Through His Lens (edited version)

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Go as the creepy brother from stranger things

I'd been sat in the library for the last hour surrounded by books, trying to catch up on a mountain of school work. I was in my own little panicked, flustered world which was probably why when Xavier crept up behind me and shook my shoulders, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. My ratty sleep-deprived self, turned around a hit him on the arm.

I gave a sympathetic smile to the librarian who was glaring at us for interrupting her precious silence.

'That was mean.' I crossed my arms and tried to give my angriest expression, which probably just made me look constipated.

He sat down in the chair opposite me whilst he tried to contain his laughter.

'I'm sorry but that was just too good of an opportunity to pass up.' He didn't look sorry at all.

'You look like a gremlin sat there surrounded by all your books.'

'Thanks that's just what I wanted to hear.'

I really needed to finish off this work but I'd been sat here in the same muscle aching position for ages, so a break wasn't going to kill me. I put down my pencil and sat back in my chair stretching all my limbs out.

'As you're here and conveniently on a free period, that you forgot to mention when I asked earlier if anyone was free to help me with homework. We can use this time to talk about a certain person whose name rhymes with Tara.'

He groaned and flopped back in his chair.

'See this is why I didn't tell you I had a free. That and I wanted to play basketball with the guys.'

'Pleaseeeee.' I gave him my best pouting face and fluttered my eyelashes.

'Fine. But only to stop you pulling a face that, makes you look like you're having a seizure.'

I smiled triumphantly whilst ignoring the dig he just made at me.

'So, when did you first realise you liked her?' I asked leaning my arms on the desk and resting my head in my palms.

'Probably when I first met her.' He leant forward mimicking the position I was in.

'And when was that?'

It was becoming apparent I was going to have to be slow with this one to get details.

'When we were about 11 I think.'

'Awww that's adorable. Why have you never done anything about it?'

He looked at me like I was crazy.

'Duh because she doesn't like me like that. I'm just her annoying friend.'

My heart hurt when I saw how defeated he looked.

'You don't know that. For all you know she could be in the exact same position as you.'

'I doubt it. Plus, she's got tonnes of guys going after her, I wouldn't stand a chance.'

It had slipped out in conversation with the girls before that Zara was a bit of a serial dater. However, it was clear from talking to her that all of them had ended up in the friend zone and she'd never had a serious boyfriend before.

'She has yes. That's because she's stunning, funny when she's not being a pain in the ass, and has the kindest heart. She has guys going after her but I know for a fact that none of them mean anything to her. Plus I'd just like to add you're not exactly lacking in the girl department.'

I swear every time I passed Xavier when he wasn't with one of the gang he had a different girl floating around him. I have also seen that boys phone contact list and how he manages to remember who is who is beyond me, especially Ashley 1-5.

'I guess. That still doesn't mean I'm going to do anything about it. Her friendship means more to me than anything and I'm not going to risk it.'

'Ok that's fair. I just think it's a shame, you'd be perfect together.'

I wasn't just saying that to make him feel better, I really did think their personalities matched really well. They're opposites but they balance each other out. Zara can be impossible sometimes but Xavier is a voice of reason and she listens to him. Xavier is mister jokester, always playing pranks and taking the piss but Zara never gets annoyed like the rest of us do. She takes it and she can deal it too.

All these plans started forming in my head of how I could get them together. First, I needed to suss out how Zara felt. I was mid plan when Xavier interrupted me.

'Oh no I know that face. Before you get carried away, I don't want you meddling in this. Promise me you won't get involved.' I remained quiet wondering how I could convince him to let me.

'Evie.' He said warning me.

I rolled my eyes and crossed my fingers behind my back.

'I promise.'

'Uncross your fingers idiot. Just because they're behind your back doesn't mean I don't know what you're doing.'

I stared him down with an annoyed look.

'Fine you win. I promise.' I held my hands up in front of his face to prove I wasn't crossing them. He didn't need to know I was crossing my toes though.

'Good girl. As I'm feeling charitable I'll help you with your homework.' He held up my math text book and squinted at the page. I looked dubiously at him unsure whether I wanted his help with how confused he looked, but Xavier was an all A's student so he must be doing something right. Plus, beggars can't be choosers.

We spent the rest of our free finishing off my homework. He was actually a good tutor. He went through my math and science questions with me, explaining everything I didn't understand. He told me his favourite subject was physics which was my least favourite, so with him answering the majority of the questions for me we finished that in record time.

