19 - Webs And Tights

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I spent the rest of the weekend at home, buried under blankets and stuffing my mouth full of anything sweet I could actually find. Mary Jane had stayed with me, busily tidying up after my mess of candy wrappers and empty containers of ice-cream. She was being very patient and hadn't uttered one word about what had happened at Harry's Halloween party, even though I knew it was on her mind.

"We're out of Nutella," I pointed out half way through Sunday afternoon. My parents had been and gone, actually spending nearly a full twelve hours at home before heading back to the labs. My father had been the one to speak to me softly while I was pretending to be asleep. I had always just assumed he was the tougher one, the strong and silent type. But in the early hours of the morning, I heard his whispers of comfort, love and support. Those short sentences had brought on a fresh wave of tears which were soaked up with my pillow.

Mary Jane glanced up from her place on my reading chair, her socked feet tossed over the arm rest, my laptop sitting on her knees. We had been spending most of the day cooped up in my room, listening to old records and watching silly cat videos. She had somehow made that weight in my chest fade a little, just by being with me. Maybe she had been right all along, maybe with people around things didn't have to turn so dark sometimes. "That's because you've been spoon feeding it to yourself for a solid three hours."

I pushed away the empty container, licking the spoon clean. "I couldn't help it. Do you want to venture out and get some more?"

She gave me a little look, almost a pout. "I will," She nodded after a moment, pushing away my laptop and dropping her feet onto the floor. Her red hair was pulled into a pony tail, her pearly white skin on full display. Even from here I could see the splash of freakles on the bridge of her nose, usually covered with makeup. "But first, let's talk about last night."

"Really?" I groaned, flopping back down on my bed and burying my head under my covers. I heard her move from my reading chair and join me on the bed. I waited for a moment before cracking open an eye and seeing her laying right next to me, her eyes full of concern. "Then you'll get me more Nutella?"

Mary Jane nodded, crossing her heart. "I promise on my life."

I knew the subject of last night wasn't something I was escaping from, not with Mary Jane hovering over me all weekend. I usually hated the hovering but not currently, it was nice to have her around. "I promised Colton when I was ten that I would never let a boy take what was mine, that I would be smart with my heart. In a sense, he was just being a big brother and overly protective. He watched me sink my science experiment at that fair, letting Peter win. I was just a kid and thought Peter was cute. It was so silly and I had never thought I would ever have to keep that promise..." My voice broke off, a familiar weight resting on my chest like it did everytime I spoke about Colton.

"Then Colton was killed," Mary Jane finished off quietly. "And you thought by honouring him you would stay true to that promise you made when you were ten." It was a statement, one she must have worked out between my sobs last night at the bottom of the staircase.

I gave her a little nod, brushing away a tear that had leaked from the corner of my eye. "I know what happened was an accident, I really do. But sometimes, I can't help but blame myself. We were fighting that night in the car over something so stupid. I just thought...I could keep him here." I pressed a hand to my heart. "By trying to live the life he wanted me to have. To be clever, to be strong and not to let Peter Parker win."

Mary Jane shifted on my pillow, letting her head rest on her hand. "That's why you always wanted to beat Pete with everything. That's why you never liked him."

"It's so stupid," I admitted. "By promising Colton, I made myself hate Peter." I flicked my eyes away from her as my chin wobbled with another wave of emotion. "But I don't want to hate him, Mary Jane."

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