15 Ways To Fix A Broken Heart

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  • Published: 12 Mar 2013
  • Updated: 10 Apr 2013
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I was, and still are, weird. Yes, my friends are the craziest people you'll ever meet. And yes, I was proud of that small insignificat fact. I thought he was too. But he wasn't, his type never are. I was played with and then made to be broken. Then I found it, The Book. It healed me, this simple book with 15 ways to fix a broken heart.
Copyright (C)
*For the World Book Day App Competition*

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3. Freak

Freak.

I hate that word so much.

Freak.

Why does it keep coming back to me? Wind rushes into my hair as I run towards home.

Freak. Freak. Freak.

It all happened last year. We were at the park, all of us. Sammi, Sia, Chris, Rickson, the whole gang. It was summertime, the sun was fading and the wind was picking up when we found the river at the far end of the park where the grass is up to your waist. The river was huge, it looked a mile long and at least two metres wide. We were tired and sweaty and it was there, shining and cool with fresh running water. We jumped in, some of us more willing to than others. It was great, except we didn't see them.

We didn't see the snakes, water snakes winding up and down and around our bodies. We all got bites and had to spend a week in the hospital. It wasn't that bad, they weren't venomous and at least we were together. We never told anyone that it was snakes that got us, we didn't want them to shut the park down. Then, the second day we got back, we were bombarded with taunts, saying how weird we are, how freaky we are.

Someone had a spread a rumour saying that we were hospitalized for falling into the river while trying to hunt the Park's ghost When we didn't contradict them, they talked and talked. Rumours spread like fire and this was no exception. We were officially the freaks.

At first, we didn't mind. It was a joke, harmless and petty at first. But it escalated, the guys got beat up. We were ridiculed. Then Lewis came and made me feel like it all didn't matter. That it dosen't matter that I was a freak.

But it did, it all mattered.

And having Trent call me that made me so angry. His pompous smile and, gosh, his words were so fluid it made me feel like he was treating me like baby. And here is the thing I don't get: He understood me. He knew that I hated The Red River Runs even though I didn't say a word. He knew that I wanted to be orginal so much but I didn't have the guts to be. He knew and I hate it.

I make it home and slam the front door shut before running to my room. The table is still stacked with overdue bills and my mom is still asleep on it. I tiptoe past her and run to my room. It's empty and I'm grateful. When you share a room with three people it's hard to find privacy.

My stomach growls and yelps for food. I haven't eaten since breakfast. I tiptoe back to the cramped kitchen and grab a pint of ice cream. I'll eat if I want to, I think defiantly and walk back to my room. My room is small, not fit for three kids but after a couple years Eve will move out and it'll be left for me and Ren. My wall is mostly full, just a bunch of sticky notes telling me the due dates of old projects and posters of bands I don't like anymore. I shovel spoonful after spoonful of almond ice cream in my mouth. Something out of the corner of my eye glints, it's The Book.

I pick it out from under my stuffed penguin and flip it open, the sticky notes offering a burst of colour. I pick up where I left off:

Focus On You

You're hurting right now, I get it. You're sad, and miserable and probably have a truckload a ice cream in your hand. I'm telling you right now, stop it! Get off your lazy ass and put the ice cream down! Do you think the no-good jerk who left you is sad right now? He's probably off with some other girl. This might hurt but it's true: The person you're thinking about right now is probably not thinking about you.

Ouch, that hurts. I keep on reading:

Now, to get him off your mind you need to think about yourself. Think of ice cream and everything else that 'll get you fat as the 'Enemy'. I mean, I love food as much as the next person but sometimes it's too much. Long story short: avoid the enemy. Ditch all the processed foods and workout. Make the jerk jealous! This is sappy but it'll help. I bet my life on it.

I shut the book closed and throw the ice cream across the room, forgetting that it's not really 'the enemy'. I pick up the spilled ice cream and place it back in the freezer. I'm not getting fat. I'm not giving Lewis another excuse for ending it with me.

My phone buzzes in my pocket and I pick it up.

"Hello," I say in my normal voice.

"Hey Levi! You got to come to the park with us! We'll be by the river, see you there," yells Sammi over the music blaring in the background. Typical Sammi, doesn't let anyone talk but her. It's why our friendship works, she talks and I listen. I'd much rather stay home in my oversized t-shirt and listen to indie songs but like the book says, I need to focus on myself. That's probably why I changed into skinny jeans and lace t-shirt and head out the door.

