Not In That Way *Completed*

There is always that one little thing that can keep a person stable. That one little thing that makes a person feel alive. The thing that can make a person smile even when they are having a bad day.

For Cora Smith that thing is more like a someone. Her someone is Zachary Dawson. Her long time best friend and the person that saved her when her life was in shambles. For years, she has been battling for his attention against all the other girls around her. However, little did she know she had him wrapped around her little finger since the very beginning.

Join Cora on her journey in discovering the truth about Zachary, while all the while she is consumed with the fear that, in the end, the only words she will hear from him are, "I'm sorry, believe me, I love you, but not in that way......"

*Based on the song, "Not in That Way" by Sam Smith*

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19. Chapter 18

Cora's POV

 I was lost. I am lost. I don't know where to go or who to talk to. I don't have anyone left and barely enough money to keep me afloat. I never realized how creepy his neighborhood was at night, until this moment. When I am wandering aimlessly through the streets with no destination in mind. I can't go home and I sure as hell am not going to face Zach again. I only have enough money for a couple nights in a hotel and even then I won't be able to eat anything. 'Maybe I could sneak back in while he's asleep tonight and steal his wallet, 'cause God knows the dick deserves it..... I can't do that. That isn't like me. This whole adventure isn't like me. Maybe I can just go back. He obviously wanted to tell me something or he wouldn't have sped home like that. The damn guy nearly killed me, I don't even think he knew that it was me. He whipped around that corner so fast that he ended up hopping the curb, narrowly avoiding hitting me. Maybe I should go back......NO! Cora stop! You can't think like that! He doesn't care about you and he sure as hell does not love you.....' I think to myself.

After I finish my internal debate, I decide that the best decision is to stay at a hotel at least until I can find a better place. I begin my trek up to the only hotel within a five mile radius of his neighborhood. I walk along listening to the sounds of the night. The cold wind rustling the leaves and sending shivers down my spine. My mind wanders to the events of my day. Remembering back to the last time that I went to a party and just how badly it had turned out, just like tonight.

I was fifteen years old and all I wanted to do was live my own life. I wanted to be different. I didn't want to be the same old person that I was expected to be. I was still grieving over my mother's death and I had not left the house in weeks. It was the one time that I actually agreed that it was time to get out of the house. I was getting extremely tired with my father's constant temper tantrums, so when Zach asked I had said yes. That ended up being one of the biggest mistakes that I had ever made. I nearly died that night...

*Flashback*

The wind was whipping my freshly curled hair into a mess. I was standing in my room with the window open, staring at myself in the mirror, wondering just what had went wrong with me. My mother was a beautiful woman and my father wasn't the worst looking person in the world. Here I am over here looking like I had just crawled up from the dark depths of the sewer. I swipe the blush covered brush over my pale cheeks. My once red-rimmed eyes covered in a dark colored eye shadow, making my once dull brown eyes explode in color.

After I finish getting dressed, I walk over to the window. I stare out into the dark abyss, not knowing what will come of this outing. This is the first time I'm ever going out (besides school), since my mom died. I lean my forehead against the window, a huge sigh slipping through my lips. At this point, my life is horrible. I'm getting bullied over something that isn't even in my control, my mother's death. People think that it is funny. That it's comical that I have no one anymore. They laugh at my heartbreak,make fun of me for my vulnerability. It's sickening. I can't believe that there are people out there in this world that would actually do this to someone.

My thoughts are interrupted by a loud honk of a car horn. I glance down at the driveway, seeing Zach leaning against his Mustang, waving excitedly at me. I roll my eyes at his excitement, before throwing open my door, running down the stairs and out the front door.

"Good evening, m'lady." Zach smirks.

"Shut up. Let's just get this over with." I grumble.

He pouts at the tone of my voice. He opens the door for me, before jogging around to his side and getting in.

"You excited?" he asks.

"Yeah!" I sarcastically squeal, but I stop myself when I see his eyes light up like a little kid on Christmas.

