Breaking Through

Sixteen-year-old Emma Marioni has to deal with the day-to-day issues of every teenager plus the complications of a disease. Struggling with commitment with boyfriends and broken friendships while her best friend Emily has it all. See how Emma "breaks through" to find her identity. © pips. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

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6. Chapter 6

True to her word, I awoke to a 'Tap Tap Tap' on my window. Frowning I saw a face looking through the window. I cast a glance at the clock, 10:24am. Thank goodness. I told her if she woke me before 10:00am there would be trouble. I walked zombie-like to let her in. She was already showered and dressed.

"What do you want?" I asked her sounding ruder than I had expected.

"Oh, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed!"

"Sorry." I muttered.

"I was kidding. Anyway tonight's your date so today im taking you shopping to buy something that looks awesome on you." She said indicating my body.

"Why did you do that? What's wrong with the clothes I already have?"

"Because the stuff you already have won't do. It's too boring. Now run along to the shower and we will leave."

I growled and stuck my tongue out at her but obliged none the less, but taking my own sweet time about it. She really was a great, patient friend.

We hopped down the stairs to get breakfast while my parents greeted Em. We told them we were going shopping, then we set off.

We pedalled hard on our bikes we arrived at the shops in twenty minutes. Emily linked her arm through mine then we set off, to my delight, skipping around the centre. She found me this pretty turquoise dress that hugged me in all the right places. We bought it and set off to get some ice cream. After ordering our favourite; one scoop of butterscotch and one of coconut, we sat on our bench talking and licking our ice creams. Afterwards we got up and shopped some more and finished on buying a beautiful red sparkly dress (if not a little too short, but I didn't say that in case Em got mad) for Ems "Special" Date that Josh had promised her when he came back from helping the elderly home. We rode back home and flopped onto my bed, not saying a word. And it was not awkward, because we were best friends and loved just spending time together.

***

I woke up really late that morning at twelve, thankfully. That means there was only eight hours till my date. Just as I got out of bed and stretched, Emily had walked into my room. I found it really creepy when she just appeared like that, and she did it often.

"Morning sunshine!" she chirped.

I yawned in response.

She flinched, "Phew! I think we need to do something about your breath before Sam sees you or he'll die!"

I frowned, told her I'd not had a chance to brush my teeth and went to the bathroom to get ready.

When I got back, just in my towel, she was comfortably perched on the end of my bed reading a book I had lying around. She looked up, rolled her eyes and threw me my pants and bra. Emily lay the book down on my table and emptied the contents of her backpack onto my bed.

"Right, missy. I've come to turn you into a princess! So we have makeup, pimple remover, nail polish and a little surprise of my own!" she exclaimed, picking up each in turn.

I scrunched up my nose. "Do I really have lots of pimples? I guess we have to get this over and done with."

"Oh, I almost forgot." She then shoved a bit of toast in my mouth.

I ate my toast and preceded to do all the things she told me to. It took a while to make me 'acceptable' but she promised her surprise would make me look beautiful. Em painted my toe and fingernails turquoise, exactly the same shade as my dress, and tried lots of different looks of makeup.

"Okay, I know you may not like this but I have asked your parents and they think it's a great idea..."

"What is it? You're making me nervous! Tell me now!" I demanded.

"Fine." She crossed her fingers and showed me the box she had been holding; hair dye. But not only hair dye, red hair dye! It wasn't the orange-red type, it was the red-brown type. But that still didn't change the fact I was totally not up to this. I shook my head and ran out of her grip. I like my mousy brown hair just like it was. She put on her puppy eyes she knew I could never resist. I sighed. Emily got up and hugged me. She knew I'd given in.

"Fine, get it over with. But not too red!" I growled.

She nodded enthusiastically and proceeded to lead me to the bathroom.

***

I had a towel over my face and all I smelt was the dye seeping into my hair. Yuck, why would anyone use this stuff? I trusted Emily fully as she worked in a hairdresser part time. I just wanted to be finished and see how terrible I looked.

“Okay, ready?” I could hear the smile in her voice. “Don’t worry you look gorgeous! I don’t know why we didn’t try this before.”

Good-bye, normal brown hair!

“One, two, three!” She whipped of the towel and in the mirror I saw some stranger looking back at me, wide-eyed and, I hate to admit, stunning! My brown curly, frizzy hair had turned into a silky soft, elegantly curled and slightly tinted red hair! A total transformation I had never expected. I forgot about Emily standing behind me until she pulled me back to reality by singing ‘It must be love, love, love.’ As she did when I saw Sam.

“For God’s sake, just say it! Tell me I knew what I was doing and I made you look amazing and you love it.” She looked at me knowingly.

I told her everything she wanted to hear and that she was an amazing hairdresser. We spent the rest of the day at the park nearby, played on the swings and watched the children come and go through the park. We headed home when it got dark and watched two of our all time favourite movies’ ‘Notting Hill’ and ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’. At six-thirty Emily took me upstairs and demanded I shower again. I was so excited I couldn’t be bothered to tell her not to boss me around. When I got back she helped me slip into my dress and she took me to the bathroom to do my hair. Em re-curled my hair with a curling iron and put it up in an elegant knot at the back of my head with loose bits of hair framing my face. Makeup, hair and perfume were all checked off the list at seven-forty five. I was getting really nervous now. I couldn’t believe my dream had come true! One of the most popular, and hottest, boys in school wanted to go out with me! I wasn’t beautiful but I wasn’t exactly ugly either. Emily threw her blue coat over my shoulders at five to eight and she squealed happily and told me I looked wonderful.

The doorbell rang at two minutes past eight. Not a bad timekeeper, I thought. Emily threw open the door and I peered over her shoulder at the boy, no, gentleman that stood on my doorstep. He wore a black jacket and jeans. And peeking from under his jacket was a smart turquoise shirt… I shot a look at Emily and she only winked at me. Sam offered his arm to me and I took it.

