Author: Another Folly PM
Hello, my name is Mitch Cook. I'm just your regular guy in High School, trying to cope with their unmanly feelings. Alright, maybe it isn't as ordinary as I make it sound... but... dammit, shut up. I'm not gay. Extreme denial, MxMRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 2 - Words: 14,945 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 07-03-12 - Published: 06-25-12 - id: 3036014
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
You know, there is something different about having actual feedback on things I write. It is encouraging, but on the other hand it is shit-my-pants terrifying, because I don't want to disappoint anyone with my stupid plot-lines. Anyway, enjoy the second chapter (or not).
"The squid… doesn't handle the fork correctly..."
"… Mitch, you're going to be late for school."
Ok, that got my attention enough for me to be semi-coherent, though I promptly forgot what I was dreaming about as soon as my feet touched the floor. My mom was staring at me strangely as she walked out of the room, but that was nothing new. She just couldn't understand my genius.
Wait… did I say something just now? Oh well, I can't remember anyway.
I lazily looked over to the alarm clock before realizing with a start that it was 7:25. Holy shit, I only had five minutes. I searched my mind for any possible reason as to why my alarm didn't go off, but just decided to chock it up to aliens before I was up and out of my room with a pile of clothes in my hand. I had to dare the dirty clothes pile, and managed to find something that didn't smell that weird.
Then, as all boys my age are prone to do (except maybe Michael), I just brushed my teeth and sprayed on some cologne and was on my way, in my artificial, stinky, no-shower glory.
I sprinted down the hallway and turned the corner with so much freaking skill that the universe broke and gravity decided to start working again in an attempt to set right the natural order of things. Yes, I landed on my face. I needed to stop trying to do that with socks on.
My mom didn't even look up from her newspaper to see why her son had just collided into the earth, probably because of the other numerous times it happened. The only reaction I could see was her turning the page and looking at the sports section. I grumbled and got off the ground ungracefully. I then proceeded to stare until she just happened to glance in my direction.
"What is it, Mitch?" She sighed tiredly and set down the newspaper. I didn't answer at first, very carefully considering what I was going to say and how I was going to say it. I barely got a chance to open my mouth before she interrupted me. "Is this about money?"
"No!" Ok, that was too quick of answer to seem like anything but a lie to her, but I actually wanted to ask an entirely different question, I swear. I cleared my throat and gathered up my courage (which you must know is serious for me, because I've never had a problem speaking my mind before). "Mom…"
"Well, Jason got this new game and I was wondering—"
Well, that was the end of that conversation. I grumbled and grabbed my bag all while sending dirty looks my mother's way. She just smiled and shook her head before returning to her newspaper with a few chuckles. Yep, it seemed the only way I could get my mom to laugh is if I asked her for things. That's comforting.
I slipped on my shoes and grabbed the spare car key off the hook before departing outside into the sunny, warm, outdoor air—
Yeah, let's go with rain, because it was everywhere.
What a great start to the day, right? For some reason, I had the feeling that it was only going to get worse as I opened up the driver's side. I plopped down into the cushions (which were almost as comfy as those heavenly, red sofas) and started the car.
My mom didn't have to work today, so I was good to go. I guess the only down side was that the outside of the truck was dirty and looked as if it had just been in a monster truck rally… located in the middle of a tornado. Not that I really cared though. I mean, I was wearing a stained jacket that stunk of cheap cologne, so I could hardly say that I pay attention to that stuff.
But, do you know who did pay attention to that "stuff"?
Please, take a wild guess before reading further.
As soon as I walked into the school (soaking wet, I may add), and eventually into my classroom, I was greeted with the unholy scowl of my best friend, Michael Hunt. Now, imagine my surprise to such a reaction when we had silently agreed to end the fight between us (as was usually the way these things were resolved). I nervously sat down while Michael glared at me from across the room, with his stupid perfect eyebrows all perfectly trained down into a perfect look of disgust. Dammit…
When the bell rang, I didn't even make it out of the classroom before Michael had descended upon me, his talons raised. He grabbed my wrist and pulled me out into the hallway (something I vaguely remember doing to him just yesterday) while avoiding all of our classmates that were sending us curious looks. I didn't try to pull away and he didn't stop until we had reached the restroom.
He then promptly shoved me inside and followed behind with a discontented grumble.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" He really did sound disgusted, and his yelling made me angry in turn, but really… I could never stand up to him. Michael was like a slightly shorter demon when he disagreed with something (which I think is where is equally demonic sister gets it from).
