“I’m telling him today” I announced to Kate as she climbed into my car on Friday morning, it had become our new routine for us to take turns driving to school, just like we had done before Sam. It had it’s perks, like the fact that we were able to talk openly about Sam and Alex but I felt a sense of loss every morning as I watched Bridget get into Sam’s truck and they’d drive away.
Bridget still hadn’t spoken to me since Sunday, the silent treatment was her go to weapon whenever we would fight but I had her at an advantage, I had battled many wars against my sister, I knew if I waited it out then she would cave in and get over whatever she was mad about if I just ignored this behaviour.
“What exactly are you going to tell him? Considering you can’t even say the words out loud” Kate asks me, smiling widely. We’d been going through this since I called her on Monday afternoon, the day I actually realised how I felt about Sam. I look over to Kate, trying to think of an answer but coming up short.
“I’m not telling him today am I?” I resolve, feeling disappointed in myself. Why couldn’t I just say the words? It wasn’t that hard, I’d said them in the past to Lucas who was in no way deserving of hearing it but now, with Sam, the words were lost inside me.
“Maybe it will all just come out once you’re in front of him?” Kate encouraged me.
I found a spot in the school carpark, not far from the familiar black truck. We were early so Kate and I decided to go grab coffees from the cafe across from the school.
“So Alex is coming back next week? You must be excited?” I ask her. Alex had been off school for two weeks while his nose healed and the bruising went down. He was still in pain and was told to take it easy but he didn’t want to miss any more of year 12 and have to repeat.
“Oh yeah, I’ve even started planing lunches I can make us. I just hope the other guys know to not play around with him” She stresses. We grab our coffees and sit out the front of the cafe, even though the skies are threatening a storm any moment.
“So I guess you’re just going to ditch me once your boyfriend is back?” I half joke, Kate was the only person I had right now that I could talk to. Sam and Bridget now sat at the other picnic table with Lucas.
“As if, chicks before dicks remember?” She reminds me of what we would say to each other back in year 10, before we even had boys to worry about. “Have you tried calling him?” She asks, bringing the subject back to Sam.
“Yes, twice, it rings out and goes to voicemail, I leave a message but he never calls me back or even acknowledged that I called him. He hates me Kate” I hang my head and play with the lid of my coffee.
“He doesn’t hate you, in fact he feels the opposite really. He’s just hurting and that will stop once you talk to him and tell him how you feel” She says, taking a sip of her caramel latte. We’d had this exact same conversation all week and I felt we would have it many more times until I took the plunge and spoke up.
Mr Scott called a school assembly after roll call which I was grateful for because it got me out of Maths first period and the awkwardness of sitting in silence next to Sam while the rest of the students happily chatted with the person next to them.
Without conversation you start to notice other things about a person, for instance, Sam always smelt amazing, even on the days he had training in his lunch break and he was really good at Maths, like really good, he could power through a set of equations while I was still trying to figure out the first one, everything he owned was blue, from his backpack to his pencil case, even his binder was blue and in English he would openly talk about the book we were reading, always bringing it back to the themes.
“Good Morning students” Mr Scott greets us as we take our seats. Kate, being school captain, meant that she was required to stand up on stage, leaving me alone in the crowd. Two rows ahead of me sat Bridget, Sam and Amber, laughing at a joke Sam was telling. That should be me laughing too.
“The student council and I have been is discussions about some great activities we wish to put on, starting with a school dance next Friday at the community hall.” Mr Scott continues, the students all cheer at the mention of a dance, Sam turns around and glances at me before quickly turning away. Sam hated school dances more than anything, he hate the music that the DJ would play and the fact that he would be left standing alone on the sidelines while Lucas and I would go up for the slow dances. I used to wonder why he would even bother coming but now it all made sense, I was his reason for being there, even if he did have to spend three hours watching Lucas and I. “Of course the dance will be governed by some strict rules, breaking those rules will result in a lunch time detention the following Monday. Rule 1, no inappropriate behaviour which includes no alcohol is to be consumed before or during the dance, students found intoxicated and under age will be handed over to the police, also no drugs are to be taken or brought in to school grounds, this will also result in students being dealt with by the police. No acts of a sexual nature, we understand that some of you may be involved in relationships with other students and we will turn a blind eye to mild kissing and dancing together but that is is. Lastly there is to be no inappropriate clothing to be warn, this is a school event being held in our community so you will still be representing your school out there so no mid drift tops, no skirts or dresses that are not knee length”
Mr Scott should really take a trip into Halo nightclub to see what inappropriate dressing really is.
when the assembly was over we all filed out. Petra was standing by the door to the assembly hall, she grabbed my arm as I walked through and proceeded to walk beside me to second period.
