“Riley and Oliver maybe you two should wait in the living room,” William says to us grief is all over his face, but he is holding strong. Emma is broken. I think her and Jamie were best friends. “Don’t worry, I will call the school to let them know you two won’t be there today.” He tells us just before we go into the living room. Oliver sits beside me on the couch; I’ve never seen his face like this before. His pain for Alex is written all over it, I’ve just never seen my best friend so sad. My heart hurts for him. He pulls his blanket that he had earlier over his body and just leans on my shoulder. He silently sobs on my shoulder; each one breaks my heart more and more. My shirt starts to get moist from his tears. I pull him into a hug and let him cry. I had no idea how much he cared. Maybe there is something wrong with me for not crying or showing emotions.
First, Evan comes in, he sits over on the loveseat. His pain is all over his face too. It looks like he is trying to hold back his emotions, well more so holding back his tears. Then Alex comes in, completely broken. As soon as he sees Oliver, he knows how much Oliver cares for him. All the doubts he had before, when Oliver was sleeping soundlessly while everyone was up worried are gone. He sits on the other side of Oliver, who then leaves me to comfort Alex. I try to hide the shock on my face when my best friend who I’ve known and trusted for so long leaves my embrace and goes to someone he hardly knows. William and Emma come in the room next. He sits in my chair by the window and she sits on his lap like a teenager would. He puts his arms around her as she cries. I am starting to feel more and more uncomfortable in the room full of people who seem like they’ve known each other for so long, so I get up and start to head towards the stairs before Evan says, “Riley, you can sit here,” as he indicates to the empty spot next to him. I nod, and join him on the loveseat. I sit beside him awkwardly. He hands me his pillow and blanket. I take it to be polite, but wonder why I can’t just go sleep in my own room; more importantly get away from everyone. I never noticed before how comfortable this loveseat is, or maybe it is just the fact that Evan is sitting beside me, his smell of fresh rain starts to relax me. I end up falling asleep, listening to the distant sounds of Liam’s heartbroken sobs coming from the other room.
I wake up at some point that Monday afternoon, the living room is empty. There is just a little note on the coffee table with my name on it.
You were sleeping so soundly no one wanted to wake you. I just thought that you would want to know what was going on. We had to take Jamie out of the house before Jennifer got home. Don’t worry everything will be taken care of. Oliver decided to just go home; he didn’t want to interrupt anything. Emma and William are helping Liam take care of things; I don’t think they will be home until later tonight. I hope you are okay; there was nothing you could do to help. I shouldn’t have even given you those flowers. I didn’t know this would happen. I’m sorry Riley. I’ll talk to you sometime at school.
“Hey, weirdo. Where are my parents?” Jennifer asks standing at the opening of the living room, with her weight on her left leg, tapping the right foot.
“I don’t know.” I answer without looking up at her.
“What’s in your hand?” She asks taking a step closer to see. “Who’s it from?”
I look up and glare at her, “Why do you care?”
She scoffs and says, “I’ve seen how you look at him, believe me he’s not into you. His best friend may be dating your best friend, but that doesn’t mean he is into you. Trust me. Besides that he is with Mila.”
“How do you even know it is from Evan?”
“I didn’t.” She laughs, “I just wanted to see if you’d say who it was from. Looks like you are pretty stupid.” She then walks away and goes back out the front door. I guess she didn’t need to talk to her parents after all. With a deep sigh I know she is right. I could see the way Mila looked at him, but how do I look at him? I don’t think I look at him any differently than I do anyone else, besides the fact that I can actually look him in the eyes knowing he won’t think I am a freak. Now that I know there are more people like me, and other things out there then maybe I’d find someone who wouldn’t look at me like I am a freak, and just look at me the way Jamie and Liam did when they said goodbye. I wonder how many shape shifters there are out there, and then I start to think about Caleb. I wish I had gotten his number. Then I start to wonder if he would ever be interested in a girl like me. He’s good looking, probably the best body I’ve ever seen, which is only his, but that was an accident. If only I knew more about him, maybe if he got to know me he’d find something he’d like. Thinking to myself, so could Evan, if he looked I’m sure he would find something about me that would interest him. Every time I try to think about something or someone else, my mind always gets brought back to Evan. I try to think about what he would have said earlier, but it is hopeless. Besides Jennifer is probably right, him and Mila are together. I have no shot with him. He even said he shouldn’t have given me the flowers.