"I'm being kidnapped?" I scoffed, purposely trying to sound prideful just to loosen the air a bit. Michael seemed to realize that I had no idea what he was talking about and cooled down significantly, although his look of disgust never did go away.
"Did you take a shower this morning?"
Oh great, here we go…
And, to all of those lucky people that guessed correctly, have a fucking party in celebration, because shit is about to get real. I only hope that my mom will at least get a gravestone with my name on it, that being Mitch. Really, why the hell do people use Mitchel? I just don't fucking understand. I would think it would be easier to say Mitch, because it's like two letters shorter, but everyone insists—
"You didn't, did you?"
Oh yeah, I was facing certain doom. Thanks for reminding me.
"Does it matter?"
"What?" Michael was looking at me like I was the idiot complaining about a little manly aroma. Hell, it's much better than the soapy, flowery smell that always seemed to follow him around. Hasn't anyone ever told him that guys aren't supposed to smell like that? Or have perfect eyebrows? "You can't be serious…"
"Oh, come on! You are just being dramatic!" I yelled very loudly, on purpose I may add. I was actually hoping that a teacher would pass by and notice the commotion, at least long enough to save me from an early grave that misspelt my name. Unfortunately, this may have just sealed my fate because Michael looked severely pissed off again.
"Do you know how many germs are probably crawling all over you? Plus, didn't you wear that jacket a couple days ago? You wore it again? What are you trying to do, kill us all?"
I nearly expected him to get out the pictures of infection that he had in his bag (which I thought practically screamed 'serial killer' and the fact that I know they exist can tell you that I've had this conversation before), but before he could even reach for it, the gods answered my prayers when the door flew open to interrupt my friend. Someone walked in, someone I recognized. Dammit all.
Wait, did I say gods? I must have been praying to Hades exclusively, my apologies.
"Yeah, one second let me just—" The new occupant's conversation with someone outside was cut short when he finally noticed us. He just let the door swing close and I thought I heard a shrill, girly voice on the other side, but I didn't really care to ponder it much because this definitely wasn't a good time to go off on one of my hourly mental-rants.
Even Michael managed to hold back his germ-educating long enough to notice the tense atmosphere. I'm not really sure if he knew who was in front of us since he had never met the guy personally, but like you probably guessed, Michael was smart. He'd figure it out on his own.
"Hi there." The senior sounded very uninterested, but he definitely was avoiding looking me in the eye for too long, but the phony smile plastered on his face irked me more than I care to admit. I was about ready to punch him in his lousy face—
Whoa, whoa… Play it cool, Mitch. Don't attack him. After all, he's not bringing it up, so let's just bury the hatchet once and for all… and… crap, I don't think I can do this. Seriously, he's just asking for it, with that crappy grin.
"Let's go, Michael." Somehow I managed to turn away. I really couldn't trust myself to be around the senior in front of me for too long, so I grabbed Michael's wrist and tugged him past the bastard and into the hallway, trying desperately to ignore the look the guy sent me when I touched my friend's hand.
Now, I'm sure you are all very curious as to who that was, and I'll tell you.
That was Aiden Ward, or in other words, my newly-named arch nemesis from a fight that I'd rather forget about. I noticed with some disdain that the girly voice that had reached my ears just seconds before came from his floozy girlfriend Sophia Barnes. She eyed me up (and I could hardly blame her for my handsome good looks) and then my friend (something I was less thrilled about, honestly) and decided we weren't worth her time. I would have flipped her off if Michael hadn't switched our positions and pulled me away.
When we were a safe distance from my arch-nemesis and the Siren (as I will now refer to her as) my friend stopped. The halls were still filled with students even though class was going to start in a few minutes. Luckily, they all seemed a bit preoccupied to take notice of us, not that I would care if they did anyway.
"What was that about?" Hey, at least he forgot about my shower situation, right? I can win some of the time— "And, you are going to go to the locker room before lunch." —and lose most of the time. I didn't want to answer at first, especially since it seemed as if Michael was aware of who Aiden was (which wasn't that surprising if you consider Aiden's inexplicable ability to make people like him). Also, I could have sworn that there was someone, somewhere in that crowd of students that kept looking at me. Maybe it was nothing but I kept feeling a prickle on the back of my neck because of it. Oh yeah, Michael is still waiting. This is probably a bad time to acquire spidey senses.
"He's just pissed that I beat him up. That's all."
"You beat him up? That's not what I heard." Michael freaking chuckled and completely ignored my flabbergasted look. Screw him! I totally beat up Aiden, I just got hit a few times, but losing one battle doesn't mean you lost the war, right? After all, I distinctly remember him having a black eye… or a bruise… maybe a scratch? Yeah, definitely a significant injury of some kind! Michael had to wave his hand in front of my face to get my attention again, but he was used to that. "Plus, he didn't seem angry at all. You were the one not acting civil."
