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Chapter 24 : Confession
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Image by milominderbinder @TDA!
A/N- This is a new chapter as of June 9th, 2014. Read on, my lovlies. :)
I was sitting cross legged on my bed, trying to write an essay for Potions, and failing quite spectacularly at it. Not because I sucked at homework, but because I couldn’t keep my thoughts from drifting to a certain upcoming situation.
Two weeks. With James. Alone. Well, mostly alone. We probably would be alone a lot, because my sisters were going to be with his siblings. So yes, two weeks alone with James. This was a horrible idea. Why had I agreed to it in a moment of defiance? This was going to be a disaster. I’d barely managed to keep my thoughts under control here at school, where I saw my boyfriend everyday.
How in the seven hells was I going to do it when he was just a room away, and we’d be alone for two weeks.
Dom wandered in and I asked her what was up with Jasper, her most recent boyfriend. I hadn’t seen them around each other in a while. She told me they broke up a few weeks ago. I wondered if that was what she had been upset about, but thought that seemed strange. She had never cried over a break-up before.
I started picking on Dom about having just broken up with her third boyfriend of this term, and it wasn’t even Thanksgiving yet. Granted, it was almost Thanksgiving. Three days away to be exact. I was laying into her a little hard, and I knew it wasn’t fair.
It was my frustration coming out. I had a guy I was dating, that I liked well enough. But he wasn’t what I wanted. He wasn’t what my heart wanted. Halloween had shown that to me, but since James hadn’t said anything about changing his mind, I stayed put. Was it better to stay with someone, even if it meant being slightly uninspired. Or maybe it was better to be lonely and hopeful.
“Don’t you lay into me.”
“No Charlotte. I mean it! Don’t lay into me. You’re dating a guy, that you’ve said I love you too… but you don’t love him. You’re no better than me. You want someone else. You live your life, but don’t judge what I do in mine.”
“I just don’t understand it. You act like you’re afraid of being hurt.”
“I AM afraid of being hurt.”
“Because maybe I understand just a little bit better than you think what it means to be sort of invisible in a family.”
A fist clenched around my heart, and I felt pain. Pain for me, and pain for her. It was easy to forget that she had her issues too. Her whole family was so large and loving, it was easy to overlook the dynamics within the individual families, especially when most of my time was spent with the cousins, who all played on the same level field.
Dom, out of all the Wotter kids, had probably had it the hardest. James and his siblings were so well loved by their parents, even if James thought his parents wished he would amount to more than he seemed he was. Rose and Hugo had it really good. Freddy and Roxie had the craziest family life I’d seen, in the best way possible. I hadn’t actually really met some of their other cousins, Percy’s kids, more than once. They all seemed pretty happy though.
Victorie, Dom’s sister, was pretty much the most perfect person you could imagine. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, doted on her. She wasn’t a total bitch, but she wasn’t a saint either. She was the first Wotter kid born, and she was just sort of perfect, in this angelic, unattainable sort of way. Like the supermodels you seen in magazines.
Louis was the pride and joy of their mother, who had always wanted a son, especially after two girls. Most especially after getting two girls like Victorie and Dom. He was raised to be the perfect son. In their house, especially after Victorie was off at school, he became the new golden child. Don’t get me wrong, I much prefer Dom’s brother to her sister. He was kind, generous, funny… a true gentleman. The only true gentleman in the entire Wotter clan.
And then there was Dom… who just never fit in with her parents. Too loud, too sarcastic. She demanded attention because if she didn’t, she wouldn’t get it. I knew her parents loved her, but Dom sort of seemed like the kid they had to love because she was their child, as opposed to loving her because she was a favorite. Victorie was her father’s favorite, and Louis was her mothers. That left her in the middle. Always in the middle. It messed with her head a lot. I always figured she didn’t date guys long because she figured she wasn’t good enough, or that they’d find someone they liked better.
“Don’t give me that look. I don’t want your pity. I don’t want to be where you’re at Charlotte. Loving someone with all your heart, and don’t deny it, and not being able to have it. Because you’re afraid they’ll hurt you. Because they won’t admit they love you too. Because of a thousand other things. It’s easier to stay unattached.”
Maybe she was right, but the optimist in me said that every ounce of this was worth it.
