Bad Luck This Time
“Now,” I say, pacing the room with my hairbrush in my hand, and feeling very much like an FBI agent with a baton in his hand. “Would you like to tell me what the hell is wrong with you today?”
Shane leans against the headboard of my bed. “Funny, I was actually wondering the exact same thing.”
“I can’t believe you!” I brandish the hairbrush at him, but the dickhead doesn’t even blink. “I can’t believe you said that! What does Brendan asking me out have anything to do with you?”
“He’s a fucking asshole.” He insists. “He’s already dating Clarissa Kingsworth from the debate team, and he’s been cheating on her for the past few months. With over ten different girls.”
“It’s Kingsley.” I correct, dryly.
Just think, he’s the most popular guy in the school, and yet he can’t get people’s names right. And Clarissa isn’t a nobody like I am, she’s actually a somebody.
“Clarissa Kingsley, and she’s in the science club. Who do you get your gossip from, genius?”
“Not the point. Point is, don’t you see that Brendan fucking Orland is just trying to be nice to you?”
“Excuse me, but he’s extremely nice as compared to you, dickhead.” I shoot back immediately.
“Excuse me, but you wouldn’t think him so if you’d just heard what he said about you last night. He wants to hook up with you, because you’re one of the few girls he hasn’t hooked up with yet. Can’t you see? Or are you too blinded by love, huh?”
Did he just say that I’m blind?
“Stop telling me what I can or cannot do!” I start ranting at him. “You know something? Our friendship ended when we were thirteen. Since then, you’ve either been ignoring me, or giving me hell. I’m sick and tired of everything: You, your soccer team who adores you, the girls who literally pee in their pants every time your name is mentioned and the rest of the student body who are simply too cowardly to tell you to fuck off and stick your face where the sun don’t shine!”
“Stanton,” He fires icily, his eyes flashing. When he uses my surname, I know he’s dead furious. Well, that makes two of us. “Stop making this about me, okay? I’m just trying to look out for you, and if you don’t bloody appreciate it, fine. You don’t have to be such a bitch about it.”
That’s it. It’s the second time he’s called me a bitch in less than forty-eight hours.
I’m horrified to feel tears pricking at my eyes. Mortified at him having to see me cry, I yell, “GET OUT!”
There’s a moment of silence, and then, “Bevvy?”
“GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!” I scream, and immediately clamp down on my lower lip to stop from crying.
I hear Shane sigh in defeat, and walk out of the room. As soon as he leaves, I hurl my hairbrush at the door with a yell of exasperation.
I don’t even know why I feel like crying. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s the most popular guy in school. Or maybe it’s the fact that he’s being so candid about it. Or maybe it’s the fact that I know he’s right. Or maybe it’s because I actually care about what he thinks of me.
I sink down onto my carpeted floor and place my head between my knees.
It’s him. Why’s he still here? I keep my head down. Feeling a movement, I realise that Shane’s sitting right beside me, leaning against my bed.
“Bev,” His voice is gentle. “I’m really sorry.”
A sound escapes me and I stiffen. Oh fuck, did I just sob out loud?
“Fuck.” He swears beneath his breath. He places a warm hand on my shoulder. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that, and I certainly didn’t mean to call you that.”
I feel myself soften up. Geez, Bev, I scold myself, what’s the matter with you? A few words from this guy and you’re forgiving him? You’re turning out to become one of those airhead cheerleaders you’ve always mocked at!
“If it’ll make you feel better, I’ll make it up to you.” He continues. “I’ll do anything you want.”
I blink. That’s an offer too good to be true. Shane Corelli being at my disposal? That’ll be the day.
“Alright,” I nod slowly. “You can be my second tutor.”
“You mean for chemistry?”
“Yeah,” I shrug. “To be honest, Brendan was a horrible teacher and I still don’t understand anything. So if you could just go through the chapter with me again…”
I must’ve heard wrongly. Since when was Shane so willing to do something for someone that didn’t benefit him?
“Okay?” I echo, and look at him through narrowed eyes. “This deal lasts for the entire semester, until I pull up my Chemistry grades.”
“Sure.” He grins. “In fact, let’s start our little tutoring session right now.”
