Chapter 5: Vulnerable
I threw my bag onto my bed and collapsed next to my stuffed animal. Ian gave me a ride home and he went home to check on his parents. They had a weird argument that morning. I offered to go, but he said that was his fight and that I just needed to stay at home. He was right of course, but at the same time I felt like a girl. I know what you're thinking, but I felt like a girl in essence. Like where she's helpless and she can't do anything when she wants to. Y'know?
I sighed and rolled over toward my bag and pulled my laptop out. I opened it and my email popped up. There were spam messages that I deleted and then a message from Delilah Gorring. I smiled and opened it up.
Omg. I'm fangirling right now. I totally thought that you would like overlook my messages and just go on to other messages. I thought you got like a thousand messages every day and you just would skip right over mine. Omg. I think I might die. Sorry if I sound weird, but you're like a celebrity. Oh, and my friend. Her name is Leslie. She is right here beside me, as I write this. She's screaming just as I am, that you actually mentioned her. OMG. Can you tell Ian that I said hi? Would that be too much? Okay. I'll stop. Sorry. Okay, one more. You called me Dell!! Omg. Okay. I'm done. I won't be a stranger. And I really do hope you come to visit me. That would just make my whole life. I swear.
I laughed so hard at this message that I almost peed my pants. I decided not to write her back just yet, but to just lie down in my comfortable bed and doze off. I pushed my laptop away, threw my shoes off and snuggled up under the covers. Just as I was about to fall into a restless nap, I heard something tap on my window. Thinking it was air, I closed my eyes once more and tried to fall back into my restless sleep, but the sound came again. My eyes bulged open and I looked up. What the crap is that sound on my window? I heaved a sigh, threw the covers back and stood up. I walked to my window and I saw Kaleb standing there with his window raised. I raised an eyebrow. What the hell was he doing in Alexander's room?
I lifted my window up slowly as I pushed the curtains out the way and I sat on my knees to get a look at him.
"Nice hair," was the first thing to come out of his mouth. Embarrassed. I felt my face burn as I tried to pat my hair down.
"Thanks, but I was about to take a nap before you went all kiddy on me and decided to chuck pebbles at my window."
He held up yellow sticks. "Number two pencils darling. Pebbles are for special people. Don't think too high of yourself."
I frowned and rolled my eyes. "What did you want?"
His smirk turned serious. "Nothing. Just to see who's window it was that would be across from mine." My heart fell.
"What do you mean? This isn't Alexander's room?"
Kaleb shook his head. "No ma'am. He has the room across from mine."
"Then why was he in there this morning?"
"He helped me pull my bed in there." Kaleb smiled. "You should see your face right about now Briana. It's priceless."
"Goodbye Kaleb." I stood up and forced my window back down without pulling the curtains in front of it.
The next day, the list was posted. Kaleb's name was the third on the list. "How amazing is that?" His voice sounded behind me. I turned around and faced him and he had this ear to ear smile on his face. "Although I won't be able to play in the game today, I'll be able to watch and take notes."
"Oh my," I said placing both hands on the side of my face. "That is just such an honor." His smile turned into a smirk.
"Oh hey," Alexander said walking up. "I heard you made the football team." Kaleb smiled and hugged his brother which kind of surprised me. "I'm proud of you."
"Thanks. Couldn't have done it without the help of this beautiful body," Kaleb said. I rolled my eyes and made a barfing sound.
"Since you made the team, aren't you supposed to be at the practice?" I said.
"Oh yeah. Thanks for reminding me." He slapped my back and then ran off towards the gym. I cringed.
Alexander smiled and rubbed the part he slapped, as we walked down the hallway. "Sometimes, you need to let your brother know that I'm still a girl and I do still bruise."
Alexander laughed. "I do need to remind him that. Although I thought you'd be used to it as seeing that your brother and your best friend are very athletic also."
"True." We approached my locker, I put the combination in and opened it up. "But still, I'm just one girl. That kinda chiz hurts like real bad."
Alexander leaned against the lockers beside mine and nodded. "I understand bumble bee. You need some healing time."
I smiled. "I'm glad that you understand."
I stood on the sidelines watching the boys practice at their football game. On the other side of the field, the girls cheered their butts off and I could see my sister working her hardest. I turned back to the field and noticed Ian running with the ball and making a touchdown. They were working extremely hard and I commended them. They had a game tonight that my brother was flying in to see and that my parents were coming to see, before they flew off to Texas. In retrospect, this game was pretty big.
"Hustle boys!" I heard the coach yell. He was a husky man, but could play ball better than anyone that I ever knew. He was balding at the sides, but that didn't stop him from spitting his game to my science teacher. All in all I liked the coach. He was an amazing man. "Gather around." The boys gathered in around the coach and I and he gave him the third degree before he sent them off to the showers.
I crossed my arms as the boys smacked each other's butts and ran to the dressing room. Ian came beside me and hugged me really hard, letting his sweat smear all down my clothing. "IAN!" Some people on the field looked over. Others were used to our friendship so they just laughed, shrugged it off and walked to their destinations.
"Don't you love me baby," he said in his gay British accent. He pulled back and looked at me. "You look exquisitely beautiful."
