Let It Rain – Chapter 2
Don't you just love Fridays? Being in school and knowing that the weekend is about to start soon always makes me feel happy and cheerful. Except when my best friend is going on and on about the supposed love of her life, that is. Give me a break! Tristan being the love of someone's life is as funny as watching a local TV star slipping on a piece of lettuce in the supermarket - and yeah, I've actually witnessed that before.
"You're not listening to me!" Madison said accusingly, her eyes shooting death rays at me.
"You know that I don't like Tristan," I responded, shrugging. Mads was way too good to date someone like Tristan and I hated the fact that she couldn't see that. She deserved someone who was sweet, caring and wouldn't sleep around on her, and Tristan didn't exactly chalk up brownie points in those aspects. If only she could see that.
"You don't know him," she continued, and I could tell that she was getting worked up.
People streamed past us, some looking at us with mild interest (or not) before looking away while some acted like we were invisible. I guess that's high school for you. Turning around to face Madison, I leaned against the yellow locker behind me.
"You're the one that doesn't know him, Mads," I told her softly, glancing around us. This wasn't the first time we were having this discussion and I already knew how it was going to end. "He's not the right guy for you."
When I looked at my friend again, I could tell that I'd offended her by saying that, but I didn't want to lie to her. When would she finally see that Tristan was an asshole and that she needed to stay away from him?
"I wish you'd stop saying that," she spat before slamming her locker shut and walking away from me. I wanted to go after her, but decided that it was best to let her cool off for a while. Like I said, it wasn't the first time this discussion had taken place.
"Hey, babe." Someone suddenly wrapped his arm around my shoulder and pulled me closer to him. He made to kiss my cheek but was thwarted by me pushing him off me roughly.
"Get away from me!" I spat in disgust at the man-whore of our school, better known as John.
He looked smugly at me, which just made me want to punch him in the face. I couldn't stand this guy. He hung out in the same clique as my brother and Tristan, but James didn't like him and probably never would. The fact that John hit on me non-stop didn't really help to change my brother's mind.
"Is it that time of the month again?" John winked at me. A couple of his friends standing behind him burst out in laughter like it was the funniest thing they'd ever heard.
"You're pathetic," I told him calmly before moving to open my locker door. The next thing I knew, his hand was on it, keeping it closed, and his chest was pressed against my back.
Before I had time to react, the weight on my back was gone. Surprised (and relieved), I turned around and see one very furious James pushing John against the lockers on the opposite side of the hall.
"When are you going to get the message?" James threatened in a voice that could re-freeze ice. John was grinning like a Cheshire cat, which meant it was only a matter of time before James lost control and punched him.
"He's not worth it, James!" I tried to hold my brother back, not wanting him to get into trouble again. This wasn't the first time that James had started a fight over me and I doubted that it was going to be the last.
When I saw the headmaster approaching from the end of the hallway, I used all of my strength to pull James away from John.
"You better stay away from my sister or I'll kill you," James spat, shouldering his backpack again and throwing me an apologetic glance before leaving the hallway.
I took a step backwards and collided with someone behind me.
"Oh, shit, sorry," I apologized, turning around to see my victim. I wish I hadn't, though; apologized, that is. Because the person I'd bumped into, a smirk plastered on his face, was none other than Tristan.
Why hadn't I noticed him before? Had he been standing here the whole time? God, I hoped not, though the look on his face told me a different story.
"I'll talk to you later, sweetheart," John interrupted from behind and patted me on the ass, making me jump.
I spun, ready to berate him again, when the Devil's spawn behind me suddenly decided to speak up.
"Man, I thought you'd have better taste in girls," Tristan told John, shaking his head in mock disappointment. I felt like I'd been slapped in the face – twice. The guy grabs my ass and Tristan decides that the situation wasn't humiliating enough already? Talk about adding fuel to the fire. I hated him even more then.
I looked at Tristan again, trying to hide the hurt in my eyes. For a moment, just a short moment, I could have sworn that something had changed in his expression and that he was going to apologize. A second later, it turned out to be a trick of the eye as he just smirked evilly, obviously not regretting his words at all.
I grabbed the books I needed from my locker and slammed it shut. Without giving the two of them another glance, I started speed-walking, hoping the last two hours of class would pass quickly.
Suddenly, I hated Fridays.
Madison was totally right; Tristan wasn't as bad as I thought he was. How could I have been so wrong in him? He was worse. If she ever claimed that I didn't know the real Tristan again, I'd seriously whack her on the head.
I knew exactly who he was; an utter and complete asshole.
Finally, the bell rang, signalling the end of the day. My good mood from before had completely vanished because of the drama in the hall earlier. This time, Tristan had gone too far.
When I went outside, James was already in his car waiting for me. I walked up to it but stopped in my tracks when I saw the devil's spawn next to him.
