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EC+AM=4ever Chapter 24
June 18, 2009
I was going to try to settle things with Kristy one more time. And if Cole answered the door, I would just stand up to him like last time.
"Evalynne?" Kristy demanded when she opened the door. At least it wasn't Cole.
"Hi Kristy, we need to talk." I told her.
"There's nothing for us to talk about. You obviously want to spend all of your time with Ash so I found some new friends to replace you." she replied.
"Yeah, I know. Cole told me that you're friends with Julianne and Kelly now. What's that all about?"
She sighed as if she were bored, "Julianne and Kelly actually hang out with me, unlike you. I can actually go talk to them without having to hear about Ash this, and Ash that."
"You've got to be kidding me," I muttered. "So now you confide in Julianne and Kelly, the two girls that you've hated all of your life, instead of me?"
She smirked. "They actually aren't so bad. They at least pay attention to me."
I crossed my arms giving her a stern, disapproving look. "Can I please come in so I can explain myself?" I asked pleadingly.
She rolled her eyes in irritation, "Fine, but make it quick. I have plans to meet Julianne and Kristy at the mall soon."
I bit my tongue to stop myself from telling her how ridiculous she was being. I didn't need Kristy getting any angrier with me than she already was. She led me into the kitchen where Cole was sitting at the table, sipping a can of Coke and reading the news-paper. He had a pen out and was circling different jobs that he could apply for in the Want Ads.
"Find a job to apply for yet?" Kristy asked him as we walked in.
"No," he murmured, keeping his focus on the newspaper. Then he looked up, his face turned pale when he saw me and he immediately brought his gaze back to the paper. That was odd. Where was his sarcastic remark? Or flirty comment?
Kristy sauntered over to the fridge and pulled out two cans of Diet Coke. Then she walked back over to the table, handed me a can of soda, and sat down. I sat across from her, feeling awkward. After all, Cole was sitting just a few feet away from me.
"Talk, isn't that what you came here for?" Kristy said. I listened to the pop of her opening her can of Diet Coke.
"Uh," I looked over at Cole and bit my lip. I didn't really want to discuss things with Kristy with him sitting right there, listening to us.
"I haven't got all day." Kristy uttered in annoyance.
Cole glanced up at me and smiled impishly. Whatever, I didn't care if he listened or not anymore. "First of all, I'd just like to apologize for everything. I shouldn't have just completely shut you out because I had a boyfriend."
"What do you mean 'had'?" Kristy inquired.
"Ash and I broke up." I informed her.
She rolled her eyes, shaking her head. "What a shock," she droned.
"Actually, he proposed to me." I told her.
She sat up a bit straighter, eyes widening, more alert now. I noticed Cole stiffening and his eyebrows raised. "You turned him down, right?" Kristy asked.
"Actually, no." I replied.
"What?" she exclaimed.
"I said yes, but the next day I found out that two days after the wedding, he would be going off to war. So I broke up with him for hiding that from me." I decided not to add the part about how I put his mom in a coma. At least not yet.
"So just because he didn't tell you he was going to war until the other day, you broke up with him?" she queried.
"Yes, but yesterday I realized that I was wrong to do that. So I went over to his house to apologize. But when I got there..." I couldn't continue. It hurt too much.
Now Cole wasn't even trying to pretend like he was still reading the paper. He was looking straight at me, listening openly. "But what? What happened when you got there?" Kristy asked me.
I took a deep, cleansing breath and continued. "When I got there, Ash wasn't alone. His old girlfriend from Florida was there. It turns out, her family's visiting some relatives here in New York. So she came and found him. They never actually had an official break up so she thought that they were still together. Katrina's her name."
"So that's why you're so upset?" Kristy demanded.
"There's more." I said. "She was talking about how she still loved him. She asked him if he remembered the first time he told her that he loved her. She said that when he did, he carved their names into a tree. KE+AM=4ever."
Kristy's eyes filled with commiseration.
"He's been lying to me the entire time. He's just a player. Who knows how many other girls he's used this on? And I thought I was so special to him. I thought he was really in love with me." I told her. "He still says that he is in love with me though."
"Do you believe him?" Kristy asked.
