One of Them
Author's note: I'm writing this with my best friend, SoffyWaffles17. We started this about eight months ago,... Show full author's note »
LizzieOnce we had danced for quite a bit of time, we stop and sit down at a table with a red velvet table cloth and cheap plastic flowers for a centerpiece.
“Beck, you’re in some of my classes, right?”
“Yeah, three actually…..So, um…..”
“Yeah. There isn’t really anything to talk about, is there?” Beck opens his mouth to say something, but nothing came out and he closes it.
He was looking behind me. I look over my shoulder and find Drew, a senior, practically standing over me.
“Hello, Princess.” he greets.
“It’s Lizzie, actually, and hello to you too,” I greeted back, but not as polite as he said it. What’s up with the quarterback calling me princess?
“How are things?”
“Things are good,” I glance at Beck. Drew flicks his eyes from me to him.
“So, I see, you are with Beckett,”
“It’s actually just Beck,” Becks states, running a hand through his short, dark blonde hair.
“Oh. Um, Princess, can I talk to you? Alone?"
"Um, now is not the best time. Maybe later....?"
"Um, ok. Well, I’ll see you later then, Princess?” Drew says awkwardly. I don’t bother to correct him this time. Honestly, what’s the deal with this dude?
And ending with that, Drew walks away.
“Princess?” Beck asks. I shrug. Who knows?
It’s silent until my cell phone rings. I pull it out of my clutch. Mom. I press ‘Accept’.
“Hullo?” I answer, positioning a loose dirty blonde ringlet behind my ear.
“Oh, Liz, sweetie. Glad you answered. Uh. You need to go home. Now.” Mom says urgently.
“Wh- why? What’s wrong?”
“Um, your father fell down the stairs. He- we think he might’ve broken his back. We are on the way to the hospital right now. Sarah’s at the house waiting for you,”
“Oh my God. Is he…..alright…ish?”
“Well, he’ll live. Let’s just leave it at that.” My eyes widen. “Wait- I just made it sound really bad. Didn’t I?”
“Um, just a bit?”
“He’s…….. okay-ish. Hear him?” Mom holds the phone out, and I can hear Dad groaning and moaning in the background. I wince when he cries out in pain.
“Wow. Okay. I’ll go,”
“Love you, too,” I pressed ‘End Call’. Yay. A perfect end to a perfect night.
“Okay. Sorry, Beck. But, I have to go.”
“What? Why? Is something wrong?”
“My Dad fell down the stairs. Potentially broke his back. Not good stuff,”
“Oh. Uh. I’ll take you home,”
“You have a car?” I ask hopefully.
“No…… but I can… run you home, I guess.”
“Okay…Come on then.” I pull off my high heels, and we start for the curtain, and go into the fairly full parking lot. I started to run, Beck close behind me.
Wow, I think, he must be really fast to keep up with me. No one can keep up with me.
We race down the sidewalk. Once we ran out of breath, we were only a block away from my house. We take deep breaths the fill our contracting lungs. When we did, and could fully function and talk without wheezing, I gently take Beck’s hand. I pull him behind me, down the dark, lonely street, only lightened by the flickering, yellow street lamps.
Beck and I reach my house seconds later.
“Bye,” I say.
“Bye. I hope your dad is going to be okay.”
“Thanks. And…. I had a great time tonight. Thank you.”
“No problem. Maybe we could do it again sometime.”
“Yeah. Definitely.” Breaking every rule concerning Beck since I was thirteen, I kiss him on the cheek then, quickly. “It was nice to hang out with you again.” I open the door and rush inside. I slam the door shut, and lean against it. I drop my high heels on the floor, and rub my aching soles.
“Hey! You’re late! Go get some regular clothes on!” Sarah yells at me. I leap onto the stairs. On the third step, I scream.
“Oh, yeah. I meant to clean that up. Just walk around it,” Sarah calls down from the top of the stairs. Blood. It was a big, blotchy puddle of blood on the white-carpeted staircase. I tiptoe around it carefully, and skip two stairs the rest of the way.
This would have been a problem if Sophie were here, with her…..issues.
When I get to the top, I speed to my room. I throw my scarf and my bag on my blue and grey checkered bedspread. Then, I undress and go to my closet, pulling out a magenta colored long sleeve and some dark wash skinny jeans. I slip it all on, plus some mismatched socks and black Vans. I grab my bag and pull my phone out, sliding it into my back jeans pocket. I run down the stairs, making sure to avoid the blood spot.
Sarah was already at the door waiting. I snatch a blue denim jacket from the brass hook by the door, and a navy blue, floral, thin, wispy scarf with little roses on it the color of my shirt. Sarah opens the door impatiently, and we rush out the door. Beck’s sitting on the porch, and when he see’s me, he stands up.
“Hey. I never got your number.” Beck exclaims.
“Oh, uh. Don’t you have it already have it? You know, from eighth grade?” I ask him. He shakes his head.
“I kinda…. lost it,” I shrug, and take his phone. I reluctantly enter my phone number in his, and then hand it back to him. I check my phone. Nope. His number’s still there, after four years.
