For some reason, mum still can’t let the story I just told her over and over again sink in.
“So, you both grabbed the book, at the same time?”
“Yes, mother. Despite my lack of social knowledge I know how to talk to people other than you.” That’s half the truth. I was kind of freaking out back there. Did he think I was weird? Probably. He probably did.
“Right, and he’s from the same school?”
“Yes,” I repeat, clearly exasperated by her questions, “I just helped him with his books because his friends sent him to go run their errands for them. It’s not a big deal, plus, this probably wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t leave to get-what did you even get?”
She turns to me. “Chips.”
“CHIPS?! YOU LEFT ME FOR CHIPS?”
“I did! Your sister wanted chips so that’s what I got her!” She replies defensively.
“YOU SAID IT WAS IMPORTANT!” I cry out. My mum shakes her head but is still smiling. Wildly.
“Besides,” I say, calming down, “It wasn’t that bad. His name was Dylan, and he wasn’t a psycho axe murderer.”
“Was THAT your first assumption of him?”
“You can’t blame me, anyone can be a psycho axe murderer.” I say softly, and now I can’t get the image out of my head. Dylan, under a hood, with a giant bloody axe. Great.
We reach home, where my sister runs up to the front door to retrieve her chips greedily, along with a bag of everything else mum got for her. That’s a lot of chips. Can’t blame her for being a Pringles fanatic.
“Hm....I didn’t get pampered when I was 13.” I say, mostly to my mum, who gives me an indignant look back. “Excuse me, we were busy paying for your therapist.”
Right on cue, my phone beeps rapidly with a call from Stella. “Oh, wow, what do you know, it’s Stell. Farewell, selfish sister, farewell marvellous mother.” And with that, I dash to my bedroom to answer Stella’s call.
“Yello” I quip, flopping onto my bed
Stella Ward. She’s been an incredibly close friend of mine for as long as I remember having anxiety. Which is, a long, long time. I’m quite sure we met through our parents, who aren’t that close or anything, but me and Stella immediately formed an inseparable bond. She’s been through almost everything with me. She’s been over at my place dozens of times, the only person I’ve been open about my life to, and the one who called me right after the doctor’s appointment that day. She’s just a great person in general.
“How was it?”
I hold out the book. “Capital Of Loneliness.”
“Really? Lucky. We have some book called The History of Time. Yay.” She holds up her book, which has a dull grey cover.
I put my hand in my pocket to find the receipt Dylan gave me. I show it to Stella.
“....7 of those?”
“I made a joint purchase.”
“Um, some Dylan Grant guy.”
“You made contact with Dylan Grant?” She looks astounded.
Her mouth remains ajar. “He’s....yeah, Holl, he’s one of ‘those guys’”
“Please don’t say ‘those guys’-”
“But it’s true!” Her voice reaches a high-pitched squeal frequency and grabs her phone to walk out of her bedroom “He and his friends are the toxic, stereotype ‘ideal friendship group’ who go out every other day to do shit for clout. You don’t want to get mixed in with them.” She’s slightly overprotective, like an older twin sister.
“Stell, we literally just paid at the same cashier. You’re worrying too much.”
“Well that’s ironic.”
“Uh huh. Right,” I cross my arms, “He wasn’t....that bad.”
“Yeah, and then you’ll get to close and find out about his true colours.” Stella flails her arms in the air.
We bask in silence before Stella pipes up again. “Anyways, I don’t mean anything bad by it, just don’t get too caught up with Grant and his friends.”
I shrug and nod my head, “Yeah, sure.”
I hear vague yelling in Greek in the backround of Stella’s audio and she screams back some phrases, somewhere along the lines of “Seriously....come on....fine mom....cabbage.”
“Sorry, I have to-”
“No, no it’s all good. Have fun eating cabbage.” I joke.
“Impressive.” She gives me a rather radiant smile, before hanging up with a cheery ‘goodbye’.
Yet despite her warnings, I want to know more about Dylan Grant.
Partially because I want to confirm if he really is an axe murderer or not.
I don’t know.