Chapter 5: Singing at School
This weekend had to be the best of my life. See, my father travels often, will be home for a week or two, and then he can be gone for as long as three months. He sobers up when he is going to go on business trips so this weekend he was sober and he took me shopping. He bought me new shoes and jeans, some scarfs, a lot of cute shirts, a new iPhone, an iTunes gift card with $250 on it, new curtains to replace the sheer ones hiding my bed, some new books, a new laptop, a laptop case, an iPhone case and The Sims 3 with all the expansion packs.
I learned long ago that whenever he would be leaving for more than a month, he would spend a lot of money on me. I took every opportunity to get spoiled by him because I usually have to buy everything for myself, working for two hours and two days a week. So when I did get money spent on me, I didn't take anything for granted.
We were almost done shopping when he asked if there was anything else I wanted. I told him about winter formal and how even though I didn't have a date, it would be nice if I had a dress and shoes for if I got one. He smiled and nodded, gesturing for me to lead the way to what store I wanted to look in.
I led him to one of the best boutiques for dresses that I know of. I went to the back of the store where the clearance was. I rifled through the dresses, finding nothing. My dad laughed at me, "You don't need to look at the clearance. Look up at the front."
I nodded and asked if he would hold my bags. He took them and I wandered to the front, slowly looking at all the glittery dresses. A lot of them were floor length ball gowns, but I did find an area with some shorter dresses, not skank short, but short.
I saw a lot of pretty ones. But I was looking for something to match the theme. Seeing as it was Winter Wonderland, just like every year, I wanted something Christmas like. I found a few beautiful dresses that fit exactly what I was looking for, but then I turned around and my perfect dress was up for display in the front window.
It was perfect. It was short, just the right length, and red. The red sparkled against the light from the boutique display case. On the skirt of the dress, there were little snowflakes, big snow flakes, and the top of it was lined in beautiful silver crystal. The skirt was fitted to your body but not in a slutty way. It had one long sleeve that came down to a point in the middle of your hand and the other shoulder was bare. It was bound to be expensive.
I walked to the checkout counter where there was a girl about my age, chewing gum and flipping through a magazine.
"Excuse me, miss? Do you have that red dress in the front window in a size four?"
She looked up at me, slammed her magazine down and walked to the front, opening a fitting room door and telling me to go in and she would be back with the dress. I waited for a few minutes and she came back with three dresses in her hand. They were all the same, just different colors. The red one, a green one and a navy blue one. She told me to pick which one I wanted and she would help me when I was done.
She left and I stared at the dresses. I loved the red one, but there was just something inside me that said to go with the green one. I stripped my heavy winter clothes away and pulled the dress on, zipping it up in the back. I looked at myself in the mirror and I stared, shocked. The green was gorgeous on me! I opened the door and my fathers jaw dropped. "How much?"
"I-I don't know," I answered.
He shrugged, "Well, change and lets get it then we can go get you some shoes for with it."
I smiled giddy. I went back into the dressing room and quickly changed. I put the dress back on the hanger and placed the blue and red one on the not buying rack. I went to the register, green dress in hand my dad handed me my bags after I set the dress down. He paid for the dress, handed me that bag and then took me to Nordstrom and said, "Pick a pair of boots, Toms and heels and then we are going to leave."
He took my bags and sat in a chair. I asked the assistant for the silver Toms in a size eight, a pair of sand coloured tall Ugg boots in a size nine, and then a pair of silver stiletto Michael Kors heels in a size eight. Father paid for those and I took all my bags. We went to the car and he loaded my things into the trunk. I said thank you, and then we sat in the car in silence for the hour long ride home. I played on my blackberry (which I couldn't wait to trade for my iPhone) and before I knew it we were back at the house. I took my things from the trunk and wandered up to my room, my arms weighed down from the twenty or so bags I had. I took my curtains, laptop, laptop case, computer games, iPhone, iPhone case, and iTunes card out of the bags and then took the rest of my bags up to my closet/reading room. I hung up everything carefully, especially the dress, put the shoes on the shelves, still in their boxes, and carried the twelve new books over to my shelves and struggled to fit them on the shelves.
Going back down to my room, I took the curtains off the rail and put them on the empty rail above my french doors leading to my balcony. I hung up the thick, non-see through curtains up and then took my old laptop upstairs to my reading area. I plugged it in, took all the music off of that computer, putting it on a jump drive and then going back down to my room to set up my laptop and iPhone. I put the games in a drawer with any other games I had and then realized how hungry I was.
I walked down stairs and saw a beer bottle on the table. Deciding I didn't want to know, I grabbed my box of Luna bars from the pantry and made my way back upstairs, shutting my door behind me.
