Diary of Secrets

Calum thought soccer was everything.....until he read Sam's diary.


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10. Mending Broken Friendships

Mali walked in and it was all I could do, not to run into her. I waited and watched with impatient eyes as she sat down next to me on the couch. While I scrolled through my old messages, not really watching them fly up and down the screen, I noticed her lean back into the tan leather fabric. Positioning herself, so her back rested against the full arm, and staring at me.

"So what was so drastic, that I had to give my mani-pedi to Meghan?" she asks, deliberately glaring at me.

"I went to the bridge today." I answer with a small voice. I still haven't recovered from reading that last entry.


Her eyebrows crease, as if she's confused. Then she darts her eyes away, staring at the buttons sewn on the couch cushion. Her face relaxes, and she returns her gaze over to me, asking

"How are they?" with the same quiet voice, as if afraid to shatter the silence in the house, or to learn the answer.

"Worse." I answer, staring at her white toe socks with pumpkins scattered all around it, as her legs are bent inward toward her stomach.

"How can you tell?" she wonders, pulling slightly on her bottom lip. I reach into my pocket, and pull out the blade I kept.


As soon as she realizes what it is, she lifts herself up, leaning forward to grab it from my hands. She slowly turns it, watching the shine it creates when it comes in contact with the ceiling light above us. I open my pictures and hand her my phone, showing her the picture I took of the diary entry. She gasps in shock, before dropping my phone and covering her mouth.

"Were they...?" she asks in a trembling voice, not finishing her thought, for she knows I understand what she means.

"No. I was able to stop them, before they did any real damage. I tried to catch them, but I fell in a bush while chasing after them." she sighs a breath of relief. She wipes at her eyes, before the tears can spill over.


"What made you decide to go there this early?" she asks, while bringing her hands back to run through her long black hair, in an attempt to comfort herself again.

"I'm not sure." I answer, curling my leg under me on the couch.

"I just didn't want to go home right away, especially not with the headache I had earlier. So I figured a drive would help, and that maybe I could catch someone writing in the diary." I answer truthfully. She nods, but can't help to pick up my phone again. She shakes her head, as if it'll help her process it better. She sets my phone and the blade in front of me.


After I've placed them both in my pocket, she inquires

"What're you gonna do with it?" referring to the blade. I shrug, I hadn't actually thought about that.

"I'm not sure, I guess I could throw it away. I mean, I don't want to keep it knowing what it was once used for." I answer, looking into her stressed brown eyes. She nods, then runs her index finger, underneath the curve of her bottom lip. She's staring at her jeans, but not really seeing them as she's lost in thought.


Within a fraction of a second, her eyes widen, finding their hold on mine, and she says

"What if you do hold onto it? Not for you, but for them." I look away, shaking my head. But before I can get a word out, she explains

"Now, hold on. Before you object, just hear me out." I sigh but nod, silently listening to her.

"What if, you hold onto it. Then when we finally figure out who they are, and convince them to stop, they can throw it away themselves." she explains with a hopeful smile.


I shake my head in disbelief. Oddly enough, I like the way she's thought this through. I nod answering

"Mali, that's brilliant." with a small smile. She smiles widely, proud with herself.

"Where should I keep it though?" I ask, knowing I can't store it in the bathroom. We sit thinking it through, when I ask

"Do you think if I store it under my mattress it'll be safe?" I ask, thinking aloud. She nods, replying

"Yeah, you should be fine. Just make sure it won't stick into the mattress." she says with a laugh. I push her lightly, laughing in response.

****************************

After eating lunch with Mali, I head over to Luke's house. Ash was there studying with him, truthfully I should be studying too. I try to relax on the drive there, but I can't get the diary entry out of my head. When I stepped inside Luke’s room, he and Ash were crouched over English books. Their pens were furiously scribbling away in notebooks, while they took quick glances at the book pages.

“Hey guys, can I interrupt you for a minute?” I ask, closing the door behind me. They take a quick look at me, before rotating their books to make room for me on the bed.


“Sorry mate.” Ash says, while stuffing his book on the floor.

