A/N: Hello, darlings. (I really don't know why I call you guys that.) Here's my second-to-last chapter of Blur. I'm excited to finish this fanfic and return to the reason why Blur is here: Destructive Desire. That fanfic is my baby. I need to get back to it; I've been slummin' on it. (New Moon movie quote, for the win!) Anyway, here it is. Just one more chapter (and an ending author's note) left!


Chapter Seven


"I really don't know what I want," Lucy said, staring her menu. We - along with Kelly and Carlie - were at the Stockyards Restaurant, a steakhouse far from our neighborhood. Kelly was driving, but I was paying. Tomorrow would be the last day of school before we were released for winter break. I wanted to get something to eat right after school. And here we were.

"We're at a steakhouse, Lucy," I said. "Why don't you get a steak?" Lucy always found herself miffed over little choices like this. It was adorable, but still.

"I want to get one, but I don't know what kind of steak to get." Lucy's eyebrows furrowed.

"Is Diet Mountain Dew any good?" Carlie asked.

"I heard that stuff shrinks your balls," Kelly said matter-of-factly. It wasn't unlike Kelly to say something like this.

Carlie rolled her eyes. "I don't even have balls. I'm asking if it's good."

"Is there even such thing as Diet Mountain Dew?" I wondered aloud.

"Yeah, it's been around since 1988 or something," Carlie said, adjusting the sunglasses that rested on top of her dark brown head of long, wavy hair. Carlie, Kelly, and I had been a (brunette) trio since the dawn of time. It was funny how now Lucy, the undeniable blonde, was in our group.

"Damn, that's older than us," I told Carlie.

"I know. Weird how I haven't tried it yet." Things got quietly quickly. The air was suddenly intense. And I knew why.

Carlie hadn't taken her pregnancy test yet. Or, she had and decided not to tell me if she was pregnant or not. I was going to go with the first option. Carlie was good at hiding her deepest secrets, and for a long time, too. If she was pregnant and she was really worried, then I wouldn't notice for a while. I just didn't have that much time left with her, though.

The sadder thing was, I wouldn't be coming back to Phoenix, my home, any time soon after moving. I needed a fresh start. I needed to break my old chains. I would do that in Forks, as shitty as the place sounded.

There was still one last person I would have to say goodbye to, though. Someone I would have to say goodbye to last.

Drake.

My infatuation with him hadn't been discovered by others yet. Drake and I were doing fairly well. We hadn't done anything serious yet - I didn't want to, and he was a gentleman.

He continued to intrude my thoughts for the rest of my dinner with Lucy, Kelly, and Carlie.


"And I want you to keep these, too," I told Kelly as I handed her one of my pairs of high heels. I wouldn't need that pair where I was going. I would barely need heels at all, but I still kept three pairs, just to be safe.

"Why are you getting rid of so much of your clothes?" Kelly asked.

"I got sick of them. I blew all my money on new clothes yesterday, anyway."

"You're not going to get a car anymore?"

I shook my head and folded the clothes I didn't want to bring with me to Forks. "I decided I don't need a car. School isn't that far, I guess."

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Lucy and Carlie sort through my newer clothes. I'd mainly bought lingerie and sexier clothes (because you never know) and a couple of more casual items. It wasn't exactly starting over, but I could be whoever I wanted to be in Forks. I would be a brand-new woman. Now, all that money that I'd spent many boring, time-consuming, deep-fried hours working at McDonald's for a year for, was gone.

Then I couldn't hold it all in anymore. Hiding the fact that I would be moving from my friends was getting to be too much.

"You guys," I said after I took a deep breath, "I'm moving."

Everybody was silent.

"To Forks," I added.

Silence.

"At the end of winter break, on Sunday."

There was even more silence. I didn't say anything else.

"So, you waited for how long to tell us?" Carlie snapped.

"Right, like you tell me everything that happens to you," I snapped back.

Carlie wasn't one to back down. I should have remembered that. "I don't need to tell you everything," she said.

"Well, I guess I don't have to do the same. At least I have enough class to not sleep around." My eyes narrowed at her.

"Yeah, sure, says the girl that blew just about every guy in our grade, and the one time she says no to anyone, the guy dies," Carlie said bitterly.

I bit the inside of my cheek, trying so, so very hard not to hit her. I didn't have anything to lose, but if she was pregnant, I would feel bad for hitting her, whether I aimed for the face or not. "You know what?" I started.

