Chapter Four

Four months passed. Elizabeth and Brian grew closer together while Elizabeth and Nick grew farther apart. It was obvious that her dating Brian was putting a strain on their friendship. She still saw him nearly everyday, but it wasn’t the same. He treated her differently and it hurt her. It was almost as if he was jealous. Nick and Callie were still together.

~*~

“This is so much fun!” Elizabeth exclaimed as she danced with Brian to the song “Tearin’ Up My Heart” by ‘N Sync.

Elizabeth and Brian were at a dance club. They had invited Nick and Callie to go with them, but Nick was sick and Callie didn’t want to go.

“Let’s sit down and rest a minute,” Brian said.

Elizabeth nodded. They found an empty table in the corner and Elizabeth sat down. Brian went to the restroom.

“Hey, baby,” a male voice said.

Elizabeth looked up to see a man standing in front of her. He had stringy blonde hair and dull brown eyes. He had a sickening smile on his face and was looking Elizabeth up and down.

“Um, hello.”

“Is this seat taken?” he asked, indicating the empty chair in front of him.

“Yes, it is,” she said, coldly. This guy was giving her the creeps.

“I don’t see anyone sitting in it.”

“My boyfriend is in the bathroom.”

He walked around the table and grabbed her arm roughly. “Let’s dance.”

“No! Let me go!” she exclaimed as she tried to struggle out of his grip.

He pulled her against him. “I said, let’s dance.” He brought his mouth to hers and kissed hard. She gagged and jerked her away.

“I said no!” She slapped him hard in the face.

“You little bitch! You’re gonna pay for that!” he growled. He shoved her hard against the wall, almost knocking the wind out of her. He raised his arm to hit her. Elizabeth closed her eyes and tried to prepare herself.

“Let her go now!” Brian exclaimed angrily from behind the guy. Elizabeth opened her eyes.

“This is none of your business, buddy.”

“It is my business because you’re hurting my girlfriend. So let her go now!”

He released his grip on Elizabeth and turned around to face Brian. “What are you gonna do about it, short man?” the guy snarled.

Brian gritted his teeth and punched him in the nose. The guy fell to the ground, holding his nose. “Fine. That little bitch ain’t worth it.” He got up and walked away.

Brian rushed over to Elizabeth. “Baby, are you okay? I’m so sorry.”

“I’m okay, Brian. Why are you sorry? It wasn’t your fault.”

“Because I wasn’t here to stop it from happening,” Brian said, quietly.

“Baby, I’m fine. He didn’t hurt me that bad. You stopped him before he could do that. Thank you.”

Brian hugged her close to him. He could feel her heart pounding. He kissed her forehead softly. “Lizzie, I love you so much.”

“I love you, too.”

“Come on. Let’s go home,” Brian said.

He took her hand and led her toward the door. She saw something and stopped walking.

“Bri, wait,” she said.

He stopped walking and looked at her. “What?”

“Look,” she said, pointing to the dance floor.

Brian followed Elizabeth’s gaze and saw a petite girl with short curly blonde hair. She was wearing a very short, tight red dress. She was dancing extremely close to a guy with dark hair. The girl turned towards them and Brian could see her face clearly.

“That Callie!”

“Yeah…And that ain’t Nick she’s dancing with,” Elizabeth said.

“Well, maybe they’re just dancing,” Brian said. He didn’t want to believe that Callie would cheat on Nick.

The song ended and Callie pulled the guy to her and kissed him passionately.

“That slut!” Elizabeth exclaimed angrily. She was about to walk over there and give Callie a piece of her mind, but Brian stopped her.

“Don’t Lizzie. Let’s just go home.”

“Poor Nicky,” Elizabeth said as she got in Brian’s jeep.

“Are you gonna tell him?”

“I don’t know. I don’t wanna hurt him,” Elizabeth said.

“He’ll be more hurt if he finds out you knew and didn’t tell him,” Brian said.

