If Only - Chapter Thirty NineYou never know what you have until you lose it. That stands for both Tyler and Samantha. Meanwhile Russel has been out of the frame for weeks. What have happened to him? How does Samantha feel not having him around?
I have to stop apologizing, because I don't deserve your forgiveness. I know. All I can do is to finish this story because I can't seem to be able to stop here, no matter how much I have neglected everything and you guys, for months. Years
This is the next chapter.
If Only – Chapter 39
I couldn't sleep.
Even though I had closed my eyes. No matter how many sheep I'd counted. I just could not bring myself to sleep. I kept wondering, I could not stop thinking. I told myself that what I was thinking now, none of it was my business! And I should not even think about laying my hands on it. Because no matter how I put myself in, it still has nothing to do with me.
But, I grew tired of forcing myself to sleep. I was looking up at the ceiling, at the artificial stars. I always thought that those glowing in the dark artificial stars were pretty. But never as sublime as the real ones. So was one's personality. I got really worked up over this. No. Rather, It made me sad back when I told him about what the owner of the school; Mr. Hans Carlisle who was apparently his Dad said something about him carrying around bad memories. The fact that he didn't say anything, the way he laughed, and how he tried to restrain his emotion - The exact time when he held the pendant. It must have had something to do with the pendant. Was it family thing? Like inheritance?
If the pendant was something given by his family member...Dylan Vero Carlisle as his brother should have had one as well. But no, I never saw him wearing one before. When I saw him talking with our school principal Mr. Eleanor (I have mentioned him, before, haven't I?) just a few months ago, I didn't see something other than tie and watch as his accessories. He looked so uptight, I never saw him wearing something so out of his suit.
So what was it? Was it hidden behind his shirt? I got up and sat on the edge of the bed. Putting on my glasses, staring at the curtain that never once opened since then.
I bit my lip, I wonder if he heard... subconsciously walking toward the curtain and about to slide it open. But the thought of seeing his closed curtain yet again, the thought of getting hurt again made me cowered on the spot.
What was the point of avoiding it? It might not today, but there's still tomorrow. He might not be the first one I had to deal with; there were still Julie, Jason, Russel...And Hell would I know what they'd probably do as soon as they see me attending the school again. I still had to gather the materials and notes of lessons after all my absence. I grunt, falling on the floor, rolling around in rage.
This might be the first time I had so much going on in my head.
Great. "Good morning, Dark Circle," I glared at myself in the mirror, and sighed,"... you look like shit today."
I took a shower and prepare for school. Just another lazy day with lazy bun. Ellie told me to stick with contact lenses - I hated it. I fed Cheri decent food for hamster, even though she liked my wool socks better than any food, apparently.
"You are pretty fat these days. Lose some weight!" I nudged her little nose and grabbed the little makeup purse. I opened it and scoffed, "As if I'd look better after using these."
"Loser stays loser, my ass," I kept rambling as I put on Color Control Cream on all over my face. "I have good knowledge of what loser means. But I have no idea what it means now after she said it," I put some concealer under my eyes to cover the dark circles and shimmering brown eyeshadow just on my lid like the way Ellie taught me, "Look at her grades - and she said me? Loser? She should feel ashamed if she has brain at - SHIT." I hate mascara. I never managed to create somehow a thicker lashes using that without injuring my eyes. I threw the eyeliner brush and mascara into the purse and randomly putting on chopstick.
It's been freezing cold lately. I choose to wear my oversize pastel pink knit wear and knitted tights in gray color under the little eyelet shorts and maybe I should ditch my sneakers with my ugg boots.
"Samantha!" I looked at my watch 06.30 am. I wonder how my Mom managed to wake me up everyday with the same typical scream at the same hour? "Coming!" Yeah, I should hurry if I wanted to avoid Tyler every morning.
… Shit, I have literature today.
I dragged my feet down the stairs and bit my lip, suddenly feeling out of spirit, "Oh! Our little Sammy looking pretty today!" My mom beamed, "Your Dad will drive you to school honey." She approached me and caressed my cheek with endearment.
