I sit down in psychology, hoping that I crammed enough last night to pass this final. Andrew walks in and catches my gaze for a second. I turn away and set my backpack on the seat that he usually occupies. Professor Harris comes in with a stack of papers. The final looks long. I tap my pencil on the top of the table, nervously, as she passes out the tests. "If I find anyone cheating, I will take away your test and you'll receive a zero. After you pass in your final you can leave."
It feels odd that today is the last day of psychology. Time has been flying by. I scribble my name on the top of the test, and then wait for her to finish passing the rest of them out. "You may begin. Good luck." She walks back to her desk, and I start on the first question, hoping my memory retained some of the answers.
I manage to breeze through the first two pages, and then spend the last two hours of class stuck on the last three pages. I scribble an answer to the last one just as she stands up to tell us we're out of time. I blow out a breath that I didn't realize I'd been holding in and then pass her my test. With any luck I'll get a passing grade. When I walk into the hallway, Andrew is waiting for me. I groan and try to pass by him but he grabs my arm. "I need you to listen to me." He says, tightening his grip on my arm when I try to shake him off.
"No. I don't have to listen to anything you have to say." I tell him, yanking my arm free.
"Please." He begs, half-heartedly attempting to grab my arm again.
"Why?" I ask. "Why should I listen to you?"
"Because." He says pleadingly. "But I can't talk now. I have my anatomy final. Brookie, please, just come over after I get out of work tonight so we can talk. I have to explain."
I sigh. "I have to work tonight, Andrew. And Chris is home with his fiancee so, I don't exactly have a lot of free time this week, alright?"
He frowns and I start to walk off. "Brookie you don't understand. This is really important. Please, I know you're mad at me and you have a right to be, but please, if you ever really were my best friend you'll give me the chance to explain myself."
I pause and turn around to face him. "I told you that you were my best friend and you basically threw it in the trash. You can't use that to try to force me to talk to you. I don't know if I can give you another chance, Andrew. I'm kind of going through a lot right now." I almost turn away, but remember that there's just one more thing I have to say. I back away from him slowly as I say the words. "Oh, and by the way, thanks for giving Tyler my phone number." The look on his face almost makes me want to apologize for my harshness. He looks broken.
But instead of apologizing, I turn away from him, ignoring his weak voice calling out my name. I know he won't follow me. His anatomy final means too much to his grade for him to be able to chase after me, and I'm grateful for that, because seeing him makes me want to cry.
I throw my backpack into the backseat of my car and then just sit in my car for a few minutes, just resting my head on the steering wheel, trying to find some inner calmness, before finally heading home.
I don't actually have to work today. When Don found out I had a final, he told me to take the day off so I wouldn't be overstressed. I can't be more grateful than I am right now. Knowing I have the rest of my day off to do whatever I'd like is better than any other feeling. First things first, I decide I need a nap. I stayed up too late last night cramming for my final, I deserve some rest.
I kick my shoes off and collapse onto my bed, pulling a light blanket up over me, hoping that I'll fall right to sleep. But I don't. Andrew's face comes to my mind and I toss and turn, trying to get him off my mind.
I can't just forget everything he said to me. I roll onto my back and stare up at the ceiling, frustrated. I can't sleep, I can't think of anything but that broken look on Andrew's face. I sigh loudly and push myself up. Maybe I need to forgive him. Or at least talk to him and let him explain. My stomach grumbles loudly and I head to the kitchen to make a snack. My mind is whirling with thoughts and I can barely focus on anything. I poured water into my bowl of cereal and then realized we were out of milk. When I tried to make a sandwich I mixed mayonnaise with peanut butter before managing to make a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich. I sink into the couch and turn the tv on before biting down on my food.
My phone blares up just as an episode of some reality tv show is ending, and I stare at the name for a minute before sighing loudly and answering it. "What do you want Andrew?"
"Will you please come over so I can explain?" When I don't reply he sighs quietly. "Please, Brookie? I'm sorry for everything I said. I need you to let me explain."
I lean my head back against the couch and close my eyes. "I don't know, Andrew. The things you said were really hurtful. You doubted our friendship, just like it meant nothing."
"I know, and I'm really sorry about that. Please give me the chance to explain."
"Fine." I say and I instantly wonder if I'll regret it. "I'll come over so you can explain. But one word about how you think I've been a terrible friend and I'm leaving. Okay?"
"Okay. That's fine, that's great! When can you be over here?"
"Give me a half an hour."
"Okay. Great, awesome, I'll see you in half an hour!" He sounds so excited that I can't help but feel bad for refusing to speak to him for so long. I hang up and then move to my bedroom to find a pair of shoes.
