Where We Belong

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 4 (v.1) - Then

Submitted: April 28, 2016

Reads: 108

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Submitted: April 28, 2016

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Then
Chapter Four

 

"When I'm done with you, no one will recognize you," Michelle told me as we sat in her room, staring into her vanity mirror. "Of course, I hardly think anyone noticed you before... but they'll definitely notice you now!"

Such encouraging words, I sarcastically thought to myself, but then I also thought, who else at Orson High can say that freaking Michelle Leighton is doing their make up right now?

"Are you watching what I'm doing with the contour? This is important." I was, but I was also just trying to soak it in. Last year, Freshman Rebecca never would have imagined all this. Head cheerleader Michelle Leighton helping me get ready for a date with Cal Cross. My stomach was doing flips and my heart was beating so fast, I expected it to launch from my chest.

The other day at that party, Cal's tongue was practically down my throat, but that was all I could really remember. We were both drunk, and besides, tonight, there wouldn't be any alcohol to steady my nerves. Just us, in a restaurant, in a dimly lit booth, hopefully with his arm around my shoulders.

Michelle stepped back from me to admire her work, then gestured for me to look back in the mirror. When I did, I saw a completely different person than before, one with her cheekbones highlighted, her lips looking a bit fuller now, and her green eyes standing out with the help of a ton of eyeliner and mascara. "You're definitely going to have to go over all that again," is what I managed to get out.

"We have time," she told me, glancing at the clock by her nightstand, "Just not right now. I told him you'd be here, getting ready with me."

"Five minutes." I whispered, mostly to myself. What if he was late? What if this was just some cruel, drawn out joke they'd been playing on me that's all going to unravel with the whole school showing up, laughing at me for thinking the Cal Cross really wanted to go on a date with me?

"Don't be so nervous, you'll sweat off all your makeup." Probably noticing the way I was definitely not about to calm down, she got down on my level, and looked me straight in the eye. "Listen to me, I saw the way he was looking you, you could absolutely fuck up this date, and he'd still want you to be his girlfriend, but don't even worry about it, because you're going to have an awesome time. And come Monday morning, the whole school is going to know exactly who Rebecca Holbrooke is. Every boy is going to want you, and every girl is going to want to be you."

She lifted me up and swung me around one more time to make sure my dress, my hair, and my makeup was spot on. Not long after that, we heard the doorbell ring.

* * * * *

Michelle had been right. Not to boast or anything, just laying out the truth. Everyone suddenly knew who I was, and they knew the most random things about me, some of which weren't even true. I didn't really mind though, I mean, when you go from being average and not having anyone think you're all that special to this, it's quite the transition. Not that it didn't come with some drawbacks, though at the time, I thought it was all worth it.

Freshman year, I had this friend, Aaron. He used to be my neighbor, a grade above me, a really sweet guy, and it was totally platonic, until one day at the beginning of the school year, he told me he was kind of into me. I didn't have anything to say to that since I didn't feel the same way. I told him I would think about the concept of us, but then the next day was when Michelle and her friends approached me and asked if I wanted to have a sleepover with them, and who was I to say no to them?

After that, Aaron and I never had the chance to talk, since I was suddenly so busy all the time, hanging out with those girls. Then a few days after everyone found out I was dating Cal, he approached me at the cool kids' table and asked if we could talk.

Michelle gave me this look, like you are not seriously going to ditch us for this guy, are you?

"He just wants to talk?" I whispered to her, albeit not very quietly.

"Do what you want," she said, but I knew that voice. If I left, I was out. And God, I did not want to be out, I had just gotten in!

I turned to Aaron, who was still standing there with a waiting smile and tray in hand. "Anything you want to say to me, you can say in front of my friends."

"Well, um," he started, "I just, uh, wanted to talk about, what you were thinking about, remember?"

Behind me, Michelle, Nicole, and Hannah were snickering.

I tried leaning in, to give him these desperately pleading eyes, begging him to understand. "Not right now, Aaron. Please." If he didn't go away, I'd have to make him go away, probably by saying something I didn't want to say.

He started to sit, and I knew that was a bad idea. The faces of the girls sitting next to me were full of disgust just thinking about the fact that an outsider was about to sit at their table.

"Aaron, you have to leave."

"I just want to talk to you!" He begged.

"Please, I'll catch up with you later, okay?"

Michelle inches closer to me, "Get him to go away. Now."

I took a deep breathe, and gave him the last warning look I could, but his response was, "I'm not leaving until you talk to me, Rebecca! You're my best friend."

"Well, you're not mine," I snapped, not even able to look him in the eye. "I'm never going to like you like that, especially now. You're a nobody, and you just get lost, okay?!"

I'll never forget the hurt in his eyes when he left me at that table. I guess I thought I could make it up to him later somehow, buy him an ice cream from the truck that frequently passed through our street and eat it on his porch like old times, but that never happened. Michelle was proud of me, for "standing up for myself," because I was "among better people now."

Cal never had to be mean to people. He was on the football team, and that's all he had to do to be popular. I thought, after I realized I had lost Aaron, that maybe I could be nice like Cal was. I'd be different than those girls. But with the influence of my friends, that thought didn't last very long.

Unfortunately, it just gets worse.

 


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