"I'm not getting in the car if he rides with us," I told James seriously (he had his car window down) and nodded towards Tristan.
I noticed a smirk forming on Tristan's face, but it quickly disappeared when James turned to him. "What did you do this time?" he asked his best friend.
"Nothing, man," Tristan responded, putting on his most innocent expression. I felt like screaming from frustration! This guy was so good at fooling everyone.
James turned back to me and looked at me quizzically. I wanted nothing more than to tell him what had happened before, what his supposed best friend had said to me, but I couldn't. I was ashamed for what Tristan had said. I didn't want to feel the humiliation all over again.
"I'll walk home," I grunted and started walking. I could only imagine the size of the grin on Tristan's face at that moment. Hell, I could feel the smugness radiating from him.
A car door opened but I didn't look to see who it was, knowing that it'd be James. He would never let me walk home alone, especially not when it looked like it was about to start pouring any minute.
"You're not walking home," he said patiently and took me by the arm, guiding me back to his car.
"Can you get a ride from someone else?" he suddenly asked Tristan, taking me completely by surprise. James had always stood up for me but he'd never gone against Tristan before while doing so.
"No problem," Tristan replied smoothly and got out of the car, still smiling widely. "I'll get a ride from John." He gave me a wink, his eyes shining with amusement.
If looks could kill, he had been Kentucky Fried Chicken on the ground now, but alas, I didn't have that particular superpower
I stepped into the car and slammed the door shut with a loud bang. I was so sick of this day and wanted it to end soon.
James finally got the keys in the ignition and turned it on, revving the car and driving away. I was looking out of the window when he suddenly pulled over and parked the car by the roadside.
"What happened today, sis?" he spoke up. Startled, I turned my head towards him, only to catch his concerned gaze
"I'd rather not talk about it," I answered softly, running my fingers through my hair agitatedly.
"What did Tristan say to you?" I saw the determination in his eyes. He needed to know what had been said, but I wasn't going to tell him.
"He made some stupid comment, but I'm probably overreacting," I lied. I wasn't proud of lying to my brother but I thought it was for the best. Even if he did know what had been said, he'd probably laugh at me and think me being such a girl for reacting the way I did.
James looked at me for a moment before finally accepting defeat. "He was just having a bad day today. I'm sure he didn't mean whatever he said."
"A bad day?" I asked incredulously. "So that makes it okay then?"
James sighed. "No, of course not, but I'm just saying… you should give Tristan a break sometimes, sis. He doesn't have it easy at home."
I wanted to yell at my brother since I was still mad over what Tristan had said to me earlier, but I decided against it. James had told me before that Tristan didn't have the easiest life, but he never told me why that was.
"How come?" I asked, trying to keep the curiosity from creeping into my voice but failing miserably.
'It's not up to me to tell you about it. If Tristan wants you to know, he'll tell you."
If Tristan wants me to know? What a joke! Like that jerk would want me to know anything about his home situation. Tristan obviously hated me. Why else would he always burn me like that? I couldn't believe James hadn't noticed this.
"I really don't like Tristan," I said for what felt like the millionth time, making James laugh loudly.
"I'll be right back," he said, an excited look in his eyes, and before I realized it, he had left the car and started running. I saw him disappearing in a store that I didn't know a bit further down the road.
When he came back five minutes later, he handed me something.
"What's this?" I asked, looking at the square package in my hands.
"Open it and you'll know," my brother responded, fastening his seatbelt and starting the car again. He looked over his shoulder and seeing that it was safe, drove off.
I had never been a patient person, so I ripped off the paper and squealed when I saw the new Jimmy Eat World record.
James laughed when he saw the excited look on my face and playfully ruffled my hair.
"I didn't know it came out today," I practically shrieked while putting the CD in the player and turning the volume up.
I sat there, my feet tapping along with the beat while half dancing in my seat, completely forgetting about what had happened before.
I pinched my brother's arm and looked at him. "Thank you."
You know those clichéd stories where the main characters always go to a bunch of parties? I have to admit that my life was somewhat like that. Not that I partied 24/7, but it wasn't unusual for me to go to a party on a Saturday night.
Take this evening, for example; I was at the party of Katie Edwards, a girl from my Math class. I didn't really know her and hadn't been counting on going to her party, but James kind of dragged me along. My brother hadn't been to a party for a while and he saw this as an excellent opportunity to change that. His lame excuse for dragging me along was that he hadn't been invited and that he needed me to get him inside.
Of course that was totally ridiculous. James didn't need me to get in anywhere. Was he kidding me? A hot guy two years older than the girl who was throwing the party needed his
younger sister to score an invite? I know he just wanted to get me out of the house because I was still in a bad mood from the day before. Fortunately, I hadn't seen Tristan again. .
Just after thinking that, I smacked into someone. I looked up and figured that God had to be having an off day. Tristan was looking down at me with a giant grin on his face.
