Valerie wasn’t sure what had brought her here. Now that she was staring at Ethan’s house she even forgot what she wanted to say. But after all that had happened, she felt a strange need for closure.
Jenny hadn’t talked to her since the day at the café and Valerie couldn’t blame her. Thinking back all the choices she had made seemed horribly wrong. Jenny was right, she was a sneaking bitch either way. She should have told her about Ethan from the start maybe, just maybe Jenny would have believed her back then. At least Valerie’s conscience would have been free. But it was too late for that now. Valerie had somewhat made up with the fact that Jenny would never see the truth about Ethan. If she didn’t want to, Valerie couldn’t force her.
She found herself wondering about Eva and whether she and Ethan were still together. Eva hadn’t talked to her either ever since that group chat with Liam. Liam however was relatively pleased with the whole situation save for the fact that Jenny still thought he was a jealous idiot.
“Hey, they broke up at least. I don’t really care about the sentence I just wanted him away from her.”
Yeah, the sentence. Valerie wasn’t sure whether she liked it. It seemed like a slap on the wrist and nothing that would stop Ethan from doing… anything really. On the other hand, could she have lived with getting someone into prison? Did Ethan really deserve that?
She stepped up to the door still and knocked. There was one thing that she could tell him.
Ethan’s father opened the door. He looked tired and… old. Valerie couldn’t quite pinpoint why. But she could tell the man had been through a lot.
“Oh, it’s you. Hello”, he simply said and stepped away from the door gesturing towards the staircase. “You know the way.”
He slumped back into the living room. Was this family falling apart? Did the arrest and the trial strain them so much? But then Valerie remembered something Ethan had told her. My dad isn’t as good with money as everyone thinks… She pushed the thought aside. This at least, was none of her business.
Before she could even go downstairs, Ethan came up. His eyes narrowed as he saw her. He walked towards her quickly, pushed her aside and closed the door behind him.
“Why are you here?”, he hissed, “Haven’t you done enough?”
Valerie’s cheeks were burning as she felt her anger rise.
“Me? You brought this on yourself!”
“No one would have found out if it weren’t for you! You have no idea what you’ve done”, Ethan replied angrily, his fists clenched.
“I have a pretty good idea. I stopped you from marrying Jenny just for her money while cheating on her”, Valerie spat at him. All her harbored feelings and thoughts from the last months were making their way to the surface. “You’re despicable.”
“And you came all the way down here to tell me that? You mentioned it multiple times already”, Ethan said, his voice now cool as ice, “And yet here you are, talking to me once again. I’m beginning to think you like me.”
He grinned as arrogantly as he always did.
“I can’t believe you!”, Valerie shook her head. “You’re the last person in this world I would have a crush on!”
“Fine. Why don’t you just tell me why you’re here then?”, Ethan said still with a hint of amusement in his voice.
“I quit Havencrest. I’m going to another uni. You don’t have any power over me anymore”, Valerie said confidently.
She hadn’t told her parents yet but she had sent the letter to Havencrest yesterday. She was officially out. She had decided to continue her dream elsewhere, far away from Ethan and Jenny and all this drama. To her surprise, Ethan started laughing.
“What?”, she demanded, his laughter angering her to no end. “I’m serious!”
“Oh, you’re sweet”, Ethan managed to get out, “So naive.”
Valerie wanted to punch him.
“Are you gonna explain yourself or just laugh your ass off?”
“If I spill the beans on how you got into Havencrest… do you think any other college will take you in? Do you think you’ll ever get a job with that in your records?”
Valerie stood dumbfounded. She slowly realized he was right. And she wanted to kick herself for not thinking about this sooner. Now she looked like a fool.
“I can leave. Study in another country”, she said, desperation finding its way into her voice.
“If you say so”, Ethan chuckled. “Just know that I won’t rat you out just yet.”
Valerie was confused.
“Let’s just say I might be convinced to delete the proof I have some time in the future… for a favor of course.”
A cold shudder ran down Valerie’s spine. People tend to owe me favors…
“Wait a second? How isn’t this out yet? I thought the police had confiscated your computer?”
Ethan let out a laugh. “Oh, they don’t know anything. They may have gotten me on a few minor deals but they didn’t find any of the good stuff. I know how to cover my tracks.”
Before Valerie could reply, they suddenly heard a loud scream.
As she turned, Valerie was confronted with a very angry Jenny storming towards them. To her surprise, Jenny wasn’t yelling at her. She came up the pathway and in one fluid motion gave Ethan the probably biggest slap in the face she was capable of.
“What the hell?!”, Ethan yelled back at Jenny, trying to get away from her.
“You bastard! I trusted you! Defended you!”, she screamed as she was hitting every inch of him she could reach. Valerie stood shocked as she watched the scene unfold. What was going on? Then as she looked around she saw the key to the situation. Eva, standing in the shade of a nearby tree and grinning slightly. She had told on Ethan after all.
“Leave me alone!”, Ethan pushed Jenny away.
“I will destroy you! How could you!”, Jenny was seething.
“Whatever. This didn’t work out for me anyway. It’s over”, Ethan brushed her off.
But instead of yelling at him again, Jenny’s voice turned ice cold.
“We’ll see about that”, she turned around and walked away. Ethan was straightening his clothes.
“Crazy bitch. How did she find out anyway?”, he muttered more to himself than to Valerie. “Whatever. I’ve got better things to do.”
He looked at Valerie who was still frozen on the spot. “Are you done with whatever you came here for?”
Without waiting for an answer he turned around and stomped back into the house. Valerie couldn’t believe what had just happened. She wanted to ask Eva about what had changed her mind but when she looked back to the tree, she was gone.
Ethan’s threat still hung in the back of her mind but at the same time, Valerie felt strangely at peace. She had gotten the closure she came here for after all. It’s over…
Author’s note: So this is it… the ending of UIB 🙂 thanks to everyone for sticking around and reading! I really hope you enjoyed it!