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Getting Lizzie to help me convince Grace that staying at Logan's had to be better than what we dealt with every single day went about as well as I expected it to...

In other words, not well at all. Lizzie's made no secret of the fact that she doesn't trust or like Logan, and I really wouldn't put it past her to go play the protective sister and threaten his life at some point after how much Duncan crushed my heart. Which as much as I wish she wouldn't, if she does, I know it's just because she loves me and doesn't want to ever see me cry like that again. Saying she hates Duncan now is putting it lightly and she doesn't even know the whole story. Logan, with his reputation, doesn't stand a chance as far as Lizzie's concerned. He's far from worthy of sharing oxygen with me, never mind date me.

Either way, what I said to Logan earlier about us being okay was true. As much as it ever was, anyway. Lizzie and I had perfected keeping ninety-nine percent of our lives hidden from our parents, and we did everything we could to keep Dad's wrath away from Grace. Even if it meant deflecting it on to us. We were too old for him to lock in the closet and he knew it. Besides, I had too many commitments at school to just vanish, and he knew that, too. My excessive attempts to make it seem like everything is perfectly fine actually worked in my favour. He could ground me, but he wouldn't dare stop me from going to any school related activities.

After we'd cleaned up from our late dinner, I told my mom I had a headache and I was going to bed early. Truth was I was fine. I just wanted to see Logan and I needed an excuse for them not to wonder where I was while I did. I told Lizzie where I was going and that I had my cell if she needed me for some reason, before I sneaked out of the house and got my car out of the driveway as quietly as possible.

Once I got to Logan's I rang the doorbell and played with my cross between my fingers anxiously as I waited for him to answer the door.

Did he have any idea how many times I'd been tempted to tell him about what things were like at my house? Would it even mean anything considering I wouldn't leave? And did he understand why I couldn't? Did any of that even matter anymore?

This afternoon had been like my worst nightmare and like this huge weight had been lifted all at the same time. He knew. And as horrifying as that was, it meant I didn't have to hide things from him anymore. I didn't have to edit answers to things when he asked questions like why was Grace always looking to me for permission when we went out somewhere or if my parents were really strict.

But more than that, he wanted to help us. He didn't freak out and disappear. He was willing to have us come stay with him to keep us safe. And that meant the world to me. I knew Lizzie was freaked that he was going to tell somebody, that we were going to be even worse off in the end, but I didn't think he was going to. He saw Grace today. How scared she was. He heard me. He knows the last thing we want to do right now is rock the boat. He'll respect that. I just didn't know how to make her believe it. Or if I even could.

Right now I just wanted to see him, hear his voice... be near him for a little while. I think I needed it. That wasn't too much to ask for on what should have been a fairly special day for us, was it? I mean, making it a month in high school's pretty huge. Especially at Neptune. Everybody's always screwing around on each other or relationships last like, a week. Somehow we'd beat the odds, and despite my keeping things at a fairly slow pace, Logan seemed just as happy about that as I was.

Okay, so maybe, despite what I told Lizzie a couple of weeks ago, I'd fallen pretty hard for Logan. But after the way he handled himself today that somehow didn't seem quite so scary as it did in August. And I'll be home before anyone even notices I'm gone. Lizzie sneaks out all the time and gets away with it.
 
 
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Current Music: Ashlee Simpson - Beautifully Broken
 
 
Logan's adventures in the Manning HouseCollapse )
Well, I don't think saying I wasn't expecting any of what happened when I got home today is even close to being an understatement. But now I have to figure out how to deal with Gracie, tell Lizzie about it all... this is far from over.
 
 
Current Mood: uncomfortableuncomfortable
 
 
Okay, so maybe Logan and I got a little carried away and time accidentally became totally irrelevant. On the upside, it doesn't look like my dad's around to notice the fact that I'm nearly twenty minutes late. And I think after the day Logan had especially, we needed that bit of time together. He needed to know he wasn't as alone as he thought he was.

After all, he had me. For whatever that was worth.

