When we are back at Zoe's I copy up her notes from the lesson I completely spaced out in. I give her, her book back and grab my phone from my coat pocket. I'm relieved when I see the screen empty, i was ready to see a text from Jake, but there's nothing there, he hasn't spoke to me all weekend after what happened so why would he now? 'You alright?' Zoe says.
'Yeah fine, great actually' I say. After a while the door bell rings. Zoe answers. She walks back in followed by Nikki. 'Hey, so where was my invite to this gathering' she says jokingly. 'Oh sorry it was a last minute decision' Zoe says, not understanding Nikki's sarcasm. 'Its ok can I join though' she says. 'Yeah of course' Zoe says. Nikki sits in between us and she asks about Jake. Naturally I tell her everything and she avoids giving me advice and instead throughs a load of insults at me, which I assume are intended towards Jake. 'I did wonder where you two got off to today, what with Cindy in hospital I had no one to sit with in the common room' Nikki says.
'What about harry?' I say joking although she doesn't laugh. 'Actually I did find someone to talk to... But it wasn't Harry' she says, her face gleaming. 'Who?' Zoe asks.
'Well... You know Jack Bennett?' She says. I get a weird feeling, I don't know what it is, whether it's because I'm annoyed as I find him slightly irritating or because I'm in some way jelous, but I have no reason to be. 'Oh' I say and Zoe ask her what they talked about. 'Not much really, whenever I talk to him he always seems to talk about you' she says and I have to say 'what? Me'.
'Yeah' she says. Zoe laughs slightly as she knows what I'm thinking. 'What... What did he say?' I ask, completely out of curiosity.
'I don't know, he just says he thinks you're funny and nice and he was asking how thy were after Friday' she says. I lay back in my chair and think about what she said, meanwhile they look at me waiting to hear my reaction. 'He is so annoying! He doesn't even know me' I say, but I'm not sure whether that's what I really think. It is nice of him to see if I'm ok. 'Is being nice the new annoying?' Zoe asks confused.
'No I just think if he's talking to Nikki he should talk about himself, or something else, I don't know' I say realising I've confused myself. Thankfully they change the subject and I begin to drift away like I did in lesson.
I don't know how long I haven't been listening but it's been a while. I hear a car pull up which startles me. 'Who will that be?' I ask out of curiosity. 'Oh Jerome probably, he usually comes around this time, you guys can stay though' she says. As I'm sat at the other end of the room I can't see out of the window. 'Er Ella...' Nikki begins to say before I'm practically shouting 'what?' At her. She looks like she's about to say something I won't like. 'It is Jerome Zo, but he's... He's with Jake... And they are both walking to your door' Nikki says. I feel like the floor just fell from beneath me, at least that's the way I want to feel. 'Oh crap' I say keeping calm. The door bell rings. 'Well... I'll have to answer' Zoe says. She goes out the room and shuts the door behind her. 'Nik what to I do... He doesn't know I'm here so I expect he doesn't want to see me either. 'Just face him... You will have to talk eventually, you're still together aren't you?' She says like she's calm where as I am stressing out majorly. I hear Zoe talking but I can't make out what she's saying. Then I hear her front door shut, the door is about to open then I make a descision. It's a completely stupid and childish one, but it's the best I've got. 'Im not here ok? I'm going to hide in there' I say quietly and quickly walking out. As I go to shut the other door I hear Nikki's voice trail off. '... Ella you can't do that... Wait–'. Now I really have a dilemma. I don't know how long they will be here, I can't stay in this cupboard I found in the kitchen. I feel so stupid this is something a ten year old would do. I can't hear them. I need to know what they're saying. I stupidly get out of the cupboard and listen in behind the door. Zoe and Jerome talk for a bit and then Jake says 'I thought you said Ella was here'.
'What no I didn't when–' Zoe says panicking.
