Beside You Ch. 1: The Beginning
Chapter One: The Beginning
Okay, so let’s get this right, this isn’t the beginning. My story didn’t really start here, but this is where it becomes relevant.
I was standing in front of my new school, an all-girls school meant for young ladies.
I was no lady, nor did I have any desire to be a proper one.
Here I was anyway.
‘Pruitt’s School for Young Ladies’ the large letters hung above the main building, in light pink letters.
I found myself frowning; this was how my life was going to go? I was going to be taught how to curtsy, pour a proper cup of tea. Also, how to make a man a meal. What the hell? Of course, I knew those weren’t the actual things I was going to learn here, but damn it, I was pissed off.
I turned back to the man who set my bags on the curb.
“Is this everything?” the cab driver asked as he set the last bag next to me on the curb.
His eyes were curious as they scanned me, then the building I was in front of.
“Yeah,” I said, “Thank you.”
I handed him the only two twenty-dollar bills I had in my possession.
It had never been my plan to go anywhere but home after camp. I should have saved the money I had, now I was reduced to a ten-dollar bill and a single crumpled up dollar bill.
“Good luck,” the man said after making sure I paid him enough.
“Thanks,” I said sourly. I needed something more reliable than luck.
It didn’t take him very long to get back into the cab and drive off. My gaze lingered on the large gate.
This wasn’t right, no matter how much I thought about it. My mother wanted me to marry a man with money so that I was ‘taken care of.’
What the hell did I care? What happened to marrying for love?
It didn’t matter to me, I just wanted to be happy. Didn’t everybody? Though it was just an excuse to get rid of me so that she didn’t have to take care of me anymore.
It was pointless to worry about it right now, so I grabbed all my bags and headed inside.
The first place I went to was the building that resembled an office. It was the same one with the light pink letters. There was a button off to the side, and it opened the door for me. I didn’t have to set any of my bags down to get inside. I stopped once I reached the large desk closest to the front.
“Hello,” I called out.
There was no response, so I stood awkwardly by the desk. I had to shift the weight of my bags to my other side.
A woman with clear plastic glasses walked to the desk from the other side.
“Last name Graham?” she asked.
I nodded, “That’s me.”
I sounded more eager than I believed possible.
“Your packet is on the counter,” she pointed to the other desk, not much further from this one. “Right over there.”
I nodded, “Thank you.”
I wasn’t sure why I was thanking her. She could have just brought it for me.
It only took less than a minute for me to reach the next desk, and this one had a large envelope that I was sure was mine.
It was probably a bad idea to leave these kinds of things out, what if I wasn’t the new kid? Someone could have just stolen my stuff.
It didn’t matter, I needed to take a breath. I set my bags down so that I could open the envelope.
I had to carefully maneuver the metal piece so that I could open the top. The first thing I saw looked like a student handbook. The cover was light pink. It exhausted me just running through every possible bad interaction I was going to have when I came here.
It was a shame that even after all this time, my brain still did that to me.
The next piece of paper I saw looked like a class schedule. It was a good thing I was able to speak with someone before I got here, or else they would have messed all my information up. I was happy to see Ren Graham across this sheet, along with what looks like eight classes. I didn’t allow myself much thought on that because I was already pulling the next piece of paper out. This one had a room number on it, number forty-two, and a small plastic bag was stapled to it with a key. I pulled the bag off and then went to the next sheet of paper.
This one was a small letter from the administration, thanking me for joining their program. The next one looked like a little pink planner. I put everything back into the envelope before stuffing it into my backpack. I made sure to leave the key out, and I looked it over. It had my room number on it.
It was time, I had to find my room. Then I would go from there.
I picked up all my stuff, and then I made my way to the nearest door.
The first thing I saw was grass, so much grass. The next building over, looked like it could be the dormitory. It was big enough to be many rooms. It was more than tall enough to house all the students here, that I was sure of. It was tall enough to easily be seven floors.
I walked up to the door, and to my surprise, this one had a button too.
This school was seeming a lot fancier than I first expected. I stepped inside, and the clear glass shut behind me.
“Wow,” I muttered as I slowly walked through the first set of rooms. They looked pretty well spaced apart. The numerical order of the rooms was pretty straight forward, I just needed to go further down the halls to make it to my designated destination. I knew I had to find the stairs or at least another way up.
