Picture Nightmares (2)



Day 3.

Kaylee woke up uneasy for some reason… Then she remembered. Her eyes darted to the picture on the wall. Was it true? She went over to the wall, reached out, and the voices started again, but she yanked her hand back before she could make out what they were saying. No. She shouldn’t.

Tasha was blasting JB on her radio which meant she was excited about something.

“Ready for the coolest party in history this Saturday?” she greeted Kaylee, not noticing her friend’s unusual expression. “My parents are gone for the weekend, and they told me to have fun, so I gotta get a party going!We only have three days to plan everything.”

Kaylee sat in the car, staring out the window, watching the raindrops roll off the windshield. The weather reflected her mood.

“Kaylee.” Tasha was looking at her. “You okay?”

“What? Oh, yeah, just a little tired.”

“Well, you better wake up, because you have to help me decide who to invite. And don’t forget to remind me to call the neighbors. Last time they almost called the police, and I promised them I’d let them know the next time I was throwing a party…”

Everyone was pumped about the party, but Kaylee couldn’t concentrate. It took every bit of effort not to say something mean to Lindsey when she walked by them and said “Hi, Chad. Kaylee.” in her whiny voice, and smiled the biggest smile at her boyfriend. Kaylee couldn’t help glaring at her though. If looks could kill… there would be a funeral happening soon. And Kaylee wouldn’t be attending.

“Why are you looking at Lindsey like that?” Chad asked her.

“Like what?” Kaylee said innocently.

“Like you want to kill her and hide the body.”

“Because she’s a backstabbing, twofaced little liar.” Oops, that had come out a bit harsh.

“What?” Chad looked surprised. “Why would you call Lindsey that?”

“Because that’s what she is. You don’t think I look fat, do you?”

Chad looked confused. “No, why?”

“Just wondering.”

After the last class, she walked over to Tasha, who was surrounded by people. “Hey, we’re all going to my place to finish the party plans.” She told Kaylee.

“Uh, I think I’ll pass this time.” Kaylee said, twisting her hair around her finger.

“What?! You can’t leave me to do this alone!” Tasha said, grabbing her arm.

“You won’t be alone, there’ll be at least ten people there.”

“What’s wrong with you?” Tasha asked, frowning.

“I’m not feeling too well. I’ll just call Dad to come and get me. Sorry.” She left Tasha looking after her, and pulled out her phone.

When she got home, she collapsed in her bed. What was wrong with her? She was always the party animal. There wasn’t a party in town worth going to that she didn’t attend. She felt bad for her best friend. Maybe she should go over and help Tasha, but she couldn’t stand seeing Lindsey and Britt’s faces.

Kaylee sat up. She wondered what the others were saying about her right now. She knew she shouldn’t, but she couldn’t help it. She touched the picture, and the voices surrounded her.

“Where’s Kaylee?” –Lindsey, of course.

“She wasn’t feeling good.” “Should we invite those hot football players from that private school?” Britt asked.

“Yeah, totally.” A chorus of voices sounded their assent.

“Do you think Kaylee could get Chad to invite the guys he plays soccer with?” the voice sounded like Paula.

“I’m sure she could. It’s the least she could do since she’s not helping now.” Tasha sounded offended.

“It’s gotta be nice to have a boyfriend that knows all the cutest guys in the state.” Britt sighed.

“It’s nice to be that girl’s best friend.” Tasha said, and everyone laughed.

Really? Kaylee shook her head, but kept listening.

“I don’t understand why Chad likes her so much, she always has her head in a book.”Paula said.

“Or she’s making a fool of herself and getting drunk.” Lindsey added.

“Hey, she’s more popular than the rest of you put together, so I’d be quiet if I were you.” Tasha said.

“But you’re the most popular.” Lindsey said.

“Probably because I don’t always have my head in a book. But I can’t complain, Kaylee’s studiousness comes in handy when I need to pass a test.” Tasha said, and the girls laughed again.

Kaylee drew her hand back, shaking. So this is what her best friend said behind her back. Tasha thought she could use Kaylee’s connections and brains to further her own agenda. Her best friend in the whole world was using her. Kaylee sunk down on the ground. How could this be? Tasha was probably just pissed off at her, she thought. She’d never say stuff like that otherwise. Would she?

Just then her phone rang. It was Tasha. She shouldn’t answer it. She was too mad. She would probably say something she’d regret.

She picked up.

“Hey, Kaylee, how’re you doing?” Like she really cared. Kaylee could hear the other girls laughing in the background. Before she could even answer, Tasha went on. “Anyway, we were wondering if you could get Chad to invite those guys from his soccer team to the party. That would be so awesome!”

Kaylee took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Why don’t you ask them yourself?”

“Me?” Tasha sounded surprised.

“Yeah, why don’t you? Why do I have to invite people I don’t even like to a stupid party I’m not even hosting? You probably have half those guys’ numbers anyway. Aren’t you popular enough that you don’t need my help?”

Tasha gasped. It sounded like the girls had stopped talking in the background. “What did you just say?”

“I said that you don’t need my help. You do it.”

“Kaylee, what is up with you? Are you on your period or something?”

“I’m just tired of doing things for you. I’m tired of you using me. What kind of friend does that?”

