He's wearing a thong
My morning ritual always includes standing opposite Chestington High willing myself to go in, for some reason it’s been a little easier these past few mornings but I’m still not ready to give up the mental pep talks each day. In fact I don’t think I’ll ever be.
Anxiety eats away at my chest and bile climbs higher and higher into my throat threatening to escape. Although we don’t have assigned parking in this school the students know where not to park because certain spots are reserved for the jocks and bitches. Looking at the cars in the parking lot tells me what I need to prepare for. Skimming across colourful lines of cars I spot Jordan’s BMW that stands out like a glossy, red, expensive sore thumb. Sitting proudly next to it lies Zaks black audi in immaculate condition. Ben and Liam often hitch rides with them both, they’re always seen arriving together. Barbie convertibles in pink and white are the next cars in the line, these belong to the bitches - AKA the cheerleaders, AKA Ruby King. My heart sags slightly knowing they all showed up for school today.
Plucking up the courage I take steps towards the big brown building aiming all of my focus on getting to my locker. As I enter the building my locker is in sight and I can already feel that something was ‘off.’ I couldn’t spot Tia anywhere but I could spot Liam from a mile away.
He stood talking to the other three guys, his back was turned but I’ve memorized every dip and curve of liams back view. Shiny chestnut brown hair with several lighter tones sat loosely on his head like he made no effort this morning but somehow still looks perfect. I was too far away to hear what they were saying but Liam had a small, guarded smile on his face as he playfully punched Zaks arm.
I glided towards my locker trying to play it cool and not linger my attention in his direction long, in case one of them noticed. As I approached my locker I could see little square colours covering every inch of the silver metal. My brow creased in confusion as I studied the colourful blocks that were becoming clearer and clearer as I neared.
Post it notes had been stuck all over my locker, neon yellows, pinks, greens and oranges beamed back at me, all containing different words and phrases. None of them nice.
‘Go Kill yourself.’
‘Liam will never want you’
‘Nobody wants you here.’
‘Your ONLY friend will get fed up of you eventually’
‘Olive lost her virginity to Ben and he was just playing her’
They went on and on. Heat coursed throughout my body, my face beetroot as I looked around for anyone sneaking glances at my reaction but everyone acted completely normal. Like this display on my locker was nothing out of the ordinary. Liam continued laughing and joking with the jocks, not even noticing me. I tore my eyes back to the post it notes, each one was written with a different style of hand writing indicating it wasn’t just one person who did this. Anger seized through my bones and my eyes started to pool with tears. In a few swipes I pulled down all the notes and darted towards the girls bathroom.
Thank God nobody was in here, I locked myself in the cubical and attempted to wipe up the burst dam draining out of my face. Once I had consoled myself enough I opened the cubical door only to come face to face with Ruby King, Natasha Dempsey and Louise Croft - the bitches. I tried to ignore them, kept my head down and headed to the sink to wash my hands but I knew they wanted something and I was proved right when they intercepted me.
“We hope you take on board some of the suggestions left on your locker today Olive.” Natasha, the head cheerleader said with a sly smirk plastered across her lips.
“Especially the one about you killing yourself.” Ruby butted in, bitch.
“You three did this?”
I was livid inside but I couldn’t portray that on the outside no matter how hard I tried, instead I sounded like a wounded, helpless animal. The three of them let out an evil cackle simultaneously.
"We didn’t do this. All of the girls at in our grade did it. It was a group contribution to show you how much you’re hated.” Natasha told me.
"All of them?” My voice was low and I could feel the dam refilling.
Ruby shrugged. “Most of them... We all know you’re into Liam, it’s pathetic that you think you’ve got a chance with him. Liam doesn’t date girls like you. Liam doesn’t date anybody. And when he’s fucking the likes of me he certainly wouldn’t downgrade to thrift store, virgin Mary. Keep dreaming and stay the fuck away from him.”
She looked down on me like I was the dirtiest trash stuck on her shoe. The three of them walked out, shoving into my shoulder on the way. I was left alone, reeling and upset. Every girl in my grade had left a post it on my locker.
With swollen eyes I dug my way though the rest of the day, I just wasn’t in the mood for anyone. I sat down besides Liam to start our social studies lesson but I didn’t look at him, talk to him or touch him. I think he could sense my sour mood.
“Whats eating your ass?” he asked halfway through the lesson, I guess he couldn’t take the cold shoulder anymore.
“Nothing. I’m fine.” I huffed, clearly not fine.
Liam rubbed the back of his neck and chewed the inside of his cheek as if he was trying to think of what to say.
“What kind of underwear do you think Mr Hibbert is wearing?”
My eyes widened, alive with expression and shock which made a delicious, wide smile spread slowly across Liams lips. I looked up at the small chubby man standing in front of me, a bald head with a whisper of grey hairs around the sides, a brown knitted cardigan paired with grey suit trousers and round cheeks that seemed to be forever rosy. In that moment I actually found myself imagining what type of underwear he was wearing.
“I mean, personally I don’t think he would wear boxer shorts.”
He continued and for the first time today I wore a grin that made my cheeks ache.
“’Cause if you think about it, right, he’s a small guy so I don’t think he would have much to fill the boxers.”
An involuntary giggle escaped my lips and I playfully dug Liam in chest with my elbow as I cringed at the thought. On instinct Liam flinched backwards like my elbow was scolding hot. The smile fell from both of our faces and we remained frozen for a split second. After a beat Liam gathered himself and offered a half smile.
“So Y-fronts. I reckon dirty white because his little chunky arms are too short to fully wipe properly so he gets left with marks.”
I wasn’t sure what had just happened, how the mood between us had just dipped and was regaining itself. But I felt it was important to move past it. I loved this Liam, he was carefree and boyish, sure his walls were not fully down but there were a few bricks missing letting in the light.
“Nah. I think he’s wearing a thong. Black and leather. Because I think deep down he is a kinky son of a bitch. I mean, do you not remember the handcuffs?”
As soon as I put the sentence out there our table erupts into laughter and all eyes turn to us. Mr Hibberts face gets redder and redder as his annoyance levels climb, it only makes Liam and I laugh harder. Ruby shot me daggers from across the room and a few other girls in the class also sent me scowls but I couldn’t contain myself.
Light poured out of Liam, dimples appeared in his cheeks caused by his gigantic smile and light blue eyes sparked alive leaving the smallest of crinkles in the outer corners. His laugh. His sexy, deep laugh was something I’ve never really heard coming from his mouth before. I’ve heard him giggle but not this, uncontrollable, carefree, natural laugh.
I bit into my bottom lip to stifle my laughter and Liam seemed to gain back some control as well. Throughout the rest of the lesson I felt Ruby’s eyes bleed into me but I dare not look her way. Every now and again Liam & I would glance at each other and crack up all over again. I’m sure Mr Hibbert was about to throw us out just when the end of the day bell rang.
I watched Liam disappear through the hallway heading to soccer practice while I parted ways in the opposite direction. So my day started off terrible but the last hour and a half more than made up for it even if I knew I had caused more damage and dug myself a deeper grave with the bitches.