I walked until the hallway turned to the right, and I noticed the small elevator and stairs sign by a large archway. I peeked in to see a small room with snack machines and refrigerators. My gaze went over until I saw the side area with another sign with the picture I was looking for. I walked through to the elevator, and I pushed the down pointed pressure switch for it to get to this floor. It was quick to open, and I moved inside to push the button for the fourth floor. I waited only a couple of seconds before the ding sounded to let me know I reached my designated level.
I stepped off, and at the corner of my eye, I noticed a map of the room layout, and I glanced over the fourth floor to make sure my room was on it.
I frowned at seeing the lowest-numbered room. It was number 97.
I didn’t wait. I moved my way back over to the elevator, and I had to wait for it to open again.
I pressed on the third floor, and I pulled out the map I got in my envelope.
There were outlines of pink, and the elevator dinged before I could really go over the map.
I didn’t step off, I read over the map to see the room I was looking for wasn’t on the third or the fourth floor.
The door shut in front of me, and I sighed. I didn’t want to haul my stuff all over the place.
I pressed the second floor, and right as I pushed it, the door opened again.
There was a girl with short brown hair on the second floor.
Her brown eyes met mine.
My first contact with another person here. I was honestly a little worried.
She grinned wide at me, but then she pointed to my bags.
I was confused.
“You’re new here?” she asked me.
I nodded, words actually failing to come out.
“What room are you in?” she asked, making sure to put her hand on the elevator side so that it didn’t close.
“Uh,” I said, looking down at my paper again, “Forty-two.”
I didn’t think it was possible, she looked excited about it.
“I can take you there,” she said, indicating behind her.
“It’s on this floor?” I asked, even though I had just figured that out a few minutes prior.
“Come on,” she said, walking in the opposite direction.
I hesitated a split second before I finally stepped off of the elevator to follow her.
She led me out of the snack room area, and she took a left and then another quick left.
I was about to ask her how far it was from where we started, but she stopped at the door and pulled out her keys.
I looked at the door number next to the one we were at. It read number forty-four.
Then my gaze went to the rooms across the hall, and I noticed that every one of them within eyesight is odd numbers.
I had to double-take and then look at the number of the door she just opened.
Forty-two was on the door, and I could have smacked myself in the face.
I peeked in, and she was standing there, gesturing to the left side of the room.
“Are the keys here universal?” I asked.
She actually laughed at my awkwardness.
“No,” she grinned “I’m your roommate.”
I smiled awkwardly at her.
I didn’t know that I would have a roommate, but I suppose it did make sense. This school was only so big.
“Howdy,” she said with a broad smile.
“Hi,” I said a little strangely.
“I’m Benny,” she said, holding out her hand.
“Ren,” I said, taking her hand and shaking it.
It was strange, my nerves seemed to fade away.
“I like Benny,” I said after releasing her hand.
“Well, my parents named me Bethany,” she said, “And I like Ren.”
She sat down on her bed, and I figured that meant it was time for me to put my stuff where it goes.
I pulled my stuff inside and put my bags near the bare side of the room.
“They are starting uniforms this year,” Benny said, “I wonder how horrible they are going to look.”
I couldn’t help but smirk, “I’m sure they will be pretty awful.”
She giggled, “So I take it you aren’t here of your own free will?”
I shook my head “Nope, parents are evil.”
“I can relate,” she said before grinning at me.
I turned to look at her, confused.
“And just so you are prepared,” she stated, “Most of the girls here are probably going to piss you off.”
I gave her a smile back “I don’t doubt that.”
She giggled, and I felt myself relaxing, I didn’t have a super bitchy girl for a roommate.
I was grateful for that.
“So, when are we supposed to get our uniforms?” I asked her.
“We still need to get sized,” she rolled her eyes “You would think they would have done that already.”
That is kind of the point of uniforms, right?
There were a couple of minutes of silence while I tried to decide if I wanted to take my stuff out of my bags right now or do it later.
“Also, before I forget,” she said, “The school also has a curfew.”
“Curfew?” I asked, “I didn’t know that.”
“Yeah,” she shrugged “It’s because of the school next to us.”
I turned to look where she pointed, but there was only a wall. Man, I felt like an idiot right now.
“I’m not sure if you noticed the large gate on the side.”
“The only thing that isn’t pink,” I nodded, “Yeah, I saw it.”
“That is the only thing keeping us separated,” she said, “Even though you’ll be able to see them, it’s not like they can get in here.”
“Is it an all boy’s school?” I asked her.
She looked at me, “You really are new here, aren’t you?”
