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CHAPTER 26
 
After school was re-opened, I was reluctant to go there again
 
I just wanted to stay at home
 
Forever
 
I wouldn’t have understood the feeling of being at home if someone would’ve asked me about it a few months ago. But now, the word home itself gave so much warmth; it gave me such solace
 
In middle of the holidays, Dylan, George, Martin and Stephanie came to my house to meet me. I didn’t talk to them much. I didn’t want to
 
I met Steve at my locker
 
"Emily" he smiled. He never called me Emily before; he hardly ever did
 
'‘Hi'’ I smiled
 
'‘I hope you’re okay"
 
"I am" I said, '‘I spent all of my time with my family. It felt good"
 
"I’m glad to hear that'’ he smiled at me and looked at me
 
I looked around, "have class, gotta go"
 
"Yeah sure" he said
 
After homeroom was over; I went directly to Mr. Hill’s office
 
"You have a letter Emily Watson" he smiled
I smiled.
 
Mr. Hill came to my house when my grandma died and after talking to him a little bit; it made me feel good
 
I opened the letter. It was from the Crackhead (Steve) again
 
Dear Respondent, 
 
Is it really a good idea though? What if she gets embarrassed? I don't want her to be the school's topic. I just want her to see how much I like her
 
With regards,
Crackhead 
 
I was frustrated. 
 
Why is he being so nice to Andrea for no reason? I've been in his life for almost forever but he was never extra nice to me. 
 
Then I started feeling pathetic. 
 
He's in a relationship with her, I thought, there's plenty of reason to be extra nice to her. 
 
I decided to write a quick reply and end all of this altogether.
 
Final exams were only a few months away and I certainly didn't have any plans to attract distraction. And right now, Steve was my distraction. But I really didn't mind it. 
 
I told Crackhead to do what's best. Mr Hill told me that I was rushing with the letters but he wasn't entirely wrong. I was rushing with letters. And for the first time, I felt kind of lonely. Genuinely lonely. 
 
I wondered how Steve and Andrea's relationship was like. 
 
Have they ever kissed? 
 
Duh idiot, inner Emily snorted, of course they have. 
 
I went home alone after school. I was in an okay mood. But then I noticed Steve and Andrea with a few other kids. 
 
"Kiss her! Kiss her!" 
 
I heard the kids screaming and pushing Steve to kiss Andrea. He looked uncomfortable. I looked away but then I turned around and noticed them again
 
"He wouldn't kiss her right?" I asked myself
 
Then Andrea pulled her collar and kissed him. And everybody cheered and I stood there, stunned. 
 
I wasn't the type who would hit someone for no reason but I really wanted to smack Andrea's head with a rock. But I couldn't, so I just went home. And cried. 
 
Stephanie came and I thought she would console me but she started crying too
We both were crying. Hysterically. 
 
"Why are you crying?" She sneered and sobbed
 
"Andrea and Steve kissed" I wiped my tears,
 
"and I just stood there. Why are you crying?"
I couldn't stop crying. I wondered why Stephanie was crying 
 
"I broke my colour palette" she cried loudly again
 
The years instantly stopped cascading and I turned to her. 
 
"What?" She wiped her eyes with tissues 
 
"Nothing" I smiled sarcastically. 
 
I got hold of the pillow and hit her hard, "You should be helping me out right now and you're talking about a freakin palette!?"
 
She didn't say anything. She wiped her tears and turned to me, "tell me"
 
"Forget it" I cried
 
That night, all of us gathered in my house. Steve and George got soft drinks, Martin got pizza, Dylan got marshmallows and other snacks and Stephanie brought sweets. 
But this gathering was very different than our usual ones. Nobody was talking except Martin. And he too was only talking a math competition. 
 
"Is nobody going to talk?" Dylan asked
 
"I'm sleepy" I lied. I wasn't sleepy at all. I just wanted all of them to leave
 
"So what do we do?" George looked at all of us, "Just leave?" 
 
"I would he glad" I muttered 
 
Everybody looked shocked. I didn't realise that I had said that out loud. 
 
George didn't say anything and started walking out of the room. 
 
"He's just upset nowadays" Steve looked at us, trying his hard to explain things, "his mom and dad are out of town, you know"
 
"We get it" Dylan smiled, "You go after him"
 
Steve smiled, "I'll leave then"
 
Steve looked at me but I looked away. He didn't say anything and left the room 
 
"Are Steve and George living together?" Stephanie asked
 
"Yeah" Dylan replied, "it's been a few months. His parents are out of town for some work" 
 
"Wow that's kind of cool" Stephanie said, "he gets to live with his best friend"
 
"Steve and George have a solid friendship, don't you think?"
 
"Yeah" Dylan smiled, "and I've kind of lost them"
 
"No you haven't" Stephanie answered. 
 
"Yes I have. Things have changed. I spend most of my time with the soccer players"
 
We all nodded. Then they decided to go home. But Stephanie didn't go, she decided to stay at my house. 
 
"What are you going to do?" Stephanie asked when everyone left
 
"What?" I asked 
 
"About Steve, George and Dylan?"
 
"I like Steve like that but it's not the same for the others"
 
Stephanie didn't reply. She hugged me for a long time. Then we both decided to sleep. 


Submitted: May 07, 2020

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