“It’s been quite some time. How was your vacation?”, Sarah asks. The taller girl leads Jessica to a nearby café in their school. “I was busy with things and didn’t really have time to socialize with others, sorry if I haven’t contacted you.”
Jessica kept her hands warm inside her sweater. She genially smiled and nodded, “It was fine. I was busy with my dad too.”
“That’s cool. Anything you want? My treat~” They both scanned the menu and then ordered their own preferences. Jessica, who didn’t like to be treated insisted that she could pay her own. Sarah loved her stubbornness but let her be anyways. They sit nearby the window as they waited for their orders.
Sarah opened her bag and shuffled through the contents inside. She then pulled out a wrapped box and pushed it towards Jessica. “I forgot to give your present but here it is. You can open it when you get home. It’s kind of embarrassing to have you open it here.”
Just then, Leylah appeared out of nowhere and sat down next to Jessica. “Ooh, what could it be? Something… extraordinary?” She wiggled her eyebrows towards Sarah and grinned.
“Jesus, what are you doing here?”
“Hi,” Jessica says. Leylah smiled at her and then looked at Sarah, “I came to tell you about the classes that you frequently missed.”
Jessica gave Sarah a concerned look.
Sarah shrugged as if not caring. “What about it?”
“Here.” Leylah gave her a notebook and a few other papers with it. “I included a copy of my own notes and some of the worksheets that were given.”
Sarah looked at it and then accepted it. She had indeed missed a couple of her classes every since she’s met Nicole. The reason for it was because she was either there with them, watching over them or taking care of another business. Luckily, Leylah was present in all classes and was kind enough to get her the needed materials.
“No problem. Anyways, I’ll see you guys around and I’ll just… text you later Jessica.” Leylah smiled and then left. Jessica watched as her friend joins another group of people who seem to belong to a school club.
Jessica then thought, she has never joined any school clubs at all and it was already the middle of the school year. The second semester has already begun. Was it too late to join any? It was one of her goals to join one.
“Have… you joined any school clubs?”, she asked Sarah.
The other girl stopped looking at the papers that were given to her and then had thoughtful look. “Yes”
“You did?”. Jessica was surprised. One of the waitresses came over and dropped 2 cups – a hot chocolate and dark coffee. Both girls thanked the woman.
“Yes, I joined theatre.”
“Oh. Acting?” She was curious. That was unexpected. She was expecting Sarah to join a band or something else that was more of her taste.
“Nah, theatre tech. I’m part of the behind the scenes crew.” Sarah said. She inhaled the rich smell of fresh coffee and then took a sip.
Sarah nodded. “How about you? Thought of any clubs you want to join?”
“We’re still allowed?” It’s been two weeks since the second semester has started.
“I believe we still can. What did you want to join?”
Jessica shrugged. She didn’t know, to be honest. She loved a lot of things but at the same time, she was insecure about meeting new people. “I don’t know.”
“You want me to come with you and look around?” Sarah offered. There were indeed leftover displays in some rooms that were still recruiting. “I can make time for you.”
I can make time for you. Jessica thought, she didn’t want to bother Sarah’s time. She didn’t say she has time for her, but instead, she can make time. Smiling she refused thinking that she shouldn’t take away Sarah’s time for little things she should be able to. Emmie did say try start doing things on your own. It was a new year.
New year new me. Yeah right.
“It’s fine, I can go on my own.” They continued to eat their orders - a Belgian waffle with whip cream and powdered sugar and a thick cut focaccia topped with basil pesto, three eggs, arugula, Italian cheeses, tomato, drizzled with balsamic reduction and olive oil. It was mouthwatering, and both ate to their heart’s content until they were full.
“This really tastes good.”
Jessica was too busy eating that whip cream even got to the sides of her mouth. Sarah thought it was cute and helped her wipe it off.
“Sorry”. She was embarrassed.
“It’s fine. How are you with the place? Still missing Canada?”. Sarah ignited a conversation, wanting to know more about Jessica.
Jessica stopped in thoughts then held her mug tight. “Yes, from time to time.” It was true, she missed her family, her friends, and almost everything. She couldn’t wait until the school year is finished. Maybe she can go back there during summer. Certainly, she missed her dog too. Jessica noted to herself to give a call back home when she finishes school today.
“Who did you live with when you were there?”
“My aunt most of the time. Sometimes I’d stay over at other relatives just for a visit.” Jessica explained.
“Oh, I see. Do you have close friends?”, Sarah asked curiously. It was a perfect opportunity to get to know her more.
