A/N: Thanks to everyone for the reviews I've gotten for the last couple of chapters. I know it's been a little while since my last update, but I've been working on some new story ideas.
Allie, Kendra, and Brandy were still sitting and talking to each other, in the kitchen at the Mason house.
"Anyways, enough about Degrassi's latest scandal." Brandy stated, "How've you been holding up Allie?"
"I've been dealing, I suppose. It's just that, it feels like as soon as I start moving past everything that happened, I think about the trial and it just reopens those old wounds." Allie revealed.
"What have they told you about the trial?" Kendra asked her.
"The D.A.'s office expects it to start sometime in spring or early summer. I've been feeling really nervous about having to testify. I mean, hardly anybody knows about what happened. But once the trial starts, the whole public is going to know what Dean did to me. Sometimes, the pressure gets to be too much, and I feel like I'm turning into this completely different person because of it." Allie confessed.
"That's probably normal, nobody expects you to just magically go back to being your old self." Kendra replied.
"Yeah, but I don't want to become some dysfunctional freak that's unable to live a normal life either. Sometimes that thought just gets me really depressed and it makes me…" Allie paused.
"Makes you what?" Brandy asked, as she took another sip of her sports drink.
Allie paused for a moment. Then she decided to tell them everything that had been going on recently.
"Well…I got drunk the other night, for starters." Allie told them.
"You've been drinking! Allie, why didn't you call one of us first?" Kendra said, showing her concern in her voice.
"I know, it's just that you have lives of your own and I didn't want to burden you with my problems." Allie revealed.
"Burden? Where did you get that idea from?" Brandy asked her.
"I don't know, I guess it does sound kind of stupid now that I hear it out loud. I suppose I really didn't want to admit that I couldn't handle everything on my own." Allie told them.
"That's the thing Allie, you don't have to go through it all alone. We're your friends and we care about you." Kendra told her, "Ms. Sauve told us that the trial would probably be difficult for you and we said way back then that we would be by your side."
"I know, and I really do appreciate how supportive everybody has been." Allie replied.
"Speaking of which, how has Paige been handling everything?" Brandy asked her.
"You know Paige. If she's feeling nervous like Allie, she's hiding it behind her cool poker face." Kendra replied.
"You're telling me. She seems like she's totally ready to put Dean away, I just wish I had half of her strength." Allie told them, "I mean, even now she seems more concerned about cheerleading than anything else. She's even started looking at which Junior Varsity cheerleaders might make the Varsity squad for next year."
"Aren't you trying out?" Brandy asked her.
"Yeah, I've been working really hard on my routine for tryouts." Allie responded.
"I guess being best friends with the captain of the Spirit Squad can't hurt either." Brandy told her.
"Paige has been real supportive with everything I've been going through, but we're hardly best friends. Even if we were, I wouldn't want that to be the reason that I made the Varsity squad. I want to make it because I earned a spot and actually deserved to be there, not because somebody felt sorry for me. I don't think I would even be able to be on the Varsity Squad if that happened." Allie revealed to them.
"I can definitely respect that." Kendra replied.
The girls talked for a little while longer about other things, including Kendra going out for the field hockey team and Brandy going out for track and field in the Spring. Eventually, Allie said she had to leave so she could get ready to go over to Craig's house that night. Brandy and Kendra said they had better start getting ready too, so they'd be ready for Jimmy's party that night.
As Allie walked home, she thought about how lucky she was to have friends who cared so much about her. When she got home, Brad had just gotten back himself. She told him what her plans were for that night and then went back to her room to start getting ready. Allie walked back to her room and changed into one of her warmer outfits, since she would be outside later that night. After getting dressed, she went into the living room where Brad and her mother were sitting, her Mom had just gotten home from work.
"So, are you ready for your hot date tonight?" Brad asked Allie as she came into the living room.
"It's not a date, I'm just going over there to spend sometime with Craig and his family." Allie replied.
"Sounds like a date to me." Brad continued.
"Shows how much you know. Even if I were interested in Craig like that, at this point I'd have to take a number behind all the other girls in his life." Allie told him as she turned towards her Mother.
"So Mom, how do I look?" Allie asked her.
"You look beautiful honey. What big plans do you have for the night?" Her Mom asked her.
"We'll probably hang out at his house for a while and then go watch fireworks in the park with the rest of his family." Allie told her.
"I hope you have a good time, just be careful." Allie's Mom said as Allie put on her coat and headed for the front door.
Mrs. Knight was glad that her daughter was going out to spend time with her friends. She had been really worried if her daughter would ever be able to move past the traumatic experience she had recently went through. She was very concerned when it seemed like Allie was cutting herself off from everybody, like she had given up on the world. Allie's Mom wished that she could spend more time with Allie. But being a single parent meant working extra hours whenever possible, just so she could provide a decent life for her and her family. Besides, she didn't think her daughter would have much fun with her tonight; all Allie's Mom wanted to do now was relax in a nice, warm bath.
As Allie walked to the Jeremiah residence, she could feel the excitement in the air as everyone prepared to welcome in a New Year. Once she got to Joey's, she could hear music playing from inside.
"Hi Allie." Craig said as he answered the door.
"Hi everybody." Allie said as she walked through the front door.
"Allie! Are you ready to see the fireworks?" Angela asked as she sat on the sofa next to Caitlin and Joey.
"I sure am." Allie answered her.
Allie then took a seat and watched as New Year's celebrations from around the world were televised. As they sat there, everybody in the house discussed what they looked forward to or what they intended to accomplish in the New Year. Time seemed to fly by as they talked, and pretty soon it was time to leave for the park.
They all rode in Caitlin's SUV over to the park, which wasn't very far. Joey, Caitlin, and Angela went into the park first to get a good spot for viewing the fireworks. Allie and Craig took their time following them.
"So, you said you're ready for the New Year?" Craig asked as they walked along.
"Yeah, I'm actually looking forward to it." Allie replied.
"Me too. I don't think it could be any worse than this past one." Craig told her, "I can't believe I've made such a mess of everything in my life."
Allie could see Craig was still torn up over the situation between him, Manny, and Ashley. As she was looking at him, she realized it must've just struck midnight because the night sky was suddenly lit up with fireworks. The night show was so beautiful that Craig and Allie stopped their conversation for a moment.
"Well, Craig," Allie said as she resumed their conversation, "Even though you made a mistake, I don't think anybody can forgive you, until you forgive yourself."
"I know. It's just that sometimes I wish that I could go back and change what I did. I'd do everything a lot differently." Craig confessed to her.
"I can understand that." Allie said as she put her arms around Craig and gave him a hug showing that she supported him, just the same as he had supported her the night before.
As they were standing there, Angela came running up.
"What's up?" Craig asked her.
"Craig, Daddy and Caitlin are over there kissing. I'm never doin' that when I grow up." Angela informed them.
"I wouldn't make a bet on that Angie." Allie replied with a laugh.
They all stood together and watched as the fireworks continued, signaling the beginning of a fresh, new start…
The End, for now. To be continued in The Adventures of Kendra and Nadia-Semester 2.