Pause (Book 1)

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Chapter 53: And You’re Out

“C’mon. You can’t stay mad at me forever Sims.” I say, nudging Simo in the side as we wait inside the hot-dog line. Actually, Simo’s waiting in the line. I’m just trying to get him to forgive me for dating Jay.

After our gang’s little fiasco, things have really calmed down and the football game seems to actually be taking place after all. It’s half time right now.

The rest of us went back to our seats, much to Grey’s dismay, including Bells seeing as she’s pretty much useless to her cheerleading team now - in a cast and all.

I even manged to round up Slobber - eventually anyway. I sent Greg, Gland, Oog and Jam home with Slobs. They are not to come back here, no matter how much Oog begs like the first time. Clearly, Oog can’t be trusted.

The reason for this is because the security guards and Principal P are already trying to find out who the sole cause of chaos was - that being me. Plus, Melinda is already working on proving that it was all me. I don’t need anymore mayhem right now.

“Simo ignoring you. Simo can’t hear you.” Simo says in response of my apology, speaking in the third person like always. It’s his and Oog’s thing.

“Simo!” I tug on his chunky arm, “I’m sorry.”

I hate it when one of my friends are mad at me, even if it is Simo.

Simo keeps his eyes trained ahead of him. At first, I think it’s because he’s instilling the ‘ignoring feature’. But at a closer look of things, I see that he’s staring at the chubby lady serving food with her short hair in a food net and grub smeared all over her clothes.

We’ve reached the front of the food line.

I put two and two together as a devious smirk curves my lips.

“Hi, how can I help you Sir and Mam?” The ‘hot-dog’ lady addresses us with yellow stained teeth.

Simo begins to blush bright red for no apparent reason as he stutters over his words, getting the wrong impression and jumping to a conclusion all on his own, “N-no.” He shakes his head as he motions in between him and I, “Sprinkle and Simo n-not…not l-lovers.”

I burst out laughing at this. The lady hadn’t even implied that we were in fact, as Simo would say, lovers. She’d merely addressed us as Sir and Mam.

“I know Sir. I was just acting out of profession. I didn’t mean anything by it.” The chubby lady explains to us - her consumers.

Here’s my card at being forgiven.

I take charge, “Miss, what I think my friend over here is trying to say is that he finds you to be absolutely and beautifully exquisite.” I speak for Simo.

The lady blushes red herself as she glances at Simo, “Is that so?”

Simo stays silent, not understanding what he’s suppose to do. I discreetly nudge him with my elbow in his pudgy side.

“Y-yes?” Simo asks more than states as if unsure of himself, which he is.

The lunch lady smiles at this before taking out a slip of paper and handing it over to him, “Call me sometime then…” She trails off in search of a name.

“Simo.” Simo answers a little more confidently this time.

I think it’s safe to say that Simo and I are officially on good terms again.

“I’ll just leave you two to it then.” I say, saluting them as I leave the line and head back to my seat.

“Jeez. He’s really out, ey?” Benley says as Max pokes Jay’s forehead repeatedly as if awaiting a response.

On any normal occasion, Jay would have woken up by now and would’ve grabbed Max’s hand before Max even had the chance to touch him.

I swat Max’s hand away from Jay, “Cut it out.”

I take my seat in between Jay and Benley again.

“Tried to tell the moron.” Susie tells me, pointing to Max who keeps glaring at her.

“It’s weird though. Right?” Benley asks me, unsure, “Who can sleep through all this chaos?”

I shrug, “Jay’s usually a light sleeper. It is rather strange.” I agree with him.

“You’d know.” Max says, wiggling his eyebrows in a suggestive manner. I scowl at him for that. He knows well enough that I’m not like that.

“Enough about Jay’s sleeping habits.” Troy interrupts all too quickly before releasing a nervous chuckle, glancing around helplessly as if guilty of something.

“Suspicious much.” I mutter.

“What?” Troy gaps before rambling anxiously, “I’m not suspicious! You’re suspicions - I mean suspicious!”

Just as I’m about to look more into the matter of why Jay is sleeping so heavily, Blubber speaks up, “Have you seen Simo?”

“Chatting up the hot-dog’ lady in the food line.” I answer him, aware of how close he is with Simo.

“Which ‘hot-dog’ lady?” Blubber asks as a frown makes it’s way onto his face.

“The one ’round the corner.” I tell him, taking in his distraught facial expression. I raise an inquisitive eyebrow, “Why?”

“Because that’s my mom!” Blubber shouts at me in horror, “Tell me you didn’t set them up.”

