Chapter 10: Determination
I woke up and looked at the ceiling of my roof. It was Monday morning and I was dreading to get up and start my day. Liz and I were going to be late to school to go and get my mom and dad from the airport while we dropped Eric off at the same time and then afterschool, I had to go to an appointment to get my laptop fixed. There was no use. I had to get up and start my day.
I stood up and walked toward my dresser to get me some undergarments. I looked to my left and noticed that my curtains were slightly parted. I walked toward them and pulled them apart letting my dark room lighten with a sunlight glow. Kaleb wasn't standing in his window like he usually would be in the morning time. We hadn't talked since he kissed me on Saturday. I never could think of the right thing to say to him. I sighed and walked back over toward my dresser. No one suspected anything weird about what happened that day except Liz, but she couldn't know about Kaleb being out there. I wanted to tell somebody, but there wasn't anybody that I could tell. Liz would jump to conclusions, Alexander would probably hate me for kissing his brother, Ian was already jealous, and Liam and Lucas would probably love us as a couple and tell the whole school. I couldn't have that so this news was going to be mine to handle.
I stopped thinking, grabbed my clothes and entered my bathroom. Today was going to be a long day.
"C'mon Eric!" Liz was screaming. "You have so many more clothes in here than you did before you came!"
"This is your work out of the day," Eric said drinking his cola. "You have to miss cheer practice, so the least you could do is heave a heavy bag."
"This isn't funny. Why doesn't Briana have to help?"
"Well she took my other bag out to the car twenty minutes ago. You were still primping trying to look beautiful."
"Well we girls do have to stay pretty somehow." She shot me a look and I stuck my tongue out at her. I walked off the porch and helped her carry Eric's bag to the car while he stood watching us work.
"Alright," I said as I shut the car trunk. "We have to go right now to be on time to pick up mom and get you on your plane."
"I agree," Liz said jingling the keys.
After getting our backpacks and things, we all boarded in the car; Liz driving, Eric in the passenger seat and me in the back. The whole time Liz and Eric were talking about college. Since she was just a year away from graduating, this was one of those questions that always concerned her. Liam never had seemed so concerned since he would be graduating next year. He knew what he wanted to do and he was opted for a cheesy scholarship to any college that would accept him. Liz on the other hand wanted to get into this one college or she'd die, Penn State University. I didn't want her going there. It was too far away from me, but she insisted.
Once we got to the airport, we met our parents who were waiting on a bench. My mother's belly was more robust then I imagined it to be, but all in all I missed her presence. She was the first person that I hugged.
"You smell good sweetheart," she said parting from me.
"And you're looking good," I said patting her belly. I had always been mesmerized by how a baby could be growing in my mother's belly.
"Number five. He'll be here in no time." I smiled and hugged her again. No words could express how happy I was to see her.
Once we parted, I looked to find my dad. He was talking to Eric in a corner. I saw him hand Eric 4 twenty dollar bills. I bit my lip. Eric wasn't living right. I knew that he wasn't. He never had enough money and that always made me sad for him. After my dad gave him the money, they hugged and Eric walked off with his bags towards his flight without looking back.
"Sweetheart," my dad said breaking me out of my daze of he and Eric. "How are you? You look beautiful today."
I smiled as he hugged me. "You look just as great. How was Aunt Rebecca's house?"
My mother frowned and then looked over at my dad. He sighed and took our bags to the car. My mother followed him silently. Liz and I share a look before we both continue after them. I knew I shouldn't have brought her up. My Aunt Rebecca has cancer and the last time I heard about her, I knew that she was doing well, but just recently she had been going to the doctor more frequently and she had a stroke two times in one month. My mom and dad went down there to see what was wrong with her, but I'm guessing it didn't go well.
We didn't say anything as I helped dad put his bags into the car. He and my mother got into the front seat and drove Liz and I to school. The silence rang like a clouded bubble.
"She isn't doing as well as we expected," my dad said. He heaved out a sigh. "The doctors give her three months to live."
