Chapter Nineteen, We Are The Kids
"I am not a loser. I'm a winner."
"Nice guys finish last."
"You're running out of gas. Your sympathy will get you left behind."
"You did not."
"I so did."
"Get out. Leave. Take a freaking lap or something."
"And I know when I need it I can count on you like four, three, two and you'll be there, 'cause that's what friends are supposed to do."
"I hate you and wouldn't label you as a friend."
"Look into your heart and you'll find love, love, love."
"If I go crazy, then will you still call me Superman?"
"You're an idiot. You are crazy, but you're no Superman."
"Niall, you seriously need to lighten up."
"And you seriously need to stop being annoying."
"Don't make me tickle you."
"I'm not making you do anything, you freak."
"I'm gonna tickle you."
"What is your problem? Stay away from me or so help me, I'll kick your-"
"Then will you stop being a Debbie Downer?"
"You're putting me on blast right now and I hate it."
"I'm throwing you under the bus, but you keep rolling out."
"What happened yesterday? Don't tell me this has to do with your secret lover. Does it?"
"Who- what- oh my god, I'm going to decapitate you and then blend your freaking body and feed it to vultures."
"Whatever happened to the old Niall? I don't wanna waste my time- become another casualty of society. I'll never fall in line- become another victim of the conformity. Remember?"
"Someday, when my life has passed me by, I'll lay around and wonder why."
"You're such a wuss. Stay in that... state or whatever is wrong you. I'm gonna go find Brandy, because she loves me and I love her."
"Fine then. Go. I don't want you here anyways. You're giving me a migraine. And I've never loved you so I don't care. I've been here a few times and I'm quite aware we're dying."
"I hope you know that it wasn't you, it was me."
"My god, does your girlfriend know you're an incurable idiot?"
"As a matter of a fact, she does."
"Bless her heart."
"Before I go, I want you to know this is only temporary. I think we need some space and a breather to recuperate. I hope you feel better, bro."
"Go jump in a pit of fire and drown."
"There's so many things wrong with that."
"You still haven't left."
"Saying goodbye is the hardest part."
"I'll drag you to your girlfriend by your legs."
"Dude, I'm sorry. Okay, I'll go. You should consider talking your feelings out, you know? I'm not going to judge you, Niall. You're like my brother."
"Argh, I know. Just let me die here on this table, please. I promise I'll come over to your house after school."
"Fine, but my mom isn't into zombies. So, just, like, try not to eat her. And don't stain the carpet."
"Bye, Niall! I love you!" Adrian yelled as he walked away from our table.
Anybody and everybody who was within five yards of us heard and stared. I was too upset to be angry or curse Adrian, so I flipped him off but he blew me a kiss. I hate him. Not a minute later I had my arms crossed on the table and my head rested on top. I know I looked like a loner already, but if I pretend I'm asleep no one will care. It didn't take long for me to regret forcing my best friend to leave. He's annoying as hell, but when it came to helping me, he was probably the best. He always made a joke or two here and there, but he understood me. I wouldn't doubt he knew exactly what was wrong with me. Dick just wanted me to say it out loud. Kinda wish I could really be sleeping.
Of course, these guilty thoughts only led me back to Carmen. I've been avoiding her, okay, trying not to think about her. It's lunch and it is impossible. When I stopped thinking about her, I realized exactly how much I think about her or how much I liked her. Like, these past couple of weeks seemed to revolve around her. I'm hopeless. I groaned, but stopped abruptly when I realized it was out loud and people could hear me. Why do I have to go to public school? Why couldn't my parents just let me be home schooled? I wouldn't have all these stupid, insignificant problems that are consuming my life right now. Plus, it's not like my parents can't afford it. Selfish tight wads.
I don't know how long I was sitting there, but my arms began to fall asleep. I had been expecting or at least anticipating Adrian to come back, but it didn't look like he would. I was alone and worst of all with my thoughts. I wonder if this was how Harry Potter felt when he lived with his aunt and uncle and that ugly cousin of his. But he's like a freaking wizard, so he must've been better off. Stupid books. Why can't teachers have us read about people our age instead of adults nobody cares about or can relate to? It's times like these I wish I could pull my phone out and listen to music. Stupid security guards.
