Chapter 8:

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 109

The day was strange to say the least. Ellie and Kris were really nice to her, like they’d noticed her for the first time and actually wanted to be her friends, actually wanted to know more about her. They didn’t sit behind the English block at recess. Instead they moved to sit on the little lawn in front of the teachers’ lounge. It was so much quieter sitting there, no screaming, no stupid jokes or apples being thrown at their heads. It was the peace that Kara had longed for, for so long. It was the comfort of being amongst people that you knew, or in this case were at least beginning to get to know.
There is so much that Ellie and I could have in common, Kara thought. Maybe if I tried to reach out a bit more - but she stopped herself, leaning further into Corey’s arms. She wasn’t going to go to anyone. She was going to do the same thing she’d always done and wait for people to come to her.
* * *
Kara groaned, jerking awake at the feel of her pocket vibrating and the piercing ring of her mobile phone.
‘Hello?’ She said releasing herself from Corey’s arms and siting up. Looking around she realised she must have fallen asleep during lunch time and partway into her free after lunch. Kris had left but Ellie and Corey were still sitting there talking.
‘Kar, you’ll never guess what happened today!’ exclaimed an excited voice on the other end of the line.
Kara looked at Corey confused, ‘I'm sorry, who is this?’
‘It’s Cassandra you idiot! So do you have any guesses or not?’ the voice that she now recognised to be her friend Cassie screamed at her.
Kara held the phone slightly away from her ear in pain, ‘Whoa, Cass calm down and tell me what’s going on.’
Kara had known Cassie since she’d been born. Their parents had been friends back in their childhood and although their parents didn’t keep in touch Cassie and her boyfriend Ryan were still very close friends of Kara. They went to her youth group and were two of the only people who ever noticed her existence, but then that was only at youth group.
‘Guess, guess, guess, guess, guess,’ screeched her friend.
‘Just tell me Cassie, you know I hate guessing games,’ Kara ignored the curious looks that she was getting from Ellie and released the hand the Corey was squeezing in an attempt to get her attention.
‘WE GOT IN!’ came a high-pitched squeal from the other end.
Kara was now well and truly confused, ‘Got into what? And you’d better tell me fast because I have to go in a minute.’
Cassie took a deep breath and calmed herself down, ‘Ryan and I applied to become part of the advanced class you are part of at your school.’
‘But Cass, I didn’t know they ran the program at St. Margaret’s,’ Kara interrupted referring to the posh private school down the road that her friends went to.
‘They don’t silly,’ Cassie said laughing. ‘We got in. We came for interviews at your school today and we’re joining your class on Monday.’
Kara was in shock, ‘Oh. My. God.’
‘Oh and by the way,’ her friend started. ‘Who was that guy I saw you with? He seemed gorgeous. I wouldn’t mind meeting him sometime-‘
‘Cassandra Danielson!’ Kara exclaimed. ‘A) What about Ryan? You know your boyfriend? And 2) He would be sitting right next to me right this second.’
Cassie sighed, exasperated, ‘I know, I know. But still if he’s a friend of yours I want to meet him.’
‘Well, I guess you could say that,’ Kara said blushing ever so slightly.
‘Katrina Johnson! Are you saying you’re going out with someone and you didn’t tell me? I'm appalled!’ Her friend exclaimed excitedly.
‘Gosh Cass, get a life. You’ll have to wait until you get here to find out I guess and now I really have to go. I’ll talk to you tonight at youth okay?’ Kara yawned and rubbed her eyes. She was singing in the band at youth that night. Part of her possessed her usual enthusiasm and couldn’t wait while the other part of her was dreading it. Youth group meant the weekend and the weekend meant more than fifty hours at home alone and this time there would be no Corey staying over to keep her company.
‘Hold on a sec, you’re singing tonight, yeah?’ Cassie asked. They always had this conversation on the nights she was singing. Cassie knew her roster better than Kara herself.
‘You know perfectly well that I'm singing tonight little miss I-know-your-own-roster-ten-million-times-better-than-you-do. Listen I’ll talk to you tonight. Cya, bye,’ with that Kara hung up, put the phone back in her pocket and breathed in an enormous breath of air.
Corey’s eyes searched her, as if wondering whether it was safe to ask what that had been about or not. But because of his caution to do anything that might upset her Ellie beat him to it, ‘So, who was that?’
‘Oh, that was my friend Cassandra. She’s…I’ve known her since I was born. She’s umm…three months older than me I think…yea something like that. Anyway she was basically just ringing to tell me that her and her boyfriend Ryan are moving into our class next week,’ Kara didn’t know how long she could keep talking. It was so strange for her to talk a lot, although when you don’t have friends there really isn’t anyone to talk to. But it seemed like all she did lately was talk. Tell Corey her inner most thoughts and feelings, things she’d never told or never would tell anyone else. Answer Ellie’s questions; ask some of her own in return. For a quiet girl who no one ever noticed she was sure making a lot of noise.
Kara was sitting lost in these thoughts when suddenly she felt a hand slap her lightly on the side of her face. She looked at Corey who was pulling his hand away and watching her like she was mad.
‘Hey you,’ he said. ‘Earth to Kara. We have lessons to go to.’
