In the dead of night-about two-thirty a.m., if you want to be exact-I picked up the phone and made my decision. I was going to call Charlie. I had to; I couldn't let this go on any longer. Everyday I was away from him, my heart hurt, my heart hurt, I felt cold; I felt incomplete, and he needed to know that. Now that he and Sahara had broken up (whether because of me-I doubt it-I don't know), I had no reason to feel guilty (I might've broken them up, though). I had to tell him how I feel. I glanced at the clock again. Maybe not now, though, he might hate me more if I call him at twenty to three-in the morning. Sighing, I sank back into my bed, my pillows cushioning the blow. I grabbed one and hugged it tight, allowing its softness to comfort me. I need more friends. You realize that when you look to a pillow for comfort. I held my phone tighter and realized I hadn't released it yet. I brought it closer to my face, burrowing under the covers, and dialed a number, though not Charlie's.
"What the hell, it's early, fool! Call me later. Bye," complained Jody sleepily.
"Jody," I whined, I was sobbing now. For Charlie, for me, for my stupidity.
"Okay, okay. What's wrong?" she asked sympathetically, giving in. you don't hang up on a best friend crying in the middle of the night.
"Charlie…" I started. I heard a groan.
"It'll be fine, bye," Jody finished, obviously pissed, hanging up. I stared at the phone. What did Jody mean? She sounded like…she'd heard this all before. No, not déjà vu, but: "not this again". Yeah, that kind of feeling. I felt a warm feeling cross my face. Was I self-centered? Was Jody sick of hearing me go on about me? It clicked. I faintly remembered what Rachel had written to me in her blog: Told you so. Nobody cares [anymore] about the whole Charlie thing. And stop running away from him, people think it's for attention (it is!).
Aaaaahh. I listen to Rachel too much. Now she's polluting my mind with her preaching! I moaned to myself, wiping the tears away, and decided to take a bath. I ran the bath water, enjoying the sound of rushing water-it reminded me of a waterfall, and ignoring my brother's complaints about it being too early to make so much noise. I gently slid into the bath, my body welcoming the sweet smells and cleanliness. I sighed, content for a minute. The first minute in history (well, lately). I lightly splashed the water, then switched my IPod on, listening to its songs. One of them really spoke to me:
Look, don't hide I see you hater
ima wave high when I greet you hater
I've been dying to meet you hater
PLEASE don't leave me
I need you hater
it's from this old song, Hi, Hater Remix. It reminded me of Charlie-minus the 'hater' part. Especially the last line: I need you.
I need you, Charlie. He won't mind if I send him a text, will he? Sure, we haven't spoken in weeks, but…
I decided to do it before I chickened out.
Sorz 4 ignorin u. plz tlk 2 me!
Urgently, I clicked 'send', being careful to make sure my phone didn't get wet. I got a reply two minutes later:
K, I'm tlkin 2 u, y u awake
Why am I awake? Really, Charlie!
Feelin guilty bout u, thanx! Y u up?
Soon, it was like we were having a conversation, something I could never do to Charlie face-to-face.
Charlie: Cudn't sleep. Y did u decide 2 txt me @ this tym, of all tyms
Danielle: Nevamind, u kno. Weird, finally i start (barely) talkin 2 u, & u dont reply
Charlie: u embarrassed me
Danielle: Me? embarrass u? it was vice versa, btw
Charlie: Watev. 2day (well, yesterday/2day) was a pretty good day
Danielle: (that reminded me of something) y'd u break up wit S? u luked gud 2gtha
No reply. What did I do? Aaah, now he hates me again! He thinks I'm an insensitive git-and I know, 'cause earlier I asked him if him and Sahara were still together, and he walked away. No reply. He just left. I felt terrible, and apologized, but he didn't answer and had a chat with Sahara, then hugged her. I thought they were together again and was a happy, and then I realized he was hugging her good bye. They had broken up, and because people knew I liked Charlie (but no longer cared-thanks, Rachel), they thought I was happy they had broken up. Big misunderstanding, but in the end I looked like a cow. I tried to ignore the aching pain where my heart was and appreciate the now cool bath. I like it when the water slowly gets colder. Refreshes the skin, I think.
