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Chapter 23: The One?
Chapter 23. The One?†
"Did you hear about the pregnant girl? Apparently she's dating someone!"
"I heard it was her own cousin, and McGonagall gave her detention for snogging him in public."
"I heard differently, that it's that Hufflepuff Keeper. You know, the hot one? I bet she totally Imperiused him."
"Well, that's nothing - she apparently told this bloke that it's his kids, and guilted him into dating her."
Rumors of my new relationship status had spread like wildfire throughout the school. Ever since I, earlier that day, had walked to HR classes hand in hand with Tristan, everywhere I went I heard someone whispering and pointing. And if I'd thought it was bad before, well...I'd had another thing coming.
"Don't mind them," Tristan whispered into my ear as he walked me from the library to the dungeon. He hadn't left my side all day, and I was glad for the support. The only down side was that I hadn't gotten the time to talk to anyone about this new "development".†
Clover would freak. She gave me crazy-eyes during classes all day, but we'd never gotten the opportunity to speak.
"Want me to come get you before dinner?" Tristan stood in front of me, holding both my hands. "I don't want you to walk up there all alone."
He meant he didn't want me to be on my own when I had a total meltdown over the whispering morons I'd definitely encounter on my way up there.
"I'll be fine," I said, but I knew he didn't believe me for one second.
Tristan fingers smoothed a stray hair away from my face. "I'll come by at six, okay? Right here."
With a tiny smile on my lips, I gave Tristan a nod, and he left right after kissing my forehead.
I watched him round the corner and disappear, and my stomach churned in a strange way. But I just put it down as pregnancy stuff.
(Although I knew it wasn't.)
I had just stepped through the entrance to the Slytherin common room when -
"Adella Marie Malfoy-Granger!"
Hell knows no fury like a pissed off Clover Clearmont.
"H-Hi, Clo," I squealed, cowering a bit. Clover was standing directly in front of the door, and her face now radiated. I bet she'd stood like that for a long while and scared the living shit out of several unsuspecting students. I noticed Heath in the corner eyeing Clo in a "please don't take notice of me"-way.
"Don't you Hi, Clo me, you secretive little wench!"†
"Why the hell are people gossiping about you and Tristan Knight?!" I opened my mouth, but I was cut off again. "And why are you two going around holding hands in public?! Miranda Hopscotch told me she saw him kissing you. Like, seriously, Adella Marie - what the fuck is going on?"
I waited for a second to see if Clo had more to scream at me, but she just stared at me now. She didn't even blink. It was sort of(VERY) intimidating.
"Uhm," was all I could say right at that moment, I was distracted by the fact that Clo's breath hit my face over and over with surprising force. "Well, I-I..."
"Are you going out with that blonde bloke from HR?" someone behind me asked casually, and I half-turned.†
It was Deuce, and beside him... Chase.
Why the hell did my breath stop and my head twirl when I saw him?†
"Yes or no?" Deuce asked again, impatiently, and I took my eyes off of Chase's stiff expression.
"Yes," I whispered, and focused my eyes on the floor.
My heart was beating at an unhealthy pace. But it stopped entirely when Chase pushed past us all and waltzed out of the common room.
And what did the pregnant teenager do? She followed.
"Chase!" I called, and literally jogged up the stairs after him, but he was already at the top and I was not even half-way. "Chase - please stop running," I panted.
He didn't acknowledge my presence at all apart from the fact that he stood all rigid at the top of the staircase, not running away from me for the time being.
I knew the only thing that kept him from escaping my presence at top speed was, well, two things, and I was at that moment happy about being pregnant. Finally it could be used for good, not evil - about sodding time, too.
I reached the top of the stairs with my side in stitches, and I panted as though I'd not walked up a flight of steps but rather finished Tour de France. And won.
"Chase," I said mid-pant, and pushed some hair out of my sweaty face. He didn't turn to face me. I didnít expect him to. "Chase, I don't want you to go. I want to talk -"
"You want a lot of things, Adella," Chase cut in with a low and serious voice. "But have you ever thought about what I want?"
He still had his back to me, and I swallowed hard to keep from sobbing straight away. I was very emotional nowadays. Well...'nowadays' was a rather relative term.
"I'm sorry, Chase, I-"
"You know what, Adella?" I hated that he used my whole name. No 'Del' anymore.
He slowly turned around, and his brown eyes seemed darker than ever before.
"You have this... blatant disregard for other people's feelings."
Lungs. Not. Working.
