What if? The alternate version of Never Alone

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

Chapter 30 (v.1) - Chapter 30

Submitted: April 04, 2011

Reads: 59

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Submitted: April 04, 2011



School the next day, proceeded as usual and I didn't pay attention to much until after Algebra.

I'd been telling myself that I was just being overly-sensitive. Ben could talk to girls, it didn't have to mean anything. It was probably just a one-time thing, anyway. He certainly hadn't been thinking about her yesterday in History class.

I waited, anxiously, to see him and tried not to let myself get jealous for no reason.

I was annoyed when Stacey didn't come over to distract Josh, today. I was back to sneaking inconspicuous glances whenever he wouldn't notice.

It helped that he wasn't aware that Ben was anywhere around at the moment.

Like yesterday, it was longer than usual until I saw Ben leave his classroom. After peeking a few times, I realized that he was with that girl again.

Guess it wasn't just a one-time thing.

I was grateful when someone stopped to talk to Josh, freeing me up to really pay attention to Ben.

He was still talking to her and he was smiling. It felt like so long since I'd seen him smile for real.

I was having mixed feelings. On the one hand I wanted him to be happy and be able to smile and laugh. But not with another girl. Not with her.

It hurt that he could apparently be moving on already. I looked down at my wrist and touched the pink heart.

I guess he never really specified when he said I could come to him. I just assumed he meant in the same capacity as before. But I felt stupid, thinking that now.

Why would he want me after I'd been with Josh? Maybe he just meant, I wouldn't be completely alone. That I'd always have him as a friend. Just, not much else.

Feeling on the verge of tears, I looked up just in time to see them separate. Ben looked at me and the blonde girl watched him for a minute before she started walking away. I despised the way she looked back at him with that happy, hopeful expression.

For a few seconds, Ben and I just stared at each other.

I glared when I saw Stacey put her hand on his arm and leave it there, effectively pulling his attention from me.

Ben said something to her while removing her hand. When he tried to take his hand back, Stacey held on.

She was saying something that, I knew from watching her with Josh, was accompanied by insipid giggles and a whiny baby doll voice.

I could tell Ben didn't really appreciate her attention. He was just trying to be polite. But he still hadn't taken his hand back from her.

Josh put his hand under my chin and pulled my face up so that I had to look at him. "Let's go to class." He said, kissing me.

As I was being led down the hall, I glance back at Ben. He and Stacey were both watching me. Ben, looking unhappy, and Stacey, triumphant.

I scowled at her. She finally figured out which boy to flirt with to really get to me. I guess that's what that smirk was about yesterday.

As I went to take my seat in Physics, I watched the girl in the next row. Considering I was still irritated from both her and Stacey, it wasn't a friendly look.

She had her head down, studying for another class, though, so she didn't see my venomous glare.

I really wanted to know her name.

I'm not sure why I wanted to know so badly. Maybe just so I'd know who to direct my irritation towards.

And I didn't know how that was going to happen, unless by some weird coincidence. It's not like I could ask Ben.

I was consumed by my jealous thoughts, throughout the hour and most of lunch.

And the thing that really bothered me was that I knew I had no right, whatsoever, feeling jealous. Not after I walked away from Ben for Josh.

"What's the matter with you?" Josh asked, pulling me from my trance.

I looked at him about to say something snippy, but he wasn't focused on me. He was looking at Eric.

I just noticed, he hadn't been laughing and talking with his friends, like he usually did. And I'd forgotten about our talk, yesterday, until just now.

Judging by the way Matt, Josh, and Nate seemed clueless and unconcerned, I guessed that he hadn't said anything to any of them yet.

Eric glanced at me before he looked at Josh with hostility.

"You're twisted, man." He said, before he pushed away from the table, leaving everyone, but me, bewildered.

I watched him leave the cafeteria, annoyed that, apparently, that was all he was going to say to Josh.

I guess it was better than pretending nothing was wrong, though.

The rest of the day dragged on as I waited to be able to see Ben again.

When I did finally see him, I couldn't stop thinking about how he was moving on. I had a harder time trying to keep my tears in as I sat in the back of the room.

After History, I went to meet Brooke. I found her car in the parking lot and knocked on the window for her to let me in.

She unlocked the doors without looking up from her phone as she continued to text.

I slid into the passenger seat and felt my headache coming back, thanks to the music she had blasting.

"Can you turn it down?" I yelled.

She looked up and blinked at me, seeming to just realize I was there.

"Sure." She nodded, turning the dial until the radio was low.

