The Universe Hates Me

Chapter 7

Max's POV

I walked in to school the next morning with a HUGE smile on my face. People kept giving me weird looks as if asking me, "What the h-e-double hockey sticks is she so happy about this early in the morning?" But I really didn't care. I had my best friend back. He told me he wasn't going anywhere, and that's all that's important to me. I felt my smile grow bigger, as if that were even possible, as I thought about our conversation last night.

We had spent almost the entire night sitting at the dock just... talking. I think it was almost two am when we finally said our goodbyes and headed home. Yesterday turned from the worst day of my life - right next to the day my dad made us move, of course - into one of the best days of my life. But that's Fang for you; if he lets you in, he can change your world with just one tiny smile. Or maybe I'm being conceited. But when I'm around him, I feel all my worries and troubles wash away. It's like nothing else exists in the world but me and him.

Now, though, I am starting to wonder if those are the right feeling I should be having towards my best friend. I mean, he makes me feel special and he's there for me no matter what. That's what friends are for, though, right? Ugh, I don't want to think about this anymore! My own feelings are confusing me. Stupid teenage hormones. (Yep. Can't go past blaming it on the hormones.)

I made my way to my next class, completely confused with myself. I had spent the first four of my morning classes not paying attention. I was majorly spacing out and doodling on my paper randomly. I was almost to my next class when I saw Fang. I gave him a smile as he made his way over to me. Luckily, there were no certain Red-Haired Wonders hanging 'round, sucking face with my best friend. No murders would be committed. Yet.

"Hey," Fang greeted, smiling slightly as only Fang could and giving me a quick hug.

"Hi," I said, still grinning like a fool and probably looking nowhere near half as good as Fang did when he smiled. "I was wondering if maybe you wanted to hang out this weekend? We could have a movie night and rent a bunch of DVDs. You know, stay up all night until our sugar highs wear off. Just like old times," I offered, getting more and more excited with every word.

Until I saw his face fall a little bit. He looked the way people did before letting down a very excited child who wanted candy. I felt my face fall too, at his expression. Damn.

"I'm sorry Max. I really want to. I really do, but..." he trailed off in a gentle, sad voice. I didn't want to hear what came after the "but", and he knew it. Fang avoided eye contact with me, suddenly finding his shoes to be quite interesting.

I felt my expression sadden even more. "But what?" I asked hesitantly, still not entirely sure if I wanted to hear it. I tried to keep the disappointment out of my voice, but, from what I could guess from the guilt in his eyes, I was failing miserably.

Fang looked up at me for a quick glance and then went back to staring at his shoes. "Well, Lissa and I already have plans for this weekend. She needs me to help her pick out a dress for a party that we have to go to," he muttered, trying to say it gently, but rushing his words. He obviously didn't want to let me down; I could detect a hint of disappointment in his voice.

I seriously felt my heart drop right out of my ribcage. A swelling pain in the right of my chest started aching, right where my heart should be. I say "should be" because I know for a fact that my heart would never survive that drop out of my chest, and has now shattered into millions of pieces somewhere near my ankles. I was completely and utterly heartbroken. But I, being Maximum Ride, tough girl and badass, refused to let it show.

I plastered a fake smile on my face and swallowed the pain I felt. In the preppiest voice I could manage at that particular heart-shattering time, I said, "Oh, well that's OK. Maybe next week or something." I winked at him half-heartedly. "Have fun with Lissa. We all know that you have very good taste in dresses," I added sarcastically, trying my hardest to lighten the mood. "You and Nudge were born to be brother and sister." I grinned playfully. Maybe I should be considering acting classes, he didn't even look SUSPICIOUS of the pain I was feeling...

"Well you know, she did teach me everything I know," Fang retorted, nudging my arm and looking relieved I hadn't punched him or something - which was very likely, so he had good reason to be worried. Though I doubt I'd have the guts to mess up his pretty face. Uh, face. Just face. No adjective...

"Well, I have to go. La hora de la clase de español con la Señora Komenos**,"(Translation at bottom) I told him, knowing he had no clue what I just said. I gave him a knowing smile. "See, this is why you are flunking Spanish."

Fang gave one of his rare grins. It would've made me want to melt, however cheesy that is, if my heart wasn't already lying somewhere around my feet, broken, like it was at the moment.

Giving me a small wave goodbye, Fang turned and headed towards his class, and I to mine.

The minute Fang was out of sight, I let my mask fall and I revealed my true feelings. I only really cared about concealing them to Fang, so I barely noticed other student's looks of confusion to the array of emotions on my face. Hurt, anger, sadness, rage, and other feelings were easily readable on my face.

But why am I feeling this? She - Lissa - has every right to call dibs on hanging out with Fang. I mean, she is his girlfriend. But I can't help but feel that she is all wrong for Fang. He deserves someone who will treat him right, show him just how amazing he is, and love him the way he deserves to be loved.

The way I love him.

Whoa, wait.

Hold the phone. Did I just say I loved Fang?

