Yes, this is very much overdue.. Sorry.. I couldn't make it to my quota of at least 2,000 words. Took A LOT longer than I thought.. So, this chapter goes into Tris' past. She's going to be sharing some of her secrets in exchange for some of Four's. Maybe ;) Aaannnd! FINALLY! FourTris is officially (kind of) here! Enjoy this chapter with lots of loves 3
As I slipped into Shauna's car, I couldn't help but to feel uneasy about my conversation with Four. There was something he wasn't telling me, and I planned on figuring it out.
"What's the matter?" Shauna asked as she stopped at the red light.
"Just, thinking, I guess." I answered with a small smile.
"Mind telling me what about?" She pushed.
"What stores are we going to?" I asked, not-so-secretly trying to change the subject.
"Fine." She huffed. "I plan on splitting from the boys," she laughed, "I want to do some actual shopping without complaints every five minutes about a 'girly store' or about 'when we're going to leave'."
"Agreed." I laughed with her. "I need some new bras, and I am not going into Victoria's Secret with those two."
"Alright then. Split from the boys it is!" She parked the car in the lot, just as the boys pulled into the spot next to us.
"Run!" I yelled, sprinting from the car and through the mall doors. Shauna was right on my tail, racing through crowds of people. I haven't done this in a while. It feels exhilarating; having the wind in my hair as my heart is pumping to keep up with my lungs. We ducked into the nearby Hollister, catching our breaths and laughing at each other. "Do you think they followed us?" I breathed, peeking around the corner.
"Nah," she waved her hand, "They were probably too much in shock to comprehend what was happening." She giggled. Looking around, I decided that we could shop here first. I motioned in and Shauna nodded, following me to the back. I glanced down at all of the products, the winter sweaters and jackets hanging on the back wall. I grabbed a dark grey long sleeve, a new leather jacket with a side zip, and a flowered dress that was in the corner, as well as a couple pairs of jeans. Shauna was still looking around, before just deciding on a simple sweatshirt. We cashed out and left, wandering around the mall and then to Victoria's Secret. I went into PINK first, grabbing a sweatshirt and some sweatpants before going into the next room. I grabbed a cute little sports bra, in full black with cross straps on the back. This will do. I also quickly grabbed a couple pairs of shorts and leggings, meeting Shauna at the counter. We paid and left, heading out to others stores around the mall. We ended up at Rue 21, Charlotte Russe, Bath and Body Works, and then Abercrombie and Fitch. Sadly, we found the boys there. Zeke took Shauna's bags, putting down the shirt he was looking at. As for Four, he was nowhere to be seen. That is, until he rounded the corner with a bag of stuff. I never pegged him as the type to shop here. He made eye contact with me. At first he was displaying shock, then a mix of relief and content. Until his walls went up. I sighed. I'm never going to get anything out of him.
When we left the mall, Zeke and Shauna decided that they wanted to go on a "movie night" by themselves. That left Four and I to take Zeke's car back to campus. After loading up all of our bags, he finally got into the driver's seat and turned on the car. Feeling the hot air blow out of the vents, I shivered, slowly feeling like my body was thawing. We pulled out of the lot, eventually making our way onto the busy highway. The roads were a little icy, so when I felt the car skid a little I panicked.
"Can you slow down a bit please?" My voice came out as a hoarse whisper, my knees tucking into my chin as I buried my face. He obviously didn't look over, pushing my comment off as if it was nothing.
"Tris, I'm doing the speed limit. I'm not going to slow down and get honked at by cars." He chuckled lightly.
"Four, I asked if you could slow down. Please?" I tried a little more forcefully. Again. I was ignored.
"Tris, we're fine-" The wind blew again, brushing up snow from the ground and across the road.
"I asked you to slow down! The roads are icy, you're going to get us killed!" I yelled angrily, shoving my face back into my legs. My lungs were seizing, and I couldn't breathe. I knew I was having a panic attack. 1- 2- 3- Breathe in. Out. In. I felt the car pull over. Breathe. Breathe. Gasp, there's no air, there's no air. I tried again. One breath in, another- "Tris!" My head whipped to the sound, seeing Four outside of the passenger door with frantic eyes.
I fell off from the monkey bars and scraped my knee. I was three, maybe. I couldn't stop crying. They were hysterical breaths, forcing air out of my lungs. I saw the blood, and my breath hitched even more. That was my first panic attack. "Breathe, Tris." My mother was telling me. She was counting with me. "It helps. Count to ten with me. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, I felt myself calming, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. See? All better." She kissed my forehead before getting a bandaid and fixing me up.
And then she was gone. Four's hands were on my face, shaking me slightly. I stared back, watching his dark blue eyes as he focused. They looked scared, darting around and around, never staying in one spot. He had called Christina, explaining in a hurry what was happening. I watched, lungs burning for air. Everything was happening in a blur. My head felt fuzzy at this point. He threw the phone onto the floor, reaching for my purse in the process. My pills. He took them out and handed them to me, as well as a bottle of water. In between gasps, I swallowed them, chugging the water down to try and help. Maybe they'll get into my system faster. He grabbed me out of the car, setting us onto the cold tar. Fresh air overwhelmed me, forcing it's icy bite through my nose. After a little while, my breathing calmed, and it felt like I was getting control back. He rocked back and forth, mumbling things as he went. It was soothing, but I could tell he was just about in a panic attack himself. When I could finally talk, I felt the need to apologise.
"Sorry." I whispered into his coat.
"No Tris," he said firmly, "I'm sorry. I should have listened to you." He tucked a stray piece of hair behind my ear, blown loose by the passing cars.
"You didn't know." I shrugged. About either of these things.