I sighed and looked down. This was terrible news. Liz spoke first. "That's terrible. What's going to happen to Kherington? Was she taking the news great?"
"Kherington knew that one day this would happen. She prepared for the worst, but she always hoped for the best," my dad said. "Your mother told Rebecca that she would take Kherington in. Just as simple as that."
I smiled. My mom. She was the most perfect woman in the world. She would do anything to make her sister happy. I looked to my left at Liz. She was looking down probably thinking the same thing that I was. I grabbed her hand in mine and leaned my head on her shoulder thinking I'd do the same thing in a heartbeat.
Once at school, we both shimmied to our second period. We got passes from the front office and made it to our classes. I bid her goodbye and she did the same for me. Once down the hallway, I walked to my locker, grabbed my history book and then walked to class.
That day was one of the slowest and most boring. I hadn't seen Ian the whole day and Kaleb was probably avoiding me, but I couldn't avoid the class that we all had together. I bit my lip as I came out of my fourth period class and made my way to my locker to put my books up. Once I got there, I just looked at it and placed my head on it. I was tired, depressed, feeling lonely and everything... Those thoughts from when I was twelve came rolling back on me and I sighed and tried to breathe easy. I wasn't going to go through this. I had to stop and calm my mind. Do what the doctor said.
"Hey." I looked up and everything just went away. Alexander was standing there smiling at me. "Are you okay? You're looking a bit pale."
"I'm fine," I said softly as I turned to my locker, twisted the combination in and put my books into it.
"You sure? You don't look it."
I looked up at him and smiled. "I'm serious. Don't worry. I promise that I'm fine."
He smiled. "Fine. I'm forced to believe you this time." I rolled my eyes and closed my locker. We strolled down the hallway and into the lunch room. "My brother was talking about you last night."
My heart skipped a beat as I looked at him. "Really? Was it really bad?"
"Actually," he said smiling. "It wasn't bad at all. It was weird for him to be talking about you in such a serene way."
"What did he say?" I asked as we stood in the lunch line. I crossed my arms and looked at him.
"I don't know how we got on the subject, but we were talking about your web show and he said that you act more real on there than you do in real life and he was going on and on about how you should realize that you're better than you portray yourself."
I smiled and looked down. Maybe he was just trying to get my attention again by saying nice things about me, but I wasn't sure. I believe that he wanted something from me and it was something that I probably wouldn't be able to give.
"Oh," was what formed on my lips.
When the bell rang for lunch to end, I felt myself have a mini heart attack. Of course, I was overreacting, but I overreact about everything, so this was just the same as every other thing I have ever overreacted about. Before I could get to my fifth period class, I was stopped by Jimmy Ryans, the head of the journalism committee.
"Briana, good. I caught you before you went to class." I looked at him and frowned. I needed to get to class. "I couldn't find you this morning. You didn't come to journalism."
"Yeah, I was late this morning. What's up?"
He reached back in his backpack and took out this envelope. He flipped it over in his hand to the front side where my name was printed in bold letters and then handed it to me.
"The principal gave this to me and told me to give it to you if I ever saw you today."
"Yeah thanks." I slid the envelope into my backpack as slick as possible and ran to Art before the tardy bell rang. Once in there my heart fell to my feet. Ian sat in there with Kaleb and they were chatting just as they had been on Friday. I gulped and walked over to my seat.
"There she is," Ian said. He jumped off his desk, walked over to me and gave me a hug before he sat me down. "I tried texting you all morning, but you didn't return any of my texts."
I raised an eyebrow. "I didn't get any texts." I pulled my phone out of my back pocket and noticed that I hadn't turned it on.
"Hence why you didn't get any texts." I rolled my eyes, turned it on and then shoved it into my back pocket.
"So how's your mom and dad?"
I bit my lip. "I don't know. They said that my aunt wasn't getting any better. She's not expected to live very long." I looked down. "But we can't hope for the worst. Maybe the doctors overlooked something and they have more opportunities for her."
