Death and all His Friends

By CoffeeAndDonuts All Rights Reserved ©

Humor / Mystery

First date fail.

I wanted to die as soon as I woke up the next morning.

The thought of going to school filled me with terrifying dread. After the awful Monday I had had yesterday, the last thing I wanted to do was go back to the place where my woes had started.

I let out a sigh and rolled over so that I was facing the closed door, scrunching the blanket up and hugging my knees.

It was cold. Way too cold. Too cold to go to school. Maybe I should just stay home.

My eyes began to droop and my mind turned fuzzy. One moment I was staring at the white walls of my room and the next, there was nothing but comforting darkness and the warmth of my bed.

"Tegan! You're late!"

I screamed and rolled off my bed in a panic, expecting to see Babu with a shotgun aimed at my forehead. Instead, I saw Jess who was laughing so hard her face had turned red.

"What's your issue?" I yelled at her, standing up and rubbing my ears.

"What?" she said with an innocent look. "I was just telling you that you're late for school."

I yawned and looked at the clock, my heart sinking as I saw the time. It was 8:45. School started at 9.

"What?" I cried in anguish, running my hands through my greasy hair. Ew. I didn't even have time to wash it.

Jess just laughed at me again, twirling a blond lock around her slim finger. I could see her regrowth underneath those silky locks and it made me feel just a little better knowing my sister wasn't perfect.

"Well I'm going to go. My ride's here. But yeesh your room stinks. Smells like there's something rotting in here."

And with that, Jess turned on her heels and strutted off, leaving me stuck in the middle of the growing panic that was partly to do with being late and also partly to do with the strange smell Jess had noticed.

A quick glance at the clock spurred me into action and I decided that I'd have to find the smell later because if I didn't leave for school now, I'd be subjected to another one of Mr. Balls' tantrums. Because yes, I had English first period again.

After hurriedly changing into my uniform and throwing random books into my schoolbag, I ran out of my room, down the stairs and out the front door.

I felt like I was charging through a blizzard as I ran down the footpath, the cold air smacking me in the face and stinging my eyes.

My feet hurt like hell, my limbs stiff from sleeping in an awkward position the night before. And I was tired! So tired! I just wanted to fall asleep right there and then!

Everything became a blur as I ran; the trees, the road and the houses just mixed into one disgusting colour. It didn't matter though. I could see my destination in front of me, the tall structure of Kensington High rising out of the flat horizon beckoning me to hurry.

I was almost at the front steps when my shoe got caught on something and I fell, almost flying three metres in a flurry of screaming and loose papers.

I shrieked as I skidded across the ground, my palms and knees scraped and my stockings ripped.

Just to add a little more drama to my morning, I stood up and shook my fist at the sky screaming "No! Why does the universe hate me?"

I started kicking a tree stump, my anger amplified tenth fold as I thought about the morning. "Why me!" I shrieked with an extra hard kick.

A gentle cough made me turn around and realise that my almost deaf maths teacher Mrs. Koots was standing outside the doors of the school, a very shocked and surprised look on her face.

Giving her a strained smile, I bent down and very calmly picked up the random pieces of paper that had fallen out of my bag. Because I'm cool like that. Not.

By the time I finally managed to enter the building, I had accepted the fact that maybe this week just wasn't a good one. Maybe I should just stop expecting good things to happen. If I had low expectations, then I'd be pleasantly surprised when something good happened.

I trudged my way through the hallways, stopping in front of my English classroom. I was about twenty minutes late and I was not looking forward to my grand entrance.

Deciding to get this over with sooner rather than later, I opened the door and put on the most serious face I could muster.

"Tegan…how nice of you to join us." Mr. Balls' sickly sweet voice made me want to puke.

I glared at him, disliking him even more because of his retarded fashion sense. He was in his Matrix outfit again: shiny black trench coat, big black boots and gloves. Really? Gloves? Ugh.

"Well take a seat." He repeated again, his smile as off putting as his ugly goatee.

With a suppressed groan, I walked towards my seat only to stop short.

What had he done to the classroom?

Instead of the usual single desks lined in neat rows, everything was arranged in some weird semicircle with Mr. Balls in the centre.

I turned back to him, my mouth hanging open in confusion.

"I see you've noticed the new seating arrangement. I thought it might be more fun like this. There's a spare seat over there." Mr. Balls gestured towards the back corner and I felt the blood drain from my face.

