#TUS 10. But by a circumstance beyond her control

Lily got quite a shock when she switched on the kitchen light and found Natasha sitting stiffly by the counter, looking like she’d seen a ghost. It was well after 10 p.m and Natasha was still up which Lily thought was strange on it’s own, aside from her zombie like state.

“Tasha?” She approached Natasha, snapping her fingers in her face and still got no response.
“What happened?” She asked worriedly.

When Natasha still didn’t move, Lily held her daughter’s face in her hands, stroking her cheeks lightly. Natasha blinked back to a state of semi-consciousness and looked at her mother surprised like she was only just seeing her.

“Why are you sitting in the dark?” Lily asked stroking Natasha’s hair.
Natasha blinked a couple more times and Lily noticed that her eyes were bloodshot. Before Lily could question her again, Natasha’s expression changed and tears fell down her cheeks.

“Mom,” she sobbed and buried her face in her mother’s chest. Lily hugged her soothingly while she cried. When she finally stopped, she raised her blotched red face and wiped the tears away.

“Talk to me baby. What’s got you so upset?”

Natasha broke into a fit of sobs again and ran out of the kitchen and up to her room, locking her door behind her. She couldn’t bear to tell her story again today after what happened with Nathan. She didn’t even want to think about it. Besides, her mother would certainly find out with the rest of the world once Nathan came back for her with the entire police force. The thought made her break down and crash to her knees. The knock on the door that came shortly after startled her and she scrambled away from the door and sat leaning against the bed.

“Tasha! Open the door honey,” her mother called.

“I don’t want to talk,” Natasha called back.

“‘I just want to help you with whatever’s bothering you.”

Natasha had fallen for that one before and now she was counting the minutes till she was thrown into a cell.

“Go away!” she yelled. Lily didn’t say anything for a while and Natasha almost believed she was gone until she spoke again.

“If you change your mind I’m here for you. I love you,” she said. When Lily said things like that it was hard for Natasha to believe that her mother was somehow involved in Henry’s death. Maybe that’s why she had left out her mother’s mysterious call when she confessed her sins to Nathan. At least now, only one of them would end up in jail.

She was still trapped in her spiraling thoughts of prison when she heard her phone ring. She grabbed it from the bedside table, hoping that maybe Nathan did have her number after all and was calling her as he had promised. The disappointment she felt when she saw that it was Kelsey calling instead made her want to throw the phone at the wall. Nevertheless she answered the call, knowing Kelsey would keep calling until she did.

“What did he do to you?” Kelsey asked in lieu of a greeting as usual.

“Who?”

“Your mum just called me and asked me if I knew what was going on with you because you had a mental breakdown and locked yourself in your room and the last person I saw you with was Detective Whats-His-Face. So what did he do to you?” Kelsey demanded.

Natasha felt the tears well up in her eyes again but she managed to fight them down. “I’m in trouble Kelsey.”

“What happened?”

“I told him everything. I was so stupid. He said he wanted to help and he gave me his badge and said everything would stay between us but after I told him he just up and left without saying anything and I don’t know what’s going to happen now.” Natasha let it all out in a rush.

“Everything?” Kelsey asked quietly.

“Everything except the whole phone call thing about my mum,” Natasha sniffed.

“Do you think he’ll…” Kelsey trailed off, not wanting to say the dreaded word but Natasha knew what she was asking.

“I don’t know. All I can do is wait.”

“This is such a mess,” Kelsey groaned.

Natasha nodded in agreement even though Kelsey couldn’t see her. She glanced at the clock next to her bed. “I’m gonna try and get some sleep. At least for tonight, it’s a bit late to be marching in forces to arrest me, right?”

Kelsey forced a chuckle. “Right. Goodnight.”

Natasha crawled into bed and lay awake staring at the wall for the next 15 minutes until she heard something pelt her window. Alarmed, she bolted out of bed and stood on the other side of the room, away from her window. More pelting came and she was just about to scream for her mother when her phone rang. A quick glance showed it was Kelsey.

