The Truth Behind the Lies

A story my friend and I are writing! Charlie (Charlotte) Walker and Shane Carter may seem like typical 15 year olds, but there's much more going on between the lines. Charlie and Shane have been best friends since preschool, but when Charlie discovers a secret that Shane has been hiding, it leads to some surprising events.

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5. The Dark Secret

Charlie's P.O.V

My cell phone vibrated for the fifth time that hour. I didn't even bother checking that time, by then I already knew who it was.

Did Shane really expect me just make up with him after pulling that stunt the other day? Was I really THAT much of a pushover? I hoped not.

Still, I couldn't resist. I read the text:

I'm sorry Charlie, please forgive me. PRETTY PRETTY please?

I rolled my eyes and put the phone down. If he was REALLY sorry, he'd at least have the guts to phone me.

Just then my phone started ringing.

I sighed.

"How convenient." I muttered to myself.

"Is that your phone sweetie?" My Mom asked me, as if she already knew the answer.

I nodded.

"Well... Aren't you gonna answer it?"

She raised her eyebrows.

"Fine..." I held the phone to my ear. "What do you want Shane?" I said more softly than I intended to.

"You to forgive me." He said sharply.

"Well I don't know if I should." I replied, while leaving the room so my Mom wouldn't eavesdrop.

"Charlie, I just need you to understand... And trust me, okay? I really don't want you to be mad."

A moment of silence while I tried to think of what to say.

"Please Charlie..." He begged.

I wanted to snap something at him. I wanted to demand an explanation. But I didn't just hear someone begging for forgiveness, I heard panic in his voice... Real, genuine panic. I wanted to forgive him. I wanted to forgive him so bad.

"Okay." I blurted out.

Damn. I WAS a pushover.

I heard the relief in his voice.

"Thank you Charlie, I just... I'm so-"

"I know." I said softly.

"So..." Shane went on. "What do you think of Damen?"

My eyebrows narrowed. What kind of question was that?

Damen was Shane's good friend. He had dirty blonde hair, amber eyes, and a mischievous look about him that made girls go crazy.

He didn't notice me at all though. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he said "Who's Charlie?" to anyone who mentioned me... Which would probably be no one at all.

"I don't know... What DO I think of Damen?" I asked awkwardly.

Shane sighed.

"Charlie, this isn't a rhetorical question. I was kinda hoping for an answer."

"I don't know... He's okay, I guess." I answered, not sure what to say. "Why?"

Shane hesitated.

"Well, I was just wondering if you'd be okay hanging with him for a day or something whie I take care of some things."

Was Shane trying to play matchmaker with Damen and me? If so, he could've at least chosen someone who acknowledged my existence...

"Um, what kind of 'things' were you planning on taking care of?" I asked him.

"Oh you know, just some things."

Well played Shane, well played. I wasn't falling for that too easily.

"I don't know Shane... Why don't you meet me at the park or something? You know, talk about this in person?"

Shane chuckled.

"See, there's a reason I'm on the phone right now. I know what I'm gonna say next might piss you off, so the worst you can do is hang up on me."

I managed a smile.

"Chicken, hiding behind a phone because you're afraid of me." I laughed. "Go on, tell me. Let's get it over with, I'm ready." I said mockingly.

"Well... I kind of already asked Damen to hang with you for a day, so it's not up for discussion."

"What?!?! Shane! Why-"

"Just one day! Tomorrow, okay?" He cut me off.

"Fine." I muttered, and hung up the phone.

I thought I'd feel angry after hanging up the phone, about Shane setting me up with Damen, after begging for my forgiveness. But I felt... Happy. Someone besides Shane was actually willing to spend a day with me. That had to mean something.

The next morning, I found myself straightening my hair, and applying eye shadow and mascara. I guess I was worked up about spending a day with Damen.

As I was putting my books into my not-so-neat locker, I could see a sihlouette that looked a lot like Damen leaning against a nearby locker. He walked towards me, until he was right at my locker.

He stammered something that sounded like a greeting, and I smiled, appreciating the effort. We walked down the hall side by side saying nothing for a moment, until I broke the silence.

"So... Um, how's soccer?" I asked, trying to talk about something he was in to.  I knew he was on Shane's soccer team, so I gave the subject of soccer a try.

"It's going fine. Hasn't been the same without Shane for the last few weeks though." He replied, surprisingly polite.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

He gave me a funny look.

"Well, he hasn't been to the last few practices, and he wasn't there for our game last week either."

I stopped in mid-stride.

"He hasn't been showing up to any practices or games?" I asked, sounding more concerned than I thought.

Damen shook his head.

I felt sick to my stomach now. I tried to shrug the feeling off, but something just wasn't right. Why would Shane skip practices and games when he wasn't even sick? Sports was what he loved most, and he would never pass up an opportunity to play unless it was absolutely necessary.

"Charlie?" Damen asked, a hint of concern in his eyes.

"I'm fine." I said. "I'll see you in class."

That whole day I probably didn't hear one word any teacher said. That sick feeling in my stomach stayed there, and it wasn't going away anytime soon.

After classes ended, I walked to my locker and threw my coat on. I was going to go home, phone Shane, and bring up the fact that he'd been missing soccer. There was no need to be subtle anymore, Shane knew that I knew something was up.

"Awww look! Charlie actually made an effort today! What's the occasion?"

I turned around to see Brianna, the most popular girl in school, eyeing me up.

The overwhelming smell of strong perfume hit me like a wall. Her wavy blonde hair was still perfect, as if she had just done it. Her smile was so fake, I swore lightning would strike at any moment.

I didn't answer, I just turned back to my locker, gathering my things.

"Not gonna answer me then? No need to feel embarrassed... I know makeup doesn't help EVERYONE..."

Anger and embarrassment swelled up inside me, but before I could say anything, someone said: "I think this look suits her."

I whirled around and saw Damen. My cheeks turned red, and I hoped he didn't notice.

"Wow, you've got Damen on your side?" Brianna laughed. "How did you manage-"

"Stop being a bully, Brianna. Just leave her alone." Damen interrupted.

"No need to get involved Damen, I was only-"

"I said LEAVE HER ALONE." He said in more of a growl now.

Brianna gave him a confused look, and then walked away, leaving us alone.

"Thanks." I said. "I owe you one."

"No problem." He smiled. A real smile.

"Well, I'll see you tomorrow then." I said as I walked away.

I reached in my bag to grab for my phone, but felt something else. A notebook. I'd never put a notebook in my bag, so I took it out. On the front of the book it read: Shane C.

Great. The perfect excuse to talk to Shane and drop the book off at his house.

I started towards Shane's house. I'd never been inside, but I had walked him home before, so I knew where he lived.

As I approached the brick house, it looked innocent enough. But what I heard coming from the inside was the complete opposite. Crashes and sobbing came from the inside. The sick feeling came back.

I crept through the side yard of the house, and peered through the only open window. There was Shane, sprawled on the floor, bloody and bruised. Not moving. His father stood above him with a sadistic look. And then all was silent.

I felt tears form in my eyes, blocking my vision.

I wanted to run in there, throw my hands around Shane, and tell him that everything would be alright. Tell him I would stand by him.

I felt myself gasp for breath. I was beginning to cry.

Ian must have heard me, because next thing I knew he was glowering through the window at me, giving me an evil stare.

I ran.

 

 

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