Vernon's voice was loud, it made my head pound heavily and it really didn't help when I snapped my head up to attention rather than just raise my hand at his question as the others did.
"Who has to go to the lavatory?"
Only 5 hands, as I said, rose when his voice sounded, while I sprung to action. Immediately, instead of waiting for the others, I jumped out of my seat and ran to the door. To be honest, I wasn't acting like a damn child who desperately needed a pee because I needed to pee, more like I needed to know what I looked like. Sounds conceited I know and all round stupid but wouldn't you want to make sure you didn't look, well like death? Despite everything, I still don't want any of them to know, and so that was why I acted like a jumping puppy.
Looked behind me, I motioned wildly with my hands to the others, hoping they would get the message and hurry up. They didn't get the message but they did clamber to their feet, no matter how slow they were being. Though, I think it only seemed slow to me because I wanted to get there quickly if you know what I mean.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed John make his way to me smirking. Oh God, what's he up to now?
"Hey sweet cheeks, why so desperate, wanting to look pretty for lil' old me?"
From his voice I could detect that he was joking, just like I hoped he had been as soon as he opened that damn mouth. Beautiful mouth though. No. Shut up.
"Ah, you're so funny John! I look pretty already."
With that I moved away from him and followed Dick down the hall, thankful for at least some usefulness from him, whether it is only something as small as this. I could hear the others trying to match my pace, but none of them tried to walk past me, or next to me. Though, I could tell from the tingles on my neck that John was only a width of a hair away from me and I was desperately trying not to make it seem like my body was reacting. But it was pretty obvious, seeing as I could never control my actions, my body felt heated, and I knew my cheeks were red from the closeness.
As we got to the bathrooms, Vernon turned to us sternly, and his face was puckered. If I wasn't so bothered right now, I'd laugh so much at that face. I'll settle with a smirk then.
"Don't take too long ladies."
I snorted and continued walking past him, though I knew that the comment wouldn't fly over John's head because that's just how he is, and when I chanced a glance back, I found I was right as John shoulder barged Vernon while glaring heatedly. Boy he really needs to control that temper of his sometimes, I mean, he gets so worked up over nothing at all.
Allison, I and the redhead all cautiously stepped through the door that said 'girls' and I was pleasantly surprised that it looked clean for once. Usually, on school days it looks like a pig pen and it's honestly one of the worst bathrooms in the whole school but I guess since it's the weekend, and already been cleaned for the next week, it won't be looking like that.
'Cherry' refused to acknowledge Allison or me as she moved solely to the mirror, taking her makeup out and redoing her face. Not that she needed it. I'd never tell her this but she was one of those girls who didn't need makeup covering her face because she had a natural beauty to her. Her face was blemish free and dusted with a few freckles which gave her one of those cute appealing looks. Altogether, her face was fine without all that other junk on it.
I looked over to Allison as she moved towards a toilet stall and closed it. The difference between 'Cherry' and Allison was that Allison was a darker beauty, hidden beneath that black shit she always caked around her eyes. Sure she had a few blemishes on her face, but they didn't need to be covered. Allison was pretty, not in the same way but it was there, she just didn't see it or maybe no one told her.
As I pondered on the two girls, I came to a horrifying conclusion that made me, dare I say, mad at myself.
I was jealous.
Jealous because they didn't need makeup to cover their little blemishes but they did so regardless. I was jealous because I couldn't hide behind mountains of makeup, and I couldn't even look beautiful without the stuff either. I was at a stale mate.
I looked into the mirror, standing a small distance away from 'Cherry' and criticised myself. It was my pale face that stood out to me, it was daunting really. The dark circles that surrounded my eyes were so visible against my skin that I cringed. I looked ill. I looked sick. I looked... like I really was dying.
And I just wanted to scream. Scream that it wasn't fair that I wasn't going to be around much longer, that I was just passing my days around people who didn't need to worry about if they would live to see the next 6 months. But I didn't. I didn't scream, and I didn't cry. I had already come to accept that I wasn't allowed to live. It begins and then it ends, that's just how it is. I don't deny it anymore.
And I don't because what's the point in denying it when the doctors tell you that you won't live to get married, or have children? There isn't one.
The sound of water rushing invaded my ears and I seeked the reason, glad to be away from my own thoughts. I found Allison looking at me before she offered me a small smile, side stepped me and walked out of the door. I also noticed that Red wasn't standing by the mirror anymore and must have already gone outside.
I couldn't concentrate though as blood rushed through my ears, and I felt a horrible feeling swell inside of me. I rushed towards the toilet because I knew I was going to be sick, which was exactly what happened.
I leaned my head against the rim and took deep breaths. I should have brought my medication. I knew it was going to be a bad day when I woke up. Better yet, I should have just not come and explained that I was too sick to come into school.
