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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3. Old and new love ones

Arabella knew it would take a while before they would announced if she got the job or not but she went around on tenterhooks anyway, waiting.
She got however something else to think about when she would go to school the next Monday. On her way to school she met as usual Joey. He avoided looking at her in the eyes and looked down at the ground instead. Arabella was forced to basically force him to look at her. And that was then she saw it…
Joey’s lip had split properly, and he had a small black eye.
“Om my God! What happened?!” Arabella exclaimed.
“Nothing has happened. I just fell that’s all” Joey looked away from Arabella and back to the ground when he answered.
“Do not lie to me Joey! I know I’m not a smartass but I’m not an idiot. Now tell me what happened!”
Joey looked up at her, or maybe you should say down, he is almost a head taller than Arabella.
“It’s okay Bella, seriously. Don’t think more about it. I’m fine, okay. It actually looks worse than it is” He smiled at her but his smile didn’t reach his eyes. Arabella understood that he didn’t want to talk about it and they continued to walk to their school in silence. When they arrived Joey quickly left to go his lesson. Arabella was very quiet that day. She wondered what it was that could had happened to Joey that made him look like he was right now whit the broken lip and black eye. She wondered why he didn’t tell. She was his best friend after all. She got it explained from Rose during lunch break.
“Well it was like this, that on Friday when you had left the café so stayed we there and talked a little bit about your new job and other stuff. Well then when we were sitting there and talking Julia enters the café hand in hand whit her new guy”
“Not good. I guess Joey got pretty pissed”
“You could say that. He got really pissed because Julia’s new boyfriend turned out to be Chase”
“You’re kidding me! Chase! I guess Joey walked up to him and started arguing and it went so far that it became a fight”
“Exactly, that’s what happened and now Joey looks like he does”
“I still don’t understand why he didn’t tell me” Arabella said a little sad.
“Don’t think about it. It’s probably his ego and self-confidence that has received a small round now that he sees how handsome he is. So he’s a little bit embarrassed, that’s why he didn’t tell. But when his eye looks better he will boast about the hits he gave Chase”
“Yeah, you’re probably right”

 

The day continued and when school was over Arabella had learned nothing that day because she was so absorbed in her own thoughts. It had been difficult for her to listen to what the teachers had to say. When she and Joey went back home together she started to ask about Anya. If Joey was interested in her and so. She wanted him to think about other stuff and be himself again, which wasn’t that difficult. Once he opens his mouth so can he not close it again. He talked about how pretty he thought her short blond hair was, her chocolate brown eyes and how cute her dimple was.
Arabella was glad that Joey was himself again and wasn’t thinking about Chase or Julia.
Back home she went into the living room, put down her bag on the floor and laid herself down on the couch. Completely exhausted she was thinking about if she would take a nap or watch some TV. She decided that to get some sleep was the best proposal and laid herself comfortable in the sofa, closed her eyes and fell asleep quickly.
Arabella woke up and sat up on the couch.  She wondered what had wakened her then she heard it. The intro to the song Accidentally in love by Counting Crows was playing at full volume. She fumbled for her cellphone that was in her bag next to the couch.
“Yes, hello” she said once she got hold of her phone that had been in the bottom of the bag.
“Is it Arabella Torstensson that I’m talking to?” asked a woman which voice Arabella recognized but couldn’t quite put her finger on who it was.
“Yes it is. Who am I talking to?”
“My name is Sally Thoresen and I work at Fiffis office here in town. You may remember me from last Friday? Well the thing is that you were the last one that ma’am interviewed for the job and she has already decided who gets it. It was no difficult choice if you ask her. I figured you wanted to know as quickly as possible. Is this a bad time? Because in that case I’ll call back when it suits you better”
“No, no, not at all. You don’t disturb. I’m a little surprised that it happened so quickly. Please tell me”
“Okay, I think you will like this for the one who got the job is you. Congrats” Sally sound very happy on the phone when she told Arabella that she got the job but it was nothing compared to Arabella. She was close to drop her phone when she heard the good news.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you so much! I can hardly believe it’s true. It feels so unreal”
“Then reality sure has to catch up whit you until next Monday because that’s when you start working, at four o’clock, all right”  
“Four, right. Thank you once again!”
“I’m just the one delivering the news. It’s Elly you should thank. I’ll tell her that you’re glad then I’ll see you on Monday okay”
“Okay, bye”
“Bye”
When Arabella hung up she began to jump up and down whit joy while saying yes over and over.
“What are you doing honey? It sounds like an earthquake”
Her grandfather came into the room whit a puzzled expression. The wrinkles on his forehead became more and more and she could see joy in his gray eyes.
“I got it grandpa! I got it! The job at Fiffis. I can’t believe it”
“I’m very proud of you Arabella. Happy and proud, and I know both Sonya and Percy also would be”
 Arabella stopped jumping and went to her grandfather and gave him a hug.
“Do you think that grandpa, that they would be proud? Mom and dad”
“I know honey. The would be so proud that their little girl is growing up into such a decent, beautiful young woman”
Arabellas grandfather wiped gently away a tear that had gotten down her cheek. Arabella herself hadn’t even noticed. She had always been an easy crier especially when it was about her mom and dad.   
“Please grandpa, can you tell me how they were at my age? I know you probably have told me a thousand times but I want to hear” 
“Of course honey. I’m just afraid that there isn’t so much more to tell you. I have already said everything”
“I don’t mind to hear the same thing again so don’t worry about it”
“If that’s what you want. Let’s sit down, shall we”
Arabella had to help her grandfather to make their way to the couch. His age began tp catch up with him and he was getting a little tired. He otherwise always was so energetic.
“Wait here grandpa and I’ll do something to drink for us”

