The last thing I wanted to do Saturday morning was wake up. So when I heard a ringing at a little after 8:00, my instinct was to slam my hand on my alarm. But my alarm was silent. It took me a moment to realize my phone was ringing.
I rubbed my eyes and snatched it from my bedside table, wondering who could be calling me so early.
I sighed and stuck the phone to my ear. “Hello?”
“Cambree. It’s barely 8:00.”
“Sophia, Andrew got arrested last night!”
I felt my jaw drop and my phone nearly fell out of my hand. I wasn’t sure if I’d heard Cambree right.
“Sophia, did you hear me?”
I sat up. “That depends. Did you say Andrew got arrested last night?”
“Yeah. He was fighting. And drunk.”
I was more than shocked to hear this news. It didn’t make any sense. I had been with him last night. He’d dropped me off at midnight, like he was supposed to, and went back to sleep over at Ethan’s. At least that was what he had told me he was doing.
“They found weed in his truck, too, so he got in big trouble,” Cambree continued.
“How did you hear this?” I asked her.
“From Ethan,” she said. “He was with him when it happened.”
“Oh my God, I can’t believe it. Where were they?”
“They were at some bar. Ethan’s friend snuck them in and Andrew got drunk.”
I couldn’t believe this. It didn’t make sense. Andrew was arrested? I wondered where he was. Was he still in jail? What would happen to him?
“Why was he fighting?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I didn’t ask.”
“Well, do you know where he is now?”
“He’s at home, I guess. His dad bailed him out.”
I had to call him. “OK, Cambree. Thanks for telling me. I gotta go, though. I have to call Andrew.”
She hung up and I quickly dialed Andrew’s number. It went straight to voicemail.
I just had to talk to him and see what had really happened. Cambree’s story didn’t sound like Andrew at all. Drinking? Sure. I believed it. Fighting? Never. Andrew wasn’t that kind of guy. He was way too easy going.
With all of this on my mind, I knew there was no use in trying to get back to sleep, so I hopped in the shower. We would have a lot to do today to get ready for my party once Lynn arrived, anyway.
I got out of the shower, dressed in sweats and a t-shirt and wrapped my wet hair in a towel, turban-style, then went downstairs. I found Olivia in the living room with a bowl of cereal watching TV under the blanket. Unlike myself, she was an early riser, even on the weekends.
“Morning,” I told her. “Where’s mom?”
“Vacuuming the basement,” Olivia explained.
I nodded and turned to go to the basement.
Sure enough, I found my mother getting a head start on the party. She’d already pushed all of her exercise equipment into one corner, leaving plenty of room for the party and was running the vacuum cleaner across the carpet.
She spotted me and smiled. “Morning. You’re up early.”
“Yeah, I couldn’t sleep,” I told her.
“Excited about your party?”
She looked so hopeful, I wished that that were true. “Yes. I’m excited.”
“Look, we have to go get your dress today before Lynn gets here,” my mother explained. “And your father wants to take you down to the dealership to pick up your car.”
I nodded. I had completely forgotten about my car after everything that had gone on since I’d woken up. That was perfect. Maybe if I couldn’t call him, I could drive over to his house and see Andrew.
I went back upstairs, intending to go back to my room and finish getting ready. Olivia stopped me.
“Dad said to tell you he wants to see you,” she said.
“I don’t know. He just said come into his office when you wake up. I told him you were already up, though. So go to his office.”
I wondered why my dad wanted to see me in his office. He never asked me in there before unless it was something serious.
I knocked on his door, first, then pushed it open. “Daddy?”
He spun around in his chair to face me and pulled his glasses off his face. “Hey, sweetie. Come in.”
So I did, and I sat down across from him. Despite that his face was still soft and friendly, I felt like I was in trouble, or something was wrong.
He pulled his glasses off. “Look. I heard something about Andrew.”
I fiddled with my fingers but I didn’t say anything. How could he possibly know?
“I heard he was arrested last night, Sophia.”
My father raised his eyebrows and got this expression on his face like I’d kept some sort of horrible secret from him. “You know?”
“Well, I just found out. Cambree just called me and told me.”
Relief swept over his face. “So you weren’t with him last night when it happened?”
I shook my head.
“Good. Well, needless to say, you won’t be seeing him again.”
This horrible, sickening knot formed in the pit of my stomach. I sucked in a breath.
“But dad, we haven’t even heard his side of the story.”
“He doesn’t have a side, sweetie,” my father said calmly. “Ed Morris was the arresting officer. He told me everything that happened.”
Ed Morris. He was a close friend of my father’s. Of course, my dad would believe him, and Andrew wasn’t getting a chance to explain. And cops always got it right. Yeah. Right.
“So, we’re clear?” my father interrupted. “No more Andrew. He’s a bad guy, and I don’t want my daughter anywhere around some drunk boy who goes around punching people’s faces in for no reason.”
“Dad, you don’t know his reason!”
My father’s jaw tightened and he shot me a warning glance so I knew I needed to shut up. I could feel my jaw tremble. I wasn’t sure this day could get worse at this point.
“Sophia, I’m sorry, but I’m your father and I know what’s best for you,” he said, his face softening again. “You have to trust me on this.”
“I know, daddy, but I know Andrew and I don’t think it’s fair to not give him a chance to explain.”
