Chapter Thirty-Three

796 44 0

One week goes by, two weeks, three weeks and everything seems to go back to normal. Melanie gets better and gets more active on MB again. Every time I check out the forums, she's online and talking to people, helping them, listening and giving them advice. And even in school, she tells me about what she heard on there the previous night. But what impresses me the most is: she doesn't eat lunch with me every break. During previously mentioned three weeks, we eat lunch together exactly four times. I don't see her during all the other breaks and since she's really gotten herself together and gives no shit about any of the shit that her classmates say, I know she's not wallowing in the girls' bathroom. I know she's probably sitting somewhere with earphones plugged in, having her lunch that she got herself after a walk to the store. But she's confident enough to do that, to sit by herself and read and eat or do whatever without caring what the other people around her sitting in groups are doing or thinking or saying. And I'm really proud of her for that. Because the others are not going to think "Oh, what a loser, she's sitting by herself!". They will just accept her as someone who can spend time by themselves.

Just as I'm done with talking to Oli on the phone and eating my lunch and leave the teachers' lounge, my phone vibrates in the pocket of my jeans. "Nicholls?" "Miss Nicholls, this is Richard Corp, I was present at the launch of MB because my daughter had found help from the website online and when I looked into it more, I really liked it. I didn't get a chance to take care of it earlier but I saw online what you still try to do with expanding your business and I think I can help with a little investment. Because I think it's important that you start doing meetings like a youth group maybe or create a space where those kids who talk to each other online can get to know one another in a safe environment with adults like yourself or other volunteers or employees present instead of meeting up with strangers alone." I listen to that important sounding business man ramble which means he must be quite passionate about this and really care about his daughter. "Well, that all sounds like a dream come true, Mr. Corp" I reply with a little laugh. He laughs too. "Well, maybe we can make it happen. How do you feel about a meeting over lunch on Thursday and we'll discuss it?" "Um, sure ... that would be really nice." "I will e-mail you the details to the site's business address. Does that work?" "Yes, thank you." "Thank you." "Have a nice day." "You too."

After the last two lessons, I tell Melanie to wait so she packs her stuff together and lets all the others pass as she waits next to my desk. "What's up?" she asks. "First of all, I'm really proud of you that you've been so confident lately." She looks down and smiles. "Thanks. I feel really good." "And you've been so active on MB, it's awesome." "It's just such a great thing we're doing, if I may say so" she grins. "Like, it helps me a lot and I can also help a lot of them." "That's great. And I think we'll get a chance to help even more. I just got a call from some business guy whose daughter goes on our site and he wants to invest to the point where we can start doing meetings so everyone can get to know each other." Mel's face lightens up. "Really? That's awesome! I'd love to meet some of those people I've been talking to." "I knew this was a good idea. I'm meeting him for lunch on Thursday, you don't have a long day either, right? Do you want to come too?" "Should I? Sometimes I feel like they wouldn't take me seriously with all the business stuff." "I take you seriously and so should he. I mean, he's got a daughter your age that he apparently cares very much about, what's he gonna do?" Melanie shrugs. "I really have no idea. You decide. I mean, you can tell me about everything afterwards and whatever decisions you make for MB, I trust them." I smile. "That's great, thank you. He's gonna e-mail me the details, you can think about it and then tell me on Wednesday if you want to come too or not." Melanie nods. "Alright, sounds good."

Arriving at the apartment with two pizzas, I realise that I have forgotten my keys so I pray that Daley is at home and also not listening to music. He may not be blasting it through the whole building but he could always be wearing headphones. I ring the door bell reasonable three times and wait. Nothing. But that does not mean that Daley isn't home. I ring the door bell again and start knocking too until I hear shouting. "I'm coming, I'm coming!" I pray once again, this time that he means he's coming to get the door. And really, the door opens and he is fully clothed. "Sorry, I forgot my keys." "Yeah, I saw that so I was going to be prepared to let you in at the time you always come home. But then I got a phone call from the publisher and he said he loves what I've sent him so far and I actually just finished the ending so I've got a meeting with them on Thursday to dicuss everything but he says he'd be an idiot not to take it!"

I kick the door shut behind me, put down the pizza and drop my bag to widen my arms and pull Daley into a hug. "That's awesome, I'm so proud of you!" He laughs. "I know, right?!" "Thursday seems to be our day." "Why?" I pull back and grin. "I actually got a call earlier from this business guy who wants to invest in MB because his daughter is active on our platform and it looks like we can expand to the point where we can set up meetings!" Now Daley hugs me. "That is so cool, Bev, I'm so happy for you." I rub his back and kiss him on the cheek. "Thanks!"

I draw back and pick up the pizza, cutting it and laying it out on the table. "You know what I decided to treat us to this morning when I was at the market?" "We can't afford it, whatever it is" I grin. He shakes his head. "Soon I'm gonna be a proper published author, Bev, it doesn't matter." "You'll jinx it." "Bullshit." I shake my head in disbelief but can't help but keep laughing. He strides over to the fridge and pulls out a bottle of wine that he then starts pouring into plastic cups. "Classy" I comment and take off my jacket and my shoes before sitting down at the table. Daley sits down opposite me and raises his cup. I let mine meet his with a dull sound. "To us!"

Super Girl ✩Read this story for FREE!