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*


26. Chapter 25

Chapter 25

*Cora's POV*

The feeling of my feet pounding against the uneven pavement, provides me with some comfort. I was getting away, running from my past and my future. With each step, I grow more and more hysterical. He's going to kill me. In 15 years, I'm going to die and there isn't anything that I can do about it. There isn't anything anyone can do about it. It is my future and instead of facing it head on, I choose to run from it.

My body is running on pure adrenaline. At this point, I must've hit the one mile mark. I continue to sprint down the sidewalk even after I reach my destination.

The park always calmed me down. When I was a kid, my mother used to bring me here all the time. Especially when my dad threw one of his fits.

My feet continue to pound against the pavement, as my heart seems to pound out of my chest for the fifth time today. When my feet finally stop moving I am stationed under a giant oak tree. I fall down to my knees in front of the trunk. The tears that I willed to stay inside instantly come back.

He’s right. I am pathetic.

A part of me always knew that he was right. I am pathetic and weak. I can’t do anything without crying. All this time I convinced myself that my father wasn’t right. He couldn’t have been. He was just drunk, but it’s like they always say, the truth always comes out when you’re drunk. The words that he preached everyday since I was 13 all came swirling back to me in that moment.








All of it was true. All the time that I took trying to convince myself that they weren’t true is wasted.

“Cora!” I hear a distant shout.

My heart stills and my breathing stops completely.

“Cora!” the voice yells again, a little closer.

My mouth runs dry.

“Cora! Where the hell did you go?!” they shout again.

I recognize the voice as Zach’s and cower behind the tree.

He can’t find me. He’ll just make fun of me. I am such a joke.

“Cora! Please come out! Everything’s gonna be okay!” Zach pleads.

No it won’t. Nothing will ever be okay.

“Please, Cora!” he begs.

I can hear the crunching of his boots on the leaves nearby.

“It’ll be okay.”

His footsteps grow nearer every second.

“I won’t let anything happen to you! I’m here okay!”

His foot falls still.

“I can see you.”

I make no move to get up and he continues.

“Okay then, you don’t want to get up. I get it, but please don’t run away again. Please come home before the day is over. I can’t lose my shit over you again.You promised me you wouldn’t leave.”

My breathing returns to normal.

“Please don’t break that promise.”

Eventually, I hear his footsteps receding.

My heart goes into overdrive.

I remain seated for nearly five minutes more, before I shakily rise to my feet. I come out from behind the tree and silently walk out to the side walk. I let out a deep breath that I didn’t know I was holding in and walk home.


Opening the door to the house, I quietly step through. I make it to the stairs, before I hear a quiet, “Cora?”

Turning I see Zach standing at the entrance to the kitchen with tear stained cheeks and slightly bloodshot eyes.

“You’re home.” he whispers.

“I can’t break my promise right?” I reply, with a soft smile.

“Do you think we can talk later?” he asks.

“I don’t think so. It matters, but it doesn’t matter right now. Let’s just pretend like it all never happened.” I sigh.

“Okay. I can live with that. I am sorry though. I hope you know that.” he says, a smile making it’s way onto his face.

“I know. I’ll see you later okay? I’m gonna go grab a shower.”

“Okay. See you later.” he answers, softly.


“Hey Cor?” Zach calls, with a knock on my door.

“You can come in.” I say, as I finish getting dressed.

“Mom, says that she wants us to go to the store to get stuff for dinner.” he tells me.

“But, we have food in the fridge.” I mumble, in confusion.

“Yeah, but apparently we’re having a celebratory dinner for you or something. She wants special stuff.” he explains.

“Okay, I guess.” I shrug, grabbing my phone off the bedside table.

As we travel down the stairs, Zach repeatedly looks over his shoulder at me. I quickly grow tired of this and after the millionth time I snap.

“What?” I growl.

His cheeks slightly flush pink.

“Nothing. Sorry.” he mutters, quickly hurrying down the remaining steps.

“No seriously, Zach. What’s up?” I ask, once I catch up with him.

“Seriously nothing.”

“You looked back at me after every step you took. That doesn’t exactly seem like nothing to me.” I insist.

“Look it’s stupid okay.” he mutters, heading out the door.

Walking out after him, I quickly lock the door and grab his hand.

“Stupid or not. I want to know what’s wrong.” I demand.

He lets out a long sigh and finally murmurs, “I just wanted to make sure you were there.”

“What do you mean?” I ask, in confusion.

“It’s stupid, okay, but I guess ever since you came back, I’ve been on edge. I just can’t shake the feeling that if I turn my back for just one second, the next time I turn around, you’ll be gone. I just have to reassure myself that you’re here.” he whispers, instantly turning away and walking over to the car.

“Can we go now, please?” he calls, already getting in the car.

It takes me a moment, to register what he said.

“Oh! Yeah, yeah sure.” I say, running to get into the car.

“About what you said…” I trail off.

“Zip it. Forget I even said anything.” he snaps.

“But, I just thought-”

“You thought wrong.” he cuts me off.

I sigh, settling down into the seat and keeping my mouth shut for the rest of the drive.


Once we arrive at the grocery store, Zach is immediately out of the car and running into the store.

“Hey! You could wait for me you know!” I shout, running to catch up with him.

“Let’s just get this over with.” he groans.

Another sigh leaves my mouth as I silently follow along behind him. We continue through the store, picking up things here and there. I don’t really pay attention to what Zach puts in the cart. My mind is focused on all the hell that I’ve been through.

My mother dying.

My brother leaving.

Moving in with my father.

The countless times of verbal abuse I suffered through.

Falling in love with Zach.

Getting nearly blundered to death by my father.

The court date.

And soon rejection.

My life is a bucket full of shit and in all honestly I wouldn’t change anything. Of course, I would love my mother to be here by my side, but then I probably wouldn’t have met Zach and to be completely honest, Zach is my world.

We turn down the candy aisle and he immediately starts piling in sweet after sweet.

“Really Zach?” I laugh.

“Shush, she told me to get what you liked, you like candy right?” he asks, turning and placing a hand on his hip.

“Well, yeah, but not for dinner.” I answer, copying his stance.

“Good thing this isn’t for dinner. This is for after dinner.” he grins.

I shake my head at his childish behavior and turn to grab a bag off the shelf. Throwing it in the cart, I grin.

“Happy?” I ask.

“Yes, actually.” he replies, continuing his trek down the aisle.

I roll my eyes and follow behind him.

As Zach continues to dump useless item after useless item into the cart, the feeling of someone watching me washes over me. Looking around, my eyes connect with a very familiar pair of blue eyes at the end of the aisle. A teenage boy is standing at the end of the aisle, partially hiding behind a display. As I take a step towards him, the boy immediately turns the other way and runs.

“Cora, you okay?” Zach says, behind me.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m good.” I mumble, not being able to get the image of the teenager or those familiar blue eyes out of my mind.

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