The next morning, I decide to walk to college instead of going in my car after what happened yesterday. I meet Nikki on the way as I haven't really spoken to her properly for a while. We carry on up to college. 'How was Cindy yesterday?' She asks.
'Okay I guess, at least as good as she could be' I say.
'Its got to stop really hasn't it, it's getting really bad, she is like that all the time' Nikki says.
'It was the worst I had ever seen her yesterday Nik, but I suppose she does need someone to keep an eye on her' I say.
'How long did you stay then?' She asks.
'Ages i had to wait, nobody else came' I say.
'Did... Didn't Harry go?' She asks, clearly not particularly wanting to talk about him. 'Yes... Well he turned up just as I was allowed to see her, he didn't stay for long though, she wouldn't let him' I say with a laugh. It is nice to laugh as it feels like I haven't for ages. 'Why not?' She says as I forget what I was saying. 'Oh... Did you hear what happened between them' I say. She shakes her head. 'Well he basically used her when she was vulnerable, and then he ignored her as soon as he got what he wanted, well he said it differently but, that's the way it looks' I say.
'God, I didn't think he was like that' she says clearly shocked. 'To be honest Nikki I think it's because of you that he ignored her, he doesn't want her, he wants you' I say.
'Well I don't want him El!' She says.
'I don't blame you, he keeps trying to get me to talk you into considering him, but not after I know what he did to Cindy' I say.
'Well there's no way you could change my feelings for him after that' she says.
'On the subject, how's things with you and Jake?' She asks.
'Ok now I guess' I say considering how things actually are, then I realise I haven't seen him properly for a while. 'Im not being funny Ella, but he's always doing something, you are constantly falling out and making up' she says. 'I know' I say, as I do, it's clear we aren't perfect, but who is. We walk up the steps to college and Nikki lets out a sound of excitement. 'Oh I completely forgot to tell you!' She says.
'What?!' I say excited by her excitement.
'Theres this guy that's started, and he's gorgeous' she says.
'Ha, well people start here all the time and there's usually no ''gorgeous'' people, there's zero' I say.
'Come on there's a few' she says, she stops trying to convince me there are when she sees the look on my face. 'Here we are, show me' I say.
'Well I was going to introduce myself to him yesterday... But... I...I didn't get round to it' she says. 'Sure' I say. We go to the common room slightly later than usual. Everyone else is here, I start to walk over to Jake and the others, before Nikki drags me back. 'Look, he's over there' she says and she points at him, I look and recognise him instantly, the sandy darkish brown hair. He turns his head to face our direction. 'Jack' I say under my breath. 'What?' Nikki says, confused.
'Nothing' I say.
'Will you come over with me?' She asks. The answer pops into my head straight away as I look back at Jake. 'No!' I say walking over to the group before she drags me back again. 'Theres no need he's coming over' she says not letting me free of her grip on my arm. I realise I have no choice to go as I am in full view. 'Do not think about walking away' she says jokingly but I know she is serious. 'Hey' he says as he approaches. 'Hi Jack' I say being polite, but really I don't want to be here. 'Ella' he says smiling.
'Wait you know each other?' Nikki says.
'Yeah...—' he says before I interrupt,
'well neighbours... new neighbours' I say.
'Really well you didn't mention that El' she says hinting at smothering although I don't know what. 'Well I'm Jack' he says introducing himself to Nikki. 'it's... It's great... I mean it's nice to meet you' she says staring at him and I don't doubt Harry is looking over, jealous. 'Yeah well I'm going over here now' I say as I can't think of any other excuses to leave, I want to see Jake. 'Bye then' he says.
'Bye' I say leaving him in Nikki's company which she is pleased with. I finally walk over to Jake and the others without being stopped by Nikki. I sit on one of the red cushioned puffs in the corner next to Jake and he puts his arm around me, which makes me smile. 'Who the hell was that guy?' Jake says keen to know who I was talking to. 'Oh he's new, but also my new neighbour, mom made me go with her to ''welcome them'', which I found stupid' I say. 'Looks like Nikki likes him' Zoe says, releasing herself from Jerome's close embrace. 'What?' Harry says sitting up as though he has not been present for the rest of the conversation. 'Shut up Harry don't you go messing with another person in our group' I say, forgetting the others don't know what he did. 'What?' Jerome and Jake both say. Harry looks as though he does not know what to say. 'Go ahead Harry, tell them what you did' I say in a way that shows I am still annoyed with him. He confesses and thankfully Zoe is equally disgusted as me. Jake and Jack don't seem that shocked. They all ask about Cindy although they are also not that surprised that it happened. 'Well I think we all need to go out somewhere after what's happened this week' Jerome says.
'Great Idea Jer, actually, you know Smart, the guy in the year above?' Jake says to Jerome.
No' I say but everyone else nods.
'You know Tyler Smart' he says.
'Oh yes, him' I say with disappointment as I remember how much of a prat he is. I remember last year he gate crashed my birthday house party, he ruined everything and in the end I had to call Dylan to help kick him out. 'What about him?' I ask.
'Well he's having a party at his tomorrow, it's a free house, he's suppling drinks and he's said anyone's invited' Jake says.
