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Chapter Two: flower

Edited: 1/3/21

“Andy, where were you after school?” Jake asked me once I got to CC’s place, where we hung out after school most days. “You know that shy girl I was telling you about, Max?” “Yeah the one in your ELA?” “You ask her out?” Jinxx cut in, and I rolled my eyes, sitting on the old leather couch.

“No, dipshit. I’m her only friend now, though. And to answer your question, Jake, I walked her home.” “Only friend?” “She hangs out with Juliet and Juliet’s friend group. The poor kid said her ‘friends’ would constantly pick her apart over every little thing.” I put friends in air quotes.

“Somebody finally showed up,” CC smirked, coming out of the kitchen with Lonny following. “I was walking a girl home,” Lonny smirked, and I flicked his forehead.

- - - - -

I picked up my phone and read the scribbled handwriting, typing the ten-digit phone number into my iPhone.

‘Hey is this Andy? It’s Max.’ I typed and sent, feeling butterflies in my stomach.

‘Yep! Almost thought you wouldn’t text.’ I felt guilty before quickly typing a response. ‘Sorry, I try to do homework right after school without any distractions!’

Great, Max. Now you probably sound more like a nerd.

‘Don’t they assign sophomores weekly packets? It’s Friday; you have time to procrastinate!’ I laughed. ‘If I do all of it the day it’s assigned then I get time to not worry about it. And my parents are kinda strict and force me to do it.’ ‘Ah, understandable.’

The next morning I woke to someone throwing rocks at my window. I opened it and narrowly dodged a pebble, which landed on my desk.

I peered down, seeing Andy in his car with a pouch of rounded down rocks. “Get dressed, let’s go to the park!” He yelled up, and I laughed. “Rapunzel let down your hair!” I mimicked his deep voice and shut the curtains, getting dressed.

I braided my hair quickly and ran down my stairs. “Andy, it’s seven in the morning. Why are you up?” I yawned before drinking the monster energy can I’d picked up from my fridge earlier.

“I wanna get to know you, Little One. Maybe my friends will show up, and they can know you, too.” I made a small squeak, and he raised an eyebrow, before starting the car.

“But what if they don’t like me? Juliet said that you and your friends hurt innocent people.” Andy’s grip on the steering-wheel tightened at the mention of his ex-girlfriend. He let out a deep breath and stopped at a red light.

“We only ever hurt people who deserve it. Like Ryler, the guy who picked on you during lunch yesterday.” “Then why do you guys wear all black and stuff? It’s scary.” “It’s meant to be scary. To hold an image.” “Like the T-Birds from Grease?” “Yes, like the T-Birds from Grease.”

Andy stopped in the parking lot, and I unbuckled my seat-belt. He got out and opened my door for me. “What a gentleman,” he laughed, and I got out.

The park was empty except for a mother and her two children. I got out, and Andy shut the door behind me. He grabbed my hand and ran to one of the benches. I ran past him once he paused, climbing onto the jungle gym.

“Andy look I’m taller than you!” I said, and stood up. “Careful,” he walked over to pick me up. Andy set me back on the mulch, and I reached up, flicking his forehead.

We’d been at the park for two hours when his friends pulled up into the parking lot. The mother and her kids had gone awhile ago.

I hid behind Andy, who chuckled and held my hand like I was a toddler crossing the street. “Andy!” A loud voice exclaimed and jumped from a car was The Destroyer- CC.

“You’ll scare the small bean!” Andy said back, ruffling my hair. CC ran up to us and crouched down. “So this is the one you talked about, Andy?” Andy nodded, and CC held out his hand.

“I’m CC,” he said in a soft tone. “I’m Max,” I said in a barely audible voice. “You wanna move from my loud friends, Max?” I nodded, and he stood back up, leading me into a field of grass and flowers.

I ran over and picked a few daisies. I stood on my tippy-toes and put one behind his ear. “Do I look beautiful?” He posed, and I laughed.

Is this is what it’s like to have people treat you equally?

“You could use some glitter!” “Ew, no,” he made a face, and I pouted. “But glitter makes everything pretty, CC!” “Oh, does it?” “Yeah!” He sighed dramatically. “But that shit gets everywhere,” he fake-fainted, and I helped him up from the ground.

- - - - -

“She’s like a little kid,” I explained to the three as we watched her and CC play in the flowers. “How so?” “Max has this... type of innocence. Like she’s never had real friends before, which I doubt she has, comparing us to her old friends.”

“But at the same time, she knows how to lie.” “Can’t everybody lie?” “Not as well as she can.”

“Ew, no!” CC had exclaimed from the field, and we laughed.

“What’d you find out about her?” Jinxx asked.

“She hasn’t worn makeup since she became friends with our exes, she’s scared to wear what she wants because Alice will murder her if she wears something remotely close to what Alice, Inna, or Juliet wore that day. And she’s never been able to speak her mind freely. Ever.”

Lonny raised his hand, and I sighed. “Yes, you can give her a hug.” He ran off to hug her.


“Hey, Max?” I asked as she got up from my Jeep’s passenger seat, and was about to step onto the sidewalk. She stepped out and turned to me. “Can I walk you to school?”

“I’d like that, Andy.”

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