Though I felt grateful that Dad with his lazy bum wanted to drive me to school which was a very, very rare occasion - as rare as a nearly extinct animal in this universe. I mean, this could mean something bad.
"You know, uhm... Mom?...Can I just... stay home?" I could see Dad being all frantic behind Mom.
His eyes widened and he shook his head at me, making an X sign crossing his arms. Suddenly the hand that's been caressing my cheek made a movement, her thumb on the other cheek and she squeezed them together, "Don't cause any trouble, honey." She said with the same lovely smile even though her hand did something way too far from lovely. I nodded vigorously and managed to free myself from her grip. Now I understand why my Dad was so out of his habit today. I patted Dad on his shoulder, "Let's go, Dad."
"Take care, Guys!"
We sighed in response and dragged our feet in sync outta house.
I was back to school again, I had to face exams and probably some extended drama in my school life. Samantha Aurner they now had been dropped out of school and gone to Washington, probably spending the same old boring life she used to enjoy, but not me.
After having so much experiences by being false-accused, bullied, and heart-broken, I turned into someone who possessed a more strong determination and pride. My sense of pride that suddenly struck me the day when I hit Julie. And my determination to avoid Tyler, move on, and be a better individual.
"You look stunning with that knitwear!" Ellie nudged my arm and winked. I met her and Daniel, her BF, at the school entrance. She checked me out a little bit too intense and shook her head, "Look at this sweet girl here! Are you really that Samantha?"
"Oh, I thought she's gone like, almost two weeks ago?" Rebbeca joined, suddenly linking her arms around mine with her dog-like corky expression.
I scoffed, "Oh, you mean I used to look like crap, before?"
She rolled her eyes, "That's not what I meant, Duh."
I raised my hand and nodded, "Well, if you do think that way, I could not help myself but to agree." I grinned, "In addition, well, I look as crappy as before, anyway, you could just ditch the effort to make me feel better, Ellie."
she giggled, "You dimwit, I sincerely think you are pretty and yet you prefer me to say you look like crap. You must have had your head beaten by thugs somewhere."
Someone wrapped my waist and I looked around to find Claudia, "Who is this new chick?" I grinned and collided our heads together as I was a little taller than Clo.
"OUCH," she moaned. "Sam, don't be a bitch early in the morning!" She giggled.
"Then, stop being a drama-queen!" I laughed.
Claudia raised her hand and showed me the red bracelet hugging her wrist perfectly, "Ain't it pretty or what!"
Rebecca suddenly put her arm to cover her eyes and made a sobbing noises, "I was so deeply touched when this arrived to my house," she showed me the red bracelet I brought for them, "I feel the love, Sam," I blushed.
"Well, I'd never take it off, probably," Ellie smiled and put her arm around my shoulder, I pouted, "If I see you not wearing it, you're dead."
They laughed and ruffled my hair as we messed around with each other on the way into the school building.
And so, yes.
The first lesson: Literature
P.E was never my favorite session, yet I never thought that one day I could feel like literature was just as much devastating as P.E. This was also seriously the first time that I thought it was a good thing that Russel was my chairmate in literature, instead of Tyler, and also the first time that I thought fondly about Tyler always surrounded by his mates.
Because I saw him back then in the hall, talking to his friends, and those girls who were mostly there to grab a chance to be his next, uhm... girlfriend - no, I didn't meet his eyes, he didn't notice I was there, I hardly expected him to look for me either.
I entered the class and sat on my chair, resting my head over my arm on the table. I sighed and closed my eyes for a while.
This would be a damn long day.
I got off from my car and Isaac gave me a bitter smile when he saw me again after my absence for days. "You look beat, Ty," I didn't bother to give him a respond. I walked absentmindedly into the school building and I didn't know where these bunch of people suddenly came from; they called my name, told me how they were worried about me, and asked where in the hell have I been. I had no idea why they cared so much, those faces that I hardly recognized. I didn't even know most of them and their name. Why would they care where I'd been or what I'd been doing - I didn't get why they asked about me that stood right here in front of them rather than asking about someone who was no longer here; the cause, the reason, what happened after, why, where, and how could I possibly meet her again?
