I Will Not Fall

Already at a young age is Arabella forced to grow up and take care of herself. She manages to live by herself thanks to her friends. But what happens when her apartment gets water damage and she is forced to move in with Peter and his nephews. How will she deal with the knowledge of the family’s secrets and their past?
I Will Not Fall is a story about friendship, love, family and growing up. It follows how Arabella and her best friends Rose, Roxann and Joey cope with the everyday life of a teenager and all its problems.

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9. Goddess of love

Arabella have never liked Mondays much. It’s not just because it’s the first day of the week, but her schedule for the day sucks. She starts the day with what she is the world’s most boring topic, geography. Not only does she thinks that it is boring but she’s really bad at it too. A really lousy start of the day and if that wasn’t enough, her class don’t eats until around twelve o’clock so Arabellas stomach screams out for food which is embarrassing. Then immediately after lunch, her class has sports class, which means having cramp in an hour’s time. After that they thankfully just have one more lesson before this horrible day finally is over. So Arabella really don’t like Mondays and this was no exception. It all started with Arabella oversleeping. Not so much, thankfully but she had no time for breakfast. Arabella knew that Peter almost always drove Will to school in the morning, well she didn’t know it was Peter but that Will often got a ride to school anyway. Evens so she still got surprised at the fact that he would drive them both to school that day. She’s so used to always the bus or her bicycle to school, but Peter’s house is a bit outside of town so the busses doesn’t go so often and it was way too far away to go by bike. The actual drive was quiet. Will sat and slept in the front seat and Peter was humming along with the radio. Arabella sat in the back and looked out at the rain that was pouring down. When they arrived at the school didn’t they make a discreet entrance. Peter parked right outside their school’s main entrance so Arabella and William didn’t have to go so far in the rain. It was very kind thought of him but it made it impossible for Arabella to hide the fact that she arrived at school with Will. Thankfully were there only a few people in the parking lot since everybody rushed in to take shelter from the rain but Arabella knew that it didn’t make much difference if it were ten or a hundred people at the parking lot. Everyone would still know in just a little while, because when she left the car and walked into the school, all eyes was on her. And it wasn’t like they just took a quick look, they all stared at her. Arabella always hated to be in center in these kinds of contexts. Will seemed like he didn’t notice anything or he just didn’t care. He walked with determined steps into the building and Arabella were just behind him. All she wanted was to get away from everybody’s glances and to Rose’s comfort arms. Will said a quick see you before he left Arabella when they split up. She noticed that she went faster and faster all the way to her locker while she tried not to care about all the looks she received. It was a great relief to see Rose’s blonde wavy hair and Arabella felt that she could finally relax. Unlike her, Rose had a lot of energy even though it was Monday. She told Arabella excitedly about how wonderful her date with Julius had been. He had apparently called her early on Sunday morning just because he wanted to hear her voice. The later that day had he come by on his scooter with flowers and had taken her to the cinema. Though Arabella didn’t like Julius as a person couldn’t she say that he didn’t seem to be a good boyfriend to Rose at least. She really likes him. Every time he’s around, her eyes gets this kind of sparkle in them. Arabella thought that maybe she should give the guy a chance.
The girls started to walk to their classroom. Rose put her arm around Arabella when she noticed that all eyes were on them as they walked down the hall, as if she was trying to protect Arabella.
“All eyes on you today huh” said Rose softly so only Arabella could hear. “It’s like you’re a celebrity”
“You are welcome to take my place. You belong on stage” Arabella said as they walked into the classroom.