When I was sure I wasn't going to puke further, I stepped away and towards the sink running the water until it was cold enough to take a sip from. I needed to get rid of the taste; it was as foul as I remembered.
I looked up and found myself staring back. I looked awful. My face was deathly pale, even more so than before, and my dark circles seemed more pronounced. My throat was burning as I walked over to the door, and as I stepped out I kept my eyes down.
I didn't want to look anyone in the face, I didn't know if they could hear me being sick in there and I didn't want to chance it.
"Finally. Now hurry up."
I didn't say anything in response to Vernon's annoying command; I was too tired to even bother.
I was trailing at the back of the group when I felt a hand gently touch my hand. I was so startled that I snapped my gaze up and found John staring at me with what looked like concern in his eyes. I smiled lightly, and spoke softly to him.
"I'm alright John, I just feel a little off. I didn't have any breakfast."
That was the understatement of the year right there, and looking into John's eyes I could see he didn't really believe me but he put it aside. To my surprise he kissed my cheek again and walked ahead of me.
What is wrong with that boy? Or me for that matter?
I didn't have time to dwell on the matter though as we all made our way into the library. Though instead of sitting next to John again I moved back to my own seat where I had situated my bag on the desk.
Vernon stood in front of us, hands on his hips and a glare. It was like that glare was permanently etched to his face but I didn't open my mouth. I'm too tired for this shit right now. I just want to go home, or maybe find some aspirin.
"Remember, stay in your seats, don't talk and Speare, if you move again, you're going into a different room. Got it?"
"Yeah yeah, I fucking got it."
My breathing was harsh, so the words came out kind of breathless, and I knew it caused concern because I felt a set of eyes move towards me. Observing me silently. I just knew without actually knowing it was John who was looking. But I didn't look; I stared at Vernon with a blank stare wondering what he was going to do about my little back chat. All he did was shake his head and stalk out of the library letting the doors slam shut since they didn't actually stay open now without the screws.
Once again, the silence seemed to creep up on us but this time it didn't take long for the others to start wandering around.
I was standing up next to John was sitting on one of the big desks ripping up a book, steadily tearing the pages out and throwing them over his shoulder. I chuckled lightly at that and nudged his shoulder. He glanced at me and smirked that God beautiful smirk. I swear he knew exactly what that smirk did to me. Or maybe he doesn't and just wants to piss me off. Either could work.
After a few moments of silence, well apart from the sound of books being ripped apart, Andy decided to say something and it was obvious that this was going to start something that John would not let go of for a time and a half.
"That's real intelligent."
"You're right it's wrong to destroy literature," John retorted nastily. "It's so fun to read. Besides Molet really pumps my nads!"
As soon as he said that I giggled at the horrific pronunciation of Moliere. And as 'Cherry' spoke to correct him I mouthed along with her, though no one noticed but John as he was watching me rather than the other girl and once again I blushed at the thought that popped into my head. He so likes you Al, so cute.
I knew exactly who Moliere was; he was a famous French playwright and actor and considered to be one of the masters of comedy. I'd only read one play written by him however, but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was called or even about.
"I love his work."
Brian spoke in a small voice, and I think he was just trying to impress the redhead by indulging in his knowledge on the matter; he was standing by an open doorway to one of the librarian's offices.
John tore his eyes away from me, his brown eyes clouding with annoyance and threw the rest of the book at him that wasn't torn. He proceeded to mess things up in an act of boredom as he picked up a card catalogue drawer and began to take some cards out and putting them back in the wrong order. For some reason, I sighed at this action and shook my head fondly. Thank God no one saw that, would be hard to explain and not to mention completely embarrassing.
John opened his mouth to speak, and somehow ended up arguing with Andy and I suppose the redhead as well. I'm jealous of her stealing John's attention away but then I see he doesn't capture it like I do. Oh God, now I'm full of myself. Fuck.
"Big deal, nothing to do when you're locked in a vacancy."
"Speak for yourself."
"You think I'd speak for you? I don't even know your language!"
Andy didn't rise to the challenge though and just turned around and looked at 'Cherry' before speaking in a loud voice, obviously trying to grab the attention of John.
"Hey, you grounded tonight?"
"I don't know, my mom said I was but my dad told me to just blow her off."
I was staring at John as they were talking and found he was angrily arranging the other cards. Why did he get angry over that? Because he likes her?
I ignored my thoughts at that moment and reached over to John and grabbed his hand tightly in my grip making his pause in his task and look to me. I didn't say anything but I didn't let go of his hand and I let my thumb draw back and forth on his hand. I kind of guessed why he was angry, or annoyed at what they were talking about. Andy was trying to show the gap between all of us, between him and John mostly though and that it was a gap that would never be filled.
Staring into John's eyes, I could see he was calming down slightly and I found great comfort in that as we continued to listen to the two populars conversation.