My phone beeped ten minutes later, after I'd thought Charlie had gone off in a huff and was ignoring me again. It freaked me out quite a bit, so after I'd opened the message, which read: I like-
I didn't get to finish. My lovely brother banged on the bathroom door, demanding to pee, and making me drop my phone in the water. Texting in the bathtub, not a good idea to start with (I know) but…ag. What was going on? "I like" doesn't tell you much, just so you know. Throwing a mini-tantrum, I left the bathroom, frustrated. My brother had gone upstairs to pee, I was taking too long. As if. I lay on my bed, confused, as slept silently. Dreamlessly too, I think, but when I awoke, I felt, upset…like I'd done something nobody knew of-including me-that was bad. I'd probably had a bad dream and forgotten it. I went to school in a daze, and deliberately avoided Jody's class. She realized it, but ignored it, sick of telling me to face my fears and talk to him. She didn't ask about any dreams about him as usual, and when I handed Latoya one of the newest poems I'd written about him (she usually squealed at the thought of another one, saying they just got better and better…) she sighed and said she's read it later, handing it back to me. Hurt, I stuffed it into my bag, not bothering to zip it up. I tightened my jacket around me against the strong winds. I went through the day, which was rather uneventful, until I saw Katy surrounded by the QB and a large crowd, I zeroed in, wanting to hear the gossip.
"With hair as wavy,
"As a tall palm tree
"It's not a wonder,
"I can't leave him be!" she laughed mercilessly. Fear crept into my heart. It was my poem about Charlie! And he was coming! I jumped onto the chair Katy was standing on, pushing her off.
"Give me those back!" I shrieked.
"Oh, I found them on the floor. Did you write them?"
I screamed in agony, I was way too stressed out, and pulled her hair. The QB immediately put up a defensive wall, and Katy taunted me from behind it, reading out the poem. Jody and Latoya arrived, shocked. "Do something!" they didn't need telling twice. A fight broke out. Jody took on Tamara (we all know she's wanted to for ages!) and Latoya attacked Cameron. Rachel came, but watched. Me? I went for Katy and my precious cargo.
"KATY!" I shouted. "When I get you!" suddenly she disappeared. I looked around. "Where the flip did that cow go?" I wondered loudly. Somebody grabbed my hand, "This way, I'll find her for you," a male voice explained. I looked at the pale, freckled hand holding my and followed it. I could fully see him once we were out of the crowd.
"Charlie! Where are we going?"
"Wherever she goes, Danni," he replied sensibly. I caught up easily and could see her, but I didn't let go of Charlie's hand though it was now unnecessary to hold it. I saw Sahara watch out of the corner of my eye, but I had to concentrate on Katy. She ran into one of the HOD's offices, which was Out Of Bounds, but Charlie followed her nonetheless, so I did too. As we ran in, the door slammed behind us. We checked allover the room, but Katy had…disappeared. We opened the door to leave, or we tried to. The door was stuck. Stuck. We shrieked for a bit, then relaxed.
"Someone will find us," I said hopefully, when the end of school bell rang. Oh crap. He groaned.
"Oh no!" I whined.
"It'll be okay. Look, you've got goosebumps," he rubbed my arms to warm them and I smiled appreciatively.
"Uh, Danni, so, what did you think of who I like?" huh? What was he talking about?
"Do you think it's okay? Do you think that pretty, black girl I talked about would like to be my girlfriend?" the text. Oh my gosh. HE WAS TALIKING ABOUT ME!!!
He liked me. Feeling courageous, I leaned forward and was about to kiss him on the lips when:
"So you think Jody likes me back?" Charlie asked. I was already leaning over him. I was going to fall into him! I did, my lips resting on his, soon his tongue was in my mouth. Wow, he was a good kisser. Such soft, moist lips. Wow.
"You cheater! You boyfriend stealer!" yelled Sahara, coming out from a fallen painting on the floor. I broke apart and looked at Charlie. Then Sahara. Oh, shit.
"Wait, if you liked Jody, why were you kissing Danielle?" Katy piped, coming out from underneath the same painting.
"Did you like Jody while you were dating me, you Casanova?!" accused Sahara unnecessarily.
"Yeah, why'd you kiss me back if you like Jody?" I asked, ashamed. Charlie was blushing. I smiled. I'd made the Great Casanova Charlie blush!
"Sorry. And only just before I dumped you did I realize I liked Jody. She knows. We've kissed," both Sahara and me looked at each other. I walked to the door, and opened it, snapping the handle. Sahara and I walked together to Aftercare, where Jody was busy playing. She doesn't usually go, but she had to today.
"Hey, Jody. My best friend. I cannot believe we let a guy come between us, but if I can't trust you…it's over. Find yourself a new BFF, bitch," I told her straight up. Then I told her where to stick her apologies. Sahara found Latoya and asked her who won the battle:
Jody vs. Tamara-Jody won. She had to be torn away, apparently
Latoya vs. Cameron-not really a fight, they just stood there occasionally hitting each other and squeaking. Tamzin came and broke it up, calling Latoya names as they went
"You weirdo. After all this, you want to know who won the fight!" I joked with Sahara. Her face suddenly lit up.