Later that night, I had set up my new computer, set a passcode lock on it, transferred all the music from my other MacBook onto my new one, set up my iPhone, erased everything except pictures off my Blackberry, and downloaded The Sims 3 to both my laptops. I crawled downstairs at eleven to make peppermint cocoa and once that and the dishes were done, I went back upstairs. I had my hair in a messy bun, I was wearing red and white wrist warmers, a cream over baggy sweater, black leggings, white leg warmers and my glasses. I went up into my reading nook (where I also kept a lot of movies) and decided to watch Harry Potter. I put the first movie in my old laptop and curled up on the window seat, my laptop at my feet, my peppermint cocoa warming my fingers, falling asleep as Gryffindor celebrated winning the House Cup.
Sunday was a blur of my father packing for his trip and me cramming in some last minute homework. I texted with Kayla a little bit and drove my dad to the airport, helped him take his things to security and waved goodbye. He would be in the States for about four months and once he was gone, things would be so much better. I could have Kayla over, I could have Louis over, I could invite Harry- wait a minute. Harry? Why would I think about him? Yes, we sat together on the roof, but I wasn't all that close with him... Well, I could be if I chose to. Father waved that I could leave and I yelled goodbye to him, and once he turned around, I was gone. I ran back to my car and away from him. He had hit me on Friday and the black bruises were still there, still just as dark, not fading one tiny bit.
I walked through the darkened temporary car park, feeling uneasy. I felt like someone was following me, watching me, like they were going to attack. I unlocked my car and checked my phone, locking the door behind me as I closed it. I drove away, my Starbucks coffee in my hand, driving down the freeway. I slowed down once traffic started to pick up on the bridge. I looked out my window and saw Kayla in the next car over, her once light brown hair now black with streaks of blue, a nose ring, lip piercing and I swore I saw a tattoo on her neck before I had to drive again. Shaking that off as someone who just looked like her, I drove home, my phone occasionally lighting up with a text message. I pulled into my driveway around six, wanting to just go to sleep. The drive from the airport to our house was three hours and I just did that drive in a skirt and white and black polka dot shirt with Toms on. I was uncomfortable and just wanted some peppermint cocoa.
I saw a few cars in my driveway and I had to park behind one. I sighed. It was Bunco night at our house I guess. I grabbed my purse and phone, seeing I had texts from Harry and Louis.
Harry: Hey, meet me at the front doors of school tomorrow at 7 k?
Louis: How was ur weekend? xx-L
I didn't reply to Louis, but I told Harry I would. I climbed out of my car and went up the front steps, shivering in the cold. I went up the front steps, my Toms becoming soaked by the snow. I opened the door and saw that this was not Bunco. There were lawyers, upon lawyers standing in our front room. I saw my mom in a corner talking to someone whose back was turned.
"Uh, Mom? What's going on?"
Her head snapped up and she came over to me, telling the person to stay there. I knew it was a guy, he looked to be around my age, and I thought I knew him from somewhere. He was very familiar.... I swear I knew that boy!
"I'll explain later, okay? Just, Louis! Louis go upstairs with her," my mom said.
"Wait, Louis is here?" He was indeed. He was standing in the corner, his back to me. He turned around and smiled sheepishly at me. He was rather cute looking when he did that. I backed up from everyone and put my hands on my head. I felt the beginnings of a headache forming and I turned away from Louis and my mom, running down the hall and up the stairs. I heard Louis quickly behind me.
I ran into my room and up my spiral staircase. I heard him throw my door open just as I pulled my foot off the last step of the staircase. I ran through my closet and into my reading nook. I curled up in the darkest corner and rocked myself back and forth. I heard Louis slowly coming up my staircase and I pulled myself together. He couldn't see me like this- he would think I was having another panic attack! I rubbed my hands on my face and then stood up and went to my window seat.
Louis came in the nook and I jumped up when I saw him holding my dress. "Put that back!” I said, more like demanded. My eyes were wide and I was pointing my finger at him.
"I-I didn't know you had a date," Louis whispered.
"I don't, I don't, I don't even know if I'll get one, but I thought I would get a dress, just in case. Now please, put it back," I begged.
"You should have gotten blue. It fits well for you," he said, laying the dress on the desk chair I had. I sat down and Louis sat next to me. "Do you want to-"
I cut him off. "No, I don't want to go anywhere, I don't want to talk to anyone right now. I need alone time," I said.
"Louis! I saw Kayla with a tattoo on her neck, and a lip and nose ring! I need to think! And then you know there is the fact that on Friday I got beat again!" I held up my shirt, revealing my stomach covered in more purples and blues. They were fading quickly, thank God otherwise I would be in horrible pain.
"H-he hit you again?"
"He hits me all the time!" I cried in frustration. "Please, just go. I'll see you tomorrow okay?"
Louis stood up and sighed. "Okay. See you tomorrow, Abby."