He sat me with the jocks? The stupid, thick, chauvinistic pigs who talked in the back of the class every lesson and threw spit balls at the nerds in the front?

Oh man why is this week so messed up?

The whole class started whispering and stared at me as I made my way towards the back corner, like I was walking to my death.

I reached the empty seat and stood there nervously, biting my lip. The seat was surrounded by four semi-good looking, popular boys who were doing their best to ignore me as they continued to chat about some party they went to the night before.

One of them, the really tall brown haired one, had his feet propped up on the chair of my seat and someone else had dumped an ugly black bag on top of the desk.

Message: We don't want you here.

I turned around and prayed that there were other empty seats somewhere else but I knew deep down that I had no choice.

Turning back to the group, I put my hand on the chair and made a small noise.

They all ignored me again, the really tall one sinking slower into his seat so more of his insanely long legs could rest on my chair.

"Um…excuse me?" I said, my voice quivery and high.

I got no response from the group.

I felt my face heating up. The whole class, including Mr. Balls, was watching me. What is this?

"H-Hello?" I said a little louder.

One of the guys, a really buff one with super short hair, glanced at me quickly before looking away.

Waaahhh! Why won't they just be considerate and let me sit down! I was practically drowning in my embarrassment.

My left eye started twitching as I glared at the stupid douches in front of me.

Clearing my throat, I slammed my hand down on the desk and yelled, "Hey!"

The effect was instantaneous. They all jumped back a little in surprise, the tall one knocking over my chair with a crash.

To say I was happy would be an understatement. I felt as though I could conquer the world!

Giving Mr. Tall a look that should have incinerated him, I picked the chair up and shoved the stinking bag off the desk.

As I sat down, I heard Mr. Buff whisper "Bitch."

Wow that hurt. All I did was try to fee my seat.

Feeling weary and uncomfortable, I settled myself into my chair and rested my head in my arms. I really thought there was no way that today could be as bad as yesterday but at the rate this is going, you never know.

"Yea anyway, I totally nailed that hot chick last night." Some high voiced, long haired idiot sitting in front of me yelled to Mr. Tall behind me.

"You da boss! How was she?" Buff Man yelled back with extra gusto.

"Meh. I've had better."

Please stop talking. Please.

"Quit it guys."

I turned and peeked at the guy on my right: a really cute spiky haired blond. Well he isn't so bad.

"We all know Clarissa is the best lay."

Alright, I was wrong. They're all jerks.

Mr. Tall, Buff Man, Spiky Hair and High Voice all started recounting their experiences with some girl names Clarissa and I sunk deeper and deeper into my chair, praying Mr. Balls would tell them all to shut up.

But of course, Mr. Balls probably enjoys listening to teenage boys talk about sex so I had to suffer through the whole damn lesson.

What made it worse was that I couldn't read the blackboard from where I was sitting way up the back. There was a reason why I always sat in the front: extreme short-sightedness.

I did have a pair of glasses but I never wore them. Some people actually look really good in glasses but I am not one of them. I never really needed to wear them anyway. Until today.

Dreading my decision, I pulled my glasses case out of my schoolbag and put the glasses on.

Everything snapped into focus and I managed to catch High Voice's amused expression before he turned around and faced the front, laughing into hand.

Was my face really that funny?

I hunched over and let my greasy hair cover my face, my self-esteem destroyed. I just wanted to get out of here.

As soon as the bell rang, I was on my feet, grabbing my school bag in one hand and my English books in the other.

I was heading to the door seconds later when I bumped into High Voice who shoved me back.

"Watch it you greasy haired four eyed freak!" he shouted in my face.

Darn I was still wearing my glasses.

"Sorry," I muttered, staring at my feet and hoping he couldn't tell that I was about to cry.

I was really sick of all this. And I was so sick of crying all the time too.

Everyone left the classroom and I just stood there, staring at my scuffed shoes, wallowing in self-pity.

"Hurry up Tegan. The next class is starting soon." Mr. Balls said without looking at me, wiping the blackboard with a dusty cloth.

I made a face at him and left the classroom.

There weren't that many people in the hallways since the next period was about to begin so I took my time walking to my locker. I wanted some alone time. History could wait.