"Really?"

"No, sorry." I reply, watching as his lips drop into a frown.

He lets out a sigh, before turning the car on and starting our journey. He turns on the radio about halfway there and I lean my head against the window, listening to the random pop song playing in the background. Watching as all the trees fly by, I barely hear the faint ringtone of Zach's phone play throughout the car. He reaches into his pocket, getting out his phone, letting out a very frustrating sigh, before snapping, "What do you want?"

My eyes widen in shock at his sudden anger.

"I'm bringing Cora."

Is that a problem?

"I don't give a shit what you think about it. She's coming."

So I am a problem....

"Don't you dare fucking say a bad word about her. She is coming with me and that's final."

I gasp at his use of vulgar language.

"If it bothers you that fucking much then, don't come to the damn party."

I continue staring at him, my eyes the size of saucers, as he angrily ends the call. He glances over at me, after he shoves his phone back into his pocket.

"Don't worry. Everything's fine." he sighs, scratching the back of his neck and focusing back at the road.

"I'm a problem?" I question.

"No."

"Then why did you cuss that person out?" I mumble.

"He deserved it. He was saying bad things about you. About us." he grumbles.

"I shouldn't of come." I whisper.

"Don't say that Cora. Who gives a flying shit about what they think? I want you here and that's exactly why I invited you. You needed to get out of that house anyway, so why not kill two birds with one stone and take you to your first party?" he says.

"Okay..."

"Stop worrying. We are going to have a great time and I am not leaving your side the whole night. Think of it like a best friend date night." he jokes.

A small pang strikes my heart, but I giggle to ignore it. Once we finally arrive at the party, I stumble out of the car, attempting to settle my racing heart. Zach walks around the car, taking my hand in his, whispering, "Calm down." in my ear. He opens the front door leading me into the foyer.

"Let's go to the kitchen and get a drink." he tells me.

I nod my head at him and we start to walk through the house.

"Hey Zach!" someone calls.

"Hey man." Zach calls.

That continues throughout the whole walk to the kitchen. Once we get in there, he breaks away from me walking over to the keg grabbing a cup and filling it to the brim, before taking a huge gulp of it. I shake my head at his eagerness for alcohol. I get myself a can of soda out of the fridge. He makes his way over to me, muttering a snide 'lightweight' when he sees the can in my hand.

"Zach! My man!" someone shouts from across the room.

I look over to see a tall, lanky guy, wearing a football jersey, walking over to us, a familiar blonde following behind him.

"Hey." Zach mumbles, a faint blush covering his cheeks.

"How have you been, man?" he asks.

"Good. Busy with work and stuff." he says.

"Oh, who's this?" the guy says, after his eyes flicker to me.

"This is Cora." Zach says, gesturing over to me.

"Well, why did you bring her?" he whispers, almost as if he thinks that I can't hear him.

Zach scoffs.

"Because I wanted to." he snaps.

"Woah, man calm down. I'm just saying that she doesn't look like the type of person to belong here is all." he replies.

"She does in my book. Now if you excuse us, we have to go dance." he says, grabbing my hand and pulling me away from them.

He leads me onto the dance floor, sitting his drink down on his way there.

"Let's dance." he smirks.

I stand awkwardly in the middle of the dance floor staring up at him hopelessly, as he swings his arms around, wiggling his butt as he goes.. I let out a tiny giggle watching as he doesn’t even try to hide his horrible dance moves. A huge grin pulls over his lips and he grabs ahold of my hands pulling me closer to him.

“Dance with me.” he mutters in my ear.

“I can’t. I don’t know how to.” I tell him, nearly having to shout over the insanely loud music.

“And you think that I can? Did you see what I just did? Do I need to do it again? To refresh your memory?” he jokes, shaking his hips slightly.

“No! No! I remember..I just don’t want to dance.” I mutter, glancing around at all the judgemental eyes.

“You’re fine! Just move your hips to the rhythm of the song.” he insists.

I stare up at him, not making a move to do as he orders me to.

