Truth Or Dare

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Chapter 29: Honesty

I got an angry text from my coach this morning. I had a basketball practice yesterday, but needless to say, I didn’t go. I couldn’t, not when my whole body was on fire and due to bruise at any moment.

Seeing as all the classes have started again, all my roommates are back and I made sure to pick out a long sleeved pajamas yesterday before I went to bed. I couldn’t let them see my beaten up body, because if they did, they’d ask questions, and if they’d ask questions, I’d have to come up with a quick and believable lie.

The room was empty by the time my alarm woke me up this morning, and words can’t explain how relieved I was by that simple fact when I looked myself in the mirror. Even though I’d done my best to cover up the pale skin I knew would be littered with blue and purple marks, I still failed. Line after line of purple bruises in the shape of fingerprints stained the skin around my throat, and I nearly broke down at the sight of them. I barely dared to check the rest of my body, but I still did, and it was as ugly as I’d expected, if not even worse. Purple and blue welts are scattered all across my shoulders and arms, and it hurts to move my upper body. Despite the pain, I decide to go to class. I’ve already skipped more than I should.

I throw on a hoodie, but I feel my mood sink as I look outside and find the sun shining brightly in the light blue sky. It will be a hot day today, no doubt. Sighing frustratingly, I change into the thinnest long sleeved top I own, and hope it won’t cook me alive. There’s a small bruise on my cheek from Noah’s backhanding yesterday, but it’s not as deep in color as the other’s and I easily cover it up with some makeup. The bruises on my throat, however, are an angry purple and I struggle to cover them up for nearly half an hour before I give up. There are at least three layers of makeup atop of it, and the angry purple has been disguised into a faint pastel, but one can still clearly see that there’s something hiding underneath. Glancing at the time, I realize that I really need to get going if I don’t want to be late for my first class, and I curse loudly and quickly search through my wardrobe and pull out a cremé color scarf. I wrap it around my neck at the same time that I rush out the door, and to top it all off, I let my blonde hair down from its ponytail, hoping that everything will hide my bruised throat.

I make it to class with two minutes to spare, and thankfully, Noah isn’t in it. I’m wondering if I’ll even see him today or if he’s still too upset with me. I’m still feeling guilty for ratting on his brother, but I’ve come to terms with that there’s nothing I can do about it now. I hold on to the thought that Wesley can fend for himself.

“Hey”, someone suddenly says as they slip into the seat beside me. I pull my lips up into a grin as I spot Mike and greet him back.

“Where were you yesterday?” he asks, concerned, and my smile immediately falters.

“I wasn’t feeling well”, I partly lie. “Did I miss much?”

Mike shakes his head. “Nah, Coach was in a bad mood and made the practice hell.”

I laugh half-heartedly, and Mike sticks his tongue out at me before asking me another question.

“We’re having a party tonight, by the way. Wanna come?”

“It’s in the middle of the week”, I say and look at him with a funny face.

“So what?” he smirks.

The professor walks into the room just as I answer.

“I can’t.”

Mike furrows his brows. “It’s in the middle of the week”, he says, mocking me, “what else do you have to do that’s more important than partying?”

I playfully nudge his shoulder and try to hide the pain that flashes through my arm at the action. “I’m meeting a friend.”
Mike leans back in his chair. “Who?”

“You don’t know him”, I say, “he doesn’t go here.”

Mike was about to reply when the voice of the professor cut through the air, immediately shushing all students and starting the class.

The class was as uneventful as always, but due to the professor’s short temper, no one dares to not pay attention and I sigh in relief when the hour is finally up. I say goodbye to Mike and head to my next class, already eager for the day to be over. Noah is supposed to be in this class, but by the time the professor walks in, he still hasn’t shown up and I figure he probably won’t show up for the rest of the day either.

I have lunch with Tamara, who is as bubbly as ever, and I realize how much I’ve missed her. I didn’t have a chance to meet her yesterday due to our different schedules, and she is giving me a full recap of what’s happened during Thanksgiving. For once, I’m glad that she’s like a broken record that keeps going on and on again without a break because it’s a nice escape from all the chaos I’m hiding behind my calm surface. I’m meeting Chase, tonight. I’m telling Chase everything, tonight. I’m going to lay all my cards on the table, just like he did when he confessed his feelings for me when we were at the pier. I just hope I’m not doing a mistake because it might as well be a fatal one.

Tamara tries to get some juicy gossip about me and Noah, causing my heart to ache. I’m dying to tell her that Noah isn’t who he’s making himself out to be and that I’m actually seeing another guy. We could’ve gossiped so much about Chase and Nadir, who she’s still seeing, but now, all I want to do is puke as she asks me about Noah. He’s making me sick and judging by how well I’ve managed to keep that hidden from my friends, I might as well change my major into theater.

Emlika M

Edited: 28.02.2019

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