*

It's humid and warm, a typical May day in southern Ontario.  I find my way easily to the river, its path is seared into my brain. Then I find Sia, Sammi, Rickson, Chris, Jason, John and Sylvie(surprisingly). And Maria sitting on a cooler, laughing with Rick. She glances my way and gets up hurriedly. I'm wearing my spiked toe boots again, she shouldn't mess with me.

"Hey Levi," greets Sylvie with a smile. She's tall and thin with a pretty heart-shaped face. Rick stares from behind her and I stick my tongue out at him playfully. Sylvie is nice and all and I can see why Rickson is so into her. After our polite conversation I walk over to Rick.

"Did she say anything about me?" he asks hopefully. I shake my head.

"Just go over there and talk to her," I urge as Sylvie talks to Chris. Chris can talk to anyone and not get nervous, I respect him for that.

"You know that I can't," he says, his face turning red.

"C'mon, she's really nice," I say pulling him up off the bench.

"What am I supposed to talk to her about? We have nothing in common," he says exasperatedly. I consider that.

"Hey, Sylvie! Rick needs to ask you something about the homework!" I yell to her. She looks at Rick and smiles.

"I'll be there in a second," she say while pouring herself more drink.

"You'll thank me later," I wink at Rick who looks like he wants to kill me. Jason whistles at Rick when Sylvie comes around. If looks could kill then Jason and I would probably be in our graves. Sia and I almost collapse with laughter as Sylvie tries to explain the War of 1812 in french like Madame Tuelle taught us as Rick looks like he wants to escape. He understood that lesson better than any of us and hearing it again must be torture.

"Dude, it's good to have you back," says Sia, punching my arm.

"What do you mean?" I ask.

"You've been so moody since the, um, 'break-up'," she says looking slightly uncomfortable.

"What are you talking about? I've been normal," I lie.

"Sure," she says sarcastically, "I'm just saying it's good to have you back."

"Yeah, it's good," I say feeling sick. Why am I so transparent?

Before long it's getting dark and we're still at the park. The music of some band on the radio is playing so loud to the point that I wonder why no one has called the police yet.

"I forgot to ask, how was detention?" Sammi asks.

"It was boring," I shrug. I am a liar.

"I meant how were the people in detention," she says and nudges me. Oh, she means Trent.

"Arrogant beyond belief," I say and her smile falls. I start to panic, what did she do?

"What did you do Sammi?" I demand.

"Nothing," she says innocently as she winks at me.

And then there's Trent, clad in a white t-shirt and faded jeans and walking towards to me. Let's face it, he was really attractive. Very, in fact. I still haven't decided on wether or not his hair is blond or brown, it seems to change, but his black eyes are still teasing me. His grin turns from cocky to polite in a matter of seconds as he introduces himself to Sammi.

"Hello Sammi," he says and extends his hand, "Thank you for the inviting me to your friendly gathering."

"Your very welcome Trent," she smiles and motions for me to do the same.

"Hi Trent," I say through clenched teeth. Freak.

"Well, I'll leave you two alone," Sammi says and walks away to where everyone else is having a watergun fight.

"What are you doing here?" I hiss once Sammi is out of ear shot.

"You heard her, she invited me," he says motioning towards them, "You've got some very pretty friends." He's not wrong. Sammi and Sia both have brown eyes like me but theirs are wider, more almond shaped. Their hair are curled and wavy whereas mine would never hold a curl. They're beautiful. Then there's Maria. Tall, slim, hair the colour of a raven's wing and blue eyes that could kill. Simply not fair.

"Yeah, after a while you get used to it," I shrug.

"You fancy yourself the Ugly Duckling?" he asks with a smile.

"I'm average," I say.

"And what exactly is 'average'?" he asks.

"Average is in the middle, not ugly but not gorgeous," I say after a while.

"Well, you're cretainly not 'average'," he scoffs.

"Above or below?" I ask.

"Figure that one out yourself," he says. I look up at him to see his eyes dancing.

"Do you make fun other people or am I exclusive?" I ask.

"Exclusive. When you're mad it's particulary funny. You huff and puff like the big bad wolf and you're face gets all red," he laughs.

"You're a jerk," I say and jab him in the ribs with my elbow. Our banter is fun, easy. Like riding a bike. There's a certain pleasure to talking to Trent, it's stimulating and always quick-witted. It was never like this with Lewis.

The thought smacks me in the face. It was a mere observation, a passing thought, but something about it feels traitorous to Lewis. That, though, is positively ludicrous. Lewis is the traitor, always has been, always will be.

"Your friends are rowdy," Trent remarks after a while. They're screaming and yelling as the cold water hits their skin. Jason howls out his signature laugh, causing me to grin.

"Yeah, but they're awesome," I say.

