Disclaimer: The show Victorious, its characters and other associated copyrights are property of someone else and not me.
Chapter 1 – What do you do with a broken heart.
Another story, no time machines , vampires or parallel worlds here, just drama and Jori. I do hope you like it.
I can't remember who said it, but there's a quote I've always liked.
"You can never truly know anyone."
I liked the quote but, like many things that buzz around a person's head, never really gave it much thought.
At least until that day in early October, of our Junior year at Hollywood Arts. It a day just like any other. We got to school, Jade insulted me, Rex said something rude, Beck and Andre compared notes on girls they liked.
But one thing was missing, Cat. She usually joined us sitting outside while we drank our coffee before school.
We'd quickly figured she'd gone with her strange brother to one of his many doctor's appointments and again didn't give it much thought. It's so easy to let the important things slip by us without notice.
1st period, was acting with Sikowitz and we sat down and awaited his entrance through the window.
But instead he came in through the door. I and the others noticed his usual merry expression was absent. Instead he looked somber and serious. It was one of those expressions that you knew, that what would be said next couldn't be anything good.
He sighed, lowered his head as we looked at each other with worried expressions. All of use except Jade who leaned back in her chair and began to file her nails.
"I have an announcement." He said after clearing his throat. "Hollywood Art's student, Catherine, Cat, Valentine, passed way in her sleep last night."
I was utterly stunned and for the next 4 seconds there was dead silence in the room. A silence, broken only, by the faint sound of Jade's emery board, falling to the floor.
'Wha….What happened." Gasped Andre, who looked especially pale.
"Her heart gave out." He said, as she sat down on the edge of the stage with a world weary expression.
I was still unable to speak and was still processing the info, when I heard a distraught looking Robbie ask. "How can her heart give out, she was only 17?"
Before Sikowitz answered, I happened to look at Rex. I could have sworn, he looked equally heartbroken as the rest of us. For the next two weeks, Rex would barely say a word.
"Children. Principle Helen, Lane and her teachers knew what was going on. We had to know, in case of an emergency. However could not disclose the nature of Cat's condition, as it was her wish that we keep it secret. I wanted to say something, but I simply couldn't. But now, it's pointless to keep it from you. Cat had a defective heart valve and it was quite serious. In fact I was told she recently got on the list for a heart transplant."
I had already felt devastated, but the news of Cat having a defective heart was an even harder blow. She had never said anything about it. I wasn't sure what hurt worse, her death or the fact that she never told us she was sick. She acted happy and goofy up to the end. Tears forming in my eyes, I then looked to Jade.
She just sat there, staring straight ahead with a utterly broken look on her face. Looking further, I could see her hands were shaking.
Skowitz spoke up again. "Her bad heart is of course news to you. I can't remember the specific name of her condition, but it was a congenital heart defect that she was born with. Something to do with the Aortic valve, but in any case, it had worsened in the last year and thus the need for a transplant. But sadly, it gave out before she could have one. I'm told she died peacefully in her sleep."
By now, half the room was in tears and the other half looked on the verge of tears.
Sikowitz stood up. "Lane told me we have a counselor arriving shortly if any of you need to talk to someone. But due to this sudden and tragic loss, Principle Helen has called off school for the rest of the day. You can all go home."
He kept talking, it was something about funeral arrangements and a memorial service, but as the tears ran down my face, I was no longer listening.
Still in shock, all of us quietly grabbed our books and slowly filed out of the classroom. None of us said a word. We were still too stunned to speak.
As the hallway filled with sad looking students, Andre and Beck quickly began to console Robbie, who looked more distraught than the rest of us.
I turned to Jade, who I knew had known Cat since 2nd grade. She looked paler than normal and though no tears were in her eyes, still looked broken. I felt the need to say something to her.
"Jade, I know you've known her forever and she was your best friend. If you need anyone to talk to, I'm there if you need a friend."
The cynical part of me, and I do have one, fully expected Jade to insult me or tell me we're not friends. I quietly braced myself for her response, something that I'm more than used to.
