"You wanna know what my problem is? My problem is you. My problem is the fact that you walk around here like you own the place. Newsflash, you don't. You're probably just as insignificant to the entire population as I am. We're just two people living in the same messed up world. You think you're better than me? Don't deny it; I see it in your eyes everyday. You think you are. Everyday you walk past me, everyday you snicker behind my back, everyday you look at me – and yeah, I see you looking – you think you're so much cooler than I am. You think you're God. Another newsflash, you're not. If you think that by getting everyone to turn against me, to make fun of me, to push me around bothers me, then you're way off base. You think that by doing all of that shit to me, it makes me care? Nothing you do to me will have any impact on me. You wanna know why? Because I'm the only person in the eff-ed up place that doesn't worship the ground you walk on. Final newsflash oh mighty one, the world revolves around the sun, not you."
I took a deep breath and turned to my teacher. He looked a little shocked, as did some of the others in my class. I looked at him expectantly as I waited for him to give me a grade so I could take my seat again.
"Um, Robyn, that was a very…interesting take on that particular scene," Mr Bardwell said.
I shrugged a shoulder. "Well, that's how I think Sophie was really feeling. She just couldn't get her feelings out right." I paused. "I may have exaggerated some bits, but that was what the assignment was…right?" I blinked twice. Innocence was the key.
Mr Bardwell looked thoughtful. He nodded finally. "Well done, A plus." I grinned and walked back to my chair. I zoned out when the other students were called to do their spin on a particular scene in the book. For the rest of the lesson, my eyes were focused on a certain boy, a boy that my speech was directed at; Jonah Farro. Jonah's back was hunched and he was talking in hushed whispers to his best friend Blake. Even though Jonah's back was turned away from me, I could tell he was pissed. I smirked.
Let the games begin.
"You have a death wish, don't you?" my only friend Taylor Rose, groaned. I grinned at her. I chewed on my apple and didn't reply for a minute. Taylor was equally as shunned out of the social system of our high school as I was, if not more. The Neanderthals of our school actually knew who I was. I mean, they whispered about me behind my back, they laughed at me if I messed up and they sometimes hide my clothes after gym. They knew me to do all of that to me. With Taylor it was the complete opposite, they did nothing to her because they didn't know her. And that was worse.
"No," I finally said. "I'm just telling the truth."
Taylor shook her head; her brown locks shook as she did so. "You're bold. Stupid, but bold."
I laughed. "When do you think I'm going to face his wrath?"
"Dunno. I wouldn't be surprised if he was doing something already." I nodded. It was true. The entire class knew who I was talking about, Jonah was humiliated in front of his peers. They were his people. "You know, it'd be so much easier if you explained everything that happened between your families properly." Taylor was the only person, aside from my family, who knew what happened between Jonah's family and my own.
"Really?" I scoffed. "I think that'd just give him more reason to hate me." Taylor nodded thoughtfully. I noticed her shoulder tense suddenly. Her gaze was on something behind me. I didn't need to guess to know who it was. My head swivelled round.
"Blake, Jonah, what can we do for you?" I asked sweetly.
"Henry-" he spat. Jonah didn't use my first name. "-what the f-" Jonah stopped. He took a deep breath in. "Did you do that to humiliate me?"
I looked thoughtful for a moment. "No."
"No." I didn't bother to point out that the two questions he asked me basically meant the same thing.
"Probably." Jonah snarled. Blake subtly nudged his arm. My gaze flickered to him. He wasn't even looking at me. I shrugged mentally.
"Who do you think you are?" he spat.
"Can you stop with the questions about who I am please? Everytime I rebuke you ask me who I am. You know who I am, as do I, so please stop."
"Yeah, I know who you are. The daughter of a filthy slut."
"Ouch that hurt," I said dryly. I looked him straight in the eye. "It's nothing you haven't said before." Jonah shook his head.
"I won't let you get away with what you did in class." I gave him a one armed shrug. "By the time I'm done with you, you'll care. You'll care so much you'll have no one left in this school. Wait, you don't have anyone now anyway."
"She'll have me," Taylor's voice spoke up boldly. I turned my head and saw her glaring at Jonah. The corner of my mouth tilted upward. I looked back at Jonah and smirked. He didn't seem fazed.