Hopefully Lizzie made up some excuse to tell mom, because I'm never late. Especially not the first day of school when they know none of the extracurriculars have started yet. God knows I've covered for her being out all hours of the night often enough. And yes, I realise this is the second time since I've started dating Logan that she's had to cover for me. I won't be making a habit of it. It's not fair to her. I'm the 'good' one as far as my parents are concerned. I'm the one that looks after Grace and covers for Lizzie. It's the way it's always been.

Of course she's waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs the second I tip-toe my way into the house after the rushed good-bye to Logan. Probably waiting to tell me whatever it was she had made up to tell mom for me. My guess would be something with journalism, since those tended to needed to get organised pretty fast once school started, but even Lizzie knew the first meeting wasn't until tomorrow after school.

"Hey." I offered her a weak smile, "We should probably talk..." I said quietly, grabbing her hand and gently tugging her up the stairs with me, then into my room before I closed the door behind us and collapsed against it. I was pretty sure she'd had enough experience with after school make out sessions to know pretty much exactly why I was late even if she hadn't had official confirmation that Logan and I were anything more than friends until this point.

"Okay, so first off, I'm sorry that you had to cover for me again today. I just lost track of time completely." I apologised, letting out a breath as I let my bag drop to the floor finally.

"Second, and I'm sure you know this already with all the rumours floating around school after the fight this morning..." I started, feeling more than a little horrible that I hadn't actually talked to her about any of this yet. We weren't exactly the idea of some TV show picture perfect sister relationship, but considering how different we were on the outside, Lizzie and I were amazingly close and I shouldn't have waited so long to talk to her about this, "but I've been dating Logan Echolls since Dick Casablancas's party two weeks ago."

I didn't think she'd jump to the whole idea that we're using each other like the rest of the school had, but I knew she was going to think it was more than a little bit of an odd fit. I mean, on the surface Lizzie had more in common with Logan than I did, didn't she? I mean, if you take their reputations at face value and as being totally representative of who they are as people.

Which, clearly, I didn't.

"I don't know why I didn't just tell you in the first place... I guess it was all so new and I didn't want to jinx it or anything, but after what happened at school today... I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner. I've been wanting to talk to you about this, I guess I just couldn't figure out how to bring it up." I apologised again, and waited for her reaction.
 
 
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
 
 
I'm pretty sure that this wasn't the first day of school that I had imagined. When thinking from last night to what today could even possibly be like fighting with Duncan hadn't even been on the map - vocally or otherwise. And, yet, having spent my lunch time (which I should have been meeting Meg during) in Clemmons' office after spending the end of the class before it - physics - with some sort of comment setting the two of us off at each other, I really don't know what I would have ever thought today would be like.

It wasn't peaceful. It wasn't nice. We exchanged words that I never thought I'd say to my best friend - even ex best friend - but in general not to Duncan, and it was too easy to say after this summer. Where had he been? Yeah, mourning his own losses, but I had lost things too. I had hated my father, hated Lilly, more than ever.

I hated that the people who used to be so close to me could still do so much fucking damage.

It might not have been easy to see Duncan and Veronica hand holding and occasionally exchanging small loving kisses, but I accepted it. I moved on. I dealt with the fact that it still fucking hurt, but I wasn't harping on it - especially not the way I know the gossip's moved around the school. Oh, we fought over Veronica. Veronica wasn't even close to the reason that Duncan and I were throwing fists at each other, smashing each other against lockers and overall pouring all that hate into each other. And it might have been the first punch. Some defense against the exchange of girlfriends we'd obviously done - maybe we were all just moving on and hated change, but what we really continued to hate was the fact that the other hadn't even bothered with the others' life.

He disappeared when I needed him the most and maybe I sucked too in the category. Maybe Duncan has trouble with the fact that I'm just continually picking up his exes and making them my girlfriends, but it's not like I planned it. I didn't plan Veronica and I certainly didn't plan Meg. I liked Meg.

