Chapter Four: Beth - Deserves To Hear This.
Beth found Adrian in their usual spot - the thin alleyway between the abandoned youth club and a seedy old pawn shop that Beth had never seen anyone come out of, despite going inside.
Adrian was leaning on the dirty alley wall, puffing on a cigarette - and not his first, Beth suspected - when she arrived, sweaty and out of breath.
"What is it?" she demanded.
His expression changed as his eyes fell upon her. Eyes that held more than they wanted to give away.
Beth anxiously tucked some unruly brown hair behind her ear as she processed his reaction. "Is it... Alison?"
Adrian offered her a lobsided smile of sympathy. "He's on his way here. Said he has news. If I was you I'd prepare for the worst."
"Ugh, that bitch!" Beth slammed her hands against the wall. What the fuck had Derek gone and done now?!
"Beth, relax!" said Adrian. "Maybe he broke up with her. Maybe that's his news."
Beth froze, her heart starting to settle in her chest. "Yeah. Yeah, maybe you're right. Thanks, Adrian."
He playfully nudged her arm. "Hey, someone has to calm the beast when she breaks out."
Beth sucked in a lungful of air, attempting to steel herself for whatever was coming, but before she'd managed to take hold of her nerves, Adrian's eyes fell upon something behind her.
She spun around to see Derek's face, glowing like a giant florescent lightbulb. His "news" wasn't bad - that was for sure. His eyes registered Beth, and every muscle in his face seemed to drop.
"What's she doing here?" he asked darkly.
Beth opened her mouth to say something indignant, when Adrian beat her to it.
"I think she deserves to hear this too," he said.
Derek's mood had obviously been dampened by Beth's presence, but he reapplied the smile he'd been wearing when he'd first appeared. He clapped his hands together.
"We're getting married on the 12th of June."
Beth's stomach took a bomb dive towards her shoes.
"And," Derek went on gleefully, "Alison talked to the doctor today, and it's official -we're having a baby!"
"Awwwh, congratulations," Adrian teased with exaggerated disgust in his voice. He brushed past Beth to give Derek a hug and a slap on the back.
"Thanks, man. I'd love to stay and tell you all, but I've a family to tell. I'll catch you later, yeah?" Derek's eyes skimmed past Beth, he swallowed, and turned to go.
Beth barely registered when Adrian wrapped his huge, warm arms around her trembling body.
"Beth," he started comfortingly.
"No," she murmured, pulling away from him. "I-I have to go."
"Beth!" Adrian grabbed her arm. "Look, you can do so much better than Derek. Don't let them get to you. I mean, look at them! They're tied down with a baby at 20! You don't want that. You have the whole world to see, while they're -"
"Shut up, Adrian, shut up!" Beth hit him in the chest and stormed away from him before he could go on, before he could fill her mind with more wonderful ideas that would never come to fruitition for her.
Not while she was also carrying Derek's baby.