Exhaling, Ebony flopped on to her bed, silently cursing the vibrating cell phone that lay abandoned on her bedside table. Without even checking, she knew exactly who was calling, Mick, her beloved best friend, and recent cause of all the world's problems.
Why, oh why, did I have to say that?
Dragging her small hands over her face, she kicked her legs in frustration, the phone beeping beside her. She felt the need to hit something, preferably hard.
Ebony Wakefield was not one of those girls. She never had been. She had never perfected the fake laugh, nor was she shy – growing up along side Mick had never allowed for that, and yet today, it was as though she was possessed. That's it. Some foreign force had somehow taken over her body for the duration of the day, made her do, and think, things she would never consider. That had to be it. Why else had she felt that way?
Great, now I'm going insane!
Maybe, just maybe, she was sick. Sweaty palms, poor concentration and light headed: – these could all be symptoms of some sort of virus she picked up. It still didn't explain everything.
Reaching for the phone, she was shocked to notice a sense of anticipation build up in her stomach - a great whirlwind of adrenaline crashing over her body as she waited for the messages details.
"Guitar-hero. My place, 9 pm. Come ready for a thrashing!"
Disappointed, she messaged back some lame excuse about being swamped with assessments and turned off the phone. Guitar-hero with the guys was about the last thing she could handle at the moment. No, what she needed was a good nights sleep, a long bath and the latest Jodi Picoult novel to take her mind off the days events.
They were at it again.
Clenching her eyes shut, she tried in vain to block out the sound of their voices.
"They've forgotten you're here," whispered Ebony as she lent back against the staircase's railing.
At six years, Mick had never seen anything quite like the fight currently taking place downstairs.
"Do they yell a lot?"
Eyes downcast, staring at the discarded action figures at their feet, they cringed as the sound of breaking glass wafted through the floorboards. Outside Bella, the family Labrador began to bark and Ebony cried softly. Mick took her small hand in his, as they sat in silence, listening to her parents raging voices.
For hours they sat there upon those steps, neither moving nor speaking.
"I'll tell my mum to adopt you."
"Yo', where's Eb at?"
Biting into another piece of pizza, Marty looked about the room, searching for his red-haired friend amongst the somewhat crowed room.
"Said something 'bout studying or some shit like that," shrugged Mick, as he took the guitar from another mate.
"Your only jealous, because you didn't ask her first."
Casually twirling a lock of hair in one hand, and flipping through an old magazine with the other, Ebony listened as Mick continued to rant about Carla Page, his current heartthrob of the week.
"Hell right, I'm jealous. Have you seen Carla lately?"
"She's trash. I don't get what you guys – you, Marty, everyone see in her."
Rolling his eyes, he casually ran a hand through his blonde 'mop' of hair.
"More like an conniving back stabbing bitch. But hey, if that floats your boat, go right ahead."
Flipping the mag shut, she threw it on the floor, "you so need better magazines."
"Oh. Miss Ivy League actually reads things other than textbooks."
"Ha ha, if she's so 'hot' why didn't you ask her out, Mr. Big Shot?"
"And miss the quality time with the bitch I call my best mate? Never."
Picking up the discarded mag, she pelted it at his head.
"You seen Eb, Marty?"
"Not since yesterday, why?"
"I've got the feeling I might have done something wrong. She's ignoring me again."
" – Happy Birthday to Mick. Happy Birthday to you!"
The collective crowd broke out into a mixture of cheers and wolf whistling, as newly fourteen-year-old Mick cut his cake.
"Excellent party," exclaimed a rather rotund man as he came up alongside his sister. Sasha merely kissed her brother's cheek and smiled as she watched her son cut his cake.
The pair laughed, as the knife inevitably touched the bottom and Mick was forced to give Eb a kiss on the cheek.
"Dear God, is that Eb?" laughed Phillip; as the pair began to laugh, their eyes alight with mischief and familiarity. "She's changed so much. They still spend every waking minute together?"
"Inseparable as always," laughed Sasha, as her son copped a face full of cake from both Eb and Marty.
Phillip turned to look his sister squarely, cocking an eyebrow suggestively.
"Not yet," she replied turning back to watch the teens wrestle, "the future looks promising though."
Leaning back in his chair, Mick chucked the soft, mini basketball into the hoop hanging off the back of the door.
"Uh huh, you expect me to believe that after a week of whinging about Tegan Mear, she finally says yes, then you suddenly have an epiphany and change your mind. I don't believe you. How does this relate to you not helping out with the essay by the way?"
Flicking the ball at Ebony's head, he slowly made his way over to the bed. Lying down opposite her, he stole the paper, read the question and threw it back.
"Mainly because I didn't read that book, and you're the brains in this team, Miss Ivy League. And like you can talk, when was the last time you had a boyfriend? Or even asked anyone out?"
