When I woke up, Jax was gone, and the blanket was tightly tucked around my body. I had to fight to get out of bed.
The weekend came and went like the wind, meaning it is way too short. I somehow manage to avoid both Brody and Todd.
Then, the dreadful Monday arrives. I was forced to go to school together with them. I plunged on my rain boots and plugged in my earphones.
It was odd.
I never heard of the song before.
I looked down at my phone and pressed in the password - 1111. I’m not proud of my memory skills.
That was the title of the playlist.
Oddly enough, his song choices aren’t awful. Most of the songs were on my playlist, which was why I didn’t notice it earlier.
During the ride, I noticed how Brody and Todd continuously glanced at me, but I ignored both of them. I’m sleepy.
And when Brody made a stop, I opened my eyes and saw a twenty on my lap. I cannot believe my brother is buying my affection. I pocketed the twenty and got out of the car. My feet land on a puddle of water, not too deep, though.
“Are we cool?” Brody asks.
I unplugged one earphone and noticed how Todd was standing behind him. He attempts to look busy with his phone. “Tell mom to stop it with the friendship play date.”
“And stop your friends from spreading nasty rumors about my best friend.”
“I always do.” I didn’t doubt his statement. Even when Brody knows about Krista’s obsession with him, he was never mean to her. He would still treat her like he treated me, a younger sibling.
“Then, we’re cool.” I plug in my headphones. “See you around the hallway.”
I choose not to talk about what I heard about me in the living room. It’s not a surprise that other people would consider me as anti-social compared to Brody. In reality, I didn’t lack friends compared to the ordinary person, but having a super popular brother that overshadows you in every aspect does make you seem like a loner.
I understand my reputation at school.
I’m known as Brody’s little sister.
I’ve long accepted that.
And it’s fine with me. The worst they can do is what they did last night, call me a loner, friendless, or a weirdo. If not wanting to force myself to talk to you gives me the label of a weirdo, I’ll accept that.
Some people say I have the mind of a forty years old lady.
Then, there he is. The guy I shared a bed with over the weekend. He stood there, leaning against the row of lockers with a few girls and guys around him. He seems bored with whatever they’re talking about.
His eyes meet mine, and he looks away.
Then, there it was.
The odd feeling.
What is this that I’m feeling?
I squeal when someone pokes me from behind. I turn around to see Todd. I took off my headphones. “Todd!”
Todd places two hands in the air and back away slightly. “I’ve been calling you for the last two minutes.”
“Yes, and you also saw me put on my headphones.”
“Sorry for scaring you.”
I blew out a raspy air and headed towards my locker. “What is it?” I dial in the combination.
“You heard what we said last night.” I’m assuming he is referring to the conversation about me that I’m not supposed to hear. Todd had always been good about reading the situation. My words last night and how I looked at Victoria, and Megan probably gave it away.
“And if I did?”
“I want to apologize to everyone. They didn’t mean anything bad when they said those things about you. It’s just-”
“I’m anti-social. I believe we all established that.” Many times. I shove the books into my locker, and out the one, I need for my next class.
“They didn’t mean it that way, and you tried talking to them then you’ll-”
“Todd, I’m going to stop you right there,” I said. “I understand that your friends aren’t bad people. Or else, you and Brody wouldn’t be talking to them. But, I also understand that I don’t want to talk to them, which is why I kept the conversation at a minimum. I like where I am right now.” I zip up the backpack. “Anyone who believes that I’m sad or lonely because I’m not all smiling all the time should truly reconsider what they believe is best for me. Do you get what I’m saying?” The whole talk is translated to - leave me alone.
Todd exhaled, “Alright, but we’re still going to invite you to the parties. You don’t have to go, but if you’re in the mood, please come.”
I smile softly, “Thanks. I appreciate that.”
“And if someone does hurt your feelings, don’t hide it.”
“And thanks for the notes and drink.”
“You’re wel-” I stared at him. “You knew it was me?”
Todd smiles, “See you around, Jess.”
I should’ve known he knew it was me. It was quite evident when he talked about the notes in front of me.
I grab his arm and pull him back. Immediately, I turn Todd around and unzips his backpack. The content fell out. “What are you doing?” He ducks down to grab his stuff.
When I saw the binder with my notes, I grabbed it and pulled it out. If Todd knows the notes are from me, somehow Megan will find out. If his girlfriend found out her boyfriend kept notes from another girl, it spells trouble.
I always thought Todd would’ve thrown away the notes. I never expected him to keep them.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t fast enough, and Todd snatched the binder from my hands. “Don’t touch my stuff.”
“Get rid of those notes.”
“Because, if you knew it was me, then it means someone will bound to find out that it’s me that wrote the notes. Then, eventually, your girlfriend will find out that I wrote you those notes and thinks I have a thing for you - which I don’t. I’m not going to get into a girl fight. My claws aren’t sharp enough.”
