I awoke to the dreadful sound of my alarm clock, Monday morning had come too soon. I lay in bed and thought about the weekend, I had spent most of Saturday with Jace, and even though we had agreed to just be friends I felt my heart warm at the thought of him. Sunday on the other hand, was not quite as warm and fuzzy to recall, and all because my mother had called to 'check on me'. I hadn't heard from her since I moved, so it should have been nice to hear from her, but instead her call just solicited a horrible attack on my nerves.
She had kept asking me about what I was going to say at the hearing. I told her I didn't know yet, and this obviously was not the answer she was looking for. She then proceeded to tell me that Brad was telling everyone that I had made up everything about that night, her words causing me to tailspin out of control. In fact I had spiraled into such a panicked frenzy at this point that my dad actually took the phone from my hands, asking my mom not to call again unless she had something sensible to say. Needless to say, I had spent the rest of Sunday in a medicated fog.
"El?" My dad's voice came from outside my bedroom door, wiping away the last thoughts of my mother.
"Don't worry, I'm up." I answered throwing the blankets off of me and walking to the door. When I opened it I was greeted with his worried face.
"How are you feeling?" He asked uneasily, and I automatically felt guilty.
Yesterday when he had tried to get me to take my medication I had tweaked out. I had screamed at him like a nut case until I finally succumbed, snatching the bottle from his hand. I had taken the white pill, refusing the water he offered me to swallow it down, chewing on it viciously instead.
"I'm okay." I shrugged timidly, keeping my head down.
"Hey, chin up kiddo." He said pushing my chin up with his hand. "You're gonna get through this." He was staring at me with such confidence that I almost believed him. Almost.
I forced a smile and nodded once.
"Alright, hurry up and get ready." He looked at me sternly before adding. "We don't need you being late for school, especially where you left early Friday."
It felt damp in the cab of my dad's truck, damp and cold like my lingering mood. I stared down at my lap as he drove along. I found myself thinking about Jace, and I couldn't help the sudden pang of excitement I felt because I would be able to see him in just a few moments. Then I felt nervous, remembering how yesterday I had been too sedated to even call him, I had promised Saturday before leaving him that I would. I wondered if he was worried or angry with me.
When my dad finally came to a stop, parking in front of the school, I flung my door open hastily and jumped out. I spotted Jace immeadiately, he was leaning against the building with his eyes glued to the ground, I had to force myself not to call out to him. As I picked my backpack up off the floor of the truck, I caught my dad staring at me quizically.
"Don't want to be late." I laughed nervously, the sound of it was thin and crazed even to my ears. I flung my backpack over my shoulder and smiled at him shutting the door and waving goodbye. I forced myself to stay rooted in my spot until he was out of sight.
"Did you forget how to use a phone?" His voice cause me to jump, I hadn't heard him approaching, and he was now right behind me.
"Sorry." I said biting my lip. "I had a rough day yesterday." I shuddered involuntarily, and forced myself to look up at him.
"You had a rough day?" He asked sarcastically. "I paced around my room wondering if you fucking severed an artery or something." His harsh words caused me to cringe, his face automatically softened. "You're alright then?" He asked looking genuinely relieved.
"In a sense, yes." I said before thinking.
"What happened?" He asked reaching out for my arm, and dropping his hand before he even touched me.
"Nothing really, my mom called." I shrugged, hoping he would just let me leave it at that. I really didn't feel like relaying the information my mom gave me about Brad to him, nor did I think I could with out falling apart again.
He just nodded as if this explained everything, and then he was frowning. "You didn't-" He stopped and looked around before looking back at me with a pained expression.
"No, I didn't do anything." I said staring down at my sneakers, and feeling embarassed that my habbit was becoming a normal thing for us to discuss, as if we were speaking about the weather.
"Good." He said offering me one of his amazing smiles, he was absolutely gorgeous, I felt my chest pang with a ridiculous amount of want.