“I set them up.” I answer him sheepishly, now feeling responsible for whatever I’ve just started. However, I see the resemblance now that Blubber pointed it out. I actually just met the mother who gave birth to this little demon. “They should be hooking up right ’bout now. If you hurry, you might be able to-“

Blubber’s already out his seat, darting toward the hot-dog stand whilst screaming back over his shoulder at me, “Damn you Aqueela Lawson!”

Benley - as always - laughs at my misfortune, “Nice going. Can’t do anything right, can you?” He teases playfully.

“Apparently not.” I huff, frustrated. I wanted to enjoy the game with Jay, not with him sleeping through all of it.

“Woah.” Benley adds gently this time, leaning closer to me, “You know I was only kidding, right?”

“Yeah.” I force a smile.

“Look’s like we found our Kiss-Cam couple!” A voice rings through the mega speakers for all to hear. I freeze as a blinding light falls onto Benley and I.

You’ve got to be kidding me!

“Sure does Luke. Well spotted.” The other commentator, Jason, says as Benley and I come onto the big screen displayed in front of the entire audience.

I groan, staring up at the ceiling in despair as the crowds keep chanting wildly, “Kiss, Kiss, Kiss, Kiss, Kiss, Kiss!”

Did I mention that I hate school events?

I raise my fist in the air in anger and shake it, staring right up at the commentator’s room, “Not well spotted Luke! You must be blind!” I hiss at him, the entire audience able to see me on the screen ahead of us.

“Wow! What a temper huh Jason?” Luke’s voice comes through the speakers again.

“Yeah. She’s a feisty one.” Jason agrees, his voice also penetrating through the speakers.

I’ve never been one to fall into peer pressure.

I stand up, still waving my fist ’round, “I’m going to come up there and kill you both!” I threaten them, annoyed.

“Kiss already! I want to watch the game!” Some one from the crowd yells at me.

I fall back down in my seat and cross my arms over my chest angrily. I feel an arm go around the back of my chair before someone leans into me. I glance at Benley to see him smirking, “So are we gonna make out or what?”

“Or what.” I answer him defiantly with much resistance.

“If only I was sitting where Benley is sitting right now.” Troy states wistfully.

“Shut it Troy!” I glare at him before pushing Benley away from me.

“C’mon Aqueela.” Benley persists, “Jay won’t even have to know.”

How is Jay even sleeping through all of this? He’s literally in the spotlight.

“Kiss, kiss, kiss!” The crowds, including Max, continue to chant on like mad people.

I duck my head in embarrassment, “Fine.” I agree reluctantly.

Benley grins and leans in again all too eagerly. Of course a charmer like Mr BoyBand would have no problem doing this.

Just as Benley is about to kiss me, I turn my head in the opposite direction. I quickly reach for Jay’s jacket and pull his sleeping form to me before planting my lips on his instead of Benley’s.

What I wasn’t expecting was for Jay to kiss me back as if he subconsciously knows it’s me. Nor was I expecting the spotlight to shift off Benley and I and rather onto Jay and I as we come onto the screen, the crowds awing and cheering enthusiastically at the sight.

“She’s always got to take all the fun out of everything.” I hear Max say, but ignore him.

“Cover your eyes Susie. This is rated R.” Troy says from the background, at least it feels like it’s from the background. I’m too focused on Jay alone to bother.

Jay moves his lips against mine softly as my heart beats uncontrollably in my chest at the feeling. “Aqueela.” Jay murmurs tenderly against me, sending tingles rushing through me like mini shock waves at the realization that he does indeed know it’s me. He gently coaxes me to follow his lead. I do.

It’s a quick kiss, at least I make it one, remembering that we have a literal, live audience.

I pull away from Jay and make a move to get up, but Jay’s eyes suddenly flutter open, his hand coming up to cup my cheek as he keeps me in place, “What was that for?” He whispers, a dazed look to his surreal blue eyes.

I choose not to tell him that we’re on the Kiss-Cam. He’s too half asleep to even realize it, so instead I go with, “Everything.”

In truth, I do only kiss him because I like him and I like him because of everything he’s done for me - so, everything.

I lean back in my seat when the Kiss-Cam is removed off of us and the crowds have refocused their attention elsewhere.

“So he wakes up when she kisses him huh? This is like a scene from Cinderella.” Susie giggles as she glances up at Jay in wonder.

“It’s sad that you still watch that.” Max snaps at little Susie for no apparent reason. “And it’s Sleeping Beauty you nut-job.” Max corrects her.