"Wait, what did I do? He freaking—" I stop myself just in time to see Michael's look, the one that appeared whenever he was conniving. This was just a part of his plan, wasn't it?
"What did he do?" He looked way to expectant for this to be anything but a scheme.
"No, no, no." Just to emphasize my point, I shook my head violently. "I'm not falling for it!"
"Fine, fine…" Michael scoffed but otherwise didn't bring up the aforementioned subject again. He could be cool sometimes— "You're still taking a shower, by the way. "
"Alright, geesh… let's just go to class already." That seemed to make him jump as he looked around and noticed the almost empty hallway.
"Class? What time is it?" Oh, my poor, oblivious friend. He seriously just noticed that the students around us were thinning out as we speak, which usually meant we only had about thirty seconds before the bell rung and we were late. Some people were just too skilled at this last second thing. "Crap! Let's go."
That was the closest thing to a swear that ever came out of my best friend's mouth. I am glad I was here to witness this monumental event.
I wasn't in any hurry, but I kept pace with Michael just to appease him. If you hadn't forgotten, I still felt that prickly feeling on the back of my neck like I was being watched. I almost turned around to identify the eavesdropper, but we had already reached the class and the bell rang mere seconds afterwards. I have to assume whoever it was had to go… assuming it was even a student. Yeah, creepy.
I didn't get to dwell on the feeling long though, because I was immediately distracted by the clothes my English teacher chose to wear today. If what I was wearing bothered Michael, I'm sure he would need extensive therapy after he saw Mr. Wilson. I laughed without fear at the petrified look that came across my friend's face.
"What's wrong?" Mr. Wilson looked at both of us, and Michael's face went red when he realized that the class was staring at the two boys that had yet to sit down. He muttered something unintelligible and took his seat in the front of the classroom. I, on the other hand, still stood in front of the class assessing my favorite teacher.
Oh yes, you heard correctly. I actually had a teacher that I didn't despise or use for hilarious (or nefarious, depending on your point of view) purposes.
"Mitch…" Ah, the sweet bliss of being called by your real name.
"Are you going to sit down?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah." I was in a classroom after all. I strode happily to my seat next to Michael, sitting on the top of the desk just as he instructed. Everyone was still staring, and I noticed gleefully that my short friend had his head down on his desk and his blush practically reached his ears. That's cute— in an unmanly way, I mean… obviously. (Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that I've thought something like that before?)
"Are you going to sit on the chair?"
"I'd rather not."
"Alright." And with that, Mr. Wilson walked over to me and if you are curious as to what I was talking about with his choice of wardrobe, let's just say he looked more like a college student that forgot to do his laundry than a teacher. He wore baggy jeans, a stained t-shirt with the name of some old band on the front, and he seems to not have shaven in a few weeks. I wonder if he's trying to grow a beard. He'd look like a miner. We were currently in a death stare match, our usual way of solving these disputes.
Shit, I blinked.
"You cheated!" No, he did not, but it made me feel better nonetheless. I reluctantly slid over and plopped into my seat, being sure to grumble about the injustice of the world the whole time.
"Right…" Mr. Wilson chuckled and began his lesson with as much enthusiasm as you would expect me to exhibit when faced with chores. That is to say, with no enthusiasm at all.
To this day I have no idea why he became a teacher.
Of course, he is still my favorite. Michael for some completely inconceivable reason (it's his germs) does not seem to like him very much. I think he's held a grudge ever since I got a better score on my short story. Michael did something about a middle-aged professor while mine had a talking rhinoceros and magical trees. Actually, it was just some dream I had during the summer after I stayed up for three nights in a row using only my sheer willpower and fifty three red bulls, but that's irrelevant.
Michael got a perfect score, but I got a perfect score plus one. My short friend thinks that the teacher picks favorites, to which I say that I am every teachers' favorite.
He laughed more than I thought he would, now that I think about it.
Anyway, Michael seemed to calm down from his red-faced stupor. I heard him sigh, which immediately worried me. He loved to learn stuff, and hell would have frozen over if he ever found it bothersome.
"Are you ok?" This time I'm a lot quieter than I was yesterday when addressing my friend. He jumps slightly, as if he was lost in his thoughts. "Hey, I'm the only one that is allowed to space out." Michael smiled at my small joke (if it could even be considered a joke, since I was actually pretty serious).
