzing and looking too far into things, but I feel like my instincts are right.

~~~~~

“Alright Anthony, what the hell is going on? Why are Kalel and Melanie avoiding us like the plague?” I finally ask Anthony after Melanie and Kalel bypass our usual lunch table and sit elsewhere. Anthony’s been silent all morning, which means something is definitely wrong with him. He usually never shuts up.

“I said I didn’t want to talk about it,” Anthony replies as he pushes his food around on his plate.

“Too bad,” I say finally.

Anthony shoots me a glare, but relents and starts to explain.

~~~Flashback~~~Anthony’s POV~~~

[the previous day]

After closing my locker and swinging my backpack over my shoulders, I head down the stairs and walk towards the entrance hall. I don’t see Kalel upon entering, so I lean against the wall beside the trophy case. We usually meet there, and I figure she’ll be here in a few minutes.

Despite the fact that I had just put in headphones, a girl walks up to me and starts to say something. “What?” I say, pulling out one headphone to hear what she’s trying to say.

The girl giggles. “I said, are you Anthony? Anthony Padilla?” She says my last name wrong, but I don’t bother to correct her. The girl looks familiar – she’s definitely my age, but I can’t remember her name. She has light brown hair that looks curled and big green eyes. She’s wearing a lot of makeup, though not quite as much as Jen would always have plastered on.

“Uh, yeah,” I answer awkwardly, trying to decipher what she could want with a stranger like me.

“I’m Kendyl. I’ve always wanted to talk to you,” she flashes a huge smile as she steps uncomfortably close. So that was her name. Now that I think about it, she used to be pretty “popular”.

“Oh,” I say, trying to smile despite my confusion. “Why’s that?”

She looks confused for a second, like she doesn’t know what to say, but ends up replying, “I don’t know. You’re cute.”

“Uh, thanks,” I reply, still baffled why someone like Kendyl would be flirting with me. “But I have a girlfriend.”

Her huge smile flickers, but she regains composure the next second. “I didn’t ask if I could suck your dick, hot shot. I just wanna talk.”

“U-uh…” I stammer. I think she’s just kidding around, but it’s still making me really uncomfortable. It reminds me of the first time Jen talked to me, and we all know that didn’t end well.

“Relax, I don’t bite,” Kendyl says as she intertwines her fingers in mine. She lowers our locked hands onto her skinny waist. “Unless you want me to,” she follows in a seductive half-whisper. Before I know it, she stands on her tiptoes and kisses me – on the mouth. She presses herself right up to me and wraps her arms around my neck. It would be such an understatement to say that I was surprised; more like paralyzed. Kendyl’s kiss is sloppy and wet, and for some reason feels hopelessly desperate.

It sounds cliché, but the only reason I can explain why I didn’t pull away immediately was because of the utter shock of the situation. From the second she walked up to me, I knew something wasn’t right. What would a girl – a popular girl like Kendyl – want to have to do with me? I would have thought everything was dream if it wasn’t for the feel of her tongue on my lips. The shock of the situation is paralyzing, and I mean that in a literal sense. It’s like my brain just clicked off; otherwise it would have commanded my hands to let go of her waist and to push her away. I just can’t fathom why on Earth this random stranger would do something so weird, especially since I told her I have a girlfriend.

The word “girlfriend” apparently clicks my brain into action. Kalel is supposed to meet me here. She was supposed to be here any second, and that was God knows how many seconds ago. How long did I stand there in shock? Five seconds? Ten? Twenty?  I internally cringe at the thought. I pull my lips off of hers and step away (which was a pretty remarkable feat, considering I was practically pinned against the wall). I was just about to open my mouth and demand an explanation from Kendyl when I look up and see the last person I wanted to.  “Kalel?!”

Kalel is standing there with her mouth wide open. She looks absolutely mortified, which mirrors how I feel. A few seconds ago, my brain was literally off, but now it’s frantically trying to figure out a way to explain everything to her. Kalel must be so hurt and devastated; she must think I’m cheating. She can’t think that, she can’t.

“Kalel, wait, I can explain!” Despite the explanations buzzing around my brain, apparently I could only articulate the most cliché line ever. Damn it.

I expected Kalel to cry, or yell, or at least say something; but instead she turns and runs down a hallway. “Kalel, wait!” I call as I completely move away from Kendyl and follow her. “Kalel!”

