Chapter 35: Love Isn't Lost
After the auditorium awards ceremony, I got many gestures of happiness from many people at school and even some of the teachers. My heart hurt in the best way possible and I couldn't stop smiling. I tried getting offstage, but there was just no way seeing as how everyone kept coming up to congratulate me and thank me.
"Briana?" I turned and saw one of Liz's friends Victoria standing right behind me. She was a senior cheerleader and every guy was in love with her. Heck, every girl wanted to be her including me at one point.
"I just wanted to congratulate you," she said smiling.
"Thank you. And thank you for all of this. I'm sure all the cheerleaders and jocks worked just as hard to get everything done. I really appreciate you."
"No, thank you." I raised an eyebrow. "Last year when I was a junior I sent in an anonymous letter about my mother. She was going through a difficult time and you wrote 'God puts challenges and obstacles in our lives for us to overcome knowing that we can overcome it.' I remember that because I still have that paper hanging up in my room." She was on the brim of tears.
"Please don't cry." I walked towards her and wrapped my arms around her.
"My mother had cancer and I didn't think that anything could help her." She pulled back and looked at me. "I didn't think that anyone could. I... we went to doctors and they all told us the same thing, that she wasn't due for long." She wiped her eyes. "Somehow, someway I... I relied on God and your letter and it worked. She's been cancer-free for 9 months."
A smile grew on my face and I knew that if I didn't hug her I'd be crying all over again. "I'm so happy that God helped you."
"If it wasn't for you I would have never known that God could help with my problems." She leaned back from me and smiled. "Thank you so much."
As she walked away back to her cheerleader friends, I smiled and realized a little spark could help someone's life. As I was smiling in my own world, I felt two arms wrap around me and spin me around. As I was sat back on the ground, I noticed that it was Lucas. Behind us were Liam, Ian, and Kaleb. Liz was starting to clear up the auditorium with some other jocks and cheerleaders.
"How can I ever thank you guys?" I asked flustered as Lucas threw his arm over my shoulders. "I feel like I'll be thanking you for a long time."
"Well, you're right," Lucas said. I shot him a look and he smiled. "Okay, not a long, long time."
Liam smiled. "Just seeing you smile is the thanks that we need." He eyed Lucas and rolled his eyes some. "Lucas and I will be helping Liz."
"We will?" Liam shot Lucas a look and Lucas nodded. "Oh, yeah we have to help clean up and stuff." He removed his hand from over my shoulders and smiled. "See ya at home!" And they left, leaving me in the most awkward position ever: to face Kaleb and Ian together.
I looked at them both and they were observing me. I let out a chuckle and waved my award. "Pretty awesome, huh?"
They looked at one another and smiled. Kaleb turned and looked at me.
"You're being pretty awkward."
"Wouldn't you be in a situation like this?"
"Well I am, in a situation like this." I huffed and rolled my eyes. "Just in a very different position than you are."
"It's not everyday that you're friends with a guy who's in love with the same girl as you are," Ian let out and then smiled.
I took a deep breath in and looked away. "Look..." I sighed and looked down. "This is very complicated and it's even harder to look at you guys with straight faces knowing how you feel about me."
"We know," Ian said. "But we were your friends before we were anything. We don't want that to change anything at all."
"Yeah, but it already has." I bit my lip and ran a hand through my hair. "I love you both, I do. As friends right now. I just can't get into anything too different you know? Not right now."
"Don't you think we understand that," Kaleb said. I looked back at them both. "You've been through enough and we don't want to make this any difficult on you."
"It's not me that I'm worried about right now. I've put you both in this tough situation and I'm the only solution and I'm so sorry."
"Don't apologize," Ian said smiling. "We couldn't help being in love with you. It just happened."
The bell rang signaling the end of the school day. I looked at them both. "I have to go."
"I know," Ian said holding up his car keys. "I'm driving." I took a deep breath and nodded.
I tried sitting in the car without making things way awkward than they needed to be, but I just couldn't help it at all. Every time I looked at Ian, I saw someone that I could date, not someone who used to be my best friend not even a month ago.
"Please stop staring at me like I'm a new species or something." Ian turned my way and I looked back forward with a blush smearing over my face. He sighed and looked forward all the way to my house.
"Sorry," I mumbled.
We approached my house and Ian turned off the car and looked at me. I looked down, but I could feel his eyes boring into me. "Briana, would you just look up at me." I slightly turned my head into his direction. "What are you thinking?"
"I don't know." I sighed. "Like I played you both or something, like I'm worthless, like you all hate me, and like we will never be the same way that we used to be."
