Chapter 25 : Confrontations, Denials, And Qudditch Balls
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Do you know what I really wanna do?
Punch someone in the groin.
Honestly, I woke up today with the weirdest sensation and desire for female domination; hence, the feminist attitude. It’s like every guy I saw in Hogwarts was my enemy. Sort of like some screwed up and twisted anarchy against men had pushed itself into my brain. In other words, today was my ‘I hate men’ day. Quite awkward, considering all my teachers today were male and I gave Professor Slughorn the middle finger behind his back. And he usually doesn’t piss me off, but man, today was just not his day…or any man’s day, for that matter. If a boy coughed too loudly, I told him to shut up with a snarl. If, like Professor Slughorn, there was a male who insisted on announcing himself as superior, he got very rude hand gestures. My middle finger is almost too tired to lift any more. And if a guy bumped into me by accident in the halls, I took a hold of his head and slammed his body against the marble walls.
I’m heading to my last class as we speak – Ancient Runes with Jessica. And Peter. And Remus. And Frank. As you can tell, I’ve been waiting for this all day.
“So last night, during Prefect rounds, James was really quiet. Too quiet, if you ask me,” says Jessica unsurely. “Even when he was Hogwarts’ most legible bachelor, he never shut up. He was always talking, that boy. Now, he’s almost…thinking, before he speaks,” she shudders. “Something’s definitely up.”
“Nothing’s up,” I assure her. “Trust me, the only thing that’s gone up is his ego. He’s back to his old ways. So be it.” I shrug. “If he’s going to go back and ignore everything that’s happened, I can’t change that. I can’t change him. He wants to run away from his problems? Fine. As long as he’s a man about it.”
Jessica gives me a suspicious look. “You know, you’ve really changed in the past two weeks. You were never this open or- I don’t know…certified, in the things you spoke about. You got a big boost of self motivation, or more confidence, yeah? I’d say so. Because the Lily Evans I knew never felt comfortable enough to express herself.”
“Hey, I expressed myself just fine,” I defend. She has her ‘wtf’ face on now. “It’s just that… Things are really clearing up in my mind now. I feel like I want to be able to figure things out. I have a need to make sense! It’s liberating,” I exclaim, looking off into the distance.
Jess chuckles. “Yeah, well, I gotta say. I like this side of you. What ever caused this little confidence spurt- I hope it never goes away. Because I’m loving this new and improved Lily Evans that doesn’t have a problem with putting things in perspective for herself. Even if things are emotionally unsettling, and condescending, and don’t make sense, and are kind of shitty.”
I scoff as we enter the classroom. I contemplate finding two seats in the back to copy off of Peter’s notes, or finding two seats in the front to copy off of Remus’s notes, but then Jessica gets in the way.
“Look, it might be a good idea to sit next to Remus for a change,” she whispers.
“Today is not a good day for any male in general, Jessica,” I comment. I adjust the straps on my bag.
“It could help relieve some post-James stress if you sit next to one of his friends,” she pushes on. “Maybe he knows what to do-”
I wag my finger in her face immediately. “I am NOT doing that again! Do you know how many times I’ve wanted to charge at Remus Lupin’s head for his unresponsiveness during our conversations? I’d rather shoot myself in the friggin’ FOOT.”
Jessica tells me sternly, “You know, you really are becoming difficult to handle with over time.”
I sigh. But it’s not like one of those‘ooh-a-relaxing-pedicure-spa-day-where-I’m-going-to-soak-my-feet-and-smell-like-a-grape’ sigh. This sigh is a bit hostile. And Jessica’s badassness doesn’t scour away at my almost growl. I give up easily.
“But I don’t wanna,” I whine, throwing my arms down.
“Hush, child! Take a seat and work things out! If James is going to play fire with fire, then let his people know you’re up for it. He’ll crumble down eventually. James is doing this because of you.”
I purse my lips in annoyance and I look around the room for any means of escape…from Jessica. Like, say, the window over there. It’s only 57 feet above the ground. I could hop on down in the grass like nothing ever happened. Say hello to the grasshoppers down there since I’d be in their area. No? I shouldn’t?
…Do I sound crazy? Why is it that whenever I ask that question people nod their head! You, nodding your head, stop it this instant!
“Are you living in your mind again?” Jessica pokes my forehead with her finger and I’m pretty sure she’s left a dent. I slap her hand away.
“No, I was just thinking up master plots is all.”
