The next morning, Frankie woke up to the smell of food cooking. She was actually the last one to wake up. She groaned, hating waking-up late. She ran her fingers through her hair in a pathetic attempt to comb it. “Morning,” Victor said smiling at her from across the kitchen counter. She rubbed the dust out of her eyes.
“Hey,” she got up, sat at a counter top chair and saw Violet, Emma, and Kevin in the kitchen all cooking something. “Where’s Ryan?”
“In the shower,” Emma answered. Of course she would be the one to remember.
“Ow,” Frankie said, feeling a massive head-ache coming on.
“Hung-over?” Victor asked, smirking.
“Maybe,” Frankie laid her head down on the cold counter-top. “How long have you guys been awake?”
“About two hours,” Violet answered.
“And breakfast still isn’t ready?” Frankie teased.
“Hey, it’s not that easy, okay,” Violet said.
“I know. If it was I could do it.”
Two minutes later Ryan came out of the shower and breakfast was served. There weren’t enough chairs for everyone so the boys stood across from the girls while eating. Everyone seemed really comfortable with each other, and was conversing easily. All except Frankie who stayed quiet. Victor watched her; being the only one who knew what was wrong with her, but didn’t say anything.
“So girls,” Frankie finally piped up. “My house after?”
“I don’t want to leave,” Emma wined.
“I don’t want you to go either,” Ryan flirted.
“Yeah, but we have to,” Violet said.
Frankie nodded. “Or angry parents will be knocking on doors.”
“I actually called Chester this morning, he didn’t pick up,” Ryan said, and then took a bit out of his spam. “And it’s not like we have cars.”
“Only Dominic does but he wouldn’t be coming home till later tonight,” Kevin said.
“Yeah, and we shouldn’t wait up for him so…” Frankie said. Her friends looked over at her. Didn’t Frankie have a huge crush on him? Wouldn’t she have been delighted to see him again?
After breakfast the girls snuggled on the couch watching pointless T.V. while the guys tried their best to get ahold of Chester. It wasn’t until two pm when he appeared at Ryan’s doorstep. He apologized a million times for not answering their calls saying he didn’t wake up till one that afternoon. “But you guys had a fun night, right?” Chester asked trying to lighten the annoyance in his friends’ faces.
“Well,” Kevin began.
“We did, but bro, you can’t scare us like that again!” Ryan finished.
“I’m sorry,” Chester repeated.
“It’s okay,” Ryan finally said. Then hugged Chester.
“Aw,” Violet cooed.
“Bromance!” Emma said.
“Look,” Chester said after they broke-off the hug. “I got the limo downstairs, and it’s ready to take the girls home.”
“Yes,” Frankie said springing off of the couch. “I can shower!”
The three girls bid good-bye to their dates, hugging them. Frankie was a little uneasy with Victor, after the night before, but she hugged him lightly anyways. Minutes later they piled back into the limo. Emma asked Frankie again what happened the night before, but she wouldn’t answer. When they reached her house she said she wanted to be alone, and told Chester to take Emma and Violet home.
Monday morning, in third period Chester and Gabriela were actually talking. Having fun little conversations, and when they were too loud decided to pass notes to each other instead. Drawing or just talking about what ever. Chester finally felt comfortable with her, and he felt accomplished. Gabriela was just happy that there was no weird mood around them anymore.
At lunch Frankie still wasn’t talking. Violet thought she was mad about something, but she told them it was nothing. “I don’t want you to worry about me, okay? Instead tell me about the dance.”
“You missed out on some good Reese’s peanut butter cups,” Gabriela teased.
“Damn,” Frankie pouted. “I should get me some of those.”
“Hey look,” Emma said poking Frankie. “There’s Dom.”
Frankie looked up automatically. She wished she didn’t. He looked the same from when she last him. Nice hair style, bright smile, everything that just days ago made her so happy. Now she felt sick. Emma pointed him out to cheer her up, but it did the exact opposite. “Cool,” Frankie mumbled looking away.
“Frank, seriously, what’s wrong?” Emma asked.
Frankie could feel another panic-attack coming along. She closed her eyes and took in deep breaths. She opened her eyes and saw Dominic looking at her. He smiled. Her heart felt closed in. “I’ll tell you guys later,” Frankie stood up leaving her lunch. “Right now I just remembered I have work I have to finish before fifth period, bye.” Then she dashed out.
At fifth period Violet sat next to Kevin in the back. “Hey,” he greeted her. She was worried about Frankie, but she hoped that Kevin could cheer her up.
“What are you doing this Halloween?” He asked her.
She shrugged. “I usually stay home and give out candy while my brother and parents go trick-or-treating.”