I smiled sheepishly. I was too lazy to read up on the school. Well, that, and I didn’t really have enough time to.
“That’s where they send all the teenager’s other schools won’t take,” she said, “They’re all a bunch of juveniles.”
“Do they live on campus too?” I asked her.
“Some of them do,” she nodded. “Others have to commute.”
It’s really quite weird that they would put a school like that next to one like this.
The whole idea was just weird.
“So?” I asked her, “They see us, what’s the big deal?”
“Perverts and creeps,” she stated.
“What?” I demanded.
Now I really was interested, why would they put a bunch of predators next to a bunch of helpless girls?
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m certain some of them were convicted of harassing someone but not all of them were.” She shrugged, “They don’t discriminate. If you committed a crime and a normal school won’t take you, they will.”
Hmmm, is that so?
I sat down on my bed and listened to her talk about random things, and more about the school.
I guess me coming here on a Friday night was a good idea.
I don’t think I really heard some of the things she said, I found myself wondering about the school next to us.
It didn’t take much longer for me to decide to get all my stuff unpacked and ready, I put my bed stuff on and put the empty bags under the bed.
“Where are the showers?” I asked Benny.
“I can show you,” she said, getting to her feet “You should get your stuff together.”
I nodded as I put my stuff in a big bag.
“I might as well join you,” she said as she got her stuff together “I’ll bring my key.”
I nodded as she grabbed her key, and I followed her out.
It was going to be just like college, wasn’t it, bringing my own everything.
She led me outside, and I felt a cool breeze.
I had to stop for a minute to actually enjoy it; it felt amazing on my skin.
“That good?” she asked.
I smiled, “It’s been a while since I’ve been able to slow down.”
“They’re not too far,” she said, “We just have to walk to the gym.”
I just followed behind her, and again I found myself getting distracted. The large black gate wasn’t too far from us. It was tall, way taller than it had been out front.
At the very top, the metal rods were spiked, and barbed wire lined the top of the wall.
“Ren?” I heard my name.
I blinked a few times before I realized she called my name, “Sorry.”
“It’s alright,” she said, “We can enjoy the scenery on the way back.”
“Okay,” I said as I followed behind her once again.
Once we were in the bathrooms, I noticed the lack of people.
“Where is everybody?” I asked.
“It’s Friday,” she stated, “Girls leave campus to do stuff, I don’t know.”
I don’t think I’d have a good enough reason to leave besides shopping.
“Most of the girls won’t be back until Sunday,” she said, “So enjoy the silence while it lasts.”
The silence was always good, but I would at least like to know what I was going to be up against.
I walked into a locker room, and she let me put my stuff with hers until I got a locker. I got undressed and found myself a shower.
For now, life was easy.
And for a little while, I could at least feel like everything was going to be alright.
Chapter One: The Beginning 2/3
I sat on the bench, waiting for Benny to finish getting dressed. I felt clean and shiny.
She finally came out, and she put her arms up, “Ta-da.”
“Took you long enough,” I grinned at her.
There was a short silence as we headed out.
“Ren,” she said before she stopped.
I stopped to stand with her and nearly fell over.
She held her hands up to catch me just in case, but fortunately, I was able to recover in time to save myself.
“Can I ask you a personal question?” Benny asked.
I felt nervous, but I nodded.
“Is that a birthmark on your face?”
I always hated the birthmark on my body. I say body because the only part of it you can see most of the time is the one on my face, the side of my neck, and my hand.
“Yes,” I said, a little more frustrated than I intended.
“I was just curious,” she said, “It looks kind of cool.”
Cool? That was a first.
“Really?” I asked.
She nudged me with her arm “I was thinking more badass, but I figured cool was better to blurt out first.”
A strange feeling of relief washed over me.
“Come on,” she said, nudging me forward “Let’s get our tour on.”
I walked with her this time, actually being able to look around.
“That’s the gym, we were just there,” she pointed “The cafeteria is right there.”
I nodded every time she showed me something. This was definitely going to help, I already know I tend to get lost, and I don’t have the best sense of direction.
I watched as she glanced at the gate, “Hold on a second.”
I stopped, and I saw her head right for the large black gate. There was a guy on the other side. He stood there as if he was waiting for her.
Who the hell was that? What the hell was she doing?
I didn’t wait for her to call me over; I was quick to follow behind her.
“Gus,” Benny said, I could hear the smile in her voice.
“Benny,” he said, his smile almost as wide as hers.
He looked over at me, “Who’s the new chick?”
