Chapter Thirty Eight: She
Lunch had been uneventful so far. Natalia was sitting at the table with her friends, bored out of her mind. For once she wasn't worrying about anything...there was nothing for her to do or read. Even the girls were clean out of anything to talk about, having exhausted their gossip reserves the previous day.
Natalia sighed. “I'll be back, guys.” She told her friends. Taking Derek's cell phone out of her bag, she left to go outside the school building.
Once outside, she flipped open the phone. Natalia dialed Dallas's number and waited for him to answer, she could feel her heart beating faster. Anxiously she waited for him to answer.
“Hey, Lia.” She heard Dallas answer cheerfully. “Hey, Dallas.” She replied. She smiled at the sound of his voice.
“What's up?” Dallas asked. “Nothing...” Natalia answered. “Uh huh...so why call?” Dallas asked, she could hear him chuckling. “I was bored...” Natalia told him. “Right...” He didn't believe her.
Natalia decided to get right to the point. “Actually...I was wondering if we could do something after school?” She asked. “What do you have in mind?” He asked her. “Well maybe we could go out and see this movie...I've been really hoping to see...and then we could go to dinner at the restaurant across the street.” She told him.
Natalia hoped he would agree.
“Well...as enticing as that sounds...” Natalia felt her heart drop. “I'm sorry, Natalia. I have practice that will be going on till late tonight...and I have dinner with the guys.” He told her.
“You could have said that before and saved me the rejection!” She told him, crestfallen. She could hear Dallas laugh. “I'm not rejecting you...and I was curious about what you wanted to do.”
“Well...I guess I'll see you after school then...” She told him, trying to keep the sadness out of her voice. “Yea. I'll be there. Bye Natalia. I love you.” He told her. She could tell he was waiting for her response. “Yea...yea...I love you too...” She muttered. She heard Dallas chuckle before ending the call.
She headed back in to the school. Natalia was determined not to stay home tonight. She was going to watch that movie...with or without Dallas. Natalia headed for her friends in the library.
“Who wants to watch a movie with me?” She asked, hoping one of them would be free. Clara and Dawn looked up at her in shock. “You're not studying?” They asked in confusion. “Nope...I don't have anything to work on tonight.”
“Aww...right when we get loaded with homework...you get a free pass...I would love to come with you...but I have so many assignments.” Dawn said, unhappily.
“Maybe next time?” Natalia said. “Yea...like you'll go out willingly next time...” Clara muttered.
“Anyone else free?” Natalia asked, looking at the guys. “I'll come.” Taylor said. “Really?” Natalia asked, sounding relieved. “Yea...besides my sister's boyfriend is going to be over...and he's been trying too hard to be nice to me...talk about creepy...” Taylor said, shaking his head in disgust. The rest of them laughed at this.
“Alright...when do you want to go?” Natalia asked. “How about...six?” Taylor suggested. “Okay!” Natalia agreed happily.
Dallas waited for Natalia in the school parking lot. He had felt bad about turning her down. She had sounded a bit sad. He couldn't avoid it though. He and his team mates would be going to dinner after practice. He wasn't thrilled now...he would rather have spent his time with Natalia.
Dallas watched as students trickled out of the building. Natalia waved goodbye to Taylor, as she headed for Dallas's car.
“Hello.” Dallas greeted her as she entered the car. “Hi.” She replied. He leaned over to kiss her. “I'm sorry I won't be able to make it tonight.” He told her.
“It's okay. I understand. Instead Taylor and I are going to go watch the movie. We're going to watch Star Trek!” She told him, kissing him back. “That's okay with you, right?” Natalia asked.
“Yea. Now you're going to have to think of something special for us.” At least she would be going with her friend. Natalia needed to get out more, Dallas thought.
He glanced at Natalia. She was looking at him questioningly. “Why?” She asked.
“Well...you're going to the movies...and because you're leaving me for him.” He told her, in a mock hurt tone.
Natalia laughed at this. “I'm not leaving you. You're the one who can't make it.” She told him, disagreeing with him.
“What! It's not my fault!” Dallas defended himself. Natalia laughed. She was clearly enjoying getting a rise out of him. “You keep telling yourself that.” Natalia said to him with a grin.
Dallas stopped the car by the house. He had to get going to practice.
“I'll see you tonight.” Natalia said as she began gathering her things. She kissed him slowly before getting out of the car.
“Yea, and you better tell me how the movie was!” He called out after her. He drove off, only to see Natalia wave goodbye. He smiled...he would be missing her tonight...
Natalia and Taylor stumbled out of the theater a little disoriented, arm in arm, both snickering. “That was awesome!” Taylor told her. “I know! I loved how they filmed the the ship and the whole beaming part, and the red matter! I loved all the effects! I need to watch more! I want the sequel now!” Natalia said, sounding as though she was high. The movie had left her craving more...but it wasn't just the sequel she was craving.
Natalia was starving. “Let's go eat.” Taylor suggested, as she let go of his arm. He had gone on non-stop about how hungry he was.
Both of them had enjoyed each others company. Taylor had gotten popcorn, during the movie, both of them had flicked it at other people...sinking into their seats in an effort not to get caught. The objective had been to see how many popcorn could they flick on the person's hair before he or she noticed.
It had been a while since Natalia had gone out with her friends. Taylor had always been the person of choice. Natalia and Taylor had been trouble when they met in the eighth grade.