“Kelsey, oh my gosh there’s someone throwing stuff at my window,” she said in a panicked voice once she answered the call.

“It’s me doofus. Open up,” Kelsey whispered urgently. Natasha stared at her phone surprised then made her way slowly to the window and opened it. Something sticky hit her on the nose just as she peered down and she heard Kelsey cackle through the phone.

“A jelly bean? You hit my nose you idiot. What the hell?” she whispered fiercely. Kelsey waved at her and smiled sheepishly.

“Get down here.”

“What?”

“I said get down here!” Kelsey said a little more loudly.

“Why?” Natasha asked bewildered.

“Just do it. And no using the door either,” Kelsey wagged a finger at her.

“Then how the hell am I supposed to get down there, by jumping through the window?”

“I’ll catch you.”

“Right,” Natasha scoffed. “Says the girl who hasn’t caught a single thing in her life except the flu.”

Kelsey burst out laughing and immediately clamped a hand over her mouth when a dog from across the street started barking.

“Just get down here before we wake the whole damn neighborhood,” she said once she’d gotten her laughter under control. “Use the pipes. And wear something warm!”

Shaking her head, Natasha retreated into her room and threw on a sweater and some sneakers. She switched her pajama pants for some loose fitting jeans then returned to the window. She eyed the pipes that ran down her house nervously and vowed to strangle Kelsey if she got hurt following her advice.

Natasha held on to the pipes and made good progress until she was a little way above the ground then she slipped and fell the rest of the way down, legs crashing into the hedge. Kelsey rushed over trying her best not to laugh but an occasional snort kept escaping her mouth.

“Come on!” She pulled Natasha up and dragged her away from the house. Lucky for them, Lily hadn’t woken up through all their noise.

“Remind me again why I ever listen to your crazy plans,” Natasha complained as she ran with her friend while plucking leaves out of her hair.

“Because you’re crazier than me,” Kelsey replied giggling as they reached the end of the street where Kelsey had parked.

Natasha came to a halt in front of the red convertible. “Your brother let you borrow his car!”

“I may or may not have stolen it,” Kelsey shrugged sitting in the passenger’s seat.

“You want me to drive it?” Natasha asked still stunned and standing, gawking at the car.

“I know how you’ve always wanted to so today’s your chance. Get in!”

“Why? Where are we going?”

Kelsey’s face turned sober. “We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. As much as I hate to say it, things don’t look so great so I figured we should have one night to do all the crazy shit we’ve wanted to, that way we won’t have any regrets tomorrow, no-matter what happens.”

Natasha’s heart sank as she remembered the dreadful feeling of limbo she’d been stuck in just a few minutes ago. Kelsey smiled encouragingly at her and waved the convertible’s keys in her face. What the hell, if she was going to be behind bars tomorrow, better enjoy tonight.

She took the keys and got in the car. “Hashtag no regrets?”

“Hashtag no regrets,” Kelsey agreed enthusiastically and they drove off, whooping loudly with the wind in their hair.

***

“I feel like I have a hangover and I never even went to the party,” Natasha groaned as Kelsey poked her. They had finally returned home at 4 a.m. Lily had heard them trying unsuccessfully to climb the pipes up to Natasha’s window and finally let them in and sent them to bed, promising to deal with them later.

“Uhh you did. Remember the bachelorette party we crashed?”

Natasha raised her head from her mountain of pillows. “Whoa, that was real? That explains all this glitter then.”

Kelsey nodded.

“Oh my gosh, I think I danced with a stripper,” Natasha said sitting up. Kelsey laughed and Natasha threw a pillow at her.

“Well I don’t know if I would call it dancing…” Before Kelsey could finish her sentence Natasha tackled her, tickling her mercilessly till she was breathless from laughter.

“I see everything is okay now,” Lily said from the door. They had been laughing so much that they didn’t notice her come in. She smiled kindly at them as they sat up and straightened themselves out.