“What? Are you insane? Kaylee, I just asked for a little help, since you’re not here with everyone else. It’s the least you could do.”

“The least I could do…? Do you hear yourself? All I ever do is help you! You wouldn’t have passed ninth grade if I hadn’t helped you!”

“Are you saying I’m stupid?” Tasha was yelling. “You think I couldn’t have passed without you? ‘Oh, yeah, if it wasn’t for Kaylee, her stupid friend would still be in middle school!’”

“I should’ve left you there!” Kaylee yelled back, and hung up the phone.

She had to hear what they were saying about her. She reached for the picture.

“What did she say?” It sounded like the girls were all gathered around Tasha.

“She practically called me stupid. She said the only reason I passed ninth grade was because she helped me.”

The girls gasped.

“What?”

“Oh my Gosh.”

“What a stuck up little b…”

Kaylee let go. Of course everyone would think she was the jerk. At least she didn’t talk crap behind her best friend’s back.

Best friend.

She wanted to cry.

Just then, the doorbell rang. Her parents weren’t home, so she had to get the door. Kaylee pulled herself up and went to see who it was. Chad was standing on the porch.

Great.

“Hey Chad.” She said, trying to smile.

“Hey.” He bent over to give her a kiss, but she pulled away. “Is something wrong?”

“Umm, no, nothing. I’m just not feeling well.” Chad would think she was out of her mind if she told him the truth. “What are you doing here?”

“You said we could hang out today.” Chad said, stepping in. “Remember?” he pulled her close.

“Oh, yeah, but I’m kind of busy today too.” Kaylee said, trying to back away.

“What could possibly be more important than being with me?” Chad leaned in closer.

“Chad, not today.” Kaylee managed to break out of her boyfriend’s grip. “I’m not feeling up to it.”

He stepped back. “What’s wrong, Kaylee? You’ve been acting really weird lately.”

“Nothing, okay?” Kaylee couldn’t keep her cool any longer. Why couldn’t he get it? “I just want some space!”

She regretted her words the moment they came out. Chad’s face was a mask of surprise, anger, hurt, and confusion. “Fine. If that’s the way you want it.” He turned, and headed for the door.

Kaylee stood for a moment, frozen, then ran after him. “Chad, wait!”

But he was already in his car and drove off without looking back. Kaylee couldn’t believe what she had just done. He’d get over it, wouldn’t he? He couldn’t be that mad about what she’d said.

She spun around. The picture had to go. Enough was enough. Her friends might be twofaced and talk about her behind her back, but at least they had been nice to her face. She had a feeling she had just lost all her friends and maybe her boyfriend too.

It was all because of the picture. She had to destroy it. She ran back to her room, took a deep breath, and grabbed it.

The voices surrounded her again. She couldn’t let go. It was Chad.

“Hey, Lindsey, I need your advice about Kaylee, you think you could come over?”

Kaylee could practically see Lindsey doing a victory-dance. “Sure, how about now?”

“Great. See you soon.”

What could Chad possibly want with Lindsey? Kaylee had to know. She didn’t have to wait long to find out.

“Hey, thanks for coming.”-Chad. “I need your advice. I can’t figure out Kaylee.”

“Who can?” Lindsey sighed in her high-pitched voice. “She just got in a fight with Tasha. It was totally ugly. She called Tasha a stupid slut.”

Chad cursed. “I don’t believe it. What’s up with her?”

“What did she say to you?” Lindsey asked in a hushed voice.

“She told me she needed space.” He said. “Space. From me. When am I ever too much?”

“Oh my Gosh.” Lindsey gasped. “How could she tell you that? Is she blind?”

“I don’t know what I did,” Chad said. “She’s never said anything before. But she yelled at me today to leave.”

“Do you know what I think? She probably doesn’t love you anymore.”

“What?”

“You haven’t noticed how she’s been nowadays? Anytime you want to be with her alone, she kind of brushes you off. She doesn’t appreciate you. She just wants you title.”

“My what?”

“Look at yourself. You’re by far the cutest guy in the whole school, everyone wants to date you. I mean… almost everyone. She’s just dating you for the popularity. She doesn’t love you. Why else would she tell you she needs space? If she loved you, she’d be here right now, begging for forgiveness.”

“Do you really think so?”

“I’m sure. I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time, but I didn’t feel like it was my place.”

“I can’t believe Kaylee would ever do that to me.”

“Look what she did to her best friend. You can talk to Tasha if you want.”

Chad cursed again. “I can’t believe it. Thanks for telling me. I never thought Kay could be like that.”

“You’re welcome.” Lindsey was triumphant. “I’m always happy to help. You deserve better than Kaylee.”

The voices died. Kaylee’s head spun. She was sure this wasn’t happening. There’s no way Chad would tell Lindsey their personal problems. Did he always talk to her? Was there something between them?

She should call Chad. Tell him she loved him and Lindsey was wrong. How could he talk to Lindsey about this? Why would he believe anything she said? She was going to kill that girl.

She grabbed her phone and dialed Chad’s number. She could feel her heart beating faster as she waited for him to pick up. But all she got was his voicemail. She tried again with the same result.

There was no one she could turn to. Even Tasha hated her right now. What had happened to her perfect life? How could everything change so quickly?

Read part 3 here.

© 2020 by Nancy E Wood