As we entered the school premises and made way to our lockers, Ava's fingers grasped mine and twirled them in between my fingers. I looked down at our hands and then back straight. I didn't mind it. Ava occasionally does something possessive like this.
But why now?
She usually acts this way when there is a potential best friend thief in the radar. That's what Ava calls anyone who tries talking to me. Looking around I find no one paying us the least bit attention. oh well.
"Hey can we walk with our hands interwined?"
"I'm sorry but I'm not lesbian." I reply in a heartbeat. She scoffs
"Yeah I prefer rock abs and a handsome face as well." I quirk a brow at her. "It's just that you've been so occupied with basketball lately I've barely seen you judy." She finishes and this makes me feel bad all at once. Because of the continuous games I've been put into, I barely had time to myself let alone to spend quality time with my best friend.
Thought Ava understood me. She wasn't complaining. Ava never complains. She was just saying what she felt openly to me without keeping it to herself.
"Once the summer league is done I'm all yours." I say and she grins at me. Sometime we really do look like some old couple. I laugh and she joins in.
"Oh and hey Judy? Could you please do me a favour?" She says in-between her light chuckles.
"Mom was super against this when I brought it up but you're the only one I can ask this from." Ava says and this perks my interest.
"What crazy plans have you come up with now?"
"Well my parents and I will be visiting my grandparents in Texas on the weekend. Would you mind checking up on Travis occasionally? I mean, I know he can pretty much take care of himself but please?"
"But doesn't Travis love his grandparents? How come he's not going?"
"How do you know that?" She asks with a teasing tone in her voice and I would have slapped her of we weren't on a busy hallway.
"On one of the many times you ditched me and had him accompany me, he told me his grandparents are his favourite."
"Oh" and her twinkling eyes lost its stupid excited shine.
Goodness this girl.
"A letter came from college asking if Travis is dropping out because of his lack of presence in college and my parents forbid him from going anywhere until he comes with a solid answer." She sighs as if she was sick of the drama that's going on at home.
"Wow. Your parents forbid him? Girl isn't he an adult? Travis can't take his own decisions?" This was making me mad. This is exactly what Travis had told me when we met for coffee the last time. That his choices were not welcomed.
"That's how things are done in the Heatherfield household I guess. Ava said with a sad chuckle.
Those parents are simply crazy. I'm still a minor and my dad still allows me to make my own choices and decisions.
We walk in silence for a couple of steps and Ava doesn't pester me. I let out aloud sigh taking her by surprise.
"He'll call me when he's bored."
Yeah, I shouldn't have said that. Big mistake of my life. Looking at Ava I find her eyes twinkling once more.
"If you do not stop with that annoying look, I'm going to scratch your eyes out." I say with a low tone and she stops with a flinch.
Ava know better than anyone that I don't joke with these kind of stuff. Why? Cause back in third grade she had teased me about some boy who's existence I wasn't even aware of and I scratched her face like a crazy cat.
I mean, what the fuck? Who wants a boyfriend when you are supposed to be playing ball in that age and grade!?
Ava's fetish for boyfriends runs deeper than blood.
"By the way, where have you been lately? I barely see you these days." I ask and this time Ava slumps with a sigh. I quirk a brow wondering what's gotten into her.
"I've been slacking off in all subjects and so I've detention every afternoon after classes are done for the day." She whines.
Ava was a brainiac when it came to science, but the other subjects? Not her cup of tea.
I tried to keep myself from barking out laughing. Sorry folks. I'm a horrible best friend. I know.
"It's so tiring hearing that stupid teacher saying to me why the best friend of the class topper is an idiot."
Now that ticked me off.
I grabbed a hold of Ava's arm and marched forth. "Woah, Judy?' she asked alarmed.
"How dare that mad lady say such s thing. I'm going to pick a fight!"
The lady is literally trying to separate us with such crude words
"You are the only one I've got!" I didn't mean to yell but I was afraid of losing her. Ever.
Ava doesn't laugh. No she never does when I say this. I stead she gives me swarm smile and a pat.
"Now how about we stop since people are starting to question our sanity and sexuality?" She states with a chuckle.
I groaned as I pulled away from her and marched forth. With a laugh she skips to me and I'm left to wonder just what all those boys see in this moron.
"Oh hey, look who's coming our way." But before she could say anything more I raised my hand and waved at the said person while calling out to him
James was indulged in a book deeply but when he heard me he quickly raised his head. With a smile revealing dimples he walks towards us.
Ava must have seen angels dancing behind me since this is the first time I'm calling out to James rather than running away from him.
She pretends to wipe tears away and I roll my eyes at her for being overly dramatic.
"Hey Judy." James stops in front of us and gives me another smile. Ava being the annoying Cupid she is grins wide as she bats her eyelashes idiotically.
"Now then, what do we have here?"
James must have guessed what weird fantasies were running through her mind and he chuckles.
"Sorry to burst the bubble but Judy said we're going to be just friends."
Ava's grin drops and morphs into utter shock as her eyes go wide as saucers. She stares at me as if she wanted to bury me alive. She then pats James on the shoulder as if comforting him while she rubs her eyes sighing.
