I knew Liams Secret
Flopping down on my bed rethinking the days events, thankful I was able to escape hell without running into anymore trouble. As I stared up at my white ceiling my mind couldn’t help but float back to sapphire rings and honey blonde highlights.
Why did he react so badly to simple, non invasive questions?
My eyes oggle the perfectly, smooth, white texture of the plaster that encircles a silver faux crystal chandelier twinkling in the sunlight admitting patterns of light around the room. It was comforting.
What was Liam hiding?
Before I could stop myself I picked up my iPhone and searched for him on Instagram, rolling my eyes I mentally scolded myself because we all know social media shows the true realities of ones life. Feasting my curious eyes on Liams grid searching for the answers I probably wouldn’t find. Somewhere at the back of my mind I made a note that there were no pictures of him with any girls. But generally the platform was full of soccer practice or winning moments, drunken party pictures and one or two pictures of cars. He’s such a boy.
One square was occupied with a video. Mr Greene sitting at his desk whilst Liam catapulted erasers using a slingshot with ease like he was Bart Simpson. In the video Mr Greene flinches from the impact of each one and then loses his shit with Liam whilst the background noise floods with herds of laughter. My eyes roll again. How has he not been kicked out already?
Diving deeper and deeper into his Instagram I’m seeing nothing that hints towards whatever lies behind those walls. Disappointment rags through me but it was expected. As the upload date goes further and further back my fingers start to tremble and anxiety builds. My mind plays out a scenario where I like one of his pictures by mistake and the panic that surges through me is knife-point sharp. I couldn’t let that happen, time to get off social media.
A welcome and familiar ring went off on my phone, distracting my thoughts away from the bad boy. My parents were calling from New York just like they do every night. They both work together at a company who holds office space in Manhattan so they travel a lot. Sometimes they are gone for three months at a time, sometimes only three weeks. Which I guess I don’t mind, it just gets a little lonely sometimes.
7AM my alarm clock blurs out the most annoying ring that penetrates my ears in the most unwelcome way. I allow my heavy eyes to flicker open slowly, taking in the familiarity of my bedroom. Lilac tones dressed my walls and Polaroid photos hung from fairy lights showcasing my most cherished memories. White wooded furniture accented the room and light flooded through the window blinds. It was the warmest of orange tinges as the sun started to rise and the colours of day and night bled in to one another.
Opening my closet I eye up my choices. I need something that makes me look normal and feel confident. I don’t own anything like that. Instead I settle for light blue skinny jeans with several distress tears, a plain white v-neck t.shirt and throw a long line camo jacket over the top. Hopefully the camouflage will blend me in and I won’t be seen.
Opting to air dry my freshly showered hair I made quick work of towel drying and then just let it hang past my shoulders, I knew my loose natural curls would set in but this morning I’m too lazy to care about blow drying it straight.
Throwing on my black chucks and grabbing a bagel on the way out I was ready to face the music of high school. Throwing in my head phones and hitting play on ‘Spaceman’ by the Killers I began the walk to school which was quite a pleasant one in the fresh morning air. Approaching the school grounds my attention was brought to the atmosphere, it was... different.
There was a lot of buzz around the school yard and although confused at first I soon welcomed the change. For once I wasn’t under the microscope. Focus wasn’t on me at all. Paranoia swept over me, what if it was about me.
Keeping my head down I pulled open the familiar double doors to hell. Something immediately stopped me in my tracks. The walls and lockers were lined with photographs blown up to poster size, the school body hovering in the hallways with flyers in their hands, talking in vivid, hushed tones and giggling like something huge was going down.
I picked up a poster and urged myself with everything I had to look at it, silently praying it wasn’t me or anything to do with me. But it wasn’t. Shakily holding my arm outstretched I cautiously eyed the poster in front of me. Mr Taylor sat, naked. The only thing concealing his modesty was a fluffy green pillow placed between his legs. His modesty may be sticking around but his dignity was gone.
“Was it photoshopped?” I asked, catching up to Tia for the gossip.
“It looks pretty real to me.” Tia was wide eyed with expression, she had a look on her face that told me she was going to get to the bottom of this no matter what.
