What if? The alternate version of Never Alone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 20 (v.1) - Chapter 20

Submitted: March 02, 2011

Reads: 62

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Submitted: March 02, 2011

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I hadn't given much thought to Matt until Gym started and I saw him. Luckily, we were divided into guys and girls groups for volleyball and basketball again today, so I didn't have to get near him. But seeing him made me realized how much I was most likely going to have to be around him now. And probably Nate and Eric too.

Perfect. I was literally going to be surrounded by them, all the time. How much was I going to have to put up with?

I watched Matt nervously across the gym for a minute before he saw me looking at him and gave me a cocky grin.

I quickly looked away and hoped that what Josh said about not sharing applied to his friends too.

After class, I said goodbye to Anna and Morgan and left for Study Hall.

I took my usual seat in front of Miss Allen and got out some homework. Hopefully, if I at least appeared to be absorbed in something, Nate and Eric would leave me alone.

I really did get absorbed when I started looking over my algebra and realized how completely behind I was. I hadn't even started the assignment that was due yesterday and there was another one due tomorrow. I also thought I remembered something about a test next week.

I sort of started freaking out when I thought about the fact that it was probably going to be like that in most, if not all of my classes. It's not like I was actually paying attention in anything this week. Josh pretty much ruined any hope I had of concentrating.

Once I figured out everything I was behind on and when the tests all were - mostly next week, lucky me - I spent the rest of the hour trying to get my late assignments done.

Towards the end of class, I barely had even one thing finished and I still had all those tests to study for. And I really doubted I'd be able to do very much productive studying this weekend either. If I got to do any at all.

Apparently, everything with Josh wasn't enough to make this the absolute worst few weeks of my life. Now, it looked like I was going to fail everything too.

The bell rang to signal the end of the hour and I started putting my things away.

I was amazed when I realized I hadn't heard anything from Nate or Eric yet. I glanced around the room and saw them standing near the door. They were, surprisingly, not paying me any attention.

Well that was nice for a change. Unfortunately, I didn't think it would last very long.

I stood up and headed for the door, ready for whatever they were going to do or say.

I made it out to the hall without a word from either one of them.

Momentarily relived, I went over to where Ben was waiting for me.

I smiled, feeling incredibly relaxed just being near him. "Hey."

"Hey." He said giving me a sad smile in return.

I was about to take Ben's hand when someone not-so-discretely cleared his throat behind me.

I turned to see Nate and Eric leaning against the wall outside the classroom. I knew it wouldn't last...

"Don't get too friendly, you two." Nate said as Eric smirked.

I glared at them.

"I'd sure hate to have to tell Josh, you did anything, uh, inappropriate." He continued sarcastically.

I turned back around and glared at the floor. Of course, Josh would be using his friends to spy on me.

Ben made a threatening motion and I heard them scurry down the hall.

I looked up at him. "You better not meet me anymore." I said apologetically. "He was mad this morning when he saw us together. I guess he'll be spying on me."

Ben's jaw tightened but he didn't say anything.

"And he's gonna drive me to and from school now." I said looking away.

Ben remained quiet.

"I'm sorry." I said after a minute.

"Stop apologizing." I thought he sounded sort of mad.

I looked back at him, nervous about what he was going to say. Maybe now that everything had a chance to sink in and he actually saw me with Josh, he was going to say he didn't want to hear my apologies because he didn't want anything to do with me anymore.

Could I really blame him?

"Lizzie, none of this is your fault." He said. "I hate it and I wish you wouldn't go along with it. But I...understand."

I couldn't think of anything to say. That hadn't even been close to what I was expecting. How could he possibly understand? How could he even tolerate me anymore?

"I made a promise a long time ago, that when I found the person that..." He half smiled. "You. I wouldn't ever go against what you wanted."

The person that what?! That he loved? I watched him with wide eyes. I couldn't ask him to say it, especially not under the circumstances. But was that what he was going to say?!

"So, even though it's going to kill me to see you with him," He continued, unaware of my mental freak out. "I'll do what you're asking me."

"I wish I didn't have to ask you for this." I said as my vision blurred. "So much."

"I know." He said. "You're doing what you feel you have to do. But you don't." He paused. "I just wish you knew that."

I looked away before I could see the disappointment, anger, revulsion, and all the other things that I knew I would probably see in his eyes.