"Thank you." Jade said in a quiet voice, as she lowered her head and walked off and vanished into the crowd.
I found Trina soon after and could see even myself centered sister was affected.
"I'm so sorry to hear about Cat, she was goofy, but ok." My sister said somberly.
We drove home in silence and I then spent the afternoon looking at picture and videos of Cat and of course crying.
Jade unexpectedly came over, later on that evening. I had opened the door and she just walked in sat down and started to talk. She told me a story about how when her and Cat were 8 years old they went out after a rainstorm and played in the mud.
"We knew our mothers would be furious. I didn't care and Cat was having too much fun to really give it much thought. I was pretending Barbie was drowning in the mud. First Barbie went in and of course Ken went to save her, but Barbie pulled Ken in. The rest of the Barbie's made a brave rescue effort, forming a human chain. But they were all pulled in and drowned as well. I can still imagine their screams of terror as one by one they knew they were going to die. Cat just sat there making mud pies and giggling. She made a 5 course meal made of mud. Mud pancakes, mud soup, mud steak, mud soda. We had such a wonderful time. By the time we came home, we were covered head to toe in mud, plus the outfits were wearing were utterly ruined. I was grounded for 2 weeks." Jade who had been speaking in a monotone, then lowered her head and said ever so softly. "She's gone."
I sat down next to her as Jade began to sob. "Why didn't she tell me she was sick? Why? I was her best friend."
Starting to cry myself I put my arm around her and surprisingly she neither flinched or protested., I said. "I don't know."
That night, we started to bond as a result of our mutual grief. We spent hours talking about Cat and our experiences with her; both good and bad. Of course why she didn't tell us remained at the forefront of our minds.
We found out 2 days later at the funeral. There must have been dozens of people attending and I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.
Just after the service and before we went to the grave side, a young man with short brown hair in an ill-fitting grey suit walked up to all of us. I had only met him once before, but I knew he was Cat's brother, Michael.
"Cat didn't want you to worry." He said, as he oddly didn't look any of us in the eye. He also seemed very nervous and was constantly rubbing his hands. He looked very uncomfortable around people and spent the nearly the entire funeral next to his grieving parents.
"What?" Replied Beck.
"Cat knew she was getting sicker, she wanted to get better. I went with her to all her doctor's appointments. I think she told you she was taking me to the doctor. She didn't want you to worry about her. She wanted to be normal. But mostly she was scared, that you would be afraid. She didn't want you to be afraid. She loved you all very much."
Then, he simply turned and walked away.
So that was it, she loved us and didn't want us to be afraid. I looked over at the casket and the ache in my chest felt more intense. Just then I felt an arm wrap around my waist. It was Jade comforting me.
It was a beautiful sunny day when we buried cat on a hilltop cemetery. It's a place I come to a lot when I want to think.
If anything good came out of Cat's sudden death it was that in the weeks following, Jade and I continued to bond. While the guys were stoic and largely hid their emotion after that, Jade and I helped each other. Though opposites, we soon became the closest of friends.
We hung out constantly, both with the group and by ourselves. I watched the scissoring with her and she watched all of So you think you can dance with me. She would come to my house and I would come over to hers. Somedays, she'd just quietly sit in the corner and write, some days we would do things. We frequently disagreed about what we wanted to do, but always managed to compromise and have fun.
Over those months, we were becoming ever closer as friends, but my feelings started to make less sense.
I was tempted to talk to Jade about it right off, but kept it to myself, especially when I realized that I liked girls as well as guys. I wasn't sure how'd she react. I felt bad about it, not telling her, but I just couldn't. I was so worried about what she'd say.
Soon I realized I liked her. My eyes would linger on her form just a bit longer than needed and I loved it when we would sit on the bed in her darkened bedroom watching old horror movies. I loved being close to her. I loved it when we'd bicker over where to eat. My heart would jump every time I saw her.
