Belonging to Lust

Chapter 159: Live A Life of Leisure

Zaiyia allowed Principal Quinn’s word to sink in as she sat in his office with Alice beside her. They had finally gotten the chance to install the first step of their plan now that the Principal was back in school, and have spent the last few hours describing it to him. The most they could hope for was his full participation in their plan, but it would seem he was now modifying it to fit an even bigger audience, the ENTIRE school. An assembly on school bullying would be scheduled in the gymnasium where all the students were expected to make an appearance. There is where Principal Quinn believed they should expose to the united school that Alice White and Zaiyia Halifax were no longer rivals, but fast friends.

Weighing their options, Zaiyia didn’t feel that his method was all that bad. In fact, it was better! Instead of speaking to the selected few on Alice’s lists of friends, they would be covering the whole school and that meant all the other deviated haters they didn’t yet know of. “I suppose that’s fine. It’s not exactly what we planned, but I can’t see how that would hurt us if it becomes successful.”

“I-I...” Alice muttered, barely audible. Her throat felt like it was constricting at the mention of dealing more rather than the names on the list she gave him. The hysteria within her was starting to rise.

“This is what we can do. Sometime during the assembly, I will call the both of you down from the bleachers to stand beside me. There you can show the whole school the proof that you two have relinquished fighting each other. No one would be able to deny it when they see it with their own two eyes.” Principal Quinn went on, verbally detailing the scene for them to envision for themselves.

“WAIT, STOP! I CAN’T DO THIS!” Alice exclaimed in horror, jumping to her feet and receiving the other’s attention. Her frantic blue orbs sprinted to each of the disturbed faces, her chest rising and falling in a panic at the mere mention of addressing the entire school...and Alan as well. “I-I can’t! You can’t expect me to do that, Zaiyia! A-Alan…I can’t face him, not after everything that’s happened between us!”

Zaiyia probably should have seen this coming, but she wanted to give Alice the benefit of the doubt that she wouldn’t back out on her. Now, she was trying to do exactly that, and for what? Because of Alan!?

It took everything to keep her voice from yelling, and her butt in her chair as she stared hard up at Alice and replied rigidly. “And what about your promise to me, Alice!? You said you’d help me with this no matter what happened! You can’t just back out on me now just because Alan might be in the sea of people out there!”

Letting out a whimper at being pressured to confront him, Alice covered her face with her hands and tried to fight back the tears rushing to be freed. “I-I know, Zaiyia, but...I-I don’t think I have the strength to face him this soon! I swear my heart will stop beating if I do!”

Rising from her chair, Zaiyia deposited a firm hand on her shoulder, and tried to soothe her worries. “Alice, listen to me! You can face him. You can! You are so much stronger than you know, girl. And it’s not too soon to face him, in fact, it’s the perfect time! You wanna know why? It’s because it’s time for him to see you standing strong and thriving on your own two feet again without his ungrateful selfish ass that doesn’t deserve you anyway!”

Lowering her trembling hands, Alice stared straight into Zaiyia’s brown eyes and admitted in a shaky voice. “I-I like the sound of that. I really do. I just wish-”

“Alan has been cruising these hallways unbothered by the fact that he broke your heart, Alice. Everyone has seen him, and so have you.” Zaiyia reminded her, hoping to supply that tank of fearlessness she was gonna need to face that bastard. Like it or not, she needed Alice White. She was integral to the plan. If she chickened out, Zaiyia would be lost.

“It does seem like he is…” Alice permitted, lowering her plaintive eyes as a tear rolled down her cheek.

“So why the fuck do YOU have to be the one to deteriorate from this breakup when he gets to go scot free and not give a flying fuck about it?” Zaiyia demanded her. “Why can’t you live a life of leisure too?”

“I-I don’t know.” Alice shrugged, lifting her eyes to meet hers. “But I sure wish I can stop looking like the besotted fool still pining after him after all the time.”

“I hate to say it, but that’s exactly what you look like right now, Alice.” Zaiyia informed her. “But I’ve known you long enough to know that’s NOT who you really are. You’re an independent hoe that don’t need no punk ass little loser to validate your existence!”

“Ms. Halifax, enough with the profanity or you’ll be sitting in detention for the rest of the week.” Principal Quinn butted in, observing their passionate exchange from behind his desk.

“My bad, Principal Quinn.” Zaiyia apologizes, rolling her eyes to herself. “It won't happen again.”

Alice was moved by Zaiyia’s words despite the foul language. She was beginning to feel rejuvenated again. Giving her friend a nod, Alice said. “I know you’re right, Zaiyia. I genuinely want to do this, if not for myself than for you and our new friendship.”

“And I’ll be standing right there beside you when you do it.” Zaiyia pledged to her with a smile. “Even if they end up throwing tomatoes at us, I’ll still support you.”

“God, I hope that doesn’t happen!” Alice couldn’t resist giggling.

“I assure you both it will not come to that.” Principal Quinn vowed as he stood from his chair. “And if I’m allowed to interrupt you two, I just want to convey how proud I am of you both. You managed to put your discrepancy aside, become pivotal allies and arranged to stand in solidarity in this war before the entire school against bullying. This is a significant movement and I’m honored you’re entrusting me in it, I promise I won't let either of you down!”

“We should be thanking you for agreeing to help us.” Zaiyia turned around as she and Alice faced him. “So...when do you plan on scheduling this assembly? This week?”

“Soon. Don’t worry, I plan to keep you two fully informed along the way.” Principal Quinn guaranteed them right before he was cut off by the bell for lunch. Rounding his desk, he opened his office door for them. “Class is over. Time for lunch, ladies. I hope you two have a great rest of the day, and if you have any questions, feel free to stop by and see me.”

“We will!” Zaiyia nodded to him as she and Alice exited his office. They were headed in the direction of Zaiyia’s class in the still deserted hall when Zaiyia hindered her with a hand on her arm. “Hold on a second, Alice.”

“What’s up?” Alice asked her, slowing to stop and turning to face her.

This was a splendid time as any to bring up the delicate subject of her father’s abuse. The hall they were in was desolate, but that was because the main office wasn’t in the front of the school but where the storage was kept in the back, along with the janitor's closet. Students didn’t come this way unless they needed to go to the office. It was peaceful and secluded.

But damnit was it a fragile matter to dive into. Zaiyia wasn’t looking forward to it anymore, and wished she didn't have to do this now, but she had no choice. It was either that or Alice would be blindsided by the police.

“For starters, I want to thank you for still standing by my side.” Zaiyia began nervously. “I get it. It’s fucking scary as hell to talk in front of the whole school and...your exe. It’d be easier to back out instead of facing the music, and I know that’s what you were probably considering that escape.”

“I was.” Alice affirmed shamefully with a frown. “Looking back, I hated that that even crossed my mind! We’ve been through so much together already. To walk away now would be easy at first, but I’d spend forever regretting it. I’m glad it hasn’t turned out that way yet.”

“Me too. I know Alan means a lot to you, and I’m not gonna lie and say it’s gonna be easy when the day comes. It won’t be.” Zaiyia said, being candid with her. “But I wasn’t lying when I said I would be there by your side. I WILL be there, Alice. I don’t care if I have the damn flu, I’m gonna show up and show out!”

“I know you will. I don’t doubt you one bit.” Alice assured her with an upbeat smile. “But I understand if you’re still doubting me. I’ll prove to you that I won’t back out of this, Zaiyia. One way or another.”

“Alice, I…” Zaiyia sighed heavily, clearly burdened. “There’s something I gotta tell you. Something important. Like seriously important. Like…‘you might get pissed off with me’ kinda important.”