“You’re okay?” she asked Natasha.

Natasha nodded and Lily smiled, relieved.

“Well I’m off to work. Gotta go now if I’m gonna beat traffic. I’ll call and check on you later.”

“Okay,” Natasha replied even though she had the sinking feeling that when her mother called she wouldn’t be around to pick up.

“Oh and Stacey called asking about the cake. The anniversary party is in two days.”

“Crap! I totally forgot about that!” Natasha exclaimed. She took a quick glance at the clock on her bedside table and groaned. “And I haven’t made cupcakes for the bakery.”

“If you hurry I’m sure you can finish the cupcakes and get started on the cake. I’ll leave you to it,” Lily said. “And girls, try to stay out of trouble. Your mum called Kelsey. I only told her you slept here all night.”

“Thanks Mrs E.”

After she left, Natasha turned to Kelsey, hazel eyes filled with fear. “It’s morning Kelsey.”

“So? Nothing’s happened yet. And I say we keep bucket-listing till something happens,” Kelsey said firmly.

“But…” Natasha tried to argue.

“No buts. No regrets remember,” Kelsey interrupted her. Natasha nodded and Kelsey pulled her off the bed. “Come on, we have some goodies to bake. Let’s see if we can beat our record time of 5 minutes together in the kitchen without burning anything.”

Kelsey shoved a giggling Natasha into her bathroom while she went and took a quick shower in the guest bathroom. Within 5 minutes they were both done.

“I’m sure I left a dress or two here when I slept over last time. Mind if I look?” Kelsey said rummaging through Natasha’s closet.

“I don’t see why you’re still asking when you’ve already started looking,” Natasha said laughing as she brushed her golden brown locks.

“Why do half these clothes look like mine?” Kelsey asked ignoring Natasha’s teasing.

“Because they are. You’ve stayed over so many times and stashed so many of your clothes in there that you might as well move in. There’s hardly any space for my stuff now,” Natasha complained rolling her eyes.

“Well you know what they say, what are best friends for if not to take up your closet space,” Kelsey laughed.

“I can’t find the one I’m looking for so I’ll just borrow one of yours my darling best friend,” Kelsey said lifting up a pair of black skinny jeans.

“No way!” Natasha said.

“Oh come on! It’s just for one day,” Kelsey begged.

“Yeah right, that’s exactly what you said about my black heels and unsurprisingly I no longer have them,” Natasha said laughing.

“I am so sorry Liam’s dog ate them. It was kind of hard to see that the dog was making a meal of your shoe while we were…”

“Don’t! I really don’t want to hear about your bedroom warfare with Liam, thank you very much,” Natasha stopped her mid-sentence.

Kelsey chuckled. “If you let me have your jeans I promise I’ll shut up about my love life.”

“That’s so unfair,” Natasha complained. Kelsey walked over to the bed and sat, crossing her legs as she smiled mischievously at her friend.

“Did I tell you about this one time when he…” Kelsey didn’t get to finish her sentence because Natasha cut her off.

“Okay, okay. You can wear the damn jeans. Just please stop talking!”

They finally finished dressing up and went downstairs to start on baking. Natasha almost relapsed into depression as she took out the baking supplies that Nathan had carried into the house for her just yesterday. With everything that had happened it felt like years ago. She pushed away the dark thoughts and focused on baking. Kelsey kept her mind occupied with her jokes and before long they were done with the cupcakes. Natasha had just finished packing them when Kelsey’s phone rang.

“Crap, it’s Chad! Here you answer it.” She shoved the phone at Natasha.

“What? No, you answer it,” Natasha protested backing away from her.

Kelsey growled at her and answered the phone in a phony sweet voice as she went to the lounge. She came back a few minutes later with a sour expression on her face.

“I have to return Chad’s car then I’ll be right back and we can go deliver the cupcakes.”

“Okay. I’ll get started on the cake in the meantime.”

