Chapter 7 | Breath Mints
Do you ever wish that school was only two days out of the week? I, personally, think more people would benefit from a five day weekend, as opposed to two. Who wants to sign my petition?
I mumble incoherent phrases as I make my way into the bathroom. I didn’t even bother looking at myself in the mirror after discarding my clothes onto the floor and stepping into the shower.
I’m too tired to even weigh myself.
After several minutes of standing under the hot water, I sigh while stepping out of the warmth of my shower and into the coolness of the bathroom air.
Wrapping my towel around my waist, I walk over to my closet to pick out an outfit for today.
I cringe at the thought of wearing blue jeans with my purple sweater again, so instead, I wonder to the very back of my closet in search of something better.
Instead of my normal blue jean pants, I find a pair of black skinny jeans that I honestly don’t remember owning. I smile seeing that they are the stretchy kind, and happily pull them on over my underwear. I am surprisingly amazed at how well they fit me, clinging to every curve of my body.
Browsing through my tops, I stumble upon a red blouse with a v-neck collar and put it on over my bra. I look at myself in the mirror and I frown. Feeling very self-conscious of every curve of my body, I pull out my black cardigan and put it on over the red blouse.
I smile once my outfit is set and then I look down at my small shoe collection, which is indeed very small.
You see, normal girls have rows upon rows of different shoes. Heels, wedges, sandals, flip flops, sneakers, etc. I, however, have only four pairs of shoes. First, there is my black Doc Martens. Second, there is my purple and black pair of converse. Last but certainly not least, there is my black pumps that I have only worn a grand total of one time during one of my mom’s dinner parties.
I stand in my closet holding my pair of black pumps for about twenty minutes, before my mother bursts through my bedroom door.
Thanks for knocking mom.
“Addie, what on earth are you doing? You’re definitely going to be late now!” Mom scolds, rounding my bed to meet me in my closet.
“I um... I’m debating something.” I mumble, still clinging to my pair of black pumps.
“Are... are you going to wear heels to school?” My mom can hardly contain her happiness. “My little girl is going to dress up?” She beams.
“Oh, I have a perfect necklace to go with that outfit! You’re going to look beautiful! Oh, I can also curl your hair. You’re already late, so might as well have a good reason!” She smirks.
I desperately want to curl up in a ball, and tell her I just wasn’t going to school today.
“Mom...” I whine, “I didn’t say I agreed on wearing the heels yet.”
“Well, why not? You’ll look perfect!” She smiles, though it has faltered a little.
“No I won’t. I’ll look stupid.” I huff, placing the heels on the floor of my closet.
“Goodness Addie, I don’t know why you put yourself down so much, you’re gorgeous.” My mom rolls her eyes.
“You just don’t get it mom. I don’t feel gorgeous. Besides, you’re supposed to say that. It’s the law for mothers.” I cross my arms over my chest.
“Actually, I don’t have to say anything.” She retorts.
“Well, it doesn’t matter because I will never look like you.” I sigh, walking out of my closet still barefoot.
I have always been envious towards my mom as far as looks go and how beautiful she is. Her long brown hair falls in waves over her shoulders and there is never a strand out of place. Not to mention, her eyes are big and bold which is one of the many reasons my dad says on why he fell in love with her. Pair all of that with her perfect figure, even after two kids, and she could be a supermodel.
“You don’t need to look like me to be beautiful Addilyn. You are your own person, and you have your own beauty. Inside and out.” My mom smiles, wrapping her arm over my shoulder.
“Now, I assume this sudden urge to beautify yourself has a little something to do with a certain brown eyed boy... am I correct to assume such?” She rose her eyebrows while patting my shoulder.
“Uh... sure.” I shrug.
She grins in reply, “Well, grab those heels and follow me to my bedroom.”
“I pray I don’t regret this...” I mumble, while grabbing my heels and following my mom out of my room.
“I can’t do this.” I sigh.
“Sure you can.”
“No, you don’t understand, I really cannot do this.” I repeat.
“Addilyn Bishop you get out of this car right now and get to class!” My mom sighs while unbuckling my seat belt.
“Mom... please, if you love me at all, you will take me home.” I whine, squeezing her arm with my hands.
“Stop being so dramatic Addie. You look amazing!” She smiles, urging me to get out of the car. “Now go dang it! I’m going to be late for work.”
“I hate you.” I simply state while getting out of the car and shutting the door.
“Love you too, bye sweetie! Oh, don’t forget to pick up your brother after school, your father and I are working late today.”
“Yeah, yeah.” I mumble. A few seconds later, my mom drives off, not allowing me to jump back into the car in protest.
