Chapter 19

"For you have let your past determine your thoughts on me, you will no longer exist in the thoughts of my past." - @emotionseveryday

I set the lid down on the toilet bowl and sat down on it. I took out the sandwich I bought from the cafeteria earlier and started unwrapping the plastic cling wrap that covered it.

The sound of the door to the restroom swinging open and closing filled the restroom a few times. A few of them would walk into the stalls either side of me and do their business, the loud whirl of water going down the drain when they flush would echo in the restroom and drown out the words of the girls who were busy gossiping by the sink.

I swear some of these girls just make this space a hideout for them to gossip about other people most of the time rather than actually going for a wee or do business.

I mean, to be fair, some of the things they talk about are kind of interesting. I felt like I was listening to an audio book and my lunch felt like the popcorn I would snack on while watching a movie.

"Weren't you at that party that got broken up by the cops the other night?" I heard one of them ask who I presumed was her friend.

"Yeah, that was scary. I was lucky I got swept away with the crowd that knew the escape route in case the party got raided." A different voice answered.

I took a bite out of my sandwich and tried to focus on having my lunch. I mean, it wasn't like I wanted to or purposely tried to eavesdrop, I can't help it when the echo in the restroom was that bad.

"Damn, lucky." Her friend agreed.

"Yeah, I guess they knew that there'll be a drug dealer in that party so they had an escape route planned out just in case." She concluded.

"Oh yeah, definitely. I heard Kimberly Rowan talking about it with another girl before the party."

I froze at the mention of Kimmy's name. My hand stopped moving mid-air while my mouth stayed agape. My hand almost went limp and I almost dropped my half-eaten sandwich to the ground.

Did I hear right?

Was she really talking about my Kimmy?

But that wouldn't have made sense, right? I mean Kimmy would have told me about it if she knew that drugs were going to be involved in the party. Hell, she wouldn't have dragged me along with her if she knew. If anyone knows the extent of how much of a goodie-two-shoes I was, it would've been Kim. She has tried to convince me to be more open to things? I guess?

I've never really relented, though. But it's hard for me to believe that she would actually hide it from me and drag me into the middle of it when she knows how anxious and paranoid I was about going anywhere near anything illegal.

Not counting the fact that the very thing I was worried of happening if I ever did get involved in such things really did happen.

I knew how lucky I was to be able to walk out of that police station, pronounced innocent.

I've heard stories of corrupt polices who would plant evidence and just make things up to arrest you and throw you in prison so that they can add it in their personal track record. It was sick but not unheard of, which repulsed me, but also made me ever the more grateful that I was released from the holding cell unscathed.

No, I can't listen to this rumors and just believe them. I need to find Kimmy and hear it from her myself.

I wrapped my half-eaten sandwich and stuffed it into my bag, got up, and unlocked the door, coming out of the stall I've been hiding in.

The girls' heads snapped to my direction as I walked out of the stall and their eyes widened in surprise, which was stupid if you asked me because obviously, they should've known that someone was in the restroom stall that had its door shut closed when they started gossiping.

I raised an eyebrow at their surprised looks and they looked away awkwardly, falling into an uncomfortable silence as I made my way out of the restroom.

I just knew that they'll just start buzzing like bees again the second the door shuts behind me. I just couldn't care less at that moment. I only knew that I needed to do one thing, and that was to find Kimmy. I needed to confirm the gossip I just heard, otherwise it'll just haunt my mind incessantly.

After roaming the school for a while, I finally found her outside, by the bleachers of the open field behind the school's building.

She was giggling along at something a football player had said. He was holding a football in his hands, throwing it back and forth between his hands as he spoke to her. I jogged up to them, calling out Kimmy's name.

Kimmy whipped around at the sound of my voice and lit up, waving me over. "Hey Em! You know Joey." Kimmy gestured towards the football player.

I looked at him and nodded slowly in acknowledgement. "Yeah, AP Biology right?"

He nodded in response.

I gave him a tight smile, "I'm sorry to interrupt you guys but do you think you can lend me Kimmy for a while?"

"Uh, yeah," Joey's eyes flitted to Kimmy before nodding. "Of course, sure."

"I'll see you around." He said to Kimmy, waving as he walked away.

Kimmy watched his back with a small smile for a few seconds before turning to look at me. "What's up?"

I drew in my bottom lip, biting it as I contemplated how I wanted to confront her about this. I didn't want to sound accusative. "I'm doing this to clarify things, not to accuse," I told myself as I looked at her silently.

"I heard some things about you but I didn't want to believe them unless I heard it directly from you so I guess I'm just here to get the truth. I'm not accusing you of anything, please keep that in mind. On the contrary, I'm actually hoping that you'd say that everything I heard was bullshit." I rambled in one breath, wringing my hands together nervously.

