A/N--Just a word of warning: there are two chapters after this one. Iknow some people yelled at me because Ididn't give them a big enough warning for A Curve in the Road, so here you go =] Hope you enjoy this chapter!
The Chicken Has Landed
The next day it seems like my mom is never alone. I want her to be alone. I want to talk to her. I want to know if what I guessed last night is true. If it is…I want to throw Mr. Montecort off of a bridge. But no, anytime I see her she’s either with Ms. Gloria or Dylan. I don’t know why Dylan’s hanging out with her, but I have a feeling it’s because the universe hates me and just wants me to not get what I want. It tends to do that a lot.
Instead of trying to talk to her like I want, Cynthia and I capture the den and not let anyone in. We watch so many movies I lost track and eat so much junk food I know that I’ve gained about twenty pounds. I don’t care though. Being with her and watching the scripted lives of people gets my mind off of everything; off of the fact that my mom could have possibly gotten raped and I have no idea, off of the fact that I won’t be waking up to the beach every morning, and off of the fact that I miss Chase so much I dreamed about him last night.
Once the movies are over and Cynthia is passed out on the sofa, the thoughts come flooding back into my brain. Realizing that if I don’t figure out what’s going on with my mom soon I’m going to go insane, I promise myself that I’m going to find her and I’m not going to let her wave me off.
So, with this declaration running through my head, I disentangle myself off of the loveseat and then start towards the kitchen. All of the lights are off and when I realize that there’s a very good chance everyone could be asleep, I’m disappointed. If she’s sleeping then I won’t have the heart to wake her up and demand answers from her.
But then the thought hits me…she’s sleeping in the den! At least, that’s where Aunt Gloria told her she’d be sleeping over the phone yesterday. And since me and Cynthia were occupying the den, she must still be awake somewhere, waiting for her chance to go to sleep. Oh thank God.
That still leaves the question as to where she is, though.
I quietly make my way around the small, carpeted house, listening for anything that sounds a like a non-sleeping human. No sound occurs though, not in the entire house. Soft snores come from Dylan’s room and even though I can still hear the end credits of Rush Hour 3 in the den, I know that there are no other sounds anywhere. When I realize that my mom could have fallen asleep somewhere else, maybe in Aunt Gloria’s room, I decide to quit. Obviously the universe doesn’t want me to talk to my mom tonight.
After padding my way back to the den, I look over at Cynthia and realize that there’s no way in hell I can get her to my room. She’s dead asleep, a little pool of drool starting to collect onto her old Barney pillow. Well, she’ll definitely be sleeping in here tonight. Me? Not so much. I can’t sleep in public rooms…it freaks me out. I have to sleep in a room with a bed, I’ve always had to.
I turn off the TV so that the sound and flashing lights won’t mess with her brain and then start towards her bedroom. I’ve slept over at her house so much that sleeping alone in her room doesn’t even seem weird to me. I’ve slept in her bed by myself countless times. There was that one time where she couldn’t fall asleep so she left me to go and sleep in her mom’s room. There was also a time where she’d been having a hard time with her back and so her doctor suggested sleeping on the dining room table. That time was kind of funny.
When I open the door and see my mom there, sitting on the floor and leaning her back against the bed, I silently thank the universe. I guess you really do get what you want when you least expect it. She’s sitting there painting her toenails a pretty pink color, thinking silently to herself. Well, she was when I walked in. But now that I’m in the room I have a feeling she’s feeling more annoyed than thoughtful.
She raises her eyebrows at me, "Are you finished in the den?"
I say apologetically, "Cynthia fell asleep on the sofa and I’m scared to move her…sorry."
She closes her eyes, upset that she’ll have to settle with sleeping with me for the night. Aren’t moms supposed to want to be close to their kids? Cynthia tells me all of the time that her mom loves her kids sleeping in her room…apparently it makes her feel closer to them. Why can’t my mom be like that? Why can’t my mom want to be around me all of the time? She used to be, I remember. But now that I’ve lied to her, I don’t think I’m ever going to get that back.
Before she can keep talking about the sleeping situation, I hastily ask her, "Why’d we leave, mom?"