“Well, here goes nothing.” I sigh, heading for the front steps to the school.
Despite my annoying whining, my mother found time to not only curl my long dark hair, but she also found time to do my makeup. Pair that with my black pumps and I look like a totally different person today.
Dreading the stares and whispers of my fellow classmates, I walk inside and head towards the administration office to get a tardy slip. I smile knowing that everyone is already in class.
“Name?” The front office secretary asks.
“It’s me, Ms. Jones, Addilyn Bishop.” I deadpan.
Ms. Jones looks up at me and her eyes widen. “Addilyn Bishop... my, you look... different.”
This is going to be a fun day.
“Yes, I am well aware. Now, can I have my tardy slip please? I’d like to get to class.”
“Of course! Here you are.” Ms. Jones hands me my slip of paper and I quickly leave her with her mouth bent up into a smile.
I stop by my locker first to grab my necessary books for first period. I’ve missed the first twenty minutes and I am completely dreading walking into the classroom after it’s already begun.
Every single student sat inside of that classroom is going to look up at me as if I am some sort of hallway murderer, and Angelica will surely have something sarcastic to say about the way I am dressed today.
Making my assumptions a reality, walking inside of first period almost kills me.
“Now, please turn your books to page-,” The teacher stops as I enter the classroom. “Oh, looks like we have a new student today class.”
Seriously? Why me?
“It’s me Mrs. Andrews. Addilyn Bishop.” I softly say. Now every single pair of eyes in the classroom are locked onto me, including a familiar pair of deep brown ones.
“Oh um, excuse me. Do you have your tardy slip?” She asks, seeming flabbergasted by my sudden change of appearance.
I push my glasses up the bridge of my nose. “Here.” I glare, setting the slip onto her desk and fast-walking to my desk in the middle of Angelica and Jaxon.
The exact nano-second that I sit down in my seat, Angelica is the first to speak.
“Who the hell are you and what have you done with my best friend?”
“Good morning to you too Ang.” I sigh, slouching down into my seat.
“Good morning person I have never met before. Oh and how do you know my name?” Angie smirks while pulling her straight blonde hair up into a loose ponytail.
“Whatever.” I glare, pulling out my notebook and beginning to copy the notes from the board.
“Don’t listen to her Addie, you look great today!” Jax whispers from my right.
“Aw thanks Jax.” I smile.
Too distracted by my humorous best friends, I didn’t even realize that Shane is currently sitting in front of me and turned sideways to face me.
“Add, you look beautiful, though you always do.” He smiles, adding a wink.
“Stop.” I blush, slouching further into my seat.
This was such a bad idea.
“Seriously, what’s with the makeover?” Angie asks, causing my cheeks to turn a darker shade of red.
“Nothing is with it. Can’t I just look nice for a day? Is that too much to ask?” I blurt out, loud enough for the entire class to hear, causing heads to turn in our direction and Mrs. Andrews to glare at us.
“Addilyn, if you are finished with your rampage, perhaps we can all get back to this lesson. Some of us have been here the entire period and don’t want to miss anything before the bell rings.” Mrs. Andrews says, causing a few students to laugh.
“Yes mam.” I mumble, wanting to fall into a black hole right here in the classroom.
“Sheesh, someone is riled up this morning.” Jax whispers causing Angie to laugh.
“Can both of you like, I don’t know, die?” I sarcastically deadpan.
“Well, we can try, but I don’t think Mrs. Andrews would approve of death disrupting the class either.” Jax chuckles.
I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Hey Add, can we sit together at lunch?” Shane suddenly whispers.
I look at Angie and Jax for confirmation of me ditching them, and they both nod eagerly.
“Of course.” I whisper back.
Walking into the cafeteria for the billionth time in all of my school years, I notice Shane standing at the end of the line. Just as I am starting to walk towards him, Rebecca comes strutting towards him, stopping directly in front of him.
“I saved you a seat Shane.” She smiles, her long eyelashes fluttering.
“Sorry, but I’m sitting with someone today.” Shane sighs.
“Please, like anyone in this school is better company than me.” She scoffs.
I want to slap the shallow smirk right off her perfectly contoured face.
“Actually, that’s where you’re wrong. In fact, I bet almost every single person in this cafeteria is better company than you.”
I couldn’t help but laugh just as I approach the scene. “Hey Shane.” I smile sweetly up at him.
As soon as he sees me, his hardened expression softens and he smiles, dropping his muscular arm over my shoulders. “Hey Add.”
“Addilyn Bishop. That’s who you’re sitting with?” Rebecca questions.
“Man, nothing gets by you Rebecca.” I deadpan, causing Shane to chuckle.
