Pounding on the door, hoping beyond hope he was there and not with his girlfriend. The door opened and his mom smiled at her. "Hi, sweetie. Are you okay?" She asked, seeing the upset look on her face. She was crazy about this girl, the girl who was her son's best friend. She forced a smile and nodded.
"Is he here?" She asked, knowing the answer. His jeep wasn't there, and there wasn't music coming from the second floor. Well, music he would listen to. His sister must be listening to it. His mother shook her head. "No, he's out with his girlfriend."
She nodded, said goodbye, and then headed to her SUV. "I wish his girlfriend was you." His mom muttered, shutting the door. Once she was inside her car, she burst into tears. Why isn't he there when she needs him anymore? Why is he putting his girlfriend ahead of her when before he would break a date if she needed him?
Her body shook as she put the car into drive. She wasn't going to drive home, not yet. She was going to their place, the place they'd spent so much time at, before he got caught up with his girlfriend.
It was after eleven, and he was getting back from dropping his girlfriend off at her house after they went to see some mushy movie. He closed the door quietly. The phone rang, making him jump. He rushed to answer it, tripping over the coffee table. He cursed loudly. The phone stopped ringing. He guessed his mom must have answered it. He heard a shriek from upstairs.
"Stanley! Get up here!" His mom shouted. "Great, what did I do now?" He muttered, walking up the stairs. His mom was in the hallway, the cordless phone in her hand. White as a sheet, she handed it to him. "Stanley? Have you seen Nina?" Nina's mom voice came over the phone, worried.
"No, Mrs. Ribbon." He replied, growing worried. He hadn't been talking to his best friend as much as he used to. In fact, it's been two weeks since he last said two words to her. "She's not here. She left hours ago, saying she needed to go somewhere. She always goes to your house… so I'd thought she'd be there. I'll try her boyfriend's house. I'll let you guys sleep now." With that, she hung up.
"She came over. She needed to talk to you. She was upset, I told her you were with Pashmina." His mom whispered. "I think I know where she is." He said, feeling guilty he wasn't there for his best friend when she needed him. He grabbed his keys, which he had thrown on the table, as he headed out the door, saying he'll be back soon.
Once he's outside, he goes to the shed at the side of the house and grabs something. Then he leaves.
She's exactly where he thought she'd be. Gracefully, she skated on the frozen pond, eyes closed, skating faster and faster. She hated her life. That's a lot of hate for someone who seems like they can't hurt a fly, let alone hate someone. She wished she were back in France, where there were people who actually cared about her.
Her aunt Carrie, Alejandra, Ruth, Laine, Zane and Jerry, the only people who ever understood her besides Stan.
She missed them. She hated it there in Japan. Boys used her, thinking she was easy. When she proved she wasn't, they left. Just like that. She didn't like hating things, her aunt Carrie always told her not too. She sighed. She missed spending time with her best friend. They used to spend a lot of time together, used to be so close.
She missed him, even though she hated him a little for abandoning her. Everyone she cared about abandoned her. When they were living in France, her dad barely paid attention to her. That's why she was so talented. She took millions of lessons just to make him notice her. He never did. The only thing he ever taught her to do was ice skate. That was when she had hoped he would change he would notice her. Even when she competed in ice skating contests, he didn't notice, he never even showed up for one.
When they moved to Japan, he instantly became 'number one dad' with Bijou, in hopes of getting her to like him. Her Aunt Carrie stayed behind in France when she needed her the most. All because her mother hated her, she couldn't move with them. She wouldn't come to visit; she had to go visit her in France.
It's not like she minded. She loved France; she loved hearing her native language, loved being with her friends. She wanted to move back. She had no reason to stay in Japan, after all. Her boyfriend cheated on her, because she wouldn't sleep with him. Her best friend abandoned her when she needed him the most, her family were too busy with their own lives to care about hers.
"Nina!" Her eyes snapped open. Maybe she was just imagining things, maybe… "Nina!" Defiantly his voice. She stopped skating and looked around. She spotted him, and she couldn't help the smile that spread across her face. She skated towards him; he was on a bench putting on his skates. She stopped when she reached him, slush spraying on him. "What are you doing here?" She demanded.
"I came here to find you. 'S pretty obvious, since no one knows this place is here, and you always come here to skate." He replied, standing up. "You mom called, waking everyone up, 'cept me since got back from hanging with Pashy, and asked if we knew where you were. Why did you come to my house, anyway?"
She crossed her arms. "Before, you wouldn't have asked that question. Before, you would have asked me what was wrong. Before, you wouldn't put your girlfriends ahead of me. Not because I told you not to, but because you wanted to be there when I needed you." She turned away from him, tears falling down her cheeks. "Now, you don't care. You would rather put Pashmina ahead of me, which I understand, but even you have to admit you're going overboard trying to keep her. You're awesome, Stan, you're- was, at least- a great friend, and you always prove everyone wrong when your in a relationship because they think you're going to cheat on the girl. She has no reason to leave you."
She couldn't help it; she started to sob. Today wasn't her day. Going to her boyfriend's house, finding him making out with some girl on his couch, her dad telling her he had to miss her performance in the talent show, going to Stan's house and-not to her surprise- finding he was gone. She couldn't take it anymore.
"I hate it here!" She cried suddenly, whipping around to face him. "I hate it here! I want to go back to France, where people actually care about me! I hate that I have no one to hold me, tell me he loves me. I hate you!" She was angry now, not sad. She didn't expect the next words that came out of her mouth. "I hate that I love you." He raised an eyebrow.
She quickly covered it up. "I hate that you're my best friend, and best friend love is in my way of hating you."
"Yeah, I don't blame you for wanting to hate me. I've been a crappy best friend." He said. "Yes, you have." She agreed. "Sorry, Nina." He said quietly. She rolled her eyes. "Like I'm going to forgive you that easily. But…" She hesitated. "I guess that'll have to do. Knowing you, you'll only apologize once."
He laughed. "Got that right." He agreed. Stan sighed. "I missed you, Nina. What's wrong, anyway?" He asked. "Troy cheated on me." She said, shrugging. Now that she had her best friend back, it didn't seem like a big deal. "I'm going to kill him." He said angrily. She started crying, happy tears.
He hugged her. "Yup, I'm going to kill him. Your going to be loved, Nina, not by him, but by me." He whispered. "I love you Stan." She whispered. He smiled. "I love you too, Nina." She will be loved. Stan thought, by me.
"What about Pashmina?" Nina asked. "Uh…"