“Yeah. I guess you’re right.”

~*~

The next day, Elizabeth went to talk to Nick. She found him lying in his bed with the blankets pulled up to his chin. He was watching television. He was pale and had dark circles under his blue eyes.

“Hey, Nicky. How you feeling?” she asked, sitting next to him on the bed.

“Not very good,” he said, giving her the puppy dog look.

“Aw…my poor Nicky,” Elizabeth said. She placed her hand on Nick’s forehead. “You feel a little warm.” She bent down and kissed him softly on the forehead.

He smiled up at her. “That made me feel a little better.”

“I’m glad,” she said, smiling. “Um…Nicky?”

“Yeah, Lizzie?”

“Where’s Callie at?”

“Don’t know. Haven’t seen her since yesterday afternoon.”

“Did she mention she was going out last night?” Elizabeth asked.

Nick looked at her strangely. “No…why?”

Elizabeth took a deep breath. “Nicky, last night Brian and I saw Callie at a club.”

“So?” Nick asked, not looking at her.

“She was with another guy.”

Nick looked at her, but didn’t say anything. Elizabeth could see the hurt in his eyes. It was killing her. “She was kissing him, Nicky.”

“Are you sure it was her?” he asked, tears forming in his eyes. Elizabeth couldn’t handle seeing him cry. She began to cry herself.

“I wouldn’t lie to you, Nicky. And I would never hurt you on purpose. I just thought you should know.”

“Why are you crying?” he asked.

“Cause you are,” she answered.

“Oh, Lizzie…” he said, hugging her. She laid down beside him and turned to face him. “Don’t cry,” he said.

Elizabeth sniffled, “ I’m so sorry you’re hurt, Nicky.”

He reached out and wiped her tears away. “It’s not your fault. I don’t want you to feel bad. Thank you for telling me the truth… I’m really tired now. Will you stay here with me?”

“Of course,” she said. He put his arms around her and she laid her head on his chest. She fell asleep listening to the steady rhythm of his heartbeat and breathing.

~*~

That night, Nick found himself at Callie’s front door. He had no idea what he was going to say to her. He knocked on the door and Kathy opened it.

“Hello, Nick,” Kathy said. “Come on in.” Nick stepped inside and Kathy closed the door behind him. “Did you and have fun last night?” she asked. Nick just looked at her. “Callie told me you took her out last night.”

Nick forced a smile. “Yeah, I did. Sorry, I spaced out for a minute there.”

“That’s all right, dear. Callie’s upstairs.”

“Thanks,” Nick said, taking off up the stairs.

As he walked down the hallway to her room, he could hear her talking to someone. He stopped just outsider her opened door and listened.

“Yeah, Nick’s still sick…No, he doesn’t suspect anything. He’s so gullible…I had fun last night, too…I can’t wait to see you again…I love you, Josh…Bye.”

I can’t believe her, he thought as he walked in her room. She hung up the phone and turned around.

“Nick! What are you doing here?” she managed to get out.

“I need to talk to you,” he said, quietly.

“About what?” Callie asked, nervously.

“Who’s Josh, Callie?”

“A friend,” she said, looking down.

“Don’t lie to me, Callie. I know all about last night.”

Callie looked up, surprised. “How?”

“Well, let’s see…Elizabeth and Brian saw you at the club, your mother just asked me how our date was and I just heard you talking on the phone. So don’t tell me he’s just a friend, Callie. You told him you loved him.”

“Fine! He’s more than a friend! Are you happy now?!” she yelled, tears streaming down her face.

“No, I’m not happy. How could you hurt me like this? I thought you loved me.”

“I do.”

“Then why did you cheat on me?!” he yelled.

“I don’t know! I’m sorry!” she yelled back.

“Yeah, well… so am I…It’s over, Callie. I can’t be with someone I can’t trust,” he said, quietly.

“No, Nick. Please don’t leave me!” Callie begged.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered and walked out the door.