“Yeah, we get kinda lost in school work. I know that sounds stupid, but it‘s true.” Luke finishes, while closing up his things and scooting them to his left side.

“It‘s cool I get it. When I work on my homework, I get lost in it as well.” I admit, plopping down onto the covers.


Ash clears his throat before saying

“I‘m actually glad you decided to show up today.” while grabbing out his laptop.

“Oh yeah? Why?” I ask confused, normally he dreads when I come over.

“I found out if I can get good marks in all my science classes, and if I take woodshop; I can get in here. ” He replies, sliding his computer around. Luke and I scoot in to stare at the white screen.

On it is a website that leads you to a college. One that specializes in science and mechanics; everything Ash is good at.

“That‘s great man!” I shout, giving him a high five.

“Really Ashton, this is awesome.” Luke admits, scrolling through the site’s homepage. Ashton is all smiles, scrolling through his phone.

“The greatest part is that it‘s only a block away from Meghan‘s college.” He says with a smirk.


Instantly I know he’s thinking not only with one head, but with both. Laughing I reply

“So are you two going to her dorm or yours?” To this he laughs and Luke rolls his eyes.

“You two only think with your dicks I swear.” He retorts, clicking on more links that give information about the school.

“Luke. We really gotta get you a girlfriend.” Ash says stealing his laptop back.


“So what‘d you need buddy?” Ash asks, sliding his laptop under Luke's bed.

“Actually, I just came to hang out. I went to the bridge today and today‘s entry was pretty fucked up. Would kinda like a distraction.” I admit, running my hand over the lump in my jean pocket.

“Did you take a picture of this one?” Luke asks, staring at the lump; knowing it’s my phone. I sigh, but hand it to him explaining

“Don‘t say I didn‘t warn you.” He takes it swiftly scrolling through my pictures.


Ten minutes later Luke and Ash have both read the entry, and are staring wide eyed at me.

“You said you saw this person?” Ash asks, handing me my phone back.

“Yes and no.” I answer, sliding my phone into my pocket again.

“I chased them into the woods, but they were too quick and didn‘t like my being there.” I explain, staring at the two of them. They sit, just as stunned as I was when I first read it.


Ash shakes his head, he starts to say something, but Luke catches his gaze and shakes his head in response.

“What?” I ask, knowing I’m being left out of something.

“It‘s nothing.” Luke admits, staring at me.

“Bullshit. What is it?” I ask, losing patience. Ash sighs before telling Luke

“It‘s not like he isn‘t gonna find out eventually. I don‘t see the harm in-”

“We promised.” Luke states in a whisper, cutting him off.


“If you two don‘t tell me what the fuck is going on, I‘ll kick the shit out of both of you. Don‘t think I won‘t. I‘ve done it before, I can do it again.” I threaten, irritation building up inside. Luke groans, but Ash says

“I just, I still think it‘s Sam.” Staring at him with furrowed brows, I shake my head.

“Are you shitting me?!” I scream, not meaning to.

“Sam is depressed, I get that. I do. But she is no where near this bad. Are you telling me that all the times she‘s spent with all of us, means nothing? That it‘s all an act for our benefit?” I ask, not hiding my frustration.


Luke runs his hand through his hair, while Ash looks away from me. I can tell they wish this conversation hadn’t gotten brought up, but I’m not the one who started it.

“Look, I just think it‘s a huge possibility to be looked at.” Ash defends, running his hand over his neck.

“Have you even considered it? Even once? I know you aren‘t that daft Calum.” Luke interjects.


I sigh cracking my neck, knowing they make good points.

“Yes, I‘ve thought about it. Quite a few times actually. But I still don‘t think that she could be this depressed!” I shout, standing my ground.

“I‘ve known her a bit longer than you two. I‘d like to think I know her a bit more than you do.” I answer, gripping tightly onto the cover; suppressing my rage momentarily.

“But that also makes you the easiest for her to fool Cal.” Luke defends, glaring at me. One thing I always liked about Luke, he takes risks. Right now, he took a huge one and it’s taking everything for me not to punch him in the face.