"You look pale, Tyler," a girl's hand caressed my cheek, "What's wro -"
I brushed her hand away, "I have to get going," I turned around, heading to the class. When their whispers behind my back made me stop on the spot and turned around again, "What did you say?"
I ran along the hallway as if my life would depend on the speed of my legs. He must be like that because he was being cheated twice... yeah, and that wretch bitch Samantha came back again after all the mess she has made... who would have thought she is the best student in our school... she looked okay this morning... laughing and all. Yeah, she's the worse - She was here.
I stopped just outside the classroom with my hands both on each side of the door frame. I looked around ignoring everyone in the class who called out my name. I couldn't find -
On the chair she used to sit on, a girl with light brown slightly wavy hair straightened up from her seat and did the same, looking around until our eyes met. I never had the urge this intense to pull her into my arms, get out of here and have the time for ourselves. To get everything solved, so we could go back to the good old times when we used to tease each other and laugh over silly things we'd gone through. But, I just froze there, couldn't move an inch.
Because I finally get it. The reason why we broke up and apart was not because of anyone, but my lack of trust for her.
I wished the ground would swallow me whole when my eyes met his. I swear if my knees didn't act up and suddenly went weak I'd sprint to the nearest window, opened it, and jumped - only wish that down there grew the soft, friendly bushes, so I could land unharmed. I looked away and cursed.
"What are you doing here, aren't you going in for class?" The teacher's voice somehow made me sigh in relief, and I realized something was missing. I had an empty seat next to me. My eyes widened as I quickly put my bag on the seat - afraid that he might drop his nice ass on it.
I bit my lip and sighed. Nice ass. Good job, Samantha. You broke up with him and now you start to harass him with your dirty mind.I shrugged. It was not like I wanted to. Well. As long as you keep it remotely personal.
"Pick up the damn call!" I growled, biting my nail impatiently. It was P.E already and Russel didn't attend the class either. We were gathering at the outdoor field, I kept making a call, but he didn't pick it up. Who does he think he is? I have to make up for our late literature assignment and I'd gone through hard time enough to get another scold by Ms. Dorothy. I am literally in the midst of going insane, at least he should get a hit or two to make up for my unduly appalling first day after my awfully long absence. Why did I have to get so self-conscious, knowing Tyler glued his stare on me like, the entire class made me could not move my head an inch. It made me frustrat-
A whistle rang through my ear for the fifth time since the beginning of the lesson as Hairy Dave screamed my name, "If you don't move your stinking ass here in the count of three I swear I'd-"
I groaned, my hand fell to my side as I walked away, "fuck it."
"Everyone knows you suck at sport, but that was actually the first time someone walks away and ditch the class in front of Mr. Dave," Claudia, being the same class in P.E said, guzzling the mineral water down her dry throat.
"Besides Russel," this girl called Jenn, who was also in the same class, added. "I mean, it's you we're talking about," Claudia handed her drink to Jenn, "It was unexpected as what he asked us 'what has gotten into her head these days' probably heard the whole issue about you being the bad bitch."
"It was a thrilling story, everyone raves about it," Jenn shrugged.
I scoffed, "It wouldn't have been so thrilling if she didn't pour some spices or what you can call inauspicious additional made up story about me being obsessed with Tyler and that from the beginning I ruined their relationship and all, until I have a new appellation from being nerdy Samantha to a sick-minded skank Samantha."
The question here is - Well, if I'm that hideous of a bitch - what is she?
We were walking out from the ladies room after we changed our P.E outfits. I fixed my hair in a loose bun when I saw Mr. Eleanor and Mr. Dylan with papers on their hands walking along the hallway, talking about something in a loud whisper. Mr. Eleanor seemed quite alarmed while Mr. Dylan had this unwavering cold expression on his face as he responded, devoid of emotion. Walking with certainty, a little bit pompous. I could sense authority in his very existence, as expected from the heir.
He was wearing a white shirt underneath his gray-knitted sweater and dark red coat which hugged his tall figure flawlessly. Unlike Russel who has a fair skin, he has quite a darker tone and almost the same height as his. Sun kissed hair color with dark brown eyes. He seemed to be in his 30s'.
