My Friend Marcel

Annie's dad has moved around a lot, and she has never been really able to make many friends. Finally her dad gets a steady job in a tiny town outside Cheshire, named Holmes Chapel. When Annie starts a new school year at Holmes Chapel Public High School, she meets a nerdy boy named Marcel Styles. As she gets to know him better, she realizes that he's not the geek everyone thinks he is. Annie gets Marcel to open up and become himself, and they become fast friends. But soon, Marcel finds himself falling for his friend...what will happen when her biggest secret is revealed? Will Marcel still like her? Or will this secret tear Annie and him apart...forever?

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22. What really happened


 

 

Annie’s POV

“Annie?” Danny held my hand as we crossed the street to the small ice cream parlor down the road from our house.

“Yeah, buddy?”

“Why do we have to leave Holmes Chapel?” Danny frowned. “I don’t want to go.”

“Dad got a new job.” I said, trying to sound excited. “We’re going home, to London. Won’t that be exciting? We can see Nana, and Papa, and Aunt Amy, and Uncle Chris.”

“I guess.” Danny looked at the ground. “I still don’t wanna go.”

“Danny…”

“Do you?” My little brother challenged. I sighed.

“I don’t know, Dan.”

“Harry doesn’t want you to go.” Danny kicked at a stone. I stopped.

“What?” I stammered out.

“Harry doesn’t want you to leave,” Danny repeated. “I heard him one time. He was talking to Tommo on the phone.” I grinned in spite of myself. Danny had heard me call Louis ‘Tommo’ once, and got it into his head that that was his name. “He said that he really liked you, and cared about you.” Danny made a face. “Does that mean Harry likes you?”

“I…I don’t know, kiddo.” I sighed as he rose up on his tip toes to look over the counter.

“Can I have cookies an’ cream?” He asked, his questions about Harry forgotten for the moment.

“Sure.” I ordered him a small ice cream and myself a chocolate peanut butter milkshake. We sat down outside, and quietly ate our ice cream.

“Do you like Harry?” Danny asked, ice cream all over his face. I sighed, and wiped his mouth with a napkin. “Annie? Do you like Harry?”

“No.” I lied.

“Yes you do.” Danny looked up at me. “You like him a lot.”

“No, I don’t. Now finish your ice cream and lets get home.” Suddenly my phone buzzed. I glanced at the screen.

From: Dad
Annie, come home now. We need to talk.
My stomach dropped. He must have found out that Harry told everyone everything. I grabbed Danny’s hand.

“Come on, bud, we need to go home.”

X*************X

“Dad?” I called as I hurried into the house, Danny on my back. I set him down and shooed him off to his room to finish packing. “Dad—“ I bumped into someone as I rounded the corner to go into the kitchen. I almost fell, but whoever it was caught my wrists and held me against him so I wouldn’t hurt myself. “Thanks—“ I looked up and saw who it was. “Harry?” I gasped. “What are you—“

“You need to talk to your dad, Ann.” Harry said quietly, his emerald eyes gazing into mine, searching. He still held me against him. I swallowed.

“What are you doing here?”  I growled, pulling away from him.

“I came to see you.” He sighed. “Go talk to your dad, Ann.”

“HARRY!” Danny yelled as he ran down the stairs. He jumped at Harry and wrapped his little arms around his neck. “I missed you!” Danny said as Harry hugged him back. He reached up and pulled at Harry’s curls, giggling as they sprung back into place.

“Hey, buddy. I missed you too” Harry smiled, shaking his head and making his curly hair fly everywhere. Danny laughed, and reached for his hair again. I reached to take Danny from Harry, but my father appeared in the door.

“Harry, will you take Danny outside and watch him please?” He asked quietly. I looked at him. He had tears in his eyes. I gulped.

“Sure, Mr. Jenkins.” Harry looked at me. “Bye, Annie.” I ignored him, and walked with my father outside to the back porch. We sat in silence for a few minutes, then Dad cleared his throat.

“You thought you killed your mother?” He asked quietly. I swallowed hard, and fiddled with my fingers. “Annie…” He sighed, letting his head fall back. “Your mother died from a tumor.” My head shot up.

“Wh-wh-what?” I stammered.

“Remember a few weeks before your fight, when she went to that doctor?”

“Yes…”

“That was a brain doctor. She had a stage 4 inoperable brain tumor. She didn’t want to tell you because she didn’t want you to worry. I had no idea…” Dad covered his eyes with his hand, then spoke again, his voice low. “I had no idea you blamed yourself.”

“But she was unresponsive in the ambulance, and then they brought her back, remember?” I stuttered. “And the doctor said that she died because her head smashed too hard against the concrete!”

“Annie…” Dad leaned forward. “He didn’t say that. He said that they didn’t know what was wrong, and didn’t know if she was going to make it or not. She died because of the tumor. Not because of the slight concussion that you gave her.” I stared at him, my mouth wide open. “Annie, you didn’t kill your mother.”

“I didn’t?” I whispered. My father shook his head, and suddenly it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. He reached for me, and for the first time in a long time, I hugged my father, and cried with him. And boy, did it feel good.

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