“Lucas said he saw a condom in the bin next to Sams bed yesterday, said it looked fresh too” She fills me in, “I guess little sis ain’t so little anymore” She skips away and I feel my heart drop, had Sam slept with someone else already?
I consumed by the thought of Sam being with someone else, by the time the bell rang at the end of sixth period I was glad to be getting out of there and away to my Mother’s house for the weekend, something I never thought I’d be happy about.
As Kate and I approached my car I noticed that the tyre on the divers side was flat.
“Shit” I exclaimed, could this day get any worse?
“Have you got a spare?” Sam asked, walking up behind me with Bridget
“I’m not sure. Could I not just drive down to the petrol station and put more air in the tyre?” I ask him, surely that would be an easier fix than calling Dad all the way out here to change my tyre?
“It’s not safe to drive with a flat plus the air will just come straight back out because you’ve driven over a nail” He points to where the nail had embedded itself in my tyre, “You need to change it now or get it towed”
“I’ll call my Dad” I tell him but he just shakes his head
“Give me your keys” I hand them over, he opens the boot and inspects to see if I have a spare, he pulls a tyre from the boot and goes over to his truck to grab a jack as well as a wrench, he places the jack under my car and proceeds to remove the tyre.
“Talk to him” Kate says, grabbing Bridget by the arm and walking away, leaving me alone with Sam while he takes the flat tyre off. Real subtle Kate.
“Talk to me about what?” He questions me, not looking up, he gets the first two nuts off but the third one seems to be secured on tightly and he struggles with it.
“I, ah, umm” I stumble, panic rising inside me, is this really how I want to tell him? While he’s trapped changing my tyre? “I called you last night” I lamely come out with. He knows you called him Veronica, he has caller ID. Kate’s right, I’m an idiot.
“I was busy, I didn’t see the missed call until this morning” He explains. Probably busy having sex with that girl from year 9 no doubt. Who could blame him? I’m sure she could say the words that were stuck inside me, in fact she probably told him over and over last night as he laid her down between his blue sheets and....Veronica, stop, this isn’t doing you any good, think of something else.
I look down at Sam, his muscles straining through his school shirt at he manages to untwist the forth nut and pulls the tyre from my car. He’s so fucking hot, I had the opportunity for him to be my boyfriend and I ruined it like I ruin everything.
“What did you need?” He asks, standing up before me, the flat tyre in his hand.
“Huh?” His question throws me from my daydreaming about being with him again.
“When you called? Did you need something” He pushes, moving to the back of the car and placing the flat in my boot where he had taken the spare from.
“You...” I begin but my words wont come out, he looks at me confused for a moment before grabbing the spare from the ground and going about attaching it to my car.
“You’re going to your Mum’s this weekend right?” He asks out of interest, damn it, maybe he was going to ask me out, maybe he didn’t want me to go.
“Yeah I am meant to...”
“Well this tyre is just a spacer which means you can’t go too far on it. It will get you home, no troubles but you can’t drive to the coast on it and you’re going to need a new tyre” He explains, placing the last nut on and tightening it.
He collects his tools and throws them into the back of his truck before coming back to where I stand beside my own car.
“Thank you Sam” I praise him, reaching out and touching his arm, I feel the butterflies return momentarily before he moves back.
“I’ll take Kate home, I don’t want you to drive anywhere unnecessarily until you get a new tyre” He tells me and I nod my head.
“I’ll take Bridget to save you the trip” I offer, he looks from me over to where Bridget is standing at his car, leaning up against the truck, arms crossed against her chest, glaring at me. Yeah, the Ice Queen wasn’t melting any time soon.
“I’ll take her, she won’t go with you” Sam says, he goes to leave me but turns back around, “I’ll talk to her Roni, she shouldn’t be treating you like this, it isn’t fair on you” and with that he walks away, leaving me to drive home alone.