I walked downstairs with Natalie right behind me. I couldn’t stop smiling and neither could she. I knew that I would have to calm down by the time we ran into someone else but for now, I was content having Natalie here with me.
She squeezed my hand and I squeezed her's back when I saw Elizabeth and Kylie pulling on their snow jackets.
“Thank you so much for letting us join you tonight, Betty. I had a great time,” Elizabeth said, helping Kylie button her jacket. “You’re welcome, Elizabeth. Anytime you want to do it again, don’t be afraid to come by,” my mom shot back, noticing me on the steps.
“There you are. Say ‘good night’ to the Hudsons, Beck." I smiled at Natalie and she kissed my cheek before walking over and grabbing her jacket from Elizabeth.
“Good night” I said, mainly looking at Natalie. She blushed a bit as Kylie looked between the both of us and arched her eyebrows at me. I shrugged my shoulders and strolled down the steps.
“Good night, Beck. Merry Christmas!” Elizabeth exclaimed, before opening the door and walking out of the house. I watched them go and saw Natalie turn towards the window. I waved at her and she sent a wink my way before walking off.
God, I love that girl.
I turned around, noticing Alexis with her hands on her hips, glaring at me. I sighed and ran my left hand over my neck.
“I’m sorry, Alexis. I didn’t mean to say that. I was mad” I said softly. “But you did say it? You know how I feel about…Danielle,” she mumbled, almost like saying her name was the utmost evil.
I groaned and stomped over to her. “First off, it’s Charlie, you know that. Second, what’s there to be afraid of? Third, you love her” I growled.
“You know you do, that’s why you’ve been acting like a bitch lately."
“Who are you trying to fool? You’re making her suffer because you’re too much of a coward to stand up to your parents and say you like girls."
“I’m warning you, Becca."
“Oh, what are you gonna do? Please tell me. Because after the way you ran off this afternoon, I don’t think you’re gonna do a damn thing!”
She glared at me and I crossed my arms and glared back. She was fuming and I watched as a million emotions crossed over her face.
“It’s none of your business what I do or don’t do with Charlie. Leave me alone, Beck” she hissed before turning around and walking into the guest room.
I sighed angrily, walking in the back room. I closed the door and clicked on my Xbox 360 to start playing ‘Modern Warfare 3’. I heard the door open but I was too into the game to turn around.
“Is it true?” I heard Brandon’s little voice say. “Is what true?” I asked, not taking my eyes off the screen.
“Did you say you and Natalie were together to mess with Alexis? Or are you two really together?” he asked.
“Well, at first it was to mess with Alexis. But, I asked Natalie to be my girlfriend tonight and she said ’yes” I replied, smiling.
Brandon’s eyes widened as he jumped on top of me. I groaned and he chatted happily about how much he liked Natalie and that I had made a good choice.
“My legs, Brandon. I can’t feel them” I mumbled, trying to rub my sore bones. “Sorry. I’m just really happy that you two are together. Now, she’ll be my sister-in-law” he exclaimed.
I smiled at him and leaned back against the chair as he continued to talk. I eventually toned out but I had to admit, I loved Brandon exactly the way he is.
“I love you, Brand” I said. “I love you too Beck. But as I was saying…”
The Next Day
“Beck, can I talk to you?” I looked up from my breakfast and walked towards my Aunt. Mandy, Brandon, and Alexis were opening presents over by the Christmas tree and my mother and father were taking pictures of them while Uncle Adam helping Mandy unwrap her gifts.
We walked into the living room as she sat down, motioning for me to sit next to her.
“I have to be honest with you Beck. When your mother told me you were…gay. I was very confused. I didn’t really understand what she was telling me or why you would want a woman instead of a man. Now don’t get me wrong. You’re my niece and I love you very much. I just want to understand you,” she said softly.
I leaned back against the couch and tried not to do my usual nervous quirk. “It’s not about sex, Aunt Barbara. It’s about what you feel. You see, I’m attracted to guys but I can’t see myself in a relationship with one. I don’t feel the same when I’m with a…woman than I do with a man."
“You love who you love and for me, it's Natalie. I don’t know how it happened. I just know I don’t want it to stop. I guess, the easiest way to say it is, the heart wants what the heart wants,” I said, hoping that would be enough for her to understand.
She smiled at me and leaned over to kiss me on the forehead. “I love you very much, Becky” she said, pulling me into a hug. I smiled and hugged her back. “I love you too, Aunt Barbara” I said.
