Charlie, Jesse, and Me

Charlie and Demi go to school together. Demi admires from afar- what makes charlie so popular with the girls? No one knows. But in sheer desperation, Charlie and Demi make a choice to get Lucy of his back, but will this choice give rise to feelings they never knew existed?

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3. Charlie and Demi, and Aileen's Big Nose

"Where the hell did he go?" I asked aloud.
"Haven't a clue." Amy, Molly, Clare and Kate replied in unison. Word had started getting around about what Charlie had said. I was getting looks, wolf whistles, and shouts of "Get stuck in!" and "Charlie and Demi, sittin' in a tree!" from crowds of people. I am definitely not a popular person. I amn't popular normally. But this was a new level. I try to see past the ugliness in people, but this brought out the worst in everyone. So thankfully, my voice of reason ran up to me. Aileen. My older sister. By older, I mean she's best mates with Kate. They're in the same form.
"Demi, what on earth is going on?" Aileen said to me, grabbing my shoulders.
"Ugh, Aileen, it's complicated. Help us find Charlie." I said to her, in my most annoying little sister voice.
"Kate, explain please." Aileen ordered. Nothing happens to me without going through Aileen. Well, she doesn't know some things. But I'll get back to them.
"Well. Charlie said that Jesse was a lie to cover for the fact that he and Demi are going out." Kate said at a million miles a minute.
"CHARLIE? As in 'Aileen, I really like Charlie, but I don't know what to do'?" Aileen questioned.
"Aileen! They did not need to know that!" I hissed at my sister, amidst the snickering and giggling of my four best friends. Jeez, my sister has a big mouth. She has hair to be envious of, though, long, brown, flowing locks. And really nice eyes. A deep, rich blue. And a smile that just glows.
"Sorry!" Aileen shrieked.
"There's Charlie!" I half whispered, half hissed. We had been fast walking around the school, bashing and pushing our way around. I was leading, and I just put out my arms and everyone walked into me. We were about ten foot from him. He looked at me and smiled. I didn't know if it was fake. He came over to me, grabbing my waist.
"Hey, beautiful." he said as he sort of pulled me into his chest. Heck, I'm gonna make the most of this. I wrapped my arms around him, holding them behind his neck.
"Hey." I said in a sickly sweet voice. I looked to my friends, staring at me like I had ten heads. The look I gave them obviously told them that I was just going with it.
"Meet me outside the Old Building after school." I whispered in his ear.
"Ok. Seeya there." he whispered back in my ear.
We decided to separate, as I could see some students getting queasy at the sight of us.
"Well I think that PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION answered the question of what are doing about this." Amy remarked.
"Don't be so sour. It wasn't my idea." I said, and a silence swept the six of us.
"Demi, can I talk to you, for a minute?" Aileen asked a few minutes later, breaking the silence. We fell back from the group, and Aileen had a serious look on her face, unusual for her, being a generally bubbly person, with an addiction to One Direction.
"Are you ok? You've seemed sort of, I dunno, down lately." Aileen said, her voice a low whisper.
"Yeah. Grand." She knew I was lying. But she wasn't going to pursue it further today.
"Look. I have English. If there is anything, Demi, you're my sister, just ask me." Aileen said, still using a quiet voice.
"I'm grand, Ailz. Grand." I said. Badly lying.

 

What Aileen said, it needs explanation. I love my sister, and I trust her with everything. But I haven't brought myself to tell her this. Yet. I've been going to the counsellor in school, Mr. Smith. I've been diagnosed with depression. I haven't told anyone yet. It's just been between me and Mr. Smith. He wants me to tell my family, or at least my sister. But I'm not keen. It's been hard, coping in silence, but I'm getting by. Now back to the story.