She shakes her head, obviously not wanting to discuss it. She says, "It doesn’t matter, Roxanne. We’re not going back so that’s all that matters."
"Okay, I get that, but why? You loved that job." As much as Mrs. Montecort drove her insane, I knew my mom loved it at the Montecort house. Like me, she loved waking up to the beach every morning. She fell in love with Cindy and little Mason; I know that she misses them like crazy now.
"I did love it, but I…I realized that being there wasn’t good for us."
I know she’s lying. It’s clear on her face. So, me being angered by her unwillingness to explain everything, I ask, "And you acting like I don’t exist is good for us?"
Her face flushes, as if she’s not proud of her behavior. Good. She shouldn’t be. The teenager is supposed to be the moody one, not the mother. She says, "Look, Roxie, I know that…"
Cutting her off I say, "I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about Chase, okay? If it helps, I didn’t tell you because I knew it’d put you in an awkward position. I didn’t want you to feel obliged to tell Mrs. Montecort."
She nods understandingly, as if she somewhat gets where I’m coming from. She says, "I get that…I do. I was just hurt because my daughter felt like she couldn’t tell me about her first real boyfriend. I was so excited for the day you’d come home, gushing over some cute boy that was finally good enough for you. But when I found out that you’d been seeing Chase for two weeks and hadn’t told me…I felt really hurt. I make such an effort to be your friend, to make you feel like you can tell me anything…"
I cut her off again, eager to tell her that it’s not her fault. "Mom, I wanted to tell you. Believe me, I did. I wanted you to know that I was falling for someone. But Chase and I knew that if his mom found out, we wouldn’t be able to stay together. And neither of us wanted that." She smiles a little bit at this. "I knew that if I told you it’d put you in a really bad place and I didn’t want you to have to go through that."
My mom smiles softly at me, "Like I told you there, I’m your mom first and that crazy woman’s employee second. Always remember that."
"I know…I’m sorry, I should have told you."
She takes the nail brush and swipes at my bare leg, leaving a wet hot pink stripe on my leg and her in a fit of giggles. Yeah, my mom’s definitely back to normal. Thank God. She says, "Yes, you should have."
We’re both silent for a moment, me just happy to have everything back to normal. It’s nice to have this load of crap off of my worries now. My mom’s been number one on my fix list for about a week and it’s nice to finally scratch her off. I guess I never really realized how much the woman means to me. I guess I’ve been taking having her for granted all of these years.
When she speaks, she surprisingly apologizes, "And I’m sorry about making you leave him behind. Even though I was a little spastic that last day, I saw the way you two were looking at each other. Y’all may not have been together long, but it was real. I promise you that much."
I smile; a feeling of longing building up in my chest. For the past ten hours I’d been able to block out all thoughts about Chase with movies. But now that my mom’s talking about him, I’m finding it very hard to fight thoughts about him. I want to think about him and be happy with what we’d had. I’d love to say that I’d always cherish what we had but I can live without him. Well, the truth is that I do cherish what we had, I really do, but there’s no way I want to give him up. And knowing that that’s nearly impossible hurts.
But then I realize that she’s brought up how she acted that day. So, in hopes of getting her to spill I ask her, "Why were you spastic that day?"
She shakes her head again, "It doesn’t matter, honey. It’s over and done with."
I sigh, not at all happy that she won’t tell me. So I prompt her, "You know mom…you’re kind of a hypocrite for getting mad at me for not telling you about Chase. If you can have secrets, then so can I."
Instead of getting angry like any other mom, she just laughs. She says, "That’s my daughter right there."
I lean my head onto her warm shoulder, happy that she’s not pushing me away like she’s been doing for so long. It’s so nice to have her back. "Exactly! So are you going to tell me or what? I already have an idea."
"Do you?" she asks, running her hand over my hair in a maternal way. Everything about her is so motherly. The way she’ll let you sit on her lap and cuddle against her even if you weigh as much as she does and the way she’ll ask you if you’re alright even if you’re smiling. It’s all so her.
I nod, "Can you please let me know if I’m right?"
She sighs, obviously not too excited about telling me. But I know that sound and I know that she is going to tell me. Thank God. The not-knowing has been killing me. She says, "This is going to sound really freaky and…God. It’s just awful, sweetheart."
