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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28. Chapter 27

Chapter 27

*Cora’s POV*

I awake with a start. My alarm blaring the tune of a Fall Out Boy song. Slamming my hand down on the snooze button, I sit up with a long sigh.

I wasn’t ready to go to school today. I needed more time to pull myself together.

By this point, news spread throughout the whole school of my horrendous encounter with my father.  And of course with that news came unexplainable rumors. Some claimed that my father raped me. Others claimed that I threw myself down the stairs in an act of suicide. And the more disgusting side of the school claimed that I had willingly slept with my father and my stepmom found out, so of course I took the most rational option of throwing myself down the stairs and then blaming my father for it. Sadly, no one believed what had really happened. The few that did immediately banded together with another group in an attempt to take me down.

I was a threat to all the ladies at school. They wanted Zach and I was in the way of that. Of course, little did they know, I hadn’t spoken to Zach since the court night. I was too stubborn to break my facade and talk to him and so was he.

I was pretty sure that I would get hell for it when I returned back to school and unfortunately, today was that day.

Crawling out of bed, I throw on a random set of clothes and pull on a pair of shoes. Before heading down stairs, I grab my backpack, which I had re-packed the night before, off my desk. Entering the kitchen, I see Zach sitting at the dining table and Mrs. Dawson dancing around the kitchen.

“Morning, Mrs. Dawson.” I greet, politely.

“Oh! Good morning, Cora! Here have a plate of eggs and bacon!” she says, cheerily.

“Thank you.” I reply, taking the plate with a small smile.

I sit down in the chair opposite Zach and dig into my breakfast. Glancing up at him, from time to time, I take in his tense posture. He isn’t eating anything and is staring down at his phone. He looks deep in thought. Quickly finishing my food, I take to dish over to sink and wash it off.

“Hurry up. Let’s go.” Zach says, gruffly, turning on his heel and leaving.

Dropping the dish into the drying rack, I grab my backpack, say goodbye to Mrs. Dawson, and sprint out of the house, before he can leave me. Jumping in the car, I place my backpack on the floorboard, and settle down in my seat. A few minutes into the drive I find myself looking over at Zach, much to my displeasure. His eyes are focused on the road and he sports small bags under his eyes. His posture is just as tense as it was at the dining table. His hands are squeezing the steering wheel to the point where his knuckles are white.

“What’s wrong?” I ask quietly.

“Nothing. I’m fine.” he hisses, turning into the parking lot.

When he parks the car, he hops out and jogs to the entrance of the school. Closing my eyes, I take a deep breath and let it out through my nose.

I am not prepared for what is about to come today. Something is going to happen I can feel it.

Swinging my backpack onto my shoulder, I step out of the car and begin my trek to the front of the school. Immediately, everyone’s eyes are on me. They disperse into their little groups, whispering about me and undoubtedly starting new rumors. Reaching the front steps of the school, I take a moment to listen to the many voices around me.

She’s such a freak.

I heard she fucked her dad. How disgusting!

She came here with Zach! She’s such a slut.

She tried to commit suicide, Susie!

Too bad she failed.

I can’t wait until we graduate and I don’t have to see her disgusting face again.

Amanda said that Zach doesn’t even like her, he pities her.

The last one catches my attention. Turning my head slightly, I see Nicole and her group of bitches swarming around Amanda. Rolling my eyes, I yank the door open and continue my way to my locker. Entering my combination, I open my backpack and pile all of my books into the locker, leaving the ones that I needed for today inside. Looking at my watch, I see that we have 10 minutes before school starts, so I lower myself to the ground and pull out a book. A few minutes into my reading session an annoying giggling begins to my left. Deciding on ignoring it, I settle back down and continue to read. As the seconds tick by the giggling gets louder and louder until it gets to the point where it doesn’t sound like laughter anymore. More like annoying screeching. Looking over to identify the sound, I see Amanda and her clones standing a little ways away from me. Amanda was the one giggling and had effectively pressed herself up against Zach. My eyes widen at the sight and I quickly look back down at my book.

“I’ll see you later, yeah?” he whispers, so close I can hear him perfectly.

“Of course, baby. I’ll see you at lunch.” she flirts.

“Okay, see you then.” he replies, before his distant footsteps can be heard.

“Ooh, he’s so dreamy.” Amanda whines.

The clones all giggle and Amanda continues.

“Oh, hey, look it’s Cora.” she says quietly to her friends.

“She’s such a freak. Who reads anymore?” one of the girls say.

“She’s so pathetic. When I went to her hotel room and told her about mine and Zach’s date, she looked so crushed! Like come on bitch, you’re ugly, you’re not gonna get a guy like that.” she laughs.

“Wow. How desperate!” another girl whispers.

“I know! It’s hilarious that she actually thinks that she would be good enough for him.” she giggles again.

“I know right!”

Huffing, I rise to my feet and grab all my stuff.

“Oh, look we struck a nerve.” they laugh.

I send them a harsh glare and quickly walk to the end of the hallway. Turning the corner, I raise my eyes from where they were locked on to the tiled floor. I walk a few more steps, minding my own business, before the feeling of being watched washes over me again. Looking around in a sudden state of panic, my eyes take in every corner, without finding anyone watching me. My eyebrows furrow in confusion, before my eyes connect with those familiar blue ones once again. The boy is now, half hidden behind a locker door, with a look of surprise on his face.

“Hey! You!” I call, taking a step towards him.

