-And so stuff happens

And so time past… and past… and continued to pass. Before they knew it Monday rolled back around. Claire made a conscious decision to ignore Jimmy no matter what… by Melidean's request.

When he got on the bus, she just stared out the window, willing the bus to go faster so Melly would get on. At the last stop before the school Melidean wasn't there!

Crap. You picked a good day to be sick Melly. Claire growled in her mind.

In math she buried her nose in a book, finding it hard to read like that, she ended up backing up a bit and finding that the book was upside down.

In science something nudged her hand and she couldn't help but look up. No one had moved, not an inch. When she looked back down there was a small folded up piece of paper by her hand. Drawn on the upturned side was a little frowny face and she could tell just by looking that it had been erased and re-drawn time and time again. The paper had also been folded and re-folded to the point where the paper was soft.

Making sure the teacher wasn't paying attention, she unfolded the note in her lap.

There was almost a full page of writing but they'd all been crossed out to the point where most of the page was just a mass of graphite. Written shakily in the margin was a simple, "Are you mad?" and then a 'Y' and an 'N'.

Seeing as the folded paper was all but shreds, Claire took out a piece of her own to write back.

"No… Melly jst toled me 2 ijnor u. Sorry." Claire never was much for spelling and chat speak was like her native tongue. Cautiously, she past it backwards to Jimmy, knowing full well who wrote the note even for lack of a signature.

She heard him sigh and felt an odd burden lifted off her shoulders.

After a moment of scribbling, he passed the folded note back over her shoulder so it slid into her lap.

"Good. I was worried you would be mad after what happened on Saturday." Jimmy was much more adapt to the english language.

After half a period of passing the note back and forth it was decided that they'd try going out again the following Sunday (Jimmy had trombone lessons on Saturday and Claire had to do laundry on Friday night.). Claire underlined 'PM' about twenty times before she was satisfied.

--

(Much later)

"Melly, you suck." Claire mumbled into the phone, again lying on her bed and playing with her hair.

"Oh, come on man." Melidean said in her defense, "How was I supposed to know that I was allergic to greasy gut balls? It's a very rare allergy."

"Why were you eating at MicCowkiller's anyway?" Claire asked, "I thought you hated that place!"

"I do," Melidean sighed, "My mom just dragged me out randomly."

"You saw that thing about the stuff though, right?"

"What stuff?"

"That guy, from when we were little, the one that killed people."

"Yeah, what about him?" Melidean yawned.

"He's dead." Claire said as if she were passing on normal gossip.

"Hmm. What does that have to do with it?"

"He died outside MicCowkiller's."

"Funky."

"Oh, gotta go."

"See ya' tomorrow."

--

i Tuesday… Tuesday…. What's it I hate about Tuesdays again? /i Melidean mechanically walked to the bus stop in the nipping cold. She layered her clothes but with being so thin she still didn't retain much heat and her cheeks were red as was the end of her nose. In a flash summer had given way to a brutal fall, something she never enjoyed.

i Oh, wait, no it's not that. /i ((It's not?)) i I have that stupid extra class today. /i

Due to over all low grades throughout the grade levels, Jackson county high school forcedly added another class into the week. It was like having an extra encore but much, much less productive.

Being the klutz that she was, Melidean tripped on an uneven side walk chunk and dropped her hard cover copy of u Lord of the Flies /u . She was quick to snatch it up but when she stood up there was someone waling behind her… i really /i close behind her.

Her first thought was of the creepy old fat guy that used to live around here but that quickly vanished when she was face to face with the new boy.

"Morning." He smiled at her, red and black braces still perfectly clean.

"Uh, hi. Heh." Melidean tried to orient herself but just ended up dropping her book again. She huffed before picking it up again. "Sorry, um what did you say your name was? My memory sucks."

"It's Johnny, but I like Nny better." He told her, starting up walking again. He was wearing a black hoody with a little red cartoon moose on the front saying, 'don't fear the reaper'. The hood was up to shelter from the cold and his hands were in his pockets. "Melly, right?" He asked politely, walking slowly to keep her slower pace.

"Oh, that's just what Claire calls me. My name's Melidean." She explained, half aware that her pants needed to be pulled up and half aware that her cheeks were redder than before.

"Ah, cool. My nickname was self assigned."

"Heh, yeah…" Melidean drifted off, too embarrassed to look at him and too nervous to pull her pants up. She was sure he could see her underwear. Her brain scrambled with hysteric thoughts and she cursed herself for not just putting the book in her back pack in the first place.

After a moment's silence and a few passings of identical houses, Johnny spoke up, "So, uh, what should I know about this place? Any weird ghost stories or legends I should know about?"

"Well… We had this one guy a little while back. He was a serial murderer who no one could seem to locate or track. People had seen him and a few had even considered him a friend but no one knew who he was…" She trailed off for a moment, staring deep into the forest that could be seen between two houses. With out noticing, she stopped walking.

Johnny stopped and looked back at her, "Huh? Did he live in the woods?" he asked, walking back and trying to look from her angle; the hem of his hood grazed her cheek and she jumped.

"Ah! No, no. H-he lived-uh… I don't know where he lived." Melidean said in a flustered rush, almost dropping the damn book again.

"Huh." Johnny gave a general sweeping gesture to the woods, "It'd be a good hide out."

"I guess so…" Off in the distance Melidean heard the muffled shifting of gears and spurting from a muffler. "Ah! We have to get to the bus stop!" She gasped, running down the side walk, confident he'd follow. Sure enough she heard a set of running feet behind her, beating the pavement with each trot.

They stopped and caught there breath for all of five seconds before the bus pulled up to the corner.

Claire waved happily to Melidean even before she had a chance to get up the steps.

"Morning Claire." She smiled, sitting down next to her friend, putting her back pack in her lap. Johnny sat in the seat he'd taken on Friday and pulled an mp3 player from his hoody pocket. For whatever reason, Jimmy wasn't on the bus.

"Morning!" Claire chirped. After a moment of looking from Melidean to Johnny she elbowed her lightly with a sly smile.

Melidean rolled her eyes with a bit of effort. It's not that the physical motion, it's just that it's always hardest to deny the truth when you're blushing.