And for once in my life? I didn't even want the past back. I didn't want Veronica back and I didn't want Lilly. I wanted the person I was with. For once in my life it wasn't about all that shit. It was like I had let go. I felt lighter - you know, until I felt that fist crashing down on me. Then I suddenly saw it all crashing down. I saw all of this just fading away.

I had missed lunch with Meg and she was probably subjected to all this crap - all these rumors - and she probably listened. I knew how hard it was not to. And I knew that Meg did even if she didn't always believe it. She'd believe this. I mean, who wouldn't with the noise we'd made. The roar of our high school cheering for something to talk about. We were going to be talked about anyway.

It was something I'd been enduring for my final afternoon classes until class dismissed.

Picking up my books in one arm, I headed towards my locker and Meg's in the process. She'd already gotten to hers and was shoveling her books away. There were a few cackles from the girls nearby for her to break up with me and I just felt my insides pull deeply.

"Hey," I say, keeping her locker open so she'd look up to me. For some reason, I had a feeling she was going to be pissed even before I had a chance to say my side. "Look, about lunch..." I started, but she already knew this story, she could finish the words even before I opened my mouth if she so chose.
 
 
Current Mood: soresore
 
 
31 March 2006 @ 02:57 am
To: Meg Manning <manning.meg@gmail.com>
From: Lizzie Manning <lizzie.manning@gmail.com>
Subject: Where are you?

Meg,

So, what am I covering up for you this evening while you're out? Mom and Dad sure are curious where you were so quick to run off to after dropping Gracie off back home after the movie she'd been begging to see for weeks. I told them you were just doing some last minute back to school shopping just so you know, if they ask - which we both know they will.

Read more...Collapse )
 
 
Current Mood: discontentdiscontent
 
 
 
loganecholls09: So, what did your extra fortune cookie end up saying? Any great predictions in your future?
x Meg Manning x: Nothing too life-shattering. To live in fear is not to live at all. Which, you know, actually pretty true.
loganecholls09: Even in bed, how about that.
It's kind of on the long side...Collapse )
 
 
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: None, my parents are in bed.
 
 
In the almost two weeks since that night on the beach I'd seen Logan five times. We had one last weekend before school started and things got insanely busy for me again with all the assignments and extracurriculars I had, never mind babysitting. But I'd managed to make time for boyfriends in all of that before, so I didn't see any reason why this time would be any different. As long as we wanted to keep seeing each other, we'd find the time.

I could easily chalk up the wanting to spend time with me to me being the only one who didn't care what everybody else was saying or thought about him, but I knew it was more than that. We actually really liked each other. And I continue to be oddly thankful for the idiots at the party necessitating me going to check on Logan. I haven't been sorry for even a second so far.

We'd gone to a couple of movies, down to the boardwalk for the afternoon, out to dinner. Typical date stuff. He'd even helped me babysit once, which surprised me. He didn't have to, but he wanted to see me enough that he was willing to help me look after some strange little kid just to do it. I couldn't seem to manage to get over that somehow. Maybe because that came about a week after the night of slushies and kisses.

And today? I'd promised Grace I'd take her to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory since it was the last weekday before school started, and it was playing for a matinee at the smaller theatre. Well, Logan decided he was going to come, too. Goofed off and turned himself into my little sister's new favourite person for the afternoon. Bought her anything she wanted from the concession. And after the movie we went to the park. He was so incredibly great with her. It was something she needed in a big way. Just to have an afternoon to be a kid, have fun without having to worry about stepping out of Dad's perfect expectations or anything. I can't even remember the last time she's laughed so much. I was a little worried that Logan would question something when she'd look to me for approval before doing practically anything, but so far he hasn't.

We'd just dropped her back off at home and we were going out for dinner ourselves, explaining to Grace that as much fun as we'd had together today, we needed a bit of big kid time because we had to go back to school on Monday, too. She'd probably help Mom make dinner for dad and then go draw for a bit or something. As long as she was quiet and did as she was told she'd be fine.