“Sure, I like the spotlight but I don’t think this is my kind of scene” Rose smiled as she led Arabella away to one of the desks at the back of the room. The lesson started and Lotta, the geography teacher was trying to get the class to turn their attention to Africa’s rivers without any further success. Most of the students sat and played games on their phones and those who didn’t was busy talking to each other and didn’t listen to what Louise had to say. Arabella felt sorry for her. She was a good teacher just that Arabellas class was hopeless. It was just the PE teacher and biology teacher who could keep the class in check. Both were very strict and wasn’t afraid to raise their voices if necessary. They were the only teachers that Arabellas class had respect for. Not like poor Lotta that they totally ignored.  If Arabella hadn’t been so bad at geography she had listen to what Lotta had to say. But she wasn’t, she was just as bad as the rest of them and didn’t listen. When the lesson was over gave Lotta them homework even though she knew that nobody would do it. As Arabella walked out from the classroom she smiled kindly at Lotta. She smiled weakly back. She looked very tired. Not so strange when she had to teach my class thought Arabella. Twenty boys and ten girls, a total of thirty teenagers who never listened. Guys who were either jocks or douchebags and girls who all are brats. Was it strange that Arabella and Rose kept them a little for themselves? Of course there were exceptions. There were a few people in Arabellas class that she really liked, and she can’t say that she hates the rest. But after two years together started Arabella to get really tired of them. It would be nice to start a new school next year and get rid of some of them. Like Aphrodite for example. But Arabella would miss some of them, like Mason and Lissa. She had a feeling that they were the only ones that she would have contact with besides Rose after they had finished school. It was only ten o’clock when Arabella started to get hungry. That’s what’s happens when you skip breakfast. But she had a blessing in disguise. She had a short free period before her next lesson and the cafeteria was opened even if it used to be closed during Mondays. Arabella went and bought herself a large sandwich that was reasonably satisfying. Rose bought a drink and the both of them went to one of the few tables outside the cafeteria and sat down. It didn’t take long until Elisabeth, Lissa for short came and joined them.
“So, how has the weekend been?” she asked as she sat down in the empty chair beside Arabella.
“Eventful, if you say so” answered Arabella.
“You can say that again” agreed Rose.
“Oh dear, what mischievous things have you been up to?” Lissa asked curiously.
Arabella liked Lissa very much. She was so kind and sweet. Whit her long bangs which she often ran her fingers though to get it away from her ray eyes and the shy smile that often was placed in her heart-shaped face. Her whole appearance was cute. Even the way she talked was cute. Arabella smiled and told her briefly what had happened over the weekend with Rose’s help. Lissa looked quite shocked after they had told her what had happened.
“Wow… I don’t really know if I should be happy or sorry for you” she finally said. “Sure it’s sad what happened to your apartment but I’d be lying if I said that I’m not one bit jealous of you for staying at Williams place”
Arabella smiled towards her. To be living with William sounded like a dream come true in Lissa’s ears. If it had only been so easy. But life is rarely easy and you never know what’s around the next corner, or who to expect.
“I also met a guy in town yesterday” Arabella said. “It was when I was renting a movie. I have never seen him before. You don’t know if some new people have recently moved in to town?” she asked curiously. If the girls know something about Arabella’s mysterious guy then she wanted to know.
“Well I haven’t heard anything” said Lissa. “Have you?” she asked Rose.
“No, nothing. Why so curious Bella? Was he hot or what?” Rose grinned teasingly towards her.
“Maybe he was” Arabella said as secretive as she could and tried not to blush.
“Looks like you’ve become a boy magnet lately” said Lissa. “First, you moved in with William and then you meet hoy guys as soon as you leave the house. They are flocking around you”
“So it’s true!” a cold voice said behind Arabella. Arabella and the girls could recognize that voice anywhere, you couldn’t be mistaken. And just as she suspected, it was Aphrodite she saw when she turned around. What she wants now, she thought irritably.
“What’s true Aphrodite?” Arabella asked while she glued a fake smile on her face and tried to sound nice.
“That you are sleeping with Will” she bitchy said as she put her arms across her chest and looked down at Arabella from her heels. Arabella was lucky that she didn’t have food in her moth just as she said it because it had flown out. Arabella just sat and stared at Aphrodite with her mouth open for a while before she could came up with any sound at all.
“That I and Will do what?!” Arabella asked shocked.
“You heard what I said. The whole school’s talking about it. I’m just wondering if it’s true”
“No we don’t so you can go and tell the whole school that we don’t. We’re not even together! I know his uncle and my apartment has water damage right now so I live there for the moment. There’s nothing more to it!”