“Dommie, what’s wrong? What’s going on with you?”
She flopped down onto her bed, and started crying. Her body shook, almost violently with the force of them. I had never in my short life heard cries so full of anguish and despair. That it was coming from my best friend destroyed me.
I ran over immediately and laid down behind her, hugging her tightly. I felt the vibrations through my body, and hugged her tighter. I’d never heard her cry like this. Ever. I didn’t know anyone could cry like this.
“Dom… you’re scaring me. What’s wrong.”
She clutched my hand harder, and cried for an hour before her breathing finally started to slow down.
After another long period of time, she finally turned to look at me. I saw such intense pain in her eyes that I sucked in a breath and stared at her with wide eyes.
“Dommie. What’s going on?”
She stared back at me for a few minutes, and I was aware of how silent and still it was now. She blinked slowly a few times, took a really deep breath, and started talking.
“You know I broke up with Jasper.”
“Yes. I was a little surprised, I thought you liked him.”
“I did. I do. But he uh… showed his true colors recently and… wasn’t there when I needed him to be.”
“What happened? You’re not dying, or anything, are you?”
She let out a small, quiet laugh. “No. No. I’m not dying. Charlie… I’m pregnant. I was pregnant.”
“Was?” She nodded, and new tears leaked out the corner of her eyes. “Oh God Dom, I’m so so sorry. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I couldn’t. I didn’t want you to be disappointed in me too.” Her voice was a whisper, and she stared at me, looking for what she assumed she would find. Disappointment.
“I’d never in a million years be disappointed in you. I’m your best friend, I’m here for you no matter what.”
“My parents weren’t so understanding.”
“Dom… how…” How do you ask questions about something like this? “How far along were you?”
“Four months. Long enough that I knew and was getting attached. I even had my first scan. I snuck out that first Hogsmeade weekend to go. I was going to tell you, but I lost the baby last week.”
“Jasper didn’t want to help? Because he wasn’t the father? Fuck, sorry Dom. I’m not trying to be annoying. I’m sorry. I won’t ask questions.”
“Jasper is… was… the father. We ran into each other at a club over summer break and hooked up and when I found out, I told him and he said he wanted to be a stand up guy and be with me. And then, he freaked out. He started pulling away, and talking about how he couldn’t do it. How he was too young to be a father, and then I lost the baby and he couldn’t be bothered with it.”
“I don’t even know what to say. What can I do? What do you need? I’ll do whatever I have to.”
“There’s nothing you can do.”
“What do you mean your parents weren’t so understanding?”
“You know who I am in that family. They love me, but Victorie was their crown princess and Louis was the boy, and I just… I got lost between the two of them. I know they love me… but they’ve always pressured me to be better, so finding out their sixteen year old daughter was pregnant didn’t go over too well.”
“When did you tell them?”
“I told them in a letter. Mum’s response was pretty harsh. Dad was… it doesn’t matter. They love me Charlie, I know that. But… much like you… I’m sort of the invisible one. It’s only bad with them, everyone else…”
“Loves you because it’s impossible not to.” She cracked a small, watery smile at me. “I don’t have a shit list, but I just created one to add Jasper to it. You let me know what I need to do with him, and I’ll do it.”
“I don’t blame him Charlie. He’s only sixteen. I’m only sixteen. I love kids though, and I sort of figured with all my family, I’d get it figured out. I could do it. Other girls have with a lot less. I was starting to look forward to it and it’s just hard not to feel this empty, gaping chasm in my heart now.”
“I’m here Dom. Ok. Georgia too. We’re here for you. So is everyone else.”
“Just do me a favor and don’t tell James for a long while…”
“James and I…”
“Are weird. I know. But just don’t tell him. He’ll beat the crap out of Jasper, and no one needs that.”
“I won’t say anything. I promise.”
Georgia walked in then, and froze mid-step as she saw us lying on Dom’s bed. She had an uncanny sixth sense, and I saw in her eyes that she knew something was wrong. Per her usual behavior, she dropped her bag down in the middle of the floor and came over, lying down on the other side of Dom.
“What’s going on?”
I looked at Dom and smiled sympathetically. She turned to face Georgia, retelling the story, while I held her hand.
Georgia started crying and then we all ended up in a three way hug, Dom squished between us. Eventually, she started laughing and shoved us away, claiming she couldn’t breathe.