“I do watch Disney princesses still. I’m seven, what’s your excuse?” Susise retorts back, dissing him in the process as Max falls silent.

Jay lets out a yawn as he stretches out his arms, “I don’t feel so good.” He tells me. “I feel funny.”

I pat his leg, offering him a sympathetic look, “Go back to sleep. S’Okay.” I advise, concerned about him.

“No can do. I’m awake now.” Jay says in a rugged voice, “Can’t go back to sleep after that.” He winks at me, referring to the kiss we just shared.

Troy gets up and crouches down right in front of Jay and I before waving his hand up and down in front of Jay.

“What the hell are you doing man?” Jay asks coolly.

Troy jumps back at Jay’s tone, “You feeling A-okay BroJay?” Troy queries and that’s when I begin to grow rather suspicious.

“No.” Jay answers truthfully, “I feel funny all over.”

Troy.” I narrow my eyes at him, “What did you do?” I ask him through gritted teeth.

Troy raises his hands up in surrender, “Woah woah. I didn’t do anything.” Troy defends himself before quickly rambling on, “All I did was buy a drink from some stoned druggie because I felt sorry for him and his lack of decent attire. But I was too scared to try the drink in case it had been drugged, so I switched drinks with BroJay instead and waited patiently to see the outcome.”

I start softly, “You drugged - ” my voice gets louder, “My boyfriend?!”

“First of all, you make it sound terrible when you put it like that. It was accidentally on purpose.” Troy has the nerve to say.

How would he have liked me to say it?! You cannot put it in good terms!

“Secondly, did I forget to mention that?” Troy asks, batting his long lashes innocently as if trying to get out of this.

“Yes!” I shout at him. “Coincidentally you did forget to mention that!” I snap.

Jay groans and covers his ears in response, “Not so loud.” Jay winces, “I feel fuzzy.” Jay glances down at the sleeve of his leather jacket, “When did I grow fur?” He asks himself in childlike wonder. “I think I’m in transition to be a werewolf.”

Jay’s already losing it.

Benley and Max crack up laughing. No surprise.

Bells, on the other hand, is furious with her brother. Nancy is unfazed.

I glare at Troy, “You better fix him. Do you understand me Troy? Fix him!” I slap Jay’s wandering hand away from my jaw while preoccupied with Troy.

“You’re so prettttyyy.” Jay remarks as he takes my face in both his hands and begins moving my cheeks up and down with his fingertips. I lean away from him, moving out of his reach.

“I’m with Lawson. Fix him! I can’t be friends with him if he’s going to spread lies like that.” Grey scowls at Troy, indirectly insulting me like the jerk he is. “A sappy JT is not the real JT.”

Grey’s right. Jay is not the sappy type and though I like it when he rarely compliments me, I don’t want it coming from him when he’s stoned. Besides, leave the sappiness to Mason Montry. That’s his style, definitely not Jay’s.

“There’s a child here Troy!” Bells scolds her brother, “If Laiken finds out about this, we’re all dead.”

Troy backs away from all of us with an over dramatic pout, “Okay I feel like you’re all attacking me and I feel like it’s undeserved.”

“Are you serious right now? You drugged Jay!” I remind him.

“Maybe so, but I also gave money to a poor, unfortunate drug abuser.” Troy replies, trying to persuade us to all see his good deed.

“Yeah, money that he can now go use to abuse on more drugs!” I lecture him.

His head his empty. I swear it.

“What’s drugs?” Susie asks, clueless.

I open my mouth to answer, but find myself at a loss for words.

Bells gives me a reassuring nod, “I got this.” She tells me before turning to Susie, “Sweetie, drugs is bad substances that most fall into under peer pressure. One dose can get you addicted and you can use and use and use until the day it slowly kills you and drains all life out of you.”

Susie’s eyes widen as her mouth falls agape in horror, “Jay’s going to die?!”

“Bells!” I raise my tone at her. “I thought you said that you got this.”

“I thought you wanted me to give her a truthful, detailed description.” Bells replies sheepishly. “You know I can’t be trusted to lie.”

Contradiction right there!

I shake my head at Susie in response to her question, “He’s not going to die Hon. He’s just going to be a little more funny than usual is all.”

“Speaking of which, where is he?” Benley asks as we all turn to find Jay’s seat empty.

“Why weren’t you watching him Benley?” I ask, now worried as I frantically look around for Jay.

“Since when did I become Jay’s keeper?” Benley retorts.

“Since you were the only one doing nothing.” I reply back with much sass.