"Bullshit." My innocent friend had gotten used to my swearing long ago, but that doesn't mean he still didn't give me a disapproving look, although he chose not to comment on it. It would be useless anyway, because swearing is in my blood, which is evident if you've ever seen my mom stub her toe. I looked over to my friend and sighed. Seeing him sad made me sad for reasons I can't (and won't try to) explain. "Look, I'm just worr—"
My sentence was cut off when I was hit in the head with one of those pink erasers. Is that random to you, my dear reader? Yes, it was to me too, especially since it came from the college hobo attempting to pass as a teacher. The whole class stared at him in silence, and I swear to god Michael was laughing at me since the eraser seemed to be sticking to my forehead. It fell to the desk a moment later, but by that time my teacher had already resumed his lesson like he hadn't just assaulted a student by throwing something at him.
"What was that for?"
Mr. Wilson stopped and nonchalantly picked up another eraser from his desk and proceeded to make it bounce off my head once again.
"Quiet, I'm trying to teach our youth."
I did not win the staring match this time either, so I was resigned to not speaking for the rest of the class period. Just to spite him, I took both erasers for myself. (When will my rebellion ever cease?)
Well, at least Michael seemed amused by it.
That frown was really starting to make me depressed and his smile was enough of a reason for me to forgive my teacher for the time being. If you asked, I'd probably just say it's like making a baby happy by giving him candy. It's only cute because it's so damn innocent looking, and you can end up forgetting about the drool and the god-awful smell.
But, I guess Michael had the added bonus of not, in fact, smelling or drooling. He also hated candy and was sixteen, so I guess that's not the best metaphor. I guess if I really had to explain myself, I'd say…
It's only cute because—
…Shit, how do I finish that sentence?
The locker room sucks.
Not only did Michael really force me to take a freaking ice cold shower before lunch, he also decided it was fine and dandy to take my clothes and replace them with his freaking nerdy sweatshirts that he inexplicably had at school. Yeah, this definitely wasn't going to be a good day, and I knew this would hold true the moment I walked out and found Jason in the hallway. Yes, he was staring at me. He cocked his eyebrow (something I was starting to believe everyone could do except me) and looked at what I was wearing without a word. No, he didn't need to say anything for me to understand what he was asking, with that stupid grin on his face.
I'd like to take this time to say that blushing should have no bearing on how manly and heroic a person is, really. With that being said, I only just hid my face when Michael came out after me, seemingly oblivious to Jason's silent accusation.
"Oh, hey." Michael grinned and walked over to our tall friend. They exchanged a few words while I was too busy trying to get my face back to normal to listen.
Of course, I immediately turned my attention to their conversation when Michael's face lit up just like mine. Though, I guess my face must have gone a few shades paler now, because my stomach sunk with despair at the look of disgust on his face. What were they talking about? Was it about me? Did Jason tell him something? And why the hell does that bother me so much? Also, (for the third time, I believe) I should stop spacing out.
"Eww, that's gross, Jason."
"Haha… what's gross, Michael?" Ok, that sounded pathetic. Like, really, really pathetic, and I don't even know why. Both of my friends turned towards me, though Jason was still smirking and Michael just looked confused. I grumbled and pulled on my (excuse me, Michael's) sweatshirt, trying to ignore the stupid conflicting feelings that I didn't understand.
Feelings of any kind are really unmanly, let me tell you. But, you'd be pissed too if your friends were talking about you, and probably saying something like, Mitch is undeniably ga—
"My brother finally lost his virginity."
"Oh dear god, I didn't want to know that!" I honestly preferred the other theory to this. Jason looked proud and extremely amused at my misconception of the situation. I, on the other hand, was gaping and was freaking out as I tried to get the visual out of my mind. Wasn't Justin only fourteen? "That's disgusting!"
"No, it is a beautiful part of nature! You see Mitch, there are the birds and the bees, and then when they love each other very much, they—"
"The boy bee takes his stinger and—"
"Shut up, shut up."
"—but always remember to use protection or—"
"Jason." My slightly shorter friend finally came to the rescue, seemingly just as grossed out by the situation as I was, or more so considering his hatred of anything even vaguely related to germs. "Quit it."
I noticed immediately that Jason did quit it. What the hell? He listens to Michael and not me? Dammit.
Now that we were the happy trio again (with the exception of me, who kept receiving slightly disturbing and incomprehensible looks from Jason every few seconds) we headed towards the lunch room where a mass of students were centered, eating to their heart's content. This was my favorite part of the day, for several reasons.