When I started to feel like my thoughts were eating me alive and Carmen sucked, I felt someone tapping my shoulder. I tried ignoring them, but they were very persistent. I had half a mind to tell them I'm not playing Heads Up, Seven Up.
"What do ya want?" I asked, but it sounded so muffled because I was too lazy to lift my head up.
"You look like you need a friend." My head shot up at the voice and I quickly turned around to see Harry with a smile on his face. He started chuckling. "You have a red marks on your face."
"What are you doing here?" I was too in shock. He always sits on the upper field with his friends, so why is he in the quad?
"I was passing by and saw you. Can I sit here?" He asked as he pointed to the space next to me. I nodded and he sat down, still keeping that smile on his face.
"Why aren't you with your friends?"
"Rina and Allison are in the auditorium to practice for the upcoming play. Monique is... I think she finally started talking to the guy she likes on the varsity football team. And Gavin was absent today."
"What about Cheyanne? I never had a chance to catch up on that. Did you guys go to the homecoming dance together?"
"Um, we're talking."
"That's good! I'm happy for you, Harry."
"Yeah, it is I guess. We're talking. It so weird thinking about it."
"Soon you'll be together. Only time, bud. She'll be crazy to let you go."
"Thanks, Niall. I just did what you said. Well, uh, I didn't exactly ask her to the homecoming dance. But nonetheless, it was because of your encouragement."
"So, are you good?"
"Yes, but honestly, no."
"I'm sorry, Harry, but I don't want to talk about it this time."
"It's about Carmen, isn't it?"
"You guys seem really close. I've seen you two around school together. You two even ditched school one day."
"Whoa, how'd you know? Who told you?"
"Everyone knew that day."
"Oh my god."
"There are rumors you two are dating. I thought you heard about this? I kind of figured it had affected you."
"What else are they saying?" It was hard staying calm and collected in front of Harry. It was also a little scary thinking about how fast my mood changed, too.
"Well, you heard the rumors about Carmen?" I nodded to Harry. "Well, it's said that you both are in some fake relationship to prove you're not mean and she's not some freak."
"You're kidding, right? This is outrageous and pathetic."
"Those are Samantha's trademarks. You know it has her name written all over it. Everyone already knows what went down during homecoming. She has it out for you two."
"And I thought my life couldn't get any worse. You think these rumors have worked their way back to Carmen?"
"I wouldn't doubt Chris and Mike know. It's only a matter if they told her or not. I'm almost positive they told her."
"I'm really sorry, Niall. I only stopped because I saw you alone and you seemed upset. I didn't know."
"It's okay, seriously. I'm just glad you told me. I guess... I should talk to Carmen instead of avoiding her."
"I hope everything works out for you two."
"What was bothering you? You know, before I came."
"Yesterday I was a total nut and I'm, like, my head is just a mess."
"You don't even know."
"I get it. You're alone because you're trying to get your head straight."
"Sorry for making it worse."
"Really, don't sweat it. It's because I embarrassed myself twice in front of and because of Carmen. The second time was over text."
"Oh, well I'm sure it's not as bad as you are making it out to be."
"It's not. I mean, she talked to me about the first time. It made me kinda pissed and then things sucked. But later I sent her a couple of texts and we pretty much sorted it out, only she continued to think it was cute and sweet how I acted."
"You're embarrassed by that?"
"Only puppies and babies and all that stuff is cute. I'm a guy. I'm not cute. Hell, she knows I eat chocolate covered crickets. I'm not even sweet, either. I'm very insensitive."
"Rina, Allison, and Monique think this one boy band is cute. They also think... um, this one actor in particular is very cute. I can't think of his name right now."
"You're making this worse."
"I- I don't know? Thanks for this, Harry. I'm gonna look for Carmen."
Just as I started getting up and grabbing my backpack, Harry did the same. We said bye, and of course he gave encouraging words before he left. I don't know how or why, but he seemed to pop up at the most perfect times when I had this sense of determination. Honestly, I would have loved to go on with Harry and talk for the remainder of the lunch period, but I knew where he was going and I didn't like it. Thinking like that about Carmen would only get me into trouble. So instead, I decided to confront Carmen and discuss what we were going to do about the rumors. It didn't sound as bad in my head.