My attempt to get her to stop is useless, because she just runs into the girls’ restroom, being the one place I can’t follow her. Damn it, damn it, damn it! I’m really starting to panic now – I could have ruined everything for us. Everything. Just because I was too stupid to react appropriately.

An angry sort of feeling settles in my stomach, like a big rock. Angry at two things; one being myself for standing there stupidly and not pushing her off the second I could, and two at Kendyl for being such a little whore and kissing me. I didn’t think it was possible to despise a stranger this much. Does she realize the magnitude of what she did? Kalel thinks I hurt her. I would never hurt her; I love her.

Instead of standing in front of the girls’ bathroom like an idiot, I instead jog back to the entrance hall. I want to find Kendyl and demand an explanation. How dare she do that?! Who the hell just goes up to a random stranger and basically makes out with them?!

The entrance hall is empty, and Kendyl is out of sight. My chest is heaving and my hands are shaking, both from anger and worry. I never would have thought that I would have been manipulated by someone, two popular girls nonetheless, in one lifetime; certainly not one year. Why are they taking an interest to me anyway? Damn it!

I realize that I’m standing alone in the direct middle of the entrance hall, in full view of the secretaries in the office. I’m not even supposed to be here anyway, since school ended who knows how many minutes ago, so I walk out of the front doors. Kalel has to come out here at some point, I try to reassure myself. She’ll come out, and I’ll talk to her about everything. She’ll understand. But first I have to calm down.

I take a seat on one of the benches and wait. The seconds drag on and on, which only makes it harder for me to stay calm. I can’t help but think she’ll want to break up with me. We’ve only been together for four months, but everything seemed so unbelievably perfect with her. I love her. I love her. Does that sound foolish coming from the mouth of a sixteen year old? Probably; but it’s the only word that describes my feeling towards her well enough.

Sure, I’m pissed at that Kendyl girl; but I’m even angrier at myself. She may have kissed me, but I didn’t react in time. She just really surprised me, and I guess my stupid brain was too stunned to do anything about it. I bury my face in my hands. I just want to solve all of this now. I can’t stand this worry. I can’t stand the fact that I may have hurt and upset Kalel. My hands are shaking against my face, and my whole body seems to ache with worry. Despite my attempts to calm down, I still feel this anger and rage inside of me. I know it’s probably not a good idea to be this upset right now, but I can’t shake the feeling.

After what seems like an incredibly long time, I hear the doors open. I figure it’s probably a stray student, but to my delight it’s Kalel. Melanie’s with her.

They start walking away, but I quickly follow. “Kalel!” I call, eager to fix the situation.

To my relief, Kalel turns around. That relief only lasts for a split second, however, because I notice that she’s glaring. I’ve never seen her look so mad. “What?” she says in a slightly intimidating way.

“Kalel, I didn’t kiss her. She kissed me,” I recite the words I was planning to say in my head. They’re not the most impactful of words, but I hope she gets the message.

“That’s not what it looked like.” Damn it.

“You have to trust me. Kalel, I would never cheat on you. I promise.”

“If she kissed you, then why were you all over her?” Kalel prods. Her statement shocks me; did it actually look that bad? I try to piece together something to explain it that would sound genuine, but my brain draws a blank. Is there anything I can say without going into a full explanation? Will she even stop to listen to a full explanation?

I guess the answer is no, because in the middle of my thoughts, Kalel says, “that’s what I thought.” She sounds so disappointed. Her eyes look like she’s just been stabbed in the back – which she probably feels like she has. The fact that I caused the hurt in her eyes kills me.

I’m proud to say that I’ve never let anger get the best of me before. I’ve always been pretty level-headed. But this entire situation was apparently enough to make it boil over, and that’s the only explanation I can give for why I do what I do next.

“Damn it, listen to me!” I yell to her retreating form. I move to grab her arm, but I end up grabbing her a lot harder than I intended to. “Kalel, I didn’t fucking do it! Why don’t you trust me?!” I yell so angrily that I may as well be breathing fire.

“Let go of me,” she spits out, throwing my hand off of her. “I thought you loved me, Anthony.” I stand there in shock as Melanie leads her away.