“Guys…” Max speaks up, “I think I found him.”

We all turn to follow Max’s gaze only to see Jay balancing on the high railings of the stadium with his arms out like a plane.

“Get off the railings you idiot!” People shout at Jay out of pure concern for him. If he is to fall, he can break a leg or something. Bells has already achieved that much, don’t need another one in a cast.

Jay merely pulls a middle finger at them as a result and continues on walking on the railings as if walking on a balancing beam.

How did he even manage to get to the very top of the railings?

The people gasp at Jay’s rude response. Pulling the middle finger is way out of character for him. That’s such a ‘Grey thing’ to do.

“Never mind, I think this Jay is growing on me.” Grey says with a small chuckle. Of course Grey would like this side to Jay.

I don’t waste a second longer as I sprint my way to Jay before he gets himself into a fight with the way he’s behaving.

“Jay, get down!” I call to him.

“Oh hey there my little Bubblegum Klutz!” Jay waves down at me in excitement, a boyish grin on his face as he jumps up and down on the railing like a little child.

“Jay, please come down before you slip and hurt yourself.” I try to persuade him into listening to me as I walk beside him from the floor and him from the railings.

I’ve never wanted to kill someone as much as I want to kill Troy right now.

“Will you catch me?” He stops walking and turns to face me as he holds his arms out to me, his balance and coordination impressing me. Being the klutz I am, I would have fallen already.

I stifle my laughter and shake my head, slightly amused, “You’d crush me.” I explain to him. “Now come down.” He shakes his head. “For me.” I add, hoping it will work.

At the last part, he doesn’t hesitate before doing a back flip off the railing and landing swiftly on his feet like it’s nothing.

Some people that had been watching him end up clapping for the stunt he just pulled.

My eyes widen, my heart still racing. I was sure he was going to fall.

Grey, suddenly beside me, slaps Jay on the shoulder, impressed, “Nice man. Haven’t seen you do something like that in a while.”

I turn to Grey for an explanation with my eyebrows furrowed, “But h-how?”

“He didn’t tell you that he use to do parkour?” Grey asks. I shake my head. “Figures as much. He gave it up for racing.”

“That would explain why Jay can jump down from Oog’s tree house without hurting himself.” I say, seeing a new side to Jay entirely. I would find it hot if he wasn’t currently under the influence of drugs. “But why didn’t he ever tell me?”

Grey shrugs, “It probably just never came up.”

There’s still so much about Jay that I don’t know.

I’m about to ask Grey something else when Jay himself interrupts, holding his phone before me, “I have to show you the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen.” Jay says enthusiastically, practically shoving his phone in my face.

My expression drops at his words as jealousy quickly sets in. I’m sure he finds other girls attractive, but as his girlfriend, I don’t want to hear about it.

I take Jay’s phone into my hands and glance down at the picture. A smile lights my face as I quirk an eyebrow at Jay, “But that’s a picture of me sleeping.”

Jay frowns before comparing the picture with me, “It is, isn’t it?” He winks at me, my heart doing a little flutter at the action.

I laugh at him. He’s quite adorable when he’s like this.

“Best sound ever.” Jay sighs happily to himself, referring to my laugh, as he throws an arm around my shoulder and steers me away from all the people. “Laugh again for me Baby.”

I do a double take at the pet name that had just slipped from his mouth. This is so not Jay. I flush red, caught off guard by his words. I like seeing all the sides to Jay, but…I want my temperamental Jay back.

“Aqueela, have I ever told you that you’re not just my girlfriend, but you’re also my best friend?” Jay asks out of the blue as he leans down and places an affectionate kiss on my cheek.

His words warm my heart because he’s being so super sweet. I can’t not smile.

“Be the mother of my children.” Jay finishes in a serious tone, my smile fading very quickly.

I’m far from ready to have kids. I shouldn’t even be thinking about it, but apparently Jay has, otherwise he wouldn’t have said it. If I were ever to settle down, I’m certain that it will be with Jay.

“Woah there Jay-Jay. Slow down, m’kay.” I tell him, aware that it’s just the drugs speaking. “Maybe I’ll take you up on that offer some day in the future.” I humor him as I tug him along to the commentators room, an idea having formed in my head.

I’m going to have Luke and Jason put the Kiss-Cam on Grey and Nancy.

“I’ll be waiting impatiently.” Jay grins down at me suggestively as I drag his limp body along after me.

But upon entering the commentators room, I stop to see Melinda talking to Jason and Luke, “It’s Aqueela and her friends. I’m telling you. It’s always her.”