Benny looked at me “This is my new roommate.”
“Another one?” he asked, “How many is that now? Six?”
He’s joking, right?
“Ren,” Benny said, “This is Gus, my boyfriend.”
“Juveniles and perverts, huh?” I asked her.
She giggled, “Yep.”
He looked a little confused, but he didn’t ask.
My tact abandoned me as I blurted my next question.
“So, what’d you do?” I asked him.
“No small talk first?” he asked me amused.
I didn’t think it was really that necessary, not if he really did something bad to end up there.
“I’ve got a few assault charges,” he admitted, “None were towards a woman.”
I looked at her; she knew she was crazy, right?
“You must like this one,” Gus said, “This is the first roommate I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.”
“Is that so?” I said.
“Gus!” I heard a male voice from the other side of the gate.
He turned back to acknowledge the male, “Looks like the King is at it again.”
I made a face.
King? That seemed like a stupid nickname to me.
Of course, I think it mattered as to why or how he got the nickname in the first place.
I was curious to know who this King guy was.
Gus turned back to look at Benny, I could see the short light-colored hair trying to grow on his face; his hair was light brown.
“Tell the guy to calm down,” she said, “I want to talk to you.”
He gave her an evil smirk “Maybe you should leave campus so we can hang out.”
She looked over at me, “Want to hang out?”
“I’m pretty sure I wasn’t invited,” I stated.
“You’re invited now,” she said.
“Why don’t you two just go out tonight, and we all do something tomorrow before everyone else comes back?” I suggested.
She looked at Gus, who, in turn, looked at me.
“You sure?” he asked, “I don’t mind.”
“Go be a couple,” I said, “I need to figure out how I am going to deal with this school.”
“You might go crazy trying to figure it out,” Benny stated.
I started to walk away, but then I realized I didn’t bring my key with me.
“You brought the key,” I pointed at her.
“My bad,” she smiled, “Let me take her to our room, and I’ll meet you outside.”
“Alright,” he said, “Nice meeting you, Roommate Ren.”
I turned to let him know I heard “Likewise boyfriend Gus.”
We walked back to the room, and she opened the door before handing me her bag.
“I shouldn’t be gone long,” she said, “We’re hanging out tomorrow, I’m serious.”
I nodded, “We’ll hang out tomorrow.”
She walked away, and I shut and locked the door, now I was going to lie down and sleep.
I set her bag on her desk, and I set mine on the floor before pushing it under my bed.
I pulled the blanket down before lying down on the bed and pulling the comforter over me. As long as I can sleep here, I think I’ll be fine.
At least I hope so.
The sound of creaking woke me up, and for a minute, I had forgotten where I was.
I sat up quickly in my bed, feeling my skin crawl.
“Sorry,” I heard a whisper.
I turned to see Benny standing there looking guilty.
I looked around for my phone to see the time.
“I thought you said there was a curfew?” I asked, rubbing my eyes.
“On school nights,” she nodded quickly “I’m sorry.”
I frowned as I laid back down.
“So, we have a plan tomorrow,” Benny said as she got into her own bed “We should go see a movie.”
I nodded, “That sounds fun.”
“It’ll just be the four of us,” she said, looking at me, “Alright?”
“Four of us?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said, “You, Gus, Michael, and me.”
I barely registered what she was saying to me, but I figured that everything would be fine.
“That’s fine,” I said, “I just need to run by the post office tomorrow.”
“Okay,” she said.
“Night Benny,” I said.
All I had to do was roll over, and I was out.
A booming sound nearly made me fly out of bed.
“Sorry,” Benny said low.
I groaned as I rolled over to face the wall.
“You should be waking up soon,” she said.
I sat up, I completely forgot.
I went right to my closet to throw on some clothes, a pair of black jeans and a long-sleeve black and red striped shirt.
It was a shame, even my clothes didn’t fit me like they used to. I needed to make a mental note to get out and buy some that did.
I quickly put on my red Converse, and I was pretty much ready.
The last thing I had to do was grab my wallet and my notebook.
“Is that a notebook?” Benny asked me.
I nodded as I put the small gold book in my front pocket.
“I can meet you guys at the theatre?” I asked her.
“Sure,” she nodded, “It’s the one up the street from the mall.”
“I’ll see you guys there in about an hour.”
“Later,” she said.
I made sure I hooked my room key to my wallet. I didn’t want to lose it or get locked out of my room. I was already too new to be that stupid.
