Cam and I were heavily involved in a game of ‘Kiss, Marry, Shoot’ and it was his turn.
“Okay, so out of Adele, the Queen and Drew Barrymore who would you ‘Kiss, Marry, Shoot?” I ask and he groans dramatically.
“C’mon! At least give me someone under 30!” He says pleadingly.
“Hey! Adele’s in her early 20’s, but fine, your choices are now Adele, the Queen and Louis Tomlinson, from One Direction.” I laugh
“Now you have two people under 30.” I say and he smirks wickedly.
“You my friend are evil. So if given this devastating situation I would kiss Louis, marry the Queen and shoot Adele.” He announces.
“You’d marry the Queen? And you’d rather kiss Louis than Adele? Well I didn’t know you swayed that way, but I suppose it’s good to know.” I laugh and he looks slightly embarrassed.
“Well I can’t rightly shoot the Queen of England can I? I mean what kind of Brit are you? And you can’t just kiss the Queen either, that’s improper, and then at least if we married I’d be the King, or kind of like a king. Louis on the other hand is rather young and good looking, and I’m confident enough in my masculinity that I can kiss a guy and not feel threatened. Oh and I don’t really like Adele, and I wouldn’t kiss her and leave her, she’d write an album about me, and how she’ll never find someone like me” He replies smiling.
“Well maybe she wouldn’t want to find someone like you? Ever think of that hot shot?” I reply sassily, or at least what I think is sassily. Cam falls back and clutches his chest.
“You mortally wound me fair maiden, shall I just hand you my heart, rather than you having to stab through my chest to crush it.” He gasps dramatically making me giggle,
“You’re such a tool Cameron” I reply and he once again looks wounded,
“Oh but Lexie darling, am I not the best tool ever made?” he replies and seems to realise that it makes no sense and joins in laughing with me.
“Speaking of tools, why is this particular tool sitting with us?” Drew asks, frowning and looking incredibly forlorn.
“Now, now boys, play nice” Tilly said from across the table,
“Oh, don’t worry Tilly, I’m not here to cause trouble, I just figured that since today is the day of the first challenge, Lexie would be feeling nervous and she would need someone to comfort and calm her. So as the decent roommate and friend that I am, I thought I would come and lend my services, no harm done.” Cam replied graciously, making Tilly snort.
“Lexie has Amber and Tilly and Me to support her, she doesn’t need you,” Drew replies.
“Well, looks like she wants me” Cam replies not quite arrogantly, but as though the information is fact and indisputable. I felt myself blush at the implications of his statement.
“Are you sure about that, ‘cause I’m pretty sure that she’s the one that chooses to sit next to us everyday, and you’re the one that followed her, so maybe you don’t know what she wants.” Drew replies scathingly.
“Well she sure as hell doesn’t want you,” Cam shoots back. Both guys are panting with the effort that it is taking them to remain somewhat calm and seated.
“Okay, now I want both of you here, so everybody just calm your farm.” I say and both guys seem to exhale, under the table Drew grabs my hand and squeezes it in apology, I squeeze back in forgiveness, suddenly my other hand is seized by Cam, I look up expecting him to be turning this into some sort of competition, making me the object of a tug-a-war but his eyes a light and full of sincere worry that I’m angry at him, he isn’t grabbing my hand because Drew did, he doesn’t know that Drew’s hand encases my other hand, he is simply holding my hand cause he wants to. I find myself- and not for the first time- literally torn between to the two of them, yet both are beyond my grasp.
Ms Sherman’s voice cuts through my deep contemplations, she is standing at the entrance of the hall, and the hall falls silent.
“Quiet please. So here is how today is going to work, I will call out the names of a pair and they will follow me to a room with a panel of judges, consisting of Mr Thornton, one of your subject teachers and myself will assess your understanding of the challenge.” She announced before calling out the name of the first pair. Two vaguely familiar and nervous faces followed her out of the room.
Immediately conversation resumed, but this time it was all business. I turned back to Cam, out game forgotten and began to worry my bottom lip.
We sit in a tense silence for an immeasurable time, watching couples come back in and go out. I wasn’t necessarily overly concerned about my grade, but knowing that failure not only equalled a bad grade but also a punishment had me worried, I mean, we’re talking about a school that advocates co-ed dorms, really did they adhere to standard punishment practises? Also I didn’t want to let Cam down, and as we were being graded as a couple I wanted to succeed together, however that sounded.
