The bell for class rang loud and cold that morning.
Students gathered their books and their bags and ran
off to class, but all Sally could do as she watched
them fly past was sit and wonder why she wasn't doing
the same. Moments became minutes and she realised it
was time to move, but yet the want to do so was still
not there, and had not been there any other morning
so far this term. Perhaps things just weren't meant
to be like this, but then again perhaps they were and
Sally was just yet to realise it. There was no point
worrying about things like that now though, she was
already late to class.
"Sally?" called the teacher as her tired eyes scanned
the room for her favorite student. It wasn't like
Sally to be late.
"Sorry Miss, I'm here." mumbled Sally lamely as she
stepped in the class room that was already filled up.
"Oh, sally, you are here. I was about to mark you
absent. Sit down now and take out your books please,
there's a spare seat at the back there" she gestured
towards Daniel Linton, a poorer student of her class.
Sally shut the door behind her and made her way
through the rows of desks passing the other kids that
seemed to stare up at her for some reason she was
unaware of. She sat next to Daniel as the teacher
instructed, but did so with a nervous feeling that
she herself did not understand.
"Hey Sal, you're late! That's not like you honey."
giggled Daniel as he smiled at his best friend,
watching her search through her backpack.
Sally smiled back at him, but felt a type of yearning
not to be doing so. Why did he have to call me
honey and smile like he did? Why does he treat me the
way he does when he had a girlfriend? Why does he
talk to me like this when we're just friends'
She thought sadly, somewhat irritated.
"You okay?" Daniel asked, some what concerned at
Sally's silence to his greeting but still smiling
"Yeah, I'm always okay… I just can't find my text
"You always have your text book! Oh no! The best
student of the class! Dux of the year! And she's
forgotten her maths text book!" he teased, "just
share with me Sal, it'll be my honor."
"Thanks Dan, I um…thanks"
Sally looked away from her friends happy eyes dumbly
and started to rule up her page, but she found it
hard to concentrate. Feeling nothing but a strong
desire to run her hands through Dan's messy dark hair
and take him in her arms, it was all Sally could do
to hold a pen to paper, let alone concentrate. Why
couldn't she just be happy with having him close to
her as a friend? Why did she have these stupid
feelings that she knew he didn't have in return? Why
did she have to always question everything?
The bell sounded, signifying the end of first period.
Sally stared down at the blank white page in front of
her, head hung limply. She hadn't done a single sum.
Everyone around her packed up their books and rushed
out of the room, eager to escape. But Sally was lost
in her own lonely thoughts and couldn't help but feel
the tension of her hands as they longed to touch the
boy beside her.
"Sal darling, we've gotta go. You my dear have art
class and I have computers" Daniel stood up and
kicked his chair back, "Come on pack up darling, I'll
Daniel felt a strange concern for his friend; she was
normally the first in class and the first out. But
today she had come late and sat detached from
everyone through out the lesson, even him. Daniel
watched Sally as she stuffed her book back into her
usually neatly packed bag and stand up beside him. He
held out his big strong hands to her, gesturing for
her to hold them.
"You don't have to walk me every week you know." She
said strangely, almost regretting she had said it at
"Don't be silly angel, it's my pleasure. Now come
on." Daniel smiled, and took Sally's hands in his own
as he turned to walk out of the room.
Sally followed him sadly, keeping her boney hand limp
in his tight masculine hold. Everything should have
seemed perfect, but yet it all felt so broken.
Sally's life was exactly what most would dream for.
She was dux of the year and had been since primary,
she had a group of great friends and all the teachers
liked her, her parents weren't divorced and things
were fine at home, and she was pretty as could be.
But yet Sally felt empty and alone. Everything in her
life was nothing compared to the feelings that she
seemed to now drown in everyday. She may have seemed
perfect but her soul felt imperfect and incomplete to
her. Despite what anybody thought or said, she was
still alone inside.
As they made their way to the art rooms hand in hand
Sally stared detachedly at the dull asphalt below her
polished school shoes. Suddenly Daniel stopped
walking. He moved to face her front on.
"What's wrong?" he asked, removing his hands from
hers and instead resting them on her shoulders
Sally looked away from his deep blue eyes. She didn't
need to fall even more in love with him than she
"Nothing…we're going to be late" was all she could
mutter as she tried not to look at him.
"I don't care if I'm late. I care about you. I can
tell something's wrong, please tell me what it is.
'I'm in love with you, Dan' was all Sally
could hear repeating inside her head. But the silence
between them grew larger as she imagined saying these
words, and Daniel became worried.