She rolls her eyes. “Whatever, just stay sane when you’re in class. If you act like a nut job in front of Remus, it’ll be a win for James. They’re like his soldiers,” she whispers hoarsely, as if she’s realized where the marauders headquarters is located and she's ready to attack.
“James is not the eyes and ears of Hogwarts, he doesn’t see everything.” If he did, I’d be worried. Because I’m wearing my Cupcake undies today.
“He has people everywhere, watching us.” She paints an invisible picture with her hands as she leads me to my seat.
Remus and I look at each other, expect some sort of explosion, and when neither of us is willing to being dramatic, we equally decide to say nothing as I sit down next to him. How awkward.
“And what about you? Somebody already took your seat; Micah O’Riley is sitting next to Peter.”
Jessica’s face is squished into her ‘thinking expression’. She takes in the size of the classroom and its available seats. My eyes travel to where she is now gaping, and I being to gape with her. The only available seat now, is in the right corner of the room with Frank Longbottom.
“Shut up,” she snarls.
Having class with Remus Lupin as a writing partner made me realize quite a lot today:
1. He’s got a pole stuck up his ass that needs some serious removing.
2. If he doesn’t graduate from Hogwarts and get a teaching job, I’ll be surprised shitless.
3. He’s like a mini-professor and I sometimes wonder how he came to have friends.
4. One of his mates has a new girlfriend. And it’s not Sirius Black.
5. Which means that James Potter is now dating Leslie Toudren as of this morning.
I’d explain how I hastily snapped my quill in half at the news, but you all know me to well. You all get the picture: I freaked out. And not that kind of hyperventilating type of freak out – the kind of spaz out that is violent and crazy and mentally worrisome and everything of the sort. Jessica had just about shit bricks when I told her during Arithmancy. Emma was seriously considering talking to Sirius about his friend’s new girl, but I talked her out of it. So what? So what if he’s dating some chick? Sure, I was shocked. And sure, it upset me. But it wasn’t because I was attracted to him…and it definitely wasn’t because I was jealous…
What hit me full force was that he didn’t hesitate to jumpstart back into his old ways. He didn’t care about the result of his actions, nor the velocity in which he was moving to prove how back to his ways he really was. What was I supposed to do, honestly? Come to terms with James Potter being a prick again? I can’t make this better or right. It’s all up to James now. I quit. I quit with everything. He’s ruining my new screw-you attitude and if fighting with him is making me realize my full potential, then fuck it. I won’t go near him. This is all his choice anyways. The boy does not know how to deal.
“I cannot believe you sat next to Frank!” I say excitedly, lying down on my four-poster. The dormitory is full of girls going in and out for classes. Luckily for us, we have a free period after Arithmancy that we can spend doing what ever we want.
“Oh, hush! It was just a seat,” she clarifies, lying down next to me on my bed.
I turn my head to look at her. “Jess. You have feelings for Frank, just admit it.”
She gets up and starts to loosen the tie around her neck, unbuttoning her collar as she does so. “I don’t fancy him. And no, I am not in denial. Don’t think I can’t hear how you and Emma discuss that when I’m not around. Just because my sheets are pulled over my bed and my head is under my pillow, it doesn’t mean I can’t eavesdrop.” She pulls the tie over her head and throws it on the floor. And when it hits the ground she realizes what she’s just done, and starts to button up her collar in haste.
Why? Because on the side of her neck is a big purple bruise.
“IS THAT A HICKEY!?” I bolt off my bed and firmly grasp my best friend by the throat.
“What are you, a vampire now? Get off my neck!” Her eyes shift around nervously as she pushes my hands away.
“What the crap is this? No, correction – who the crap gave this to you!? Was it Frank? It was Frank, wasn’t it? Bumbling baboons, I cannot believe this -!”
“Everyone from here to Egypt is going to hear you!” She quickly clasps a hand over my mouth.
I lick her hand.
“Argh!” She pulls her hand away and gives me a disgusted look.
“Now, don’t go all defendant on me, Finelly. Tell me who did this to you and don’t change the subject!”
“It was a long time ago!”
I throw my hands over my mouth. “It was with Frank in that classroom, the day James and I talked in the common room!”
Jessica blushes furiously. “It was worse before, and it’s really not that noticeable now. So don’t make a big deal over-”
“You like him! Admit it, please,” I whiff.
“I will not do any such thing, I don’t have the hots for Frank so just let-it-go.” She stomps into the bathroom and slams the door closed. I sit back down on my bed and cross my arms in thought. I have to fix this and get them together myself, don’t I?
“Hey, Lily,” says Emma, walking towards me.
