A/n: I have gotten excellent feedback on Wattpad about this chapter, so I hope it is to your guys' liking. I was impressed with it myself and I am way happy with how it came out. c: After a long wait, here is the next chapter. <3
ECHOS POV :
I felt a vibration in my pocket, causing me to twitch. I couldn’t even imagine being anymore on edge. I took a peek over at my homeroom teacher. He was leaned back in his cushioned spinning chair with a magazine over his face. You could tell by the light rise and fall of his chest that he was in a deep sleep. That’s when I knew it would be safe to check my phone. Sabrina had sent me a message wishing my the best of luck, which only made my stomach churn even more. I wanted to make this quick, but I knew this would take a bit of more time to correct.
What if Ashley rejected me? What if she would not except my apology? Questions kept playing in my head. I felt more nervous than the first time I spoke Jinx, or even being near her. Not that she mattered right now, or at all at this point because my best friend was more important
But It was like Ashley turned me into this giant flustered mess all of the sudden. I just missed my best friend and I knew it would only be a matter of time before I couldn’t take the separation anymore. It had been already been driving me mad. Next thing I know I’ll have a one way ticket to the looney bin.
The bell rang, causing me to lurch forward and bring my nerves to a whole nother level of intensity. I needed to calm down before I had a heart attack and ended up in the hospital. I inhaled a sharp breath and then let it out slowly. Ashley and I had a strong friendship. No little tiff could break us up that easily, I wouldn’t allow that. Hell I shouldn’t of allowed this to continue in the first place! I could have drop kicked Matty the day she ran away from my house. All though the thought of drop kicking Matt did bring a slight joy to my dying heart, I needed to actually focus on the task at hand.
I began casually walking down the hall (not that it was truly all that casual), anxiously looking for any sign of my friends. I noticed Matty talking to a few of his football friends near some lockers. I turned my head frantically trying to spot Ashley. I wanted to talk to Matt first and her being around would mess things up, because I wasn’t prepared to talk to her at the moment. I wanted to know if he would give me the 411 so we could fix this confusing mess and go back to how things used to be. I stood in the middle of the hall taking another slow breath before making my way to his locker. I cleared my throat when I had arrived.
“Matt.” I began, twiddling my thumbs quickly to subside my nerves.
Matt turned around, eyes on me, studying my face. He looked a bit stunned at my presence, but he was not the only one surprised by my dauntless move. I understood the need for shock, I was doing something I could or would never do in a million years, confront something head on was not my thing. My chest began to feel tight. What if he ignored me? What if he said he don’t want to be friends with me anymore? The millions of questions presented themselves, one after another in my brain like a slide show. I refused to back out of this whole mission. I would fix this. I would go out of my comfort zone to mend the broken.
“I’ll talk to you guys later.” He announced to the football players, dismissing them from their captain.
The boys all said their farewells before disappearing in the sea of students, while I stared down at my feet in front of Matt, feeling queasier than before. I had absolutely no clue what I even wanted to say to him. I should have had a secure plan ready to go in my head, but I didn’t. I just had a broken heart that needed mending.
“Matty I-” tried to get out.
He cut me off with a warm hug. His strong arms wrapped securely around me. I felt as if my emotions came out all at once and I began to shake as I felt hot tears fall down my cheeks. He began to walk slowly away from the crowd to a more quieter place. Next thing I know we were in a deserted classroom. The only thing that had filled the room was the sound of my sniffling, which became annoying to me. Then again I didn’t mind that I was letting out all of my feelings to my close friend. His chest became my shield, protecting me from harm and his hug made me feel as if I was actually going to be okay. I never realized how a couple days without someone had felt like the end of my world.
“I am s-so sorry M-Matty.” I stammered. “I don’t know what to do!”
“Hey you guys will get this sorted out. Do not apologize to me, you didn’t do anything wrong. You did not intentionally mean anything.” Matty said in a gentle tone, gently stroking the strands of hair on the top of my head.
I felt even more at a loss than ever before. I didn’t intentionally do anything wrong? Well I know I would never tentionally hurt my best friend but what had I done? It had to be me not paying enough attention to Ashley right? She was just missing how close we were. She thought Jinx was splitting us apart right?
“What did I do Matty? Are you angry with me too?” I choked out, burying my face deeper into his chest. My heart was beginning to ache. I felt like a child that was being punished even though I didn’t understand. I felt like a little kid crying and begging mommy and daddy for forgiveness.
“You did nothing wrong Echo. I am not mad at you. I am truly sorry I left you to deal with this alone, I didn’t mean to do that. I am so sorry.” I knew he meant it and I didn’t feel I should be angry at him, for that would only make the problem going on, worse.
“I need to talk to her.” I finally looked up at him. My eyes sung and I knew they would be red after I as done with this little ‘episode’.
