Amore And Pizza

Hey, I'm Avery. I thought I had it figured out, ya know? I thought I had distinguished the difference between love and imagination. I was SO sure that no one could ever love me. Especially someone so extraordinary like Niall. But for once in my sob story of a life, I WANTED to be proven wrong. But I was right. Again.

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12. Building Walls, And Tearing Some Down

     I stepped into my house feeling the happiest I've felt in awhile. Which was really weird because I had tears still running down my face.

     "Aves, what happened?" My dad said, rushing up to me to wipe the tears from my cheeks. "What did that boy do to you? The curly haired one, right? Did he hurt you? If he did I swear I'll-"

     "Daddy! I'm fine!" I interjected. "I promise! I was crying because I was happy." My dad scrutinized my face, obviously looking for my tell. I couldn't lie without laughing, it was ridiculous. For another extremely awkward second my dad stared at me, waiting for me to laugh. When I didn't he heaved a sigh.

     "Well, you know how I am..." He said. I nodded. Over protective, that was an understatement. For a second I thought my dad was going to use a revolver on Harry. That would be a bit of a downer. "So, why were you crying, then?" I explained to him the entire day, including all the moments I'd had with Harry. I'm not kidding, we tell each other EVERYTHING. After I told him he rubbed his hands together. He did that when he was thinking. "Aves, now both Niall and Harry seem to like you a lot so don't forget-"

     "I know, I know! Your policy!" I punched his arm and headed to my room, where I fell asleep in minutes.

  

                                                                  *********************************************************

 

     I'll be there in like 5 minutes. I read the text from Kalley. It was Saturday morning. Kalley and I were going to the mall to find homecoming dresses.

     Is your mom coming?

     Yeah! I squealed in delight. One love story down , one to go, I thought. If my dad and Kalley's mom got together, it would be perfect! But, they hardly knew each other. But then again, I was like best friends with Niall and Harry the first day we met. I grabbed my bag and jacket and went to sit in the living room by my dad.

     "Guess what, daddy?"

     "Hmm?"

     "Ms.Jaroe is coming over!" I sang to him. My dad's face flushed as he bolted upright, and looked at me in shock. His eyes looked like they would fall out of his head.

      "Are you kidding?" I shook my head. "When?!" 

      I laughed at my dad's desperation. "Like in a minute."

      "You're telling me this now? I have to change!" Without another word, my dad raced off to his room. I laughed. Just then, the doorbell rang. 

      "I'll get it." I got up and walked to answer the door. 

      "Hey!" I said, hugging Kalley.

      "Hey! My mom's coming, she's doing her makeup still." We both laughed. "So, she's going to stay here then? Like all day?" I nodded.

      "That's the plan. You should have seen my dad, he was throwing a fit!" Kalley and I broke into laughter again.

      "Hello, Avery." 

      "Hi Ms.Jaroe. Sorry you'll be hanging out with my dad all day."

      "Oh, don't worry about it." Kalley and I exchanged side glances and smirked. I led them both into our kitchen.

      "Daddy! They're here!" My dad casually walked in to the kitchen. What a dufus. "Well, Kalley and I are heading to the mall. See ya guys later!" Before giving my dad a chance to respond, I kissed him on the cheek and ran out the door with Kalley. By the time we were in the car we were laughing hysterically. Kalley started the car and pulled away. I looked back to my house, wondering if my dad would also find love here in Denver.

      "So, how was riding back with Harry?" Kalley teased. I smiled at the thought.

      "Good. Really good."

      "What's that supposed to mean? What happened?"

      "Well..." I didn't know how to put it. I hadn't even told Kalley about Connor. I decided to tell her all of it. From the beginning of the car ride to when I hugged Harry. I got a little teary eyed talking about Connor, which was really frustrating. I knew he was a jerk. Why couldn't I forget him? When I was done Kalley looked at me funny.

      "You so like Harry." She said with a smirk.

      "What? No!" I shook my head furiously. I didn't like Harry! I like what he did, but not him!

      "Are you sure about that?"

      "Positive."

      We listened to some tunes for the rest of the car ride. In ten minutes we were at the mall. Kalley found a parking spot in front of Barnes and Noble, my favorite store. I told you I like books, right? Well, I bought most of them from here. I resisted the urge to grab all the books off the shelves as we walked through the store. When we reached the doorway that led into the rest of the mall, Kalley elbowed me.