“Emma, what’s up?” I eye her for a second and remember she should be in Astronomy. “Aren’t you supposed to be in class?”
She shrugs. “Sirius pushed me to ditch class so I could see him during Quidditch practice, and I kind of feel liberated. I should be bad and break the rules more often,” Emma says sheepishly. I smile at her. “I just thought I’d come up here and see what you two girls where up to, I feel like we’ve been separated and I insist on having another girls night. Heaven knows we’ll break the rules again.”
I laugh. “This is becoming a bad habit, isn’t it?”
“You’re bad habit,” she corrects. “I’m just the good girl thrown in the mess.”
“Well, once and a while a good girl has to go bad,” I wink.
“Oh, stop,” she wheedles, a little embarrassed at the change Sirius is having on her life. “Anyways, where’s Jess?”
“She huffed off into the bathroom to be all angst-y because she can’t take her feelings for Frank seriously.”
“That’s the second time! She needs a reality check.”
“Definitely.” I move down my comforter and make room for Emma by pushing my books down on the floor.
“What about you?” she asks, sitting down.
“What about me?”
“How are the boys in your life?”
My face deflates. “You mean the one boy ruining my life?”
I bet my life could go on a lot smoother if James sort of…oh, I don’t know…fell off the face of the planet.
“He doesn’t ruin your life! If anything, you both contribute to the destruction of both of your petty lives,” she tells matter-of-factly, before whacking me with a pillow.
“How dare you thwart me with my own pillow, while sitting on my own bed?” How rude. I take the pillow from her and hug it like a newborn child. I rest my chin on the top and feathers spew out. They almost hit me in the eye.
“See? One person mentions James Potter, and an inanimate object tries to poke me in the pupil. Do I have a death wish or something?”
“Hah, no, Sweetie. It’s just Sixth Year,” she says.
I sigh with much frustration. “I can’t believe he’s dating Leslie Toudren. Leslie Mother Effing Toudren. I caught them snogging for crying out loud.” I start wagging my legs off the side of my bed frame like a child. “He didn’t have to do that. Now I’m just thinking everything he does is personal…” I stare at the ground and my voice squeaks. “It’s just not fair!”
“What’s not fair? You not being able to date James instead of Leslie?”
“Ya-“I immediately catch myself off guard and realize what almost just came out of my mouth. “Yah….way. As in the…Jewish name for…you know…God. I heard they call that…um, yeah it’s Yahweh!” I shift my eyes and try to play along. What the hell did I just say? Since when did I become so informed with Judaism?
“As I was saying…No, I am not jealous and no, I don’t like James. Stop laughing, Emma. I’m gonna kick you in the ovaries! I don’t like him at all. NO! NOT ONE BIT!” I sock her right in the baby making machine.
“That’s right,” I explain. “You’re going to get hit down there again if you keep it up.”
“I think you should tell him how much you hate him, then,” she says to me almost snidely.
“Maybe I will,” I glare. “Humph.”
“Sirius and James are in the middle of Quidditch practice right now.” She looks at the clock. “We could walk down to the Pitch and see what’s going on over there. Maybe you’ll have a chance to tell James how much he destroys your life,” she rolls her eyes.
“Why don’t you believe me? I don’t like him- I really do hate him. In fact, I’ll prove it.” I get up and adjust my school skirt. “Let’s go down there right now. I’ll slowly be hoping he’ll fall off his broom, but regardless; I’ll march up to him when practice is done and give him a piece of my mind. I was actually planning on James dealing with his problems on his own, and I was also planning that he’d come up to me to apologize, because I was actually going to steer clear from him. But since you’re intimidating me to go down there and yell at him, I am now not going to back down from this challenge,” I huff, “until I come back to the castle with his newly chopped off head.”
Emma chews the inside of her cheek with a worried expression. “Are you okay in the head?”
“Pfft. I’m fine. Ace as grapes, why?”
“You’re getting feisty. And after Lily Evans gets feisty she gets bitchy, and then the next level after that is VIOLENT. So I’m kind of worried about where you’re going with this.”
I roll my eyes, like what I just said was no big deal. I shrug and say, “So what, it’s just his head. He can get another one-”
“Merlin, Lily shut up!” Emma grabs my hand and leads the way down the stairs. “Jess, I’m borrowing Lily for the rest of the hour!”
“I don’t like Frank!” Jessica barks back to us obliviously. Emma and I momentarily forget about my ‘violence’ problems and we snicker at Jess in unison.