“You don’t go with them?”
“No. I think I’m too old.”
“You are never too old to go trick-or treating.”
“I think there’s an age limit at some point.”
“So if I asked you to go trick-or-treating with me, you would think that was too childish huh?”
She smiled. “Well…”
“It’s okay. We could just stay in and watch horror movies instead.”
Violet’s eyes almost popped out of her head. “I think trick-or-treating is better.”
Kevin smiled. “Really?”
“Yes. I can’t live through horror movies.”
“Good because neither can I…I mean, I can but, candy is just so much better, you know?”
Violet laughed. “Exactly.”
Victor came into class late, and politely smiled at Kevin and Violet, but sat ways away from them. Just seeing him again, made Violet think of Frankie. She was going to go into worry mode when Kevin dropped a note on her desk. She read it and smiled up at him. Then she replied.
Emma couldn’t get anything out of Frankie at last period. She wouldn’t answer any of her notes, or look in her direction. Emma wished their seats were closer together so at least if she talked to her she couldn’t just ignore her. She had to wait until after class. Emma was on the edge until the bell rang. “Frankie,” she said quickly going over to her so she couldn’t get anyway.
Frankie smiled at Emma. “What’s up?”
“You know what’s up. I don’t because you won’t tell me.”
“I’ll tell you when we’re at our outside table okay?”
Frankie waited until Violet joined them to say anything. “Okay,” she took another deep-breath. “So, let’s rewind back to the dance.”
Victor was the perfect guy. He was sweet, understanding and totally not made to put up with Frankie’s issues. That’s what she told her friends. She told them about how she didn’t want to ruin their night, but she felt like shxt. She was with this amazing guy, and couldn’t stop thinking about another one. She told them about how panic-attacks start, and how she felt one coming on before she even stepped into the gym. She stayed outside with Victor for about ten minutes before going in. She saw all the people dancing and felt like she couldn’t breathe. She didn’t tell Victor any of this though. He asked if she would like to dance with him, and she lied saying she felt too sick from the alcohol to.
“You can though,” Frankie told him.
“Frankie, I’m not leaving you here,” Victor said. Understanding, sweet, and naïve Victor.
They just stayed at their table and talked a little. When Victor told her he was going to perform she was happy for him, and let him go on without her. He only left her for minutes before coming back. She felt bad for ruining Victor’s night while trying to avoid doing the same thing with her friends. When Victor told her about how Emma was looking for her, she knew she wasn’t succeeding and she wanted to leave to make that possible.
When the two stepped into open air, Frankie had a panic-attack, right in front of Victor. She was trying to huff as much air as possible as tears stung her eyes. Again, understanding, sweet, and naïve Victor calmed her down. She felt even worse, emotionally, but she began to breathe normally again. He told her that they could go back to his apartment if she wanted. Frankie agreed and waited until she was safely on his couch before telling him she had a crush on Dominic.
“And I just feel like a bitch because all night I’ve been thinking about him, when I’m with you,” Frankie admitted.
Victor gave her a sympathetic smile that she felt that she didn’t deserve until he told her, “Dominic has a girlfriend.” He told her the reason he went out of town was to see her, and on his birthday he was waiting for her to show, but she didn’t. ‘Too busy,’ was the text Victor saw on Dominic’s phone.
Then Frankie cried. No panic attack necessary. Understanding, sweet, and not-so-naïve Victor gave her tissues and clothes to change in, for comfort. After her water works was over, and she finished changing he challenged her to a game of Halo Reach to make her feel better. It worked, and they played for hours until Kevin caught them and brought them upstairs.
“And you know the rest,” Frankie finished. “How awkward I am around Victor now. How quiet I seem around you guys, and how my heart can feel like it would explode any minute.”
“Aw, Frank,” Emma said sympathetically.
“I just didn’t want to worry you guys you know? I guess I just sucked and failed.”
“You don’t suck,” Violet said. “We love you and would worry about you no matter what.”
Frankie smiled. “Thanks. I love you guys too.” They smiled back at her. “Anyway, my favorite holiday is coming up and I don’t want anything to screw that up.”
“Oh yeah,” Violet said. “Kevin invited me to go trick-or-treating with him.”
“Aw, that sounds like fun,” Frankie said.
“Well, you guys can come.”
“No, no we can’t. If he invited you and you alone, then it’s like a date-type thing.”
“Definitely! Did he say ‘do you want to go trick-or-treating with me and dot dot dot?”
“No, just him.”
“Then it’s a date-type thing!” Emma cut in.
Frankie gave Violet a wicked grin. “Good luck with that.”