So Over It [completed, undergoing editing]

Christina: I can’t wait to come back to my hometown, Austin, Texas, to see my boyfriend, Matt.

Matt: I feel so guilty. She doesn’t know that I have a new girlfriend now… and I didn’t even tell her.

Christina: I’m heartbroken. I can’t believe he would do this to me. He cheated on me!

Matt: I miss her, more than anything.

Christina: I’m slowly healing. Maybe things will get better.

Matt: I’m just so confused.

Christina: I’m tired of wallowing around in misery and tears. I’m going to get revenge on this sleazy cheater, if it’s the last thing I do. I’ve got a hot guitar player, an amazing voice, a school dance to perform at, and the best girl-power-breakup song I’ve ever heard. Time to show him girls can be tough, too.




22. Christina's POV

It was the day of the dance. I was on my bed, playing Angry Birds on my cell phone, trying not to think of what Ariana said as I put the cute yellow bird through a slingshot and knocked down part of the tower. I glanced down at my arm, which was still a bit swollen and bruised and bled at the slightest provocation. I wondered if it was infected. My mom had noticed it just today, and I told her I went to Nicole's and her dog bit it. She was concerned and wanted to take me to the doctor, but I refused. "Give it a few days, sweetheart," my soon-to-be stepfather soothed my mom. "If it doesn't clear up, we can get her checked out."

"Okay," my mom said, still looking slightly doubtful as she glanced at it. But Phil kissed her, and her doubts were gone. I rolled my eyes and gagged as I walked up the stairs to my room. I really didn't want to see Phil kissing my mom, no matter how close they were. I hardly knew Phil, and he was already living with my mother, proposed to her, and was kissing her passionately. He was a nice guy, sure, but I just didn't feel it. I wondered if my mom truly did.

Now, as I was about to get to the next level on Angry Birds and unlock more levels, I heard the doorbell ring. Figuring it was for my mom, I ignored it. A couple weeks earlier I would have shot down the stairs in a hurry, wondering if it was for me. But since practically everyone abandoned me, I didn't feel the need anymore. There was a part of me that was teeny-tiny, still clinging on to the last bit of hope. But I just shot it down.

But Mom truly surprised me when she yelled, "Package for you, Christina!"

"Who's it from?" I hollered back, even though I already knew. Probably a present from Dad back from New York.

There was silence as she read the address. "Someone in Austin. Nick Anderson? Isn't he the guy in the local band? It looks heavy."

My heart shot to the skies, and I leaped to my feet and raced down the stairs, two by two. When I finally got to the bottom of the steps, I was breathless with excitement. I hauled it up to my room, ripped the tape off the big box with my fingers, and took a deep breath as I held the flaps of the box, bracing myself for disappointment.

But what I saw in the box shocked me. In a good way.

I gently picked up a crimson red dress, its billowy, silky fabric cool in my hands. The halter top part was shimmering with subtle sequins, and the skirt style was old-fashioned yet timeless. It was just the kind of vintage dress I had wanted--my whole life. 

I hugged it to my cheek. "Thank you," I whispered.

And then I noticed a piece of paper fall out from it. I opened it. It was soft and crumpled, had been handled by hands that squished it up into a little ball and then opened up again. The handwriting was messy, but unique.

Dear Christina,
It's me, Nick. Well, obviously. I hope you like the dress. I kind of noticed that you like vintage-inspired clothes, so I got you this from an antique store. You'll never find any one like it... the man I asked for help told me they don't even make this style anymore. 
I know what you're thinking, that I got you this dress for the dance. And yeah, I did. And when you quit, I couldn't take it. I was in sort of a bad mood myself. I'm sorry for thinking that "too much drama" was a stupid excuse. The truth is, I've had a lot of drama in my life, lately, too. My parents are getting divorced and making it hard for me. It really sucks, and honestly, I said all those insulting things to you because I was overwhelmed by someone who felt the same way about life. I might have been a little mad about you canceling so late, but I really understood why you bailed, and I don't know why I acted the way I did. I was stupid and wrong, and I know that. I was being a butthole. You have every right to reject going to the Midsummer dance with me and performing, and I won't be mad. I respect you. No, scratch that. I like you. No, not even that. Christina, I love you. I understand if you're cautious. No one should go through was you have, and I'm sorry for being so misunderstanding. I really hope you can come to the dance, though. You have a beautiful, soulful voice and I really want to sing with you. I don't know if someone would call us a couple or not, but that's how I feel about you. I hope you feel the same. You're a beautiful, creative, confident soul. Please say yes. 

-Nick ♥

I lightly touched the heart Nick had drawn on the paper. I smiled and sighed romantically, my real heart fluttering warmly in my chest.  I was just about to call Nick and thank him. But then I realized what I had thought all along about the drama. Was it really worth it? Ariana had threatened me and blackmailed me. If I showed up, there was a chance that she would humiliate me anyway. And Matt was probably still going with Kaitlyn. I didn't want to have to deal with that, plus all the talk that would go on. 

But I decided it would be worth it. It would. Nick was a good guy. He wouldn't let anything happen to me. I would inform him about Ariana's threat, and he would put a stop to it somehow. I hoped.

Just as I was about to press Nick's number from my contacts, my cell phone rang. I peered at the tiny bright screen, and gasped. Ariana's picture smiled sincerely at me from the screen, and her name flashed a bright warning sign -- DO NOT PICK UP. I rolled my eyes, and let it go to voicemail. Then I checked to see if she left a voicemail; I doubted that she did.

But I was shocked to hear a recording of a sobbing Ari's voice on the other line. I put in on speakerphone so I could hear it better.

"H-hi, Christ-hiccup!-ina. I-I really need you right now. S-something's going o-on...," she let out a tearful sob and then spoke again. "I-I just found o-out. I-I have this disorder called B-bipolar... I.... I don't know what i-it is exactly... I-I'm scared because I-I'm going to a mental hospital next week.... they-they s-said... it was a serious case! I'm so scared! You-you're the only one th-that I-I... that I thought might understand...n-no one else does... I'm really, really, s-sorry for the way I was acting towards youuu!" She sobbed again. I stared, wide-eyed, at the phone in my hand.  "S-so... please, can you call me back? As soon a-as you-you get this? Th-hiccup!-anks." I heard a click, and the message was over.

Before I could think, my friendship instincts kicked in. I couldn't just leave her hanging. No matter how nasty she was to me, I couldn't let Ariana down. I dialed her number, and she picked up, her voice still teary. "Yes?"

"Come over, Ari. I'm here for you."

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