Chapter 5: Can’t Hold Us
DIANNA Wednesday August 5th, 3:15pm
I mark the little box on my small portable calendar with my metallic marker as I prop my feet up on the table inside the student center. Fredrick’s has this kind of Harry Potter feel too it, with its old grey bricks and castle like towers. The trees outside the large scale windows are tall and overgrown with green foliage, most of which scatters the overly green lawn. The lawn reaches out to grey stepping stones that lead into cascading stairs. I remove my eyes away from the window and tap my finger on my temple. I hate Wednesdays so much, it’s like a tease in the middle of the week. I watch my fellow classmates as they hustle past me to their classes or wherever the hell their off to. I flipped my wrist around and check my watch. 3:15pm. Oh, the joy of having to not be caught in afternoon foot traffic. I figured out two years in that I’m a morning person and should be taking 8 and 9am classes, freeing my day up for my ever changing social life.
“Hey Dianna!” My ears perk up at the sound of my name and I look around. The room is empty except for one person. I quickly turn back around, placing feet on the ground, slumping further into the chair. Fuck. Not her, anyone but her. I thought I was done with that girl freshman year. “Dianna!”
I bite my lower lip and consider my next move. Oh wait; I don’t have a next move. I’m in the student center with no way around her, in an odd way I should have planned for this. I take my calendar and place it in my bag, shifting the straps onto my shoulder. I pull myself away from the chair, plastering a hardcore, and face hurting smile on. “Hannah!”
She walks a little faster to me, her arms out. I accept her hug, but don’t hold on to long. She backs up, face round and still super pale. It brings me back to freshman year, in culinary business class. She sat next to me with that same happy face, I had thought she was cool, oddly enough I thought she was someone Jamie would like. Which is a rare breed. But, then about a year in she got weird. I had asked her if she wanted to come over to the new apartment to go over school things, but then she constantly wanted to come over, calling me all the time. Jamie didn’t even know her and couldn’t stand her. She concluded that Hannah must be in love with me or some shit. Her words exactly. I laughed at the idea, but still always thought she was a stage five cling-on on a scale from one to five.
“Oh my gosh! I haven’t seen you in like forever. What have you been up to? Why haven’t I seen you?” She drops her bag into the chair I had been sitting in and places her hand on her hips.
I shrug and giggle, not really having an answer for her. Well, scratch that. I have an answer, but I don’t really think she would want to hear that I thought she was a semi-crazy person who wouldn’t leave me alone for a fucking minute. “Don’t know, but it’s good to see you. I actually have to be going, have to get home.”
The girl looks as if she just lost her best friend as I adjust my bag. I turn to walk out of the building, when I feel her small hand on my shoulder. I turn slightly as she rocks back and forth on her heels, picking at her strawberry blonde hair. It was much shorter the last time I saw her, now it’s down to her elbows. I have a small thought of what shampoo she uses.
“Well, I guess I’ll see you Friday, then?” She looks at me hard, waiting for my response. I narrow my eyes back just as hard at her. I’m confused.
“Friday? Since when are you coming Friday?” I cross my arms now, tilting my head to the side, trying to make sense of this.
She nods quickly, that smile of hers coming back. Who would invite her to dinner? Who even knows her? “I mean I didn’t expect him to ask me, but he did. I didn’t even think he would show up Sunday, but he did. Odd the way things work out.”
My mouth opens slightly to say something but I stop. I want to knock myself over the head with something. “Who are you talking about?” I watch as her face gets brighter at the thought of whoever it is. I watch her and my whole body turns tense as her cheeks get red. Oh my fucking god.
“Well Lochlan of course. That boy is some kind of charmer.” She fans herself and I assume she just had a flashback to Sunday. So that’s where he went that night. I remember hearing the front door open and close and seeing his car leave his parking spot. What the fuck, not this one. Lochlan has made some interesting choices in women before, but this is by far the worst. She triumphs the girl who didn’t want to pee in his bathroom because she thought it was unsanitary to pee in a boys bathroom. Seriously.
I gulp for air so I can speak. “Lochlan? Hmm..oh well can’t wait.” The hesitation is my voice is apparent. But, she doesn’t hear it, whatsoever.
“I actually thought he forgot all about me, it’s been awhile. But, it was like old times. He just keeps getting better with time ya know? And that boy knows exactly what he’s doing when he…”
“Oh my god, stop.” I shove my disgusted face at her, causing her to shut up. “What do you mean been awhile? You guys have been together before?” I contemplate this idea for a minute.
She nods again frantically. “Yeah, like two years ago, around the time you and I met and then a couple of times around the middle of sophomore year. I knew we had a really good connection the first time we met.” Her eyes have stars in them, I can tell. This isn’t good. Shit, Lochlan.
