"It's so crazy how this college thing just crept on everyone, like what happened to the transition between eighth grade and high school… I mean where did it all go?"
A pebble bounced then sunk in the water.
"You tell me, babe."
"Apparently Lauren's going to NYU in the fall. Mallory!"
"Yeah babe, I heard."
"Then Jessica is going to Berkely, freaking California!"
"I know right."
Lani turned to face her boyfriend with a raised brow.
Was he even paying attention to this conversation right now?
He continued to stare at the body of water in front of them, not paying her any mind.
"Tyler!" She said louder, finally catching his attention.
"Huh?" He looked towards her confused.
"Did you hear anything of what I just said?"
"Yeah, yeah, of course. Mallory, California, Stanley, New York. Right?" He scratched his head while squinting down at her.
She frowned then threw the last stone, it did not skip across the water.
"What has gotten into you lately? It's like you don't even want to talk to me anymore."
It was true. These past few weeks she had begun to notice how distant her boyfriend was becoming, which wasn't hard to realize since Tyler was probably the most energetic person she knew, next to Jess.
"I don't know where you got that from, we're cool." Tyler shoved his hands into his jacket pockets.
Lani was unconvinced.
"Cool?" She repeated. "Last week you stood me up at The Lodge despite the fact we go there every weekend for Sausage Saturday."
He sighed but she continued, "Then I invited you over to dinner and you said 'not now' because you had football practice. It's Sunday. You and I both know, The Spartans aren't serious enough to practice on a Sunday!"
"Babe," he tried.
"Not to mention the fact you practically had to be dragged out here, and you don't even care about the conversation.
"Lani," he tried again.
"I mean what is it? Are you tired? Is Clapp pushing you too hard or on your case about trig again?" She asked him, "Our education system needs to understand not everyone is mathematically inclined."
"'I'm not going to UW anymore."
This made her stop, "What?"
"Louisiana State is offering me a full ride, all I have to do is play football and I get to go to college for free." He said.
Her forehead creased, "Louisiana?" she asked.
"Yeah, Washington wasn't even going to give me a partial," he shrugged, "plus football is taken way more seriously down there."
Doesn't Louisiana have giant freaking bugs?
"God Tyler, that's amazing! That's your favorite team right!" She asked excitedly.
"No, it's the Saints." He did not share her enthusiasm.
"Wait," she faltered, "When did they offer the scholarship?"
"A month ago," he said.
Well, that makes sense, he has been acting weird for nearly a month. Still, that didn't explain exactly why he took so long to tell her about it. This was great news after all.
"Why didn't you tell me a month ago?" She asked.
Tyler looked away from her, turning his body forward to fully lean on the railing.
"Because I wanted to think about stuff," he said.
She shook her head, "Think about what?"
"I don't think we should stay together when I go."
The crease on her forehead deepened, "What?"
"I mean we don't gotta break up now or when I get back, but like after the summer, most definitely."
"The long distance thing looks cool and all, but. You already know what happened between Tobey and his girlfriend."
Tobey was his older brother and was currently a sophomore at some agricultural school in cannibal Florida. Let's just say it didn't work out between him and his girlfriend.
"How does your brother relate to this in any way?"
Tyler sucked his teeth, he knew she hated when he did that.
"Look, Lani. I respect you, alright? And I do enough to the point that I'm preventing you from getting hurt." He said after turning his head towards her.
"Exactly how does breaking up with me out of the blue prevent me from getting hurt?"
"Just think about it this way, when I go off to LSU, I don't really want to feel guilty about indulging in some southern women, you know? I mean, that's not really fair to you… or me." He said simply.
Lani crossed her arms over her chest, she tried to put together what he just said.
"So, you want to freely cheat without actually cheating on me."
"Well it sounds bad when you put it that way," he sounded dumbfounded.
Her jaw dropped "Because it is!"
Tyler sucked his teeth again then looked away from her, "I knew you wouldn't understand," he mumbled.
"I think I do," she scoffed, "You, Tyler Crowley, are a certified asshole."
He smoothed his palms over his face and began to laugh.
"What's so funny?" she asked
"Everything," he said between laughs, "You know Jess warned me about how impossible you are. Why do you think no one has bothered to ask you out in the past four years?"
She said nothing.
"Guess it wasn't a complete waste of time though," he looked at her straight in the eye, "That head was always good."