"We have to pay back the cow who stole our guy!" she said.
"Sahara, is that a good idea?" but she ran, and I followed her. We found Jody and, well, it was a simple fight:
Jody: Stamp on foot
Danni: Slap (Jody)
Jody: Slap (Danni)
Danni: Knee in stomach
Jody: Chinese burn (Danni)
Sahara: Pulls hair
Sure, Charlie broke Sahara heart and broke up my friendship with Jody, but after that, I joined the QB, and Jody went off with Rochelle, Latoya, Paula, Nicki and some other girls. I quit Jazz, it really wasn't for me, and joined gymnastics instead, and-to be modest-I rocked at it. It was late night and we were having one of our (QB) ritual phone calls. Tamara was on the line:
Tamara: Did you hear that…
Tamara loved gossip; it's just that…her gossip was boring. It made sense, but it was the kind of, 'why bother?'; 'none of my business'; 'let sleeping dogs lie' sort of gossip. Nothing like the fun and zany way Jody, Latoya and Rachel had analyzing gossip. They all had such different views; Jody would see the well, if you look at it...it's not really that bad/ it's obvious that/ maybe… sort of view; Latoya the well, it's not really fair…is it? I mean…poor [blah blah]. You know, they should have… sort of view, and Rachel the what did you expect? OMG, no! view. It was warped, but I felt like I could agree with all of them. I often see them laughing together at something really funny that the QB think is really stupid, that they will make a dumb joke out of that I will be forced into laughing loudly with (just to 'show' that we have more fun) even though it's a crap joke. I saw this really cute pair of suspenders in Woolworths the other day, but knew I couldn't get them because
a) They were from Woolworths, not Jay Jays or Mr Price
b) They were suspenders-full stop, period, end of sentence, shut up.
And it was totally unfair because:
a) They shaped my body perfectly
b) They were crazy, yet sexy, flattering and cute. Jody would have said something like, "No, you didn't! They actually…suit you. Weird. I'm not walking with you in public, though." Latoya would've shrieked something like, "OMG, those look so cool! Hahahahahahahaha! But they're so cute." And Rachel would have commented, "Yah, they wouldn't suit most people 'coz they're weird, but they suit you. Nevertheless, your head is still too big for your body! Hee hee. Be careful not to wear the wrong sort of top with that, though."
But who cares about them? Where were they in my hour of need?
Jody: Making out with Charlie
Rachel: Writing in diary/ sending notes/ drawing on board
Rochelle: Working/ extra Technology stuff-i.e. woodwork
Gee, thanks guys!
I stopped talking to them, whenever I tried to talk to Rochelle; the QB would be all like,
Tamara: Why do you want to talk to her? Have you seen the way she acts?
Sahara: She's so mean
Katy: She can't take a joke
Cameron: Yah, she so mean
And all I can think is: If Rachel heard this…
Tamara: I was just thinking the same about you…
Sahara: No comment
Cameron: What an original comment, Cami!
And whenever I try to talk to Jody, Latoya, or Paula, it's the same thing:
Tamara: You shouldn't speak to people like them, they aren't nice.
Sahara: Think of all the stuff they've done to you, and you still want to be friends with them?
Katy: They are obviously not loyal
Cameron: They suck
Sorry, QB, but Rachel's remarks won't leave my damn head!
Tamara: If that's the case, bye, Tamara!
Sahara: (just to be supportive, on my case) If I just thought of all the things you've done to me, we wouldn't be having this conversation
Katy: Like you would know
Cameron: Stop speaking rubbish
You could always count to Rachel to shine a little light into your day. She was annoyed by random things, but was absolutely cool with other stuff. Weirdo. But she was a nice, understanding weirdo. I miss our chats. I can't tell a thing to any of the QB without them blabbing to Tamara and her announcing it to the world. If it's really private (and they talk about absolutely stupid private stuff), they write endless notes during class and whisper loudly. Real private. I couldn't stand the looks people gave us when we walked together, the: 'shut up, walk normally, leave us alone, show off!' look they involuntarily got on their faces when they saw us. It was painful; I wondered how the QB could endure these looks everyday. Ouch. I'd cringe in horror and apologize to random okes for something I didn't do; the QB took the looks as compliments. As proof that they were envied because they were so awesome. I will admit, it was fun starting trends and being in charge, but the pressure was sooo much. I'd bitten off more than I could chew. When I was younger and I literally bit off more than I could chew, I discreetly took the food out of my mouth and threw it in the bin. That's what I had to do with the QB.
