I don’t remember how we ended up eating inside McDonald’s but that’s what happens if you black out. And what I mean by ‘blacking out’, I meant getting lost in your inner self. Somehow, Sabrina managed to get me skip classes without even me knowing. Not that I really don’t mind, I mean I do cause I never ever skipped a class before. It’s just that I’m not feeling so well right after. It’s like all of a sudden all my mood and feelings went blank - no emotion. I was a different person.
You’re crazy if you were thinking that I had split personalities or a twin inside me. I don’t. It’s just… I’m too busy thinking that I have no time to act like myself. That’s why I’m somewhat different. Right now, I wasn’t the usual shy Jessica. My memories triggered me to black out and become someone else. And usually, things don’t go well when I’m in that state. Because of the hatred feelings, I felt after hearing my mother’s death (which was caused by me), I started locking myself out, far away, where no one would get hurt because of me.
Throughout the whole ride on the way here, Sabrina would try and start conversations but I would always cut her off rudely or simply not respond. She stopped after she figured that none of this was going to get anywhere.
Sabrina was in front of me, slowly eating her French fries. From time to time, she would glance at me then look away quickly when I caught her looking. There was a very uncomfortable awkward atmosphere around us and I was starting to get pissed, especially because she had kept asking me over and over again if I was okay.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” she asked for like the gazillionth time.
“I’m fine” I answered blankly, which sounded cold and harsh because she flinched when I raised my voice.
We continued eating for another 15 minutes until we finished. It was already 3 pm once we got in her car and there were only thirty minutes left until school ends so it was pointless catching up on our last class.
I was looking out on the windows when she asked “Uhh… where do you want to go now?”
I turned to her way and just shrugged. There was really nothing to do now but I didn’t feel like going home since my side was still hurting.
“Do you want to get checked up?”
Immediately, I loudly said “No!”
This is why I hate people around me. I hate it when they were concerned. I hate it when they try to be friendly and nice. Because I know that when people around me, they get hurt.
Silence filled the car. She was truly shocked at my sudden outburst because for a while she just looked at me. I could feel the tears again and I knew that at this time, I had just gotten out of myself.
Then all of a sudden I felt a warm feeling. It was that feeling as if summer had just arrived after a long cold winter. The familiar feeling whenever I read a book, where the character would feel tingles and sparks. And that’s when I noticed that Sabrina’s hands were now on mine. Her body closer and I could feel her warm breath near my skin. Since when had she gotten so close?
“Look Jessica. I know something is wrong. The bruise and scar, they’re different and I know that deep down you’re feeling unwell.” Her hands touched my right cheek while she smiles “But hey, don’t look through the past. I know you’ll get through it. I know we haven’t known for each other for a while… yet, but if you need anything, want to talk about something, need help with anything… at all… Don’t bother asking me, just tell me and I will gladly help you.”
Then she hugged me, and all of the negative thoughts and mood before disappeared like thin air.
She chuckled and pulled back “Now, come on! Sarah’s waiting already. We’re going to watch the basketball game today”
I could barely nod since I was for sure that my face was red after.
We were back at school around 4 since we stopped by a store to grab some chips and drinks. When we got inside the gym, the crowds were already cheering even though the game hasn’t started yet. Most of the seats were already taken and you could easily tell which team was the enemy. The crowds above our school’s basketball team were our schoolmates who were now dressed in red, white, and gray. That was our school color. The cheerleading team was already getting warmed up and ready.
Kristina was smiling while guiding along her members. All of a sudden I remembered that Sabrina was part of the cheerleading team as well. I heard it one time where one of the members of the cheerleading team was complaining about Sabrina’s absences on the team.
And so curiosity strikes me and before I could shut my mouth out, I asked, “Aren’t you part of the cheerleading team?”
Sabrina looked at me curiously “Yeah why?”
I then pointed towards the cheerleading team’s way “Then why aren’t you there?”
She simply rolled her eyes and muttered,“Don’t worry about it”.