Charlie was kicking a stone on the ground outside the Old Building of the school.
"Charlie, what brought this on?" I said as I approached him.
"It was stupid, Demi, I know. But we need to keep this up." Charlie begged.
"Why? You've embarrassed me in front of my friends. People are looking at me and wolf whistling." I complained.
"Please, Demi. Help me. You know we aren't meant to be. This isn't real. Just help me. I need to keep Lucy away from me. Please?" Charlie begged. Of course I was gonna go with it, but he was right. It's just a crush. I pretended to think about it.
"Fine. But we need boundaries. Hugging?"
"Yes. Make us believable."
"Kiss?"
"Maybe. Lets see how just hugging goes."
"Flirting?"
"Yeah. We need to seem young and in love."
"What constitutes flirting?"
"Honey, sweetie, beautiful, babe, teddy bear, nicknames, stuff like that."
"Ok?"
"Ok."
And we went our separate ways until the next day.

I woke up the next morning, groggy and tired from the ordeals of the previous day. I stretched, yawned, and put on my glasses. As the room came into focus, I noticed my sister was standing in front of my door.
"I think you have some explaining to do." she said. I saw what was in her hand. My stash. I didn't mention earlier. I cut. I always wear long sleeves, even in warm weather. No one pays it any heed. But my arms are laced with scars. They stretch from the inside of my elbow to about an inch from my wrist on both arms. Amd my sister, and her nosiness, had found my cutting tools. My knives, razors, scrap metal, and glass. I looked to my sister. There were tears in her eyes.
"I-I-I don't even know what to say. I don't." she said between sobs.
"Look, Aileen-"
"Demi, tell me the truth. What on earth is going on that has driven you to this?" Aileen cried at me. "Tell me now. Or I am telling mam."
"Ok, ok, keep your knickers on."
"Stop messing Demi. This is serious."
"Ok. I got to the counsellor in school. I have depression. It's curable. But I'm not doing meds, so it makes it harder. I would have to tell mam if I was going to take meds. And she'd collapse."
"Demi, why the hell didn't you tell me?" Aileen cried. "What has you this depressed?"
"Aileen, are you blind?! Since third class in primary, the kids would pick on me. When we moved, they picked on me, and now they still pick on my. I am constantly being bullied." I was starting to raise my voice.
"Demi, I thought you were happy. You always smiled." she was starting to cower now. This had turned into an argument.
"Well, look behind the smile."
"Show me your arms. Now."
"Aileen, I don't think-"
"DEMI." she shouted. I pulled my sleeve up. My arms were scarred. Criss-crossed lines of red for the fresh ones, brown for the scabbed ones and a sort of white for the old ones.
"Oh-oh-oh God." she looked faint. I sprang out of bed, over to her, and grabbed her arms.
"Aileen, sit down. Can we talk about this some other times? We have school."
"Who knows? And how many times?"
"Just the counsellor, Mr. Smith. And Aileen, you think I know? I've been doing this since I was ten." I think I just added salt to the cut with that.
"Aileen, go get dressed. We need to go to school."
I led my sister back to her room. She skipped breakfast.  All day, she made me feel guilty. She gave me looks. Bad looks. Disgraced looks. I felt so guilty. I got a note from Clare, which was passed from Aileen to Kate to Clare, which read:

WRITE IT DOWN. EVERYTHING. EXPLAIN IT TO ME WITH YOUR WORDS. I KNOW YOU'LL DO IT BETTER THAT WAY.

So I did. I wrote and wrote and wrote. At the end of the day, when we went home, I showed her. She read them. She looked, she read, she cried some more. The tears rolled down her round, clean face, blurring her mascara and eyeliner. She wiped her eyes with the back of her sleeve, destroying a good white shirt.
"How do you do this? Not just collapse under the pressure? I'm crying just hearing about this. How do you cope?" Aileen asked me, through sobs and bouts of tears.
"I just do. The only direction is forward. If I don't go forward, I go down. I go down, I die. Keep moving. Focus. I ain't gonna lie, it gets too much. It overwhelms and crushes me. But I think of you, and Molly and Amy and Clare and Kate. And Charlie."
*Beep. Beep.
My phone buzzes. A new message. Picked up the phone. Read the message. Whatever I did, Aileen noticed and understood it.
"What's wrong?" she asked. She came over. Took the phone from me.
"I-i-it's Kai. From Athlone. She's g-g-got cancer."
I collapsed on the bed.
I cried.

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