THE TRAGIC RETURN
So practically nothing has changed during the rest of the week after I gave my so-called 'speech'. A couple giggles from here and there when I walk down hallways but hey, at least no one throws eggs or tomatoes at me. That alone should be enough for me to be thankful for.
Yeah, it sucks. Although I really thought that my speech would actually make even just a slight difference, but I guess not. Well, this is High School after all.
I'm now known not as the 'Student Body President', but as the 'Nature Freak'. The President of the Eco Club even invited me to be a member, probably because there are only three of them. Pity. I mean no offence to Mother Earth, but I don't hug trees in my free time or any of the sort. I just happen to make better use of trash bins than most people. Which is just right, being the Student Body President and all. I should be a role model to these students.
A 'role model', how ironic.
It's Saturday morning and I woke up for an early run. It's still a bit chilly, but enough to get myself sweating. I go slowly at first, brisk walking, then I start to pick up my pace when I get to the second block, jogging my heart out. Releasing all the stress and frustrations from the past few days. So far it feels pretty awesome. As though a week ago I didn't randomly kiss a guy who turned out to be a total jerk – who also apparently has a girlfriend, I didn't get publicly humiliated by the Media Club, and I didn't give that horrible speech. Until half an hour later, my world came crashing down. Lower than the state it's already in.
Across the road, a couple of meters away, is my demon. With... With a girl. Does he even live here? Wait, agirl? His girlfriend? That Michelle girl? Was her name Meredith? Or is she another victim like me? Me? A victim? More like a prisoner, locked up in this whole mess. But that's not important right now, this Kent guy's on to another fling! Cheating once again on his girlfriend! Unless of course, that's her. They seem to know each other very well. I mean, the girl's stroking his arms... Those arms.
I see them hug. Then kiss. And again. Oh, and again. And once more. Okay, I think I've come to the conclusion that she is most likely to be Meredith.
Wow. Did my heart just break? Actually, if my heart broke I would be in a coffin by now, dead. So no, it didn't. Did it? I mean why should it even bother me? It's not like – come on, seriously. I quickly turn around to run back home before he sees and recognizes me. Surprisingly enough I don't seem to have the energy to get myself to run on the way back. I'm probably just tired. That's right, tired. I get home an hour later, throwing my running shoes to the side of the door, then I quickly head for the shower. What a way to start my weekend.
After having dinner and volunteering to wash the dishes, I hear the phone ring from downstairs and Paula comes knocking on my door. I quickly get up from my bed to open it.
"It's Kayla." She says handing the phone over to me.
I take the phone from her, "Thanks." I say, shutting the door to her face and I hear her reply through the door, "Geez, you're welcome my lovely cousin!" Then she stomps her way back downstairs.
I make sure she's gone before I hold the phone against my ear. "Hey what's up."
"Did you hear?" Kayla says with a rather low voice.
"Hear what? Someone's new single? Francis' new mix?" I reply to her, pretending not to know she's about to spill some gossip.
"What? Francis has a new mix? Wait, no! Monique Foster!"
"Who's that – wait is that whatshisname's girlfriend? I thought her name was Meredith?"
"Not girlfriend. Fiancé. And once again her name's 'Monique'. She's back from Rome. Or London... Wherever she was. I heard she just got back last night."
Information does travel fast. Does that mean she was the one I saw with him earlier? That was really her? "I-I know." Is all I could say to Kayla.
"That's it? That's all you're going to say? Shaine this is the Monique Foster she–"
"I know okay. I saw them both this morning."
"You what? And you didn't tell me why?" She asks frantically, like usual.
"I... Wasn't sure if it was really her. I mean not a hundred percent sure." That was her alright...
"Well what were they doing? What were you doing? Where did you see them?"
"Kayla I'll tell you at school I've got to go bye." I hang up quickly. I need time to think.
What do I even have to think about? So this Meredith – sorry – 'Monique' girl is back, big deal. I don't care. Right? We don't care. Nobody cares. Whatever, I'm going to bed.