"I'm sorry you had to fall for such an uncool person James."
You want to die Ava? Do you?
James takes it as a joke and laughs. "There'snothing uncool in her Avangeline."
"You such a good soul!" Ava says gripping the dudes shoulder with so much passion.
Why am I even friends with this retard?
I'm so jealous she can reach to his shoulder while I'd definitely look like a monkey hanging onto a pole.
"So what class are you having first?" James asks me ignoring my friend who was still pretending to be in tears.
Someone please do me a favour and lock this woman somewhere!
I'm having AP Algebra and Statistics." I say and James whistles. Not many take AP classes for Statistics but it's one of my favourites. And that's when I remember something .
I want to turn back and run home and hide inside the closet.
"Um judy? Why do you look so troubled?" James asks when he sees my face morph into fear.
"I flunked a test." I can't believe such words were coming out of my mouth but it's the truth.
"WHAT!?" Ava's yell made every single eye turn to us.
"Ava shut up!" I say gritting my teeth together in annoyance.
"No no no. I must have heard wrong. I thought I heard you saying you flunked a test." It was more like she was reconfirming with herself.
"Uh Ava? I did." I repeat.
"But how is that possible!?" She was being overly dramatic now.
"I'm human too."
"No you are not!" Excuse me? "I gave up the thought of you being human ever since you started getting perfect grades since junior high"
I have a strong urge to slap her. A hand grabs mine and I find James chuckling. I raise a brow demanding who gave him the rights to touch me.
"I'm stopping you from doing something regretful" was what he said.
Amazing. He understands me so well. Not that I'll regret slapping this buffoon.
I'm already having a headache with the treaded thought of flunking a test and my best friend behaving like a hooligan and it gets worse with two pyschos.
They giggle like fool as if they're seeing something funny at a circus.
"God she's so obvious it's pitiful." One says while giggling at her sidekick.
"I know. She looks like a kid being held by her older brother. She's so tiny I barely saw her."
Oh so that's what this is all about. James had his hand on mine and these bimbos just had to make me feel annoyed. The rumor of James crush on me was circulating around school but somehow it quickly turned to me being desperate to get James's attention.
They continue giggling as they walk past and I clench my free hands which James had left quickly.
I look up at his face but he's looking else where and doing weird eye movements. I turn back and notice he's giving some kind of signal to Jonas, the center player of the team
Yeah I know all players and their position of the boys basketball team. I'm a basketball freak, deal with it.
The dude gives a Cheshire grin and takes a step in front getting in the way of the two who had mocked me earlier.
One girl bumps into him and crashes into the other one next to her who almost falls on her butt.
"Oops sorry ladies." Jonas drawls but a baby on diapers could tell he didn't mean it.
"Can you not step back when you saw us walking by?" One asks with a low irritated tone.
"Well I did step back but I didn't know you were this big and that I had to step further to let you pass."
Ava guffawed while I stated baffled. The two girls stormed off in embarrassment while Jonas laughed his head off.
He gave James a high five and walked past still laughing.
"Uh thanks." I say still unable to process what had just happened.
James smiles down at me while Ava bumps into him still laughing.
The joyful moment is short lived as the bell rings and I find myself alone in front of the classroom Door.
I quickly open the door and enter, taking a seat further back for the first time since I started junior year. Mr. Franklin enters soon after I drop my books on the table and he clears his throat to get everyone's attention.
"I'll be handing out the score sheet for last week's pop quiz. Those of you who scored below thirty-five will have to meet me later on for a valid explanation."
As he started handing out the score sheets, my mind was filled with worry.
Did I score bad? Did my grades drop?
I don't even remember the quiz. It was a day right before the next game and I'd been so excited to get to practice I finished the paper quick and left class.
I look up to find the stern face of my teacher peering down at me through his thick rimmed glasses.
"I had less hopes for you once I had heard you joined the basketball team. With the seasonal game and what happened with that senior girl Howell, I was sure you had deteriorated from your studies." He hands me the sheets but my focus is still on his face. A pinch of a hard smile turns the side of his lip. "Yet you proved me wrong Judith. A perfect score"
And that's when I look down at the sheet. Sure enough an "A" in bright red was drawn on the top right side of the paper.
I gleamed with my eyes dancing in excitement as the teacher moved away from me .
No way! What just happened? Is this for real?
I couldn't believe my eyes since I was pretty sure I was going to flunk the test and get an earful from the teacher.
The period drawls on afterwards with half the students grumbling on how they'll have to meet Mr. Franklin after class.
As the bell rings to end today's class, I pack my bag and pull out my phone before zipping the bag close. I couldn't wait to text Ava about my test score.
A message from Travis.
Uh what's with the baseless question all of a sudden?
~Why would I not be alright?~
A quick reply afterwards .
~Ava texted me about you confronting two girls who might have made your day bad~
Oh. That girl is fast. Though she really need not have said that to Travis. I'm not that soft to take everything to heart.before I could type back a reply, I get one more message from Travis.
~Leave physical size aside, your presence is much stronger.~
I didn't realise I was holding my breath while I kept rereading that text until I let go of the breath I'd been keeping locked.
Why does Travis always know the exact words to say to me to lift my spirits?