It had been a month since the encounter with Jake, and Veronica was glad to say that there hadn’t been a part 2. The week after that, Travis had taken the opportunity to teach her a little self defense for future reference and so far he seemed to think that she could take care of herself. He even did random testing while she was walking around the house, just to make sure what he was teaching her wasn’t all in vain.
“Ready to go?” Travis called from the kitchen. He grabbed his keys and met up with Veronica at the door where she was shrugging on her jacket. She nodded to him and they started making their way out.
They were now pretty good friends. Well friends was sort of a vague term in their case. Friends talked to each other often if not all the time, and they did. Friends hung out, they did, friends supported each other in the hard times, and they did. But what friends didn’t usually do was cuddle with each other as much as these two did. Well it depends on what kind of friendship you had with your friends, but based on a normal platonic relationship, Travis and Veronica didn’t really fit those characteristics.
Friends… Veronica thought. Oh how she missed Amelia. A month without her best friend and she felt like she was missing her other half. From what Veronica could see, her and Avery were now together and Veronica hadn’t told her, but she was really happy for her. Veronica sighed and leaned against the car window when she heard Travis speak, taking her away from her thought.
“Do you wanna catch a movie after school?”
“Only if you pick the movie.” She replied with a smile.
Accepting that answer, Travis smiled and parked the car and they both go out, mentally preparing themselves for the long day. Travis walked Veronica to her first period class as per usual since recently. He never openly said, but Veronica suspected that it was because despite her training, Travis was scared Jake might come to her again. She never objected though, she actually liked having someone to walk with to her classes, so right before entering she thanked him for walking her, but as she was about to walk in he reached for her hand and pulled her back.
“It’s been a month now,” He said calmly with a smile on his face. Veronica’s head tilted in confusion.
“I’ve walked you to class every day for a month,” He said. “shouldn’t I get a reward?”
“Well, whatever you want to give me, but I’d like a kiss.”
Veronica’s eyes widened as it dawned on her that the last time they had kissed was at the beach on that day. It had nothing to do with the fact that neither of them wanted to kiss each other because that wasn’t the case. Veronica just never bothered. It didn’t seem necessary because she was completely fine with just cuddling and hand holding every now and then, and she hadn’t realized that Travis actually wanted to kiss her again. So looking down at the ground in thought then back up to his eyes, she gave him a small smile. Allowing herself to grow to his height for a moment, she pecks his lips with hers and then scurried away before Travis could say anything else.
Travis went to protest about how that kiss was nothing, but the bell rang and he decided to wait. He turned with a chuckle and a shake of the head and head in the other direction from Veronica’s classroom towards his when his shoulder made contact with another’s. Forest green met with ocean blue as Travis looked at Jake with utter distaste. “Watch where you’re going man.”
Travis’ jaw clenched. “You bumped into me.”
All Jake did was roll his eyes and say nothing more before walking past Travis, his friends in tow. All but one. Travis’ recognized him as Avery Chasten, the ultimate dancer at West Terres-Field, so good that he had spent most of his life being watched by many university scouts. Travis had to admit that it was pretty impressive, but it hardly explained why he had stayed behind while his friends had walked away.
“Hey man, sorry about Jake.” Avery said, answering Travis’ question.
“No worries I guess.” Travis went to walk away but Avery stopped him with a hand on his shoulder.
“I heard about what happened with Veronica.” Avery said. “I just wanna say that I had nothing to with it. Veronica never asked me for anything and I didn’t ask her. She’s like a sister to me and I’m pretty pissed that Jake would do something like that. Look I just don’t want you getting the wrong impression of me.”
Travis hadn’t been expecting that at all, and with a scratch to the back of his head, he spoke. “Yeah man I didn’t really believe the rumors to begin with, but I appreciate you telling me. Right now Veronica just need someone in her life and if you can be there for her, it would really help.”
Avery nodded understandingly. “Yeah, of course.”
With that conversation ending like that, they turned away and started off to class after realizing that they had shared the same first and fourth period classes.
It was already third period when something Veronica never expected to happen. It hadn’t happened for many years now, and she certainly wasn’t expecting it to ever again, but here she was staring at her teacher with a perplexed look.
“Sorry?” Veronica whispered, hoping her teacher would repeat herself, and thankfully she did.
“You’re needed in the office.”
Her teacher shrugged before looking back down at the papers on her desk. “Ms. Crougher never said, but you better get going.”
With a sigh, she nodded and began walking down the hall to the office. It couldn’t have been anything good, so she took her time, getting there whenever she got there, and when she did, her stomach began doing nervous flips all around. Ms. Crougher smiled at her and handed her the phone. “There’s a phone call for you.”
Veronica took the phone from Ms. Crougher and placed her hand over the receiver. “Did they say who it was?”
“They said their name was Kyle.”
The colour drained straight from Veronica’s face and she felt bile rise up her throat. Why the hell was that man calling her? Slowly she brought the phone to her ear and spoke, “Hello?”
“Veronica?” The voice answered. It was rough and a lot deeper than Veronica ever remembered being. Hardly at all the same voice that said goodnight to her before bed, or soothed her when she stayed home sick. This voice was the one that haunted her dreams and made her shake in fear.
“Yes?” She gulped.
The man on the other end of the phone sighed and chuckled in what sounds like relief. “It’s so good to hear our voice. I’ve really missed you, how are you do-”
“Why did you call?” Veronica was feeling impatient and terrified. After almost 5 years he was calling her and that was not a good thing at all.
“I wanted to see how you were doing.”
Veronica looked to Ms. Crougher and saw that she wasn’t paying attention, but Veronica still moved as far as she could from her so she didn’t hear her conversation. “It’s been five years, why do you care?”
“Because I miss you silly,” He laughed. “I know I wasn’t the best dad in the world, but I want to make it up to you. I love you Veronica.”
“Okay.” She didn’t know what else to say. He had lost her affection years ago and it was going to take more than a phone call to gain it back.
Kyle cleared his throat before speaking again. “Well, I also wanted to let you know that my files got mixed up with someone elses after the, uh, accident, and I got more years than I was supposed to. I got let out 5 years early.”
Veronica rolled her eyes and wanted nothing more than to hang up, but she knew he would call back. “Why are you telling me this?”
“Because I want to see you.” His voice was firm and slightly demanding, but Veronica didn’t let her fear take over. “I thought you’d want to see me. Are you still acting like a brat?”
“So I’m a brat because I want nothing to do with the man that made my life a living hell?”
“I didn’t make your life a living hell,” He growled.
“You took my sister away from me.” Veronica said with a bland tone.
“Look,” Kyle began. “I’ll be staying at the apartment on twenty third street, three blocks away from our old house. Come see me tomorrow after school and I’ll call you ag-”
“Don’t call me again.” Veronica cut in. “I won’t be visiting you. I want nothing to do with you, please, just stay out of my life.”
She didn’t give him a chance to speak again and hung up. Before leaving she thanked Ms. Crougher and walked out of the office, and straight into Travis.
“Hey,” He said looking down at her with furrowed brows.
“Hey,” Veronica looked up and smiled at him the best she could. “Have you picked a move a movie yet?”
He shook his head. “ No, but I’ll have it picked by the end of the day I promise. But anyways, I was going to ask later, but do you want to come out for lunch with me?”
Veronica grinned and nodded. “Yeah that’d be great.”
With that, they parted ways to get to their classes, and the entire time, Veronica had this uncomfortable feeling in the pit of her stomach. Her father being back wasn’t a good sign and only meant trouble, but she didn’t want trouble. All Veronica wanted was to finally get her life on track and live her life without the fear of her father butting in, but yeah life doesn’t work that way.