What am I going to do.
I spent the whole of Sunday hanging out. You know, in my room. Watching TV, sitting in front of my laptop for hours, listening to music, doing other random things. I could have studied, but I'd still say it was a weekend well spent. I asked Charles if he was doing anything but he had 'plans with his team'. I didn't want to call Kayla because she might nag me again. Luckily, she didn't call me. She was probably busy shopping for new designers'. Paula asked me if I wanted to go somewhere but I was worried I'd see whatshisname with 'you know who' again. I'd even prefer it to be 'Lord Voldemort' than that Monique girl. Oh, the things I'd do to be in a 'Harry Potter' book. Why can't my life be like a J.K. Rowling book? Well planned out, you know. It might've actually been better if her name was 'Meredith'.
Monday morning I look for my most decent (but comfortable) clothing. I find myself leaving the house with a hideous scarf and God knows what else I put on. Oh well. Couldn't possibly make my life any worse. When I arrive at school a lot of people are already walking around; whispering, laughing... I guess this is an off-day for me. It's either everyone came to school early to play a prank on me or I just came late. I never come to school late though. I look at my watch to check the time. 7:30 AM. Same time as always. That's weird.
Suddenly people from a distance inside the main building started cheering and calling out. More whispers emerging around me. I follow the flow of the mob, which is to the direction of the building. I stand on tip toes to look over everyone in front of me as I try to see if any of my friends are around. No signs. What a surprise. Due to desperate confusion and killer anxiety, I tap Jason Lewis' shoulder twice and flash him a nice, modest, smile.
"Hey Jason." I say to him.
He sniffles. "Hello Shaine." He manages a grin through his braces.
"Do you mind explaining to me what's going on?" The mob begins to cheer louder.
"I'm sorry, what?" He sniffles once again.
"I said, DO YOU MIND EXPLAINING WHAT'S GOING ON?" I raise my voice loud and clear to make sure he heard me the second time, which made some people in front of us look back.
He half chuckles with another sniffle. "Oh. It's 'The Monique Foster'." He tells me with an odd emphasis on her name, complete with the quotation gestures. What does he have against her? "You know, the girlfriend of the guy you kissed." He sniffles, "Lucky guy." I vaguely hear him murmur under his breath.
"Hey I didn't kiss that jerk okay. Does everyone talk about me like that?" I mean I wouldn't be surprised, but I will not let these people continuously identify me as 'that girl who kissed the guy with the girlfriend'. Jason just shrugs and continues to follow the mob as do I.
A few moments later a girl with short hair and a slender figure attempts to walk through the crowd with the help of about three or four men in black suits. She has a big proud smile on her face as the crowd of students continue to block her way. I can see her waving excitedly to a few people who appears to be her friends. I'm lucky to be quite a long way away from her. It's almost worse than a can of sardines in there. Her obviously dyed wine red hair (which I might as well add, she pulls off very well) is long enough to briefly brush against her shoulder with every movement. Under a short jacket she's wearing a floral dress that goes just above her knees, which matched her icy gray eyes perfectly. She's beautiful. Monique Foster. No wonder she's very popular.
Suddenly she, along with the men in suits, turns to face what seems like Mr. Osborne's office from where I am standing and goes inside, shutting the door behind them. I hear a soft moan from the crowd before they start to walk around and mind their own business. Glad to know they are capable of pulling themselves together. I follow suit, walking to the direction of my locker, which is conveniently located not a bad distance from Mr. Osborne's office.
Before I get myself into another problematic situation, I should probably take my books from my locker as quick as I can. What do I have first period again? I hear some noise from Mr. Osborne's office which sounds like a warning for me to get my act sorted as I try to remember what I have first. Having to check my time table wasn't any help at all. Physics. Got it. I quickly grab my book and half-sprint out of the building. I probably looked ridiculous but that was a close call.
