Silence is what takes over my last class for the day, as we all get lost in the world of love potions, faeries and men who turn into donkeys. While twirling my pen, I look to my left find Hanna, typing away on her phone totally engrossed in her conversation with whomever she was talking too. Aria sits comfortably on the front row paying attention to the lesson, and Spencer's being her usual over-achiever self, seated right beside Aria, taking notes. Color coded notes.
This silence is immediately destroyed by the obnoxious beeping of my phone. I froze mid-twirl and felt heat rise to my cheeks at the whole class, and our teacher Mrs. Montgomery, Aria's mom, turned to look at me.
"Sorry…" I mumbled as I took out my phone from my bag.
Mrs. Montgomery briefly raises her eyebrow at me before diving back into the lesson, totally ignoring the fact that I brought my phone out of my bag. Realizing that it might be her, I hastily unlock my phone and open the message folder.
Seeing her name on my phone gave my heart the reason to beat faster. My palms were instantly sweatier and my smile was growing by the second.
Hey. I've been doing some thinking, and well, I think it's better for us to be just friends at this point. I like you Em, I really do. But, something's stopping me from completely being with you. I'm sorry. I would really want to be your friend though. So much. I'm such a coward for doing this through text, and I do apologize. I hope you find it in you to forgive me.
The world froze. My smile dropped. My heart stopped. My hands were cold. My head was numb. I dropped the phone on my desk and took the deep breath.
'It's going to be okay, Emily. It's going to be okay. She's not the only girl in the world. If she's meant for you, then you'll find her in time.'
I reminded myself as I tried to calm back down and focus in class.
"Em. Em? Em. EMILY." Hanna said, poking my arm. Obviously, I wasn't successful in trying to focus.
"We've been standing here since a minute ago. Are you okay?" Spencer asked, immediately putting her hand on my forehead, trying to see if I had a fever.
I shrugged as I gathered my things and put them in my bag. I picked my phone up last, before standing up and leading my friends out of the class room. I open my phone, only to see that message again. I sighed and decided to reply to her message, thinking how it was better to be friends with instead of nothing at all.
It's not like I have a choice, do I?
I cringed, looking at how bitter I felt. I deleted the message and started typing again.
If that's what you want, then being friends is all we'll be. How are you doing, friend?
I frowned as I pressed the sent button, immediately realizing that I may not have the strength to actually do this and set my feelings aside.
"You okay, Em?" Aria said, grabbing my arm from behind me.
"Yeah… I just…" I replied, looking for the right words to describe what I'm feeling right now.
"Oooh. Girl troubles?" Hanna asked, instantly getting a smack on the arm from Spencer.
"WHAT." Hanna says, glaring at Spencer.
"Foot in mouth, Han. Foot in mouth." Spencer reminds, pulling her to the exit of the school.
Aria gives me a comforting smile before she turns around to follow Spencer and Hanna, me following closely behind.
We all ride Spencer's car, and my phone beeps just as I sit down at the back seat beside Aria.
I'm great! The usual. Glee Club, School, College Applications. You?
I can see Spencer and Hanna subtly looking at me through the rear view mirror, and Aria was trying to watch me from behind her hair, and ignoring them, I immediately replied to her message.
Eh. Same old. Swimming, School, Friends, You. I can't believe it's been 2 months since camp! 2 months since we've last seen each other. :P Can I ask you a question?
I look up and my eyes meet Spencer's as I look at the rear view mirror. She raises her eyebrow at me and I just smiled at her and shook my head.
"You can tell us who she is, you know?" Aria says, trying to peek from my phone. "Come on Em! It's been a couple of months since camp, and none of us have met or even seen her picture yet."
"It's nothing! We're just friends anyway. And she kinda just decided that we were gonna stay that way." I said, my voice softening towards the end.
My phone beeps again, so I put my hand up, telling them to shut up first, before opening her new message.
You just did. :P But go ahead. What is it?
Why did you suddenly decide to stay friends? I mean, it's been two months since camp ended, and well, I thought we were actually headed towards THAT direction.
I looked up to see us parked at the Hastings' driveway. None of us was moving. They were all watching me, and I laughed a little, seeing their cute curious faces.
My phone beeps again, but I stuff it in my pocket before any of the girls try to grab it. They all rolled their eyes at me before we sat there for a few seconds, staring at each other.
"I'm hungry. Just come inside when you're done staring at each other." I say to them as I exit Spencer's car and enter the Hastings home through the back door using Spencer's keys that I grabbed from the cup holder in between the driver's and passenger's seat.
I bring my phone out as I close the back door, quickly skimming through the message, before getting an apple from the fruit basket on the island in their kitchen.
Honestly? I'm confused. A friend of mine recently admitted that they've liked me for a while, and I kinda thought I got over my friend already, but now I'm not so sure. It would be unfair to the both of you if I pursued something with one of you, when I'm this confused so I decided to just be friends with both of you.
I sighed sadly before biting into the apple.
"Aw. Em!" Hanna exclaims. She turns me around and gives me a hug.
"Did you just read my message?!" I asked her.
"Yup! And now you owe the three of us a lot of stories. And you're not getting out of this house until you do so." Hanna says to me, smiling.
She herds all of us up to Spencer's room, grabbing a bunch of Take-out menus on the way up.
"I kinda want Chinese… " she says, scanning the menus one by one, and we all shrug. Anything was fine.
