By the time I got to P.E the next morning, Caitlin was at our normal spot- in the corner, by the lockers. I dumped my bag next to her in silence, hung up my jacket, which was drenched from the torrential rain, and began to get changed. Julie appeared next to me, and cocked an eyebrow at our unusual silence. She twitched her head at me, indicating I should talk to Caitlin. I rolled my eyes at Julie, before slipping off my cardigan.
"Listen-" I said quietly, and Caitlin barely acknowledged me. "I'm sorry about yesterday. I was stupid, and a bitch."
She looked up at me slightly, spritzing on some deodorant.
"Yeah. You were." She said after a moment. "You know- you could have at least been supportive. You know what I'm going through better than anyone."
Too right I did.
For about 10 years, I moved constantly, from country to country, and bouncing in and out of 6 schools. I'd been to American schools, Canadian schools, and worst of all- an English one. My family had finally settled when I was in Primary 6. From then- I'd managed to keep my head screwed on straight.
I snapped out of a large reverie, to see Caitlin's retreating form push open the doors. Exasperated, I jogged out of the almost empty changing rooms, and onto the balcony.
A large congregation had gathered at the door to the small gym, where, knowing our luck, dodge ball was being set up.
This always happened when it rained. Which, regrettably, was often.
The crowd buzzed, and I found Emily, standing by the front, arms crossed, tapping her foot in annoyance.
To explain Emily- would be to explain Quantum Physics to a 5 year old.
We had been best friends since I moved to Scotland. She was the only one who talked to me- which I found out, 3 years later, was only because of my 'cool' accent.
Everyday- we lumbered into class together, and skipped out at the end- joined at the hip. Inseparable I guess.
Till we reached high school. From there on, we drifted apart. Each of us made new friends, joined new groups and moved on.
I reached her side, and tapped on her opposite shoulder from where I was standing. She turned away from me, and I chuckled. He head swung around, with a flick of her hair, and she playfully slapped me in the shoulder, paired with a scowl. Which I turned into a odd, rather creepy grin with a finger. She slapped me away, but laughed lightly all the same.
"You good?" I asked, dusting cat hair off my top.
"I'm alright I guess." She said, picking at a loose thread, avoiding eye contact.
I cocked an eyebrow at her, and crossed my arms.
"What's up?" I asked softly.
She opened her mouth to answer, but the door to the gym swung open with a creak, and a cheer erupted, followed by a tidal wave- in which I got swept away in.
Damn this school and bad timings.
Emily walked ahead of me rubbing her arm lovingly, and Caitlin was on my left, limping. Me- I clutched what felt like a broken rib. Groaning, I began to get changed back into uniform. I cursed Jodie Sanders under my breath. Her major upper body strength was a brilliant help when it came to dodge ball. She had us all on the bench in less than a minute.
"So..." Lauren appeared by our bench, breaking the painful silence after getting changed miraculously fast. "What you guys up to this weekend?"
"Why? What were you thinking?" I smirked.
"Scene?" We chorused.
I got to admit- I can't quite remember how we came across that place. I have a faint recollection of being unwillingly dragged around Edinburgh city centre looking for a jacket-
Christmas time- with throngs of people pushing and shoving for the last set of bath salts, or the only size 8 party dress.
The bitter winter probably explains why we wanted something hot to drink.
Lauren and I were wandering North Bridge when we got lost in a part of town we'd never been to. Which is saying something considering we have known Edinburgh our whole lives.
We sat in this small park for a while before trying to find our bearings. Being as childish as we were- we sat on the swings. We raced, and from the top of the swings, we saw this colourful building.
We roamed the streets a little while longer, before finally finding the building.
The ludicrous smell of fresh coffee hit us like a ton of bricks from the moment we stepped in the café. Our eyes widened at the décor, the black and white prints lining each wall, and a friendly woman smiled at us from behind the counter. I dug out my purse in a rush, dropping a few coins in the process, and ordered a coffee and a muffin.
We sat for roughly an hour, talking about anything and everything. Gossip from school really: who was dating who, who cheated on exams, and what was more shocking- Connor's new 'pink hair' or Brodie's highlights. We were back in bustling Waverley station by 5, and took our seats on a packed train, dodging gift bags, strollers and random people who refused to move, ever for an old woman who really needed a seat.
I guess that's where it all began.