"Easy there, elephant," he told me, causing my insides to boil with anger. I looked at James, but he apparently saw nothing wrong with what Tristan had said.
"Why don't you watch out yourself?" I snapped at Tristan before storming off in search of a familiar face. I "accidentally" stomped on his foot while doing so. Let's see what he'd think about his elephant remark after that!
After a moment, I spotted Katie standing with a group of her friends and went to greet her. After all, she was the one throwing the party.
"Hey Katie," I greeted her.
"I'm so glad you came!" she squealed, batting her fake eyelashes at me.
"And that you brought your brother," another girl added. All of them giggled simultaneously at that.
"He's so hot!" a third one spoke up. I cringed at the blondeness of her statement (no big surprise – she was blonde). Who the hell would like to have a conversation like this about their brother?
"They're both hot!" another one spoke up, pointing to James and Tristan. I seriously needed to get away from them before losing even more brain cells from listening to their conversation.
Luckily for me, I spotted Madison sitting in the corner with a few of our friends from school.
"I'll see you guys later," I said flatly to the drooling girls in front of me and walked away from them.
When Madison spotted me, I thought for a moment that she was still mad at me for what I'd said on Friday, but then she smiled and handed me a bottle of water.
I smiled back at her and sat down next to my friends, happy that James dragged me here after all.
After a good hour or two, I went in search for the bathroom. However, it was something that was easier said than done in a huge house like this. Where the hell…?
"Did you hear their fight?" I couldn't help but hear the blonde girl from before say.
"They were screaming at each other real loud," another one agreed.
"I heard them say Sophia's name. I wonder what they were arguing about," Katie wondered out loud. When she noticed me standing there, her cheeks turned bright pink before she looked down.
Were they talking about me? I shrugged it off, thinking that I was imagining things, and continued my way.
Suddenly I saw a furious Tristan heading towards me. Before I could say anything, he'd grabbed me by the arm and started dragging me away from the crowd.
"Let go off me!" I snarled at him, trying to wrench out of his grip. It was no use; he was way too strong for me.
"I need to talk to you," he snarled back, opening a door and pulling me inside.
"What are you doing?" I yelled, crashing into his back (I seemed to be doing that a lot) when he stopped abruptly. Our surroundings were in darkness as Tristan had pulled the door close behind us.
"Tristan?" I asked when he didn't answer me, finding it a little creepy standing in the dark like this.
"Wait a second," he said before I heard him move. When he had finally found the light switched, he flicked it on, getting a clear picture of my pissed off expression.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" I asked him angrily, looking around. We were standing in the middle of a small storage room. And when I say small, I really mean small. If I took one step forward, I'd be chest to chest with Tristan. If I took one step to the left or the right, I would collide with the wall.
Turning around, I made a grab for the door handle, only to find that there wasn't one.
I turned back to Tristan and saw him holding up the door knob in his hand. He'd better be kidding!
"It came off when I closed the door," he said coldly. For some reason, he looked angry at me. What the hell would he be mad at me for?
"Why did you pull me in here?" I wanted to know, trying to ignore the fact that we were in an enclosed space, close enough to hear each other's breath.
"You told James about what happened in school on Friday!" he growled, staring lividly down at me.
"What?" I chuckled bitterly. "I haven't told him anything."
"Then how come he knows?" Tristan demanded, his face still red from anger. "He practically attacked me just now!"
Suddenly, I knew what the group of girls had been talking about. Somehow, James had found out about it and blown up at Tristan.
"It wasn't like we were the only two people in that hallway," I spat, feeling the humiliation and anger flow back in me. How dare he even be mad at me for this?
I looked around me and felt the walls closing in on me. "I need to get out of here now."
Tristan looked at me questioningly, not understanding my predicament. I turned around and started slamming my fist on the door, hoping that someone would hear us.
Of course, it was hopeless. No one could hear us because of the loud music blasting through the speakers in the room next to us. My panicked brain suddenly came up with a great idea - I tried to force the door open by running against it with my shoulder, nearly breaking it in the process.
They made it look so much easier in the movies! Instead of the door crashing open, I was grabbing my shoulder in pain. The wooden door hadn't budged an inch.
"Are you crazy?" Tristan laughed. "You're going to hurt yourself!"
He was making fun of me now? Wrong move, bucko! I cursed myself for not having brought my purse with me. My cell phone was in there, but I had entrusted it to Madison because I didn't want to take it with me to the toilet for fear of dirtying it.
"Do you have your cell phone with you?" I asked without looking back at Tristan.
"My battery's flat."
"Of course your battery's flat!" I snapped. This was all his fault! My blouse started to feel like it was strangling me, so I undid the first few buttons. The air around us felt heated and I tried my best to keep my breathing steady. Little drops of sweat started to appear on my forehead.