“Why are there naked pictures of Mr Taylor?” I was so confused but selfishly thankful the heat was off me for once and someone else was pummeling under fire. “Who did this?” I asked Tia but after studying the length of the corridor my question was answered.
Liam Maines stood at the far end of the hallway, dressed in black skin tight jeans, and a red t-shirt that teased the shape of his perfectly built chest along with his trademark black leather jacket. He stood back watching the aftermath of the current pandemic. Two secret green marbles drunk in the sight from afar. His elbow leaning casually against a locker and his leg crossed in an easy-going stance, he couldn’t look more attractive. Blue eyes met green eyes, his alive with mischief and a slow, sly smirk appeared on his face that I felt radiate through my whole. entire. body.
I was first to break the bond our eyes shared for a millisecond. I looked down, embarrassed. Liam on the other hand was beaming with pride and I had no doubt in my mind that he was responsible for the undesirable art gallery plastered across school. First bell rang and everyone scrambled towards their first class.
Rumors had been flying everywhere throughout the day, everyone voicing their opinions on who they thought had plastered the pictures around. Principle Jenkins ordered whoever it was to come forward or there would be serious consequences. But me? I was just so thankful to have the day off. To not be center of bad attention, even if I was relishing in someone elses misfortune.
I hurdled in for my last lesson of the day - Social Studies. Liam was there before me, surprisingly. I eased myself in my chair really carefully so that I didn’t touch him at all and stealthily inhaled his clean, tropical smell. Oud wood and vanilla, Liams trademark scent.
Mr Hibbert waffled on about human reaction but I couldn’t concentrate. Goosebumps layered my skin and made every hair stand on end. My heart raced and it took every fiber of my being to not look in Liams direction. Through side glances he looked like the perfect student, concentrating hard but I knew better than that as I could hear the distant buzz of his earphones. Every now and again his head would bob slightly with music causing his chestnut brown hair to fall in front of his face.
Preoccupied with irrational thoughts I didn’t notice Mr Hibbert set the task of talking to your partner about whatever he discussed this lesson. I had no clue what I was meant to talk to Liam about so I just plucked up the courage from the pits of my existence and went with my own question.
“How did you get those photos of Mr Taylor?” It come out sounding way more confident than I actually was. Boy I seem brave.
Liam turned to me, raging eyes darkened as he shot me a dangerous glare but then something changed. It was like he realized what I had said and it flipped a switch inside of him. Light blue pooled through the darkness and beamed in the sunlight. A sly smirk stretched across his face, not quite meeting his eyes but targeting the unmarked territory between my legs. He glowed with mischief and for a few minutes he looked like a typical teenage boy.
For a few moments I thought he was going to answer me and partake in a real conversation. However my hope was short lived when Liam pursed his lips and scowled. The black pit swallowed the blue remains of the extinguished embers and a small V appeared on his forehead.
“That wasn’t me. Mind your business Olive.” His voice deep and intimidating.
My chest tightened, his thunderous eyes sent chills down my spine. Regret flowed through my veins and I mentally chastised myself for asking the question.
“I.. uh... I just thought you had something to do with it because I spotted you this morning enjoying the chaos it caused.” I somehow managed to stutter out.
“Yeah, well. Don’t be spreadin’ that shit around... Olive.” He bluntly replied.
But then his lips twitched into the smallest of smiles, the kind of secretive smile you could only notice if you was really looking. We got pulled into an awkward silence, or moments of hesitation from Liam, I don’t know. Either way it was uncomfortable and tense. Then he surprised me and continued.
“He pissed me off giving me an F in history which meant I had to miss a soccer game to resit the paper. So we set up a Facebook account and cat fished him for a while, soon enough he was sexting us nudes like the desperate fucker he is.”
He spoke so casually like this type of thing was a completely normal, every day thing. Maybe to him it was. I watched him speak, he was enjoying himself. Relishing in his bad behavior was something he was proud of and loved to share. I didn’t even know what to reply.
“So don’t be telling anyone Olive... or else.” His dark persona was back, the wall stood tall and quite frankly the change of personality was giving me whiplash. My belly was doing somersaults and the butterflies were going wild. Liam Manies had trusted me with one of his secrets.