The next few days go by with me being the major talk of the hallways. I mean, can't people focus on their own lives? Sigh.
Avoiding Jake has been quite easy since we don't have any class together, none that I know of at least. I drop off my books in my locker as I see Owen running towards me. Doesn't he ever walk?
"Hey Josie," he says after catching his breath.
"Ohh, so I'm finally visible to the marvelous King Owen who tried to prank me in the first place but unfortunately got pranked instead." I say to him with my arms crossed.
"I just hated the fact that you were able to outsmart me, also my favorite jeans got ruined and I was embarrassed, considering the fact that I got pranked by my own tricks. I shouldn't have tried that sort of prank on you." Owen says, feeling a little guilty.
"Well, I'm glad you learnt your lesson. I just knew you couldn't stay away from me too long." I say to him as I close my locker.
"So, what's your cause for running this time, something absurd as usual?" I ask with an uninterested look.
"Nooo, trust me you're gonna thank me this time."
"Okay, spill it."
"Oh first, I did hear about your scene at the cafeteria by the way, obviously due to your excessive confidence getting into your head, as always." He says, raising his eyebrows at me.
"Just get to the point Owen, I don't have all day you know."
"Okay, brace yourself. Jake, Jake Alfresco is taking the same History class you're in this year." he says while grabbing my shoulders.
"Tell me you're joking!" History is already a case on its own, but adding Jake as a cherry on top, that's so unfair universe!
"Nope, not this time." He says smiling at me.
"This isn't a good thing, why on earth are you smiling?!"
"I guess it's a good payback for what you did to my poor blue jeans." he says while poking at my left cheek.
"Get your hands off me, I HATE YOU!"
"I know," he says bluntly.
After using my famous words against me, he leaves me there standing. I'm going to get him for this.
What's the big deal anyway Josie? He's just a human being like you after all; but sadly came out as a jerk.
"He's just a human, he's just a human." I chant to myself silently, as I find my way to History class.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I walk into the class avoiding people's faces, as I settle for the empty seat at the back. Sitting by the window has become a part of me since age ten, when I got stuck with a kid with terrible body odor for a whole year. My only escape from the pollution was the fresh breeze that came in through the window.
"You can do this Josie." I say to myself one last time.
He walks into the class and some girls begin to giggle. Typical high school.
All I do is to turn away, focus my attention on my History textbook, as I wait patiently for Mr Alexander to come in.
Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, he settles himself down right by my side. Do I feel scared a bit? Definitely, but I can't let him know that.
One thing I'm good at is hiding my fears and covering them all up with confidence. That's what got into this situation in the first place, so it'll probably get me out. I hope.
"Hello jerk face," I say to him after a lot of hesitation, since he still hasn't acknowledged my presence.
All he does is take one look at my direction and then turn away under a second. Wow, rude much?
"I thought being cute comes with a bit of friendliness," I murmur to myself, but unknown to me, loud enough for him to hear.
I focus my attention back on my textbook and ignore his existence completely.
Mr Alexander walks in a few minutes after. Time for another boring 45minutes of my life. Why does this have to be the first lesson of the day? Sigh.
After about twenty minutes of torture, I'm at the point where I earnestly try to prevent my eyelids from closing.
"... the first set of freed slaves settled in the coastal areas..." Mr Alex rambles on.
"BORING!" I say to myself.
"I know right?"
What! Did that jerk face just reply me?
"Oh, so you speak?"
"Being cute comes with a bit of friendliness?" he says with a smirk on his face.
"I'm Jake by the way." Oh so now he wants to talk. I decide to let it go anyway and just talk to him. Life's too short to hold grudges these days.
"I'm Josie, the girl you still owe some fries."
And for the first time, I hear him laugh. Hmm, maybe he isn't as bad as people say after all.
We both try to keep each other awake during the remaining twenty five minutes of the class, as he keeps on ranting about the fact that I called him cute. Oh and luckily for me, that's the only class we had together that day.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
After a stressful day at school, I finally leave for my evening shift at Winners, the small restaurant where I work as a waiter. The name is cheesy I know, but as long as I'm getting my pay, I'm good!
