Chap. 41

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Nicole's POV

I looked at my phone again, for the fifth time that minute. Still no new messages.

I'd been calling Shane for the past three days, and flooding his phone with text messages. But I still hadn't received a response.

Mackenzie had promised that she told Tyler to tell Shane to call me, but that was over an hour ago, and there was still no word.

I sent another text to Shane, begging him to call me.

We'd bought tickets to the midnight premiere of his favorite movie tomorrow night, and I wanted to touch base with him before I showed up to the theater.

I looked at the clock with a sigh. Mackenzie was supposed to be here any minute now, but the last thing I wanted right now was company. I just wanted to sulk because Shane wouldn't return my calls or texts.

I texted Mackenzie to pick up some cookie dough on her way over, no further explanation needed. She almost immediately responded, promising to buy some on her way.

With a sigh, I tried to call Tyler. But his went straight to voicemail.

I hate unreliable people.

"Hey honey," dad said, coming in the door.

"I thought you were working late tonight!" I called, as he went into the kitchen.

"I'm headed to a meeting," he said, coming out into the living room. "But I had to stop here to get some papers." He kissed the top of my head before leaving again.

Unlike Shane, my mom hadn't died. Instead, she'd run out on us.

One night when I was 7, she tucked me into bed like every other night. Her lips lingered a little longer than usual on my forehead. She promised me that everything was going to be okay, and that she loved me very much. And that no matter what, I would always be her angel.

The next morning she was gone. A single note left for my dad, explaining that she had to go and find herself.

We haven't heard from her since.

My dad threw himself into his work after that. He always blamed himself for her leaving, and he'd never been able to forgive himself.

I missed my mom some days, like today. I could really use some boy advice from someone who's already gone through the dating game. I wanted her to give me advice, to tell me what I should do and how I should do it.

Instead I was left to navigate my teenage years on my own, with very little advice from my confused and overwhelmed dad.

Mackenzie and Trinity were great, the best friends a girl could ask for, but they could never fill the whole in my heart that ached for my mom.

The questions constantly ran through my head. Why did she leave? Where is she now? Does she know how much I miss her? Does she miss me? Does she even remember me? The questions never seem to end.

I heard my front door open, jerking my back into reality.

Mackenzie came into my living room, carrying a tub of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, and two spoons. She was also carrying our favorite movies.

"What's the matter honey bunches?" she asked, plopping down next to me on the couch.

"He said he was going to have Shane call me," I whined.

"It's Tyler, you can't rely on him. Try calling him again," she said, with a wave of her hand. She opened up the tub of cookie dough, handing me a spoon.

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