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Chapter 18

I don’t know what it is this morning but I have woken up with a peculiar feeling in the depth of my gut. I don’t really know how to describe it, other than it is a sort of gnawing feeling that prods at my consciousness making itself known to me.

I get up from my bed slowly. The pain in my arms have lessened significantly though it is still there and moving is still very hard. I shower as quickly as possible and dress into something easy; a baggy dark blue jumper, black leggings and purple Doc Martins. Just as I’m leaving my room, I hear a car horn beep outside my home, I frown. Please for the love of all things human, do not be Tony.

I descend the stairs and open my front door, spotting an electric blue car in my driveway. Two vaguely familiar people sit at the front of the car. They both shoot me two dazzling smiles as I approach the vehicle. I open the car door and get inside.

“Hello, Mae,” the person who I now remember is called, George, says.

“Hi,”I reply quietly.

“Had a good morning?” The other person, Thomas asks.

“It’s been ok.” I say.

Thomas takes out a packet of gum from glove compartment. “Want one?”

“Yeah sure, thanks Tomtom.” George says.

“Mae?” Thomas says, gesturing towards the gum.

“Uh, sure .” I say. As I move my arm out to receive the gum my sleeve rides up, revealing the black lines on my skin. George and Thomas share a look of pity. Anger also passes through Thomas’s eyes, his jaw sets firm. My eyebrows furrow in confusion.

“Wha-“ I’m about to ask what’s wrong when George deflects my question.

“So, Mae, I would like to ask a question, are you ready?”

I look at George quizzically, “Um, sure, I guess.”

“No.” He says dramatically, “You have to be sure.”

“Ok then, yeah I’m sure.” I answer. George let’s the silence in the air hang for a bit for dramatic effect.

“Is...” He starts, “...Water wet?”

Thomas let’s out a massive sigh, “Come on Curi, not this again.” George holds up a finger to Thomas, silencing him. Thomas rolls his eyes and then grabs George’s finger in his hand, kissing his knuckles before holding onto George’s palm, resting their entwined hands on his knee.

“So what’s your answer?” Thomas asks, “Might as well get it over with. He’ll bug you if you don’t tell him.”

“Now that I think about it, I don’t actually know.” I admit.

“Water is wet,Curi. Leave it at that.”

“Tomtom, don’t argue with me on this.” George says. I laugh at their antics. “We can all agree that water makes things wet but is not itself wet.”

“George don’t argue with nature. Water is wet.” Thomas says.

“When in your life has anyone ever said water is wet because no one explicitly told me that it’s wet.”

A car horn beeps behind us and they both stop talking, looking behind, out the back window at the angry driver in the car behind. Thomas and George were in such a heated discussion, George had stopped driving. We resume driving after a while.

“Excuse my boyfriend,” Thomas says, “He’s a little crazy.”

“You say crazy, I say passionate.” George replies

We pull up at my school and I get out. “Uh, thanks for this interesting ride to school.” I say.

“You’re very welcome, Mae.” Thomas says.

“Oh also. Is Rolan gonna be in school today?” I ask.

“Why’d you wanna know, Mae?” Thomas ask wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.

“Yeah, you and lover-boy making out or something?” George asks.

I laugh nervously, feeling embarrassed. It is times like these where I am so happy that I can’t blush. I get so embarrassed so easily. It’s a nightmare! Heaven hath blessed me the day I was born with these brown cheeks of mine.

“Ah look,” George says to Thomas, “We’ve embarrassed her.”

Thomas laughs and smiles at me and says, “We’re leaving, don’t worry.”

“Thank whoever’s up there.” I say, looking at the sky. They both laugh.

“Anyway sweets, gotta run. See you later.” George says.

“Yeah see you later.” I reply. I watch as they drive off down the road.

“Mae.” I hear Rolan say. I turn around to see him not too far away from me. He comes up to me and gives me a hug, warmth immediately encapsulating me.

“Hey, how are you?” I ask as we walk towards the entrance of the school.

“Great.” Rolan answers, shoving his hands into his pockets.

“Doesn’t sounds like you’re great,” I say, Rolan laughs.

“Doesn’t it. I couldn’t tell.”

After giggling, I say, “Ok, but really, how are you?”

“Meh.” He replies, shrugging. I can’t help but laugh at his reaction.

“I just wanted to ask.” I say, “Why do you still hang around this depressing place. Last time I heard, you and your friends went to that prestigious private school, Langley High.”

“Someone’s a stalker.” Rolan says, smirking at my embarrassed expression.

“Hardly.” I reply, “ Your face is like literally everywhere. Like I can’t get away.”

“Ah come on. You love this gorgeous face. This straight jaw-line.” He says, rubbing his chin with his index finger and thumb. “These high cheekbones, firm lips. Eyes you could get lost in.” He says, squinting sexily at me.

“Eyes you could drown in.” I reply, “But Jake, oh Jake’s face is god-like. I wouldn’t mind seeing his sexy features on my bedroom walls.” I say, teasing him. Rolan’s eyes turn auburn and for some reason this doesn’t scare me instead it excites me.

“Don’t you think he’s absolutely stunning.” Rolan grunts and mumbles something close to, “He’s an asshole, that’s what he is.”