"Like I said, no one." Before I had the chance to speak up for Taylor, Jonah was already walking away. Blake stayed behind. He opened and closed his mouth. I went over and sat next to Taylor instead of my seat opposite her. Her face was blank. My head snapped up to meet Blake's gaze.
"Why don't you be a good sheep dog and follow your master?" I snarled at him. Blake looked desperately at Taylor and then at me. He left just as quickly as Jonah did. I scoffed.I turned back to Taylor who was frowning deeply.
"He's right Robyn," Taylor spoke softly. I looked at her. "I'm no one."
"Hey!" I snapped. She looked at me. Her eyes shone of her vulnerability. It seemed like no actions or words could take away the hurt. My face softened. "Don't you ever let anyone make you think you're not worth something. You Taylor Rose are more of a somebody that Jonah could ever hope to be." My voice was fierce but soft.
"Not in this school I'm not." I snorted and pointed to the kids in the mucking around near us.
"You want to be somebody like them?" I asked. "Please, even a Neanderthal would be insulted to be compared to the idiots in our school." This got a laugh out of Taylor.
She suddenly stopped. "I envy you sometimes."
"Why?" I asked laughing. Envying me was probably the stupidest thing anyone could do.
"Because even though they tease you, they know you're alive. They wouldn't know or care I died."
And suddenly I felt powerless. I knew nothing I said could make her feel better about herself. Anger washed over me. This was all Jonah's fault. Suddenly, I actually cared.
"Did you see that chick in the mini? Shit, that is some fine ass." I nearly gagged when I heard a guy in my history class talking from somewhere behind me. I didn't even bother to look at the new meat of the day. I continued to sort out my books and make sure my project for class was ready. The bus had arrived early that day so I had an extra ten minutes to kill.
"Hey, looking good girl!" a male voice shouted. It was then that I felt someone standing next to me. I frowned. From the corner of my eye I saw high heels and bare leg. I snapped my book shut and was ready to have a go at the girl who decided to invade my personal space. But then I actually saw who it was.
My jaw unhinged. "Taylor?" Said girl gave me a meek smile.
"What do you think?" she asked. My mouth kept opening and closing. Words didn't even begin to form in my mind. Taylor was dressed from head to know as a wannabe stripper. The girl was my best friend but whatever made her dress the way she did made me want to slap her.
"You're wearing short-shorts, a tank top and you're holding a clutch bag...to school. Did you forget to change your outfit from working at the street corner?" Taylor's face deflated. I wasn't sorry. If you were in my position, you'd be saying the same thing to.
"God Robyn why are you such a major bitch?" she snapped. "Look around, people are noticing me."
"Taylor!" I cried. "They're looking at you because they want to get laid or think you're a hooker!" She rolled her eyes at me.
"You're just jealous." Now those words stung. "You don't like it that people are actually noticing me for a good thing." I spluttered. Taylor didn't wait for a reply before she walked off. I slapped myself hoping that I was going to wake up from a bad dream.
No such luck.
I picked up my bag and books, slammed my locker door and stalked off in the same direction as Taylor. We had the same class for the first two periods and the last two. Hopefully Taylor's sudden mood swing would swing its way back to normal-Taylor. I walked into class only to find Taylor being chatted up by two guys. She looked out of place and a little intimidated. The way she was subtly leaning back from one of the guys that were on the desk showed that she wasn't comfortable at all. I took my usual place next to her. The guys didn't notice me but Taylor did. I saw her give me a look for help. I raised an eyebrow. Suddenly I felt sorry for her.
"Oh my God, did you hear? Principal Davis might be taking this class!" I squealed to the guys that were chatting up Taylor. Immediately they gulped. Fear overcame them and they didn't even realise who was talking to them. If they knew, they'd just laugh and continue about their business.
"Laters babe." They fled the classroom faster than I could say 'suckers'. I saw Taylor shoot me a grateful look but I ignored it. Sometimes you just had to let the chick fly out of the nest. I'm not even sure if chicks fly, but you get the point.
It's like they say: cruel to be kind.
"Alright class settle down," said the bored voice of Mr Matthews. Right on cue Jonah and Blake sauntered into class. They always had to be 'fashionably' late. Whilst the girls in our class swooned and the guys shouted their greetings, I stifled a yawn. Walking into class late was so ten minutes ago.
