Leila sat outside with her best friend, Greg Sanders and some of their friends. They were enjoying a nice day and a day off from classes. The holidays were coming up and most of the students were making plans to go home.
Being her best friend, Leila never kept any secrets from Greg. She told him everything about her life. Her parents were never abusive toward her, at least not physically but they were mentally, emotionally. They were always putting her down, blaming her for everything even if it wasn't her fault. Greg had heard some of the things they've said to her, but it never seemed to affect her much and she said that it was because she had him as a best friend. He wasn't sure what that meant but at the same time it made him feel good.
Right now she and Greg were sitting on the grass, Leila lying on her back next to him with her head in lap. They were making plans for what they were going to do over the holidays so they wouldn't always be stuck at home, especially her.
"So Leila, I hear that you and Greg are going home together." said their friend, Emily.
"Not necessarily, his mom's just giving me a ride home." said Leila, grabbing a chip from the bag she and Greg were sharing.
"Why doesn't your mother do that?" asked Emily.
"She has other plans and she can't cancel them." lied Leila, even though she and Greg knew the truth. Greg was the only person she wanted to know the truth.
"But you two are gonna be spending the holidays together." said their other friend, J.D.
"Of course, isn't that what best friends do?" asked Greg.
"Yeah, we all know you two will be doing more than just best friend activities." said J.D.
"Shows what you know." said Leila, throwing a chip at J.D.
"Yeah, we're not like that. We know everything about each other, doesn't mean we're screwing each other." said Greg.
"Yeah, well, I've never seen a couple of best friends act the way you two do towards each other. You guys must have a pretty close friendship." said Emily.
"We do." said Leila.
"Well then I guess you guys would probably feel pretty awkward if you guys were to ever sleep together." said J.D.
"Yeah, probably." said Greg, taking a chip that Leila offered to him.
The holidays rolled up faster than anyone expected and the day came for students to go home. Greg and Leila were finishing up their packing and making sure they weren't forgetting anything they may need until they get back.
"I'm not sure that I even want to go home." said Leila all of a sudden, breaking the silence.
"You wanna just come home with me and stay?" asked Greg.
"I don't know. I know my parents wouldn't even notice or miss me, but I'm not sure your mom would like that." said Leila.
"Oh come on, you know my mom loves you. She'd be thrilled to have you there." said Greg.
"I just don't want to impose on you guys." said Leila.
"Lei, you know that you could never impose of us. We love it when you're there, we love having you there." said Greg.
"Greg, I don't know." said Leila.
"Please Leila, I would feel so much better if you were staying with me." said Greg.
Leila couldn't help but smile. No matter what, Greg always seemed to have a way of making her smile.
"Alright, I'll come and stay with you." she said. She actually would make her feel better if she stayed with her best friend rather than going home.
"Good, 'cause I wasn't having it any other way." Greg told her.
Leila could only smile over at her best friend, feeling better at the prospect of staying with people she had come to trust with her life.
Then suddenly it was time for Greg's mom to pick them up and they found themselves in the car heading home. Greg had already talked to his mom about Leila staying with them and even though his mom wanted her to stay too, she had made plans for just her and Greg. Leila was sad about having to go home but she also didn't want to intrude on the plans that Mrs. Sanders had made for her and her son. She could tell Greg was upset about it too, but he was trying not to show it.
Both friends stared out the window as Mrs. Sanders drove. Not much was said by anyone. Leila was nervous about what would happen with her parents when she walked through the door, and she knew that Greg was worried as well. A person could only be pushed so far before they reached their breaking point. Hopefully that would not happen when Leila got home.
Suddenly, Leila felt a hand on her own and she looked over to see that Greg was holding her hand as he stared over at her. She offered the best, small encouraging smile that she could manage, but she knew that it did nothing to comfort either one of them.
Once they reached Leila's house, she hesitantly got out of the car and Greg even got out as well, helping her get her stuff out of the trunk. They got all her stuff up on to the porch than Greg walked down to the car and Leila followed.
"Listen, if you need anything, and I mean anything, don't hesitate to call or come to the house. You're my best friend and I'm always here for you." said Greg.
"I know and don't worry, if I need anything you'll be the first to know. But please, don't worry about me, I'll be fine." said Leila.
"I can't help it, like I said you're my best friend and that means that I worry. I just wanna know that you're safe." said Greg.
"And I wouldn't ask anything different." said Leila, managing the best smile she could muster.
Greg smiled in return, hoping that it would help make her feel better.
"Greg honey, come on, we gotta go." said Mrs. Sanders.
Leila could tell by the look on his face that Greg did not want to leave her. Truthfully she didn't want him to leave either but his mom had made plans and she knew that he should spend some time with his mom before her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him. She felt his arms almost hesitantly wrap around her, hugging her a little tighter.
"Go; spend some time with your mom. I'll be right here when you get back, I'm not going anywhere." said Leila.
"Alright, but I'm coming back here to get you later and I don't care how late it is." said Greg.
"I'll be here waiting." Leila whispered to him, feeling his arms hug her tightly. Neither of them wanted to say goodbye, fearing it might be the last time. "Just don't keep me waiting too long." she added.
"I won't, I promise." Greg whispered back.
"Yet I was the one that kept you waiting. I took off for part unknown and kept you waiting for me for ten years, when I just suddenly show up to Vegas to work at the same crime lab you already worked at. It wasn't fair of me to do such a thing." said Leila.
She and Greg had been sitting at his place, talking about their college days and this was the one that came to Leila's mind first. She felt so guilty for leaving like she did, when she did without so much as saying goodbye.
"Why do you do this to yourself Leila?" asked Greg.
"Do what?" asked Leila.
"Blaming yourself for everything, especially when it was something that was out of your control. Don't you think your parents did that to you enough?" asked Greg.
"Come on, and you can't say that you didn't blame me at all at least once in the past ten years?" asked Leila.
"No, I never did. Sure, I was upset that you just took off without so much as telling why or even telling me goodbye, but never did I once blame you." said Greg.
Leila was actually taken aback a bit. She figured that over the years they had been apart that Greg would have blamed her for it, even be angry with her but in all actuality, he didn't. It did surprise her a little bit but not a whole lot. She could remember that there were only a few times that Greg had ever gotten angry with her, and he never stayed angry for very long.
"You know that it's not your fault, things just happen and it shouldn't matter anymore anyway. You're here now and that's the only thing that matters to me now, that should be all that matters to you too." said Greg.
"Yeah, you're right, as usual." said Leila, unable to keep from smiling. She watched as Greg smiled back than she cuddled up to him on the couch as they went back to watching the movie they'd been watching.