A Change Could Do You Good

A Change Could Do You Good
Chapter 16
By Sarah Donnen
School started in two days. I was happy, Iíd taken midterms before Christmas since Florida schools opened in early August and closed in late May, instead of Jerseyís open in early September and close in late June. While Sarah was suffering and groaning over her midterms and bad study opportunities, I was enjoying the free atmosphere. I came home from school each day, then went to the Cartersí to watch Aaron and Angel while their mother ran the errands that she couldnít with them. Nick had left the house the day after New Yearís Day, which I didnít mind one bit. Although heíd tried to apologize to me and explain profusely, I refused to listen. I wouldnít have it, I couldnít believe heíd laughed in my face after he kissed me. The day he left, I was there, getting ready to take Aaron and Angel downtown for the day. He begged for me to listen, to let him explain, to listen while he explained where he was going and how long heíd be. I nearly pushed him in the pool, he was annoying me so much. I tried my damnedest to lose him that day and I did, but I couldnít hide from his friends Brian and AJ. They cornered me in the upstairs hallway, and I donít think Iíll ever forget what they told me.
**********

"Aly, will you please listen to Nick?" Brian begged.
"No! Why should I? You donít know what he did to me," I said, fighting the urge to just hit them both.
"Yes we do, he told us," AJ said. "And trust me, I wanted to hit him too, but I know why he did it, and if youíll just listen to him, listen to his explanation."
I shook my head and tried to push past the two. We were standing outside of Nick and Aaronís room, the door was closed. I knew Aaron was downstairs and I figured Nick was too. "No way, you donít know how that felt," I said.
"Aly, at least say goodbye to him, none of us are coming back for a while," Brian said, holding me back.
I struggled against him and AJ, they were pretty strong. "No, the asshole can kiss my ass if he thinks Iím gonna even talk to him after the way he treated me," I said, breaking out of Brianís grasp, but AJ, for someone so skinny and short, was awfully strong.
"Aly, I canít force you to do anything, but Iím gonna tell you this: Nick is so hung up on you, I'm wondering why he didnít kiss you sooner," AJ said before letting me go.
I looked at him strangely before I walked back down the hall. "If heís so hung up on me, he shouldnít have done what he did," I said, holding back tears. I hurried downstairs and dragged Aaron and Angel away from their sisters and outside to walk with them into town. I wish that I had known that Nick was in his room and heíd heard the entire conversation. It mightíve made a big difference in everything.
**********

"Aly? Can we build a fort?" Aaron asked me as he and his sister walked up to me.
"Sure," I said, putting down my history book. I wasnít exactly thrilled to read about the First Battle of Bull Run, so I was glad to have a distraction.
Aaronís face lit up. "Great! Letís go outside!" He exclaimed, grabbing my hand.
I stopped him as I heard thunder rumble. "Uh-oh, Iím afraid not, Aaron, sounds like its gonna start pouring any second, we have to stay inside," I said.
"But you said we could build a fort?" Aaron started to look like he was going to cry.
"We can build a fort inside, silly," I said.
"But how?" He asked.
I smiled and led him and Angel to the hall closet. I pulled out a few blankets and handed one to him. "With these, go put these in the play room and Iíll be right there, ok?" I said.
Aaron nodded excitedly and ran off. I looked down at Angel, she was being awfully quiet today, and she hadnít said anything but a hello when I came here.
"Angie, whatís wrong, sweetie?" I asked her, squatting down to her level.
Angel wrapped her hands around her stomach. "I donít feel good," she said quietly. I looked at her concerned and put my hand on her forehead. "Oh! Angel, do you feel cold?" I asked.
Angel nodded and I picked her up and took her to the bathroom. I took the thermometer out of the cabinet and had her hold it in her mouth.
"Donít bite down, ok? Just try to keep it still. And donít talk, either."
Angel nodded and rested her head on my shoulder closing her eyes, the thermometer sticking out her mouth. I paced back and forth with her, humming, and felt her relax. I lifted the thermometer out of her mouth and gasped.
"Angie, baby, you have a fever," I whispered to myself. I tossed the thermometer back in the cabinet and hurried to the kitchen and to the phone. I dialed Janeís cell phone number, praying that sheíd answer and it would work in this weather.
"Hello?"
"Jane! Ohmigod, Angel has a fever of a hundred and two and Aaron is begging me to play with him and Iím getting a little frazzled here," I said. I paced back and forth in the kitchen, trying to shush Aaron and keep Angel asleep at the same time.
"Ok, Aly, calm down. Take a deep breath and listen to me. I canít get back, youíre walled in by the storm, so I can only wait until itís over. Put Angel in the living room and cover her with a light cover, keep checking on her. Leave a glass of water next to her, if she wants some, sheíll take it. Is she asleep now?" Jane asked calmly.
"Yeah, she fell asleep as soon as I picked her up," I said.
"Ok, I need you to wake her up and give her some of the childrenís Tylenol in the bathroom. Give her the chewables, two of them," Jane said. "Just make sure she stays asleep, Iíll be back as soon as I can."
I nodded and walked to the bathroom, holding the phone against my shoulder as I opened the medicine cabinet. "Ok, please hurry!" I said.
"I will, bye."v I hung up the phone and woke Angel up and made her chew up the tablets, then she fell back asleep. I had Aaron play video games in the family room and took Angel into the living room and laid her on the sofa. As I did, she woke up momentarily.
"Aly? I miss Nick," she said quietly, then started to cry.
My heart went out to her and I nearly started to cry with her. "Me too, Angie, I miss him too," I said.
She was asleep again before I knew it and I watched her sleep through my tears. I couldnít believe I was crying over Nick, but I was. I liked him, a lot, and I wanted to listen to him, find out when he was coming back, and find out what I could about him. I stood up and walked to the playroom, wiping my face clean as I went.
"Aaron?" I asked.
"What?" He asked, engrossed in his game.
"When is your brother going to be home?" I asked casually, sitting next to him.
"Nickís not gonna be home for a while, heís not even gonna be home for his birthday," Aaron said. "Whenís his birthday?"
"January twenty-eighth."
"Do you know when heíll be home?"
"Mommy told me that heís not gonna be home for a long time, so I have my room by myself for a while. She said that Nickís not even gonna be home in August when me and Angel start school," Aaron exclaimed, still concentrating on his game.
My eyes widened and I immediately regretted not talking to Nick when I had the chance.