Well, she was wrong. Someone who looked really familiar – Long ash grey blond and emerald green eyes – started running towards us. The girl was fit and she had a cheerleading suit on.
“SABRINA! OH, MY GOD. There you are! The team is really pissed at you, and I can no longer defend you from them. We need you today~” The girl whined and started pulling Sabrina’s arm. She stopped when she noticed me awkwardly standing there just watching them.
“I know you.” she pointed at me and stepped a bit closer – inside my ‘not comfortable zone’. Her eyes started roaming around my face then down my body.
“Angela stop bothering her. Oh and I’m not going. I’m watching the game.” Sabrina said.
“OH! You’re in my math class,” she said excitedly.
Ah no wonder, it was the same giggly girl from before. She then took my hand and introduced herself to me “My name is Angela by the way. Angela Jones.”
Sabrina groaned and pulled Angela away from me “Yeah yeah we know that now.”
Angela was indeed really pretty. Like, she really looks familiar… hmmm…. “She looks like Angelina Jolie.”
“I know right! Even her name”
Sabrina tried high-fiving me but I didn’t respond to it so she just slowly covered up by laughing.
Oh shit. Did I say that loud? I asked myself panicking.
“I-I’m Jessica.” I tried. I mean, tried really sounding confident but I still stuttered. I tried smiling but it seemed like my mouth just twitched. Ugh, she probably thinks I’m a bitch now.
Angela surprised me when she hugged me. What’s with all the hugging when I’m meeting people? Is that common in America? Because in Canada, you just simply smile or shake.
“Well, it’s finally nice to meet you. I hope we can be friends. But we really have to go. You wouldn’t mind if I steal Sabrina? Unless…. You two are about to… be busy” she trailed off then looked at Sabrina.
Sabrina just simply looked away and shrugged.
I didn’t know what that meant but somehow Angela was giving this kind of warning-ish look or something.
“It’s okay. Umm... I can just sit and watch yo-” I was cut off when Sabrina shook her head and said “Wait! I can’t just leave you alone here. I brought you here, therefore, I entertain you. ”
“Actually no, I can just be with her,” A voice said.
We all turn behind me and saw Sarah who wearing her usual style outfit which was a black leather jacket with a simple white v-neck inside and ripped jeans. Her hair was sort of messed up but in a good way. She smiled when she saw me and waved at both Angela and Sabrina.
“Oh bestiee~,” Sarah said in a childish whiny voice while she swiftly swung her arm around mine and pulled me closer. “I missed you during class.”
She looked at Sabrina then dangerously whispered in my ear “You skipped, didn’t you?”
My jaw hangs open, well not literally, but inside. How the hell did she know? “I.. uh.. “ well, of course, I started rumbling shit and stuff.
Sarah started laughing and ruffled my hair as if I was her child. She playfully pokes my cheeks then kept teasing me saying I was a bad student.
“Sheesh and I thought you were a good girl Jesse. Didn’t know you can be bad as well... hmm~”
“Okay cut the flirting Sarah, seriously” Sabrina shoved Sarah away from me while she kept laughing. “Watch Jessica for me.”
She gave Sarah a last warning glare before walking away.
“Ooooh~” Sarah lastly teased.
Sabrina stopped from her tracks then brought the middle finger up behind us. Sarah kept laughing while we started walking and looking for empty seats.
Twenty minutes later, the whole gym was already filled. A lot of students from the other school came as well. Lots were now cheering, yelling, and making all sorts of noises to cheer on their team. About a minute or two, the game will start. Sarah sat on my left side, while another guy took the right. Somehow, Sarah managed to get me to change into the school’s main color. She had also had fun scrubbing paint all over my face and hands. About 6 rows behind, students from the Culinary arts and baking classes brought frying pans and other utensils. It was kind of funny that the group was all pumped up, knowing that they were clashing pans together. The students around them were annoyed – and it seems that Nicole’s group was one of them.