I watched Louis walk down my spiral staircase and I almost stopped him from going. I stood at the top of the stairs, fighting myself for going to get him or not. But I knew once I heard my door close that it would be too late to get him back. I could faintly hear the goodbye he was saying to my mom and then I heard the front door open and close with a solid bang.
"Bye, Louis," I said quietly, and then went to my closet, hanging up my dress and changing into some comfy grey sweats and a blue sweatshirt.
I went down to my bed with my old laptop and closed myself in the smaller closet holding my twin sized mattress. I played The Sims 3 for a while and fell asleep, just barely remembering that I had to meet Harry at the front of the school tomorrow at seven.
I woke up the next morning at five and decided I would put my hair in a sloppy bun. I was tired and just wanted to be comfy anyway. I put on a little bit of concealer and mascara, then went to get dressed. I wore my over large beige sweater with black leggings, white leg warmers, and my sand colored Ugg boots. I made myself some peppermint cocoa and decided I would make one for Harry as well. Who didn't love peppermint, right? I poured the cocoa into two coffee cups (the portable ones, yes), made sure I had everything and headed out the door.
I pulled into school about five minutes before seven and then remembered we had a late start. Well, Harry wanted to meet up so I decided to stay here and meet him anyway. I climbed out of the car, leaving my cheer stuff there and grabbed our coco. I wandered to the front, being careful not to slip on ice. I got to the door and I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket.
I juggled with the cocos and eventually got my phone out.
Harry: Follow the arrows xx-Harry
I shrugged and put my phone away, looking around for the arrows. I saw them taped up and did as instructed. They led me to the gym, where I saw the entire football team and cheer squad. I walked in and gasped. Every inch of the gym was covered in streamers, the walls had been covered with signs for the winter formal, there was a banner across the whole top of the gym that read, "Will you go to the dance with me?" and right underneath the banner, in the center of the gym, stood a bundled up Harry, his brown curls windblown and his nose red from the cold. He held a dozen roses in his arms and I walked up to him, slowly.
"What do you think?" Harry asked, staring at my face.
I felt my mouth opening and closing like a goldfish and I finally managed to say, "I-I,wow," in the most quiet voice. "This is for you by the way. Peppermint cocoa," I said handing it to him.
He chuckled his sexy deep chuckle (Whoa, sexy? When did I decide that...?), took the coco and said, "So, Abby, will you go to the dance with me?"
I stared, still in shock for a minute, my brain thinking things through, but I listened to what my heart was saying. I slowly felt a smile creep up onto my lips and I nodded. "Yes, yes, I will go to the dance with you!"
Immediately, everyone cheered. He pulled me into a massive bone crushing hug, twirling me around and then setting me down. He handed me the roses and we left together, his arm around my shoulder as if to say, "She's mine." It felt weird and yet, it was comfortable. After weeks of only talking and hanging out with Louis, I loved the difference. I took a big breath of air in, smelling my peppermint cocoa, the snowy atmosphere and a fantastic fresh pine smell that was mixed with something smelling of gingerbread which had to be coming from Harry. He and I went to the roof where we had sat the other day, and just talked.
"Do you know I was planning to ask you on friday when we were up here?" Harry said, the wind nipping at our noses and blowing his curls everywhere.
I laughed, patting his curls down and then said, "No, I didn't know that."
A sudden gust of wind made me shiver and Harry's eyes flashed with concern. "You're cold," he said. He took off his jacket, "Here, put this on."
I stared at him, now only in a tshirt and jeans and I shook my head, "I can't take your jacket, you'll get sick!"
"No, I won't, take it," He said.
"We could just go inside, you know. The bell is going to ring soon, anyway."
He nodded and we grabbed our things. We opted to find the stairs and not take the ladder and we went down to the commons. We got there right when the first warning bell rang. I gave Harry a fleeting hug, inhaling his pine and gingerbread scent before letting go and rushing up to my friend Beverly and walking to my first class of the day.
"I just wanna hold you,
I just wanna love you,
Forever I'm yours, if you take me,"
I quietly sang at lunch later that day. I had a horrible morning, Louis wasn't here, Kayla wasn't here and I got made fun of for having the roses with me. I now was attracting strange looks and laughing, because I wasn't singing as quietly as I thought I was. I stood up, frustrated, and collected my things. I was going to the music department because there I could sing.
I walked through the empty halls, except for the occasional couple, in a heated make out session. I saw a few of my friends in the hall, but I really just wanted to go sing. I wasn't much good, I more had a knack for writing the songs, and then other people sang them.
I finally got to the department and opened the door. I went in quietly, because I saw a person in the recording studio. I couldn't exactly hear them so I turned up the volume to be pumped out to the sound adjusting area.
I knew the song that the person was singing and I listened quietly while they sang the whole thing.
