The whole way back to my house I was trying to hold back tears. Bringing back all those memories was probably the last thing I wanted to remember. It made sense now, what Ava was doing. She remembered all the times I would cry to her about him and she’s trying to get me over it and to let it go and I knew it wasn’t going to work. I wasn’t about to let someone who made my life hell for three years into my life like none of it ever happened. Hell no.
When I reached Ava’s house, since I promised her I would go shopping with her today, I had tried to make it look like I hadn’t been crying at all.
“Hey boo!” Ava called to me. She was sitting on her front steps waiting for me and I honestly wanted to slug her.
“Let’s get this over with.” I said a little more angrily than I thought.
“What’s your issue?” Ava asked, walking up to me.
“Oh I don’t know; the fact that you’re trying to get me to date Harry after we both clearly know what he did to me throughout middle school.”
“No Ava; that’s not even fair to me.”
“All he did was like you!”
“And made three years of my life hell for it!”
“He’s not that bad! All I’m trying to do is show you that!”
“No…you brought back memories of my past. I didn’t fucking need that shit.” I screamed back at her. She took a step back, looking scared. She knew me, and she knew when I’m angry to take a step back or you were getting swung at.
“No you’re fucking not! I know you’re not! You just butt into people’s fucking lives like it’s your fucking business when it’s not!”
“BETHANY I WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY!”
“AND PUTTING THE PERSON WHO MADE MY LIFE HELL FOR THREE YEARS IS THE WAY TO MAKE ME FUCKING HAPPY?!”
“NO BUT IT’LL MAKE YOU MOVE THE FUCK ON FROM IT!” Ava screamed, slapping her hand over her mouth, realizing she had cursed, and loudly.
“I’ve already moved the fuck on.” I said, turning around. “I can’t deal with you right now. Have fun shopping on your own.” I said, shaking my head and walking to my motorcycle.
“Bethany…you smiled more in middle school more than you do now. It’s obvious you aren’t happy; or at least as happy you used to be. He used to make your life hell back then, but you smiled a hell of a lot more back then than you do now.” Ava said slowly. I turned around and looked at her and shook my head.
“I didn’t ask for your opinion on my life; I didn’t ask you to butt into it.”
“I’m your best friend, Bethany. It’s my job to butt into your life if I know it helps you. You think I don’t know you, but I do, a lot more than you think. I know you need someone in your life and I know you never let this go. You need closure and this is how you’re going to get it, believe it or not.”
“That’s not true. I don’t need Harry in my life for closure on three years of hell.”
“Yes you do; because you still don’t know why he did it.”
“He already told me why.” I said to her.
“He might have told you, but you definitely don’t believe him.”
“Why the hell should I?”
“That’s what I’m trying to get you to do; to understand and believe him.”
“Why the hell would I want to believe someone like him?”
“Because you need to know why. As I said, I know you better than you think I do. It will drive you crazy.”
“I was just fine not knowing.”
“No you aren’t. You stopped being so happy as soon as he stopped making you cry.”
“What the hell does that even mean?!”
“It means a part of you misses him making your life hell and I’m trying to show you that.”
“Why do you think you know me so well?”
“We grew up together, Bethany. We wandered around in diapers together, we went through puberty together, heart break, all that horrible shit; I’ve seen a lot more of you than you think. I’m your best friend and yes, I drive you crazy, I piss you off, but in the end, I know you’re going to thank me for it in the end.”
“What the hell makes you think that?” I demanded to know.
“Because you always do.” Ava said slowly, looking like she could cry.
“I need to go.” I said as I climbed onto my motorcycle and sped off, on my way home, still trying not to cry.
At least she understood what I was trying to do. I didn’t think she would take it so harshly though. I didn’t think she was going to be so angry about it. I walked back inside, suddenly not in the mood to shop anymore. If your best friend was mad at you and didn’t want to go with you, what was even the point?
“You alright, sis?” Jackson said as I walked back inside. “I heard a lot of yelling outside.
“Bethany is mad at me.” I said, sitting down next to him.
“Remember Harry Styles? The kid that always used to make fun of Bethany when we were in middle school?”
“Of course I do. That bastard made her life miserable.”
“I’m kind of forcing them to talk so she’ll finally let it go because you can tell she hasn’t been as happy as she was back then.”
“Yeah, I guess that’s true.”
“Jackson, you watched her grow up too.”
“Yeah, I did. But I also know she doesn’t like to remember. Making her remember may not be good for your friendship. She’ll remember when she’s good and ready.” I nodded, looking down at my hands. He had a valid point but I know her a little more; I know she wouldn’t remember without the extra push. I just hoped she would forgive me at some point. Even if it was years from now, I just hoped she would forgive me.
When I got home, I stormed into my house, ignoring everyone and just walked up to my room. I threw myself onto my bed and just cried. The last time I cried this hard was middle school. I don’t think I cried so much since then. I mean, even when Mike and I broke up I didn’t cry this much. It was always over Harry; it was always him.
“You all good?” I heard my door open and looked over my shoulder, seeing my older brother Chris standing in the door.
