"She was at her father's house the whole time?"
I looked up at my father from across the dinner table. He had a piece of mashed potato on his fork and he stared at me with dire eyes.
"The whole time."
Sam's mother had done me a solid and told my dad nothing about the fixing, but that I was just helping Sam out. He came over to her home for his condolences, seeing as how he and she were close friends, and found all of us there with Andrea.
"And you and Sam just happened to stumble to her father's home?"
I shrugged and put a piece of steak in my mouth. "She was wanting to let him know about Andrea and to be on the lookout." I scooped some mashed taters on my fork and smirked. "Granted, we were supposed to be at lunch, but she didn't have an appetite."
"Good thing that she was just there," he said as he wiped his mouth with his napkin. "She could have been anywhere. There are many crazy SOB's out there."
I smirked. "SOB's dad?"
He glared at me with a hint of a smile playing on his face and I couldn't help but laugh. He stood up to gather the dishes and I walked along with him to the kitchen.
"Hey, it's better than using the actual lingo my dear."
"I'm going to pretend that you didn't just say lingo as well." He let out a laugh as I opened the freezer and tilted my head to the side. He began to rinse out our plates and then proceeded to place them in the dishwasher. "Alright so we have mint chocolate chip which isn't my favorite but I know it's yours or we have sherbet, the pink kind." I raised my eyes at him and he had his back turned to me. "Dad?"
"I'm sorry sweetheart." He turned to look at me, pain on his face. "I'm going into the office for a late night meeting and to finish up some paperwork. I might not be here in the morning to take you to school so you can take my car and I'll call a cab."
He walked towards the exit and I turned to watch him. "I can just drive you to work."
"That won't be necessary," he retaliated as he vanished from sight.
Raising an eyebrow I closed the freezer and leaned against it.
What was the deal?
"She is safe and tucked into bed." Sam sighed. "It has been the longest of days."
"Tell me about it." I had showered, eaten half a tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream and laid in bed staring at my email through my computer screen. So many unread ones, but none from whom I wanted to see. "Hey, have you filled out any college apps?"
Sam scoffed. "Briana, it's the beginning of junior year."
"So?" I scanned through my email some more.
"So, the obvious answer here is no. I am the one who procrastinates on certain things like that. I will wait until the almost end of senior year when deadlines are about to close before I even think about applying anywhere." I sucked my breath in. "Have you?"
"To three, actually. My ACT scores were one point away from being perfect, I wrote great essays and I got some early applications in."
"To where? Let me guess, Harvard, Yale, Stanford?"
"Those are your schools Salutatorian," I scoffed back. "And maybe one to Stanford."
"Knew it," she said. "But we have time B. If they don't answer back now, that's okay. We have next year to get the heebie jeebies about college, not now. Now, we live our lives."
"Yes, but I have to have a plan. I don't like to worry about my future."
"College should be the least of your future worries right now," she responded back almost immediately. "What you should be worrying about now is what you're going to wear to school tomorrow, or someone that I don't want to talk about, but he is very important: Mike Sutter."
"To tell you the truth, I would rather worry about my college future than that last thing that you just mentioned." I continued to scan through my computer.
"Let's talk about the easy one then: what art thou wearing to school tomorrow?"
"Jeans a t-shirt."
"Ugh." I huffed and looked at the pile of clothes that sat in a chair near my vanity. "Maybe some pink shorts that I think are clean and maybe a black shirt that also looks clean."
"Good answer! Now, let us get on the Mike Sutter train."
I sighed and ran a hand through my hair. "No, thank you, honestly."
"That's not really a good answer for me. Try again please?"
"Seeing Mike today was normal."
"Wow Briana," she muttered. "You're being very cryptic about your feelings to me, your best friend, who can read you like a book and right now I can read your voice so do you really want to lie to me?"
Of course, she had a point. I found myself shrugging to nothingness. "It was weird, alright? He grew his hair out Sammy."