With that, she raised her palm and slapped him across the face sending his head sideways.
Slowly his eyes returned to her, he didn't look so amused now.
Wrenching himself away from the rail, he strutted towards her, completely pissed.
As he neared her, she almost thought he would retaliate with a slap of his own, instead, he only bumped her shoulder with his and continued towards his parked car.
"Well, Good luck getting home then. It was nice knowing you, babe."
She looked forward in disgust as he sped away in that shiny new car, the older van was better.
Lani fished her cell from her jean pocket.
While scrolling through the last name first, contact list her finger nearly pressed on Stanley, Jess.
But after remembering the pretty self-explanatory comment Tyler made, she instead hovered over the name directly above that: Swan, Bella.
Pressing the name of her neighbor, she lifted the phone to her ear knowing the slim chance the recipient may even answer.
Ring… Ring… Ring…
Clearly this was pointless and calling Jessica would be inevitable after all.
Before she could lift the phone to end the call, the line picked up and a confused voice answered, "H- Hello?"
"Hey Bella, it's Lani." She looked up at the darkening sky, "Would you be able to do me a small favor?"
"So he just left you on the side of the road like that?" Bella asked.
They were driving through the dark windy roads which led into town. Lani had her knees pulled up to her chest, her eyes stayed forward on the dark road.
"Pretty much," she replied.
"That's unbelievable, what a jerk." Lani only nodded in agreement.
"Screw Tyler. And to think I got us Brand New tickets… I should have listened to you at the end of the summer and never bothered to take him seriously."
"I don't think he really cared much for Brand New…" Bella mumbled.
"But enough about me." Lani finalized.
She turned in the seat to face Bella who flinched at the coming conversation.
"I'm surprised you even answered my call! You've been MIA for months! I've had to deal with pretentious Lauren and her mini clone Jessica alone!"
Bella winced, "I'm sorry, Lani. I just- I had to spend time figuring things out for myself after…" she trailed off.
"After he left." Lani finished.
Inside the car became silent.
"Please. Don't mention... him."
Lani sighed, it was an understatement to say everyone in Forks was shocked at The Cullens sudden departure, but Bella took it the hardest. She was dating one of them from what she remembered, and they seemed pretty serious about one another. Still didn't excuse the fact her friend practically dropped off the face of the earth over a guy.
As much as Lani wanted to press the topic, Bella was thoroughly irritated at the mere mention of him. So she didn't.
"It's good to see you though, and I'm so happy you answered."
Bella only nodded.
"So who's the lucky guy?" Lani asked.
Bella quickly turned her head to look at her and then returned her eyes to the road, "What do you mean?"
"Well for one, before if anyone mentioned his name… or him at all actually you would practically combust in tears, but now you're taking it like a champ." Lani answered.
Bella began to retort but Lani continued.
"Plus it seems like you're eating again and even have a little tan developing, which is practically impossible here, so you must be spending a lot of time outside… plus you answered my call for the first time since last year, so," Lani smiled towards the other girl.
"It's not like that, we're just friends. Plus he's like, way younger than me anyway," Bella shrugged.
"Oh! So there is someone!"
"Not like that," Bella repeated.
"Maybe I should take a page out of your book and find my rebound. I'm kinda over high school guys though, Oh! College guys maybe? They're probably the same huh, we need to go older," Lani said.
She lifted her legs from underneath her chin then rested them on the dashboard, "A sugar daddy, that's what I need."
Bella glared towards her, "Foot off the dash. And a sugar what?!"
Pouting Lani removed her legs to sit properly.
"A sugar daddy. You know, older dudes lacking a social life that have too much money and nowhere to spend it."
Bella was speechless.
"He could pay for my tuition, maybe even fix that giant dent on the side of my car, and all I would have to do is be his sweet little-"
"Okay! Okay! I get it, oh my god just please stop!" Bella interrupted. She was turning red.
"I mean, sugar babies don't have to work at a freaking diner and deal with those idiot customers," she continued.
Bella was a tomato at this point.
"And listen here, since the guy is older, he probably is more experienced with foreplay because wow, is that incredibly nonexistent to guys our age-"
"Lani, be practical!" Bella exclaimed, fully turning her head towards her.
Lani looked forward at the dimly lit road and screamed.
"Watch out Bella!"
The tires on the truck screeched.
I needed a contemporary break from my other fic.
If there's any interest I'll continue.
Thanks for reading!