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April 4, 2010
Sadie’s Pizza Parlor
“Ouch!” I yelped when Will put the ice to my cheek. We’d asked for a cup of ice at Sadie’s and then wrapped it in a towel that Will had found in the back of his car.
“Shh,” he told me soothingly. He gently applied pressure to my cheek and I bit my lip to fight back another yelp of pain. It stung, but I knew that it would help lessen the pain if I just relaxed and let him hold the ice there. After a few seconds, the coldness began to numb the pain away. “There,” he said. “Better now?”
“A little,” I was trying to keep my mouth as still as possible so that I wouldn’t move my cheek too much. This made my words come out in a murmur. He smiled, flashing me his gleaming white teeth.
“Hi, may I take your order?” a familiar voice said to us. I tuned in shock, almost knocking the towel-wrapped ice right out of Will’s hands.
“Kristy?” I exclaimed, looking at the person who used to be my best friend. Her hair was put back in a high ponytail and she was clad in black skinny jeans, a white t-shirt with the Sadie’s logo on the back, and a red apron that was tied around at her waste.
She rolled her chocolate brown eyes, looking less than thrilled to be waiting on us. But when she turned to look back at me her eyes went wide with concern. “Oh my gosh! What happened to your face?”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Will tense up beside me. I glanced at him quickly as I scanned my mind for a good excuse. I didn’t need Kristy to know the truth about what had happened. She’d probably freak out and then turn Will into the police for domestic violence.
“I uh, ran into a tree.” I lied. It didn’t sound very believable though, and apparently Kristy agreed.
“Ok, I know we’re mad at eachother and everything, but you’re still my best friend and I want to know what happened. Don’t lie to me, Evalynne.” she replied. I couldn’t help but smile when she said that I was still her best friend. That was definitely a huge relief. But the fact that she wouldn’t believe my pathetic lie wasn’t.
“I’m serious. I really did run into a tree.” I told her.
She smirked at me and crossed her arms over her chest. She wasn’t buying it. “I’m not leaving you alone until you tell me the truth. I’ll stand here all day if I have to. I’ll even get fired if I have to…but if I do end up getting fired I’ll be really mad at you because it would be all your fault. Then you’d owe me big time, because there’s no way you’re going to make me get fired on my third day here and get away with it.”
I let out a deep sigh and shot Will another glance, this one more desperate. I didn’t know what to tell her. She wasn’t buying my tree story, and I couldn’t think of anything else. I was in panic mode now.
“It was my fault,” Will spoke up. My eyes went wide and I turned to face him, wanting to hear what else he had to say.
“What do you mean? Did you hit her or something?” Kristy demanded. There was a look of pure fury in her eyes. “I don’t know you that well, but I swear to God, if you hit her I will do so much worse to you!”
I watched Will’s Adam’s apple bob up and down as he swallowed hard. “Well you see, we were kissing…” he began. “And when I was pulling back, I accidentally elbowed her in the face.” I had to admit, his lie was much more believable than mine. But apparently it wasn’t believable enough for Kristy.
“You’re lying to me.” she stated. “Because you don’t want me to know the truth. You don’t want me to know that you hit her!” She was shouting now, causing people to stare. The rage burning in her eyes was frightening. I’d never seen her this upset.
“Kristy!” a deep voice boomed. A tall, skinny, bald guy walked up behind her and she turned around to face him. His name tag read ‘Frank: Manager’. “What on earth do you think you’re doing? You’re supposed to be waiting tables, but you’re out here making a scene!”
“I’m sorry, it’s just that my friend—”
“Save it,” he said, cutting her off mid-sentence. “I don’t want to hear any excuses. I will not tolerate this behavior. I know it’s only your third day here, but this is just unacceptable. I’m sorry, but you’re going to need to turn in your apron.”
“You’re firing me?” she demanded. If she was furious before, then by now she was livid.
“I’m sorry, but yes, I’m firing you.” he replied, keeping his voice even.
