First I drove home. The house was quiet, as I expected because my mom was at work, and as I settled on the couch I thought about calling her. I knew she’d be angry that I skipped out early, and even more upset to know the reason why. She’d probably have told me to suck it up and go back.
My phone vibrated before I could get comfortable. I glanced at the screen.
ONE NEW MESSAGE: ARIA.
Hey, are you okay? I came back to apologize and you were gone. Mr. Mills told me that he saw you leave in a hurry. I’m worried. Call me.
I wanted to write back. I wanted to say that I wasn’t okay. I wanted to tell Aria that she was a bitch and even that I was sorry for what I said, too. Instead I erased the message and curled up.
It wasn’t long before my phone vibrated again. Another text. It was probably from Aria. I opened my phone.
I’m home. You can come now - looking forward to seeing you.
Despite how shitty my day had been, I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face at the last sentence. He wanted to see me.
I jumped up and ran into the bathroom. The jeans and shirt I wore were stained with my tears, so I had to find something better. I brushed my hair and pulled it away from my face, letting two strands fall in the front. Then I went to my room.
Finding something to wear was difficult. I wasn’t sure how I should dress. I wondered about wearing a dress but finally decided on a pair of shorts and a tank top since it was so hot out. Before I even left the room, my phone went off again.
Tate, where are you?
I decided I’d tell her where I was going. Maybe then she would back off.
I’m going to see a friend. I’ll text you later.
She replied very quickly.
No one you know.
Her response was one word. It made me feel bad.
I sighed, texted Elias and told him I couldn’t make it, then texted Aria back.
No. But I’m not going out anymore.
I didn’t expect my phone to go off again. When it did, I was suspicious. Caleb’s name shown on the screen.
I heard about the fight. You okay? Doesn’t mean I’m not still mad at you. Later.
Frustration seeped through me. So much so that I put my phone on silent and returned to the couch. If my mom came home I’d just tell her I felt sick so I came home. It was starting to become true.
I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew it was dark out. The only light was coming from my phone, and it was blinking furiously at me. I wondered how many texts I had to deal with now.
FIVE NEW MESSAGES
I groaned and opened the first one. It was from Elias.
That’s okay, I’ll see you tomorrow.
The next four were from Aria.
Where are you?
I need you to call me when you can.
I hope you’re not still mad at me when we see each other.
Caleb’s worried about you, too.
I knew that the last one wasn’t true. I told her that I was okay, I just fell asleep. She didn’t reply after that, so I went back to sleep.
Maybe tomorrow would be a better day.