Before I came to this city, I made sure I had the bus schedule on my phone, so I wouldn’t get lost, and I knew which one went where.
The one closest to the school took me to the town square, in that small area was the post office.
From there I can figure out which bus will take me to the mall.
I scanned my card before walking past the driver to take a seat near the front.
It took a few minutes before the doors closed, and we were in transit.
I found myself looking out the window watching as the school went on and on until it finally ended.
That school was much larger than I ever thought possible.
It needed to have dorms for the students, classrooms, a gym, a cafeteria, a field, and who knows how much area for extra activities.
The bus stopped, and I got up to get off.
I glanced around before I saw the building labeled ‘Post Office.’
I walked into the building, and I told them my name, and they brought out a small orange package for me.
My name was on it, just like my mother said it would. I was thankful it was even still here, considering it got here three days before I did.
I opened the package to see an envelope in it along with a bright pink scarf.
I frowned at the color, but it felt pretty awesome.
Next, I took the envelope in my hand, and I opened it.
I scanned the letter. It was a common thing from my mother.
It was kind of her to send me a scarf, but that was unlike her.
I always frown when I see anything with the words, ‘Mom and Earl.’
Then there was the weirdest part, she sent me an actual credit card. On purpose. In the letter she told me to use it for the things I needed, that’s it.
I stared at the paper before looking at the piece of gold plastic. At least she got the gold part right. I opened my wallet to secure the card safely, and I put the envelope in the larger packet before resealing it. I needed to meet them at the mall now.
I tucked it under my arm, and I headed out. I would call my mother later to thank her.
The bus at the sidewalk wasn’t the right bus to take, so I had to walk a block over.
This one was more like a trolley. I stepped onto it and showed the lady my pass. This one had no seats, so I was forced to stand up. I felt tired already, not sure if it was because I was physically or mentally.
I stared down at my phone to find out how many stops we had to make before we got to the mall, but I felt something on my side.
It didn’t really bother me until I felt something touch my butt.
My head shot up, and the feeling was gone, whatever or whoever touched me moved away.
I turned around but didn’t see anyone too close to me that looked guilty.
I returned my attention back to my phone, and it didn’t happen again. The bus stopped two more times before I was finally at the mall.
I got off and felt relieved. It was far too creepy on that thing. I had to wonder if it was a person touching me on purpose, or if it was just an accident.
The theatre wasn’t too far away, but I had to walk there from the bus stop.
Maybe in the near future, I need to try and get a car.
I could see the entrance from here, and I saw Benny standing there with Gus and another guy I didn’t recognize.
“Ren!” Benny called before waving wildly at me.
I smiled. I really did feel welcome.
Gus grinned over at me, the other guy not so much.
Once I was close enough, I could actually see him.
He had short dirty blond hair, and his eyes were dark blue with thick brown eyebrows and long dark lashes. He wore all black. The pants definitely weren’t jeans, they looked more like dickies. His shirt looked like it was supposed to be long-sleeved, but he had the sleeves pushed up his forearms. There were three buttons at the neck of his shirt, and only the top one was open. Even his shoes were black.
He is tall, but not as tall as Gus.
“I’m Ren,” I said, trying to be friendly.
He just looked at me. I couldn’t help but notice a dark line under his jaw.
“Come on,” Gus said, “Give the girl a chance, it is a double date after all.”
Gus dresses similarly to his friend. The shirt almost looked like the same one, only midnight blue. He wore beige dickie shorts with camouflage shoes.
I made a face, “A double what?”
Benny looked at him, “I may have forgotten to tell her that.”
I glared at her.
“Michael,” the guy said.
I wasn’t expecting a voice like that to come out of him. It was kind of deep, not country music deep though.
I looked at him before nodding.
“We’re going to watch a chick flick,” Benny said.
The two guys groaned.
“It wouldn’t be a date if we watched an action movie,” she hissed.
“I don’t agree with a chick flick,” I stated.
She looked at me, “Ren, you are supposed to be on my side.”
As I stared at her, I realized exactly what she was wearing.
Her shirt was black, and it looked almost a full size too big for her. It said, ‘Does this shirt make my tits look big?’ Her dark blue jeans were riddled with tears, but the most significant was on her left knee. On her feet, she wore dark blue Converse.
“Does it have to be a chick flick?” I asked.
I looked at the two guys. Clearly, neither of them wanted to watch a girly movie either.
In the end, we ended up watching a very girly movie.
I stared blankly at the large screen.
“Are you crying, Gus?” Benny asked oddly.