"Stop it!" Lucy exclaimed. "Bella, why are you moving?"

"Besides the fact that my mom and Phil think I'm fucking up their plans, I just want to start over," I said.

Lucy thought on that for a while and bit her bottom lip. "Why? I thought you liked it here."

"I do."

"Then why are you leaving?" Kelly asked.

"Shit happens," I told her.

Carlie shook her head. "There's more, I know it."

Of course, there was more.

"Bella, be honest with me," Lucy said.

The air was intense. These girls were my best friends. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't hold it all in.

Tears burned in my eyes. "I just wanna be free from all this pain, you guys," I started. "You have no fucking idea how hard this is. I wanna let it go and start living again, but I can't! Benjamin fucked up my life and made it better at the same time. And then he left me! How is that even fair! I just wanna live. And I might be able to live again, in Forks. Renee and Phil aren't forcing me to go, though. I'm doing this for me. You have to accept that."

By the time I was done talking, tears were flowing down my face. I was a baby - I cried at the drop of a hat. My friends (even Carlie, whom was impossible to not forgive) hugged me. Lucy was hugging the most, and I was sobbing into her shoulder.

Was it possible to be this eroded in only a few months? I was fine last August. I imagined myself riding on the handlebars of Benjamin's bicycle again, the wind in my hair, feeling amazing. Now, I was addicted to weed and alcohol. I wanted to change. I just wanted a fucking breath of fresh air. And here I was, trapped in this hole called Phoenix, being reminded of the death of Benjamin everywhere I went. My friends made things better, but real life was too much. I'd been sober for too long now. The harsh realities of the world were crashing down on me, and I needed to get out. Phoenix had scattered and scarred everything for me. I needed to refresh myself. I needed to breathe.

"I just wanna live again," I cried.

"You can," said Kelly.

"You will," said Carlie.

"Do it for us," said Lucy.

"I'll try," I whispered, sniffling.

"God, now I'm gonna cry," Lucy said quietly.

"Don't," I said. "Don't cry for me. You're okay."

"But you're not. If you were okay, you'd stay in Phoenix, with us."

"I know. You'll be fine, though. You don't need me."

"You're right."

"I love you, Bella," Carlie whispered. "As often as I'm a complete and utter bitch, don't forget that."

"I won't."

"I love you, too, Bells," Kelly said. "If you forget that I'll slap you. So don't forget that."

"I won't."

In those quiet, last few minutes that we all had together, my friends held me in their arms. The warmth of them could never, ever be replaced. I would never forget them. They would probably forget me sometime in the future, or not keep in touch with me, but that was okay. It was all okay. I just wasn't okay.

Okay is a pretty complicated word.


I'd spent that night remembering, remembering, remembering, trying to hold on to the memories as much as I could. Memories were important. Even the bad.

I remembered when I used to party with Lucy all night. We stole police cars with the senior boys. We almost got into a lot of trouble. But we were fast. We also snuck into hotels late at night and went skinny dipping. Well, I did. Lucy said that the last thing she would do is skinny dip and then get caught. No way, I'd said. Only stupid people get caught. Lucy hadn't listened to me. We only broke into hotels at a couple of different places, though. Being chased by the cops wasn't all that funny anymore after one of our friends wasn't fast enough and got put in juvie.

I remembered that Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice was our favorite... I could taste it on my tongue right now.

I remembered when the other girls - the preppy ones from our grade who got straight A's, were the stars of the choir, and wore Abercrombie & Fitch like it was going out of style - tsk tsk'd and shook our heads at Lucy and I. They'll never make it out alive, they'd said.

I remembered that all Lucy and I wanted was to have fun, though. We were just looking for a taste - just a teeny-tiny little taste - of real life. Lucy didn't take the other girls' judgment harshly. Lucy didn't care what anyone thought or said about her. She was a free spirit that took all that judgment in as love. Love and jealousy and admiration. Lucy was my new best friend. I loved how she didn't care what anyone thought. It wasn't fun seeing her cry, though. I remembered seeing her little Bambi eyes filled with tears. Boys were hurtful.

I remembered the boys howling and whistling at us when me and Lucy walked down the streets, high heels swinging in our hands. Strutting around the school in heels was a lot. Three words got me and Lucy excited every week: Friday. After. School. After a long five days of school, we'd always needed that.