She climbed off her bed and grabbed her PJ’s heading into the shower.
“Dom.” I said, waiting until she turned around to look at us. “We love you.”
She smiled and shut the door behind her.
Georgia laid her head on my shoulder.
“I had no idea. Did you?”
“Not a clue. I feel like shit for not knowing.”
“Don’t feel too bad. Dom never keeps anything a secret. We just don’t expect it from her.”
“We’re her best friends Gia, we should know when something’s wrong.”
“Yea. We need to do something nice for her. Let her know that for as long as she needs us, for whatever she needs us for, we’re here. Things have been a little… crazy.”
“You can just say that things haven’t been easy because of my little triangle thing going on.”
“It’s not your fault Charlie, it’s not mine. We know now… we need to take care of her now, and regardless of what she said, we need to pound Jasper into the ground. Just once.”
“No. We’re not going to pound Jasper. We’re going to be here for Dom, whatever she needs. That’s it.”
We were still lying in her bed, talking, when she came out. Dom was wearing a giant fluffy blue robe with yellow rubber duckies on them and her hair was wrapped up in a towel. It would have been comical if she hadn’t walked out with a sad look on her face, holding her stomach.
She looked up at us, and smiled sadly.
“I just want to get some sleep guys. So out. Please.”
“Ok. Dommie.” I crawled off her bed, almost falling off. My leg had fallen asleep and I barely managed to stay upright. She walked past me and I smelled plumeria, wafting around me. Literally. Whenever she was upset she charmed a cloud scented with something to follow her around.
She had only taken a few steps past me, when I shot my arm out, circling my fingers around her wrist. Her eyes were full of sadness when she raised her eyes to meet mine. Compassion flared within me, and I felt a surge of anger, that’d I’d been so preoccupied I hadn’t noticed any of this with her.
I drew her to me, and circled my arms around her neck, hugging her tightly.
“Love you Dommie.” I whispered, letting her go.
She crawled into bed gently, and drew the curtains around her, disappearing from our view. Georgia and I looked at each other, mirroring each other’s postures.
“Bed. We figure it out in the morning.” I nodded at her, walking over to my bed.
I slept fitfully that night, my dreams full of cries. It was only when I woke up in the middle of the night I realized I was hearing Dom crying from her bunk. I crawled out of bed, and over to hers, climbing under the covers. She turned to me, and cried on my shoulder while I cried silently, hating how much pain she was in.
Sometime around four in the morning, when it became obvious to me I wasn’t going to get any sleep, I decided to on a walk around the castle to clear my head. Dom had cried herself to sleep, and was sleeping on the far side of her bed.
I changed clothes, being as quiet as possible, and crept out of the room. Everything was perfectly still and silent, as I walked slowly down the stairs and into the common room. The fire had burned down to embers, and I stared at the red lines still burning in the blacked hunks of wood.
I walked over to my favorite chair in front of the fire, and curled up into a little ball, continuing to stare at the dying embers. I rested my chin on my knees and let thoughts flow like water in my mind.
James. He whom I wanted but was too scared to do anything about it.
Asher. Things were going downhill fast and I wasn’t sure we would survive it. I wasn’t sure I really wanted to survive it.
Dom. My poor, heartbroken best friend that I can do nothing for, and I didn’t even realize just how bad things were with her.
Ava. My sister was quickly turning into the worlds biggest bitch, and I couldn’t begin to understand why.
Homework. Nothing new there, schoolwork was schoolwork.
Christmas. Was going to be interesting, owing to spending it with James. The guy I loved, and hated. Loved because he made me feel alive, and hated because… I didn’t really hate him. You can’t hate people you love, no matter the kind of love it is. You can be disappointed, angry, scared…. everything but hate.
Father. Ugh again. Enough with them.
My eyes drifted closed, all my thoughts swirling together into one giant maelstrom that led to the most epic of dreams.
It was just getting good when I was woken up. I’d been dreaming of being rescued by a knight in red and gold, saved from imprisonment on a pirate ship. My knight whisked me off to a tropical beach and was starting to have his way with me, ala cheesy romance novel, when my hand fell out from under my chin and my head fell forward.
