Death and all His Friends

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Let's try this again.

I woke up Saturday morning to the sound of shouting outside my window.

"Oh great." I muttered as I burrowed deeper into my bed and sighed into my pillow. Autumn had well and truly arrived in Fishbowl and had brought some awfully cold mornings with it.

As I tried desperately to cling to the last remanent of sleep, the shouting got louder and I began to make out words.

"Just wait here!" A girly voice screamed.

"No! You woke me up and made me drive you here-" A boy replied.

"Because it's cold! Do you want me to catch pneumonia and die? Die?"

"No! But why do I have to wait for you?"

"Because I won't be long!"

"I'm not falling for that again!"

I sat up, my eyes dazzled by the sunlight streaming in from behind the crimson and orange leaves of the large tree outside my window.

"Just wait!"

"No!"

I put my palms over my eyes and took a deep breath, praying that Lizzy and Paul would just shut up and stop yelling at each other outside my house.

For a moment, the silence seemed to be a miracle sent directly from God himself. Then I heard the doorbell ring and I groaned, dreading leaving the warmth of my bed.

The person rang the doorbell again, and then a second and third time, the annoying noise burrowing into my brain like large needles.

Grudgingly, I wrapped my blanket around my shoulders and slipped my feet into my fluffy hello kitty slippers.

"I'm coming!" I screamed as Lizzy rang the doorbell for the fourth time. Yeesh that girl needs to learn to be patient.

I got to the bottom of the stairs just as Lizzy pressed the doorbell for the fifth time, and ripped the door open, ready to strangle my bubbly friend.

"Good morning!" Lizzy sang with a cheesy smile, her cheeks pink from the cold and her brown hair windswept.

"What are you doing here?" I snapped, tightening my hold on the blanket I wrapped around myself.

"Aren't you going to invite me in?" Lizzy asked innocently, stepping past me and strolling into my house.

I followed her slowly, yawning and shivering.

"Well I'm a little surprised…" I mumbled.

"Well think about it Tee. Why else would I be here!" Lizzy suddenly spun on the first step of the staircase and beamed at me.

"Uh oh…" I muttered.

"Cory!" She suddenly shouted and burst into hysterical giggles, practically dancing her way up the rest of the stairs and twirling into my room. "You have to tell me everything about what happened last night! Every last de…ew! Tegan your room stinks!"

Swallowing nervously, I ran up the staircase, tripped a few times, and barged into my room.

"Seriously! It smells terrible!" Lizzy whined, putting a hand over her nose as she stood next to my bed.

I sniffed around but didn't smell anything. Well, apart from that weird smell that I tried to mask with deodorant.

"It's not that bad…" I said, slightly embarrassed.

"Ew! That's because you're used to it! That's so gross!" Lizzy was now gagging and swaying all over the place like she was going to pass out.

"Well no one told you to come into my room!" I tried to defend, starting to feel more humiliated than embarrassed.

"Well this isn't healthy. Spend…ugh gross I can't even concentrate in this stink hole." Lizzy dragged me out of my room and slammed the door shut, breathing a heavy sigh of relief.

"Drama queen." I teased.

"Yea anyway, spend the weekend at my house!"

"What?"

"Well that's kind of the reason I came over, apart from wanting to know about the Cory thing…" Lizzy cleared her throat and looked away uneasily.

"What are you getting up to?" I asked suspiciously.

"Well…I kind of need your help. I want to go blond so I need you to help me bleach my hair."

My mouth fell open. Lizzy? Blond? For some reason, I just couldn't imagine it.

"Why?" I asked in shock.

Lizzy shrugged.

"Just because."

I could tell that there was something more to this than Lizzy was letting on. I just didn't know what. Then again, these days everyone seemed to be hiding something from me, and I couldn't do anything about it.

"Alright. Let me just pack some clothes and we'll go." I submitted, thankful for the distraction.

I did the packing by myself since Lizzy refused to go anywhere near my room. I honestly didn't see the big deal. The odour was really not as bad as she made it out to be.

"Alright, let's go." I said, hopping down the stairs and getting Lizzy's attention.

"Don't you need to tell your mum or something?" she asked as she stood up from the couch.

I looked up the stairs and shook my head.

I didn't want to tell Lizzy that my parents had stopped caring a very long time ago. She wouldn't understand. She'd ask questions and I just wasn't ready for that. That was one of the reasons why we moved away from the city in the first place. After a while, my parents just couldn't take the pity in everyone's eyes. It was a constant reminder of everything we had lost; of everything we'd never get back again. And so we moved, we forgot, and we lost ourselves in our own worlds. My parents threw themselves into their work. My dad was away for months on end and my mother worked such long hours at the office that I only saw her a few times a week.

I didn't blame them. We all deal with loss in different ways. They wouldn't even look at me for weeks after what had happened.

"Are you okay Tegan?" Lizzy whispered, her bright spirit somewhat dimmed by the concerned expression on her face.

"Yea…let's just go.

A somewhat grumpy Paul drove us back to Lizzy's mansion and we spent the rest of the day reading magazines in Lizzy's room with the radio turned up loud. I've always found Lizzy's room a little disorienting. It looked like a rainbow had exploded on all the walls. There were different colours everywhere and she had so many posters of her favourite bands and pop singers. There was also one wall opposite the bed that she had covered in pages from her favourite magazines like wallpaper. It looked cool but after a while, the colours made me dizzy. Her room was of course massive, with a marble unsuit bathroom, a wide screen television and a pink king size bed full of several big, fluffy, pink pillows.

It was on this massive pink bed that I lay, flipping through a magazine while arguing with Lizzy about what I should do about Cory.

"Call him!" Lizzy screamed for the third time as she stood in front of her floor length mirror and applied mascara to her lashes. She had ripped out a page from one of her many beauty magazines and was currently trying to recreate the 'Smokey Eyes' look.

"No!" I shouted back, burying my head in Lizzy's bright pink pillow and trying desperately to suppress the memory of the fail date with Cory.

"But he likes you!"

"Not after last night! I acted like a total dork during our date and now he probably thinks I'm a retard!"

"Has he called you?"

I looked at my friend guiltily and nodded.

"I haven't been answering…"

"Tegan!" Lizzy spun angrily and fixed me with glare that only made me giggle. She had only applied eye shadow to one of her eyelids and so she looked more like someone had punched her in the eye.

"I'm serious Tegan! You shouldn't ignore phone calls from your potential boyfriend!"

"He's not my potential boyfriend."

"Well you can't know that for certain! You know what? I'm going to call him."

"What?" I screamed, as Lizzy made a lunge for me.

"You heard me!" she said aggressively, putting down her make up equipment and jumping on the bed.

I dodged her outstretched fingers and tumbled off the bed, landing awkwardly on my knees with a thump.

