Chapter Eighteen

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I hate to see them all like that. Ashley looks happy as always. Jake looks sad. Just not as sad as Andy. I step aside cautiously to let them in. They start to set up the equipment as I make pizza plates and iced tea. I set up the bar with snacks and they come in and sit down. As they eat, I wash my hands and start to walk upstairs. I hear whispering downstairs so I turn to see them talking and I catch Andy's eye.

Immediately, I turn away and continue walking upstairs. I get to my room and pull my computer out and log into YouTube. I look up my favorite song and plug in my speakers so that I can mask band practice noise. While "Another Empty Bottle" starts to play, I go to twitter and make a new account. 

I type in all of the information it needs, then it comes down to my username. I try JWard. Taken. JVWard, taken. JulietteVW, there we go. I don't like the fact that I used my old first initial, oh well. I want to see how people were taking my 'death'. I look up my old account, and I almost cry. 

All these tweets were saying things like "RIP Valeri Johnson" and "Deserved to die, nasty b*tch". I take out my earbuds as a stray tear rolls down my cheek. Damn you, Val. You can't just cry because of the haters. I hear my door open and I quickly minimize the screen.  I turn to see the one person I never wanted to see again. Andy.

I turn my face back to the computer screen and bring up YouTube. I don't want him to see me like this. He has no right. He HAD no right to just open my door. Then again, did I even close it?

"Uhm...I was wondering if you wanted to stay for band practice?" I hear him scratch the back of his head with his fingers. I know he's nervous, "You don't have to if you don't want to," he quickly stated.

"I'll be down in a bit. Start without me." I've got my Australian accent down. He can't know who I am.

"Oh. Okay."

He walks out of the room and I lie down. Okay. No more looking up yourself, Val. I let myself relieve my sadness with tears. Everyone hates me. I was too needy. Too naive. I decide to go for a ride to the park to get my mind off of things that are going on. I pull my hair up into a ponytail. I think I'm going to dye it mermaid ombre. Maybe. I grab my keys and jog downstairs. I stop midstairs when I hear yelling.

"She had nothing to do with the band! And she still doesn't, Andy!" They're talking about me. I just know it...

"I don't want to continue the band! I'm a disgrace talking about how bullying is wrong and her heart gave out because of ME!"

"Andy, we need you. You and Ashley have been in the band since it started."

"Yeah Andy, it's not your fault. Plus we cant lose the original singer and friend."

"Whatever. I quit."

I see Andy storm out of the house and the band looks stressed. They can't know I was eavesdropping. I have to play it out. I jog the rest of the way down the stairs and ask them if the band is ready to rehearse.

"There is no band without Andy," Jake says.

"Oh," I said disappointed, "Well I guess I'll just go to the park. See you later Ceece..." I walk up to CC and kiss his cheek. I leave towards my car and see Andrew leaning against his car that I remember so well.

"Andy?" His eyes light up for a second but when he sees me, he shrugs and continues on with his cigarette.

"You wanna talk?" No response, "Come on. Let's go to the park." He walks to the passenger side of my car and gets in. I sit behind the wheel.

"So why are you staying with CC?" Forward much?

"He's my cousin's best friend and I needed somewhere to stay."

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