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April 5, 2010
Westchester Police Department
“Evalynne, my God are you ok?” Dad as he rushed into the police department with Nina right at his side. I rolled my eyes at the sight of her. The last time I’d seen her she’d just got done pushing me out of her car. Technically, all of this crap that went on with Will was her fault for forcing me out onto the streets.
“I’m fine,” I uttered back to him. “Not that it matters to you anyways,” I added under my breath. Cole glanced over at me sympathetically, and Kristy gently squeezed my hand comfortingly. All three of us were sitting in the lobby of the police department, while my mom was up at the front desk talking with one of the policemen.
“Of course I care!” he cried. “Do you have any idea how relieved I am that you’re safe? Evalynne, you’re my daughter and I love you. I know you’re upset with me, but that doesn’t mean that I think of you any differently. I’m still your father and I still care about you. I’ll always care about you.”
“Can we just stop with this pathetic heartfelt moment? I have a headache and your little Hallmark card speech isn’t helping.” I shot back at him. I’d usually never speak to my father this way, but after what I’d just been through, getting yelled at by my dad was the least of my worries.
I couldn’t but feel a tad remorseful for what I’d just said though. Especially because of how hurt he looked. His eyes were wide with a mixture of shock and sadness, like I’d just ripped a tiny piece of his heart out. But he’d shattered my whole world, so he deserved every bit of pain that I was causing him.
“Evalynne, don’t speak to your father that way. It’s rude and disrespectful,” Nina scolded me. As if she had any right to tell me what to do.
“Excuse me? You’re the psycho-$lut who pushed me out of your car! You’re the one who practically forced me to move out onto the streets! You’re homewrecker who stole my dad away from me and my mom!” I shouted back at her in fury. I smirked back at her stunned expression. “How’s that for rude and disrespectful?”
At that moment, Mom walked up to us. “Richard,” she began, “can you please explain why the hell Evalynne was living in her car? She was supposed to be living with you! What happened? And why in the world didn’t you tell me that she left?”
“It’s not my fault!” he said defensively. “She got mad and moved out. I figured she’d be fine. She is eighteen years old, you know.”
“Well she wasn’t fine, was she?” Mom remarked. “And don’t say you didn’t do anything, because you did. You brought her into Evalynne’s life.” She said her as if it were some nasty disease and jutted her chin at Nina. “And Nina, I know what exactly what happened. I know that you pushed Evalynne out of your car, and if we weren’t in a police station right now, I’d claw your eyes out for touching my daughter.”
I couldn’t help but smile at this. Mom always did such a great job of standing up for me. Cole and Kristy both grinned too. Neither of them liked Nina either since she’d destroyed Cole’s parents’ relationship too.
“Holly, that’s enough!” Dad said, his voice raising in volume. He looked at Nina apologetically, which made me want to shove them both into the wall. “Nina didn’t push anyone. Evalynne’s just looking for attention. You know how dramatic she can be.” He shot me a stern glare before adding, “I wouldn’t be surprised if she gave herself those bruises and then blamed that boy for it.”
Everyone went silent after he said this, because no one knew how to react to it. That was one of the most cruel things I’d ever heard my dad say. How could he possibly think that I was making all of this up? How could he possibly believe Nina over me? Didn’t’ he just get done telling me how I was his daughter and he loved me?
Shockingly, Cole was the first to speak. “And you wonder why she hates you so much!” he cried, rising to his feet. “Don’t you see how horribly you treat her? Don’t you get it that she feels like you love your new girlfriend more than her? That’s exactly how I felt when Nina had an affair with my dad.”
I couldn’t have been more grateful for Cole’s presence. He’d finally gotten through to Dad. I could see it in my father’s eyes, that he now understood what I was going through.
“And by the way, she’s not making any of this up either. Back when Nina was screwing my dad, I went off on her and threatened to, and I quote, ‘rip out every single hair on my head’. Face it, your woman’s a nut job.” Cole added.
I caught a flicker of a smile playing across Mom’s lips. I knew she didn’t really like Cole all that much, since she’d found out that he’d tried to feel me up last year. But I could tell that he was beginning to grow on her. It was pretty hard to hate Cole too. I knew that from experience.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Nina shouted back, but it was clear that nobody believed her. Not even my dad.