Kimmy gave me a funny look with a smile, her eyebrows drawn together to express her confusion but the ends of her lips lifted up slightly to show me that she's not angry or pissed.

"Hey, yeah, of course. Tell me what it is and we'll sort it out." Her hand reached out and touched, held, my elbow reassuringly. We've been such good friends for so long that she can see right through me now. She knows when I need reassurance and the telltale habits I have when I'm feeling distressed.

I'm sure that having known me so well, Kimmy wouldn't have purposely dragged me to the party with the knowledge that there was going to be illegal stuff going down in it.

I breathed deeply to stop myself from shaking. I'm so bad at confrontations, I don't know why I thought this was such a good idea. But, I mean, I guess I knew that it's the best way to avoid misunderstandings and it's worth all this nerves and anxiety if it means that I can avoid unnecessary conflict caused by misunderstandings and miscommunications.

"I was in the toilet and I overheard some girls gossiping and they said you knew about the drugs that were being distributed at the party." I watched her reaction while I told her this, trying to gauge whatever I can with my minimal observation skills.

Kimmy raised her eyebrows at me expectantly, as if to encourage me to elaborate. "Yes, and so.."

My eyebrows shot up to my hairline at her response. "So?" I repeated after her.

"What are you trying to ask me?"

I couldn't control my bewildered expression. "Well, of course what I'm trying to ask you is if it's true or not."

Kimmy looked at me blankly and the bad feeling in my gut grew heavy. The benefit of the doubt that I reserved for her started to diminish the longer that she didn't deny it.

"Did you really know what was going to happen in the party?" I asked her again, unsure if I really wanted to know her answer.

"Why does it matter?" She asked, almost challengingly, or maybe it just sounded that way because I was already biased.

"Why does it matter?" I echoed, staring at her in complete and utter incredulity. I can't believe the lack of remorse I was hearing.

"Kim, you're implying that you knew what was going to happen in that party and you still dragged me to go with you anyways." I said to her slowly, making sure that she understood what I was saying. I guess the better half of me wanted to believe that maybe she just momentarily turned dumb and couldn't process what I was saying. That would have been better.

"Em.." Kim started off slow, her voice low but firm, unwavering, as if she didn't think that what she had done was wrong. "All parties have drugs involved in them."

I feel my brows coming together. "What do you mean?"

"Em, did you really think there's a single party that we went to that didn't have drugs involved?" She gave me the look. "I mean, your drink was spiked once! Didn't you stop to think about that? Wouldn't that require using drugs?"

I was tongue-tied. She had a point. I just never stopped to think about what happened that time.

"But if you knew about all this, why would you still drag me to all these parties and not warn me about it instead?" I asked her, not getting it.

She rolled her eyes. "Em, everyone knows how uptight you are when it comes to these things. If I had told you about it, would you still have gone?"

"You know I wouldn't have." I answered her without hesitation.

"Exactly," she shot back at me. "You should be thanking me instead of throwing this fit. How are you going to socialize if not for these parties I drag you to?"

I couldn't tell apart what's right and wrong anymore. I knew that I should stand by my principles of staying away from illegal shit but the way Kimmy worded it made it feel like she did what she had done in my best interest.

But I shook my head, remembering everything I had to go through. I didn't blame her for dragging me to the party because I'm fully aware that I willingly went with her. It wasn't like she abducted me just to bring me to the party, I went there on my own two legs.

No, what I was livid for was the fact that she kept all this knowledge from me and didn't even think of filling me in or warning me about it if she knew that I wasn't aware of it.

"Do you know what you've put me through?" I said shakily, slightly breathless through the immense feeling of disbelief that Kimmy would do such a thing to me.

Kimmy looked at me with contempt. "Quit being so dramatic, Em. It's not that big of a deal. You got caught once, and you got out with no problem. Stop exaggerating shit. You've always been such a drama queen, honestly. When are you going to stop?"

I held her eyes for the longest time. There was so many thing I wanted to say in response to that but there was just too many things. My brain was conjuring up responses quicker than my mouth can deliver them. My thoughts were scattered everywhere and my mind ran at several miles per hour to process everything that I just had found out.

I remembered the terrifying feeling of being arrested and locked up in that holding cell with a bunch of other people that I didn't know, that could have really been criminals.

Having to put up with the rumors on top of everything else. My mind went on a pity party bash and started letting my conscience indulge in thinking about how exhausting and draining it is for me to have to put up with it for who knows how many days, or weeks, longer.

I didn't even realize that my eyes had started to well up with tears. I felt overwhelmed and spite building up in me the longer that I looked at the person who was supposed to be my best friend.

I felt something wet slide down my cheeks and touched it, only to realize it was my own tears.

I quickly wiped the tears away and sniffled once, trying to gather myself.

"Please stay the fuck away from me, Kim."

That was the last thing I said before I walked past her and went back to the building.

I couldn't stand being around her any longer.

Next chapter