As she walks away, I regain composure. It felt as though something possessed me and making me yell such things at her; I never could have been so mean to her otherwise. She didn’t deserve that. No one in her position deserves that. I look down at my hand, the hand that grabbed her. I almost expected it to be someone else’s hand, someone meaner than myself. Obviously, the hand is my own, but it looks foreign to me. In all honesty, my entire character seems foreign to me now. How could I have yelled at her like that? I didn’t think I could yell at anyone like that. I walk back to my car and get in, but I don’t start it, instead sitting there in a dazed state.

I thought you loved me, Anthony. As soon as those words left her mouth, it felt like the Incredible Hulk punched me in the stomach. Who knew words could mean so much? It feels awful, but it’s all my fault. Kendyl may have kissed me, but it was I alone that chose to react the way I did. I told myself to approach her calmly, but I instead screamed and grabbed her like a fiend. If it’s possible to lose respect for yourself, I certainly have.

There’s no question about it; if I hadn’t ruined things between us before, I certainly have now. In yet another fit of rage, I punch the steering wheel and inwardly curse myself for my every action in the past God knows how many minutes. At some point in my dazed, depressed, and self-loathing state, my brain makes one conclusion; and this one is actually sensible.

I may have ruined things between us, but Kalel will know that I didn’t mean to hurt her. She doesn’t have to forgive me, but I will not rest until she knows that I would never, ever cheat on someone that I love.

~~~end of flashback~~~

~Ian’s POV~

I nod my head after Anthony’s explanation of the previous day’s events. The situation is so similar to a cliché sitcom, but I don’t doubt the validity for a second. I can’t think of anything else that would explain why two extremely happy people would turn into two extremely depressed people overnight.

“Okay…” I say slowly, trying to figure out what to say. “Have you tried talking to her? After you left school, I mean.”

Anthony shakes his head. “She’ll never listen.”

“Why don’t you try and call her?”

“She’ll never pick up. Even if she did, what if she doesn’t believe me?”

The bell rings, and the people around us begin to file out of the cafeteria. “Look, I’ll talk to Melanie. She might be able to convince her.” Anthony looks unconvinced, so I add, “Everything will be okay, alright? We’ll get it figured out.”

“Thanks,” Anthony replies, hopefully a little reassured.

I squeeze his shoulder reassuringly before we walk away to our respective classrooms. Hopefully everything is fixed soon, because I can’t stand seeing Anthony like this.

“Ian!” I hear the familiar voice of Melanie as she runs up beside me. “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry for ignoring you two today, I –”

I interrupt her rush of words with a quick kiss to her lips. “Mel, don’t worry about it. I understand.” I reassure her.

“Oh, thank God,” she says, relief flooding her face. “Did Anthony tell you about everything?”

“Yep. Were you there?”

“I only saw them yelling at each other. It was awful,” Melanie sighs, clearly upset.

“Hey, Melanie, don’t get worked up,” I say as I wrap an arm around her. “Between the two of us, I’m sure we can find a way to fix this.”

Melanie nods. “I guess you’re right. But where to begin?”

***

Wow, that was angsty. VERY VERY angsty. Hopefully you still enjoyed though! It’s a lot more angst than I’m used to writing, but I enjoyed the process. I wanted to be a lot more descriptive and “show” instead of “tell” (major writing rule). I liked the challenge, but I’m still learning; so hopefully it didn’t suck!

Alright, so I was originally going to include chapter 21 in with this, but this one was already pretty long. I also thought that it would make a bit more sense for 21 to stand alone. So, since I already have an idea in my clustered little brain, chapter 21 should be out very soon! Give it a week, maybe a week and a half. YAY FOR RACHEL GETTING OFF HER LAZY ASS AND POSTING MORE FREQUENTLY!

I’m really sorry this took so long to post D: I went through one of those week-long “fuck me, fuck you, fuck everything on the Earth” sad sort of moods last week, and me being sad tends to really affect my writing, so I had to start over. I’M HAPPY NOW THOUGH! YAY! *throws flowers in the air*

Well, I think that’s enough meaningless rambling. Thank you VERY much for reading. It means a lot!

Twitter- @Lax_Smosh_Love        email: lax_punky97@yahoo.com

Thanks again! <3 Keep being awesome, Smoshers.

-Rachel

Something Better- chapter 18

Hellllooooo, lovely Smoshers! Hope your day is fantastic.

Well, I present to you, the longest, cheesiest, and most romantic chapter I’ve ever written. I think you’ll like it :)

February 13th, 2004

~Melanie’s POV~

Ah, Valentine’s Day.  It’s impossible to not know about it unless you live under a rock or something.  I used to hate all of the cheesy commercials, never-ending jewelry ads, and hearts covering every square inch of everything; but now it only stood as a reminder that I have an amazing boyfriend who is none other than Ian Hecox.

I’ve been wondering if Ian and I will end up doing anything for Valentine’s Day.  I really hope we do, but I don’t push it.  After all, we’ve only been officially dating for a little over three weeks now.  But what an amazing three weeks it’s been!

The final bell of the day rings, and I slowly amble to my locker.  I know I can dawdle because Ian can just give me a ride home now that he has his own car, and I would much prefer that over a hot, sweaty, and loud bus.  My last period class is two floors above my locker, so by the time I actually make my way there the hallway is nearly empty.  That’s what I had hoped for, because everyone knows that it’s much easier it is to pack up your stuff without other people crammed in beside you.

As I shove the final textbook into my bag, I feel someone wrap their arms around me from behind and plant a quick kiss on my cheek.  “Hey you,” I smile affectionately when I realize who it is.

“Hey Mel,” Ian replies as I spin around to give him a quick peck on the lips. “I know it’s a day early, but what do you say that we go out somewhere tonight?”

“Where to?” I say as a huge smile overtakes my face.

“That’s a surprise,” Ian says slyly.

“Well, how can I say no to that?”

Ian smiles. “Pick you up at seven?” I nod and kiss him again, smiling against his lips.

“Hecox!  No public displays of affection in school!  Don’t make me give you both a detention!”  A cruel voice barks, making Ian and I let go of the other as if we’re on fire.  I look up and see the retreating form of a greasy-haired middle-aged brunette woman, who has a body shape that resembles a watermelon with legs.

“Is that your Geometry teacher?” I say once I think she’s gone, but I keep my voice low just in case.

“Yes,” Ian grumbles as I grab my backpack.

“Now I see why you complain about her so much,” I say sympathetically as we walk to the students’ parking lot.

“Yeah, she sucks.” Once we reach his car, he drives me home.  Despite the fact that I’ll see him on a few short hours, I hug and kiss him before I exit his car and walk to my house, cherishing the feeling of his arms around me.  I wave goodbye and try to hide some of my excitement for tonight, because I’m about to burst.  I never thought that I would get so excited over a silly little holiday, but the fact that Ian, my boyfriend, is willing to surprise me is beyond sweet.

Calm down, it’s just a date, you’ve been on dates with Ian before! I silently scold myself.  It doesn’t work though, and I’m close to jumping up and down.  Seven o’ clock couldn’t come sooner.