I looked down at the table and began fidgeting with the pop tab that I'd ripped off of my can of soda. "Yeah, but I don't care. He can love me all he wants, but that doesn't change anything."
"Good, you shouldn't let him get to you. If you do, the thought of him will just eat away at you." she replied.
"Actually, he's not the thing that's eating away at me." I said.
Kristy's brow knit together, "What's eating away at you then?"
I sighed heavily, “You’ve heard about his mom right?" I asked. She nodded her head. "Well I was actually there at the accident. I caused it."
"What?" Kristy and Cole both cried at once.
"I stepped into the street, in front of a car. The car swerved and crashed into Ash's mom."
"Evalynne, do you realize what this means?" Kristy questioned. "You could be in serious trouble for this!"
"Well the police don't know about it yet." I replied. "They think that it was a deer that caused the car to swerve."
"Does Ash know?" Kristy demanded.
"No, I haven't told him yet, because if I do he'll tell the cops for sure."
"Well he should know, Evalynne." she told me.
"I know, but I just can't get myself to tell him."
"Maybe Ash won't tell." Cole said, speaking to me for the first time since I'd arrived.
"Why wouldn't he? He has the motive. I just broke up with him. If he finds out I put his mom into a coma too..." I shuttered, just thinking of how furious he would get.
"Well maybe the police won't believe him." Kristy said. "Maybe they'll think that he's just making the whole thing up because he's mad at you for breaking up with him."
"That's true," Cole added.
"Yeah, but what happens when the police bring me in for questioning? Am I just supposed to lie to their faces?" I asked in frustration. "No matter what, I'm the one who's at fault here. Plus, the police already know that I was there at the accident. And even if I get away with it, I'm going to have to live with this for the rest of my life."
"Just like Ash's dad..." Kristy murmured under her breath.
"Yeah, just like Ash's dad." I said.
"Maybe the police won't put you in jail. Maybe they'll understand that it was just an accident and that you didn't mean to cause anyone any damage. Maybe they'll just arrest the other driver for reckless driving." Cole advocated.
"Yeah, or maybe they'll arrest me for a hit and run." I asserted.
"You technically didn't commit a hit and run." Cole replied. "You aren't the one who was actually driving the car."
"Yeah, but they could still arrest me for lying to them. And I know for sure that I'll be charged with some kind of fine. And I'm sure it will cost a lot."
"Well maybe Ash will understand that it was just an accident. And if he still loves you as much as he says he does, then he might not get mad at you." Kristy pointed out.
"Maybe, but either way, I feel like I have to tell him sooner or later. But before I do, I want to make sure that he won't tell the cops. So what would we do if Ash didn't under-stand? What if he got all mad and told the police?" I asked.
"Well maybe we could convince Ash not to tell them." Kristy suggested.
"And how are we going to do that?" I demanded.
"I know you're not going to like this, but if you don't want Ash to tell, then you're going to have to get back together with him." Kristy replied.
"No! Sorry, but that's not even an option! I can't get back together with him."
"Well not for real. It would just be fake."
"Still, I can't even stand to look at him. How am I supposed to act like I still love him?" Nothing was going right. And I had a feeling that things were going to get worse before they got better.
"Well it's your choice. You can either tell Ash the truth and fake-date him or you can keep it from him forever and feel guilty for the rest of you life. But you're going to have to choose, and quick, before the police arrest that other guy and make him pay a huge fine."
I closed my eyes, trying to block out the tears. What was I supposed to do? I knew that this was truly the most difficult decision I'd ever had to make in my entire life.
If I didn't tell Ash, my life would crash and burn before my eyes. I would feel horrible and that feeling would eat away at me for the remainder of my life. And I wasn't so sure that I could live with that. I would be such a mess.
But if I did tell and got back together with Ash, my life would be a lie. Fake, fraudulent, a sham. However, I wouldn't be stuck in jail or be guilty. And Ash wouldn't be the only thing in my life. I would still have Kristy, my parents, senior year of high school. And at least that way, I would be able to get this off my chest.
So I could either lose everything, or lose my dignity, my seemliness, my self-respect.
Kristy looked at me expectantly. "So what's it going to be?"