As if Jonah had 'hot girl' radar in him, his eyes snapped to Taylor. He nodded appretivley. He noticed me next to Taylor and scowled. Jonah looked thoughtful for a moment. His eyes darted between Taylor and myself. Then, his eyebrows shot up. It finally clicked. Not so 'nobody' anymore eh?
"Sit down boys." Mr Matthews spoke sternly. He didn't even need to turn around, he was used to them being late so he continued writing out the task for the lesson. Jonah made his way to his seat. He slapped the outstretched hands of some of his guy friends and winked at the girls. Blake however was rooted at his spot. I noticed that his gaze was firmly set in my direction. I followed his gaze and my eyes fell upon Taylor who was scribbling furiously in her book. Same ole' Taylor, just different clothed Taylor. I was puzzled as to why he was looking at her. Not that he should be looking at me or anything, just because the two had never exchanged a greeting or conversation of a sort. Then, I saw from the window behind her that Blake's ex-girlfriend, who he publically broke up with because she was cheating on him, was sucking face with someone I didn't recognise.
"I asked you to sit down," Mr Matthews sighed. "Kids." The double lesson went quicker than I expected it to. Taylor didn't make any attempt to speak to me and I didn't bother either. We both needed to cool off. After the short fifteen minute break I had history thankfully without Taylor. I hopped off the wall I was sitting on and made my way back into the school building. My history class wasn't far away from the entrance so I wasn't worried about being late.
"Alright class," my favourite teacher Ms Sampson shouted over the chatter. Everyone immediately sat down and shut up. I actually didn't mind the people in my history class; they were much nicer than the folks in my other classes. Mind you, there were only fifteen people in the class; it was a higher level history class and there were just too many dumass' in my year.
"Get out your projects that were due today, I'm going to spend the lesson going around and checking each one."
"Shit," I cursed under my breath. All of the nonsense with Taylor had made me forget about taking my project from my locker in the morning. I slowly put my hand up.
"Yes?" Ms Sampson asked with a smile.
"I left my project in my locker. Can I go get it please?"
"Quickly." I gave her a grin and dashed out of the class. I jogged all the way to the second floor where my locker was situated. Just as I was about to turn the corner I saw Taylor and Blake. I quickly halted my skid and whipped behind the corner. I waited a moment before poking my head around the corner. I had to strain myself to hear what they were saying, but I gathered that they had already started a conversation.
"What's wrong with what I'm wearing?" Taylor asked. She sounded a little confused but peeved too.
"Nothing, if you work at a brothel," Blake replied monotonously. His gaze was somewhere above her head. I almost laughed.
Great minds think alike.
"What is your problem? Do you even know who I am?" I saw Taylor cross her arms defensively.
"Just don't wear clothes like this again. You look like a cheap slut." My eyebrows shot up. Now that was blunt. Blake didn't wait for a reply before walking away. Taylor shook her head and walked down the corridor in front of her. I racked my mind and remembered that she had maths. I waited for a few seconds before stepping around the corner.
I frowned. What was I doing…?
"Crap!" I cursed again. This time, I ran to my locker.
The bell for lunch rang. The sound was heaven. I was finally free of the horrors in school, even if it was only for an hour. I went to my usual spot which was a bench that was shaded by a large tree. Taylor wasn't there.
I sat down and unpacked my lunch. Just as I did, I immediately felt sick. My sandwich was now green and fungus ridden. There were maggots all over it. I took out some tissues from my bag. I picked up the sandwich holding it by its wrapper and threw it in the trash. I quickly drank some water to get rid of the sick feeling in my stomach.
I didn't want to know how he got into my bag, just that he did. I gritted my teeth. It was one thing trying to humiliate me, but trying to poison me – to a certain extent – was a little too far. I knew he hated me but this…this was just too much. I stood up ready to march over to Jonah and give him a piece of my mind but I was halted in my place when I saw Taylor walking to me.
"I'm sorry," she said. "You were right. I look like a whore." I smiled. Normal Taylor was back!
"Well, at least you know you'd make a good looking one." I shrugged. She smiled. I didn't care if she was apologising because of what Blake said to her, I was just glad she was finally seeing sense.
"I'm gonna go get my stuff, I'll be back in a minute. Don't go anywhere," she warned. I gave her a bemused look.