I'm almost out the door when mom catches me. "Where are you going?" She asks, her lips pursed.
I sigh. "Over to Andrew's. He wants to explain why he's been a jerk."
She uncrosses his arms and sets her hands on her hips. "You need to be home for dinner. Chris is coming over, without his fiancee, so we can have a family discussion."
"What's Lottie going to do while we're having dinner?"
She scoffs. "That purple-haired-" She cuts herself off, gritting her teeth. She clears her throat quietly before continuing. "That woman can go back to California for all I care."
When I reach Andrew's house my stomach is in knots. I don't have any idea of what he's going to say to try to make up for him keeping a secret about his moving. I hesitantly knock on his door and try to look unaffected by everything when he answers the door. He lets me in and we walk to his living room in an awkward silence. "Where's Anna?" I ask when the silence becomes too much to bear.
"Shopping with her mom." He says, turning the tv off and sinking down onto the couch. I copy him and sit down. I tuck my legs underneath me, sitting sideways on the couch so I can face him.
"Do you want anything to drink?" He asks, and I know he's just trying to stall.
I shake my head. "No, thanks."
"Okay." He fidgets for a minute or so, moving the t.v. remote to the coffee table, adjusting the magazines on the coffee table, moving the throw pillows on the couch and then he finally sighs and looks up at me. "I think I'll show you something." He says, almost more to himself than to me.
He stands up abruptly and disappears into his bedroom. I hear him rummaging around for something and he comes back, holding a small box. I raise an eyebrow but don't say anything when he passes me the box. He bites his thumbnail, a clear sign that he's nervous. I take the top off the box and glance inside. I unfold the tissue paper and come to face the tiniest pair of little white shoes that I've ever seen.
I glance up at Andrew, completely confused. This isn't making any sense. "What does this have to do with you moving?"
He just stares at me, like he's waiting for me to understand and I look back at the box. "Baby shoes?" And then it all connects. "Oh my gosh. No way. Is Anna pregnant?" I spin back to look at him and he's biting his lip in a nervous smile. "Oh my gosh. You guys are having a baby?"
He nods his head in confirmation and a huge grin crosses his face. "Yeah, we are." He says.
"Wow." I don't really know what to say. "How many months is she?"
He smiles. "Two. We go in for the first ultrasound sometime next week."
"Oh my gosh. So this is why you're moving?"
Andrew sits down beside me. "Yeah. I mean, not the complete reason. Like I said before, Anna and I started talking about moving around the end of February. We both want a better college. And that was around the time she got pregnant, but we didn't know it. We didn't realize it until the night after she took you to that club and then partied at Jeremy's."
"Oh my gosh. She was drinking! Is the baby going to be okay?"
"The doctor says the baby should be fine. Anyway, when Anna got home that next day she felt awful and it wasn't just the hangover so she went to the doctor and we found out that she's pregnant. So we talked more about wanting to move and we found this amazing apartment closer to her mom's and near USM. It's perfect for us."
"But you didn't tell me."
He sighs. "Anna doesn't want a lot of people to know she's pregnant. Not just yet anyway. She wants to be sure of the pregnancy first. Her mom had quite a few miscarriages and Anna's terrified that the same will happen to her."
I feel terrible for being so upset with him while he and Anna are going through this. "I'm so sorry." I say and he shakes his head quickly.
"No, don't be. It's not your fault. Anna and I talked about it after you left and she nearly hit me for not just telling you."
"But here you've been trying to get me to listen to you and I've been ignoring you."
"It was my fault for not explaining things better before. And for blaming things on you. I'm sorry, Brookie."
"I'm sorry too, Andrew. I was being a pretty crappy friend."
He rolls his eyes and shrugs a bit. "You weren't that bad. So we didn't hang out all the time, so what?"
I smile and then he smiles and he leans forward to hug me. "So we're still friends, right?"
I grin and nod. "Of course, we are! Best friends, forever."
When he pulls back from the hug, he takes the shoe box from me and pulls out one of the tiny little shoes. "Aren't these just the cutest? I didn't realize shoes came in such small sizes!"
I laugh and pick up the other shoe. "Yeah, these are just adorable." And we launch into conversations revolving around babies and just like that everything is back to normal.
A few hours later, when I finally leave, I feel good. There's no stress weighing down on my shoulders and everything feels right. I skip into my house, nearly knocking down Chris on my way to my room. "Hey, you should really watch where you're going." I say with a grin.