I still have a few minutes to spare before classes actually start so I walk around for a bit. A funny feeling inside my stomach reminds me that I haven't had breakfast. I take an apple from my bag and go to my favorite sycamore tree, making sure that the ground is dry before sitting down. As I begin to eat an unwelcome, familiar voice startles me.
"Got another one to share?" It's him. Why is he everywhere?
"No." I answer firmly without looking at him.
He crouches down next to me, "Are you sure you're not just being selfish?"
I continue to eat my apple, taking bigger bites, "Even if I was, I wouldn't feel guilty about it."
He chuckles, holding back laughter, "Now that's just sad. Not even if I was dying?"
I could tell from the tone of his voice that he's teasing. Of course he is. But that made me think for a split-second... "Y-Yes." I answer him.
He leaned closer and said softly, "I caught you off-guard didn't I?" He asked, smiling his cheeky smile, like always.
I'm not sure if that was supposed to be a rhetorical question or if I'm supposed to have a come-back for it but either way, the only thing I can manage to do is stand up and say, "You should know that you're girlfriend's here. She's in Mr. Osborne's office." I keep my cool by pretending to brush dirt off my pants.
"Yeah, I know." He replies almost too quickly.
"Aren't you gonna go and see her?" I ask, trying to cover up my curiosity by continuing to eat my apple.
"No." That's it. No reasons or anything.
In the middle of dwelling between asking him why and giving a smart come-back a female voice breaks the little silence. "There you are." She says, beaming a smile at Kent.
He stands up in slight surprise and walks towards her. "Hey," he says in a rather unsure tone. As if he doesn't know if she's really his girlfriend or some girl who just turned up randomly. "I didn't know you'd be coming today, you should've called me."
I shoot him a look. Did he just... Lie to her? I watch her hug him, kissing his cheek. "I wanted to surprise you." She replied cheerfully, before noticing that they're actually not alone. Damn. I should've walked away when I still had the chance.
"And who are you?" Too late now.
I force smile and reply, "My name's Shaine, the Student Body President."
I don't know if she's trying to be subtle at all but she eyes me up and down, her gray eyes even more evident than before. Then she turns to her boyfriend, "This is her?"
Now wait a minute, what does she mean by 'thisisher'? Don't tell me... "She knows?" I ask as calmly as I could.
"Of course I know sl–"
"Monique." Kent stops her before she can finish the word. I pretty much knew what it was going to be anyway. "This isn't the time." He adds. That's great news, that really is.
She walks towards me, "I'm not finished with you." She eyes me up and down once again before grabbing Kent's hand. "Let's go babe."
"Looking forward to it." I call out idiotically. I really need to work on controlling my mouth.
She turns around with a look of disbelief across her face before grinning slyly. "You're on." I'm dead. Even Kent gave me a look before walking away with her.
I remain standing there. Beginning to think of a way to kill myself.
What the hell was I thinking trying to pick a fight with her? I just keep screwing things up more and more. That's it. I don't think I can get out of this one anymore. Where's Kayla when you need her? What am I going to do, what am I going to do, what am I going to do, what am I going to do?
What I don't understand though is why Kent lied to her. He seemed totally different with her from when I saw them that day. I wonder what happened... Or did he lie to me? I mean, he's not obligated to tell me the truth or anything, but you know.
No, I don't know either.
That's not even important right now. My life has totally reached its limit. I should start saying my goodbyes to people. To Aunt Faye, to Uncle Martin, to Paula, to Kayla, to Charles... Maybe I should just run away. Live in the woods or something. Become a wild crazy lady. It doesn't seem to be that impossible anyway. My life's crazy enough as it is.
The bell rings and I make my way to my Physics class. I need to find Kayla. She's good with these things. She'll know what to do. Right? It'll be fine. At least I didn't throw my apple core at her.
Why am I so stupid?
Exams are starting next week and I haven't been concentrating much in my classes because of all the misfortune I've been having. And this drama with Meredith is most absolutely just what I need right now. Really, I don't know anyone more unlucky than I am.
And it turns out I took the wrong book to class.