Fix A Heart

Arden isn't your average 16yr old. She has a horrible reputation. No one understands her. No one knows the real story, and she's here to tell it. How everything really is and not what other people think. This story is different than a lot of movellas out there. So, I invite you to read and listen to Arden and how her world is flipped upside down and with every turn, there's a new, not so great, path. This story reminds you never to judge a book by it's cover and how actions speak louder than words. WARNING: This movella is rated red so it says 16+

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10. In My Element

    Arden's POV:  

"One..two..three..big smile." I watch as the popular girls take their pictures before Jess and I. Unfortunately, the girls and boys are divided into two separate lines so I stand alone in line awkwardly while Jess talks to practically the entire baseball team. It's pretty amazing how we're best friends yet the team still talks to him. It doesn't take long for him to make friends- he's an easy going person. 

"Next." I watch as a girl named Gwen takes a seat next-the bigger man that always takes our pictures adjusting her hair, occasionally licking his fingers to fix it. He's always kind of creeped me out but he takes the best pictures. The boys certainly wouldn't trade the woman who takes theirs. As Gwen takes her picture, I feel slightly insecure. She has the perfect look. Long, brown hair, makeup done to perfection, smile radiant, and her body is very fit considering she doesn't do sports. I wish I had at least a little curve to my body structure but I can't seem to gain much, if any, weight. 

"Next." It's my turn. I glance over and see Jess is already sitting in the bleachers waiting for me to finish. He gives a goofy smile and a thumbs up to reassure me. I laugh and take my seat, trying to adjust to the bright lights in front of me. After the big man fools around with my hair for a bit, he counts down from three and snaps the picture. He asks if I want to see how it turned out but I decline. Who would want to look anyway? I grab my bag and backpack before meeting Jess over by the door.

"How'd it go?" I huff and kick a rock.

"Don't know, didn't look."

"What?"

"You actually looked at yours?", I almost laugh.

"Well yeah," He grins. 

"Maybe it's a girl thing. Not wanting to hate it so just wait it out."

"You know if you don't like it they have to retake it, right? It's their 'policy'." I playfully shove him away.

"Whatever, I'll live."

"I'm just kidding around, I'm sure you looked great." I laugh when he pokes my dimple. He drapes his arm over my shoulder as we walk to the gym. Once seated on the concession counter, we pull out our paper bags.

"What do you have today?" he asks while looking in his bag.

"Ham-loaded. You?"

"Pepperoni-stuffed." We look and each other with sandwiches in hand.

"Switch", we say at the same time. We like to surprise each other with lunch and switch all of our items-not even sure how it all started.

"Fruit?" I question.

"Grapes, you?"

"Orange."

"Switch", we say again. The one thing we don't switch are drinks. He sticks to his soda while I'm satisfied with my water bottle. We eat in silence for a while before Jess speaks up.

"So there's a party tonight."

"Cool."

"Would you wanna go with me?"

"Who's party?"

"Well..Mikes-but everyone will be there so I'm sure you won't run into him." I shift a little-clearly uncomfortable.

"He..raped me Jess. How do I know I'll be okay at his party?"

"Because I'll be with you the entire time-I promise." He raises his pinkie up to me but I just stare at it. He wants me to put my safety in his hands. I don't want to go-at all-but I trust him and I'd feel awful if he got upset if I didn't go. I know he's doing this to help me gain confidence so I won't be so quiet around everyone at school. But going to one party isn't going to change that about me. I don't associate with anyone at school except Jess. I sigh and accept his promise. I trust him. His face lights up instantly and he gives me a side hug.

"You'll have fun and hey, I'm sure there will be kegs everywhere", he winks. I laugh a little at his comment. He wants me to stop but knows I'll be more open to go if I can drink...

    Jess's POV:  I didn't think she'd accept my invitation. I know how uncomfortable it must seem for her but she has my word that I won't let anything happen to her. I'll protect her as much as I can. When lunch is over we go our separate ways before meeting back up at the end of the day. 

"So how's that art project coming?", I ask as we start our walk.

"I finished today. I'm very excited by how it turned out." She's been talking about this project since the day it was assigned weeks ago. It's the biggest one she's ever done-or so she says. Her teacher assigned them a freedom of expression project. No limits. I can't imagine what it looks like.

"When do I get to see it?"

"Not sure. Maybe not at all."

