Chapter 8

"Heaven is a place on earth with you. Tell me all the things you want to do. I heard that you like bad girls. Honey, is that true?"

This might have been one of those moments. One of those great moments when all you ever wanted, happens. Or you dream about something so often, that when it actually happens, you don't know what to do or what to say. And of course, there's the inevitability that moments like these never go how you think they will. How you dreamt they would.

Although I knew I couldn't exactly control it, I was embarrassed when I opened my eyes. I mean fainting, right there in the doorway, I felt melodramatic. I felt like we were in a soap opera, and I was the overachiever actress, fainting at the sight of my father's surprise return. Even though it was a really big deal. Gigantic.

But I guess I fainted because my body also understood how important this moment was. I needed to regroup.

For four years, I held on to the belief that I had nothing left for my dad except for anger. I was so angry at him. Anger, hate, disappointment. Before today, I knew for a fact that if I ever saw him again, I wouldn't have anything nice to say. I would yell at him how much he hurt me, how much I hated him and how I never wanted to see him again. I would tell him that I blamed him for our family breaking up.

But when I opened my eyes and saw my mom and my dad kneeling over me, I choked up. It was like all the dark feelings went away. "Dad?", I sobbed. I know. I was five all over again.

I wrapped my arms around his neck as he lifted me off the floor into a bear hug. "Oh, Victoriez, honey...", my dad was at a loss for words. My eyes had been either closed or blocked with tears but when I blinked to clear my vision, my eyes locked with my mom who was standing by her bed with tears in her eyes.

I moved to my dad's side so I could open up for my mom. She walked over to us to join in the hug.

We stood there for a moment, crying and hugging. One small, happy family reunited.

But of course, it wasn't that simple. I was disgusted by the amount of times it rarely was. As soon as all of our tears dried up, questions began forming in my head.

I pulled away from my mother and father, and took a step back, "I don't understand. What's going on?"

My mom began to wring her hands. That was never a good sign. She sighed, "I think we all need to sit down and talk.. but not tonight. Is that okay, Vicky?"

I paused for a minute as I thought about it. I stared into my mom's eyes. She was always trying to protect me. Even if I was upset or didn't like her decisions, more often than not she's right. I trusted her.

I nodded my head, "Okay." I stole a glance at my dad before I turned to walk out of the room. He smiled at me reassuringly. A part of me is comforted. In another part of my heart, it had the opposite effect.

I quickly made my way to my room.


On Sunday, I had to go to Leira's house. Oddly, when I was tiptoeing out of my room and out the door, my mom and my father were in the kitchen. Mom was making breakfast while my father stood leaning against the counter. They were talking. Mom was frowning. I didn't want to know, at least not yet, so I silently made my way out the front door. The way they acted last night, it frightened me a little.

There were pros and cons to going to Leira's house. The pros were, it gave me something to do to get out of the house and I missed Leira so I would be happy to see her. Cons? As much as I missed Leira, I knew there would be a lot of things I had to tell her, a lot of questions I would have to answer. Some of which, I probably didn't even know the answer to. It seemed daunting.

I sighed as I turned on to Leira's street. If anyone deserved to ask questions, it was Leira. She cared about me. She may have been my first true and honest-to-God friend. I owed her explanations.

So, I would do the best I could. That was my last thought as I climbed out of my car, across the lawn, and on to Leira's porch. I knocked on the glass panel on the door and stepped back as I waited for someone to answer.

Suddenly, a male form encased in a gray t-shirt appeared in the muddled view of the window and before I could decipher a face, they were opening the door. I heard myself gasp in shock. It was Lennox.

It was almost comical. I even stepped further back and glanced at the house. Inwardly, I sighed relief. Okay, good. My subconscious had not sent me to Lennox's house by accident. I was at Leira's. So then... what was Lennox doing at Leira's?

My cheeks heated with the effort I put into restraining the red-hot jealously that tried to claw its way out of my throat and into my brain. I gulped once and croaked, "Wha - "

Lennox interrupted me, and as if he read my mind quickly said, "Leira was helping me catch up with some stuff in Flog's class.. I've been here all morning.. but we're done now.. And uh, I was just...", he stared at me searchingly, "leaving." I then noticed the backpack hanging carelessly from his shoulder.