"Whaaaatttt?" She gasped.
"A blonde man bun. Can you believe that?"
"Actually, no. I would love to see it though."
I chuckled. "No, you don't. It looks nice, but it just doesn't fit him. He was better with not long hair but like the kind that you could like run your fingers through."
"Oh yeah, you definitely know that type."
Rolling my eyes, I shut my laptop and leaned back into bed. "Sadly, I do." I shivered some at the weird memories. I couldn't help but want to continue to think about the past with Mike and me. I sighed. "I missed him Sam."
I heard her sigh on the other line. "I know you did. You know you can't get close to him again. All it is going to do is hurt you. He will hurt you."
"What if he's changed?"
"Right and the sky is purple." I huffed. "Huff all you want my sweet friend, but you know that I'm right. Mike Sutter is no good for you."
"Sam, I know your feelings towards him run deeper than mine do. Don't let that cloud your judgment. People are capable of changing."
"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."
The next morning went in slow motion for me. I woke up around six to give Axton a walk. The morning was damp and rain slightly came down, so I wore a hoody and some sweat pants. Axton, like myself, loves dreary mornings. He loves waking up early in the morning when the sun hasn't just come up yet and go for his walks.
My whole morning went like that. As I showered, fed Axton, ate breakfast and drove to school the only thing that I could think about was the fact that I had to see Mike Sutter every morning to see the progress that Adam had made. It had just been a day and it seemed like a lot has happened in a day. As I stopped my father's car in the parking spot near the football field, I leaned back and took a deep breath. I had seen Mike, found a "kidnapped Andrea" and worried myself to death in just one day. That had to have been a record for me. I didn't even know how much it overwhelmed me until right now as I thought about it.
Running a hand through my hair, I sighed, knowing what I had to do.
I got out of the car and stared at the field. Mike was standing there, hands on his hips, watching as Adam did his pushups. Mike had a whistle in his hand and would blow it when he wanted Adam to switch exercises. I crossed my arms and shut my car door before I made my way towards the field.
40 feet away, I caught Mike glance up at me. I crossed my arms and tried to smile, but it was really hard smiling at someone that you wanted to punch in the face, but at the same time you wanted to kiss. When Adam noticed that there was no whistle blowing, he looked up from his pushup position and noticed me.
"Well, look what the wind dragged in," Adam said as he stood up, sweat running down the sides of his face. "What brings you here, princess?"
"Princess?" Mike said, crossing his arms. "She's far from that."
Ignoring Mike's comment, I looked at Adam. "Just seeing how acquainted you two have actually gotten. I didn't mean to interrupt."
"You're not," Mike said immediately. "Adam was just going to go do some laps to cool off." Adam turned and glared at Mike.
"Dude," he said, crossing his arms.
"Time is ticking Adam."
Adam clenched his jaw and then headed off towards the track. I crossed my arms and watched him jog off. His pace was beginning to get a bit faster and he wasn't as slouched as he usually was.
"How long does it take him to run his mile, do you know?" I asked. I didn't dare to look over at Mike because somehow looking at him sent me to a place where I didn't want to be.
I sighed and shook my head. "He used to be able to do it in under six minutes. How can that be fixed before the game in two weeks?"
"You asked me here to do this job," Mike said. "I think I can do a good job with him before the first game starts. We started meeting earlier, at 6 until his first class at 9:15. He practices with the team after school so he should be improving by the end of this week."
Something made me look at Mike. He was staring at me, green eyes observing me and blonde hair dangling from his bun. He had scruff on his face, but that only made him even more attractive. I tore my eyes from him and nodded.
"I have faith in him."
"But not in me?" I bit my lip. "What is this Briana? Are we strangers? You can't even look at me for more than five seconds. It's like you don't know who I am."
"Did I ever?" I asked, turning to look at him.
He clenched his jaw. "That's funny. You knew me way better than anyone ever did."
"Right and if I knew you, then I just knew you were going to do what you did to me two years ago. Hm."