For one, the only educating that went on within this room was when Michael told me some obscure fact about why the food here is a crime against nature (and has effectively scared me long enough to only get things out of the vending machines). It's just the best time ever. Jason liked to woo the girls, Michael liked to question the lunch lady about nutrition (with unsatisfactory results in his opinion), and I did what I did best…
You know, zone out.
Just for the record, I'm not a brainless zombie that had no connection to the real world. I actually did have some merits. Like… my good looks and my incredible basketball skills (not that I was on a sports team of any kind, but still).
"Hey, guys…" My tall friend got Michael's attention almost immediately but it took a bit more prodding for me to finally come to from my reverie. I had somehow managed to buy something without being fully aware of doing so, while my friends had obviously led me to a table. I'd say they were good friends for doing that, but Michael once told me he only did it because he wasn't allowed to have pets in his apartment building and I filled the void.
"Yeah, what's up?" I asked Jason through a mouthful of granola bars (I happily noticed that Michael cringed at the action). There were far less girls around us than yesterday, but some still lingered on the opposite table, giggling and making eyes at my friends (and me too, obviously). There was this type of schedule that Jason had wittingly deployed. Every other day, there would be a free-for-all of girls, and on the other days he would just let his best buds hang around him. I guess I could understand, because even I would be sick of being coddled by girls on a daily basis.
"My mom is making me go to church. She says that she's worried that I've been sleeping around." Jason laughed but it was obvious enough to his best friends that he was pissed as all hell.
"Church? Like with Brooks?" Jason cringed at Michael's mention of the zealot, Emma. At first I greatly sympathized with Jason's mom (I mean, you can only get a certain amount of voice mail from strange girls asking about your son's sex life before you are justified to worry), but I thought sending him to be around her was just cruel and unusual punishment. Suddenly his reaction when Emma appeared yesterday made sense.
"Yeah, with Brooks."
"You poor, poor bastard. I'll be sure to send you a post card." Yeah, my joke was hilarious but I still got hit by Michael for being awesome. Dammit, why the hell could Jason insult me, but I couldn't do the same to him? Wait, now that I think about it… that isn't fair. I open my mouth to confront my shorter friend, but I'm cut off by a very annoying and familiar voice.
"Hello Jason and… the others." That passive-aggressive greeting has me gritting my teeth as I turn towards the little saint. Even Jason is having trouble being civil, as I see him clutch an apple as if he's about to pelt her in the head with it. That can't be good.
"Hi Emma." Michael answers for our incapable friend, and he seems to be the only one that can manage to keep cool around her. Of course, he had the added bonus of not being complete despised by Emma, although I was well aware she approached him for the stupidest reasons. Now, the question was why she approached him for the stupidest reasons. "Do you need anything?"
"Oh, Michael…" I was disturbed to see that her smile was real as she turned towards Michael. I also noticed with a start that she was playing with her hair. What the… hell. I knew I was slow when it came to some things, but how the hell couldn't I have noticed this? Emma likes Michael. That's gross. Michael wouldn't like Emma though. She isn't cool, and she most certainly does not space out. Not that I'm saying that characteristic particularly matters… of course. "I was just here to welcome Jason to our—"
"That's great! Do you hear that, Jason? Emma has taken precious time out of her schedule to welcome you! Better thank her, right? Or is this just a part of some bigger plan to get in your pants?" I blurt it out, apparently while my conscience is taking a rain check, because anything having to do with Emma Brooks has a way of making me that confrontational person Michael seems to hate.
Emma did not like my comment for obvious reasons. She didn't even bother to say goodbye, going back to sit with her equally condescending and judgmental friends. I felt extremely better… that is until I caught glimpse of Michael's pissed off face.
"What was that, Mitch?"
"What did I do?" I was confused, mostly because even Jason looked a bit surprised at my insult. Michael just looked at me like I was dumb, which wasn't new, but it still made me angry. "What? She was the one that—"
"Mitch, you've been starting a lot of fights lately. Not only with her, but with us." Some of my irritation died down when I caught the concern hidden under the equally irritated voice of Michael. It made my stomach twist uncomfortably. "Really, what did she do?"
"Other than the fact that it was Emma and that should justify everything? Well, didn't you see her?" I grumbled and avoided both of my friend's questioning stares with surprising skill. I chose not to address Michael's early comment, because it's not like I had an explanation. I know I had been fighting a lot. Let's just chock it up to some rare form of male PMS. Emma, on the other hand, deserved any and all violence directed towards her.
"What are you talking about?" Michael seriously didn't know, and that pissed me off even more. Jason on the other hand seemed to be sporting a slowly growing smirk that definitely shouldn't have been there.