"And I'll be waiting for you to realize it." He said, surprising me again.

When I looked in his eyes, I didn't see any of those things I was dreading. I knew he was angry and upset, but not necessarily with me. What I did see was the love and sincerity behind what he said.

Not caring, at the moment, who saw me, I threw my arms around him and buried my face in his chest as I cried. How was I ever going to survive without him? This was so incredibly unfair.

Ben held me until I managed to control myself again.

We pulled apart and I wiped my face and tried to breath normally.

"Come on." He took my hand. "We're gonna be late."

I nodded. Another missed class was not going to help me out any.

I really planned on paying attention. Really. But I couldn't help watching Ben throughout class. I hated how little time we had left together and I was trying not to think about how long I was going to have to be without him. Would he even want me anymore when we could be together again? I know he said he'd be waiting, but for how long? How much would he be able to accept?

"You know what I think we need?" Anna said as we were leaving History, at the end of the hour.

"What?" I asked.

"A movie night at my house." She said. "Something funny."

"I don't know," I said, thinking about the mountain of work awaiting me. "I'm kinda behind on homework and stuff."

"Ok, well then how about a homework/study night?" She tried again. "Possibly a movie after?"

I smiled. "Sure."

"Ben?" She asked looking at him.

He nodded. "I'll come over after practice."

"And you'll come after work, right, Honey?" She looked at Jordan.

"Right in time for the movie." He grinned.

"Tell James too." Anna said to Ben as she turned, ready to leave him at our usual spot.

Ben nodded distractedly and I wondered if he'd even heard her. He was watching me with a serious expression, probably thinking the same thing I was - that I had to go meet Josh now.

I didn't say anything. What could I say?

I just stood there as Ben watched me, looking very much as if he would like to grab me and force me not to go.

"Ok, bye, Ben." Anna said, seeming a little confused by the sudden tension.

Ben just nodded again, still looking completely uneasy.

"I'll see you later." I said turning to follow Anna and Jordan down the hall.

I kept glancing back over my shoulder as I got further away from Ben. Further away from my life line. He hadn't moved except to ball his hands into fists and stiffen his posture.

I paused as I was about to round the corner that would separate me from Ben completely. I cast one more longing look back at him before I continued after Anna and Jordan.

"So, do you need to go home first, or do you just want Jordan to drop you off with me?" Anna asked as we were finishing up at the lockers.

I cringed slightly.

"What?" She asked warily.

"I have to go meet Josh. He's going to bring me home." I said feeling a jolt of fear. It was so much more terrifying, now that it was so soon.

Anna looked like she wanted to say something, but she stopped herself. She settled for looking angry and reproachful. Her momentary good mood, apparently gone.

"Sorry." I said looking away. "I understand if you wanna cancel tonight..." Could I really expect her to want to be around me right after I was with Josh?

"No," She said. "That's not...I just hate this. I hate that you're really going to do this."

"I know." I said. "So do I."

"Then don't." She plead. "It's not too late to change your mind."

I just looked at her sadly.

Anna sighed and shook her head as she slammed her locker shut, looking disappointed.

We left the building in silence, and I stared at my feet as I walked. Anna stopped abruptly outside and I looked at her curiously.

She was glaring straight ahead. There was so much hatred in her expression.

I guess that meant she found Josh.

I followed her gaze. Sure enough. Josh was leaning casually against his car, watching us with a big grin.

I took a deep, shaky breath. "I better go..." I said and started walking away.

"You'll come over, right?" Anna asked before I could take more than a few steps.

I looked at her, grateful that she was still willing to put up with me, and did my best to smile. "Yeah. See you later."

She nodded unhappily. Jordan took her hand and was too busy scowling at Josh to even acknowledge me at the moment.

I felt a twinge of jealousy at their freedom to be together as I, once again, turned away and headed toward Josh's car.

"About time." Josh said when I approached him. "Does it always take you this long to get outside?"

Was it late? It felt like I flew out here. But maybe that was just because I was dreading it so much.

I didn't answer.

He shrugged and grinned. "What? No, hello kiss?"

I took an unconscious step back and felt my heart speed up.

Josh laughed at me and walked around the car.

"Get in." He said, opening his own door.

What a gentleman, I thought sarcastically as I reached for the door handle with a shaking hand.


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