He just rolls his eyes. "You better get ready for dinner. Mom's in a pretty snarky mood tonight so watch out."
I laugh a bit and nod. "Thanks for the warning. How long until dinner?"
He shrugs. "No idea, but we better be ready when she calls us to the table." He sighs. "This is just ridiculous. She called me before Lottie and I came to visit saying she wanted to fix things between us, and now she's acting like this? It doesn't make sense. I actually had hoped that she would like Lottie."
I grin. "I wonder what she would do if I dyed my hair purple?"
He groans. "Please don't, you know she'd blame that on me."
Dad comes out into the hallway. "There you two are. Dinner is in ten. Go wash up. And Brookie, don't you dare dye your hair purple. Your mom would kill Chris, Lottie, and then possibly me."
Chris makes an 'I told you so' look and I swat at his hand when he tries to ruffle my hair. "Leave me alone, I have to go change." I say, scurrying up the stairs.
"Hurry up, Brooklyn! Ten minutes!" Chris shouts, purposefully using my full name.
Dinner starts off normal. It's fairly quiet as we pass around the food, exchanging bowls to fill our plates. "So, Chris," Mom finally says and I brace myself for the incoming argument that's sure to happen. "You've only known Charlotte for six months?"
Even knowing this was coming, Chris is immediately frustrated. I'd hoped he would be a bit more prepared. He throws his napkin onto the table and leans forward slightly. "Yes mom. Six months. We went over this last night."
She leans back in her chair and crosses her arms. "Don't raise your voice at me young man."
He rolls his eyes but doesn't reply, instead, turning his attention to his food. "I'm only trying to say that six months isn't a very long time, Chris."
He lets out a loud sigh. "I know exactly how long six months is, mother. And I know that for me and Lottie it's been long enough. I know you won't understand that. But I don't care. I love her and we're getting married, with or without your consent."
Mom looks appalled by his tone and I try to hide my smile. "Excuse me?" She asks, her voice squeaking slightly. She clears her throat and glares at him. "Christopher you cannot speak to me in that way. I am your mother. You need to watch what you say, especially in front of your younger sister."
He scoffs. "Why? Because she's obviously so impressionable?" His voice is sarcastic and he glances over at me. "You're too controlling over us both, mom. You need to just let us be us."
"If I didn't try to help you navigate your lives who knows where you would be? Brooklyn doesn't need to be running off somewhere like you did to California."
"I'm not running off somewhere. I'm moving on with my life like normal people do." I say, trying to stick up for myself.
Mom spins her anger on me. "Oh? You aren't running off to stay with that boy, Jefferey is it?"
I roll my eyes, sighing and looking down at my food. "It's Jeremy actually, not like you care."
She looks annoyed, but Chris starts talking to her again before she can answer me. "Like I was saying, anyway, mom, I'm serious about Lottie. I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. She's all I want and I will be with her no matter what you say. You should realize by now that you don't control my life. I moved to get away from you and your control issues. You said you wanted to fix things between us? Come to the wedding and I'll forget that you made my life miserable for years. I'll forget that you told me to never come back when I moved out. I'll forget that you told me I couldn't see Brookie because you thought I'd brainwash her."
I spin towards my mom, wondering if what Chris is saying is true. "Did you actually tell him that?" I look back at Chris. "Is that why you didn't talk to me for almost a year?"
His lips are in a thin line and he nods slightly. "Yeah. Didn't tell her, did you mom? You wanted to make me out to be the bad guy? Well, it didn't work. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a fiancee to be with."
He shoves back his chair and stands up. His fork drops onto his plate with a loud clatter and mom is stunned into silence. He spins around when he's near the dining room door. "Oh, and mom? Don't bother coming to the wedding. You're no longer wanted."
Bookluver78 - She's crazy, right? Haha, I hope you like this chapter! And you're right about Tyler, he's not just gonna go down easy! He'll be back!
Chrystina J - My thoughts on her exactly haha! I hope you like this chapter as well!
Miha - Gah you make me all happy and blushy! You're so sweet! Thank you soo soo much! Haha her mom should've been a cop or something, right? Haha I hope you like this chapter!
Laurial - The underneath bits of my hair are a dark purple and I love it, but I don't know if I could pull off a full head of purple hair, but I think Lottie just pulls it off perfectly! I bet you could pull it off too! Thanks for the comment! I hope you like this chapter too!
Flora - Thank you soo much! I'm so happy you love my work! I hope you enjoy this chapter as well and I'd love to hear from again!
Scars And A Daisy - Chapter Twenty FourThe aftermath of the family dinner.
By Em Bishop