"Ouch!" I cried, scrambling to my feet as Lizzy leapt of the bed and full on tackled me onto a pile of clothes.

"Stay still!" She screamed at me as she actually sat on my back to keep me face down on her pile of clothes.

"No! Lizzy stop! Freaking hell!" I shouted as she forced my face into the ground with superhuman strength that such a skinny girl like her shouldn't be able to possess.

"Hang on…" my friend practically groped me as she used her other hand to pull my mobile out of my jeans.

"Not cool!" I shrieked, my voice muffled as Lizzy started scrolling through my contacts list.

"Let's see…ah here we go. It's ringing!"

"Lizzy!" I summoned the strength to roll over and shove the girl off me but Lizzy somehow managed to gracefully slide away.

"Hello?" She suddenly asked, backing away and beaming at me as I struggled to stand up.

"No!" I cried, a mixture of humiliation and embarrassment making my brain switch into panic overload.

"Oh hi Cory!"

I ran towards Lizzy from the other side of the room, determined to rip that phone from her hands even if it was the last thing I do. Sensing the impending doom, Lizzy ran towards the joining bathroom and slammed the door just as I got there, locking it in one swift motion.

"Lizzy!" I screamed, banging my fists on the door desperately. She was going to make the situation so much worse. I could tell.

"Yea no this is Lizzy, not Tegan." I could hear her saying in the bathroom.

I gritted my teeth and pressed my ear to the door, praying that she was just joking around and actually hadn't called him.

"Yea! Lizzy Connifer! You've heard of me? …oh you know my brother…well I'm calling because Tegan's really busy but she still really wants to see you! How about a movie on Wednesday night?"

Oh sweet Jesus no. No.

"Yea that sounds great! Don't worry, I'll tell her. Yea you too. Thanks! Bye!"

Wednesday. We're going on another date on Wednesday. Good gravy I'm going to die.

Feeling defeated, I stumbled towards Lizzy's bed and curled myself into a ball on top of it.

"That wasn't so bad." Lizzy said as she reappeared from the bathroom, wiping her hands together with a very satisfied smile.

I just let out a moan and curled into an even smaller ball.

"Okay, seriously, why are you so shy?" Lizzy cried, sitting down next to me and nudging me with her sharp, bony elbow.

"I can't go through this again." I whined, my voice muffled. I had spent all of the pervious night tossing and turning in bed replaying my fail date with Cory over and over again. It was only now that I realised what an idiot I was. I just wanted to die. The embarrassment would kill me eventually. I was sure of it. And there was no way I was going to make a fool out of myself again.

"Seriously Tegan, I don't get it! Don't you realise how pretty you are!" I heard Lizzy complain, the girl shaking me roughly.

"No I'm not. I'm ugly and I'm not his type." I whinged, opening my eyes and turning so I could glare at her from my curled up position on the bed.

"You're so not ugly!" Lizzy growled, her forehead creased.

I sighed. Such a pretty girl like Lizzy wouldn't understand how it feels to be so boringly ordinary. She was only trying to make me feel better, but it made me feel worse to have her lie to me like that.

Lizzy seemed to read my mind because she punched me on the shoulder and shouted "I'm serious!"

"Ouch."

"Come on! Look in the mirror! Your hair always looks amazing and the straight style is totally in at the moment!"

I rolled my eyes.

"It only looks like this because Jess got a deal at her hairdresser for two permanent hair straightening sessions for the price of one so she made me do it with her. She still curls her hair though. I don't even understand why she straightened it in the first place." I defended.

"So? That still doesn't mean your hair doesn't look great!"

I sat up and crossed my arms stubbornly.

"Anyone can change their hair to make it look good." I muttered, staring hard at the bedspread and wallowing in self pity.

"Well you've got a great nose and an amazing complexion." Lizzy said intensely. "I wish I had your skin…" she added almost dreamily, clasping her hands under her chin.

"That was creepy." I said, looking up at her and backing away with false fear.

"It's true! My skin is terrible. It looks like the surface of the moon!"

Lizzy seemed to pull a mirror out of nowhere and glanced at her pretty face, pinching her cheeks and scrunching up her nose.

"You're kidding right?" I retorted, slightly annoyed. Lizzy was one of the prettiest girls I knew. I would give almost anything to look like her.

"Don't be nice. Can't you see this massive pimple on my chin?"

"Where?"

"Here!"

She jabbed her slim finger at her chin and after squinting for several moments, I could see a tiny bump.

"You're crazy." I snapped, folding my arms and pouting, refusing to look at my friend. It really annoyed me when super pretty girls like Lizzy complained about their looks.

"No seriously! It looks so terrible! My face is so lumpy!"

I grabbed the mirror of Lizzy and looked at it myself, flinching at the massive close up reflection of my own face.

"Oh jeez, no wonder you think that! This is one of those crazy magnifying mirrors!" I shouted, throwing the thing across the room.

"Hey!" Lizzy jumped off the bed and went to rescue her prized possession.

"Look, not even super models look good that close up. Those mirrors are the reason why 80% of teenaged girls have image issues!" I said as Lizzy sat next to me again, her eyes glued to the glossy surface of the mirror.

"Look who's talking. Aren't you the one who was complaining about your own looks?" Lizzy gave me a sly smile and I bit my tongue.

"Shut up. That's because I am ugly." However, even as I said it, it didn't sound so serious anymore. As much as I didn't want to admit it, Lizzy had succeeded in making me feel better.

"Don't be an idiot." Lizzy said with a warm smile and spontaneously hugged me.

"Lizzy…can't breathe!" I whimpered as she practically squeezed the air out of my lungs.

"Toughen up Tee." She just said, letting go and returning to her floor length mirror and her abandoned make up kit.

"Oh but Lizzy! I'm so nervous!" I confided as I watched her finish lining her eyes.

"Don't be. Movie dates are the best because you can just sit together for two hours without saying anything and it won't be weird. And you'll have something to talk about after the movie ends."

I pondered her words and realised she was actually right. A movie date would be so much more comfortable than the ice skating disaster. That still didn't help the butterflies in my stomach. In fact, it seemed like the butterflies were multiplying each second I thought about Cory.

I looked at Lizzy, who was blatantly showing off her skills with her make up brush, and felt the butterflies dance around even more.

"Hey Lizzy?"

"Yea?"

"What type of girl does Cory like?"

"What do you mean?" I saw her reflection glance at me through the mirror and I looked away quickly, picking up some light blue nailpolish from Lizzy's bedside table and applying it to my short fingernails.

I didn't want to ask what I was actually thinking: would Cory prefer a girl like Lizzy? A girl who was bubbly and cute and looked amazing even if she had only applied eye shadow to one of her eyes?

"Well…I know that's he's only had about three girlfriends in his life…as far as I know."

"What? Who?"