“OH MY GOD. SHUT THE F*CK UP!” Nicole yelled. She was already out from her seat and her face looked beyond pissed and angry. However, she was just ignored when a sound blared throughout the whole gym, causing us to turn our attention towards the speaker.
The man in suit cleared his throat and did a couple of mic test before speaking. “Alright, ladies and gentlemen…. Welcome to the 46th final basketball tournament”
As soon as the cheerleading teams walked out of the change room, my breath caught when I saw Sabrina. I had stopped hearing what the announcer was saying and just observed her.
The game had started after both school teams were introduced. Both captains from each team came in front and did a traditional handshake. Nathaniel’s team spread out of the court. The only ones I knew from the team were him and Jace. But one guy from the team looked really familiar. Black hair, a muscly body, tall as a palm tree – there was no mistaking it. It was David. The guy whom almost knocked me out on the first day of school.
During the game, he had managed to score about 3 times. I had to admit that he was a good player. Jace never went near the hoop. I noticed that he was the one who was mostly doing the stealing. And I had figured that that was his job because he was really good at it when I played with him and his brother. Now, Nat was a different one. Despite his cheery self, he also knew when to get serious. He was focused and mainly protective.
Our school was winning the game. This made the crowd go really crazy! It was insane. It’s like there was some festival here. I didn’t like the noise though.
“Fuck fuck fuck run you piece of shit!” Sarah was so into the game. I looked at her crazily. I didn’t know if she was in our school’s side or the others. She was making all of these comments to each player. She had also at least cursed about over a hundred times since the game started.
“OH YES! She fist pumped when the enemy team scored. That made the surrounding around us grew very quiet. And when we turned around, ehh let’s just say that the sight wasn’t good. Our schoolmates were glaring.
“What?!” Sarah asked. When they continued glaring, she just flipped them off and continued cheering.
Now back towards the court… ah!.
Judging from the whole cheerleading team, I noticed that Sabrina, Kristina, and Angela stood out the most. They were the ones who were mainly on the top and were doing most stunts and tricks. It scared me that one of the girls might fall but they managed to execute each of their moves flawlessly.
My jaw hung open when Sabrina was flipped in the air backward. She landed so perfectly that the crowd near them went wild. Now I was pretty sure I had just seen her underwear when she did that flip and it embarrassed me that I, Jessica Francis, was checking her out. I mean who wouldn’t? Long cream legs, a skirt that was about mid-thigh, and sweat forming on her forehead even added to her sexiness.
I did not just say that. Shaking my head, I slapped myself and forced myself to look somewhere else. Roaming my eyes around the crowd, I caught sight of Carly with a camera. She had an I.D. as well so I guess she must be the school’s photographer or something. She was moving back and forth – from the court to here.
Leylah was nowhere to be found though. I don’t know why or what but I had the feeling that she was avoiding me or something. I also caught her staring at me intently during classes and it made me wonder whether I had done something wrong during the last time we hanged out.
Someone tapped me from my shoulder and I looked up to see Carly.
She smiled and said “Hey” to Sarah and I. We responded with a “Hi.”
“So I was wondering if I could take a picture?” she asked looking directly at me. I didn’t know whether she was only referring to me or to both of us.
Sarah smirked and placed her shoulder on me like the last time. “Sure”
She held out a peace sign near her cheeks while I was just awkwardly smiling.
Carly nodded and let out a small smile. “Now say cheese… 3, 2, 1… ”
After, she thanked us and went back going around taking pictures.
We won. Our school won! Should I be excited or not? I seriously do not know. Basketball was not my sport. Sarah, on the other hand, was crazy. She wasn’t acting her usual cool self whenever she talks about basketball. And it came to my conclusion that Sarah loves basketball. The crowd was slowly moving out of gym doors and exiting the school.
After half an hour later, we were still in our seats waiting to be the last one to come down. Sarah was finishing off her drink while I patiently wait for her.
She sloppily smiled after finishing her drink “Sorry man. Now let’s go down!”
