An hour later, I found myself stood at the foot of the doorway I’d only been in twice in 4 years. I raised my fist and knocked on the door. It opened to reveal a shocked, but seemingly happy, Hayley Brooke. Once she saw me, her smile lit up my world for a few seconds and I hugged her before asking if I could come in. She stepped back and said “Of course! Erica, this is really unexpected! What are you doing here?”
“I wanted to talk to you. I really need some advice that won’t just be “Follow your heart” or something like that” I told her.
We walked through the front room to the stairs and up into her bedroom. It was a small, cosy, 5 foot square room with one large bay window and a bed facing it. There were no posters on the walls, just one photo of Hayley with her parents 5 years ago when they were still together. Even though it was 5 years ago, Hayley didn’t look much different: same chestnut brown hair, same hazel brown eyes, same figure; thin but curvy. I’d always been jealous of the way she could eat whatever she wanted and always be the same shape. On the other hand, I had to be careful what I ate and exercise every day to stay my size.
She sat down on her bed and motioned for me to join her. I accepted and she said, “Go ahead; tell me what happened. Want one?” she said, pulling a pack of cigarettes out of the bedside draw. She’s been smoking for nearly a year; ever since she turned 16. She knew we all hated that she did it but she told us it wasn’t easy at all for her to quit but that she’d tried loads of times.
I turned down the offer, watching her shrug and put them away before lighting up and waiting for me to begin. “Okay, well, y’know I go out with Justin?” she nods a reply, inhaling a breath of toxic nicotine. “Well, he’s being incredibly clingy lately and I don’t have a clue why. The other day though, we went to the movies and you’ll never guess who we saw!”
“Oh my god, who?”
“Kate? Like, Justin’s ex, Kate?” She yelled, her mouth dropping wide open.
“Yes! That Kate! She acted all nice and said she was so glad to see us both and she was so obviously flirting with him and the worst part is … he flirted back!” I yelled back; completely in hysterics. I was sure I was about to have a breakdown but all she said was, “That lying little-!”
“Hayley! Language please! Don’t swear!”
“Why not? Would it kill me?”
“Well, no. But it still isn’t nice; even when you don’t like them!”
“Okay, I’m sorry but I don’t care! I mean, sure, it’s been a while but, when she left crying, she yelled she never wanted to see him again! She’s still a liar! Wait … you said Justin flirted back?” I nodded, now in tears thinking about what I was about to say to her.
“But there’s more. When I went out early Sunday morning for a run before everyone was up, I ran into Christian. We had such a good time and a great laugh. I learnt loads about him and I’d like to learn more but, then I got home and it all went bad.”
“Uh-Oh; what happened next?” Hayley asked, obviously completely worried about me and what I was saying.
I told her, “Justin asked where I’d been and I told him I’d been talking with Christian and he started being overly protective and started interrogating me about everything! It was like he didn’t like me being alone with anyone but him!”
“That … that … GRR! I hate him sometimes! He can be such a shallow self-centred person when he wants to! But I’d guess he can be sweet and thoughtful when he wants to”
“What’s it?” Hayley looks up at me; completely confused about what I just said. I tell her, “Justin just needs to realise that I am willing to leave if he doesn’t start to let me have a life! Oh, thank you so much, Hayley! I really needed that! I gotta go talk to him and I’ll call you and tell you how it goes. See ya later!” I get up and we walk to the front door before hugging and saying goodbye. She yelled, “Good luck!” out the door before going back in and shutting it behind her.