"Ebony! Your dad's here!" yelled Mick's mum.
"I don't need to date."
"You're les! I knew it! You ever going to show me some hot girl on girl?"
Scoffing, she packed up her books, and pushed him off the bed as she walked towards the door.
"Besides, I've got a date."
By the time, Mick had got himself off the floor; Ebony was already getting in the car.
"With whom?" he yelled out the window.
She merely laughed, her brown eyes sparkling in the sun, and got into the car, waving sweetly to him.
Marty05 has signed in
Mick74 has just signed in;
Mick74: EB has a date!
Marty05: Who with?
Mick74: She won't tell me!
Mick74: U know who with?
Marty05: How would I?
Mick74: UR dating the Gossip Queen of the Skool!
Marty05: I'll work on it.
Marty05 has signed out
Stepping into the room, his senses were assaulted by the unfamiliar and overwhelming fragrance that was his sister. Shaking his head, he noted the heavily posted room, the bright purple walls, and the distinctly girly-girl touches.
"What do you want?" snapped Eleanor, as her brother scrutinised her room.
Looking widely about the room, Mick flopped onto the bed. Lying down on his back, he stared up at the ceiling, trying to decipher the drawings pinned there.
"I don't think I've been in here for years. I'm bored."
Snatching her phone from her brother, she rolled her eyes. It was a strange sight to see her brother not attached at the hip to Ebony, even more so to see him wander willingly into her room.
Turning away from the computer, Eleanor couldn't help but laugh at her brother's sooky expression. At almost eighteen years, he still acted like he was seven.
Without opening her eyes, she flapped her arm about in vain trying to locate the violating source of noise. Groggily, she flipped her phone open, burying her head once again into the pillow.
"You didn't come over!"
Moaning at the sound of Mick's voice on the end of the line, she snuggled closer into her cocoon of warmth.
"What are you, like five!" Squinting disapprovingly at the alarm clock with one eye, Ebony felt ready to murder him. Two freaking AM!
Rubbing her eyes with the palm of her hand, she got ready for the long conversation that was to ensue.
"I was busy, you knew that."
"Oh right, the date with Joey 'I'm-a-douche bag'."
Sighing down the phone, Ebony couldn't help but think here we go again. It was always the same with Mick, especially when he didn't approve of the guy.
"It was alright,"
"Did you kiss him?"
"You're worse than the Spanish Inquisition you know that?"
Hearing him scoff, she laughed quietly and propped up her pillow, settling in for what was sure to be a long night.
Guzzling down his water after training, Mick raised an eyebrow at Marty as they walked across the court.
"You found out who yet?"
Wiping the sweat from his forehead, Marty laughed.
"Still won't tell you?"
Shaking his head, his shaggy hair flew in all directions as he proceeded to walk towards Ebony, who was waiting for them near the door.
"Apparently, I'll make a scene or some bullshit like that. Personally I think she just gets a rise out of me trying to find out."
"Can't be any worse than Joey, right?"
"She's allowed to date, Mick!"
For the last twenty minutes, Eleanor had been listening to Mick whine about who Ebony was out on a mystery date with.
"Never said she couldn't. I just want to know who it is!"
"If it wasn't for the fact that it's Eb, I'd say you're jealous."
Mick watched silently, as Eb propped herself up on her elbows, and threw her head back, allowing the summers rays to soak her face. Her hair fell down in a mass of curls, bouncing as she laughed and talked about the second date she'd just been on with Charlie.
They'd relocated to the backyard on the pretence of studying in the sun. However, since moving outside, neither had opened their books.
While Eb rambled about the movie they had seen, Mick found his mind focusing on other things. Breathing deeply, he was mesmerised by the way Ebony's curls were framing her face, the way he could smell the vanilla fragrance of her hair. He was even more surprised to be aware of how close their bodies were – he could feel the soft body warmth radiating off Eb as she gushed about how romantic Charlie had been. He noticed a blush beginning to creep across her face, as she spoke about how Charlie had taken her hand and kissed her when she got out of his car.
Shaking his head in hope to suppress these feelings, Mick opened his textbook and studied the questions. Unable to listen anymore to her gushing about how great Charlie had been, he changed the subject.
'Do you know how to do number three?"
"You've reached Eb. Clearly, I'm not about at the moment, you know the drill…"
Mick sighed as he hung up. That was the third time today he'd got voice message; twelfth this week. Something was up.
"Where's Eb?" asked Marty as he picked up the guitar to verse Mick.
"Who knows, who cares," replied Mick as he picked up his own guitar, "get ready for a thrashing!"
"She's with Charlie again?"
As the pair got into the rhythm of the song and heat of the battle, Marty looked over to Mick. Mick was distracted; his score was nowhere near his average. He was choking.
