By the time Mya was ready and I was tired of Marshall telling us about how much he “bangs” Luna (something a little sister never wants to hear her big brother say), the bus came down the street and was waiting for us. I don’t know if this was normal for a bus to do, but our bus driver honked the bus horn at us if we didn’t come out of the house fast enough. And we knew for sure that if we took too long, he would just leave, even though he could see us running frantically inside the house. Yeah, our bus driver was kind of a jerk. But you get used to it.
Brite, Marshall, Mya, and I walked out to the bus, Brite and I bringing up the rear, while Marshall was at the front with his ear buds already lodged inside his ears. Mya didn’t talk much that morning, and I think it had to do with the whole part of me freaking out about how she was holding hands with Derek, which I still hadn’t gotten completely over yet.
We did the usual routine; I nodded to the bus driver, who was grumpier than usual since it was Monday, so he just grunted at me once we got on. Brite was locked in a dead on texting battle with Charlie, whom she was mad at for dodging and ignoring her for three days. Which was weird, because I knew that Charlie was pretty attentive (for a teenage guy with the attention span of a squirrel) and it was out of his character not to pay attention to Brite.
She would have waited until we got to school or after, but he did cross country and they were out of school for the next few days for a competition. Her thumbs were moving madly across the keyboard, and her usually pale cheeks were pink with frustration. If it wasn’t a serious situation, I would have laughed because whenever Brite looked mad, she just looked cute. She couldn’t help it; with her pixie shaped face.
Well, then again, there’s no such thing as pixies. I think.
We sat down and the bus went to the next stop, just a few blocks away from my house to the next stop, where this guy named Dominic and a girl named Angela (who was almost exactly like Angela from The Office). We were about to take off, but then there came a girl running out of her house, her red hair flying behind her like a superhero’s cape. She ran up the stairs, sent an angry look to the bus driver for almost taking off and slowly walked down the aisle like she owned the place. No one was really paying attention though, on account of Marshall had started a game of Handball in the back of the bus and everyone besides me and Brite weren’t really paying attention. The girl plopped down in the seat in front of me and Brite, and before long, she craned her neck and stared at me.
I have to admit, I was a little psyched out. She just…kept looking at me. Expectantly, like she was waiting for me to say something. The redhead even raised her slim eyebrow at me and tilted her head to the side, just staring at me with her weird cat-like green eyes.
When I didn’t say anything back, just stared back at her with a confused look on my face, she said in a surprisingly deeper toned voice, “Don’t you remember me?”
It was my turn to cock my head to the side. “I’m sorry?” I asked, completely perplexed. I’d never seen this girl before in my life.
She sighed. “I should have expected that. It’s been a long time,” She turned around and dug her hand around in the pocket of her neon pink jeans before pulling out a crumpled picture and handing it to me. “That was me, two years ago.”
I didn’t really feel like looking at a total stranger’s picture, but I decided to anyway. I examined the picture. It was her, with black hair and dark purple lipstick. She was dressed in mostly black (definitely Goth, but not exactly Emo) with a purple shirt underneath her black jacket, and a short skirt with fishnet tights. In a way, she kinda looked like a prostitute, but I didn’t say it aloud. She was giving the camera the middle finger. But suddenly, I caught a glimpse of something in her face. I stared at it intently, trying to figure out what I saw, and then let out a gasp.
“Elyse?” I gasped. “Is that you?”
She laughed, showing a dimple in her left cheek. “Yup, it’s me. Completely different, right?”
“No kidding,” I muttered, holding up the picture to her face and looking back and forth. “I thought you moved to Arizona!”
Elyse grimaced a little at me. “Well, once we moved there, I became even more rebellious against my parents, and they were so tired of me being angry all the time that they sent me back here to Baltimore to live with my grandparents. But they said I had to stop being Goth.” She explained, giving me a little smile.
I smiled back. “I never knew you were a redhead,” I said, giving her hair a glance.
“Yeah. I figured I didn’t look as cool as I thought I did with black hair like I did those few years ago.” She said.