She grabbed my hand and we both went down the court. The cheerleading team was still there and so was the basketball team. They were all taking pictures and such. I noticed my dad there too, smiling next to Nat while getting pictured.
I practically ran and hugged him. “Dad!”
“Hey kiddo” he messed up my hair a little and laughed when I pouted at him.
Yep, I just pouted. I mean I was daddy’s little girl back then and still now. Or am I?
“Cute” I heard someone mutter. I raised an eyebrow at myself and pulled away from the hug, to see the whole cheerleading and basketball team looking at me. Well oops!
I blushed and slowly hid behind my dad. Kristina came over to us and yelled “Family picture! Where’s mom?”
“She went to the bathroom,” dad said. The washroom door opened and there came out, Caelie, in her so perfectly business attire.
“Mom, we’re taking a family picture. Hurry!” Nat called. Caelie smiled and fast walked towards us. Carly then came, waving her camera in our direction. I was still hiding beside dad while he stood next to Caelie. Kristina and Nathaniel were at her side. After we took a picture, dad walked towards Carly and thanked her.
“You look very familiar. Have I met you before?” he asked her.
Oh my god.
She looked at me then back to my dads “Ah… yes, sir. I was the one at the store near the gas station last time”.
“Ah! Carly right?” he asked. Hmm, my dad seems to have a good memory after all. She nodded and shyly smiled.
“Are you now Jessica’s friend?” He looked at me and smirked.
I know what that means. Holy Fudge.
“I-I… yes sir”
I could already hear Sarah quietly laughing behind me. I shot her a look. Ok well not really a look, but you know. She smirked then mouthed “daddy’s girl”.
“Cool! I’m glad Jessica made a friend”
Sarah then corrected him “friends,” she said.
He looked at Sarah who was now standing beside me. Uhh, wasn’t she behind me a while ago? “Are you one of them?”
“Yeah man, your daughter’s cool,” Sarah said coolly as if she was talking to another teenager. What happened to manners and respect towards older ones? Oh right, she doesn’t have one.
Dad seemed surprised that I was actually making friends. “Oooh then~ how is she making friends?”
Now that’s when I shot him a glare. He just shrugged it off and waited for Sarah’s answer.
She shrugged “I don’t know. She’s a natural I guess”
Dad nodded. After, Sabrina came out of the change room and called after Sarah.
“Sarah! … Oh, I’m sorry” she shyly smiled when she saw my dad and Sarah talking.
“Oh and she’s another one,” Sarah said pointing at her. Sabrina looked so cutely confused. Her eyes would roam around them seeking for answers. She then looked at me, and I instantly looked down.
“Ah, I see! Well, how about I invite you guys to our house one time?” Dad asked.
“No!” They then looked at me. “I-I mean…. Umm.. never mind” He smirked and I continued glaring at him while he continued conversing with Sabrina and Sarah.
“Oh well alright. That’s set then. This Sunday then. It’s nice meeting the both of you” Dad said then looked at his watch. He smiled and walked towards Caelie and Nat.
“Nat, what time are you coming back tonight?” he asked.
“Around midnight” Nat answered.
“Oh! I’m going too. My girls and I did a good job so we’re celebrating!’ Kristina said excitedly.
Caelie looked at me and then asked, “How about you Jessica?”
“Huh?” I said looking up.
“What time are you coming home?” she asks. Dad looks at me horrified but then Caelie nudged him and gave him a look.
“Uh… right n-“Before I could answer, Kristina, said, “She’s coming with me!”
I gave a What look. Sabrina and Carly looked surprised by this. Sarah smirked then whispered to me “It’s an after-party.”
“Well okay,” Dad said unsure of himself. “Make sure she comes back”
Kristina nodded eagerly then pulled me towards her. “We’re going shopping right now! I’ll see you later Nat”
She kisses my dad’s cheek and hugged my mom before we started heading out of the doors.
“See you” I heard Sabrina said when I passed her. She smiled then did a little wave before we left the school.