Just as I had finished my biology homework the lunch bell rang. I packed up all of my things with my helper putting back books I no longer needed and then we headed off to lunch.

It was macaroni and cheese for lunch which may I say is not offered up for dinner enough back in the UK. Since living in America, I couldn't get enough of this stuff. Probably not the best for my waist line though.

We filled up the rest of our trays and headed over to our table where one by one our group joined us.

'Can you feel that?' Taliah asked as she took a seat next to me.

'Feel what?' I looked around the table with a confused expression.

'The spookiness in the air.'

I rolled my eyes when I realised what she was talking about. Here I was thinking she was about to tell me there was an earthquake or some shit but no she was just going all Disney.

'Because it's almost Halloween?'

'Yes because it's almost Halloween, be more excited please!' She flailed her arms around wildly almost hitting Aaron on the face as he went to sit next to her.

'You really like Halloween huh?'

'Like it? Halloween is her favourite.' Aaron said just as the rest of the group joined the table.

'Why? It always thought Halloween was very underwhelming after the age of like 12.'

The whole table stopped what they were doing and looked at me aghast. Xavier even let his slice of pizza fall from his hand which really was shocking. That boy wouldn't even part with his food when a football hit him in the face giving him a nose bleed when he was 13 according to Lucas. He made the nurse wait until he had finished his ice cream before he'd let her clean him up. Yet this he drops his pizza for. I was about to check he was ok when Lucas spoke.

'Maybe we should re think Evie being part of our group. Or we should've made her complete some preliminary questions before giving her a place at our table.'

'Ok sorry I didn't get the memo that you were Halloween crazed here. I'm a foreigner so I'm still learning and also don't kick me out! Look it's just not as much of a big thing back home.'

It was true, we Brits may think we get into the Halloween spirit but that was nothing compared to here. They had decorations on every street corner of scarecrows and pumpkin patches (which let's be honest, if this was the UK we all know they'd be stolen or vandalised). The houses we passed every morning to get to school had decorated their homes with lights and monsters. It was so tacky that you just couldn't hate it.

Taliah sighed at my uneducated self and side hugged me.

'Ok ok, I'm going to overlook your complete lack of judgment because you haven't had a Halloween here before. Let me tell you, once you come with us to FreakFest you'll change your mind.'

'What's FreakFest?' I asked

'Oh god don't get her started.' A male voice said from beside me.

I turned to find Harrison parking himself down in the free seat to my side. Well this was different. No one else seemed fazed though so I went back to listening to Taliah.

'It's this Halloween festival that pretty much everyone in town goes to. They have horror mazes, rides and circus stuff. It happens every Halloween weekend and not a day longer but it's honestly the best!' Taliah jumped up and down in her chair like an excited child.

'So, have we decided what we're going to dress up as?' Zara asked whilst violently opening a bottle of orange juice that proceeded to go everywhere. Xavier passed her a wad of napkins that she gladly took and dabbed her surroundings with.

'We have to dress up?' I groaned then plastering on a smile when Taliah glared at me.

I think I went as a Witch every year trick or treating when I was a kid. Seeing as my Mum had previously been a westend girl she wasn't very imaginative with our costumes.

'I'm going to ignore your comment.' She said before carrying on.

'Well I went to that costume shop in town and saw these cute ghost busters outfits and then Lucas had an amazing idea.'

We all proceeded to turn to Lucas who was mid stuffing crisps into his face. After a quick chew and swallow he carried on where Taliah left off.

'I thought we could go as the stranger things cast. The girls can go at the ghost busters, I'll go as Eleven obviously, Xavier as the creepy scientist guy, Joseph as the cop and Aaron as the demogorgan.'

'See isn't that such a cool idea?!' Taliah exclaimed.

'But I already had such an amazing idea for my costume.' Jennifer groaned.

'What did you want to go as?' I asked expecting her to have come with the next best Instagram Halloween costume idea. What I didn't expect was what actually came out of her mouth.

'So I came up with, get this, a zombie cheerleader!' She opened her arms out wide as if expecting a chorus of clapping at her brilliance. We all however just continued to stare at her like she was joking.

'Isn't that the best idea ever Evie?!'

She looked so happy with herself that I really struggled to come up with anything other than that's a shit idea but I still love you.