"Hey there Delilah what's it like in New York City I'm a thousand miles away But girl tonight you look so pretty, yes you do Times Square can't shine as bright as you, I swear it's true
Hey there Delilah don't you worry about the distance I'm right there if you get lonely give this song another listen Close your eyes, listen to my voice it's my disguise I'm by your side
Oh it's what you do to me Oh it's what you do to me Oh it's what you do to me Oh it's what you do to me What you do to me
Hey there Delilah, I know times are getting hard But just believe me girl, someday I'll pay the bills with this guitar We'll have it good, we'll have the life we knew we would My word is good
Hey there Delilah, I've got so much left to say If every simple song I wrote to you Would take your breath away, I'd write it all Even more in love with me you'd fall, we'd have it all
Oh it's what you do to me Oh it's what you do to me Oh it's what you do to me Oh it's what you do to me, what you do to me
A thousand miles seems pretty far But they've got planes and trains and cars I'd walk to you if I had no other way Our friends would all make fun of us And we'll just laugh along because we know That none of them have ever felt this way
Delilah I can promise you That by the time that we get through The world will never ever be the same And you're to blame
Hey there Delilah You be good and don't you miss me Two more years and you'll be done with school And I'll be making history like I do
You'll know it's all because of you We can do whatever we want to Hey there Delilah here's to you This one's for you
Oh it's what you do to me Oh it's what you do to me Oh it's what you do to me Oh it's what you do to me What you do to me. Oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh."
The person finished the song and I just stared in shock. Their voice was beautiful, like an angel, living inside a boy. It was sheer perfection! I accidentally hit the button that allowed them to hear me as I said, "That was beautiful."
The boy jumped a thousand feet in the air and made me scream in return of their shock. And then I saw his face. Keeping my hand on the button, I said, "Harry? You sing?"
His eyes were wide and his breathing was heavy, rapid, like he was the one having a panic attack. Slowly, I saw his eyes focus on my face and the hint of joy in his eyes faded, replaced with something I took to be shame.
"Go ahead. Tell me how lame it is that I sing. Laugh at me," Harry said, his voice full of sadness.
I went into the recording room and poked his chest. "Don't you ever say that I would think singing is lame again. I loved to hear you sing. Who told you it was lame?"
He sighed, and grabbed my small hand inside his large one. "It doesn't matter, I'm just used to the only people supporting my singing being my family."
"Well, you have me on your side now too. I was actually coming in here to sing, horribly might I add," I said.
"You can't be bad! You're good at everything, let's hear it," Harry said, grabbing my notebook with my songs in it and taking it away. "Sing, right now."
"You won't know it, no one sings it," I said.
"So, you wrote it? that's amazing!"
"It's a work in progress, all of them are, I'm just, figuring out the story behind them," I said with a smile. "It's not quite finished either but, I'll sing it anyway."
I closed my eyes and felt Harry intertwine his fingers with mine.
Slowly, I began to sing one of my favorites, Me and My Black Dress.
"Now, oh now, you know, I was always, your love. You know how, how to let me be myself, And that I don't need your help. You know now, I never needed you, but darling, I still do. We stayed out, late at night, never once had a fight, 'cause our love, was true.
Baby, when I said forever, I meant it. Sad to say, you never did. Everything I gave you was a waste, know that I'm never coming back, baby. Baby, just know that me in my little black dress, are gone.
You said it meant nothing, that you loved me, Through and Through. Baby no sense in lying, I know it's not true! You say that after everything, but why did I believe? Oh why? I should have known, you should have known that,
Baby, when I said forever, I meant it. Sad to say, you never did. Everything I gave you was a waste, know that I'm never coming back, baby. Baby, just know that me in my little black dress, are gone.
Now, my baby, I'm so sad to see that you are gone, that everything way a lie. What about the memories, what about the love, what about, what abut it all? Did you not care, did you just pretend?
Baby, just know that me in my little black dress, are gone."
I couldn't believe it I just sang in front of someone, without them laughing, or saying stop. I sang my own song! And then it dawned on me; I sang my own song. A song that was unfinished, had no notes and no tune. A song, I wasn't proud of as a songwriter, and I just sang it to a guy I barely know, who brought me flowers and asked me to the winter formal. What did I just do?!
"Harry, I should probably g-" I was cut off by yet another realization. Harry and I were now very close, our noses almost touching and our lips just about to touch. My heart started pounding faster, and I took a shaky breath.
“Never say you can’t sing again, promise me that. Because you can sing,” he said, looking me in the eye.
I stared into his beautiful green eyes, and saw nothing but truth. I nodded and I felt my eyes start to close. We moved even closer to each other, our lips still not touching.
Just as we were about to kiss, the damned bell rang. I jumped back from Harry and saw hurt flash across his face. "We should go to class," I said, telling myself that he wasn't hurt by the fact that I jumped away. He nodded and I walked ahead of him, grabbing my flowers and book bag. I left the music room, leaving Harry and, unknowingly, my music notebook, behind.