"Big party at Stubbies, parents are in Europe. Should be pretty wild."
"Yeah, can you go?"
"I doubt it."
"Well 'cause if I do what my mother tells me not to do, it's because my father says it's okay. There's like this whole big monster deal, it's endless and it's a total drag. It's like any minute divorce."
John abruptly let go of my hand and moved towards Red and I knew this wasn't going to be a pretty conversation. I also got the feeling I would be disappointed in John by the end of it. John's voice was sharp and hostile. Yes, this definitely won't end well.
"Who do you like better?"
Obviously that wasn't enough for Red and she tilted her head in confusion. I don't blame her honestly; John can be confusing as fuck at points, more so than others really.
"What are you talking about?"
"You like your old man better than your mom?"
"They're both screwed."
"No, I mean, if you had to choose between them."
She shrugged, her face giving away that she wasn't confused, and she was just feeling sorry for herself. Oh God, she's one of those kids that don't realise what they have in their parents and just become a pain in the ass for them rather than help them take a load off. What a spoilt idiot. What I would do to have my parents back, to have a life like hers without having to worry none.
My face turned into a sad expression at the possibilities of having my parents back and I failed to notice John staring at me with concern again.
"I don't know. I'd probably go live with my brother. I mean, I don't think either one of them gives a shit about, it's like they use me just to get back at each other."
We all looked at the back to the girl who was sitting on her own by the table. She looked at the ceiling away from all of us and blew her bangs from her face. Allison. Thank God I wasn't the only one who didn't feel sorry for her. And neither did John apparently as he stopped staring at me to look back over to Red just as Andy spoke, feeling none too sympathetic now.
"You're just feeling sorry for yourself."
"Yeah, well if I didn't nobody else would."
"Aw, you're breaking my heart."
I chuckled under my hand but 'Cherry' managed to hear as she looked over and glared, which made me glare back harder. Like she could out glare me.
John wasn't paying attention to me anymore, was I sad? No, he was talking towards Andy now and once again, knew it wouldn't be pretty.
Bender threw a chunk of cards behind him, and jumped off the railing. All that could come to mind for him at that exact moment was: delinquent.
"You get along with your parents?"
"Well if I say yes, I'm an idiot, right?"
John hopped over the other railing and darted towards Andy before he stared down at him.
"You're an idiot anyway. But if you say you get along with your parents well you're a liar too!"
With all said and done on his part John walked away, moving over to the other side of the room, but paused before grabbing my hand and pulling me along with him to his seat, which I promptly sat upon as I saw Andy coming up behind John and making him turn away from me.
"You know something, man. If we weren't in school right now, I'd waste you!"
Bender pointed his middle finger at the floor.
"Can you hear this? Want me to turn it up?"
He rotated his wrist so that he was giving Andrew the bird. Oh man, John, why'd you gotta do that? It's bad enough that things are getting tense; you don't need to piss him off enough to actually start a fight.
At this point Johnson had made his away over and stood between the two boys, putting a hand on each of the teens shoulders he spoke in what I assumed was a calm voice, but it cracked slightly, so I knew he wasn't all that calm, "Hey fellas,-" But they both slapped his hand away at the same time making me smile at the similar unconscious action they both displayed before listening to Johnson's words."I don't like my parents either. I don't, I don't get along with them...their idea of parental compassion is just, you know, wacko!"
John turned to him with a smirk plastered on his face.
"Dork? You are a parent's wet dream."
"Well, that's the problem."
"Look, I can see you getting all bunged up for them making you wear these kinds of clothes. But face it; you're a Neo-Maxi-Zoom-Dweebie! What would you be doing if you weren't out making yourself a better citizen?"
The redhead and I both watched the scene closely. While I watched John, hoping he would let it go, Red was watching Johnson with what seemed like sympathy. Hm, maybe she likes him? They would be cute together. The popular chick and the nerd. What am I thinking?
"Why do you have to insult everybody?"
Bender shifted slightly from the angry voice Andy displayed, as if unsure what to do. But he seemed to gather his wits as he spat back.
"I'm being honest, asshole! I would expect you to know the difference!"
"Yeah, well he's got a name."
"Yeah," Andrew said. He looked over at the nerd."What's your name?"
I snorted and whispered.
"Way to prove a point dipshit."
Both John and Andy heard, the former smiling at me with all the humour in the world and another emotion crossing his face but was gone before I could even comprehend it, while the latter glared over at me in anger that it made me flinch, which also happened to make my head spin and my stomach turn in knots. I tried to tune back into the conversation, tried to forget the pain I was in, and I tried so hard to conceal it from all the occupants in the room.
Finally, an actual name to put to his face.
John told Brian before quickly moving to the front of the room again. Obviously tired of standing around arguing, but before he could sit on the rail, 'Cherry' spoke to him.
