You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could've, would've happened... or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on. Veronica had read that somewhere one day and she often thought about it after nights like she had last night. Having spent almost 5 years wondering why her father would do that to her and her sister eventually, Veronica didn't see the point. Thinking about the things that have hurt you in the past, is only going to hurt you more. If you move on and let yourself be happy, that's the only way you can finally find peace. This didn't at all mean that she had forgiven her father, but she was doing her best to forget everything he did, sometimes it was harder than she'd like to admit, but she was trying.
This is why when Veronica woke up the next morning she looked unfazed. Deep down she was completely disgusted with herself for how much weakness she had showed - in front of Travis no less - but this morning she made sure she gave off nothing. Even as she walked into the kitchen to grab an apple, Travis looked at her with uncertainty. He looked confused and very cautious, as if scared that she might blow off on him if he even said one thing wrong. And she probably would.
Neither of them said anything to each other, and Veronica refused to look at him, while Travis was doing the opposite. He watched her walking around the house for a little while, looking for a sure sign that she was probably a crazy insane bitch. He felt closer to that conclusion when he watched her sit in front of the TV calmly, laughing every now and then, and - though it seemed like just normal behaviour - he was beginning to that she was a complete nut job. How could she just look like she hadn't cried for more than an hour last night and then raged on him?
While Travis continued to look at her like she had a third arm, Veronica wanted nothing more than to throw her half eaten apple at him. His gaze was making her skin itch and it was probably the most aggravating thing she has ever had to endure, but making another scene wasn't on her to-do list today.
Veronica's phone chimed on the table and she thanked god for the new distraction. It was a text from Amelia.
Amelia: Dude, where were u last nite? U jst diapered!
How her friend had passed through grade 1 was honestly beyond her. For the longest time Veronica thought Amelia text with such awful grammar and spelling as a joke, but she soon learned that it was seriously how she texted. And even after 3 years of friendship Veronica hadn't once been able to persuade her to stop.
She replied back: I went home early.
Amelia: Y? Tht wuz like the party of the yr!
How were you supposed to tell your friend that you left the party of the yr because you were nearly raped by your boyfriend and because you didn't want to bug her, you asked your irritating roommate to give you a ride home, and as a result you had a fight with him and he was now watching you like a stalker for reasons which you did not know? There was no easy way to do it, or at least a way to do it where your friend didn't suddenly worry about rush to your house threatening to chop off the balls of said boyfriend. Well ex-boyfriends really. The best solution was to lie.
Veronica: I started feeling sick again so I went home.
Amelia: U didnt luk so sick when u wer grinding w/ Jake ;)
Veronica didn't have a comeback for that.
Veronica: Come over.
Amelia: k be there in 10, but u hve 1 tell me wht happened last night
Veronica sent her a quick okay then got up from the couch to grab the pizza number off the fridge. Pizza was Amelia's favourite thing about coming over.
"Are you okay?" A voice said from behind her. She totally forgot that Travis was still around, but there he was, sitting at round kitchen table with his elbow propped up on it, and his chin in his hand.
"Yeah." She said. She turned back and started dialing the number and just as she went to press call, Travis spoke again. He said, "So are you going to tell me what happened last night?" and naturally, Veronica replied with a "Nope."
"Why should I?"
"Because I'm trying to be polite by asking." There was a tone to his voice that make Veronica almost tell him, but the urge went away soon enough.
"You don't have to be polite with me." Veronica turned around to face him as she spoke, her voice was stern and unwavering. She pressed call on the phone and waited for an answer. When someone did, she placed her order for a medium meatlovers before hanging up and tucking her phone in her pocket.
"What's keeping you from opening up to me? He was now standing up, glaring up at her from behind the island between them.
Veronica looked up at him and internally sighed. She had thought the conversation had been over, but she guessed not.
"Because the last time I let someone in, I got hurt." She was referring to last night, but didn't openly say so. Jake was the first guy she had really opened up to in almost ever, and he had taken advantage of that. So why the hell would she give Travis that same power over her?
His eyes soften a little. "But I wouldn't hurt you. I'm trying to get to know you better, so I can understand you more, and I have no intention of making you upset, couldn't you tell from yesterday?"
"Travis, we spent eight hours together. You can't just trust someone in eight hours, especially if the previous day, they tried to rape you." She seethed. "So just drop it okay."
Travis' jaw clenched. "So you haven't forgiven me."
"I have." She said. "But that doesn't mean I forgot what you did."
He walked around the kitchen island and soon was standing less than a foot away from her. "I regret what I did more than anything, and I want to be your friend Veronica. I want to be someone you can confide in, because honestly, you look like you could use a shoulder to cry on. I want you to know that you can trust people, even if you've been hurt before, because not everyone is bad."
"I don't need new friends, and why they hell are you talking like you know more about me than myself?" She growled. "You know nothing about me."
"Veronica," He said. "I know well enough to see that you've been hurt so bad that you pretty much had a flashback after what I did. I see how you flinch every time anyone touches you. I can tell when you're shy or nervous because you bite your lip, and that your ultimate defense mechanism is you whipping all emotions from your face so that people don't think you're upset. You're easier to read than you think, and that's why I want to be there for you, so that none of that is ever necessary."
He went to grab her hand but she stepped back away from him, eyes wide. How do you react to someone naming off all the things you've either thought you could hide, or the things you were trying to hide? No one had ever noticed a single one of those things. When she flinched, people thought that she was really sketchy and easily scared; when she bit her lip, people thought she was trying to be seductive; and her stoic expression was just one of the things that drew people away from her because they thought she was a bitch. She had learned to live with the assumptions that people had about her behaviour and she let them think what they wanted to, because having to explain why, didn't really appeal to her all that much. What did it matter to them that she had a shitty childhood? No one cared about your problems, and if they acted like they did, they were either going to go on about how theirs were worse, or soak in the fact that because your life is so shitty, you are by default shit, and that made them better than you. So the fact that someone was literally naming off one by one some of the only things that got her through the day, made her shrink back in insecurity.
"You don't know what you're talking about Travis." She whispered. At this point she couldn't even put up her mask. It was useless to try, and her face refused to cooperate.
"I know exactly what I'm talking about Veronica." He took another step closer to her, and panic rose in her chest. "You're scared to trust because you don't want people to take advantage of the trust, but I'm trying to let you know that I would never do that to you."
"But how do I know that for sure." She said. Her voice cracked, resembling the shattered feeling she had inside at the thought that all her efforts to conceal her emotions had been done in vain.
"Because despite the bad things I've done," He began. "I'm not a bad person. I know right from wrong, and betraying people's trust is definitely wrong and unfair."
She looked at him warily, not knowing the best way to reply. His point had been true, but trust was something earned not bought nor taken. "It's going to take a lot more than a day out together for me to trust you Travis, so you're wasting your time expecting anything from me at this point." She had been firm and unwavering with her answer and to prove that her answer was final, she turned on her heals and retreated down the hall and into her room. Away from his watchful gaze, questioning eyes, and his persistent self.