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Against The Odds - Chapter 11

"I’m sorry, Keziah, really. I just... I like you, okay, I like you more than I like other girls. There’s something different about you, unique you know. All I’m asking for is one date," he said.
Keziah stared at her piano keys and sighed softly. The sun lit up her room from both windows and the house was quiet once again. She was in her white casual dress, which she had worn to church earlier. Everyone, even Karen, was at peace and most likely asleep, it was sort of tradition. Sundays were strictly days to rest. The family would all wake up later, they would have lunch together and the day would go on as it usually does. The silence was suddenly so loud to Keziah. Her mind was still racing from everything that had happened the night before. Every time she thought of Todd and Annabelle, she felt something rising up her throat but nothing would come out. It was as if that memory was making her sick but wouldn’t leave her system, taunting her. She stared at the keys again, wishing she still had to practice that song for the ball. Wishing she could just go back to how things were before. This always happened. Whenever she liked a guy and the guy seemed to like her back, bam! Annabelle would come and all was forgotten. She’d never compete against her cousin for a guy, even if she did stand a chance.

Keziah jumped when she heard something against her window. She cautiously walked over to her couch and looked out the window. Todd was leaning out of his window and throwing little stones at hers. Keziah pushed the windows open and looked at him, waiting for him to say something. "Hey," he said when he saw that he had her attention. "Hey," Keziah said flatly. "So what happened with you last night at the party? You hardly spoke to me," he said. Keziah pulled up her shoulders. "Like I said, I wasn’t in the mood," she said lifelessly. "Mind telling me what I did?" He asked. Keziah searched his face for a while before shaking her head. "If it’s about that girl I kissed last night, I was a little drunk and she just fell onto my lap and kissed me," he said. Keziah looked at him again. She wondered if he knew she and Annabelle were family. He probably didn’t otherwise he would’ve said something else instead of referring to her as "that girl".

"Look, Todd, it doesn’t matter, okay. The night’s over anyway," Keziah said. Todd raised an eyebrow and the sun caught his eyes so that Keziah’s heart softened. His eyes burning into hers. "Well, that’s just it. I was hoping to see more of you last night, get to know you better," he said. "Well, you clearly had that idea with another girl as well," Keziah said before she could think. Todd sighed and dropped his eyes. "Look, I’m really sorry. It was a mistake and I was drunk but that’s no excuse. Let me make up for it," he said. Keziah crossed her arms. "How?" She asked. "Let me take you out. One date, I promise," he said. "I don’t know how that’s making up for it," she said. "I’m sorry, Keziah, really. I just... I like you, okay, I like you more than I like other girls. There’s something different about you, unique you know. All I’m asking for is one date," he said. Keziah dropped her eyes. "I’ll think about it," she said and closed her windows then walked back to her piano.

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Keziah let the phone ring four times before picking it up. "Hey, Annabelle."
"Oh, my fuck! Where were you last night? You should’ve stopped me! Why didn’t you warn me?"

Keziah took the phone from her ear and stared at it for a second, letting her ears heal for a moment before putting it back to her ear. "Uh, what?" She asked. "That arsehole from last night, he sat at our table! Blond, blue eyes, incredibly sexy."

"Todd?" Keziah felt a dead feeling in her stomach when she said his name.
"Yeah! You won’t believe what he did to me! I was sort of, kind of, drunk last night so I did something really stupid," Annabelle said and sighed. Keziah felt her stomach twist painfully, expecting the worst. "What..." She took a deep breath. "What did he do?" She asked. "He took me for a drive and, uh, well, I was feeling really... hot, so we... well... do I really have to say it?" She asked. Keziah swallowed hard then sighed, dropping her eyes. Tears stung the back of them. "No, you don’t," she said softly. "Good. Gosh, I was so drunk. I..." Keziah wasn’t even listening anymore. Annabelle’s words just sounded like a hazy, inaudible slur.

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Keziah wiped her mouth and flushed the toilet. Her mouth tasted disgusting. She walked over to the sink and started brushing her teeth. She looked awful. After she rinsed her mouth and tied her hair up in a messy ponytail, she went into her room and dropped onto her bed, hoping to fall asleep quickly. She jumped at the sound of her phone and picked it up but silenced it instantly. Hardly a good ten seconds later, it rang again. She groaned and threw her arm over her eyes. "Hello?" She asked after answering and bringing the phone to her ear, her voice sounding hoarse. "Hey, I think you left a jacket in my car." Keziah blinked, not really sure who she was talking to.

"Zack?" She asked. "Yeah, it’s Zack, sorry," he said. Keziah closed her eyes and tried to think back. "Uh, yeah, I did," she said remembering how she was shivering as she waited for someone to open the door for her. "How do you know it’s mine?" She asked. She heard Zack smirk. "It’s not like there was another girl in my car last night," he said. Keziah smiled a little. Some things sounded so strange coming from Zack. "Do you need it because I can bring it over," he said. Keziah sighed, still feeling like a train hit her. "Uhm, no it’s fine. Uh... can I just get it by you at school tomorrow?" She asked. There was a pause. "Are you okay?" Keziah felt fresh tears hit her eyes. "I’m fine," she said, not even convincing herself but hoped it sounded better on the other side of the call. This also always happened. She was always the one to say, "I’m fine," when she felt the most broken. "You're sure?" Zack asked gently. Keziah closed her eyes. "Yeah," she said. Another pause. "You really don’t sound okay. Hold on, I’m bringing your jacket. You need some cheering up and Eric’s still passed out from last night. See you in ten minutes."

"Zack, I’m not going," Keziah said. "Oh, yes you are. We had a bet, you lost. Get ready, I’m picking you up in ten minutes."

The line went dead before she could answer.
By
Published: 1/5/2013
Bouquets and Brickbats