Emily sat up groggily at the sound of her alarm. It had been harder for Emily to fall asleep and stay sleeping than she thought that it would be. It was 7:00 AM on the first Monday as well as the first day of school. She wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep at least until 10:00 AM, but that wasn't in the realm of possibility so she trudged into her bathroom and showered quickly. She had already showered during the night when she couldn't sleep, but figured that it might help to wake her up.
When she came downstairs, Caleb was sitting at the table, waiting.
"How did you sleep last night?" he asked as she took a seat next to him.
"Not all that great; why?" she looked at him. It wasn't that it was odd that he had asked, just that he had implied with his tone that he already knew the answer.
"I just wondered."
"I'm just having sleeping problems lately, that's all," Emily answered his unasked question. In this case, 'problems' was an understatement, "and I'm all achy, but I suppose that we know who's fault that would be," she added.
"He didn't push you that hard," Caleb answered barely looking up.
"Well, he must've. I feel like I got hit by a bus, and I've got bruises all over," she answered bitterly. She had noticed them while showering, all over her legs, arms, and the bulk of her body, "He owes me a serious apology for this. Are we leaving soon?"
"Yeah, grab something and we'll go," he answered.
Emily took the last piece of toast from his plate placing it in her mouth and following him out the door to the car.
"Good morning."Emily turned to face Scarlet; "God, you look awful."
Emily raised her eyebrows at Scarlet and looked back to the book in her lap.
"Really? Thanks so much for that," she answered. Scarlet sat next to her on the bench. They were in the student lounge, which was surprisingly empty considering that it was the first day of school.
"Well, not awful, it's just that your hair is up and everything and…"
"And what?" she asked shutting the book, "I couldn't sleep last night. Especially since your stupid cousin-," she stopped talking when she realized what she was doing, "You know what, don't worry about it."
Emily pulled her hair out of the messy bun on her head and it fell to her shoulders, unusually wavy from the tension created by the hair tie.
"Now that's better," Scarlet answered, "you just don't look like yourself with your hair up like that."
Emily rolled her eyes as Scarlet looked at Reid who was approaching them.
"What were you just saying about Reid?" Scarlet asked as if the sight of him jogged her memory.
"It's nothing; I just don't want to talk to him."
"Well, it appears that he wants to talk to you," she answered, "Come on, tell me," she whined. Scarlet was sucker for good gossip.
"I told you it's no big deal; don't worry about it."
"Where's the boy toy?" Reid asked Scarlet as he stopped beside them. Jake was usually by her side by this point of the morning.
"I don't know," she replied, "He should be here by now." She was now curious as to the whereabouts of her boyfriend.
"Well, don't you think you might want to find him? Poor puppy dog could be lost," Reid looked to Emily expecting her to express some sort of amusement at his comment. She normally laughed at his jokes, his sarcasm, but she was not finding him especially funny today.
"Right, that's a good idea. Emily, I'll see you in English," Scarlet said leaving Reid standing in front of Emily. He turned to watch Scarlett leave and by the time that Reid turned back to Emily, she had already made it to the corner and had turned it. She bowed into her first period class before he could catch up with her.
Reid walked back to Caleb, Pogue, and Tyler, defeated.
"Your sister is such a goddamn brat," he said as he dropped his textbook on the bench beside him. Reid didn't really do homework; the book was simply a prop.
"Why? What did she do now?" Caleb asked slightly interested.
"She wouldn't talk to me, not one word, and then she just jetted off to her class when I wasn't paying attention."
"She's mad at you Reid. You pushed her pretty hard," Tyler said quietly and they all looked at him.
"No, I didn't," Reid argued back, "I barely tapped her, and anyways, she's fine. She's over-reacting."
"She told me that she had bruises this morning when she woke up," Caleb added.
Reid looked at him.
"Exaggeration," he replied simply and Caleb shrugged in response. He had his doubts about it himself, but he thought he'd mention it, "She'll come around. Don't worry about her. She can't stay mad at you; she won't stay mad at you,"
"I'm not worried about it. I could care less as long as she isn't going to make things bigger than they are and as long as she's not going to be a brat about all of this," he answered attempting to sound nonchalant and genuine. He was desperately failing.
Reid spotted her later, during mid-morning break and grabbed her arm before she had even sensed his presence beside her.
"We need to talk," he said quickly.
"Reid, let go," she answered, "It hurts."
"Oh, stop it," he replied with a roll of his eyes.
"I'll talk to you, just let go," He dropped his hand and she rubbed her arm.
"You can stop the act, Emily," he said, "I didn't push you that hard."
"You must've, I have all sorts of bruises," she answered, "and I feel awful, my body aches, not to mention I have a headache as well."
He looked beyond skeptical.
"I can't believe you think that I'm lying to you," she replied to his look, "I'm not, Reid." She lifted her shirt enough to expose her stomach and the large bruise that covered it.
"That's disgusting," he responded.
"Not the point, Reid. The point is that you pushed me, while you were using; and it hurt like hell; and you're an asshole."
Emily took three steps in the other direction before he stopped her again.
"Well, excuse me," he said with an obvious attitude, "I'm trying to apologize to you."
"No, you're not; you're trying to give me a hard time. Honestly, do you care if I forgive you or not?" He didn't answer because odds were, it was a rhetorical question, "Exactly, no, you don't care."
"Emily, I didn't say that."
"Well, you didn't say that you did either, and aren't you afraid that people will see you showing some sort feeling, because that's it isn't it? You're scared to feel anything about anyone other than yourself."