"Shit, you're claustrophobic." It was as if it had suddenly hit him.
"I'm not claustrophobic!" I denied. "I just don't like being in small, closed spaces."
Tristan rolled his eyes at me and took a step closer.
"Get away from me," I said, pushing him away. I didn't like him near me, especially not while I was having a panic attack from the lack of space around me. Something he was responsible for, I might add.
I was having trouble breathing and felt really nauseous. If I was going to throw up, I would so aim for Tristan's shoes!
I was taken by surprise when I felt two strong hands on my shoulders. I looked up at the boy in front of me.
"You need to relax," he said concernedly, the anger from before gone in his voice.
"I can't," I answered, breathing heavily. Every breath I tried to take seemed harder than the one before. "I need to get out of here."
"Just relax," Tristan whispered, brushing the hair out of my face. His fingers felt warm against my skin. "Try to focus on your breathing."
"Take deep breaths," he encouraged me and gently rubbed my shoulder. "You can do it. One… two… three."
I focused on Tristan's counting and surprisingly managed to calm my breathing after a while. His voice had a soothing quality in it; something I had never noticed before.
"I need to sit down," I told him, still feeling like I was about to faint any second. Plopping down onto the floor, I was surprised to see Tristan imitating my action.
"You okay?" he asked, sounding genuinely concerned. He surprised me yet again by saying that. I thought he wouldn't care if I dropped dead here, to be honest.
"Not really," I responded and closed my eyes. "Why did you have to drag me in here?"
When he didn't reply, I looked up at him and saw him staring at the floor.
"I was angry because I thought you'd told James," he said and shook his head, looking somewhat embarrassed. I guess there's a first time for everything.
"Yeah, because you totally had reason to be angry," I responded and rolled my eyes.
He looked at me. We locked gazes for what seemed like an eternity.
"I'm sorry for what I said," he broke the silence, his eyes not leaving mine. "I know it's no excuse, but I was having a really bad day."
Although my breathing had calmed down, it still wasn't back to normal. Fortunately, our conversation distracted me enough to forget about the small space we were in.
His apology shocked me. I knew Tristan and he almost never apologized to anyone. Maybe he wanted to make sure that his friendship with James was secured or something.
"Yeah," I said, breaking our eye contact. I really didn't know what to say to that.
"I didn't mean it," he whispered so softly that I almost didn't hear it. When I looked back up at him, he was staring at the wall, his eyes avoiding me.
I wondered who the person sitting next to me was. It definitely wasn't the Tristan I knew. This Tristan seemed caring, sweet and even a bit shy. Why hadn't I seen this side from him before in all the years I'd known him?
"Are you feeling better?" he broke the slightly uncomfortable silence surrounding us, finally looking at me again.
"Yeah, I'm okay," I told him honestly. I hated having panic attacks, but I couldn't help it when I was in a small room, especially because we were locked in. Luckily, Tristan had said the perfect thing to calm me down and make me feel at ease.
Just when I was about to ask him why he was acting so nice to me, the door swung open.
"PRIVATE CLOSET PARTY!" some drunk loser screamed with a beer in his hand. Before he had time to close the door again, I jumped to my feet and ran out. Finally!
"Woohoohoo," John suddenly appeared next to me, his eyes sweeping over my body.
Right at that moment, Tristan stepped out of the closet. That caused John to look back and forth between us, his filthy brain obviously clunking into overdrive.
"Nice work, man," John said, leering at the open buttons of my blouse. I looked down and saw that the lace of my bra was showing and quickly did the buttons back up.
"It's not what it looks like," I said, feeling my cheeks heat up. I couldn't believe I had been flashing Tristan this whole time. Why hadn't he said something?
"Shut the fuck up, John," Tristan snapped. Now that really surprised me. This was a first. He totally had the chance to slam me again in front of John but he didn't take it. John just looked confused and walked away.
"Thanks," I whispered.
He nodded at me without showing any sign of emotion. It was like he had his guard up again. I wondered how things were going to be like on Monday. Would he continue being this nice to me or would he slam me again?
Who was the real Tristan? The utter and complete asshole who loved to embarrass me and put me down, or the sweet guy from our conversation in the closet?
After tonight, I didn't know anymore.
A/N: Hey everyone! Today is precisely one year ago I posted the previous chapter. I can't believe I've kept you guys waiting for a year! I'm so so sorry. I've been incredibly busy with school and stuff and I honestly didn't really feel like writing much. Anyway, I hope some of you are still interested in this story. It won't take me another full year to update again – I promise!
Special thanks to Louisa (angels and effects) for the amazing editing!
Thanks to everyone who reviewed the first chapter: Saraleryn Winter, effervescent-sentiments, rocky19, .Chocolates-, Chowdizzle, Duccia, angels and effects, madda8lynn and itse.