A/N: Howdy! So so sorry I took so long to post this chapter, but here I come with it. It's just school and stuff, finals approaching and all that jazz you all probably understand. Anyways, you know the deal, read and review! Hope you like it! Oh, and I told you the chapters were going to gradually get longer, a-ha! Sorry for any typos. Review!
P.S: Byron should fall off a cliff. Just saying. And so should Jason. Who does he think he is, really?
Disclaimer: I unfortunately don't own Pretty Little Liars. Great show though.
Aria rolled on her bed at around five in the morning, opening her eyes for the fourth time that night. She rubbed her eyes, sore from all the crying and sleeping and slowly stood up and stumbled to the bathroom. She threw herself under the cold stream coming out of the shower and closed her eyes, trying to make that headache go away. She walked over to the sink and looked at her reflection in the mirror. She looked terrible, and just as she was about to take care of that, Aria's throat began to burn, so she quickly leaned against the toilet to puke. Great, she thought rolling her eyes. Aria went back to the sink, moisturized her skin and brushed her teeth. Then she applied a little bit of makeup to conceal her tired face and went back to her room. Still wearing her bathrobe, Aria sat down on her bed and checked her cellphone for the first time in hours. Seven messages from Ezra and three from her friends. Her boyfriend was clearly worried about her, asking if she was okay, how things had turned out, if she needed him to come talk to her parents, etcetera. Aria really wanted to reply, but she was unfortunately out of service. She grunted in annoyance and put it away, standing up to get dressed.
There was a lot waiting for her that day, and Aria wasn't sure how she would be able to get through it. She didn't even know what to expect. In fact, deep inside she hadn't really understood what her dad had meant the day before.
Aria slipped into a pair of comfortable jeans, a T-shirt and some combat boots. She reached for her drawer and took out of there a cereal bar, taking it to her mouth after unwrapping the plastic around it. Then she walked over to her wall shelves, searching through the dozens of books for one specifically. She finally found the copy of Winesburg Ohio Ezra had given her months before and started reading a few excerpts he had highlighted for her. She ran her eyes over each one of the lines with the neon yellow mark, reflecting about each of them. One of them caught her attention, though. It said "Only the few know the sweetness of the twisted apples." Aria smiled. That was a perfect phrase to describe their relationship in some way; only they truly understood it. No matter how difficult or risky it was, she and Ezra really knew how to enjoy that madness. They were mad. Mad in love with each other.
Aria flipped the page and got lost in her reading. She was always so delighted with books like those that the world could explode and she wouldn't notice. She looked up quickly as a soft knock on the door interrupted her bookworm trance. She glanced at the time on her nightstand: 7.30 AM. Mike slipped his head into the room before walking in completely.
"Hey," he said walking over to his sister, who gave him a half smile. "How are you?"
"I'm fine," she lied and quickly changed the subject as he took a seat next to her on the bed. "What are you doing awake so early in a weekend?"
"I don't know, I just didn't sleep well last night. I- I heard mom and dad talking, they were kind of arguing I guess. About you, you know. I know about... Yeah. So, I wanted to check if you were okay." He said gently. Aria grinned at her little brother and reached for a hug. She wrapped her arms around him tightly and felt safe as Mike welcomed her.
"I'll be okay." She broke apart several seconds later, wiping a tear before it could manage to leave her eye.
"Aria, if you feel like talking to anyone, you can come to me, you know. You were there for me when I was having a tough time, and now it's time for me to make it up to you."
Aria cocked her head thankfully and rested her hand over his.
"Thanks, Mike. I love you, lil' bro." Mike chuckled and slid his hand out of the confines of hers, tapping the back of it while standing up. He was smiling when he left her room.
Aria smirked. She had such a great brother, they got along so well. She was thankful for that. Of course, they had their fights and arguments sometimes, but that's what siblings do, right? They're those friends you can fight as much as you want and still be sure they'll not going to stop loving you.
She resumed her reading, forgetting about the world once again. That is, until her mom opened the door.
"We'll be waiting for you in the car," she nodded to her daughter very seriously and shut it back again. Aria sighed and closed the book, stuffing it into her wool tote, grabbing it and walking out of her bedroom. She went down the stairs and the porch, heading towards her dad's vehicle. She walked slowly to it, spending every heartbeat in an effort to assess what was about to happen. She opened the silver door and sat down on the backseat, shutting it back and leaning her shoulder against the window. Aria did notice her parents were arguing, but stopped when she got in.
