Chapter 7:  Closure

“We got a new student today,” Olivia announced.  Everyone at the table looked up from their trays.  Alex stiffened slightly.


“Oh, really?  Who?” Elliot asked.


Olivia briefly glanced at Alex before continuing.  “Alex’s ex-girlfriend, Abbie Carmichael.”


All their friends gasped, especially Serena.  “You mean that bitch who cheated on you last summer at cheerleading camp?” Serena asked in astonishment.


Alex groaned.  “Yes, Serena.”


“What the hell is she doing here at Madison?  Stalking you?” Serena continued.


Alex rolled her eyes.  “I don’t know.  I didn’t exactly interrogate her.”


“Wow, that must’ve been really awkward, Alex,” Kathy remarked sympathetically.


“It—” Alex began.


“Yeah…she came up to me and Alex after class and told Alex she wanted to ‘talk,’” Olivia interrupted, doing air quotes around the last word.  Alex shot her a warning look, which Elliot caught.  He looked back and forth from one to the other.


Casey’s fork stopped mid-air.  “Talk?  She isn’t trying to get back with you, is she?”


Alex opened her mouth to answer but Olivia interrupted her yet again.  “I’m sure those were her initial intentions.  But then I told her I was Alex’s girlfriend.  You should’ve seen the way her face just fell!  She was so jealous.”


Alex was quickly getting annoyed with Olivia.  “Liv, I’m not invisible here,” she snapped.


Olivia gave her a slightly hurt look.  “Sorry, Al.”


Alex pushed back her chair.  “I’ll be back, guys,” she told them, getting up and stalking out of the cafeteria.


Elliot looked at Olivia.  “Doesn’t look like Alex is too happy.”


Olivia rolled her eyes.  “I noticed that.”  She pushed back her own chair and stood up.  “I’ll go see what’s up with her.  Be back.”


Olivia walked into the bathroom and found Alex standing with her hands against the counter, staring into the mirror.  Upon seeing Olivia enter, Alex turned to her and snapped, “Thanks for telling my business to everyone, Liv!”


“Alex, why are you so upset?  They were all gonna find out eventually,” Olivia tried to reason, walking over to her and standing a couple feet away.


“Well, you didn’t have to run your mouth!  When I was ready for them to know, don’t you think I would’ve told them?”


Olivia frowned.  “Sorry, Al.  I didn’t know you’d get so pissed off.”


Alex threw her hands up in the air.  “And you wouldn’t even let me tell it!  Every time I tried to say something, you interrupted me!”


Olivia folded her arms across her chest.  “Well, Alex, it’s not like I distorted any details!”


 “That’s not the point, Liv!  Next time, do me a favor and just don’t say anything!”


Olivia got even more on the defensive.  “Dammit Alex, it’s not like I got a megaphone and made an announcement to the whole fucking lunchroom!  That is, if I could get it outta your ass first.”


Alex’s mouth dropped open.  “What did you just say to me?” she asked, hurt.


Olivia turned red.  “I just think you’re getting a little too upset about this.”


The tears started flowing again.  “You know, Liv, the last thing I need is my own girlfriend telling me how to feel!  How would you like it if someone from your past came back into your life and I told all our friends before you had a chance?”


Olivia sighed deeply.  “Alex, I seriously wasn’t trying to hurt you.”  She stepped closer to her and cautiously tried to stroke her arm.  Alex pulled away.  “Come on, Al.  Don’t be like this.”


Alex frowned.  “Sorry, Liv.  I just can’t help it.  You know, megaphone up my ass and all,” she retorted sarcastically.


Olivia placed her hand softly on Alex’s back.  “You know I didn’t mean that.”  Alex folded her arms and turned her head.  “Baby, don’t shut me out,” Olivia pleaded.  “Please.  I’m sorry.”


Alex brushed away stray tears.  “I…I just don’t wanna talk about this anymore right now.”


Olivia nodded.  “Ok, sweetie.  Let’s just try to enjoy the rest of our lunch, all right?”


Alex flashed a brief smile and responded, “Ok.”  Olivia patted her on the back and followed her out the restroom.




That afternoon was the first day of gymnastics tryouts.  Alex felt her stomach lurch a bit when she saw Abbie walk in at the last minute.  Great, she thought.  I’ll never escape her.Their eyes briefly made contact and Abbie took a seat on the mat a few feet away from her.


The whole time Alex was practicing her drills, she could feel Abbie’s eyes on her.  Don’t mess up, Alex.  Don’t mess up, she coached herself as she did a back walkover on the balance beam.  Do not let her distract youJust think of Liv.


