I enter the Pestalozzi, my glittery purple bag slung around my shoulders, not carrying much since I simply was not up for carrying anything to school this morning. I'm not even sure which classes I have today. Luzi's birthday party had taken a heavier toll on me than anticipated. Well, of course it did, because I spent it with Caro, because Emma out of whatever reason didn't show. I suspect because of me and the ongoing tension that keeps hanging between us since that damn night I took Sophie home with me, who's not even thankful but spiteful for it since she talked to Ronnie. She's already more lost than I thought at the beginning.
But, well, going by the bad atmosphere that was looming all around because of Sophie and because of kicking Luzi out from Stag, I thought Emma would love the idea to surprise Luzi to her 18th birthday. They were great friends after all. But she probably didn't like the idea coming from Caro and me. I meant to make some amends with that, but clearly she wasn't up for those. Did I mention things were tense?
Well, so spending the night with Caro was exhausting, having one or two glasses of Prosecco too much wasn't helpful either to get out of bed this morning and having lain awake most of the night, pondering about my girlfriend not showing up, only did the rest to this day being a hell of a shitty day. Why did I even get up?
When I trudge up the stairs I feel an uncomfortable tingling in the back of my neck and hunch my shoulders in response. I stop my steps in the middle of the stairs, holding on to the stair-rail with one hand, and turn around, my look going upwards searching for the cause, though I already know it before seeing it.
I spot Emma leaning on the balustrade of the upper floor, looking thoughtful down on me, while wearing a light blue plaid shirt...was that new? Her eyes meet mine for a brief moment before she looks away, picks up her things from the wall and turns to leave.
I pull my bag further up my shoulder and hold on to it while breaking out in a sprint up the stairs.
"Emma!" I call out, everyone turning to me but Emma, who keeps walking away vanishing behind the corner to the hallway that leads up to the classrooms. I don't mind the looks and keep running after her, weaving my way artfully through the other students. When I skid around the corner she vanished behind and can see her again, I call once more, "Emma, would you wait!"
I see her shoulders rise and fall and assume she just deeply sighed before she actually halts her steps and waits for me, though not caring to turn around in my direction. When I arrive at her side, I curse myself for choosing to wear these white high heels instead of my purple sneakers. They were not made for hasty sprints. But no, I had to dress up this morning, wanting to look fantabulous and attention drawing hoping to make her regret not showing up and not calling, when seeing me. But chasing after her like this might have given it away a bit that actually it was me who regretted it big time.
"Emma," I say when I walk around her and am met with steal eyes, though I believe to have seen a flicker of sad softness before. She crosses her arms and looks expectantly at me. "Emma, I..uh..where were you? I thought you wanted to celebrate Luzi's birthday."
"I wasn't in the mood," she informs me. "And we celebrated before. We went shopping."
"Oh," I say dumbly, having had no idea. "Uh, well, you didn't miss much..."
"Good," Emma says and shrugs, opening her arms and stretching them out in a gesture as if saying 'What do you want from me then?'
"Emma..." I look around, noting the people on the hallway and take a step closer to her, lowering my voice a bit. "We need to talk."
"If you would actually talk, yes." Her beautiful eyes pierce into mine and I swallow, knowing she was right. "You, uh, you could have at least called last night, you know. I tried to reach you," I respond evading her reproach.
"Like you called me when I was worried Ronnie could have done who knows what to you?" she counters calmly in a question, tilting her head.
"Damn, Emma, stop it, okay?" My voice raises without me wanting it to. "I." I look around again, seeing several eyes being focused on me and dare to step even closer to Emma to say in a whisper, "I said I'm sorry, okay? I just was too occupied with..."
"Sophie, yes, I know," she says and I can hear her annoyance of the topic in her tense voice.
I press my lips together and nod, knowing we were going round in circles like this for days now.
"Why can't you just tell me what's up?" she asks then throwing her arms up. "What's so hard on that?"
I sigh and close my eyes for a moment, not able to answer that question myself. It just is. And here at school I surely wouldn't tell her. When I open my eyes again I take another step closer to her, and speak earnestly, "Emma, I want to be with you. That's the only thing I want." I reach out to grasp her hand. "Let's not fight anymore."
Emma looks disturbed at me and crosses her arms, pulling her hand away from me. "You know what I believe?" I look up at her, having no idea. "Hm?" I emit unsure. "Actually it's you who doesn't trust me." With that she just walks past me and away, letting me stand there alone.
I look after her, my mouth opening but no sound coming forth, she having knocked the wind out of me with her words. I feel a hand tap my shoulder and turn still dumbfounded around to spot Caro with a brilliant 1000 Watt smile standing behind me, holding a coffee in her hand. "Good morning," she beams, while chewing a gum. "Had another quarrel with the spouse?"
I role my eyes at her, her good mood doing nothing for me, and take the coffee she offers me wordlessly. Otherwise I only would have insulted her and as it is now, she is the only one still talking to me. Except for Ben maybe.
"Oh please, don't smile on my behalf," she goes on. "Never heard of the word netiquette before, huh?" She shakes her head, her dirty blonde curls wafting around her face, before she grabs my arm and pulls me along the hallway, gibbering on, "Well, don't mind. Yesterday was a topnotch party. Very mean. I spoke to Frank and..."
I sigh internally and role my eyes once again for good measure while I submit myself to her ramblings. To stand through this day I definitely would need more than one coffee, so I lift the one Caro has brought me up to my lips and slurp at the still hot beverage, furrowing my brows when it tastes somehow more bitter than I expected while at the same time a likable jolt zips from my tongue's taste buds right down into my spine.
Well, this coffee is splendid, it seems to have just the right amount of caffeine, meaning lots, to brighten up my day. As I keep walking down the hallway with Caro an unexplainable happy smile begins to lift the corners of my lips.