"Tell me," I urge, scared that she’s going to talk herself out of it.
It takes her a minute, but then she finally says, "Well the other morning…before I came into your room freaking out…I was in their gym on the elliptical machine. I was wearing my work out clothes…you know the ones. The yoga pants and tight shirt that I always wear? Well anyways…" she takes a deep breath and it’s then that I realize she’s on the verge of shaking, "Someone came in…and it was…it was, well…it was Mr. Montecort. He locked the door behind him and started saying some nonsense about how I was…how I was dressing up for him, intentionally looking hot. When I told him that I had no idea what he was talking about, he just said that it was working. That I was making him…I don’t know. Some nasty things, honey, he said some really gross stuff."
I grab her hand and squeeze, letting her know that I’m here and that it’s okay. I know that my mom is beyond freaked out by what’s happened, but I do know that she’ll feel better when she’s let it out. Everyone always is. She continues, "I tried to move away from him…to get away, but he was just so fast and…strong and I couldn’t…I couldn’t get out. When he got in front of the door and I realized that I wasn’t going to get away, I panicked. I threw my iPod at him and…somehow or another I got out. That’s why I was so freaked out. The stupid, nasty pervert came onto me and I was beyond spooked."
"Mom," I say, wiping a tear away from her cheek, "He’s an ass. Don’t even worry about him."
She smiles, "I know, honey, I know."
Even though I’m scared to get her to talk more about the subject, I just have to know. "Did Mrs. Montecort find out?"
My mom shrugs her shoulders, "I don’t know. I was so freaked out that right after I ran upstairs and told you to get packing. I doubt Stephen will tell her though."
Even though Mrs. Montecort wasn’t all that nice to me while I was there—scratch that, she was a pain in the ass while I was there—I still feel a little sad for her. I know that she loves her husband dearly, even if he cheats on her. Now I don’t know if she just loves him for her money or what but I do know that she loves him.
I guess you can’t really help who you love, I think to myself as Chase’s beyond handsome face dances in front of my face. When we were in Destin I never would have thought that I was in love with Chase, but now…now I’m pretty sure that I do. I mean, you have to love someone when you think about them all of the time and wish that they are always with you, right? I know that when I fall asleep in Cynthia’s room, I always wish that Chase was holding me and humming in my ear.
God, I’m so fucking selfish sometimes.
My mom twists the top of her fingernail polish to close the bottle and looks at me, "I know it hurts that you had to leave him, sweetie."
Surprisingly, I start to feel tears crawling their way up. I nod eagerly, just wishing that Chase could be here with me. But he’s not and he’s never going to be. We live thousands of miles away. There’s no way we can ever be together. That still doesn’t stop me from hurting though; thinking about how much better it’d be if he could comfort me.
Before I know it my mom has pulled me to her and has wrapped her arms around me in a comforting hug. She strokes my hair and says, "I’m sorry this is happening."
I nod against her, hating how big of a baby I’m being. Why can’t I just accept the fact that I’m never going to see him again?
When Cynthia bounces into her bedroom later that day, I don’t think much of it. The girl’s always acting like she’s on speed so I just wave it off as nothing. I just continue painting my toenails a bright blue color that I found in my best friend’s jewelry box this morning. As you can see, I’m insanely bored. School starts in just a week and even though I’m dreading it, I’m looking forward to actually having something to do every day.
Back in Destin I could pass the time at the beach or making out with Chase for hours on end but I cannot really do that here. Instead I can go to the mall with Cynthia, play Monopoly with my mom and claim she cheats every time she beats me, make brownies with Ms. Gloria, or jump on the trampoline with Dylan and his friends. Yeah, my social life hasn’t really improved since my moving back.
Oh well, it wasn’t as if I was expecting to have more friends just because I dated a borderline Greek god for a couple of weeks. My attitude and sarcasm will never change.
She asks hurriedly, "You know how when you were opening presents the other day and I told you that you couldn’t open mine because I had already had it shipped to Destin?"
I think back to my birthday two days ago and nod, "Yeah, so?"