"Just hurry and shower. We don't have enough time to play around." He threw an arm over my shoulder and walked me toward the gym.
"You act like we're on a tight schedule."
"C'mon. It's after five and we have to go and get Eric by six, so that he can come home and get dressed before your game at 7." He stopped and looked at my worried face.
"Oh spider monkey, we'll make it." He smiled at me and placed each hand on either one of my shoulders. He kissed my forehead, before he walked off to the gym.
I sighed, turned and bumped right into Kaleb. "Sorry," I said more sincere than I originally planned.
"No worries." I slid beside him, so that he could go to the gym, but he didn't move. Instead he turned my way and eyed me. I could only imagine what he wanted to say to me, but instead he said, "Watch it next time." And he walked off.
After Ian got dressed we headed to his car and took off toward my house to get my older brother's car and then we drove toward the airport which was a 35 minute drive.
I propped my legs up on Ian's dashboard and looked through my phone on my e-mail. He would occasionally look in my direction and then he would look back at the road. I looked over at him.
"Something you wanna say?" I asked casually.
"Yeah. No. Something I actually wanted to ask."
"Go for it."
He didn't answer me for a minute, so I thought that he would just leave me hanging. Just as I was about to say something he said, "Do you still love me the way you did when we first met?"
My heart burned. How could he ask me this question? I loved him just as much as I did before any of this web show and meeting new people started happening. He stopped at a stoplight and looked at me. I casually glanced at my phone.
"I can't believe that you just asked me that," I said. I couldn't even look at him because I was still shocked. I heard him huff.
"No. I didn't mean it in the essence of..." He sighed. "Why are you so shocked I asked you this question? You knew it was coming."
"Of what? Just cause I met two new people doesn't mean, I'd ever take back how much I love you. That will never change. That's why I'm shocked and I didn't see this coming."
What the hell was going on? Arguing? Ian and I never did this and even if we did, it had never been anything like this. Was this because of Alexander and Kaleb?
"Briana. All I'm asking is a simple yes or no question."
"Still. Why would you ask me that now? I would never change how much I loved you ever. Even if we do argue and our friendship gets broken. I'll still love you." He was quiet. "So don't you dare ask me that question again."
He sighed and looked over at me for a second and then back at the road. "Alright. I'm sorry."
"Okay." It was quiet for a moment. I looked over at him, leaned in my seat and kissed his cheek. I sat back in my seat and looked over at my phone like nothing had just happened. He smiled.
"I love you too."
We arrived at the airport and got out and ran inside of the building. I walked around looking for some wacky red hair and shades, but I didn't see any of that. I looked at my time: 6:09.
"Where could he be at?" I said looking at Ian. He shrugged.
"Let's go, ask somebody." We walked over to an attendee. "Hi Miss..." Ian looked at her name tag. "Gorgeous." I eyed him, as the attendee smiled. "The flight from Texas to here at 6. Has it came or is it late?"
The lady chuckled and I looked at Ian. The attendee looked through her computer and looked back at Ian with a gorgeous smile. "It just landed about 2 minutes ago. Passengers should be coming any minute now."
Ian smiled. "Thanks gorgeous." I rolled my eyes and walked around as they flirted some more.
I walked up past the waiting chairs and the magazine stands to go look for my brother when out of nowhere I hear, "Bam!" My heart flutters. Only Eric calls me that. I turn around and see my brother, not only without his red hair, but with a wacky blue color that was shaped in a fohawk. He looked just the same.
"Eric!" I screamed charging into his arms. He caught me easily and smiled. "You smell like oil." He dropped me and looked at me.
"You look just the same as I left you a few months ago."
"Yeah and look at you with the blue hair! Whatever happened to the red hair?"
"It got old. I thought I'd look so much better with the blue. Dontcha think?"
I ran my fingers through his hair. "Yeah. Blue fits your personality so much better."
He smiled and threw an arm over my shoulder and picked up his bag with the other hand. "I'm surprised you came up here alone. Where's Ian?"
I frowned. "I didn't come here alone. Ian was flirting with some attendance lady or whatever you call her."
"Did he use some lame pick-up line?"
"He called her Miss Gorgeous Eric. I think something's terribly wrong with that kid." He laughed at me.
"Eric!" Ian screamed as we approached him and the clerk that he was flirting with.
"Like OMG. IAN!" And they do this gay hug thing, that they always do every time that they see each other. It's weird. Eric had never been jealous of the relationship that Ian and I shared, but Liam was. I could never understand why. When Liam had girlfriends, I was never jealous... It's just weird for me to comprehend.
We walked outside into the parking lot, where Ian parked Eric's car. Eric decided to drive, and Ian sat in the passenger's seat and I in the back. "So, how's life?" I smiled. Eric was never good with conversation.
"Life is pretty dandy," Ian said smiling and placing his hands behind his head. "No drama whatsoever."
"I could tell. I watch your web show everyday. Sometimes my roommates watch it with me. They fell in love with how cute you were." I laughed. "I also look at those comments." I cringed.
"Yeah. There are some bad things. I just."