'Great shall we go?' Jerome says.
'Yes, sounds like it should be good' Zoe says. 'No, no way' I say.
'What why?!' Harry asks.
'He is an idiot, do you guys not remember what he did to my party last year' I say and they all look as though they don't remember, but I know they do. 'Look whatever, you guys can go to the party but, I'm not' I say standing up. At that moment Nikki rejoins us and I see Harry sit up. 'Ooh party when is it?' She asks. 'Finished talking to your new friend?' I ask.
'What? Jack? He was mainly talking about you' she says.
'What?' Jake says clearly annoyed. Why would Jack talk about me? Maybe Nikki is just saying it to get back at me for walking off. 'Nothing' she says in response to Jake's confusion. 'Anyway this party?' She asks.
'You want to come?' Harry asks her and she seems to ignore him. 'Well?' Harry asks as it has been about thirty seconds of her ignoring him. 'Are you guys going?' She asks the rest of us. 'Sure' Zoe and Jerome say, while Jake looks at me and I can tell he wants to go and he's not going to support my opinion. 'El?' She asks.
'No I'm not going Nik' I say.
'Come on babe it will be a laugh' Jake says to me. 'No he's a jackass I'm not going' I say. 'Wait who is?' Nikki asks.
'Its Smart's party you know Tyler Smart' I say. 'Oh him! No I won't go then, don't you guys remember what happened at El's party?' She says and they all look guilty and blank. 'Come on let's just forget it ever happened it's a party at the end of the day' Jake says.
'Jake you should be the one telling the others not to go! You were there too' Nikki says, hinting for him to remember what happened. He looks lost for what to say and I am glad that at least Nikki can stand up for me. 'Well thanks Nik, you know why don't we go out tomorrow night while these are at their lame party yeah?' I ask, being sarcastic to the others. 'Yeah definitely' she says smiling.
'Great well I'm going to go to art now, bye Jake, everyone' I say walking away, but as I walk I feel good about myself, I feel good for standing up for what I think is the right thing to do. Although it does hurt that my own boyfriend isn't on my side and instead he would rather go to a stupid party where everyone will be getting drunk. I go to my Art lesson but it's lonely without Cindy.
That night I decide to go and see Cindy to see how she's doing. My mom takes me and we stop off at the shop and I get her some peanut butter snaps as they are her favourite, at least they were a while ago before this eating thing started. I doubt she will eat them but I want to take her something. When I get there she is awake. My mom comes in as she too was concerned. 'Hey Cind how are you?' I ask.
'Ella hey I'm... Ooh peanut butter snaps!' She says grabbing the packet out my hands but, she doesn't eat she just reads the package. 'Well you look better' I say.
'Yeah I'm good they won't let me out though' she says. 'Yeah well Cind you've only been here two days it's probably just a precaution' I say. 'What in case I'm mental? Because that's what they want to do to me, take me somewhere I will learn to stop harming myself' she says. I don't know what to say, part of me agrees with them, she does need sorting out. 'Its going to be fine Cindy, you will get better' I say. We stay for a while before one of the nurses comes and sayslq that the visiting hour is over. My mom goes to the car while I get some gum out of the vending machine. 'Hello Ella, been to see Cindy?' Someone asks. I see doctor Bennett standing behind me. 'Oh hi, yeah I'm just leaving' I say.
'Well I have noticed that you are one of her only frequent visitors' he says.
'Ive only been twice' I say.
'Its more than anyone else'.
'Oh right people are just use to this happening I guess' I say.
'Well it might interest you to know she is ok, we are just concerned about her mental state and we need to come up with ways to prevent it from happening if you would be interested in helping her' he says, which I guessed. 'Sure anything I can do' I say.
'Good well she will probably just need some support' he says.
'Ok well I'm going to keep visiting her anyway so, I will try and help' I say and he says thank you but soon has to go and see to another patient. I walk back to the car, thinking of what it is I can do, I don't know what I can do, but it's sad that I'm the only one who is willing to help not even her family. The next morning before lessons begin I sit with Nikki in the common room as I'm still annoyed with the others. Jake arrives soon after and walks straight over to me. 'Hey' he says.
'Oh hi' I say pretending I didn't see him.
'Look I don't have to go tonight' he says.
'No just go Jake I know you want to' I say.
'Its just, we haven't been out for ages, all of us together it would be complete if you guys came' he says.
'Well I suppose it will have to be incomplete then' I say. He sighs and it is clear he has no other ideas to persuade me to go. 'Look Jake just go I really don't care ok, just go and, enjoy your Friday night' I say.
'You sure' he asks.
'Yes' I say, but really I'm not, I would prefer it if he didn't go. 'Ok' he says. He stays there for a bit but we don't talk, I think he knows I'm not happy with him going. Especially as there will be other girls there and alcohol and I'm worried what that combination leads to. I'm sure that will include Naomi as she is always with Smart, she's always stuck to anyone that is popular, not single or someone who is throwing a party, she is a complete user. 'Well I'll see you later then' he says. 'Yeah' I say and he walks off. I only have a couple of lessons so the day goes quickly and before I know it, it's nearly seven and I'm going out at half past.