-Bigger Than Us // White Lies
Mentioned @sarahstardom. Colton in the set because Gabe was meant to be in the story but it kinda got out of hand so that idea will be the next story :)
Grace Milton; November 14
“Are you alright Grace?” Ally asked me out of the blue, as I was about to leave the house to meet Cassie.
“Yea of course,” I smiled brightly at her, “why?”
“You just seem kinda worried lately is all.” She said, surveying me as if looking for something. Well crap, apparently I was a worse actress than I thought.
“I’m fine.” I tried to assure her, before asking curiously “Have I been taking my mood out on everyone or something?”
“No you haven’t. I’ve just been watching.” She shrugged casually.
“Well that’s really creepy but I appreciate it.” I smiled at her genuinely, “I just have some family drama going on. But my sister just flew out so hopefully between us we can fix it quickly.” I revealed, well a bit more than I meant to. But it was all the truth.
“Well I’m glad.” Ally smiled genuinely at me, “I’ll let you go then but just know I hope you work things out.”
“Thanks Ally.” I wrapped her in a brief hug before letting go, “But I really have to go because Cassie hates lateness.” I called over my shoulder, letting the front door bang shut behind me.
I basically rushed across campus to the cafe I’d promised to meet Cassie at, spotting her at a table as I approached. I pulled my phone out to check the time as I walked up to her.
“Before you say anything I’m not late.” I said, pulling to a stop in front of her, “It’s 9:57. Not yet 10.” I grinned cheekily.
“I was actually going to greet the sister who I haven’t seen in months.” Cassie rolled her eyes, standing up to pull me into a hug “But if you want me to nag you, you could really dress better.” She pulled back, trying not to grin.
“I’m sorry this is a dress. I’ve dressed up especially for you.” I told her as we both sat down. I noticed there were two coffee mugs on the table, one of which she pushed towards me.
We sat and drank our coffees, Cassie filling me in on all the gossip she’d probably be dying to share. Gossip about family friends, acquaintances from our childhood, even people in Cassie’s life I’d never met (or heard of before today) basically we both pointedly avoided talking about the whole reason she was here early.
We’d both finished our second cups of coffee and breakfast when Cassie finally brought it up. “Alright then Gracie.” She sighed, wiping at her mouth with a napkin before folding it up and dropping it on her plate, “Clearly we have a bit of a mess we need to sort out.”
“Yeah.” I refused to meet her gaze, feeling even more ashamed and embarrassed about what I’d done now she was here in person.
“Hey. No need to be embarrassed.” She said sternly, practically ordering me not to, “There’s no need and it certainly won’t help us fix this mess.”
“Alright, alright fine.” I sighed, looking up but not at her, “But how are we going to fix this?” I asked
“Well first you should probably tell me exactly what’s been happening here.” Cassie suggested.
“And you have to tell me what this whole thing is even about.” I deflected back to her, “Can we go somewhere else to do this though?” I asked, feeling this wasn’t really a conversation I wanted to have over a table with so many people around.
We got up and Cassie paid, insisted on it really. I was practically swimming in cash at the moment with the amount of money Gabriel had been spending on me, but I wasn’t exactly going to complain. A few minutes later we’d wandered out to the tree where I’d talked to Joe on the phone the other day, and it was relatively quite and empty here so I sat down. Cassie grumbled about having to sit on the ground but it was only a token protest really.
“Really I think you should probably tell me what they’re fighting about first.” I said once she finally got settled, “I mean going in chronological order only makes sense.”
Cassie looked at me appraisingly for a few seconds before nodding, “Alright I guess that makes sense.” She paused before adding what was practically a disclaimer, “Just know I don’t know that much. Shocking I know,” She added, clearly reading my face, “Only Joe and Gabriel seem to know. Joe won’t tell me much and Gabriel was seemingly MIA but apparently here.”
“Okay, one thing.” I said interrupting her, “Can we just get through this without all the blame. You can still blame me just less obviously. Please.”
“I don’t blame you sweetie.” Cassie sighed, “So if it seems like that I don’t mean it.”
“Fine. Continue please.” I smiled. Big eyes and everything.