I sat up straighter and stared intently at the back of Lizzy's brunette head, desperate for this juicy piece of gossip and almost spilling blue nail polish all over her bedspread.

"Well…" Lizzy's voice became strangely calm. "Let's see…First there was Clarissa…"

The name sounded familiar and after some careful thinking and further coats of nail polish, I remembered that Clarissa was the girl those guys in my English class were talking about.

"Oh no, not Clarissa." I mumbled. Cory's first girlfriend was the school slut? I had no hope.

"I'm surprised you know Clarissa." Lizzy said thoughtfully, smearing glitter on her eyelids. "You usually don't know anyone in this school." I made a sound of protest and she laughed. "Clarissa isn't actually that bad. In fact, she only became promiscuous after Cory dumped her."

"That's good to know." I said sarcastically, blowing on my wet nails.

"Okay, then there was that really hot exchange student from South Korea…"

"There was an exchange student from Korea?" I did not remember that at all.

"Yes! She sat next to you in maths for a whole semester!"

"Oh…But why would anyone exchange to Fishbowl? No offence but this is such a boring town."

"Yea no idea. Anyway, then she went back to Korea and she and Cory tried having a long distance relationship but it didn't work out. Then he moved on to date Michelle."

"Michelle?"

"She used to be one of Sabrina's best friends but then she fell down the social ladder. I don't really know where she is now…"

Lizzy finished with the eye shadow and started blending things in. I, on the other hand, felt worse by the second. Cory had obviously had lots of experience when it came to dating and I had absolutely none. No wonder the relationship was doomed to fail.

"Then he dumped her and took a break from the dating scene until…now."

We were silent for a bit as I pondered her words.

"So what do you think?" Lizzy finally asked.

"I think me and Cory are going to fail."

"No! I mean about my eyes!"

I looked up from my nails and saw Lizzy grinning at me proudly.

"Um…"

I suppose on any other girl, the heavy eye make up would make them look more like a racoon than a person, but Lizzy definitely pulled it off. She looked like a rock star.

"It looks great Lizzy."

"Really? You're not just saying that right?" Lizzy turned around and stared intensely at herself in the mirror, striking different poses.

"Lizzy, you look great like always." I said, slightly annoyed.

"Are you sure? I wish Gina was here. She always tells me the truth…" Lizzy's voice became sad as she thought about the fight she had had with our other friend.

"Still fighting?" I asked as Lizzy came and sat down next to me.

"Yes." She said solemnly, her eyes downcast. "She won't even look at me. Am I a terrible person?"

"No way. Just give her time."

"Thanks Tee. And don't worry about Cory. You two will be fine. How could he not like you?"

I smiled. It was times like these that I realised just how lucky I was to have a friend like Lizzy.


I stayed at Lizzy's house for the whole weekend and I had the more fun than I've had in a long time.

We attempted to bleach her hair on Saturday night and only succeeded in making her unsuit bathroom smell gross. We tried again Sunday morning and managed to make her hair turn a weird orange colour. We did it again on Sunday night and finally got it a light enough colour so that the blond dye would show up nicely.

By Monday morning, Lizzy was a bottle blond and looked amazing. I, on the other hand, still looked my frumpy old self but it didn't bother me as much as usual.

The next two days seemed to fly past, my mind preoccupied with thoughts of Cory. The more I thought about the upcoming date, the more I began to panic. I had been making sure to avoid Cory at all costs during school. I was already embarrassed that Lizzy had been the one to ask him out for me.

That's why when I woke up in my stinky room on Wednesday morning, I felt sick. Unbearably sick. The nerves seemed to have solidified into something gross and sticky that had burrowed its way into my stomach.

"Noooo." I groaned, curling into a ball and whinging. The confidence boost from Monday had worn off and all my inhibitions had returned. Regardless of what Lizzy had told me, I was still pretty sure that Cory actually didn't like me that much. He couldn't. There was no reason why he would like me at all. I hadn't spoken to him at all since our date on Friday. I saw him once in the hallway at school but he ignored me. Maybe he didn't want me talk to me in public. Oh lordy Lord.

I hid under my blanket for a bit, giving myself a little pep talk about how everything would be fine.

Then I got ready for school, donned a scarf and gloves, and started my tedious walk to Kensington.

Autumn seemed to be having an identity crisis and was acting more like Winter. The sky was a dark, foreboding colour, promising nothing but misery and rain. I huddled deeper into my scarf, wishing I was still asleep in bed and not on my way to all the awkward social interactions that I was sure to face as school.

I stopped walking halfway down the street, blowing into my hands and subconsciously staring at Cory's perfect house where the perfect boy lived.

I began to wonder what he was doing. Was he still in bed? Was he eating breakfast? Would be see me standing there like a stalker if he looked out the window?

I wanted to cry at my stupidity. Why would Cory want to go out with a freak like me? I must have been kidding myself. I was such a loser. He probably only asked me out because of some dare. I should just face the fact that I had blown my chance with my dream guy.

Shoving my hands into my pockets, I continued on my way down the road, a tight knot in my stomach at the thought of Cory. I knew I shouldn't think about him. Unlike Lizzy, my world did not revolve around boys but for some reason, all I could focus on was my relationship, or lack thereof, with Cory.

I happened to pass the turning to Lizzy's house and ran into my friend just as she was coming out. Like me, she had wrapped a fluffy scarf around her neck that obscured half her face and her hands were covered in gloves.

"Tegan!" she cried, chipper and glowing the excitement.

"Why are you so happy?" I asked, trying not snap at her too much.

"It's a brand new day! Aren't you excitement for what's to come?" She giggled and twirled around and I bit my lip.

"'What's to come?'" I asked nervously. Lizzy didn't seem to mean it as a warning but I was extra cautious these days.

"Hey you've got a PostIt stuck to your back."

"What?"

Lizzy ripped something from the back of my shirt and waved it in front of me before reading it out loud.

"Sorry I haven't been around lately." She said in a low and very disturbing voice as she jumped back and forth, moving the paper out of my grasping fingers. "I'll be back soon."

"Quit it! You sound like a paedophile!" I screeched, laughing hard at Lizzy's contorting face.

"This person has awful writing."

"Give. It!" I whined, jumping up and down.

"Who's it from? Are you cheating on Cory?" her voice turned suspicious and I rolled me eyes.

"No! I don't even think he wants to go out with me. He ignored me yesterday and now I don't know what to think!"

"Don't be ridiculous. You're just nervous!"

We both stood on the side walk, me close to hyperventilating and Lizzy still reading the mysterious PostIt.

I was pretty sure I knew who wrote the note but it was weird that he wrote the note without actually showing up. I hope he wasn't perving on me when I was getting changed this morning. Otherwise that boy is dead. If he could die…which he probably can't…because he is death?