“I knew it wasn’t true. Will could get someone much better than you” she said while she eyed Arabella from her head to her feet. “No offense” she said with a smirk.
“As if Will would ever want you!” Rose snapped at her.
Aphrodite only smiled her superior smile and walked away, wiggling her little butt in her high heels.
“Damn I hate her! I just can’t stand her. Don’t think about what she said Bella. You are a hundred times better than she is in every single way!” said Rose. You could see that she was pissed.
It wasn’t often she got really mad but whit Aphrodite nearby was it like rather rare that she wasn’t angry. The two have been fighting ever since kindergarten. And the war ax wouldn’t be buried for a while. It’s the same when it comes to Joey and Chase. It’s almost as if they came into this world just so that they could fight each other. It’s a wonder that they haven’t killed each other yet.
“It’s okay Rose. Seriously, I don’t care” Arabella said and smiled at her. It wasn’t entirely true but not an outright lie either. Of course it hurt to hear that she wasn’t good enough for William, especially since she thought that herself. That he could get some one better, that he would never even look at her that way. But at the same time she had to remember that it was Aphrodite who said this. Aphrodite who always lie. Who loves to make others feel bad about themselves. Aphrodite who herself got turned down by William. She still hasn’t gotten over it even though it was half a year ago now. When it happened Arabella actually felt sorry for her. It couldn’t have been fun to go up to the guy you like only to get a no and the whole school knowing about it. But Arabella didn’t feel sorry for her anymore. She is once again the same old bitch as always and she thought that Will did the right thing that dissed her.
“I will kill her! I’m serious. I’ll kill that bitch!” said Rose through clenched teeth.
“I certainly hope not” said Mason who had now come up to the gang and sat down in the empty chair next to Rose. “Even though I think that Aphrodite deserves it, because I guess she is the bitch you’re going to beat up, I can’t allow it. Class supporter you know” He winked at Rose who started to relax a little.
“And if I defy you and do it anyway?” Rose teasingly said back to him.
“Then I had to take you with me to the principal and you’ll be expelled. Oh and don’t forget that you’ll also end up in jail. And we don’t want that now do we”
“No we don’t want that” sighed Rose.
“But there are other things you can do without killing her” said Mason and smiled mysteriously.
“Wasn’t you a class supporter who took your job seriously right now?” Arabella pointed out to Mason who acted as if he already forgotten it.
“Yes I was and I still am. But there are things you can do without breaking the rules”
“Like what?” asked Lissa.
“Like beating her in her own game” Mason said.
He leaned back on his chair, put his arms behind his neck and looked really proud. As if he had solved the Da Vinci Code all by himself.
“What’s the plan then Fred?” asked Rose Mason teasingly.
Fred is the nickname Mason received against his will. It was Lissa who came up with it. She was obsessed with Scooby Doo and Mason reminded her of Fred from the series. Both in appearance and personality. They were both blond and had the same kind of physique. Tall, broad-shoulders and fairly muscular. And they both liked to make up planes and solve everyone’s problems and to be standing at the center. They are also both a person that everybody likes.
“The plan Daphne” Mason replied Rose. “Is like I said to beat the monster in its own game. What matters most for the Aphrodite monster is its appearance. If we would take that away from the monster it would corrode from the inside. Smart right”
“But Fred how are you supposed to do that?” asked Rose. “You can’t go and destroy the monsters looks just like that”
“Your right Daphne. But I never said anything about destroying its appearance”
“I’m not keeping up with you anymore” Arabella said. “What’s your plan Mason?”