“It was just so sad!”
I stared forward while I tried to decide if I actually liked the movie or not.
I turned to see Michael looking at me.
“Let’s ditch the married couple.”
I didn’t really respond. I just made a face.
“Let me rephrase that,” he said as he inched forward in his seat, “Let’s ditch the married couple and grab some food.”
I nodded before I stood up.
“We’re leaving,” Michael said to them.
I was basically pushed out.
It took a minute before we were actually out of the auditorium, and in the hallway where we could actually hear each other speak.
“So, how did you like the movie?” I asked awkwardly.
He glanced over at me, “It sucked.”
I nodded slowly as we walked into the mall.
He held the door open for me. Honestly, I was surprised.
“Thank you,” I said.
He only nodded in response.
I followed him until we reached the food court.
Trailing just a bit behind him, I was able to figure out what the black line was. Only it wasn’t a line. He had several tree branches on his neck, only some of them were visible because of the ends. Two of them were a lot longer than the others, helping me decipher precisely what they were. They weren’t colorful at all, just black ink with black, blue, and purple watercolors.
“What do you like?” he asked.
It took me a second to register his words.
I shrugged, “I pretty much eat anything.”
“Find us a seat,” he said.
“Let me give you some money,” I said, reaching into my pocket, but he was already walking away.
What the hell? He insisted on paying for my ticket at the theatre, and now he is buying me lunch? I thought this was a fake date, so why was he treating it like a real one?
I found a seat a little away from people, and I took the notebook out to look over a few things I had written before.
I had to remind myself to thank him. He seemed like a nice guy, even if he was acting a little like a dick.
I read over the last page I wrote, feeling depressed. I was telling myself to be strong, not to add another scar to my body.
I feared coming here, far more than I should have.
So far, things were actually going really well, but I knew that good feeling wouldn’t always last.
The chair across from me was pulled out, and I quickly shut the book.
“What is that?” he asked me.
I looked at the book, “My sanity.”
He just shrugged it off as he pulled a sub sandwich out of the bag and set it in front of me along with a soda.
He had the same in front of him.
“It’s a meatball sub,” he said, “If you don’t like it, I’ll eat it.”
I felt myself smile, “Thank you.”
He looked at me oddly before opening his sandwich up.
If I ever had a real date, I imagine that it would be like this. This guy was expecting me to eat this foot-long sandwich.
I can’t wait to see his face when I actually do.
We sat there in silence while we ate, and I already knew he didn’t want to talk to me much.
Right from the start, he didn’t seem very talkative to begin with, but I think he just didn’t want to jump on the ‘let’s be friends with Ren’ bandwagon.
“So, do you go to school with Gus?” I asked.
“Are you asking if I’m a felon?” he asked with a hint of amusement.
“No,” I stated, “I was just wondering.”
“Yes,” he said, looking right at me “And now you’re wondering what I’ve done.”
I shrugged, “Doesn’t matter to me.”
“What if it was because I raped a girl?” he asked.
To hide the fact that I was startled by his question, I did what I always do.
“Then you would be messed up in the head,” I stated, “It’s called sex, try it with a willing partner.”
He stared at me before he smirked.
So, me being an asshole is funny? Alright.
“I nearly beat a man to death.”
I looked at him, no hint of amusement.
“Why are you at that prissy proper lady school?” he asked.
“My mom,” I stated, “She wants me to marry into money.”
“And you’re against this?” he asked.
I shrugged, “I don’t care about being rich, I just want to love the guy I marry, isn’t that the point?”
“Not for a lot of people.”
He took his last bite, before rubbing his hands together to get the crumbs off.
“You’d marry a girl for money?” I asked.
“Or a great body,” he shrugged.
I shook my head, feeling irritated, “I’m being serious.”
“That’s why I’m joking,” he stated, “You’re young, you have time.”
I stared back at him, and I was feeling confused. He was the same age as me, if not a little bit older.
How did he know just what to say?
I wish I had brought a pen or something with me, I’d like to write down what he said to me.
Then I thought, I could just put it in the notes of my phone until I got back to school, where I could write it down.
I pulled my phone out to do just that when he spoke again.
It was funny, it was strange getting used to this phone. The smooth red case with the small white heart on the back. It was a gift from my mother before I left, so I could stay in touch with her.
“Are you a writer?” he asked before taking a drink of his soda.
I forgot where I was for a second, I had to look up before as I processed his words.
“I like to write,” I said, “If that makes me a writer, then yes.”