I studied his - note that 'studied' was different from 'checking him out' I didn't want to sound like I have the hots for him whatsoever - particularly the spot around his neck and his wrist, in hope I could find the pendant similar to which Russel had attached around his neck the entire time. The moment I looked up, I figured that he was staring at me, whispering something to Mr. Eleanor as he nodded in response. And then he chuckled, no. It looked like he laughed through his nose, not sure if he's scoffing or chuckling. It wasn't very pleasant, to be honest.
And not as expected, he smiled at me. Not the kind of smile out of hospitality, but a cryptic one that made me feel a bit annoyed. I frowned and looked away. He seemed to have a complicated personality - one of a kind I never wanted to have any business with.
"Well, today's not the first time," Ronne munched his tuna sandwich while talking, spitting crumbs everywhere.
I winced, "Yeah. I know. But this is the first time he didn't pick any calls. I tried to call from Daniel's phone, in case he only ignored mine-"
"Nah, you know he's not like that," Chad shook his head, "But yeah, he didn't pick mine either," he added, "Actually he hadn't been attending any class neither, did I see him around since the last festival."
I turned to look at him with eyes wide, "Are you serious?" I practically lost my pitch, there. Last festival were like, three days ago. I remembered that was the day Mr. Hans gave me second chance, and told me to come to school after I had settled everything back to where it used to. Three damn days.
I know ditching classes were like his expertise but, hell? He hadn't even contacted me! Or yeah, at least his friends!
"Thanks for the bracelets, Sam," Ronne waved his hand, "Nice taste," Chad and Matt nodded at me, as I gave them a weak smile, "Glad, you guys like it."
I sighed as I dialed his number again, looking down on my boots as we walked out the school building to the parking lot. I stopped as someone blocked my way, a familiar pair of shoes came in view. I swallowed.
Begrudgingly looking up, the sun shined through his chestnut hair as he smiled bitterly saying, "Hi," in a mere whisper.
Have you ever had this kind of feeling, that every time you looked into his eyes, it's as if you fell in love with him like the first time you did, all over again. It was a heavy burden for me these entire years, even until now. I was sitting on his car, fidgeting. Continuously stealing a glance to his calm figure, feeling half-annoyed, half-admiring him like I used to. He closed his eyes, inhaling as he leaned his back comfortably on his seat.
"So they canceled the whole thing?" He finally talked.
"Uhm... yes, unexpectedly on the day of my departure."
He straightened up and turned his attention, even leaning his body slightly toward mine, "You're not going anywhere?" It sounded like a question, but the way I heard it held a lot of different meanings. So I could not give him a certain answer like yes, or no, yet, "It looks like it," with a shrug.
He smiled at me, a warm smile that made my heart flutter. "I'll drive you home," he started the engine and held my hand, it wriggled, trying to get away from his grip only to have him holding it tighter, "I'll let go as soon as we arrive. Just please... stay like this until then." I watched his expression changed, his jaw clenched as if he tried to hold back something. But I'm afraid if I pushed too far, we'd crushed worse than we already had.
"I don't want to cut our friendship for five years just yet," she finally said, "I treasured those times too much. But," she bit her bottom lip, looking nervous. "I just don't feel like getting along with you just yet." She smiled at me bitterly, "I think, it's better for us to keep our distance and accustom once again without each other until we figure out what is it that we're looking for and what is it that would be best for both of us."
It was settled the moment she stepped in, the answer of the riddle I'd been trying to figure out. I have had all time to think about it, those time I spent without her, mourning, seething at the fact of such a fool I had been. It was those unpleasant feelings when someone just appear out of the blue and snatched my treasure. I thought Samantha was different from the girls, I'd been with. I was worried for nothing. She was still the Samantha I knew. She never changed. Only my mind and stained trust that made her change into a girl with a bitter smile in front of me, trying to keep her guard, alarmed.
"It's been really chaotic lately, don't you think? I'm beat," she said with a deep sigh, "I thought you must have felt the same."
Not at all. Because I knew, she would be here. I knew, I could still watch her from afar - I didn't mind with the distance she was talking about; it was temporary.