Finally, I began to remember. Elyse, Brite, and I used to be friends, back in the eighth grade, but like she said, her family had moved to Arizona. I couldn’t believe she had moved back. Maybe I didn’t have bad luck after all. Or, then again, I could have just jinxed myself again.
I elbowed Brite sharply in the elbow, who was still so wrapped up in her text messages that she hadn’t heard a word I’d said.
“What?” She snapped, giving me a pissed off look. She locked her phone and shoved it in her pocket, obviously showing that her conversation with Charlie didn’t end that well.
I gestured towards Elyse, who was still turned around and grinning at us widely. I would be too, if I came back to the place where all my friends were. “Elyse’s back, Bri.”
Bri barely even looked up before mumbling, “Hi.” She crossed her legs over one another and turning towards the window.
“What’s her problem?” Elyse whispered, knowing that if Bri heard her, she would probably get even more pissed and yell at her. Like I said, it was always hard for Bri to stop being angry. She just didn’t handle it very well. Not like I was one to talk, anyway.
I leaned in to Elyse. “She’s having a fight with Charlie. They’ve been going out for a few months, now.”
I watched as Elyse’s eyes widened and she moved her head back a little. “O-oh. Charlie? I-I didn’t know they were going out…” She stuttered, a bright shade of red masking over her entire face.
I was confused at Elyse’s reaction. What did she know about Charlie, and why did she look so worried when I brought him up? I wanted to ask her more about it, but her attention was diverted to the back of the bus. Her green eyes gleamed with excitement.
“Who’s that guy?” She whispered. “I would so do him.”
I raised my eyebrow. I had forgotten that Elyse was a very outspoken person, and would say just about everything she was thinking out loud the second she thought it. I turned to who she was eyeing, and there was Dominic, doing a thrusting motion with is hips as he had just won a round of Handball.
“That dude? That’s Dominic. He moved here last year.”
Elyse raised her eyebrow at him. “Does he have a girlfriend?” She purred a little in her throat, like a cat.
I was weirded out by how turned on she was getting by just looking at Dominic. It was…unsettling. “Er…I don’t know. At least, I don’t think so.”
“The things I would do to him…,” She mumbled with a faraway look in her eyes.
“Uh…” I said uncomfortably before clearing my throat loudly. “You alright there, Elyse?”
She blinked and shook her head, looking dazed. “What? Did you say something?” She didn’t even wait for me to say anything. “I’ll see you later, okay, Mel? I’m gonna go talk to Dom.” She announced before walking towards the back – while the bus was still moving, might I add – and sat down in the seat next to Dominic, who’s eyes were completely transfixed on Elyse.
I rolled my eyes as I turned to face the front and crossed my arms over my chest. Everyone was gettin’ some but me. I get what, like, three or four measly kisses from Dre, and two longer-lasting ones from Ivan. That’s not enough!
Oh my god, I sound like a total whore. I gasped in my head. I just need to focus on…school or something. I reminded myself in my head. Then I realized how stupid that sounded because I rarely paid attention in school. Sort of a side effect from having the attention span of a three year old. Or, just someone with ADHD. Hey, maybe I really did have ADHD.
I sat in silence, waiting for Elyse to come back after seducing Dom while Brite stared out the window, completely fuming. Her hands were balled into fists next to her sides so forcefully that her fingernails were digging into her skin. I wanted to prod her to see what happened, but I knew that she would probably get all pissed and wouldn’t talk to anyone for the rest of the day.
My eyes suddenly rested on her phone next to her reddened hand. Carefully, my eyes trained on the back of her turned neck, I slowly crept my fingers over the surface of the seat, making sure not to make a sound. As I grasped the phone in my hand, I let out a breath, and realized that I’d been holding it. I went to flip the phone open, when Brite rounded on me and snatched the phone back out of my hands.
“He cheated on me,” She mumbled, not even looking at me. There were a few tears in her eyes, so I knew it was serious.
“Say what now?” I gasped, totally shocked. My jaw dropped open, and I struggled to close it back, so it just bobbed up and down. I turned back to Brite, and saw that she was still staring out the window, avoiding all social interaction.
“He…cheated on you?” I asked, completely stunned. “W-when?” I stuttered.
