Nightlight

"Yeah, I know, right?" I said into the phone, twirling a curl around my finger and rolling my eyes. "I couldn't believe it either, it was just, 'out you get, sistah,' and he didn't even give my money back, so what if I poured coffee on his seat! So. Wh-aaattt!"

"Oh my God..." I groaned, shaking my hands free of water, and looking down at my jeans in disgust. Ugh, they were Armani. Gosh. I looked up to see the bum on the park bench get up, and start to gravitate towards me. His head was bowed, his hands were shoved his pockets, his hood shadowed his face. He looked up.

"Oh my God." I said again, with a laugh this time. "Josh? You're the bum on the park bench with the bottle of beer? Seriously, alcohol before noon?"

He held up the bottle, and shook his hood off, revealing his face, and piercing green eyes. He frowned at me, "It's ginger beer, you dumbass. What are you doing here?"

"I could ask you the same question, nightlight man." I pointed a manicured finger at him, a sparkle in my eye, recalling events from five years ago, when it was still 'okay' and perfectly innocent for boys and girls to have sleepovers together. Also, when it was okay for the socially elite, to be friends with, well frankly...pond scum, and not the kind I've got my hands deep in, right now.

He frowned further still, and said softly, "I only had it because I thought you'd be scared." He reached down and plucked my hand from the water, and a shiver went through me.

Because I was cold. That was it. It was just really cold in here, and his hand was warm, so warm. No wonder I shivered. He pulled me to my feet, and I stumbled forwards, bumping into his chest. I looked up, and flushed, his eyes narrowed, looking down at me with some scrutiny.

I stepped back, and smiled sweetly. "Well, thanks. But if you don't mind – I'd like to be getting out of here, and to the drycleaners. I've got mud on my jeans." I jutted my head in the direction of the mud, and started to pace off, but he stepped after me within ten seconds, catching up to casually walk beside me. I frowned, and looked at him, my honey blonde locks smacking me in the face and sticking to my lip gloss. "What?"

"I'm just wondering," he said with a smirk, and I narrowed my eyes even further. A smirk on Josh was never, ever, a good thing. He was up to something. "How are you supposed to get home with a," he pulled out my phone from his pocket, "phone that doesn't work, a wallet with no money in it, and oh – look, no credit cards. I'm surprised at you, Monique."

"Daddy took them off me." I shrugged it off. "Your point? It's called 'hitchhiking', and I'm a pretty girl, it'll be easy." I tossed my hair and held my hand out. "Give me back my phone."

"It's not working," he reached forward and plucked the few stray hairs sticking to my lip gloss. "So why don't you just come with me, and I'll take you home in an hour?"

"Please." I raised my eyes to the heavens, ignoring the tingle that zapped my lips. I'm just repulsed, repulsed that he thinks he can touch my face, my hair, me, whenever he liked. He's got another think coming. "I can look after myself, okay? I'm not a baby."

"I think –" he started but I put a hand up to stop him.

"Just you see," I walked around a bit, until I found myself at the edge of a road, him following close behind but unlike me, with a scowl on his face. I tried to flag a car down, and some guy pulled up automatically, and I fluttered my lashes. For some reason, Josh's scowl deepened, and he stuck his hands in his pockets.

The guy winded down his window. Winded. I blinked, and sort of tried to seem happy about everything, but Josh saw the look on my face beforehand, and his scowl turned into a smirk. He winked at me, the guy in the car, I mean, "Hey, precious, need a ride?"

"Oh. Um. No, I needed directions." I said, mortified. Maybe this wasn't going to be so easy. But it didn't mean I was going to give up after the first go.

"To my heart?" he said, and as soon as the words passed through his lips Josh's hands were out of the pockets, and perched on the edge of the window. Josh ducked his head down, and held a fist up to him, and if looks could kill he'd be about a hundred feet under.

"No, to my fist. Get lost!"

I wonder why he got so mad, though. It wasn't like he'd said it to Maria, or anything, whom was his baby (10 year old, but baby) sister. Or to that girl down the street, with the freckles and the pretty smile, who I know he likes, or used to like. I hope it's used to like, I mean, the girl isn't good enough for him, she has bad orthodontia problems.

The guy was clearly wondering this also. But didn't question it, like I'm sure I'm going to, and zoomed off in his wind-up-windowed car, shaking his head. Josh didn't have a wind-up windowed car.

"Way to go slugger," I said, patting him on the back, "you just got rid of my first candidate."

"Are you effing me," he said, trying to be polite by not using the full word, because Josh was always polite. Well, except to that guy, that is, anyway. Though polite, he still sounded mighty angry though, "Would you really have gone with him, Monique?"

"No." I rolled my eyes, sticking my hands on my hips. "Who do you think I am? The girl down the street with the weird orthodontia?"