I mean, I know I love him. He is my best friend. Of course I freaking love him! But what if there is a chance that I love him in a different way?

A more passionate way.

If I did really love him like that, love him as far more than a friend, then would he feel the same way about me? Mulling it over, my chest hurt at the possibility that he wouldn't...

No, I can't be thinking like this!

He's your best friend, Max! Always has been, always will be. He HAS A GIRLFRIEND, for crying out loud! And he's not going to change that anytime soon.

Ugh! There is no way I have stronger feelings than friendship for Fang! Is there? No... there can't be. I just love him as a best friend, and I just want what's best for him.

Yeah... that's it. Crisis averted.

I found myself spacing out again in my classes and day dreaming...

***Day dream***

I was walking home from school with Fang. We were talking and laughing, just like in the good ol' days. He was telling me about the time Gazzy got his head stuck in a fish bowl. All because Iggy told him that if you stick your head in a fishbowl with the water and fish still in it you will grow gills. So of course Gazzy had to try it. And him trying it resulted in chaos. Of course. It was basic chaos - no high-powered explosives - just the usual "Gazzy's head is in a fishbowl, and he's stuck." You know. Everyday life.

But while he - Gazzy - was screaming and crying for someone to help him, he accidentally swallowed the fish. Can you say gross? And sad. *Sniffle.* Poor Paco. Why must the good always die young? Anyway, it took three hours, a few - dozen - tubs of butter, and a lot of pulling and screaming to get his head out of there.

When Gazzy was finally free and calmed down a bit from his hysterical crying he grabbed a frying pan and chased Iggy around the house with it, threatening to smack him over the head a few time to knock some sense into him. Or maybe just knock him out.

When Fang was done telling the story I was bent over holding my sides because I was laughing so hard. Even Fang was laughing. Really laughing, not his normal dry chuckle, but a real make-Max's-heart-go-worryingly-fast laugh. I haven't heard him this way in a really long time.

We were having a great time, just hanging out and talking to each other. It felt just like a fairy tale. My fairytale. Our fairytale. But, as you know, in most fairy tales there is always an evil villain to come and spoil the fun. Sure, the old stepmother in Cinderella made the story interesting, but if you've ever lived in a sort of fairytale, you don't want any evil villain to come and spoil your fun. Not even for the entertainment for young children reading bedtime stories.

However, life doesn't always go as planned.

Right on cue, the Red-headed Queen slut had to swoop in on her stripper pole and ruin this beautiful moment.

She ripped Fang out of my grasp and tried working her moves on him. You know, the moves she learnt in the Academy for Wannabe Hookers.

"Fangy," she whined in her annoyingly high pitch voice. She stuck out her chest, pressing hers flush with Fang's torso.

Kill me now, please.

"What are you doing with that ugly brat when you could have me?" she demanded, trying to sound sultry but really just sounding like a dying hyena.

By this time of my daydream, I had just about enough of this girl's whorish ways. I stalked over to her ripped her away from Fang. Now, let's hold this so I can tell you something; if you have a violence fetish, like moi, then I'll have you know that punching red-headed slut in the nose and hearing a HUGE - and I mean freakin' GINORMOUS - crack is extremely satisfactory. I think the sound of Lissa's nose breaking brought me closer to Heaven than anything - including chocolate chip cookies - ever had.

I couldn't help but smirk at even the mere thought of just ruining her nose job. Actually ruining said nose job was far, far better than any of my wildest daydreams could have predicted.

As I was admiring my work, I was caught off guard as she grabbed my arm and pulled me down to the ground when she started straddling me - uh, that isn't awkward AT ALL - and flailing her arms and throwing extremely sloppy punches. If one thing bugs me, it's crappy punching skills. I honestly wouldn't have minded sitting her down and giving her a lesson, if it weren't for the fact that one, SHE PUNCHED ME and two, she was a major witch with a 'B'. So no free lesson for her, I guess...

We started rolling around on the concrete in the middle of the street. I was punching and kicking her; she was going for the more "bitch fight" approach and pulling my hair while scratching me with her ridiculously long French manicured nails.

I was on top of her, just about to throw a blow - that would be sure to knock her out - when I was pulled out of my violence-induced high - yeah, I'm funny like that - by a loud horn. And it sounded close.

Too close.

Panic building in my throat, I looked up and I froze in fear. There was a giant semi going full speed. And you know what? It was headed straight for us. I CAN'T GET A BREAK, CAN I?

As much as I wanted to, there was no time to dwell on how much the universe friggin' hates me - even in daydreams - because of the small fact that I was about to die. People had always said I'd be sarcastic, right to the death. At least I'd be living up to their expectations...

But, in all serious holy-crap-I'm-going-to-die-ness, the semi was hurtling towards us way too fast. It wouldn't be able to break or swerve in time. And there was NO WAY Lissa and I would be able to get out of the way in time.

We were going to die.

You know how people say "I saw my life flash before my eyes" just before they die? (Though HOW they come back to tell us what they saw, since they were dead, is a mystery).