I lick my lips and think, a light bulb going off in my head. That would make sense. I did introduce her to Lochlan. I thought they got along and that he thought she was cute or something, not they got along and he thought she was a quick screw and then hey let’s bring crazy pants back into the picture. That’s why she wanted to come over all the time, to see that insatiable man whore. Fuck me. “So, he invited you over Friday? How fun. Well, really I have to go, but I’ll see you then.” Hannah looks stunned at my sudden departure. She probably wanted to tell me more details about their sexy time together, but I’m not in the mood to throw up.
That boy is going to have some serious explaining to do. He can’t just go around, sticking his dick into anything that’s willing. Who lives like that? I have some time to cool down before he gets home. All I really wanna know is why invite her to dinner, for as long as I’ve know Lochlan, he’s never brought anyone over more than twice or he’s just gone to their place. This kid’s got a motive behind this and if it kills me I’m getting it out of him. Or we’ll just have one less roommate, whichever comes first.
LOCHLAN Wednesday August 5th, 6:30pm
I unlock the front door, smelling fresh baked bread. Damn, that girl knows how to make everything. I twirl my keys around my finger and round the corner into the kitchen, my nose getting filled with the smell of sweet honey. I watch as Dianna places the bread on the stove top, wafting the smoke to her nostrils. She closes her eyes and sighs, smiling to herself at her creation. I chuckle, causing her to look up. Her heart shaped face, turns from caring to stone faced when she sees me. I raise an eyebrow as she looks away; open the drawers on the side of the stove.
“Smells good. When did you start making bread?” I open a drawer and hand her the long knife with many ridges. She snatches it out of my hand and slowly begins cutting the bread into slices. “Are you mad at me or something?”
She scoffs and continues to slice the bread, becoming more heavy handed. When she finishes, she sets the knife down and grabs the handle to the oven, her knuckles turning white. She glances up at me, her dark brown eyes seeming to tear into my soul. “Can I see your phone?”
I lean back a little, making sure I heard her correctly. I shrug and move my hand into my back pocket, revealing my phone. I punch in my password and hand it to her. She grabs it from me and slides her fingers across the screen. When she gets to a screen, she seems to want; she stares at it hard, biting her bottom lip hard. Dianna suddenly burns her eyes into mine and shoves my phone at my chest. “I knew it. Ugh, what were you thinking? Why would you…how...ugh!?”
I pull my phone out of her hand and pull it to the front of my face, bringing the screen into focus. I read Hannah’s name on my recent call page. Dianna moves around me to grab a large serving platter from the top of the fridge. “What the hell are you even talking about, Di?” I have never been more confused in all my life. And that is saying a lot for me.
She swiftly turns in my direction and points to my phone. “That right there, that’s what I’m talking about, Loch.”
I look from my phone to her and running my hand through my hair, hoping that the reason for her anger will come to my mind. “Hannah? What about her?”
“Hannah! She is Hannah! Lochlan do you even know anything about her? She is crazy! And by the way, if you plan to sleep with my friends, please tell me before you do so. Thanks, dickhead.” She smacks the side of my face, not too leave a mark, but hard enough for me to feel the anger radiating out of her fingertips.
I shake my head quickly from side to side. “What, whoa, hold on, this is all over Hannah? Over a girl? Are you insane!? And frankly, it doesn’t sound like she’s your friend if you call her crazy. Yeah she is a little off her rocker, but she’s sweet. I don’t know, she just called me that night, so I answered as of course I always do.” I poked her nose with my finger and twirled one of her curls around my finger. She snarls at me and steps on my foot. I let the pain move through my leg without moving a muscle. But the pain is still there.
“You’re ridiculous. You are actually the reason why she turned crazy in the first place. You and that so called charm of yours.” She looks me up and down, with that disgusted face of hers. I’ve seen it to many times not to notice it. “Also, how could you invite her Friday? Got any reason for that, Mr. Foster?” Dianna taps her foot, waiting for my answer. She can be so touchy when she’s angry. I’m almost afraid to touch her when she’s like this, or even be three feet anywhere near her.
I sigh and take a hand through my hair again. I cautiously move over to her, placing both my hands on her shoulders, also with caution. She acts to move away, but doesn’t. “Yeah I invited her. I don’t know, she asked what I was doing Friday and you know I don’t do dates, so I asked if she wanted to eat with us on Friday, ya know after Jamie’s fashion thing. There is the whole truth. Jeez, woman. She asked me how you were and stuff to, if that helps.”
