✖ Chapter Forty-One ✖

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Healing Gabriel: Chapter Forty-One

                                               ※(*)※Gabriel's POV※(*)※

      I wasn't feeling entirely better the following day, but staying home was a no-go since my mother was set in her decision to not let me miss another day of school. I didn't bother changing my clothes that I'd been wearing since Sunday or brushing my hair either as I saw no purpose in pretending to look good while my life was the farthest thing from it.

      I didn't feel like being around anyone that morning, especially my parents, so I decided to drive myself to school for the first time since my dad forced me to get my lisence. At first I never wanted to take driver's ed, never wanted to be stuck inside a small vehicle with a stranger watching my every move, but now that I did have a license I felt a lot more relaxed with just being by myself for a couple minutes. Nobody could hurt you in a car. They couldn't bribe you out of your seat and drug you and take you somewhere you didn't even know existed. The only way you could get hurt in a car by someone else is if another car crashed into you, which really wouldn't be all that bad because there's a chance you'd die and what's so bad about dying on accident instead of seeming cowardly by wanting to die on purpose?

      That's a stupid thing to think, the voice of Evan and Sixx chided.

      "But it's my personal way of thinking, so leave me alone with my self-loathing thoughts of accidental suicides," I replied aloud, because this was my car (actually my mother's; I may have wanted a driver's license, but I had no interest of having a car of my own. Besides, most of my parents' money went to all the hospital and specialist bills, which would've added up to the cost of at least two used cars) and since nobody was in here, I could say whatever I wanted.

      I walked into school by myself, feeling terribly awkward and vulnerable. I was fresh meat in the jungle that high school was all over again. There was no tall, leanly-built varsity football player next to me to veer other jerks from messing with me. There was also no humorous, confident and beautiful boy holding my hand to remind me that I wasn't totally worthless, that I could be just like him if I kept my head held high enough.

       This realization of loneliness didn't last long, though. I arrived at the beginning of the hallway mine and Evan's lockers were located in to see Alana standing in front of my locker, her bookbag still hanging from her back. Obviously she'd been waiting there since she'd arrived at school, not even bothering to stop by her locker first.

      I paused next to an area of unoccupied lockers when I realized she was most likely waiting for me. I didn't really want to talk to her, didn't want to face any possible confrontation from last Thursday or questions about Sunday night. I was actually still embarrassed because of Thursday; I'd snapped on her and the rest of the group pretty rudely, and while I was thinking over the weekend, I'd realized I had been pretty rude to them. Evan was their friend, too, and they were just as concerned about him as I was. I wasn't the only one who cared about him; many people did. Evan had many people who cared about him, so what did it matter if I did or not?

      I decided that I couldn't hide from her forever, so after I edged my way out of the beginning of some sort of mini-panic attack brought on by paranoid thoughts of the whole group shoving me into lockers and saying that I wasn't allowed to be their friend anymore, I lowered my head so my bangs would cover my eyes and made my way to her.

      "Gabriel," Alana said as soon as I was in earshot, her voice an ironic mix between relief and worry. "We were looking all over for you yesterday. Jurnee told us that she saw an ambulance at your house on Sunday, and Evan hasn't responded to any of our texts or calls, so we thought you were hurt--" she was speaking quickly, hands opening and closing nervously by her sides. I had to cut her off or else she'd be fretting until graduation day.

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