"What's wrong? Your face is all scrunched up…"

"We should go to school."

I led the way down the footpath and Lizzy followed at my heels like a lost puppy dog.

"But who's the PostIt from?"

"A friend."

"A friend with incredibly messy writing. Is it that hottie you were supposed to introduce me to?"

"Yes. No. I don't know. Come on, I'm cold!"

"Don't change the subject!"

"Drop it Lizzy!"

Lizzy pouted but still walked with me, her hands still clutching the note from Raith.

"Sorry I haven't been around lately. Sorry I haven't been around lately. Sorry I haven't been around lately." She repeated, emphasising different words each time.

"Quit it." I said, glancing at her sideways and rubbing my gloved hands together.

"But it could mean different things if said in a certain way! Sorry I haven't been around lately."

I rolled my eyes but couldn't keep the grin off my face. Lizzy certainly temporarily took my mind of Cory.

We got to school unbelievably early and Lizzy left my side to talk to some teacher about an assignment she hadn't started yet. Left on my lonesome, I used my alone time to ponder over the meaning of Raith's note as I walked to my locker.

Sorry I haven't been around lately. I'll be back soon.

What on Earth is he trying to tell me? 'Sorry I haven't been around lately?' Does he really think I missed him or something? Ha. Fat chance. He must be delusional if he thinks I actually like his company. 'I'll be back soon?' Okay, that is worrying. I don't want to think about how screwed up my life will become once Raith is introduced back into the equation.

When I finally got to my destination, I was surprised to see Gina sitting in front of her locker, her head buried in a book.

"What are you doing?" I asked curiously as I turned the dial on my locker, gritting my teeth when I got the combination wrong.

"Mum burnt toast at six this morning and set off the fire alarm. I couldn't get back to sleep so I came to school." My friend replied without looking up, turning the page of her book.

"But why are you sitting in front of your locker?"

"Library isn't open yet."

"Oh."

I emptied my schoolbag into my locker and sighed. I wonder if Cory would try to talk to me at school today. I really hope he hadn't seen me staring at his house this morning. That would just be way too much embarrassment for me to handle. Oh Lord, how could I act so stupid? I'm probably not even his type. I wouldn't be surprised if he never wanted to see me again.

"What's wrong?" Gina asked bluntly.

"What do you mean?" I turned and saw the sandy haired girl staring intensely at me from behind her thick glasses.

"You always scrunch up your face when you're mad or annoyed."

"No I don't."

"Yes you do. You're doing it now."

I grumbled some obscenities under my breath and tried to smooth out my face with my gloved fingers.

"So what's wrong?"

"Oh Gina!" I slammed my locker shut and sat down next to her. "Cory hates me!"

"I doubt he hates you. Didn't you go on a date with him?"

"Yes…and it was horrible!"

"Horrible for you or horrible for him?"

I turned to Gina slowly, a confused expression on my face.

"What do you mean?" I asked seriously.

"Well…" Gina shut her book and looked at me calmly. "Just because you had a bad time doesn't mean he did. He might have actually had a very fun and amusing time while you were freaking out."

"I suppose that's true." I said slowly as the cogs in my brain started turning. Maybe Cory thought it was funny that I'm such a retard. Maybe…but then isn't that not a good thing? I don't want him to enjoy spending time with me because I act like a freak and embarrass myself. Oh this just keeps getting worse and worse.

I stood up and opened my locker again, decided to be a nerd and taking out the books I needed for my next subject even though I still had half an hour before school actually started.

My expression worsened when I noticed the envelope sitting on top of a pile of muddy textbooks in the corner of my locker.

I hadn't noticed it before but it must have been sitting there for at least a week.

I was vaguely aware of Gina standing up and saying something but my attention was focussed entirely on the white paper, a heavy feeling of trepidation weighing down my spirits.

I picked it up with trembling fingers and slowly turned it over.

"What's that?" Gina asked, her voice strangely loud to my ears.

"I don't know…"

I slipped the note out of the envelope and unfolded it. There were only two sentences written on it.

YOU REALLY SHOULD HAVE MET ME. I CAN'T HELP YOU NOW.

It wasn't signed but I knew it was from L.F.

"That's creepy." Gina mumbled, reading it over my shoulder. "'I can't help you now?' What's that meant to mean?"

"No idea."

I threw the note back into my locker and tried to ignore the sickening dread in the pit of my stomach.

"It's probably from L. F again. Maybe you should tell someone." Gina suggested. I shook my head. There was nothing anyone could do about these mysterious letters. I just hoped this would be the last one.

As I locked my locker and leaned against the cold metal door, my eyes roamed the passing students. I wasn't sure what I was looking for. I knew I wouldn't be able to tell who wrote the letter just by looking at them. Oh how life would be so much easier if there was a massive flashing neon red arrow above their head.

"Come on. We've got maths and you don't want to be stuck in the doom seat again." Gina said to me.

I instantly snapped out of my reverie. There was no way I was going to be stuck in the middle of that again. The last time that had happened, I had met Raith and we all know how that ended up.


I thought maths would never end. As soon as the bell rang, I ran from the room and took shelter at my locker where I tried to hide my burning red face.

Gina was close behind me, her face pale and shocked as she patted me awkwardly on the back.

"What is going on?" I hissed between clenched teeth, wanting to punch my locker. All thoughts of Cory had been kicked right out of my head by the things I had heard during maths.

It seemed that over the weekend and Monday and Tuesday, news of the Kensington Butt Girl had spread to just about everyone in the school.

"Tegan! You're such a celebrity!" Lizzy yelled as she approached me, her face lit up in a brilliant smile. Gina slipped away as silently as a ghost as my more raucous friend attacked me in a bone crushing hug.

"Not so loud!" I hissed, trying to push Lizzy away from me

"I don't understand why you just don't tell everyone it was you. All the girls are claiming it was them and the boys won't stop fantasising about-"

"Lizzy!" I cried in anguish, ripping open my locker door with pent up aggression. My level of uncomfortableness had just sky rocketed to new and frightening level.

"I'm just saying…" Lizzy leaned with her back against her locker and gave me a very serious look. "I'm just saying that it wouldn't hurt if people actually knew who you were. Don't you wish that people would at least notice you?"

I threw several books around in my locker and let out a deep breath.

"I don't want to be known as some girl who flashed a bus full of guys." I muttered, although truthfully I didn't want to be known at all. I preferred blending into the background. I liked my privacy.

"Suit yourself. But if I were you, I'd be glad for my fifteen minutes of fame." Lizzy said with enthusiasm.

I just shook my head, brooding and praying that something would come along to end everyone's sudden obsession with my butt.

Too bad that for the rest of the day, that stupid picture was the number one topic of conversation.

It was towards the end of lunch when Jess approached me in her own very subtle way: by tackling me in into an empty classroom and locking the door so no one would see us conversing together.