Mike walked closer to me and I didn't move this time. He was trying to size me up, but there was no way he could. My blood was boiling and the only thing that he could do was make it even worse. But staring at him as he towered many inches above me only made me feel like I was that desperate freshman that I used to be two years ago.
"Stop treating me like I'm the bad guy here. Say what you're really feeling and say why you're hurt." A smirk appeared across his face. "You got me for two weeks baby."
"You don't scare me," I found myself saying. "Nothing about you scares me anymore."
"That's not my intention." He sighed some and took a deep breath. "I..." His eyes scanned mine. It was like he was looking into my entire existence.
He never got to finish his sentence.
"Am I interrupting something?"
I looked over at Adam who was standing, breathing heavy and sweating. I smiled. "No. I have somewhere to be anyway." I took one glance at Mike and then turned away. On my way towards the school, I pat Adam's sweaty shoulder and smiled at him. "You're getting better Adam."
I had never been so flustered in my life. There was always something about Mike that would intrigue me, heighten my spirits and send flames through my body. There was also something in my mind that would make me think on our history and realize that we could never be together. I blamed him a lot and I knew it was wrong, but there was something that he did wrong. He could have fixed it, but he didn't. He never knew how to fix his own problems which is why I would usually clean up the mess for him.
No one had ever made me feel like he made me feel.
My thoughts began to unjumble as I realized that I was walking down the hallway towards my locker. I turned and noticed Sally Briggers running towards me. She was the assistant director for the Journalism and Broadcasting team at our school. She came to me just about every week to ask me for an interview, but the answer was always the same.
"Sally." I feigned enthusiasm as she approached me, glasses pushed forward and hair scattered.
"Sorry about the yelling, I am just on a deadline and I saw you and I just thought maybe you had changed your mind about my previous offer?"
I smiled and sighed. "Not this week Sally." Her smile began to diminish. "I've got such a busy schedule and I just-"
"The interview won't last that long." I began to shake my head, but she persisted. "People just want a look into Briana Wilkens' life. Why do you do what you do? How many people have you helped? Just little questions like that."
Before I could finish, there was a loud rumble down the hallway. Sally and I turned our eyes towards it and we noticed that there were two boys having a face off down the way. Some people had gathered up to watch the madness.
"Well Briana, maybe next week!" Sally ran from me towards the little rumble that was going on. I crossed my arms around my chest and tilted my head. I was never one to watch fights because they never impressed me, but something was pulling me towards this one.
"Might as well go see what all the hubbah is about." I looked to my side and noticed James standing there. He smiled at me, threw an arm over my shoulder and led me towards the little altercation that was beginning to form an even bigger crowd.
Somehow, James and I got a good spot so I saw these guys head on and I knew that I didn't want to. Ethan stood opposite a big and bulky guy who I knew as Josh - and had helped the year before. Ethan was buff, but not buff enough to kick Josh's ass so this would be a blood bath.
"I told you to stay away from my girlfriend," Josh said and his voice echoed through the hallway. "But you just can't keep your paws to yourself."
"Wow," Ethan said. "I didn't even think you could form that many words into a sentence. I just thought that you were a big, meaty jock." I could feel the sarcasm emanating off him.
Josh's face turned red and some veins popped out of his forehead. He didn't even respond. He lunged at Ethan and landed a punch on his face. I felt myself want to look away, but it was very intriguing to continue to watch. Ethan landed against the lockers, but it was like nothing had phased him. He wiped his hand against his mouth and smirked.
"Any more words of wisdom smart guy?" Josh asked as he cracked his knuckles.
"Yeah." Ethan leaned off the lockers and smirked. "You hit like my kid sister."
Josh's face told the story of a serial killer and that's when I knew I had to intervene. I made my way through the crowd, muttering my excuses and appearing out front just before Josh began to make his way to attack Ethan again.
"Hold up, hold up!" I said, just before Josh came at Ethan again. "Hi there."