At first I thought it was just a crush, I was just realizing I was bisexual and figured my feelings were just a bit stirred up. But my feelings for Jade only got stronger and stronger. By March I realized that I loved Jade, plain and simple.
I wanted it to be just her and me forever, watching old movies, bickering, laughing, me scolding Jade when she was being mean to people, her making me laugh. I wanted nothing else and I was falling deeper and deeper in love each day.
Still I was afraid to say anything, terrified actually. I was so worried that she would reject me or call me a dyke or not want to be my friend anymore. So like Cat and her failing heart, I kept the problem with my heart to myself.
I didn't know what to do, I was so afraid, but I wanted to tell her so badly. I kept imagining this scenario that I would tell her and she would press her lips against mine and romantic music would play.
Jade was single as was I. She had broken up with Beck the previous summer and since Cat's death neither of us dated.
Soon summer came and though we had been close as could be our paths temporally separated. We both looked for summer Jobs and one of the ones I applied for was a counselor at a Music camp in upstate California. In late May they called me in for an interview and offered me the job on the spot. I would get to work with young people helping them learn music and the pay was pretty good. But I would be gone nearly all summer.
I was excited and sad. Sad of course as it meant time away from Jade. But one night, I thought that may be a good thing. It could give me time to think things through and formulate a plan of action.
A few days later, Jade got a Job herself at a small Independent record store called Atomic records.
We spent a last two weeks together, and packed in as much fun in as we could. I loved her so much and she seemed to love being with me. But did she love me?
On the last night before I left, she walked me to my door and before saying anything, hugged me as tight as she could. Smelling her hair, being in her embrace, I felt like I was in heaven.
Then she released me and kissed me on the cheek. That in itself was a first, up to now she had only hugged me. I was the only person allowed to hug her.
"Later Vega. Be safe. If you die, I'm going to kill you. Stay away from the abandoned summer camp across the lake. The one where those counselors were killed those years ago. If there a strangely quiet, flat chested girl named Angela is there, be super nice to her and never pick on her. Don't play any pranks on the caretaker, especially if he's an old guy named cropsy. Also remember, when you're being chased, don't bother to try the car, it will never start. "
She then handed me a pair of scissors from her bag. "Keep these on you at all times and under your pillow at night. Don't just stab the killer once, keep stabbing, so he won't open his eyes and kill you. I won't be around to keep you out of trouble and doing stupid things. I'll be working lots of hours, so…I'll miss you. Got all that."
I nodded and then. Jade then walked off, leaving me with my heart in my throat.
I went to camp and much to my annoyance, they frowned on cell phone use. The head of the camp felt it was a distraction. In any case, the reception was terrible, anyway so my chances to speak to Jade were infrequent.
But the camp itself was wonderful, I was in charge of a cabin with six 12 year old girls and they were all great. They were fun and all loved music as much as I did. We had music classes, swam, explored the forest, had recitals and a big talent show at the end of the summer. Things kept me very busy and the 2 times I was home, Jade was working nearly all the time I was there. Though I had time to think it all through, I missed Jade terribly.
She was there with me in spirit, when I would tell spooky stories around the campfire. Some of which came from stories or ideas that Jade had told me. The other campers loved my stories.
We did talk on the phone a few times, but it wasn't the same as being together. Something I wanted more than anything. She was never far from my mind. I spent my spare time, thinking about her and gathering the courage to tell her I loved her. At night I would slip her scissors under my pillow, knowing it would please her to no end. It made me feel close to her.
I even wrote a speech and practiced it on the dock about a dozen times. During august in the last few weeks before I came back Jade and only spoke once. I was busy with the final talent competition and Jade was packing in the ours at work.
The one time, we did talk, Jade sounded very upbeat. I asked why, but she simply said things were going her way and she couldn't wait for me to be back.
I didn't know that that meant but had little time to think about it.
Finally I finished with Camp and returned a few days before the first day of our Senior year. It was a Saturday and as soon as I got back, I learned there was going to be a party at Hollywood arts to welcome in the new school year.