~~~

As seven draws nearer, I begin to get ready.  I shower and let my hair air dry as I choose my outfit, opting to leave it naturally curly.  Choosing my outfit is a tad more complicated, however.  What do people wear to Valentine’s Day dates?!  I guess I’m lucky because it’s unseasonably warm this week in California, so that broadens my wardrobe choices.  After a good thirty minutes of trying on clothes and piecing together various outfits, I narrow it down to two choices.  The first outfit is a plain gray tank under a light pink cardigan, pieced with a flowery skirt and blue low-top Converse.  The second is a plain light blue dress that falls a few inches above my knees, wedge sandals, and a cute braided belt.

Unable to decide, I call Kalel.  She’s good with this kind of thing, and I want to tell her about tonight  anyway.

“Hey Melanie! What’s up?” Kalel answers.

“I need your help deciding on an outfit!” I say really urgently, as if it’s an emergency or something.

“What’s the occasion?” Kalel laughs.

“A Valentine’s Day date.”

“Oh my gosh! That’s awesome! Where are you guys going?!”

“I dunno, Ian won’t tell me yet!”

“Awww!  You have to tell me all about it later.  Now, tell me about those outfits.” I describe the two outfits to her in detail, and once I’m done she says, “From the sounds of it, I’d go with the first one.”

“Awesome! Thank you!”

“No problem! Make sure you call me later. Promise?” Kalel laughs.

“Absolutely! So, are you and Anthony doing anything?”

“I don’t know yet, actually. Maybe.”

“I bet he’ll surprise you like Ian did to me.  Those boys think alike,” I chuckle.

“Hah, you’re right,” Kalel laughs back.

“Alright, I gotta go change. Ian will be here soon. Bye!”