'Yes you did you said, 'your girlfriend is here or should I call her that?' You literally just said that' he says. I feel like now is the moment to go back into the cupboard. 'Zoe I'm not stupid. Ella I know you're here wherever you are' he says. I assume that is my cue to go in but I don't. I find myself running into the closet again. I don't know what to do, he's going to walk in, I know it. I have another stupid thought, walk out the kitchen and go out the back. Then I realise how pathetic that plan is. I just have to go out there. I open the door and make up an excuse. 'You know the locks broke on your toilet Zo I nearly... Oh hello' I say trying to act normal. 'So she is here then' Jake says to Zoe and it's clear he knows I was lying. 'Anyway...' Jerome begins to say something to change the subject but Jake won't. 'Actually can we talk' he says. I nod although I don't want to. He follows me back into the kitchen. 'So...' He says and I say it back.
'Why are you avoiding me? It's you that told me to leave remember' he says.
'Jake you deserved to leave, I told you this once and I'll tell you again, I'm not some kind of whore! You treat me like some trash you brought home for a one night stand' I tell at him forgetting the others can probably hear us. 'I don't! You're over reacting as usual' he says as though he doesn't care.
'How can you say that? You said 'I got what I wanted anyway'' I say reciting what he said.
'That was just because I was annoyed though and you know that' he says.
'Yeah but you still said it Jake so you obviously think it' I say. Before anything else is said I decide to not let myself cry. 'Ella I didn't mean it!' He says trying to convince me but deep down I know he did. 'Still... You were going to leave in the middle of the night without telling me' I say.
'This is ridiculous, i haven't done anything! I don't see what your problem is' he says.
'So It's me that started this? I don't think so' I say. 'For god sake! Maybe I did mean what I said' he says and I decide then to leave, otherwise I would be breaking my decision to not cry. I walk out suddenly and everyone steps back as though they were listening. 'Sorry Zo I've got to go, thanks for having me' I say.
'Ella you don't have to leave' Nikki says.
'I don't have to stay either' I say and walk out.
As soon as I'm home. I don't bother to check who is in. I go straight upstairs and lie on my bed with my face on the pillow. I just want to sleep. When I'm asleep I don't have to over think things, I can dream about something that makes me happy. Right now I have trouble finding something that will make me happy.
The next few days go by quickly. I still haven't spoken to Jake, but as far as I know we are still together. It's Thursday now which means it's been well over a week since Cindy was hospitalised. I should probably visit her, I've been so busy that I forgot. I get home earlier today so I decide to drive to the hospital. I get in my car and then I try to start the engine but of course it doesn't start. Great. I get back out and open up the bonnet to see what is going on. I Don't know why I think I could fix what ever is wrong with it, I've never fixed a car in my life. There's nothing noticeably wrong. 'Hey' I hear and check who is around. I look behind me and see Jack. He walks down his drive and I look away and continue with what I was doing. After what Nikki told me, I find it awkward seeing him. Then again I suppose it's better than turning around and seeing Jake. 'Hey Ella' he says and he's now right beside me with his hand on the bonnet of my car. He's laid back again, like he always is, leaning against my car casually, making himself at home. I feel bad for ignoring him, but I find him kind of annoying for some reason. He leans closer as though he is wondering why I haven't said hello. 'We match' he says. I look at him and pull a face that shows I'm confused because I haven't got a clue what he's talking about. 'Were both wearing a checkered shirt' he says. I look at the shirt he's referring to. Slightly too big for him, underneath he has a t shirt on that clings to him, I can almost see through his shirt but then I stop myself. 'And?' I say realising I sound harsh. 'I like it, your style I mean' he says with a grin on his face. I look down at my shirt and have to ask 'why?'.
'Well, you're–' he begins but I realise I don't want to hear what he has to say. 'Actually it doesn't matter, I've got to go... Get my car fixed' I say looking at the open bonnet in front of me. 'Oh yeah that is why I came over, let me see' he says and without waiting for my response he starts messing with the engine. 'What makes you think you can fix a car?' I say jokingly as I don't see why he acts like he is a professional mechanic. 'Oh I see you want to know more about me?' He says in some sort of weird way. 'What made you think that?' I say getting annoyed, he's just so irritating. 'Hmm you'll have to get a new car part or take it to your local garage' he says ignoring my previous question. 'What how do you—' I begin.