"Where would I go?" We both laughed. I sat back down. It was then that I realised that I didn't have any lunch. I swore under my breath. Lunch was the most important meal of the day. Heck, every meal was important to me. I liked to have some meat on my bones and that's more than some of the bony ass girls in my school can say. I finally decided against retaliating against Jonah. It was what he wanted and I never, willingly, gave him what he wanted. My back was turned to the few that were outside with us, Jonah and his croonies being some of them, but when I heard some boys jeering my instincts told me something what wrong.
And I was right. I saw Taylor being cat-called at. The bunch of guys that were following her didn't care two monkeys about at personal space. I gritted my teeth.
"Hey!" I shouted to them. I half walked half skipped over to them. "Beat it freaks!"
"Oooh!" one of them laughed. I rolled my eyes. I noticed Blake and Jonah sitting near us. They were close enough to hear and see what was going on. Just like them not to step in and help.
"What is a little doll like ya' gonna do?" another one asked licking his lips. "There's not much you can do...unless we're talking action baby!" The group laughed and high-fived each other.
I nodded. "True." Then I pulled my fist back and rammed it into his stomach. I was so glad I was wearing my rings today. "Screw. Off."
"You bitch," he coughed out. One of his moronic friends actually took two steps towards me. A part of me thought he was going to punch me, and I think he would've if it had not been for Taylor kneeing him.
"Ow! You bitch!"
"That the best you got?" Taylor sneered. I laughed. The other two guys helped moron one and two as they walked away from us in a crouched position.
"Come on," I said to her, taking her by her arm. I glared at Jonah hoping that he understood why.
"I'm gonna go to the bathroom for a second. I'll be fine. Really." Taylor gave me an earnest look. I nodded and watched her run off. As my gaze travelled back to the bench I was sitting at, I saw Blake stood up. He was staring in the direction of where Taylor had run off. In my mind a few things clicked. I walked over to their table. Jonah saw me coming and quickly walked away. I rolled my eyes; like I was going to do anything anyway.
"I don't..." he started. He stopped and tried again, "I didn't do anything." He put his hands up in defense. I shook my head.
"You. Stand. Idly. By." I wasn't referring to Jonah's issues with me, but the confrontation that Taylor had just gone through. He could have at any point gotten up to defend her. One word from him and they would've backed off sooner. I walked away leaving him speechless.
By the time I sat back down on the bench, Taylor was also back. I pulled off my hoodie and handed it over to her. Taylor was petite so the hoodie would probably reach her mid thighs at least.
"Thanks," she took it with a smile. I nodded. "I owe you."
"Yeah, you do," I replied with a nod. "You can give me half of your lunch as payment."
"What happened to yours?" Then she realised not 'what' but 'who'. "Don't tell me, Jonah."
"You said it sista'."
"You need to sort out your issues with him. It's not right. He's in the dark, you're getting your lunch ruined, you're getting pushed around and only you can stop that."
I shrugged. "I personally think he's knows everything." Taylor looked sceptical. Her comment got me thinking; maybe he didn't know.
I leaned against the lockers opposite Jonah's. I had gotten an earful from Taylor for even thinking about getting Jonah back. That was probably why I didn't tell her that I was actually going to go through with it. I buried my head in my book when I saw Jonah and Blake mucking around as they walked to Jonah's locker. I giggled to myself. I couldn't wait to see the look on Jonah's face.
"What. The. Hell." Jonah shouted. His was pissed. His locker was dripping with fake blood; cherry and a hint of Cinnamon I believe it was. I wasn't that inconsiderate; I put all his important books in a plastic bag to make sure they were protected, but things like his magazines, football clothes and stationary set were all ruined.
"Who the heck did this?" Jonah demanded from a random student. The poor guy looked so terrified, Jonah pushed him aside. There was a small crowd gathered around his locker. I must say I did the job well. Jonah swivelled round when he saw a couple of students looking in my direction. I gave him a cheery smile. I waggled my fingers at him. Jonah advanced towards me.
I almost had to make sure my contacts were on properly because I saw Blake put his hand on Jonah's arm. I watched as Jonah followed the arm to a face. Blake gave him a stern look. Jonah took two deep breaths in. He glared at me. He slammed his locker shut and stalked off down the hallway.