She shrugs her shoulders, letting my hands drop to her arms. “Oh, weird. You shouldn’t have invited her, though. You should have just done your normal Lochlan thing, and said sorry, not today, not tomorrow babe.” She mimics my voice terribly, causing me to let out a smirk. She pushes my hands away and begins to place the sliced bread on the platter. “Why did she ask about me, anyway?”
I roll my eyes and grab a slice of bread out her hand. I bite the corner off and my eyes almost roll into the back of my head at the taste. Damn, that’s good. “How should I know? She just asked like how you were and like what you were up to. She said she didn’t have your phone number, so she couldn’t get in contact with you. Whatever. Is this honey?” I hold the bread up in front of her, then taking another bite.
It’s her turn to roll her eyes, before she puts the lid on the platter tray. “Hmm…so odd. Well, I’m not looking forward to her being here, so you need to entertain her. I’m guessing you invited her to Jamie’s show too? And yes, that is honey. Delicious, right?”
I nod at her, popping the last of the bread in my mouth, dusting my hands off over the sink. “Well no I didn’t; I told her to come over afterwards…unless you want me to invite her?” I move to get another piece of bread but Dianna steps in the way. I frown, as she wiggles her fingers at me, shooing me back.
“God, no. Please, that would be too much time with her. But, question for you, Loch.” She takes the knife from the counter and places it in the sink. “What will Jamie think?”
I knit my eyebrows and scratch my head. “Why does Jamie matter?” I look towards the stairs, wondering if she is listening to this conversation.
“She isn’t home, if that’s what you’re wondering. And come on, we all know your history with each other.”
“I have no idea what you are talking about. And you don’t even know what you’re talking about, so how about we just drop it, hmm.” I back out of the kitchen, sliding my feet across the linoleum floor.
Dianna places the platter on the counter and follows me out of the kitchen, flipping the light off. “But, you’ve never flaunted a girl in her face, have you?”
I open my mouth, but she places a finger over it. The front door unlocks and swings open. We both look in the direction and watch as Jamie stalks her way inside, stopping in the doorway once she sees us. She curled her hair today, letting it frame her face well. She looks good. I don’t let that thought stop me from grabbing Dianna’s finger and pushing it away from my mouth.
“What the fuck are you guys looking at?” Jamie widens her eyes as they make a beeline between both me and Dianna.
Dianna breaks the silence and says, “oh nothing, just Lochlan talking about Han…” I cut her off before she can finish.
“How I can’t wait for your show, Friday. Yeah, that’s what we were talking about.”
Jamie shakes her head, her curls bouncing along with her. “What is wrong with you people? Fucking weirdos.” She grabs her phone from her front pocket, the screen light highlighting over her face. Her eyes scan the screen and like a light switch go from normal to what looks like scared. She looks up at us for a moment and then makes her way up the stairs. My eyes follow her all the way until she reaches her door and shuts it.
“Oh Loch, when will you ever learn.” Dianna’s voice pulls me out of my thoughts. Her face holds a smirk as she laughs. She pats my shoulder and makes her way upstairs as well.
When will I ever learn? That’s a good ass question. Hannah is a great lay, I’ll give her some credit, but Dianna does that thing where she gets inside your mind and makes you think twice about your life decisions. She makes me think that that kiss me and Jamie had at that party meant something. It would mean a lot more if Jamie remembered it. Fuck this. When I want someone, I know it, I can feel it. But maybe this is different…
JAMIE Wednesday August 5th, 7:15pm
I lean my back against my door and slide down to the floor. I twirl my phone around in my hands, grinding my teeth together. Shit. Why now? I thought I was done with this…done with him. I had literally forgotten about all of that, everything, and now it’s back. I slam the back of my head against the door and then again for good measure, making sure this all isn’t some dream. Actually it would be a nightmare. I let out semi-loud groan, throwing my phone on the bed. I jump a little when a knock hits my door; I place my hand on the floor pushing myself up. I open the door a crack to see Dianna with a worried look on her face.
“Yeah?” I brush my hair away from my shoulder, feeling fidgety by the second.
Dianna pushes my door back, forcing her way inside. She turns around to face me, planting her feet firmly on my carpet. “What was that agonizing groan about?”
I shut the door, moving past her to my bed. “What groan?”
“You know exactly what I’m talking about. The ‘woe is me’ groan you let out”
“Shut up, I don’t need this right now, Di. So if you didn’t come in here for something important, I would like it if you let me sleep or get changed or whatever I’m prepared to do right now.” I take off my jacket and walk over to my closet, pulling out a button down shirt. I wrap my jacket over it, side-glancing at her the entire time.