"Skip class with me?" he asked, already knowing she
"I have to go"
Sally walked off, stepped into her room, and shut the
door behind her. Daniel stood staring at the path she
had taken, worried. Why didn't she tell him what was
"Your parents aren't home yet are they Dan? I really
want to be alone with you."
Daniel smiled weakly at Melissa as he gazed off into
the distance. She may have been his girlfriend for
over three years, but he didn't want to see her
tonight, even if they did have plans.
"Na they're not home…but I have to cancel for tonight
"What? Why?" asked Melissa, some what flustered at
the idea of being blown off.
"Sal was real upset today and I was gonna try and
talk to her" to justified, his voice concerned as he
thought of Sally.
"You're sweet." smiled Melissa, resting her hand on
the side of his angular face, her nail polish
glinting in the rays of afternoon light.
Her blonde high lights shone in the sun. She leant
forward and kissed her boyfriend passionately, trying
to have an effect on him.
"Did I change your mind?" she flirted, "now come
on, talk to Sally later. I
wanted to be with you this afternoon."
"Yeah I know, but I really can't. I have to talk to
Sal… I'll call you later or something okay? Bye."
Daniel kissed her lightly on the check and walked
away not looking back, maybe he could still catch up
Walking fast, eyes fixed on the ground, Sally headed
home feeling a strange sense of anger that she
couldn't understand no matter how hard she tried to.
With both her headphones in it was easy to drown out
the world, and luckily it meant no one would try to
talk to her. Daniel jogged down the street he knew
Sally took to walk home and caught sight of the girl
he was chasing turn the corner sharply.
"Sally wait up" he called out.
But she didn't hear him, and even if she had she
wouldn't have waited. All she wanted to do was go
home and pretend everything else didn't exist. She
didn't want to go to piano practice and she didn't
want to do her civics home work. All Sally wanted to
do was go to sleep and wish hard that when she woke
up everything would be perfect like everyone else
thought it was. But Daniel sped up his step and
finally caught up to her, still panting a bit. He
caught her eyes and smiled in a gesture of greeting.
"Take your headphones out Sal, I gotta talk to you
sweetheart." He said, still smiling.
Sally stopped walking and held her best friends gaze.
She didn't smile back at him.
"I can't hear you" she replied in a dull voice.
Which was true, she couldn't hear him. All Sally
could hear was a sweet melody of screams coming from
her ipod. Even if she could have herd Daniel's
request though, she didn't want to hear it. She
wanted Daniel to go far away and for the first time
in her life, leave her alone. But Daniel continued to
talk at her, despite the fact he thought she could
not hear what he was saying. Sally stared off into
space but paused her music so she could hear Daniel
speaking, but she did not take her headphones out.
"…and I can tell something's wrong. Please tell me
what it is, please sweetheart. Let me help you Sal.
You're my best friend and I love you so much and if
you're feeling down I want to be the one to make you
happy again. Anyway… the least you can do is listen
to me! Sally!"
"I am listening Dan. And you never call me Sally"
Sally smiled feebly and tried to hold back her tears
as she heard him call her a friend. Why were they
just friends? "Anyway… I thought you and Melissa had
plans? What are you doing chasing after me?"
"Yeah we did, but I needed to talk to you so I blew
her off" Daniel looked away from Sally's hazy eyes,
breaking their eye contact as he did so. He hated it
when she cried.
"w-why'd you blow her off? She's your girlfriend Dan.
Don't worry about me I'm fine." Sally felt hot tears
roll down her cheeks, but she didn't wipe them away
like she would normally have. She didn't like to cry
in front of anyone, but for some reason she just
couldn't be bothered to pretend she was fine this
"shh it's okay." Daniel wiped the tears from Sallys
eyes and leant forward, taking her in his arms.
She cried into his chest, staining his white school
shirt with tears. Sally shut her eyes tight,
squeezing them so tight it almost hurt. But she
couldn't hug him back. She wouldn't let herself. Her
arms hung limply by her sides.
A few people passed them by as time passed, averting
their eyes as they did so, pretending that it wasn't
Sally they saw crying. Pretending that the most
perfect girl in their grade really was perfect and
pretending that they didn't mind she wasn't.
After awhile Daniel spoke, trying to keep his words
comforting, "Darling we've been standing here for
ages. I'll stand here with you all night if you want
but I think we should go, okay? We can go back to my
house if you want. My parents are away. Come on."
Daniel continued to hold Sally close as he turned to
walk down the road to his house. It wasn't a long
walk. Sally cried all the way their, and when Daniel
let her out of his arms so he could find his key she
watched him in silence, weeping softly as she did.
"Come on honey, give me your bag." Daniel took
Sally's backpack and walked into the house, shutting
the big wooden door behind them.
