Standing On My Own

Standing On My Own Special: Part One [Chapter 8]

*** author’s note: This was originally posted during the holidays as a three part special; it delved into character backgrounds and progressed the story plot. Therefore, I’m reposting it as such, but I’ve also included the chapter number it technically corresponds to, so you know where it falls into the story. Enjoy***
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1“Wow Rachel, you haven’t changed the place at all.” Ace said while the rest of us took our seats.

2“Hahaha, I don’t like to change things much.” she said as she entered the kitchen to make us drinks. “Guys if this doesn’t taste good don’t blame me, the machine is acting up.” she added with a giggle.

3After a while it got awkwardly quiet. Jesse and I just sat there silently. We haven’t spoken to one another properly since he started giving me the cold shoulder. And he also seemed lost in thought, so I didn’t think now was the best time to start attempting to get some answers.

4“Guys, the drinks are done!” Rachel called after what seemed like an eternity.

5He didn’t appear to hear her. “How about we go and grab some?” I asked finally breaking the silence. “Oh.” he said coming out of his daydream. “Sure.”

6Moments later we were back to our seats silent once more. After cleaning up, Rachel came and joined us. “Ace told me he was going to take a call outside for a bit.” “Alright.” Jesse and I said simultaneously.

7“So Jesse, how are your parents? And how does it feel to be back after so long?” Rachel asked. Though Rachel was talking to Jesse she was staring at me with an expression like she knew things I didn’t. Which I am sure she did… but still… for a moment the glance she gave me felt cold and sharp. Seconds later she was back to her normal self. It was so short I thought that I may have imagined it… May have…

8Before I could say anything, Ace barged back in. “Sorry guys, but it turns out I need to leave earlier than expected, and we are probably going to leave a lot later than planned.” he said. “No prob.” Jesse replied. “Are you okay with that Arianna?” Ace asked me. “Yes, I am fine with anything.” I said quickly. Even if I wasn’t, it’s not like I could do anything about it. I mean it’s not like I could buy a plane ticket and leave by myself.

9Seconds later, a woman walked in with a cat. Seems like everyone was coming and going out of this house as they pleased… Before she fully entered the dining area I found myself following the cat subconsciously, as if my body yearned to pet it.

10“Well well well… Look who’s here. Jesse who would’ve ever thought that you’d be back in Chasville again.” she said. “I see news still travels fast around here.” Jesse said in reply. “How are you Jane?” he added.

11I lost track of their conversation. The cat suddenly had my undivided attention. As soon as I walked towards the stairs it turned back towards me.

12I felt warmth fill my entire body.

13I bravely knelt down and picked down the cat. Surprisingly there was no hissing or running. It earnestly leaped into my arms as if it belonged there.

14I held it across from me and stared into its eyes… they looked so familiar. I couldn’t explain it but the cats gaze seemed to be filled with meaning. Maybe I am just overanalyzing things, the cat is probably just extremely friendly.

15After a moment or two of feeling this emotion I couldn’t name. I decided to tune back into the the conversation behind me. Who was this woman anyway; she seemed a bit older than us… ok a lot older. Her blond hair was tinted with a strawberry color. It looked really pretty. She was dressed beautifully as well. “I still can’t believe you are here.” she said.

16“Ya, I decided why not, it’s not like anything was forbidding me from coming anyway. Remember, I chose to leave.” he replied. What are they talking about?… “Oh stop giving excuses and give me a hug cuzzo.”

17She pulled him into a warm embrace…. Ahhhh I see, they are cousins, no wonder there was a bit of a resemblance in their appearance.

18“So are you going to say hi to the family before you go?” she asked with a concerned look. “Nah, I don’t plan to, they are going to start expecting me to come back more frequently, and that’s not my style. Also, we were only planning to stay the day because of Ace.” he replied.

19“Rachel, haven’t seen you in a while as well, how are you?” the woman asked, quickly changing the subject.

21Rachel stepped forward and shyly looked down. “I am good.” she replied. “Well if you are only planning to stay the day, I have a splendid idea, how about you guys come over to Talia’s costume party later. It’ll be fun. That way you leave here with some memories.” Jane suggested.

22“Please!” she said with a smile while pressing her hands together. “I’m up for it” said Rachel. “I’d hate to bust your bubble, Jane, but we aren’t really prepared…” Jesse began, but before he could finish his sentence Jane cut him off.