I nodded, unable to answer. I put my car keys in the pocket of my sweats and left my hand there. I cleared my throat.

His mouth crooked into a half-smile, "Y'know, I've never seen you like this. You look so relaxed. Vulnerable, even."

I shrugged, not exactly shure how to respond. My face was bare of makeup, my hair windblown all around my face, a Walking Dead t-shirt, grey sweats, and sneakers. I looked like Snow White.

I wasn't sure how I felt about his observation. I looked down at the ground and then back up into his eyes. He was staring at me.

"What?", I blurted. I swallowed and fought the urge to wince. I was little loud.

"I just..", suddenly he stepped closer. "Vicky - "

"Hey!" Jeez! It was Leira. I jumped as Lennox turned around to show her standing in the doorway, smiling.

I smiled half-heartedly at her, "Hey."

"How long have you been standing out here?"

"Not very long.", I gave her another lopsided smile, "Lennox was just saying bye." There was an awkward silence. My mind suddenly drifted to the scene in the cafeteria, which happened to be the last time Lennox, er, said goodbye.

"Yeah.", Lennox mumbled, "See ya later." He then jumped off the porch and made his way to the street where a navy blue truck was parked.

"I didn't know he had a car.", I mused.

"It's his stepdad's.", I nodded as I watched Lennox and the truck disappear down the street. "Uuuh, Vicky. He's gone now. You can let your breath go."

I looked wide-eyed at Leira. She laughed at my expression, "Come on.", she said, "You can tell me what's up while I fix us some food."


"Oh my gosh. Vicky, that's so... how are you?"

After Leira had warmed us up some leftover spaghetti and toasted us some garlic bread, we went into her room. We were now sitting on her bed, talking. I first told her about hanging with Jess and Darby at the mall when I had left school. Then I laid on the heavy stuff. I told her about my mom being back with a whole lot more than what she left with.

I shrugged and mumbled, "I'm okay.", I paused as I poked my fork in a meatball,"I actually don't have any solid feelings about my dad being back.. I mean I cried. But now.. it's like I'm numb." I frowned as I chewed and swallowed. I looked up at Leira.

Leira was looking at me sympathetically. She shrugged one shoulder slowly, "Maybe.. you don't have any feelings because you haven't talked to them yet."

I thought about it. Then I nodded, "Yeah, probably.", I then shook my head vigorously, "On to more light stuff. What's been going on with you?"

Leira raised a brow, "So I couldn't be going through anything heavy?"

I looked at Leira sideways, "I don't knoow... Are you?"

She paused, snorted, and then rolled her eyes smiling, "Well no. But you shouldn't assume."

I giggled, "Right. So Leira, what's going on in your crazy life?" She glared at me. Then we both burst into laughter.

I loved Leira. She was the best. But then a nagging little voice whispered in the back of mind, You still didn't tell her about you.

Well, that was another conversation for a whole different day.


When I walked back into my house, it was near eleven o'clock. I knew Mom wouldn't be too pleased, but maybe in the likes of recent events she would give me a break? I closed the front door quietly.

"Victoriez!" I groaned silently. She was in the living room. I made my way towards the living room. Oh, no. It was worst than I thought. She was sitting on the couch with my dad.

Before I could even formulate an excuse, my mom was speaking, "Where were you all day?"

My eyebrows furrowed as I sat on the cushioned seat next to the couch, "I was at Leira's. What's the deal?" I glanced at my dad. He was looking at me with one of those father-upset-with-daughter-looks. It's funny, it's like he never left. Funny in the way I didn't feel like laughing.

My mom sighed, "Victoriez, you know you could have at least poked your head in and said something. We need to know where you are and compromise on a time you'll be back." We?

I narrowed my eyes, as a thought came to my head, "Wait. Did you two sleep in the same room?"

My mom blushed fiercely, "That's not important."

I stared at the both of them in horror. My eyes then set on my mom, "Mom!"

Mom rolled her eyes, "Victoriez, may I remind you who is the adult here."

I raised a brow as I looked at her incredulously. Before I could stop myself, I blurted out, "What the hell is going on around here!?"

"Victoriez!", my dad exclaimed. I shot him a glare.

My mom cleared her throat, "Alright, that's enough. I think it's time we had that talk."

Oh boy.