To Riverdale and Back Again // Part One

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My stomach rumbled as I pulled a jean jacket over my gray t-shirt

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My stomach rumbled as I pulled a jean jacket over my gray t-shirt. Homecoming was right around the corner for Riverdale and I was super excited. Ronnie wasn't as enthused as me but she was up there.

I walked into the kitchen as I clipped my necklace on. Mom was on the phone with someone, I'm assuming Mr. Sowerberry based on her tone. I took my seat and poured some orange juice into my cup. Ronnie sat down next to me and smiled.

"You will keep us posted, won't you?" Mom twisted the pen in her hand, "Okay, thanks..thank you."

Ronnie stabbed a waffle, "Some good news for a change?"

Mom nodded, "That was your dad's attorney. Turns out, our statements did make a difference and the judge seems inclined to give your father a break."

I looked up from my fruit, "How much of a break?"

Mom picked up her phone and scrolled through what I assumed was an email. "Time served. A few more months, if that."

"And then what?" I pushed my plate away from me, suddenly losing my appetite, "We move back to New York?"

"Or your father moves here." Mom offers.

Ronnie pushed her plate away too, "What about the crimes he's committed? Including, maybe, Jason Blossom."

Mom threw her hands down, "Stop it, Veronica. There is no proof that your father had anything to do with that."

I shook my head and stood up. My backpack rested on the floor by the door. I grabbed it and tossed it over my shoulder. "He's in jail because of the Blossoms, Mom, that gives him a motive."

Mom sighed, "Okay. Girls, you need to be supporting your father, not demonizing him. Again, for things that you have no proof of."

Ronnie dropped her eyes from Mom. I stood with my hand on the door handle for a moment before Veronica made her way towards me. Neither of us bothered to say goodbye to Mom because we knew she was watching. I shut the door behind us and sighed.

This wasn't getting easier.

--

When Archie caught up with my sister in the hallway, I knew an awkward conversation was ahead. I excused myself to go find Jughead, or Betty, or both, I guess. It seemed impossible to find them actually.

I checked the Blue and Gold office first but found the door locked. Weird, I know I left it unlocked last night. Peeking in the window, I saw Mrs. Cooper pacing back and forth but the blind shaded me from the rest.

I finally gave up as the bell rang. Obviously, they were busy, or they were hiding. I silently prayed to myself that it was the first suggestion and not the second.

I headed towards the library. My free bell this morning was first and I was in the mood for a good book. The library at the school was perfect, too. Not many students went there so it was nice and quiet.

I pushed open the doors and smiled at the librarian before heading towards the fiction section. There was a window seat in between two of the bookcases. Luckily, I shoved my blanket in my backpack today so I would be extra comfy.

Deciding on Everything Everything, I took a seat on the bench and looked outside. Snow was falling quickly, blanketing the streets and buildings. Winter was one of my favorite seasons because of how peaceful and cold it was.

Minutes flew by as I read page after page of my book before my phone buzzed in my bag signaling a text. I sighed and shut the book before reaching for my device.

Cheryl Blossom

iMessage

I bit my lip as I slid my finger across the screen. What could Cheryl want me for? After the party, I had no intention of speaking to her at all. What she did was cruel and unnecessary. No matter how mean she could get, she still didn't deserve for her brother to die. That's what made it so hard to accept her. She was a bossy bitch but I still sympathized for her because I knew how hard her situation was.

Savanna, we need to talk. Where are you?

I shook my head slightly but told her where I was. What could she possibly have to say? Sadly, I was going to find out sooner than later as Cheryl finally appeared in front of me. She didn't look the least bit apologetic. In fact, she looked angry.

"Cheryl." I gave a curt greeting.

She tilted her head at me. "Figures the nerd would be in the library."

"Listen, if you came here to insult me some more, you can leave. I don't want to talk to you." I buried myself further into my blanket.

Cheryl sighed and bent down. "Savanna, how do you deal with it?"

"Deal with what?" I looked over at her, confused.

"The sadness, pain. Knowing your brother's room is across the hall but he's not there."

My breath caught at her words. Of all things, I didn't expect Cheryl Blossom to ask me how to handle grief. Just a few days ago, she was teasing me for the same thing, the way my father, my real father, handled grief.

"Cheryl, I have depression and PTSD and you're asking me how I cope with loss?" I raised my eyebrows at her. She gave me a 'duh' look in response. "Right. Um, well, I take medicine, for one. Two, I talk to people."

"You mean, like, sharing my feelings with people who don't understand?" Cheryl scoffed. "They'll think I'm weak, Savanna. I can't lose my social status because my brother's dead. That's not what I want."

I rolled my eyes and threw my hands out. "Okay, Cheryl, then don't come to me for advice. Talking it out with people helps a lot more than you think. Why do you think Veronica and I get along so well?"

"Because you're both snobby bitches from New York?" Cheryl suggested. I gave her an unamused look in return. She sighed, "Sorry. Because she knows your story."

I nodded. "Exactly. You don't have to be strong all the time, you know?"

Cheryl sighed. I could see tears gathering in her eyes. She took a deep breath and forced a smile for me. "Are..is your mom supportive through this? Like, does she help?"

I titled my head. "Well, yeah. When I first met the Lodge family, I was a lot more sheltered than I am now. They all had to deal with me in more ways than one. It's a support circle, Cheryl. You have to build it. This isn't going to be easy. There's so many ups and downs. Countless days you'll want to give up but there's so much more out there for you. It does get better."

"Yeah," Cheryl wiped her cheeks quickly, hiding all traces of tears. "Okay. Thank you. That's all I needed."

She stood back up to leave. I called her name as soon as she got to the corner. "Cheryl?" She turned to face me. "It's okay to ask for help." She gave me a small smile before disappearing from my sight. I sighed and leaned back into the window seat, wiping a few tears of my own.

It's funny how easy it is to lie to make other people happy.

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