“She isn’t here today, but she will be showing up for cheer. I think it would be good if you talked to her.” He gave me his charming half smile and swiped his thumb across my cheek to wipe away the tears that were continuously falling.
“Somehow I will fix this.” I said with determination. “I will.”
“You are the only one who can.”
“I should be getting to class.” I said, cutting the silence between us.
“You going to be okay?”
I nodded and waved goodbye as I left the abandoned classroom first. I lazily walked to the women’s restroom and slashed cool water on my face. “I will make this up to you Ash, I swear.” I mumbled to myself.
- - - - - -
I buttoned and unbuttoned my flannel shirt repeatedly as I stared at the football field from the middle of the parking lot.It was the end of the day, which meant Ashley was here and I had to talk to her. I had to keep my fingers busy, because in some odd way it kept me from wanting to hurl. I was in a fit of endless nerves. I was am surprised I had not dug my grave yet, because I wouldn’t think twice about jump in. All I thought about was that about ten feet away was my Jeep, all ready for a trip all the way to Alaska but I couldn’t just run away from home. Matt would dig my grave for me if he knew I did not go through with this. We had talked about it at lunch, how it would decently go down, because he knew if I didn’t have a plan I would freeze up and not even go talk to her.
“You are going to march over there and demand to be loved.” Matt had said, while chewing on his chicken sandwich.
“That is not exactly a plan.” I muttered under my breath, playing with my peas on my tray. I wasn’t to interested in the thought of food, it only made my stomach hurt.
He gave me a wide eyed look, as if he was shocked how that’s not how girls worked. “You are telling me it is harder than that?”
“What happened to Good Advice Matt or Serious Matt, huh?” I asked giving him a half grin.
How could he suggest being so casual? This wasn’t something you could just shrug off, clearly. It was something that really had to take some thinking. I could not go over there, be like ‘love me’ and everything is fine again. Ashley and I had to talk this out. The only reason it hasn’t been is because Ashley and I never got into a tough spot. We have been through thick and thin together but not apart. How was she feeling without me? Was she eating okay? Is she sleeping alright?
I head snapping and blinked at Matt a couple times. “Is she okay?” I blurted. “You know she forgets to feed herself sometimes and I just worry-”
“She will be fine once this is all over.” Matt began, “But you have to grow a pair for that to happen.”
I glared at him. “What if I just take yours instead.” I suggested, holding up my plastic knife.
Matt cupped his crotch. “Ow man, that would take forever and that wouldn’t bring me joy.”
“Back onto the task at hand.” I hinted, slowly bringing the knife back down.
“Just tell her how you feel, and listen to her. If she is not ready to talk I will then step in and talk to her. Easy peasy.”
“Yeah ‘easy peasy’ my ass.” I muttered to myself.
I felt a warm hand latch onto my shoulder and shake me gently. I whipped around to see who would be touching me while I am in this state of anxiety. Of course it was Matt, disturbing the peace.
“I almost shit myself you know.”
“Why aren’t you over there yet?” He ignored me.
“Because I do not want to ruin the finely cut grass.”
“Oh you are a horrible liar.” He chuckled. “Now get over there before I pick you up and take you.”
I knew he wasn’t kidding by the look in his eye, so instead of defying the all ‘great and powerful’ Matt, I began to stroll over with my hands shoved deeply into my pockets. I could sense the goose bumps rising and my hairs standing up. It was a decent 70 degrees but yet I felt utterly chilled at the sight of the cheerleaders chanting their satanic rituals from a distance.
I went to glance back at Matt. He had his muscular arms crossed. You could tell his arms were screaming to be let loose in that form fitting black t-shirt. Even from such a great distance away I could sense his desire to take action. He was ready to drag me over there, dead or alive. But what he did not know was I would choose death at this very moment.
I noticed Molly by the bleachers taking swigs of her water bottle so I decided to walk over. She spotted me right away and waved.
“What are you doing here?” She asked.
“Oh, I um-” I began looking around nervously.
“Ashley?” She asked, then smiled. “I’ll go grab her if you want.”
I said yes, but I couldn’t tell if it was even audible. But in no time she was skipping over to the girls, who looked to be taking a break. My heart began to thump rapidly when Molly pointed over at me. I could of practically died when Ashley glanced over my way. My heart had ceased and I frantically took of my flannel because in no time I felt like I was about to experience a heat stroke at the sudden temperature change. A part of me didn’t even want her to come over. I knew I was being over dramatic but I couldn’t take this utter throb in my chest.