"No, I don't like to show that I care. You know that," he answered in hushed tones.
"Well, I don't think that there's much of a difference between that and not caring.
Emily's attitude annoyed Reid, but the fact that she was right annoyed him more than anything else.
"I don't even know why I bother trying to deal with you rationally, Emily. You're not perfect, none of us are, but you sure try and hold us to that standard."
"No, I don't-," she argued, "I never said that I wanted you to-,"
"You didn't need to," she stood facing him with her arms crossed staring at Reid in silence. It felt like the type of uncomfortable silence that Emily detested; that same type of silence that her brother always used to his advantage.
"Well, what would you like me to say?" she asked him to fill the void.
"I don't care what you say. What do you want?" he asked. He had gained control until he asked her that.
"I want you to say what you intended to say to me."
"Is that really going to make anything better?" he asked, "Honestly?"
"I don't know, maybe."
"You know what I was going to say."
"Yes, I do. That's the whole point."
"I didn't do it on purpose Emily and you know it. I was mad at your damn brother, but you got in the way. That wasn't any of your business."
"Yeah, I know, but you guys were being stupid," she answered.
"No, Caleb was," she rolled her eyes.
"In my opinion, you both were being incredibly stupid," she replied just loud enough so that he could hear.
"Regardless, you're not one of us. It was for the four of us," he replied
"Fine," she said as the anger was welling inside of her, "if that's how it really is."
"Emily- that's not what I meant."
"What did you mean then?" He was getting impatient with her being so difficult about the situation. "I have to go and find Tyler. I'll talk to you later." She turned and walked in the direction of the library.
"Does your brother know about that?" Reid asked.
"Know about what?" she walked back to him.
"Tyler," he answered.
"What about him?" she asked.
"That you're desperately in love with him,"
"He's my friend. He doesn't treat me like crap like you do."
"Friends? You look at him as if he's the light of your damn life, Emily."
She shrugged not feeling the need to defend anything and walked away to find Tyler. She finally found him in the library.
"I've been looking all over for you," Emily stated as she set her bag down and took a seat next to Tyler.
"Did you talk to Reid yet?" he asked glancing at her.
"Yes, rather unwillingly, mind you," she answered. He was still looking at his book, "He's impossible."
"He can be," Tyler answered, "We'll talk later, okay?" He stood up, taking his books with him. She nodded, confused. Tyler had always had time for her, especially when something was wrong.
"Where are you going?" she asked.
"There's a new girl, Allie. I'm supposed to show her around," she nodded.
"Can I come? What grade is she in?" He stopped and came back to the table for a minute.
"You wouldn't want to; she's a senior."
"Oh," I answered; he did not want her there and she could tell just by his tone.
"You really should resolve things with Reid though," she nodded unenthusiastically.
"We'll talk later, Emily, right after school. I promise. We'll get coffee or something," He left her there in the library. She sat in the seat that he had vacated and put her head in her hands. The one person that she wanted to talk to, Tyler, was busy with someone else, some other girl.
She inhaled before answering. Emily hadn't expected him to follow her to the library. She thought that they were done talking and he hadn't stepped foot in the library since freshman orientation.
"Are you alright?"
She opened her eyes to see Chase, and thankfully not Reid.
"Oh, yeah, fine."
He raised an eyebrow at her.
"I just thought that you were Reid," he nodded.
"Can I sit down?" he asked.
"Oh, yeah, sure, go ahead." She moved her bag out of the way and he sat down across from her.
"So, you don't want to talk to Reid I take it?" he asked.
"It's no big deal. He's just being annoying."
"I see" he answered quietly, "That's nice." Chase leaned forward and took her necklace in his hand, admiring it and studying it closer.
"Yeah, it was my Aunt's. She died when I was little."
"Family heirloom?" he looked up to her and she nodded. Outside of the window, just below them on the quad, Emily could see Tyler and a girl who she presumed to be Allie. She could not help but watch them. He was smiling and laughing as she flipped her hair and smiled back.
"You're much prettier than she is; you know that, don't you?"
She looked back to Chase.
"What?" Emily hadn't realized that as she was watching Tyler, Chase was watching her.
"You're prettier than the girl that he's with," he nodded toward the window. "She's a bit bland, too, personality wise, I mean."
"You met her?" she asked.
"Yeah, Tyler introduced her this morning."
"Well, she's obviously got something special about her," Emily said quietly, allowing her gaze to return to Tyler and the new girl.
"Or maybe he's not as special as you thought," she looked at Chase oddly.
"But he is," she answered quietly, looking back to Chase, "I mean, he's one of my best friends; he's special in that way."
"Not in another way?" he asked.
"No, he's just one of my best friends. I've known him since I was born," she answered with a bit more confidence. Chase nodded and Emily glanced out the window again.
"What are you doing this weekend?" he asked, "On Saturday?" he asked, "Being new and all, I was just thinking that maybe you could show me around, let me in on all Ipswich has to offer."
"Oh, I don't know if Caleb will let me-,"
"Don't worry about your brother; I'll talk to him for you. I mean, if you want to hang out." He smiled that calming smile at her, "No pressure or anything."
"Well, sure," she smiled back, "We can go to lunch or dinner and walk around town and stuff."
"I kind of wanted to see some of the old buildings and stuff; I hear that they're phenomenal."
"Yeah, sure." Emily looked out the window again, but Tyler and Allie were gone.