The R Word
Author's note: I wrote this book a little of a year ago in my spare time. It was just for fun and I started... Show full author's note »
The Parker and Aaron ShowdownBeth couldn’t believe that it was Tuesday already. Monday had been so eventful, stressful, and frustrating that it all just morphed into a blur. Kristen sent around that picture of her cheating on Aaron to the whole school, Aaron dumped her while Kristen got the satisfaction to watch, and one of her friends turned out o be a traitor and abandoned the group to be with Kristen’s. Not to mention the whole school was poking it’s nose into her private life. All of Aaron’s football teammates got
It was her fourth period, which she had off, so she was sitting in one of the picnic tables in the back of the school, studying for the test she had next period. She didn’t know why she was even bothering, she couldn’t get her mind to focus anyway.
Finally when she’d gotten home she managed to get her phone charged. When it finally flickered back to life there were endless text messages waiting for her. One was the text blast itself, the rest revolving around the picture or the break up. Everyone was poking their noses into it, demanding the truth even though it had nothing to do with them. She had people she barely knew repeatedly texting her about the details which they’d never get.
She felt like she was under a microscope, and everyone in the world was taking turns, everyone getting their chance to look and see whatever they wanted about her. Hadn’t anyone ever heard of space or privacy? Why was her breakup anyone but her and Aaron’s business anyway? Why did everyone feel the need to be a part of it? It was hard enough to deal with it alone, and now the whole world was watching.
Beth felt a tap on her shoulder and then Parker’s face came into view. He reached his lips towards hers but she stopped him and pushed him away.
“What’s wrong?” He demanded. “No more boyfriend, right? So there’s nothing in the way of us getting back together. See, everything worked itself out.”
“Well I’m glad you think so.” Beth responded sarcastically, appalled at Parker’s reaction to the whole situation. He didn’t even care that the picture had been sent to the whole school.
“What’s wrong?” He wondered, taking the seat next to her.
“What’s wrong? Hmm. Let me think about that. What do you think Parker?! Every kid at this school has that picture and Aaron dumped me! How can you even ask me what’s wrong?” Beth demanded, shaking her head at his cluelessness.
“So? Who cares?” He shrugged.
“I do!” Beth shouted, closing her chem book, rising to her feet and grabbing her bag. “I don’t know if you understand this but I just go dumped!”
“So what? You didn’t even want to be with him.” Parker insisted.
“Who says?” Beth challenged.
“God Beth! Make up your mind! If you wanted to be with him then why were you with me?”
“I don’t know! I was confused. I’ve gotta go.” She rolled her eyes and started to walk away.
Parker grabbed her shoulder and stopped her. “Come on. We should talk about this.”
“Let go of me!” Beth tried to pull away but his grip tightened, causing pain to shoot through her arm. She felt like his fingers were just digging deeper and deeper into her shoulder, digging, breaking…
“Oww! Parker let go! You’re hurting me!” Beth struggled but again couldn’t move. Suddenly she remembered why they broke up in the first place… He had his arms on both of her shoulders now and had pulled her into the alley way off a few feet from the area she had been sitting in.
“Come on Beth. After all we’ve been through, you can’t just forget that. I love you!” Parker urged, trying to bring his lips to hers again.
“It’s over Parker!” Beth insisted, trying to get away. Parker’s hands dug deeper into her arms. “Oww! Parker! Let go!”
“Let go of her.” A deep voice growled as their fist crashed into the side of Parker’s face. Parker fell to the cold concrete ground in shock.
Beth gasped in surprise and turned to see Aaron. He grabbed her hand gently but firmly and pulled her behind him. “Go back to the grass.” He instructed.
As she walked backwards Parker shot up and nailed Aaron in the face with his fist. Aaron slammed into the wall of the alley and Beth let out a small squeak. Aaron tackled Parker and started punching him in the face repeatedly.
Beth gasped and covered her mouth with her hand. She knew she needed to stop them, but she was frozen where she stood.
Parker rolled on top of Aaron and started punching Aaron in the face. Aaron kicked Parker in the stomach and he flew onto his back. They both got back up and lunged at each other. It was happening so fast that Beth couldn’t keep up. She could see that both of them had blood pouring from their noses, and who knew what other injuries they had already. She knew she needed to stop them before someone got seriously hurt.
“Stop!” Beth screamed, but neither listened.
“Stay away from Beth.” Aaron threatened as he punched Parker in the face again.
“What’s she to you?” Parker replied as he shoved Aaron into the wall. “You dumped her, remember?”
“Just,” Aaron threw Parker onto the ground and kicked him in the stomach. “Stay away from her.”
Parker got back up and all Beth could see was a large blur again. She knew she couldn’t step them on her own so she sprinted back to the school. She came up to two security guards huffing and puffing. “You’ve gotta help. These two boys are fighting. You’ve gotta stop them!” She exclaimed, gasping for air.
“Where?” The big one asked.
Beth pointed the way she came. “The alley.”
The security guards both began running in that direction, Beth following. Each of them grabbed Parker and Aaron as another security guard arrived. Beth heard one of them instruct to call an ambulance.
An ambulance? Who had gotten hurt that badly? Beth tried to see, to get to them, but the other security guard wouldn’t let her through.
The ambulance arrived shortly and Beth watched in horror as both Parker and Aaron were loaded in. Neither of them moving.
