may 23rd, 2006
a special date for a special group this day was. it is the one year anniversary of the bee they all met each other at. usually at previous bees they wouldn't interact with other contestants, but this was different. they didn't know how it just was. olive and william hit it off right away, and studied with each other for nationals. william didn't do too good, but he became super close with olive.
logainne and marcy met backstage, after being eliminated. chip was still selling his goodies. logainne and marcy started talking and realized they had a lot more in common than they thought. leaf met chip when he was eliminated and leaf tried to steal a bag of fritos from chip's concession box. to put it shortly, they somehow all became friends and have been having weekly sleepovers since june 1st of 2005.
"i brought chips, and sodas, and movies, and gummies, and board games, and--"
"uhm, leaf, we have all of those things here already." marcy pointed out, leaf just shrugged and pushed marcy aside and ran down to her basement where they had their sleepovers at marcy's.
their sleepover schedule had a sort of a pattern. william, chip, marcy, leaf, logainne. it was like that every time. they never went to olive's house. ever. logainne has actually never ever seen her house, and the rest have never stepped foot in it. it was small, and homey, and sweet, but they never questioned olive as to why they were never invited over.
the next people showed up in this order; chip, logainne, william. they all showed up in the next 10-15 minutes or so.
30 minutes had passed; no sign of olive.
"i'll call her!" logainne protested and smacked william's phone out of his hand. it went straight to voicemail. they all looked at each other with a slight confused look. william closed his eyes and took in a huge sigh.
"okay, will, you definitely know something we don't. where's olive?" marcy pointed out the obvious, accidentally kicking her box labeled "NOT ANYMORE" with every trophy, ribbon, and diploma known to man piled into it.
"i don't know where she is. i know her dad sucks, and is a pretty big bitch." he grumbled out. "maybe he made her sit this one out?"
"i hope not. i brought gummies." leaf said solidly.
"she'll probably show up in the next like half hour. let's just start opening snacks while waiting and get prepared for tonight." everyone agreed to this idea, and they started laying out pillows, blankets, charging stations, stocking the mini fridge, laying out snacks, and games, and piling up movies. they heard the door bell ring about 30 minutes later.
marcy ran upstairs, quickly, praying it was olive. it was. she was standing with a backpack lying on her shoulders and holding her favorite stuffed animal she brought to every sleepover. marcy groaned over the sound of olive's dad's car's tires squeaking the pavement as he sped off.
"where is he off to?" marcy said. olive was still looking down, no smile, and avoiding eye contact. marcy brushed it off and olive shrugged. "uhm, well, everyone is downstairs if you wanna go meet with them, i'm just getting some ice for soda." olive nodded and smiled, but still avoided eye contact.
olive walked downstairs more defensively than normal. william smiled the second he saw her, but it quickly depleted. he could tell something was wrong. a chorus of "olive!" rang throughout the basement as everyone sat up and smiled. olive smiled too, before settling her place in the corner. everyone got back to setting up as marcy came down with the ice.
"uhm. olive? hey what took you so long to get here?" logainne questioned, everyone murmuring in agreement with the question.
olive was still looking down when she said, "uhm y'know, traffic."
"there was no traffic when i came down." chip noted.
"well i mean, we take a different, route, where it's more... traffic-y." nobody bought her excuse. william leaned in closer and tried to lift her chin, she swatted his hand away which was strange. usually she liked when he did that, it made her feel more confident and loved-uh- cared for. william took her chin again with his other hand, this time he took her other hand and gripped it tightly with his. everybody was still, and silent.
her eye was practically shut, purple, and bloodshot. "olive-" olive mumbled in protest and kicked william away from her to which he accepted. everyone sat around her in a semi-circle.
"do you wanna tell us what happened? i can call my dads. we can do-" logainne started.
"no. no, it's fine, it was just once, it's not like he's ever done it before."
"so it was your dad." william said, a look of anger in his eyes.
"well, yeah, but, it was my fault, he told me to do something and i didn't do it, and i should've, it, it wasn't his fault, it was mine."
marcy exhaled her held breath, "olive. don't blame yourself. this isn't your fault."
"here's what's gonna happen. i'm gonna tell my parents, they'll get your dad where he deserves to be, and you can come stay with us." chip said. everyone nodded. olive quickly shook her head, "no-no- i can't. he'll hate me. he'll-he'll hurt- no i mean not hurt. he'll punish me."
leaf winced and logainne took olive's hand. will held onto olive's knee. "ol, we have to.. you can stay with chip. it'll be okay. and if chip's parents end up being as much of a bitch as chip, you can come stay with me."
"ollie i've gotten bruises before too! once, i fell off my bike. it was brutal." leaf said. chip sighed and took leaf's hand. olive smiled and nodded, leaning her head on william's shoulder. "thank you." she mumbled.
marcy wrapped some of the ice she brought down in a napkin and rested it on olive's eye, logainne wrote up a 10 page long note of what she would say to the court jury about olive's dad, william held olive in her arms, chip texted his parents, and leaf watched chip do it, occasionally re-asking chip questions such as "will she be okay?" and "who hurt ollie?" as to which chip would calmly shush him and whisper the answer in his ear, as to which leaf would reply "oh." and settle back down next to chip.
olive fell asleep that night with a new sense of safety she hasn't felt in a while. will was the only one who knew that olive was going through this. well, at least, he wasn't physical ever. he was emotional and verbal, and that was all he knew. he could recount the times olive would vent about her dad while in will's attic once everybody else fell asleep and they would sit criss-cross across from each other, and recite everything they knew, thought, felt, and experienced.
this night, however, will and olive were the first to fall asleep, olive's head on will's chest, and synchronized breathing.
calm;silence;hope;safety. all new feelings for olive ostrovsky, but definitely ones she could get used to.