"What's your name?"
I snorted again as John over-enunciated the name. He's doing it on purpose now, but every boy knows not to mess with a girl's name. At least he didn't do that to you. He said he liked it.
"Claire, it's a family name."
"No, it's a fat girl's name."
I remember saying something about this being a soap opera that turned wrong, I know now that I was utterly right. So not wrong.
"I'm not fat."
"Well not at present, but I could see you really pushing maximum density! You see, I'm not sure if you know this...but there are two kinds of fat people. There are fat people that were born to be fat, and then there's fat people that were once thin but they became fat...so when you look at them you can sorta see that thin person inside! You see, you're gonna get married, you're gonna squeeze out a few puppies and then, uh."
He mimed becoming fat, making noises all the while, which to me sounded like a dying whale, and not at all helping the headache situation. Claire gave him the finger.
"Oh...obscene finger gestures from such a pristine girl!"
"I'm not that pristine!"
This was the part that made me disappointed as John started raging on at the girl. I felt sorry for her now. John had leant in, staring Claire in the eyes and begun asking horrible question, and I could feel my eyes become wet at the scene. I was in no means going to cry but Claire was getting upset, and John was taking it too far.
"Are you a virgin? I'll bet you a million dollars that you are! Let's end the suspense! Is it gonna be...a white wedding?"
"Why don't you just shut up?"
"Have you ever kissed a boy on the mouth?" Bender asked her lowly. Claire's shoulders sunk a bit, and tears were pushing at the back of her eyes. "Have you ever been felt up? Over the bra, under the blouse, shoes off...hoping to God your parents don't walk in?
"Do you want me to puke?"
Claire asked him quietly. She was trying to put on a brave front, and avoid the questions but it was unavoidable now, as John smashed down the walls she had taken years to build.
"Over the panties, no bra, blouse unbuttoned, Calvin's in a ball on the front seat past eleven on a school night?"
"Leave her alone!" Andrew called to Bender; he had obviously had enough as his face looked like thunder. "I said leave her alone!"
"You gonna make me?"
John jumped on the desk quickly making me jump at the sudden movement but I still kept my eyes upon him as he walked over it, and then over to Andy who he then stared down at in anger.
"You and how many of your friends?"
"Just me, just you and me. Two hits. Me hitting you, you hitting the floor! Anytime you're ready, pal!"
John didn't seem to take him seriously as he snorted in amusement and moved his arm up, tapping Andrew on the cheek mockingly. What he wasn't expecting, however, was for the athlete to quickly take a hold on his arm, grabbing the other one as well, and pinning them both to his back, forcing the criminal face-first to the ground. The jock kept his arms pinned, one of his own across Bender's back in order to keep the struggling boy down. But he couldn't get Andrew off of him.
I sat there stiff in my chair hoping that they would stop fighting for now, and that Andy would let John go. I know what John did was wrong, fuck, I'm disappointed in him for it but fighting never solved nothing and I didn't want John to get hurt, not that I would ever say that because he would get angry at the fact I think he can't handle himself. I didn't move from my seat, I didn't want to get hit but I was looking at John as his eyes slowly moved up to mine. I don't know what he found but it must have been something important as he spoke softly, while his eyes calmed down.
"I don't wanna get into to this with you man."
Andy pushed off of him, jumping away from him so Bender got up.
"Because I'd kill you. It's real simple. I'd kill you and your fucking parents would sue me and it would be a big mess and I don't care enough about you to bother."
With that, Andy turned away but the sound of a switchblade opening had him turning back around. In this moment I was worried what John would do with the weapon but all he did was stab the switchblade into the back of a chair next to Allison, after a long moment spent staring the other teen down. So, I guess some rumours are true. Why did it have to be the one guy I liked that turned out to be dangerous? Alka, that isn't the point right now. Bigger fish to fry, or watch and plus, you said you wouldn't judge him and you would give him a chance. He hasn't actually done anything to you so be quiet. Oh that's normal. Oh, I feel sick.
"Let's end this right now," Andy told him. I watched as Allison reached over and grabbed the switchblade, stuffing it into her purse while John was distracted, meaning I'll have to get it back later for him. "You don't talk to her, you don't look at her and you don't even think about her! You understand me?"
Bender changed his weight and said very simply, "I'm trying to help her." Everyone stared at him for a moment, all but me, because I couldn't stand to look at him in that moment.Maybe he like her. God, I'm an idiot.
The noise of the door opening sent John moving and he dove into his original seat, which just happened to be next to me seeing as I hadn't moved. I didn't look at him, but at the door, though he did grab my hand which made me freeze. I snatched it away from him; trying to ignore the hurt face he directed at me and watched as a lone janitor walked through the library door.
This day had been so stressful and it's not even lunch yet. Damn.