She practically sings, "Well it’s here! I called the UPS people and they so graciously offered to send it back! How fucking awesome is that?" Okay…I’m beyond confused. She’s getting this worked up over a UPS guy bringing my present back? Seriously?
Well, this is Cynthia…the guy’s probably hot or something. "Where is it?" I ask her, looking towards her empty hands. It’s not as if I had to sign for it or anything, she’s the one who sent it.
She grabs me by my arm and starts towing me towards the front door. My mom and Ms. Gloria are sitting on the couch watching some lifetime movie and talking about how much they hate men. I swear; they talk about hating men so much it’s crazy. "Why is it outside?" I ask her, completely bewildered as to why she’s treating me like this.
Not even replying to me, she turns her head over her shoulder and tells her mom, "The chicken has landed."
What the hell? A chicken? What the fuck? I look at her as if she’s doing LSD but instead of her mom doing the same, she just nods understandingly and then tells my mom that she has to see something in her bedroom. When they’re gone I turn towards my psycho friend and demand, "What the hell is going on? A chicken? You got me a chicken?"
She laughs excitedly before planting a kiss on my cheek, "Your present’s too heavy silly, I couldn’t carry it. You’re stronger than me so you can get it."
Not even wanting to think about all of the crazy things that this girl is doing, I pull open the front door. But what I see isn’t a chicken or a huge box from the UPS guy or anything that I thought it’d be. No, what I see is something that I would laugh if anyone told me he’d show up here. Chase Montecort never struck me as the type of guy who would ever follow a girl anywhere…especially me.
But here he is, standing on Cynthia’s front porch, holding a box in his hands and grinning at me. I don’t know exactly what to think because I never imagined this happening…well I did, but I knew it was too good to be true. Well apparently it wasn’t because, because he’s here.
Cynthia steps out on the side of me and grabs the box from his hands, as if she’s known him forever or something. She smiles, "I’m so glad you’re here. This girl has been driving me insane."
Chase chuckles, the sound so much better than I remembered. He meets my eyes and smirks, "She does have that effect on people."
For once I just ignore that the two of them are clearly making fun of me. I’m still far too stunned to come up with anything close to witty. So instead, I stare into his beautiful blue eyes for a second, remembering how much I liked them when I lived in Florida. I’d been dreaming about this kid for so long but his image had started to fade in my mind. Until now, I hadn’t remembered if his hair was more brown or more black or if he had freckles on his nose or not. But now I know. His hair is more brown than black and his face is completely freckle-free.
Wrenching my gaze from his, I turn to ask Cynthia, "You…you talked to him?"
She nods happily, as if she’s so proud of herself that she thinks she deserves a gold medal. "He called me on your birthday when your present showed up at their house. He said that he’d personally deliver it back."
"And you didn’t tell me?" I demand. A friend is supposed to tell me things like this!
Chase explains, "I wanted it to be a surprise." He does love his surprises. For a split second I remember the day that he brought me to his grandpa’s old restaurant. I smile thinking of how close we got that afternoon.
"Which is just so cute if you think about it," Cynthia coos, obviously falling for Chase’s devastatingly good looks. Well, either that or she’s just trying to make it seem so sweet and romantic so that I don’t smack her for not telling me.
I ask her, "Do you want me to open it now or…?"
She grins, motioning with head towards the hot guy on the porch, "Nah. You can open it later…have fun with this present though."
My cheeks burn as she walks into the house, winking at me before shutting the door completely behind her. The comfort of having her there with me evaporates and I slowly turn back towards Chase. But before either of us can balls it up and make it uncomfortable, he takes two quick strides and throws his arms around me, grasping me ever-so-tightly.
My arms immediately react to his movements, wrapping themselves around his torso so that I can bury my face into my chest. Thank God he did this. If we would have talked first, I don’t know what would have happened. Knowing that he still wants to hug me just makes me feel so much more comfortable. It’s different at first; I’m used to him smelling like sunscreen and ocean water, not like soap. The smell is still amazingly wonderful though. He whispers against me, "God, I missed you."
Smiling so widely it feels as if my cheeks will pop, I say, "I missed you too." This is just so unexpected and awesome that I feel as if it’s a dream. I know it’s not though, because I’ve been having dreams of him and this just feels twenty times better.