No face off? Darn, I'm disappointed.
I didn't hang around the locker any longer. The deed was done. All I had to do was wait for the rebuttal. It was nearing the end of the day. I was drained from the amount of work we had to do. Thankfully my last lesson was a free lesson so I decided to head home early. Taylor had a piano lesson after school anyway. I was humming to myself and cackling to myself as I saw everyone in their respective classrooms being drilled with knowledge for the 'real world'. I was taken by surprise when a hand grabbed my arm and pushed me against a wall. I barely had time to register anything. My head hit the wall leaving me a little dazed. When my eyes focused I saw Jonah breathing down my neck. Figuratively of course.
"You think you're so damn great, don't you Henry?" Jonah hissed. His face was centimetres away from mine. I composed myself quickly and looked him straight in the eye.
"No, I don't. But you do."
"I don't think I'm great. I know I'm great." I scoffed. "I'm not vain." I refrained myself from rolling my eyes. If I did then it'd only fuel his paused before he continued. "See, I have some self-esteem. I put myself forward, I don't coward behind people with sarcasm and glares. I leave that to you."
"I am not a coward. You're the coward. You pick on people because you don't like them. The brave thing to do would be to step back and think 'hey, if I make this person's live a living hell then I'm only showing them that I care', but you don't think do you? You just act."
To my surprise Jonah took a step back. I finally stood properly. The wall wasn't pressing against my back anymore. I looked at Jonah; had a blank look on his face. Suddenly the anger and hate was back in his eyes. He gritted his teeth.
"Do you wanna know why I care? I try and make your life miserable because I want you to know what it feels like to be miserable, to hate your life as much as I hate mine." Now that took me by surprise, again. Jonah must've noticed my confused look because he continued.
"Your whore of a mother ruined my family. Do you have any idea what it's like to walk into your house and find your father wrapped around a woman other than your mother? That woman was your mother. Your mother is the reason my family is all torn apart!" he shouted.
My eyebrows shot up. He didn't know. "You seriously don't know?" I cried. "How can you not know?" I still didn't get any response from him. "He doesn't know…Taylor was right..." I muttered to myself.
"Know what?" he spat.
Then it hit me. "Of course you don't know, it wouldn't have happened if people knew…safe now since my mother's…" I continued muttering.
"Spit it out!" My gaze snapped up to meet his own. I licked my lips. Confession time. "Jonah, do you know why my mother was wrapped around your dad?"
"Yes, because she's a no bit hooker."
I scoffed. "No. Your mother hired my mother." I let my words sink into him. Jonah's face looked blank. He wasn't that good of an actor. "Your parents signed a prenup when they got married. If your mother wanted to divorce your dad she'd be left with nothing. She would lose you...she would lose everything."
"What?" he breathed out.
"Your dad was abusing your mother, maybe not physically, but mentally. He would go home drunk almost everyday," I recounted the words my Aunt told me. "He knew not to raise a fist at you or your mum but you have no idea how scary it is to face off with a drunk man." I swallowed before continuing.
"My mum worked with a company called Venus, like the Venus Flytrap. Wives or husbands would hire a woman or man from the company to see whether their partner would cheat on them. It's hard to explain, but do you get the gist?"
There was a small nod, "Yes."
I continued. "The only way she could divorce your dad, keep you and still be able to raise you properly was if he was either abusing your mum or you, or cheating on her."
I paused. Jonah asked softly, "So my mum hired your mum to…out my dad?"
"Yes, except nobody could know about it. The courts would never allow a divorce if they knew your mum went out of her way to get him to cheat."
"So my mum's been lying to me all this time?"
"No!" I cried. "Your mother's been protecting you all this time. Don't you see? She's happy and you're both safe."
"No," he sounded angry. "No, she's been lying to me and so have you." He gave a humourless laugh. "You could have told me all of this years ago! If you told me I wouldn't have-" he stopped and looked at me.
"-tried to hurt me all these years?" I finished off for him.
"That bit is your fault. Do you know how guilty I felt each time?" he shook his head and muttered to himself. "You're all liars. My family is still ruined. So you told me now, what difference does it make? My father is off with his new family and I don't have a father. My mother's great...but she's great with my sister," he muttered the last bit softly. He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth.