 

Arabella went into the kitchen and put the kettle on and prepared two cups. One with coffee and the other one with tee. When she was finished she went back to the living room. Her grandfather seemed to have fallen asleep on the sofa. He looked very peaceful. He barely had any hair left on his head and the little he had was light grey, almost white. His face was full of wrinkles, both big and small ones. Ha had become very thin over the past few years and had to use a walker when he walked. He looked simple old, which he was but Arabella had never thought of him as old. Her grandpa would always say that age is just something that’s on a paper. It is what’s in your heart and brain that decides how old you are. Her grandfather had been a living proof of that it is true. He has always been young at heart. Therefore it was the first time today that Arabella had noticed that he was old. She put the cups down on the table near the couch and sat down next to her grandfather. She put her hand gently on his and he slowly opened his eyes.
“Oops. I happened to doze off a bit there”
“It’s nothing grandpa. But are you still tired? If you are I’ll let you sleep, I got homework to do anyway” even though Arabella tried to sound happy when she said it you could still hear a little disappointed in her voice. She really wanted to hear her grandfather talk about her mom and dad. 
“Oh no honey. I will tell you a little, I know you want me too and you can go and do your homework later. I’ll just drink my coffee first so I stay awake”

 

“Your mother, Sonya has always been special, gone her own way, followed her own rules. If she had decided to do something it was nothing your grandmother and I could do about it. The only one who could get her to change her mind was your father Percy. He had great influence on her, even when they were little. Those two has always had a special bond between them. Your grandmother Daisy and I noticed it already in the beginning. It was when Sonya was seven she meet Percy for the first time. He had just moved in then and started in Sonya’s class in school. He was very small and skinny at that time and was bullied by the other children because of that. Especially by the boys. Sonya was the only one who stood up for him, defended him. She had a strong ability even at that time to get others to do as she liked. I remember that one day the principal at the school called and told me that Sonya pulled one of the boys hair so hard that he had begun to cry. She told me when she got home that she had done it because the boy had been mean to Percy. And that was how the mob of Percy stopped. The children who teased him was frightened away by Sonya.
Sonya and Percy became best friends.it was almost impossible to separate them. Yet they were as different as night and day. Sonya was very rowdy when she was little while Percy was proper. He was the sensible of the two of them. When Sonya sat and did nothing during class so was Percy focused on his schoolwork. I was promoted when Sonya was twelve and we moved here Sonya and Percy had to separate. I remember the day when we moved. Percy and his family had come home to us whit a cake. The children cried when they were saying goodbye to each other. When we started to drive away whit the car Percy ran after us and shouted after Sonya. Inside the car with Daisy and me sat Sonya and cried.
Moving here wasn’t easy for Sonya. She had a hard time in school and started hanging out with the wrong kind of people, so to speak. She joined a gang and was always out during the nights. Too often she came home bruised after a fight. Daisy and I was worried about her and did everything we could to get her on other tracks, but nothing seemed to work. Then when Sonya was seventeen it got so bad that the police had to intervene. Not only that. Your grandmother had felt bad for a while and then got diagnosed with cancer. The next few months were the worst in my life. Your grandmother spent most of the time at the hospital and Sonya at the police station.
Then one morning a young man was standing outside of my house. I recognized him but couldn’t tell who it was. He asked me if Sonya was home. I told him that she at the social service.  The man looked puzzled at me and asked me what she is doing there. Then it strikes me. It is Percy who I am talking to. Little Percy has grown big. I invited him in to a cup of coffee and tells him everything about how we have been since we moved. In the middle of our chat we hear the front door slam shut. It was Sonya coming home. When she came into the kitchen it got completely silent. Unlike me she recognized Percy at once. I could see how Percy gets up from the chair. Slowly he walked over to her. Sonya threw herself into his arms and they hugged for a long time. I saw tears beginning to slide down along Sonya’s cheeks and I decided to leave them alone. I didn’t want to interfere with their emotional reunion”