Running his warm hands along my naked arms, he pulls away from our hug and looks into my eyes. "Because I’m so cool, right?"
I laugh, shaking my head at how much that sounds like him. Gah, I even missed his lame jokes that inflated his ego. "You know what? Sure. Because you’re so cool."
His eyes widen in surprise, "You’re agreeing with me? What?" His hand flies to my forehead as if he’s checking for a fever, "Are you feeling alright?"
"Oh shut up!" I exclaim, whacking him in the chest with the back of my hand. I know that he expects me to be mean and all of that but I’m just so happy that he’s here that it’s turning me into a giant mush ball.
He smiles, "There you go. There’s my Roxie."
"Your Roxie?" I ask him, wanting him to clarify what he means.
Before he answers though, he’s gripped the fabric of my tank top and has led my lips to his eager ones. At first, I don’t really react. I just kind of stand there with his lips hard and unmoving against mine. I’m in such a state of shock that he’s really here and that he’s kissing me and that he called me "his Roxie". I don’t really…I don’t really know how to explain how good it feels.
It takes me a moment or two but when I finally respond and wrap my arms around his neck and push my body into his, he smiles against my mouth and then finally starts to move his lips with mine. Even though I know he’s going to laugh and make fun of me for it, a couple of tears trickle out of my eyelids, probably splashing onto his cheeks as well. I don’t know exactly why I’m crying—I’ve never really been all that emotional—but I guess it’s tears of joy? I don’t really know.
All I know is that when days passed and I didn’t hear a thing from Chase, I knew it was over. I thought that what happened between us happened and was over with. I never would have imagined in a million years that he’d show up like this, calling me "his" and then kissing the life out of me just like always. I guess it’s just messing with my head a little bit; this whole change in events.
Chase pulls away from me, confused by my crying and asks, "What the…why are you crying?"
I shake my head, completely embarrassed, "I don’t even know. I’m such a baby." Why couldn’t he have just kept kissing me? How come the tears had to make him pull away? I mean, I know that the right thing for him was to check on me and that’s what he did, but if he would have just brushed it off then I would have been less humiliated. Why do I have to ruin everything?
He chuckles, wiping away the couple of tears with the pad of his thumb, "You said it, not me."
I whack him in the shoulder, "Don’t even start."
He says, "Come here," and just like that I’m in the circle of his arms once more, resting my head against his chest and listening to the soothing sound of his heartbeat. He didn’t find another girl. He didn’t get back with Paige. He didn’t pass off our little relationship thing as just a fling. He’s here and he’s calling me "his" and he’s hugging me because I’m crying…I just don’t even know what to do with myself anymore.
I grip his waist tightly, keeping him against me and trying to contain the happy tears from pouring. I don’t want to be that girl that always cries. He obviously liked me because I was tough and because I never really got all that emotional. So if I cry now then he’s going to get annoyed and leave, right? He whispers into my ear, "Shh…" I can hear the laughter in his voice though, the part of him that’s not concentrated on being comforting.
"Ugh," I groan, hating how I’m acting like such a little girl.
His hands rake through my hair as he presses a kiss on my temple. "Why are you crying?"
I pull away from him, angrily throwing my hands into the air, "I don’t fucking know!"
He smirks again, knowing that if he laughs I’m just going to smack him. He takes a step towards me and wipes any extra moisture off of my face, "These are good tears, right? If not then this is really bad for my ego."
I smile up at him, "I don’t know if your ego can take any more praises…but…no, I’m happy you’re here."
"You should be," he says, pinching my hip lightly. "I went through hell to get here."
That’s when a little bit of this whole fairy tale ending comes crashing down. For a second there I forgot what his dad did to my mom; I forgot that his mom hated me with every fiber in her being. We clearly weren’t able to be together at his house, but since I’m back home will we be able to? His mom and dad aren’t here; they’re thousands of miles away. And besides, they’ve kept me away from him for long enough. That week of not talking to Chase at all sucked.
But now he’s here and I’m going to make sure we make up for all that lost time. So instead of talking to him like I know I probably should, I grip the fabric of his shirt and lead his face to mine, loving the pleasantly surprised look on his face before he starts to kiss me breathless.
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