"Yeah but I should have seen that you were getting scared. I'm so sorry." We sat in silence again, listening to the whistle of the wind as we sat on the road, me in his arms and them holding me tight. It was deafening, honestly, to not hear a word from either of us besides our slow breaths mixing together. As I debated whether or not to speak, he seemed to sense my discomfort. "What?" He asked lightly.
"When I was about eight, my mother, Caleb, my father, my younger sister Jennifer," I had to take a deep breath to continue. "-and I were headed out to my grandmother's. They called school out for a snow day. I remember my mom running to the phone and calling in 'sick' to work. My Dad did too. We made hot chocolate and had a full blown breakfast of pancakes and bacon and eggs with toast. We went outside and made a snowman with all of the accessories. It was the best day of my life." I smiled. "We were on the highway, snow falling, when a car skid and hit us. We turned and flipped, rolling and rolling until I had blacked out. When I woke up, I was in the snow, my head hurt and I could barely feel my legs." My throat was already getting thick, and I couldn't see through my puddle of tears. "I could hear the sirens as I sat up to look around. I couldn't see my mom, dad, Jenny, or Caleb." I sniffed. "I was scared out of my mind. When I had sat up, it felt like my head was going to burst. But I didn't care. I kept thinking that I had to find my family. My mom ended up already being rushed to the hospital along with my dad. Caleb was in the ambulance about fifty feet away from me. I tried to stand, to go there, but a medic came and stopped me. I remember crying, begging him to let me see them. Turned out my head was split right here." I let out a small laugh at my little kid self, pointing to the scar in my hair above my left eyebrow. "I didn't know where Jenny was. She was right next to me in the car, but her seat was empty. He told me 'Honey, you're going to be okay. You just need to stay here. I'll put you with your family, I promise.'" I looked at Four with my eyes watering. "He promised me that I would go with them. He lied." That's when my voice cracked. "I ended up in the fourth ambulance, all by myself. I had a neck cast, they strapped my leg down to the stretcher, my head was bandaged way too much, it was- It-" I had to take a deep breath, wiping tears out of my eyes. "Jenny, she- She didn't make it." A sob racked my ribs, shaking and tearing down all of my walls. He hugged me closer then, wrapping his arms tight around me. I felt warm, tingling feelings spreading throughout my body as I cried. "They told my parents that once she had flown out of the car, she died on impact. Her seatbelt wasn't clicked all of the way. She was my best friend."
"It's okay. I'm here, it's okay." He breathed onto my neck. "You didn't have to tell me all of that." He whispered. I didn't. But, in a way, it felt right.
"I guess you're just really easy to talk to." I shrugged, wiping a tear from my cheek. He pulled my face up to meet his, pressing my forehead against him. "I think that's why me and my mother don't get along so well." I blurted out, thinking back to all of my therapy sessions, and the same question repeated itself: Why do you feel this way?
"Hm?" His throat vibrated at the sound.
"I guess I blame her for what happened." I continued, putting the pieces together after all these years. "I blame her for taking away my happiness. My best friend and only sister." More tears fell, racing in the old tracks of my previous ones.
"I'm so sorry." He whispered again, his eyebrows furrowing and creating a crease between them. I brushed my thumb across his cheek, meeting his deep blue eyes with my grey ones.
"Don't be." I shook my head. "You didn't know."
"Tris, telling me that I 'didn't know' doesn't make me feel any better." I sighed against his chest, tucking myself deeper into his coat. I felt comfortable, that kind of warmth you feel when you come in from a snowy night and sit by the fireplace. That cozy, snug, homelike feeling of curling under a blanket and watching a movie. He felt safe, like I didn't need anything else to stay grounded. He looked at me and I him, eventually seeing his face move in. I wanted to kiss him, I did, but my head instinctively ducked and I put a stray piece of hair behind my ear. Cue the awkward silence once again.
"Hey Four?" I blurted out suddenly, cringing at the loudness of my voice.
"Yeah?" I felt his hot breath on my cheek.
"Can we get off the side of the road now?" I chuckled. His grip tightened for a second, and then when he pushed me up I saw a light pink on his cheeks. He looked embarrassed. Could just be the cold. You've been on the side of the road for how long?
"Yeah let's get back." He cleared his throat and got in the car.
The rest of the ride was quiet, but luckily it wasn't much longer. He pulled into the lot swiftly, putting the car in park and then looking at me. I was fiddling with my fingers, trying to keep eye contact from him. The door to my dorm building was right there. All I had to do was get out and avoid the inevitable.
"Come on, I'll walk you up." Shit. He got out of the driver's side and quickly moved to open mine. Grasping his outstretched hand, he pulled me up and into the frosty air. His hand lingered on mine, all the way up and to my door.
"Thanks. For everything." I said quietly, hoping he understood what I meant. Warmth found my cheek as his fingers brushed my jaw, sending chills down my back. Just as quickly as they were there though, they were retracted. Have I ever told you how mesmerizing his eyes were? Probably. But they swirled, deep and blue like the ocean, scanning my face and allowing a small smile to reach them.
"Goodnight Tris." He said, turning and walking away. He got only about a door down before I stopped him.
"Four, wait." In two quick glides, I reached him and connected my lips to his. Slow and soft, he kissed me back. His fingers brushed the waist of my coat, pulling me a fraction closer. My hands pulled at the hairs at the nape of his neck, giving me the satisfied moan I wanted from him. I pulled away and quickly scurried back to my door, turning just as I was about to slip inside. He still stood there, shocked, I would say.
"Goodnight Four." I whispered before disappearing into the darkness of my dorm.
For the people who really suffer with anxiety/panic attacks: I'm sorry. My sister has attacks multiple times a week, and they're really scary.. This is how she described her latest one to me. I can never imagine one for myself, but I know what it feels like to witness… I hope I didn't upset anyone 3