The walk seemed to take ages and the more I walked, the lonelier I felt. It was strange because I had never felt lonely before. Maybe I had just never noticed it before now. Maybe my loneliness had always been there but I was so used to it that it didn't bother me.

So when did it start bothering me? Why?

I really wanted to punch the wall or something. It was just so frustrating being so emotional.

I got to my locker and leaned my head against it.

It was all Raith's fault. All of it. Everything. If it hadn't been for him, I wouldn't be so upset. But I suppose he had no control over Mr. Balls and the jerks in my English class…

I straightened up when my phone vibrated.

"One new message." I read out loud, tapping several buttons to open the SMS.

Hey Tegan. It's Cory. I got ur number from ur friend Lizzy. Do u wanna go iceskating this Saturday? I'll pick u up 6.

"Aaahhh! Cory!" I cried, my voice high pitched as my face went red and I started giggling. Suddenly, the week didn't seem so bad anymore.

But did I want to go iceskating? I honestly couldn't iceskate to save my life. I hadn't seen Cory since the weekend too. Would it be weird seeing him again? Ha! Why would it be weird? He's perfect. Totally perfect. Oh God what am I going to wear?

I think I stood there for the whole hour because before I knew it, the bell had rung and everyone was rushing through the corridors.

"Tegan!"

Lizzy suddenly jumped onto me and started shaking me back and forth.

"Ugh quit it! What's wrong?" I asked, shocked out of my dreamy state.

"You remember the bus ride from Hell?"

I grabbed Lizzy's shoulders so she'd stop shaking me and gave her my stoniest stare.

"Yea. It was yesterday and we vowed never to speak about it ever again."

"Yea but I was talking to Paul this morning and…um…"

From the worried look on Lizzy's face, I knew what she was about to say.

"And they put that picture they took of your butt on Facebook."

"What?"

Ugh no! No!

I buried my head in my hands. Freaking damn it!

"They didn't tag you so it's not that bad." Lizzy tried to comfort me, patting me on the back awkwardly.

"I'm still mortified." I said, my voice muffled.

"They're just calling you the Kensington Butt Girl."

"Great. Flipping great."

I lifted my head out of my hands and grabbed my schoolbag before slamming the locker shut.

"Where are you going?" Lizzy asked as I stormed off.

"Home!" I yelled back. There was no way I was staying here when there was a picture of me out there titled 'the Kensington Butt Girl'. I needed a big cheeseburger and fries ASAP. And maybe a chocolate sundae for dessert.

I made it out of Kensington without anyone stopping me and walked towards the local fast food place down the road.

I was so angry at myself for not smashing those guys' phones when they took that picture of me on the bus. I should have just done it when I had the chance. Now it was on the internet and there for every douche bag to see. I was just glad no one could see my face, and that they didn't know who I was.

After a few minutes of aggressive walking, I entered BigBurger, the local Fishbowl burger franchise, and ordered myself the biggest burger they had, the largest chips and the sweetest icecream.

Sitting at a booth in the corner, I ate my sorrows and let myself sulk a little. After a while, my worries seemed to seep away in a blend of tomato sauce and mustard. Eating always made me feel better and by the end of my big meal, I was feeling much happier.

There was nothing more fulfilling than feeling full and content.

Relaxed and glad that I decided to skip school today, because who knows what other disastrous things could have happened, I walked back home and fell asleep on my bed.


The week passed unbelievably fast without incident.

It was like the Raith and Babu thing never happened. It felt like I had finally woken up from a very, very long nightmare.

I guess everything changed for the better after that big hamburger I ate. No one noticed I had skipped school, and the douchebags from English were absent for the rest of the week because of some football excursion thing.

The one down side was that news of the 'Kensington Butt Girl' had travelled around school and everyone kept trying to figure out who it was. Of course no one thought it would be me because no one really noticed me in the first place.

All in all, the week turned out to be pretty alright and Saturday came around sooner than I expected.

"You suck Jess!"

"Shut up! The showcase is on Friday and I need to practice!"

Jess and I were sitting in the garage, me lounging on an old couch while she danced around the open area, a microphone in her hand. Our parents weren't home yet, so we made use of the huge open, empty space.

"I don't know how you convinced them to let you in." I grumbled.

"They said I was one of the best."

"Ok, I am absolutely not going to the showcase now."

"Tegan!"