With my hands shoved in my pockets, I walked around outside trying to find Carmen. I had second thoughts that maybe she was in the girls bathroom or something, because I couldn't find her anywhere. I looked outside the math building, down the alley, by the hex, and even on the upper field. Just as I was about to give up, I looked on the softball field and saw her sitting in the dugout. I sighed to myself as I walked down from the upper field and over to the dugout she was in. Nobody sits there, like, ever. They may sit on the field or by the basketball courts that are next to it. It was weird and I could only imagine how she felt as I cautiously approached her.
"Hey." I asked. Only then I wondered where Christopher and Mike were. Why would they leave her alone?
"Oh, hi." Carmen said in a soft voice when she noticed me. It looked like the life was drained out of her or she ran out of battery power.
"I, uh, heard from Harry what happened. Don't even worry about it, okay? I promise, and cross my heart, we'll get back at her." She didn't react to my words. "We may have to give her those chocolate bugs." I tried joking.
"Thanks, Niall, but I want to be alone."
"No. This is freaking messed up and I feel like the biggest jerk because it's my fault. I'm sorry." For some reason, it felt like I was apologizing for so much more to her. I don't know, but I think my heart had been ripped out of my chest at some point and my brain shut down.
"It's not your fault. I don't know what to do." Carmen whispered while she shook her head as if doing so would rid herself of everything that's happened.
"Don't worry. That's why I'm here." I assured her. I sat down next to her and wrapped an arm around her. I had no idea what I was doing but it seemed to work, so I went with it.
"I feel like crying. You know my grandma is in the hospital? She was admitted yesterday evening. My sister came down from college to spend the rest of the week with us. It's bad. I know you were avoiding me this morning, but I was, too. I just... I wanted to be alone while it all just consumed me, you know? Like, this is worse than my old school. I'm a mess, Niall." Carmen rested her head on my shoulder and wrapped her arms around me. I'm not going to lie, it felt pretty good, but I was more upset over the fact she didn't do it to show affection. I kept processing what she said in my head and frowned because I was at a loss of words and didn't exactly know how to react. How should I comfort her? What should I say? I looked down at the floor of the dugout while I thought and started staring at our shoes. She was wearing her Converse with the tape. After a few moments of staring, it hit me.
"A couple pieces of tape should fix it all up." I encouraged, feeling confident in my words.
"No, it won't. That makes no sense at all. Be realistic."
"I am. You're telling me you can't put tape on this? I'm pretty sure you of all people know you can put tape on anything and everything."
"You can't, it's, like, impossible. How can tape fix my- wait a minute- ooh. We're gonna need a lot of tape."
"I will give you all the tape in the world if that's what it takes."
"I think you're a moron sometimes, but that's why I like you so much." Her teasing insult gave me a way to make her feel better. I thought we'd have to share silence or something.
"I'll start off by officially being your ride home."
"Its kind of weird how you knew I needed a ride."
"I just assumed and wanted to. Let's not make this a habit, though. You should really get your license. I assumed you just didn't have a car to drive."
"But you said-"
"I know what I said, Carmen. I'd offer to teach you, but I drive stick."
"It's because I'm a girl. You sexist pig."
"Fine, learn stick. Good luck finding a teacher."
"You're refusing to teach me? Unbelievable. You're despicable."
"I'm not refusing. I am purposefully making myself unavailable."
"I don't even want to learn how to drive stick."
"Are you serious?"
"Completely. I want a simple car."
"There are simple cars-"
"But it's easier to find a cheap car that's automatic."
"I guess. Supply and demand."
"No. That's not how it works."
"It's an example."
"No, don't try to act like some wannabe economist or businessman."
"Maybe that's what I wanna be."
"No, it's not. You would rather work for the police or FBI. I know you."
"Really? I'm sure if Men In Black were real, that's what you'd want to do."
"Who wouldn't? A talking dog is sick and that pen is legit. Plus, I can wear sunglasses 24/7 and still look cool."
