Leylah and I quietly worked on the assignment that was given to us by our biology teacher. It was a research project where we had to choose a circulatory disease and find some information about it. Ley and I ended up becoming partners. I glance up and watch her as her eyebrows knitted together while looking into the computer screen. Then shortly after, she would go back to the word document and type more details.
We decided to do a research on Hemochromatosis. It’s a disease where too much iron builds up in your body. There are three types: hereditary hemochromatosis, secondary hemochromatosis, and neonatal hemochromatosis. Without treatment, can damage organs such as the liver, heart, and pancreas; endocrine glands; and joints.
Earlier, we had decided that I’d look for information on old biology textbooks, while she searches up online. So here I sat on the table, reading textbooks while writing down notes I’ve picked up. But my mind kept drifting it off to somewhere....and something. It replayed in my head plenty of times, resulting me to become flustered.
I’ve been avoiding John and especially, Sabrina. No clue why, but I feel like I shouldn’t see the two for awhile. Thinking about them is just making me more stressed. I then fished my phone out of my sweater and checked if Sarah had to return any of my calls and messages. But sadly, there weren’t.
After a while, we finished the ‘research’ part of our project. The rest of the class continued in silence and I watched as Leylah stapled the papers together.
“So I called Tiffany and asked her if she can meet me us up after school today. Are you okay with that?”
Biting my lip, I nodded. I needed a distraction and focusing on my old forgotten friends was something that could help me. Leylah smiled and then secretly texted back on her phone while the teacher wasn’t looking.
Classes went by very slow. I was tired, physically and mentally. During lunch, I tried searching for Sarah and trying to call her but she wouldn’t respond. I was saddened to the point where I would just drag my body down the hallways and ignore the people who were trying to talk to me. To them, I may have seemed rude but to be honest, when I’m just really tired or at that time of the month, I wouldn’t give a fuck about anything.
Mark was nice enough to invite me to lunch. Since I didn’t want to go the cafeteria and see Sabrina’s face, I decided to accept his offer. We ate in the library and talked about books. But then out of nowhere, we randomly opened up to one another.
“There was this girl I liked but I turned her down” he admitted.
“What? How? Why would you ev-”
“I really like her but I don’t think she really liked me back,” he said.
“How would you know?” I asked, then took a bite of my sandwich. I was really curious.
“She’s one of your friend’s friend. She sits with the popular. I mean, don’t you think its suspicious... When do they confess to you? Especially when you’re just an average person, in love with books”
Now that I think of it....it really was. But Sabrina never confessed anything. Carly seemed sincere when she admitted that she had a crush on me. But either way, I wasn’t going to think about it.
“Maybe there are certain traits or something that must’ve attracted that person to like you,” I said, unsure of what I was talking about. What was I talking about even?
“Do you think there’s anything special about me?” he asked all of a sudden making me gulp.
What can I say?
“What do you think? I won’t make it weird. You’re a friend. A great one. ” he smiles.
I observed him for a while. Okay maybe for a good 3 minutes.
“I think you’re cute and those dimples of yours really bother me all the time. Plus you’re smart” I blurted out.
It was quiet for awhile until we all of a sudden laughed out loud.
“You’re eyes are damaged. But thanks”
I chuckled, “No problem”
A car pulled up in front of us, making the both of us smile at the person who got out. It was Tiffany. She was wearing a striped longline shirt with a mineral wash chambray joggers.
“Oh, my gee. JESSE!” Tiffany ran into my arms and hugged me tightly, ignoring Leylah which caused me to laugh. I hugged her back and gently patted her back.
When she pulled back, she squealed “I can’t believe the trio is back.”
I nodded in agreement. Leylah just rolled her eyes but hugged Tiffany anyway.
“Now come on my fellow musketeers. We’re going to my house” she said.
We got into her car and jammed into some old ’80s songs. On the way, Tiffany would talk about how she misses us all, especially the times where we bonded. When the car came to a stop, a woman who very much looks like Tiffany came to greet us. She was Tifanny’s mom just as I assumed. Her mom was very nice and welcoming just like Caelie. Her house was very much smaller than ours, but I didn’t hate or complain about it. I fact, I adored it and missed the small spaces. We saw some old photos of Tiffany which Leylah and I teased about it. Tiffany was a cute chubby kid back then.
There were millions of her pictures plastered on the wall. I envied a family picture that was nicely framed.
“How are you ladies?” her mother asks. We were now seated at a table, eating the snacks she had given us. They were breadsticks...which reminded me of the breadsticks meme on Tumblr. I quietly laughed remembering some of them.