"Thank you for today." I smiled to Logan, leaning across and kissing him softly as I got back in the Xterra, "She had so much fun... but I'm sure you noticed that, right?" How could he not? He'd seen her face, how lit up it was and how much she'd relished in all the attention he was giving her. "You've probably made a friend for life." I added with a smirk.
 
 
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
 
 
12 March 2006 @ 12:32 am
I was invited, but you never would have guessed it. Dick was off somewhere trying to score with a freshman and the Beav was probably already throwing up an hour into this whole thing (none of us ever expected him to hold his liquor well). Yeah, I was invited to this whole bash - the one Dick called the total blowout before things totally sucked ass and we had to go back to school again - but, seriously, I think he overestimated this little shindig.

It might have something to do with this summer and every single thing that's happened during it, but I sure as hell remembered parties were way cooler when people actually wanted you there. No one here did. That much was obvious.

Maybe being the kid of a movie-star-gone-wrong-murderer didn't exactly elevate my status (Gee, dad, OJ is so last decade), as neither did the fact that I'd been accused of murder myself this summer. Add in a dash of dating Veronica Mars and leaving everyone else behind and you've got a bona-fide outcast. I was crossed off the A-List, but I was still invited to the parties.

Yeah, it's actual days like these that I wish I'd driven my SUV off the bridge with me in it.

No one had actually said anything about it, but it's one of those things you can just see in their eyes. They don't trust you, they never have and they think the worse. I'll probably just let them. Who was I to prove them wrong? I knew this crowd. I had been this crowd. It was a wave of strangers with familiar faces - masked, so they can lie behind your back. It's fan-fucking-tastic to be popular.

There was a moment - maybe a second - where I hadn't felt alone. I had a girlfriend by my side - a support system, even if I didn't have Duncan as a best friend any longer. But let's face it, Veronica was there and she was gone. Seven minutes in heaven, over. The second she found a moment to run back to him, she did. There I was, on the sidelines, waiting. It's too fresh and still stings. It's going back to square one with nothing left again.

The one thing you can always rely on is that there is nothing and no one you can count on. If I've learned anything, it's that.

There were days that I hadn't even thought about leaving a party early unless I had some girl attached to me by the hip, but those days are far long gone. If I wanted to sit on a couch and drink alone I could have just as easily done that back at home. It would have canceled out this whole social disappointment that I knew was exactly how I'd been viewed tonight.

As I take my jacket from its bundled up place beside me, there's this jock that I recognize just barely from my school making some drunken mess over some girl who looks like she's having just as much fun as I am. I give a sort of roll of my eyes as I feel some splash over my cheek and arm.

"Dude, say it, don't spray it." I tell him, annoyed, wiping off my cheek with the sleeve of my shirt.

He's practically drooling on the girl which I can finally identify as Meg. Yeah, I'm sure there were other reasons she wasn't at all joyful, but I'd start with the scumbag other than the common feature we were sharing as castoffs.

"And here I thought that was your way, Echolls. Swimming with the grime."

I've heard it all summer. It was bearable with Veronica actually there, but there's this thing where they have even more leverage with the fact that she's not. The fact that she was the one to dump me sort of gives them all the firepower they'll ever need.

"Careful, man," I hear one of his nearby cronies say, "Get him to angry and he might commit murder again."

"Or just take off on that bridge like mommy dearest."

I shut my eyes tightly for a quick moment, wondering how much worse it would be if I just offed a few of them now. I punch the guy who makes the crack about my mother. I don't even care anymore. I'm just sick off it all. Everyone sort of gets their own punch in before we call it fair game (fair game leaving me with some sort of a nose bleed and knocking some lamp over with a crash). "Test me and I swear to god you'll find out," I warn him, wiping under my nose briefly before moving to grab my coat again and leave the party.

The cold air hits me hard. I have trouble inhaling. Yeah, next time they can skip the invitation completely.
 
 
Current Mood: cynicalcynical