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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.”
“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 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.”
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.”
“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.
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.
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?”
“I could ask you, what are you doing?”
“Just going for an early morning jog.”
“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?”
He then frowns at me. “You sure you’re okay with everything?”
“I’m sure. Don’t worry about me.”
“All right, I’ll catch you later.”
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?
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.