A Change Could Do You Good

A Change Could Do You Good
Chapter 13
By Sarah Donnen
The next week, as New Yearís Eve was approaching quickly, I was sitting at home alone one day when the phone rang. I ran to the portable phone in the kitchen and picked it up.
"Hello?"
"Hi, can I speak to Aly please?"
I didnít really recognize the voice, it was a young boyís voice, but there was something about it that struck a nerve in me. "This is she, whom may I ask is calling?" I said politely, just in case.
"This is Nick."
Immediately, my blood started to boil. "What do you want?"
"Why do you resent me so much?" He demanded, his voice rising in pitch.
"Because I do! Why are you calling my phone?"
"Because I was told to, thatís why."
"Care to elucidate?" I said, deliberately using a big word. Maybe he wouldnít understand it and I could have a good laugh, the first in a few days.
"What?"
"I said, care to elucidate?" I was laughing inside, it felt great.
"What does that mean?"
"You donít know what elucidate means?" I asked, feigning amazement.
"No, what does it mean?"
"It means to explain. Now, why are you calling me?"
"My mom wants me to invite you and your mom to our house for New Years Eve."
"Are you going to be there?" I asked.
"Yes."
"Then forget it," I said snottily. I regretted stooping to Candy's level, but there was something about this kid that drove me insane, and I didnít want to be around him more than I absolutely had to.
"Fine then! I didnít want you over here anyway!" He shouted.
"Fine, I wonít be there. Goodbye!" I shouted back.
"Bye!"
I slammed the phone down on the cradle, furious. No one crossed me and got away with it. No one. But, though I didnít know it then, someone had listened in on our conversation.
*************************
"Oh, Nick, Momís gonna be mad at you!"
"What? BJ, what do you want? What do you mean Momís gonna be mad at me?" Nick demanded of his little sister, staring at the phone heíd just slammed down.
"Sheís gonna be mad at you because you were mean to Aly. Why donít you like her? Sheís really nice, sheís like my big sister," BJ said, sitting in the reclining chair across from the couch he was sitting in.
"I donít like her because she doesnít like me, and donít call her your big sister, sheís not. Besides, Mom wonít be mad at me, not if she knows how mean Alyís being to me."
"Alyís never mean to you, Iíve seen her, sheís always nice to everyone, even if we go out, sheís nice to people. Even if theyíre rude to her, sheís nice to them. She said that if youíre nice to people, theyíll be nice to you, and youíve made a friend for life because friendship never dies, only hatred does," BJ said.
"Oh, please, BJ, thatís a bunch of bull. Alyís nice to you and Leslie and Aaron and Angel because she has to be, she has no choice. Sheís not nice to me because she doesnít have to be and she hates me."
"Do you return the hate she gives you?"
"Yes."
"Why?"
"Because, if someoneís going to be mean to me, Iím gonna be mean back."
"No you arenít, youíve never had that kind of attitude before. You know what I think? I think you like her," BJ said, smiling devilishly.
"I like Aly? I donít think so, I canít stand her snotty behind, sheís awful."
"Sure you do, Iím willing to bet my entire allowance that you do."
"Do not!"
"Do too!"
"Do not!"
"Do too!"
"Nick! BJ! What is all the yelling about?" Their mother asked, walking in the room.
"Nick likes Aly! Nick likes Aly!" BJ started, in a singsong voice.
"No I donít!" Nick exclaimed, turning red.
His mother smiled and gestured to the phone. "Did you call her?" She asked.
"Yes, and she said no because I was gonna be home," Nick explained.
"Nickolas! Donít lie!" His mother said.
"Iím not lying! She really did! Then she hung up on me!" Nick said.
"No she didnít, you yelled that you didnít want her to be here and yelled goodbye, then you slammed the phone down," BJ said.
"BJ, stop tattling. Nick, call her back right now and say youíre sorry."
"But, Mom! She really did say that she didnít want to come because I was going to be here!"
"Right, Nick, Iím sure she did. You just get on the phone and call and say youíre sorry, then let me talk to her and get this straightened out," his mother commanded, walking back out of the room.
Nick grumbled under his breath before picking up the phone again.
**********
"Hello?" I said as I picked up the phone again. I was still a little peeved, so my tone was a little clipped.
"Hi."
"What the hell do you want now, Nick?!" I shouted. "God, what are you my stalker now?" I demanded.
"No! I was told I had to call back, whether I liked it or not, and apologize."
"Well? Iím waiting," I said snottily. God, what am I thinking? Why am I acting like Candy? I asked myself. Because he deserves it, I told myself firmly.v "For what? Iím not gonna apologize until you apologize!" Nick exclaimed.
"Iím not apologizing for your childish attitude and demeanor," I said, exasperated.
"What? Look, stop using the big words, Iím not as much a book worm as you are. And Iím not apologizing until you do," Nick said.
"I wouldnít apologize to you if the world were ending in three seconds. I will not apologize to someone who is as immature as you."
"Hey! Who are you calling immature? Youíre the one who stuck your tongue out at me at the airport!"
"Yeah! Because I lost an hour and a halfís sleep because of your ranting and raving of how you didnít like flying! If I couldíve, I wouldíve given you a damn tranquilizer!" I was beyond furious, I was livid.
"What, am I an animal in a zoo or something?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact you are. Why donít you go and join your relatives in the primatesí cages?" I said.
"Know what? This is useless! Forget it, Iím not apologizing to you for beans! Mom, here, talk to Aly," he called, pulling the phone away from his mouth.
My blood was above boiling point and I thought I was going to have a heart attack right then and there, but then Janeís soothing voice came through the line. "Hello, Aly," she said warmly.
"Hi, Jane," I said sweetly, calming down quickly. She and my own mother had that kind of affect on me, their voices could calm me down so fast, it was hard to believe I was upset to begin with. "Now, what is this about Nick saying that you wouldnít come here because he was going to be here?" She asked.
I thought fast, should I tell her the truth or not? "I donít know what youíre talking about, Jane, I said my mother and I would be happy to come," I said, lying through my teeth. I didnít want to lie to her, but I didnít want her to be mad at me. Besides, Nick would get in trouble for lying, I thought.
"Really, well then, thatís wonderful. Weíll see you in two days, bye Aly!" Jane said cheerfully.
"Bye, Jane," I said, matching her tone. I hung up the phone and collapsed in my chair, worn out. Nice talking, Aly, I thought. I smiled to myself, imagine what Nickíll be like on New Years Eve... if heís even allowed out of his room! I laughed at the mental picture and walked back to the library and to the book I was reading.