I rethink of how my boss, Mrs Mara, has been really good to me. She offered me this job, an apartment to live in and even cut out fifty percent of my the rent, when she found me on the street about two years ago, very miserable.
I arrive at work a bit early, which is good because I get to have a quick rest from my walk here, before I finally get down to business.
As I get in through the back door to change into my uniform, I see an exhausted Melissa running towards me with her cute puppy eyes but tears streaming down her face. Something is definitely wrong.
"Josie, please I need your help." She manages to say, as she struggles to catch her breath.
I'm cut off by Melissa as she starts to explain.
"I just got a call from my neighbor that my younger brother got hit by a car on his way back home from school. He says it's nothing too serious, but getting hit by a car is still no good news to me. I couldn't leave cause there was no one available to cover for me. I tried calling you but you didn't pick up. I figured you might have still been in class. So, I tried calling..."
"Hey, Hey, Melissa, I understand, just get going. Go check on your brother and I'll let boss know you had an emergency if she comes around, okay?" I say, as I try to calm her down.
"Thanks so much Josie, what would I do without you?" she says while wiping her tears.
"You'd do the same for me girl, so get going." She leaves, but not without giving me one last hug.
After switching to my uniform, I head towards the counter to finish up Melissa's shift as the cashier.
The next few minutes go by, as I collect several customers' cash and hand them their receipts and change if any.
"Hey Josie, where's Melissa?" Julie asks.
"Oh well, she had an emergency to get to and since I was here earlier than when our shift starts, I helped her cover the rest of hers."
"Aww how cute. Well I'm here now and our shift starts right away so you better get to those customers before they start getting crazy." Juls says smiling.
I speedily walk towards a table of new customers, ask them nicely for their orders and from there, the repeated cycle begins.
Twenty minutes left of my working hours and I see Emilia walk in.
"Emilia Drake, what brings you here? Don't you live on the other side of town?" I ask as I hug her from behind.
"Josie! There you are, tell me you're done with your shift," she says hurriedly.
"Almost, but I don't think we're expecting any more customers, you seem to be the last of them."
"Oh good then, sit down." She says, as she sits me down on an empty table.
"What's wrong Em? You're being weird."
"I heard from the high school gossips that you and Jake had History class together. Just wanted to check if you're still in one piece after embarrassing him in front of the whole school. You know, the bad guys don't take things lightly," she asks with a look of concern.
"Well as you can see, I'm fine and still in one piece. Jake isn't as bad as people say really, he turned out to be pretty cool to me."
Emilia raises an eyebrow at me, questioning what I just said.
"I'm serious. He's a jerk, no doubt, but he's funny too. At least he helped me stay awake during History class." I shrug.
"It seems someone is getting fond of someone." Emilia says, pretending to look at something on the ceiling, just to avoid eye contact with me.
"I guess you guys might turn out to be more than just people that offer the same subject."
"Yeah, probably friends," I admit.
"Sooo, you like Mr jerk face now?" she says teasingly.
"No, he isn't even my type!" I say with disgust.
"Are you your type's type? " Emilia asks, laughing at her own comment.
"Trust me Josie, things are definitely going to happen between you two."
I can't even picture it in mind and Emilia seems so sure about it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The rest of my shift ends with Emilia teasing me about Jake till she finally gets a call from her dad and leaves. I walk to my small and cozy apartment, after switching to my normal clothes and locking up the restaurant since I was the last to leave, thanks to Em.
On getting home, I jump right on my bed to take a rest from all the day's stress. Almost sleeping off, I hear a message notification on my phone and quickly search my bag to check who it's from. Maybe Emilia, checking if I got home safely. "Where's the damn phone!?" I say out loud.
At last I find the stupid phone and see that it's a message from a strange number that says, "YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE. COME HOME TO DADDY, JOSEPHINE. WE HAVE AN UNFINISHED BUSINESS."
A/N: Oh, Poor Josie! I really love her confidence, how she deals with situations and faces things head on. I hope she is able to deal with this one thing that terrifies her.
Choco X Vanille✨