After school, I saw Charlie coming out of his classroom. Jody and Charlie had been a couple for about a week, after deciding that all they were good for [each other] was making out. They still do it occasionally, for the fun of it. People called it an off-again, on-again relationship. Jody called him, a Friend with Boundaries and Benefits. If she hadn't added the 'boundaries' part, people would have probably thought she meant, 'friends with benefits' and we all know what kind of friends they are. I pulled him up against a wall and kissed him rather passionately. He kissed me back; but I knew this meant nothing. He was, after all, the Great Casanova Charlie.
"Hi," we panted.
"I missed you," I admitted,
"We need to talk," he knew.
"I hate the QB, I miss everyone, and I love you. That's all that needed to be said," I replied, running off. At break, I tried to break away from the QB. It wasn't easy.
"I need to go to the tuck shop," I said.
"Come on, then, see you later guys," Katy confirmed. The QB didn't ask whether you wanted company, they just came. I went to the tuck shop, bought two brownies, and said I was going to Scripture Union.
"Aaah, but that's sooo boring," whined Katy. The girl is surprisingly strong and dragged me to the field. We were chatting loudly near my ex-BFFs. They didn't look my way once. I heard Jody mutter something, and I burst into laughter along with the rest of my ex-BFFs. The QB cast me disapproving looks.
"I need to go to the bathroom," I lied.
"'Kay, we'll see you on the field," Tamara answered the rest of the QB, following me. I was livid with anger.
"Scratch that, I don't need to go the bathroom. What I need is to get away from you! I hate the QB, you guys act like you're so cool, but nobody likes you! You're such cows! Get a grip, none of us are jealous. We pity you. You guys are boring, self-obsessed, girly, body-builders. You're weirdos. Valerie said you guys were popular-wrong! You guys limit yourself to just so many people, I'm more poplar that you. I had more fun when I was without you. I don't need you. In fact, goodbye-to you!" I shouted, letting it all out. She stood there, dumbfounded, and the rest of the QB came to her rescue.
"Oh, really?" Cameron retorted, a bit tired after running across the field with the QB to check out what was going on, "you want to go back to your pathetic life as a show-offy, self-centered, ugly drama queen?!"
"If that's who I am, so be it!"
"You used to be nice. You're doing this for attention. We're not going to sink to your level. Why're you acting so stupid? Jody stole the guy we loved!" Sahara remarked,
"Sahara, you rate me as you best friend, right next to Katy. If I got Charlie, would I still be your best friend? Would we really fall out over a crush? A quick date? A kiss?"
Sahara appeared to be choking.
"Thought so," I pursed my lips, and did my secret handshake with Jody and Latoya. They forgave me, but only 'coz I told off the QB. They felt like a huge weight was lifted off their shoulders! Rachel forgave me too, but let me stew for a bit. I hugged Sienna and Rochelle, who only forgave me 'coz they missed me; and Jody and Latoya had forgiven me. Latoya did sulk for a bit-or tried to. It was ruined by her going: "Oh my gosh! How cool was that! You rock! Oh, wait. You're mean." See what I'm saying? She's so lovable! Jody gave me a lecture, and I had to beg on my knees. Literally. But we're best friends. She's joined gymnastics with me, but she's crap at it, and I've rejoined Jazz, though it appears Jody was collecting up all sorts of rewards while I was gone. She's to do an individual performance for some famous old dude and do a dance in the Workroom Theater. I know. Whoa.
I'm going out with Charlie, and I don't mind that he's the Great Casanova Charlie. Nothing's wrong with being a flirt! And I don't mind he occasionally kisses Jody. But he doesn't do full-frontal snogging with he anymore (I'm not that stupid!). We're madly in love and know the names of our children. Well, I do. I still need to slyly mention them to him. The QB don't talk to me anymore, but I have been hearing many rumors about me…
It's all good now.
The poem Katy read out earlier is below:
It's Not A Wonder (shortened version)
We'll start out with kindness
Move on to friendliness
Then comes the good times
That we'll never forget
The passion, affection
The tenderness, the fondness
I feel for only you
Come close to me
Hear me out
My love for you
I might just shout
With hair as wavy
As a tall palm tree
It's not a wonder
I can't leave him be
With eyes as blue,
As the Mauritius skies
It's not a wonder I can't
Stop looking into his eyes
-Jessica Danielle Parker