“Come on, Elizabeth Tara Balea. We don’t have all night!” Sarah says.
“Bye, Beck!” I say getting into the car.
“Bye!” he returns. He puts his hands in his pockets, and slowly walks away, gradually disappearing into the darkness.
“You know, Lizzie, if I wasn’t already dating Danny, that dude would be at the top of my list. He is smoking!” Sarah says as she puts her seat belt on. I stare at her in shock, and she starts to laugh. I punch her shoulder, shaking my head.
What have I done?
I walk down the street to get home.
“Dude,” Lucas says exasperatedly, suddenly falling into step with me.
Ya know, I’m probably never gonna get used to him just appearing like that, I think.
“What?” I shrug my shoulders.
“Um. What was that?”
“That-was-called-a-shrug,” I say very slowly, shrugging to emphasize my point.
“No! I mean- about the girl. You. Did. Not. Bring. Her. To. Me!” he says, slightly snarling.
“So? Her dad is in the hospital. She had to go.”
“And you took her home. You were so close to the alley, and I bet you didn’t think once about bringing her there.”
“Correctamundo,” I say in a Yoda-like voice, putting some humor in the situation. Lucas didn’t buy into it.
“Beck, I swear. You need to step up your game. You need to be better at your job, or you’re fired.”
“I am good at this job! I’m one of the Seven, and you know it! But please- put me on a different case. I’m begging you,”
“No reason to beg, Beck. Either you do this or you’re fired. Case closed. Bring her to me. You have ten minutes.”
Lucas turns and walks away angrily. I watch his shoulders bounce with every breath he takes.
After watching Lucas until he disappeared into the depths of the cool, dark night, I continue my walk home. Lucas wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t fire me. I’m pretty much his best friend! I decide not to get Lizzie. She is dealing with enough at the moment. Lucas will cool off. Eventually. He always does.
It wasn’t long of a walk until I got home, which made me realize just how close I lived to Lizzie.
I strode into the house, and I put some well worn jeans and a black Dirty Projectors T-shirt on. I walk back into the living room and find Kat snoring soundly on the leather couch. I sit down next to her, careful not to disturb Kat’s sleep, and I go channel surfing. Mom comes into the room, and sits down next to me.
“Hey, Beck. You’re back early.” Mom says coolly. Oh, Beck, great to see you!
“Am I?” Thanks! Great to see you too!
“Yeah. Was it…….okay?” How did it go? Did you have a fun time? Meet a girl?
“Yeah. I guess,” Yes, I had a fun time. Yeah, I did meet a girl. Lizzie? Remember her? We danced, and had a bunch of fun.
“Well, dinner’s in the kitchen… if you want some. You can heat it up in the microwave. And could you carry Kat up to bed for me? That would be great. Thanks.” I nod, and pick my little sister up. I carry her to her pink room and lay her down. I pull her blankets up to her chin before her eyes flutter open sleepily.
“How was it?” she asks, shifting to a comfortable position.
“It was good.”
“Tell you what?” I say, confused.
“How it went. Details, bro. I need details,” I sigh, and sit down on the edge of her bed.
“Okay. For starters, I got there. And I hung out with my friends for a while. Then, I walked over to the snack table and asked my old friend, Lizzie to dance. Remember her?” Kat suddenly shots upright, and stares at me, a little creepily. Green eyes wide, brown hair a fuzzy mess. She looked like a troll, but of course I didn’t tell her that.
“That’s what I wanted to hear!” she says. “Good pick, too. Lizzie’s pretty,” I laugh. She giggles also.
“And then we danced for quite some time. After, we sat down at a table and talked a bit. Then her mom called, and she had to go home, cause her dad fell and got hurt. Finally, I ran her home.”
“You ‘ran’ her home?”
“Yes, exactly. In the end, it all turned out great. I had a good time, she had a good time. Everyone had a good time. Except the whole ‘dad falling part’” I lay back on the pillows.
“Did you kiss her?”
“Kat!” I protest.
“What? Did you?” I sigh.
“Only on the cheek,”
“That’s all I wanted to know. Now, get out. I’m tired. Love ya, Beck.”
“Love ya, too, Kat. Goodnight.” I left the room, turning off the lamp and closing the door on the way out. I walk into the kitchen to see the ‘dinner’ Mom said would be there. There was cold mashed potatoes, cool red steak, and wilted salad. I grab it all and put into the sink. I don’t think it’s safe to eat.
Instead, I grab a bag of organic chips, and go into my blue-and-black painted room. I flip my TV on, and pull my cell phone out. I watch the TV for a while, and when it goes to commercial, I send a text to Lizzie, and check the time. It’s 11:25. My ten minutes with Lucas ended, like, an hour ago.
Me: Hey, Liz. How’s ur dad doin’?
Lizzie: Good, I gess. Cud be better.
Me: Sounds kinda bad.
Lizzie: It is. I need to get out of here. The smell is making me sick.
Me: Well, were do u wanna go?
Lizzie: How bout Denny’s?
Lizzie: See u there in bout 10 minutes.