I hadn’t realised that my lip still remained between my teeth as the pain hadn’t registered, but Cam suddenly reached up and brushed his finger over my lip frowning. The action sent my thoughts about the test flying as a whole new set of butterflies overwhelmed me. I instinctually opened my mouth, and he pulled his hand away whilst not breaking eye contact with me. He cleared his throat and pasted on a reassuring smile, but the heat didn’t quite abate from his eyes.
“Hey, don’t look so worried, we’re going to be fine. Seriously, you’ve gone all pale, just breathe.” He says softly, causing me to inhale and exhale.
“Yeah I know, I’m just nervous” I reply, he nods and pulls me over to him so that I’m on his lap and hugs me. I lean into his embrace taking great comfort from the physical closeness. I hear a low grumble from my side and look over to meet a furious Drew’s stormy expression. Oh crap! Instinctually I stiffen and move away from Cam. I catch Amber’s more than smug expression and roll my eyes. I feel Cam look down at me, curious as to why I moved away, only for him to see Drew’s expression. Cam pulled me in closer and grinned deviously. That jerk! Here I am enjoying hugging him whilst he’s only doing it to piss Drew off. Now I pull away completely, and he looks down all confused at my pissed off gaze, his expression changes to understanding. He mouths ‘sorry’ and looks apologetic. Okay, so maybe he didn’t hug me just because of Drew. It was just as I was thinking that, my name broke through my thoughts and I felt everybody’s eyes in the hall switch to where I was sitting. I looked around my friends to see who called my name, but as Cam took to his feet and looked at me expectantly, I realised that it had been Ms Sourface to call my name. It was our turn.
As we followed Ms Sherman down the corridor, I felt my stomach drop and my pulse accelerate. I was on the verge of a fully-fledged panic attack when Cam slipped his hand into mine, like it was the most natural thing in the world. My fears evaporated instantly and the ever present electricity pulsed through my arm where we were connected. We kept walking and though I knew it was highly inappropriate to be so consumed in my thoughts of Cam on my way to an assessment, but my breathing continued to spike and if I was anymore hyperaware of Cam, I’d have freaking x-ray vision. Of course Cam looked as if he were taking a casual stroll through Hyde Park, no indication of nerves or even that he realised that he was holding my hand. I couldn’t help wonder if my reaction would ever lessen when it came to Cam. My wondering was naturally cut short by our entrance to Ms Sherman’s office. Naturally the nerves that had been abated by Cam’s presence now came back in full force and then some. Damn I wish I had Cam’s happy-go-lucky attitude.
Cam didn’t let go of my hand as we sat down, something I was eternally grateful for.
“Good Morning Miss Tompson and Mr Davies. It is a pleasure to finally meet you in person I must say.” Mr Thornton welcomed us in his bright and cheery way, as if it actually was a pleasure to meet us rather than just a pleasantry.
“Morning Sir” Cam replied and shook his hand, and went on to greet Ms Sherman and Miss Wotherspoon, our English teacher. This of course prompted me to return his greeting.
“Hi, nice to meet you too” I reply and quickly add a “Sir” as an afterthought though it’s hard to think of him as an authority figure.
“Yes, well let’s get down to business” Ms Sherman interrupts anything Mr Thornton was about to say as though she was dealing with three small children instead of to young adults and the head of the school.
“Yes quite right Barbra” Thornton replies, seemingly unperturbed by Ms Sherman’s dismissal.
“So your topic for this task was communication, how you find it best, as a duo, to communicate. So what have you come up with?” Thornton questioned his tone turning slightly more formal. I knew this was my cue to speak but my throat suddenly felt like an Arabian desert, I looked at Cam, glad that I wasn’t alone. He cleared his throat then continued on confidently.
“Well we’ve found that in order to communicate effectively, talking, plain and simple has worked for us.” Cam states assertively. His perfectly certain manner, making me feel braver.
“I’d like to add that, we’ve had to adjust from being strangers to living in close confinement which has been difficult, and that yelling, or laughing and talking has allowed us not only to become more acclimatised to each other and to learn boundaries, but it has also allowed us to communicate more than just opinions, but our emotions and thoughts, which has in turn allowed us to form not just a partnership, but a friendship.” I comment and my voice sounds calm and sure, really the opposite to how I’m feeling.
“Well that’s the best answer we’ve had all day!” Mr Thornton exclaims whilst beaming like a child on Christmas morning.