"She was practically drooling!" That irritation that had died just moments before decided to resurface immediately, and at the time I welcomed it wholeheartedly as my voice got louder. "Are you that blind, Michael?"
"Guys, calm down—"
"What do you mean by that?" Jason (who apparently did not find the situation that amusing anymore) attempted to intervene, but it was ultimately useless as Michael's volume rose to match mine. By this time, Michael and I had both stood up, hands gripping tightly onto the end of the lunch table, while we unknowingly attracted the attention of the girls near us. Maybe if I wasn't so pissed off, I'd brag, but for some reason it only made me madder.
"You know exactly what I mean!"
"Oh really? Well, why don't you give me a reminder?" His sarcastic remark did not help matters at all, but rather just increased the tension that was slowly building in the lunch room. As it was, I think at least half of the students were at least aware of the fight, if not completely silenced by it. I'd very much like to say that I've never been this mad before, but an investigation of the clumsily hidden hole by the lockers would tell you different anyway, so why bother? Really, the thought of Aiden makes me calm down a little (if 'calming down' is having my anger shift to another person, anyway). Why the hell was I doing this? I didn't want to fight with Michael, so why did it seem like it was the only thing on my agenda lately?
Unfortunately, my hot-headed friend didn't seem to notice my suddenly passive stance and continued with his rant, obviously irritated at my lack of an answer.
"What's your problem? One second you're picking a fight with a senior and the next—"
"I picked a fight with a senior?" Oh, screw this. I thought about going easy on him, but he was treading on dangerous territory as it was. When would he drop the stupid fight? Was it so important for him to know? So, I got in a fight, stranger things happened every day, dammit! As far as I was concerned, that Emma thing was now just background noise (and really, I can barely remember what started this in the first place, but I think it had to do with the sick feeling that usually arose whenever I was near her).
"Yes, you picked a fight. Do you honestly want me to believe that Aiden Ward, the senior class president, just walked up to you and forced you to punch him in the face?"
"Ok, fine. I threw the first punch, but he had it coming!"
"What could he have possibly said, Mitch? Did he call you an idiot? Because I thought that was common knowledge by now."
Oh, that was low. I swear to god I saw at least ten people wince at the insult, myself included.
"No!" Somewhere, my conscience decided to wake up and tell me to stop this, that he was only saying these things to nudge me until I slipped up and said something I didn't want to. Yes, I got in a fight with Aiden Ward, that was obvious, but the reason for it? I'd be damned if I ever repeated it, at least not in front of Michael and half of the student body. I'd die of shame.
"So, what did he call you, hmm? Did he call you a girl? Did he say you smelt bad? Or was he criticizing your choice of clothing? Please, enlighten me."
"It's none of your business."
"Hey, I'm all for the free publicity, but don't you think you should sit down?" Jason finally interrupted Michael through sheer willpower, because I knew that even my temper could never match the level of stubbornness our short friend possessed. Though, I think you can guess that the will to win died immediately when Michael became aware of the fifty or so students that were still looking at him.
I sat down as my tall friend suggested. Michael, on the other hand, basically collapsed into his seat; his face beat red with embarrassment. I could feel my own cheeks heat up, but I tried to make up for it by playing with my forgotten granola bar wrapper.
Then, all was right in the world as those prying eyes finally turned away.
Ok, we were both still fuming, but at least we weren't the afternoon entertainment anymore.
"Can't you just drop it?" I gritted my teeth together, but my voice was significantly quieter now since a couple people still glanced back every once in a while. I guess it's not every day that they see Michael screaming at someone. (Unfortunately, it was an everyday occurrence to me.)
"Why won't you just tell me?" Our voices were both still bitter, and I have to admit that his insults earlier did hurt my ego, probably more so because it was him saying it. I was calming down though, and I was more tired than I was angry. Really, I don't think I've ever felt this tired before (disregarding a night of delirium caused by excess energy drinks, of course).
"I just can't."
"No, you won't. There is a difference, Mitch."
"I know. I seriously can't, Michael." I was one for dramatics, sure, but I was completely serious too. It was impossible for me to tell him, because I really didn't want to be laughed at by my best friend and subsequently abandoned to rot while he goes off skipping merely with Emma Brooks of all the— Woah, where did that come from? I've had too many granola bars.
Yeah, too many granola bars…
"Look…" I sighed tiredly and rested my head on the table. I tried to avoid looking Michael directly in the eyes, but I wasn't really pleased with looking at Jason's barely concealed chuckling as an alternative. He just finds everything funny, doesn't he? Well, at least I know that Jason hasn't told Michael anything, but it is only a matter of time before he finds some reason to blackmail me. "I just don't want to talk about it, alright Michael?"