"Her name is Sam." He said, not looking very happy with me. "And no, you definitely aren't her, if you were – you wouldn't have gotten yourself into this mess in the first place, and if you did, you would have took up my ride instead of some random stranger you don't know."

"Wouldn't stranger imply I don't know them, should you have added that?" I said, teasing. But he wasn't in a very teasing mood, obviously, because he took my hand and started dragging me, with a firm grip, along with him. "Hey, what are you doing?"

"Taking you home." He said.

"I'm not waiting an hour, Josh." I said, the pavement grinding against my heels, which were digging into the pavement. He stopped.

"What if I take you now?" he wanted to know.

"But didn't you have to do something?" I said, surprised. He shrugged, and surprised at the gesture, I just looked at him. The looking, he surely ignored, because he didn't look back. He just stood there, waiting for me to answer.

When I didn't he said, irritably, "So, is that alright?"

"It's fine." I said, bemused, and he nodded, which soon found me sitting in his car for the next hour and fifty minutes in complete silence apart from the radio. It was a rather awkward silence, for once, and I'm guessing he was mad at me. But when we were going down my street, he looked right at me and said,

"Where were you last night?"

I just laughed, like I usually did, and dismissed it. "At a party, Josh. Gees, why do you even care?"

"Right." He sounded even angrier than usual, and kind of frustrated too. "At a party, why didn't I think of that? Why do I care? Just think about it, for one second, oh wait – why would you? You never seem to think before anything else you do."

My jaw dropped. So he thought I didn't think, I so think. I mean, I may not get the best grades, I may not be the smartest in the way that Sam Orthodontia is. But I still think, and I do think before I do things. Right?

I mean, Sam may not go to parties, but Sam doesn't get invited to parties. That's why she doesn't go, and God forbid, she got invited to one and she goes and lives a little. That's all I do, live a little, just for fun. He just doesn't get it, and why, why, does he think she is so perfect?

She isn't.

No one is.

So why does he even like her?

Why is...

"WHY IS EVERYTHING ABOUT HER?" I shrieked, ripping at my hair, and glaring at him. But now, he looked confused. As if he didn't know who I was talking about.

"Who are you talking about?" he said, his eyelashes fluttering over his green eyes confusedly, only unlike me beforehand, not seductively.

I guess I could see where he was coming from, me bursting out like that. I guess I could see where he was coming from, after it all blurted out. But I wasn't finished, no, not nearly. He had fully parked in front of my house right now, and I could have just gotten out and left him there, and not said anything. It was a golden opportunity.

But I didn't shut up.

"Effing Sam! Effing freaking Sam!" I said, semi-polite but still yelling, sort of. It didn't really clarify though; he just got more confused, looked away, mouthed Sam to himself incredulously, and looked back at me. "You don't say her name, usually, but you're always thinking it! You're always comparing me to her, in your head, always!"

I was getting kind of hysterical. "Sam's got a pretty smile, Sam's nice, Sam this, Sam that. Sam, Sam, Sam, I read your poems back when I was ELEVEN! They made me sick. SICK!"

"I don't know what you're talking about." He said, looking at me like I was mental. "I don't even bring her up, I don't even think about her, until you bring her up. You're always bringing her up."

"ME?" I shrieked.

"Yes, you." He said, somewhat more calmly than me.

"Not effing me." I said back angrily.

"Effing is." He said back angrily too.

"Eff you, Josh." I said, and got out of the car, slamming the door behind me and storming up to my front gate without a glance behind me.

"You forgot your phone!" he waved it after me, and I ignored him and went through the gate, not like I could use it anymore anyway. It was broken.

When I got inside I wrote him a really long, angry email.

And then I deleted it and sent him,

Don't ever talk to me again, Josh.

But I didn't think I was going to regret it.


"Stop it," my friend, Jaime, who I had been talking to on the phone that fateful day, said to me. I looked at her bemusedly. "Just stop it, okay? You look like someone kicked a puppy, you look worse than someone kicked a puppy. Who did this to you?"

I looked at her, surprised. I mean, nothing was even wrong, what was she talking about? I was totally fine, and Josh, I think he just looked at me. No, no, he's not looking. He's definitely not looking. He's totally looking in the other direction.

"Oh my God," she said and rolled her eyes up into her forehead, "you had a fight with Josh, didn't you?"

"What?" I laughed, raising an eyebrow at her. Who was she kidding? "Why would that make me look 'bad'?" I laughed some more, and took a bite out of my jam donut.

She was talking as if I liked Josh. I didn't, not even as a friend, I didn't.

"Because you're totally in – he's looking at you." She said, and I looked around, and sure enough, he was looking at me. But he looked right away when I caught him. "See, you like him."

"What, no?" I said, laughing. "I just wanted to see if he was staring at me."