Jess threw her shoe at me, but she knew I was just joking. She really wasn't that bad. She'd been taking jazz dancing lessons since she was four. It was just her singing that she was lousy at.

"You should have auditioned too." Jess said, sitting next to me and chewing on a bit of her hair.

"Doing what? I can't sing or play an instrument, and last time I checked, it's a musical showcase. And stop chewing on your hair! It's disgusting."

"The boys think it's cute." She pouted. "Besides, you could just dance. I'm sure they'd let you in once they see how amazing you are."

I felt my blood run cold.

"I don't dance anymore Jess." I whispered. I did not want to talk about this. Not now. Not ever. The nightmares were bad enough. Jess, however, seemed to be totally ignorant about how I felt because she kept tattling on. What happened to sibling intuition?

"Well you shouldn't have stopped. You were brilliant. Every time we went to one of your ballet concerts, you were awesome! I don't know why you ever quit-"

"You know exactly why I quit." I yelled, standing up.

Jess' eyes widened and she leaped to her feet.

"That was five years ago! Get over it!" she shouted.

"How dare you say that? How can you say that?" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. She knew it was a touchy subject. Why was she provoking me?

"What are you talking about? We've all moved on! Mum has! Dad has! Hell, I thought you had too! With the therapy and-"

"I have moved on! But don't tell me to get over it!"

I'd had enough of this crap. We hadn't talked about what happened in years, and we sure as hell weren't going to do it now.

"I'll see you later. I'm going out with Cory in half an hour." I snapped, getting up and leaving.

I stormed through the house and up the stairs, my face scrunched up as I tried to calm down. It really irked me that Jess could be so insensitive. She had no idea how I felt and she didn't seem to care either.

As soon as I entered my room, the Jess thing was out of my mind. I had more important things to worry about, like what I was going to wear on my date with Cory.

Grabbing my phone, I dialled Lizzy's number and paced up and down in my room anxiously, scrunching up my nose.

Something still stunk but I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I had been spraying deodorant all over the place hoping it would mask the smell but it didn't seem to be working.

"Hello?"

"Lizzy! I have a date with Cory in half an hour and I don't know what to wear!"

"What? Why didn't you tell me earlier?"

I sat down on the bed, bringing my knees to my chest.

Ever since the failed stalking moment at the mall, Gina and Lizzy hadn't been talking or sitting with each other. Gina spent all her time in the library, and though Lizzy still sat with me and the other geeks, she seemed distracted; her mind on other things.

Normally I would just leave her alone to think but I was desperate.

"Well I'm telling you now! What do I wear? We're going iceskating!"

"Iceskating? How romantic!" Lizzy squealed over the phone and I frowned and held it away from my ear.

"Calm down!"

"Well you have to look cute. I reckon lots of layers since it'll be cold. Skinny jeans are always hot and they make your legs look really good."

"Skinny jeans…skinny jeans…"

I pulled open my wardrobe and leapt aside as everything fell out.

"They also make your butt look really good."

"Oh geez, no more talk about butts please."

"Hey you should be proud! You're the Kensington Butt Girl everyone's been talking about!"

"Just keep telling me what to wear."

I pulled out a pair of dark blue skinny jeans from my pile of clothes and threw them on my bed.

"What else?"

"Hmm okay…Do you have a low top?"

"Lizzy!"

"What? I don't mean really low. Just low enough to suggest-"

"Lizzy!"

"Okay, okay. Let me think."

In the end I chose to wear a fancy T-shirt, a cream coloured long coat and a shimmery scarf with my skinny jeans.

Grabbing my make up bag, I began doing some touch ups while talking to Lizzy.

"Ugh Lizzy…"

"Yea?"

"What do I say?"

"What?"

"What do I say-ouch! Oww!"

"What happened?"

"I just jabbed myself in the eye with my eyeliner pencil."

Ugh it hurt so much I thought my eye was bleeding. I grimaced at my reflection in the mirror and then cringed. Wow I looked ugly when I grimaced. Note to self: don't ever do that around Cory.

"-and that's what you say on your first date."

"What? I totally missed what you…" My mouth fell open and I started shaking as I saw a car pull up in my driveway.

"He's here! He's here!"

"Tegan relax!"

"How can I freaking relax? I don't even know how to talk to him!"

"Just be yourself."