“Few weeks ago,” She muttered, like the things she was saying were only making her angrier. “With some bimbo redhead girl. Didn’t even know her name. He said he just felt “smothered” by me.” She said, using air quotes on the ‘smothered’ part.
“Oh wow,” I whispered, trying to wrap my brain around the whole thing. Charlie wasn’t like that, or at least, I didn’t think he was. I couldn’t believe it. He and Brite had seemed so happy, so good together. But apparently, there was more underneath the surface…how could we have misjudged him like that?
“So he…you know, with her?” I asked hesitantly.
“Yup. He fucked her.” Brite said blatantly in the same flat, angry tone. I was shocked at Brite’s cursing; she rarely did so. “His first time, with a total and complete stranger.” She added bitterly.
It was at that time that Elyse started to bob back up to the seat in front of us, grinning widely. I saw her wink at Dom, and he smiled goofily back at her. Oh boy.
“He doesn’t have a girlfriend, he’s sexy, and I’m totally going to do him,” She ticked off on her fingers, a dreamy look in her eyes.
“That’s just lovely,” I mumbled. “You two actually agreed on the whole jumping his bones part?” I asked.
“Well, no, not exactly,” She admitted sheepishly. “But it’ll happen sooner or later. Trust me.” The gleam in her eyes told me that it was probably going to be sooner rather than later.
I had forgotten what a total sex feign Elyse was.
She finally saw the angry yet sad expression on Brite’s face and mouthed to me, “What’s her problem?”
“Charlie cheated on her” I mouthed back. I watched as a worried look seemed to appear in Elyse’s eyes, and they darted away from my gaze as she didn’t say anything else. Again, how suspicious of her. Just what exactly was she hiding from me?
Does she know something about Charlie cheating that she’s not telling us? I asked myself in my head. I knew for sure that she wasn’t the girl that Charlie had slept with. She wouldn’t do that, Elyse was a better friend than I was giving her credit for. I suddenly felt guilty for ever thinking she would help one of her best friend’s boyfriend cheat. No way.
Out of completely nowhere, the bus driver slammed on the brakes, sending me flying from the seat and straight into the back of Elyse’s seat, so if I had been wearing my backup glasses instead of my contacts, they would have been totally smashed. Ergo, the situation happened to a nerdy sixth grader in the front of the bus shrieking, “My glasses!”
“Holy shit!” Elyse screamed after her back slammed into the back of the seat in front of her, a redness glowing over her face as she sent me a pained look. Brite, on the other hand, had slid off the seat on the ground with a bewildered expression her face.
“What in the hell was that for?” I yelled at the top of my lungs, which was followed by a chorus of grumbling and profanities from the guys at the back of the bus. I was surprised as Dom walked up the aisle and quickly planted a kiss on Elyse’s cheek and asked her if she was okay. It was actually kind of sweet, I had to admit, and thought to myself, maybe Dom and Elyse aren’t the biggest pervs in the world.
But I was proven wrong as Dom slapped her on the butt before trotting to the back of the bus to receive approving high fives from the rest of the guys in the back.
“Wait a second!” I heard a somewhat familiar voice say from the outside of the bus. I pushed past Brite, who was still stunned after being sent to the floor, and looked out the window. And there, standing on the sidewalk, with his platinum blond hair, wide and mystical blue eyes, along with a smirk across his face, was Ivan.
“Shit on a stick!” I cursed through gritted teeth. How in the hell was Ivan going to ride my bus? And out of the thousands of schools out there, why couldn’t he just go somewhere else? Somewhere like Jefferson or something, since that’s where I had lied to Brite where he went to. Oh God, he was probably going to want to talk with me. I couldn’t deal with him right now. And what if he saw Dre at school? They were probably going to get into a huge fight and I bet somehow, just somehow, I would get caught in the middle.
“Damn,” I muttered under my breath. “There goes my good luck.”
“Uh, ow,” Brite said sorely with a cross expression on her face. “Thanks for stabbing me with your gorilla knuckles when you were looking out the window.” She said sarcastically.