“Come on, Cor. Lighten up. Live a little.” he whines.

A sigh leaves my lips and I latch my arms around his neck moving my hips to the beat slowly.

“See I told you it was easy.” he smiles.

After the song ends, Zach breaks away from me to get himself another drink. He leaves me leaning against the staircase, staring after him. I awkwardly glance around the room, not knowing where to go or who talk to. While I am pondering this thought, I tune in to all the voices surrounding me.

"I'll be right back." someone murmurs.

"Dude, where are you going?" one of the voices question.

"To talk to Cora. She seems lonely."

"You can't go over there! You can't talk to her!"

"Why not?"  

"Cause that would completely ruin your reputation, Jack!"

"She's nice and she is always alone. I think she deserves some company."

"She doesn't belong here, Jack. She isn't like us. She's weak and vulnerable. We can't be friends with people like her, Jack."

The tears that had previously stationed themselves in my eyes, spill over onto my cheeks. I stand in the corner gasping for air as my lungs threaten to collapse in on themselves.

'I don't belong here. I'm weak. Vulnerable.'

I turn around, making a break for the front door.

'I don't belong here.'

Without thinking, I dart into the street. My head turns and I find myself looking into blinding headlights. At the last moment, there is a blare of a car horn and my body is pushed out of the way and onto the ground.

"Are you okay?" the person asks and I find myself looking into the most beautiful blue eyes I had ever seen.

'I almost died....'

*Flashback over*

By that time I arrive at the hotel and walk up to the front desk.

"Can I get a room please?" I murmur to the receptionist.

"Okay and How long are going to be staying with us?" she asks, enthusiastically.

"Um..I'm not sure yet. How long will this get me?" I mutter, placing my money on the counter.

"Only about three days, sweetie." she says, a touch of sympathy in her tone.

"That's fine, I guess." I sigh.

"Okay then here is your room key! You will be up on the third floor number 308." she tells me, smiling brightly.

"Thanks." I whisper, grabbing my suitcase and trudging over to the elevator.

Stepping in and pressing the button for my floor. My heart twists uncomfortably in my chest at my appearance. My eyes are red and puffy. My hair is a matted mess. I look pretty much like a walking zombie.. My heart is shattered. All my happiness was ripped from me when Zach found out my biggest secret.

The elevator dings then and the doors slide open. I grab my suitcase hauling it down the hall to the room. I quickly open the door, trudging over to the bed and flopping down face first.

Where am i supposed to go after this? I don't have a home anymore and I sure as hell am not going back to Zach's.

I roll over onto my back, a breathless sigh leaving my mouth. Getting up and slipping my shirt over my head, I walk over to my suitcase and get dressed in my pyjamas. Crawling back under the covers, I slip into a dreamland full of the memories of today.

~~~~~~~~

The next morning I am able to force myself out of bed and drag myself to school. Luckily I am able to avoid seeing Zach for most of the morning. As usual by the time lunch rolls around I am beyond ready to go home. Walking into the cafeteria, I glance around the room, making sure that Zach isn't anywhere near. When I don't see him anywhere in the room, I grab my lunch and sit down at one of the many tables. There are eyes following my every move, but the loud chatter around doesn't still. Frowning, I look down at my food, picking up my sandwich. Just as I am about to take a bite, the entire cafeteria falls silent. I glance up, seeing everyone staring at the door. I look over, only to see the one person that I tried the hardest to avoid. I bolt out of my seat, running out the back entrance. I can only hope that he didn't see me. I make it halfway across the quad, before he makes himself known.

"CORA!!" Zach shrieks, hurrying across quad.

I visibly wince, looking down, trying to keep myself from breaking again. Trying to keep myself whole.  

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A/N: Hey guys!!!

Sorry for such a long wait. I have been really busy with school and everything. I have a job now too, so my schedule is pretty packed. I hope that you all liked this chapter! And if you did, please like, comment, and follow!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and got everything that your heart desired.

 
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