"Lets get to class." I tried to keep my voice steady, and void of any of emotion that would portray the want I was experiencing. "My dad will have my head if I'm late." I added.
He just snorted at that.
As we walked through the halls that led to chemistry class everyone stared and whispered. I felt myself starting to tremble, I moved closer to Jace and then he surprised me by putting his arm over my shoulders protectively. He also glared at our audience as he did this, but that didn't surprise me in the least.
"Don't mind them Ella." He squeezed me closer before continuing, the warmth of his body against mine causing me to almost moan out loud. "They're ignorant, they can't help but fucking stare." He was speaking loudly, as if announcing it to everyone instead of just speaking to me. I didn't care what he was saying, or who he was saying it to, because all that existed right now was the weight of his arm as it rested across my shoulders.
When we reached the chemistry lab he removed his arm, causing me to whimper embarassingly when he pulled away. He stared down at me then, and raised one eyebrow. I tried to smile at him and then walked in to the classroom.
I don't know what the fuck I was thinking, putting my arm around her like that. Now there was a dull aching in my chest as she sat beside me, I felt a wanting so strong that it hurt. I could still smell the lingering scent of her on my sweatshirt, she smelled like fall, all apples and cinnamon.
I looked over at her but she was just staring at her hands where they rested on the table, and bouncing her leg up and down like she did so often during class. I studied her for a bit, taking in her features, because fuck was she beautiful. The fullness of her lips, the shape of her jaw, her delicate neck, the pale creamy skin that stretched softly across her collar bones, against the stark contrast of her black shirt.
"Fuck." I said out loud this time before I could stop myself.
She jumped and looked at me. "What is it?"
"Nothing." I said lamely, and stared at Mr. Plant waiting for him to start today's lesson. Have I ever mentioned how much I fucking loathed chemistry?
I was just fucking glaring at the clock. Fucking move I urged the second hand. There were exactly thirty seconds until lunch, until I could see Ella again. God, I was fucking pathetic counting down the seconds like this, but I hadn't seen her since first period this morning, not even a peek in the halls. I looked around impatiently, bouncing my leg up and down in anticipation.
Chemistry had been a lot of silent groaning and stolen glances on my part. I watched as Ella wrote down notes, noticing how she would bite the end of her pen while she waited for the next bit of important information to be dispersed. It was as if she knew just how to drive me fucking crazy.
Thank fucking God! I was up and out of my seat so fast, I was sure that everyone in the class thought I was completely out of my mind. Either that or really fucking hungry, but I'm betting on the prior assesment. I continued weaving quickly around people in the hall with only one thing on my mind. That's when I crashed into something, or shall I say someone solid.
Fucking Ryan Weber.
Will this douche never fail to fucking piss me off? I grunted from the impact and clenched my jaw as I pushed past him, not really in the mood for a conflict today. Ryan, of course didn't feel the same.
"Where are you going in such a hurry?" He asked in a taunting voice. I decided to just fucking ignore him and keep walking, having no such luck as he continued talking. "Did you hear your crazy lunatic bitch had a mental breakdown today in the bathroom?" His words stopped me in my tracks, I swear even my heart stopped.
"What the fuck are you talking about Weber?" I choked on my words trying to remain calm, how could he possibly know that? Better yet, what would cause her to break down? She had told me that her mom called her yesterday, but she seemed okay this morning. I watched as Rachel Reynolds stepped forward, putting her arm around Ryan's waist and sneering at me.
"Rachel said she went into the bathroom after first period, and there that freaky little bitch was, completely throwing a fit." The way Ryan was talking about this so casually made something inside of me snap. I tried to stay calm, really I did, but I just fucking lost it.
"You're gonna keep your fucking mouth shut where Ella is concerned." I hissed grabbing him by the collar of his pansy-ass shirt, slamming him hard against the lockers, and soliciting a startled cry from Rachel. "Both of you." I warned, shooting them each a menacing look
"What Parker? You don't want the whole school to know about your crazy-ass girlfriend?" He paused just to look at me. "News flash, everyone notices something isn't right with her!" He was laughing now, he was lucky I was too worried about Ella at that moment to do anything else but find her.