"He's looking at you again." She said, and I looked over, but this time he didn't stop looking, he looked me right in the eye. This time, I gulped, and looked right away. I could feel his gaze boring into the back of my pigtailed head.

Why did I decide to wear pigtails? Seriously. Pigtails are the most immature kind of hairdo you could think of, and yet I have them all the time at school. So not only was I acting like a total coward, by not returning his gaze back tenfold, I also looked like a little girl doing it.

I am never wearing my hair like this again. Ever.

"He's coming over." She said, widening her eyes.

"He is not coming over." I said shaking my head, he wouldn't come over here. He wouldn't dare. This was a social elite table only, only. He wasn't allowed to come over here. I looked over my shoulder, and looked quickly back.

Oh my God. He's coming over here, in front of all my friends, and not-so-friend's. Everyone at the table had taken to looking over my shoulder. Someone, over my shoulder, cleared their throat.

He's going to cause a scene; he's going to demand I talk to him again, in front of all these people. He's going to tell me Sam wouldn't ignore him, and then tell me he didn't even say Sam; he'll say I said Sam.

He's going to make me apologise.

I am not going to apologise. No matter what he does.

I turned my head, and he stared stonily at me. What he said next was much worse. "Here's your phone." He said, and walked off after handing it to me, and also dumping my wallet there along with it.

Here's your phone.

My jaw dropped. After two weeks of not talking, that's what he said to me. Here's. Your. Phone.

I looked back to my friends, and looked to Jaime, she was just confused at why he had the phone I'd 'dropped in the pool'. I suddenly felt my eyes filling with tears and Jaime's eyes widened even more, shocked. But she wasn't as shocked as I was.

I wanted him to make a scene. I wanted him to make me talk to him again, in front of everyone, everyone. I didn't care who heard us talk, I just wanted to talk to him. I didn't want him to mention Sam, though. Because I wanted him all to myself.

Oh my God. I wanted him all to myself. I wanted Josh.

Josh didn't have wind-up windows. Josh, stood up for me with that guy, and I didn't know why I felt so happy about it at the time. Josh sent tingles through my lips when he touched them. Josh bought a night light just so I wouldn't be scared. All this time, I've been jealous of a girl, named Sam, and have been picking at her orthodontia, hating on her for stupid reasons, going Josh loves Sam, Josh loves Sam, when I loved JOSH!

I didn't dislike Sam. Well, okay, maybe I did. But the only reason I hated her so much was because the way I thought Josh liked her so much. She was sweet, smart and pretty, other than the braces, and the braces weren't even bad. They made her look cuter, even.

I was just really jealous.

But now it was too late. Too late to apologise. Too late to turn back time, and make him fall for me, instead of Sam.

I hate her even more. Oh my God.

"You're crying." Jaime said.

"No I'm not." I said, sniffling into a palm.

"Yes you are." She said, and I burst into a fresh fit of tears.

"He doesn't like me!" I said. "Josh doesn't like me, and it's my entire fault. I told him never to talk to me again, Jaime." I sobbed. "I told him not to talk to me!"

She smiled gently at me, "Look, he already broke the rules. Go get him, it's not too late."

I stopped sniffling. He did break the rules. I mean, he only said 'here's your phone'. But still, he totally broke the rules. I was allowed to break them right back, and go after him.

I looked around, and Jaime whispered, "I think he went to the bathroom, wanna wait?"

I wasn't waiting.

I got up, and stomped my way to the boys' toilets, and upon arrival kicking the door open and scaring the crap out of a year seven. "Where's Josh?" I whispered, and the guy pointed to a cubicle. "Out! Get out!" I barked at him and he looked dismayed.

"I haven't washed my hands!" he said.

"Go to the girls and wash them," I said irritably, and he stared at me, "what? I'm in the boys, go right ahead!" he looked worried, "Oh, hurry up then!"

I turned my head and Josh was standing there, leaning on the cubicle, looking at me. All of a sudden, all my confidence was lost, and I started to notice in the mirror how puffy my eyes looked, from all the crying, and how I hadn't worn water-proof mascara, so it was all smudged. Oh my God. I look like someone off a horror movie, why, oh why, didn't I wait?

I turned my head right back around to the kid who had finished washing his hands by now, and with a wary glance at me, walked out of the bathroom.

I heard a noise, and Josh walked over, and started to wash his hands. "This is the boys' bathroom, you know."

I didn't say anything. I tried to, and squeaked. I didn't try saying anything more after that. He turned the tap off and turned to face me, crossing his arms. I looked away again though, not because I didn't want to look at him. I wanted to look at him. I just didn't want him looking at my puffy red eyes.

I said, in a small voice unlike my own, "Do you really like Sam?"