      "Hey, look who it is." She pointed to a bench where none other than Gabrielle sat. She was grumpily looking at her phone. Her long, straight blonde hair fell down in front of her face. 

      "Let's go talk to her." 

      Kalley's eyebrows shot nearly off her face. "What? Now?" I nodded. "Avery, you're awesome at being friendly, but I'm not really..." I sighed and rolled my eyes.

      "Don't worry. Just follow my lead." I walked up to Gabrielle. "Hi." She looked up startled and gave a confused look.

      "Hi? Do you need something?"

      "Well, I'm Avery. And this is Kalley." I gestured to Kalley as she said hi. "We're on your volleyball team."

      "Yeah, I know. You're setter, right?" I nodded.

      "We just wanted to say hi. Are you buying a homecoming dress?"

      She frowned. "Well, I was. But Louis apparently isn't interested. You guys hang out with him, you should know that by now." I noticed a hint of jealousy in her voice.

      Kalley decided to be bold. "So what are you doing here,then?"

      "Uh, I was going to meet my mom here, but she had to work last minute. Go figure." She said the last part a little quieter. But I caught it.

      "Do you want to hang out with us?" I asked.

      She squinted her deep blue eyes at me. "Really?" Kalley and I nodded. "Are you here to buy homecoming dresses?"

      "Yeah. Kalley has a date, but I don't. I'm still going to buy a dress, though. You should too!"

      "Are you sure?" We nodded again. "Well okay..."

      We smiled at Gabrielle as she shyly got up and started to walk with us to Sears. I was a little nervous about finding the right dress. I didn't have a lot of money, and I didn't know what Niall would like. What if he didn't even ask me?

      "So you had wanted to go with Louis?" Kalley asked. Gabrielle nodded.

      "Uh, yeah. He dumped me about a year ago, and I still liked him. Don't now, though." Gabrielle paused. "Why exactly are you guys being friendly?"

      Kalley and I exchanged glances. "Well, we figured that everyone on the team should become friends. If were going to be a good team, anyways." I hoped she didn't think we were being fake. We really weren't.

      "Uh, okay. I've never had someone be friendly to me like that, so I guess it's a little weird. But thanks." I nodded. I hooked my arm through hers and Kalley's. Gabrielle tensed a little but smiled and relaxed. "So, Kalley, you're going with your boyfriend Zayn, right?"

      "Yeah." She smiled. Ugh, I was so jealous. I know, I know. You still hardly know Niall, you have to give it time, blah blah blah. Well, I stunk at being patient.

      "Is there any guy who might ask you, Avery?" Gabrielle teased. Kalley laughed.

      "Let's see, Niall, Harry, everyone..." I rolled my eyes at her.

      "Well, I'm hoping Niall will, but he's sure taking his sweet time to do it." Without any planning all three of us sighed and said, "Boys." Afterwards we laughed really hard. Gabrielle had a great laugh. Until she snorted. That made Kalley and I laugh so hard we were crying.

      "Ugh! I haven't done that in forever! I haven't laughed that hard since..." Gabrielle's face imediately lost the joy in it and turned to the usual stern expression that adorned her face at school. I decided not to push her. We'd been friends for pretty much ten minutes, I didn't want to ruin it.

      "Let's go look at these dresses."Kalley said, pointing to a huge section of different colored dresses. We nodded and headed to a rack with different red dresses.

       "I'm going to look at the purple ones," I said. Kalley grinned.

       "Niall loves that color." I rolled my eyes and turned to find the purple rack. The dress was perfect. Right there. Perfect. I grabbed it off the rack and held it out. It was even in my size. The dress was a beautiful light purple with silver jewels wrapped around the waist. I ran to the dressing room to try it on. It was beautiful. It made me look, well, awesome. I imagined pairing it with some cute silver strappy sandals. I put my normal clothes back on and ran out to find Kalley and Gabrielle. (Here is the actual outfit, follow the link http://www.polyvore.com/would_love_this_prom_outfit/set?id=74303943) I found that Kalley was already holding a dark emerald strapless and showing it to Gabrielle. She was admiring it and shaking her head yes.

       "Hey, guys. I already found my dress!" I held up my dress to them. They both "oohed" and "ahhed".

       "Avery, that's beautiful! It will look awesome on you! Check out the one I'm going to get." Kalley held up her dress to me. I nodded in approval. The dark green went really well with her red hair. Gabrielle was holding two dresses.