After the girls had been sent to the locker room to change, Alex got dressed and then waited for the other girls to leave.  When the place was clear, she went over to Abbie and asked, “Can I talk to you for a minute?”


Abbie smirked.  “I thought you wanted nothing to do with me.”


Alex sighed.  “I just have some things I need to get off my chest.”


Abbie looked down at her chest and smiled.  “Which I notice has gotten bigger.”


Alex self-consciously crossed her arms over her chest.  “Stop it, Abbie.”


Abbie took a step closer to her and laid her hand on her arm.  “Are you gonna tell me that you don’t feel anything when I stand this close to you?  Or when I touch you?”


Alex narrowed her eyes at her.  “I don’t.”


Abbie rolled her eyes.  “Come on, Alex, why are you trying to deny your feelings for me?”


“I can’t deny what doesn’t exist, Abbie.”


Abbie scoffed.  “Oh please, Alex.  I saw your reaction when we made eye contact in class.  You looked like you just had the wind knocked outta you.”


Alex sighed.  “You could say that.  I don’t like to be confronted with painful elements of my past, Abbie.  Seeing you today reopened my wounds.”


“Can you look me in the eye and tell me you feel nothing at all for me?” Abbie asked.  But she wasn’t sure if she wanted to know the truth.  It was enough of a shock that her father’s company had caused them to change cities in the middle of the school year, and on top of being at a new school and knowing virtually no one, she was now forced to deal with feelings for a girl who seemed to no longer reciprocate them.


Alex looked her directly in the eye and responded sincerely, “Yes, Abbie.  I did have feelings for you at one point, but I don’t anymore.”


“Since when?”


“Since I started crushing on Liv last year.  Listen Abbie, we had a fling last summer, I liked you then, you cheated on me, and I was hurt.  But I found someone else.”


“I’m sorry, Alex,” Abbie said with tears in her eyes.  “I didn’t mean to hurt you.  But…it just kinda happened.”


Alex gave a humorless laugh.  “That’s your excuse?”


“Alex…Nathan and I were mutually attracted to each other, yes, but it’s not like you and I were a solid thing.  We’d only been dating a couple weeks.  I didn’t think our relationship would go anywhere since it was camp after all, and I kinda just wanted to have a little fun.  But after camp ended, I couldn’t stop thinking about you.” 


Alex was clearly appalled.  “So you call cheating on someone fun?  I don’t care if we’d only been exclusive a couple days, the moment you agreed to be my girlfriend, you should’ve been faithful to me and only me.”


Abbie shook her head.  “That’s not what I meant.”


Alex sighed.  “Regardless, if you wanted to date other people, you should’ve just told me.  Then I never would’ve gotten involved with you.  Monogamy is very important to me.”


“Alex, when I kissed him I never thought you’d get that upset.  I didn’t even expect you to come around the corner.”


“I know you didn’t.  And it wasn’t just a kiss, Abbie.  His tongue was so far down your throat I’m surprised it didn’t trigger your gag reflex.  And I don’t even wanna guess how far his hand was up your skirt.”


Abbie helplessly threw her hands up in the air.  “I said I was sorry.  What more do you want?  Chalk it up to youthful indiscretions, Alex.”


Alex snorted and flipped her hair over her shoulder.  “Youthful indiscretions?  Right.”


Abbie looked down briefly before asking, “So, how serious are you and…Liv?”


“Very,” Alex responded curtly. 


“Are you in love with her?” Abbie asked, although secretly dreading the answer.


“Yes, I am in love with Olivia.  We’re each other’s first loves,” Alex replied.


Abbie felt her heart sink to the floor.  “How long have you been together?”


“Since the beginning of last semester.”


“Is she good to you?” Abbie asked.


“Yes,” Alex answered.  She looked off to the side and smiled.  “She’s perfect.  She’s my soul mate.”


“Soul mate?” Abbie asked, scoffing.  “Alex, how old are you?  15?”


“I’m old enough to know that she’s my soul mate.”


“How does she feel about this?”


“The exact same way I do,” Alex said with a big smile.


“Don’t you think you’re both a little young to be so strongly committed to each other?”


Alex frowned.  “Not at all.”


Abbie asked the last question she was afraid of asking.  “Are you guys intimate?”


Alex folded her arms again and said pointedly, “That’s none of your business.”


“Ouch, Alex.  It was just a question.  Retract your claws,” Abbie responded with a smirk.