“Speak of the Devil.” Jason states when he catches my eye.

“We’re kicking you out of the stadium.” Luke tells me bluntly, “And don’t even bother to deny it. We all know you and your friends are the ones responsible for all the stuff that went down earlier.”

Why is everyone at school always so against me?

I sigh before nodding, admitting the truth, “I’m responsible.” I confess. “But I’m really sorry. Please don’t kick us out.” I ask politely, hoping that a good attitude will save us from being asked to leave.

“Too late weirdo.” Jason says before all our faces come up on the big screen for everyone to see.

Luke then speaks into the mike for the audience to hear, “All the people we are displaying on the screen are to leave the premises immediately.” Luke then continues by saying each of our names.

My face drops at the cruelty of the way they are choosing to get rid of us. They could have done it silently. They didn’t have to make it public, nor request for the security guards to escort all of us out. My friends are going to kill me for embarrassing them like this.

“Look Aqueela, my face is on big screen!” Jay nudges me in excitement, not understanding how humiliating this is.

“Don’t kick out my friends too. They didn’t do anything.” I try to persuade them, only for my pleas to fall on deaf ears.

“You’ve caused enough trouble as is. Leave weirdo.” Jason demands, his glare freezing me on the spot.

See, this is exactly why I prefer to be rude. If you’re nice, people walk over you like some doormat.

There’s no changing their narrow minds. I huff and cross my arms over my chest, “Fine. I’m going. Jeez.” I tug at Jay’s hand, “C’mon Jay.”

Melinda waves at me as I pass her by, “And you’re out.” She taunts.

I glance up to see the ‘no trash’ sign stuck on the wall of the commentators room. I look at the sign and then point to Melinda, “Perhaps you should leave too. It’s says that no trash is allowed.”

With that said, I’m off - at least I thought I was.

Jay lets go of my hand briefly only to punch Jason in the face, “Don’t ever speak to Aqueela like that again.” Jay threatens him quietly, referring to the fact that Jason had called me a weirdo.

I stand there, my mouth agape at how Jay still manages to defend me even when he’s not all there at the moment. Mason never defends me in public. His reputation is too important to him.

“Let’s go Buttercup.” Jay chimes, overjoyed, as he clasps my hand in his once again.

We leave the stadium, only to find the rest of our friends waiting for us outside.

“I can’t believe we got kicked out.” Max pouts, annoyed.

“I can.” Grey replies back rudely, unfazed by the matter - almost as if he’d been predicting this outcome all along.

“Sorry guys. So much for spending the last game all together.” I apologize, frustrated and feeling guilty.

“Are you kidding? That was the best game I’ve attended all year!” Bells reassures me as all the others nod and agree - everyone except Grey and Nancy (the pessimists).

Laiken comes running out after us before taking Susie away, “Don’t worry Lai, nothing will happen.” Laiken mocks me in a sarcastic voice before speaking properly, “Yeah right.” He snorts.

“I had fun!” Susie persists as she waves goodbye to us, Laiken storming off with her in his arms.

“Bye Susie!” We all chorus simultaneously.

“It’s Lucy - you know what, never mind!” Susie calls back, giving up on correcting us with her name.

There goes any chance of ever babysitting her again. Next time it will be over Laiken’s dead body.

“Thanks Aqueela! Simo and my mom are officially dating.” Blubber whines and we all end up laughing at his misfortune.

“Simo think Blubber mom hot.” Simo chirps with a mischievous grin just as Blubber groans.

“Look at the bright side-” Grey starts.

I cut Grey off, “You’re capable of doing that?” I tease.

Grey glares at me but continues, “This night was a disaster.”

“How is that the bright side?” Benley scoffs.

Grey shrugs nonchalantly as he says, “None of us died.”

We all contemplate it and then soon agree with murmurs and nods, me saying, “Fair enough,” Bells saying, “True,” and for some reason Troy saying ‘Déjà vu’ just for the sake of saying something to fit in.

When we’re all together, there’s always a possibility of one of us dying. I’ll borrow Grey’s outlook on life for tonight. He’s being positive in a twisted way.

Jay skips on - yes, skips - ahead of us, before turning back to all of us with a dazed expression, “I want to watch the game.” He complains, only now realizing that we’d left the stadium.

“There’s not going to be a game.” I break it to him.

“Is it over already?” Jay asks with a crestfallen expression.

I’m about to tell him that we got kicked out, but instead I say, “Sure, let’s go with that.”

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