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  • Olivia Moore

Brighton ~ Chapter 12 ~ The Web Series





(Finn’s Pov) Chapter 12: The World is Not your Oyster

 

           

Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. FUCK, I thought to myself as I paced back and forth across my living, tapping my phone flat against my palm repeatedly. It’s been three days since I told Lennon that us seeing each other wasn’t a good idea. Only THREE DAYS, and yet here I was unable to make up my mind whether to beg her to forgive me or to just let her go on with her life. But today wasn’t just any day, today was supposed to be her court date against her family and something deep down told me she should not be alone today.


Though I broke things off for her own good, whether she wanted to accept it or not. My life was entirely different than hers on so many levels. The paparazzi seemed to follow me wherever I go, and I saw firsthand what they can do to someone’s life overnight. Dragging Lennon into that type of existence felt selfish. It felt wrong.


But then why couldn’t I seem to fully walk away? I sighed, plopping down on the couch in defeat. Was I falling in love with her? I immediately shook that thought out of my head. That wasn’t what was important right now. Dialing Lennon’s number, my knee bounced anxiously waiting for her answer. There was no way she’d answer.


“Hello?” She sounded tired and weak.


“Lennon, I—”


“It’s so weird hearing you call me that,” she said, sighing deeply.


“Lenny… I’m sorry about the other day—"


She sighed again, leaving the line quiet for a moment.


I continued, “How was court, what happened?”


“We should talk over some ice cream. Meet me at Junie’s in twenty.”


Relief settled over me then, thankful that I’d get to see her again. She didn’t seem at me, but I wasn’t sure she was happy either. Trying not to sound too eager, I agreed to meet her.

 



 

#

 



 

I decided to walk. The weather was brisk, and the ground was still wet with rain from a couple hours earlier, but I needed to think. Fresh air usually did the trick for me when my brain was swirling with chaos. The sound of cars passing through wet puddles and simple life happening all around seemed to calm me. My hands were buried deep in the pockets of my black wool jacket as I avoided a deep puddle on the sidewalk. Nearing Junie’s I slowed a little when I saw her.


Lennon sat at a metal table under the shop’s bright yellow awning. I paused for a moment to take in the sight of her before she noticed me. She sat bent slightly over a book; her golden-brown hair draped down the right side of her face in loose curls resting on the table. She looked warm bundled in a beige coat with a fluffy white scarf wrapped around her neck and tucked into her clothes. Warm, except for the soft pink that seemed to kiss the tip of her nose and cheeks from the frigid air. Her dark lashes lifted from her book and her golden eyes landed right on me. I was sure my legs forgot how to work as I watched a huff of cold air leave her mouth when she smiled in my direction. A smile is a good sign, I tried to tell myself, still not convinced that she didn’t absolutely despise me from the other day.


“You gonna’ stand there all day?” She laughed, sitting up straight now. She marked her page with a folded corner before closing her book and stood to greet me.


I finally made my way across the street to her side, unsure if greeting her with a hug would be inappropriate after everything. So, I said the first thing I could think of.


“Only a psychopath would want to eat ice cream in the middle of winter on rainy day.” Nice one, Finn....


My hands remained in my pockets, though I bunched my shoulders to my ears in an effort to express how fucking cold I was. She laughed, rolling her eyes, before turning to open the glass door behind her.


“C’mon, you icicle.” She said, heading inside the shop.


As soon as my foot passed the door’s threshold my face was hit with the warmth from inside and the delicious scent of the freshly made vanilla waffle cones. How Junie’s managed to run their heater whilst selling ice cream was beyond my comprehension. The shop was something cozy and cute, the walls decorated in vintage photos of teenagers in the 1950’s leaning against shiny old mustangs while eating from their waffle cones. The counters had old glass candy containers, holding colorful chocolates, sprinkles, nuts, and assorted gummies. Even the server dressed in a 50’s style ice cream shop uniform, yellow apron and white little hat included. I giggled under my breath, not quite hearing what Lennon said next to me.


“—Finn?” she said, trying to get my attention.


“Hmm? Oh, yes. Just a coffee.” I smiled politely.


The server met my smile with a roll of her eyes “This is an ice cream shop, sir. Best I can do is a hot chocolate.”


My mouth pressed into a hard line before saying, “hot chocolate it is then.”


Opting to sit outside, Lennon and I found ourselves back at the table she was reading her book at. We sat across from each other in silence for a brief moment, tasting our new treats. I broke first.


“What happened at your court appointment today?”


She promptly took a bite out of her ice cream scoop before saying, “The house it mine.”


“Thank god!” I took a sip from my steamy cup, noticing she didn’t exactly seem to be celebrating. “You’re not happy?”


She stared at her treat for a moment before meeting my eyes. “He’s not there anymore.”


I tilted my head in question, not wanting to state the obvious, that he was in fact dead.

She continued, “— I just mean… After my mom snuck movers in and had most of his stuff packed up, I realized that that’s all it was. Stuff. The house itself is just a house. A house with walls and cabinets, and doorknobs. Grandpa was Grandpa and this is just a house.”


  “I don’t understand, though… you were so upset. You— Henry, he left it to you.” I set my drink on the table, apparently needing both hands free to grasp what she was saying.

She took another lick of her ice cream, scowling at an invisible something in the distance.


“My mother is in jail.”


My jaw nearly hit the table. “I knew the woman was evil… but uh, care to elaborate?”


“She broke in, had movers pack everything up, and I threatened to trespass her if she didn’t leave, and well… Anyway, she’s a bitch, so.” She took another lick of her ice cream.


“Lenny… Are you okay?” For some reason this carefree attitude felt like a mask she was wearing, trying to be tough when she possibly didn’t feel it inside.


“Oh! And turns out she needed that money from Grandpa’s house way more than she let on. She couldn’t even afford her own bail. She missed the court hearing all together… And part of me wanted to win this case to prove that Grandpa was in his right mind whenever he changed his will, because the idea of him—,” she let out small sob. “The idea of him being not okay up here,” she tapped her head, tears welling up in her eyes. “—before anyone knew, before I was there to help him… It kills me. How long had he been suffering? My heart breaks for him.” She looked out into the busy street, watching cars pass by through large puddles.


“Lenny.” I reached across the table, taking her hand in mine. “He is not suffering anymore. He is at peace now.” I grazed my thumb over the back of her hand, but she still refused to look up at me. I stood then, walking around the table to kneel in front of her. I took her little pink face in my hands and spoke to her softly. “I know that he would want you to be at peace too.”


And that’s when it happened. As I held Lennon’s face between my hands, I saw multiple white flashes from the corner of my eye and turned to face it. Paparazzi. Lennon and I stood at the same time.


I put my palm up to block them from getting photos of Lennon. “Stop! No photos! No photos!” I tried to tell them to quit, but they ignored me and came closer, trying to get better angles. Flashes and clicks, yelling and taunting, it was too much. “STOP!”


That’s when Lennon shoved me out of the way and chucked her ice cream straight at the closet Pap. All the flashes stopped, and the man stood, a scoop of ice cream and a waffle cone sticking straight up on his bald head.




**TUNE IN NEXT WEEK TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS IN CHAPTER 13!!**

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