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Chapter 25 : The One Where I Try To Avoid Everyone
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I really need to get back to doing some chapter images for thi
I’m not sure who told Isabella, whether or not she heard through the grapevine, or if Michelle had told her. But she came straight to my bed, pulling back the curtain and pulling me into the biggest hug she had ever given me. She didn’t say a word, just let me cry on her shoulder, waited for me to speak first as I clutched to her. No words came, but she didn’t seem to mind, just letting me get it out of my system.
Michelle just seemed to be awkwardly watching us and I knew it was because neither of us were the kind of best friends that hugged; she had a guilty look on her face that must have been from the fact that she didn’t think to hug me, but I didn’t mind. It was weird to others that we didn’t hug, but it worked for us. With Isabella it was different, she was a very huggy person and whilst it took a bit to get used to, I couldn’t have been more thankful right now.
After what was probably much too long, I pulled away from Isabella and wiped my eyes with my sleeve, giving her an apologetic smile for the fact that I had just cried on her. She just grabbed for my hand and squeezed it gently, shaking her head slightly in a silent message to not worry about it.
“When you’re ready to talk, I’ll be here,” Isabella told me. I smiled weakly at her. “Even if it’s the middle of the night.”
I nodded as I sniffed, trying to give her a thankful look as I didn’t trust myself to speak yet. I didn’t want to dissolve into sobs again, I was feeling pathetic at how much I had actually cried over this.
That night I spent the entire time awake, my mind racing too much to let me sleep for long. I had woken to the sounds of my sleeping roommates and the overwhelming darkness that the late hour brought, as well as an overwhelming urge to draw. I retreated from my bed long enough to freshen myself up and grab for my sketchpad and pencils from my trunk, settling back into bed, careful not to disturb Snowball at the end of the bed, and closed the curtains so that I could use the light from my wand to draw.
It was the only thing I could think of that would take my mind off of things, the only thing that I wanted to do. I had let my drawing take a back burner, focusing my time on school work as well as being around James. I wouldn’t let it go this long again, I would focus all of my attention on my work. It was going to be my career after all.
I’m not sure when I fell asleep, but I woke up to the sounds of Isabella waking me up by speaking softly from next to me. I opened my eyes when she began gently prying the pencil from my hand and looked at her as she gave me a small smile.
“These are amazing,” she told me, nodding her head in the direction of the papers that were scattered across my bed. I had gotten quite a bit of work done, just letting my mind go on autopilot as I lost myself in drawing. The result had been a small comic detailing the beginnings of a woman getting revenge on her ex superhero boyfriend who broke her heart.
I gave a shrug as I sat up and wiped the sleep from my eyes. I didn’t know how to react when people complimented my work, not that I allowed many people to see it. James was going to be one of those people and now he wasn’t. Tears prickled in my eyes at the realisation that I was going to show James my work, that he had sounded so interested and it had all turned out to be a lie.
Isabella took hold of my hand comfortingly, her thumb running over the skin of my hand as she waited for me to talk.
“I wish I could hate him,” I admitted tearfully, my voice sounding as small as I felt in that moment as my emotions overwhelmed me. My words were true, I really wish that I could hate him.
“I can hate him enough for you,” Isabella offered, drifting into a silence as she waited for me to continue talking. When I did I felt like I was just exploding with everything that was in my mind, I knew that some of it wouldn’t even make sense, but I needed to get it out.
“What does any of it matter? It was all a lie, it was all for show. He was obviously playing me for a fool and I’ve let him. I’ve fallen right into whatever trap he had. You all warned me, Michelle told me time and time again that it wasn’t real, that he was planning something, that he was doing it for a laugh,” I cried, wiping the tears that had now fallen, roughly from my eyes with my free hand as I gave a sniff. I could feel my nose running and I knew that I looked like absolute hell. “Why couldn’t I see it?”
“Because you wanted it to be real. Hell, we all wanted it to be real for you, we wanted you to be happy. I thought that he was a nice and decent guy, but ... things have changed now,” Isabella told me honestly. “I’m so angry at him, I just want to hurt him.”
I shook my head. “I don’t want this to go on, I want it to stop. I want to forget about it. Which means that I will cut him out of my life, which I should have done before. I should have listened to Michelle, she was right all along.” I removed my hand from her grip and ran it over my face wearily. “Why was she right?”
I wiped my eyes again, failing at keeping the tears at bay. I wish I could stop this, I wish I didn’t let it affect me this badly. But it had. I had let James in more than I had let anyone else in, I had talked to him about most things, I had let my guard down. I thought that he liked me.
Why didn’t he like me?
How could he treat someone like that?
“I think I’m just going to stay up here all day, I don’t want to face everyone,” I muttered quietly to Isabella, who looked at me for a moment before nodding her head. “I don’t want to be the laughing stock of the school.”
“You’re not the laughing stock of the school, Abigail.”
“I feel like it,” I admitted, scrubbing a fist over my forehead in annoyance. “Why did he do this? What has he achieved in doing this?”
Isabella watched me again, unsure what she could even say to make me feel better. I gave a sigh before I moved back into my bed and lay down, bringing the cover over me and bringing it up to my face. Not caring that my drawings were still across my bed, that I was probably ruining them.
I wished this didn’t hurt as much as it did, I wished what I heard was a lie.
I just wished that James would tell me that it was all a lie, that he would make me trust him.