“Beck! Get out here! I have to show you something!” Aunt Barbara let go of me as I walked towards the kitchen, looking around for my father.
“Uh, where’d dad go?” I asked my mom. “He’s outside Beck. Put on a jacket” she replied, not taking her eyes off of Mandy playing with her new dolls.
I walked over to her and kissed her cheek, making her laugh. “Good morning, Beck” she said in her child-like voice. “Morning, Mandy” I said, tickling her sides.
“I’m coming!” I yelled back. I snatched my jacket from the coat hook and walked over outside.
“Dad, where are you?” I yelled, looking around. I heard something behind me and noticed everyone standing by the door smiling.
“Ok, what’s going on?” I asked, smiling back. I turned back towards the street when my jaw dropped.
I couldn’t believe it. It was like my second baby had risen from the dead. “MY CAR!” I screamed, running towards the green 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer that my father had pulled up to the curb.
I hugged the hood of the car and kissed around the windshields. I could hear my family laughing but I didn’t care. I had my car back.
“Well, it’s not exactly the same car. It’s a bit new and the paint isn’t peeling off. I hope this is alright with you” my dad said, smiling at me.
I tackled him in a hug as he laughed before hugging me back. “So, is this a good Christmas present?” he asked. “Dad, this is the best Christmas present!” I exclaimed, looking back over at my car.
“At least, it doesn’t look like a piece of crap anymore” Brandon said bluntly. I glared at him and slowly picked up a snowball.
“What are you doing?” he asked as I walked over to him. “Oh nothing. Just enjoying the snow,” I replied, smirking at him.
Brandon shook his head and started walking away from me. “Oh no you’re not. I’m not dumb. Get away from me with that,” he yelled, running across the yard.
I ran after him, threw the snowball right at his back. He hit the ground and fell into the snow. I wrestled around in the snow with him and heard Mandy running towards us with her jacket and snow boots on.
“I wanna play too Beck!” she said happily. “Alright. Come here Mandy” I said, opening my arms to her. She ran into my arms as Brandon tossed the snow around us.
Alexis rolled her eyes and was about to walk back into the house…but I couldn’t let her leave with some form of snow on her.
“Hey Lexi!” I yelled. She turned around and I threw the snow right at her stomach. She gasped and looked from her jacket to me.
“This jacket cost $85 dollars!” she screeched. I scoffed. “You had $85 dollars for a snow jacket? What a waste!” I said sarcastically. She glared at me before picking up her own bunches of snow.
I put Mandy on the ground and took off threw the snow with Alexis behind me. “You guys be careful out here!” my mom yelled before walking back in the house with my father behind her.
“Alexis, watch your sister!” Aunt Barbara yelled. “Sure. Will. Mom” she yelled back, talking between every shot she took at me. Aunt Barbara just shook her head and walked back into the house.
I felt my phone vibrate and ducked behind a tree so that I could answer it. I flipped my phone open and smiled at the message.
Merry Christmas Beck!
I sent her back a quick message before running when I saw Alexis coming. “Oh you are so dead when I catch you!” she yelled. “Yeah. When you catch me” I yelled behind me laughing.
I turned the corner and ran straight into someone else, knocking me to the ground. I flopped around in the snow and felt something cold hit my face.
“Gotcha!” I heard Alexis yell. I opened my left eye and, to my surprise, Jessie was standing in front of me.
“Merry Christmas Jess” I said, pulling myself back up from the ground and dusting the snow off of me.
“I need to talk to you” she said quickly, hopping from foot to foot.
“Merry Christmas to you too Beck” I mumbled. “What’s wrong?” I asked, putting my hands in my pockets to keep them warm.
She looked around and grabbed my hand, pulling me towards Natalie’s house.
“Do you need to talk to me or to me and Natalie?” I asked. “Where are you going?” Brandon yelled to me from my house.
“Down the street. I’ll be right back”. He nodded and kept playing with Mandy and Alexis.
Jessie went around the back of Natalie’s house and knocked on her door. “Jess. What’s wrong?” I asked, starting to worry now.
Jessie just shook her head and I saw a few tears fall from her face. I turned her around to look at me and I wiped her tears away.
I could see she was upset about something but I didn’t know what to say, so I did the next best thing and hugged her.
Jessie pulled me tight against her and rested her head on my shoulder as I rubbed her back. Natalie opened her door and smiled when she saw me, but her smile dropped when she saw Jessie crying in my arms.
