I never really knew how alone I was until Zayn stopped coming by. Autumn was out of the country for her yearly bible retreat while I was stuck getting ready for my first day back to school since the accident.
It’s been three months since then and just in the end of the first semester. I caught up well taking classes online so the academics wasn’t what I was worried about. It was people.
Zayn hadn’t called or anything in about three days and that was very unusual for him. I couldn’t blame him though.
“Alright, mom, I’m leaving.”
I gave her a nod before heading downstairs and leaving out the door. My dad was waiting by my car and I instinctively rolled my eyes. Ugh! I hate being chaperoned.
The ride to school was silent which made me all the more nervous. When my dad finally got there, I said my quick goodbye and got out of the car, holding my bag incredibly tight. I felt like everyone was staring at me but that was ridiculous because I didn’t even know half these people.
The ones that did know had their stares and whispers. Most likely about me being a slut. Whatever, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I know what’s true and I’m not going to let this affect me.
First and second period were a drag. During lunch I felt like fucking Cady Heron eating in the damn bathroom. What a loser.
Third period though, when Zayn walked in looking like an extra in The Walking Dead, he seemed surprised to see me. Let’s not act like I didn’t inform him weeks ago that I’d be here today.
That Bio class had to be the most awkward. I barely paid attention and I kept getting mean side glances. When the bell rang I heard someone call my name from across the room. I looked over to see it was Jillian, just some classmate.
Once she saw I had her attention, this bitch had the nerve to ask me, “I heard you’ve been at the clinic for The Clap this whole time, is it true?”
That sly smile didn’t go unnoticed from me either. She knew what she was doing too. Not waiting a second after the bell rang and everyone was still in class. They all stared at me too. Just as I was about to give her a sample of my colorful language, Mrs. Costore spoke up, sending Jillian to the office.
I waited for everyone to leave the room, sharing a long glance with Zayn, before heading over to Mrs. Costore’s desk. “Um, about that recommendation letter-“
“Oh, Winter, you couldn’t have expected me to write it. You haven’t been attending my class. Finals are already in two weeks.”
“I know. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I’ve decided I don’t need the letter anymore but thanks for considering it.”
“May I ask why you won’t be needing it? I thought the academy needed the recommendation?”
“I just won’t be going there anymore,” I half smiled, picked up my bag and left the room. Not even a step outside her door, someone grabbed me by the arm and pulled me towards them.
“What do you mean you won’t be going to the academy?”
I sighed. Zayn. “I’m not going.”
“What about your sister?”
“Let’s be real for a second. I wouldn’t have lasted there. My sister saw something in me because she looked up to me. I have no real talent, Zayn, and I’d just disappoint her.”
He stared at me for the longest time before his mouth gaped open. “You’re lying.”
I shook my head and pulled my arm away.
“This is about me, isn’t it?”
“Oh don’t sound so conceited,” I scoffed.
“No, really, you’re worried about me so you’re staying. You’re giving up that school because you’re scared for me.”
“So what if I am! I care about you Zayn and just the thought of you being how you were before is scary. No one should live their life in fear and solitude.”
“It’s my life, Orion. If I wanted a life like that then that must mean I’m okay with it.”
“That wasn’t a life, Zayn. You were just living.”
Later that day when I was home doing a packet worth of homework, someone rang my door bell. I left it to my parents to answer it. What I didn’t expect was for them to call me downstairs.
Zayn was stood there with a determined look on his face. What’s his deal?
My dad gave me a concerned look before leaving back to the kitchen to prep dinner. I stepped outside and closed the door behind me, sighing as I crossed my arms over my chest, ready for this confrontation.
“What is it? Unless you’re going to help me with this mountain of homework I have-“
“Orion,” he gritted out, a vein in his neck protruding.
That only really happened when he was angry. Ugh, what did I do now?
He took a deep breath and closed his eyes before mumbling, “I think it would be best if we stopped seeing each other.”
My eyes widened and my mouth gaped. I wanted to say something but what could be said? We were never really together but this was starting to feel like a bad breakup.
“I can’t pretend to be interested in you anymore.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Look, Orion, you were persistent and attractive so I slept with you. Half desperate, might I add. The deal is done, right? So I think it’s best if we just stopped acting like this could work.”
I could feel the emotion building in my chest, burning me like a bad case of chlamydia. My ears were hot and my eyes were watery. “If this is your way of separating us because you want me to go to that school, it’s not going to work.”
“Not everything is about you! You were barely a friend to me and even less of a good lay.”
My breath caught and I pressed my lips together to fight the tears. “Why are you saying this to me?” I sounded pathetic, hurt. The way my voice cracked you’d think I was on the verge of dying.
“Don’t start crying, it makes you look weak.”
He was being so cold and I didn’t even know what to say. “I…I.”
“I’m gonna take that as my cue to leave,” he shrugged and turn to walk away.
“W-wait! You look me right in the eye and tell me it didn’t matter to you, that you never cared.”
He turned and stared down at me. His eyes glistened and it gave me hope but then his harsh words slammed into me. “What was there to care about?”
Finally done with junior year. I could be happy I guess. I finished up the school year online because I didn’t have the guts to face my fears. One being Zayn.
I decided to leave like I had previously planned, but not to the place I was supposed to go.
My parents supported my decision either way and promised to fund me through every step if needed.
I sat down at my desk and looked around my room, piled in boxes and the wall bare. I let a faint smile cross my lips before turning to the blank paper in front of me.
You could try and fool me with your words and false expression but I know you better than that. You hurt me and if you have the guts to do that then you must’ve not really cared. I believe you want what’s in my best interests but that is not for you to decide. Don’t get sad knowing that I’m gone because this is what you lead me to believe you wanted. Don’t get happy either because I’m not going where you thought I’d go.
I guess I wrote this letter to say that I want what’s best for you and soon, very soon, you’ll be happy again. I’ve made this decision because, despite my lack of knowledge on the topic, I love you and I want you to smile more often even though I won’t be there to witness.
The letter was scattered and misleading but it was what came when I thought about it all.
My flight was leaving in an hour and I didn’t want to miss it so I sealed the letter, grabbed my suitcases and headed down stairs.
My parents took me to Zayn’s where I quickly put the letter into his mailbox and got back into the car.
I had this all planned out. I’d finish my senior year online and go to a university where I’m moving to. The plan was a bit unrealistic but once I get there I know it’ll work out, it has to.
So Bradford here I come and the detective I’m interning under is about to have the biggest case of his career.
A/N: For those of you don’t know (although you should) Zayn is from Bradford. Let’s all recall Zayn’s past and how that connects to the end of this chapter…light bulb! Okay, plea let me know what you guys thought of this chapter. Feel free to comment any predictions you might have. I made it a bit obvious though…right?