“Bye!” I close my phone and change into my outfit.  I’m glad Kalel and I decided on this one.  It’s cute and pretty, but also casual and fun.  I put on a little makeup and brush out my hair so it lies perfectly.  I hear the knock on the door just as I’m taking one last look in the mirror.  Ian’s here, with perfect timing.

I practically sprint downstairs and throw open the door.  Ian’s, of course, at the doorstep, looking even more adorable than normal with his nice shirt and signature smile.

“Ready to go?” Ian says.

I nod my head enthusiastically. “Mom, I’m leaving!” I yell towards the direction of the living room.

“Bye honey, be home by eleven!” she replies, and I shut the front door as soon as I hear her reply.

“So, are you going to tell me where we’re going?” I ask as Ian opens the car door for me.

“Nope,” Ian says nonchalantly.

“Oh, come on!  I’ve been waiting since school got out!” I plead.

“Oh, alright,” Ian relents. “How does a moonlit picnic by the lake sound?”

“You are too incredible,” I say with a huge, cheesy smile.  I have a feeling that smile will be present all night.  Ian never struck me as the romantic type, which makes this even sweeter.

He drives to the lake, which only takes about thirty minutes.  Once we get there, we grab some blankets and the picnic basket from the trunk and find a spot.  The sun is just beginning to set over the horizon when I spread out the blanket and we sit.

“For you, my dear, the finest of gourmet pizza,” Ian says in an exaggerated Italian chef kind of accent.  I crack up as he pulls a pizza box out of the basket.

“Only you,” I say through my giggles.

“Yeah, well I wasn’t going to make you suffer through my cooking,” Ian jokes as he pulls two cans of Mountain Dew from the basket.

“Aw, it can’t be that bad.”

“You’re right, but only if you’d rather have a dinner of cereal and sandwiches,” Ian replies, and we both laugh.

“So, Mister Gourmet Sandwich Maker, what’s your favorite sandwich?” I ask as I bite into a delicious slice of pizza.

“Probably a Club.  Well, anything with bacon I guess. You?”

“PB&J.”

“You know, I’ve never actually had PB&J.” [1]

“What?!” I gawk at Ian in disbelief.  What sixteen year old has never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?! Ian just shrugs and laughs again. “Well, I’m making one for you sometime, you deprived child.”

“Alright then,” Ian says, now cracking up laughing.

For the net hour or so, we sit and eat, talking about a variety of random topics.  The next time I look up, the sky is pitch black, revealing millions of glittering stars.

“Wow, look at the stars,” Ian says, lying down on his back to look up at them.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many stars at once,” I whisper as I snuggle up next to Ian and throw a blanket over us both.  I place my head on his chest and he wraps an arm around me.

“Same here.  It’s kinda nice to get away from the city so they can actually be seen.  You can never see any in the city.”

A comfortable silence commences as we gaze up at the stars.  For a few minutes, all I hear is Ian’s heartbeat and the occasional bug chirping.  I begin to make out some constellations, like the Big and Little Dipper, the Three Sisters, and Orion.  Everything is so clear that it looks like a painting.

“I remember your first day at our school,” Ian whispers thoughtfully after a few minutes.

“Oh, I was an absolute nervous wreck!” I say as I reminisce about that day.  I was so nervous that I could barely look anyone in the eye, much less talk to them. “Good thing I had that cute boy to show me around.”

“That’s weird, because I remember Mr. Linsey making me show a pretty girl around school that day.”

“Must have been some weirdo,” I kid. “The kid that showed me around sure was.”

Ian playfully bats my arm. “It’s weird to think that we probably wouldn’t be here if Linsey hadn’t told me to show you the school.”

“Yeah…and to think we’ve been dating for a little over three weeks.”

“It seems longer.  It could have been longer if we would have had the courage to tell each other how we feel,” Ian chuckles.

“You’re right,” I laugh. After a few more minutes of comfortable silence, I prop myself onto my elbows so I can look Ian in the eyes (his perfectly blue, lovely eyes). “Thank you for tonight.  I think this is one of the best presents I’ve ever been given.”

“Glad you liked it,” Ian smiles.  His smile is so cute that it almost makes me melt.

“You know what, Mr. Hecox?  You’re pretty amazing,” I say.

“And why is that, Miss Moat?”

