Chapter 9: Ring
"Fuck!" I screamed. I quickly snatched my hand out of the hole in the drywall that I'd just made with my fist. I flexed my fingers as my wrist began to ache. Looking down at my hand, I could see my knuckles beginning to bruise underneath the dust. Seeing my injury was enough to pull my mind back together. I could see how ridiculous I was being and how unstable my emotions were right now. This was stupid and punching a wall wasn't going to change the fact that I still felt like shit.
I looked up at the pretty decent sized hole, becoming even more stressed out the longer I stared at it. On top of feeling like shit, I was now going to have to listen to my parents when they'd come home and lose their shit because I snapped for a split second and fucked up the wall. My head felt like it was spinning and there was no hope in sight for anything to go right. Even when I thought that the tiniest thing could be my potential relationship with Andy, that little fantasy had already started fading away too.
Feeling defeated and even worse than I did a few hours ago, I glanced at my phone. Still nothing from him. Not even a single word. My heart broke more and more as the minutes flew by. I didn't want to acknowledge the fact that it all seemed too good to be true right from the very beginning. There was no way in hell that a guy like Andy would want to be stuck with a girl like me. I've got too much baggage that comes with drama and bullets. Even though I lived in constant fear that he was going to get hurt because of me, it was nice to know that he wanted me for who I was, not out of convenience or because I was stupid and damaged.
The thought of missing out on someone that was good for me brought tears to my eyes. I had spent the entire weekend bouncing off the walls while I waited for Andy to call, just like he always did. We always spent the evenings talking and texting back and forth, but the weekends were what I always looked forward to even if one of us ended up falling asleep while on the phone. It always brought me a great deal of peace no matter how the conversations ended. He was my happy place and I didn't know if I was ready to let it easily slip through my fingers. I told myself that I would let him have his space after what happened with Alex at the party. Now, here it was, a Sunday night with school resuming bright and early tomorrow and I couldn't stand it anymore. I craved the sound of his voice. He was ignoring all of my calls and texts and the fear of the unknown was eating me alive. The more he ignored me, the crazier I got.
Midnight was preparing to roll around and as much as I wanted to hear him say goodnight, I knew that I didn't want to pull an all-nighter and pay for it in class the next morning. I'd already called him a hundred times. One more call wasn't going to hurt.
With sweaty and trembling hands, I pressed my phone to my ear, clenching it nervously. All four rings ripped me to shreds and my heart sank when it finally went to voicemail. "It's Angel again," I chuckled nervously. My emotions were beginning to fly all over the place once more. I was fighting to hold back tears the best that I could. "I was just calling to make sure you were okay and to tell you goodnight. See you at school tomorrow." Suddenly, rage was coursing through my veins and when I hung up, I could have crushed my phone with my bare hands. I quickly discovered how much I hated being ignored and there was going to be hell to pay.
My heart raced every time that fucking bell rang. I'd race into the halls, praying that I would run into Andy. Before the drama got started a few days ago, he and the rest of his pack made it a point to congregate by my locker. For the first few classes, his friends were there, but he was nowhere to be found. I was getting frustrated. I never would have expected him to go to such extreme measures to avoid me. That only proved that there was nothing left with us and I would have killed to be able to let him go with as little effort as possible. This kind of behavior wasn't like me at all.
I felt even more broken and beat down when the warning bell rand and I still didn't see him. I had to admit that I was a little ashamed of myself. Any other day, I would probably roam the halls with my head held high knowing that I was what everyone wanted but couldn't have because my heart was already taken. Today, I was praying that no one even looked in my direction while they were more than likely whispering about what came out of my mouth at the party. Before the words even escaped my lips, I know that people were going to have something to gossip about, but it was a sacrifice that I was willing to make for Andy. I immediately thought that I was never going to live that down and I was probably right.
I rounded the corner to step into theater class with my head feeling like it was going to fucking explode when the final bell filled the halls and classrooms. Theater wasn't one of my absolute favorite classes, but it meant that I only had two classes left before I could haul my ass to the bus and go home. Today had felt like two weeks packed into one and I was over it.
With my eyes looking down at my feet, I weaved around the ancient desks that my parents probably sat in during their time at Mount View. My mood only got shittier when I realized how much more crowded it was than usual. Every little thing was bothering me from the fact that people were leaning across the aisles being loud as fuck to the fact that the sun was shining through the window, beaming directly in front of the bookshelf. I tried to hide my irritation as I plopped down in my desk in front of Kyle Goode. Kyle was usually the only thing that made Theater bearable most of the time. We'd become pretty good friends, even ending up in detention a time or two since the beginning of the year. Our friendship made me feel pretty normal like my life wasn't filled with bullshit like it was the majority of the time.
I tossed my hair over my shoulder as I whipped my head around to look at the antique clock on the wall behind me. I squinted my eyes, seeing that class hadn't even been going on for five minutes. The rest of the day was definitely going to drag on. I sighed, feeling even more disappointed than when I crawled out of bed this morning.