I glared at her. “Sorry,” Before adding, “And I don’t have gorilla knuckles!” I was antsy as I saw Ivan board the bus, and as soon as he reached the top step, his eyes locked with mine. He gave me a smirk before apologizing to the bus driver with a sly smile on his face, and had his eyes locked on mine – as everyone else’s were on him – while he walked down the aisle.
Crap. I groaned in my head. That bastard really is going to ride my bus. Unfortunately, I have to admit, my heart did a little flutter when I saw him look at me like that. There goes my good luck, flying right out the freaking window. And in comes the whore side of Melita Young. Because she’s not satisfied with just one guy (even thought that sounds pretty provocative, but trust me, it’s not) and is upset that the guy she really likes goes through extreme lengths not to like her. I mean, really extreme lengths.
As Ivan finally reached me – and Elyse’s eyes were glued on him like she had completely forgotten about Dom – he dragged his eyes away from me and stared ahead. When he stopped himself and stood right next to my seat, his eyes widened and he said in an (obviously fake) and shocked voice, “Is that you, Melita? Why, I haven’t seen you in ages!”
He then looked at me expectantly, as he waited for me to move, and I glared at him. “Watch out, Brite,” I sighed, and scooted over, as she was still on the floor and pulled my feet up to my chest – which wasn’t easy with those D sized balloon-like thingies hanging from my chest – and Ivan slid in next to me.
“What the fuck is this?” Brite cried, looking up at me. “You know this guy or something?”
“Er, yeah,” I said unintelligibly, letting Brite rest her head on my leg.
“If so, hurry up and introduce us,” Elyse said, like she had completely forgotten about Dom. “I’m Elyse.” She said, holding out her hand, not even waiting for me to introduce them together.
He smirked at her, completely unaffected by her ogling. He must have been used to it. Did I just admit in my head that Ivan’s pretty hot? I asked myself, mulling the situation over.
“I’m Ivan,” He said, shaking Elyse’s hand before turning to Brite, looking at her expectantly.
“Brite.” She muttered, giving him a salute and turning away, obviously not wanting to talk.
“She’s going through a rough patch with her boyfriend Charlie,” I whispered. I watched as Elyse automatically avoided my gaze by turning away once I mentioned Charlie. “And what are you doing here?” I said fiercely in his ear.
He smiled at me, and started to lean as if he was going to kiss me. I put my hand up to his chest, and he stopped, giving me a saddened look. “I haven’t seen you in forever, Mel!” Ivan said dramatically. “Didn’t you miss me, too?”
“Ivan.” I said in a flat tone, giving him a serious look. “I saw you like, two days ago.”
“Wait a second,” Brite said, turning to us, overhearing our conversation. She pushed me over so that I had no choice but to basically sit in Ivan’s lap, which gave him an excited look in his eyes, while I just rolled mine. “This is the guy? The guy you met at the science center with My?”
“Science center?” Ivan repeated, whispering in my ear. “Smooth, Mel.”
I grimaced before quickly whispering back, “Your house is kinda like a science center okay? Just deal with it for now!”
Ivan smiled at me, and then pinched me in my side, making me jump up and let out a little squeal. He turned to Brite, that permanent smirk of his growing wider. “Yeah, I’m that guy. I transferred from Jefferson to Williem Ocean. To be closer to Melita, of course.” He said before giving me a tight squeeze. I prayed in my mind that a lightning bolt would just come through the bus and strike Ivan right then and there.
“Oh. You’re taken.” Elyse said unenthusiastically, while Brite gave me a wide-eyed look. I sent her a look, knowing that she knew it meant I would explain later.
I sat there while Ivan animatedly told a tale of how he moved from Chicago to here in Baltimore, which I knew was a total and complete lie the whole time. As I sat there, wishing I could be anywhere but there at that exact moment, I jumped a little as Ivan pushed his hand up the backside of my shirt, his fingers dangerously close to the waist band of my pants.
“You’re pushing it,” I whispered to him through my gritted teeth.
“And you’re hardening it,” He smiled back at me, obviously enjoying seeing me squirm under his will. And, worse of all, I was precariously close to really liking the way Ivan held me as I sat in his lap.
I’m going to hell, aren’t I? I groaned to myself in my head.
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