He had taught her how to shoot spit balls...and in return Natalia had taught him the fine art of picking their friends pockets.
“Remember when we shot spit balls in the Frost Fest assembly!” Taylor reminisced. “Yea! Wasn't that in the ninth grade?” Natalia laughed. “Yup! Clara was livid when mine landed on her...it was an accident I swear.” Taylor was cackling.
They entered the restaurant, still laughing about the past. After being led to their seats and ordering their food. Natalia and Taylor snickered as the couple a few tables in front of them argued. They ran scenarios over why the couple would be arguing so publicly.
Taylor snorted with laughter as Natalia made up some story over why they were arguing.
“It's probably something stupid...” She told him. “Like what?” “Okay...like...honey why do you look like a train wreck? And she tells him, Because I didn't sleep for the last few nights. So he goes: Why not? Well because you snore louder than a formula one car...” Natalia had imitated Richard Hammond during one episode of Top Gear.
Before she could say any more, Taylor was laughing hard. “At least I don't sound like a lawn mower...” Taylor added. That had Natalia cracking up.
“We should do this more often...remember the good old days? You and me hanging out and driving Clara and Dawn crazy!” Taylor commented as they both calmed down. “Yea...too bad now it's them driving me crazy...” Natalia smiled at the thought. Taylor chuckled.
“What happened? What happened to that?” Taylor asked, suddenly. His tone caught Natalia. She looked up at him. He didn't look angry. But Natalia could see it in his eyes...he was unhappy about how things had changed.
Natalia couldn't explain it. It seemed as though one day she had been carefree, hanging out with her friends...the next she had turned in to this person who studied manically. One who could care less about maintaining her social life with her friends.
“I'm sorry...I don't know.” She muttered, looking away. She felt his hand on her shoulder. “It's okay...sorry about bringing that up.” Taylor mumbled. She looked at him. “No, it's fine. I'm sorry about everything.” She told him.
“I know...at least we'll hang out at York!” Taylor said, trying to lighten the mood. Natalia smiled. “Definitely.” She promised.
“Natalia...” Taylor said, slowly. “Yea?” She asked. “I'm glad you're with Dallas.” He told her. Natalia didn't know how to respond to that. “He brought a bit of your old self back...” Taylor told her quietly. Natalia smiled.
“So what's food around here? I'm starving!” Taylor said loudly, breaking the silence that had settled over them. Natalia laughed, he had always known how to break the ice.
Dallas sat at the table finishing up his meal. His team mates had left early after they had paid the bill. It had been a rather uneventful night. Practice had gone without a hitch and dinner hadn't been exciting either.
He was a little annoyed that he had gone to this instead of going with Natalia.
Kind of late now...He thought to himself.
“Fancy meeting you here.”
Dallas stifled a groan. Natalia was right...Mollie was probably stalking him.
“What do you want?” Dallas asked her, seriously.
“What can't old friends have dinner?” Mollie asked, sounding offended.
“We were never friends.” Dallas replied, rather harshly.
“Dallas...I just wanted to talk.” Mollie told him, looking hurt.
“Really? So that's why you've been following me?” Dallas asked, he couldn't believe her. He had seen her a few times waiting for him at practice...he had taken the back door to avoid her.
He knew every time she showed up, something always happened. That something was going to drive a wedge between Natalia and him...and Dallas didn't want that.
“Dallas, I've been trying to tell you...I understand that you're with Natalia. I get it...so can we please just talk?” Mollie said.
Dallas looked at his unfinished plate of food. He didn't want to say yes...
“Alright...fine we can talk...” He told her grudgingly, motioning for her to take a seat.
Taylor and Natalia had finished eating. Things felt better between them. They had laughed for the most part. Telling each other stories, Natalia had almost choked on her food when Taylor told her about sitting next to some girl whose stomach had kept grumbling during class. “I did not want to know what was going on in there.” Taylor had told her. Natalia had tears in her eyes at that point, her stomach hurt from laughing.
She had gotten up from her seat and started to gather her things. They were waiting for the bill. She looked around the restaurant. There weren't many people at this time.
From the corner of her eye, she recognized someone. She turned to get a closer look. It was Dallas! Natalia smiled.
He was talking to someone, she couldn't tell who, since there was a waiter standing there. Natalia was going to wave to catch his attention...when the waiter moved.
Natalia froze at the sight of who was sitting with Dallas...Mollie. She...is with Dallas...Natalia couldn't comprehend what was going on between the two of them.
Natalia watched, unable to move. It was then that Mollie did something to turn Natalia's blood cold.
Natalia watched rooted to the spot, as Mollie leaned in and kissed Dallas. Mollie's hand rested against his cheek. “Holy crap!” Taylor exclaimed. Natalia was frozen on the spot, she didn't bother to see Taylor.
Natalia turned back to see Mollie saying something to Dallas. “I can't believe it...” Natalia muttered quietly.
“Yea, I know...what cheats!” Taylor said. Natalia spun on her heel, thinking Taylor had seen Mollie and Dallas.
Instead she found him analyzing the bill.
Natalia and Taylor split the cost and paid the bill. She didn't look back at Dallas as she left.
The ride home was quiet. The good mood of hanging out with Taylor had left Natalia...a more sullen mood had settled on her.
Natalia couldn't believe what was going on.
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