When I hear the bell I get instantly relieved that class is over, that means time for lunch. I have just finished English, one of my favourite lessons. I enjoy writing and one of my favourite things to do is read, also the teacher is actually decent. After I got the chemistry book I went back to class but all I could think about was Caden.
He never speaks to anyone and he is known as the “outsider”. Girls want him but he never gives them attention, I can see why they like him he is extremely good looking and I don’t think he cares what he looks like. I sometimes see him with bags under his eyes as if he never sleeps the days before. I’ve only ever seen him speaking on the phone, probably to a friend or his parents. He usually sits on his own at lunch with no food on his phone or reading a book under the blossom tree.
I never realised I analysed him so much. He is so interesting and I just want to know more but the rumours kept me away. I heard he has been arrested, has many tattoos which aren’t visible to anyone as he has sleeves on all the time, beaten up his dad, even murdered someone.
But who knows what’s true anymore unless the person tells you.
I walked to the canteen with my phone reading a novel online, about two people that never met in person fell in love over the phone and met and lived happily ever after. I like that they never met each other because it means they fell in love with each other’s souls.
I look up as I am about to walk into someone and pass them as well as noticing my friend from the table she is sitting at and I walk up to her, my best friend Clara, she has brown hair and a very bold hazel eyes, she has a very strong opinion and will tell you how it is. Some of the time its helpful, other times I want to hit her with a chair.
We met when we were fifteen when I moved from another school to hers and she saw me and how scared I was and she said anxiety was totally normal and we have been friends ever since.
“Hey, you alright?” I ask as I sit down noticing a troubled expression on her face.
“yeah fine why” I do not buy that response for a second.
Let me guess…
“the canteen is out of fries isn’t it?” she looks at me in a shocked and annoyed way. “how did you-“
“know what you were going to say?” I reply cutting her off. “we have been friends for ages you are predictable” She then went on to ramble for the next few minutes about how pissed she is that there isn’t any fries or was it no guys. I didn’t really listen because I looked over her shoulder at a particular person I met this morning.
Caden looks bored out of his mind by being in the line for a drink, he shakes his head and starts to turn but not before taking my gaze with him. Somehow he already knew I was staring at him but he caught my eye and he didn’t react.
It was almost like we were having a staring contest and see who breaks first, I keep staring at him like a secret that is about to be revealed.
Caden was the first to break and he tuned an exited the door without looking back, he heads over to his usual spot and he goes on his phone without looking up.
Every now and then while me and Clara were talking I couldn’t help but let my vision wonder to the outside to Caden. He is so mysterious. A puzzle I want to piece together.
I let my eyes go to him again but this time I almost jump out of my skin as he is staring right at me. I try and hide my hair behind my face and I look back at him and I swear there was a slight ghost of a smile.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do another emotion other than miserable.
The bell rings and everyone disperses from the hall and I get my bag and I look back and tree doesn’t have anyone sitting under it. Caden is gone.
I get the sense of disappointment wash over me, I think why I am so interested is because we are more alike when we vulnerable, like a deer in the headlights.
It is now the end of class and I am so happy it’s a Friday. That means I finish at three in the afternoon. Its not early to others but I’m just glad it isn’t four o’clock with everyone rushing out at the same time.
I get to the bus stop and I have to wait for the bus that comes in about five minutes. I am scrolling through my phone mindlessly and I look over to see that the bus is already here, I ask for a single and get in. I have to pick Brody up from school.
There is only one space left and it is by an elderly lady. Wearing pearls around her neck and a big fur coat making sure her body is nice and warm. I take a seat and offer her a warming smile, she returns it.
The bus approaches Brody’s school and I get off and thank the driver. I walk up to his school and I am eyeing the area before waiting outside where the parents usually are. It is clearly a very old building that looks like a small mansion. Someone must have lived in it at some point.
I hear laughter come from the front of the school and within two minutes all I hear is children laughing, screaming, playing in the playground.
“Lala” I turn to a voice I knew too well. Brody runs up to me and pulls me down for a hug. “Hey buddy, what did you do at school today?”
He thought for a moment before saying a response. “demicals and drawing”
I laugh at his miss pronounce and I say the word “decimals?” and he nods is head frantically. We start walking away to the exit and turn to the corner close to our house. As we are walking Brody runs on ahead and I don’t understand how he still has energy. I wish I was like that. I run out of breath within five minutes.
We approach a shop and I already know what’s coming.
Three...two...one...“Can I get sweets?”
I think back to how mad my mum will be. We aren’t allowed too much sugar but it’s been a while so I say yes to him. He has the most adorable puppy dog look I’ve almost become immune, keyword being almost.
We get the sweets and start back from where we left off. We walk for another five minutes and I see the house in my eye line. I unlock the door and step inside and Brody bolts through the doorway and into the front room to watch some cartoons.
My phone goes off and while I am getting a water bottle from the fridge.
Hey honey. I can’t come back until at least 8pm. They asked for me to cover someone’s shift. Do you think you can manage making dinner for Brody and get him to bed?
I sigh. Why am I not surprised. We never see her anymore. We are lucky we see her in the morning. It’s like I am raising Brody by myself. I swallow my disappointment and I reply.
Yes that’s fine, hope you get home soon.
I make the reply short and sweet like me.
Our mother is a NHS nurse. She saves peoples lives and she does an amazing job at it. But it would be nice if one day of the week we could see her when we get home.
I look at the clock and its nearing five. I make dinner for both of us and eat around six. And we both head to bed at the same time as I’m exhausted myself.
I hear the front door open at nine. She was an hour late. Nothing new there. I feel really sad that Brody doesn’t see our mum as much as I did when I was his age.
My door opens and I hear footsteps approaching my bed. I think it’s my mum coming to say good night but instead I feel small hands on my arms instead shaking me slightly. I open my eyes and see the boy in front of me.
“I can’t sleep”
I don’t say anything back. I scoot backwards in my bed and open the covers inviting him in and I wrap my arms around him. His back to my front he holds my arms around him. His body warmth inviting me to cuddle into him.
“I love you Lala” He whispers.
“I love you too buddy”
And we both fall asleep.