"He's a bellend," Jake said, factually, setting his coffee mug down next to him. "He's an up-his-own-arse bellend of a gay little shit head."
We were sat on the wall outside school; it's proper high and if you get caught you get sent to the head and they put you in isolation for two days because apparently it's a health hazard and Mr Spencer's paranoid we'll all sue him if we fall and break our necks. But we figured we were safe seeing as the snow had reached two feet and school had been off all week.
"Jake, Edward's not a bellend," I said. "And he's not gay, either."
"Oh come off it, Bells, the guy was wearing a tweed jacket. From a charity shop."
"So? Being well dressed doesn't mean you're gay, Jake. It just means you like quality over whatever that crap you're wearing is."
"It's my Dad's jumper."
"Whatever," I replied, sipping from my Costa mug. We'd lifted them earlier. Jake always said that the 20p extra they make you pay if you have your coffee in the shop is thievery, and so we're perfectly entitled to nick their mugs. So we'd taken one each and filled them with iron bru that the guy in the corner shop gave us free when Jake called some football player a "wanker who probably plays with his own balls more than the one on the pitch." I stress that these were his words.
Jacob finished off his drink, rested the mug on the three-inch-thick snow on the wall top, then put his hand on his heart and swooned. "Oh, Edward, oh Edward how nice it is to have someone who knows Polonius from Horatio, oh Edward don't touch me there, I'm sensitive- fuck you, Bella, that hurt."
"Good," I said, shaking my fist.
"Girls aren't supposed to hit boys."
"Other way round, dickhead." I flexed my fingers, which had bypassed blue and turned purple. I was wearing three jumpers and two scarves, and I was still freezing. School, with its red brick walls and white cap, looked like a piece of Turkish delight someone had sprinkled in icing sugar, and the grey sky over my head was hinting at more snow to come. "How long do you think school will stay shut?"
Jake shrugged. "Dunno. It's still about minus eight. Hopefully a day or so longer, I still haven't done that Hamlet essay for Briggs."
"Jake, seriously, that was in last term."
"I've had things on my mind."
"Cheryl Cole again?"
"You bet," he said, grinning down at me. I rolled my eyes at him, and he raised his eyebrows. "What? We can't all be the Perfect and Highly Honourable Edward Cullen Esquire, Bells."
"Shut up about him."
"'Which is your favourite soliloquy, Edward? Oh but that's mine too! We have so much in common…'"
"Fucksake, Jake, I didn't say that!"
"'Let's have babies, Edward, lots and lots of beautiful intelligent babies…"
"'Oh, I would love to have babies Isabella, only the thing is you see I'm gay…"
I pushed him off the wall and smirked as he flew down the five foot drop and landed in the snow.
It was true though, if I'm to be honest. I mean, for one thing the guy was hot. That sounds really shallow but the truth is when people say some crap like "I don't really care about looks, I just want someone with a nice personality," they're lying. You don't have to look hard to see the truth. Take Mike; he's boring as daytime TV but he's been out with every girl in the year near enough, whereas Oswald McHay, who is the sweetest funniest guy you'll ever meet, has only been out with a girl from the year below and I swear down it's because his left eye is slightly slower than his right. I mean he can't help it, bless him, but it's disconcerting to not know whether he's looking at your face or your boobs.
And the thing is Edward did know the difference between Polonius and Horatio, and not just that but he could do top-heavy algebraic fractions like a pro, and he was in my history class and he knew all there was to know about Henry VIII. He could probably tell you what bra size Anne Boleyn was, or whether Jane Seymour preferred her steaks medium or rare. I'm not saying every boy in my school is stupid, because they're not- you have to pass an exam to get in so there are quite a few bright guys- just that it's rare to come across someone who was hot and smart and who didn't already have a girlfriend.
And I was ready to be someone's girlfriend. The only guy I'd ever been out with was Charlie Rogerson in year eight, and he dumped me after two weeks because I stuck chewing gum in his hair and he had to cut it out with scissors. Even Jake's had more relationships than me, and he only cuts his hair once every decade.
"You're a bitch," Jake called up to me, bringing me back into the conversation. He brushed the snow off his jumper and glared.
"I love you too," I said, dryly. I grabbed both our mugs and dropped them into the snow below, then slid after them. "What time does your mum get out?"
"In an hour or so. But Dad's picking her up. And he says I've to stay out of the way because, and I quote, 'she's suffered enough.'" He pulled a face. "You'd think I was a difficult child or something."
"You're an angel."
"Your sarcasm stings."
"Do they know what's wrong with her yet?"
Jake shrugged, and picked up the mugs. "Cinema?"
"No, let's just go back to mine. I think Dad left some cider in the fridge. We can write your Hamlet essay."
Jake groaned. I laughed, and pulled him up the pavement because he was an idiot and had chosen shoes that were so wildly inappropriate for the snowy conditions that it was a wonder he hadn't fallen over and broken a limb yet.
"See," I said, "If you wore brogues, like Edward, then you wouldn't be falling on your arse everywhere we go."
"'Oh Bella, let's go off to a quiet classroom and recite Romeo and Juliet to each other slowly, and then maybe have a quick romantic sha-" he shouted out as I let go of his hands and he slid on the ice. I grinned as he rubbed his trousers. "Ow."