John and I walk back over to our seats calmly pretending that nothing hysterical had happened away from their eyes. John's got my hand in a tight grip, he doesn't let go even as we sit down in our seats.
I'm not really paying attention to that though because I can feel the hard penetrating gazes the other 4 have on us and I struggle not to shift under their eyes. I don't like how they are making me feel, I feel uncomfortable, so in the end, I get tired of the stares and lift my head to glare at them, and just as my mouth opens to tell them to fuck off, Vernon speeds through the door.
"All right girls, that's thirty minutes for lunch"
Andy seems less than pleased and I can't blame him. Usually on weekdays, we're not allowed to eat in the library but Rick probably doesn't want us to mess another place up and also can't be bothered to look over us for the entire lunch, which he would have to do if we were to move places.
All Vernon does to Andy's question is give a stern nod and answer rudely. Not all that surprising.
"Well I think the cafeteria would be a more suitable place for us to eat lunch in, sir!"
Yeah, you tell him Andy. I raise my arms, letting go of John's hand, and shake a little to show I'm rooting for him. I get weird looks at that but I'm beyond caring. I feel great. I blame John.
"Well, I don't care what you think, Andrew! And Speare put your God damn arms down. Do you want another detention missy?"
I don't even hesitate to give him my answer, and I know my mouth is turned into a wide ass grin that I just can't control.
"Sure, that'd be great man."
"That's another right there."
Before I can open my mouth to make another smart comment, John opens his to ask an interesting question. I can't help but feel as though he only asked so I don't get into anymore trouble. Not that I could as it is, I mean I have to serve lunch for a whole year. I hope he fucking forgets that shit because I will bitch about it every time I see him if he doesn't and he knows I will do that.
"Uh, Dick? Excuse me, Rick...will milk be made available to us?"
"We're extremely thirsty sir."
That's Andy who says something and all I can think is that he and John agree on something? End of the world is sure to happen soon. Before either can speak again, Claire looks up and apparently decides to put her two cents in and says something real nasty. Disturbing in my head even and it really makes me wish I didn't have an active imagination.
"I have a very low tolerance for dehydration."
"I've seen her dehydrate sir, it's pretty gross"
John apparently sees this as the perfect opportunity to stand up and announce he's going to get it but like that will ever happen. Vernon would never allow John to go without supervision because he would mess it up somehow, so instead he points over to John and motions back to his seat.
"Ah, ah, ah grab some wood there, bub! What do you think, I was born yesterday? You think I'm gonna have you roaming these halls?"
He points at Andy, because he is the schools top wrestler, and mostly trusted no doubt or at least in Vernon's eyes. Why is it that the populars are the ones who always have the teachers loving them but the people who actually behave and do their work are nothing but dirt beneath their shoes? I have yet to figure that out but one day I will.
He's looking around the room for some else to go with the Andy who points none too subtly to Claire. Yeah, the dick ain't that stupid to send two populars together.
"You! And you! Hey! What's her name?"
He's pointing to Allison in the back but she doesn't really notice at first until I jump from my seat, ignoring Rick shouting at me about another detention and poke her lightly, making her turn to look me in the eyes, before skimming over to Vernon as he stands behind me. Now aware of the fact someone's talking to her, she stands up slowly just as I'm dragged back to my seat roughly by Vernon, which neither John nor I take to well but do nothing about it either.
Allison's obviously taking too long because dick snaps none too lightly at her, and I feel horrible as she flinches at the sound.
"Come on, on your feet missy! Let's go! This is no rest home! There's a soft drink machine in the teacher's lounge. Let's go!"
It's a little while later after Andy and Allison have left to get us a drink, and we all got bored, so we're scattered at the back of the room. I'm sitting on Allison's table, my legs crossed while Claire is checking her nails out and John is looking through a random book, but looking at his face it's obvious he's found something interesting.
"Claire, Alka, either of you wanna see a picture of a guy with elephantitis of the nuts? It's pretty tasty."
John's face holds a smirk as he shoves the book for us to both see. Claire's reaction is hilarious as she scrunches her nose and gags a little before answering.