"Aw come on." 

"Even the class doesn't get to see it Jess. You know how weird I am about my art." She doesn't like anyone seeing any of her works because each painting holds a personal message or meaning and she doesn't want it shared with anyone-reguardless if they'd catch on. Only her teacher and I have seen any of her art. I decide to drop the topic, knowing she'll never give in. She can be so stubborn at times.

"I'll meet you back at your house. I need to change before the party", I call while jogging in another direction...

    Arden's POV:  What do I wear to this party? The ones I go to aren't really 'parties'-they're clubs. I find myself staring at that black dress I wore to McDonalds with Jess. Realizing I won't find anything better, I slip it on and add the same heels. Maybe it's a good thing that it was picture day. Now I won't have to do my hair or makeup. When I receive a text from Jess saying he's on his way, I go to the front of the house and check the bush. I have a bottle of some red foreign liquor. Might as well try it out. I pour myself a glass when back in the kitchen and the taste is unforgettable. It's so sweet yet has a nice kick once in the throat. I can tell this will get me drunk after only three or so glasses. When I hear a knock on the door I quickly finish off the glass before storing it in the fridge. I open the door and see Jess. He's dressed in a hoodie and nice jeans along with nice shoes. He starts laughing a little when he recognizes what I'm wearing. 

"I feel over dressed-I'll change." I start to turn but he spins me back around by my arm.

"Trust me, you're not over dressed. Just wait till you see what other girls will be wearing." I nod and lock the door, stuffing the key under the welcome matt. Funny how everyone seems to keep keys there.

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

"Here", Jess announces as we walk up into a crowded driveway. The house is huge, not that I'm surprised. People are everywhere, and we aren't even inside yet. I'm starting to wish I had just chugged that wine earlier. Jess leads the way into the packed house with my hand firmly in his. I could be easily lost with this many people around.  Eventually we make it to the kitchen where only ten or so people are gathered. I jump when music is blasted into the room we just got out of. People are screaming in excitement and also already drunk. It's just like a club but a lot more people. I sit on the countertop while Jess says a few hellos to his teammates then returns to me with a red cup. 

"I assume you'll be wanting this?", he smirks. I laugh and drink it, taking as big of sips as possible. 

"Thanks", I say while putting down the empty cup. "Aren't you going to have some?" I realize I have to start shouting louder in order to be heard over the music.  Luckily he hears so I don't have to ask again.

"It's not really my thing anymore. I might have one cup but never a second." He takes mine and refills it but I lose him while other people flood in to get drinks as well. 

"Jess? Jess-" 

"Right here." I jump when I see him by my side. He laughs and hands me my refilled cup. After I chug it I can feel my neck heating up. It's my body telling me I'm almost drunk. I get weird red patches on my neck when I'm hammered so it won't be long. 

"Lets go dance." I jump off the counter and take his hand as he leads us into the huge open room. People are jumping, screaming, grinding-and the heat is barely tolerable. Reed has always taken me to small exclusive clubs that have a VIP area so I don't have to be around the crowded dance floor. This is a classic teen party. Something I'm not used to. As Jess starts spinning me around I feel light headed and everyone seems to be moving slower and slower. I'm on a high now. We don't grind or make out like the others-we just dance as if we've been friends forever. Maybe it's just that I'm almost hammered that makes it a better time but whatever it is I love it. We dance for what seems like hours before taking a break.

"I'm gonna go grab another drink", I shout.

"I'll go too", I barely hear him say before I'm pushing past all the sweaty guys to get back to the kitchen. I stumble a little but Jesse grips my arm pulling me back onto my feet.  Once I chug my third beer, I go for another. I used to drink to feel the void. But tonight I drink out of happiness. This has been a blast so far, I can't believe I almost declined the invitation...

    Jesse's POV:  

"Beer five..", I mumble while trying to keep up with Arden's drinking pace. I watch almost perplexed as she quickly downs her sixth. She'll be sick by the seventh. I grab her arms so she's looking at me and I see her neck is practically bloodshot red. She's past hammered. I decide to sit her down somewhere so I can get her a cold towel. I find an empty dining room, taking full advantage.

"Arden-Arden look at me." I have to tilt her face up so she can look me in the eyes. Why did I let her keep drinking so much? Her glassy blue eyes are surrounded by red. She should be miserable-but she starts giggling and when her dimples come out I can't help but grin. How can she not feel sick?