"So you don't find aliens appealing?"
"That part was kind of gross. I wouldn't want alien guts on me. Do you not remember those parts?"
"Can you be normal for once?"
"Have you ever considered you're not?"
"I'd rather be James Bond anyways, but an American James Bond."
"Really? Oh my god."
"He's goals all the way. Kinda wish I could have the accent. Girls love the accent."
"Ew, no. Not all girls."
"And you're telling me I'm not normal."
"It's just an accent. Why aren't Asian accents attractive? Or Scottish? Or Australian?"
"So are British and South American."
"Are you kidding me?"
"Half. Really, I love accents. I wish we had accents."
"Speak for yourself."
"What accent do you have?"
"American, more specifically Californian, duh."
"Why do I always think I can have a casual conversation with you? You're an idiot."
"I thought I was a moron?"
"You're so mean, Carmen Shay Mitchell."
"Don't use my full name."
"It's too formal and weird."
"Just don't. My mom uses it when she's mad at me."
"I thought she didn't use your last name?"
"I like your name."
"Thanks, my parents picked it. I think my first name came from one of my dad's girlfriends, though. That's what my mom says."
"That's not weird at all. In fact, that's very common. I'm named after my mom's first boyfriend."
"No, its like my grandpa's name or he suggested it or something that has to do with my grandpa. I think he liked it?"
"Wow, how special."
"He's Irish. Actually, my dad is Irish so I'm part Irish."
"Should I be impressed?"
"Jus' givin' ya facts."
"You did not just do that."
"Pretty good, huh?"
"Ya know ya like it. Jus' admit it."
"Creep. I don't know you. You've abducted Niall."
"It's me, ya goof. Yer a very funny one."
"I get it, you're part Irish. Stop it."
"Not until yer honest."
"I like it. Happy?"
"Yer lyin', I can read it all over yer face an see it in yer eyes. I ain't stoppin'."
"You sound weird."
"I don't! My accent is flawless!"
"Fine! It was really good and I really liked it."
"Ha! Knew it!"
"Shut up, Niall. Go stuff pine cones in your face."
"Okay, okay, I'll stop. So, are we gonna continue to sit here?"
"No, it feels weird."
"Cool," I stood up and held my hand out to Carmen. "Let's go, Car."
"I like it best when you just call me by my name." She took my hand and I helped her up, giving her a smile.
"But I thought you liked that nickname?"
"You just make everything sound weird." My smile instantly disappeared causing her to laugh hysterically.
"There's no pleasing you, is there?"
"Not today at least."
"I'm really sorry. About everything, too."
"Niall, you're an idiot."
"I am starting to take offense to that now."
"Wanna go tape up windows of the industrial arts building?"
"Whoa, are you serious?"
"Yes, I have duct tape in my backpack."
"Can I ask why?"
"It comes in handy." She shrugged her shoulders so innocently, I almost believed I was the one to mention such a prank that could get us sent to the dean's office.
"Fine, but we have to hurry because the bell will ring soon. Security guards will be in the alley."
"Yay! I feel so bad and rebellious."
"One condition," I warned her as we began walking.
"You have to promise me that you'll save some so we can fix all your problems."
"Deal, but can we put that on hold for now?"
"Of course, taping these windows is our top priority."
And that's basically what we did. We were like reckless, up to no good, kids. I probably should've been concerned about how she was going about coping with her problems, but the fact that she wanted to spend time with me and came up with a fantastic left me to be the idiot she enjoyed calling me. My little tantrum I threw with Adrian was forgotten as well as Harry and Samantha. There were so many things going on, plus my bipolar feelings, but one thing stayed consistent and that was that I really like Carmen. If anything, was a kid who was whipped and I didn't care anymore- well, Carmen could never know. Regardless, I had an amazing time with her during lunch and couldn't wait to see what we'd do next. x I'm sorry for taking years to update. I made it super long for that reason though I could've just updated twice... AND I HAVE A SURPRISE! but you guys won't know until the end of the story (which isn't as soon as I make it seem, but it's coming). I'm almost positive you will enjoy it (;
this chapter was like a filler in a sense and probably sucked, but I hope you laughed