We make it to my form room. I walk in but Rolan just stays at the door.

“You not coming in?” I ask Rolan, frowning.

“Nah, I’ve got to... catch up with someone. I’ll see you after school.”

“But-” Rolan has already walked away. I turn around to where Carma sits.

“Ok, well that was odd.” I say to Carma.

“Really odd.” Carma comments, closing her sketch book. I sit opposite her and rest my head on the table.

“You ok?” She asks, poking my head with her finger, smiling at me.

I wring my hands nervously, “Can, can I tell you something?” I ask.

“Sure.” Carma says. I sit up straighter in my chair.

“Well a couple days ago. I saw, I saw Rolan well, how do I say this nicely, fucking Mrs Barnett in one of the old history classrooms.” Carma doesn’t really react.

“I’m not really surprised.” She says.

“Of course not. You have a knack for seeing things like that. You should be a detective.”

“Ewww. No!” She exclaims. I laugh, she hates it when I say that.

“Anyway,” Carma says, “Doesn’t that basically count as cheating.”

“Well, yes and no.”

“Explain.” Carma says.

“Ok, well.” I start, “So we have kissed once previously to his and Mrs Barnett’s hook up but then a little after the kiss, we had a sort of argument. And we never had any official label to our relationship, not one we put on it anyway...but then again there is the tiny fact that we’re soul mates.” I say, voice getting quieter but higher in pitch by the end of my sentence. I know what Carma’ s going to say.

“Dude, don’t lower your standards for that guy. It was cheating.” She says. There it is, the motherly scolding. “Look I know what you’re saying. You and him weren’t in a relationship, so it shouldn’t matter but he shouldn’t be messing with your feelings like that. Kissing you then pushing you to the side.”

“I know.” I say sighing, “Please don’t tell anyone I said this to you, especially Becka.” Carma tilts her head to the side as her eyebrows furrow.

“One, if she found out what Rolan did she’d kill him and two, she’ll give me the ‘your-not-the-side-chick’ speech and I can’t be assed to listen to that.” I explain. Carma nods her head.

“I’m going to go find Rolan to ask him some stuff. Watch my bag please.”

“Sure.” Carma replies as she resumes her drawing.

I walk down the corridors quietly, that gut feeling I had earlier begins to prod at my head again and I can’t but feel as though something is very wrong and soon I know why. The image of Rolan and Mrs Barnett filters through my eyes, the same as before. Sweaty bodies plastered together, pushed up against the wall. A sob leaps from my throat and I can’t help the tears that fall down my cheeks.

This time the door isn’t locked. I kick the door and it swings open with a booming bang. A startled Mrs Barnett lets out a yelp and rushes to cover herself up whereas all Rolan can seem to do is just stand there.

“Mae, I, ...” Rolan says, stuttering. I turn around to walk away but Rolan grabs my wrist. I yank my hand free from his grip and shout, “Get your filthy hands off me!”

“Mae, I’m sorry, I...”Rolan begins.

“How could you?” I say between gasps as I begin to hyperventilate.

“Please, Mae. Let’s just get out of here and discuss this.”

“I’m so stupid. I’m so god-damn stupid!” I shout, as I back away from Rolan.

“You weren’t meant to find out. I was going to stop, I just...” Rolan struggles to end his sentence.

“You were going to what, Rolan? Huh, what were you going to do!?” I ask barely being able to keep it together. “Just fool around for a bit with a married woman, mess with my feelings like I’m a piece of shit.”

“That’s not what I was...”

“Oh shut the fuck up, you asshole!” I shout.

“Mae,listen to me.” Rolan says, his voice wobbling as he does.

“No, don’t tell me to listen to you, you don’t have the bloody right!” I yell as more tears spill down my cheeks. My heart hammers in my chest and I am practically heaving. How could he, how could he!?

“Mae just calm down. Breathe.” I am so done with him. Absolutely done.

“Just answer me this one question.” I say, feeling exhausted. “Why tell me you were sorry a few days ago and ask me on a date if you were still fooling around?” Silence follows, he has no answer. I shake my head.

“Nothing to say, nothing at all.” He remains silent, trying to form a sentence but failing. “You’re pathetic.” I spit out.

“Mae from the moment I saw you, I knew you were mine.” Rolan starts, though it’s a cowardly attempt to get me to listen. I stopped listening ages ago, not even the crowd of onlookers that have their phones out filming the whole thing could change my mind.

“You were just there, beautiful and strong. And I couldn’t believe you were mine.” Tears begin to leak from his eyes, spilling down his gorgeously milky cheeks. I turn away, hating to see him vulnerable. “ I didn’t think, don’t think I deserve you. That’s why I pushed you away. How could someone like me have someone like you. Mae, I never meant to hurt you, please we can work this out. I promise this is the end of this. Please.” Rolan’s voice is scratchy and raw as he cries out his words.

“Rolan no one ever means for anyone to find out about things like this.” I whisper, “but things like this aren’t justified because you don’t have the intention of letting the other know because it will hurt them. It’s the fact that your doing it in the first place that makes it wrong.” I say.

“All I’ve ever wanted is you Mae, please just give me one chance.” Rolan begs, tears streaming down his face.

I shake my head, “The damage is already done. Goodbye Rolan.”

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