“Jessie! What’s wrong? What happened?” she asked, helping me walk her into the house. We went towards her room and I sat her down on Natalie’s bed.
Natalie closed the door and sat next to her as I pulled off my jacket and snow boots. Jessie began sobbing and Natalie ran her hand over her forehead.
“Here, lay down” she said, moving off the bed and laying her down. Jessie curled on the bed and began crying harder.
“Jess. You have to tell me what’s wrong. I swear I won’t tell Lee” I said softly. At the mention of her ex-boyfriend’s name, Jessie stopped crying for a second but then let it all go again.
“Is it Chase? Did he hurt you Jess? You can’t just leave us hanging in suspense here. You gotta tell me something or I won’t know what to sa-“I’m 3 months pregnant” Jessie whispered.
Natalie gasped and my eyes widened. “Um…excuse me?” I asked, hoping she didn’t say what I thought she did.
Jessie sat up and wiped her tears. “I’m 3 months pregnant Beck” she repeated. I collapsed on the ground and Natalie sat down next to her again.
“Is it Chase’s?” she asked. Jessie just nodded. I ran my hands through my hair and looked at the ground. “When?” I asked. She bit her lower lip and stared at the ground as well.
“Around the time Chase and I started having sex. I swear, he told me he had a condom on but…” “I’m sorry. He did what? How could you have not been sure of this Jessie? It didn’t matter what he said. He would have said anything to let you have sex with him!” I yelled.
“Beck! Stop. You’re yelling isn’t helping” Natalie scolded. I sighed and leaning against her dresser.
“No, she’s right Nat. I mean, how could I have been so stupid? I told Chase and…and he flipped out. He said he wanted nothing to do with the baby or me. I just…I just don’t know what to do Beck. You know I would never get an abortion but…I can’t give the baby up either. And to think about what Lee would say…” Jessie burst into tears again and I got up and held her against me.
“I’m sorry Jessie. I’m sorry. We’ll work this out together, Ok? We’re your best friends and I’m not gotta leave you alone right now. Lee will eventually forgive you because he loves you and…we’ll all love the baby too” I said, holding her close to me.
“It’s true Jessie. Even though this is Chase’s child, we’ll still love it because it’s yours” Natalie said, hugging Jessie as well.
“Don’t tell Lee Beck. Please don’t tell him. I’ll tell him myself…I just…please don’t tell him” Jessie whimpered, shaking her head back and forth.
“I won’t tell him Jess. I promise you I won’t”. Jessie nodded and put her head back on my shoulder.
I looked over at Natalie as she frowned. We both knew what the other was thinking. If Lee ever found out about this, he would not only murder Chase but he would problem murder us for not telling him.
For now, I would keep Jessie’s secret until she wanted to tell Lee herself. She clung until my sweater and I shushed her as she cried harder. Jessie was still my best friend…and I would protect her no matter what.
Somewhere in Ocean City
“Melody! Are you gonna eat something? You’ve been in your hotel room all day!” Madison yelled through Melody’s locked door.
“No mom. Just…leave me alone” she yelled back, sniffling as she wiped away yet another tear. Madison Schmidt seemed and looked over at her husband.
“Not yet. She needs a bit more time” she said to him. Buck crossed his arms and looked over at his wife.
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t be hunting Beck down” he growled. “Because they’re both teenagers and they’re both hurt over their break up. She’ll be fine Buck. She just needs time” Madison replied.
Buck walked back in their room and turned on the TV. Melody sighed as she heard her parents discussing her for the third time this evening. Couldn’t they see that she didn’t want to talk about it?
She had made a mistake when she put Sasha and Mary before Beck. She didn’t even realize she was doing it. Ever since Sasha was bumped up into her proper grade, they had spent every waking minute together. Sometimes she would even ditch Beck to go hang out with her.
Melody didn’t know how she ever could put Sasha before Beck. She loved Beck with everything in her and to know that she was the one that broke them apart hurt her.
Melody sat up in her bed and pulled on her flip flops. She couldn’t stay locked in her room forever.
She unlocked her door and walked towards the front door. “I’m going to the beach” Melody said bluntly.
Madison perked up and smiled over at her daughter. “Ok. Be careful Melody” she yelled as Melody opened the door and closed it. She leaned against the door and sighed.
“God, I miss you Beck” she sighed. Melody walked towards the elevator and clicked on the bottom floor. She already knew Beck and Natalie were together. Mary had told her yesterday evening. Surprisingly, Melody didn’t shed one tear. Secretly, she always knew Beck would wind up with Natalie. She just didn’t wanna believe it herself.
