She walked into the building, glass door swinging closed behind her. Her black shinning hair glistened under the bright white lights from above. Her blue highlights flowed in and out of her black roots beautifully with each and every long stride. She walked with confidence. She had her head up, her shoulders back, and her arms swinging lightly by her sides. Her boots clicked on the ground, her bracelets jingled as they bumped into each other, her messenger bag bumped against her thigh.
She entered a room on the fourth floor. The white curtains caught her attention. The dark carpet flooring, the black coaches, the oak tables and cabinets were beautifully placed around the space. She placed her bag down next to her and then left the room with lock and key.
She walked back to the elevator. Up to the top floor it was.
A few floors up, the door dinged open. Another girl walked in. The girl stopped after stepping in and looked directly at her. The brown eyes attempted to suck the life out of her, but failed. She was annoyed, not scared. She was upset, not frightful. She was ready to fight, not back down with fear.
“How’ve you been?” The girl asked, going to stand at the opposite corner.
“Good. What about you?” She asked politely.
“Been good.” The girl stated, emotionless, as always.
“What’s the matter?” The girl soon asked, after a few seconds of silence passed, “You don’t seem so happy to see me.”
“I’m just tired. I have a lot going on right now.” She told her, emotionless.
The girl studied her. She knew….
“You seem fine.” The girl stated.
“Not everything meets the eye.” She pointed out, then mumbled, “…especially when it comes to you.”
“What do you mean?” The girl asked, obviously had heard the comment.
“What? Are you going to brush everything off like before? You can’t do something and not own up to it.” The girl stated.
She turned and glared. “I didn’t brush anything off back then. You were the one who didn’t feel like making an effort to keep anything together.”
“Don’t blame that whole thing on me.”
“I’m not.” “But who was it who lied to everyone? Who hide their criminal record from their best friends? Who tried to take someone’s life? Who threatened people to keep their mouths shut?” “You did.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Eyes darted away.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about.” She spat. “You’re the one who can’t own up to what you’ve done.”
The girl whipped around, death sparkling in her eyes, “What about you? You lied to your parents. You hide things from everyone when you knew the truth.”
“So you admit it’s the truth. You did all that crap.”
“You aren’t all innocent either.” The girl ignored her comment.
“Yeah. I’m not all ‘innocent’ either.” She rolled her eyes. “I tried to protect you against all the people who threw trash your way. I tried to defend you against all the people who wanted to bring you down. I tried to bring your positive aspects to the light when all everyone focused on was the things you happened to do wrong. You know why? Because I knew, I know what it’s like to have everyone focus on everything bad you’ve done and completely ignore all your efforts to do something good or all the good you’ve actually done. I tried to stand up for you. I stood up for you. I stood by your side. I defended you. I protected you.”
There was an odd silence that was familiar to her. She ignored it. No matter how ‘at home’ it felt, it wasn’t the home she wanted to be apart of. Not anymore.
“But after all of that, you turned your back on me.” She continued. “You walked away. From me. From your friends. From Sarah. From Stephanie. From Alex. From everyone. You left them. You left us. After everything we’ve done for you.”
“But I’m done.” She stated coldly. “I’m done playing puppet. I’m done with the mind games. I’m done with trying to control people. I’m done with getting revenge. I’m done with the games. I’m done with your kingdom. Yeah, I wasn’t very happy to see you today. That’s because you have no right to walk into my life anymore. You walked out and abandoned everything, so you don’t have the right to come back acting like nothing happened. This isn’t five years ago. We aren’t kids.”
The door opened at the top floor.
“I defended you once. I stood by your side and fought with you against everyone and everything. But I’m done now.” She said walking out the door. “I’m better than that.”
At the end of the day, she walked back into the elevator to go home.
The door dinged open once again. Another familiar face walked in. He avoided eye contact.
“Hi.” She said.
“Hey…” He quietly replied.
“How have you been?”
“How have you been?” He asked, several seconds later.
“Busy. I have a lot going on right now with classes and projects and…everything. There’s so much to do, just not enough time to get it all done.”
“I know how you feel.” He mustered out a little chuckle. “How is everyone?”
“Been good I guess. I don’t talk to everyone that often but I check in every now and then.”
“That’s good.” He said with a small smile. “I don’t get to talk to any of them at all. Everyone is always so busy, and so far out of reach.”
She sighed, “If you would come back when we call for our meetings, you would be able to see everyone again. We have a meet every now and then. I always let you know a few weeks ahead of time, but you never come.”
“I don’t have the time to come back here.” He hesitated before saying, “I have a lot going on too.”
“You are always welcomed to come back.” She reminded him.
He had left a while ago to go ‘live his own life’ and ‘find what he is really made of’. He wanted to be out on his own, so when anyone offered to come along he rejected. He blocked out his friends. He didn’t really seem like he wanted his ‘old life’ to mix with his ‘new life’.
She knew he was missing them though. Everything they had gone through together throughout the years. He had thrown it all aside to find something better. But since he hadn’t found anything better, he was realizing that what he had was pretty darn good. He was missed…but he wasn’t ready to swallow his pride to walk back and ask for forgiveness.