It felt like hours before Ashley made her decision to come over to me. In that moment I wanted to sprint over and give her the biggest hug. I wanted to tell her how much she meant to me and that whatever I did I would never do it ever again because this pain was unimaginable, but I refrained myself and kept a good ways away from her. When Ashley finally did reach me she stood there, arms crossed over her chest, looking anywhere but me. There was this weird sting in my chest. What was with my heart today?
“What do you want?” She asked quietly.
“Forgiveness?” I smiled weakly. I knew it wasn’t the best answer but what could I have given her?
“What makes you-”
I cut her off. “Before you start, please please hear me out Ashley.” I cleared my throat and took a deep breath. “You are my best friend Ashley. I would never mean to hurt you, but you are not being fair to me.” I wrapped my arms around my stomach. I felt weak. “I don’t get what I did? You have left me utterly baffled.”
“Best friends.” She scoffed. “You don’t even understand!”
“I am trying too!” I let out. “But you are right, I guess I cannot read your mind. I am sorry for being human okay? That doesn’t give you the right to keep it from me? Best friends are supposed to tell each other everything and clearly you aren’t telling me anything.” For the first time I looked at her. “Is it because you are jealous of Jinx? Is it because I wasn’t hanging out with you much? I would never ever leave you behind or replace you Ash.”
“Oh my god.” She began. Her face had hurt and anger written all over it. “You think I am jealous of her because you do not hang out with me much? You have got to be kidding me.” I watch intently as she starts pacing. “I would never ever be jealous of someone so sleazy and fucked up in the-”
“You don’t even know her Ashley.”
“Oh and you think that you do? Then explain to me the games she has been playing with you. She has been totally messing with your head Echo. She has a god damn psycho boyfriend who freaking beats on her. Oh but she is okay with it. Have you not figured that out on your own?”
“It’s harder than you think to get out of that kind of think. Abuse is tricky.”
“Are you really going to take her side?”
“I am not taking her side. There is no side to take!” I looked down. “ I don’t even-”
Ashley snickers. “I don’t even feel bad for the slut. You know she moved on already from you right? saw her making out with the sub shop girl at the mall. Pure loyalty. Oh, you probably didn’t see that coming though right?”
I felt my eyes go big and I dropped my shirt on the ground. “What?” My head was reeling. This was a whole other issue that shouldn’t even be discussed right now.
I watched as Ashley’s beautiful eyes welled up with tears. Why would she be the one crying? Shouldn’t I? Shouldn’t I be hurt? Then again I did turn Jinx down. I turned away from her because she isn't as important as Ashley.
“No! You know, it isn't fair.” I watched as her tears began to fall. I could hear my heart pounding like a drum and it hurt, I was in main. I couldn’t take watching her cry. Was I doing this to her. Was I causing this pain?
“You are so blinded by love and you let her ruin everything. You let her do that to you? Don’t you respect yourself?” She was screaming now, bring the attention of the football players and cheer leading team, but they only watched from a distance. “You let her do this to you. You let yourself become obsessed, but I supported you till i couldn’t anymore! You know I slapped her right? I slapped that smug little look off her face. I did that for you!”
“Ashley,” My voice was faint, I could hear the thunder rolling in as the rain lightly patterned on the bleachers making a ting sound. I was speechless. In my time of knowing Ashley, I never seen this side of her before. She looked so broken. “You know I love-” I began, but she refused to let me finish.
“Don’t!” She yelled. “Don’t you dare do that to me. Don’t you dare tell me you love me!”
I looked cluelessly at her. Before I could even think of putting anything together, I was now turned around roughly by my shoulder and I was facing a very angry looking boy. I scanned through my memory bank but I was too rattled at this point to care.
“Hey queer!” He yelled.
“Dylan Dont!” I heard faint yelling, I knew instantly it was Jinx. Her yelling was coming from a fair distance away.
“I don’t have time for you..” I spat.
He grabbed me by the shirt. “Then let’s make time sweetheart.” His venomous voice was almost enough to rip me apart, just like I knew he wanted to.
My body made contact with the muddy ground. I tried to stagger to get up but he pulled me by the shirt again to meet face to face once more.
“Dylan stop!” Jinx screamed, but of course he didn’t listen.
“Kissing on my girlfriend huh? Who do you think you are?” He growled. “Some little bitch, that is who you are.”
Before I could even predict what was happening Dylan had punched me in the nose. I fell instantly on the muddy ground and a warm liquid poured from my nose. I shook my head to try and gain some sense but it hurt to move. I felt a sharp pain in my stomach. Dylan’s foot made met my body with all of his force intended. I rolled over, holding my stomach and hacked up blood. I heard shrieking but I wasn’t exactly paying attention. I was propped on my knees with my head in the mud. I looked up and my vision was blurred, but I saw someone run into Dylan and hold him back. The last think I recall was listening to the calm sound of the rain pouring down. What a beautiful sound it was, before I blacked out.