The clinic was still in Rosewood, but a little isolated. It was a twenty minute drive.
The car was quiet, nobody dared to say a word. Aria was sitting in the same position she had been ever since she had gotten in the vehicle, looking out the window as it rained. Her hands rested over her belly and caressed it in a slightly defensive way.
Aria's phone went off one time during the ride and she remembered. She was supposed to have texted Ezra back to tell him everything, but she'd forgotten. She reached for her purse, laying on the floor next to her feet. She rummaged through it, searching for the apparel with her hands. She took out the cellphone and looked at the caller ID. Ezra, just as she hoped. Right when she was going to answer, her father turned around on the driver's seat, reaching and taking it from her.
"You're grounded, Aria." Byron said. "Let me see it."
The girl was going to say something, but her dad had already taken the phone from her and looked at it. She watched as Byron pressed the red button, shutting Ezra out.
"Hey," she complained and her mother shot her a look.
"It's for your own good," Ella said strongly, tucking her daughter's turned off phone into her pocket.
"Besides, I really don't want you to keep seeing him. Not again," Byron glared at her through the reflection in the small mirror that hung on the ceiling of the car. Aria's mouth slightly parted in an incredulous expression.
Several minutes later, Byron entered a little roundabout and parked quietly. Her parents exhaled and opened the doors, leaving the car. Aria wasn't ready to do so, though. While her father walked over to the clinic to check in, Ella waited for her pregnant teenager. Aria had her eyes closed and was taking deep breaths to calm herself down, and was startled when her mother knocked on the window to rush her. She opened the door and slowly stepped out of the vehicle, with her purse on her shoulder and her hands clasped protectively over her stomach. Ella shut the door closed and motioned for her to move, following right behind her.
The place was tidy and clean, but still felt very creepy. The walls were painted in a very light green and there were a bunch of plants and flowers all over the room, surrounding the four rows of plastic seats for the patients. Ella murmured for Aria to ake a seat and joined her husband at the front desk. He was filling a form which was part of the procedure. There weren't many people there, only a guy wearing a cap backwards. He stood up and left the room to smoke a cigarette, probably waiting for his girlfriend to finish her procedure.
Aria was practically paralyzed, just looking around and playing nervously with her bracelet. She had some kind of butterflies in her stomach, and not the good ones. She wasn't feeling good about any of this, at all. She started thinking of her brother, her friends, Ezra, and her baby. Oh, her baby. She stroked her belly and wrapped her arms around it, hugging it tightly. Her eyes began to fill with water and a sob flew up her throat. She covered her face with her hands and put her head between her knees, crying even more. Her parents finished checking in and sat down in front of her, side by side. Byron asked a nurse for a glass of water and put his hand on his daughter shoulder, handing it over to her. She drank it all in one big gulp and tried to pull herself together. The same nurse came back a few moments later with a sympathetic smile.
"The doctor will be ready for you in about twenty minutes, he's just finishing a procedure, is that okay?" Aria didn't say anything, but her parents nodded and thanked the woman for the update. Ella grabbed a magazine from the coffee table and Byron, the newspaper. Aria wiped her tears with her hands and slouched on her seat, her arms surrounding her chest defensively. She stayed like that for a few more minutes, until she stretched her hand coldly in front of her mother.
"Can I have my phone back?" She almost demanded.
"What are gonna do?" Ella asked suspiciously.
"Nothing, just wanna play a game to unwind," she lied in an annoyed tone. Ella narrowed her eyes at her while she moved her hands to her pocket and took out the black phone, handing it over to Aria.
Aria waited a little until her parents were distracted to stand up and head towards the restroom on the side of the room quietly. She quickly closed the door and let out a huge sob she had been keeping ever since they had gotten there. She leaned against the sink and continued on crying desperately. When the tears ceased a little, she looked herself in the mirror and stared, pondering. Then, Aria grabbed her cellphone and dialed Ezra's number as fast as she could. He answered on the first ring.
"Aria," he seemed very worried. It was comforting for her to hear his soothing voice, though, as nervous as it was at the moment. "Where have you been! I've tried calling you, I even called your friends… I-" Ezra noticed her sobs on the other end of the line. "What happened?"
"Ezra…" She whimpered. "Can you- can you come pick me up?"