“I mostly hang out with Em. I wasn’t really… sociable.” Back home Jessica stuck close to Em. They were both like siblings. Em always stood up for her. She was her hero but now she was all by herself. Jessica knew she had to be independent.
Sarah nodded understanding the situation. “Mhhm”
“School wasn’t as fun without her. If I’ve never ever met Em, I would probably be more… isolated.” She was very thankful she’s met her.
There was silence as they eat. Jessica didn’t want it to make it awkward again, so she continued. “I also have a dog. Rona. It was a gift from my dad before he left home.”
She suddenly remembers the old days where she’d take Rona with her almost everywhere because she had nowhere else to be with when Em wasn’t there. It was her best friend. “I miss her too. I also missed going to the falls. The scenery there is beautiful. I like seeing attractions. Nature calms me.”
“I didn’t know you’re a nature person.”
“The view of mother nature is really relaxing to me. I like to take pictures of them.” Jessica had owned hundreds of pictures from her adventures back home. Perhaps she could do the same here when she has time for herself. “I have a wall of pictures back there. Maybe I can ask auntie to take a picture of it and I’ll show you.”
“Sure. I’d love that.” Sarah was happy. Then she thought of a bright idea. “How about visiting some places here? Maybe you can start taking pictures again and have a wall of pictures in your room.”
Jessica suddenly liked that idea. Her eyes lit with excitement as she nodded. Sarah got off her seat and then slid next to Jessica. She then took a selfie with her in surprise. After, she smiled and then said, “That would be your first picture.”
Sabrina was sitting on the couch in their living room watching the Big Bang Theory. Thinking that if she watches this it would make her slightly smarter, but nope, her mind was running somewhere else. I mean, on someone else. Ever since that incident, she couldn’t just get her off her mind. It was like some bitch cast her a spell. She hated it. She hated the fact that she loved it.
“Ugh, why couldn’t I be as dense as Sheldon?” she groaned. Grabbing one of the pillows, she put it on her face and gave a muffled scream.
You’re going crazy Sabrina.
Yeah crazy for her, she thought.
Ay, dios mio!
“Honey are you okay?” Her mother walked into the living room, dropping a couple of bags with her and keys on the table.
Sabrina popped out of the couch and gave a nod. “I’m fine.”
“School troubles?”, the older woman asks. Sabrina watched as her mother walked into the dining room looking for leftover food. She thought that she was probably hungry after work. Thinking of it, she then suddenly became hungry too.
“There’s no more pasta. Dad took them to work. Are you hungry? I can patch something up quick.” Sabrina finally got off the couch then headed towards the kitchen.
Her mother laughed out loud and then said. “Yeah, you mean like grabbing lettuce, put it in a bowl and put caesar dressing on top?”
Sabrina turned to look at her. “My salad is the best.”
“Yes, but it gets sickening.”
“Then how come Asians don’t get tired of rice?” She opened the freezer and grabbed a box of pizza and placed it in the oven.
“Cause they’re used to eating it since they were young honey.”
“Then get used to it mom.”
Her mother laughed again then exited the kitchen, leaving her all alone. “Call me when it finishes.”
Sabrina yelled an ‘Okay’ then went down the basement. There was a theatre – a huge projector in front of the seats while being surrounded by speakers. Her room was in the corner, next to a bathroom. Sabrina lived in the basement by herself. Her older siblings already moved out after marrying. Her room was decorated with pastel blue painting and carpeted floor. In the corner was her office, with a Mac laptop and piles of books in the table. It was obvious that she did not do any homework during the break.
She sighs then plops herself down the leather chair. “I should get these started.”
Picking up a biology textbook, she opened It to the assigned page and started working on a research paper about some cardiovascular disease. After choosing a specific topic, she started surfing the net, in hopes to get rid of other thoughts in her head.
Taking a short break, she retrieves the cooked pizza in the oven and called her mom over. “Mom! The pizza is ready.”
Her mother enters the kitchen with her nightgown and a mask in her face. “Smells good.”
“You look like a ghost.” She joked. She grabbed the pizza roller and started cutting the pepperoni pizza into equal pieces.
“There’s only two of us. Are we going to finish this?”
“Just leave the leftovers for dad. He’ll eat them when he gets home later.” Sabrina pulls a chair and offered her mom a seat as well.
“How was work?”, she asks before biting down at a slice.
Sabrina resembled her mother a lot – similar hair colour, face shape, and her personality. The only thing she got from her dad was her eyes. Their boob size was also different. When it comes to it, her mother wins. After all, her mother did work as a part-time model.
“Good. I got new clients and treated myself some new clothes.”