"Yeah, but the bad always overrides the good love," his voice said silencing me. "You can't pester yourself about that. You'll stress yourself too much to think about how many people don't like your web show. You have to just think about the people who do like it."
"Yeah. Still. If I look on the website, the most recent comment posted will be of one that is bad. Not anything good. I've been too busy and they think that I've flaked on them."
"Even if you have, you committed to doing this every night. If it's too much, then limit yourself to one day a week."
"Still. That won't... y'know, satisfy me. I have to talk to them every day. It seems like there is something for every day."
"Then do what satisfies you and what satisfies them also." I sat quiet. "You can't just leave them on the last limb Briana." I looked out the window and played with my hands.
"I know. I just. I don't know. I'm not in my right mind."
Ian looked back at me and Eric looked up at me through the rear view mirror. They were thinking the worst.
"You don't think it's that from 4 years ago do you?" Ian asked. I could see the panic in his face. He was alarmed.
"I'm not sure." I looked down. "But, I'm pretty sure that it's just a little funk and that I'll get out of it within days, y'know? Or maybe even tonight."
They both nodded at me and focused on the road. I knew for a fact that they didn't believe me. They still thought that I was sick just like I was when I was 12. I shivered just thinking about it. I wish to never go back to how I was then. There would be no coming back now.
When Eric entered the house, it was like joyful music was playing everywhere. Elizabeth ran and hugged him tight like she hadn't seen him in years ,when in reality it was probably 4 months. My mother kissed him so much and he played with her over grown belly. My father gave him a pat on the back and my brother couldn't stop cheesing and neither could Lucas. Ian and I made our way upstairs. Once in my room, he collapsed on the bed and I entered my bathroom to shower.
I stripped completely down and then turned the water on to just the right temperature and I stepped in. It warmed me up all over and washed all the regret off of my body. I needed to stop feeling this way and I definitely needed to stop acting this way. I wasn't being myself and everyone around me could tell that much. I felt like I was trapped though. I couldn't move. Not in the essence of running, but in the essence, as if I had the opportunity to run, I wouldn't take it. It sounds stupid cause my thoughts are jumbled everywhere.
I washed my hair and my body before I got out the shower and dried my body off. I plugged up my blow dryer and completely dried my hair. Once I was done, I plugged up my flat irons and waited for them to heat up. I put my towel over my body and walked out into my room and Ian was lying there watching television. He looked over at me and completely stood up.
"Are you okay?" He paced from the side of my bed. He didn't want to walk too close.
"I'm fine. You don't have to worry." I looked in my drawer for my undergarments and when I stood back up, he was beside me.
"I do have to worry. Remember? I worry about you and you worry about me." He gulped.
"In the car I got nervous when you said that you weren't in your right state of mind. What do you mean? Because if you feel the same way that you did when we were twelve, we need to get you fixed." I sighed and looked at him. "I don't go a day without worrying about you Briana. I never have."
I looked into his eyes and I saw all the buildup behind them. Ian loved me more than I could even fathom. I don't know how far that love went, but I knew it was love that I couldn't even comprehend. I smiled at him and fell right into his arms, releasing my towel. He caught me and tightened my towel back around my body.
"I'm sorry. I should let you in all the time, but I get so frightened and I don't even know why."
He buried his head into my neck. "I just love you and I don't want anything to happen to you again."
"Nothing will. I'm serious about that." He just tightened his arms around me and didn't let go. It never occurred to me that my window was opened and Kaleb was watching our every move.
Okay. So, I've been noticing that every other author on here has been doing this and I'm kind of late. So, I was thinking that I should start writing comment responses down here. Um. Yeah. Lol. Sorry about being late. I know this is the only way that you could hear my feedback.
Kiara H, Isha, Katie - Thanks for the comments. I appreciate it. I'll continue writing just for these amazing comments.
Briana ;D - I only know one other girl with the same exact name as me and spelling and she's like one of my best friends.
Reyna - Honestly, I think that they'd be so cute together also. I haven't even planned that far into the story.
673 - Thank you! Although other people might not think so. I'm glad you said that and I love you for saying that.
Bree - I'll continue. Thanks for the feedback!
Mikaluv - I'll try to post more as soon as possible. One every other day if I can!
KimmyC - Ian reminds me of my best friend in real life. He gets jealous over little things. And yeah. He's jealous.
Katerina - Thank you! It'll be as interesting as it goes on!
Amberley - Weird. I used to know a girl named "Amberlee." And yeah. He's amazingly jealous. And yeah. He gets jealous over little things.
Chanyanna - I love how you put Tough Love. And thanks. I'll keep writing.
AnonymousAuthor - No. I'm not writing about myself. Sorry if it came off of that way. I just like to write stories that have my name in it. I don't like to use anyone else's name unless I have to. Even if I were talking about myself, would that be a bad thing?
AbBa - Really? Why thank you!
Bubbles - Thanks. I'm starting to like your comment.
Reyna - I love your enthusiasm. I'm not going to tell you what's going to happen though!
Brit - Omg. I love you and you're an amazing person. Thanks for your comment! It really means a lot.
Aana - Thank you. I'll keep on.