23“I’ll have the driver bring things over for you to wear.” she said. “Don’t think you are getting out of this mister, like the time we had to visit Aunt Tess.” I smiled to myself, their bickering was cute. I took this moment to step out, I’m sure they had things to catch up on…

24I went out into the breeze of the setting sun. Surprisingly the cat followed. I smelled the various flowers and began to wander in thought.

25After some time, I’m not sure how long, I decided to pet the cat since it just stood there obediently the entire time. When I stood back up and finally looked around, it was night. How long was I out here?

26At that moment I saw Jesse’s cousin, Jane I believe was her name, walk out. “There you are, Simone.” she said while gazing at the cat. “And there you are Arianna, we were wondering where you went. I didn’t get a chance to say hello earlier, sorry about that.” she said. “No worries, you seemed to have some catching up to do.” I replied. “We did, thanks. I suggested we go looking but Jesse said you were probably fine.” “I am.” I said. “That’s interesting… Simone hates strangers; she still has issues with Jesse and Rachel though they have seen her many times. It’s unusual that she’d cling to someone so quickly.”

27“Really?” I asked “That’s odd. She seemed really friendly to me.” I said. “Wow…” Jane mumbled… when she got close enough to see my face directly under the moonlight. “I’d heard… but still…” she said quietly. “I’m sorry? I didn’t quite catch that.” “Sorry, just talking to myself.” she said. “Actually hold on I have something for you.” she added.

28She fiddled in her pocket and began unfolding some tissue paper, it had something inside… what was it? An accessory?

29She came over to me and whispered into my ear. “There’s a party later that I hope you’ll be attending as well. If you decide to come, wear the dress I left with Rachel, and make sure you wear this with it.”

30She dropped a little silver trinket into my hand. “Well, hope to see you later!” she exclaimed. And with a dazzling smile she walked off.

31 – 30 Minutes Later –
I am standing in Rachel’s nicely furnished lavender room in a dress that just so happens to fit me perfectly that Jane brought over earlier. How long were we planning on staying here exactly? I thought this was supposed to be a day trip for Ace, clearly that’s not the case anymore.

32“Hmm… Now that you are all dolled up what should I wear?… Oh! I know.” Rachel began fumbling through her drawers; I walked outside and gave her time to change.

33After Rachel finished dressing up, we both began walking towards the front door. “Jesse says he’ll meet us there.” she said. “Alright.” I said, guess he’s still avoiding me… On that note we progressed towards the party.

34We pulled up onto a road full of large houses. It was the house at the end of the street that appeared to be our destination.

35I saw a girls and guys dressed in an array of outfits: a traditional looking dress, a cat-woman and an extremely revealing school girl, to name a few. Odd for a costume party to be held well after Halloween, but who am I to judge.

36Jane stepped out of the house where I’m sure there were more people partying. She was dressed in a Harley Quinn type outfit that showed off her nice figure.

37She didn’t appear to notice us yet and instead went to Jesse who was coming from the garage area. They began chatting. I quickly turned away and looked down at the necklace hanging on my neck that she had given me earlier. “What’s wrong?” Rachel asked. “Nothing.” I replied. “Good, because I have something to tell you.” she said. I sensed a change in the tone of her voice.

38“Sure what is it?” I said as I turned towards her with a smile.

39Suddenly the glow in her eyes faded, the smile she had quickly disappeared, and she lifted her hand and pointed it directly at me. I was confused as to what could have possibly caused the change in behavior. “I. Don’t. Like. You.” she said pausing after each word. “Excuse me?” I said taking a step back. “Did I do something?…” I asked dazed.

40“I know what you are trying to do and I won’t let it happen. Jesse is mine. So back off. If you even attempt to take me on, I assure you, you’ll lose. I don’t give second chances so choose wisely.” she said with a fierce glare, before changing back to her smiling self, and walking off.

41I couldn’t move, reply, or even breathe. What just happened? Little did I know that everyone had already progressed inside. Everyone except for Jane who would be the only one to provide me with the answers I’ve been searching for, as well as ones I didn’t know I needed, later…

To be continued… Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the first part of the special. All the questions you have regarding the mysteries of Jesse will be answered in the next part. Take care!
xoxo Amy

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