My time had finally come, to tell Jade the truth. Eager to do it, I texted Jade.
To Jade: R U coming to party, Looking forward to see U.
Her response came quick.
To Tori: I'll be there, can't wait to see you. Much to talk about. Missed your lame jokes.
Tonight was the night, I picked my pretest green dress. Green is one of Jade's favorite colors. I did my hair up perfect and put on my most expensive perfume.
I ran through my perfect speech of undying love one last time and rode with Trina to Hollywood Arts.
Trina chattered on about how she was going to be ultra-popular this year, but my mind was firmly on Jade. I was so nervous and so excited at the same time.
Arriving at the dance, I looked for her immediately. She was going to fall in love and we'd be happy, but Jade as usual was late.
I chatted with Andre a bit, but he was too busy checking out the newcomers. With every passing second I was more nervous, I ran through my speech another time and took up a post near the entrance. I wasn't going to miss her.
My heart was pounding as the minutes past by. I had this fear she wouldn't show up.
Finally caught a glimpse of her through the crowd. My heart immediately jumped for Joy, I took a step forward and grinned as she walked into the asphalt café where the dance was being held.
But I quickly sensed something was off, she wasn't alone. She was talking to someone I couldn't see.
Then the crowd parted and I saw her companion.
He was tall, about 6'1" with short spiky black hair and a pale complexion. On top of it he was very handsome and wearing all black.
It was then I noticed it.
My heart fell, actually it crumpled into dust, as I saw his left hand which was holding Jade's right hand.
"No….she's holding his hand." I said as I studied the happy expression on Jade's face.
"No…no…no…no…no…." I stammered as I backed into the crowd and began to shake.
Happily the couple walked in the dance and I couldn't get over how happy Jade looked. She would walk a few feet, look at him and seem to smile more and more.
From behind me, I could hear some girl say in a rather snide tone of voice to her friends.
"Oh goodie, look who's arrived, the dark cloud and her new boyfriend. Every time I see them, they're sucking face. What on earth does he see in her?"
I suddenly felt sick, my stomach suddenly turning itself inside out. In addition, my chest felt tight and I felt like I couldn't breathe.
"She's got a boyfriend." I said, as I hovered on the verge of tears.
Not able to handle the searing pain of loss I suddenly felt, I ran away. Spotting Trina, I ran up.
"Trina, I'm not feeling, well. I think I ate something bad. I think it was that leftover potato salad. I'm catching the bus home. Have a good night." I said it all quickly and was obviously on the verge of tears.
Had not Trina been too busy flirting with the blonde guy she was with, she may have quickly realized that I was obviously lying. I looked far too upset, for a simple case of being sick as a result of bad potato salad.
Instead she shrugged and returned her attention to her latest would be boyfriend. "Fine, later." Was her quick reply.
I went out the back way, and desperately fighting to hold back my tears, ran to the bus stop. Feeling devastated, I rode it home. I was however, determined not to cry. Somehow I didn't, which was a surprise, considering, how upset I was.
Arriving home, I turned off my phone, put on my PJs, crawled into bed and covered myself with my comforter.
I almost found myself, much like Cat, to go to sleep and never wake up. After all it was my fault. I didn't tell Jade, I didn't roll the dice. Now the game was over and there was nothing I could do about it.
Cat couldn't live with her broken heart; somehow, I'll have to live with mine.
I had planned on working on something else, but sometimes the idea for a story will just hit me. I happened to see on twitter, a recent picture of Liz Gillies holding the hand of a guy whom I would guess is her boyfriend or date. My sole comment on the picture itself is to say that guy, is one lucky S.O.B. But the picture got me thinking and soon enough, a story soon started to gel in my head.
In her speech about summer camps, Jade refers to" Friday the 13th Part 2", "Sleepaway Camp" and "The Burning." All classic slasher films.
I may have skipped over a lot of Tori and Jade getting closer, but we will be using some flashbacks in this story.
So tell me what you think? Do you guys like it so far? Let me know.