Unproven Chapter Thirty One "Downward Spiral"
If you're loved by someone, you're never rejected, decide what to be and GO BE IT
-The Avett brothers
Recommend Reading Introduction to Unproven
DEFINITELY READ Prologue
Chapter Thirty One
It had been two days since the crash and burn of her two most important friendships and Ary was in the tub again, turning the water on and off with her foot, staring listlessly at the ceiling. Sonya and Andie. Just thinking their names was enough to turn on the tears. She swiped at her eyes angrily. She heard laughter coming from the game room and dunked her head under the water. Grayson’s friends were over along with Amanda, although she might as well put her in the ‘Grayson’s friends’ category as well.
She brought her head back out of the water and winced. She shouldn’t be thinking bad thoughts about her only remaining friend. Even if it was obvious she adored Grayson, at least she hadn’t acted on it. It was natural to adore Grayson, nearly everyone did. Oh correction, everyone including Andie did or had at one point anyway.
It hurt. Bad. Andie was like a sister to her, and Sonya pretty close to that too. She found herself wanting to make excuses for them. Maybe Grayson’s magnetism was just too large to ignore, after all she’d never been able to. And just because she’d announced her crush on him first didn’t mean her friends weren’t entitled to feel the same, did it? Yeah, that worked all the way up to where Andie had hidden her feelings and made her feel like shit for her own feelings, and Sonya…She couldn’t even go there. Although in some ways what Andie had done felt worse, probably because of who Andie was, or who she’d thought she was. Someone she could trust implicitly, always honest, her best friend.
Grayson. She loved him so much and understood that he’d wanted to protect her. After a long conversation she could tell he wasn’t surprised by her friends’ duplicity, he didn’t trust people at all. Except maybe her. And perhaps he was right, maybe she did look at the world through rose colored glasses, maybe it was better to be a bit less open, a little more cautious. At least she wouldn’t drown in a pool of shock and misery when she discovered something wasn’t the way she’d thought.
She sighed and lifted herself out of the tub, wincing as a peal of Amanda’s laughter reached her ears. It annoyed the hell out of her that she was having so much fun, that she wasn’t completely blown apart by the betrayal of their friends. Of course it wasn’t her they’d betrayed so maybe that was why, and to be fair Amanda was absolutely on her side, vowing to never talk to either of them again. She just wished she didn’t think it was for Grayson’s benefit rather than hers.
She dried off and dressed then braced herself to deal with people, trying to find a smile for Grayson’s sake. She didn’t want him worrying about her constantly. A few beers, she thought, that might cheer her up. She smiled a little at her choice of alcohol. She’d found that beer was by far the best choice as it was easier to find her limits with it. Grayson had teased her relentlessly about it in Hawaii, saying his girl liked a man’s drink. The memory warmed her and she felt a bit better as she made her way to the game room.
For the next couple of hours she lost herself in booze, winning a few dart games in the process, and finally felt like the haze of gloom was lifting. A feeling that lasted all of about fifteen minutes.
"So he finally told you about your slutty little friend, huh?" Gary asked as he took Adrien's place next to her for a game of cricket.
She swallowed her immediate reply, which would have been in Sonya's defense while also insulting him. She'd never given Gary much thought before, but right then she decided she couldn't stand him. He was handsome at first glance, but his polished looks waned the more you got to know him. Particularly since he obviously thought a lot of himself, far more than he deserved.
He shot his darts landing two twenties and hissing when he missed his mark on the last one. He glanced at her, "No comment?"
She threw her own darts, double twenty, single twenty and a fifteen, before turning to him with a smile, "Guess you're playing catch up."
He scowled at her and threw his next three, managing to close his twenty's but nothing else. He stalked up to the board and pulled the darts, examining their tips. "They're bent," he declared, "No wonder. I need new ones." He grabbed a box of refills and made a show of replacing them.
Ary waited until he was next to her again then examined her own darts. "Huh, these are bent too," she held them out so he could see, "but I think I can beat you anyway."
He glared at her, "Oh yeah? Bring it on."
She threw her first one, double fifteen.
"She talked about him when she was with me you know," he said as she raised her arm to throw her next dart, "Asked me if I knew why Grayson was so into you, like it was a puzzle to her."
Ary's arm wavered for a moment, then she steeled herself and threw. Bulls Eye. Yeah you keep talking asshole, she thought.
His eyes narrowed, "I didn't have an answer, 'cause honestly it is a puzzle."
She didn't even look at him, just steadied herself and aimed. Double Bull, take that you stupid dick she thought. To him she simply smiled and said, "Your turn."
Several rounds later she closed out sixteen's and did a victory dance as the board lit up, the computerized voice announcing Winner!
Gary tossed his darts on the table next to him and turned to her with a cold smile. "You go ahead and revel in that victory 'cause two months from now Grayson will have forgotten you exist and you'll never see that dartboard again. You're nothing more than a summer fling."
She mumbled, "Sore loser," under her breath as he stalked away, trying to take the sting out of his words. She located Grayson at the back of the room, Amanda all but hanging on him, laughing at something Adrien was saying. Brooke and Kara were sitting at a table near them, also laughing though in their case you could call it snickering. She pulled her gaze away feeling suddenly sick, the beer she'd drank sloshing in her stomach. She made her way out of the room and stumbled into Grayson's bathroom, grabbing the edge of the sink. She turned the cold water on and splashed it on her face. When she looked up she caught her reflection in the mirror and winced. She was pale and drawn, her brow creased with worry, dark circles forming under her eyes from lack of sleep. That was bad enough, but the worst was her eyes, they looked dull and lifeless like a light had been switched off. She tried to smile but it faltered, adding to the overall pitiful impression.
"I just need to sleep," she whispered, looking away, "stop tossing and turning and actually sleep. I'll feel and look better if I get some rest." She avoided her reflection as she grabbed a towel, unwilling to face the look of doubt she knew would be there.
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