"Fine." He was still pissed, that was obvious enough. I was starting to think this would be the second day I would have to withstand his silent treatment, but he seemed willing to bury the hatchet… for now, anyway.
Actually, he had that frown on again. Jason no doubt noticed it as well and I wasn't insane. Ok, I guess I was being just a bit unfair. I mean, if Michael got in a fight I'd probably pester him endlessly, so I guess it was only right that I apologized. No, I'm not doing it just because Michael's frown bothers me, ok? Shut up.
"Michael, I'm sorry." It took all of my available energy to say it, and I didn't feel all that better even after I did. Still, Michael looked up and looked less like he was going to hurl himself off a cliff. Actually, he looked a little pissed again and I could tell he wanted to say something (and I could only guess what. Probably something about me being a stupid, smelly, girl that dresses bad). I definitely wasn't looking forward to that conversation again, especially not so soon. I scrambled for something to say to change the subject. "Want to come over to my house, guys?"
"I can't." It's Jason that answers and he looks genuinely annoyed. "I'm grounded."
"Grounded and forced to go to church? I feel bad for you." I grin at Jason from my place on the lunch table. Well, it was pretty comfortable. I didn't see any reason to sit up. At least until Jason kicked my shin from underneath the table. Yeah, that was enough incentive.
"I'll go." I turned to look at Michael, still wanting to finish my curse but deciding to postpone it for the time being. Jason still had an irritating smirk on his face, but I could always kill him later. Michael, on the other hand, still looked like he wanted to take his bag and smother my face with it, so I couldn't tell if his agreement with my last second suggestion was just a part of some plan to get me alone in my house and have his way with me—and by that I mean murder. He would want to get me alone to murder me. That's all. You see? My brain just rambles and— Really, that's it.
That thought didn't mean anything. At least, I don't think it did. No, it didn't. Because, I don't want that sort of thing. I mean—
I almost forgot that I'm in the lunch room, in front of my two friends. I'm sure they are used to the spacing out, but it must have been weird. I can't think of anything to say to Michael, even though he's still waiting for an answer. Also, I think I'm blushing. Why the hell am I blushing? Instead of looking pissed, Michael is just staring and Jason is smirking because that is literally the only facial expression that can co-exist on the bastard's face.
"Ah, little Mitchel is embarrassed. I wonder why?" Jason laughs like he actually knows the answer. I'm sure he can guess though, and I had a sneaking suspicion those guesses wouldn't be too far off. This doesn't make any sense. I'm not gay. Yeah, it was probably just a spur of the moment kind of thing. I'm not blushing because I actually entertained the idea for a second. I was just scared for my life.
"Shut up, Jason." I grumble and somehow come to my senses again, at least long enough to remember what we were talking about in the first place. "So, you're coming, Michael?"
"Yeah…" He was still looking at me weird.
"I wish I could go…" Jason sighed. "Your mom is really ho—"
"If you finish that sentence, I'll give Emma your address." The threat had its desired effect when Jason immediately shut up. I'd do it too. Emma would show up on Jason's door step with cookies shaped like Jesus and a brand new handbag so he could carry around his bible in case of emergencies (like if he ever was stranded in the forest and needed paper to start a fire, I guess?).
Oh, how I wish I was joking.
Anyway, I can contemplate Emma's passive aggressive personality later. Really, I should be focused on the look that Michael keeps sending my way. God, he almost scares me more than my mom… or Sophia Barnes. Wait, scratch that. He does scare me more than Sophia. I guess this means he isn't going to let this fight thing go, not that I expected him to. He'll probably ask about it by the end of the day and we'll end up in another screaming match.
Either that, or Jason will enslave me in exchange for keeping my secret safe. That being the reason I fought in the first place, not the reason my body has suddenly decided that Michael is a wonderful human being.
I don't really know which one is worse.
The rest of lunch went by quickly, and as I was walking down the hall, I noticed that our little group was the topic of conversation throughout the entire student body. I mean, I'm sure my playboy friend was used to it, but I sure as hell wasn't. Now, don't get me wrong, I was popular…
Like in that "spaz who sometimes makes people laugh" kind of way.
But, I wasn't used to having my name thrown around so casually. This no doubt had to do with the yelling match in the lunch room. I can only hope that Aiden honors his end of the deal and keeps his lousy mouth shut. I really don't want to have to punch him again… actually, I do, but that's beside the point.
Honestly, if it came down to me having no other choice but to reveal what happened… I'd want to tell Michael myself, as opposed to him just hearing some girls giggling about it in the hallways.