“Alright. What I do know is that on the weekend of the 13th they had a huge argument. Like massive. Like I’m pretty sure Cody and Dad heard it in Cody’s apartment.” She said, eyes gleaming like they always did when she was relaying gossip, “From what Joe tells me they were arguing over commitment. Or how committed they were to the relationship or something.”
“What like marriage or something?” I breathed, totally interested despite myself.
“I doubt it. Gabriel would know that would make Joe run for the hills. It was probably moving in together or something.” Cassie shrugged, leaning forwards towards me like she couldn’t help herself.
“Anyway they had a huge argument about commitment. I’m sure Joe was the one with cold feet even though he didn’t tell me. Anyone Gabriel left to give Joe time to think and then just disappeared. Sent Joe a text to tell him he was alright 5 days later and hasn’t been in contact with anyone in Boston since.” Cassie said in one big rush, like she was secretly enjoying the drama. Probably was.
“Oh.” I said trying to process everything that was happening, “I was under the impression Joe had done something horrible but Gabriel was really just running.” I said. Honestly I’d thought whatever they’d argued about had been much worse than that.
“It was a really nasty argument from the sounds of things Grace.” Cassie leant forward to pat my knee, a move that sounded weird but was actually really comforting, I’d always found it to be so, “You know how Joe can get. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gabriel left questioning their whole relationship. He probably just needed space to think.”
“I get that. I really do. I sympathise even because I know Joe can be an absolute twat.”
“Isn’t that the truth.” Cassie interrupted me because well she hadn’t had her say for a while or something.
“I get the running away because he’s hurt and questioning but he refused to get back into contact with Joe. It’s been a month tomorrow.” I sighed, shifting around so I was now sitting crossed legged, making sure my dress was keeping me decent.
“I suppose he probably doesn’t know what to say now.” Cassie shrugged, which actually made sense, “The longer he stays away the harder it become and he probably doesn’t want to tell Joe where he’s been because he knows that puts you in a tough position. Plus.” She added, mischievously this time, “You know boys and their pride.”
“Oh yes. I defiantly do.” I nodded in understanding, not thinking of Gabriel or Joe but rather Thomas and Karl.
“So okay. From what you’ve said Gabriel showed up here on the 15th of October upset and crying. You offered him a place to stay and you’re secretly keeping him in your room unbeknownst to the housefull of girls.” She looked to me as if to confirm she was right
I nodded “Except Cloe.”
“Except for Cloe.” She repeated, “You had no clue why he was there, what upset him or who and he refused to tell you.” Another paused, I nodded again which was all she seemed to need before continuing “You didn’t expect Joe’s call so when it came you told him Gabriel wasn’t here and felt really guilty about it. But you’ve continued to lie about it because you don’t know how to admit you’ve been lying. Have I got that right?” She asked.
“Pretty much. Also Gabriel’s been buying me lots of things. Lunch and stuff.” I sighed, leaning my head back against the tree, “Is that just him trying to bribe me or something? I feel like it is right now.”
“Hey, don’t do that.” Cassie scolded, scooting so she was sitting next to me now, “Just because you know the general gist of what they’re fighting about doesn’t make any friendship you have with Gabriel now any less legitimate.” She paused as I rested my head against her shoulder, kind of like the way things had been just after Joe had left us to live with dad, “He’s a good guy from what I know Gracie.”
“I know. Joe wouldn’t go for anything less.” I smiled, feeling much better now, “But what are we going to do to fix this.”
“Well. First things first, we’re going to need to talk to Gabriel and try and convince him to at least reach out to Joe.” She said, taking control and already with a plan, “Then we’re gonna have to decide how much to tell Joe about where he’s been. If you need to tell him for your conscience or you’re not going to tell him and hope he never finds out. But that’s based entirely on what Gabriel says.”
“So basically our future rests on Gabriel’s shoulders.” I summed up, rather melodramatically but also quite accurately.
“Basically.” Cassie hummed in agreement. But it was alright because at least we had a plan now. And what’s the worst that could happen? Joe would be mad at me for a couple of days?
Anything would be better than this. Though honestly I would miss Gabriel when he was gone.
[I need to learn how to write endings -.-]