Chapter 6: To Bark is to Bite
“Hey, Pure, I hope you don’t mind me asking if you’ll stay after school with me today. ” Christian asked, a smirk on his face. ” I have basketball practice and since we’re neighbors, I thought we should walk home together.” He had a hopeful smile on his face.
“Yeah, sure, but I don’t know if that would be ok with Eleanor.” I said, mumbling Eleanor’s name in fear that she’d hear me.
“Don’t worry about Elly, she’s all bark and no bite.” Christian said as we walked to the gymnasium.
I warned you. Her voice played over and over in my head.
I took a seat on the bleachers. Moments later, I noticed Drew walk in with Ashley. They were holding hands. My heart ached because I knew I could never have something like that for myself. I tried to cover up my disgust as the thought of my parents replaced them.
Drew jogged to the locker room, to change I presume, as Ashley saw me sitting on the bleachers.
“Hey Pure!” She yelled from across the gym. I waved at her awkwardly, trying not to make a big deal over the fact that everyone was watching.
I scanned the gym for Christian, but my heart fell into my ribcage and broke when I saw Eleanor approaching him.
I’d barely met the guy, but I somehow ended up feeling jealous.
Ashley followed where my eyes were aimed at, but she stayed silent.
The other boys, including Drew were doing their stretches and shooting some hoops.
My eyes widened as I saw his hands on her waist. She wrapped her arms on his neck as they seemed to sway in place. She hopped up and kissed him and walked back to the bleachers.
And you can guess who she sat next to? Ashley and I.
I warned you. Her voice repeated in my head. She might’ve been all bark to Christian, but to me, she was all bite. And that scared the heck out of me.
“Hi Pure, Hey Ash,” She sat beside Ashley as they began talking about their hair extensions and new Armani clothes and then I sort of zoned out.
An hour and a half later, their practice was over and I was bored out of my mind. Eleanor never gave me a chance to talk and even when Ashley tried to include me in the conversation, Eleanor shut me down and changed the subject. So I sat quietly waiting for Christian so we could walk home together.
I glared at my feet as I sat on the bleachers. Feet are so lucky, they get to be on the ground, they don’t have to talk all the time, they just get to be there and everyone knows they’re on the ground, but people don’t seem to care.
“Hey do you have a mirror?” One of the basketball boys said, approaching us on the bleachers.
“No.” I stated, “Why? There are mirrors I’m the locker room?”
“Because I see myself in your pants.” He smirked, giving himself permission to check me out.
“Aw, that’s gross Brad, enough with the sexual jokes already.” Ashley said, between laughs. “They don’t work with you.” Brad chuckled, then walked out of the gym with Ashley and Drew.
“Why are you even here?” Eleanor asked, a smug grin on her face.
“I’m waiting for Christian.” I stated, trying not to make eye contact.
“Can’t you just give it the fuck up already? He’s dating me! He likes me. Every fucking girl in the school wants some of that asshole, but he’s mine. So leave us the fuck alone. Got it?” She snapped. I remained emotionless. I wasn’t about to give her the pleasure of seeing me frown.
“Yeah, thanks.” I stated, getting up. That only seemed to make her angrier.
“Listen here you stupid piece of shit,” She followed after me, “If I ever see you near Chris, or even if I fucking see you look at him, I will make your shitty life a living hell, even though I don’t doubt it is already.” She whispered harshly, passing by me and pushing me toward the open door.
I staggered outside, tripping over my own foot, and landing on the hot cement on the ground. She looked down at me and laughed, stepping on my hand as she made her way outside.
At least she was gone, I began pulling myself up when a shadow stood in front of me. I was suddenly so afraid, what more could she do, push me more while I’m already down?
“Pure, are you alright?” It was Christian, I relaxed a bit on the inside, but my heart rate went up immediately, as soon as we made eye contact. He extended a hand toward me.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I just. . .tripped.” I grabbed his hand and pulled myself up.
“You ready?“He asked.
“To go home, actually there’s a place I want you to see, would you be ok going to my house today? Your parents can come too. My dad wants to meet your family.” He smiled, I could feel myself melting, his hand was still holding mine.
If I ever see you near Chris, or even if I see you look at him, I will make your life a living hell, Eleanor’s voice echoed inside my head. I immediately let go of his hand.
“Actually I can’t go. I’m sorry. Maybe some other time.”
“Okay. How’d I do at practice?” A smirk appeared on his face.
“You did a great job making touchdowns when you shot those baskets. I think you made a great home run for your team.” I said, and he burst out laughing,“Yeah, I’m not really into sports.” I mumbled.
“Really? I couldn’t tell.” He smirked, laughing.
“Quit mocking me.” I smiled, I couldn’t stop smiling around him.
A few minutes later and we stood in front of my house.
“We should do this more often Pure.” He smiled at me, “See you tomorrow, and about last night, I’ll pretend it never happened if you will.” I had completely forgotten what I’d said to him at the beach yesterday. all I could remember was the fact that a really hot guy with a great personality was staring at me like I was the last chocolate bar in the world.
“Yeah we should.” I smiled, reaching for the doorknob. He unexpectedly stepped forward and hugged me whispering, “See you tomorrow.” And he walked away and into his house.
I stood there shocked for a second.
I’ve never been hugged before. It was such a strange feeling, having someone’s arms around me.
I calmed myself down and stepped inside.
“So, Stephanie, is he your boyfriend?” My mom asked as I stepped inside.
“No mom, just a friend.” I stated, looking at the ground to hide my pink cheeks.
“Well he’s pretty hot. And I can tell he likes you.”
“Mom, he has a girlfriend.”
“So? That never stopped me before.” She winked at me, “He was here this morning asking for you. We told him we didn’t know where you were. Mmm what I could do to that boys body, I mean if I weren’t married to your father.” I glared at her, disgust present in my features, “You know I’m kidding Isabel.” She smiled at me and walked into the living room.
I walked up to my room to start on my homework.
It was becoming late, almost 10 p.m, it was my fault really for getting home at 6:30, and I still wasn’t finished. I did the difficult homework first and now all I had left were a couple of math problems.
10! divided by 6! equals what? I wrote out the numbers in order, 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1/ 6 5 4 3 2 1 and I was left with 4!. This is too easy.
I glared at the window for no apparent reason remembering today’s recent events. If Eleanor really is just bark and no bite, then I’ll bet she must have been kidding the entire time. That doesn’t mean I won’t fear her.
I sat on my bed after putting my homework in my backpack. Looking out at the calm water, I imagined what it would be like if I was a fish.
I’d want to be a squid, so if someone upsets me, I could ink and get away. Or a shark, but I’m not much of a fighter, I’d be a calm and hide. Either way I’d get to live in water all the time.
But what if I was a rice farmer. Then maybe I could live in my rice farm and just harvest rice all the time. Then I could manufacture it all and be a billionaire.
My thoughts trailed all the way down to the point of what it would be like if Christian and I were married. I shut out the thought as my eyes rested.
Eleanor would never, never, ever, let that happen.
Christian says she’s harmless, but her bark is a pretty harsh bite.
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