“Well you can’t fire me, because I quit! So you can have your cheap, ugly polyester apron back!” She ripped it off of her waste and tossed it on the ground in front of him. “There, take it!”
He sighed and glanced around at all of the curious eyes that were plastered on him. “I’m going to need that shirt back too, so please go home and change out of it. Then come back and give it to me, along with your nametag.”
She sneered at him and shook her head. “You want the shirt?” she retorted. Then she did something that was ridiculous…even for her. She yanked the shirt off over her head and threw it onto the floor, right next to the apron. Everyone in the restaurant gasped in shock at what she’d just done. She stood there, glaring at Frank in her skimpy little camisole. “There, you can take that back too.”
Frank stood there, jaw dropped, eyes wide, completely speechless as Kristy turned to look at Will and I. She let out a deep breath of anger and shot a quick deadpan at Will. Then she turned her gaze to me.
“Get up,” she ordered me.
“What?” I asked.
“Get up!” she practically shouted in my face. I did as she told me to and stood up. Then she grabbed my hand and dragged me out of the restaurant.
“And don’t come back!” Frank called out the door after her.
“Wasn’t planning on it!” she remarked with a fierce glare. She guided me over to her car and I got inside. Once she was in her own seat she turned to look at me. “Why did you lie to me?”
I bit down on my lower lip. I didn’t want to make her any angrier than she already was. She’d just lost her job because of me. The least I could do was tell her the truth. “I love Will. And I knew that if I told you he hit me you’d freak out.” Apparently I was right, I added silently.
“Of course I’d freak out! Evalynne, you’re my best friend. I’m not going to allow some guy to hurt you! And I’m shocked that you would allow some guy to hurt you!” Her eyes got all glassy like she was about to cry. I didn’t understand why though. All he’d done was hit me. Yeah, it had left a pretty ugly bruise, but it wasn’t really that big of a deal.
“Kristy, I’m fine.” I assured her. She was definitely overreacting to this.
“How can you possibly say that?” she cried. “And more importantly, how can you still love him when he abuses you?”
“Because he’s not always abusive like that. He just has a really bad temper. But as long as he’s not angry, he’s a really amazing guy. I just wish you could understand how good he makes me feel… He loves me, Kristy.” I tried my best to explain my feeling for him, but words couldn’t even begin to describe how head over heels I was for him.
“He’s playing you, Evalynne.” she said.
“No, he’s not.” I remarked defensively. “He really loves me. He told me this morning.”
“He lied,” she remarked flatly.
“How would you know how he feels about me?” I demanded. “You don’t even know him!”
“I know that he hit you though. And guys who hit you don’t love you. Because guys who love you don’t want to hurt you.” She just didn’t understand what I was saying to her.
“He didn’t hit me because he doesn’t care about me.” I said, trying to explain things better for her. “He hit me because his temper got the best of him.”
“Ash had a temper.” she replied. “Did he ever hit you?” I went silent when she brought up Ash’s name. I hated admitting it, but she was right. Ash’s temper was pretty bad, but he’d never laid a hand on me. “That’s what I thought,” she remarked after a moment of silence.
“Fine, so Ash didn’t hit me. That doesn’t prove anything about Will though.” I said. I knew this would happen. This was exactly why I didn’t want to tell Kristy the truth. I glanced out her car window, hoping that Will would come and rescue me from her many questions and accusations.
“Why did he hit you?” she asked, ignoring my previous statement completely.
“He was mad because we started getting these really freaky texts. I said—”
“Show me the texts,” she told me in the middle of my sentence. I took my phone out of my pocket and showed her the first text message I’d received from our stalker.
“The one Will got said ‘I hope u 2 r happy together…just remember Will: some people won’t settle for just one guy…’ Then we both got this one.” I showed her the one about the radio station. “When we turned it on, the radio host was dedicating a song to Will and I from an unknown caller. The song was “Every Breath You Take” by The Police.”