"Yes, we can, we always can be." He placed his hand on my hand. "You were my best friend before I ever fell in love with you. I know you love me back as much as you can and that's all that matters."
"But?" I sensed a but coming in.
"But I know that Kaleb loves you in more ways than I can ever imagine. And that's the part that sucks." He looked up and ran his hands through his hair. "I love you, but I know that he loves you more and I know that he always will. Although I'm in love with you, I know that I'm in love with you only as a friend should be. Kaleb loves you in a way that you need to be loved."
I raised an eyebrow and looked at him. "What are you getting at Ian?" I asked.
He looked at me and smiled and then looked forward. "When we kissed, I thought that it was electricity that I was feeling and that I knew we could be together, but it wasn't electricity because of that. It was because I was kissing my best friend and I couldn't help but feel drawn closer to her." He looked over at me. "I loved kissing you, yeah, but for all the wrong reasons. You're my best friend. I'm not going to ruin that ever." He rolled his eyes and looked away.
"But you love me."
"Yeah, I know. It's confusing." He looked over at me. "You're my best friend. I don't ever want to change the bond that we have."
"We shouldn't have to because of what we feel." I looked at him. "I feel like Bella and I'm trapped between Edward and Jacob." He laughed.
"Don't put me in that cast." I rolled my eyes. "I'll see you tomorrow okay?"
"Are you picking me up in the morning?"
"I wouldn't miss that ever," he said smiling.
I waved Ian goodbye as I made my way up to my house. I opened the door and was drawn into a wave of voices coming from any and everywhere. Liam was talking to Lucas about something that I didn't know, but he kept throwing his hands in the air, Liz was pacing on the phone talking about something medical that I wasn't really following so I just made my way to the kitchen where my mother was talking to Kaleb's mother Ariel and my dad was discussing something on the phone.
"Hello," I said as I walked in.
My mother and Ariel acknowledged my presence and smiled. "Hello sweetheart, how was school?" I kissed my mother's cheek and sat beside her.
"It was different."
"I heard about your award," Ariel said placing her hand on mine.
"Thanks Ariel." It was still pretty weird calling her by her first name.
"What's going on? Why is everyone in a frenzy."
"Well I'm pregnant," my mother started as her hands laid across her belly. I raised an eyebrow and looked at her like really mom. She smiled. "And I'm due in about a week. Everyone's trying to get everything ready."
"They're preparing the hospital things and stuff?"
"Yeah. The doctor wants me to go in a bit early since I haven't been on bed rest and he wants me to stay in the hospital bed until the baby comes."
"How early?" I asked.
"Tonight." I gave her an exasperated look. "I know. Your father is trying to take off some days so he can stay up there with me. Liz is on the phone talking to Dr. Winchester and Lucas and Liam are scheduling a game plan of some sorts, I have no idea."
"And you are..."
"Talking to Ariel about all this. She wants to be able to watch over the house this week and notify you guys when the baby comes."
"There's no point in that, we'll be there."
"Briana, you have school. You can't be there."
"I can to." My mom looked at me. "Mom."
"Briana, it's January and you still have a lot to learn. I want you guys to be there at every waking moment but there is just no way." I sighed and looked away. "Briana, c'mon. You'll be the first to see your baby brother of course, but you just have to do this my way okay?"
"Okay mother." She gave me a stern look. She hated when I called her mother. "Mom." She smiled at me and I stood up to kiss her forehead.
"Thank you dear."
I turned and looked at Ariel. "Are Alexander or Kaleb home yet?"
"Alexander and Kurt went grocery shopping for a change and Kaleb is home."
"That's a first," I muttered.
"He was expecting someone," Ariel said.
I raised an eyebrow and let my shoulders sag. "Oh."
"You can go see him. He will be ecstatic to see you."
"Let's hope so."
I made my way around all the noise of people and walked out of the house, closing the door behind me. The air was still a bit chilly as I made my way over to Kaleb's house. His door was unlocked, so I just made it my natural duty to walk in.
"Hello?" I peered around the corner and waited a while. Their beautiful house still amazed me every time I saw it.
"Hey." I turned to the side and saw Kaleb wiping his hands on a towel and glaring at me.
"How'd you get in?" He asked throwing the towel over his shoulder.
"I... uh... the door was kind of open."
"Kind of?" He asked smirking. I nodded some and smiled. "C'mon. I was just in the kitchen cooking." He turned and motioned me to follow.
"You cook?" I asked following him into the kitchen. I heard him chuckle as I sat on a bar stool and he stood in front of the stove over a pot.
"I was expecting company and I'm the only one who knows how to make her favorite meal."