Sabrina whined, “Why didn’t you take me?”
“And tell me why I should.” Her mother smiles. Sabrina knew she always loses to her mom, but the challenge was amusing.
“Because… I’m a good child?”
“Did you finish your homework?”
“Okay.” Sabrina crossed her arms and then looked at her. “It’s in progress.”
“And your room is clean?” Her mother continued.
“Okay.” Her room wasn’t a total mess. There was just a couple of books and maybe clothing lying on the floor. Or perhaps everywhere. “It’s in progress.”
“Then what about the emails of absences I’ve received in my email?”
Sabrina sighed. “Okay, I lost.”
“Honey, you can do what you want so long as it doesn’t put you at risk and don’t ever forget about your grades.” The older woman warned.
“Okay, got it.”
She totally just lost.
“What were you sighing about earlier by the way?”, her mother asks. They both grab for another slice of pizza.
“My mother instincts tell me something is bothering you. I’ve seen you like this before.”
She was right, Sabrina thought. “Okay there is something but I’m not telling.”
“Do I have to force it out of you?”
“You won’t do that.” She got off the stool and grabbed the box of pineapple juice from the fridge and poured both a glass of drink.
“True. I’m nice. Fine don’t tell now but do tell when you’re ready. I’m already guessing its boy troubles.”, she chuckles.
Sabrina glared at her. “You’re way too obvious honey.”
“Whatever. Goodnight.” She picked up the glass then leaves the room as well.
Jessica walks around, searching through the bulletin board for recruiting clubs. There were only 5 clubs open left – track and field, writing club, aerospace, volleyball, and astrology. She wasn’t good at any of those. She liked writing, but she only did it when she wanted to. She didn’t think it’d be best to make it a regular thing.
“Hmmmm….” She was full in deep thought that she didn’t realize someone was behind her.
“Excuse me.” A voice appeared. Jessica jumped away and excused herself. “Sorry.”
“It’s fine. Were you looking to join the track and field?” The girl asks.
“Um actually- “
“Hey, Jenise! Have you found someone else already?” A guy came running towards them. He saw Jessica and Jenise talking and interrupted. “Wow so fast. Welcome to the club.”
“I was just- “, Jenise started but then Jessica replied out of nowhere, “Yeah thanks.”
“Oh! You’re in?” The girl called Jenise asks. She was smiling widely.
“Yeah, I guess.” Jessica forced a smile. Why? She asked herself. No idea. It just happened.
When the two left, Jessica hit her forehead with the books that she was holding and kept repeating Stupid Stupid in her head. How did that just happen? She meant to just leave right away when the guy came, but nope! He had to look at her, which made her all nervous and insecure, then that happened. Sighing again, she forces herself to go to class.
When classes finished, Jenise dragged her down the gymnasium to fill in a club application form. She didn’t even know she was in her class. The gymnasium felt unfamiliar to her as she was always locked inside classrooms doing her own thing – either doing homework or drawing. Fixing her glasses, she looked at the application and fill in the basic fields – name, age, class schedule, student number, etc. She scrunches her nose in confusion when it came to measurement size.
“Oh, it’s for the jerseys. Track and field uniforms.” Jenise informed her when she saw her confused look.
“Ah, um… I actually don’t know my current-“
“That’s fine. I’ll have someone help you out.” Jenise assured.
“I can help.”
Jessica turns around and sees Sabrina.
“Hi Jessica~” Sabrina smiles approaching her.
“You’re in track and field too?” she gulps. Uh oh.
“Yeah. Welcome to the team. I’m the captain here.”
Next chapter preview...
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Nicole yelled in frustration. Another fight was happening again. She didn’t want to go home looking all dirty.
A motorbike stopped by next to her. Knowing who it was, she huffed and ignored when her name was called.
“Nicole, let’s go!“, Sarah called again. It was the second.
“No.” Nicole refused. She kicked off the dirt in her shoes and continued walking. The group was about to catch up to her.
“Jesus you stubborn bitch,” the other girl mumbled. Sarah sighed then equipped her helmet off. She then got off and put it on Nicole and held her hand. “We’re going home.”
Nicole pushed her away. “What home? You’re not my family!”
“Tell me, why are you like this?”
“I said, let’s go home. Jackson is waiting.” She didn’t want to argue.
“Is it sympathy? Are you feeling sorry for me? Tell me!” The shorter girl wanted to know the answer. She was confused and desperate for an answer.
“Sara-” But before her name can escape her lips, it was sealed off by a kiss.
Did you enjoy my ongoing story so far? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, VazWrite a Review