"I don't even know who I am! Oh yikes I got to go. I'll talk to you later."

Hanging up, I stood still and took some very, very deep breaths.

Everything would be fine. It was just Cory. Cory, the hottest guy alive.

The doorbell rang and my heart skipped a beat or three.

I couldn't do this. I just couldn't. Maybe I should pretend I was sick.

"Tegan! Cory's here!" Jess shouted.

"I know!" I yelled back, my voice shrill as I leapt around my room.

Okay, you can do this Tegan.

Checking my face in the mirror one more time, I opened the door and walked down the stairs.

When I reached the bottom, I saw Cory standing at the door and I think my heart fluttered and flew away at the sight.

He was perfect! His blond wavy hair was just perfect and his jeans were just perfectly fitted and his shirt sleeves were rolled up to show how perfectly perfect his tanned arms were…oh Lordy Lord I was speechless.

"Tegan!" He flashed me a perfect smile and I almost fell down.

"Hi!"

I couldn't help the dreamy smile that formed on my face as my brain turned mushy with happiness.

"You ready to go?"

I nodded and made a weird sound as I lumbered towards him.

"Have fun." Jess whispered to me as Cory and I stepped outside and she slammed the door in my face.

We walked towards Cory's car and I swallowed nervously. My heart was beating way too fast to be healthy. I was moments away from hyperventilating from being so close to Cory.

He opened the door for me and I went red, really embarrassed for some reason.

"Thanks." I muttered, not looking at his face just in case I forgot how to speak…and breathe.

"No problem."

I settled myself into the seat and peeked at Cory as he got into the driver's seat. He started the car and turned up the radio and we sat in silence as he drove to Goosefish Mall where the iceskating rink was.

I kept sneaking glances at him from out of the corner of my eyes, unable to believe where I was. I was sitting in Cory's car!

I quickly turned towards the window and put my hands over my face, trying to control my massive smile.

"Are you okay?" Cory asked.

I just nodded, not trusting myself to speak. What do I say anyway? I can't stay silent and creepy the whole night. He's probably so bored right now. Oh no what do I do? But I don't know what to say. I can't say anything. I'm too nervous! Why isn't he saying anything? Is he waiting for me to say something? But why? Maybe he's the silent type like Josh. No he can't be! I can't handle this. If he doesn't talk and I don't talk then…then…disaster. No no no! I should talk!

"We're here."

I spun around and saw Cory looking at me with a strange expression.

I opened my mouth to speak but nothing came out and I just stared at him with a gaping mouth as my mind struggled with something intelligent and smart and witty to say.

"Are you sure you're okay?" Cory asked slowly, his eyes wide. They were such a pretty shade of blue.

"Uh huh."

I turned away, red in the face, and struggled with undoing my seatbelt. Why was this so awkward? And uncomfortable?

He opened the door for me again, which made me blush even more as I still couldn't get the seatbelt undone.

"Here."

I stopped breathing as he leaned over me and undid the seatbelt for me.

Oh my God!!! He was so close! And he smelt so good!

I would have fainted right there and then if it wasn't for my pride.

He held out a hand and I bit my bottom lip so hard I tasted a little blood as I took it and allowed myself to be pulled out of the car. Oh lordy lord this was the best night of my life.

We walked in silence towards the mall and once again I had the feeling that Cory was probably bored out of his mind because I wasn't talking. Yeesh, what did he expect me to say? I honestly didn't know a thing about him. Did he want me to ask about him? Or would that be weird. I wasn't used to this. Where was Lizzy when you needed her? Maybe I could sneak away to the bathroom and call her.

We entered the mall and walked towards the ice skating rink which was located on the first level at a section that came off the spiral arrangement of shops.

"Have you been iceskating before?" Cory asked as we walked through the automatic sliding doors that led into the iceskating rink. I was immediately glad for my warm coat and scarf as soon as I felt the air conditioning.

"Yea I went once with my sister but she abandoned me in the middle of the rink as soon as we got on the ice."

"Your sister is Jess right?"

Great he knows Jess. Everyone knows Jess.

We lined up to get shoes and I tried to calm my nerves a little. I was already so stressed about going on his date with Cory in the first place so why did I agree to go iceskating with him? Iceskating in my situation seemed like the worst combination possible. Like celery and jam or something equally as disgusting.