 

Arabellas grandfather suddenly stopped talking. It was as if something was interfering with his thoughts.
“I think that’s enough for today honey” he said. “I’m getting tired and should probably go to bed now” He smiled at Arabella and stood up, gave her a kiss on the forehead as he usually dose and began slowly walking towards his bedroom.
Arabella was still sitting on the couch. She sat there thinking about how a person can influence one so much. She remembered her mom as kind and caring. She always did what was right and put others first. She wasn’t one that associates with gangs, quite the opposite. Arabellas dad must have meant a lot to her for managing to change her so much.
Arabella drank up her tee that she hadn’t even touched when her grandfather had talked and then went into her room. It had only been a moth of the new semester and it’s not good to start with falling behind so she took out her math book and started studying. The equations looked a lot harder and more complicated than they were. She had to mess Roxann, the math genius four times and ask for help. After Arabella had solved ten equations she gave up and put down her book.it was only half past nine but she went to bed anyway. It was a long time since she had a good night sleep so going to bed early looked like a good idea.

 

The rest of the week went on very slow, until finally Friday arrived. Arabella would go and check out her new apartment that day after school together with Joey and the others. She thought that the apartment was very nice. One that was in just the right size that was very cozy and had a lot of charm. Arabella imagined how it would look like when she decorated the apartment the wayshe wanted it and was filled with excitement.
After having spent over one hour in the apartment they all went to Evelyn’s and had some coffee.
Joey managed to invite Anya out on a date and Rose got a call from Julius, a guy from school. He asked her if she wanted to go to the cinema the following day. Rose said happily yes. She has and a crush on Julius for a while now and got butterflies in her stomach just at the thought of going on a date with him the next day. So both Joey and Rose had dates the following day while Roxann and Arabella was left alone. But neither of the minded being single though. Guys just make everything so complicated. Their friends was enough for them, at least for now. But Arabella would be lying if she said that she didn’t want a special guy to pay a little more attention to her then everyone else. But the problem was who wouldn’t want Will, the school sweetheart, Prince Charming to like them more than the other girls.
Will and Joey are in the same class and has become good friends. Since Arabella and Joey are best friends it also means that she gets opportunities to meet and talk with Will through him. It’s true that Joey and Will are the two talking while Arabella just listen and comes in with a few observations. But it has at least led to that Will always greets her in the hallway when he sees her. Just hearing him say her name makes it tickle in her stomach. He’s probably the only one in the whole school that says Arabellas full name. All the others call her Bella. She like to be called Bella, but nothing can compare to hearing Wills beautiful voice say her full name in the hallway.
Arabella was lost in her thought of Will and winced as Roxann snapped her fingers in front of her face.
“And she’s back” she said.
“I wonder who you sat and thought about so intensely” Rose said and winked.
“No one special” Arabella responded quickly as she felt her cheeks heating up.
“I wonder if that no one has black hair, green eyes and is heading this way” said Joey and had his gazed focused on a point behind Arabella.
She quickly turned around and just like Joey had claimed, Will, beautiful as always was coming right towards them.
“Hey everybody” he said with a voice that could smelt ice. “May I sit down?”
“Of course man” replied Joey without noticing that the girls had suddenly become quiet.
Joey and Will have only known each other for almost a year but is already very good friends. Arabella know for sure that she, Roxann and Rose is his very best friends in the world but they’re all girls. She understands that sometimes he wants to hang out with his own sex and then Will is his best guy friend.
“So what’s up?” asked Will with his soft beautiful voice.
“Well we have just been and checked out Bellas future apartment” said Joey.
“I didn’t know you would move into an apartment Arabella” said Will in surprise and turned his attention to her. Their eyes met and she felt like she went into a deep forest and disappeared when she looked into his green eyes.
“Yep” She reply a little stiffly.
“How come?” Will asked and sounded very interested.
“Well I live with my grandpa right now but he will be moving while I stays here”
“Your grandfather? What about your parents?”
“They are dead both of them” Arabella replied in a low voice.
“I’m so sorry. I forgot” Will looked very sad. Arabellas mother had died the day he came to their school in a car accident almost a year ago. That’s way she have stayed with her grandfather. But now it was time for her to bre her wings and leave the nest.
“It’s okey” she said to Will, trying to not sound sad.
It became an uncomfortable silence at their table. No one said anything for what seemed like an eternity.
“What about your parents then Will? Visited them lately?” Arabella asked. Will lives with his uncle while his mother and father lives in Stockholm. Although Will has lived her for almost a years, no one really knows why he moved here.
“They are just fine. I visited them last week so it will be a while before I sees them again” He smiled at Arabella and all her sad thoughts of her mom and dad was blown away.
“I’m sorry for asking but I have always wondered this. Why did you move from you parents to you uncle?” Arabella was bursting with curiosity while waiting for Wills response when she asked the question and she wasn’t the only one.
“It’s complicated. I was living at home with mom and dad in Stockholm before as you all know. Then it happened one thing that made me feel bad mentally, which made me wanting to leave Stockholm. But both my mom and dad careers went great there so they couldn’t move because of their job. Then my mom came up whit the idea that I could stay with my uncle and now I’m here. Sure I miss them but I don’t regret moving here. If I hadn’t done it I wouldn’t have met all of you”
Will and Arabella made eye contact when he said that last thing and he smiled at her. If felt like her heart skipped a beat when I happened.
“Do you feel better now? Mentally I mean now when you stays with your uncle?” asked Rose with concern.
“Yes, much better” said Will much happier. “I probably won’t be able to move back to Stockholm for some time yet, but I don’t want to. I like it so much here”
“Oh so good!” Rose said happily while she looked at the clock. “I must go now, my singing lesson is starting soon. But I’ll see you tomorrow” she said and stood up.
“We can go along a bit” said Will. “I have a lot of homework waiting for me and I promised my uncle to help him with a little renovation in the house so I should also go now”
He and Rose left the café together and Arabella couldn’t help being a little bit jealous of Rose. But it disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.
“I should probably also be going” She said. “I start working on Monday and will soon be moving and have a lot tp fix with grandpa at home. See you guys tomorrow”
“See ya” said Joey and Roxann in chorus as they were the only ones who remained seated.