And, yeah… sometimes I think I'm just being an idiot and not for the reason you'd expect (e.g. my grades, short attention span, etc.). It's obvious enough that Michael wouldn't forget his best friend over something so ridiculous. In fact, the worst thing I could possibly think of him doing is calling me immature for taking what Aiden said to heart. So, maybe it isn't so much Michael as it is… me.
I just don't want to admit that I was affected. I don't want to admit that maybe I'm in denial about… something I don't exactly know how to label.
Michael is my best friend.
That is the way it has always been. Nothing has changed.
God, then why the hell does Michael's nerdy, dorky, clean-as-hell sweatshirt have to smell so good?
I'd rather walk around in my stained jacket then smell like I just walked into a woman's department store. But, I mean… I've never… had a girlfriend. So, that has to be the reason it seems so appealing, right? I'm just sex deprived… or something, so that's obviously the reason that Michael is—
Eww, gross. Please, disregard whatever meaning you could derive from that. I'm not saying that I'm horny for Michael—
Oh dear god, shut up brain. No really, I don't want to hurt you.
Under no circumstances should Michael be considered hot—
"Ow, fuck." Lockers hurt but are apparently effective when dealing with wandering thoughts. That should be put in a scientific journal of some kind. Although, I guess having everyone in the vicinity stare at you is kind of a down-side. People just aren't used to seeing a guy hurl himself into metal walls for some reason.
"Wow, Mitch became even freakier." Ok, the insult snapped me out of my self-induced pain long enough for me to recognize the high-pitched voice. Dammit, this definitely wasn't the person I wanted to see right now… or ever. I turned around and the girl giggled as soon as she saw my undoubtedly red forehead. If Aiden is the bane of my existence, than Sophia Barnes is like stepping in a pile of dog shit. That is to say, a completely unexpected (and unpleasant) surprise that ruins your entire day whenever it decides to grace you with its presence. Also, her mom is an asshole, so there's that.
"Nice to see that you're still just horrible, Sophia." She just scoffed and looked over her shoulder to her friends. They looked horrified, as if the fact that Sophia getting insulted was actually a rare occurrence.
"Looks like Mitch grew a pair." It seems the only reason she even bothered to look at her friends was to insult my ego and watch them nod in agreement. Figures Sophia would need someone to reassure her like that. I probably hurt her feelings.
"What do you want?"
"Well…" She turned back to me, plastering a look of shy embarrassment on her face. "There's this party tomorrow…"
"Why should I care?"
"You should come…"
Sophia didn't just invite me to be around her for a significant amount of time, did she? This can't be good. She seemed to notice that I was about to refuse and interrupted me (Which really is too bad, because my refusal would have had a few choice words that I'm sure would have given her friends seizures).
"Aiden wants you to go." Sophia smiled innocently. I, on the other hand, was frozen in shock. Aiden? My worst enemy wants me to go to a party, voluntarily?
"No way in hell!" I probably yelled that louder than I needed to, but dammit! She was making me angry. She usually ignored my existence, so why did she suddenly decide that Mitch is a wonderful person to talk to?
I wanted to turn away but her manicured hand found its way to my shoulder before I could escape.
"You know, Aiden saw your little… spat with Michael." She chuckled but it only seemed menacing. "He told me all about it…"
I didn't have to look at her to know what she meant. Aiden told her, not about the lunch room but about the fight last month. By the look on her friends' faces, I could tell that they were still in the dark about what she was referring to, which was at least one good thing about this shit-heap.
The threat was there, the threat that she'd tell everyone about what drove me to punching Aiden's face a month ago. Damn, I might have to tell Michael sooner than I wanted to… or…
"Fine, I'll go."
"That's good to hear…" Sophia said this close to my ear, and I just noticed that a couple of people were staring at us. I didn't blush. I just felt like I was going to throw up.
Miraculously, I somehow managed to not push her, because really, the temptation was there. I finally walked away and she didn't stop me. That's probably good. I might have hit a woman for the first time in my life.
More people were whispering as I walked down the hall, but I could hardly be bothered. I was starting to feel sick, like really sick. Aiden wouldn't tell anyone, would he? Well, he sure as hell told Sophia, I guess. The only question was why he wanted me to go to a party, of all things. If he wanted to kill me, couldn't he have just shot me and disposed of the body like a normal person?
God, why did it seem like things were going to get worse before they got better?
There you have it! My horrible pacing in all its glory! Mitch, you poor, poor, slightly delusional bastard. What have you gotten yourself into? (Well, obviously I know, but still. Things to think about.)
(If there are any noticeable mistakes, please feel free to correct.)