'Before we moved I worked in a garage. There you go, there is something you didn't know about me' he says and stupidly raises his eyebrows. 'So will I be seeing you on Friday?' He says, smiling again. I decide to ignore his question, like he's been ignoring mine. 'Well thanks for your help and everything but I've got to go' I say shutting the car bonnet. 'Go where?' He says being nosey and annoying. 'Just out' I say.
'Out to where?' He says with a slight elongate on his words. 'Just to see my friend in hospital ok? You happy now' I say sarcastically. 'Yeah' he says, copying my sarcasm. 'Let me give you a lift' he says.
'No I'm fine' I say without a thank you.
'Well how are you going to get there then?' He says. 'In my.... I'll walk' I say nearly forgetting my car is broke. 'Even though it looks like its going to rain?' He says like he's trying to catch me out. 'Then I'll get wet' I say and start to Walk down the street. 'By Ella' he says and instead of turning back, I carry on. He infuriates me so much, he's so casual and too friendly, some people might find those good qualities, but to me I just find them annoying. I would have liked a lift, as I don't particularly want to walk all the way to the hospital, but I didn't want a lift from him. I feel like I owe him already as his dad took us into town the other day and then he practically saved me from Aaron.
It takes over half an hour to walk to the hospital. When i get here I go straight to the reception to see where they are keeping Cindy. 'Sorry but Cindy was discharged two days ago' the woman on the desk says. I start to walk away but part of me wants to go back. Why didn't I know she was better? She hasn't been in college and she hasn't contacted me. I also thought Dr Bennett wanted me to help her get better, it seems like she didn't need my help after all. Then I wonder if other people know she's ok. I decide to ring Zoe, I'm not surprised when she doesn't answer so I try Nikki. After a few rings she answers. 'Hey, what's going on how's things with Jake?' She says demanding the gossip on my relationship status before I even have chance to say hello back. 'It doesn't matter. Anyway did you know Cindy has been discharged?' I ask.
'Has she? That's great' she says.
'Well yeah but don't you think it's weird she didn't let anyone know?' I say.
'Not really El, she's probably just relaxing and hasn't got round to texting' she says.
'Yeah ok, see you later' I say and hang up. I don't agree, I think it's weird of Cindy not to tell us she's ok. Instead of spending all night questioning why she hasn't told me, I decide to go to her house. I nearly decide not to when I think of how long it would take to walk, so I decide to take the bus. Thankfully there's not many people on so I don't see anyone I know.
After about twenty minutes on the bus I get off at the stop at the end if her road. I go round to the side door of her house and ring the doorbell. I would expect her parents to be in, to look after her, but they don't really care about her, only themselves. Two minutes have gone and still no answer. I ring again and knock twice. I know she's there, where else would she be? I knock again and shout 'Cindy?! It's Ella open the door' I shout. I then see A figure through the blurred out glass. 'Coming i'm coming. She opens the door and she's wearing nothing but a mans shirt that is above the knee and buttoned up, her long blonde hair is straight and loose. She's smoking. Without thinking I grab the cigarette out her hand and put it out. 'What are you doing smoking? You're meant to be in recovery' I say. She just stands in the doorway looking at the cigarette on the floor outside. 'Why didn't you tell us you were back home?' I say.
'Smoking its fine and I was going to I was just a bit... distracted' she says like I'm overreacting. 'Distracted by what?' I ask.
'No one... I mean Nothing' she says and I can tell she's lying. 'Just tell me' I say. I wait for a reply but my questions are answered when I hear someone, a guy shout from upstairs. 'Cind! Come on' he says. I recognise that voice. I would recognise it anywhere. I walk through the doorway and practically intrude as I go straight upstairs. 'El wait' Cindy says following me. It takes me a second to choose which room to go in. I go for the one on the left as I think it is Cindy's room. I open the door and see exactly what I expected when I heard the voice. Harry lies in her sheets, I assume naked. 'Ella!... Hey' he says flinching and pulling the covers up to his neck. 'What are you doing here?' He asks.