He dropped their bags in the foyer, almost knocking
the umbrellas that rested in a bucked by the hat
stand as he did. Then he took Sally's hand in his
again and walked down the silent corridor to his
bedroom. Sally kept crying and kept her hand loose in
his tight hold. When they got to his room, Daniel
shut the door behind them gently and pulled his
dooner over the unmade bed. He sat calmly and
gestured for Sally to sit beside him. She did. He put
his arm around her, and asked her what was wrong. But
Sally didn't answer. How could she? Why was she even
here? She didn't know, but she did know it felt nice
to be close to the boy she loved.
"Come on sweetheart tell me what's wrong. Please?" he
asked softly, stroking her alburn hair and pulling
her even closer towards him through the dappled
sunlight that peered in through the half drawn
Sally took a deep breath and looked up at him through
the pale light. Their eyes met and she felt an
overwhelming desire to reach up and press her lips
against his. But she didn't.
"I have to go" Sally spoke through shallow breathes
as she pulled herself from her friends loving hold,
and stood up from the bed.
"No please don't go, please Sal come on, talk to me?"
Daniel stood up too, his words were still gentle but
flooded with concern.
"I…I...I lov-" Sally's words stuttered as she tried
to pull away.
But she didn't walk away like common sense was
begging her to. Instead Sally put her arms around
Daniels broad shoulders and pressed herself against
him, feeling his head rest on top of hers as he
embraced her tightly.
"It's okay Sal, it's okay I promise."
"No its not" she whispered.
"Because I… because you…you have a girlfriend"
There was a pause, Daniels hold of Sally loosened as
she tried to keep him close.
"What? Sally what?" Daniel moved back shocked at her
words and stood away, confused.
Tears started to stream down Sally's face again, and
she turned to leave the room. Almost waiting for
Daniel to stop her, she moved with little force. She
wrapped her clammy hands around the door knob and
stepped out of the room. Daniel didn't stop her. She
walked down the empty hall way and picked up her
school bag. Daniel didn't stop her. She pushed the
front door open and stepped outside into the cool
evening breeze. Daniel didn't stop her. She walked
down the street and cried somewhat hysterically with
her hands covering her face, waiting for Daniel to
come after her the way he always did. But he didn't.
Daniel stood glued to his bedroom floor, eyes fixed
on the spot where Sally had been standing. Had he
been what was making her cry?
"Hey baby, you know I've decided I don't really care
if you ditched me this arvo. You were just trying to
be nice to your friend… or whatever. Anyway, I think
that was really sweet of you. Can I come over?"
Melissa chewed on gum as she talked into her mobile
phone, making a type of odd slurping noise as she
"Hi Mel, honey, I kinda feel like being alone
tonight. Can we do something another time? What about
the weekend?" Daniel felt frustrated and found it
hard to get the words out his mouth. He couldn't take
his mind off Sally and the last thing he wanted right
now was to see Melissa.
"Aw come on Dan, I really want to
see you" Melissa stressed her words trying to sound
nice. "can't I see you for just a little
bit? We always said that next time your
parents are over seas that we'd…you know. I was
thinking that maybe we could tonight? I really want
to. We've been together forever! Isn't it time?"
Melissa felt frustrated. She was the only girl she
knew of that had to be the one asking her boyfriend
"I think I had a fight with Sal, and I just want to
be alone and have time to figure stuff out tonight
okay? I'm sorry…"
"Oh my god! Daniel are you trying
to break up with me or are you just gay or
"What? I just, I want to be alone."
"Daniel! Talk to me!" she demanded.
"I gotta go, ill see you tomorrow. Bye." Daniel hung
up his phone and threw it beside him where it got
caught in his bed sheets.
Resting his face in his hands Daniel felt as though
everything was coming apart. He didn't want to talk
to his girlfriend, and he felt like he couldn't talk
to his best friend. He was all alone in his big empty
house and he was drowning in his thoughts that were
so confusing he couldn't even recognize them.
Sally slammed the door shut and collapsed onto the
floor. She was still crying and had been the entire
walk home. It was a good thing her parents weren't
home from work yet because she didn't want to talk to
them. She didn't want to have to explain why she was
so upset. Why didn't Dan come after her? He always
did. But this time he hadn't. She shouldn't have said
what she said. She shouldn't have let him seen her
cry. She shouldn't have let him hold her. There were
so many things she thought she shouldn't have done
and so many things she wanted to do. But all Sally
could do as sat in heap on the hard wooden floor was
burry her face in her knees and wish that she'd stop
Daniels alarm sounded sharply throughout the empty
house, pulling him from a distressed sleep. He hadn't
been able to think of anything but Sally all night.