“Because you’re you,” I say with the forever-reoccurring cheesy grin. I lean forward a few inches and softly touch my lips to Ian’s.  He kisses me back softly.

I close my eyes and lean into his embrace, wanting to live in this moment forever.  I am so lucky to have him.

***

February 14th, 2004

~Kalel’s POV~

I awake to the sound of my phone vibrating on my dresser early on Saturday morning.   I blindly grope for it with my head still buried in my pillow, not wanting to look up at the bright light entering my room.

“Hello?” I say groggily, wincing as my eyes finally adjust to the sunshine.

“Hey Kalel! Happy Valentine’s Day,” the voice at the other end of the line says.

“Anthony?” I say, confused because I didn’t bother to check the caller ID.

“The one and only,” he replies sarcastically.

I laugh as I gradually become more awake. “Why are you calling so early? Not that I’m upset you did, just curious.”

“It’s one o’ clock babe, not that early.”

I look at my clock and realize he’s right.  It sure doesn’t feel like the afternoon. “I guess I shouldn’t have up until four AM to read.”

“Well, Sleeping Beauty, would you like to go out for the day?”

“That sounds great. When?” I say, suddenly really excited.

“Pick you up in two hours?”

“That sounds awesome!”

“Alright, see you then.”

“Bye,” I reply.  Once my phone is shut, I let out an excited squeal.  It’s funny how Melanie bet Anthony would surprise me too.  She was right!  Gosh, he is too sweet.  I bound out of bed and into the shower, excited to start what I expect to be a fantastic day.

~~~

“Hey Anthony,” I as I open the front door and attempt to keep my smile from getting inappropriately big and stupid-looking.

“Hey…wow, you look beautiful,” he replies, his eyes quickly flicking up and down and eventually ending up at my eyes. Oh my gosh, his eyes, his beautiful chocolate eyes…

“Thank you,” I say when I snap out of my momentary trance.  I thought Anthony was adorable when he surprise-called me this morning, but now this! This is just getting ridiculous, I think to myself with a laugh.

“Ready?” Anthony says with a smile, and I nod and walk to his car.  We get in and he starts driving.

“So, where are we off to?”

“Wherever you wanna go.  I was thinking we could walk around Downtown, ‘cause there’s tons of things to do there.   We could go wherever you want to though, I’m not picky.”

“Downtown sounds awesome!  I don’t think I’ve ever been down there much.”

Twenty minutes later, we get out of Anthony’s car and begin our trek through Downtown Sacramento. “Where should we go, m’lady?” Anthony says in an exaggerated English accent.  He interlocks his fingers in mine, causing a shiver to go up my spine.

“You’re the one that’s been here, not me!”

“Alright, alright.  Let’s make it a game.  We’ll walk into the third place on the right side of this street.”

“Sounds fair…wait, that’s a skyscraper,” I say once I count the buildings.

“Oh…how about the left side then?” Anthony laughs.

“Ooh, an amateur art museum. Should be interesting,” I comment as we cross the street.

“I love modern art museums.  They’re hilarious.  Unintentionally hilarious, which is the best kind of hilarious,” Anthony jokes, making me crack up with laughter [2].  We enter the museum, and I am immediately astounded by the appearance of the place.  The hallways are a dark, almost reddish wood that contrasts with the snow white walls.  Sculptures, paintings, and every kind of artwork imaginable line the walls and floor.  As for the artwork, eh, well, it’s modern art.  Some of it is absolutely beautiful, but most of it just doesn’t make any sense.

“Hey, remember when we went to the Smithsonian during the trip to DC in eighth grade?” Anthony says suddenly.  The memory appears in my brain, and I immediately start laughing.

“Oh my gosh, yes!  We had four hours to roam the museums and our group chose the art museum!”

Anthony laughs, which makes me laugh harder.  I think his laugh is one of the greatest laughs ever. “Most kids chose the Air and Space museum, or the Natural History museum…you know, the cool ones.  But no.  We decided to go make fun of the stuff at the art museum!”

“We were like the only kids in that place, weren’t we?”

“Yes!  That made it better,” Anthony wipes away a tear of mirth from his eye.

“And now we’re doing the same thing, huh?” I say.  Anthony and I try to control our laughter so we’re not laughing like maniacs in public, but that doesn’t end up too well.  Trying to control laughter only makes things funnier.

“What?  That’s absurd!  I would never walk into a museum to mock the art!  You must not be as refined as I!” Anthony jokes with a mock nasally, snooty accent.  We manage to laugh even harder, earning some glares from the other people in the museum.

