Sweetheart

I wrote this a while ago, about a girl called Frankie who makes a big mistake...

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2. Recovering? Nope.

 

The next day, Kerrie turned up at school with a big smile on her face. I wondered how she can be smiling when I'm going through the time I am. As usual, she looked smart, collected and cool. And then there's me. A shivering wreck in the corner of the playground, with a lopsided tie, and red cheeks.         

Every time I saw Josh, I froze. His good looks still never fail to amaze me. After the way he treated me, like I was a kid, why do I still love him? That's what they call true love...except the feeling isn't mutual in Josh's case. Girls swarm around him like a group of desperate bees and he laps up the attention. His friends see me and nudge him. I look like I've taken his rejection bad, and that annoys me no end. Yes, I love him, yes, I want him, but I can't have him.          

"Hey Frankie," my best friend grinned, irritating me. I nodded absently, eyes still fixed on Josh. He was wearing his tie lopsided too, but when the teacher came over, he manages to charm her by flashing her a smile of his pearly whites. The teacher walked off, flushed a little red. Everyone it seems, loves Josh. But I'm sure that I'm the one who he loves. Or not.          

Kerrie raised her eyebrows and sat next to me on the bench. I crossed my arms and made it quite clear that I didn't want to talk. She took the hint and simply sat beside me for a while. Then she opened her mouth to speak, thought better of it, and shut it again. I relaxed my tense shoulders and rocked backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, and Kerrie gave me another funny look. She always knows when something is wrong, but nothing is as wrong as this. I've had bad days. Like when I tripped over a skipping rope and got laughed at. Josh didn't laugh. Or got beat up by a Year 3 for stealing 10p of him and got shouted at. Josh didn't shout. Or when I farted in assembly and got scowled at. Josh didn't scowl. Strange how Josh, Josh, Josh always gets into the equation.          

"Frankie..." Kerrie finally mustered. "What's wrong? I've never seen you...like this before." I twiddled my thumbs. I wanted to keep it to myself, keep it stuffed in the corner of my brain where I can pack it into a box, ready to be looked at when I'm ready. If I told Kerrie, then that's all she'll talk about. Josh rejecting me, me making a fool out of myself, and just downright horrible-ness. But I couldn't be mute forever. I'm telling her because I need to get it out of my system. She doesn't need to know that though, that it really affected me. She reallllyyyy doesn't.      

"I'm only telling you because I don't want you to hear it from anyone else. It didn't even bother me that much, just irritating. I, well, I...I kissed Josh!" I smiled unconvincingly. For a split second I hoped she wouldn't enquire further. Maybe I could get away with just that snippet of information, so I didn't have to explain the worse bit of the story. But Kerrie nodded, expecting more. "What didn't bother you, Frankie?"        

I sighed. "The fact that he hates me now. And...it does bother me. And now he hates me. He HATES ME!" I said, getting my point across clearly, to prevent any more questions.

 "Ah,"  was all Kerrie said as a reply. I bet she laughed inside, or hated me. Cause normally, I get a fully blown spiritual explanation into my actions. But not today.  "Ah," she said again. I looked at her, waited for the fully blown spiritual talk. There is none.       

Kerrie began to walk across the playground, biting her lip. "I'm sorry," she said, and she shrugged like she didn't know what to say. Josh walked past me quickly and I tried to touch his shoulder but in an instant he's gone. He didn't  look back round, just leaped inside and dropped a few books on the way. He didn't go back for them.           

"Hang on Kez..." I murmured and she opened her mouth again to ask why, but I'm already off sprinting to the Science Block door. I'm in the same class as Josh, typically...       

 I picked up his books. I put them to my nose and inhaled, and find a tiny trace of his familiar cocoa butter, mint, aftershave smell, and then I saw that the laughter has started again. I ran into the toilets.        

The sound of footsteps come closer outside. Kerrie's obvious scent of Impulse body spray wafted underneath the door, and I tucked my legs up onto the loo seat- but there's no point because Kerry is psychic. Well, at least, she always knows where I am. "Frankie." she stated, "You're being an idiot. Come out, if anyone laughs I'll kick them where it hurts- okay? Just come and at least save me the wrath Miss Bartlem in English. I'm already 5 minutes late as it is."      

 Kerrie knew me too well. I didn't want to get her in trouble, I really didn't, so I unlocked the door and just looked at her, and realised that Josh's exercise book was still in my hands. Kerrie gave me that dangerous sympathetic look, and on impulse I sobbed. 

"Oh, Frankie," she mumbled into my shoulder as she hugged me. My shoulders heaved, as I imagined walking into that classroom and facing the humiliation of being Josh's lab partner in Science for our project- I've just ruined everything for myself. The scent of his book wafted towards my nostrils again, that cocoa butter that he's never without. The typical, vain boy. The perfect one.        

"Can't you come to Science with me?" I said, and grabbed her arm as we stopped outside the Science lab door, just out of view from all the classmates. She just shook her head, and told me to be strong, before waltzing down the corridor and outside in the direction of the English block.        

I lifted my hand and knocked. Miss Stayling saw my red eyes and stopped herself from moaning at me, and ushered me towards my seat. Everyone turned to stare, but I just kept my eyes focused on the window in front of me. Somehow, I managed to slip Josh's science book into his beautiful (oh god) adidas bag unnoticed.        

 I shuffled to the edge of my seat, trying to pretend that Josh isn't there. I could smell his polo's though, and I missed the time he'd offer me one and whisper into my ear and make me laugh during Miss Stayling's incredibly boring pH scale lectures.        

"Right then. After that revision homework we've just checked, on with your projects," my teacher said, bouncing down onto the revolving chair and logging onto her Apple Macbook with a cup of coffee put to her lips, it's smell distinctive even from the back of the classroom.        

Me and Josh stood there awkwardly. A flicker of a blush spread across his cheeks and when he glanced at me, I was sure there was something there. Love? After everything I've done, maybe he'd forgiven me?        

I must have kidded myself. He slipped down the aisle and approached Miss Stayling, and clutched his tummy, putting a hand to his head. Miss Stayling nodded and wrote out a note.

He swept down the corridor almost ran, leaving me humiliated in the middle of a row of PK's.  

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