I blinked as I heard the voice next to me. I hadn’t even realised that I had fallen asleep. I must have cried myself to sleep. God, I was so pathetic.
“Abigail,” the voice said softly again. “Are you going to come down to dinner?”
I felt a hand on my shoulder; trying to comfort me and I recognised that the voice belonged to Michelle. She had come back from Hogsmeade and I had clearly slept until dinner. I really was pathetic if I had fallen asleep for that long.
I shook my head at her words as I closed my eyes again, feeling tired still.
“I don’t want to go.”
Michelle was silent for a moment before she moved away from the bed, moving her hand from my shoulder as she went.
“Did you want me to bring you anything back up?” she asked me, but I couldn’t answer. I was falling back into my slumber and I couldn’t find the energy to respond.
I woke up again and noticed that it was dark outside, but that could mean that it was just after dinner; it got dark quite quickly. It didn’t help that the sky seemed to almost constantly be covered in dark clouds, waiting for a downpour of torrential rain, that or Snow.
I sat up in my bed and looked around the dorm, noticing that none of my room mates were in the room; they must either be still at dinner or down in the common room. I gave a sigh as I ran my hands over my face before pushing them through my hair, my thoughts going to James immediately.
I felt so guilty for having left him waiting in Hogsmeade, but I reminded myself that was his plan all along. He was the one who was faking it all, he was the one that was choosing to hurt me.
And boy did it hurt me.
I really didn’t understand it. How could he do this? How could he want to do this? What was he getting out of it?
Why wasn’t the James I had grown to like the real side of James? He must have been one fantastic actor to come up with all of that stuff, to make me feel like I had found a really good friend, possibly more. But I had been right, I had been true in thinking that it was too good to be true, that he couldn’t possibly like me in the same way that I liked him. He had been faking the entire time.
There had to have been some things that he told me that was true, the whole comic book love couldn’t have been faked, he knew too much. He couldn’t have researched that all and remembered, he had to have a love for it there. But the other things?
I gave a sigh and told myself to not cry again - it wasn’t worth it, he wasn’t worth it.
I turned in my bed and went to grab my wand off of my bedside cabinet so that I could light the candles in the room when I noticed a plate on my side, napkins placed on top of it. I allowed a smile as I realised that Michelle had brought me up some food. I was so glad that she had done this, I didn’t think that I had the courage to go down to the Great Hall and face James and all of his friends, who were probably laughing at me. I could picture Rebecca's smug grin on her stupid face and realised that she was probably in on the whole thing too. Maybe they had conspired together? That might explain why Rebecca was so nasty to me at times.
But I didn’t understand what I could have done to deserve to be their target. To deserve to be treated in this way.
I just wanted to disappear, I wanted to go home and never come back.
I wished so hard in that moment that I wasn’t at Hogwarts.
I heard footsteps coming back into the dormitory and I settled back into my bed, closing my eyes, pretending that I was asleep, hiding my wand next to me. A cowardly thing to do, but I didn’t want to face their questions again.
“Can you believe that he’s playing the victim in this?” I heard Isabella say angrily as she walked into the room. She stopped for a moment before giving a sigh. “Is she still asleep?”
I heard someone else taking a few tentative steps towards me before walking away, muttering a whispered, “Yes.”
“I just want to wring his neck for hurting her. Abigail doesn’t deserve this, she’s so amazing.”
“Have we thought that maybe someone got it wrong? Maybe it’s just a rumour that got out of hand?” Sian’s voice said and I felt my stomach twisting horribly at the thought. The thought had crossed my mind so many times, mixing with the guilt at just standing James up at Hogsmeade.
“Michelle saw him with her own eyes, people overheard Barry and Elijah talking about it,” Isabella hissed, keeping her tone low so she didn’t wake me. “I can’t believe he had the audacity to look so downtrodden during dinner. If I didn’t know any better, I would have felt sorry for him.”
There was shuffling from the other side of the room, the two of them must have been sorting their bags out for school in the morning. I was so sure that I wasn’t going to go, I had Muggle Studies and I didn’t want to have to face James. I knew, though, that I may not have much of a choice.
“I still can’t believe he had the nerve to ask me if he could talk to her,” Isabella hissed angrily and I perked my ears up at that, my heart stopping slightly. He still wanted to talk to me after everything. “'I don’t know what I’ve done to upset her, but can you please tell her I’m sorry,’” Isabella stated with a scoff.
“I would have told him where to shove his apology after what he had planned,” Sian said as I felt my eyes watering under my closed lids. I didn’t dare open my eyes otherwise they would know that I was listening to them.
“Yeah, well, unlike him I have more respect for Abigail’s feelings. If I attacked him in the Great Hall people would talk and she would be talk of the school. No matter how much he deserves to be hurt and as much as I want to.”
“She didn’t eat the sandwiches you brought up for her,” Sian stated after a while of silence and I realised that it wasn’t Michelle who had brought them up for me. My heart swelled at how great a friend Isabella was being. I wished I could thank her, but then they would know I was awake.
“She’ll get around to it when she wakes up. We’ll let her sleep for a bit longer.”
They both began talking about their lessons the next morning and I zoned them out as I was left with my thoughts again.
I was dreading tomorrow morning. I didn’t want to face any of the Gryffindors. I would be alone in some of my lessons with them, I wouldn’t have Isabella backing me up and I needed her to get me through the day.
I wish I was as strong as she was.
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