"No, thank you."
As he turns it to me I just shrug with a smile because there's no point in answering that, he's just trying to get a rise out of the princess as usual.
"How do you think he rides a bike?"
Claire just rolls her eyes and turns away in disgust again, while John decides he likes torturing her and continues speaking even though her reaction made it pretty clear she wants him to leave her alone. And while I don't condone John's behaviour towards her completely, I understand because if I was him I'd be doing the same thing. Like I mentioned before, there's a line between all of us, but Claire seems to reinforce it with all she has and I really hate her for it. Also, John's always going to try and piss people off, I wouldn't change him for the world since it makes things incredibly interesting if you know what I mean.
"Oh, Claire...would you ever consider dating a guy like this?"
"Can't you just leave me alone?"
It's just a joke but she doesn't seem to get that as she huffs in what appears to be anger. I stifle my laugh at this, she acts like a brat all the bloody time and while it's funny, it does get tiring after a while.
"I mean if he had a great personality and was a good dancer and had a cool car...Although you'd probably have to ride in the back seat 'cause his nuts would ride shotgun."
Claire turns away from him though, favouring in just ignoring him while I go stand next to him, which he then grabs my hand when I'm close enough. I really don't want to listen to Red go on about where she wish she was, because you know, she has enough money to go there. She rubs it in everyone's faces as well, which really pisses me off.
"You know what I wish I was doing?"
"Op, watch what you say, Brian here is a cherry."
John just can't piss off one person at a time it seems; he has to increase it to two. Either way, what he says seems to make Brian pause in whatever he was doing and narrow his eyes at John.
"A cherry? I'm not a cherry."
"When have you ever gotten laid?"
John knows the kids lying before he even opens his mouth, because even I can see that Brian just screams innocence, and no offence, but I've never seen him with a member of the opposite sex. That's not to say he doesn't have friends that are girls outside of school but I really doubt it, he's a nerd, and well, being sexually active doesn't generally fit his personality.
"I've laid, lots a times!"
You can see just by looking at him that John doesn't believe a word coming out of the kids mouth either as he sits there eyeing him in utter disbelief before he actually opens his mouth to call out Brian's pretty weak lie.
"She lives in Canada, met her at Niagara Falls. You wouldn't know her."
"Ever laid anyone around here?"
Brian shushes John and points at Claire whose back is still turned from us. I feel my eyes widen comically because we all know that just isn't true and it would never happen. I mean, Claire's so up herself she wouldn't settle with anyone but the male version of her. And I'm not trying to judge but when her and her little friends mock everyone around them, it's hard not to see that they really don't socialise with the lower people. John doesn't believe him at all, and he squeezes my hand tighter, and smirks, before saying in a smug sing song voice that makes me burst out laughing.
"Oh, you and Claire did it!"
Upon hearing her name, Claire spins around and stalks over to us, curiosity brimming in those pretty eyes. I'm not blind; I can see her eyes are a nice colour, nicer than mine at least. Mine are a dull blue colour.
"What are you talking about?"
"Nothin', nothin'! Let's just drop it; we'll talk about it later!"
"No! Drop what, what're you talking about?"
John's the one who answers because he seems to love this confrontation and I can't help but agree with him, only slightly mind you but all the same.
"Well, Brian's trying to tell me that in addition to the number of girls in the Niagara Falls area, that presently you and he are, riding the hobby horse!"
Claire's face twists into an ugly scowl as she snarls, and I get where she's coming from for the first time today. It'll probably be the last as well. We shall see now won't we?
Hearing that from what I can tell is his crush; Brian quickly jumps in to defend himself. His face is red in either embarrassment or anger, I'm not sure but he speaks rapidly.
"No I'm not! I'm not! John said I was a cherry and I said I wasn't, that's it, that's all that was said!"
"Well then what were you motioning to Claire for?"
John asks slyly, he's completely amused by this situation, while I'm finding it less and less funny. Claire on the other hand only folds her arms and glares because she's starting to get annoyed again, just like earlier, except it's at Brian.