 

When Arabella got home her grandfather was busy packing the plates and glasses indifferent boxes for the move. She helped him with what he had left. Afterwards they sat both down on the couch and sighed out loud.
“I suppose you want to hear more of the story of Sonya and Percy” Arabellas grandfather said and winked at her.
“if it’s not asking too much” she said.
“Oh no, not at all. Hm… where were we again. Yeah right, yes. Percy had just come back into our lives, which led to the better. Every day he was at our house and met your mother. He managed to get Sonya on better courses, that Daisy and I had failed. She left the gang and started to focus more on school instead. Sonyas gang leader, however was not so happy. She and five other girls surrounded Sonya one early night in an ally, pushed her up against the wall and began hitting and kicking her. Sonya was completely powerless, she couldn’t defend herself against so many. Then Percy as bolt from a clear sky appeared and saved her. He drove Sonya to the hospital where she is forced to spend the night. That night, I also had to drive your grandmother to the hospital. The cancer had gotten much worse and she didn’t survive the night. A month later the funeral took place”
Arabellas grandfather paused and whipped his eyes where a few tears had entered. His eyes were very dull and shiny. Arabella took his hand in her and hold it tightly.   
“At the funeral Percy was of course there. He was there to comfort and to provide support to Sonya and also to say goodbye as he also know Daisy well. But also to tell Sonya about his feelings .I saw how they talked to each other and how both of them started to cry and embraced each other for a long time. So that’s the story of how your mom and dad got together. When Sonya finished school she began to work at once while Percy studied further. They moved into a flat in Gothenburg together. After living together for three years so proposed Percy to Sonya. It was a wonderful wedding. I’ve never seen your mom so beautiful as she was that day. I had also never seen her so happy before. There is only one day that I know she was happier. And it was the day you were born. They had been married for three years and Percy’s job career had launched properly when they decided to have a child. The day you were born was the happiest day of my, Percy’s and Sonya’s life. We were all so happy t0 have you. We all loved you Arabella. We still do even though it’s just me left now. But I fell that those we love remain with us in our hearts. You never forget that Arabella. We will always be with you here inside” Arabellas grandfather pointed at her chest.
“I promise that I will always remember that grandpa”
She gave him a big hug and they sat a long time and hugged each other. Arabella could hardly believe it. In a few weeks, she would move into her own flat. Live completely alone for the first time. She thought It was actually quit scary when she thought about it that way. But she mustn’t lose courage now. She will do this. This will be the start of her new life.   

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