“Abbie, just because we dated for a short period of time doesn’t give you any right to inquire about my private life.”


Abbie rolled her eyes.  “Ok, ok.  I get it already.”


“Good.  I’m glad we got things settled,” Alex said, picking up her bag and putting the strap over her shoulder.


“So that’s just it?” Abbie asked with a puzzled expression.  “You just wanted to tell me how over me you are and how wonderful your new girl is?”


Alex threw up her hands.  “What do you want from me, Abbie?”


“A second chance, perhaps?”


Alex looked down.  “You know that’s not gonna happen.  Even if I weren’t with Liv, I don’t see us getting back together.  The feelings just aren’t there anymore.”


“Speak for yourself.”


Alex sighed.  “Abbie…I don’t know if you’re infatuated with me or if it’s just some kinda prolonged crush.  But whatever it is, I’m sure it will pass in due time.  Other than that, I don’t know what to say to appease you.”


Abbie nodded in understanding.  “It’s ok.  At least we’re on more amenable terms now.”


“Yeah.  I don’t like to just leave things hanging on a bad note.  Well, see ya around.  Good luck at the rest of tryouts,” Alex said as she started to walk off.


“Hey, Alex?” Abbie called out after her.


Alex turned back around.  “Yeah?”


“Maybe we can hang out sometime or something.”


Alex smiled slightly.  “Later,” she simply responded.  She wasn’t going to make any promises she couldn’t keep.


When Alex arrived outside the gym, she saw Olivia waiting for her on a bench.  “Hey you,” she said with a smile, walking over and giving Olivia a kiss on the cheek.


“So how did it go?” Olivia asked her.


Alex sat down beside her.  “Eh, tryouts were just that—tryouts.  They went ok, I suppose.  Drills were kinda hard for the first day.  But guess who showed up?”


Olivia rolled her eyes and groaned.  “Abbie.”




“Did you talk to her?”


“Yeah.  Afterwards in the locker room,” Alex replied.  She then proceeded to recount their entire conversation to Olivia and was careful to take note of her reaction to everything she said.  From what she could gather, Olivia seemed to be taking things pretty well.


After she was done, Olivia asked, “It just ‘kinda happened’?  She just wanted to have fun?  That’s how she explains cheating on you?”


“Yeah,” Alex answered.  “I wasn’t too impressed either.  And what’s really ironic is that last summer she accused me of being too attached to her and now she’s the one who’s still attached to me.”


Olivia shook her head.  “That chick is unbelievable.  So do you feel like you did indeed get things off your chest?”


Alex nodded.  “Yeah.  I’m glad I got this over with.”


“Me, too,” Olivia responded as they got up and started walking toward her car.  “But I still don’t trust her.  She doesn’t seem like the type to just give up that easily and say, ‘Oh, you have a girl?  Well, I’ll just back off, then.’  Especially if she’s stuck on you.”


“You really think she’ll be that conniving?”


Olivia looked at her.  “I hope not.  But even after you told her you were in love with me and I was your soul mate, she still wanted a second chance.  I don’t want her hanging too close to you.”


“Well, she’s pretty good from what I can tell.  She’ll probably make the team.”


“Damn,” Olivia replied with a frown.  “She better not cause any trouble.”


Alex smiled.  “I don’t think she wants to risk getting her ass kicked by you.”


Olivia grinned and draped her arm across Alex’s shoulders.  “But you know…there was one thing she was right about.”


“What’s that?”


“Your boobs have gotten a little bigger.”


Alex looked down at her chest.  “Really?  I didn’t think you’d noticed.”


Olivia nodded.  “Oh, trust me, babe.  I notice everything about you.”


Alex leaned over and shook her chest at Olivia.  “Are they to your liking?”


Olivia stared at her chest and smiled.  “Oh yeah.”


Alex laughed.  “Come on.  Let’s go get some ice cream.”


Olivia looked at her amusedly.  “Baby, isn’t it a little cold for ice cream?”


Alex cocked her head to the side and responded matter-of-factly, “It’s never too cold for ice cream.”


Olivia chuckled and opened the passenger-side door for Alex.  “Whatever you say, babe.  Whatever you say.”


Once they were buckled in, Alex asked, “You know what would be even crazier than Abbie pursuing me, Liv?”


“What?” Olivia asked, putting on her shades to block out the blinding sunlight.


“If Abbie started crushing on you.”


Olivia chuckled and shook her head.  “Don’t jinx me, Alex.”