She reached the bottom floor and walked out the hotel lobby and towards the boardwalk. Not many people were on the beach right now because the sun was setting and people were going home.
Melody sat down in the sand and watched the waves. It was relaxing to her. She always enjoyed the smell of the ocean air and the sound of the waves hitting the shore.
She inhaled deeply and smiled. There were small traces of snow around the area and she knew the water must have been freezing…but Melody would welcome the cold.
She got up from the sand and walked towards the shore. She took off her sands and walked into the ice cold water. Her body chilled instantly but she enjoyed the numbing feeling. It was almost like the water was taking her pain away.
The end of her shirt and her jean shorts were soaked but she didn’t care, she didn’t care about anything right now.
“You know, the waves are gonna rise as soon as the moon comes out”.
Melody spun around quick and saw a boy standing by the shore. He had jet black short hair and dark green eyes. He was at least 6 feet tall and he had on tan cargo shorts and a red Hollister jacket.
The boy reminded Melody of a male Natalie with his hair and eyes but other than that, he was completely unfamiliar.
“Um…what?” she asked, looking at him. He walked towards the shore and pointed at the moon.
“The waves are gonna rise as the moon comes out. You know, the moon has this type of pull on the waves. Kind of makes them stronger. Perfect for surfing actually. Do you surf?” he asked bluntly.
“No. Not really. I guess I should get out then” Melody replied, pushing through the water. When she reached the shore, she realized she didn’t have a towel.
“Shit!” she mumbled, shivering from the cold. “Here. You can use this” he said, pulling off his jacket and handing it to her.
Melody noticed he just had a plain red shirt on under his jacket but she could tell he was pretty toned. She blushed at this thought and pulled his jacket over her head.
The jacket smelled like some type of Hollister fragrance and she felt warmth wrap around her.
“Do you live around here?” he asked. Melody shook her head and pulled her flip flops back on.
“No. I’m from Baltimore actually. My parents just thought it would be nice to go to Ocean City for Christmas. Although it’s still kind of cold down here. I suggested Florida but...that didn’t really work out. Sorry, I’m rambling” she said, looking down at the sand.
“No, no. It’s alright. A lot of people come down here for the holidays. You’d be surprised” he said. They started walking down the shore and ever couple of steps, Melody would just look at him. He was a pretty mysterious guy. It was almost like he was afraid to be himself.
He looked down at her and Melody quickly looked the other way. “I live here. My house is the one down there, on the corner of the beach. Do you see it?” he asked, pointing towards the beach house.
“Yeah, I do. It must be nice to live beachside” she replied. He shrugged his shoulders and sighed.
“Sometimes it is. I mean, I don’t really like hanging around the tourists that much and everything’s always so God damn expensive” he groaned. “Um…I’m a tourist” Melody said, smirking at him.
“Well, yeah but you’re Ok. Not like the bleach blonde bombshells that come down here every other week” he sighed.
“You don’t like blondes?” she asked, arching her eyebrows at him. “No…well yes…are you trying to pump info out of me?” he asked, smirking at her.
Melody blushed and shook her head. “No. Just trying to see what’s going on it that head of yours” she replied. “I don’t know if that’s a compliment or an insult” he said, chuckling.
“It’s a compliment” Melody said, smiling at him. “You know, we’ve been talking but I still don’t know your name” she continued.
“I don’t know yours either” he countered, turning around to look at her. Melody stared into his eyes and they both stopped walking.
“…It’s Melody” she said softly. He smiled at her and looked back out at the waves. “Melody? I like it” he said, looking back at her.
“And you?” she asked, trying to understand why her heart was racing. “…I’m Charlie” he replied.
“Charlie? I like it” she teased. He laughed and she laughed with him. “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship Melody” Charlie said, walking back across the shore.
Melody watched him walk off before following behind him. “Yeah. I think it is too” she said softly, before running to catch up with him.
The Guest Room
Alexis stared at her computer screen as she clicked through ‘Danielle Charles’ photos on Facebook.
“Why can’t I just say hello? Why is it so hard to speak to you?” she said to herself. She ran her finger over Charlie’s short jet-black hair and dark green eyes.
“I promise I’ll tell you one day Charlie. Please wait for me” she whispered. Alexis shut down her computer and walked out the guest room, slowly closing the door behind her.