Promises

18 year old Maya faces the death of her Nanna, the most important person in her life. New love interest Nathan brings back a spark into Maya's life. She quickly falls in love with him; They both make promises but who will be the one to break theirs? Read on to find out how Maya deals with the challeneges thrown at her.

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6. Apologies

Chapter 6

Have you ever had that sick feeling right at the pit of your stomach? Your belly seems to be drenched of all liquid. Your hands begin to slightly shake, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be shaking your leg too. Your eyes wander from one place to another, unable to focus. Do you know how that feels?

That was exactly what I felt. Jade stared blankly at me.

‘…So you just kissed out of the blue, huh?’ She asked. She began avoiding all kinds of eye contact with me. I thought she’d understand and somehow support me while I get out of this mess; But I wasn’t not expecting this reaction either. After all, Jade knew how loyal Nathan was. It would hurt him if he ever found out about me letting myself go even if it was just for a moment.

‘Yeah, I guess. I’m sorry, Jade.’ I started sobbing. I knew I did the wrong thing. What was I thinking? Before I knew it, my eyes started bawling and all my makeup was ruined. I probably looked crazy. Jade gently took me by my arm and lead me away from the entrance to the festival. Without speaking, we made our way back to her house (Everything was silent except from the occasional hiccup coming from me).

We arrived at a wooden, white beach house. The front door was painted a beautiful blue, sort of like the sky on a Spring day. She pushed it open and lead me into the kitchen. She disappeared into the depth of her fridge for a minute, enlightened by the yellow light. She reappeared with a slice of cherry cheesecake in one hand and a glass of juice in the other. Placing them in front of me, Jade gave me a brave smile.

‘I can only imagine how you feel right now. We can talk about this later, Maya. Right now, let’s just get you some comfort food. Eat up…’ she said. Surprised by her sudden change of heart, I tucked into my food. She gave me one last, slightly disheartened smile and left me on my own. I heard her creeping up the stairs.

I guess now I was left to my own thoughts. Should I tell Nathan about my kiss? In all honesty, a kiss wasn’t that deep. It could’ve been so much worse; I could’ve full on cheated. I’m sure Nathan would understand. Maybe. I got up, sickened by the sweet taste of the cherry. Cautiously, I skipped out of the door, making sure not to make a sound. I suddenly was struck by my power walk. I would stroll to Nathan’s house, wait for him to come home and tell him--- tell him what? In reality, I hadn’t given what I was going to actually say much thought.

‘While you were away, I snogged a stranger on the street.’

‘I kind of but not really cheated on you.’

‘I decided that a pretty face was too much to handle and I couldn’t help myself.’

Well, of course I couldn’t say that. I had no choice. I couldn’t tell Nathan; what he didn’t know couldn’t hurt him. With that same weird feeling in my stomach, I changed direction and walked down to the pier and sat at a Tiki-themed bar. The waitresses and baristas had straw skirts and fading flowers hanging from their necks. I sat at a chair and ordered three tequila shots. The short girl pouring me the shots goggled at me.

‘Going through a break up?’ She curiously asked.

‘No… Yeah… Maybe, I don’t really know what to make of this. I kissed the most beautiful girl I had ever seen today.’ I declared.

‘Is that bad?’

‘Kind of. I have a boyfriend. I love him.’ I whispered. Saying that aloud made me want to disintegrate into the air around me.

‘Oh,’ The girl continued. ‘Well if you have nobody to talk to, my shift finishes in half an hour. I could use some human interaction out of work…’

At the end of the day, what did I have to lose?

‘Sure, why not. Can I have that tequila now?’ I asked, getting my puppy eyes into action.

‘No, you should be sober during these kinds of conversations,’ She took the glasses and downed them all herself, one after the other. ‘I, on the other hand, can be as drunk as I wish.’

I sulked a little, mocking her. Just a few minutes before she had finished, I walked a little further down the beach and sat down by the white sand. I allowed the brisk water to loudly crash against my legs. The sun was only beginning to set. I closed my eyes for a moment, taking it all in; The sound of the squeaking seagulls, the families packing up after a day out, the casual chatter of the children in the distance. The beach always knew how to calm me down. It was almost like magic.

‘Hey there,’ The girl from the bar said. She untied the flannel from around her hips and neatly laid it down on the sand. She sat on it and swayed sideways in time to the music playing from one of her earphones. I reached around her and pulled the earphone out. She jerked her head in my direction.

‘Shhh, just listen to the sound of the water.’ I said. I imitated closing my eyes and waited for her to follow. I opened mine to make sure she had really closed hers. I closed mine again and sat there for a few minutes, breathing in the salty and yet refreshing smell of the sea.

‘Anaia, by the way. That’s my name.’ She whispered, not wanting to ruin the peacefulness of the moment.

‘Maya.’ I replied. We both looked at each other and smiled.

‘So, Maya, what happened? Tell me about this situation.’

First, I explained Nanna. I reckoned that she deserved to be mentioned because it was thanks to her that I found Nathan. Then, I explained Nathan himself. I talked about my rum-loving friend, Jade. Then Sophie. And how bad it felt to be so guilty about something of potentially such small significance. Anaia sat through my extended speech and listened attentively. Her facial expression stayed fairly neutral throughout the whole thing, which I was beyond thankful for.

‘Maya, I have sat through and listened. See, I can’t say that in my nineteen years of life I had ever been in a serious relationship but I think you should just be honest with Nathan. Yes, it won’t be easy, but it’ll really decide if yours and Nathan’s connection is strong enough to handle a relationship dilemma like this.’ Anaia said.

‘Anaia, that is what I want to believe I can do. Nathan deserves to know, but I can’t imagine how he’d react. He’s not the most predictable of people. Besides, I’d be upset if he’d just kissed another person.’ I frowned. Anaia was right, I had to give her that. But like most things, talking to Nathan about this was easier said than done.

‘You’re absolutely right, Maya. But you’d be even more upset if you found out from someone else,’ She said. She could see that I still wasn’t very confident. ‘You know what, take my number and call me tomorrow to tell me how it went, okay?’

‘Yeah, yeah, sure. Thanks so much, Anaia.’ With that same confidence boost I had gotten earlier, I jumped up, ready to go home and tell Nathan. Anaia also got to her feet, swiftly typed her number into my phone and waved me goodbye, setting off in the opposite direction. I clutched my phone where she had used it, think of it like a good-luck talisman, filled with happiness and positivity in this situation.

***

I scrambled around my pockets for the keys to Nathan’s house. After finally finding them, I gave the door an accidental push and it swung open, creaking a little.

‘Did I forget to lock the door?’ I thought to myself. I stepped inside, still cautious, and overheard a feminine voice. I gasped, and held my hand tightly to my mouth.

‘Nathan, she snogged a stranger! This girl doesn't care about you! She doesn't think you're worth her loyalty if she walks around kissing anyone she wants!' I heard a girl shouting from the kitchen. A heavy pair of footsteps was fast approaching the hallway in which I was standing against the wall in. Nathan stormed in. When he saw me, his already bloodshot eyes filled with tears. He ran out of his house, slamming the door shut.

Disbelieving what I had just overheard, I walked into the kitchen apprehensively. To my horror, a woman of a thin frame and straw-like hair was perched against the counter; my mum.

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