Chapter 14

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I walk into class and everyone complains about the project. I zone out and keep my head low. Turns out I did bruise right on my cheekbone. "Ms. Shay?" I look up. "Did you forgive him?" He asks. "I think you should just fail me for this project Mr. Matthews. I tried to forgive but how can I forgive a jerk?" I say. "Did you ever make it clear you were apologizing?" He asks. In the note it was Loud and clear." I say holding it. "Read it." Lucas says.

"Dear Father,
I can't wait another 14 years until I can see you. I have been very angry nd depressed knowing I wasnt good enough. What made you think my life was nothing. Why did you flush my moms feelings down the drain when you found out she was pregnant with me. I want to know. Please help me understand.
Thanks.
Spencer, your nonexistent daughter"

I shrug folding it up. I feel Lucas put his hand on my shoulder. "Did he help you understand?" He asks. "He said he wasn't ready. That's it. No other explanations." I shrug. "Why?" He asks. "I exploded before he could explain I guess." I shrug. The bell rings and I gather my stuff and walk to my next class.

***

I sit at the bench outside of Mr Matthews class. I feel someone sit next to me. I see Lucas. "Hey." He says. "Hi." I say. I look down. "Listen, about Texas. Its hard to keep this between us-"

"Listen we can just forget about it. You like Maya, your with Maya. Something happened with you and Maya." I say. "Something happened between us too." He says. "Look, this is weird but I don't have my full heart into dating Maya. And I don't have a full heart into dating you." He says. "Don't think of dating me." I say. It hurts. "What?" He says. "If I'm a problem just don't think about dating me. We are bestest friends. Bestest friends don't date." I say. I try not to cry. He stands up and stands there for a second. "Just friends?" He asks. "Bestest friends." I say he laughs and stays right there thinking. I smile and I kick him away. "Your starting to look like as statue Huckleberry." I giggle. He taps my messy bun and walks away. I walk into the restroom casual and as soon at the restroom door closes I cry. I see Riley walk in. I stop and look at her. "I heard." She says sitting next to me. "You were lying." She says. I shake my head and let out a slight laugh. "No, I wasn't." I say. "Then why are you crying?" She says. I nod my head and look down. "Ok, maybe I said a little lie." I say and start to cry. "He's with Maya, their happy together. Now nothing can get in their way." I nod. I get up and wash my face. I look at Riley who is now standing up. She hands me a paper trowel. "Thanks." I say then I dry my face. "What happened in Texas?" She asks. "Um..well...now that you mention it." I start to shake but I take a few deep breaths. "Me and Lucas..we sorta kisses before you got to the fort." I say. She looks at me. "Our little secret but your gonna have to tell Maya soon. Like really soon." She says. I nod. "I know." I let out. She hugs me and I hug her back.

***

I sit with Maya and Riley holding Auggie. Matthews and Topanga are here as well. I watch as Auggie suffers in Riley's lap. I see my dad walk in. I stand up. "I thought you left." I say. "I know. I was in my car but I looked at this again." He takes out his envelope. "You need answers." He says. "I'm just asking for a minute with my daughter." He tells Matthews. He nods and I follow him outside. We sit at a table. "I got your mother pregnant not exactly on accident. We knew what would happen without protection and we wanted it to happen. As soon as the result came in I thought of ny career and my life. I wouldn't survive... I abandoned your mother and you and packed to leave for New Orleans. I didn't talk tho you guys until I heard your voice when you were 8. I heard how happy you were and it killed me that I wasn't the one making you happy. So I pushed away and pushed away. Now you hate me. Your mother's always hated me. I have a family now." He says. "What does your family now give you that we couldn't?" I ask. "I was prepared, I am happy, my son is a yellow belt in karate, my two daughters are in ballet, my wife is successful and I'm successful." He says. I feel a tear roll down my cheek. "So you just got a whole new life not even checking up on ours." I say. He nods. "I was just wasn't ready for you or anyone. But now people believe in who I am." He says. "Who are you?" I ask. "I got a job, I pay my bills on time, I feed my children." He says. "You got a job?" I ask. "Yea." I shake my head. "Your job was to stay." I say about to cry. "Thank you for telling me your side. My teacher thinks if I forgive you it will bring me peace. He's usually right about these things but not this time." I say. I get up. "I'm sorry I didnt see you grow up. You turned out great." He nods. "I turned out amazing. You may not understand but I waited and I was told to wait 20 years. I thought it was my fault. But now i know its not my fault. It was your actions." He looks at me. I start walking that way. "Thank you. I hope you get home fine." I say walking inside. I see everyone look at me. A few tears roll down my cheek. Lucas comes up and hugs me. I push him away after a couple seconds and walked to Mr. Matthews. "I failed your project Mr. Matthews. I tried to forgive him but I couldnt." I say.

"Spencer, I did not inted for that to happen. Forgivness for that kind of situation takes time." He says. "What did you want from me?" I ask. "Did you forgive yourself?" He asks. I can't hold it in anymore. I hug Mr. Matthews crying. Something I never couldve done with my father. But Mr. Matthews is close to that for me. Topanga is close to a mom when mine is at work. Riley and Maya treat me as a sister. This is my family. Im grateful, even if it did get here a little late, its still amazing.

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