“Whatever. Those stupid clothes and that ugly makeup job isn’t enough to make you look even remotely attractive. Shane must be sitting with you for charity or a bet or something.” Rebecca says loud enough for everyone to hear.
A few students begin laughing at my expense. My face turns a slight shade of pink from all of the unwanted attention.
“Hey Rebecca, I happen to know that Addilyn here is more beautiful, inside and out than you’ll ever be no matter how much designer make up you wear or how expensive your slutty clothes are.” Shane says, his face darkening with anger.
There is a handful of gasps heard throughout the cafeteria as every single student watches the encounter. I even gasp a little myself.
Rebecca’s eyes begin to turn glossy and I almost crap myself.
Was Rebecca Moore, THE Rebecca Moore, going to cry?
“You both will regret this.” Rebecca barely spoke above a whisper through gritted teeth as she flung her red hair over her shoulders and stormed off.
“Wow that was something.” I say, causing Shane to look at me and smile.
“Well, someone had to say it. Might as well be the new kid.” Shane shrugs.
“My hero.” I mock, holding my hand over my chest.
“You know it babe.” Shane replies, causing my insides to twist around.
Babe. He called me babe. What do I say? Do I respond? Do I call him babe back? How does this work?
“Yes I do baybay!” I grin, only seconds later, I face palm myself for saying the word ‘baybay’.
“Please, disregard that.” I mumble.
Shane begins laughing loud and I smile at the wonderful sound.
We both make it to the front of the line and I look at the delicious food set out before me. Apparently it was Italian day because not only is there spaghetti and meatballs, but there is also chicken Parmesan and vegetarian lasagna.
My stomach begins to grumble the second my eyes find the food, and my mouth begins to water.
Noting how many calories are in each dish, I decide to take the vegetarian lasagna with a small piece of garlic bread, accompanied by a salad.
I am glad I brought my mints today, for two reasons.
“Hm, I think I will have the same.” Shane says, taking a tray for himself and grabbing one of the salads.
After paying for our food, we went outside to the picnic table by the big tree.
Within minutes of sitting down, my entire lunch is gone.
“Man, you were hungry, huh Addie?” Shane laughs, causing me to frown.
Great, now he thinks I’m fat.
“A little.” I mumble, looking down at my fingers.
“Add, you okay?” Shane suddenly asks, his eyebrows furrowed.
“Yes I’m fine. I um, need to go to the bathroom, excuse me?” I say with a small smile.
“Alright.” Shane’s expression turns emotionless as he watches me leave and go inside with my bag.
Upon entering the bathroom, I make sure no one else is inside.
I go into the furthest stall at the back of the bathroom and lock myself inside. I turn around and stare blankly at the toilet, ashamed of what I was about to do... again.
I bring my finger to my mouth and cringe, slowly opening my mouth. After causing myself to throw up, I wipe my eyes and mouth and flush the toilet.
As soon as the toilet finished flushing, I hear the bathroom door open and a few pairs of high-heels came clinking inside.
I pull my container of mints out of my bag and exit the stall, at the same time popping a mint into my mouth.
I almost drop the entire container when I see who has come into the bathroom.
I quickly begin washing my hands, and then I grab a paper towel to dry them. After throwing the paper towel away, I praise the lord that Rebecca didn’t say a word to me.
Instead, she just smiles at me as I leave the bathroom.
I grab a water bottle from one of the vending machines and chug it before going back outside to meet Shane.
“Hey, sorry that took so long. A bit of a line in the bathroom.” I nonchalantly shrug as I sit down across from Shane.
He notices my container of mints in my hands and I quickly put them back into my bag.
“Garlic breath, the worst.” I say with a light laugh, trying to cover my nerves.
“Add, is there anything you want to talk to me about?” Shane asks, his serious expression making me even more nervous.
“No, why?” I reply, trying to keep my cool.
“Just wondering. You know... if you ever did want to talk to me about anything, I’m here for you.”
“I know Shane, and I appreciate that so much.” I smile, to which he returns it.
“Good. Ready for class?” He tosses his paper tray into the trashcan before standing up.
“As ready as I’ll ever be.” I shrug, standing up to walk back inside with him.
Before I even know what is happening, Shane intertwines his fingers with my own and I almost want to pull away and run.
My chest expands and my stomach drops, feeling full but not of food, of butterflies. It is the best kind of full I have ever felt.
The eyes that watch us while we walk down the hallway, hand in hand, seemed nonexistent.
How can you feel so incredibly disgusted with yourself, but also feel the best you have ever felt in your entire life, all at once?
I’ll tell you how: