His skin is pale, his body lean but sinewy. Light hair and dark eyes contrast, wide mouth that curves into a mocking smile. His name is Lysander, and, as of three days ago, he is my boyfriend. You can guess you arranged it all fairly easily, but I'll tell you anyway: The one and only Ashlin Walker. We're growing apart but she won't admit it, because she's the one who drove a Lysander shaped wedge between us. I'm finding it hard to forgive her, to be honest, seeing as she's the only one who knows just how much he hurt me. My hand flutters to the place where the 'L' on my cheek was self consciously. The scar has only just begun to fade, so I'm still covering it with far too many dollops of concealer a day.
To everyone in school, to my friends, to Ashlin, to each other, we are already hopelessly madly in love. To Lysander we probably are too, our ... Past... Entirely forgotten, whisked away in a snowstorm of kisses and promises. And I don't know why. He seemed to hate me so much, but the minute Ashlin called a truce between us, plus cinema tickets and a meal, he obliged quite willingly, and was as close to a gentleman as you get in this day and age. He already says he loves me, that I've called dibs on his heart.
I don't love him though. I don't hate him, not now, but I did.
No, I don't hate him. Don't think I haven't forgiven him. But my hate is a special priority. She's sitting across from me at our table right now, flanked as ever by Kiera and Arianna. Her gaze is drifting, dreamy, her hand fiddling with a strand of her long hair. Without warning, Lysander pushes his chair back with a creak, suddenly standing - literally towering above us.
Arianna pouts at him. "Where're you going?"
"I've got to get to class -"
Ashlin cuts him off, glaring at Ari. "You know, class, that thing you keep missing?"
They've been like this for a while, Ashlin and Arianna. For some reason they won't tell us, they don't like each other so much any more, and for them it truly is close to hate. Kiera and I sit in the middle, the peace makers, with no idea why they suddenly have it out for each other. It's getting tiring, it's getting boring but what can I do?
These girls are the only friends I have.
Arianna flushes crimson, her teeth nervously digging into her lip. "Wha-"
"Well, both you and Kellyfrombiology. The one with the piercings. I take it none of us, your actual friends are ever going to be invited."
I frown. I haven't known any of this. I haven't seen much of either Keira or Arianna recently, but I thought it was because our timetables were different, not because they simply couldn't be bothered to turn up. Although it looks like Keira's just as confused as me. "What do you mean?" she pushes, her nose wrinkling. Lysander stands awkwardly.
Ashlin turns to him. "Just go," she says with a smirk directed at Arianna. "At least one person is serious about their education." He leaves, blowing a hasty kiss in my direction. This is the first time he's ever sat with us for lunch, and I'd hoped that things could at least go smoothly, if not enjoyably. Now it looks like even that was too much to hope for.
"Bye," I murmur weakly, just as someone's One Direction phone ringtone goes off, cutting Ashlin off just as she is beginning yet another accusation. We sit in muted quiet for a moment before I speak up. "Aren't you going to get that?"
All three girls stare at me blankly before Ashlin grins,baring her pointy white teeth at me. "Ohemgee, Elle, I totally forgot to tell you! I changed your ringtone like two days ago, from that awful xylophone thing!"
I swallow, my mouth dry. I never knew about this. Nobody asked my permission, not that it would be worth anything much. I don't even like One Direction. I want to stand up to Ashlin, to tell her that there's nothing wrong with standard marimba.
I don't, of course. "Oh..." I mutter, keeping my eyes glued to the floor. I answer the call as she stares at me expectantly, then walk towards the school exit, where there are less people, less noise. "Hello?"
No one answers. I look back to the table to see Ashlin throwing up her hands in annoyance, striding away down a corridor. Arianna and Kiera stare at each other with bemusement, before leaving too, moving away and out of sight.
"Hello?" I ask again, ready to hang up when I don't receive an answer. I don't, not for at least five more seconds, and that's only if you can call the other line hanging up an answer. They probably got the wrong number, I suppose.
As I reach towards my pocket, where I'm going to slip my phone, it vibrates again, emitting the cheesy One Direction song. Sighing, I look at the user ID to see Kiera's face grinning up at me. I hang up at once.
Already I'm regretting my 'closeness' with Ashlin and I don't want the same thing to happen again. The saying is true: Fool me once; shame on you, Fool me twice; shame on me.
Let's just say I don't take shame very well.