Chapter 18

2.7K 171 10

Hayley helped me up and I dusted myself off. "You okay?" she asked with concern.

"Fine." I  replied harshly. I hated showing emotion in front of people; my father always told me that crying in front of people or showing emotion is a weakness.

My dad, being a politician, is never home. He's always away on work and whenever he is home he sleeps all day or is in his office doing work. I can't remember the last time I had a proper conversation with him. I hated the fact that everyone recognised me as "Michael Harris' daughter." I am my own person, I am Tess Harris, not "Michael Harris' daughter." I thought bitterly.

Everyone always expected me to be someone others would look up to because my father is famous, but I never wanted to be like that. All I've ever wanted to is lead my own life and not have everyone judging me for not being who I am expected to be. And being the only child I had no one to play with during my childhood. If you can even call it a childhood as I was basically living on expectations.

"Tess." I heard Hayley say. "You there?" She said waving her hand in front of my eyes as if I'm blind. "You really need to stop zoning out like that!" Hayley laughed.

"Sorry." I said pushing past her, walking in the direction which I think the lake house should be, though I had no idea where I was going.

I was looking for some sort of higher grounds, where I could maybe see the lake house from. But there were no hills in sight, only trees and bush.

As we were walking I decided to be social and get my mind off of things. "Where did you grow up, Jake?" I asked, not really caring, but trying to be nice.

"I was born in Hobart, but my family and I moved here when I was six. We went to school together for some of primary school and all of high school." He said.

I used to go to a very big school in my hometown, Kununurra. I didn't know half of the people that were in my class as we had about six classes for each grade. I wasn't surprised that I didn't know him. Though it was a little odd that he knew me. "How did you know me?"

"Are you kidding? You are Michael Harris' daughter! Everyone knew you." He said. I frowned when he called me Michael Harris' daughter.

That's exactly what I was thinking about before. Everyone knew me, but really, no one did.

"Oh." Was all I said.

"Did you know me before Tess introduced us?" Hayley asked Jake.

"Yeah. I remember always seeing you, Megan and Tess sitting together at lunch and laughing your heads off at each other. I always wondered what you girls were talking about, because sometimes you giggled for ages about something one of you said." Jake laughed.

Hayley smiled at me. I knew she was thinking the same as me. How she missed how much fun we had at school, just laughing at each other's blonde moments.

I missed that.

"So who were your friends?" Hayley asked.

"I used to hang out with Todd, Mike, Josh Greene and Philip." Jake said softly.

I knew he didn't like talking about high school. He hated it that he was so unpopular.

"Todd the toddler?!" Hayley laughed. We used to call him Todd the Toddler because he always acted like a toddler. Throwing tantrums and crying over everything, even in high school.

"Yeah." He said.

I remembered his friends group. They used to always sit in the library at lunch and read books on how computers work and things. One day we walked into the library when Hayley wanted to get another stack of romance novels and  we saw them all sitting in a circle in the library talking about the latest video games. We just laughed at them. Though we never knew any of them by name, we always talked about them and mocked them. It seemed like such a stupid thing to do now that I'm older.

"We always talked about how one day one of us is going to ask one of you three out. But we never had the courage to talk to you. But looks like that dream might be coming true." He said, smiling at Hayley, who smiled back.

I rolled my eyes at them. I couldn't believe Hayley would fall for a guy like him. She used to always tell me how much she hates it when guys act so arrogantly. Why is she falling for him then?

"Tess, how's it going with you and Justin?" Hayley asked and suddenly I felt an aching pain in my heart.

I hadn't told her yet.

"We broke up." I said flatly.

"What? Why didn't you tell me! You guys were so cute together." She said.

"I'm sorry, it only happened a few weeks ago."

"What happened?"

"He left me for someone else. I walked in on him and another girl kissing."

"Oh my goodness. What a loser!" She said the same words which she had said about Megan's ex when he left her.

"Hmm." I said, trying not to think of all the pain he'd caused me.

I knew what Megan would have said if she was here right now - "Who needs guys. We are young and single! We can do what we want!" She always said.

Megan had been the only person I told that Justin and I broke up. Not because I didn't trust anyone else, but because she was waiting for me in the car when I walked in on him and the other girl. If she wasn't there then I probably would have waited til I could talk about it until I told anyone.

I still couldn't openly talk about it without feeling the pain. But I pushed through.

"You deserve better than that." I heard Jake say all of a sudden. I did not expect to hear something like that coming from him. He almost sounded like he meant it.

"Thanks." I said confused. "Things happen."

"You should meet my friend Andrew, he is a real flirt but he is pretty sensitive." I could not believe that these words were coming from Jake. It seemed like it should be coming from a girl during a deep and meaningful conversation about "how much he hurt me."

I wondered if Jake had a lot of girl friends. Because that would explain why he can say things to girls that girls usually say to other girls. Otherwise he must have been studying girly talk or something from books.

There were times that I could understand where Jake was coming from, but other times I just want to slap him for being so self-centred.

I knew one thing then. I would never be able to understand Jake fully.

The Lake HouseRead this story for FREE!