He would have to try and talk to her at school. They
needed to sort things out. They had to.
Daniel made an effort to walk quicker than his
normally dazed pace and arrived at school early. His
eyes scanned the grounds for the girl he needed. But
he didn't see her. The bell rang and everyone moved
off to class after a few more moments of talking.
Daniel walked sadly to his first lesson, slowly
moving in hope that he'd see Sally. He wished hard
that Sally did come to school today, but he wasn't
sure if she would.
Daniel wasn't able to read a word of the text his
class was given or answer any questions the teacher
had written on the white board. His mind was on other
things. After English he made his way quickly to the
main quad and searched madly with his deep blue eyes
for Sally. If she was at school she'd have to cross
the quad to get to her next class. Sure enough, off
in the distance walking slowly through the crowds of
students, who seemed to push as they passed by each
other, was Sally. Her normally neatly platted hair
seemed to smother her delicate face and she looked
down at the ground. Daniel made his way quickly
through the people, pushing back at them as he did.
"Sally" he gasped, unintentionally dramatic.
She looked up at him and brushed the hair from her
eyes, but she didn't speak. He never called her
"Sal I'm so sorry about yesterday, I just…" he
paused, "…I didn't know what to say. Can we please
talk?" Daniel looked at her longingly and waited for
But he didn't get one. Sally moved past him gently
breathing him in, and continued to walk to class
hunched in a lonely figure. Daniel stood frozen, his
eyes filled up with tears. 'Fuck' was all
that went through his head. And the funny thing was,
Daniel never swore.
Days turned into weeks and even though Daniel tried
to talk to Sally she refused to speak a word to him.
All Sally wanted was for everything to fade away and
turn into dust. She wanted Daniel to disappear and
she wanted everything to stop. It felt as though she
were stuck in a moment and couldn't press play but
the rest of the world around her was moving. Thinking
only of the night that Daniel had held her tight in
his strong arms and she had messed things up so
badly, Sally found it hard to focus on anything
except the want to go back in time and change
Daniel sat in silence with Melissa and stroked her
hand slowly as he wondered how she had turned into
what she did. She used to be so sweet. But now she
smiled at him strangely. He frowned slightly, big
eyes closed, mind fixed on Sally and the change in
his relationship with Melissa that seemed to be
creeping on without her realising.
"Dan, honey, what are you thinking?" she asked
softly, looking at him lustfully as she played with
"Nothing, I just…nothing. Why?"
"No reason." she replied dully, slightly annoyed,
"When do your parents come home?" she asked with
slightly strained words.
"They came home the other week, but they're gone
again for a few more nights. They're in America or
something for dad's work I think." Daniel spoke
flatly, not really thinking.
"So were alone?"
"Yeah, why? Does it matter?" he opened his eyes and
looked at her. He knew what she was thinking, he
didn't have to ask.
Melissa took her hand from his, and unbuttoned her
school shirt, keeping their eye contact as she did.
"Mel…" Dan's words trailed off as Melissa pressed her
lips against his.
Her hands ran up under his shirt and rubbed his back.
He kissed her back gently, but in the back of his
mind he knew he didn't want to. He wanted to be
kissing Sally. He couldn't do this with Melissa. But
he couldn't pull away from her. Her soft pale skin
caressed his as she pulled off his shirt forcefully
and pressed her breasts against his chest, still
kissing him hard despite the fact he tried to kiss
back tenderly. Daniel knew he had to stop her, but a
part of him wouldn't let himself. He wanted to feel
the closeness, he wanted to be loved, but not by
But Melissa slid her hands down his grey school
trousers. Daniel tried to take her hands away but
found himself unbuckling his belt instead. He tried
not to look at Melissa's face as he imagined it was
Sally he felt pulling down his grey boxers. Knowing
it was wrong, and knowing he needed to stop her,
Daniel tried not to enjoy the feelings he was having
over take him. But as he pushed up Melissa's
checkered skirt and realised she had already taken
off her underpants that lay on the floor beside them,
he couldn't help but feel intoxicated with the
fantasy he played out in his mind. Holding her
closely, they now both lay as one naked on his bed.
But as Daniel felt himself move, he imagined it was
Sally he felt himself inside of.
"I love you" he whispered.
"I love you too" Melissa replied, breathing heavily.
Hearing her voice made Daniel freeze. For a moment he
had convinced himself it was Sally he felt below him.
But it wasn't. It was Melissa.
"What's wrong?" she asked, still breathing jagged
breaths as felt him tense up.
