Hellooo, guys! So...this is my new story. It's one of the two that I've been working on as Coming Home comes to a close, and I was a little hesitant to post it, but my wonderful beta, IWriteNaked, pumped me up and got me to upload it. Thanks, Ashtray! Also, thanks to DeathCabForMari and spikeyhairgood. You three are awesome, supportive, and wonderful, and I'm hella glad that you're my friends. :)
I don't have an update schedule set for this one yet, but I'm gonna try to update once a week, either Saturdays, Sundays, or Mondays. I'm gonna be pretty busy over the next few months, but I'd like to think that I'm pretty good at updating, so yeah. Anyway, that's what's up with that.
I hope you enjoy this chapter!
I don't own The Mortal Instruments.
We're only young and naive still
We require certain skills
The mood it changes like the wind
Hard to control when it begins
"Young Blood" - The Naked and Famous
When you're thirteen years old, you can be a lot of people.
You can be the girl who raises her hand to answer every single question in class. You could be the girl who desperately tries to be friends with every kind of person out there—and fails. You can be the the girl who is fucking obsessed with horses. You can be the girl who is obsessed with High School Musical, or the girl who pretends to hate all Disney movies/shows but secretly binges them at home. You could be the girl with a hard home life. The girl who is too perky.
Or the girl who's known for being tragically antisocial.
At thirteen years old, I'm the emo girl. Which is pretty ridiculous, considering people base that observation off of the fact that I like to wear black and my bangs are parted a certain way (to the right; I do need to get a haircut, because they almost cover my eyes). They think that the fact that I wear jackets all the time means that I cut myself.
I mean, really, I'm just like every other pre-teen there is. A few months ago, I was on my period, and my pants got really stained, and my Biology teacher found out, and it was the worst disaster in the world. When he asked me if it was the first time that this had happened to me, I thought that he meant the big ass stain, not my period. So, of course, I had to stand outside with him, a jacket covering the dried blood on my black pants, as he told me about periods. Lovely. Really lovely.
Anyway, it's April, and it's pretty cold outside. Simon and I walk home together, because his mom always gets home super late, and we have a group project due soon, so he's gonna stay at my apartment tonight. My mom always insists that I walk home with someone else beside me, so here we are, all but holding hands.
We make our way up the narrow stairs in my building, going up two sets of stairs before finally reaching my door. 2B. I take out my keys and unlock the door, twisting the handle and motioning for Simon to get inside.
My mom works at a gallery here in Brooklyn, but she usually doesn't get home until seven, so I lock the door again and make my way into the kitchen, examining the fridge.
"What's there to eat?" Simon asks, setting his stuff down on the couch.
"Um, leftover lasagna," I announce, taking out the Tupperware container.
"Perfecto," he says with a toothy smile. "Hey, have you talked to Isabelle about the project?"
"Yep. She said we have a fourth partner called Jonathan, and she wants me to find him on Facebook."
"Is she still refusing to go on Facebook after Raphael Santiago called her a slut?"
"Who said middle school wouldn't be interesting, right?"
He laughs and takes out two plastic plates. He hands one to me, and I place a square of lasagna on it. "Seriously, though, Raphael is such an asshole."
"He is." I shake my head and place another square of lasagna on the second plate. I put them both in the microwave and give them a minute and a half. "Do you want something to drink?"
"You don't happen to have any soda, do you?"
"If only," I say. "We have iced tea."
"That's good enough."
After I pour us both our iced teas, I let out a sigh. "I just feel bad that she has to deal with his crap just because she turned him down once."
"Yeah, well, he sucks. People know better than to listen to him, though. I mean, she's still super popular. She's Isabelle." I notice that he says it with a hint of awe, as if he were speaking about a celebrity rather than our life-long friend.
"She doesn't care about that." The microwave beeps, and I take out our hot plates. Steam rises up from the food. "She cares about the fact that Raphael Santiago is an asshole."
"Well, there's not much we can do about that." He bites his lip. "I wish there were, you know?"
"Sure," I say lightly, looking down at my food. "But she'll be fine, right?"
He's too busy chewing his food to speak, but he gives me a nod and an enthusiastic thumbs-up. I swear to God. I shake my head and get down to eating; after the first delicious bite, I realize that I've been starving the entire time.
We throw away the plastic plates and take our iced teas and bags into my (slightly small) bedroom. My full-sized bed, bookshelf, desk, and dresser barely fit in there, but I make it work. I open up the curtains to reveal that it's begun raining. Thank God.