I had long since accepted that Jess liked to pretend she was an only child but sometimes she was way too dramatic about these things.

"Jess!" I bellowed angrily as I rubbed my sore back and glared at my sister. She was so bony that it felt like I had been stabbed when she slammed her shoulder into me.

"Not so loud." She whispered, her face suddenly serious and her bright eyes large and round.

"You know there's no one around. You don't need to hide in a classroom to talk to me." I grumbled as Jess glanced around nervously.

"Tegan, I have something very important to ask you." She said firmly.

Okay, that was weird.

"And you have to promise you'll tell me the truth." She added, her hands on her hips.

"Fine. What?" I snapped, slightly curious.

"Are you the Kensington Butt Girl?"

How did she know?

At the look on my face, Jess practically fainted.

"Oh my God it's true?" she shrieked, grabbing my shoulders and shaking me back and forth.

"N-no-"

"I can't believe it Tegan! You've actually got a bit of a dark side! No wonder Cory is dating you!"

"Jess!" I said stiffly, my face heating up for what felt like the 57th time that day. "You can't tell anyone."

"Why not?" Jess whined. "All the girls want to be you! Oh why couldn't it be me! All the guys think you're-"

"Stop!" I hissed, throwing my hands over my ears. This couldn't get any worse. "How did you find out?"

"Well you see, I have a friend who's a butt man-"

"A what?"

"You know. A butt man." At my incredulous look, Jess rolled her eyes. "He's a guy who really likes girls' butts and he can actually tell whose-"

"Okay, okay, what about him?"

"Well he told me that the butt in the picture looked like mine but I was like, 'No way man. I wish'. But then he was like, 'But I'm sure it's yours.' And then I wondered whether it could be you because you're my sister so we're a little similar so I thought I'd ask you even though I was 100% sure it wasn't you but then it was you and what were you thinking!" Jess suddenly giggled and slapped me playfully on the arm. I just stared at her, my mind blank.

"So your friend…does he know it's me?"

"Nah. I think he forgot I had a sister. Why? Do you want me to tell him?" Jess gave me a very suggestive look and I scrunched up my nose.

"No. Listen Jess, you can't ever, ever, tell anyone that the picture is me."

"Why not?"

"Just don't! Please? Just…I don't want that sort of attention." I shuddered at the thought of what might happen. I had been hearing a lot of lewd comments directed at my posterior.

"Fine." Jess finally gave in. "But I don't see what the big deal is."

At that moment, the bell rang and so we went our separate ways: Jess to Chemistry and me to English.

However, as soon as I stepped into that classroom, I knew it wasn't going to be a good lesson.

Mr. Balls greeted me with that 'I'm-going-to-make-you-miserable-because-I've-chosen-you-as-my-arch-nemesis-so-let-us-battle-to-the-death' look and as I approached my new seat, I realised that the four jerky jocks were back from their excursion.

Once again they ignored me as I sat down. I was just glad they weren't dumping their disgusting smelly gym bags on my desk anymore.

"So what do you think of that picture circulating around school?" High Voice hissed at Spiky Hair.

"You mean the ass picture? It's alright. I just want to know who it is."

I shifted uncomfortably and pulled out my reading glasses. I began fiddling with the glasses case, trying to block out the awkward conversation.

"I think it might be Clarissa. What do you think?" Mr. Tall asked Buff Man.

As if it's Clarissa. Jeez.

"I don't know. This is a tough one." Buff man said thoughtfully.

"Come on, they call you the Butt Man don't they?" High Voice whined.

I stiffened.

Whoa Buff Man is Butt Man? What can of wacky messed up coincidence is that?

"Well I was pretty sure it was that hottie Jess Michaels but she swears it wasn't her." Buff Man was saying as I gripped my pen so hard I was sure I was going to snap it in half.

"I wish it was Jess but I suppose she's got a hot rack."

The pen shot out of my hand and landed on the floor with a clatter. I sat frozen, my teeth clenched as the four douches talked about my sister.

Jesus Christ that girl needs to stop hanging around these people. I tried to block my ears to the filth assaulting my senses from left right and centre as I leaned over and picked up my pen.

I only realised my mistake when I straightened up and realised that Buff Man, who was sitting on my left, was staring at me with a look of shock.

Oh no.

The three other boys didn't seem to realise that Buff Man was no longer interested in the conversation because they just kept talking and talking and talking. All the while, Buff Man and I were having some sort of mental, telepathic war that involved me making lots of pleading faces and him gaping at me in shock.

When I decided that this wasn't going anywhere, I turned sharply to the front and focussed on what Mr. Balls was writing on the board, trying desperately to ignore the bulky football player ogling me.

This was bad. This was really bad. If Buff Man decided to tell everyone then…then…then I don't know! I'd probably be the focus of all the creepy perverts in the school. And I was sure there were a lot of them.

What do I do? What can I do?

I held my left hand over the left side of my face to block the figure of Buff Man and thought through my options.

By the end of English I had only come up with two:

Option One: Jump out the window and hope the impact kills me

Option Two: Plead, blackmail, bargain and lie my ass off to the Neanderthal next to me and hope he lets me off the hook

As soon as the bell rang, I made a lunge for the door only to have Buff Man's low voice yell "Wait!"

I was going to ignore him but I hesitated and that was my downfall. The douche managed to grab my arm in his massive sweaty hand and I knew that I had to go for Option Two.

"Yes?" I asked sweetly, going for the sweet image and hoping that it would work in my favour.

The three other guys looked at Buff Man in surprise as the dude stared at me intensely, his hand still around my arm.

"Yes?" I repeated, my voice quivering slightly. I hope he didn't see the panic in my eyes.

"You're related to Jess aren't you?" he asked slowly, like I had a mental deficiency.

"She is?" High Voice exclaimed, sounding so nasally that I wanted to punch him.

"I suppose if you squint and tilt your head a bit…you can see some resemblance." Mr. Tall muttered, scrutinizing me with a very serious face.

"Um I need to go-" I said in a strained voice, tugging at my arm. Buff Man, however, only tightened his grip.

"I'll let you go in a sec. I just need to ask-"

"What are you doing?" Someone suddenly yelled. All five of us spun around and I almost screamed in relief when I saw Cory charging through the doorway. My hero!

All the guys stared at me and I went red. Please tell me I didn't say that out loud.

They seemed to get over my brief moment of embarrassment because the next second, Cory was pulling me away from Buff Man and giving him a dark look.

"Why were you touching her?" He demanded, sounding so angry that even I was a little worried.

"Hey calm down dude…it was nothing…" Buff Man said in a shaky voice as the rest of his crew bolted to the door.

"Well it better not happen again." Cory said sternly. Buff Man nodded and ran from the room. I let out a sigh of relief as soon as he was gone.