The teenager immediately turns and sprints away. This time before he can get too far away, I take off after him. Running through the crowd of students, I push aside everyone in my way, earning many glares in return. The boy weaves through the crowd like it’s nothing, while I take the clumsier approach and run into everything along the way. Many people yell out curse words in my direction, but I ignore them all and continue after the teenager. The boy is agile and graceful. He doesn’t hit anyone and no one calls out to him. Rounding the corner, I push myself to get through the crowd. I look around the crowd, searching for the mop of blonde hair paired with the pale skin. I find nothing.

Where the fuck is he?

Glancing at the end of the hall, I see the blue eyes staring back at me with a slim smirk playing on the teenager’s face. My eyes narrow into slits and I quickly take a step forward, but the boy turns and disappears into the crowd. Almost like he never existed.

Am I going crazy?

I let out a frustrated sigh and run my fingers through my hair.

“Hey bitch! Watch where you’re going!” someone yells.

“S-sorry..” I stutter out.

The shrill sound of the first bell ringing screams through the hallways. Students begin their rush to classes, pushing me aside in the process. I close my eyes and take in a deep breath.

Calm down. You aren’t crazy. He’s just really fast.

Snapping out of my panicked state, I turn and rush to my first class, hoping this day will be over quickly.

~~~~~

The day is finally over and my brain is nearly destroyed. From the nearly unbearable lunch to the stressful classes, I am ready to explode. The emotions that I have bottled up are fighting to break through. For the entire lunch period, my head was in a book. I was unable to look up without getting a glimpse of something that I never wanted to witness. Zach and Amanda curled in each others arms. She was giggling profusely and rubbing her hands on his chest and stomach. Some moments he would look content and pleased she was doing that, but the next time I looked up Zach had a disgusted and displeased expression on his face. It was like he didn’t want to be there in her arms, but he had to. The whole period I had wanted to get up and run from the room. I didn’t want to see that. It broke my heart. But I had to stay seated. I had to show him that it didn’t bother me. I had to prove that he didn’t effect me anymore. I wasn’t weak. I wasn’t pathetic. And I could prove it.

As soon as the bell rang, I jump out of my seat and head out to my locker. Quickly opening the locker door, I dump all the book I don’t need inside and turn to leave.

“Hey, Cora!” someone calls.

I turn around and come face to face with the devil herself, Amanda.

“I just wanted to say that I’m sorry about what happened in the cafeteria today.” she says, with a fake smile on her face.

“Really? You’re sorry?” I reply, my eyebrows raised .

“Of course I am! Why wouldn’t I be? I saw how it affected you and I didn’t mean to make you jealous.” she answers.

“I wasn’t jealous.”

“Oh, come on Cora! You don’t need to lie to me! It’s obvious!”

“Leave me alone, Amanda.” I say, beginning to turn away.

“You love him, don’t you?” she sneers.

Whipping back around, I nearly screech, “What?!”

“You love him. It’s actually really obvious. He didn’t even need to tell me for me to figure that out. You’ve been attached to his hip since the day that you got here. No wonder he’s sick of you.”

“You shut your mouth. You don’t know anything!”

“Oh, my sweet, sweet Cora. Of course I do. He told me. He told everyone everything.”

“What are you talking about?!”

“Zach, he told me that you loved him. He said that you threw it at him in an attempt to hurt him or something absolutely ridiculous like that. Like that would hurt him.” she laughs.

“He told you?”

“Yes he did. He told everyone in our friend group. Then all my friends told their friends and their friends told their friends. So Walah everyone knows!” she announces cheerily.

My eyes widen and a lump forms in my throat, not allowing me to speak. I turn around in an attempt to get away, but Amanda quickly latches onto my arm.

“No! Cora, it’s okay. It’s pathetic, but it’s okay. You don’t have anything to worry about.”

“Shut your mouth and let go of me.” I growl lowly.

Her eyebrows raise and her mouth drops open.

“Now, Now, Cora. Is that anyway to talk to your best friend’s girlfriend?” she says, cocking her head to the side.

A growl leaves my lips as I rip my arm away from her and take off down the hallway. Tears blur my eyes and I fail to notice the bodies that I knock into. I reach a hand up to clear the tears that had fallen and bit my lip, holding in the sob that I so desperately wanted to let out. My eyes flick up to the ceiling for a moment, trying to stop them from blurring so badly. I am just about to reach the front door when I collide with a hard surface. My hands spring out in front of me to catch my fall. Just as quickly as it had happened, I am face down on the floor. I quickly push myself up into a sitting position, looking up to see what I had run into. Black boots come into my vision first, dark wash jeans follow, along with a purple v-neck. His blue eyes connect with mine and a look of surprise is covering his features. As soon as he gets over his initial surprise, he turns on his heel attempting to reach the door. Quickly standing to my feet, I lunge at him, successfully latching onto his shoulders. He falls to his knees from the force of the impact and I eventually wrestle him to the ground. I have his hands pinned to the floor and his legs clamped down by mine. He could easily get up, but every time he moves I let out a near deadly snarl.

“Who the fuck are you and why have you been watching me?” I snap.

No answer comes from him and he stares up at me with no emotion on his face.

“Answer me you bastard.”

The look on his face doesn’t waver.

“Why were you watching me?!”

A small smile appears on his face and I dig my nails into his wrists.

“Who the fuck are you?”

His expression doesn’t change by the added pressure on his wrists. I shift my leg over his and position it over his crotch.

“Answer me right now, damn it or the boys get it.”

A look of uncertainty and defiance crosses his face and I quickly jab my knee into his groin. The breath is immediately knocked out of his lungs and a look of pain covers his face.

“Good. Now that we’ve established that. I’m gonna ask one more time, Who the fuck are you?” I growl.

“Oh come on, Cora. Can’t a sister recognize her own brother?” he wheezes out.

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