“Well I can see that just by looking at you.” I glared at him through my tear filled eyes. “Alright, what’s going on?” Chris asked, walking into my room.
“Ava and Harry.”
“Okay, I haven’t heard Harry’s name in like two, three years; what the hell brought him back into the picture?”
“Okay…well there’s quite the connection. Didn’t Ava hate his guts? What is she doing?”
“She’s trying to get me to understand why Harry was such an ass to me all through middle school.”
“Is it working?”
“No. It’s making me miserable.” Chris nodded and sat down next to me.
“Why are you such an asshole?” I asked, glaring at him again.
“I don’t know. Why are you such a bitch? They’re all really good questions we don’t know the answer to so we just let it be.” I fell back onto my bed and Chris stayed sitting there before laying down next to me. “You just gotta go with the flow of shit. If Ava is pushing this, humor her for a little bit and if it’s still making you miserable, at least she’ll see you tried. How many times have you kind of forced her into shit that she didn’t want to do?”
“A lot…” I whispered slowly.
“But none of them were this big!”
“Maybe not, but I don’t think she’s really forced you into much at all when you’ve forced her into a lot since you were more outgoing, or adventurous. Like you had her do stuff out of her comfort zone and she did because she loves you, she’s doing the same for you. I understand that you’re angry and hurt; you have every right to be, but at least try for her. She’s done a lot for you too. Just remember that and it won’t be as difficult. All you need to do is open yourself up a little bit and let your guard down.”
“That’s the hardest thing for me to do though…after him, I haven’t let anyone in.”
“Then let Harry in. Let the person in who fucked you up and try and figure out why. Let him show you why. By the sounds of it Ava has talked to him and figured something out that she wants you to see.”
“But why now?”
“I don’t know. And you aren’t going to know. Ava probably doesn’t even know why now, but the truth of the matter is it is happening now and you need to just deal with it.”
“I don’t want to though.”
“Then be a stubborn bitch. I don’t know what to tell you. But in the end it’ll only hurt you.” That was the last thing Chris said before getting up, pulling the blankets over me, and walking out.
The next day when I went to school, Ava wasn’t waiting for me at my locker like usual so I knew I would have to hunt her down if I wanted to talk to her. I knew I should probably apologize to Harry too for being a bitch yesterday but Ava was first on my list. At least she was until I saw Harry walking down the hallway by himself. He was walking on my side of the hallway so all I had to do was grab his arm and pull him over; which is exactly what I did.
“Holy shit; you scared me.” Harry said looking up from his phone.
“Sorry.” I said, holding my books really close to my chest.
“You all good?” Harry asked. I shrugged and looked down, trying really hard not to cry. “Hey…what’s wrong?” Harry asked, suddenly sounding really concerned.
“I cried yesterday.” Harry looked a little confused and I looked up him. “The last time I cried was because of you. And I cried this time because of you too.” Harry still looked really confused then he looked really sad.
“Ava said something to me last night after I left the coffee shop.”
“I’m sorry, but none of this is making sense.”
“You know how you said I didn’t smile as much, or laugh as much?” Harry nodded slowly, still looking confused.
“Did you ever realize that I stopped smiling and laughing after you stopped making my life hell?”
“Can’t say that’s something I realized, no.”
“Ava and I got into a huge fight after she said that to me.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know…”
“I didn’t expect you to know any of this. To be honest I didn’t either until she pointed it out.”
“Why are you telling me all of this?”
“I’m giving you a chance.”
“I’m giving you the chance to show me everything you tried to tell me in middle school. I don’t care if your feelings are still the same as they were then, but Ava was right; I need to let my guard down and figure it out before it drives me totally insane.” Harry gave me a half smile and finally relaxed a little bit.
“Well I thought you were going to punch me in the face or something.” Harry said. I smiled a little and looked down. “See, there’s that smile I liked back then.”
“Don’t point it out or I’ll begin to hold it back.” I said, pointing at him. He held his hands up and nodded.
“Yes ma’am.” I smiled again and Harry smiled back. “Okay, so do I have permission to walk with you to our class?” I nodded and we both started walking to our class together where I had to at least try and talk to Ava.
I was already in class, kind of scared of what would happen when Bethany walked in, if she even did. I was surprised to see her walk into class with Harry next to her, and they seemed to be getting along pretty well. Bethany then walked over to me, taking her seat, still quiet.
“Hey…” I whispered. She looked at me with sad eyes, then turned to Harry. He shrugged at her and nodded and she turned back to me.
“Don’t ever bring up that I ever said this; but I’m sorry for yesterday.” My eyes went wide and my jaw almost dropped. Bethany doesn’t apologize for shit. Ever. “Don’t ever tell anyone I said that or I will ring your neck, got it?” I smiled and nodded. I knew Bethany, and I knew she meant what she said.
“Got it, bestie.”
“Holy god, why do you even talk like that?” She slide down in her seat and rolled her eyes. “I don’t even know why I associate with you.”
“Because you love me!” I said happily, knowing things were okay.
“Bullshit. I will deny that to anyone who asks me that.” I smiled as she put her head down, knowing she was about to take her class time nap.