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Our Summer- Chapter 32- Nothing As It Seems
I hit the track as fast as I possibly could, pounding my feet as if they could pound away all the hurt coursing through me. As if I could just run away from all of this. I didn’t care that I was running in jeans, a sweater, and Uggs; or that the early December breeze was cold against my cheeks. At least the wind blew my angry tears away.
I didn’t WANT to stay Summer’s friend.
Or her protector.
Or the person she could depend on.
I wanted my LIFE back! I didn’t want to worry about getting from class to class without getting beat up because of HER stupid mistake! Why was I doing this to myself?! I sprinted harder, my rage egging me on. I wanted to LAUGH, and TALK, and be NORMAL. I didn’t want to sit and wait until Summer came out of her trance, and even when she DID come out I was ALWAYS the one trying to make her smile. I did EVERYTHING for her, I gave up EVERYTHING for her. I wanted to laugh and joke with Jocelyn, I wanted to gossip with Dana, I wanted to chomp my gum and laugh and do my hair with Sylvia, I wanted to tease Tony about anything and everything, I wanted Summer to be herself again, and I wanted Rob. My tears flowed freely now, and as I jogged I threw myself a pity party.
I skidded to a stop as I turned to face who was calling for me, already knowing and dreading who it was. Rob stood there and stared, just like the day I’d met him at Dana’s lake. And I, like the day at Dana’s lake, stared back.
“I wanted to talk to you.” He finally said.
“Was that before or after you threw a book at my head?” I snapped.
“Or called me a loser?”
“Or told me you wish you’d never met me?”
“Or when you and your friends attacked me and Summer in the hallway? Or when you yelled at us EVERYDAY since school started? Or-“
He covered my mouth with his hand and I shut up in disbelief.
“Do you EVER let anyone else talk?” he said chuckling as he took his hand away. I remained silent but wouldn’t look him in the eye.
“LuLu; I’m SO sorry about that. ALL of that. I’d heard so many things, and I didn’t know WHAT to believe, and I thought I was doing the right thing, standing up for my friend….”
“Well, you weren’t.” I pointed out pointlessly
“I know that now. And I’ve hurt you. Over and over again. And if you never trust me ever again and hate me forever I’d understand.” This was so surreal. Rob was usually stubborn; never ever apologizing for ANYTHING. Not that he really did anything wrong while we were dating.
“You did. And I won’t. And I will.” I said trying to convince myself to walk away with my dignity, but my legs refused to budge.
“LuLu, I’ve taken this too far and I want it to end. I love you, so much.” He took my hand in his, and I slowly returned his genuine and loving gaze. “I will try SO hard to make up for this. For EVERYTHING. I just want you back.”
“Summer….” I was losing myself, I tried to stay in control bring up something that would make me angry at him again.
“Aren’t you tired of being the strong one? Always looking out for her?”
I was, he had me hooked then. But part of me was fighting, wanting to do the right thing.
“I can’t just ditch her…not now…”
“We can help her. Dana’s throwing a party next weekend and I already talked to her and she thinks if you and Summer come we can help build your reputations back up. We can fix this; and everything will go back to the way it was.”
It was perfect, and I felt as though the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I wouldn’t have to sacrifice or worry anymore. It was going to be okay. Everything was going to be okay.
I smiled and Rob returned it as we sealed the deal with a small kiss.
“Did you do it?” I asked as soon as Rob came into view in the hidden hallway.
He nodded and grinned cruelly “She TOTALLY fell for it. It was a piece of cake.”
I smiled broadly at our victory. “PERFECT! So they’re in?”
“Her face was practically BEGGING me to take Summer off her hands. She’s so desperate, they’ll probably be the first ones there.” Rob rolled his eyes and I laughed.
My plan was falling exactly into place. What losers. I thought to myself.
“Are you sure this will end it?” Rob said eagerly.
“Absolutely, everything is going to work out perfectly. She’ll be out of here in no time.”
And with that, I turned swiftly on my heel and strutted down the hallway with Rob’s eyes watching me the whole way.
What a loser. I smirked as I went down to the 7th grade hallway to lock in the next phase.