"When's your brother getting here?" Simon asks, settling down on my bed.
"After soccer practice is over, I guess."
"They still have two more games, right?"
I nod and open my laptop, bringing it with me to my bed. "Okay, I'm gonna add this Jonathan dude. Did she give a last name?"
"Nope. But just add the school's name in the filter, and add the one you recognize, I guess."
I do as he says, hoping that his name shows up. There are twenty—twenty—Jonathans in our school. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I scroll down until I find three possible candidates, and I add all of them.
"You added three of them?" Simon asks, incredulous. He already has his phone out and is probably texting Isabelle about this.
I shrug. "I panicked, okay?"
A few moments pass by, and I check my Facebook obsessively, refreshing it until I'm a second away from going insane. I fall back, exhausted. My pillows are very inviting right now. Maybe I don't have to work. Maybe I could nap.
"One of them answered," Simon announces, and I sit up quickly. Who needs napping, anyway?
And there, in my notifications, it says: You are now friends with Jonathan Wayland.
"Well, that's one, I guess," Simon mutters.
He doesn't have a profile picture, but I click his name on the chat. A new chat with the two of us opens up, and I bite my lip. "What do I even say, anyway?"
"That you wanna know if he's the guy from your English class? With the project?"
I sigh. "Fine." I bite my lip, but decide to go ahead and do it anyway.
Hey, is this the same Jonathan from my English class with Mr. Stark?
Sorry, but this isn't him. Someone changed my Facebook name to Jonathan instead of Jace, but, anyway, I'm in high school.
I let out a sigh, looking up at Simon. "It's not him."
"We'll find him," he replies, opening up his flip phone again.
"Honestly, Si, what's up with you?"
He shrugs. "Just Izzy. We've been texting more, and I think that I really like her."
"You like like her?"
"Yeah." He's smiling widely; I'm not sure he's even aware of it. He's radiating happiness, which is kind of...exciting. It's good to see him this happy.
"Good. You two are adorable together."
"Not yet," I interrupt him.
Just then, another Jonathan adds me. Why is that name so popular, anyway? Even my brother's name is Jonathan. It sucks. Honestly.
"Are you sure that we're paired up with a Jonathan?" I ask him, biting my lip. The third one denied being in my class, and I don't wanna add more to my Facebook.
"Let me call Isabelle," Simon says.
"Yes, I'm sure it's a real burden."
He rolls his eyes, but his expression changes when she picks up. "Hey, are you sure we're paired up with a Jonathan? We can't find one." There's a pause. "Sure, okay. I didn't know those were up." Another pause. "You could've told us and we wouldn't have had to call you." Aaaand another pause. "Sure. Okay, so what's that? Sebastian Verlac?" He nods at me, and I write it down. "It's fine. Yeah. Sure. Bye."
"She mixed it up?"
He nods. "Said she was sorry."
I glare at the newly-friended Jonathans and look for Sebastian Verlac, who's fairly easy to find. I send him a message, and we agree to meet tomorrow after school at Isabelle's place. Awesome. Stupid English project.
"What other homework do we have?"
"Math," Simon replies, and I groan. We always, always have math homework. Always. I hate my teacher.
"Can I just not do it?"
"Jocelyn would murder me if she knew," he replies, handing me my math notebook and dropping the math textbook on the bed without giving it a thought.
"You're just happy about this because you actually like math," I mutter, opening my notebook and writing down the date. I hate school, I hate school, I hate—
"Clary," Simon says, exasperation laced with his usual excited tone, "it's just math. It can actually be fun."
"You," I say to him, "are such a dork. Math is not, in any shape or form, fun." I wrinkle my nose in disgust, but begin writing the first problem anyway.
We spend an hour doing thirty-something problems, sitting side by side in my bed. I always enjoy doing math with Simon; there's something comforting about the peace he finds in it, and I always hope that it rubs off on me. I'm not sure I want to love math, per se, but I want to find that kind of enthusiasm on something that can help me motivate myself for school. Something other than art, that is.
I sigh, exhausted. I finish the last problem ten minutes after Simon has finished all of them, and I fall back, the pillows making my back feel so comfortable that I almost sigh out of relief. "Are we watching anything?"
"Like…?" Just as I'm about to answer with an I don't know and a shrug, his phone rings, beating me to the punch. He holds up a finger. "Hey, Mom." There is a pause, and then: "Yeah, yeah, I'll be down in a second. Okay." He stuffs his phone into his pocket and gives me an apologetic look. "Mom's already here."
