More than a story

Haley Cavendale's first English assignment in a new school is about Edward Scissorhands. A tale of love and loss, no more. But elements of the film soon become apparent in Haley's life when she befriends an outcast who shows her a different side to the story...

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6. Three's a crowd

The dreaded assignment had been set a week ago, and it was due in tomorrow. Riley informed me casually that he and Jade (his gorgeous girlfriend) had started to work on it, and I could go round Jade's tonight to give my opinion. Jade had smiled as she wrote down her address, but I was certain her smile was fake. She has warned me to stay away from the blonde guy I had seen, and she was Riley's girlfriend; was it her intention to keep me away from all good looking guys? But something about the look in her emerald eyes told me I wouldn't want to be her enemy.

I spent ages deciding what to wear. I'm not a girly-girl who spends ages on her hair and make-up, but I like to express myself through my clothing. I was about to spend the evening with a gorgeous guy, and his gorgeous girlfriend - I had to look cool. I pulled on a pair of ripped skinny jeans and a studded jumper and looked at my reflection. My skin was white as snow, my hair was black as night. I longed to be tanned, I longed to have blonde hair that flowed past my shoulders - but I was the misfit. Weird-looking. It had always been that way.

I stuffed my feet into my boots and started walking.

Jade's house was about a twenty minute walk away. Just looking at the outside of her home, I felt intimidated. It loomed above me menacingly as I walked uncertainly to the front door and knocked.

Ten seconds.

Twenty seconds.

Thirty seconds.

No reply.

I knocked again, louder, impatiently. I was already wound up, and this wasn't helping matters. I heard giggling, and Jade opened the door casually, grinning.

"Oh, hi Haley," she drawled in a couldn't-care-less tone. She opened the door wider and gestured for me to come in. Riley was standing further back in the hallway. He looked so good. But the faint smudge of lipstick on his mouth told me that someone else thought that too, and she'd won him.

I followed them into the living room. Jade snuggled up to Riley on the sofa, leaving me to perch awkwardly on a wooden chair in the corner. Jade kept whispering to him, smiling at him. Two's a company, three's a crowd, I thought as they both laughed at something spoken too softly for me to hear. I could hear the rain drumming on the windows, a slow steady pulse, which calmed me enough to speak.

"Erm, what have you got on the English project then?" I asked.

"Oh." Jade rolled her eyes. "You can sort something out." She chucked a few sheets of paper and a pen in my general direction and then continued giggling with Riley, who I would have expected to speak up by now. I shot a glance in his direction, but he just lowered his gaze guiltily. He didn't owe me anything, but I thought he might become a friend.I guess I had thought wrong. 

I abandoned the chair and walked out of the front door, my face wet with tears and raindrops.

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