So I have no excuse for the long time between chapters other than I lost my motivation for a while. I can't promise another chapter will be up quickly, but I do hope that it's not another month + before the next one. Sorry guys! Also, forgive spelling and grammar errors, please.
I stayed in bed, staring up at the ceiling. This weekend was it. This was the weekend, three years ago, that McKenzie had died. That meant that there was basically no chance I was getting out of bed. Harmony knew the drill. These were the “dark days” she called them, so she didn’t have to mention McKenzie’s name. She only bothered me if it was important. A knock sounded on my door and the knob turned, Harmony’s head poking through.
“Hey, I know it’s the dark days, but I wanted to pop in. I’m going to go stay with Oliver for the weekend so you’ll have the whole place to yourself. If you need anything just call and I’ll come right back.”
I nodded and watched her give me a sad smile before backing out of my room and closing the door behind her. She knew I wouldn’t call, that I wouldn’t need her, but she always offered anyway. Once Monday came around I’d be up and ready to go, like the weekend had never happened.
I knew she always wondered what I did all weekend closed up in my room, but there wasn’t much to it. To be honest I don’t quite know myself. It’s like I zone out, only conscious for parts of the weekend. Things kind of come in and out.
I pulled the blankets up tight around me and rolled onto my side, allowing whatever came over me to come. Hours passed as I lay there in the dark. I fell in and out of restless sleep, sometimes waking with tears in my eyes. Then the sound of my phone ringing jarred me awake.
I didn’t know who would be calling. Harmony and my family knew not to bother me. When I glanced at the call ID I saw Sidney’s name. I debated letting it go to voicemail, which is what I wanted to do. Then I remembered my plan, the one where I had to be everything Sidney could want in a girl so he’d fall in love with me. I had to see what he wanted.
“Hey, Sid,” I answered, trying to sound happy to hear from him.
“Hey, what are you doing?” he asked.
“Just sitting around my place. How about you?” I returned.
“The same. I was wondering what you were doing tomorrow.” Oh, God, no. Not tomorrow. Tomorrow was the day. It was the worst day of the year.
“I’ve got nothing planned,” I responded through nearly gritted teeth, regretting my do anything to get back at Sidney plan.
“Come to the game tomorrow night and then come out with us after,” he invited. I could feel my heart plummeting into my chest. Go out and be around a bunch of drunk people on that night?
“Yeah, I could do that.” I could feel myself getting nauseous even as I said it.
“Great! I’ll leave your ticket at will call.”
We talked for a couple more minutes before hanging up. I pulled the blankets up over my head after tossing my phone to the floor. I didn’t know how I was going to get through a hockey game and going out after and act like I was fine. Tomorrow night could not possibly get any worse. My phone buzzed, signaling I’d received a text. I groped around the floor until I found my phone.
Forgot to mention that a few friends from home are in for the weekend. It’ll be like a mini reunion!
I stand corrected. Tomorrow night just got a thousand times worse. How was I going to face Sidney’s friends, the ones who had made my entire existence in Cole Harbour a living hell? McKenzie, I could really use you right about now.
I took my ticket from the woman at the window and handed it to the guy at the door to scan. I slowly made my way to the section where my ticket was located. If I’d been walking any slower I wouldn’t have been moving. I glanced down the section, looking for where my seat was located. There was a row of 6 seats, all empty where my ticket was located. I was here first. I walked down the stairs, took the seat closest to the aisle in case I had to get out of there, and waited.
“Bryce Sirota,” I heard a male voice say a little while later.
I glanced up from my phone to see Sidney’s friend Zack, the ringleader of the harassment directed towards me in school, standing in the aisle smiling down at me. I saw his girlfriend Whitney, and Sidney’s other friends Aaron, Barrett and Barrett’s girlfriend Caitlin behind him. I forced a smile onto my face as I stood up to let them by.
“Hi guys. It’s been a long time,” I greeted them. They all checked me out as they passed by me and took their seats, Zack choosing the seat right next to me. He would be the one that sat there.
“So what have you been up to the last four years?” he asked. I couldn’t decide if he was really trying to be nice, or if I was being set up.
I told him about school, the plans for the restaurant. By the time I was done the game started and we both turned our attention towards the ice and Sidney. Throughout the game the group was marginally nice to me. They never directly said anything offensive, but there were definitely a few passive aggressive comments made that I chose to ignore.
I led them downstairs where I gratefully greeted the rest of the girls. It was a break from listening to high school memories I didn’t share. In fact I had been about three minutes from puking all over the row in front of me listening to the chatter of Sidney’s friends. So far, this night hadn’t been quite as bad as I’d expected, but it had still been torture.
I let out a huge sigh of relief when Sidney finally entered the family lounge and his friends turned their attention from me to him. I silently prayed that he’d claim he was tired and wanted to call it a night, but that didn’t happen. He tossed out a couple of options and let his friends pick. Next thing I knew we were headed to a sports bar.
I wanted no part of conversing with these people when we had arrived and thankfully I didn’t have to worry about that. I might as well not even been there. The only time I joined into the conversation was when Sidney made a point of asking me how I felt about something, and that wasn’t happening often.
I had finished my one and only vodka soda quite a while ago, and had been sipping on a water ever since. The longer I sat here listening to my old classmates talk the more I wished that I’d had much more than just the one drink. I was cursing myself for choosing to drive. I’d done so just so I could get out of this night as soon as possible.
“Come on, Bryce, aren’t you going to have another one?” Aaron asked. I glanced around at all the empty pitchers of beer sitting on the table.
“I’m driving,” I answered. Everyone at the table laughed, except for Sidney.
“Don’t worry about it, we’ll get you home,” Whitney responded, her words slurring slightly.
“You’re all drunk,” I reminded them.
“Yeah, but Barrett’s a really good drunk driver. Trust me,” Caitlin tossed in. I looked at her in complete disgust.
“It’s true, I am,” he added in.
I couldn’t believe I was hearing this right now. Especially not tonight of all night’s. This must be some kind of bad dream. I glanced over at Sidney, waiting for him to tell them that none of them were driving because they were too drunk, but he remained silent. That’s when I decided that I’d had enough, revenge plan be damned.
“Really responsible, guys,” I shot at the table as I grabbed my keys, tossed a $20 on the table and stood up.
“What’s your problem?” Zack questioned as the entire table gave me dirty looks, except for Sidney, who just looked confused.
“My problem is that three years ago today my best friend and cousin McKenzie was driving home from a friend’s house and was hit by a drunk driver who swore he was a ‘good’ drunk driver. She was killed instantly. I have no respect for anyone who chooses to put themselves and others at risk like that.”
I didn’t wait for a response, just turned and stormed out of the bar. I was barely to my car when I heard Sidney calling my name. I turned to see him rushing over, holding a hand out to stop me from leaving. I simply glared at him.
“Bryce, hold on,” he started. I shook my head and turned away, tears forming and starting to fall from my eyes.
“This is really not a good time,” I told him through clenched teeth.
“I don’t want you to leave mad.”
“I knew it was a mistake to come out tonight. None of them have changed, and obviously neither have you. You’re a different person around them and I don’t like that version. You don’t want me mad? Then take a cab.”
I got into my car and started it up. I only glanced once more at Sidney just to make sure I didn’t hit him as I backed out of my parking spot. I managed to hold myself together until I was through the door of my apartment. Once the door was closed I slunk to the floor and let it all out. All the years of anger and hurt brought on by the group I’d spent the night with and what happened with McKenzie poured out. I should have known better.