The Art of Fields

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Thirteen : "Which one did we get busted for?"

Who knew Drake was such a chatterbox, it came as a surprise and maybe, it would’ve been a good thing if he wasn’t blabbering about himself for the past hour. He wouldn’t stop yapping about his great adventures and, football. He would go on and on about football or any sport which he as tried, which apparently is literally every sport on the planet. Now I have trust issues with him because I have a feeling he’s bullshitting me.

The dinner was great though, the place we went to was exquisite and the food was scrumptious in all shapes and sizes, just how I love it. According to Drake’s mind, he thought right after dinner, we were going to spend the night. It was written all over his man-slut face.

He parks his car in the driveway, I smile politely, pulling the door open. “I had a great time, Drake. See you tomorrow.”

“Aren’t you going to invite me inside?” He says, conjuring a puppy dog face. As all man sluts go, Drake was, well, alarmingly charming. If only his personality could catch up to then maybe, he’d reach some point of high.

I snicker, shutting the door. “Nah.” I stand back, as the windows roll down.

His jaw clenching and unclenching, “I really don’t get girls.”

“And yet,” I say, smirking, “You manage to be such a fuck boy.”

His tongue clicks and he huffs a sigh of air, “Why can’t you just give in already? Everyone has, the fact that you don’t, just makes me pester you more.”

I gasp falsely, a smile lingering on my lips. “I’m ecstatic that you know that you’re being a pest.” I turn on my heel and walk to the house, after a few moments, I hear the car skid out of my driveway and down the road.

Definitely the most pointless date I’ve ever been on.

Slowly pushing the front door open, I cross my fingers hoping the front door doesn’t creak. Entering into my humble and homely abode, I find the whole family in front of the television. Plopping my handbag on the brim of the stairs, as usual, I walk into the living room finding Ricky awake on his phone whilst Sam was eagerly watching Barney on the set.

I take a seat next to Ricky, “Why is everyone sleeping on the couches?” My eyes darting from Alan, my parents, and my aunt and uncle snoozing on the leather couches, in seemingly uncomfortable positions.

“Well,” He says looking up from his phone. Being really nosy, I wanted to see who he was texting but he just tucked the phone in his pocket and smirks. He continues looking at his ten-year-old sister as if she were a devil spawn, “Sam cried and on top of that, she wouldn’t let anyone leave or she’d cry some more. I had to go meet some friends, but I’m just so glad I get to spend time with my sleeping family and overly enthusiastic sister.” He ends with a sigh and leans his head back, exhausted.

I nod, feeling bad for everyone involved, except Sam of course who was quite joyous about the situation. The Barney show was played by one of our very old cassettes, if you haven’t heard of a cassette then, you’re just too young, kid. When one cassette ended, Sam turns to us and smiles waiting for us to play the next one. Ricky sighs and gets to his feet, when I shove him back down, concocting a devilish plan. It was time to play fire with fire, with little Sam.

I walk to the drawers, dragging out a cassette and using my nail, I place it in the hole of the cassette. This lets loose of some of the reel, but only slightly so the whole cassette doesn’t get ruined. I frown after taking it out and looking at Sam, “Aw, sorry Sam, it won’t work anymore.”

Sam pouts, “Aw, okay. Goodnight.” With that she kisses everyone around the room on their cheek or forehead, whichever she can reach and sprints up the stairs into the guest room.

“Tada!” I claim, placing the tape back in the drawer and giving Ricky a cheeky grin. He bows down in response, never failing to amuse me with his antics as well. Once Sam we upstairs, Ricky and I just woke the adults and Alan up and into the beds, cause we’re somewhat nice people.

〰▪〰

“Excuse me,” I say, popping my head into the history class. The stout teacher turns her head to me, her hand resting on the whiteboard as she was in the middle of a lesson. “The principal is calling Diane and Zoey.”

The teacher nods her head ever so slightly. Diane and Zoey raise out of their seats, their faces looking bored and not bothering to care about what they got into trouble for this time. Diane huffs, “So, what did we do this time?”

Zoey chuckles, “More like, which one did we get busted for?”

I smile at them, knowing I missed them even if it was for two days which is almost forever in best friend time. “Meh, the principal didn’t call you. Tell me what happened with Jake.”

Diane’s eyes pop, “Jake?”

“Cut the shit.” I say, waving a hand, “I heard you three talk at your place, Jake’s been messaging me like crazy but I just want you guys to tell me before he does. It’ll make it easier to handle it.”

“Can’t look into his eyes, Ash?” Zoey mocks and nudges me, in return, she receives the stink eye which she backs away from.

Zoey nods, clearing her throat dramatically, “After the Philippe thing, Tracy was asking around for you. For some twisted reason, she never really went to you directly, which the rest of us thought was kind of odd.”

Diane nods, “If she wanted your phone number, why not just ask you right? And also, it’s a phone number. I’m sure your drunk self at some point gave to her anyway.”

I roll my eyes, “Hey, I have control when I’m drunk.”

Zoey scrunches her nose up in disagreement, “You said two contradicting things, in one sentence.”

Diane hushes us up, and continues, “In short, it was weird she wanted your number alright. We never told her though. Jake declined too, but he not only did that but he started mouthing her off. We know Jake by now, he’s basically like you.” I raise an eyebrow and she continues with a bright smile, “With the short temper thing, oh please, you know it’s true. Anyway, that pissed Tracy off and she threatened Jake that she’d release the fire video unless Jake did something for her. Jake was supposed to enter a fight club in that shanty place he got shot in, all he had to do was win a fight with some guy named Isaac and Tracy would never bother you again.”

“He won?” I ask curiously.

“He actually got beaten up.” Zoey says, “Haven’t you noticed his extra layer of clothing in spring?”

