“Beck, we need to talk.”
I watched as she walked into my room and sat down on the edge of my bed. I swallowed hard, looking over at her, running my hand over my neck nervously. I was silently hoping that she hadn’t heard what Lee and I were talking about.
“I heard what you and Lee were talking about.”
“Look mom. I know you think what you heard was true but…we were rehearsing for a school play! Everything you heard was rehearsed,” I lied, making things up in my head.
“Beck, I know there’s no play going on at your school and I know you’re lying to me. So let’s stop playing games and just talk about this, okay?” she replied softly.
I sighed as she sat down next to me. “What’s this about you going out with Melody? I thought you two were just friends?,” she asked.
“We were, until I found out that Melody has feelings for me, but I was too dense to notice. I felt bad about it and thought that starting a relationship with her would be a good idea,” I replied.
“Wait. I’m confused. Do you like Melody?” she asked, arching her eyebrows at me.
“Yes. No. I don’t know. I mean, she’s great. She’s my best friend and I trust her with every secret that I have but I keep questioning myself. I keep wondering if I’m really doing this for me or for her,” I said, leaning back against my pillow.
“Beck, why didn’t you ever tell me?” she asked, glancing over at me.
“Because I was scared. Mom, all you ever talk about is me ‘settling’ down with a nice guy and raising a few kids,” I answered.
“Because I thought that’s what you wanted. You never told me, so I assumed. You have nothing to be afraid of. You’re my daughter and you should never be too afraid to tell me something. Especially something as important as this. I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable. I’m not going to lie, this is going to take some getting used to. Overall, this is your life Beck, and you have to live it the way you want to live it,” she said, staring at me.
I looked at her, lovingly. “So, you’re not mad?” I asked.
“No! Hell no. Beck, who you love is none of my concern unless they start treating you badly, then it becomes my concern. But no, I’m not mad,” she replied.
I chuckled a bit and ran my fingers over my cast. “I think I like Natalie too mom,” I whispered.
She raised her eyebrows at me and I looked up at her. “What?” she asked.
“The reason I keep second guessing myself is because I think I like Natalie too” I replied, pulling my knees up against my chest.
“But I can’t hurt, Melody and I don’t wanna hurt Natalie either but she loves me and I think I love her too but I can’t love her because loving her would mean pretending Melody’s feeling never existed. That wouldn’t be fair to her-"
"Love isn’t fair, Beck.”
I looked over at her as she interrupted me. She shrugged her shoulders. “It isn’t. Things aren’t always fair when you’re in love. People who you love sometimes don’t love you back. As a matter of fact, sometimes you don’t even know you love someone until you see them loving someone else,” she said softly.
“Is that what happened with you and dad? Was he in love with someone else before he fell for you?” I asked.
Mom sighed, shaking her head. “That’s not important right now, Beck. What's important right now, is for you to think hard about your relationship with them. One day, you might realize you missed out on the best thing that ever happened to you."
She got up from the bed, walking towards the door but I couldn’t just let her leave without asking.
She looked over her shoulder at me as I stared back at her.
“Are you going to split up with dad?” I asked timidly.
She smiled, shaking her head. “No Beck. I was actually talking about your dad,” she replied.
I sighed and smiled back at her as she walked out the room. I knew what I had to do and I had to do it fast.
I paced back and forth as I waited for Mark in front of the school entrance. I didn’t know if what I was doing was smart but I had to try. If I didn’t then I would wonder, 'what if?' the entire time I was with Melody.
I stopped pacing. Mark ran toward me. “I don’t know what you’re up to but do you really want to talk to her now?” he asked.
“Yes Mark. If I don’t, then my own guilt is going to eat me away,” I replied, opening the door for him, walking inside the school.
“Melody is going to be pissed, you know. Melody's going to be pissed that you lied to her,” he warned.
“I know, I know. I’ll worry about that later. I have to talk to her."
I took off down the hall with Mark behind me. I knew where she would be right now. Natalie was always in the art room when she needed to think. I’m pretty sure that when you come to school this early, the room is empty. Mark's president of the sophomore class, he has keys to all the rooms in the school. I knew he could get me in. I had to talk to Natalie.
“Here it is! Open the door,” I said quickly. He nodded, wiggling the key into the lock, pulling it open, locking it behind me.
“Natalie should be in here soon. Wait here until she comes. I hope this works Beck,” he said through the door.
“Me and you both. Thanks again."
I leaned against the wall, looking around the small art room. In the back of the room, I saw a familiar picture. I arched my eyebrows, slowly walking towards it.
I looked at the picture of Natalie’s hometown, running my fingers over the dry paint. Admiring how much effort and time she had put into the piece. She never told me she was finished.
I smiled to myself but stopped when I saw another canvas behind the giant easel. I walked towards it, pulling back the small cover.
My eyes widened as I instantly felt my heart beat quicken with one word.
She had drawn a picture of me. Every detail was exact. My eyes, my nose, my ears, my lips. The picture she had drawn of me in Mr. L’s class was just a rough draft. This was what she had been working on all along.
“What are you doing here?”
I jumped at the sound of her voice. I quickly spun around to see Natalie facing me.
“I need to talk to you,” I replied, walking toward her.
She frowned. “Didn’t we talk enough at your house?” she said sharply. I groaned, putting my hands in my sweater pocket.
“Natalie, you don’t understand-"
“But I do. You don’t reciprocate my feelings. I get it. Isn’t that what you wanted?” she interrupted angrily.
“I don’t want to argue with you. That’s not why I’m here,” I said calmly.
“Then please, tell me why you are?” she growled, walking past me, to the painting supplies.
“I miss you. I do. I miss the way we used to talk. I miss the way you used to tease me about being a nerd. I miss our relationship. I don’t want to lose that because I’m with Melody,” I said, watching as she picked up an easel, starting an outline.
“Just leave Beck. I don’t want to talk to you,” she replied, not facing me.
“No! I can’t sit here pretending everything is okay between us because it’s not! I love you and you don’t feel the same! Being friends would kill me!" she yelled, staring at me.
I opened my mouth to speak but nothing came out. I was speechless. She continued to paint.
I couldn’t let her go. She wasn’t the only one who was hurting, didn’t she realize that? No. She wasn’t getting off that easy.
I pulled her toward me. She fell into my arms. “I’m hurt too Natalie! I want to be with you. I can’t hurt Melody. She’s always been there for me. She's in love with me and I never did a damn thing about it. I feel so-"
I stared at her. “Yeah. I feel guilty because I never knew,” I said softly. “You have to decide, Beck. No one else but you. I’ll tell you as often as I can,” she said, wrapping her arms around my neck.
“I love you” she whispered. I put my hands on her waist. My heart raced. Natalie had complete control over me. I would never be able to break from it.
“I love you. I lov-"
I crashed my lips against hers, pulling her closer. She ran her tongue over my lips. I allowed her entrance, kissing her back.
I pushed her against the desk. sShe hopped up, never breaking our kiss.She pulled me closer. I braced myself against the desk, as I attacked her neck. She ran her fingers through my hair. I bit down on her neck, kissing around her jaw. She pulled at my shirt.
Natalie laid on top of the desk, pulling me with her. She bit down on my bottom lip. I ran my hands under her shirt.
“Mhm! No…” she panted, pushing me away gently, pulling her shirt down. We were breathing hard.
“Natalie, I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me,” I panted, steadying my breath. She looked at me pulling me back.
“Make up your mind. I won’t wait forever” she whispered planting a chaste kiss on my lips.