"we don't do talking."
The pep rally, unfortunately, will still go on.
It's stupid, Deborah decides. The rain is still splattering loudly against the cement with no signs of stopping. The clouds above them are still lurking ominously, trying to warn the ones below to have second thoughts about their activities. But no one's listening; they're all holding on to the forecast of light showers and lighter clouds during the day of the pep rally…which is tomorrow.
"Looks like the rain won't let up," Bridget absently mutters from beside her. She's staring at the glass windows right beside her, watching the rain droplets slither down like snakes. Long gone is her attention on the book in front of her: a second hand copy of The Great Gatsby.
Deborah shifts in her wooden seat awkwardly, setting down her own book: The Catcher in the Rye, before replying, "Yeah, they're probably gonna cancel tomorrow."
Bridget lolls her head to the side to get a good look at the girl in front of her. She's humming, her gray eyes bouncing from Deborah's eyes to the table between them and back to Deborah again. With a soft smile, she admits, "I wish they won't."
They burn in the silence after that, Bridget turning her head to focus on the rain and Deborah reaching out for her book to continue reading.
"You should—" Bridget starts.
"No," Deborah shuts her down immediately. She doesn't bother looking up because she can still see the amused smile of her best friend from above the book.
"It's the pep rally, Deb, we need school spirit!" Bridget exclaims in a mocking high-pitched voice.
"You can go with Noah and the others," Deborah immediately offers.
Bridget scoffs, "They go with Ellie."
Deborah doesn't hesitate in replying, "Then suck it up."
Bridget regards her carefully before kicking her shins from underneath the table. It's soft and clearly harmless but it causes Deborah to drop her book in surprise. She glares at the perpetrator with dark negative eyes and disheveled black hair, while Bridget looks back at her with innocent gray eyes and her blonde hair shining divinely.
"Fine," the black haired girl spits out. "But only if we go with them."
"Do you actually want to torture me?" the blonde asks with a scowl.
"It's so I don't have to talk to you."
This earned her another kick on the shins, but she expected it so she quickly changes her leg's position. Bridget, this time, is the one to glare but the way her lips are stifling a grin makes her look so harmless and virtuous. Deborah simply frowns without fail.
A miracle: the rains actually slowed down by the next morning. During the afternoon, the sky is lighter but still gray, yet not one drop of water falls from it. Safe to say, the pep rally will go on without a hitch, much to the dismay of Deborah and the joy of literally every person in school.
Her last period, History, is completely cut off from the schedule (which she suspects is the reason for the school-wide enthusiasm), so she makes a beeline towards the library where her safe haven ever since she started high school is.
Unfortunately, Bridget is waiting by their usual table at the corner of the room.
"Let's go. I already told Noah to save us some seats," is the first thing that comes out of the blonde's mouth.
Deborah sighs in defeat and musters out, "All right, fine, whatever."
Bridget rolls her eyes and mutters sarcastically, "That's the spirit, I guess."
They walk out of the library and follow the crowd of students trying to get out towards the open field. The hallway is cramped and barely breathable, but no one seems to be complaining. Deborah doesn't hesitate to laugh when Bridget almost trips over an empty can, and Bridget doesn't hesitate to smack her best friend's head.
As the crowd finally piles out towards the football field, Bridget latches their arms together before dramatically stretching her neck to look for Noah by the bleachers.
"You better help me look," Bridget mutters. "You have 20/20 vision unlike me."
Deborah grunts, thinking that her perfect vision must be a glitch in the universe after all the late-night one-on-one sessions with her laptop. Her best friend, meanwhile, suffers farsightedness in both of her eyes and has to constantly wear contact lenses. As far Deborah is concerned, she knows that Bridget sleeps at exactly eleven o'clock and doesn't obsessively watch shows like Deborah does on more than one occasion.
They quietly look for Noah as they are swept by the crowd, forcing them to near the bleachers on their right. This is where Deborah concentrates her eyes, scanning the diverse faces, before finally landing on a familiar sandy blonde at the third to the last row with, true to Bridget's word, two vacant seats right beside him.
"Hey," Deborah nudges Bridget, "found him."
"Nice," Bridget muses, looking at where Deborah was gesturing and finding Noah as well. "Let's climb up, I guess."
They do, but Deborah quickly notices something. Specifically; another black haired boy that's sitting on the other side of the vacant chairs.
"Elliot's sitting on the other side," she points out hastily, nervously glancing at Bridget. There are two options in this whole debacle: either Bridget gives in to her pride and sit next to her ex-boyfriend, or Deborah gives in to her pride and sit next to her distant childhood friend. Of course, being Deborah, her pride is basically little to non-existent and it's her who draws the short end of the stick.
"Shit!" Bridget exclaims in her best friend's ear, causing the latter to jump. "Could you—uh—you know?"
"Yeah, yeah," Deborah waves it off inconsequentially, grimacing at the turn of events, "I'll sit next to him."
"Thank you! I'll try to convince Noah to change seats with you," Bridget beams with gratitude, gray eyes lighting up like the clouds right above them. It causes Deborah to withhold her comment about how Noah is as stubborn as a spoiled child. If Noah specifically sat there, then there must be a reason.
Once they manage to reach the row, Noah has already noticed them. He waves both his hands wildly, causing his seatmate—a curly haired girl—to glare at him in annoyance. They struggle to walk over to them, since there are already lots of seated students, but they manage and Deborah plops down at her assigned seat in relief.
Bridget has no problem in striking a conversation with Noah as soon as she settles down next to him. She's talking animatedly and he's mirroring her energy and Deborah cannot help but think how alike those two are. It doesn't help that both of their hairs are blonde (although Noah's is sandier and Bridget's more of a golden hue) and that the way their smiles stretch across their faces are reflections of each other.
