Not As It Seems
Author's note: I started to write this piece a couple years ago before putting it aside. I found it a couple... Show full author's note »
The PartyThe next couple weeks went by slowly, dragging while friends asked about her being sick, and being disappointed when she told them the truth; that she didn’t know what was wrong, but it was probably nothing. Her mom was convinced that everything was normal, but refused to let her go to parties like she used to.
“I’m doing this for your own good,” She said, cheeks flushing in anger, “You could black out again or get sick and nobody would know how to help you!” her voice growing stronger with each word as she leans against the kitchen counter before pausing and croaking out, “I can’t have you end up like your father,” she whimpers, a tear strolling silently down her face.
“Mom...” Lilly comes up and hugs her as she starts to cry harder, ignoring the thoughts of her dad rushing through her head, “I’ll be fine, Adam with be with me,” seeing her mom take interest she continues, “He was with me last time, he helped me then.”
Ms. James snatches a tissue of the counter, wipes her tears, and starts stirring the pasta on the stove, calming down. Trying to be patient, Lilly sits on the counter next to her mother, adding things to the sauce and humming.
After what seems like ages to Lilly, her mom turned to her, sighing, “You can go after dinner,” she smiles as Lilly hugs her, “and have Adam pick you up!” She turns back to their dinner as Lilly rushes out of the kitchen into the stairs in the living room.
She pauses halfway up the stairs when she hears something move behind her, she turns back and looks around their living room glancing from one wood wall to the other, before locking on a flash of movement by the curtains. Walking silently down the stairs she goes to grab an umbrella out of the stand, but gasps when something barrels into her from the side, hugging her.
Looking down she sees Jeremy’s green eyes, so alike her own, staring up at her, eyes spilling over with tears, “Lilly, I miss dad,” His lip quivering as he sniffles.
“I know bud, me too,” Lilly says, blinking to stop her tears from spilling over, trying to be strong for Jeremy. Hugging him back, she glances over his head at the curtains, still now, shaking her head and figuring it must have been a trick of the light, that flash of gold that she could have sworn caught her eye.
After dinner, Lilly goes up to her room, waiting for Adam. Staring at the bright blue walls of her bedroom, she wonders if whatever is wrong with her is life threatening and imagines what would happen if she was gone. Her things would be packed up or sold. She’d be long forgotten.
Who’d come to my funeral? She wonders and laughs bitterly to herself. Not many people.
As she looks through her closet, nothing looks presentable. And she decides to leave on the plain gray long sleeve shirt and jeans she had on for school that day of school.
Glancing at her calendar by her desk she realized it had been over a week since her black out with no problems. Smiling she knows she is going to leave soon, leave and go find Lucas.
I’ll tell Adam tonight. She decides. And I’m going with or with out him.
When the doorbell rings, she grabs her cell phone and twenty dollars, slipping them into her pocket before saying goodbye to her mom and opening the door for Adam.
Her eyes are level with the V of his white t-shirt, and she looks up to his eyes when he says,
“You ready?” going to help her with her jacket, before pulling back and putting his hands hastily in his jeans pockets.
“Come wake me when you get back,” Lilly hears her mom say as she finishes putting her jacket on. Saying bye to her Mom they walk outside and go in Adams car.
As he pulls out of her driveway she smiles, taking in the warmth and the smell of the air freshener, fresh pine filling her nose, before leaning forward and changing the radio. Hearing Adam chuckle she puts on the mix cd she made him for his birthday in July, sitting back and letting the loud heavy metal fill her ears. He leaves it for about a minute before he finally goes to turn it down, like he always does when Lilly turns it up this load, She groans, and Adam pulls away from the volume control, somehow silently understanding she needs the comfort of the loud music in that moment while she can’t help but think back to the conversation with her mom.
When they get to the party Adam offers to go find some drinks as Lilly walks around, seeing who’s showed up. Laughing she sees one of her best friends, Hanna, flirting with a muscular guy with dark black hair. As Hanna flips her long blonde hair over one shoulder, she turns and sees Lilly watching her, grinning as she abandons the guy she was with and comes over to hug Lilly,
“Finally joining civilization?” Hanna laughs, brown eyes twinkling.
Lilly laughs and gestures towards the guy with the black hair, still gazing longingly at Hanna who scoffs saying,
“Leave them wanting more and all, right?” she looks back at the guy, obviously not caring if she ever sees him again, as the norm with her.
They laugh and catch up until Hanna abruptly goes to leave, Lilly frowns, confused, as henna waves and winks before quickly disappearing into the crowd of people. Lilly turns as a hand touches her wrist and sees Adam handing her a Dr. Pepper, keeping a Pepsi for himself.
“What was that about?” he asks, sipping his Pepsi.
“No idea,” she says, cracking open her soda, but he’s not listening. Looking over behind her to see what is holding his attention, she finds herself face to face with Samantha Johnson, and says to Adam, annoyed,
“I’m going to go find…” she trails of as she sees he’s not listening and walks away trying not to about him.
After a while of walking around in a daze, she finds herself in the kitchen and sits down on the empty counter, grabbing another Dr. Pepper and kicking off her shoes. She glances out the window behind her and tries to blow away the strand of hair that has fallen out of her pony and into her face. Frustrated she hastily pushes it behind her ear and thinks about what her mom had said earlier.
"I can’t have you end up like your father."
She feels a sudden tear stroll down her cheek and pushes back the memories of his accident, turning back around to find Drew standing there, watching her.
“How long have you been standing there?” she asks, quickly brushing away the tears on her cheeks. He laughs and comes to sit next to her, not noticing her tears.
“Not long,” he says, running his hand through his barely there blonde hair before resting it on the barely there space between them. Lilly glances up out the kitchen door and sees Samantha and Adam holding hands, jaw dropping when Samantha reaches up and kisses his cheek. Lilly turns back to Drew quickly, not seeing the shocked look on Adams face. She realizes Drew is waiting for an answer to a question she was to distracted to hear and nods.
As she tries to focus on what he’s saying she finds her mind wandering to Adam in the doorway and realizes that he’s watching her talk to Drew. She smiles bitterly coming up with an idea.
Two can play that game. She smiles with no humor.
Stopping Drew midsentence she leans forward pressing her lips to his, at first he’s ridged and shocked until he finally kisses her back. Trying not to think of how badly she wants to throw up, she pulls back, not meeting Adam’s shocked face before picking up her shoes and walking out the back door.