“Nina, don’t lie to me anymore,” he commanded. “If we want this relationship to work, we have to form some trust.”
My jaw dropped when I heard this. He was still going to try and make their relationship work? Was he freakin’ serious? Cole, Kristy and Mom all looked just as shocked as I felt. Even Nina looked a bit surprised. But she looked more smug than shocked.
“You’re absolutely right, Richard.” she replied with a smile. “I’m sorry if I haven’t been completely honest with you.”
That was it. This was the last straw. There was no way I was going to sit around and listen to Nina and Dad make up with eachother. No freakin’ way. So I turned on my heel and walked right out of the police station. Once I was outside, I let the tears flow freely down my cheeks.
“Hey,” Cole’s low voice momentarily distracted me from my own self-pity. I turned around to see him and Kristy approaching me.
“Hey,” I replied, wiping my face with the back of my hand.
“Are you ok?” Kristy asked me, placing a comforting arm around my shoulder.
“Not really,” I told her flatly.
“I’m sorry,” she said sympathetically. A high-pitched beeping sound went off and Kristy yanked her cell phone out of her pocket. She pressed a button on it and the annoying sound was silenced. “Crap, I’m late for work,” she said mostly to herself.
“You got your job back at Sadie’s?” I asked her.
“Yeah, after about fifteen minutes of begging the manager for it.” she replied. “I don’t have to go in today if you don’t want me to though.”
“No, you should go.” I assured her. “I already got you fired once. I refuse to do it again.”
She smiled and nodded. “Ok,” She gave me a quick hug before walking off down the street in the direction of Sadie’s. It was only about two blocks away from the police station, so it wouldn’t take her very long to get there.
“Don’t feel bad about what happened,” Cole said to me. “It’s not your fault.”
“I know,” I muttered, not really meaning it. Maybe if I’d just been a better daughter, Dad would’ve never had any reason to leave. Maybe if I hadn’t brought so much drama into my life with Ash and Cole, he never would’ve needed to get away from it all. Maybe if I’d somehow showed him how great Mom and I were, he never would’ve gone off to be with Nina.
“No you don’t,” Cole replied. “You can tell yourself that you do, but that’s not going to help. You need to actually believe it.”
“But what if this is my fault, Cole?” I cried. “What if I wasn’t good enough for my dad? What if that’s why he left me and Mom for Nina?”
He looked at me with sadness in his deep brown eyes. “I know exactly what you mean. You think you weren’t a good enough daughter for him. You think you could’ve been better. You think you could’ve made him love you more. Trust me, I felt the same way when I was going through all of this. But you can’t keep thinking that way. None of that is true. It’s all in your head.”
“How do you know that?” I remarked, not believing him.
“Because I spent an entire year thinking that way. I spent an entire year trying to improve myself so that my dad would come back. But in the end, I realized that I wasn’t the problem at all. Because even when I’d perfected all of my flaws, even when I’d been the best that I could be, my dad still didn’t come back. So trust me, you’re not the problem. Your dad is.”
I looked at him appreciatively. We shared the exact same emotions. We had so much in common and I didn’t even know it until now. I had no clue that anyone else felt the same way I did. I had no idea there was actually somebody else out there who hurt as much as I did. But now that I knew, I felt so relieved. So much less alone.
Sharing these feeling with Cole, looking into his chocolate-colored eyes, just being with him once again made me remember why I’d loved him so much. In fact, it had me falling in love with him all over again. At that moment, all I wanted to do was kiss him. And so I did.
I pressed my lips up against his and wrapped my arms around his waste. I felt our bodies mold together, until we were no longer two individuals, but one whole. It was like we were two puzzle pieces being put together. The familiar taste of his warm kiss electrified all of my senses, making me feel all tingly inside.
I’d forgotten how amazing it was to be kissing Cole. I’d forgotten just how spine-chilling his gentle touch was as he stroked the side of my face. But it was all coming back to me now. I was kissing him, and loving every second of it. Until he pulled away.
“We shouldn’t be doing this,” he told me.
“Why not?” I replied, wanting nothing more than to continue on with our kiss.