Screw school, Beth thought as she grabbed her bag and began to run back to her car. There was a large crowd observing the scene now and many more students were rushing to see what happened. After all, Aaron was the star football player, and there was a big game tonight, which made it the entire school’s concern.
Beth reached her car, breathless, and sped down to the hospital. Her phone kept beeping, probably from Star and Olivia, wondering what was going on. The road blurred by as she pushed her car faster and faster, she felt like she couldn’t wait another minute.
Beth was so anxious that she was shaking. She was so worried that her stomach began to turn. How bad had they gotten hurt? Beth found herself only really worrying about Aaron. She couldn’t help herself from being mad at Parker still. In a way, this was all his fault, but in a way, it was all hers.
Beth wondered as she pulled into the hospital parking lot if they’d even let her see Aaron. This was probably just a waste of time. Beth hurried in the doors and asked the woman at the front desk if she could see Aaron…and Parker. The woman told Beth she’d have to wait, and that the doctor would let her know when she could see them.
But Beth wasn’t just about to give up and go home. She sat in one of the chairs and was prepared to wait as long as she had to.
Time seemed to drag on and on. The seconds turned into hours, the minutes turned into days, the hours turned into years, and then it all seemed to blur together. She felt like she was going to just fall over, asleep, a ticking sound in the back of her mind. How long had it been? It seemed as if time suddenly disappeared, and she was left with nothing to go by.
She chewed on her thumb nail nervously. What if they weren’t okay? What if one of them died? She flinched at the word, her mind automatically drifting back to Austin. She exhaled harshly. She’d managed to go quite awhile without thinking about him.
Beth twisted a pieced of her platinum blonde hair around her finger over and over, trying to make time pass by more quickly. She studied the pattern of the stitching on her jeans and then memorized every detail of her purple heels.
She glanced at the clock, whose noisy clicks seemed to be taunting her. It had almost been two hours. Just then her stomach started growling; she’d missed lunch.
After what seemed like a lifetime the doctor led her back to Aaron’s room. She hesitated before stepping inside and then timidly inched in further.
“Beth.” Aaron spoke. His face was splattered with dried blood from his nose, which must have been broken, his eyes had large dark circles under them, and his entire body was decorated with all kinds of cuts and bruises. She couldn’t help herself from feeling relieved, she’d imagined much worse. It looked as if there was nothing broken. “What are you doing here?”
Beth gulped, trying to keep the tears from spilling from her eyes. “Do you want me to leave?” She asked.
He just stared at her face for a long time and she stared back. “No.” He finally sighed.
She slowly came and sat at the foot of his bed. “Thank you.” She nodded and half smiled, “For saving me.”
He half smiled back and laughed once to himself. “Anytime, it felt good to kick his ass.”
They both laughed quietly for a moment. “Are you okay?” he asked Beth.
“Me?” She laughed once and rolled her eyes. “Are you okay?”
“Perfect.” He grinned.
“Seriously, what’ the damage?” Beth wondered.
“Uh, well the bastard gave me a mild concussion. But other than that it’s just bruises and cuts. He didn’t even break my nose, which was surprising. How is Parker? How many bones did I break?” Aaron grinned.
“Well I’m glad you think this is funny.” Beth rolled her eyes. “And I don’t know.”
“You haven’t seen him?” Aaron guessed.
“You goin’ after you’re done talking to me?”
Beth paused for a moment, considering. “No.”
Aaron just nodded, staring into Beth’s eyes. “I’m really sorry Aaron, this is all my fault!” Beth covered her face with her hands.
“No it’s not!” Aaron laughed once. “I’m the one that punched him and started the fight.”
“That’s true.” They both laughed together.
“Can I ask you a question?” Aaron asked, suddenly serious.
“Of course.” She immediately responded.
“Just tell me the truth. Were you…with him because you wanted to be, or because he made you, like today?”
Beth wanted to tell him that it was because he forced her, always. That way they could put this behind them and get back together, but she was done lying to him. “It was about half and half.” She responded, staring at her hands. She took a deep breath. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am, and as much of a cliché as this is, I’d take it all back if I could.”
He just nodded, staring at the blank TV. Beth considered asking him if he wanted her to get him the remote, but she didn’t want to break the silence.
“Damn it Beth.” He muttered.
“What? What now?” She demanded, thrown off guard.
“I want to hate you, I really do, I really should. It would make things so much easier. But I…” He trailed off, not meeting Beth’s eyes.
“But what?” She demanded, a spark of hope lighting inside of her. She tried to keep a straight face, she tried to hide the smile that was threatening to break out, so she bit down hard on her lower lip, waiting.
“But…” he locked his eyes with hers. “But I can’t stop loving you.”
Beth sucked in a sharp breath, warmth spreading over her whole body. Hope overtook her and she smiled. “I still love you.” She added quietly.
“But Beth?” His voice was suddenly hard again.
“Yeah?” She jumped a little in her seat.
“I hope you know this doesn’t change anything.” He stared into Beth’s eyes seriously for a long time. His face was smooth and calm, but completely serious at the same time. Like a statue, his face was unmoving, and seemed to scream, ‘There’s no changing my mind’.
She knew it wasn’t going to change anything, she’d just hoped, hoped with all of her heart. She knew she didn’t deserve his forgiveness anyway. So with shattered hope and a broken heart she nodded, “I know.”