"Cory, thank you so so much!"

"He didn't hurt you did he?" Cory said, his fists clenching.

"No…No I'm fine…" I was still a little frightened by how angry Cory looked but he seemed to relax a moment later.

"Good." He suddenly grabbed both my hands in his and stared deep into my eyes. "Why haven't you been answering my calls?' he asked almost desperately.

Cue the next wave of embarrassment. Oh jeez.

"Well my phone ran out of battery…"

"So it's nothing I did wrong?"

My mouth fell open. How could Cory think he did anything wrong?

"Of course not!" I exclaimed.

"Good. Then we're still going to the movies tonight?"

"Sure." A movie sounded good and safe. No falling down. No embarrassing waiters. Perfectly safe.

"The Music Talent Showcase is also on Friday. We should go to that together too." Cory added, running a hand through his wavy blond hair.

I just nodded, mesmerised by his face.

He had to leave after that since he had just come into the classroom to get some books he left from his last class. I was just thankful for coincidences.

I had a free period so I went home and danced around my room, my confidence boosted from Cory's chivalrous display. Maybe he hadn't noticed any of the awkwardness at all! Maybe he actually liked me!

Then my confidence plummeted. But maybe he didn't. He was just being nice. Maybe it meant nothing to him, helping me from those guys. He was just in the right place at the right time. He's the type of person who would help any girl. Oh no. Oh no!

I could feel my self confidence dwindling and I threw myself onto my bed, screaming into my bedspread.

I didn't realise how tired I was because the next moment, I was snoring loudly.


There was something on my face: something wet and runny.

I yawned and raised a hand to my face, trying to rub whatever it was away with my eyes still closed.

My fingers came away sticky and wet and I sighed. Whatever.

I rolled onto my side and tried to go back to sleep, only to feel the wetness on my face again.

"What the…"

I rolled back onto my back and opened my eyes, my mind slowly taking in dark hair, large dark eyes and a handsome face.

Sweet Lord it was Raith. It was Raith! Raith was leaning over me armed with my liquid eyeliner!

I screamed. I screamed so loud Raith flinched and threw himself away from me so we were no longer face to face.

"What are you doing?" I yelled, sitting up and pushing myself as far away from him as possible without falling off the bed.

"Nothing." He said quickly, throwing the eyeliner brush over his shoulder as he sat crossed legged on my bed. He was dressed in all black again: black jeans, black shirt, black leather jacket.

I gave him a suspicious look as I grabbed a mirror from my bedside table and stared at my reflection.

"My face!" I shouted in horror, my right hand flying to my cheeks where Raith had scrawled several very rude words in my black liquid eyeliner.

"Do you like it?"

"Get out!"

I jumped off the bed and ran to the bathroom, determined to scrub my face raw. My date with Cory was in less than two hours and I was not showing up with the words 'crack whore' written across my forehead.

It took several minutes of cleansing, scrubbing and splashing before all the words were erased from my face and I deemed myself presentable, if a little red.

All the while, I thought long and hard about what to do about Raith. Why was he suddenly back? I had almost forgotten about him and all the drama surrounding the boy. Almost but not quite. No one would be able to forget a face like his.

Grumpily, I returned to my bedroom only to see Raith lying down on my bed with his hands behind his head.

"It stinks in here." He said without looking at me.

I glared at him and kicked aside some clothes that were on the floor.

"I know. I don't know what it is. Now what are you doing here?" I said sharply.

"What do you mean?"

"You've been gone for the last two weeks."

"Aw, did you miss me honey?"

"No. I'd never miss you." I pulled aside my wheelie chair and sat down, picking up my hand mirror and checking my face. Once again he wasn't going to answer one of my questions. It was beyond annoying. And I needed to start getting ready for my date.

We were silent for a while. I was bursting to ask him millions of questions but it all sounded a little ridiculous. What was heaven and hell like? How did he know who was going to become an angel or a demon? How did he become a Reaper? How do I get Babu out of my life? Where did Raith fit into the scheme of everything? Why did he care if Babu killed me? Did he know God?

I turned and stared at Raith. It looked like he was asleep. Could he even sleep? Maybe he was faking it.

"What do you want?" he grumbled, opening his left eye to look at me.

"What do you mean?"

"You're staring. Can't blame you though."

Stupid arrogant boy. To hide my embarrassment I said the first thing that came to my head.

"Do you think I'm pretty?"

Oh crud. Where did that come from? Why did I just ask him that?

Raith sat up and raised an eyebrow.

"What?" he asked slowly.

I blushed and looked away.

"Well…I've got a date tonight with this guy and I don't know if he likes me or not…"

I did not want to look at Raith right now. Why was I mixing my personal life with my Raith-related life? And what a stupid question.

I took several deep breaths and stared hard at the handle of my mirror, biting my lip when Raith still didn't answer.

I honestly didn't even want him to answer. It was times like these where I wished there was some sort of rewind or undo button. Then I could just undo my whole life.

"Your friend's hotter."

I turned sharply and narrowed my eyes.

"Lizzy?" I clarified.

Raith shrugged.

"It's true."

I was confused. What was that supposed to mean? Hotter meaning that he thought I was hot but she was better? Or that I was butt ugly and he just didn't want to hurt my feelings?

You know what? Screw him. Cory is one hundred thousand times better than this prick. If only I knew if Cory actually liked me. I could not understand guy signals at all.

I glared at Raith when I was suddenly struck by an interesting thought.

"Hey! You're a guy!" I said.

"I know." Raith replied, closing his eyes as he lay back down on my bed.

"Well…I've got a date tonight…"

"I know. You told me a minute ago."

"Well…I don't know if this guy likes me…and I can't read signals very well so…could follow us and tell me if he actually likes me or not?"

I sat on the edge of my seat eagerly, my face red from embarrassment at how stupid my request sounded. Raith didn't move.

"You know…because you're a guy…and so you'd be able to tell better than me…because I'm a social retard?"

I waited again, my gaze so intense that I was surprised it wasn't burning a hole in his head.

"Hello?" I asked quietly when he still wouldn't answer.

Raith sighed and sat up, his piercing dark eyes meeting my own.

"Are you crazy?" He yelled.

I flinched and cleared my throat.

"Please?"

"What the hell? I'm not here to help you with your screwed up love life! You think I care if this guy likes you or not? It's not my problem! I'm not wasting my time-"

"Please? Please, please, please?" I dropped to my knees on the floor and begged him with everything I had. I couldn't embarrass myself any more than I had already done so. I had nothing to lose. I threw my dignity out the window.

"No." Raith crossed his arms stubbornly and stared me down from his position on my bed, his face a mixture of contempt and annoyance.

