FRIDAY COULDN'T ARRIVE any earlier. Ever since Nick asked me if we could hangout, I've been overly excited and nervous about it. For one, I couldn't wait for it and the other was because I couldn't understand why he wanted to personally hangout with me of all people.
As I walked in the school hallway for the last time this week, I didn't know how or what to feel.
"Yo Alexis, it's been so long since I last saw you," Asher said as he fell into step with me. "I've got great news by the way."
"What is it?"
"Aren't you at least going to ask me how my day was?" he asked but I could detect a bit of a smile in his words.
I stopped walking and looked at my so called best friend. "Hey Asher! How was your day? I hope you had an amazing one," I said sarcastically as I rolled my eyes.
Asher laughed, "it was actually horrible, coach wants us to stay back and train but my body can't take more torture," he whined.
I glared at him, "nice way to be a jerk," I said and resumed walking to the cafeteria. "Well are you going to tell me or what?"
"I totally aced my Chem test," he beamed. "Who knew it was that easy to get a B+ in Mrs. Ridge's class."
"I see the tutoring sessions are paying off."
The cafeteria was buzzing with life when we entered. We joined the other students in line and bought our food before making our way to the table we sat at each and every lunch time.
I turned around and saw Jake waving me over to where he sat with Kai and Nick. I looked at Ash who only shrugged and went to our usual lunch table.
I sent a quick smile to him before heading in the direction Jake waved me in and took the only available seat-which happened to be next to Nick.
"Hey!" I said. "How did your fancy dinner go?" I asked Jake and Kai.
A groan erupted from Kai, "don't even ask. It was very shitty and God, I can't stand those rich snobs."
"I second that," Jake said. "The worst part was that Chole was there."
Nick stilled at the mention of her name, "As in Chloe Chloe?" he asked with a groan.
"Yep, that very same one."
"I thought her parents sent her to some rich rehab centre in the middle of nowhere."
"That's what we all thought," Kai said, "but apparently she just got out a week ago and she's been asking about you none stop."
"Hell no!" Nick exclaimed, "she's a psycho and I don't want to see her, like ever."
I was quiet as they talked but then I decided to ask the one question that was bugging me. "Who's Chloe?"
"Nick's psycho ex-girlfriend," Jake replied.
Nick groaned once more, "I don't know why I let you talk me into going out with her in the first place," he said glaring at Kai.
"Well excuse me for trying to be a good best friend and find someone for you other than be alone for the rest of your sorry miserable life," Kai said throwing his hands in the air exasperatedly.
"Please! That wasn't what a good best friend would do," Nick replied still glaring at his friend. "This was all your fault and now you've got to fix it."
Kai scoffed, "ha! Not a chance in hell mate, you're on your own with this one."
They kept arguing back and forth between themselves as Jake and I watched them silently.
"I thought you two were the ones that argued a lot," I commented.
"We have our moments," Jake replied. "But they argue like an old married couple."
The final bell of the day resounded and I grabbed my things as I made my way out of Civic Ed class after handing in our assignment.
Nick wasn't far behind me and soon he fell into step with me. "You still up for hanging out or do you have plans with your best friend, what's his name again?"
"Asher," I replied, "and yes I'm still up for hanging out."
"Good!" Nick responded, "because I've got something I want to show you."
He grabbed my hand and dragged me to the school parking lot towards his motorcycle where he took out a smaller helmet that resembled his and passed it to me. Then he took my bag and placed it into the compartment together with his before putting on his own helmet.
I reluctantly obliged and climbed behind him as I wrapped my hands around his mid-section.
He switched on the ignition and revved up the engine before backing out of the student parking lot and onto the main road.
Nick accelerated the motorcycle and soon enough we were heading out of the town towards the backdrop. I remember driving this same route whenever we went to visit James at University. But the further we drove, the more I could barely recognise the road. For some reason the road looked less travelled and more like an abandoned one that led to who knew where.
My hold on Nick's torso tightened as the nerves began to kick in. What if he's going to murder me and then stash my body somewhere where no one could find me? What if he left me here to die? The questions kept clogging my brain the further away from the town we got.
Soon enough, we were pulling up in an empty field with grass all over and tall trees that loomed over us.
"Let's go," he said hopping off the motorcycle and extended his hand towards me.
He seemed to have caught on to my apprehension as he quirked his left eyebrow. "I'm not going to murder you if that's what you're thinking," he said. "C'mon."
Reluctantly, I placed my hand in his and he led me through the trees and into a narrow pathway that was filled with-more trees.
We walked for what felt like hours but was only ten minutes before we reached a clearing.
The grass was greener here and the trees looked more comforting than the ones back where we parked. Nick let go of my hand and walked towards what looked like a cliff before plopping down on the edge with his feet dangling in the air.
"It's beautiful isn't it?" he asked as he stared at the horizon where the Sun was almost setting.
I walked closer and took a seat besides him with my feet dangling over the edge. "Yeah it really is beautiful," I breathed as I watched the Sun set. "But why did you bring me here?"
A laugh escaped his mouth, "I'm not going to kill you, you know," he said. "I brought you here because it's my favourite place to come and just think."
"But why me?" I asked in a tentative voice.
We sat there in silence staring at the horizon as we were both lost in our own thoughts. I for one didn't understand why he brought me here.
"How did you find this place?" I asked as I turned to face him.
There was a long silence that followed and I began to think that he was not going to answer me when he turned and looked at me-like really looked at me.
His forest green eyes held an emotion I've never seen on him before and I couldn't quite place my finger on what it was.
"When we moved here a few months ago, I......." he began, still not breaking eye contact with me. "I was in a very bad place and I found this place on one of my many escapades. I would just come here everyday and watch the Sun rise or set and just think about how bloody hell my life was without...."
He abruptly stopped talking and looked away from me as he ran a hand through his hair and tugged on it.
Without even thinking, I grabbed his hand into my own and rubbed soothing circles. "It's okay," I spoke in a whisper. "You're not who you were a few months ago and you have yourself to thank."
Nick turned and pulled me into a hug. I froze at first not knowing what to do before my resolve broke and I returned the hug. "Thank you," he whispered in my ear.
His cologne was both overwhelming and rich at the same time that I found myself getting lost in it. He smelled like cinnamon and vanilla and it was as if it was the oxygen I needed that I had been deprived off all my life.
We stayed like that-just clutching onto each other and relishing in each other's company.
Reluctantly, Nick pulled away from the hug but still kept his hands on my shoulders. His intense gaze burned through mine and I swear I saw his eyes flicker to my lips before returning back to my eyes.
He slowly began to lean in and my eyes immediately fell shut as I began panicking of what was to happen. Is he really going to do what I think he's about to do? I didn't have time to register anything as I could feel his breathe fanning my lips.
A loud beeping sound snapped us out of whatever trance we might have been in and we both jerked away from each other. Nick reached for his back pocket and pulled his phone out. A disgruntled groan escaped his lips as he saw who it was.
"I'm sorry, but I've got to go." he said as he stood up and stuffed his phone back into his jeans.
"Yeah we should probably get going," I said and stood up, quickly walking away from him.