My eyes snapped open and I threw my arms out instinctively, expecting to fall. I was lying on the couch. How in the eighty nine hells had I gotten to the couch? Had I sleep walked? This was a mystery that might never be solved.
I looked down at my watch and realized it was only five thirty in the morning. A loud, audible groan sounded low in my throat and I clasped my hands over my mouth in horror. I’d just disturbed the peace.
Sleep wouldn’t make sense at this point, since I’d have to be up in an hour anyway for classes and breakfast and all that good stuff. As quietly as I could, I snuck up the stairs and into our room, noticing with relief that Dom was still passed out cold. She needed the sleep more than I did. I grabbed some toiletries and headed into the bathroom to take a very, very long shower.
Dom always said that when girls were upset, they were more prone to putting in extra effort to look good. Maybe she was right. I never took showers this long, or used this many products. By the time I was dried and dressed, having actually put on make-up, I didn’t quite recognize myself in the mirror.
It was still utterly still and quiet as I headed out into the castle. I didn’t see a single soul until I was a hallway or two away from the Great Hall.
They were whistling and I was about to reprimand them for being obnoxiously loud this early in the morning when I realized who it was.
I turned around quickly, hoping to go down a short-cut and come into the Great Hall another way. I didn’t need this right now. Half my brain was consumed with thoughts of Dom and how much my heart was bleeding for her. The other half of my brain was getting louder and louder, taking all those pieces and thoughts I tried to sweep under the proverbial rug, and announcing them with a loudspeaker.
Two more steps, I thought. Two more steps and you’ll be in the clear until breakfast. One more step. I was almost there.
“Lottie, what are you doing?” I opened my eyes and saw James casually leaning against the stone archway I had been about to walk through. How had he gotten over here without me hearing him? Must have been all his stupid athletic reflexes.
“Walking, what does it look like I’m doing?” I stared down at the floor, suddenly very interested in the subtle patterns and cracks.
“Running away from me.” His voice was soft, and sad. I looked up at him, my stupid heart melting when I looked into his big, puppy dog eyes.
“Why would I do that?”
“You do that if you’re regretting coming to stay with me… with us… for the holidays, and you don’t know how to tell me.”
I took a deep breath, cursing his ability to read my thoughts. He was right, I was sort of regretting it. It would be stupid, to push us together like that.
“It’s not that. I just didn’t sleep very much last night and there’s been enough drama between you and me, and…” I waved my hands around, refusing to look at him again, “Asher. I just wanted to get into breakfast without a scene.”
He took a step towards me, which I noticed because I had been staring at his feet. It was then I felt his finger underneath my chin. His pants, and then torso came into view, before I was finally looking at his hazel eyes.
“I’m sorry if I’m causing you problems.” Why did he have to have such a sexy voice?!? It was not fair.
“You… I… you’re not… it’s uh… just…” What the hell Charlotte, speak normally!
“Are you sure you’re ok… with being with me,” I saw him roll his eyes, “sorry, with us, for the holidays. It seems like the best idea, and I know I’ve been a right prat these past few weeks, but I do want you there. I enjoy your company, you know that, and I miss what we had, this summer. If I can have that again… I….” I got a little lost staring into this eyes, and he seemed a little lost looking into mine.
“What the hell is it with you two?!?” James turned his head immediately to the left of us. I had to blink a few times, clearing my head of the look in his eyes as he’d been talking to me.
Asher was looking murderous when I finally turned my head, to see who had interrupted it. It was then I realized how bad this must look. James and I had been less than a foot from each other, his finger under my chin, his other hand wrapped lightly around mine. Fuck. This looked bad. How was I going to explain this to him?
I didn’t want to. I’d about had it with the drama.
“You know what? I’ve had it with all of this CRAP for the moment, so if you two don’t mind, I’m going to sit by myself this morning.” I stalked off, missing the silent stand off between them.
The last 48 hours had been too much, and I felt the shell around me cracking into a million tiny pieces. Something was going to completely shatter it soon, and I didn’t know what would be left of me when it did.
A/N- So what did you think? Hope that bit with Dom wasn't too heavy, but it somehow seemed sort of right for her character arc. Anyway- yet another new chapter coming up next (titled Boys will be Boys)- so if you click next and that's not the first thing that pops up- don't read any further because that means it hasn't been editied. Thank you!
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