Chapter 22: Changes (Lizzie’s POV)

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With everything going on with Abby, it was nice to take a break and go home for Thanksgiving. I was so happy to see my parents and sister, Judy, again. After loads of prying, I finally broke down and told my mother everything. She was furious, but I convinced her not to say a word to Abby’s mom. I didn’t want my problems with Abby to ruin their friendship, but I don’t really know if that is possible now. After all, I am now back at school, so all bets are off for my mom.

I still haven’t heard from Kendal since the day we talked on the phone. I am starting to get a bit anxious. What was the deal with him anyway? I hadn’t even been hearing anything about where our writing club meetings were supposed to be held. I was now really thinking that he was trying to avoid me. Still, with finals coming up and everything, I decided that I would deal with him later.  I felt really bad about Michael though. He had only been trying to help and I totally snapped at him. There had to be some way for me to apologize. That Friday, I got my chance. It was in the evening and I had decided to check out one of the festival movies at the theater. When I got inside, the screening room was pretty dark, so I couldn’t see anyone. Most of the seats were empty around me, so I just figured I was alone.

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It wasn’t until I looked over half way into the movie, and saw Michael sitting a row ahead of me. I was surprised at first, but then I remembered him saying something about checking the festival movies out sometimes.

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I wanted to say something, but I figured it was better to wait until the end of the movie. We were the only people in the theater after all, so I would be able to catch him on his way out.

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After the movie finally ends, I rise from my seat and hurry over to him.

“Lizzie,” he says looking at me surprised. “What are you doing here?”

“I thought I would check out one of the festival movies. You were right. They are pretty cool.”

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“Michael, I also wanted to apologize for just walking out on you like that the other day.”

Michael shrugs. “Don’t worry about it. It’s no big deal.”

“It is to me. I shouldn’t have done that. You were only trying to help and I totally snapped at you.” I sigh. “I guess I just didn’t want to hear what you were saying. Abby was my best friend. I never in a million years would’ve believed she would do that to me.”

“So, does that me she admitted to it?”

“Sort of. I had to force it out of her. She claims she didn’t do it, but that one of the Tri-Fruhms did.”

“That I believe. They are always pulling stunts like that. I remember they did that to a girl named Bethany last year when I was a freshman. She was in my English 101 class.”

“What happened to her?”

“I’m not sure, but I heard she transferred. It’s too bad. She was pretty nice and very smart.”

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“Did she report it?”

“I don’t know. I’m guessing not. If she would have, I’m sure the Tri-Fruhms would have been suspended or something.”

“They seem to get away with a lot.” I shake my head. “Whatever. I‘m done with it. If Abby wants to be a part of them, then so be it.”

“I’m guessing things didn’t work out with you two.”

“No they didn’t. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive her for that.”

“I’m sorry.”

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I smile at him gratefully and then stretch my arms. “Well I think I’m going to head off back to my dorm.

“You going to let me walk you this time?”

I laugh and then nod. “Sure.”

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When we get back, I say goodbye to Michael and then head up stairs to bed. I end up tossing and turning all night, and soon give up and just get up. It’s about four in the morning anyway. I change into some workout clothes and then head out of my room. With everything that has been going on, I find exercising very de-stressing. I have made it a point to do it every evening for the past few weeks. Sometimes even Abby’s roommate, Janice, will join me.

When I get downstairs, I see her already getting a head start.

“Hey, you beat me down here,” I say with a smile.

She laughs. “Only by five minutes.”

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“By the way, who was that guy I saw you with last night? Is he your boyfriend?”

“What?” I nearly trip over myself and feel my cheeks heat up slightly. “No, no. He’s just a friend. I have a boyfriend. His name is Kendal.”

“Oh, sorry. It’s just that I always see that guy around.”

“Yah, he is always around isn’t he?” I say and laugh, and then we both get back to our workout.

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An hour later, we are both panting hard and doing a cool down. I feel energized and relaxed.

“Well that was nice,” I say and sigh.

“Don’t look now, but there goes you know who.”

“Huh?” I look up at the window and smile.

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Michael is jogging just past the door.

“You sure there is nothing going on between you two?” Janice asks.

“I’m sure. Hold on a sec.”

I head out the door and call Michael over.

“Hey Liz, what’s up?”

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“I could ask you, what are you doing?”

“Just going for an early morning jog.”

“Since when?”

“Since always. You want to join me?”

“I would, but Janice and I just finished a long work out. I’d probably pass out on you. Raincheck?”

“Sure thing.”

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He then frowns at me. “You sure you’re okay with everything?”

“I’m sure. Don’t worry about me.”

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“All right, I’ll catch you later.”

“Bye.”

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Michael heads off and I watch him quietly. I can’t help but feel grateful that he is in my life. Even though our first meetings had been a bit awkward, we have really developed into good friends. I still haven’t figured out those weird feelings I get when I am around him, or maybe I just didn’t want to think about it. I had a boyfriend after all, so what need was there for me to try to analyze my feelings for another guy?

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When I get back inside, I see Janice is still finishing up her cool down.

“So, what did your “friend” have to say?” There is humor in her tone and I roll my eyes.

“My friend, was just going for a jog. He wanted me to go, but I can’t move another inch.”

“You know, he’s pretty cute.”

“Janice!”

“I’m just saying! If I wasn’t with Greg…”

I laugh and then head off upstairs. Right now, the washing machine is free, and it would be a good time to get my loads done.

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I throw all my clothes into my laundry basket, and then carry them over to the machine. I then toss them in and pour in some washing soap.

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After the washer starts going, I walk back over to where Janice was standing, but notice she is gone. Instead, the front door opens and in comes Abby. I freeze in my tracks. It has been a while since I have seen her, so I feel extremely tense.

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Taking a deep breath, I stroll right past her and up the stairs. I can see her looking at me from the corner of my eye, but I try not to pay attention. It saddens me that we have become like this. I can still think back to our high school days when we were so close. Now I guess those days are gone.

-Evanglina

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