Hell, if she were to make it longer beyond the word of temporary I'd wait. I'd take it as my punishment for being a total bastard. I would make sure that she'd come back to me and when that time comes, I wouldn't have doubts and would never let her go.
"Thanks for the ride," I smiled at him, "Anytime."
I was about to go inside and tried to call Russel once again, "Sam," Tyler called me. I turned around, "Yeah."
"If possible, don't stop coming to my house like you usually do please?" That surprised me.
Did he mean I should act like nothing happened? I frowned. "I know you haven't forgiven me yet, but...it's just weird for us being like this, to be honest. And Eathan nagged me a lot these days..." He seemed to struggle to find the right word.
"It's Okay," I said finally.
"Coming to play sometime, won't hurt," a make believe. But somehow the certainty that it would frightened me.
It's been two weeks. Two whole freaking week enough to lose the main reason why I was looking for him. The band members also started to feel anxious. "I visited his house the other day, but it seemed like he was not there," Ronne tapped the table with his fingers, biting his lips, "Something happened. I saw some men looking around the house, after I decided to go home. They brought some papers and had the password to enter the house."
"Did he sell that house?" Ellie gasped.
"Well, if it is then it sure will be instantly solved after he sold it, not to mention a large amount of extra."
No. Impossible. Even though he strictly refused to acknowledge that he was the son of a rich public figure such as Mr. Hans, he would not fall so low as to sell his house. He had nothing like financial problem. I mean if he really planned to sell his house where else would he live in? I grabbed my phone in a flick of my wrist and suddenly realization struck me. I forgot phone call wouldn't reach him - it's been a waste of time these entire week, and somehow it was like a habit or maybe I should call it, an ability to dial his number without looking up the contact list. I came up with an idea. I never thought I'd be doing this, but yes, "I'm going to his house after school. Anyone wants to tag along?"
"Holy Fuck?" That was the first thing Ronne said when we finally gathered in front of Russel's house. Or should I say half-destructed house. I couldn't believe my eyes either.
There were tradesman and Construction laborers, looking busy going in and out the building. Back and forth and around, some were lifting heavy loads of concrete chunks and shattered bricks. And those scary looking equipment which probably the main cause of how the very spacious, magnificent looking house could look so fragile and looked like it was about to tumble down in any second. The roof was crooked and all the windows smashed, the marble floor and pillar cracked and bended, the wall had numerous hollows of what looked like the shape of wrecking ball, "What the actual fuck is going on?!" Ronne burst into the house and asked one of the men. I examined him from afar, as I heard him argued and saw his jaw clenched. He turned to us with a look I tried but so hard to describe. He shook his head and his face pinched in a deep scowl, "He said the owner of the house wanted it to be destructed," Ronne said, "And rebuild."
I felt myself frowning as well, "Really? What happened to Russel, then?" I asked, taking a step forward and looked around as if I could find him in the middle of those mess. And I stopped looking around when Ronne let out a frustrated groan, "That's what I wanted to know, but they have no idea either!"
What! I felt chills on my back, creeping up my neck to my head. The feeling of that similar to goosebumps, but far from feeling it out of something horrid. I didn't know. I just felt it, while thinking I probably would never meet him again. Like he was a bittersweet dream, or a man in my own fantasy.
How could a person had that ability to just vanish? I shook my head, "Do you know where he might be?" I asked him. Ronne just looked at Chad and Matt in turns, "Have you called her?" Ronne asked Chad. I turned my attention to Chad, hoping he knew something, "Who?" His expression perplexed. I frowned.
"I forgot her name, Cassey? Carrie?" Ronne tilted his head, "I didn't think I have to remember her name when Russel introduced her."
"Ah... Carla? I thought they called it off before the festival. They only lasted three days," he shrugged.
"Oh my God, don't tell me he's a womanizer," Ellie put her hand on her chest, exaggerating. I rolled my eyes-no surprise, darling. "Well he's hot and rich, I would have been head over heels if I didn't know better," Rebby giggled. Claudia bashed Rebby's head, "Dimwit," and yet she giggled along. I on the other hand didn't find any of it amusing.
