Chapter 3: Watch your back
“Ruby, this is not working,” I complained letting out a sigh as I watched her go under water once again. She came up spluttering and pushed out the strands of hair that fell into her eyes. When she heard that I was planning to go to the beach and surf, she wanted to tag along and, then she wanted to learn how to surf. We have been at this for over an hour and, I haven’t even got the chance to surf.
“Let me just try one more time, please.” She begged, looking more determined than ever.
“Fine,” I said with a sigh as I rolled my eyes.
I held onto the sides of the surfboard and, waited patiently for her to get on. Her legs were all wobbly when she got on and, her knuckles as white as snow with the pressure as she was holding on.
“You are forcing yourself. Relax.” I told her with a laugh when she almost went over again.
She pushed herself up from her knees and finally stood but it only lasted for a second before her body crashed into the water.
“I think I had enough now.” She said pulling her hair out of her face and, walking out of the sea towards our seats.
“That was cute.” I looked away from Ruby and at the person. Travis was only dressed in swim shorts, I wanted to sue him, for taking control of my eyes, as they started to roam over his well-built and lean body.
“Cute?” I asked disgustedly.
“Okay, maybe not the word I wanted to use. But I find it really nice of you to be her friend.” I placed my hand on my hip because he made no sense right now. “Are you implying that a girl like me, can’t be friends with a girl like her? Because people call her a nerd, and yes maybe I find her a little weird but aren’t we all a little bit weird?”
“Okay, maybe that was the wrong thing to say.” He said, realizing he made a mistake. “But I find it nice that you are trying to be nice to her. Not many girls were.” I nodded, I kind of understood where he was going. “Because she is clever than us.” Travis nodded in confirmation.
“Sounds like you know her,” I said tilting my head to the side as I analyzed him.
“Little Ruby, has been in the same school as me, since kindergarten.” He told me walking into the water and, it was the first time I noticed the surfboard safely tucked underneath his arm. “You surf?” I asked surprised as I followed him in.
“I live in L.A, it would be a waste if I didn’t use the waters for something.” He said lifting his arm to the side in a questioning manner. His, got a point, there.
“Other than playing volleyball and chatting up girls?” I cut in. Travis only chuckled and got onto his surfboard and started paddling. I grabbed my surfboard and followed him in. His movement was smooth as he ducked underneath the waves and came back up. He surely has done this more than once in his life. We reached a spot that was away far enough from the beach and turned towards the beach. We sat on the surfboards with our feet dangling into the water. “Why did you decide to enroll in a University here in L.A?” He asked starting a conversation while we sat there on our boards waiting for a wave. “I’ve always had a love for L.A and, I have been looking at multiple Institutions and well, L.A’S University was the one who offered me what I was looking for.”
“Surely, you have University Institutions in New Orleans.”
“We do but their offers weren’t solid like the one here in L.A.” He nodded staring out in front of him, he was careful not to touch my hands as he was running his hands through the water beside him.
“What’s up with the Rebel tattoo?”
“You have been checking me out.”
“I tried to do it skillfully.” I chuckled and looked over my shoulder. A perfect wave was making its way over and I was mine. Travis sobered up when he suddenly saw my face and when he noticed I started to paddle. I pushed myself once the wave was close enough, I surfed through the wave down to the beach. I swam back where Travis was waiting for the next wave. “Well, the New Orleans girl has some moves.” He teased.
And so it went on like that for hours until we felt like prunes and started to get hungry. The sun agreed as it started to set. “Are you girls up for a burger?” Travis asked motioning towards the food stand. I looked at Ruby who looked ready to destroy any meal. “Yeah, sure.” We packed up our belongings, I slipped on some pants and then we made our way up to the food stand where they sold huge burgers. We got our food and then Travis was nice enough to walk us back to the dorm. We said our goodbyes and made our way up to our room.
We pushed the door open and found Janelle sitting by herself. Crying? Ruby excused her silently as she left me with Janelle.
“What guy destroyed your make-up?” I asked dropping my bag at the door.
“Who says it is a guy?” She asked wiping off a newly fallen tear.
“Because if it was a girl you would have been breaking down the room.” She gave a soft huff with a chuckle.
“Does this guy even know he is hurting you?”
“What do you think?” She asked softly avoiding any eye contact.
“Well, he sounds like a bastard to me.” I said grabbing a towel and some pjs.
After I took a shower I made my way under the covers and closed my eyes. My eyes snapped open when I heard a sound in the distance. My eyes caught the digital clock, it was 02:00 in the morning. As my eyelids start to drop, all hell broke loose.
At first, I heard Ruby’s scream and then Janelle’s. And then I understood why as a balloon popped in my face splashing paint all over my face, hair and down my shoulders before another occurred. I jumped off the bed and reached for the light switch. All 3 imposters froze and then they threw their last balloons before they ran off. “Travis!” I growled, trying to grab him but my hands were wet as he slipped right from my hold, like silk. I ignored their laughter and looked around the room, everything was covered in paint, our beds, the couch and of course us.
Ruby didn’t look impressed, Janelle didn’t look any better.
“I am going to fucken kill him.” I muttered looking at myself and then at the girls. We were relieved when we found that the paint was not permanent, we arranged with cleaners to clean our room. We also showered early to get rid of the paint and then we headed out towards the University.
I was still walking with Ruby when I spotted a certain dark haired boy who was caught up in conversation with his buddies. I stomped over to where they were standing. “Travis, you son of a bitch!” I growled. His shoulders stiffened, and when he finally got the courage to turn around, he was wearing a damn smirk.
“Jaylin.” He greeted his smirk growing even wider.
“Don’t Jaylin me, you bastard,” I said taking a step forward, punching him the gut. He let out a breath of a surprise as he cupped his stomach. “That stunt of yours last night was the biggest mistake you ever made in your life,” I told him closing the distance between us.
He quirked an eyebrow. “I will watch my back if I am you,” I warned. For a moment he looked surprised. “I’ll sleep with both eyes open, bud,” I said one last time before I walked off towards the entrance of the school.
“Tell me that we have a plan.” Ruby said catching up with me. “I am working on it and believe me Rubs, he is going to beg for mercy when I get a hold of him.” No one pranks me and gets away with it. “Heads up.” Ruby said clearing her throat while holding her hand in front of her mouth. I look in the direction where she was making a fuss about. I watched as Damian was making his way over to where we were standing.
“This guy is really something.” She muttered turning so her chest was inches away from my shoulder. “Were you one of the girls that were crushing on him?” I asked raising an eyebrow watching her reaction. “No, because I at least knew that he was way out of my league.” I rolled my eyes at her pathetic excuse.
“I heard you girls had some fun last night.” Damian spoke up as he neared us. “Being shot by paint balloons?”
“Well, at least the boys had a good laugh.” He said cheekily as he crossed his arms in front of his chest and leaned against the wall.
“I wonder if you would think it is funny if you awaken with paint balloons.” Ruby scoffed. It was the first time Damian acknowledge her. He looked at her first, trying to figure her out until he started to recognize her.
“Ruby Sinclair.” He addressed her. “Don’t you have to be in the library or class?” He asked quirking an eyebrow. I hated the way he spoke to her, just because she had more brain cells than him and his dumb girlfriend, didn’t give him the right to talk to her like that.
“I think you might want to go and spend more time in the library. I’ve heard that jocks can be pretty dumb with all the hits they get on the field.” I watched his eyes widen in surprise.
“Come on, Rubs. My hands are starting to itch.” I told her pushing her lightly on the shoulder motioning for her to go. “See you around, jock.” I said slipping past him down the hallway.