She quickly went back to her phone and ignored me.

I sighed and rested my head against the window, preparing to wait a while.

Knowing Ben was inside at wrestling practice, I watched the people walking by, without much interest.

After a minute, one of them did catch my attention, though.

The blonde girl, who's name I didn't know.

I watched her walk to a small blue car and get inside.

"What'd she do?" Brooke asked, suddenly.

"What?" I asked, looking at her. "Who?"

"The girl you're giving the evil eye." She said, raising her eyebrow. "What'd she do to make you hate her?"

"I'm not-" I stopped at the disbelieving look she gave me.

I shrugged. "I just don't like her, that's all."

"Lizzie, there's only one reason a girl looks at another girl like that." She smiled knowingly.

Was it that obvious? I waited to hear what she would say.

"She likes Josh?" She asked.

I sighed. "I wish." I said, without thinking about who I was talking to. Brooke didn't know there was anything strange about my relationship with Josh. She wasn't observant enough to realize that I hated him.

"Someone else?" She asked, suddenly very interested.

"I don't..."

"An old boyfriend?" She pushed.

I looked down. No, Ben had never been my boyfriend. But close enough for what she was asking.

Brooke took my silence as confirmation.

"You're with Josh now." She said. "You can't expect this guy to be single forever, can you?"

I just stared at a spot in front of me, feeling my heartbreaking as my eyes stung with the tears I wouldn't let fall.

She was right. I couldn't expect that. For one thing, I had no idea if or when I'd even be free from Josh. And even if I suddenly was, Ben deserved better. He should be free to move on. He deserved to be happy.

"You can't hog all the guys." She said, jokingly.

"I know." I said, not looking at her. "You're right."

"But you're still gonna hate her, aren't you?"

I half smiled and glanced at her, sadly.

She laughed, not realizing how much pain I was in.

"I know it's freezing out, but I really need some ice cream." Brooke said, pulling out of the parking space. "What do you think?"

"Sure." Ice cream actually sounded really good to me at the moment.

After we got to the ice cream place, Brooke started texting again and I zoned out, thinking about Ben and what I knew I had to do.

I had to let him go. Completely.

No more staring at him in the hall. No more walking by him in History. No more deliveries for Louis. It all had to stop.

Knowing Ben, he'd feel guilty about moving on if he thought I was still holding on.

"Hey, leave some for me." Brooke got my attention.

"Huh?" I looked at her, curiously.

"If I knew you were gonna eat it all, I would have gotten an extra large."

I looked down at the nearly empty ice cream cup that we were supposed to have been splitting. I couldn't believe I ate the whole thing.

"I'm sorry." I said, looking at her and feeling sort of out of it. "I wasn't paying attention."

She laughed. "Well, I guess I'll go get my own then." She got up and went to the counter.

I looked back at the cup and guiltily ate the last little bit in there. Surprisingly, I still wanted more.

I guess I was turning into an emotional eater. I knew it wasn't helping anything, but it did make me feel a little better.

Maybe that was the solution for Josh. Maybe I should try to get fat so he wouldn't want me anymore. It wouldn't really fix anything with Ben, but at least I'd be free.

I spent the night, mostly in my room trying to focus long enough to catch up on some of my homework.

I made a little progress, but it barely made a dent in the mountain of work I still had.

At dinner, I decided to try out my idea of gaining weight. It helped that I didn't exactly have to force myself to eat. I was always starving by dinner time, now that Josh had me on this stupid salad and fruit only lunch diet. Especially since I usually didn't touch the salad. And I'd always loved Mamma's baked ziti.

It was especially good tonight.

I ate until I absolutely couldn't eat anymore, hoping that it might have done something.

"Lizzie?" Mamma said as I was getting up to put my dish in the sink. "You feel ok?" She came over and felt my forehead.

Honestly, I didn't. I felt really tired and just...not good. My head didn't hurt at the moment, but now my stomach did. And I think eating so much was giving me heartburn.

I shrugged. "Not really." I said. "I think I just need to get some sleep." What I really hoped, though, was that this was the beginning of the flu.

"You're a little warm." Mamma said, turning her hand over and feeling my cheek. "You stay home if you feel bad in the morning, alright?"

I nodded.

"You go get some rest." She said, taking my dish from me. "I'll do that."

I didn't argue. I yawned, realizing how tired I actually was. I suddenly felt like I couldn't get to bed fast enough.

I quickly went through my nightly routine, even though it was still early. Shoving everything off my bed, I got under the blanket and promptly fell asleep.

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