“There are two weeks left until the Halloween party in the park and Aphrodite already goes around and brag about that she will win for best costume. If any of you would win the competition instead of Aphrodite then you would totally own her and crush her. For Aphrodite it’s in principle a beauty contest. Whoever looks the best is the winner. So I think that you guys should prove once and for all that you are better looking than she is”
“Easy for you to say Mason” said Lissa gloomily. “I mean you’re mister popular. Everybody loves you. You are the captain of the soccer team, if you had signed up for becoming student council you would have won, we all knows it. All the guys looks up to you and most of the girls would be overjoyed is they would get the chance to go out with you. You are just as popular as William, if not ever more but in a different way. William is good looking, smart, kind and easy to like. You are also all that and you’re also everyone’s best friend. Your seriously friend with everyone in the whole school. Last time I checked, I was nothing of that. I’m nothing. How would I have a chance of winning a contest where only the popular ones have a chance to get the crown?”
“Lissa you have as much chance of winning as anyone else. Even more actually because you’re so cute” said Mason and smiled at Lissa.
“You only saying that to be nice” said Lissa and looked down at the table.
“Lissa you know I’m not lying. You’re beautiful!”
Lissa looked up at Mason and smiled.
“Thank you”
“It’s the truth” Mason said and replied her smile. “So have you planned what you’re going to be yet?” Mason asked the girls.
“To tell you the truth…nothing” said Arabella.
The gang looked at her with confused looks in their faces.
“Are you not coming?” Lissa asked.
“No, no it’s not like that. I am coming it’s just… Well Roxann is the one doing my dress and when I asked her what I was going to be that’s what she said. Nothing. She said that she know right away what she would do to me, the only problem was that she didn’t know anything that I could dress up to that would match what she already had I plan so she decided just to make a dress and that a would wear a mask to it. So I will be dressed up but not as anything in particular”
“Roxann is making my dress as well. But when I ask her about it she just says that I have to wait and see. All I know is what color it has. How about you Lissa? What will you be?”
“Promise not to laugh okay. It’s pretty silly” Lissa said. 
“Promise” they all responded in chorus.
“Okay. I’m going to be Cinderella…” Lissa looked tensed at them and was waiting for their reaction.
“Why would we laugh about that? It’s not ridiculous at all” Arabella said and smiled.
“You’ll be a perfect Cinderella” Rose agreed.
“Lissa you have to get a little more confidence” said Mason. “You’re one of the cutes girl there is and no one could be a better Cinderella that you. I can see it in front of me, you in a white dress with a small crown on your head and how you have everyone’s attention since they can’t take their eyes off you because you’re so beautiful”
Lissa began to blush lightly. She smiled shyly at Mason. It happened quite often that Mason said something like that to her, that she is cute and stuff. Sometimes Arabella can’t but wonder if Mason has feeling for Lissa. If that was the case then she would be very happy. They would fit well together. But for some reason she thought that it would never happen. Lissa and Mason goes way back. They have known each other since they both were in diapers because they are neighbors. There has never been a girl next door romance between them. They have more of a bond between them, like a sibling bond. They love each other but just as friends. And Arabella knew that Lissa, just as herself had a weak spot for Will. And when it comes to Mason she didn’t know. One time when he and Arabella was talking about love and stuff he told her that he thought that he had found his dream girl. He said that he was starting to fall in love with her. He never said who it was though and Arabella respected that because she told him about her feeling for Will without mention his name. But she couldn’t help but wonder if he had fallen in love completely and in whom. But she was quite sure that it’s not anyone of them sitting around the table at that moment. He couldn’t be in love with her, Rose or Lissa. Or could he?
“You said that you only knew what color your dresses would have” Mason said to Rose and Arabella. “Are you planning to tell us or do we have to wait until Halloween like everyone else?”
“Mine is white, just like Lissa’s” said Rose.
“And mine is red” said Arabella.    
“Red and white then. How about I match you with a white shirt and a red bow tie. Wouldn’t that be neat”
“Yeah, what are you going to be Mason?” Arabella asked him curiously.
“I have no idea but something epic”
“Don’t forget that it’s going to be in red and white” added Rose.
“Of course I won’t. Red, white and epic. The perfect ingredients for the perfect costume”
Mason looked at his watch on his left wrist and said that their class would soon start so they lifted their butts from the chair and went off to their lockers. Now that had a long math lesson to look forward to but then after that it was time for lunch, finally.