"I'll deal with you later." I paused to let the words fully sink in. "And that's a fucking promise." I snarled, letting go of his shirt roughly. I took off down the hall in an even more frantic search for Ella than before.
When I got to the cafeteria, I scanned the crowd hastily, until my eyes landed on her. She was sitting at the table I usually occupied, with her head slumped down. I felt as if my heart were being crushed, I walked over to her quickly. She just stared down at the table top for a long time before looking at me.
"What happened?" I asked gently, taking the seat next to her.
"I don't want to talk about it." She was talking so softly that I had to strain to hear her.
"Come on, we're going for a walk." I said, and when she didn't respond immeadiately I held my hand out to her. She looked at my hand as if mulling something over, and then clasped it.
We walked on with me leading the way, I knew exactly where we could go to get away from all the drama. There was a spot outside where I sometimes spent lunch period, especially when I wanted to be alone. I kept walking dragging her along with me, until we were behind a small shed like structure beside the school.
"What is this place?" Ella asked, curiosity getting the best of her, making her sound a bit less distraught.
"I'm guessing it was a custodian shed of some sort." I shrugged. "Nobody ever uses it now."
She nodded biting at her lip and pulling her arms around herself.
"Now, what happened this morning?" I asked, feeling really nervous that I may have caused this breakdown with the whole arm around the shoulders bit. What the fuck was I thinking? I had just told her Saturday that we couldn't be more than friends, but I couldn't control myself when all those people were staring us down. I felt like I had to protect her.
"It's nothing." She shrugged.
"Listen, I need to know if it-" I stopped, running my hands through my hair in frustration. "Fuck, I just need to know that I didn't upset you."
"What?" She asked, her eyes widening. "No, its nothing you did Jace." She shook her head looking more upset now.
"What's going on with you then? Tell me, I want to help you Ella." I felt like I would go absolutely crazy if she didn't tell me what had gotten her so upset. I found myself hating her mom again, because I knew it was something she had said to her. Ella had said this morning that she had a rough day because her mom called.
"It's Brad." She blurted and tears formed in her eyes. Wait, now I was confused. Who the fuck was Brad, and why did I feel something that could only be described as jealousy?
"He's denying the whole thing." She sobbed, bringing me back to my senses.
Of course, Brad was her ex-boyfriend. Now the jealousy was gone, and replaced with complete rage. I often thought about finding her ex and beating the shit out of him, now I had a name to go with this little day-dream of mine. I watched as Ella sobbed painfully, I couldn't refrain any longer. I pulled her to me, crushing her against me, and letting her sob into my shirt until she let it all out and fell silent.
She sniffled a few times and then looked up at me. "Sorry." She squeaked.
I stared down at her then, and something happened. It was like I had no fucking control of my body. I leaned forward slowly smelling her cinnamon breath as it hit my face in warm bursts, and feeling her chest rise and fall against mine, I brushed my lips lightly against hers. She whimpered, and I pulled away immeadiately because this was so fucked up, I shouldn't be fucking kissing her.
"Sorry." I grunted, because it was my turn to be apologizing.
"No, I liked it." She looked at me blushing now.
I felt myself starting to smile, but I got a hold of that shit quick. What the fuck is wrong with you Jace? I was screaming at myself mentally, but physically I just wanted to say 'fuck it' , and continue on kissing her.
"It won't be happening again." I said firmly, more to myself than her.
I couldn't risk fucking her up more than she already was, and I knew if I kept this up I would somehow. I knew I could never have a relationship, I wasn't stable or even worthy of such a thing, I was so fucking stupid for kissing her.
She looked down at the ground and kicked at a rock disappointedly.
"We better go, you're going to be late." I said ending the discussion of kissing completely.