We got our shoes and I removed my boots, trying to find my happy place before I had a mental breakdown on the ice. I did not know what to do. And why was Cory so quiet? I swear, from my previous stalking experiences, that he wasn't as quiet as this with his friends.

"You ready to go?" Cory asked with a charming smile, putting his sneakers in one of the shoe compartments next to the massive circle of ice.

"Uh huh…"

I put my boots in the same compartment as Cory's and wobbled after him towards the edge of ice.

As soon as I stared out at the slippery white expanse, I felt panic paralyse me.

"Uh…Cory, I've changed my mind. I…I don't want to go on the ice." I tried to say as coolly as possible. Which is impossible.

"Come on Tegan. Don't be scared."

Cory stepped onto the ice and held out a hand to help me.

"Eeep!"

Cory pulled me onto the slippery white surface and I squealed, pushing myself towards him and using my other hand to cling to his shirt.

Both of us froze at the sudden close contact. Oh sugar. This was AWKWARD. But damn I could feel his abs through his thin shirt. Oh good God what was I doing?

"It's okay um…just uh…uh…" Cory seemed to go red and I wanted to die. This was bad. This was so bad.

"I uh….um…uhh…" I didn't even know what I wanted to say. Everything was just so tense. I swear dates weren't meant to be like this.

Ever so slowly, just in case I slipped and fell, I let go of Cory's shirt shuffled my way a little further away from him so that we weren't right against each other.

"Are you okay?" Cory asked again, his voice a little high.

"Yea…kinda…"

I was still holding his hand but that was definitely for security purposes. I hope he couldn't tell how much I was sweating.

"Here, we'll go slow okay?" Cory said, clearing his throat a little.

"Okay."

It was still so awkward. Maybe after we move around a bit it won't be so bad.

I shuffled my way on the ice, squeezing Cory's hand so hard that I swore I heard him whimper.

"Sorry." I gasped, licking my lips nervously.

"Just relax." Suddenly Cory pulled me faster across the ice and I screamed, clinging to him as he gained speed around the rink.

"Ahhhh!!" I yelled as we almost collided with some kid, Cory swerving sharply and making me unbalanced.

I shrieked again as we fell flat against the ice.

"Oh my God I'm so, so, so sorry!" I cried, sitting up and staring at Cory in horror. We were all wet now! I totally just ruined our date.

Cory just stared at me, his mouth open in shock. He was going to dump me! I just knew it. He was going to dump me right here in the middle of the iceskating rink on our first date. Why? Because I was unco and boring.

Then he did the last thing I expected. He started laughing. He laughed so hard he hunched over and held his stomach.

The shock began to wear off and when I realised I hadn't blown my chance with him, I started laughing too.

We both just sat there on the ice for ages, too busy laughing to notice everyone staring at us.

"I can't believe you're that terrible at ice skating." Cory said in between gasps of laughter.

"I suck at everything. I just have a tendency to stay under the radar so no one notices." I retorted, wiping tears from my eyes. I didn't even know what was so funny but the mood was suddenly so light that I didn't care. I didn't even care that Cory was probably laughing at me, not with me.

"You know what? I also can't believe I live two houses away from you, and never knew it until…the accident."

Cory trailed off and I wished he hadn't brought that up. Our good mood seemed to evaporate almost instantly.

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that."

"No it's ok. I can't imagine what you're going through."

I wanted to tell him that I admired how strong he was, how he was able to still face the world, even after what happened to his sister. I really did want to tell him how inspirational he was, but my self-esteem had taken a bit of a battering the past week and I just wasn't brave enough.

"Oh my God Cory Worthington?"

Oh crud bucket, what was Sabrina doing here?

Cory stood up and helped me since I kept slipping all over the place. Because I fail. At life.

A second later, Sabrina and two of her friends were standing in front of us: some blond girl and the weakest link.

Hmm this will be interesting.

"Hey Sabrina." Cory said with a friendly smile.

"Hi cutie. Who's this?"

You had got to be kidding me? Was she faking it? Did she honestly not remember me? Not even from the mall?

"This is Tegan Michaels. She goes to our school. I think she's in the same year as you?" He looked at me for confirmation and I nodded, suddenly wishing he hadn't said anything about me.

Oh jeez, I changed my mind. I'd rather Sabrina not know who I was.