Moments passed awkwardly and she felt him go limp and
slide himself out of her. Daniel sat on the edge of
his bed, naked and crying. He looked so pathetic.
Melissa lay next to him confused, still panting.
"I'm sorry Mel, I don't…I don't love you…" he sobbed
harshly, his voice muffled under his big hands that
held his face.
"But you just said…"
"I thought you were Sally" Daniel turned to face his
girlfriend, crying lonely tears and feeling ashamed.
"What? Oh my god. Daniel, are you
serious? We were having sex!
Why were you thinking about-" Melissa
stopped mid sentence, out ragged at what she had just
"I'm so sorry, I…fuck I'm sorry Melissa. I'm sorry.
I'm so stupid…"
"Yeah you're right, you are stupid.
Go tell god damn Sally that you want
her then. I'll see ya." Melissa grabbed at
her clothes that were scattered around the room and
started to dress herself with force as she walked
away mildly uncoordinated.
Daniel heard the front door slam, and just like that
she was gone. He slumped over his knees, tears
streaming. 'How could that have just
happened?' Was all he could think.
Sally walked slowly through the evening breeze and
felt the cold wind kiss her pale face. The outside
world seemed so quiet. Everything was peaceful. Sally
continued to walk down the road as she scuffed the
gravel with this tip of her shoes. She couldn't stop
thinking of Daniel. 'Why didn't I just talk to
him when he tried?' she questioned herself
angrily. Drawing in a deep breath sally turned the
corner of the street and passed an elderly couple
that was holding hands smiling as they walked past
her. The scene of their love made her heart sink. Why
did she have to feel this way? Sally's thoughts were
broken though as she noticed a messy girl that looked
like Melissa storming down the street making
distressed noises as she did.
"Mel?" Sally asked some what confused.
Melissa always looked so composed and here she was
almost running as she made the sounds of a two year
old having a tantrum.
"What was your stupid fight about
with Dan, huh? Because for some reason he's
like totally in love with you now, you
bitch! What the fuck did you say to
him?! Oh my god! You're such a
slut, I don't care if everyone does
think your god damn perfect because I
know all you are is a loser who steals
boyfriends! Me and Dan have been together since
primary school Sally! That's years!
YEARS! Say something you
bitch!" Melissa was hysterical, her eyes
glared hatefully at Sally as she screamed.
Sally stood stunned. What was Melissa talking about?
"What? Calm down Mel, I don't know what you're on
about. What happened?" she asked, trying to
understand what Melissa had said.
Melissa laughed sarcastically as she stood mouth
gaping at Sally's response, "Why don't you fucking go
ask him then you bitch" Melissa walked past
Sally eyes still glaring, hitching up her skirt madly
as she did.
Sally was confused and she couldn't even remember
half of what Melissa had been screeching. All she
knew was that Melissa and Daniel must have had a
pretty big fight, and it was something to do with
her. She reached into her jeans pocket and took out
her phone. She had to ask Daniel what happened.
Ringing followed ringing as no one picked up the
house phone. Sally was about to hang up, but just
before she did Daniel answered.
"Hello Daniel speaking" his words were detached and
Sally though she even heard him sob.
"Are you okay?"
"Sally?" Daniel's voice brightened.
"Yeah, sorry I didn't talk to you before but I ah…are
you okay? I just ran into Melissa and she was really
Daniel didn't answer but Sally heard him whimpering
through the static of her bad reception as she
listened for his answer.
"I…I'm so sorry Sal, I just…I'm sorry. Can you come
over? I really need to say something to you"
"Yeah sure, ill be there is a sec. Bye" Sally hung up
and began to walk quickly in the direction of
Sally tried not to walk too fast, but she wanted so
badly to see him. After a few steps, Sally started to
run. She ran so fast she almost tripped over the
fraying bottoms of her jeans, and when she saw
Daniel's house in sight and noticed he was waiting
out the front, she smiled dumbly. But she didn't
care. All she cared about was Daniel, and now she
knew it was up to her to make sure he was okay.
"Sally!" Daniel practically shouted it.
He ran up and threw his arms around her, almost
knocking her over as he tried to get her as close to
him as he could. Sally hugged him back with equal
"I'm so sorry I was stupid" she said, trying not to
cry as she did.
"No I'm sorry, I just…I'm so god damn stupid Sal. I'm
so sorry" Daniel buried his face in her hair as he
talked; he wanted to be lost in her, "I love you Sal,
I'm in love with you"
Daniels eyes filled up with tears again, but this
time it was good.
"I love you too" she cried back.
And as they stood on the freshly cut grass of
Daniel's front lawn, for once in her life Sally knew
everything really was perfect.