It’s a sunny day on the Quidditch Pitch, but at the same time it feels kind of gloomy. Maybe it’s some perminant filter stuck to the back of my pupils that make every thing belong to some sort of horror death scene, who knows…? Emma and I sit in the stands and watch the boys and girls on the Gryffindor team pass the Quaffle and dodge the Bludgers and score goals for about twenty minutes. Sirius whizzes past us and smiles, beaming at the fact that his girlfriend gifted him with a surprise visit during practice.
“Hey,” he calls out to us from behind. Sirius flies back around again full circle and nudges James before flying towards us again. James locks eyes with me from all the way across the Pitch, and for a split second he’s caught off guard and doesn’t know what to expect, but his demeanor falls quickly, and is replaced with a smirk and an interesting wink. This makes me want to punch his eyes out, AND kick him in the groin. He should be used to it anyway, I know some girls that have beaten him up at least once. And he plays Quidditch so…having a broomstick between his legs is so customary that he’d be used to the idea of being hit in that region. What, like you’ve never thought of that before? Oh, please.
I cross my arms and bite the inside of my check expectantly, responding to James with one of my bitchy expressions; eyebrow raised, lips set in a smirk, eyes fiery, arms crossed in a steel grip, foot tapping impatiently. And James Potter only seems to be intrigued, if not up to, the challenge of dealing with me after practice. He’d entertained by the idea of just having a bitchy Lily Evans to talk to when he gets off his broom, the prat. He smiles back at me almost immediately. Oh, boy… He does NOT know what’s coming to him. I’m going to prove Emma Tebbon wrong, alright. I’ll wring his neck if it’s the last thing I do.
James Potter is new and improved?
Well, so am I.
“Alright, team! Practice is over for today…good job guys. We’ll pick up where we left off next week!” James Potter, the Quidditch Captain, calls out to his team. Everyone is dismissed, and only James and Sirius are left on the field. Emma raises her eyebrows at me, expecting me to get up and give James ‘a piece of my mind’ right at this moment.
I get up and grab Emma as we make our way down the Pitch. James braces himself and turns back around again, completely ignoring me. Oh, he’s askingfor it. Sirius begins collecting the Quidditch balls and kicks them towards the trunk where James is standing. He picks up the Quaffle with his feet and starts to freestyle some footie.
“Hey, look!” Sirius draws attention to his best friend, as the Quaffle is being kicked in the air back and forth. He then picks up the Snitch and starts trying to juggle both the Snitch and the Quaffle with his feet.
James looks at his best friend like one looks at an annoying child.
“Please, Sirius. In socially acceptable terms…please stop playing with my balls.”
“No! It’s fun!” Sirius whines, kicking them towards James. The Quidditch Captain is left with no other choice but to join in on the juggling.
I stomp across the grass with Emma in tow. Sirius catches sight of Emma and leaves James hanging by himself. He gives Emma a big hug and she smiles back at him. I, on the other hand, look like a charging bull. James Potter’s profile is in my frontal vision and before I can stop myself I yell out at him.
“Let go of those balls before I kick yours in!”
He’s a bit taken back by me, his head snapping in my direction. He purses his lips and drops the Quaffle and snitch on the ground. Facing me, he crosses his arms and stands up straight; feet apart and jaw set. I scowl.
“Oh, what is that? Your ‘terminator’ stance? Don’t look so dominant!”
He narrows his eyes. “Shut up, Evans.”
I grind my teeth and ignore his simple jab. “You have some explaining to do.”
He smirks, knowing full well what I’m talking about. “Oh?” He plays on innocently. “What about, love?”
I’m not your damn love, you crap-muffin. “Your new girlfriend.”
“Ah, yes. The lovely Leslie. She’s a fox, isn’t she?”
“I know you’re doing this just to spite me, James Potter. And just so you know… it isn’t affecting me at all. In fact, I kind of feel sorry for the poor girl that has to deal with you.”
“Really, now?” His face brightens up tauntingly as he takes a few steps forward. “I’m oh-so intrigued by this fact, Evans. Do continue with your statement.”
I look around, hoping to think of a good comeback. Uh…
Nope, I got nothin’. I cross my arms in haste. Wow, I’ve been doing that a lot lately. “I’m done,” I say bluntly.
“Finally,” he comments in monotone. I mentally poke him in the eye.
“What, no snappy comeback? No snarky comment? You have absolutely nothing to say for yourself?”
“Well, if I remember correctly, I did tell you I changed.” He wags a finger at me.