The sun has already set, and the stars are just starting to shine, but I put on my shoes and say, "I'll walk you out."
We say our goodbyes by the door, the unusually chilly air making me want to go back upstairs faster than usual. I like the cold, but it's April. Upstairs, I turn on the lights in my room and browse through Netflix on my crappy computer, hoping that there'll be something I'll want to watch.
Just as I'm about to give up, my brother calls out, "I'm home!" and I make my way out, but not early enough to hear him say that he's got company. In my very living room stands a tall, golden-haired boy. He's gorgeous.
He's also the Jonathan I messaged.
Oh dear God.
"Hey," I say, waving awkwardly. Leave it to me to do this. I want to punch myself in the face. I turn to my brother, who's regarding me with a half-amused, half-bored expression. We fight a lot, but, right now, I just want to smack him in the face for not telling me that he was having people over. "Are we ordering pizza?"
Jon nods. "Mom said she's gonna be a little late, but she still hopes to make it here in time. Ish?" He shakes his head. "You know Mom."
Do I ever. She gets caught up talking to people about the things she loves, which is actually kind of nice. She talks with words made of fire and a passion that burns brightly inside, and I wish that I felt that way about certain things. I don't know. "I want pepperoni," I say to my brother, making my way back inside my room.
Netflix, Netflix, Netflix. This kind of seems impossible. I decide to just re-watch episodes of Friends until the pizza gets here. Isabelle's watching it now, so I text her, and we decide to watch it together while Skyping. Watching her reactions is hilarious, and I entertain myself for about half an hour (a whole episode later!).
"Pizza's here," I say. "Be right back."
Jon pays for the pizza. My brother is fifteen and he loves sports and fighting and being moody, and one time my mom bought him condoms and he got so red that he had to excuse himself from the dinner table and didn't come out of his room until the next morning. My mom, unlike Jon, is very open about sex and stuff like that. Thankfully, she's never tried talking to me about any of it, but I've heard her attempting to reason with her son about the importance of a proper sex education, and he just rolls his eyes and talks over her and locks himself in his room until she shuts up about men sticking their penises into women's vaginas.
My brother is an actual five-year-old.
Seriously. He's turning sixteen in a few weeks, and he can't even talk about sex, even though everyone in the history of ever knows that my brother is the biggest manwhore there ever was—right before Jace, of course.
I want to kick myself in the face for not having made the connection as soon I friended him. Honestly.
I take two slices of pizza and a big glass of soda with a crap ton of ice into my room, where Isabelle is waiting for me on Skype. "Next episode?" Her eyes widen when she sees my glass of soda. "Clary."
Isabelle is going through this "healthy" phase in which she believes that soda is toxic and going to kill me.
I shake my head at her and drink. "Let's just play another episode," I say. Once the episode starts playing, though, I start typing on our Skype chat.
Clary Fray: So Jace Wayland is here.
Isabelle Lightwood: Noooooo.
Clary Fray: Yeah! He just showed up with my brother and I don't know what he's doing here, but earlier I added him on Facebook because someoneeeee told us that our partner was called JONATHAN.
Isabelle Lightwood: Oops?
Isabelle Lightwood: You need to find out what he's doing there, though.
Isabelle Lightwood: For science.
Clary Fray: I just wanted to keep you updated. Let's go back to watching Friends and stuffing our faces, yeah?
That's what we do until it's almost nine in the afternoon and Isabelle has to have a (late) family dinner. I hang up the call and make my way out to my empty kitchen. The lights seem dimmer than usual, but I think that's just my exhaustion catching up to me. I get more soda and one more pizza.
And I don't make it one more second without bumping into Jace Wayland and spilling my soda all over his shirt.
His very white shirt.
I close my eyes, silently throwing every curse word at my clumsy self for two seconds before getting him a damp towel and apologizing.
"Tell Jon to help you out with the laundry and stuff," I say to him, mopping up the floor. "Sorry."
"It's fine," he says, waving me off. He looks kind of pissed, though. If it's at me, then what a dick. I apologized. Whatever. Eff him to hell.
I pour myself more soda and grab my pizza, entering my room once more. I shut the door, set my stuff down, and then close my eyes again. I am such a clumsy idiot. Oh my God. I text Isabelle everything that just happened, and I hate myself for two seconds while taking sips of soda, and then I start watching Friends again, mortification lingering in the back of my mind.
Let me know what you think! Thanks for reading. xo