“Everybody has to have a hobby,” he shrugged before reaching into his pocket.
“King here,” he said.
I didn’t hear his phone go off. So, he is the guy Gus called King?
I couldn’t help but notice his phone case was black too, it looks like black leather. It was easy to tell that he didn’t wear much color.
“No,” he stated, “I’m busy.”
The voice on the other line was clearly female.
“Busy,” he said this time more irritated.
The girl was in mid-sentence, and he just hung up on her.
“King?” I asked him.
His expression changed for a minute, “What?”
I would have sworn it got darker around his eyes.
“Is that a nickname?” I asked.
“My last name,” he stated, “The nickname kind of stuck.”
“That was you last night,” I said, “You called Gus.”
He just looked at me, as if he was waiting for me to keep talking.
“Does everyone call you, King?” I asked.
He looked to the side, “No, only Gus and a few other people.”
When he turned, he showed me his neck, and how if one branch was a little bit longer, it just might reach his Adam’s apple.
“Sorry,” I mumbled, “Michael.”
He only nodded, and I looked away to avoid eye contact with him, of course, I was a little embarrassed.
“What do you want?” he said into his phone.
I looked back at him, and he seemed somehow relieved.
I didn’t hear his phone that time either.
“Yeah, we’re in the food court,” he looked back at me. “Alright, I’ll see you in a minute.”
“Gus?” I asked.
He nodded as he looked behind me.
I looked down at the cover of the gold notebook.
“Do you ever let anyone read it?” he asked.
I looked up quickly, “No.”
He eyed me before looking passed me once again.
I took that as my chance to put the small notebook back into my pocket.
I heard feet seconds before I heard her voice.
“Looks cozy,” I heard Benny say.
Gus pulled out the seat next to Michael and sat down.
“You guys eat yet?” Michael asked.
“Yeah,” Gus said, “That burger place across the street.”
He only nodded in response.
“So, what are you guys talking about?” Benny asked.
Michael looked over at me. Part of me hoped that he didn’t mention the notebook. I knew the type of girl Benny is, she is curious, and once she set her hooks in something she was bound to find out.
“She was asking about my nickname,” he stated.
I looked at him, thank you.
“King?” Gus asked, “It kind of just happened a few years ago.”
“Now Gus, on the other hand,” Michael stated, “Guns.”
Gus leaned back, and he frowned.
“What?” I asked.
Benny just grinned.
“This guy used to work out every day to impress this girl,” he pointed to Benny, “He wanted to be strong, and he would always try to show off his muscles. We just started calling him Guns.”
“Guns, huh?” I asked, “I like it.”
Benny nodded, “I like it too.”
They both just looked at us.
“We should probably head back now,” Benny said, “Apparently, they want us back on campus so they can fit us for our uniforms.”
“I thought we wouldn’t be getting them for a while,” I said.
“I hoped we wouldn’t get them until next semester,” she frowned “I really don’t want to wear pink.”
Just hearing her say that reminded me of my dislike for the color pink but in excess.
I didn’t mind a little pink, but knowing this school, I was almost positive that every piece of fabric we would be forced to wear would be bright pink.
At least I got a new pink scarf.
“We should do this again,” Gus said once we were all off the bus.
Benny nodded, “I had fun.”
I nodded, “Ditto.”
We all looked at Michael.
He shrugged, “If I’m not busy.”
“You’re always busy,” Gus hissed.
“You only say you’re busy when you don’t want to do something.” Benny stated, “You’ve been like that since I can remember.”
I looked at her “How long have you guys known each other?”
Benny shrugged, “Pre-School.”
Wow, they knew each other for a while, and they are still friends.
“So, you are at a school for proper ladies, and they are in a school for delinquents,” I said, “How does that even work?”
The guys shrugged.
She glared at them, “Because of my hanging out with them, my parents think I need to be a lady.”
I could understand that after all, they had criminal records.
I opened my mouth to say something else, but Michael answering his phone threw me off.
Gus looked at him as he walked away.
“Who was that?” Benny asked.
“His new girlfriend,” Gus shook his head.
Does he have a girlfriend?
I had to mentally check myself. Of course, he would, a guy like him would definitely have a girlfriend.
“How long?” Benny asked.
“A little more than a week, maybe,” Gus shrugged, “I hear she is pretty clingy, though.”
“How old is this one?” Benny asked him.
“Twenty-three.” he nodded, “Nice rack and a pretty big ass.”