"It's still your mother's fault. If she hadn't…it's not right what she does for a living. How many families must she break up?"
"And how many families must that company have saved? How many abused children and parents are finally free?" I retorted.
Jonah took two giant steps towards me and punched the locker next to my head. "No!" he practically screamed. His forehead was on mine. His breath was ragged. "You wanna know what you just told me?" He didn't wait for an answer. "You've just told me that women are liars. They're all liars. Families screw you over." With that said, he turned on his heel and stormed away. His hands were by his sides clenched into fists.
Why I thought that we could shake hands and call a truce was beyond me. This was Jonah. It wasn't in him to forgive and forget. He was in denial. Jonah was a stubborn one. He never admitted the truth, especially if it was a painful one. For the second time that week I braced myself for his wrath.
"Taylor," I sighed into the speak of the phone. "Why is this happening to me?"
"You mean instead of a rich, arrogant son of a gun who's living the high life?" her voice held a sarcastic tone to it. I rolled my eyes knowingly fully well she couldn't see me.
"You're getting more sarcastic these days. What teacher's been putting your panties in a twist?"
"What makes you think it's a teacher?" she asked instead. My head cocked to the side. Before I able to get a word in to ask her who it was, she spoke again. "No, you're right, it's a teacher." She spoke quickly. I frowned. Taylor was sometimes very mysterious. I let it go. Sometimes it was better if Taylor came to me rather than me pestering her for hours.
"Do you wanna go to the park? I'm feeling a little trapped at home."
"Can't, it's family night."
"Oh yeah. I think you're the only teenager in town that likes family night. My family don't know the first thing about family night...or day. We have a routine. Wake up, make breakfast, give each other breakfast, I pour the drinks or milk, drop kids off to school, I go to school, I come home, the kids are picked up-"
"Yes, I know Robyn," Taylor cut in. I heard someone calling her in the background. "Well that's my cue. Later love."
"Bye," I replied dully. I put the phone and drummed my fingers against the table. "To the park it is."
The warm air was blowing against my face gently. I smiled. I remember when I was little my mum and I would go to the park in the middle of the night sometimes and ride the swings. She would push me up so high I felt like I was going to go around the bar at the top. She'd tell me to jump off. She said that she'd catch me before I hit the ground. I was too scared to test the theory and when I was ready, it was too late.
I sat down on the swing and rocked back and forth gently. It was still early but the winter was fast approaching so the evenings were dark. I closed my eyes and remembered what it was like to be young. I pushed my legs off the ground and started swinging properly. My hair flew around in the air. I laughed with glee. It had been so long since I had swung that high.
Jump. A voice in my head whispered. It was my mother. I'll catch you.
"One..." I whispered to myself. "Two...THREE!"
I could feel the air whipping around me, my laughter reaching my ears, my hair all over my face and my arms were spread wide. I didn't care about the impact. It was the flying that actually meant a damn thing. But, instead of feeling the hard ground, I was welcomed with a strong pair of arms. My eyes flew open. A little part of me thought it was my mum. My jaw dropped when I saw that it was Jonah who was holding me. I jumped out of his arms and took a step back.
"Who did you want it to be?" he asked. "The imaginary boyfriend you've had since you were fifteen."
I gritted my teeth. "That imaginary boyfriend was made up to get a guy off my back." Jonah didn't say anything. "What? You seemed surprised that a guy can actually like me. Mind you, he was a sleazy scumbag."
"No wonder he went to you then."
"What are you doing here?" I demanded, ignoring his comment. Jonah wasn't one to go to parks in the evening. Not that I knew of anyway. Jonah pulled out a wad of papers from his back pocket.
I frowned. He shoved them to me again. I hesitantly took them. They were photos of children and teenagers. There were older looking photos and ones that looked recent too. I actually recognised a few of them from my school. I didn't get why Jonah was showing me them or who some of the people even were.
"What is this?" Jonah was staring at me with an unreadable expression on his face. "Jonah?"
"Those are just seven people's lives Venus ruined." My mind went blank. Then, it clicked. "Amber Jones, Sarah Jones, Kyle Messer, Anita Shah-"
"I get it," I told him hoarsely. "Why are you showing me these?"