"Oh come on Raith!" I edged closer to him and clenched my hands together like I was praying. The more I thought about it, the more my plan seemed to make sense. Raith could appear and disappear whenever he wanted. Cory would never know he was there.

"How about no." Raith growled, his expression turning darker and darker.

I shivered, feeling a chill enter the room. I swallowed nervously.

"W-we're seeing a movie. It won't be boring…and you can leave whenever you want…"

"You honestly think that I'd want to- "

"I'll do anything!" I interrupted, desperate. I knew I must look pathetic but I just didn't care.

Raith's expression seemed to change instantaneously.

"Anything?" he asked in a whisper, leaning forward and lessening the gap between us.

"Yes!"

I regretted it the moment I said it. My verbal contract stirred an uneasy change in Raith. He began to smile sinisterly, looking thoughtful.

"So…that's a yes?" I confirmed quietly, rising to my feet.

"Yes…it is a yes."

Raith seemed to retreat into his own mind because his eyes took on a faraway expression and he became unnaturally still.

Deciding not to disturb him just in case he has a freak out, I went to the bathroom and began to apply my make up. I didn't wear make up often and when I did, it was only light. If I put too much on, my skin reacts really badly and I end up red for the rest of the week.

Knowing that Raith would be there on my date with me calmed my nerves a bit, as long as I didn't think about the horrible favour he was probably conjuring up in my bedroom.

I finished with my face and went back into my room only to see Raith in the same spot with the same expression on his face. It didn't look like he was even blinking.

I went to the wardrobe and pulled out some clothes, wondering what I should wear.

Uncertainly, I turned to Raith. The idiot was here. I might as well make the most of it.

"Hey Raith, what should I wear?" I asked a little shyly.

"Don't care." He replied in a monotone, his eyes still unfocussed.

I rolled my eyes and pulled out a loose knit top thing that was slightly see-through, a singlet and some skinny jeans.

"Does this look good?"

"Don't care."

I went back to the bathroom to get dressed and then returned to my bedroom and the unresponsive boy on my bed.

"What shoes should I wear?"

"Don't care."

"Heels or flats?"

"Don't care."

I tried to suppress my annoyance at Raith's attitude as I grabbed my handbag and began throwing things into it. He didn't have to be such a dick.

"Earrings?"

"Don't care."

"Necklace?"

"Don't care."

"What about perfume?" I basically screamed at him as I jammed my wallet into the bag.

"I don't care!" He yelled back, still not even looking at me.

"What about my hair?" I screeched.

"Leave it out."

"What?"

I dropped the bag and turned to face him. He was actually looking at me now, a blank expression on his face.

"Leave it out." He said, staring at me intensely. "It looks good like that."

"Okay."

I pulled my hair out of my ponytail, unexpectedly feeling very self conscious. For some reason, I was suddenly feeling very uncomfortable being in the same room as Raith, especially when I was dressed up and wearing make up.

I looked at my mirror and brushed my hair a couple of times, aware of Raith's gaze on my back. It was getting really warm in here and I was frighteningly aware of every breath I was taking. Oh boy my breathing was loud. Really loud.

I choked on my spit as Raith abruptly appeared next to me, peering at my reflection in the mirror.

I blushed as I watched his gaze run up and down my appearance, his hands casually in his pockets and his head tilted a little to the right.

"You clean up well, kid." He muttered before disappearing.

I almost collapsed as soon as he left, gripping the mirror as my knees began to shake.

What was that atmosphere just then? I couldn't even describe it. It was so heavy and weird.

I slapped my cheeks a couple of times but it didn't make me feel any better. I was still burning red and jittery from Raith's scrutiny. It didn't even register in my mind that the doorbell was ringing.

"Oh Tegan, are you going on another date?" Jess' whiney voice cut through my thoughts like shattered glass.

"Huh?"

I turned to the doorway and saw my sister in short shorts and a singlet looking at me expectantly.

"Um yea…me and Cory are going to the movies now." I said quickly, grabbing my bag and walking past her.

"Don't stuff it up like before." My helpful sister reminded me as I stomped down the stairs.

"Thanks for the advice." I retorted sarcastically as I got to the front door.

I was quite surprised that I wasn't nervous anymore. The butterflies seemed to have all committed mass suicide or something. That was until I opened the door and saw Cory standing there with a bouquet of flowers.

I let out a massive squeak, one hand flying to my mouth as he handed me roses. Roses!

"Thank you so much!" I literally screamed, hugging the flowers to my chest and beaming like an idiot.

"No problem. Ready to go?" Cory replied with a massive smile that lit up his whole face.

"Don't stuff it up." Jess whispered to me again. I just handed her the flowers and shut the door in her face.

The ride to the mall was much more comfortable than the previous time. We actually talked! About normal teenager stuff! Things like school and music and teachers that we hate. I was quite surprised and proud of myself that I managed to carry on a conversation without stuffing up or embarrassing myself. Unless that's the only reason why Cory likes me, which means I've ruined the relationship by acting normal.

I started trying to remove my seatbelt about five minutes before we actually arrived at the mall and so I succeeded in freeing myself before Cory actually stopped the car.

I think I was actually glowing with pride! Until I hit Cory in the face when I started opening my door at the same time he tried to open my door.

"Oh Christ I'm sorry Cory!" I exclaimed as I leapt out of the car and saw him rubbing his face with his palms. How could I forget that he likes to open doors for people? Oh man!

"It's okay…it just hurts a little."

He had tears in his eyes but he was trying to be all brave and manly and it just made me laugh.

"Come on. Let's get to the cinema. You'll feel better after we get you some popcorn." I said warmly.

"Good idea." Cory grabbed my hand and I blushed furiously as we walked out of the car park and into the mall holding hands. Holding hands.

The cinema was thankfully on the first level of the mall so we didn't have to walk far before getting to our destination.

"What do you want to see?" Cory asked me as we lined up for tickets.

"I don't mind." I replied, a little concerned with how sweaty my palms were becoming. And he was still holding my hand! How embarrassing.

In the end, we decided to see a thriller about some dude who gets kidnapped and his identity stolen. We also bought a large popcorn to share and as we walked to our seats in the theatre, I couldn't help but grin stupidly. There was an amazing, light feeling in my chest when I was with Cory.

We chose to sit directly in the middle of the seats so that we got a good view of the massive big screen. As soon as we sat down, I was overcome with a feeling of relaxation. Lizzy was right. Seeing a movie with Cory was a good idea.

As the ads started playing, Cory leaned in and whispered that he was going outside to buy some ice cream.

I nodded. Honestly, he could whisper anything to me in that husky voice of his and I'd still agree.

Once Cory got up and left, I leaned back and settled myself for two hours of chilled atmosphere.

"Hey."

I jumped as someone spoke in my ear behind me.

I spun angrily and saw Raith smirking at me from the seat directly behind me.