I watched her face go a ghastly pale and her brown eyes widen. “About the text that Will got, what exactly did that mean?”
“Well…” I began sheepishly. “I kind of still love Cole.”
“What?” she demanded. I bit my lower lip and waited for her to lecture me about how wrong it was for me to still love a guy who I’d dumped. But instead she just took a deep breath and regained control of herself. “We’ll talk about that later. Just get to the part where Will hit you already.”
“Ok, well after those texts, I said that I think it might be Michael stalking us. Will agreed and got all furious at Michael for making his life hell. I couldn’t stand to see him so upset, so I tried to calm him down. I told him that it probably wasn’t Michael, that I was just jumping to conclusions. I told him that it was probably just some kid playing a prank.
He told me to stop saying that because it wasn’t true, but I didn’t listen. I kept telling him that, trying to calm him down. And it made him so mad…so mad that he just lost control…and he punched me.”
I purposely left out the part about me trying to leave him, and him scratching my arm. I didn’t need her screaming at me about that too.
“So you’re pretty much saying that he punched you because you were trying to calm him down.” she stated. Her eyebrows her raised and her lips were pursed smugly. “That’s not any reason to punch you. He did it because you were annoying him and he wanted you to shut up. So instead of trying to tell you nicely to stop talking, he punched you’re face in.”
“It wasn’t like that!” I cried. “You weren’t even there. How would you know?”
“Well based off of what you just told me, that’s exactly what happened. Because a guy who loves you wouldn’t punch you for trying to calm him down…no matter how bad of a temper he has.”
“Whatever,” I muttered. “I don’t care what you think anyways. I know that Will loves me and that I love him too. That’s all that matters to me.” I reached for the handle to the door, about to get out, but she locked the door just as I grabbed it. I turned to glare at her, completely frustrated. “Let. Me. Out.”
“Just wait a second,” she pleaded. Her eyes were getting all glassy again. “Before you go, you have to promise me something.”
“What?” I asked, nervous for her answer.
“You have to promise that you won’t go back to Will.”
“I can’t make that promise.” I replied evenly. “Now let me out of the damn car.”
“Fine,” she said, her voice coming out in a whisper. She ducked her head just as a tear rolled down her cheek, but I’d seen it.
“Why are you crying?” I asked her.
She sniffled and looked back up at me. “Because you’re my best friend, Evalynne! I care about you, and I don’t want you to get hurt! I just can’t believe that you’re allowing Will to punch you in the face and get away with it.” She sucked in a deep breath as more tears began to flood her eyes. “You’ve changed. You never used to be like this. You never used to be so desperate for guys.”
“I’m not desperate for guys!” I retorted, feeling completely offended.
“Well you’re about to go back to a guy who hit you. If you had any dignity, you’d kick his sorry a** out onto the street. But you won’t, because you’re desperate. So you’ll go back to him and you’ll let him hit you again. And when he does, you won’t care, because all you want is to have a guy in your life. You’ll convince yourself he loves you, convince yourself to love him, and when you find something better, you’ll move on.”
I was speechless. How could Kristy say that to me? She claimed to be my best friend, yet she was saying all these horrible things about me. That wasn’t what best friends did to eachother. Best friends respected eachother. They respected one another’s decisions, even if they didn’t agree with them.
“I’m not desperate.” I told her. “You can call me stupid for going back to Will. You can call me selfish for moving from Cole to Will so quickly. But you cannot, under any circumstances, call me desperate, because I’m not.”
With that, I turned back to open the car door. She unlocked it and I left without another word from Kristy. When I got back into the parking lot, Will was sitting on the hood of his car, waiting for me. I smiled when I saw him, and blinked back the tears that clouded my vision. But it was difficult to keep them away as I listened to the low grumble of Kristy’s car leaving the parking lot.
“Hey, is everything ok?” he asked me.
“Yeah,” I lied. “Everything’s fine.”