"Yes?", she giggles.

"I'm gonna grab you a cold towel to help you cool down. Don't move. Promise?" Her face stays serious for a moment but then she starts laughing again.

"I-I-I promise", she slurs. I roll my eyes trying not to laugh. I back away slowly and see she's busy studying her heels so I jog to the nearest bathroom to get the towel and run some cold water over it. I hurry back to the dining room, but Arden is nowhere in sight.

"Damn it." I jog to the kitchen but no luck. Then I check everywhere possible in the dance area. Nothing. I hear her laugh coming from up the stairs and I panic. I wasn't going to let anyone touch her again. I run up the flight as fast as I can and I see her down the hallway being pulled into a room. 

"Arden!" She looks at me and gives a half wave before being dragged fully into the room. I rush to the door and beat on it. Whoever took her locked it.  I screwed up and let this happen. I bang on the door constantly but there's no answer. 

"Arden! Arden can you hear me? It's Jesse", I shout over the music. No answer.

"Please Arden-answer me!" I hear some stumbling.

"Jesse?" Relief instantly hits when she responds.

"Yes. I need you to open the door." I hear some muffling and panic, beating the door harder.

"Get the fuck out of my house!", the masculine voice yells. Mike.

"I swear to god-if you touch her!" I can't control my anger any longer. As I beat harder I can hear the door slowly break off it's henge. 

"She willingly came in here so get the fuck out." 

"Arden please unlock the door, please", I plea. I can't believe I left her alone and now she's in a room with Mike. I jump back when I hear a thud of something hitting the door on the other side. 

"Fuck y-you!", Arden screams. I hear the door unlock and I waste no time to run to Arden's side. Mike throws her behind him and tries to block me. She's crying, makeup running down her face. 

"Woah there. Just slow down Jesse."

"Get away from her", I hiss.

"Let's be mature about this."

"Mature? You want to be mature?", I clinch my fist ready to punch. 

"Back up first man." I decide to comply, although I don't back away much. He grabs her by the arm and gives her a sloppy kiss. My instinct takes over and I dart, punching him square in the face. He falls to the ground, screaming about his nose being broken. I take Arden's hand and rush out of the now frantic house. When we get outside I try to jog but Arden has heels and can't keep up so I just pick her up and walk as fast as possible. 

"Jesse.."

"I'm right here."

"I-I. H-he took me.."

"You promised." I stop and look down to meet her stare. She starts crying.

"I didn't want to-h-he told me that t-there was a game at the t-top." She must have meant he told her there was a game upstairs. He knew how helpless she was. Guilt feels me. 

"I let you down. I'm so sorry Arden", I whisper.

    Arden's POV:  When curtains are open, I moan in annoyance. I can't remember anything. I shift in the bed but quickly arise, realizing I'm not home. Did I crash at Mike's? Fear runs through me as I hear footsteps coming towards the door. I stumble out of the bed and grab the bat leaning against the night stand. Ready to swing, I watch the door knob twist then open. But who I see isn't Mike, It's Jesse. He's carrying a tray of pancakes and a bowl of fruit with orange juice to the side. His face is surprised when he sees the bat in my hand.

"Woah now-I come with food." I laugh and put the bat back where he had it and take a seat at the end of the bed.

"Sorry-I wasn't sure where I was. Thought I might have crashed at Mike's." He hands me the tray and I don't hesitate to dig in.

"Do you..remember anything from last night?" I think back as far as I can remember. Arriving, having two beers, dancing, going for a third beer-but that's it.

"Not after my third beer." He gives a half smile and nods.

"Wait, why did I crash here?", I quickly question.

"You weren't stable enough to be on your own-I didn't want to risk it. Don't worry, I took the couch", he almost laughs. As I eat I take in my surroundings. The deep blue of his walls, a tidy white duvet taking up his now unmade bed, the unpacked boxes to the empty corner of his room. 

"You know, the worst part about me being drunk is-well I get much worse when I'm on my own.."

"Let's just forget about the party." I nod in agreement. I must have done something horrible. I cringe at my own thoughts of how vulnerable I can get. 

"I'll let you get cleaned up", he states while handing me a hoodie and some boxers, "before the surprise."

"Surprise?" 

"Well, I assume you'll be surprised at least", he grins. 

"Now go, go, go", he motions towards the bathroom. 

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