"What are you doing here?" I growled, fixing him with my coldest glare.

"What do you mean? Didn't you want me to come along and follow you around?"

Oh shoot, I completely forgot about that.

"Well I changed my mind." I said quickly, hoping he'd go away.

"Too late. I'm here aren't I?" Raith stood up and reached over Cory's seat to take a hand full of popcorn.

I just frowned and crossed my arms. This was such a bad idea. What was I thinking?

"Well tell me what you think then." I muttered, watching as more handfuls of popcorn began to disappear.

"I suppose he likes you. He liked to touch you and looks at your chest a lot."

I blushed and was glad for the dark lighting in the cinema.

"Shut up you douche. That's not true."

"Oh it's true. Don't you believe me?" he suddenly whispered, unbearably close to me. I froze. Cory would be back any second and if he saw another guy as close to me as Raith was, he'd probably get the wrong idea.

"Am I the only one who can see you? Are you invisible?" I nervously asked, hoping he was so that I had nothing to worry about.

"Well I don't think I am. Otherwise that kid down there wouldn't be staring at us with his mouth open."

"What kid?"

He gestured and I straightened up hastily, seeing, oh no, Cory, who had just entered the theatre again carrying an ice cream.

"So he's your boyfriend." Raith mused, resting his elbows on Cory's empty seat and looking down at me with an amused expression.

"Kind of, yea."

Raith snorted, one hand covering his mouth to hide what I assumed was laughter.

"What's so funny asshole?" I shouted cranking my neck at an awkward angle so I could look at him.

"Nothing. But I think you should think of an explanation pronto. He probably thinks you're screwing me behind his back."

"Shut up Raith."

"I wouldn't blame him for being jealous though. Not many people can say no to moi."

He leaned down towards me, his eyes lighting up and a dirty smile on his face.

Oh ew.

With a pissed off look in his direction, I turned around and sat stiffly with my arms crossed as Cory made his way back towards our seats.

"Who's that?" Cory whispered to me once he got to my side, glancing over his shoulder through the gap between our seats. I glanced too and saw that Raith was sitting back down and ignoring us while playing with his iPhone. Wait…he has an iPhone? What the flip?

"Well?" Cory repeated impatiently. He sounded hurt and…a little jealous? Oh no.

"That's Raith. He's…a…friend. Don't mind him. He's an idiot." I spoke quickly, which I guess made him suspicious because he gave me one of those I-don't-believe-you looks. Give me a break.

"I'm serious. You have nothing to be worried about. Besides, he…he…" I really didn't want Cory to get the wrong impression. Everything was going so good between us.

"He what?" Oh wow. That was the first time I'd heard Cory sound so annoyed.

In my desperation, I said the first thing that came to my head.

"He's got a girlfriend." Oh fudge. Why did I say that?

"Oh?"

"Yea! Yea a girlfriend! She's really pretty. Brunette. Tall. Lovely girl."

"Oh. Ok." Cory seemed happier and I inwardly sighed in relief.

"We should invite them out with us, like a double date."

If I'd been drinking something, I would have spat all of it out, as well as my oesophagus.

"N-nah, Raith isn't very social…"

"We could just ask anyway. Oh come on! It'll be fun. We should go ask him now."

Oh no. Oh no, no, no, no.

I grabbed his arm and he looked at me strangely.

"What's wrong Tegan?"

"N-nothing."

I watched in horror as he stood up and leaned over his seat so that he was facing Raith. I wanted to cry. This was not happening to me. My supernatural crisis life and my regular school life should not mix under any circumstances.

"Hey Raith?"

I peaked through the gap between seats and saw that Raith was still there. Why oh why was Raith still there behind us? He should have disappeared! Why didn't he disappear? This. Is. Not. Happening.

"Yea?" Raith asked coolly looking up from his phone and giving Cory a bored look.

"I was wondering if you wanted to go have dinner with Tegan and I some time."

My face heated up as I saw the confused look on Raith's face.

Then he said the last thing I expected.

"Who's Tegan?"

He was not serious right? He didn't even know my name? Then again, I guess I never told him.

While Cory mumbled, "Huh?" I quickly stood up and pointed to myself angrily, almost jabbing my eye out with my finger.

"Oh! Right…." Raith said, bobbing his head up and down. "Right, yea, her. You want me to have dinner with you guys?"

Cory snapped out of his confusion and carried on.

"Oh, I meant to say you and your girlfriend."

At the mention of the word girlfriend, Raith looked at me blankly, cocking his head to the side. Then he almost burst out laughing again. I wish I could've seen what my face looked like. I had never felt so embarrassed.

"G-girlfriend?" he gasped, as I gave him a pleading look.

Come on Raith. Go along with it. Please? Please, please, please!

"Yep. Like a double date."

Oh man. For a moment there, I saw Raith's jaw twitch. I was positive he was going to laugh. He was practically bursting.

Then, to my surprise, he seemed to get a hold of himself.

"Yea that sounds good. Just tell Terry…" he frowned and shook his head, "Tiffany…no wait, I know this…Terrance? Oh! Tegan!" I slammed my forehead with the palm of my hand. "Yea just tell Tegan when you want to do it and she can get in touch with me."

Cory barely got to say anything else before someone behind us yelled at us to sit down and shut up because the movie was starting.

We complied, me fuming and Cory seeming please with himself.

"Huh…seemed like a nice guy. A little weird." He murmured.

"You have no idea."

I pretended I was leaning in to get more popcorn but instead, shot a glance between our seats at Raith.

I wasn't surprised to see that he wasn't there anymore. Trust him to screw up my life and not help to clean up the mess he's made.

I spent the rest of the movie dwelling on our encounter with Raith and was so distracted that I didn't even realise when it was over.

"Are you okay?" Cory asked as he drove me home.

"Yea…I'm just feeling a little sick." I mumbled, smiling tightly.

We reached my house and Cory turned off the engine of the car.

"So the Kensington music showcase is on Friday. Do you want to go together?"

"That sounds great Cory." I said, genuinely grateful. It was nice that he was still acting so kind even though I had been acting so distant towards the end of the night.

"That's great."

Cory suddenly leaned towards me and even though I was expecting it, the kiss came as a shock.

It was warm and nice and it made my heart soar. Then we separated and I smiled awkwardly and got out of the car.

I suppose the night wasn't such a failure. Maybe I was actually getting used to having a boyfriend.

lnik
2011-04-10 . chapter 13

Yeah! Humor and ice skating. Ironically I was just ice skating. Please update! X3

LoStInMyTeArS
2011-04-10 . chapter 13

Well then. I love this. Cant wait for more :D Cory is so cute ^.^ And the one guy...Hmm...I dunno about him. Hehe. Seems like Tegan's starting to get noticed y the guys? Hehe. And what happened five years ago? Hmm...


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