Chapter 10

"Britanny Cabanis, I want you to tell me where you have been right now!"

"You stupid, stupid little girl!"

"How irresponsible of you. I hope you realised, young lady, the amount of trouble you have caused to your parents…"

"That's it. I don't even want to see your face."

"I feel really, really ashamed when I have to call you my daughter."

"You are grounded for two years! No internet, and no television. Lets see how you work with that."

So, in the last few days, the only sentence that got into my head was the last one.

In one whole day, Jake had had a brainwave. And guess what that was? Terry and I had played a prank on the whole world and gone camping for one week because we knew our parents wouldn't allow it. And now we were ashamed and we were throwing tantrums and not talking to anyone… You get it.

The unfair part was that Terry was a good little girl. So this had to be my idea. So basically I had brainwashed Terry and pretty much forced her into this. In a way that was good, because Terry was a terrible liar. But hey, the whole dump fell on me, and who would want to miss that?

My only comfort while the world was falling to pieces around me was that four other people were going through the same thing. Hector and Zach had gone home too, and they had been missing for a month.

The world wasn't falling to pieces, exactly. But suddenly there were so many boundaries – people shouldn't talk to me because I'm a bad influence, no more television, people screaming at me all the time. But the one thing I hadn't thought about was all the classwork and homework I had missed for a week. That really sucked.

And of course, Terry and I had to be distanced. And Terry was the one who got to change schools, not me. Things just work my way, don't they?

Apart from the whole drowning-in-self-pity part, the cops had just marked it as another 'teenager plays prank and runs away' thing. And that was what mattered the most.

Back to real life…

"Hi," Andrew said.

"You're not supposed to talk to me."

"For one week. That's over now. I thought you would be looking forward to it."

"Looking forward to talk to a chicken? I don't think so."

"I'm not a chicken."

Back to the old pattern. Sometimes it was just so easy to like Andrew. And the only reason that he looked like a chicken was because he wore yellow glasses that clashed horribly with his black hair. Actually, he looked more like a starved chicken. We both kept talking as though nothing had happened until we reached the school gate. Did I tell you that I had survived one more day at school?

"Brittany."

That wasn't Andrew's voice. It was Jake's. But it seemed so out of place here that it took me more than a second to process it.

In slow motion, almost. I turned and there he was, standing right behind me and looking like some kind of greek god on earth.

When I had been at Jake's house, I hadn't really noticed how much the guys stood out because I hadn't had a chance to compare them with the real world.

The world didn't seem real compared to Jake. It didn't seem worthy of him.

"…Hi," was my late response. And then my brain started working.

What the hell was Jake doing here? In front of everyone? What the… Andrew was looking at me questioningly, his eyes continuously flickering to Jake and taking in his unearthy existence.

"That's uh… He's my, uh…" For someone who prided herself to be a good liar, I really sucked, "…driver."

Jake and Andrew both looked at me disbelievingly. Jake was the first to recover. He subtely turned his proud posture into a slouch that didn't really do much, but at least made him look humbler.

"You're not coming by bus?" Andrew asked.

"Not today," I said.

"Brittany, you're getting late…" Jake said. God, his voice. So out of place.

"Got to go. Bye!" I waved once at Andrew and turned my back to him quickly, trying to get away from the school as fast as I could.

Jake had some explaining to do, and I wasn't getting in his car until he told me what he was up to. But he didn't explain. He just held the door open for me.

Terry was in the car, too. Huh. Maybe I was getting in after all.