"Really? Are you new?" Sabrina turned to me, all smiles. I shook my head, looking at her shoulder. I did not want to see her face when she pieced it together.

"Oh."

There we go. If I was in the same year as her, and I wasn't new, and she still didn't know who I was, then there was only one conclusion. I was a loser.

"Well do you want to hang out with us? We're going to the coffee shop in the mall." Her question was addressed to Cory, not me. She was going to ignore me for the rest of the night. I could feel it. I just hoped that Cory didn't-

"Ok that sounds like fun." Cory gave me a reassuring glance before grabbing my elbow and tugging me after the three spawns of Satan. This was going to be a long night.


"Ok, ok, and then it was like, the weirdest thing ever. Guess what happened!"

I had never wished for death more than I did at this very moment. Where's Raith when you need him? Just kidding. Maybe that was an over exaggeration but honestly, we'd been at the coffee shop for God knew how long, listening to Sabrina chat to Cory about some discount she got at some store. She was not only ignoring me but her other two cronies too. That did make me feel a little better.

Cory was too nice to tell her to shut the hell up, so we were all left to listen to this pointless rambling. I was so bored.

In a feeble attempt to make conversation with one of Sabrina's friends, I turned to the blond girl and tried to smile.

"So…what's up?" I said.

She gave me a pointedly angry and disgusted look, while pretending to be interested in the crap spewing from Sabrina's mouth.

The weakest link gave me an apologetic look, but didn't say a word. I thought back to Lizzy's plan. How on earth were we going to get this girl on our side?

I also couldn't help but glance around just in case Babu decided to appear and bash me over the head with a salt shaker. I was certain he followed Sabrina around since he was her guardian angel. But honestly, did all guardian angels freak out when something bad happened to their charges? And to be perfectly honest, I didn't think it was that big a deal breaking into Sabrina's house and stealing one ring from her collection of millions. I didn't hurt her. I didn't even touch her. What was his problem?

Once again I felt with certainty that there was something else going on here.

I sighed. This was too confusing. I should just…whoa wait…why is that guy staring at me?

I frowned. How long had that cute, sandy-haired, green-eyed waiter been looking at me? Wait…how long had I been staring at him?

I ducked my head behind a menu in horror as I realised that I had been looking in his direction the whole time I was daydreaming. He probably thought I was staring at him! But I wasn't. At least not intentionally! Ugh this was so embarrassing!

I peeked out from behind the menu and saw that he was still staring back at me. Oh God, now he was coming over to our table.

"Are you guys happy with everything?" he asked us with a flashy smile.

"Yea we're fine." Sabrina purred, turning her charms on him and leaving Cory looking slightly confused.

"There's nothing I can get for you?" the waiter continued, this time looking in my direction.

I sunk lower into my seat and tried to make myself look as small as possible. I was sure my face was a shade of red mankind had yet to discover. I could feel the heat in my cheeks practically burning me. Please go away cute waiter guy.

"Actually, I'd love another cappuccino." Sabrina said, probably just to get his attention.

He nodded and left and I breathed a sigh of relief. Then he returned way too soon with Sabrina's coffee and a bowl of ice cream.

"Here. It's a free sample." He said to me and I turned a beetroot colour as he placed the ice cream in front of me.

Sabrina and Co. tried to fry me alive with their death ray glares and Cory looked like he had eaten a raw lemon as the waiter beamed at me.

"Thanks." I said stiffly, refusing to meet his eyes. What the hell? Why was I getting all the attention when Sabrina was basically throwing herself at the guy?

The rest of the conversation was pretty quiet after that and after about half an hour, I think all of us were glad to leave.

The ride home in Cory's car was just as quiet as the ride to the mall. The only difference was that I wasn't hyperventilating as much.

I had no idea what would happen at the end of our date/bonding session with Sabrina. Would he try to kiss me? Oh fudge! What do I do then?

But surely he wouldn't try to kiss me tonight. We hadn't exactly bonded as much as I'd hoped. In fact, I still don't know anything about him.

We arrived at Herring Avenue and I counted the seconds until we got to my house. It was about 43.

"Well I had a great time tonight." Cory said as he parked the car in my driveway and turned to me.

I was screaming inside my head like some mental patient in an asylum. I didn't know what to say or do. Maybe I should try to get my seatbelt off because that took like an hour last time.