“Actually, no,” I reply. I look back at them and smile, “Thanks, guys.” Giving them brief hugs, I leave them back to their monotonous history class, heading back to my physics class.

A range of emotions pulsing through me. Anger, at Tracy for being the bitch I always knew her for. It wasn’t surprising but it stills pisses me off that she uses blackmail to get everything her way. A brief moment of confusion, why didn’t Jake just tell me? Which I answered it with, cause I got mad at him last time. The fact that he tried to put me out of my misery though, that was inexplicably nice in so many ways. I shouldn’t be mad at him. Regret, why the hell was I mad at him? Geez.

At lunch, our gang sat at our usual table, munching on the regular food we got. When Jake got to the table, I got up and squeeze my arms around his neck. His body was stiff at first since he seemed more than surprised especially when I claimed to be mad at him, but he loosened up and hugged me back, his hands on my waist.

When we depart, he presses the back of his hand on my head. He tilts his head in confusion, “Well, you aren’t sick. What do you think is wrong with her, Chase?” He turns his head to his best friend who had the little mini she-devil on his lap.

Rebecca and Chase were what I call, a complicated fur ball of events. None and I mean none, of us from the crew shipped Chase’s relationship. Rebecca had a double personality problem because whenever she was around Chase, she seemed like a saint. Picking litter off the floor, helping people around the school and, in all exaggeration, helping old ladies cross the road. When Chase wasn’t around, she was the exact replica of the master she-devil, Tracy McCartney. That’s enough to say about how much we hated Rebecca.

Jake sighs at the sight of Rebecca and ignores Chase’s repeated questions since he wasn’t paying attention when Jake asked him a question. “We’re good?” Jake asks, taking a seat next to me at the table, his baby blue eyes searching for something.

“You went to the fight club again, huh?” I inquire and don’t miss him glancing at Diane and Zoey who nervously look away from him.

“Uh--” He starts. I flick my fingers on his hand and he clenches his eyes, before opening them and forcing a smile on his face. “What’d you do that for?”

I deadpan him, “You flinched.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“I’m not blind.”

“Maybe you are.”

“Jake!”

“Ashley!”

“Shut up!” Jack exclaims over it all, rolling his eyes and talking to some girl that somehow ended up on our table.

I huff at him, looking back at Jake. “I’m not mad, Jake. Thanks.”

His eyes widen, “Thanks? For what? I lost.”

I smile appreciatively still, “Yeah, but you tried.” He grins back a five hundred-watt smile. Although I didn’t want to ruin the moment we had going on, I roll my tongue over my teeth, “Why the hell didn’t you get treated?”

“I don’t need treatment.” He says as if the word would poison him.

“I flicked you and you winced,” I reply in a duh tone.

Jake shrugs, “Let it go.”

“No.”

Jake sighs, “Fine, I’ll go later today.”

I examine his eyes and grunt, “You’re lying!”

“Yep.” He says, munching on his sandwich, “I’m not getting treated.”

“Idiot.”

“Love you too.”

I roll my eyes, a smile on my lips to show that I reciprocated the same although I didn’t say it. I grab the juice box in my hand and engage in the table conversation about how guys have mental periods, which I would agree with, hands down.

Jake nudges me softly, and I turn to him still sipping on the drink. “How was the date with hotshot?”

I voluntarily shiver and Jake laughs, “Horrifying.”

“Why’d you say yes?” He asks trying to sound casual but there’s something off about his tone. “You’ve ranted to me, a million times about how all man sluts are horrible.”

“Yeah.” I agree and nod, “But, I hang out with you don’t I?”

Jake’s lips fall agape, “I’m not.”

“Oh really,” I ask, leaning back in my seat. I can’t believe he’d deny this. “We’re in the middle of the week, and you, Jake Fields have made out with three girls and slept with two. And that’s only the number of girls you’ve told me about.” I cringe slightly, “Why do you tell me these things?”

He shrugs, “I don’t really know, you’re like one of the guys.” I choke on my drink, quirking an eyebrow. He stutters, “N-No as in, oh fuck it. Fine, call me whatever you want.”

All of us decided to skip our next class, considering all of us had it together. Rex, Zoey’s boyfriend, even got convinced to skip class which, I hope it isn’t judgemental but I’m pretty sure it is, surprised me. As the hoard of students files out of the mess hall, we leave last.

Making our way to the cave, to spend forty-five minutes of lounging around, munching on lazy food and playing foosball or table tennis. The cave is probably the best decision we’ve made, although it took tons of hours to set up all the furniture and equipment. It was hard work keeping the principal in the dark about this. Many teachers knew about this though, whenever they found out, we had to let them in the cave and allow them to lounge around so that they wouldn’t tell the principal. The teachers were smart alright.

I duck over the hanging wood and grab the keys from my pocket, inserting it into the hole and finally, pushing the door open. My hands clamp onto my mouth as the keys fall from my hands, my entire body stiff and motionless. Emily shakes me from the back, slightly terrified, “You alright, Ash?” When she sees our cave, she realises why I stopped midway and bites her lip, shaking her head.

A paper flows through the ceiling and lands on the floor. As it drops right before my eyes, I pick it up. I look around the trashed room, the tennis table flipped over, the foosball machine in shambles and the refrigerator door was broken leaving no traces of food inside. Everyone around the room was just looking at it in awe and dismay.

Rebecca exclaims, a little too cheery for my liking. “I can’t believe some would thrash your hang out. I mean, you guys are the crew. Who would even dare to fuck with you?” I glance to her, her words making sense but her presence still annoying me, as is the state of everything in this room.

I start to open the paper and everyone looks at me, in bewilderment. Pressing the crease lines, I read the words aloud.

Be careful who you make enemies with.

“Tracy McCartney.”

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