"I wanted to show you that it wasn't just my life that's changed. Those people, they don't have fathers. The people at Venus outed them. Now they're stuck living in a household with only a single parent. Look at those faces and tell me you don't care. Do you still think that what they're doing is right?" Jonah looked away. "I get why my mum did what she did but she lied about it. These children, they all think that they're fathers don't care. You've seen Amber in school. She hates men because of her dad."
"So you think that it's better that she lives with a father who cheats on her mother, than live without a father?" I asked incredulously.
"No. I'm just saying that maybe if she didn't know about her dad's infidelities she'd still have a little faith in the male species."
"Even if she didn't, there's not much she can have faith in when it comes to the male species," I snarled. Jonah just didn't get it. He was so frickin' thick.
"Jeez Henry," Jonah laughed humourlessly. "Don't you see that I'm trying to show you that the people at Venus are bad? That what they're doing is wrong? Half of them are probably just money-hungry and lying about what happens. I wish you could see all of that."
He obviously didn't know that meetings took place more than once and evidence was gathered before anything was said to the clients.
"What is so wrong about a mother wanting the best for her children? Or a father for that matter?" I folded my arms. "I wish you could see the faces of the mothers when they go to Venus. I wish you could know what it feels like to see the sheer pain and anguish on their faces. You wanna know where my father was when I was born? He was screwing his receptionist. He was screwing his slut of a receptionist..." I trailed off. "On the day of my birth." I hissed.
I furiously wiped away the tears that formed in my eyes. I couldn't even look Jonah in the eye. Never once had he ever seen me so vulnerable.
"My mother slapped a divorce on him the minute she found out, and that was only the day after my birth. He was furious. Said that if she left him he'd leave her with nothing, that I would be brought up poor. My mum didn't care. She went on with the divorce and true to his word, she got nothing. My Aunt took us in. My mum found out about the Venus group after she saw a set-up go down. At first she said that she was only doing it for the money, it paid good, but after a while she stopped pretending that it was for the money and admitted that she was doing it for the other women who were going through what my mother went through."
"These children-" I said holding up the pictures. "-if they see the pain their mother's gone through.... My mother swore that she would help anyone she could; fathers or mothers."
I stopped talking. Jonah didn't say a word. I threw the pictures at him in defeat.
"Look, you can think that my mother's whore and that the Venus group are a bunch of money-hungry people, but just stop with me. I care, okay? Everytime you do something to me, I care. There you have it," I cried throwing my hands up in the air. "Robyn Henry actually cares." At this point I felt a little hysterical. "Please, I am begging you, just...leave me alone."
I walked backwards before turning around and running in the direction of my house.
I didn't go to school the next day. Taylor called and updated me with the happenings of the school. Jonah was moodier than usual, probably because I got the last word in, and she said that Blake had been following her around. I smirked when she told me. Maybe what I said before to him knocked some sense in him. While I called it cute, Taylor called it annoying. I made a bet with myself to see how long it'd be called 'annoying'. After a little pestering though, she did admit that she had feelings for him.
"Robyn!" my Aunt shouted from downstairs. "There's someone here to see you!" I frowned. Usually Taylor would just come up to my room and she hadn't mentioned coming over on the phone. I wasn't sure who it was, so I checked myself in the mirror before I went down to see who it was.
My eyebrows shot up when I saw a pair of worn out Converses; a pair that looked very familiar. When I reached the bottom step, my suspicions were confirmed. It was Jonah. Jonah Farro, a boy that hated me, was standing inside my house. I looked at my Aunt. She looked a little confused and surprised. I sent her a questioning look but she just shook her head and mouthed 'later'. Jonah had his hands in his pockets and looekd a little angry but mostly awkward. My aunt looked between us. I was pretty sure she knew who Jonah was.
"I'm going to be outside. I have a phonecall to make, it might take long so...just take your time you two." My aunt was subtle, kinda. "It was nice to meet you Jonah."
"You too Mrs Henry-Seal." My eyes automatically widened. Mrs Henry-Seal? That means he knows... My Aunt nodded and left us. I stood awkwardly on the step and fidgeted with the hem of my top. Jonah was staring hard at the floor.
"Do you want something to drink?" I asked breaking the silence. Jonah looked up. For a split second he looked like he had forgotten I was even there. He shook his head. "To eat?" Again he shook his head.