“My lady,” He said.

“Have her home by eleven!” Emily shouted in a mock mother way.

Sam only winked and wiggled his eyebrows in response. He led me to his rusty, old red car and opened the door for me. I smiled shyly and got in as elegantly as I could manage.

We arrived at the restaurant after a five-minute silent car ride. We sat down in the restaurant and I immediately saw couples, surrounding me. And not only that, they were all either kissing or holding hands. I started to freak out. What if Sam wanted to kiss me after we only just started dating? What would I do? Would he think I’m a bad kisser? All these different scenarios ran through my head and my hands started to shake. Oh dear maybe I was having a Hypo? Not now! Sam didn’t know about this and he might judge me or misunderstand. I hated telling people I had Type One Diabetes. They always mistook it for Type Two. I breathed, reminded myself that if he judged me, I didn’t need him in my life, although I sincerely wanted him to be a part of it. I got my Blood Glucose Monitor out of the big blue bag Ems mum leant me and put it on my lap. I pricked my finger and put the blood on the test strip. Sam leaned around the table to see what I was doing.

“What ya up to?” He said smiling.

I picked up my monitor and showed it to him. Realisation registered on his face and his face fell.

“Oh do you have Type One Diabetes?”

I nodded. Surprised since nobody really knew about Type One Diabetes unless they were directly involved in it. I wish it was as well known and supported as Cancer. But people tend not to think it’s a big deal. But it is.

“Oh. My aunty has that.” There we go. That’s how he knows about it. It all makes sense now.

“Yeah but the funny thing is, she isn’t fat, just like you.” He frowned.

“Yes, see that’s a common misconception about Type One Diabetes. You are thinking of Type Two Diabetes. I wish they had different names. Type Two mainly occurs in people of Forty years or over. It can be related to weight and diet and exercise too. Type One is an autoimmune disease. Meaning we did nothing to get it and there is nothing to cure it either. And, just like cancer, lots of people die from it each year. Have you heard more people die from Diabetes a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined? Unfortunately that’s the sad truth.” I explained slowly.

He looked semi-interested but I could see he tuned out, also common. People believe they know everything about Diabetes that they don’t think they need to know more. He nodded, looking dazed. After a little while of awkward silence we decided to order. After a lovely meal with a little bit of awkward small talk we relaxed a bit after he payed the bill and we left. We were walking towards the Cinema and I felt him grab my hand. I tensed up and looked up at him. He smiled sweetly and turned back. We walked into the building and looked at the board of movies playing. I told him that he could pick and wondered if he would go for the action or romance. He picked some romance movie. We walked past the food section and he asked if I wanted anything but I’d refused. Movie popcorn was the highest in carbohydrates out of most popcorn and was hard to ‘count’. Yes, I had to count carbohydrates so I could inject myself with insulin because my body stopped producing it. And if you were wondering, it does hurt, but you get used to it. We went into the movie theatre and sat down near the back. The thoughts of kissing haunted me again. People who kiss sit at the back. I needed a mint just in case. I rummaged around in my bag and found some Tic-Tac’s and popped one in my mouth. The pre-movie adverts had started and Sam was still holding my hand, having only released it to pay for tickets. He looked at me and leant closer. Oh god, was he going to kiss me? No, his head moved to my ear and he whispered;

“I can feel you’re nervous. What’s up baby?”

He called me baby. It sounded like he thought I belonged to him. I blinked and reminded myself to breath. I told him I hadn’t ever been on a date before and he grinned cheekily like he was planning something. His eyes locked with mine for a brief second before the movie began. I soon realised it was a dopey, clique movie. I saw something move out the corner of my eye and then felt a heavy arm around my shoulders. I looked at Sam but his eyes were persistently resting on the screen in front of us. About ten minutes later his arm dropped from my shoulder and instead rested on my thigh, which I found more nerve-racking. I got out my phone and sneakily texted Emily.

‘Help Sam has his hand on my thigh and held my hand what do I do?’

I got the reply almost instantly. ‘Relax babe. Don’t worry if he tries to kiss you just go with your gut. ;-)’

Okay, she must have been right, seeing as she had done this all before. I started to relax a bit more until; Sam looked at me and leant closer. He said he was enjoying spending time with me but thought the movie was getting a bit dull. His mouth clashed suddenly with mine and his hand slipped up my dress and rested on my stomach. I flinched and pulled away harshly. He looked at me searching for my reaction.

“Um, I… I don’t really want to do this Sam.” I said quietly.

He nodded tersely and faced the screen looking angry. The gentleman that had picked me up and offered his arm at my door had quickly turned into a small schoolboy throwing a tantrum when he didn’t get what he wanted. I suddenly wanted to be anywhere but here. The movie finished soon afterwards, to my relief. We walked back to his car, he walked about a metre away from me, his jaw set and frowning ever so slightly. We drove back in silence and he let me out of his car but didn’t walk me to the door. Looks like I blew it with Sam. I opened the door and Emily came up to me looking hopeful and asking for details, to which I ignored and ran upstairs whilst, I cried my sorrows. I was so pathetic. Crying over a stupid date, a stupid boy. Emily came in and held me in her arms as she stroked my hair softly humming a sweet song. After I had cried all my tears I told her all about my night and how he didn’t judge my diabetes, how he had held my hand and then the dreadful part when he tried to kiss and grope me. Thank goodness he wasn’t in my classes. Later in the night when Em had left my mum came in and asked me about my night. We weren’t that close but I told her everything. She told me it would be ok and that I’d have a nice boyfriend who actually respects me one day. I fell asleep soon after she left and, lucky for me, it was a dreamless sleep.

*** © pips

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