During the math lesson Arabella listened to The Fray’s new album on her iPod and chatted with Rose and Lissa between the algebra equations. Mason sat a bit away from them with the guys in their class. Arabella could hear them talking about soccer which didn’t surprise her. At a table near one of the windows Aphrodite sat with her little gang. Everyone in the classroom could clearly hear her chewing gum without any problem. Isaac Slade’s wonderful voice couldn’t keep out her false laugh so Arabella looked up from her math book and placed her gaze towards the table where Aphrodite sat (as most of the people in her class did as well) only to notice that she was the one Aphrodite was laughing at. She and her little gang all sat and looked at Arabella intently while they laughed loudly and falsely so that everyone could hear. It was as if she challenged her. Arabella pretended that she didn’t care about them and went back to focusing on the math equations but she couldn’t keep out Aphrodite’s pesky laughter. She sat in both headphones and turned up the volume to max on her iPod. Isaac’s familiar voice sang about loneliness and love and that you would never give up. The song was The Fighter and it was Arabella’s favorite on their latest album. She could the whole song by heart and without even noticing had she started to write down the lyrics in her block.

What breaks your bones is not the load you carrying. What breaks you down is all in how you carry…
 
                      
She completely agreed with Isaac. Those two little sentences said so much.  Life becomes much easier if you look at the cup as half full instead of half empty. The weight is not what’s breaking you down. It’s the way that you carry the weight that is important. The way you look at a problem is what’s important.
Arabella wanted to be that person who saw the cup as half full and she tried to be that person. To always look on the bright side of life. But sometimes was it hard, very hard. It’s a fortune that I have help she thought and turned to Rose and smiled at her. When Rose notice that Arabella was looking at her she looked questioningly back at her. Arabella lowered the volume so she could hear when Rose asked her what it was that Arabella was smiling about.
“Thanks for helping me see the cup as half full” Arabella said still smiling widely.
“You’re welcome, I guess” said Rose, smiling hesitantly back. “You know that you can be kind of weird sometimes right” she added when Arabella’s smile just got wider.
The rest of the lesson just rolled on. Arabella focused on the math problems and just that. When she heard Aphrodite’s laughter she just raised the volume of the music and Aphrodite’s laughter drowned out in the sound of drums and bass guitars and Isaac’s voice.
After the lesson it was finally time for lunch. Arabella, Rose and Lissa stood in the long line to get their food like the rest of their classmates.
“Uhm… Lissa what are you looking at? Arabella asked as she notices that Lissa stood and looked at her. It actually looked like she was checking in her chest.
“You don’t have to worry, it’s not your breast that interests me if you think so” she said and grinned. “Your necklace is what interests me. Is it new? I haven’t seen it before. It’s very pretty” she went on and made a gesture with her hand towards Arabella’s neck.
“Oh, yeah. Thanks, it was my moms. She used to say that I was her lucky four-leaf clover. Her own lucky charm” Arabella said and smiled.
“Let me see” said Rose and leaned forward towards Arabella.
“Yikes! We all knows that you’re a lesbian Rose but please don’t do that kind of gross things right before we’re going to eat. I’m going to lose my appetite” said Aphrodite behind Arabella. Arabella turned around and saw her superior gaze and the smirk on her lips that were stained red with lipstick. Arabella felt how her cheeks became hot and how she started to get mad but quickly began to laugh instead when Aphrodite exposed her teeth which weren’t so white anymore.
“First, there is nothing wrong with being a lesbian but that’s not the case here. Secondly, you have something on your teeth” she told her while she laughed.
Aphrodite’s teeth had the same color as her lips. Red like blood and it looked horrible. Rose and Lissa laughed too and soon the whole line laughed at Aphrodite. It didn’t take long before Aphrodite’s face matched the color of her moth and teeth. As she stormed off on her high heels for the nearest toilet Arabella and the rest started to laugh even more.
The event with Aphrodite had raised Arabella’s mood really well. And the fact that the schools food that day was really good just made it better. Nothing could pull down her good mode.
That was what she thought anyway…                          
                      

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