"You always have," he continued. "It's just that...I expected more from you after..." he trailed off.
"Well, it doesn't matter now, I suppose..." Chase sighed, and I heard it was a heavy one. One from deep inside him. "But there's something I don't understand."
"What?" I croaked, eyes brimming with tears. I didn't care whether or not my voice failed me now. It was different with Chase.
"You told me you weren't gonna get a boyfriend until he, like, gave you a bloody library. Which I doubt he did... What made you change your mind? What makes him so special?"
The truth was? Nothing. But I couldn't admit that out loud. Tristan was my boyfriend now, and I owed it to him to give it my all.
"He saw me, you know, before this -" I pointed at my†Neptun-sized belly, "And even after that, he supported me, and -"
"And I didn't?"
"I-I, I'm, y-you, of-of course -"
"I have stood by you for every single second. I never left your side. When you needed me, I was there in a heartbeat, dropping everything. And you don't even know why, do you? You never got it... You want to hear it? The hand-on-my-heart, honest-to-god truth? You," he paused as he took a shaking breath, staring right at me, "you were the one. My one."
Were the one?
He saw the question in my eyes, but didn't answer. His jaw clenched over and over. Almost pulsating.
"Chase..." What could I possibly say? Everything was one large grey zone, nothing either resembling black or white. I was so confused. Here was my best friend, standing right opposite me and telling me I was his one true love. But the rub: It was past tense. How could I respond to that?
And then I said something I still regret: "Chase, you're my best friend. You know I lov-"
"Spare me your honey-glazed pleasantries," he snorted. "And are you really so thick that you're calling me your friend now, Adella? If you still don't get it - after me saying it as straight forward as I can - then -"
"But you are my friend, Chase!" I choked. He had completely misunderstood me! "My best friend! And I can't even -" I was forced to stop. My throat was closing up, and I'd started to hyperventilate.
Chase's hand twitched when the first of many tears fell from my eyes. He seemed to struggle to keep it away from me, and it hurt to see him battle that hard with himself to not falter.
Did I really repulse him that much? He was that intent on not touching me?
I'd broken Chase. This was all my fault.
I cried even harder as that though hit me with its full force.
"Del..." Chase now whispered, mostly to himself. My heart skipped a beat when I heard him use my nickname again. He looked calmer now, but there was this gut-wretching look in his eyes that made me want to go into early labour, just so I could get away from it. Labour pains could not be worse than this.
(I was wrong, but that's not important right now.)
"I just wish..." he whispered in the same distant tone, "that I was enough..."
But you are!
I needed so bad to say it aloud, but something stopped me. An invisible force held my tongue, and all I could do was simply stand there and cry.
"I have a theory, actually." His tone was changed, and his face had hardened considerably. His hand wasn't twitching anymore. I guess he'd managed to suppress the need to console me. "You don't know what love means. To you it's just another four-letter word."
My breath caught in my throat, and my mouth fell open. That was way too mean.
"I do know what -"
"No, you don't," he cut across.
"Okay, then pray tell, what is love?" I folded my arms over my chest, acting very immature(and I was fully aware of it).
Chase looked at me as if he actually felt sorry for me. Sorry for my total ignorance. "Love is when they fall asleep in your arms and wake up in your dreams."
My arms fell to my sides.
Was he referring to that time I spent the night in his bed?
"But it's like I said, it doesn't matter anymore." This was also said mostly to himself, like it was something he'd figured out at that exact moment. Right in front of me, at the top of the stairs up to the entrance hall.
Question: Why did it feel as though he was ripping out my heart, throwing it in a blender on full speed and forcing me to watch?
"I need to let it go," Chase told me firmly. "Let you go."
Why? I thought, and again Chase read my thoughts.
"You have Tristan now." Those eyes. Those eyes would be the death of me. "You don't need me anymore."
Oh, but I did!†
Come on, Adella - say it!†
Tell him how you needed him to be there for you, that you couldn't imagine him not being your friend, to not hold your hand when life got too rough.
Seriously, nobody did fuck ups like I did. Not even Deuce. And he fucked up on a regular basis.
But then again, how could I know that Chase would react like this to my being in a relationship again? Had he been hinting that he felt more than friendship toward me all along? And why, then, hadn't I noticed?
I knew I overheard Deuce saying that Chase had feelings for me, but how could I possibly have taken that seriously? It was Deuce! He said so many stupid things a day, you'd be wondering if he told the truth, like, ever. I used to keep count of the most insane things he said, but I lost count after twenty or something. And that was only during the first week I knew him.