"I went out with her on one date, one date. It wasn't even a date, it was more like a thing her mum, and my mum, arranged." He said, sounding frustrated. I don't know what he was so frustrated about, though, I was the one who should be frustrated; I was the one who was frustrated. I was the one who was completely, utterly and totally in love with him, and he didn't even know.

"Okay." I said. Looking down at my feet now. I didn't get it. His mum and my mum knew each other, why didn't they do that for us? Why was it Sam? I realised another thing. He said it was one date, just one date. But he didn't answer my question. He didn't deny liking her. I said to him, "You didn't answer my question, though."

He sucked in his breath, and then took me by the shoulders, "Would you listen to me, read the between the lines a little?" he wanted to know, shaking me a little, "Look at me, Monique." Even though I didn't want him looking at my puffy eyes, and the mascara, and that pimple I can feel coming up right near my temple, I did what he said. I looked up. His expression softened, "I don't like her."

"Do you get it?" he asked, shaking me some more, "I don't like Sam; I don't know where you got the idea that I liked Sam."

I looked away. I gulped. Do you know that feeling, when you don't want to say something, but you do, and you'll just die if they say the wrong thing? And you get that really bad feeling in your stomach, like you drank milk and then water, and ran around? Only worse, because it hurts, and it won't stop. It won't stop, until you say it. So you have to say it?

I looked back at him, and sucked in my breath, I opened my mouth, and blurted out, "Do you like me?"

He looked at me, and his hands dropped off my shoulders. Oh my God. He's going to say he doesn't like me. He's going to say it. I know it. He looked at me like I was mental, and blurted something out himself, "God, yes. I've liked you for freaking ever, Monique."

He rambled on. But I wasn't listening; I wasn't listening to a word. My ears were too full of music, of choirs, of birds singing. He liked me. He liked me. He liked ME.

He looked at me, and looked away, shoving his hands in his pockets. "But I'm guessing you don't like me."

He was totally wrong. Just like I was about him.

I grabbed his face with my hands, grinning at him so hard I thought my lips were going to split. "I like you so much." And I brought my grinning lips up to his surprised ones.


"Yeah, I know, right?" I said into the phone, twirling a curl around my finger and rolling my eyes. "I couldn't believe it either, and then he pressed me up against the bathroom door and we made mad, passionate love." I was lying, but I wanted to see what she'd say.

But my phone got snatched off me, and I heard a, "Yes, yes we did." And then the 'beep' sound of it being hung up. I turned around, and I fell all over again.

"Hi," he said, and held up the lion king nightlight from so long ago. "I thought you'd be scared, I brought over a horror."

He held up The Ring. I shrugged and pointed at the nightlight, "So what if that thing doesn't work, what if I'm still scared?"

"You have me." he said, and reached down to give me a kiss hello.

"Aw, damn. I was hoping for maybe Ashton Kutcher, or Superman." I said, trying my best to sound disappointed. But my actions, and my words, were totally clashing. I had already flung my arms around his neck, so he couldn't get away. He looked down at me slyly.

I narrowed my eyes at him and bumped him with a hip accusingly. "What are you planning on doing, Josh?"

He leant down and kissed me, pressing me back against my bedroom door. I could really get used to these. These kisses he plants on me all the time, it's much better than our previous arrangement. My hands went to his cheeks and I smiled, kissing him back.

Just when I was getting into it, though, he stopped and went and popped open my DVD player. My jaw slackened. "You can't do that." I pointed at him. "You can't just stop something you already started. You started it so finish it." I stamped a foot.

When he didn't answer, just smiled amusedly, I went to walk out the door. But he caught up with me, and breathed into my ear, kissing my temple. "Don't leave; I want to kiss you when the scary parts come on."

"I'm scared." I said.


Hi guys! I shall update ACR in a little, I just got caught up in writing this, I didn't even think I was gonna finish it, haha. I hope you liked it, I had fun writing it, it's very mushy. I think it's TOO mushy. You all know how I feel about mush. I should've made someone die. Definitely.

I've had a lot of stuff to do though, lately. But guess what? I did really good on my oral report for English! So that's good. It's nice, the book being not boring, and not having someone get shot at the end. Like with my exam, with the Steinberg book, Of Mice and Men. I got bad scores for that, but only because I was so sick of writing it, it was driving me mental, and I just can't write when I don't feel like writing what I'm writing.

Can you guess what my friends are doing today? Going to the movies, without me.

I'm kidding. I was invited, but I had already seen the movie, you should see it too: Iron Man. It's wicked good. Go watch it. Now.

Guess which two friends organised it, or one, not so much a friend, as to annoying pest. But he's okay because Mallory likes him, and he's her boyfriend, and he...GUESS WHAT? Said to my friend, Morgan, when eating Dylan's food, "If I die, tell Mallory I love her."

How cute is THAT. Jealous, much!

You know you love me,

Xoxo.