Russel couldn't help those girls hitting on him. I was far from giving him a favor to explain but I spoke of what I witnessed. Not that I knew this Carla girl or whatever her mom preferred us to call her - actually had been dating Russel for the past goddamn three days. I didn't blame anyone. Russel sure was a lady killer. He's the bad boy type and all of us knew that we want bad boys, pulling us from our little bubble and bring us the adventure of the world, along with the danger and bittersweet failure as long as temporary pleasure. And he got looks.
Don't point your fingers at me.
But I admit – finally - that he's gorgeous. Not gay gorgeous, but those faces you used to swoon over which always be the front page of perfume or some garment advertising model.
Those sharp tantalizing eyes which lured you in, and that cheekbones that looked like they could cut your heart to pieces. And lips you knew nothing but to... I cleared my throat, "I think we should look for him in places he used to hang around," I said, "and you guys probably have some clue," I raised my brow towards the three of them.
"I didn't think so," Chad spoke his mind, "We've been looking for him these entire weeks, because you know, being our best friend he's also the heart of our band."
"And face," Ronne added, "Yeah, he's also practically the face of our band," Chad continued, "From the place we often went to chill and just hang out, to those places he usually got himself girls to spend the night with, and where he usually go when he ditched classes," I had to flinch when Chad said girls to spend the night with. Okay, I didn't flinch.
But I felt like my face scrunched in a messy disbelieving expression. I didn't just hear that. Matt, seeing my expression, grinned, clasping his hands together, "We meant Girlfriends, Sam. Like, officially. Even though Russel is not the type to stick with that kind of relationship, which I know you know better. You didn't actually think we go to places to fetch hookers, did you?" My eyes widened. "Not after you mention it," I joked.
Yeah, I knew he was not the type to stick with relationship. He once told me that. He couldn't be bother with something like Romance and stuff. Those girls he dated with or would date with should not anticipate anything from him. It was not that he didn't want to give them his attention, but he simply would not want to raise their hope. Conceited bastard, I know. I had no idea why he acted like that, but I supposed that's just the way he grew up with. And then it hit me. I looked at faces surrounding me. I wondered if they knew, no. They most probably wouldn't know that Mr. Hans was Russel's biological Father.
Did they reconcile, and ended up living with his Dad and brother? According to our last conversation that was most likely impossible. He didn't show any hint of reconcile, all somber and resentful. I bit my lip, "It's getting late. We should get going."
For the last fucking time Russel, Pick up the Damned Call! Sam
I sent probably hundreds of texts already, but he didn't even bother to reply a single text! I threw my phone and bag and fell head first onto the bed. All I could think of was him, he left me no choice, but to worry about him. I wanted to know his whereabouts, his problem, his memory. What made him he is now, "Jerk," I murmured. He just helped me get through the most difficult time and just vanished like that. How very unfair!
"Samantha! Dinner's up!" Mom's voice woke me up, my eyes opened in a snap. Did I just fell asleep? I got on my feet and look around. Bloody hell of a fuc-
Samantha Aurner, audience, just fell asleep without cleaning herself and goddamn it did I drool on my pillow?! I sprinted into the washroom and looked into my reflection in the mirror. Mentally scream and abuse myself. Smudged mascara, scruffy hair with tangled strands. A total mess.
"I look like shit," I muttered to myself, sighing. My phone rang and I found the girl in front of me who looked like a beggar - eyes widened and I turned around as fast as I could, flying back onto my bed with a thud as my body bounced along with the fluffy mattress and snatched my phone which had been under the pillow. I picked the call, "Hello?!"
Silence was the answer. I cleared my throat, "Hello?" I forgot to look on the phone screen to check who called and just plain asked, "Russel?" And hell, did I regret it. I froze when it was from him, far from whom I'd expected, "It's me," and all I could think about was...
Kill me already
"Oh, Tyler," I slapped my mouth for sounding disappointed, "What's up?" I pulled wet tissues from the nightstand and wiped the funny-looking smudged mascara all over my eyes, which succeed on making me look like a bloody panda from the moment I woke up. Talk about sleeping beauty, eh.
To be continued....
I attached a picture of Rebbeca and Ellie, Claudia and others on next chapter.