"Briana, I totally respect you, but you're gonna have to move so I can pummel him," Josh said.
"Right and that is why I'm here: to stop this nonsense." I turned to the crowd. "Thank you so much for attending the fight of the week. You can make your exit right now because it's over."
The crowd began to disperse and as they did, they were very vocal about how they hated how I had to fix everything. Some were happy that I intervened because they knew, just as I did, that Josh would have most likely killed poor Ethan.
I turned and looked at Josh. "No hitting. No more."
Josh clenched his jaw and glanced over at Ethan. "You got lucky. I'll catch you on a day where Briana's not feeling so helpful." Josh looked at me and then took off in the opposite direction, past James.
I turned to look at Ethan just as James approached. "Are you an idiot or just downright stupid?"
"Come on," Ethan said, grinning from ear to ear. "It was just all fun and games."
"Josh does not do fun and games. He would have killed you if the opportunity presented itself, which it did."
Ethan rolled his eyes at me. "You're being a bit dramatic here, aren't you Briana?"
James is glancing back and forth between Ethan and I before his eyes stop on me. "Do we know him?"
Ethan glared at James and then back at me. I ran a hand through my hair. "I'll fill you in later." James clenched his jaw. "He and I have some business to attend to. I'll meet you guys at lunch." Turning to Ethan I sighed. "Let's go loverboy."
James opened his mouth to say more, but nothing came out. Instead, he turned from me and then walked down towards the opposite end of the hallway.
I led Ethan towards my dad's car and he smirked. "This is your car?" He gave me a nod of approval.
"It's my dad's actually." We walked to the driver's side of the car and I opened the door. "He let me borrow it for the day." I leaned in the car and pulled open the glove compartment. There was some loose napkins there and I grabbed them. In the drink holder, conveniently, there was a half full water bottle.
I turned and looked at him. His eyes were observing me from bottom to top. He finally looked into my eyes and smirked. "Are you going to fix me?"
I rolled my eyes and he sat down in the driver's seat. I dabbed some water on the napkins and then placed them on his lip. I could already feel it swelling up. "Tell me." I glanced in his eyes briefly and then back at his lip. "How did you end up getting into a fight with Josh Beam? He's very nice until you get on his bad side. What did you do?"
"I might have, accidentally, slept with his girlfriend." I felt my mouth go slant as I looked at him.
I put my pressure on his lip and he let out a little yelp. "How do you accidentally sleep with someone else's girlfriend?"
"Hey, easy there." He smirked. "She didn't tell me she was in a relationship until the next day. We were pretty wasted."
"And when did this happen?"
"You are trying to fix me."
I glared at him and sighed. "It just comes naturally I guess, but I'll stop." I threw his bloody tissue on the ground and sighed long and deep. "You might want to go see your sister nurse about that bleeding. I'm no doctor, but I know what swelling looks like."
He continued to look at me even as I tried my hardest to look away. "Briana, you are very beautiful." I looked at him and raised an eyebrow. He stood from the driver's seat and sized me up as he shut the car door. "Yeah, yeah I see it. Your cute heart-shaped face, your brown eyes and honey your melanin is popping." My cheeks began to burn as he said the last part. He smirked some. "I wouldn't mind you fixing me."
I shook my head and actually remembered why we were out here in the first place. "How can you be so smug about just sleeping with someone else's girlfriend? What kind of character are you?" I shrugged.
"I don't know." He shrugged and leaned against my dad's car. "You're the fixer, aren't you supposed to know?"
"I cannot fix what I don't know about, especially stupid. So you need to get your crap together and stop starting shit you can't finish." And with my grand speech, I made a grand exit leaving him to think for himself.
Jasmine Charms: Thank you for being so faithful! School has really been kicking my butt, but I will be posting here weekly or every couple of days. I think my story has potential and I have so many new ideas coming up in the future chapters.
Miha: Thank you so much for loving my story!!