Kara sighed and stood up. She couldn’t help wondering how Cassie and Ryan were going to fit in at school, let alone what they would think when they saw how shy and quiet she was at school compared to how outgoing she was sometimes at youth group.
She reached down to pick up her bag and brushed of imaginary specks of dust.
Ellie and Corey exchanged a look before grabbing a hand each and screeching in unison, ‘Come on already, we’re going to be late!’
They dragged her a few steps before she finally wrestled free of Ellie’s grip and caught up to the two of them, still holding tight to Corey’s hand.
He searched her expression. She seemed distracted, like her mind was no longer on the face of the earth and that no matter what someone might say barely anything would bring her back. She was lost in thoughts, in a panic that not he or anyone else could ever or would ever understand. All Corey wanted to do was reach into her mind so that he could understand her better, so that he knew what she was going through, so that maybe he could draw her thoughts off whatever was worrying her or bothering her and turn them back onto something more pleasant. Something possibly more like the fact that his dad and his step-mum were at a business conference this weekend so he was staying at home with his mum. This in turn meaning he was planning to surprise Kara by showing up to her youth group along with Ellie who was a Christian and wanted to check it out anyway. All of this before possibly taking her home to meet his mum or maybe just spending the night at her house again.
Corey sighed as he sat down in his history class in his new front row seat next to Kara. All he wanted more than anything else was to be with her, to save her from the things that haunted her, to help her regain control of her life again.
Corey sat there deep in thought while on his right Kara half-heartedly copied notes off the board. On his left Ellie was trying very hard to stop herself laughing over some private joke between her and Kris, who was sitting on her other side.
Their teacher Mr O’Connell walked out of his office and towered over Corey gazing intently at the blank desk in front of him.
‘Mr Reynolds,’ the teacher bellowed. ‘Are you planing to do any work today?’
Corey jumped a mile. Normally he would have come up with some smart comment to that. Glancing behind him all the jocks – the ones that were just barely passing their advanced calculus class simply for the reason that they showed up – were waiting intently for his comeback.
Out of the corner of his eye Corey saw Kara’s eyes flicker back to her book, she had been watching his face intently wondering what he would do this time. After all Corey didn’t work. He passed most classes, of course there was the occasional teacher that would fail him but the rest of them passed him pretty much just for showing up and not making too much noise.
Then Corey did something that nobody expected him to do. He reached into his bag and took out a history book that, like the rest of his books, had never been opened before.
‘Of course, sir,’ he said, keeping eye contact with the elderly man who seemed completely shocked. ‘I'm terribly sorry.’‘Umm…yes…well…see to it that you do,’ the old man stuttered as he walked back to his desk scratching his head.
Corey took out a pencil that in comparison to all of his schoolbooks and other stationary looked well worn. He loved drawing. Kara knew that he would spend the lesson drawing instead of doing any work, but she also knew that he would pretend he was working for her.
They “worked” in silence for a while. Fifteen minutes before the end of the lesson Corey reached for her hand under the desk and put a small piece of paper on top of her book.
Kara looked at him for a second before taking his hand and glancing at the paper.
The words ‘Doing anything interesting this weekend?’ were scrawled across the paper in Corey’s precise but messy handwriting.
She laughed a light tingly laugh that made him smile.
‘Me?’ she asked, a slightly bemused smile across her face. ‘Actually doing anything interesting? No, I think not. I’ll be staying home alone without so much as a phone call and I’ll be bored out of my brai-’
He squeezed her hand, calming her down.
‘Why do you ask anyway?’ she asked.
He watched as she fiddled with the small scrap of paper, ‘I don’t know really. Conversation I suppose.’
She smiled and released his hand, going back to copying down the notes on the board. Despite knowing that he should do some work Corey just couldn’t. How could he concentrate on whatever rubbish that he would never use again when there was a beautiful girl sitting right next to him that he was beginning to love really strongly. He didn’t move his hand, just left it there on her leg where she had dropped it regardless of the fact that he shouldn’t have. Suddenly he couldn’t bare the thought of not being near her, with her, in contact with her, anything. A part of him was worried about what he would do if he didn’t have her anymore, if something happened, if she did something completely unthinkable and suddenly, just like that, she was gone. He had to feel it for himself; he had to know that she was still there.
Kara put the last full-stop on her page and placed her pen back in her pencil case. She laid her arms across the desk and placed her head on them as though going to sleep. Slowly she turned her head to face Corey.
In a small whisper she asked, ‘Why do you care?’
He smiled as he rubbed his hand lightly on the edge of her knee.
‘Because,’ he said softly. ‘I see what no one else does. I know who you are and why you are who you are. And because you are really important to me.’
She sighed almost happily and shifted positions so that she was leaning on his shoulder.


Submitted: October 15, 2009

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