       "I can't choose between these two." Gabrielle held up two dresses: A peach colored one with a frilly bottom, and a silver one that had an emerald waistband. I pointed to the silver one.

       "This one. Definitely." Kalley nodded at my statement.

       "You sure?" We both nodded. "Okay!" We all smiled and headed towards the checkout. Inside I was relieved we were there for a really short time. I despised not being able to find clothes in a store. We checked out and walked to the food court.

       "Pizza?" I asked.

       "Pizza." Kalley and Gabrielle said. We laughed. Walking over to the small pizza place in the corner of the food court,I wondered about Gabrielle's story. I watched as she smiled and walked, with her pretty face and volleyball-designed body. She was definitely eye candy to guys. But I wanted to know what was beneath the skin, what caused her to be rude at a first glance. I figured that if her dad had left her, she would have some emotional problems. I couldn't imagine not having my dad. While I thought about all this I realized I began to sound like Dr.Phil or something. I was losing it.

       "So, what kind of pizza do you guys want?" Gabrielle asked.

       "You guys okay with just cheese?" I asked. They nodded. "Okay great. I'll buy." I ordered our pizza and found a spot to sit with Kalley and Gabrielle."Are you guys excited for our first game Thursday?"

       "Yeah! I think our team is really good this year." Gabrielle said.

       "Gabrielle, I never asked, what grade are you in?" I questioned.

       "Senior." I nodded. I heard our pizza number get called and went to grab it. I thanked the worker and made my way back to our table.

       "... you and Zayn have been dating for a while now." Kalley grinned.

       "Yeah, we have. He took long enough to ask me out though." We laughed.

       We spent another half hour eating and talking about our individual stories. Gabrielle said little about her personal life, except that she has twin sisters that are younger than her. She also said that her mom was busy all the time working. Today was supposed to be a day off, and they were going to have a mother-daughter day. I felt bad. I could relate. Sometimes my dad would get so caught up in his next story that he was behind a wall. I guess Gabrielle and I are a lot alike in that way. We build walls. Harry kicked one down when I told him about Connor. 

       Kalley offered to give Gabrielle a ride home, which she gladly accpeted. I wondered how things would have gone had we not been nice. She definitely needed it. We headed to the car, bags in our hands and smiles on our faces. Kalley was talking about how my dad and her mom were probably going to start dating.

        "We left them at Avery's house." She was saying.

       Gabrielle laughed as she climbed into the red Impala. "I wish my mom would find a guy, one that would work so she wouldn't have to. Ever since my dad left..." She suddenly stopped, realizing she had said too much. I turned in my seat to look at her.

       "You don't have to say anything you don't want to." Gabrielle looked at me gratefully.

       "You guys have been reallly nice. The first friends I've made in awhile that I didn't have to be fake for. Uh, I'm not used to saying a lot of things that have to do with my feelings, but I feel like I should tell you my story. My mom and dad fought a lot when I was a kid. They were struggling with money. the pretty much had no idea what they were doing. When my mom got pregnant with the twins, I was 7. My dad flaked about two weeks after. Never saw him again." I looked back at her, to see tears fall onto her tightly clasped hands. "Look at me," she laughed "I never cry, and it takes two hours for you two to get me blubbering like a baby." I laughed.

       "We just have mad skills." We all laughed. "I'm sorry about that, Gabrielle. But you shouldn't have to be afraid to be you. Your dad left you, he's the coward. Not you."

       "Thanks, Avery." Kalley said her own words of wisdom as she pulled up to Gabrielle's house.

       "This it?" Gabrielle nodded.

       "Thanks, you guys. For everything." Kalley and I waved as Gabrielle turned to walk into her house.

       "Today was awesome." Kalley commented. I nodded.

       "We're not even done yet. Let's go see how our parent's day went." Kalley took off towards my house. When we reached my house Kalley shut the car off and took a deep breath.

       "Let's go." We got out and walked inside. Our parents were nowhere in sight. I noticed a piece of paper sitting on the countertop. It read: Aves, Sarah and I are going to see a movie. Will be back late. Kalley can spend the night. Love you, Dad.

       I looked at Kalley and grinned. "They're seeing a movie. You can stay overnight." 

       Kalley jumped up and down. "Seriously? This is awesome!" Kalley and i squealed as we jumped up and down. "You know what this calls for?" she asked.

       "What?"

       "Music!" Kalley ran to my room and blasted the radio. She jumped on my bed and started to sing along to the song. I joined her on our stage, taking in the excitement of this day.

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