“We’re doing great” Leylah answered for us. I nodded and smiled at the woman. She then left after a while to give Tiffany, Leylah, and I some space and privacy to talk.
During that time, we just mainly talked. Things that changed, things we liked, and just random topics. I really enjoyed hanging out with them, just like before. After Tiffany’s mother fed us with some Italian food, an Italian sausage soup with tortellini, I was full. We then watched a Disney movie called ‘Maleficent’. I enjoyed the plot of the story. I was glad it didn’t focus on a love story of a prince and a princess. The story itself was purely magnificent. Maleficent appeared to be protective of her home. But when she was betrayed, she then fights the King and curses his daughter, not knowing that she would be the key to peace.
I couldn’t help but laugh how Angela looks so much like a teenage version of Angelina Jolie. During the movie, I felt Leylah scooted closer until, by the end, we ended up cuddling. The lights were off and everyone was too focused on the movie but I felt the sudden nervousness when Leylah rested her head against my neck.
‘Dear God, have mercy’
When I couldn’t take it, I excused myself to freshen up. After I finished, I went back and felt relief when Leylah was now sitting up straight watching the movie. I cried on the part where Maleficent was all alone after she revealed that she was the reason why the blonde girl was cursed. Thank god it was dark. But then I heard Leylah whisper.
“That part is so sad”
When the movie ended, Tiffany gladly dropped us off at our houses.
“Thanks Tiffany” I said opening the door.
“No problem. Goodnight Jesse. I had a wonderful time with you and Leylah. I hope we can hang out again sometime.”
“Sure” I nodded. Tiffany smiled before leaving.
When I got inside, Caelie asked whether I’d like to eat dinner but I just told her that I’ve already eaten. I found no sight of Emmie so I figured she was in Kristina’s room doing who knows what. I was just glad that it was now peaceful inside my room and that I can now finally rest without Emmie bothering me. Let’s just hope she stays in Kristina’s room longer. Better yet, sleep there.
I woke up to feeling something warm touching me. At first, I ignored it until the sun started to peak and bother my eyes. When I fluttered my eyes open, a girl nuzzled up to me was softly letting out low snores. It took me a good 5 minute to realize the who the girl was. As if about to get beaten, I pushed her, not enough to wake her up but enough to remove her body away from mine. The warmth disappeared.
“Oh my god” I whispered. “What the actual fuck?”
I tried recalling the events that happened last night but none of them won’t come to mind. My brain seems to not function properly after my body had consumed alcohol. I looked at my bare body and suddenly felt conscious. Just how in the world did we end up like this?
Here, my supposed enemy was sleeping bare naked next to me. I suddenly looked away when I was realized I was too focused staring at her bikini bottoms. And yes what I meant was her tacos.
“This is crazy. Holy shit I’ll get killed if she wakes up”
But my eyes betrayed me when it slowly went back to staring at Nicole. She looked so fragile and....hurt, just by judging her facial expression while sleeping. It was then that I felt hurt and guilty when I pulled the covers off of her body did I see the cuts on her arms and the fresh scratches on Nicole’s back.
Unconsciously, my fingers started to travel against her arms, softly caressing the faint cuts. I winced when I heard her groan and suddenly retreated my hands back. After spacing out and thinking what the fuck really happened, I thought that maybe I should just leave. I was
too freaked out. Like I just had sex with my best friend’s sister. How wrong is that?
Feeling guilty, shocked, and confused, I was about to get up when I heard a phone ringing. Not wanting to wake up the sleeping lion because who knows whether I’d killed if Nicole wakes up.
“Hello?” I said picking up Nicole’s phone by the nightstand.
“Mommy?” I heard a boy say. What.....
“Mommy is that you? When are you going home?”
Suddenly, I dropped the phone out of my hands.
I rushed to pick up the phone and said “I think you got the wrong number”
“This is my mom’s number. Are you her friend?”
“I’m sorry. But what’s your mother’s name?”
Again, I dropped the phone in pure shock.
What the actual fuck was happening?
I turned to look at the sleeping Nicole. This time a chill ran up my spine, realizing that Nicole was no longer asleep but instead was giving me the death glare along with a gun pointed at me.
Then she shook her head and scoffed, “Words that come out of your mouth are all lies." Then she pushed me hard, enough for me to stumble back. But I didn’t give up. I wanted answers. So before she could get up, I pushed her back into the headboard and hissed.
“Who is the boy Nicole?!” I yelled, now angry and pissed. I was getting impatient. But I felt the sudden guiltiness when I caught a tear escaped her eyes. I softly brushed it away and lifted her chin up. She was a broken girl trying to be strong.