I remembered that Lucy and I didn't stick together all the time, though. We'd equally put boys first. Lucy had a steady boyfriend that was always with other girls; I had a friend with benefits that I always put behind other boys that were hot, but shallow, stupid, and looking for sex. I never refused anything (besides the real deal: the penetration kind), though. All the boys liked me for that. Girls got jealous and called me a slut. But it was all just love and jealousy and admiration.

I remembered that my cover was far blown by last Halloween. Everybody had known that I had a little too much fun. I skipped school with Benjamin on a weekly basis.

I remembered the other girls running their mouths - again. Baby's future is going down the drain, they'd whispered to each other. Whore had it coming.

I remembered getting Lucy and a shitload of other senior girls to help me jump the other girls after school when enough was enough. We'd kicked their asses behind the middle school down the street.

I remembered that for a long time, I was a mean girl. I was more than just a party girl - my eyes gleamed mean everywhere I went. But I was no bully. I was too pretty for that. Boys liked me too much for that. I was too charming and seductive for that. Call me whatever you want, but I certainly was not a bully. I was just a bitch. I was the top bitch in the eleventh grade. Hell, even the senior girls gave me a shitload of respect. They knew what would happen if they didn't. I knew the right kinds people. They didn't.

I remembered that - aside from Carlie, Kelly, and Benjamin - Lucy and the other mean girls were the only friends I'd ever had. So I never felt alone.

I fell asleep that night, regretting everything.


I felt electric the next day. Today would be my last day going to school in Phoenix. I would really miss Desert Vista High School. I wouldn't miss any teachers, though. Except for one: Mr. Drake Dashwood, my Trigonometry teacher that couldn't help my grade at all whatsoever. He was a bad teacher. But at least he was hot.

As I got dressed in my sexy, tiny, strapless little romper that was in a bright crimson color, I realized that Benjamin would have wanted this. Benjamin would have wanted me to do what I wanted and have fun. He would have wanted me to dress sexy for my last day of school in Phoenix, wear makeup, and have my hair up big, just like he liked it. He would have wanted me to be a beautiful sinner, just for the hell of it.

I stood in the full length mirror on my door that would be going with me to Forks. I looked pretty damn amazing. My wavy dark brown hair (with minimal caramel-colored highlights) went past my shoulders, to my bust line. My legs looked long and graceful. I was still pale as fuck. I really didn't know why. I stood in my four-inch, lace heels, as strong as I could.

I gave one last direct thought to Benjamin as I applied lip gloss to my shiny, pale pink lips, and smiled: Baby, you're the best.


That Friday was an early dismissal day. I wished it wasn't. I was doing a lot of wishing for someone that didn't deserve that many wishes.

I went to Drake's classroom right when the last bell rang. He'd told me in first period that he'd be there.

When I entered the classroom and carefully closed the door, Drake hugged me and presented me with a small velvet box. Inside of the box were dangly diamond earrings. I didn't wear earrings often, but now I had a reason to. The earrings I received from Drake were gorgeous.

"Thank you," I said as I put the box in my purse. My little relationship with Drake was one of the last secrets of mine. I wanted it to stay that way.

"You seem upset," he said. "What's wrong?"

"Drake," I signed. "I'm moving, at the end of break."

"And you're never coming back?"

"No."

"Damn."

"I know."

Then I went to my tiptoes to kiss him, for the very first time. Older men do it better, I thought. Drake pressed me up against the wall, and I wrapped my legs around him. God, how many times had I fantasized about this as I sat in class five days a week, in the very front row, staring at him? Strange how it was coming true.

Drake knew what he was doing. And if he didn't, he was an amazing actor. He'd get all the Oscars in the world from me and even more.

Breathing hard, I twirled my fingers around in Drake's short hair. His hair couldn't compare to Benjamin's dark curls - nobody's could.

Before things got too hot, I pushed myself away from Drake. I kissed him on the lips one last time, sweet and soft and slow.

"Be good, babe," I whispered.

He nodded.

"Remember me - just don't miss me," I continued.

"You know I'll miss you."

I put my index finger to his closed lips. "Don't."

I pulled away from him and started walking to the door.

"Don't tell anyone," he called as I opened the door. Bright light poured into the dim room.

I laughed softly. "I'm not stupid," I said. "I've read Lolita before."


A/N: Pretty damn weird, huh? Or was it NOT weird? Was it too emotional? Was it cheesy? You know the drill: click that blue button and gimme your love.

xo, MTL