"How come you're not with them? Is my attractiveness holding you back?" he asks. I laugh.

"You're about as attractive as a dead camel," I retort.

"Liar, liar," he says. Maybe he's not that bad.

"Oh shut up," I say instead.

"So I'm right!"

"Don't get excited, I just didn't bring extra clothes," I say.

"You're still talking to me. I consider that a victory," he says proudly.

"I'd talk to you more if you didn't tease me."

"Then we're not going to be talking anytime soon."

I was wrong, he is that bad.

*

After that I go back home and into my room. Dad got back from work but he's grumpy again. His face is scrunched in a scowl and I've learned that when he's upset like that you don't talk to him. The most you get out of him at this point is a grunt response.

Sometimes I'd miss having those moments when he's pick me up and throw me over his shoulder whlie I'd laughed hysterically. I'd miss him coming home from work with a smile and poking fun of my pink cheeks. I'd miss him holding me like I could break at any moment. I miss him. Too bad he's not here anymore. I'll try nonetheless.

"Hey Dad," I say cheerfully.

"Hmph," he says.

"When's the baseball game?" I ask trying to make conversation.

"How am  supposed to know?" he asks angrily.

"Just asking," I grumble with my hands up innocently. He crosses his arms over his chest as if to say 'end of discussion'. I refuse. I take a seat next to him on the leather sofa, the coldness of the leather is freezing.

"How was your day?" I ask. He mumbles a incoherant answer.

"Okay then. Nice talking to you," I say before getting up. I look back at him switching the channel so furiously that it seems as if the T.V. has done him a great personal wrong. I guess the old days are gone. I open the bedroom door to see Ren with a book in his hand and Eve on my bed.

"Tried talking to Dad again?" she asks, scooting over. I throw myself down on the bed and lean against my wall.

"Yup," I say depressingly.

"How'd it go?" she asks, amused.

"Terrible. It's like every word I said to him was meaningless," I answer.

"You know how dad is these days, mad at the whole world," she says waving her hands in the air. Ren gets up and sits in my lap. He's using the dictionary, bless him, checking up words.

"Watcha got there Ren?" I ask in my best cheery voice. I haven't been succeeding much with that voice. He snickers and shows me. I pick it up and throw it gently back onto the floor.

"Don't check up words like that," I scold. He bursts into laughter.

"What'd he check up?" asks my sister.

"You don't want to know," I say. They both start laughing at me.

"Anyway, where were you?" asks Eve.

"At the park with my friends," I shrug.

"Oh, well something else came in the mail for you," she says and hands me an envelope. I must be getting pretty popular, I think sarcastically as I open the envelope. There's one note attached to the inside:

Dear Levi,

Sorry for calling you a freak (although you are one).

Sincerely, Trent :)

P.S. You misunderstand me a lot so I'm using this P.S. to explain. Although I apologized I'm still calling you freak.

Attached to the note is a wristband that says, 'I DON'T heart vampires'. I ball up the note and throw it across the room, that jerk. How does he know my address? I'll ask him about it tomorrow.

"What is it?" Eve asks, looking up from her phone. I hold the wristband up.

"I thought you liked vampires," she says.

"Nah, I hated them," I say as I slip on the band. Trent might be a jerk but I'm definitely keeping the band.

"How'd that kid find out?" she asks.

"I honestly don't know," I lie, admiring the band. I need to ask him how he knows me so well. And maybe I'll figure him out too, it'll even out the battle field a little. My phone buzzes in my pocket, it's Sia.

From: Sia

You won't believe who Maria invited after you left!!!!!

My heart sinks. I don't want to know, please let me be wrong.

To: Sia

Who?

It took a few moments for her to reply, but I was right. I wish I was wrong.

From: Sia

Lewis!!!!! He's such a jerk. Maria wasn't even trying to hide it. She was all over him!!!

To: Sia

Then what happened?

I don't know why I asked that. I don't want to know what happened.

From: Sia

Trent asked him if he was still dating you and Lewis (no offence) laughed and said no. Then Trent punched him and left.

Trent did that? But he doesn't even like me as a friend! I smile nonetheless, Lewis deserves that.

To: Sia

How does Trent even know we were dating in the first place?

We dated months ago, no one even remembers. Aside from the fact that it was a bet.

From: Sia

You forget that Trent came while you guys were 'dating'. You were always so hung up on Lewis that you never noticed him.

That's right. I sigh and turn off my phone. I still can't believe Trent did that. Oh well, nothing I can do now. I crawl into my bed, fully clothed, and try to fall asleep. Luckily niether Lewis nor Maria make an apperance.

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