So over the next hour, I sit through the whole organic chemistry chapter with Shane Corelli.
The kids at school would have never believed that Shane’s willing to teach me, but here he is. Right next to me, at my study desk.
Shane’s a much, much better teacher than Brendan is. For starters, he actually seems to understand the subject, so he explains everything in his own words, and explains it in such a way that I can understand.
And if I thought he would laugh at the stupid questions I have, he doesn’t.
Okay, so fine, he did grin a little when I asked him if a lemon was actually an organic compound – which got me a little annoyed – but he didn’t laugh out loud. I would’ve socked him in the eye if he did.
And after the lesson was over, I certainly understood so much more about the chapter.
Which made me super grateful to him – because I’m sure if I were to do a test on Organic Chemistry right now, I’d get an A.
After he flips the textbook shut, I decide to act on impulse, and throw my arms around his neck to give him a hug.
“Thank you so, so much.” I tell him.
Shane stiffens for a quick moment, and I feel horrified.
Oh fuck, do I like, stink, or something? But I just took a bath in the morning! With aloe vera soap!
But then he wraps his arms around my waist, and I relax. Thank God.
I’m reminded of the times we used to hug each other back in middle school. Even during those times when girls thought boys had cooties, we didn’t mind exchanging hugs with each other.
“Really, thank you.” I say, and pull back from him. “I would’ve seriously failed if you hadn’t...”
I trail off as I realise that our faces are just inches from each other. If I were to lean forward a bit here and tilt my head just a little bit there, we’d be in a lip-lock.
I blush hotly at the thought – blush, Beverly? Blush? – and my eyes flicker up to his.
Which makes me REGRET my actions immediately. As my boring gray eyes lock with his light blue ones, I feel my breath hitch, and my heart start galloping like...well, a racehorse.
Which happens whenever our eyes happen to meet. I usually try to avoid looking at Shane directly in the eye, but...
Urgh. Bad luck this time, Beverly.
“Bev?” Shane’s voice is just a whisper. He leans in slowly.
Just as I’m about to lean in too, I catch myself. Geez, Beverly, for Pete’s sake, what do you think you’re doing? That’s Shane Corelli. You hate him, remember?
I pull back abruptly, and try my best to ignore Shane’s facial expression, which is almost screaming confusion and hurt. Hurt?
Oh, right, he’s probably annoyed because I just rejected him – the most popular guy in high school.
“I’m sorry.” I say softly, even though I haven’t the slightest idea why I’m apologising.
Shane opens his mouth, but before he can say anything, the door opens. I look up, only to find Tamara standing by my doorway, her mouth wide open.
I blush at the close proximity Shane and I are in, and immediately shift away. “Hey, Tamara. What’re you doing here?”
Tamara’s mouth opens and closes like a goldfish. “Er...I’m here because we’re supposed to go to the mall together? Remember?” She eyes me meaningfully.
Bloody hell, the mall. I had arranged with Tamara on Thursday to head to the mall together today, at...two, after Tamara’s cheerleading practise.
I glance at the clock in my room. It’s fifteen past two.
“Um...” Shane clears his throat awkwardly. “...I should get going. I’ll see you around, Bevvy...er, Beverly. And Tamara.” He makes to leave, but Tamara stops him.
“Shane, Delilah was trying to reach you earlier on your cell during cheer practise. I think you should call her back.”
Tamara casts a sideway glance at me and winks. “Unless you want to break up with her...which, for your information, I’m totally supportive of. I mean, you could always find a new girlfriend. How about Beverly here? She’s really pretty, and she’s got decent grades...”
I hastily cross over towards Tamara, clap a hand over her mouth, and smile faintly at Shane. “You should call Delilah.”
Tamara gives a muffled squeal.
Shane eyes me unsurely. “Okay...if you say so. See you Monday.”
He leaves, and I remove my hand from Tamara’s mouth.
Tamara grins widely at me. “Oh my gosh! Beverly Stanton, you have some explaining to do. No, don’t say a word right now, but go grab your purse and let’s head to the mall. Then you can tell me all about your hot-make-out-session-with-Shane-Corelli over ice-cream.”