But I digress...
Now that the cards were all out on the table, I started thinking...
About Chase. About our friendship. About the hugs, the tears, the talks, the looks, the glances...the kisses. And then:
Maybe... I thought.
Maybe I'd always known?
Yes. I think I had.
Chase gave me one last, neverending, pain-inducing, tormented look while he took a step back. And another. And another. And then, just as my chest felt like it was being crushed by a boa constrictor, he turned around and walked away. Without another word. Nothing. Just as if he hadn't basically told me he'd loved me since day one.
Just as if I was nothing special anymore.
And then I sat down on the floor and cried like an emotionally disturbed child.
"Adella." A voice from some faraway place reached my ears, and I turned my head in an apathetic way, as though drugged and just having realised that my life was without meaning.
"Adella, you need to get up now."
There was something vaguely familiar about that voice. It triggered something in me, and I took the hand that was stretched out in front of me.†
I felt hands lifting me up, and I was being escorted down a flight of stairs. It seemed like an eternity passed until I could sit down.
I saw the face of my saviour.
My little brother smiled sadly at me. I was on a bed. Not my own. Not even in my own dorm, I realised.
Heath saw my confused expression as I scanned the unfamiliar room.
"It's my dormitory. You're on my bed." He gave an apologetic smile. "I-I thought you wanted to be left alone for a bit. But you can go back to your own if-"
"No, this is perfect." My voice cracked. "Thank you."
Heathcliffe looked away, his cheeks blushing a bit. When he lifted his gaze to me again, I was once more astonished at how alike his eyes were to Dad's. They were insanely blue. Somehow, I felt safe when I looked into them.
"You okay?" he asked me, the young, smooth skin on his forehead crinkling in worry. "I mean, I know you're not, but -"
"No... I'm not," I admitted, laying down on the bed I was sitting on. "But I think I will be."
And that was enough to set me off again. My chest heaved, and I curled up on the bed, getting into a fetal position. That's when I felt Heath crawling into the bed and snuggle up next to me. The heat from his tiny body warmed me up and I didn't realise until then how cold I was.
How long had I been sitting on the floor?
"Chase -" I sobbed, "Chase told me he loved me."
"Loved," I repeated. "Past tense. He doesn't an-anymore."
"He said that?"
"P-Pretty mu-much," I stammered.
"So... What are you going to do?"
"I don't think there's anything to do," I admitted.
"You're not breaking up with Tristan then?"
I glanced over my shoulder. "How do you know about Tristan?"
I felt Heath shrug, and I put my head back on his pillow.
"Clover screamed his and your name and asked anyone who came into the common room if they knew anything," he told me. I sighed. It did sound like something she'd do.
"I'm not really sure," I confessed. Heath kept quiet, probably sensing that there was still things I needed to say.
"It's like being in a conflict between good and evil," I explained. "Only there is no good. There's either evil or evil, and I have no idea which of the two to choose."
"And what are your choices?"
"I don't really know that either..." I sniffed and dried away some fresh tears. "There's really no point in me breaking up with Tristan... Chase already told me he doesn't love me anymore. You should've seen him, Heath..." I drew a long breath. "He didn't even touch me. A-And he looked at me with a sort of... I don't know. But it wasn't good."
"Then stick with Tristan?"
"Yeah... But I'll always wonder, what if."
"What if what?"
"What if... What if I just let go of Tristan and... And...."
And made a complete and utter fool of myself.
"That's the part that's a bit iffy," I admitted. "I have no idea."
"I don't wanna sound like a poof -"
"- but what do you feel? Mum always says to follow your gut."
"My gut..." I echoed, and felt my eyes well up again.
"Yes, what do you feel is right?"
"To be honest," I started, but was interrupted by a sob, "I don't feel anything beside the fact that†I'm falling apart."†
But I was pretty sure he knew that already.†
"Want me to join?"
I stopped crying for a second. "You want to fall apart with me?"
"Yeah," Heath said, putting the thick blanket over us, and then laying his arm awkwardly around me. "Let's fall apart together."
Best. Brother. Ever.
Yeah, soooo... You're about ready to kill me now, I bet? :p I know most of you are Chase/Adella-shippers, so...I know I'm not very popular right now xD
Got any idea to what's gonna happen next? Please do tell!
And I need more baby names! I'm still in the deciding-phase ^^
Thanks again for still reading :) And even though I might not always respond to reviews right away, please know that I read them and appreciate them immensely!
Love you all,