“Correction – You told me you changed again,” I clarify. I stick my nose in the air. “Obviously, you’re having some weird character-changing breakdowns and your acting like this just to prove me wrong. And it’s not working. So give it up, because you’re the last intimidation that could ever get on my last nerve.”
“Ouch,” he fakes, grabbing his heart. “Is Lily Evans getting bitchy on me?” He moves closer, and I can see his sweat from Quidditch dripping down his face. “I gotta say, you are kind of cute when you’re like this.” He smirks at my freaked out face.
“Give it up, James,” I tell him again, stronger this time. “I’m on to you. I know what you’re trying to pull. Just let it go now and we might be able to walk away from each other like civilized adults.”
He seethes a bit before regaining his posture. “I told you once, and I won’t tell you again,” he snaps, annoyed. “This is me now. Take it or leave it, babe. Because I guarantee that life from now on is going to be a lot more interesting than before. So unless you have issues with coming-to-terms and dealing with shit, I suggest you get over yourself. And stay out of my business.” James pushes past me and heads straight for the showers. Emma is looking at me, completely flabbergasted at his outburst. Sirius is wide-eyed at what his best friend’s just told me. None of us were expecting that.
“Well…DAMN!” I throw my hands in the air in anger.
“Er, calm down,” Emma begs, rushing to my side.
“No!” I push her away. “If he’s going to be a total prick and act up this whole ‘bad boy’ routine for real, then bring it on! I’m not going to quit until he backs down first, I promise you that. Bring it, James Potter. Bring. It. On.”
Sirius squints at me with one eye. “Fuck, everyone’s going nuts,” he says to himself. He shakes his head and turns around, following James’s retreating figure. “I am so not dealing with this right now. Why can’t people just work out their damn problems…my best friend’s gone mental…the women are getting more and more vicious each year…why do I even come back to this place…” he trails off, talking to himself with his hands.
Emma puts a hand on my shoulder and turns me around to face her. “Look, don’t stoop down to his level Lily. He’s just trying to pretend that what ever happened between you two never happened. He’s just running away-”
“I’m tired of him running away!” I burst. “The only way I can beat him at this game now is to get him back. I have to fight fire with fire, Em. I need to make things right. I’m going to get Frank and Jessica together AND I’m going to get James back. At the same time.”
“And!? What do you mean AND GET JAMES BACK? This isn’t a game,” Emma shouts. “If you both keep this up, you’re going to destroy this place. When I meant giving James a piece of your mind, I didn’t mean challenging him to a duel of false façades! You’re going to get hurt. Both of you are going get hurt,” Emma ends softly.
I take a deep breath. We’re the only ones on the Pitch now, and Lunch is going to start in a matter of minutes. I snake my arms through hers as we walk back into Hogwarts. “Trust me, this is going to be the only way to get James off his high horse. I’m sick and tired of this mess. He’s going to pretend nothing’s going on and date Leslie and act like the ‘bad boy of Hogwarts’ again? Fine. I’m going to show him the new and improved Lily Evans he’s never seen before. James won’t know what to do with himself.”
“I still don’t think this is going to turn out well…” Emma frowns.
“Don’t worry,” I tell her. “This is strictly business – and revenge.”
“Someone’s feelings are bound to get hurt.”
I roll my eyes. “Pfft, save your breath, Emma, because I don’t like him. I have no feelings for him at all.” She looks at the ground as we continue our way up the stairs to the Great Hall. “The only person who’s going to get hurt is James.”
“But hasn’t he been hurt enough?” Emma mumbles to herself, but I don’t hear her. I see Jessica down the corridor and wave.
“Finally! I thought you were never going to leave that bathroom…with out making yourself look pretty, just in case Frank came around.”
“Ha-ha-ha,” Jessica says sarcastically, opening the Great Hall’s two twin doors. “I don’t know what I have to do to prove to you guys that I don’t like him-”
My eyes scan the person that’s just swiftly ran behind me and through the corridor and I am no longer listening to Jessica. I tell Emma and Jess to go on without me as Frank runs off. Luckily, my friends don’t notice him. Ah-ha! Time to confront Frank about Jessica. I pull up my sleeves as I see him scurrying down the other side of the hallway. He’s supposed to be going to lunch too, but I guess when he saw us girls he panicked and just ran off. What a little sissy. Awe, but I love that little sissy.
I begin to sprint towards him, and he turns the corner.
Oh, no he doesn’t. I’m not letting him run away from me this time!
