Chapter Twenty-Five: It should be ok

And then she turned to me, her face pale except where there was bruising. Her hair was a mess and her eyes were red.

"You don't understand," she whispered hoarsely.

"I do deserve it."

I looked at her in shock. "Loz, you don't, don't you understand that?"

Lauren shook her head, sending her messy fringe into her teary eyes. "Kris, I do. I never live up to his expectations of me, and I'm never good enough. Both him and Mum want so much from me, and I can never make them happy enough. It's all my fault."

Katie returned with a glass of water and set it on the bedside table.

Lauren didn't so much as glance at it.

Katie sat on the floor, looking up between myself and Lauren, who had gone silent again.


She shook her head.

I glanced at Katie, and suddenly it clicked. But I didn't get it. Why would she tell me everything, and not Katie, who had been a better friend than I had ever been, or could ever hope to be.

"Um... Katie?"

She glanced towards me. "Mmm?"

"Sorry, but, I'm kind of thirsty myself. Do you reckon you could get me some water too?"

I felt bad. Lauren was Katie's friend too, but how did you tell someone that their friend didn't want to talk to them?

Katie sighed but got up and left the room again.

"Thanks," Lauren whispered.

"So, keep talking," I urged.

"Dad's always telling me that I'm not good enough. And even when I do ok, like when I get 90s or whatever, it's never good enough. He's a perfectionist, and I guess he always expects me to be perfect too. But I can't. Mum never knows what's going on and I don't want her to know, because I don't want her to worry. And it's all my fault anyway. If only I just worked harder and-"

I cut her off. "Loz! Do you hear yourself? You are not to blame! No one's perfect. What he's doing to you... It's not right, do you hear?"

She simply shrugged. "It's been like this for so long... I don't know any other way."

"You have to tell someone."

Her eyes snapped towards me. "No. I can't. I could never... No. I can't."

"Loz, but this isn't right."

"I don't want my mum to worry. He's not that bad all in all, you know."

I sighed in frustration. "So what, you're just going to go home and just let him beat the crap out of you day after day?"

"It's not like that!" she yelled, in tears. Then she fell back onto the bed and wept.

I went over to the bed, and hugged her. I mean, what else was I supposed to do.

"Loz," I said quietly. "Why won't you talk to Katie?"

I felt her shrug.

"She's your friend. She's been a better friend to you than I have."

She just shrugged again.

Katie returned with my glass of water and I moved away from where I was with Lauren to take it from her.

"Loz?" she murmured tentatively.

Lauren remained silent.

Not knowing what else to do, I left the room. Lauren had to talk to Katie. Why did she talk to me and not Katie? It didn't make any sense to me. I hadn't been there. A small part of me was even angry with Lauren. Why did she have to pile all this stuff on me? I mean, I had all the stuff with Marty still going on and...

Maybe I was just making excuses for myself. Deep inside myself I knew that I didn't want to get too involved with anyone anymore.

And what about Jaiden? a little part inside of me asked.

I guess Jaiden was different, because he let me be apart from him, while still being close... if that made sense. In a way, he let me do my own thing, and not have to worry about anything else, but in the back of my mind I knew that I could always fall back on him if everything just go too much to deal with.

Like now.

A huge part of me needed him like I hadn't needed anyone else since Marty died. And a small part of me felt like I was betraying Marty, and I think that that small part of me would always be there.

But right now, I realised that I needed to fix things up with Lauren. I didn't know what I was going to do, or how everything would work out, but there was that small part of me that realised that somehow things would be ok.

I headed back into Katie's room, to find the two of them both crying and saying, "I'm sorry" over and over again. It looked like my leaving the room had done some good after all.


The two of them looked up at me expectantly.

"Loz, you can't go home. Katie, do you think your parents would be ok with her staying here?"

Katie squirmed but nodded. "It should be ok."

"You can't tell them," Lauren interjected.

Katie sighed. "But you've got to let someone know, it might as well be my parents, right?"

Lauren didn't reply.

Katie turned to me. "It should be cool. You should go see how Jaiden is doing..."

I nodded gratefully. "Thanks Katie." I turned to look at Lauren. "You gonna be ok?"

She nodded her head slightly.

I looked between the both of them, and realised how much the two of them had come to mean to me in the past few months. Without them, I wasn't sure how would I have dealt with losing Marty and everything.

I headed home. It wasn't a long walk, but it was enough to let me clear my head a little.

Lauren was going to be ok, whatever happened in the end. Because I think part of it was just that she needed to tell someone.