"Kyle," I said calmly, waiting for a response. As anxious as the environment was making me, I wasn't in the mood to try to be calm and patient. "Kyle," I said again, only this time sounding more annoyed. Still no reply. My feelings were already hurt because I was sure that I'd lost Andy and what we had going on. It may have seemed a little irrational, but I felt like everyone was turning on me and I didn't want to lose a friend like Kyle too. I was always certain that people never expected us to be friends considering the fact that we were total opposites. Kyle was a bigger white guy that drove a regular Ford F-150, likes to hunt, and dipped snuff. I on the other hand, was just above your average basic teenage girl that loved to party and get fucked up in the process. Somewhere down the line at five years old, we crossed paths when I would visit my favorite uncle James, Pash's father. Pash despised anything that had to do with working outside or just being outside in general. Down in their own little piece of land in Eckman, before being bought out by a coal company, they owned two of the sweetest and most gentle horses, Sugar and Spice. Uncle James would call my dad to help him out on the property and in return, he would let me spend as much time with Sugar and Spice as I wanted to. With Kyle being one of the few kids in their neighborhood, his parents would let him come over to play with the horses and also to play with me whenever he wanted to.
We eventually lost contact with each other and didn't cross paths again until we stepped through the doors of Mount View six years later. It seemed odd and uncomfortable at first because of how different we had become. Ashe and Brina found it hard to believe that he and I had ever even looked in each other's direction. We'd speak every now and then as we casually passed each other coming and going to class, but we really didn't link up again until the time that a picture of the Chemistry teacher holding beakers up in front of her tits started floating around the school. It had been one hell of a way to break the ice.
"Kyle, where the hell did all of these assholes come from?!" I snapped, letting my agitation take control. He snapped his head in my direction and he stared at me with wide eyes. I was quickly regretting how bratty I had just been by demanding his attention. He was beginning to look nervous. "Shit. My bad, dude. What's going on today?" I said quickly in a much more mellow tone. I noticed him swallowing a lump in his throat. He leaned forward, shifting in his seat as if he was trying to block my view and shield something behind him. He froze for a minute or two, giving me the opportunity to try to read the expression on his face. For a minute, it looked like he was beginning to panic.
"Kyle! What time are you trying to leave?" A hand rested on his shoulder, pulling him back in his seat, making my blood run cold and my heart flutter as my eyes rested on Andy for the first time in what seemed like an eternity. His eyes were glued to me and mine were glued to him. It was obvious to everyone that was probably watching us, including Kyle that we were studying each other's features, expecting the two of us to embrace after seeming like strangers all over again. I was sure that I looked like shit with bags under my eyes from worrying due to lack of sleep and communicating with him. My hair was all over my head this morning and my skin was an oily mess.
My eyes trailed down from his hair to his eyes and to his lips that I craved the feeling of being pressed against mine that all had remained unchanged. We'd only gone a weekend without seeing each other, it wasn't like he had plastic surgery overnight and completely recovered before school this morning. I actually cracked a little bit of a smile from the relief of finally seeing him again. I nearly jumped out of my seat at the thought of feeling his warm embrace.
But it was clear that we weren't sharing mutual feeling about seeing each other again. His leg was bouncing uncontrollably underneath the desk and he nervously rubbed the side of his neck. He was beginning to sweat profusely and that's when I knew that he had been caught red-handed and I was going to flip shit. He closed his eyes, taking a few deep breaths and pressed his lips together. His leg was still going crazy. He opened his eyes once more and locked them with mine. "Angel, I-," he paused, "I didn't know that you had this class. I-I meant to text you back this morning," he stuttered with a nervous grin in an attempt to throw me off. He was lying and it was starting to piss me off. "I went hunting this weekend," he spit out to add to the rest of his bullshit. His arm was preparing to go back to his neck when I took note of the discolored mark on his skin.
Before he could spit out any more lies, I reached across the aisle, gripping his chin and tilting his head to the side, wanting so badly to break his neck when I revealed the truth. I could see the deep purple spot on his neck that was every bit the size of my entire hand that started from the crease between his neck and shoulder. It trailed up his neck, stopping just below his right ear lobe. I could see it for what it was and my heart shattered into a million pieces. It felt like there was a rope wrapped around my neck that was squeezing my throat tighter and tighter.
My hand slipped away from his face and his jaw was now hanging open like he was the one whose heart had just been kicked in the ass. My eyes burned and my chest ached like I was about to throw up. The thought of someone else's lips pressed against his skin was truly sickening, especially after all of the bullshit he put in my head about wanting me to be his first. He could have tried to tell me more lies about what he'd been up to, but with a hickey that big, he had definitely fucked someone else this weekend.
"Well, I hope whatever pussy you went hunting for was worth it," I stood up from my seat, snatching up my books and back pack, preparing to walk out. "Good bye, asshole," I said with my voice cracking. I turned my back to him before he could see any of the tears running down my face and I darted out of the room hoping that he and Kyle were the only ones that noticed.