"Yea me too." I finally said, pushing at the button and pulling the seatbelt, hoping I wouldn't be humiliated again by the stupid mechanism.

Cory suddenly put his fingers over mine and I squeaked, my face going red.

"You need to push it really hard." He muttered, pressing my fingers onto the button. Oh Lord above! The seatbelt snapped off with a sharp click but Cory didn't take his fingers off mine.

!!!

"Well I'll see you at school." Cory continued, picking my hand up and bringing it to his lips.

I think my brain imploded right there and then. Or maybe exploded in an array of brain juice and brain bits.

As soon as his lips touched the back of my hand, I couldn't hold it in and let out a high pitched sound that was a cross between a shriek and a hysterical laugh.

He frowned in confusion and I went even redder.

"Yea I'll see you at school too! I had a great time! Let's do it again some time! Bye!"

I pulled my hand away, pushed the door open and practically ran from the car, so embarrassed I could have thrown myself in front of moving traffic if there were any at 9pm at night.

Oh man I didn't even shut the door of his car properly either! Ugh I'm such I freak!

I got to the front door and raised my fist to knock only to have it open in my face by Jess.

"How was your date?" Jess asked timidly. Her strained voice reminded me of our fight, which I really didn't want to talk about right now.

"It was…it was…Ahhh Jess I totally screwed it up!"

"What? No!!"

My sister pulled me inside and sat me down on the couch.

"Tell me everything." She said sternly. I nodded nervously and began to tell her everything that had happened from the moment she slammed the door in my face three hours earlier.

When I got up to the part about the waiter giving me free ice cream because I was staring at him, Jess started giggling uncontrollably.

"Yea I've done that before. You get heaps of stuff if you act like you like a guy."

"But I wasn't acting like-" At Jess' disbelieving look I sighed and gave up and continued on about the car ride and the hand kissing thing.

"Oh my God that is so sweet!" Jess squealed, clutching my hands and bouncing up and down.

"But I acted like such a dork! I made this awful noise and then just ran out of his car! He probably hates me!" I cried.

"No way! He probably thinks you're really cute. I'm sure he'll call you tomorrow."

"Oh I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if he never wants to see me again."

I just wanted to go to my room and forget about everything. Too bad the world hated me.

"Hey Tegan. Could you do a favour for me sweetie?" my mother called from the kitchen.

With a sigh, I got up and left Jess to watch TV whilst I talked to our mum.

"What is it?"

"Could you help a friend of mine out by baby sitting her kids next Saturday?"

"Yea ok." I didn't really get along with kids, but right now I would have agreed to anything just to be left alone. I wonder if I'll get paid.

"Thank you!" My mother called out to me but I was already stomping up the stairs.

I finally reached my sanctuary and slammed the door behind me.

With a sigh, I collapsed face first on my bed. I still had a ton of homework to do, not to mention that I had a test to study for. Oh man, I couldn't deal with all this. It felt overwhelming.

I only took comfort in the fact that Babu hadn't shown his pretty face around here lately. Neither had Raith for that matter. Now Raith…that was interesting. I wonder what it would have been like if Raith had been the one taking me out on a date tonight. Would there still have been awkward silences and embarrassing moments? Ugh why am I even thinking about this? I don't even like Raith. It was a good thing that he and Babu seemed to have disappeared. Maybe they went and battled it out and Raith won so I was free from creepy supernatural people forever.

One could always hope.

lnik 2011-04-04 . chapter 12

Star crossed lovers! And, of course, drama. :)

Iheartmyipod2011-04-04 . chapter 12

OMG I LOVE THIS CHAPTER! Raith is so mysterious! I love it.
Keep writing!

LoStInMyTeArS 2011-04-03 . chapter 12

Yay for long chapters! Ugh, I just wish Raith would like, kiss her or something. Just so i would know he liked her or something...but he cant. Rawr. AND WHO IS L.F? UGH, update soon!

Reve4ever 2011-04-03 . chapter 11

Cool story! I love it!

purple-wolf-howl 2011-04-02 . chapter 12

wow! what a chapter! some seriously intense stuff for Tegan to wrap her head around, mine too! I wonder, will Raith and Tegan ever admit thier at least even slightly crushing on eachother. This is a very addicting story that I enjoy reading very much! Can't wait for the next chapter! :D


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