"Why didn't you tell me?" he finally asked. I sighed. Knowing it was going to be a long conversation, I led him to the front room. Jonah was immediately drawn to all the pictures. He picked up a picture frame, a photo I really loved and asked, "They're twins?"
I shook my head. "My Aunt is two years younger than my mum, but my mum's always said that Aunt Mae was the older, more responsible one." Jonah gave a small smile before putting the frame down and looking at the others. I noticed his eyes linger at the pictures of my mum and I during my early days and then to the more recent ones with my Aunt.
"Your mum's dead." He said this in a declarative manner so I knew he wasn't asking; he knew. I nodded.
"She died a month after we started high school," I confirmed for him. Jonah sighed and turned to face me.
"All this time..." he spoke softly. "You led me to believe that your mother was alive."
"Come on Jonah. What difference would it have made? You saying what you think of her out loud and you thinking it in your head are both just as bad as the other. It wouldn't have changed anything." I paused. "Besides, I thought you knew she died."
"How could I know?" he asked bemused. "Your Aunt and your mum look so alike. I was young when I last saw her and when I saw you and your aunt together, I figured she was your mum. I assumed she just dyed her hair."
I gave a small nod; it sounded like a believable story.
"I'm sorry," I said after a while. Jonah's head snapped toward me. He looked so shocked. "If I had told you all of this earlier, we wouldn't be here. We wouldn't be fighting, you would know the truth and who knows, we may even have been friends!" I sighed and sat down on the arm of the sofa. "How did you even find out?"
"When I knocked on the door, your aunt answered. I asked her if this was your house, she said yes, so I told her I was one of your friends. She let me in and when I introduced myself she did too. Henry-Seal wasn't what I knew your surname to be, so I asked if you had a step-dad. Your Aunt looked so confused. She said she didn't have a dad let alone a step-dad, and explained Seal was the surname of your Uncle."
"And that's when she said that my mum's dead and she's my aunt," I finished off for him. Jonah nodded. I nodded also. "So what now? Why did you come over again?"
"Oh, I just came to apologise. I'm sorry too." I almost smirked; Jonah Farro wasn't one to apologise, the apologises came to him - oh how I felt special. "Even if I didn't know, I shouldn't have done any of the things I did."
I gave him a small smile. "It's okay." He nodded and gave out a shaky breath.
"Okay." We were both silent. It was all so new to both of us, we were always fighting, we both just forgot what it was like not to fight. "What's the deal with Blake and Taylor?" I suddenly blurted out.
Jonah gave out a small laugh, something I rarely heard him do when I was around. "He likes her. Don't give me that look, he really does. He actually thanks us for fighting because he wouldn't have noticed her otherwise. If she gets flowers in her locker tomorrow, then tell her that she should give whoever sent it a chance." I grinned and nodded. Taylor and Blake, an unlikely couple, but a very matching couple.
"At least something good came out of our fighting for so long." Jonah nodded. We both stared off into space. "This doesn't mean we're friends you know," I said lightly. Jonah laughed.
"No, we still hate each other. I have a reputation to keep, ya' know?" Jonah told me seriously. He nodded. "We're just acquaintances."
"Right. Just acquaintances." I smiled.
"So as your acquaintance, I'll see you at school tomorrow?" he asked. I nodded.
"You will. Oh, everyone's going to have a field day. Jonah Farro and Robyn Henry not fighting? Has hell finally frozen over?" I gasped mockingly.
"I think it has." I led him to the door. "Henry." He nodded and pretended to touch his hat.
"Farro." I nodded back. I watched him leave before I closed the door. I leaned against it and let out a deep breath. I laughed.
So...this is a little different to what I normally write; romance isn't the main focus here! :O I know! I know it's a tad bit choppy towards the end, the ending's a little rushed, but it'll do for now. ;) Just so you know, they may have been joking around when they said they're not friends but in a way they did really mean it. I love a cliche as much as the next person, but I find it hard to believe people can go from really disliking someone to becoming friends in a matter of two or three days. But don't shoot! I love hate/love cliches! Really, I do. :)
Anyway, I hope you like this! And thanks for reading!
P.S. Ooh! Brownie points for anyone who can figure out where I got the bolded quote from! It's a show I looove! And I don't own it, just so ya' know. :)