Todd snickers, “Try breathing Jess. They’re just notes. It’s not a big deal.”
I lift a brow, “Then, throw them away.”
“I don’t want to.”
“You said they aren’t a big deal.”
“Then why are you keeping them?”
“I don’t think my chewed up gum is a big deal either, but they’re still with me at the bottom of my backpack.”
“You are not making any- urg." Why are all the guys around me so ridiculous?
Does he not understand that keeping another girl’s notes when you have a girlfriend spells out trouble for that girl?
“You know what?” I stepped back. “I’m not talking to you until you get rid of those notes and if your girlfriend comes after me. I will grow some sharp claw and come after you.” I poke his chest, and he sways back slightly before resuming his original position.
Without another word, I walked away. I knew I shouldn’t have written those notes. It was stupid of me to assume Todd wouldn’t recognize my handwriting.
My eyes once again met Jax, and immediately he looked away. He really took our talk into consideration.
I waited for the girlfriend to explode, but nothing happened the whole day.
During lunch, I munched on my sandwich with Krista, Ivan, and Shannon.
Ivan is a guy I met during one of my science classes. I saw him having lunch alone inside the school lab once and asked if he wants to have lunch with Krista and me. And that’s it. He’s been having lunch with us ever since.
Shannon was Krista’s health class partner. A few months ago, Shannon broke up with her boyfriend. Shannon and her ex-boyfriend were in the same group. The group chose to hang out with Shannon’s ex-boyfriend. So, one day, Krista asked if she wanted to eat lunch with us, and immediately, she jumped on the boat.
Yes, I do have two other friends besides Krista. If only my mom met them. She’s always out when I bring them over. At one point, I feel like she thinks I’m making them up, and they’re my imaginary friends.
At least my mom’s belief that I’m lonely at school gives me special privileges at home, such as staying out as late as I want and getting extra dessert.
“I cannot believe your mom packs you, extra sweets, all day. I wish my mom would care this much about her kids.” Shannon grabs a cupcake.
Mom thinks that extra food will help me make friends. Sometimes I wonder if she still thinks I’m in elementary school.
“I’m not complaining.” Ivan took his second cupcake.
Then again, my friends are enjoying the cupcakes. So, maybe it is working.
“Oh,” Krista squeals. “There’s Jax Rocco!”
I turn around to see Jax, along with a few other people entering the cafeteria. It’s weird to see him here because he typically doesn’t go into the school cafeteria.
His eyes met mine.
That seems to happen alot today.
Our eyes were frequently meeting each other.
Immediately, he looks away and heads towards the lunch line. I shouldn’t feel this type of feeling because I was the one who suggests pretending not to know each other in public. But, I do feel it—this discomfort. I mean, at least give me a subtle wave.
My phone buzzes, and I unlock the screen.
Panty Dropper: Save me a cupcake.
I looked up from my screen and noticed Jax was on his phone. After messaging me, he tucks it back into his pocket and resumes his actions.
Ivan reached for his third cupcake, and I slapped his hand. “Ow! Why did you hit me?”
Honestly, I didn’t know why I hit him. Before I can even think, my hand already slapped his flesh. “You had enough cupcakes,” I said.
“She’s right.” Krista reaches for the last cupcake.
I slapped her hand.
“Why?” She questioned.
“You had enough cupcakes too.”
“I agree with her.” Shannon reaches for the cupcake.
I slapped her hand. “You all had enough.” I closed the container. “My mom said these cupcakes are for my friends.”
“We are your friends!” Evan rebuttal.
“Friends that aren’t imaginary.” Ivan and Shannon know they are my imaginary friends. Sometimes, I feel like they purposely avoid my mom for some sick enjoyment.
“You’re hiding something,” Krista said.
“You are! You don’t care whenever we eat your food! What are you hiding?”
“Nothing.” I don’t understand why I’m even saving the cupcake. My eyes skew towards Jax, who grinned widely. He’s sitting a table away from us, and clearly, he is enjoying what is happening.
“Then, split the cupcake into four,” Krista said, and the other two agreed. The three of them stare at me.
My eyes went back towards Jax, who was also staring at me. His stares are not as blatant where the public can catch him, but it’s enough to make me feel uncomfortable.
Wait. Why am I putting myself into this situation? For Jax Rocco? We spent one night in bed together, and he hogs most of the blanket.
“Actually, just split it into three. I don’t need it anymore.”
They all clap and cheer for the last cupcake.
I look at Jax, who clearly had a frown.
My phone buzzes.
Panty Dropper: Why would you give my cupcake away like that?
I ignore the message.
Panty Dropper: I saw you reading my message.
Panty Dropper: I never expect a girl to catch my attention, but it happened.
Pantry Dropper: I want you.
My soul left Earth after reading that message.