A/N: Just wanted to remind those of you who haven't already checked out my new story "Game On Loverboy", please check it out. Also, if you're planning to read the rest of Game On Loverboy, please put it on alert so you know when I update. (I've updated Game On Loverboy just now)
Thanks, and enjoy. (Sorry it's short, but I had to end it where I did, you'll see why)
Chapter 25. Coco Pops & Cookies
It had been five minutes of worry and regret since I had slammed the door on Tom's face, and here I was, still sitting leaned against the door in darkness. I had ended it with Tom so easily, and I knew I had to move on like every other normal person would do. What I didn't know, was whether I wanted to move on or not. I sighed and stood up to switch the lights on when I heard a faint murmur from the other side of the door. I thought it must have been my imagination, but I found myself frozen to the spot just staring at the door like I had never seen one before.
"Claire," There, I heard it again, and this time it was clearer.
Tom was still here?
Instead of letting him know I was listening, I just stood facing the door in silence.
"Claire, I'm sorry," Tom began, "Please, let me come in. We can talk,"
I stood there, one half of me wanting to open the door and the other to grab a tub of Ben & Jerry's and curl up on the sofa with it.
When I didn't answer after a whole minute, I heard a sigh and the sound of footsteps getting further away. I didn't stop him from leaving because I was still trying to think of a reason why. After the way Tom's behaved, does he really deserve me? The fact was that I knew the answer to that question; he didn't deserve me. No girl deserves to be with a guy that flips out at you like that. Yet why am I standing here in this empty house still thinking about him?
That's the one question that stuck in my mind that day. My mum and dad knew there was something up, but I refused to tell them about it so they didn't persist. I hadn't realised my problems where so visible, I had tried to act normal but I guess my acting skill weren't as great as I thought.
As I lay in bed awake that night, I had the time to think about it all properly. The reason I was still wondering whether to try again with Tom or not, was because I knew I'd be happier with him than without him. He was different from all those other guys because he was after my happiness. I realised that I'd miss the way he'd laugh at me when he made a stupid joke about my intelligence, and the way his eyes followed me as soon as I stepped into the classroom. But was that enough to forget about him being a total emotional wreck? I wasn't so sure about that, but I was willing to give him a chance to explain himself.
I turned to lie on my right side and found myself facing my phone which I had put on charge and placed on my bedside table. It read 01:23 AM. I closed my eyes, willing sleep to come so that I had a chance of waking up for school tomorrow. The next time I opened them and checked my phone for the time it was … still 01:23 AM.
Inevitably, I was late to school the next day. I didn't even try to rush myself because when I had woken up I knew I was going to be late no matter what. So I brushed my teeth slowly as I stared into my green eyes which looked like they had just had a good sleep. I don't know what happened to my alarm, I must have turned it off in my sleep, but when I woke up it was already 10:15 AM. After changing into my uniform I made my way downstairs, I realised mum had gone to work and dad was out. I grabbed my favourite cereal; Coco Pops, not bothered enough to make myself anything special that day, and poured some into a bowl. I added some milk and parked myself on the sofa, turning on the TV. to watch some morning cartoons on Nickolodeon. By the time that episode of Spongebob Squarepants had finished, it was 10:46 AM so I washed my bowl and spoon before heading off to school.
I figured if I entered school during morning break, I wouldn't have to go to any classes late and I wouldn't have to get another detention afterschool. So I walked slowly enough so that I would make it to school at 10:55 AM, exactly when morning break starts. After I had signed into the late book at the front reception, I went out onto the playground just as the pips went off to announce the start of morning break.
Perfect. I thought to myself with a small smile.
As usual, I made my way to the canteen to get my chocolate cookie and that's when the smile got whipped off my face. Tom was leaning casually on the wall just next to the entrance of the canteen. I thought about turning around and walking away but I knew I had to get this over and done with. So I walked right up to him and when I was a few feet away he looked up at me with a worried expression.
"Let's go inside," was all he said when I reached him. I didn't know what to say so I just followed him as he entered the canteen and went to sit down at a lunch table that was the most isolated. I sat down opposite him and stared at him silently, waiting for him to speak first. I wanted him to explain himself so that I could re-think my decision, so I'd have a reason not to break up with him officially.
I felt like I was in a job interview the way Tom was looking at me, except his hazel eyes were ruined with darkness under them.
He must not have gotten any sleep. I thought to myself.
Fed up of the awkward silent staring, I spoke up.
"How did you know I was going to come here?"
"I … er … seen you come here every break," he answered, his eyes not once wavering from mine.
"Oh," was all I could say. I looked down at my hands which I had rested on the edge of the table, trying to find a way to tell him, but stopping myself every time. Then I realised, maybe that was because I didn't want to tell him, maybe I didn't want to break up with him. I mentally groaned in frustration when I realised all the thinking from last night had led to me re-thinking it all over again.
"What's wrong?" Tom asked, seeing the frown that I was trying to hide.
"Everything," I answered bluntly, "I can't do this anymore. Yesterday you wanted to talk to me and now you're just sitting here like some … like some … I don't know," I sighed, not bothering to think of a word for my lame simile.
"I know, it's just that I didn't know how to start," Tom replied calmly, but I could tell that he was dying inside.
"You never do," I muttered, annoyed at how this slow conversation was going. "I don't want to break up with you Tom," I saw a moment of relief wash over Tom as I paused for a second, "but if you don't find some words to explain yourself then I won't have a choice,"
I watched Tom gulp as he looked down at my hands. "Okay, okay," he began, "I know I've been acting like a jerk lately,"
Yes you have.