“Well, good for him,” Benny glared.
“I take it, Michael has bad taste in girls?” I asked.
“He picks them on looks alone,” Benny stated, “As hot as they may be, they are crazy, or brutal.”
I didn’t understand what she meant by brutal. Crazy, though, crazy happens.
Michael hung up the phone and stood by the curb.
“Is she picking you up?” Gus asked.
I went to walk on campus, but Benny stopped me “We’re going to see this whore.”
Part of me was already feeling creepy for knowing as much as I did about this girl, but I was interested to know what he deemed attractive.
“Don’t forget there is a drug test on Monday,” Gus said, “So keep yourself clean.”
“I know,” Michael sighed, “I will.”
Drug test? Did either of them really need to be reminded not to do any?
“I’ll see you later” Gus placed a quick kiss on Benny’s lips “I love you.”
“I love you too,” she smiled.
“See you later, Ren,” Gus said before walking through the main entrance.
Michael looked over at us, I’m sure he could tell that Benny was waiting for this girl to show up.
He looked down the street, opposite us, and a semi-nice red car stopped right in front of him. When I looked closer, I realized it was a dark red convertible with the top down. It wasn’t semi-nice, it was nice, nice.
A girl with long bleach blonde hair got out of the car and hugged him, before pressing her lips to his. He was taller than her, not by much, but still.
She was dressed like a prostitute. Her silver dress was short enough to reveal way too much if she bent over. From this side, it looked like her butt cheeks were already showing just at the bottom of the dress.
“She is clearly a hooker,” Benny whispered to me.
I nodded before realizing that I involved myself.
Michael smacked the girl on her ass when she headed back to the driver side, Benny and I stood there and watched as she got in the car. It made me wonder if she was picking him up why did she get out of the car at all?
It was probably because we were standing here like idiots watching them. She wanted to make sure that he was spoken for.
“Good thing she didn’t bend over,” Benny said.
Michael looked over at us, “Later.”
I nodded while Benny went right for our front gate.
“Are you okay?” I asked her.
“Fine,” she stated.
She didn’t seem fine. She was almost acting jealous.
We walked to our room, and I had to lie down.
I put the package my mother sent me on my desk, that way I didn’t forget about it.
I didn’t get to relax that long.
“You ready?” Benny asked.
I looked over at her.
“Uniforms,” she stated.
I wanted to whine, but instead, I got up and put my shoes back on.
We were going to get sized for our uniforms.
Turns out that each of us gets three sets, in case something happens to our first one. They say the uniforms should be ready by Wednesday or Thursday this week. We were also told that the day we got them, we had to start wearing them. That alone made me depressed.
I sat on my bed as I wondered what my uniform would look like on me. Part of me was worried about it. The other part already knew it was going to look awful. The only upside was that at least they would fit.
“I seemed pretty jealous earlier, didn’t I?” Benny asked.
I looked over at her. She was sitting at her desk, writing something.
“Just a little,” I said.
“I’m not,” she said, “I just worry about him.”
“He seems pretty capable of taking care of himself,” I stated.
I knew why he was there, or at least why he told me he was.
“He just makes a lot of stupid decisions,” she stated, “Always.”
I wish I had someone worry about me the way she worried about him.
“He could be going through something,” I stated, “Who knows, he might grow out of it.”
“It isn’t a phase,” she stood up to look at me “His whole life has been one bad decision after another.”
I don’t know what to say to her, maybe he might change?
People change all the time, don’t they?
She looked at me, “You’re an only child, aren’t you?”
I looked up at her, “No,” I mumbled.
“So, you know how it feels to worry about someone who is like family?” she asked, “To feel helpless almost all the time.”
I didn’t really have a relationship with my sister, so I didn’t know exactly how she felt, but I’d like to think I had a pretty good idea, so I nodded.
“Maybe something will change,” I said, “Maybe something will help him change.”
She looked at me before smiling lightly “I hope so.”
I found myself yawning as we both sat there, I was tired. That could only mean one thing, I needed to sleep.
“I got the hint,” she smiled.
“I didn’t mean to…”
“It’s okay,” she shrugged. “Tomorrow will be pretty busy, might as well rest up.”
I nodded as I watched her get into bed, not too long after I did the same.
“Will you go to the showers with me in the morning?” she asked.
“Yeah,” I said, pulling my blanket closer to me.
“Goodnight,” she whispered.
“Goodnight,” I said as I shut my eyes.
(ONE OK ROCK – The Beginning)