“You think you know him, Sophia.”
I was angry, to say the least. My father wasn’t budging, so I agreed with him. Regardless, I still had to talk to Andrew. So I went up to my room, got dressed, and dried my hair so my mom could take me to get my dress and my dad could take me to get my car. The sooner I had that, the sooner I could get to Andrew and hear his side of the story.
I was a little more excited about my party after my mom bought me a dress. My party wouldn’t be formal or anything, but since I was the birthday girl and it was my sweet sixteen, it was appropriate for me to wear a dress. And I had to admit, the dress was gorgeous.
“We’ll have to turn the heat up,” I’d said, examining the black dress after we’d gotten home. It was simple, but it was sleek, falling just above the knee and strapless. “Otherwise I’m gonna freeze.”
It was the first time since we’d started planning the party that I was genuinely happy about something to do with it.
Then my dad had taken me to get my car. I fell in love immediately. To be the same age as my sister, the car was gorgeous and obviously had been well taken care of over the years.
By the time we’d gotten home Lynn was there and she was ready to get started. But I had to see Andrew, and he still wasn’t answering his phone.
“Sophia, where are you going?” my mother asked as I grabbed my new car keys and started for the door.
“I wanted to take my car for a test drive,” I said.
“You drove it home.”
“That’s barely anything. I’ll be right back, mom. I promise.”
“Oh, Kori, let her go,” Lynn said. “We can handle it. We’re the party planners. She’s the birthday girl.” She giggled, and as annoying as that was, I was grateful.
Lynn was convincing, too, because my mother let me go.
I tried Andrew again on the way to his house, but he didn’t answer. I hoped he wouldn’t be angry with me just showing up at his house, but I was worried. I hated that I had to find out through Cambree and not my own boyfriend, but if there was some reason he couldn’t call me, I needed to see him.
I pulled into his driveway, and saw his truck, and I saw Ethan’s truck. I raised my eyebrows. Ethan was here? I felt a little hurt. It seemed like if Ethan was here, he could have found a way to call me, or something.
I got out and walked to his door, ringing the bell.
When the door opened, Andrew was standing there in sweats and a tight fitting t-shirt, his eyelids heavy, but still full of surprise when he saw me. “Sophia. Hey, babe.”
“Hey,” I told him. “Uhm, sorry I dropped by unannounced, but I heard what happened last night, and your phone’s been off all day, so I was kind of worried.”
“Don’t be sorry,” he said. “Come in.” So I did. “My dad took my phone, baby. I haven’t had a chance to call anyone.”
I saw a bruise on his cheek and I gasped. “Oh my God, Andrew!”
He chuckled and grabbed my hand when I reached up to touch his face. “Trust me. This is nothing. The other guy looked a lot worse.”
I followed him into the kitchen, where Ethan and another guy was sitting. I didn’t know the other guy’s name, but I recognized him from the basketball team. They were both smoking weed. Andrew had been, too. I could tell. It seemed like ever since I found out he smoked, that was all he ever did.
Andrew only peaked his head in for a second. “Hey, guys, I gotta talk to Sophia.”
They nodded, then Andrew lead me down the hall and we were in his bedroom.
“Sorry about the mess,” he told me, taking a pile of dirty clothes and tossing them into a clothes hamper.
I sat on the bed and he sat next to me.
“So tell me what happened,” I said.
He sighed. “Man. We were just chilling out playing a game of pool; me, Ethan and a few guys. This douche bag walks over, talking shit, he’s already piss drunk, spilling his beer all over everyone. He wants to play a game, but we already had the table, and we’d paid for it, too. So he tries to argue. Just being a prick, you know?”
I nodded, and Andrew continued. “Well long story short, he got pissed off we wouldn’t give up our table and threw the first punch, so I fought back. I got in trouble for fighting and for underage drinking, but the cop didn’t believe that ass threw the first punch and I was just defending myself. What the hell was I supposed to do? Let him use me as a fucking punching bag?”
I could tell Andrew was getting angry. He had to have been telling me the truth.
“No, you’re right,” I told him. “You should’ve defended yourself. I can’t believe you got in trouble.”
He shook his head. “It’s just bullshit.”
“Uhm, well, there’s more bullshit.”
“The cop that arrested you is friends with my dad. So he knows.”
Andrew sighed. “Damn. So what did he say?”
“He said I can’t see you anymore.”
“Are you kidding?”
I shook my head. “No.”
“So what are you going to do?”
I shrugged. I really didn’t know.
“I mean, he doesn’t know you’re here now, does he?” Andrew asked, reaching up, and pushing my hair back. I shook my head. “So, then don’t let him know we’re still together. Pretty simple, Sophia.”
I didn’t know how comfortable I was with lying to my parents. Especially not about something this huge. But, then again, I didn’t want to stop seeing Andrew. Not over some big misunderstanding that my dad refused to believe wasn’t Andrew’s fault.
He put his hand on my thigh, and stroked. “I don’t want to stop seeing you, Sophia.”
I shrugged. “I mean, I don’t want to stop seeing you, either.”
“Then don’t.” He leaned over and kissed me, pushing me back onto my back. “How long do we have?”
“Maybe fifteen minutes?” I said as he kissed my neck.
He smiled, then kissed me again. “I can work with that.”
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