"… and I'm sorry. It's just everything with my father…" Tom looked back up into my eyes, "Claire I swear, as soon as my dad is locked up and it's all over, you won't have to see me angry like that again," I could see that Tom was sincere about what he was saying, but it just didn't make sense to me.
"Wait. So when I asked you why you didn't tell the police about your father earlier you start calling me a spoilt brat and now you're telling me the sooner he's banged up the better?" I could feel my own anger rising in my throat, "Can you explain that?"
Tom was taken aback by my response, obviously thinking it was going to be easy for him to get out of this one.
"No that's not what I said, I would never call you a spoilt brat,"
I know he was trying to calm me down but that just made me angrier. "Oh well I'm sorry for not getting it word for word!" I said sarcastically, folding my arms with a sour expression.
Tom didn't say anything for a while as he scratched the side of his neck nervously. "I didn't mean what I said that day. I just got out of control, that's all. And it wasn't your fault either. I know I haven't been telling you everything about my dad and stuff," Tom looked down at his hands, which he had on the table together, "The reason I didn't call the police earlier was because my dad's never hit me like that before. And he apologised straight away, he told me it was the alcohol getting to him. He promised me he'd never do anything like that again," Tom looked back into my eyes with his face full of emotion, "and I locked myself in my room and called the police. I didn't come out until they were there to take him away,"
"So you didn't believe him? That's why you're feeling guilty?" I asked, my anger long gone as I listened to what Tom had to say.
He shook his head at me. "Of course I didn't believe him. He'd swear to stop drinking loads of times and he never has. But I still couldn't help feeling guilty,"
"But you shouldn't be feeling guilty at all Tom, I've told you this before," I reached out my hand to lay it on top of his.
Tom's eyes went to our hands for a moment before looking back up at me. "I know, I know. I don't feel guilty anymore. My dad's getting everything he deserves and you helped me to realise that Claire,"
At that moment I felt that everything I had done for Tom had finally come to good use. I squeezed his hand in mine and gave him a small smile.
"So are we still … ?" Tom trailed off, leaving his eyebrows raised in question at the end.
"Yeah, we're still together," Tom's face lit up with glee at hearing those words, "As long as you keep your word about not flipping out again,"
Tom's expression went serious and sincere as he pulled my hand up to his lips. "I promise," he whispered before kissing my hand and laying it on the table again.
"And one more thing," I added, "I wasn't avoiding you yesterday,"
Before I could continue, Tom nodded and spoke. "Yeah I know. Your phone was confiscated, and you had library duty at lunch and break and a detention afterschool," Tom finished, looking apologetic at the end.
My eyebrows furrowed together as I wondered, "How did you –"
"Chanice told me,"
"Oh, Chanice. Of course," I muttered, totally forgetting that Tom and Chanice now lived in the same house.
"And I shouldn't have got angry about that anyway, even if you were avoiding me. I'm kind of new to this relationship thing and I guess I didn't know how to react," Tom gave a nervous laugh as he tried to break the embarrassment of admitting he'd never been in a proper relationship before.
"Well next time you could try asking me if I'm avoiding you, and then you know … actually letting me answer,"
Tom laughed, and it was a genuine laugh this time. "Yeah, thanks for the advice,"
"You're very welcome Tom," I bowed my head to him.
"Let's go get you a cookie," Tom stood up. Our hands were still linked so I was forced to stand up with him.
"Finally," I muttered before walking to the queue and joining the end.
I smiled at Tom, and it was a joyous all-is-right-in-the-world smile. Everything was just perfect now, I had a gorgeous intelligent boyfriend and my hand felt perfect in his. What more could I want? Other than that chocolate cookie, of course.
Never forget the chocolate cookie!
A/N: Yes, Hate turns to love is finally finished. I loved writing this story but there were moments where I just wanted to ditch it but it was your amazing reviews that kept me going. So I wanted to thank every person who reviewed this story because without them, there would be no story.
THANK YOU! - You don't know how much I mean that. I also want to thank everyone who put this on their alerts or favourite list and even those silent invisible people who just read my story, I would jump around the whole street shouting thank you if I knew where to find you lot. Haha.
Bye! (I just realised this will be my last authors note on this story! Getting all emotional now! LOL. But this isn't the last of me if you choose to read my new story Game On Loverboy – hopefully you do)
Reviews from this chapter will be replied to through PM's since there won't be another chapter coming up
JJsMommy29– Thanks for all the lovely reviews you gave. They will never be forgotten! And you didn't actually think I'd break them up did you? Haha
Lovely Dreams – This is the last chapter, sorry, I know you were expecting more. Claire ended up with Tom, you're probably not surprised but I wouldn't have the story end in any other way. =) Thanks for all the funny and supportive reviews you've given me throughout this story!
HalfwayParanoid– I'm guessing you're not panicking anymore. As you can see they are together and stronger than ever. But you were probably expecting them to end up together, haha. Just want to say thank you for every review you've given me because every single one brought a smile to my face.
hearts a heavy burden x– I haven't broken them up, Hooray for Tom and Claire foreverrrr! Endless 'thank you's for every review you've taken your time to type up for me!
THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE
(P.S. If you think an epilogue is needed then please let me know)
Lots and lots and lots of love,