“Because we’ve both already agreed that our relationship is over. You can’t keep doing this to me, Evalynne. All this on again, off again stuff…it’s killing me. I’ve wanted to be with you ever since last summer. And ever since then, you’ve been acting like a complete tease. I sat back and just took it for a really long time, but I just can’t anymore. I’m sorry.” He bowed his head down, focusing on his worn out black Converse rather than on my face.
Why did this have to happen to me? I knew that he was right. I knew that I hadn’t exactly been faithful to him in the past. But couldn’t we just put the past behind us and try again? That was all I wanted to do. I just wanted to be with Cole. He made me so happy.
“We can’t just give it one more shot?” I asked him, biting my lip as I waited for his response. He sighed deeply and looked back up at me, staring into my eyes. I could tell he was trying to decide whether or not getting back together with me would be a very smart decision. Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure if it would be a smart decision for him. But I wanted him to get back with me anyways. I knew it was selfish, but I couldn’t help it.
“It’s really hard to say no to you, you know that?” he remarked, sounding slightly irritated. But then a smile broke out across his lips and I knew he what choice he had made. I smiled too, my heart seizing with joy.
“I know,” I replied, beaming back at him. I laughed and wrapped my arms around neck, pulling myself into him.
Our lips locked and we shared another delightfully long kiss. We finally broke apart when we heard the door to the police station open behind us. Both of us tore our bodies apart and turned to see who had opened the door. It was Dad and Nina. They both stormed away from the police station without a word. And a mere second after they did, Mom walked out…and she was crying.
“Mom, what’s wrong?” I asked her.
“Nothing,” she said. “Your dad’s just not the same person he used to be. I don’t know what’s gotten into him, but I don’t even recognize him anymore.” She sniffled and wiped at her eyes with the back of her wrist.
“Don’t worry about him, ok? He’s not worth it. You were the bigger person in this situation, and you left him. Don’t let him get to you now.” I told her, wrapping a comforting arm around her shoulder.
She nodded and tried her best to smile back at me. “You’re right.” she stated. “The only thing I should be worrying about right now is you. When I talked to the cop, he said that Will had fled from the diner before they could get there. They have a search party out looking for him now.”
“So you’re saying that he got away.” I confirmed. She shot me a look of sympathy and I let out a deep sigh. “So now both him and Michael are out roaming freely. That’s just great. I feel so safe now.” I added sarcastically.
Cole placed his hand on my waste protectively and I noticed a flicker of rage in his eyes. “Don’t be afraid of them, Evalynne.” he told me, sounding confident. “I’m not going to let either of them hurt you. This time, if either of them shows up, I’ll be ready for them. And I’ll kick their—”
“Language!” Mom piped up before Cole could get the last word of his sentence out. I rolled my eyes at her and looked up at Cole.
“That’s really sweet of you, but I can’t let you fight them. What if you get hurt? I’d never be able to forgive myself.” I told him.
“Trust me, I’ll be fine.” he assured me, as if him actually getting hurt was out of the question. But I was still worried. Cole had muscles, but I wasn’t so sure if he knew what do with them. I couldn’t help but flash back to the time when Ash had knocked Cole out with just one punch.
“I don’t think you should try fighting them either.” Mom added. “The police can handle them just fine. You don’t want to get yourself arrested, do you?”
“Mom, you really don’t have to stand here anymore. You can go home now.” I told her. I was getting kind of sick of her awkwardly adding to our conversation.
“Alright, I get it. You two kids want your privacy.” She grinned at me and Cole and let out a content sigh. “Well I’m going to go get your things from Nina’s apartment and bring them back to the house. Just come home tonight, ok?” I nodded in response. Then she smiled once more and walked away from us.
“Sorry about that,” I uttered to Cole, my cheeks flushed with embarrassment. Why were mothers so humiliating?
“Not a problem,” he replied. “And by the way, I’m still going to kick some McKnight a$$ if I ever come face to face with either one of those tools.”
I couldn’t help but to smile at this. Cole was like my knight in shining armor, always there to protect me from any danger that lurked in my path. And I loved him for that. But not even Cole could protect me from the terrified paranoia that haunted me.