“This morning we’ve had pairs invent new languages, learn sign language, speak in different languages and make signs and codes which was not what the task required. We asked for the pairs to find how to communicate with each other, which was our code for talk to each other, and get to know each other.” He laughs
“Talking plain and simple, as you put it Mr Davies, is what we wanted to make you do, but Miss Tompson, I feel like you really iced the cake so to speak, sharing emotions and forming a friendship is exactly what we hoped would result. Well done, both of you.” He finished, standing up and shaking our hands.
Cam and I leave the office and manage to maintain our composure until the door has closed then we begin jumping up and down, I am beyond ecstatic and without thinking, high on elation as I am, I throw myself at Cam, but rather than being shocked though, Cam doesn’t hesitate to pick me up and spin me around. When he eventually puts me down I go to step away but his hands still form iron barricades around me and he keeps me so close that I can see the quick pulse beating in his neck, his eyes lock in on my lips, and before I can really gather my thoughts he begins to lean in, soon as I realise that he’s going to kiss me I skit away like a frightened lamb.
As Lexie stands gaping at me I silently spit every curse word I know at myself.
“I’m so sorry Lexie, I wasn’t thinking, that was totally inappropriate.” I apologise, trying my best to smooth it over and recover the look of happiness that had moments before infiltrated Lexie’s features. But as soon as I move toward her she continues to move away, shit. I stop moving and she begins speed walking down the hall setting a pace that had surely just broken the world’s power walking records.
Resigned and depressed I set off back toward the dining room, hoping for the first time in a long time to find Courtney, because whether or not Lexie wanted a relationship with me, I was not the type of guy who would cheat on a girl or string her along until something better came along.
I found her sitting at our usual table talking to one of her equally plastic friends, the one with a really nasally voice, her name something to do with nature, Rain? Sky? Something like that, so I tentatively walk over. When she first sees me, her face lights up, which is quickly followed by a frown of equal proportions,
“Why were you sitting with Frankenstein’s bride this morning instead of me? You know we didn’t have to sit with our partners.” She questions accusingly, her voice an octave higher than usual. Ignoring her jab at Lexie I forge on, even more determined to be rid of her.
“Courtney, we need to talk.” I say and immediately the temperature in the near vicinity drops at the ice in Courtney's scowl. Without waiting knowing she’ll follow I stride away.
When we’re finally out of the hall I turn around and decide to treat this like a band aid. Quickly and painlessly as possible. My planned speech is far from original and hopefully she’s already braced for it.
“Okay, here’s the thing, we’ve had some fun but I think that it’s best if we return to just being friends.” I rush, happy to be finally saying the words.
“You’re breaking up with me?” She asks in a shockingly calm voice.
“Break up isn’t how I’d phrase it but the outcome is the same, so yes I’m breaking up with you.” I reply bracing myself for the inevitable shock, anger and begging, and by God she doesn’t disappoint.
“YOU BASTARD! Every guy is this freaking school would saw off a vital limb for the privilege of so much as a look from me and you? You DUMP ME! This is because of the troll isn’t it?! She is a pathetic excuse for a girl and you would be socially ostracised for dating such filth! You won’t have a second chance with me Cameron, so I suggest you reconsider your previous statement.” She spat furiously at me, and despite my resolution to remain calm I slightly lost my head.
“Don’t you dare insult Lexie like that! She has been nothing but nice to you, and to everyone. She is sweet and funny and everything that is freaking good in the world. You aren’t fit to bloody lick the shit off her shoe, so please, insult me all you want but don’t you dare speak of Lexie with that tainted mouth. Courtney I don’t want to be with you, whether or not I want to be with Lexie is irrelevant, all she made me realise is how much I dislike you.” I reply letting a little too much loathing enter my voice. Crap. Courtney’s mouth dropped open and for once true pain replaced the ice-y coldness that usually settled in her gaze.
“Court, I’m sorr-” I begin but she cuts me off with a stinging slap to the jaw, which considering how clichéd the rest of the break up was I should’ve expected.
“You Cameron Blake Davies are the biggest arsehole I’ve ever had the displeasure to meet, and it will now be my personal crusade to ruin your life. I will destroy you, I will take away your friends and your precious little Lexie, you will be alone, and you, you will remember this day for the rest of your miserable existence.” She ground out viciously and then stormed off in a true diva fashion.