"You know I don't appreciate this very much, Brian."
"He is lying!"
"Oh you weren't motioning to Claire?"
John doesn't stop, he keeps going because he knows he's right, I mean, we both saw him motioning towards Claire but he's just embarrassed to admit it to her.
"You know he's lying, right?"
"Were you or were you not motioning to Claire?"
After a lot of deliberation, Brian finally gives in and admits to his lie.
"Yeah, but it was only...was only because I didn't want her to know that I was a virgin, okay? Excuse me for being a virgin, I'm sorry."
Give red her dues she laughs it off, probably just happy he wasn't saying he slept with her.
"Why didn't you want me to know you were a virgin?"
"Because it's personal business, it's my personal, private business."
"Well Brian, it doesn't sound like you're doing any business...ow!"
I kicked John in the leg because I knew what he was going to say, and I think Brian's been teased enough on account of him. John turns to glare at me but I just glare back, making it clear that I think he should zip that mouth of his shut before he says something else he'll not regret, but I will.
Claire looks between them for a second before smiling that million dollar smile at Brian, and I'm glad she hasn't decided to make fun of him like I thought she might have. Maybe she can be ok sometimes, never admitting that out loud though.
"I think it's okay for a guy to be a virgin"
John looks surprised at this, and so does Brian to be honest. They both have their mouths gaping open.
Instead of letting Claire reply, I take over because I always had felt strongly about this subject and used to get into long debates with some of the other popular kids when they called me a slut because of how I dress, though that's not what we're talking about here. As I speak, I notice all 3 pairs of eyes glide to me.
"I agree, I mean, I think it's better that way because if the girls a virgin as well, they can both share a moment together, meaning they'll both remember it rather than the guy just having another notch in his belt. It's kind of cute."
John looks at me with some weird emotion in his eyes that I can't even begin to explain, but it's obviously something important as he reaches over and closes the gap between our lips. Just like before, he gives me no chance to react and I begin to think he's doing it on purpose, but I don't pay much attention to it as I turn to see if Brian or Claire have noticed our little moment. Thanking the Gods, I notice that they haven't and are in fact staring into each other's eyes, like the whole world isn't around them spinning madly out of control and I can't help the little 'aw' that escapes my mouth with makes John raise an eyebrow at me, to which I just run my finger along it to make it go down.
All of us seem to snap out of it as the door opening sounds through the silence, and we all turn to see Andy and Allison step through with cokes in their hands.
We all take our seats again, except I'm making my way back to the front desk where I left my bag. I take out what little lunch I have, which consists of water, a salad and two cupcake I made yesterday because I love cupcakes, and I need some sugar to keep me going if I want to actually be awake at the end of the day.
I see out of the corner of my eye Claire beginning to take her lunch out of a small shopping bag and John leans over curiously.
"What's in there?"
"Guess, where's your lunch?"
He doesn't have one, is she an idiot? It's obvious he doesn't have one because he didn't even come in with a bag to begin with and he obviously doesn't have anything in his coat pockets but cigarettes and drugs. Maybe he can have one of my cupcakes. If I'm feeling nice that is.
"My little Alka's wearing it."
I snap my head to John and I splutter on the water I've just decided to have. My face burns but John's just staring at me with that little smile, and he's trying to tell me he doesn't mean it in the dodgy way. I can only nod at him while he stares at me, because his eyes are sparkling at me, and I'm lost in the brown swirls. God, I am such a girl when it comes to him. Have I forgotten my own rules? Obviously.
John turns away from me to watch as Claire sets up a sushi platter. Yuck. I can't stand fish, any fish, and sushi is horrible. How can she stomach, last time I tried it I was gagging, I couldn't even get through one bite without doing so either. Must be one of those expensive taste things.
"Rice, uh, raw fish and seaweed."
"You won't accept a guy's tongue in your mouth and you're gonna eat that!?"
"Can I eat?"
"I don't know...give it a try..."
I can't help but laugh at that because all of us are seriously grossed out by her meal choice but a loud continuous noise interrupts me and I turn to see Andy grab just about an endless supply of food from his bag, just as everyone else watches with me in disbelief.