My mind flew back to the hospital, where I had left Jaiden with a kiss on the cheek. I wasn't sure what was going to happen with all that, but I guess that I just had to wait until I got home, to see what I could make of things.

Did I like Jaiden? Yeah, I guess I did. But there just seemed to be a part of me that was holding me back. And I wasn't sure what it was.

The porch light was on when I came into view of my house, and I could see the light on in Jaiden's room.

I knocked on the door and Dad let me in.

"How is he Dad?"

He nodded. "He's doing well. The doctor said that he just needs some rest. But I think he'll be good to go back to on Monday. He's in his room, if you wanted to check on him," he added with a wink.

I rolled my eyes. "Da-ad."

He laughed, heading to the kitchen. "Don't do anything I wouldn't do!" he called.

I headed upstairs and knocked lightly on Jaiden's door.

"Come in."

I pushed the door open but didn't venture inside, instead, just leaning on the door frame. "So, how you feeling?"

"Better now that you're here," he grinned.

I couldn't help but smile. "So... are we going to talk about it?"

"What's to talk about?"

"I mean... does it mean that... What does it mean?"

Jaiden shrugged. "Whatever you want it to mean, I guess."

"Jaid, I like you, I do, I just..."

"What, Kris? You just what?"

My thoughts from the afternoon of the accident returned unbidden to my mind. He could die for all I cared.

"Jaid. I'm sorry. I can't."

He let his head fall back onto the pillow, his eyes staring straight up to the ceiling. "You know Kris, you've got to learn to decide things for yourself once in a while." He rolled over onto this side, facing the wall. "Close the door on your way out."

I sighed, tears springing to my eyes. I wasn't sure what I was doing, what came over me to say what I said. I wiped my eyes as I shut the door behind me and headed to my room.

I flung myself onto the bed and buried my face in my pillow, and letting everything just overwhelm me.

Whatever it was that was going on in my head, I didn't know. All I knew was that whatever it was that was stopping me from letting myself be with Jaiden, it would have to be something important, otherwise, I may have just lost my one chance to be with a guy that I could really see myself being with.

Sorry for the lack of updates. I know that it has been forever, but I've had a lot going on. A little bit of emo-ness, which would have ruined the mood of the story, and a lot of stuff at school... I had a major exam (it's like, the end of school series of exams) and I take a subject a year ahead, and was studying hard core for that... And did pretty well, if I do say so myself. :) But now, it's holidays and I'm going to try and hopefully finish this story soon. There's a little bit more to happen, but let's hope that it all ties up in forty or so chapters. So yes, that's a hell of a lot more updates that you'll be getting.

Hope that you all had a very merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year:)

And now, onto my review responses...

Right or Ryn: Yes, it was a new chappie. And here is another. It's been a terrible updating season lately, hasn't it? Sorry. ::hangs head:: Yes, I love Lauren too... Yeah... well, this chapter explains a little a bit about Lauren and what happens with her. And Katie and Kris too. About the kiss... Well... don't kill me for stuff in this chapter! Yes, stuff with Jaiden will be explained. I haven't forgotten! And of course she gets curious... It'll come up sooner or later!

p-y-a: Lol. An update! Don't you love me:) Yes, love the sweetness I know you do, but don't kill me now... And yes, somehow I don't think any NORMAL dad would react like that... YES OK. THIS CHAPTER SAYS ABOUT LAUREN. SATISFIED?!? Katie is the friend... lol. The vomit bag is coming! Be PATIENT! Far out. Lol.

Kylie1403: Are they together? Oh gosh, I hope so, though this chapter is a little bit of a setback at the moment... And yes... we're figuring Lauren's situation out now...

rockrose: Hahaha. Yup. They made up! And now... Lol. Don't kill me!

dyingofluv: So, now that you know about Loz...?

J.D Braff: oh my Ditzness how I love you:) Lol.

One Desire: Well, I would think it was a bit obvious what was happening with Loz... But here it is in black and white (ish) anyway.

Fresh Harvest: It's holidays now!!! WEE! Which means, more writing (hopefully) for me. And a little bit more work on this story... Lol. Yesh, the two of them are very quite simple with each other... Like, their relationship isn't so much complicated, nor is it concrete, it kind of just... is. But more about that will come later. :) Lauren as promised, is in this chapter. Anyway... send me another email soon. ;) Twas fun. :)

Aznqt09: well, here it is. But a please would have been nice!

Kohintz: Well I haven't looked or updated this story in forever! (until now!) So you're forgiven! And YES MA'AM! Here's the update!

And there you have it... Hope you enjoyed it.
Happy Holidays. And I'll try and get back to this soon. :)