'Erm that's really...... inventive.' Thankfully my answer obviously satisfied her as she sat up straighter and looked at Aaron all smugly.

'See it's not a crappy idea.' He rolled his eyes at her then shook his head at me and my shameless tactics.

I shrugged in response and turned back to the Jennifer.

'I do think a group thing is a better idea though.'

'That's fine with me. Let's all be dead cheerleaders. I've got loads of spare costumes.' She shrugged her shoulders clearing missing that I meant Lucas' idea was better.

'Sorry Jennifer but I don't think Xavier's got the ass for a skirt.' Harrison said making us all break out in a chorus of laughter.

'Lucas does though.'

'Damn right I do.' Lucas stood up from his chair and smacked his butt not giving a shit that the whole cafeteria was now staring at him.

'Which is why I'll make the best Eleven.'

I listened to Lucas and Xavier argue about who has the better behind for a little while before turning my attention to the boy next to me.

'You should be the older brother with the camera. You'd need to wear a wig though because your hair is all wrong.'

'As flattered as I am that you think I should be the creepy brother just because I like taking pictures, I've actually already decided what I'm going to go as.' He sat up straighter looking all pleased with himself.

'Oh yeah, what? Please don't tell me you're going to go as a dead football player.' Bless Jennifer but it really was a shit idea.

'Tom and I are going as skeletons.'

'Wow, that's real..original.'

'I know right. Tom got the idea when he was watching American Horror story as he thought Evan Peters character looked cool.'

'So you didn't like my idea as going as Will's, slightly creepy but nice in the end older brother, yet you'll go as Tate who murders a group of kids.' Maybe I needed to re think liking this boy.

'We're not actually going as Tate, he just gave us the idea of a skeleton.' He rolled his emerald green eyes at me.

'Look I'm lazy and this means I can wear my own clothes. I just have to put a little paint on my face.'

'I still think my ideas better.' I mumbled and playfully shoved him.

'You're so annoying.' I could tell he didn't mean it though because he was smiling at me.

'Hey I've got something I want to show you.' I pulled out my phone from my pocket and scrolled through my latest photos. Once I found the one I was looking for I passed my phone to Harrison.

'It's still a work in progress and I have a long way to go but I wanted to see what you thought.'

Since Harrison had sent me the beach photos on Sunday I'd been hard at work painting and sketching. I'd had so many ideas I just wanted to get them all on paper as fast as I could. Sunday night I'd stayed up till 3am which seeing as I had the routine of waking up at 5 every bloody morning, I felt like a zombie on Monday.

The photo he was currently looking at was one I'd taken of a big canvas I had been working on. As it was so big it was taking longer than usual and it meant I didn't want to bring it to school so I'd been taking pictures as progress to show Ms Stevens. In this painting I had turned myself into a mermaid like figure. My hair was made up of seaweed and octopus tentacles were wrapping themselves up my arms.

'Wow, It's amazing so far Evie. It'll look incredible once it's finished!'

'Yeah whenever that is.' I said as he passed my phone back to me. Our fingers brushed slightly making my skin tingle from his touch.

'So I came up with another great idea for a shoot. You free tomorrow after school?'

'I am yes. Do I get to know where we're going this time?'

He thought for a moment before telling me his decision.

'If I told you where would the fun be? I want to see the look on your face when you see the place.'

'Ok, have it your way. I'll just complain the whole way there.' I joked

'Trust me, it'll be worth it.' He declared and then started chatting to me about football practise yesterday.

We carried on nonstop talking until the bell rang signalling the end of lunch. We all started picking up our things and saying goodbye to one another as we went off in our different directions.

'I'll take that.' Harrison lifted my lunch tray out of my hands before I could protest.

I thanked him and we started walking to class together. I had art and he photography so we were headed in the same direction anyway but a girl can still pretend that he'd gone out of his way to walk me to class.

'Well my lady this is where we must part ways.' He said using his fake British accent as we reached my classroom door. I must say it was actually getting better.

'Until next time.' I said with my own accent and pretended to curtesy.

Paige shuffled up next to me and rolled her eyes at the two of us.

'Both of you are so lame. Come on Eve if you stall for much longer class will be over.' She took my arm and pulled me through the classroom door only just letting me wave goodbye.

'God you two are sickening. Could you do us all a favour and make out already.'

Uhhhh if only.

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