We all watch as Andy takes a couple sandwiches out of his bag, a bag of potato chips, an apple, a banana, and a bag of cookies and a carton of milk. All I can ask is, how the fuck isn't this kid fat?
Andy turns, as if he senses all the stares, and looks at us incredulously.
"What's your problem?"
Instead of anyone answering, we all turn back to our lunches but John makes his way over to Brian and takes his lunch since it's been told that he doesn't have his own at this point.
"What're we having?"
"Uh, it's your standard, regular lunch I guess..."
John reaches in the bag and pulls out a thermos. He sets it on the table and points at it while asking what it is.
John goes in again and pulls out a juice box. Brian reaches toward the bag, probably because he's hungry and wants to eat but John slaps his hand like the big jerk he is. Why couldn't he let Brian eat in peace, he always has to try and get a rise out of everyone, no matter who it is.
"That's apple juice"
John takes obvious offence as his face moulds into a scowl, and he snarls angrily. I know he's not an idiot like everyone else believes him to be. Why is he never treated as anything but that though?
"I can read! PB & J with the crusts cut off...Well Brian, this is a very nutritious lunch; all the food groups are represented. Did your mom marry Mr Rogers?"
"Uh, no, Mr Johnson..."
"Ahh...Here's my impression of life at big Bri's house..."
We all turn to stare, waiting for the show as he calls in a loud and friendly voice "Son!" before switching to a younger childish voice "Yeah Dad?"
Everyone smiles at him but I'm not so sure this is as good as he's making it out to be.
"How's your day, pal? Great Dad, how's yours?" I look over at Brian, he has a small smile on his face, watching the life people thought he had but I can tell you now, I knew it would be fading soon enough. "Super, say son, how'd you like to go fishing this weekend? Great Dad, but I've got homework to do!"
I can see out of the corner of my eye Andy's smile has disappeared as he realises this isn't going to be pretty.
"That's alright son, you can do it, on the boat!"
I can suddenly hear the difference in John's voice as the playfulness he displayed earlier fades, and he acquires this weird look on his face as he continues with his performance. Why do I get the feeling that this really won't end well, and there's going to be something big about to happen. I hope it isn't loud; my head hurts enough as it is.
"Gee. Dear, isn't our son swell?"
Quiet and motherly John finishes "Yes Dear isn't life swell?" John mimes the mum kissing the dad and then the other way around as well but the surprising bit is when he makes the dad punch the mum in the face.
Suddenly no one seems to be finding it funny and I can see Brian's pretty upset over the mockery of his family household. I don't know why John's being mean to him, but I always say there's a reason for doing it, I just don't know what it is.
Andy looks from Brian, after making sure he's alright I suppose and turns towards John asking the one question everyone wants to know.
"Alright, what about your family?"
From staring at John, I can see as his whole body stiffens at the question and I worry becaue I know he's about to explode. I never asked about his home life, not many people knew about it either, but it's safe to assume it's not good at all.
"Oh, mine? That's real easy!"
John moves to stand nearer me and he quickly runs a hand over my neck before moving away and speaking in a gravel filled voice.
"Stupid, worthless, no good, God damned, freeloading, son of a bitch, retarded, bigmouth, know it all, asshole, jerk!"
I can feel my heart in my throat and I'm really scared as he impersonates his mother with his arms folded. I never knew... Oh my God... John. No he doesn't want pity, that's why he never tells.
"You forgot ugly, lazy and disrespectful."
John slams his hand back to slap his invisible mother and I can't make myself look away at the performance. I can feel my eyes tearing up despite wishing they weren't but I can't help it as I think that John doesn't deserve that, he's not a bad guy. He's honestly not.
"Shut up bitch! Go fix me a turkey pot pie!"
He seems to lose himself in it all "What about you Dad?" His voice gets louder as he goes through the motions."Fuck you!" I'd never asked "No, Dad, what about you?" What kind of father does this? "Fuck you!" Why didn't I ask? Why did Andy have to ask in the first place.