"Her?" I asked. My tone was probably a little bit jealous and I know that he knew since he chuckled loudly.
"It's not what you think."
"Right," I muttered.
He ignored me and launched into another conversation. "So did you and Ian talk?"
"Yeah, I did and I suppose you know what we talked about."
He shrugged and looked back at me. "When we talked the other week about it all, I tried to make him see my own point of view." He turned back to the pot and lowered down the heat. He turned back to me and leaned opposite of the bar table. "I was set on telling him how I wanted to remain friends, but he already knew what he wanted from you, from me."
"I know. He wants us to be friends I'm guessing despite the feelings that he has for me. He doesn't want feelings to override that and I can't say that I'm not happy, but..."
"I don't want him to have to put his feelings on hold for me, you know?"
"You mean you don't want to have to put your feelings for him on hold." I clenched my jaw. "I know you like him Briana, hell you might even love him."
"Yeah. I love him like he was my brother."
"Brothers and sisters don't stick their tongue down each other's throat. Twice." I clenched my jaw and stood up.
"I don't even know why I came here." I turned to leave. He followed me and grabbed my arm.
"Wait, wait." I sighed and turned around to face him. "Look I'm sorry alright. I was just a little jealous." I bit my lip. "You guys have history, more than I could ever have with you, so excuse me for being a little bit jealous."
"Don't you think I feel bad enough for putting you in this position where you have to be jealous."
"You didn't put me in any position Briana. I could have quit on this whole love triangle a long time ago, but I didn't because I can't help how I feel about you and I know that you can't help how you feel about me."
"Right. I know that I can't. I know this, but I just... I can't be here with you right now." I tried pulling my arm back and walking out, but Kaleb's arm wouldn't budge.
"There's no way that you came over just to talk knowing that no one else was here."
"Matter of fact I did come over here just to talk because before all this we were friends."
"Friends who did nothing but flirt with each other and hide their feelings from each other." Before I could respond the timer in the kitchen went off. Kaleb let go of my arm and walked back into the kitchen. I bit my lip and stood there contemplating on if I should leave or if I should walk back in there with him. "Briana quit being so stubborn and just stay here with me."
I rolled my eyes and walked back into the kitchen. Kaleb had been cooking a lot ever since Christmas and I don't know what that meant. Right now he was pulling lasagna from out of the oven and set it on top of the stove warmer. He had placed some asparagus inside a bowl and let it sit while it cooled and he was stirring the rest of his corn.
"So you're the only one who can cook what she wants?" I asked bitterly.
"Well, don't hide all of your jealousy." He turned to me as he turned the stove off. "And like I said, it's not even like that." He walked over to me as I leaned against the wall. "It's about you and I'm right now."
"Kaleb, I'm not wanting to get into anything serious with you." He leaned closer to me. "Kaleb." I placed a hand on his chest.
"Briana, what are you fighting? And why are you fighting it." He placed one hand above my head and leaned in closer. "You can't keep fighting whatever it is." He looked down at me and I at him and I just couldn't take it anymore.
I leaned forward, hastily, and pressed my lips against his and he fell into. My hands encircled around his neck and through his hair. One of his hands guided along my back while the other one was still complacent on the wall. His mouth and my mouth sought each other out like it was the only way that we could communicate. He moved his hand from the wall and placed them on either side of my legs and he pushed me closer against the wall.
His mouth moved from mine and down my neck and I let out a moan that I didn't know I was suppressing. I heard him chuckle as he picked me up and I wrapped my legs around his torso.
In the midst of our, whatever this was, the doorbell rang and I sighed.
"Ignore it," he muttered and he kept kissing me but the doorbell rang louder and longer each time.
"Just answer it Kaleb," I felt myself mutter without wanting to. I unwrapped my legs from around his waist and he set me down. I observed him and he observed me, our breathing heavy and ragged. "It might be her."
He ran a hand through his hair and walked out of the kitchen and towards the door. I, being as curious as I am, walked behind him without him noticing. He pulled the door open and there stood one of the most beautiful girls that I'd ever seen and my heart kind of fluttered. He had already moved on and she was way prettier than I was. She had hazel eyes that my raunchy gray ones didn't compare to and she had long wavy brown hair that did more justice than my long black hair. I bit my lip.
"Hey Kaleb," she said smiling.
"Lisa!" He was smiling when he said it. I raised an eyebrow. Lisa?
"Lisa as in Lisa Wenchell?" I asked without meaning to. "As in Kaleb's cousin?" Kaleb turned around and that's when Lisa finally acknowledged me.
"That's me," she said smiling. There was this weird glimmer in her eyes. "And I'm here to stay."