Well, that statement is so true because I watched my life flash before my eyes. It didn't take too long, which is kind of sad.

So, with the spare time I had before I died - after reliving my life, of course - all I could think of, "I'm too young to die. Too young. Too young. Too. Young."

This is it, I guess. Here is the end. I never thought I would go out this way; maybe in a bar fight or something equally as violent. But I never guessed I'd go by being hit by a semi

Since we're sticking to cliche's, I have to admit, I did sort of whisper, "Goodbye, cruel world!" all dramatically. But inside I was a mess. I was going to die. I was leaving everyone. Fang. Angel. Mom. Iggy. Nudge. Ella. Fang.

Just as I was about to close my eyes and prepare myself to die, I saw something in my peripheral vision. It was a dark, shadowy blur, running toward us. Fang. There was no way he would be able to get here in time to save us both. He would have to choose.

Oh god, no!

I wasn't one to pray, but I found myself begging to anyone, anything that could hear me, Don't do this to me! Please, don't! I can't die knowing Fang loved Lissa more than me! Just let me die in peace. Please.

I closed my eyes, readying myself to die. The semi was just a few feet from me now. Just as it was about to claim my life, I felt something crash into me full speed and knock me out of the way just as the semi truck plowed into the spot
where I was just moments before. I watched as the semi hurtled into Lissa's body, crushing her easily. BONUS! As if that wasn't already a happy ending, I realized something


Fang had chosen me. ME! I tore my gaze from Lissa's lifeless, mangled body and looked into Fang's gorgeous eyes. His eyes told me everything. That he loved me, and I was the one he truly wanted. He picked me up slowly, bridal style, and our faces moved closer and closer together, never breaking our intense eye contact. We were so close. SO CLOSE. Our lips were almost touching and if one of us were to move we would be kissing. SO. CLOSE. Fang leaned in, and...

"MS. RIDE!" my science teacher yelled.

"Huh?" I asked as she brought me out of my day dream. SO FLIPPING CLOSE!

"Please pay attention in my class and take your notes!" she scowled.

"Sorry, miss," I grumbled irritably, feeling a blush creeping into my cheeks as other students stared at me and started sniggering.

I spent the rest of the day feeling sorry for myself and plotting Lissa's painful demise. I came up with some pretty good plans, if I do say so myself. There was one where I fed her to alligators. Another one where her hair dryer blew up,taking her with it (I was sure Iggy and Gazzy could help me with that one...). There was one where I shipped her out of the country and she was never to be seen again. There was one where I dropped an anvil on her head, just like In Wile E. Coyote.

Let's not forget the one I came up with about some crazy guys in white coats - scientists? - taking her away to experiment on her. Where I got that idea from, well, beats me. Maybe I ought to cut down on sci-fi novels. Or maybe I shouldn't eat so many chocolate chip cookies before bed time...

But my all time favorite was when Fang pushed her off a cliff. Now that was entertaining. She leaned in for one of her sloppy wet kisses but Fang moved and just pushed her off the edge. Just like that, she was gone. All you could hear was a faint, "AHHHHHH" in the background. That is definitely my favorite sound in the world, now. Other than Fang's laugh, of course.

Wow, I am really messed up. I can't believe I spent the entire day thinking of ways to kill Lissa... I know it's wrong, but honestly, I don't think she would be missed all that much. I know a lot of people who want to vote her off the island, so to speak.

I was on my way home when I got a text. I felt my heart skip a beat when I read who it was from. Fang. I hesitated for a moment, wondering whether or not I should read it. Finally, my curiosity got the better of me and I opened the text.

"Hey Max, I feel super bad for not being able to hang out tonight. I was hoping you didn't have plans on Sunday, though. I thought maybe we could spend the day together. Just like the old days. We could go get ice-cream and rent bad scary movies. My treat… PLEEEEAAASSSEEEEEEE, MAXIIIIIIII? *bambi eyes*."

As I read the text I felt my heart swell with happiness. He did want to hang out with me. I couldn't get my fingers to type my answer fast enough.

I responded with, "Well… I don't know I might have to pencil you in because we all know I'm so popular and have a HUGE social life. ;)."

I had to smirk at my response. I could just picture Fang rolling his eyes.

A few minutes later, I got a reply from Fang. "Oh, come on, Maxi! Please? For me? You know you want to. Do I have to resort to begging?" I had to laugh at the thought of Fang groveling. Wouldn't that be amusing...

"Well….Ok..I guess that sounds fun. But only because you begged. Haha ;)."

I pressed "send" with a huge smile on my face. I felt like a giddy school girl who had just been asked out on a date. This was so not like me. And it's not like this was a date.

I felt my phone buzz yet again and I opened the reply, "Ok, pick you up at 6:00. See you Sunday. ;)."

I closed my phone and let out a sigh of contentment. I was so happy I wanted to scream. Like a school girl.

Lissa may have him tonight, but he is all mine Sunday.

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