He screams aloud, and I can feel a single tear track down my face at this. I turn my head away because I don't want to see it anymore. His life is worse than mine and I'm the sick one.
"No, Dad, what about you?"
Finally he says one last thing before a silent hole is created.
I jump real high as he reaches out and pretend he's his father hitting him. Oh God John, I'm...I don't even know. I just want to hug him and cry even though it's not happening to me.
It seems its Brian who finds the nerve to look at him and hesitantly asks.
"Is that for real?"
"You wanna come over sometime?"
His voice is sarcastic and I turn to stare at his face. He's avoiding my eyes because I know he can feel them as they dart all over the place. He's acting like a caged animal. As I look at him I notice a touch of wetness at the corner of his eyes, and I feel my eyes well up again at the thought of him hurting over this.
It's Andy who answers back to him, and his face is fierce. I knew this wasn't going to end well. Does anyone listen to me? No. Then again, I didn't actually say anything to them. Anyway, they should know it never ends well by now. All of them are idiots.
"That's bullshit. It's all part of your image; I don't believe a word of it"
John actually looks hurt by this and I don't think I've ever seen him look like this. I mean earlier, when I told him I was sick he looked hurt, like he was in pain for me but now it's like a gaping wounds been struck and he can't contain it. I guess he really does feel things just as everyone else, maybe more.
"You don't believe me?"
"Did I stutter?"
John walks over to Andy and rolls up his right sleeve to reveal a circular shaped burn. I don't say anything, but my hand comes up to cover my mouth because the tears are building up again at the sight of the scar. I really want to say something but my breathings gone funny again, and my stomach churns once more against my will.
"Do you believe this? Huh? It's about the size of a cigar... Do I stutter? You see, this is what you get in my house when you spill paint in the garage."
John begins to walk away from all of us, he's hurt, angry and I don't blame him for it but I just wish he would look at me instead of avoiding my eyes.
"See I don't think that I need to sit here with you fucking dildos anymore!"
I watch as John walks over to a map table and throw all the maps on the floor. He climbs up on top of the table and then up to the second floor balcony sighing angrily as he goes.
I quickly rush to stand up as Claire glares at Andy.
"You shouldn't have said that!"
"How would I know, I mean he lies about everything anyway?"
I don't listen to either of them as I grab one of my cupcakes and walk over to John, climbing round the stairs and sitting beside him lightly. He doesn't turn to look at me when I sit, but he speaks to me harshly, obviously a defence mechanism for getting people to go away.
"What the fuck do you want?"
I don't say anything as I softly open his clenched fist and place the cupcake in his now open palm. I don't know why I'm giving him a cupcake honestly, maybe it's because whenever I'm upset and angry I like eating cakes till I feel better. I just want John to feel better. I stare away from him as he puts the cupcake down. He grabs my hand tightly in his and I know that everything's ok between us, it's just that he's angry in general.
"I'm sorry I snapped."
I smile towards him gently, and shake my head letting him know I'm not bothered by it and I understand slightly why he did it.
Neither of us says anything for a little while, and in that time, John starts eating the cupcake I made, declaring to me that it's the best cupcake he's tasted and that he loves a girl who can bake. I nudge him with my hand at that, making him topple to the side, and I laugh loudly because it's funny, now he has icing on his cheek.
He glares at me playfully but stops when I reach my fingers up and dart them across the icing on his cheek, then lick it off my fingers. I know I'm teasing but I can't waste that icing, and the look on John's face is so hilarious that I start giggling.
After a while of sitting comfortably in silence, and me snuggled close to John I look at him before standing up and pulling him back towards the others.
"So, go to your locker yeah?"
He doesn't answer me, just tugs me back and kisses me. This time I actually have half the sense to grab the back of his neck so he can't move and I kiss him back. Finally.
I pull back eventually because I need air like any normal human being, and smile brightly at him, which to my surprise he returns before we both walk, hand in hand, towards the library doors. I swear I'm skipping though and I manage to giggle out one sentence.
"We're going on an adventure kids."