I sighed as I climbed the stairs to the bathroom that night. It was 11.30 at night, and I had just finished a two-hour conversation with my best friend about her boy problems. Not that I really cared. She always had boy problems. I turned the corner only to find my sister and her friend in the bathroom giving themselves facials. At 11:30 at night. "Get out!" I exclaimed. "I have to work tomorrow. And what do you need facials for there's nothing wrong with your skin. You're 12 years old."
My sister turned around and started to respond in that annoying way all girls have when they're in their preteens. It took me awhile but I finally convinced them to leave me in peace. I stripped off and tried to work the shower. We had just had our bathroom renovated, and I was still trying to get used to the dodgy trendy tap my parents had installed. It was one leaver, left for hot, right for cold and out for water pressure. But trying to strike a happy balance between the three was hard. I finally got it right and stepped in. Onto a razor my sister had left on the floor. "Oh FUCK!" I cried, stuffing my fist into my mouth. Brilliant. I sighed as I stood up. Just let the blood flow. With a bit of luck, I might die. I thought about Mackenzie's boy problems as I washed my hair. She always has boy problems, like I said. But this time it seemed a bit more serious. She liked a whole bunch of guys who all had girlfriends. Then, when they broke up with their girlfriends, she decided that she didn't like them anymore. For her I think it was the thrill of the chase. But she insisted that she really did want a boyfriend.
I found that hard to believe but in an effort to help her forget her tragic woes I was going with her to see 'How to lose a guy in ten days.' I'm not really a chick flick chick, but who knew? It might turn out to be ok.
I was running late the next morning. I was supposed to be meeting Mackenzie at the bus stop at 11, but once again, things didn't go my way. My sister Emma and her friend were in the bathroom again, so by the time I had kicked them out, had a shower and had made my way down to the kitchen, they had taken over there too. They were cooking pancakes and making a huge ass mess. I pushed Emma out of the way, flicked the radio to triple J and proceeded to make myself toast. I burnt it. I hoped Mackenzie knew what lengths I was going to for her.
Half way down my street I heard the unmistakable clank of the city bus coming along. Holy shit. Mackenzie was standing at the end of the street near the bus stop, waving madly at me. "I don't have any money!" she yelled. Typical. She didn't care if I missed the bus. She cared if she did. I began to run. It was a desperate race between the 457 and me. I could hear laughter floating out the bus window as I hurdled a garden, kicking dirt all over my jeans as I went. I reached Mackenzie just as the bus pulled up. The first thing she said to me was, "have you got any change?"
I stared at her wordlessly, too out of breath to say anything even if I had wanted to. I handed her a two-dollar coin and followed her onto the bus. I looked down it to see if there was anyone I knew on it, anyone who might have seen my embarrassing display of athletics. I groaned. Just my luck, there was a group of guys around my age sitting in the back row. No doubt they were the ones who had laughed at me. And contributing further to my shitty morning, Mackenzie decided to sit right in front of them. I hesitated. I had almost decided to get off the bus and just go home when the driver decided for me. He started the bus up again, and changed gears abruptly. This resulted in the bus lurching forward, catching me off guard. I lost my balance, and ended up sprawled on the floor. I closed my eyes and banged my forehead on the ground, wondering why someone just didn't kill me.
After peeling myself off the floor, I walked down the aisle and flopped into the seat beside Mackenzie. The boys behind us were in hysterics. I thought that one in particular was going to go into cardiac arrest he was laughing so hard. Even Mackenzie was trying not to laugh. "On the bright side Hail, my problems don't seem so bad."
I rested my forehead on the rail in front. "Mackenzie, don't even start me on your problems."
I stayed silent for the rest of the trip, checking out the damage I had done to myself. It wasn't as bad as I had though. I was dirty from landing in the garden mid jump, and my jumper had a tiny ripped on the elbow where I had fallen. I was pissed about that; that jumper had cost me $60. That's a lot for someone who normally shops at second hand shops to spend. It's not that I can't afford new cloths. I can. I just like the cool, vintage stuff you can find there. Like the adidas jacket I have at home. It's one from before they changed their logo to the triangle with the three stripes. I brought that for $15 at a garage sale. A week later, they started selling similar jackets at General Pants for $167.
Beside me Mackenzie had struck up a conversation with the boys behind us. I ignored her and them until I felt a tap on my back. "Hey," a deep voice said. I ignored him.
"Hey." He said again. Against my better judgment, I turned around. He grinned at me. If I had been in a better mood and less embarrassed, I would have noticed he was cute. As it was, I noticed anyway. He was too cute not to. "That was some display you put on back there." He said. I took in his tousled dark brown hair and brown eyes that seemed to be laughing at me. They probably were. "Are you always that coordinated?" he asked. I gave him a stony glare. "You should see me on my bad days."