'Hmm actually Harry what are you doing here?' I demand. I can't believe him, part of me thinks he's only sleeping with her out of guilt. Only last week he was moaning about liking Nikki. It is things like this that make him the player Nikki described him as. 'We are just hanging out' Cindy says rushing into her room. Her feelings towards him must have changed after he visited her in hospital and she made it pretty clear she didn't want him there. 'Just hanging out? I'm sorry is hanging out the new lying in bed together naked?' I say sarcastically. I'm annoyed because it's like he's using her, she really likes him but I know how he feels about Nikki. 'Ok... I suppose it's clear what we are doing' harry says.
'Well you have some explaining to do... But I better go, this is so weird' I say to harry in particular. I need to know what the hell he is thinking. 'Ok..' He says looking a bit awkward. 'Well hope you feel better Cindy' I say. 'Thank you Ella, I'll probably be back at college tomorrow' she says and then looks at harry and smiles 'or the next day'. I feel like now is the perfect time to leave. I walk out and make my way home. It was such a wasted journey. I find it hard to believe they could be together. They're probably just having fun, at least that's what Harry thinks. I just hope he doesn't hurt her again like last time.
I walk back up my road and realise I've been gone for ages. It's taken me over two hours to go there and back. I didn't realise how long it was as I've just been thinking about everything with Jake and now everything that's going on with Cindy and Harry. It's not even that far to Cindy's, I assume it was the bus that took the time. I open the door and before I have chance to shut it my mom shouts. 'Ella there you are'. She opens the door and summons me into the other room. 'Hello to you too Mom' I say.
'Yes anyway your car wasn't working and so...' She says.
'Wait how did you know?' I ask.
'Well Jack from across the road came by and offered to fix it for you as he said he had a spare car part. It's all fixed' she says, her face gleaming. 'What you just let him mess with my car? What if he's...' I begin.
'Oh nonsense Ella, he's a mechanic' she says and I roll my eyes. 'What was that for? You should be grateful that he's done it for you, that's saved us time and money' she says. 'Why did he do it though?' I say.
'To be nice, there's something you could be' she says. 'as if, who does something to be nice?' I say.
'A lot of people actually! Anyway you can go over and say thank you to him' she says.
'What? No way!' I say. I don't want to thank him. I don't know why he keeps doing nice things for me. I don't want to feel like I owe him for anything. 'Yes you can go and say thank you, or I'll... I won't let you have friends to stay over after a night out!' She says.
'Is that the best you can do?' I say laughing slightly. 'Fine, if you don't you're grounded' she says trying to make herself seem like a strict mom. 'What were not american' I say.
'Please just do this little thing. If you don't you'll come across as a brat and do you want that?' She says.
'A brat... Thanks mom' I say. I realise I have no choice.
I walk over to his house. I don't want to do this but I don't want to fall out with mom over something stupid. I knock the door. Someone answers straight away. I had some hope it would be his mom, his dad or his brother but of course not, it's Jack. 'Ella hello' he says enthusiastically. 'What can I do for you?' He says and crosses his arms and leans against the doorway. Something about his posture just annoys me. Everything about him suggests confidence and he seems bold and forward. He's smiling like he knows why I'm there. 'Hhh thank you for fixing my car... It's... It's really kind of you' i say finding it difficult to praise him. 'Well your welcome is there anything else you want?' He says.
'Thats all' I say and he lets out a puff of air like he was about to laugh. 'You wanna come in?' He says.
'Im fine' I say.
'Ok see you Friday' he says assuming I'm going. 'We'll see' I say not very enthusiastically. When I get back which is only two minutes since I left my mom, she's sat waiting. 'See that wasn't so bad' she says. 'I guess. But I don't want to go on Friday' I say and smile and walk upstairs. 'Ella you will come!' She says up the stairs.
'Im not going to argue with you mom, but I'm not going' I say and go to my room.