Elliot, meanwhile, is assessing her with such enigmatic black eyes that she quickly looks away from him and focuses on the field below. Anxiety bleeds from her as she taps her fingers against the fabric of her jeans in fast and tangled beats. The air between them is anything but okay. She's awkward and he generally doesn't bother with other people, so any chance of conversation between them is zero.
His cool eyes look over at their respective best friends beside Deborah before settling again on her. With a sardonic smile, he murmurs but his voice is deep enough to carry his words to her ears, "Looks like you lost the bet."
Deborah glances at him momentarily, mouth parted, before looking back at the field and replying, "If that's what you think."
"It's what I know, I guess." Elliot replies right after. Deborah suspects that he replied even before she had ended her sentence, as if he correctly guessed what she's about to say.
She finally gives in and turns her body sideways, enough so she could look back at him. Their same-colored eyes meet in the middle and there's a certain understanding that hangs like a thread between them. His eyes don't seem so enigmatic anymore, but there's still a certain mystery to them, so tightly screwed so no one can ever break through it.
"Well? Spit it out," Deborah simply states, knowing that there must be a reason why he's entertaining her. It's unusual for him to start a conversation with her after living without acknowledging each other for many years. Even when he and Bridget were dating, they never really hung out with each other and Bridget didn't bother to force them to, which is all well and good.
He cracks an amused smile as he asks, "What do you mean?"
"You're talking to me," she responds as if it's the most obvious thing in the world. "We don't do talking."
"And what, pray tell, do we do?" he prods, still sporting the same amused look.
"We ignore each other," she tells him flippantly. "Our social circles don't exactly line up with each other and the only thing we have in common is Bridget."
He pauses for a few moments, looking contemplative, and tapping his finger against the bottom of his chin. He muses after, "Well, we don't have that in common anymore."
Deborah shrugs, having nothing else to offer.
They stew in the silence, listening to the howl of the wind that's strong enough to blow on their dark raven hair. She notices how deep he's thinking, so she repositions herself again and floats along the wind, thinking of everything and nothing at the same time.
They don't speak in the remainder of the night, not even to cheer for their team and certainly not even to start another conversation together. Deborah feels that this is what they're supposed to be.
It's only until after the pep rally when the sky is slowly clearing to give way for the soft streams of sunlight to land on the fresh ground again does Elliot manage to speak to her again.
They're loitering by Elliot's white Toyota Prius, waiting for Bridget and Noah who both stayed to congratulate Laurie who is their friend and the recently appointed captain of the cheerleaders. Bridget is Deborah's ride home while Elliot is Noah's, so Deborah and Elliot (who both have no connection to Laurie whatsoever) decide to stay at the parking lot.
They watch the different students filing out of the school doors with Elliot leaning against his own car and Deborah leaning on the pickup truck beside his.
He gives her a thoughtful stare before speaking, "Hey."
"What?" Deborah asks, lazily looking over to him with crossed arms.
"Do you think Bridget still likes me?" he questions, face straight and eyes unwavering.
She almost fumbles because it's such a serious question reserved for heart-to-heart talks between two good friends (neither applies in their situation). With wide eyes, she sputters out, "W-what?"
He's nonchalant and she hates it, but it visibly relaxes her when he gives a patient look and an unstirred resolve. So, she manages to answer with an embarrassed blush at the tip of her ears, "I-I'm not sure."
"Do you think you could ask?" he continues. Something stirs in his eyes, hope maybe? But Elliot's not one to hope, and not exactly one to actually feel something. Maybe he's nervous, but that seems even more impossible.
Deborah takes the shot—"Are you hoping she does?"
Elliot turns contemplative again. His eyes bore into her own and it shakes her how intense his black eyes are, as if carrying great deal of baggage, unable to let go. They're staring at each other for a while before he replies uneasily, "I guess so?"
"That's not very convincing," she notices. But, hell, it's Elliot and she's known forever that he's never good at emotions and thoughts. Even Bridget has confessed that she wishes that he was surer with himself and more open with her back when they were dating.
He sighs, a bit frustrated, turning his head down. It's an unusual sight for Deborah, but she doesn't echo that out loud. Finally, he looks back up at her with gritted teeth but same cool eyes and grunts out, "I mean, yeah. I hope she does."
Deborah's taken aback. But she nods curtly and asks, "Did you tell her this?"
"I want to know for sure if she still likes me," Elliot states.
"So you're asking me?" Deborah manages out, understanding his point. "Because I'm her best friend?"
"Well, yes, generally. I thought girls told each other everything." Elliot answers with a shrug, his eyes stirring something again. This time, Deborah ignores it plainly.
She coughs, admitting with slight embarrassment, "Well, we don't talk about you anymore. Frankly, I stopped caring about you and her after your breakup."
The last part doesn't seem to affect Elliot as he nods to process the information given to him. He starts again, "Maybe you could ask her?"
"And tell me if she does or not?"
It's intense, the pressure of his eyes and the expectancy that she'll help him. She understands that it's not that hard, but she fears for the consequence of asking. Will he lash out if Bridget says no? Or will he strike for the gold if Bridget says yes? But Deborah thinks she owes it to him, since she's sure she's one of the handful of people he trusted this information with.
It's charity, Deborah decides as she agrees to help him with this situation, and maybe karma will actually be good to her and give him an answer that he'd like.
a/n: first story! hope you enjoyed! please leave a review if you find any errors both grammatically or at the plot. thanks:)