"Chinese it is then." Spencer says, grabbing the Chinese Take Out menu as she overtakes the rest of us to go to her room and place the orders.
We get settled down in Spencer's room while waiting for our food. Hanna takes her iPod out, and starts dancing to some song while Aria and Spencer decide to start on some homework.
I decide to do the same, but my phone beeps again, just before I take out my homework.
You're mad, aren't you? I'm sorry. Do you think I made the wrong decision?
You know I can't get mad at you. Why are you asking me? Ask yourself.
And stop saying sorry. It's not your fault.
We both know it is. I'm sorry. I'll text you later, Em. I should go do some homework. I guess you're with your friends right now. Have fun.
Nothing's really fun when you just had your heart broken. But thanks. Don't feel bad. It's fine. I'll talk to you soon, okay?
Alright. I miss you.
Instead of replying, I just closed her message and locked my phone. I sighed again, and this time, it was heavy. Aria, Spencer and Hanna all looked at me sadly and I smiled thankfully at them.
"You guys want to know now?" I asked them, putting my phone on the front pocket of my bag.
Hanna nods eagerly while Spencer and Aria look at each other, seemingly hesitant.
"It's fine. I don't mind. I kinda owe it to you guys anyway." I say.
"Yup. Thanks for the concern though, Spence." I say with a smile.
"Where do I start…"
"From the beginning?"
"Sure. Just get on with it."
"Okay, so er, remember how I was asked to be a councilor for that sports summer camp?"
"Yeah. And we know you met this mystery girl there. We wanna know what happens after that." Hanna says impatiently, effectively earning a kick from Spencer, a glare from me, and a pillow to her face from Aria.
"Mystery Girl was a councilor there too."
"And where is she from?" Spencer asks.
"Ohio. ANYWAY. So yeah, I was in the same bunk as her, we got really close, I asked her out a couple of weeks after, then yeah. Before I knew it, we were making out when the kids were busy, or we'd secretly be holding hands under the table during meals, but we were never officially together. Neither of us had the courage to do so."
"I wasn't totally over Maya."
"And why wasn't she ready?"
"She just came out to her mom and her close friends before the School Year ended. Her mom wasn't totally happy, but she was supportive. She thought adding a girlfriend to the mix this early would've been inconsiderate."
"But she's 100 percent gay?" Hanna asks.
"She's not. I don't even know if that friend who likes her is a guy or a girl. Could be either."
"And after camp, you kept in touch." Spencer says, trying to continue my story.
"Yeah. We texted a lot. Flirting and all that. You know what's funny?"
"I was in the process of planning out my visit to her. To you know, make things official."
"Well that sucks."
"Thank You, Spence."
"I'm sorry Em." She apologizes. "I was just thinking about how much that sucks."
"It does suck. Now, can I read your messages to each other please?" Hanna asks, getting my phone from my bag.
She starts scrolling through my messages. Aria and Spencer both read over her shoulder and I smiled a little, hearing their squeals, sighs, and then finally their complaints on the last few messages.
My phone beeps.
"Hey look, is this her?" Hanna then proceeds to open the message. "If it ev-" she stops and hands the phone to me. I read the message, and well, it made my day a little worse than it already was.
If it even matters right now, I told my mom about you.
"THAT IS IT. I AM CALLING THIS GIRL RIGHT NOW." Hanna exclaims.
"Han! Don't." I tell her.
"Em, this girl is practically ripping your heart out from another state! Why are you protecting her?"
"I'm not protecting her. She's still my friend, Hanna. Stop trying to run my life."
"Em, I'm pretty sure Hanna's just concerned. And Han, let Emily decide. It's her life. We're her friends, and we should respect her decisions." Aria says, playing the mediator between us.
"No Aria. I'm not just concerned. I'm genuinely worried here! Emily is one of our best friends, and she deserves to be happy! After Maya, after everything that happened last year. She deserves a break! And right now? It's not even A who's making her miserable! It's some girl from Ohio!
"Aria's not saying you're not worried, Hanna. And I do understand where you're coming from. Emily deserves to be happy, hell after all the A drama, we all do!" Spencer says.
"And we all are." I say. "Do I need someone else to be happy? I am happy. With you three as my friends. With your boyfriends as my friends. I don't need a girl to make me happy, you guys. I am happy."
Was I saying this to them, or was I saying this to myself?
"Fine. Just be careful, Em. And I'm saving this girl's name and number for future reference. Be friends with her, but she pulls off another stunt like this to hurt you, I am calling her and giving her an earful."
"You're a good friend Han. You know that right?" I told her, smiling a little before giving her a big hug. "Thank You."
It wasn't until that night before I went to bed that I had the chance to actually reflect, and well, think about all the things that happened today, and when it all sunk in, I was too numb. I was too numb to even feel hurt, I was too numb to even cry.
Friendship was the last thing I wanted from her, and yet she decided to give it to me. I felt bad and my brain was telling me one thing, it was telling me to just let go. It was telling me that I should just forget all about that summer, and that building a friendship with her would totally destroy me.
But my heart was telling me to hold on for just a little but longer. I've invested emotions and time on her, and I shouldn't just give up.
My phone buzzes as I drift in and then out of consciousness for the third time that night.
Good Night, Shark Fin.
And before I could even stop myself, I was typing the three words that became the last words I typed every night.
Good Night, Pompom.