Natasha was dreading going to the bakery after what had happened with Max the last time she was there but she didn’t want to tell Kelsey that. An idea struck her and she called the bakery and a few minutes later the doorbell rang.

“Mi lady,” Benny said, bowing before her. Natasha giggled as he stood upright and flashed his dimpled smile at her.

“Hie Benny. Thanks for coming. I’m so sorry you had to come all the way down here but I have to finish a cake for the Wilson’s.”

“No need to apologize sugar. I get to see your beautiful face and that makes it worth the trip.” Benny winked at her. Natasha helped him pack the goods into his mother’s car and he blew a kiss at her as he left.

She went back into the house and got busy with the Wilson’s cake. Kelsey joined her a little while later with her five year old sister, Keisha.

“I’m on baby sitting duty,” she explained as Keisha ran up to Natasha and hugged her legs. Natasha lifted her up and planted kisses all over her chocolate colored face making the little girl squeal.

“It’s alright. I love having this little angel around.” Natasha set Keisha down and gave her a cupcake from the extra tray she had baked. Keisha ran off with her treasure to the lounge and happily munched away as she watched the cartoons Kelsey loaded for her.

A couple of hours later, the cake was finally done, packed and loaded into the car. Since Keisha had fallen asleep, they agreed it would be best if she and Kelsey stayed while Natasha went and delivered the cake.

She carried the cake out of the car when she arrived at the Wilson’s and headed towards Stacey, the Wilson’s youngest daughter.

“Hie Stace,” Natasha said when she reached her. She was in the middle of all the activity going on; decorations, setting up and more.

“Tasha! I am so glad to see you,” she said happily, giving Natasha a peck on the cheek.

“How are the preparations going?” Natasha asked returning her smile.

“Great! I’ve got everything under control,” Stacey said looking around with a satisfied smile.

“You really are a great event planner,” Natasha praised.

“Awww thank you love. Hold on to that thought till after the party. You and your mum are still coming right?”

“Of course. Wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Natasha replied hesitantly. She might have to wish the Wilson’s a happy 50th anniversary from a jail cell.

“Great,” Stacey said clapping excitedly. “Is that the cake?” she asked when her gaze finally zeroed in on the big box that Natasha was carrying.

“Yeah it is,” Natasha said. Stacey opened the lid of the box to see the cake and her breath was taken away.

“Wow Tasha, it’s so beautiful!” she exclaimed.

“I’m glad you like it,” Natasha said beaming happily.

“I love it!” Stacey smiled, “Let me take the box inside. I bet mum will be thrilled.”

Natasha handed the box over to her. Just then, one of the waiters came up to Stacey, asking her about the menu. Stacey was visibly struggling to hold the cake box up and stand upright herself in her heels and Natasha was about to offer her help when someone flew past her and took the box from Stacey.

“What did I tell you about carrying heavy loads in those shoes?” the person asked. Fear gripped Natasha at the sound of the voice and she felt a strong urge to run.

“I wear five inches or nothing Nate, you know that,” Stacey said smiling fondly at the man who had rescued her.

He turned towards Natasha just then, blue eyes locking with her hazel orbs. Surprise registered on his face at seeing her and she tore her gaze away and focused on Stacey, ready to say a hasty goodbye and flee.

“Nate, this is Natasha Evans. She made this beautiful cake for the party!” Stacey said excitedly, unaware of the tension between the two. “And Tasha, this is Nathan Henderson. He’s…”

Natasha didn’t wait to hear the end of her sentence. She mumbled a quick goodbye and took off for her car, stumbling in her haste to get away from him.

“Natasha!”

His calls only made her panic more and she broke into a run, putting as much distance between them as she could.

***

What are the 3 things that you would absolutely regret not doing for the rest of your life? If you feel like joining the #noregrets conversation inspired by TUS, head on over to twitter and tweet them to me @fatfaceheart and use the hashtag #noregrets.

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