“Look, lets just drop this for right now okay? We can talk about it more later. But it‘s a really touchy subject, and we all don‘t need to say things we don‘t mean to. Okay?” Ash asks, staring between the two of us as we glare at each other. Luke sighs, but drops his gaze.

“Fine.” I say through gritted teeth.


Ash nods in confirmation, before asking Luke

“Why don‘t you tell Calum about that book you were telling me about? Sam‘s favorite?” He questions, shoving Luke’s knee.

“What book?” I ask, staring expectantly at Luke. He scratches his scalp, and with a sigh answers

“It‘s called Thirteen Reasons Why. She said it was like her bible, she never stops reading it. So I took it upon myself to check it out of the library. Little did I know it‘s actually really fucking good. A lot fucked up, but really good.” He admits, grabbing the book from his bag.


The cover shows a girl on a swing, and as I read the summary I realize the girl on the cover is dead. Her death involving several people, is going to be told throughout a series of tapes the main character will listen to. In some way, he’s part of the reason she’s gone. Stunned, I drop the book back onto the covers.


“Yeah. The summary was a bit much for me too.” Ash admits, before he gets off the bed and heads over to Luke's movie shelf.

“How does she die, did you get that far?” I ask Luke, curious as to what made him think this book was fucked up. He takes a long sigh, before answering

“Well. To be blunt, she killed herself.” That alone, tells me why it’s now Sam’s favorite book.

*******************************

That night after leaving Luke’s house, I borrowed his book and read it from start to finish. Not caring that it took me till three am to do so. I had to know, needed to know that something pleasant had to come out of her story. In the end, I guess in a way it helped the main character to see. But I still can’t believe she never reached out to anyone. That when she did, she took the one person who was trying to help her, and heeded his words with a blocked mind.

Between everything she went through, I can still remember her slight friendship between two of the people on the tapes. Remember how she’d meet up with them, answering their concerned faces with the words ‘Olly-olly-oxen-free.’ I wonder if Sam’s ever tried anything like that. Would I have noticed it? I hoped I would’ve. Those four words, opened her up. Let her share her troubles with the two people she thought were her friends.

How is it that no one saw anything strange? Not one person cared enough, to ask how she was? I realize she faked a lot of smiles, but surely her parents would’ve noticed. Is this how it’s going to be with Sam? Am I going to believe in her fake smiles, like everyone else? Luke sure seems to think so.

I don’t want to believe that Sam can just fool me. That she can fake a smile and I wouldn’t see through it. I’ve known her too long, I notice when the smile doesn’t reach her eyes. I notice when she’s becoming distant. Don’t I? Maybe I don’t, maybe I am a bad friend. Or maybe she really is just that good at hiding her true feelings from everyone.

I stare at the cover again, but instead of seeing Hannah, the blond girl in the swing; I see Sam. Her small frame covered by the baggy jacket she wears. Her long hair flowing behind her, as she swings forward from the seat. The smile she always wears plastered on her face. I can’t help but fear now that Sam might just be Hannah. That I really might be losing her, and there’s nothing I can do.

My words mean nothing to someone, who in their mind already sees the answer to their problem. They don’t realize the answer they’ve come up with, hurts everyone else they leave behind. My thoughts are run over with every moment ever shared with her. Her smiles, her giggles, even when she got angry with me. I scowl, realizing tears are falling. I quickly wipe them away, pushing away these thoughts. She isn’t gone. Not yet, and not ever if I can help it.

‘Hey. Do you think we can all get together with Sam? I wanna try hanging out altogether like we used to. Maybe it’ll cheer her up.’ I send this to Ash, and hope he spreads the word. I will not lose Sam, not without fighting to keep her. Almost instantly he replies back‘Yeah. Let me ask Luke and Michael, see if their down but they more than likely are. ’ I half smile, replying with a smiley face.

We aren’t forgetting you Sam. Not now, not later, not ever. Don’t leave us yet, when we aren’t ready to say goodbye.

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