Chapter 2: The Move (Part 2)
I felt like a stalker. I’d been here for less than a week and already I was obsessing over her. Still, I had to keep my distance. I had to make it seem like I didn’t exist. I promised my parents that I would be better. That I wouldn’t be an issue anymore, but this girl... This girl seems like she needs me as much as I need her. Like we both could use a friend. Someone whom we could talk to unfiltered. A chance to start over and finally be able to completely be ourselves and not what someone wanted us to be . I hadn’t meant to eavesdrop, but I could hear her when my window was up.
She was laughing joyously and talking to whom I assumed was a person at first, but I was wrong. I never saw another teenager entering or leaving her home. It was just her, the she started calling herself stupid or something. Most of her words were mumbled and blurred. I couldn’t really hear her as much as I wished I could, and as soon as she would start crying, it was like she’d disappeared all together. She had definitely piqued my curiosity and, even though I had no clue who she was, I worried about her.
For the few days I’d been here, I’d noticed a little pattern from her. Today she was walking her dogs to the park and I’d followed her. She’d sit on the bench with her book as she allowed them some freedom. They never wandered too far away from her. The amount of love and trust between them wasn’t something I’d seen before. Not even in humans. It was like they knew what she was thinking and if she needed them. If she was ready to go they were already at her feet waiting before she’d even closed her book. It was an amazing thing to witness.
“Okay you guys go have fun.” she spoke and my knees wobbled. Without there being anything there to muffle the sounds I could hear her soft voice completely and it was beautiful. There was so much behind it that it almost knocked me breathless. I wasn’t going to last. I knew the moment I heard her speak so clearly that I was going to break all the promises I had made. I needed to know more about her whether it be directly or indirectly. Sitting against the tree, I leaned back and tried to focus my mind on simply breathing.
Who was this girl?
What was the mystery behind it?
Would she be worth the second chance I didn’t deserve?
I didn’t want to fall in love with her. Being in relationships was too demanding. Being a friend was too much pressure. Especially when they began making wrong choices and wouldn’t stop to listen to you. Maybe I could be her protector from a distance. I’d watch her and help her out when needed, but I’d be practically invisible. She wouldn’t know that I was there unless I wanted her to know. She wouldn’t know if I was scaring off the assholes, unless someone told her. I’d find a way to be there for and still keep the promises I’d made.
I’d been so caught up in my own thoughts that I hadn’t even noticed the dog on my side until it began licking my hand. I smiled, noticing it was one of the ones that had come here with her.
“Hello the little guy.” I cooed, scratching him gently behind the ear. “What’s your name?” I asked before looking at the collar only to see it, said Butterfly. “Well excuse me ma’am, I apologize. I don’t know how I ever mistaken you for a guy. You’re so beautiful.” I laughed. Okay, now I could understand why she talked to them like they were humans. It was fun and relaxing. The dog got excited as she barked and jumped on me. I laughed as I hugged her to me and rubbed her some more. “Is that your mommy’s perfume on you cutie? You smell like strawberries.”
“Butterfly! Butterfly where are you?!” came her voice full of worry. She almost felt panicked and it was my fault it was there. I sighed, even without doing anything I still caused her some pain.
“Go back to your mommy cutie. Don’t want her to worry.” I whispered, sitting her back down and shooing her off, but she wouldn’t move. She stared at me as if waiting for me to take her back. Now I was the one panicking. I didn’t want to be seen by her. I didn’t want her to know me. As cute as the dog was, she was going to run everything I had planned.
“There you are!” she shrieked happily, her voice sounding closer. I had no other choice. I ran. I ran until I was on the other side of the park and when I looked back she was placing them back on their leashes and leaving.
I finally allowed myself to breathe again as I watched her walk away. This was going to be harder than I thought to stay away from her. I had all kinds of questions I wanted to ask her. I wanted to know her, and if I’m being honest… I wanted her dog. Maybe that made me a bad person seeing as it was clear they were all she said, but she had two others. Giving me one wouldn’t hurt.
At this point, I’m pretty sure that dog was the only kind of girl my parents were going to let me invite over. They’d still refused to talk about my moment, but I was finding ways through it.
… … … … … …
Maybe I had grown annoyed from overthinking. Or maybe I’d wanted an excuse to walk around aimlessly. Whatever the reason, I hadn’t expected to run into again so soon. I’d assumed she would’ve gone straight home and I would’ve had time to get her off my mind.
I was wrong.
I hid on the side of the building as her voice floated over to me. She sounded angry and a burst of violence filled me. I wanted to hurt whoever had made that tone come out of her.
“I don’t understand why I can’t just go in and buy the ice-cream! It’s not like I’m bringing them inside!” she spat angrily.
“I don’t care! I don’t want them shitting in front of the shop while you sit on your ass eating ice-cream! Take them home and then come back.”
“You’re being unreasonable Clarissa!” she growled. “Your mom never minds-”
“My mother isn’t here today, I am. What I say goes! Know what? Fuck it, you’re banned. Get the hell away from here before I call the cops.” My jaw dropped as I eavesdropped on what was happening. I have never witnessed something so petty before. It made no sense. Why was she treating her like that? The girl I had been watching from a distance for some days now had stomped away mumbling things under her breath. She was better than me. Still, my curiosity got the best of me and I made a step in the wrong direction. Doing this would ensure bringing attention to my presence, but at this point I had no choice. Clearly, she was hated for some reason and I knew firsthand what that could do to a person’s mental state.
My feet were moving before I could even process it and my mouth had already been forming the words.
“Well, that was a sight to see.” I smirked. I could see from the way she looked at me that she was already tricked by the pretty packaging. “Why so mean to the girl?” I questioned and she rolled her eyes.
“You must be new around here.” she spoke trying to make her voice sultry, but it sounded more like nails on a chalkboard.
“Why do you care about her?” she asked, her tone disgusted as if acknowledging the girl left a bad taste in her mouth.
“Well, she’s my neighbor. I’m trying to see if I should introduce myself to her or not.” I teased, shrugging as if I didn’t care.
“Don’t bother unless you want your life ruined.” she spat. I had to remember she had no idea who she was talking to. My past hadn’t followed me here.
“What do you mean?”
“Simply put, that girl is a liar and a whore. A little bitch. A nobody and she needs someone to keep her in her place. She thinks she’s so much better than everyone else. She thinks she can just get away with the shit she’s done like no one would remember. Stay away from her and she’ll bring you into her pits of despair also.” her nasally voice had gone a pitch higher. I was shocked to say the least. The girl didn’t seem a bit like how she’d described. One thing was for sure though, I now knew why she always cried.
“Well, if I shouldn’t introduce myself to her, then who should I be hanging out with?”
“Here’s my number.” she smiled pulling a card out from her back pocket. I wanted to laugh, but I had to keep up the persona. Nothing about her appealed to me the way the girl from next door had. I wasn’t captivated by her at all, she seemed more like a quick fuck than anything. “Give me a call and I’ll come hangout with you anytime you want. Trust me, I’m better company than Maria and I can show you all the right people to hangout with. Wouldn’t you rather be popular than associated with a slutty loser?”
“Let me think about it.” I mumbled before walking off. So her name was Maria. If all the other kids were like that Clarissa girl, I knew my promises were going to be broken. Maria definitely needed me as much as I needed her. That was all I’d learnt from the twenty minutes I’d been talking to Clarissa.