‘I’m not sure what you are saying.’
I stammered as his blue eyes crinkled up in amusement.
‘Sure you do.’
The words rolled from his tongue casually as he rubbed his jaw. ‘I need you to convince her to come on a date with me. You are her best friend after all.’
I tried to swallow, my eyes darting around the crowded hallway, suspicious glances and curious whispers everywhere I looked. I mean, I was talking to the hottest guy in school, by many standards.
School dreamboat, star footballer, blah blah. He was your walking cliche- those piercing blue eyes that made you practice your signature as his future wife with one smouldering glance, the deep sexy voice that commanded your attention, the wavy chestnut hair that flopped in front of his eyes constantly. He was surrounded by girls on a daily basis, and had slept with most of them if gossip was to be believed. Yet here he was, talking to me for the first time in history. I stared down at my once sparkly Converse, ruined by the countless sprints across the muddy school field as I tried desperately to avoid a late mark.
His voice made me jump and he looked at me oddly, a mixture of pity and curiosity on his face.
I attempted to clear my throat and all that came out was the sound of a frog being strangled as it gasped for breath. I closed my eyes as the mortification of the situation at hand filled me. I found my voice, determined to use it.
‘Its Annabelle.’ I mumbled, ‘You want me to get Ray to go on a date with you?’ I echoed his words as he watched me carefully, as though I was incredibly fragile and capable of shattering across the hall in a million pieces. He nodded triumphantly, as though having a conversation with me was a feat all by itself.
‘Yup. You got it.’
He winked at me and against my will my stomach flip flopped, sending a signal to my brain to make me blush wildly.
‘Bailey, no offense, but that won’t happen. She’s not interested.’
I smiled apologetically as I went to walk away.
Was he deaf? I was sure I had said my name was Annabelle. I opened my mouth to correct him when he touched my arm softly, stopping me from moving away. His blue eyes had found mine again.
‘This isn’t something I’ve come across before. She intrigues me. Please say you’ll try? For me?’
He ran his hand through that damn hair as I found myself gazing at him, wondering if it would feel as soft as it looked.
‘You’ve never faced rejection?’
It was out before I could stop it honestly, my mouth has a mind of it’s own- verbal diarrhea my brother Elijah calls it.
Bailey scoffed, his chest almost puffing out with ridiculous pride.
‘Would you say no to me?’ he breathed, stepping closer to me. His breath smelt of mint yet it was nothing on the scent his skin was giving out, did they really bottle this up?! It was addictive. My heart began to race as I saw Ray walking towards us, a curious expression on her sun kissed face.
‘I’ll have a word.’ I offered quietly as I pushed past him, his gaze turning to Ray. I seized my opportunity to escape, latching my arm with Rays as she nudged me, causing me to yelp when her elbow dug into my rib. Her deep brown eyes met mine as she hissed, ‘Bailey Fenton? Never had you down as a notch on his bedpost.’ she gave me a disapproving look as I opened my mouth to protest, then closed it again. ‘You’re doing the fish thing Annabelle.’
‘I am not. I’m just in shock. Anyway, it wasn’t about me.’
I looked at her pointedly as she stared at me, realisation dawning on her face.
‘Oh god. Tell me he wasn’t talking to you about me.’ she shook her head in disbelief as she slammed her locker door shut, her shiny black hair framing her face perfectly. She had exquisite features, and I hated her for it- all doe eyes and a full mouth, not to mention her curves. Her family were from all over the globe, a real melting pot of culture and beauty- you can imagine how I felt standing beside this goddess. I glanced down again at my nondescript self and sighed. No wonder Bailey Fenton only wanted my help.
‘I said I’d talk to you.’ my voice trailed off and she folded her arms as she studied me intently, making me nervous under her gaze.
‘My love. You know I would rather die than waste a second of my time with a boy like him.’ she wrinkled her nose up as she spoke. ‘He just wants it because he can’t have it.’ she shrugged as we walked towards our class, an ache in my chest at always being that friend. Don’t get me wrong- I had loved Ray from the moment I met her in pre school when she punched a boy in the nose for making me cry. Why she chose to be my best friend I don’t know- but I wish she wasn’t so beautiful inside and out. Then I could hate her quite happily. I slid into my seat in class as I gazed out of the window, wishing the day would hurry up and be over so I could hide away from the world and all it’s complications, if only for a short while.
‘Miss Aurelle? Would you please begin reading where we left off yesterday. Page thirty two, paragraph three.’
I heard my teacher instruct me, his eyes on mine over the rim of his glasses, his deep brown eyes studying me with encouragement as he flashed me his hollywood smile. Most girls would be swooning, despite him being our teacher, he was young and handsome. He was also one of those teachers that wanted to ‘bring me out of my shell’ by making me speak in front of the whole class, not quite realising it killed me a little more every time. I glanced down at my bag and realised I had left my book at home, yet for some reason I clawed about in my bag looking for it desperately. I caught Ray sliding her book onto my table with a reassuring smile as I mouthed my thanks to her. I glanced up to see my teacher raising his eyes to the sky before sighing.
‘Today, Miss Aurelle.’
Oh Mr Herbert, you Sir are an absolute cretin.
I quickly found the page and cringed inwardly as I began reading, to prompts of ‘louder please’ from Mr Herbert. I hoped Karma was paying attention. He deserved a massive bite on the ass for putting me through social hell.