“We’re ridiculous,” I say, shaking my head in amusement.  Anthony and I continue to walk around, looking at the various pieces of breathtaking, confusing, beautiful, and just downright strange art.  I guess I’ve never been good at looking at the “message” behind weird art, because most of the time it just confuses me.

“Well, you were right.  That was unintentionally hilarious,” I say once we leave the museum. “The best part was the death glares people were giving us.”

“Totally,” Anthony smiles. “I liked the painting of the square.  Just a square.”

“And the picture of the random fish.”

“Oh, Glubby?”

“Glubby?!” I laugh.

“Yeah, that should be his name!” Anthony says.

“Catchy,” I laugh as I swing our joined hands. “The next place we go should be the fourth place to the left of the next street over.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

We walk over to the next street, count the buildings, and end up at an ice cream parlor.

“Nice!” Anthony says excitedly. “I’m gonna make you pick all the places we randomly choose if they end up like this!”

We spend the rest of the afternoon walking into random stores and buildings, and usually laughing at the outcome.  I don’t think I’ve ever laughed this much in my entire life.  Honestly, we could have gone anywhere and it still would have been fun.  I think it’s impossible to go on a date with someone as great as Anthony and not have an incredible time.

“Well, what do you say we go get some dinner?  There’s a great place only a block away,” Anthony says, wrapping one arm around my shoulder.

“Sure,” I reply.  Anthony leads me to a beautiful Italian restaurant.  It’s a brick building with ivy growing up one side, and there’s little tiny lanterns hanging from some of the leaves.  Once we’re seated, I take in the interior, which is even more amazing.  Random little pictures and trinkets cover the walls of the restaurant, which are painted a golden yellow that appears to glow in the dim romantic lighting.

“This place is beautiful!  I can’t believe I’ve never been here,” I gush.

“Wait until you taste the food.  Best pizza ever!”

“Wow, that’s saying something considering the amount of pizza you eat,” I joke, and Anthony laughs and nods in agreement.

Once our food comes, I realize just how right he is.  I ordered chicken parmesan, and I think it’s the best I’ve ever eaten. Sometime during dinner, we begin playing the “Alphabet Game,” where you have to answer a question that corresponds with a letter [3].

“Alright, next is C…how about color?  Even though I think I already know your answer,” Anthony says.

“Yours in black, right?”

“Correct, and yours is green?”

“Also correct!” I smile. “Alright, D.  Hmm…what’s the dumbest dare you’ve ever done?”

“In fifth grade, someone dared me to race my bike down a crazy steep hill on the first gear.  I went over the handlebars and got a black eye,” Anthony laughs.

“Awww!” I laugh with him.

“Yeah, my mom was not too pleased.  What’s yours?”

“I think it would be the time that I prank called a teacher in sixth grade.  I was at a sleepover, and we were playing Truth or Dare.  Our sixth grade math teacher gave everyone his phone number in case we needed math help, so someone dared me to prank call him.  I didn’t know how to make it a restricted number so he knew it was me.”

“Ooooh. Did you get in trouble?”

“Oh, yeah!  Three days detention, which was the end of the world for me at that time.”

“I miss how innocent we all were then,” Anthony kids.

“Yeah, and look at us now!” We laugh for about the thousandth time today and exit the beautiful restaurant.  It’s dark out now, and the street lights make the city look somehow both eerie and romantic.

“Why don’t we go back to my place?  I have my whole basement set up for an epic anime marathon,” Anthony says excitedly.

I look over at him, excitement bubbling up inside of me. “Oh my goodness! Seriously?!”

Anthony nods. “Yep.  That is, if you wanna watch anime for hours and hours…” he says jokingly, because he knows that I would watch anime for an entire day if I could.

“That sounds incredible!” I stand on tiptoe and plant a quick kiss on his cheek. “Drive fast!” Could this date get any better?  And could Anthony get any more perfect?!

Anthony drives back to his house and we walk down to the basement. “Woah, it looks like a theatre down here!” I say, examining the room. “It’s amazing!” A plush couch is sitting in front of a coffee table, and on that coffee table sits a projector facing the wall.  There are even tiny white Christmas lights across the ceiling, giving the room a warm and beautiful glow.