“Is something wrong? Like seriously wrong?” I get the feeling she isn’t going to leave, so I don’t say anything. Maybe, she’ll just stand there waiting for me answer and then eventually get bored. But, me knowing my best friend, I start to think that won’t be the case.
I start adjusting my hangers in the closet, making sure they are a certain width apart, anything to keep from looking at her. I tense up when my phone vibrates; I turn slightly to see her. Dianna looks over at my phone and starts to make her way over to it. I rip my hands away from my clothes and fast walk over to the bed, my hand reaching for my phone. Dianna snatches it up before I get to it, letting the screen light up her face. Her eyes look over the screen and pause. She turns her head eerily towards me and frowns. She runs her lips together, wanting to say something, but seeming to not find the right words. And then she figures out the perfect three.
“What the fuck?” Dianna holds my phone so tight and out of my range, that I just stand there frozen. I really wasn’t prepared for this. I am never prepared for angry Dianna. It’s just not something you see very often.
“Just give me my phone, please. It’s none of your business and you know it.” I reach for my phone again, but she brings her arm higher so that I have no chance of reaching it. Damn, being vertically challenged.
She scoffs, twirling the phone around her fingers. “None of my business?! Really? You made this my business the moment you decided to bring this shit to my attention, oh let’s say, two years ago.” She looks me dead in the face, no expression whatsoever. I know she’s right, but come on, I hate admitting that shit.
I let out a loud cry and fall onto the bed, surrendering. I lay the back of my hand over my forehead and listen to the sudden increase in my heartbeat. “Just stop, please.” I have never sounded so sincere in all my life. I peek over at Dianna and see her face soften. She shifts her arm to her side, still fingering my phone. It vibrates again in her hand.
“Jamie, what are you doing? I mean I thought we were done with all this. I thought you were done with Miles. I thought we got rid of that shithead a while ago. Is there something you’re not telling me? How long has this been going on?” She sits on the bed, placing the phone in-between us, face down. I sit up and let her smooth my hair down with her palm.
“I’m not doing anything, Di. I didn’t do anything. Jesus, I just thought it was so over. All of it. It’s only been a couple of days, that’s all. I haven’t replied, I would never reply.” I let out a sigh as I finish. I pull all my hair to one side and finger-comb it, slowly.
Dianna nods her head, as if answering some internal questions. “Good. As long as you don’t indulge him, that’s good. I wish you would have told me this sooner. Like the day it happened. Do you need me to call your mom?”
I quickly shake my head, causing a slight headache to creep into my frontal lobe. “No! I don’t need her right now. Do you not remember how stressed out she was before? I don’t need that right now, she can sit comfortably knowing I’m alright and happy. That’s all. End of story.” I try to get off the bed, but Dianna pulls me back, the stern look back on her face. But, this time, it comes with a slight hesitation.
“Okay, fine. We won’t call her. But we are gonna handle this. I mean, honey, the guy hurt you. And I don’t mean ‘oh he hurt your feelings’ hurt. I mean he physically hurt you. I don’t need to sit in a hospital waiting room, waiting for you to become conscious again, alright? So you are going to handle this, whether you fucking like it or not. You didn’t want to hardly do anything about it then and maybe now isn’t the time to technically worry, but it is the time to be cautious. I know all you wanna do is work and be awesome and shit. But, you are gonna listen to me for once, for your own sake.” She realizes that she is still holding my arm and lets it go. Her mouth releases a weak smile as she sets her hands in her lap.
I bite my lower lip so hard it begins to hurt. I let her words sink in and blocking my mind from trying to let me remember what happened two years ago. My mouth shifts into a half-smile, as I take her hand into mine. “You’re a good friend, you know that.”
Dianna raises an eyebrow and taps me on the nose. “Yeah, I do.”
I give her hand two soft pats and then slide off the bed. I grab my phone and shut it off. “I will do something when the time comes. But, other than that I have to focus on work and school and all other things in my life that I give a shit about at the moment.”
Dianna lets out a small laugh. “Alright, fine. Do it your way. But, just anything else. I swear, Jamie, anything else and we go to the police. Promise?”
I nod and pull her into a hug. I’m never this touchy-feely, but if this is what she needs to trust me, than fuck it. “Promise.”
She reminds me that she has to get up early to drive Sam to Hillock Park Grove. I almost want to throw up when I think of places like that, Miles’s family lived in a neighborhood like that. Living the high life is completely overrated. Or at least it’s one big lie to me. You act like one thing, but are completely different than what everyone else thinks you are. I was blind, completely blind to that act. Couldn’t see past bullshit and now all I see is bullshit. People always wonder why I’m such a hard-ass or why it seems like I don’t have feelings.
Well, there’s your fucking answer.
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