I haven’t seen him since the other day when I told him I knew exactly who he was. He didn’t even let me finish what I was going to say before he bolted out of the library. I see his back getting closer and closer as I follow him around the corner. For some reason, he doesn’t have his robes on this afternoon. In the fall, they’re kind of mandatory for Hogwarts students’ uniforms. But, then again, Frank isn’t one to give a fuck about mannerisms, rules, or order.
I start to huff. Frank Longbottom can run, let me tell you. If we had a track team, he’d win Regional competitions out the ass. I finally catch up to him after a while and I pull on the back of his collar. Frank finally turns around and he looks at me as if he’s a deer stuck in headlights.
I smirk. “I know who you are, Frank,” I repeat from the other day. I know he knows what I’m talking about. He coughs roughly, trying to advert is stare somewhere else. I become soft in a matter of seconds, and put on my serious face. I look at him kindly, and I let go of everything going on in my head momentarily as I speak to him.
“You’re a boy who doesn’t trust easily, for the simple fact that your mother took your trust from you when she left. You can’t stand mother figures, either,” I conclude, “because it makes you think about what you didn’t have when you were growing up. People question why you don’t have many friends, why you do what you do – give people advice – why you let others know it is perfectly okay to trust you, and there are two reasons for this…”
I get a bit hesitant; I’m afraid about what I’m going to say next. Frank’s face is unmoving, and his body is standing tall in front of me, still as stone.
“One, you let other’s trust you because you despise your mother. And you want to be the exact opposite of her. It’s a mockery, in a way. You’re saying, ‘I’ll be everything you could never be for me’, for other people; because you want to be what she couldn’t. It gives you power knowing you’re nothing like her. It assures you that what you are doing is worth it, one hundred percent.” I sigh and continue, trying not to tear up at the sound of my voice.
“And two, you never ever got to have a sister. No one you got to take care of; you only had to take care of yourself. Your father lived in his own world, and all you wanted to do was feel something. And that’s exactly what you did, when you decided to help people. You felt something for everyone. You wanted people to trust you, so you offered this kind of service to them, because it was the only way you could personally take care of them. Like you never got to take care for your sister. You do this as a tribute to her, as if she’s your inspiration for helping other people.”
By the time I’m done, I’m two steps away from opening the water works. His eyes are still locked on mine. His hands are still relaxed, hanging in his pockets. And his back is still straight, his shoulders firm and unfaltering.
When I see Frank like this when I’m done speaking, I tell myself to get a grip. He’s such a strong guy, you know? I’m basically telling him who he is to his face, and he is still strong enough to stand and take it.
I never thought this would be so emotional for me. When I think about it, he’s gone through so much. He has a story, like everyone else in the world. And no one’s had the guts to hear it. But then again, his story doesn't need to be heard; Frank Longbottom doesn’t need to be heard. He never has, and people have always understood him anyway. His trademark? Silence.
Silence, and his hand movements. That’s his story. I’ve unfolded the mystery that is Frank Longbottom, and I can’t help it – my heart tugs at him. He doesn’t like who he is, but he’s accepted it regardless. How about a friend for him? Someone to listen to him when he doesn’t know what to do for a change?
“You let people judge you, because you’ve come to realize you don’t care what they think about you. It’s what they might really KNOW about you that scares you.”
I look up at him. Frank’s eyes are glossy and he’s still unmoving. I get the courage to stop myself from wanting to cry. If Frank can do it, then I can do it. I’ll be strong, just like him.
“You don’t know if you like who you are. And you don’t want people to have the opportunity to see who you really are, because you’re worried they’ll leave you like your mother left you.” I swallow the lump in my throat.
Frank gives me a sad smile. “You know, Marilyn Monroe once said, ‘The truth is, I’ve never fooled anyone. I’ve let people fool themselves. They didn’t bother to find out who or what I was. Instead, they would invent a character for me. I wouldn’t argue with them – they were obviously loving someone I wasn’t.’ And I don’t think I’ve ever really truly understood what she meant until today. Thank you for helping me realize that.”
I bite my lip. “I know you, Frank. Don’t be scared,” I say sincerely.
“I know,” he responds, putting an arm over my shoulder. I give him a half hug as he continues. “Thank you.”
Awe! Merlin, I’m gonna bawl like a fricking baby…
I let go of Frank and tell him to shut up. He grins.
“One more thing,” I add, while we walk towards the Great Hall.
“What do we do about you and Jessica?”
Frank smirks secretly. Am I missing something, or does he have a plan?
“Hell hath no fury, Evans. Hell hath no fury…” he reminds me, before entering the Great Hall and starting a fight with Jessica.
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