"That's the best thing about you; you always think positive." I looked over at Kaleb and he was looking right at me.
"Yeah. I guess that's what I'm good at."
Throughout the whole class, I found myself looking at Kaleb as we finished our perfect date pictures. He would avoid every look that I gave him. It got to the point where I had no hope. Even after class, he just walked out with Ian. Ian promised to take me home if I came to his practice afterschool. I couldn't do anything. My heart had plummeted all the way to my feet.
Afterschool, I sat on the bleachers with my phone at my side finishing some essay about a memorable childhood event. I smiled and wrote about the time Eric took Ian and I to see this horror movie when we were both about nine. The reason why it was so memorable is cause I never ever saw a scary movie after that; I was\ scared for life.
As I was writing my paper, I felt rumbling under me. I didn't react to the rumbling. I just thought it was the football players having to do their bleacher runs. I stuck my pencil in my mouth, ran a hand through my hair and began writing furiously as the rumbling stopped. Since I couldn't type, I had to do it the easier way. I had to write everything out. For some reason I felt eyes on me, so I looked up and noticed that Kaleb was standing there staring right at me with his arms crossed. I felt my breathing stop as he stared at me with that smile that he first gave me when we first met.
"Problem?" He asked just standing in that same position.
I caught my breath and looked down at my lap where my binder sat on my legs and my almost full page of paper sat staring at me. "What do you want Kaleb?" I looked back up at him. "Cause quite frankly I don't have anything to say to you."
"And why is that?" He asked as he stepped up a step. "Cause I kissed you on Saturday?" I bit my lip. "You always give yourself away."
"If the reason that you're over here is to harass me, then you aren't doing such a good job."
"Well love," he said exaggerating the 'love' part, "I didn't come here to harass you and talk to you cause quite frankly you don't like coming up and talking to me first."
"That's cause you have no good conversations. And why would you want to talk to me in the first place? Last time I checked, we weren't friends and I don't think that we'd ever be."
"God, I've lived down here for a week, argued with you and kissed you. So what are we? Friends with benefits or something?" I saw him smile. His sarcasm would be the death of me I swear.
"How can we be that and we're not even friends." His smile changed into that of a frown. "Listen, you're right. You've been here for a weekend. There are about a thousand different girls already who would crave for your attention. Why don't you give it to them instead of messing with me." The look on his face was priceless. We had a stare off until I looked away from his awe. I put my papers in a stack and then into my bag. I draped my bag over my body and then stepped down gently off the bleachers.
Before I could reach the bottom, he grabbed my arm. "Alright stop." I huffed and turned around.
"Did you comprehend anything that I said?"
"I did." He looked up at me. "That's why I stopped you." I crossed my arms. "Just... we both need to stop. Yes, I've been a douchebag and yes you might have been a bitch.. numerous times." I rolled my eyes. "So can we stop and get to know the real us?" I raised an eyebrow. He stuck his hand out. "Hi, I'm Kaleb Jones and I live next door to you?"
I couldn't help but smile. "I'm Briana." I shook his hand. "And if I don't leave now, I might not be able to get my laptop fixed in time for my next show."
Mynaja: Sorry. I'm on like a tight schedule at school. I'll post as soon as possible.
Lele: Yes ma'am.
Aana: I'll write as fast as I can. And omg. Yes I love to read. That's where I get most of my ideas from.
Koushani: Omg. I'm sorry!
Purple: You'll do whaa? Lol. I'm just kidding. What is it about Kaleb you guys don't like. He is an amazing person. Omg. I love him.
Suja V: I know. They both have certain qualities that still make them enjoyable and cute and their own person, y'know? But thank you. I love that you called me a great writer. That made my day. I try to post as fast as I can. Cause... I love you guys.
Cat: I love Kaleb too. Omg. He's just so amazing. I want to meet someone like him too.
Scenegurl:Kaleb isn't that bad. Btw, I'm Team Kaleb right now cause this is as far as I've written it and I think he takes the cake. Thanks for loving the story. I'll make it worth your while. I promise.