“Thanks!  I borrowed the projector from our neighbor so we can have a big screen,” Anthony says as he clicks a few things on the computer in the corner.

“I love those lights.  It’s so pretty!” I say as I sit down on the couch and pull a fuzzy blanket over myself.

“I thought you’d like those,” Anthony says, clicking one final button on the computer and switching off the lights. “Alright, the marathon begins!” He sits down next to me and pulls me closer to him.  I kick my feet up on the couch and snuggle next to him, draping the blanket over us both.  The only light is coming from the screen and from the glittering lights on the ceiling.

We watch show after show of our favorite animes.  The minutes tick by, and then the hours.  I haven’t been on a lot of dates in my lifetime, but this one was by far the best.  Anthony’s so sweet.  I couldn’t think of anyone better to spend the entire day with.

I must have been thinking about how incredible our date was when I drifted off to sleep, my head on Anthony’s shoulder and his arm wrapped protectively around me.

***

~Anthony’s POV~

The final show ends, and I look down and notice that Kalel is sleeping with her head on my shoulder.  She looks so beautiful and peaceful that I don’t want to wake her, but it’s almost curfew.

“Kalel,” I whisper, gently shaking her shoulder. “Babe, you fell asleep.”

She stirs and opens her eyes.  She looks confused for a second, but smiles when she realizes where she is. “Sorry.  What time is it?”

“A quarter to eleven, Sleeping Beauty,” I respond, using the same nickname I gave her earlier this afternoon. “The last show just ended.  Want me to drive you home?  It’s almost curfew.” I brush a soft lock of hair behind her ear.

“Nope, you’re comfy enough,” Kalel jokes as she slides into my lap.  She wraps her arms around my neck and lays her head on my chest.

“Glad to be of assistance, Miss Cullen,” I joke, wrapping my arms around her.  Kalel giggles, and at that moment it’s like I can’t take it anymore.  She’s too beautiful and irresistible.

I lift up her chin with two of my fingers and softly touch my lips to hers.  I feel her smile slightly under my lips as she kisses me back.  I cup the side of her face with my hand and relish the feeling of her this close to me.  I can’t believe my luck.  I’m glad I was used by Jen.  If that hadn’t happened, would I be here right now with lovely, beautiful, amazing Kalel Cullen?

At first I wasn’t sure of what to do for Valentine’s Day.  I knew I wanted to do something for Kalel, but I was clueless as to what.  I just followed my instincts, however, and I think she liked our date.  I sure know I did.  Some people may think that we’re weird for doing something so “romantic” or “grand” for Valentine’s, considering we haven’t been dating that long (only a little over a month).  But the truth is, we could have been dating for months now if we weren’t so blind.  That goes for Ian and Melanie too, because I’m pretty sure they did something similar for today.  It’s funny how dumb the four of us were.

“I love you, Kalel,” I whisper once we break our kiss and I rest my forehead on top of hers.  At first I’m surprised by what I say; I had no idea I said it aloud.  But as I look down at my incredible girlfriend, I know I don’t want to take the four heavy words back.  I don’t regret them.  I mean every one of them.

“I love you too, Anthony,” Kalel whispers back with a huge smile, and I know she means every one of them too.

[1] When Melanie tweeted that I about died of laughter ^_^ Ian is hilarious.

[2] I don’t mean to bash art museums, because I’ve been to some very nice ones. However, if you’ve ever been to one, you’ll know that most modern art is quite perplexing and weird. I guess I just don’t understand, lol.

[3] The idea for this lovely game goes to Katie L.! She’s @justaway2live on Twitter. She wrote this game in her story, and I asked her if I could steal it because it’s awesome. Thanks Katie! You guys should totally check out her stories, she’s an incredible writer (it’s smosh fanfiction too!) her stories are here: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/3571298/justawaytolive

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the overly romantic Valentine’s Day chapter. I’ve never really been into Valentine’s Day (well, that may be because I’ve never had a boyfriend) but this was so much fun to write! ^_^

I think I kinda overdid it with the romantic stuff, but this story is so damn angsty (with lots more angst to come!) so i felt it needed some good old overly-sappy fluff to balance it out :P

Twitter: @Lax_Smosh_Love                 email: lax_punky97@yahoo.com

I would love your feedback on this, it’s always appreciated!

Thanks so much!

<3 Rachel

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