Feelings Marty's eyes on him, Mick turned to his mate, put down the control and picked up his drink.
"We're kind of fighting at the moment. About Charlie."
Mick. You were right.
I told you so.
Could you save me please? Corner of Third and Miles.
Picking up his keys, Mick threw open the front door and walked towards his car. Checking his phone once more, he stumbled across her final words. A wave of emotions washed over him, ones he was certain he shouldn't be being feeling.
"So, what do we do now?"
"You could come over for dinner tomorrow."
Mick74 has signed in.
Marty05: What the hell is going on between u and Eb?
"You so can't cook," laughed Ebony as she ran about the kitchen putting out the flames that had engulfed Mick's supposed 'meal'.
Once all the flames were out, and the smoke had cleared, they fell to the ground laughing so hard, their eyes watered.
"Like you can. Remember that time you made a cake and forgot to put in the eggs!"
"At least I didn't almost burn the place down."
As the laughter died down, the pair rested against the kitchen cabinet, a comfortable silencing surrounding them.
"Do you remember that time we tried to cook mud pies; your mum was so furious!"
"I was grounded for weeks!"
Copping a face full of flour, Ebony took cover behind a cabinet door.
"I surrender," she laughed as Mick stood over her, the bag of flour waving dangerously in his hand.
Sitting on the floor, the pair glanced about the kitchen. Clumps of wet flour and batter were stuck to everything. The floor looked as though a thick layer of dust had settled and never been cleaned. Cleaning would definitely be required, and yet the pair sat on the floor, meekly admiring their handiwork.
Brushing a stray piece of hair behind her ears, Ebony slowly raised her eye line to Mick. Startled by the way his eyes bore into hers; she tried to fight off the overwhelming rush of emotions that had swept over her; self-consciousness, giddiness and nervousness -feelings she never felt around him.
Placing a finger under her chin, he slowly raised her head.
Half sitting, half-lounging the pair were watching some comedy program; Ebony's legs casually draped over Mick, whose arm was casually resting on the top of the lounge. Pulling the light blanket closer to her body, Ebony slumped further into the chair; her head dropped back staring at the ceiling.
"My mother thinks I'm gay"
Stopping mid-laugh, Mick turned to face Ebony, "Why?"
Shaking her head and shrugging her shoulders as to say 'who knows?', she hugged her legs towards her body. Imitating her mother in a singsong voice, Ebony started to recount the conversation.
"You're an attractive young adult Ebony, and yet you don't spend time with anyone but Mick,"
"Nice to know I count."
"I'm just concerned. You never invite anyone over or go on dates. Blah Blah Blah. It's okay if you're into that kind of thing-, which mind you, you could tell, she was far from it. She dropped a glass when I smiled and asked how'd she know."
"What about the dropkick – Joey what-his-face, you dated him for a while not too long ago. He met your mum didn't he?"
"Yeah, because that went so well. Both her and my dad seem to side with you on that one."
Patting her head, Mick could only laugh.
Before either knew what was happening, the gap between the two no longer existed. Mick could feel the soft flutter of Ebony's eyelashes, and smell the vanilla scent of her hair; even underneath the coat of flour.
His lips slowly captured her own.
Kathy watched in amusement as her barely conscious daughter staggered towards the breakfast table, and tried to fill her bowl unsuccessfully with cereal.
"Aren't you the picture of perfection this morning?" laughed her stepfather James, as he peered over his newspaper, catching a glimpse of her wayward hair and panda eyes from the night before.
She mumbled something about 'hating the stupid morning', and attempted to flatten down her hair.
Once James had left for work, and Ebony had woken substantially, Kathy couldn't help but ask.
"Honey, are you and Mick … together?"
Ebony, whose spoon had frozen mid-way to her mouth, began to choke.
"God, no! Just friends. "
Rolling her eyes, she passed her somewhat dramatic daughter a glass of water.
"Its just, you guys spend a lot of time together, and he did drive you home last night, from that boy's party. And well, you know, that usually means -"
'We're just mates, Mum!"
Standing up abruptly from the table, no longer tired, nor hungry, she exclaimed that she was going to shower, leaving her mother at the table smirking at her somewhat flustered daughter. Sure, she said they were just mates for now, but give them time, and you'd never know.
Pulling away, Ebony and Mick looked at each other, before bursting into laughter.
"Let's not do that again."
A/N: Hey Guys. this story was a bit of an experiement. I've never written this way before, and im actually kind of surprised the way this story turned out. It defiantely didn't turn out the way I orignally thought it would. Anywyas it would mean the world to me, if you could leave me a review and tell me honestly what you thought about the story. Was it good? alright? crap even? What bits did you like about it? Hate it? Let me know. Did you like th characters? was the ending too predictable? Or any other comment you feel the need to drop by. All of it helps. And you'll make my day! :)