chapter twenty one

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chapter twenty one

     FERNANDO WAS THE ONLY ONE who knew about the phone call I had with my dad. I didn't have time to tell May in the restaurant and, honestly, I didn't really want to tell her. I'm sick of crying all the time around her. I have to be stronger; even if my dad hates me out of nowhere.

Fernando kept a close eye on me as we sat with everyone in the restaurant about an hour ago. I could tell May was curious, but she didn't push it which I was incredibly thankful for.

"So," Peyton started up a conversation as we stared at our empty plates, "Lulu."

"Yes?" She looked up from her lap and smiled at the blonde girl in front of her. May sat up in her seat beside me, so I did too. I glanced over at Fernando and furrowed my eyebrows together - wondering why there's a sudden change in the air between the table - but he simply shrugged and shook his head.

"How has school been? Are you getting any A's?" Peyton smirked. Everyone started bursting out into laughter at Peyton's serious tone except for me.

I couldn't stop thinking about my dad. Why would he call me like that? Why couldn't he have waited until we were face to face? Would I even be able to handle that?

Fernando seemed to notice my dizzy mind because he reached his arm around me and comforted me with a simple hug. I took a deep breath and embraced it for a split second before I pulled away and smiled at him.

"Thanks." I mouthed. He pulled his arm away and nodded his head at me as if he was saying it's no problem. But, the thing is, I don't want a no problem, I want a you're welcome.

     "Any B's, C's or even D's?" Peyton smiled.

     "Oh, we all know she's been getting some D's." Kyle snarled. Everyone roared into laughter, including May and Fernando.

I really wanted to smile and laugh with the rest of the group, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. My heart was heavy and it wept for my dad's love. It seems absolutely ridiculous to me that my very own father, the one that loves me so much, doesn't even accept me anymore? I don't get how that works?

I gulped into a dry throat and that's when I knew I could cry anytime soon. That can't happen.

"Fernando." I leaned over to my right and whispered into his ear. "I don't feel good." I gulped again. I don't think I can be around all these people anymore; I just want to be alone and go for a walk or something.

"Are you okay?" He furrowed his eyebrows and pouted his lips. "I can drive you home if you want."

"No." I quickly shook my head and crossed my arms over my chest. "I don't want to go back home."

"Oh."

I looked up from the floor and stared at the boy beside me. His face looked the same way Mason's did. It was filled with concern and sympathy - the exact look that I never wanted nor asked for.

"I-" I stopped talking and took a deep breath. "I don't..." pause, "Never mind." I looked away from him so fast that he couldn't fit in another sentence if he tried because everyone was going off about something.

"I'm a child of God!" Lulu exclaimed as she leaned forward in Peyton's face and scrunched her entire forehead and nose up.

"Let's not start lying here." Chase commented.

"Oh, shut up." Lulu smiled and rolled her eyes at Chase as de sat back in her seat. "I don't even know why I'm friends with you guys."

I took a deep breath and tried to get my mind off of my dad. Did my mom tell him? Why would she do such a thing? I mean, I can tell him it's a lie. You know, I could go back to Mason and... Oh, my God. Why on earth would I go back to that?

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