He laughed. "I think that I would probably rather steer clear. I value my life too much."
I pulled a face at him and turned back around. I couldn't remember ever being more embarrassed. A few minutes later I felt another tap on my back. "WHAT?" I asked, turning around again. It was him again. "Have we met?" he asked. "Because you look really familiar."
I sighed. "What's your name?"
"Hey you, yes you."
He laughed. "Clever. You don't strike me as the type to be a Ben Lee fan."
"What is the type?"
He shrugged. "Not you. So have we met before or not?"
I glared at him. "No." I nudged Mackenzie hard in the ribs and stood up as we reached the cinemas.
Brown eyes just grinned at me and leaned back in his seat. I pulled Mackenzie away from her new lover boy after they had exchanged phone numbers and stepped off the bus, never more relieved to have left anywhere in my life.
Mackenzie grinned at me as we walked inside. "So who was that?"
"Lucifer himself." I muttered. "You seem to have gotten over your love life problems."
"Well…" she turned to me and grabbed my hands. "His name's Jared and he's soooo hot Hails! He asked me for my phone number. He's going to call me. He goes to BBS and they have a dance coming up soon. We have to go shopping after this. I don't have anything to wear…" she rattled on. I couldn't help my curiosity. I had a feeling that the dickhead was familiar to me too. "Do they all go to BBS?" I asked.
"Yeah." She said absently. I thought hard. The only people I knew who went there were a few boys from my primary school, the boy who worked at the music shop who I had made friends with, and a friend of my families I hadn't seen in years. Ben was none of those. I shrugged to myself and gave up.
We brought our tickets and joined the line. It stretched from the bottom cinemas all the way back the top. I swear it was a mile long. And it was ALL girls, apart from a few boys looking very uncomfortable and miserable to be there. I looked at the girls around me and wrinkled my nose. This was not my scene. This seemed like the line for Enrique Iglesias tickets rather than a movie. I was just thinking about leaving again when I head a shout from behind us. "Mackenzie!"
She turned. "Jared!"
Just kill me. I know I'm not the best Christian, but why God? Am I that bad? Jared and Mackenzie started up their conversation again. It involved a lot of hair flicking and giggling on Mackenzie's part, and a lot of grinning on Jared's. Fabulous. I could feel eyes on me.
"We meet again oh unco one."
"Don't you have somewhere to be?" I asked, turning around to face my tormentor.
He just grinned. "What are you going to see?"
"Does it matter?"
He shrugged. "Just being polite."
"Don't strain anything."
He glared at me in return and nudged Jared. "We'd better go man. The movie will start."
Our movie was going in as well. "Yeah, come on Mac."
After another five minutes I managed to pull her away.
"Jesus. What's your problem?" she asked me.
"Don't swear. We'll miss the movie, and we all know what a shame that would be."
We came out of the movie an hour and a half later. Mackenzie was crying and laughing at the same time. "That was so good!" she said. I rolled my eyes and smiled. I did have to admit - it had been better than I had expected. We headed up the street and into the shopping centre. Mackenzie came to an abrupt holt at the first shop we came to. "I have to go in here!" Mackenzie exclaimed. I rolled my eyes. Supre. I hate that shop. Sometimes I wonder why Mac and I are friends. We're the complete opposite of each other, from out taste in music and movies, to our taste in clothes. "Ok. Well I'm going to go and visit Nathan." I said to her with a little grin. She grinned back. "Ok. I'll meet you there."
Let me tell you about Nathan. He works in HMV. I befriended him seeing as though I spend so much time in there. We sort of bonded when I went in their looking for a CD that I couldn't find anywhere. Turned out it was out of production, but he had a copy of it. He burnt it for me, and I have been in his debt ever since. I'm also in love with him. He's the guy I told you about, the music guy who goes to BBS. Tall, good-looking, and with great taste in music. What more could I ask for? For him to be single, for starters.
"Hey Hailey." He greeted me as I came in. "how's it going?"
"Don't ask her." A voice behind me replied. My eyes widened. No way. Once was bad enough. Twice was annoying. But three times?
"Ben." Nathan said laughing. "I didn't know you knew Hailey."
Ben came over and leant on the counter, grinning at me. "We just met." He said. I rolled my eyes. I couldn't believe it.
"And I was just leaving." I said. I waved goodbye to Nathan and left. I could hear Ben's laughter behind me as I walked out the door. Asshole.