We walk across the street up to the door. I let my mom knock while I lean against the side wall. Part of me hopes they are not in. I also doubt that they have time to socialise when they are unpacking boxes. It takes a while for someone to answer, but when they finally do a woman about my Mom's age answers. 'Hello' she says.
'Hi, we're your neighbours from across the street, we just thought we would come and introduce ourselves' my mom says. I find this awkward we don't even know them. 'Come on in' she says. I didn't think she would ask us in, I thought we would only be here for ten minutes, like my mom said, but it looks like we will be here longer. We walk through and she leads us to the main room. 'Boys, come downstairs' she shouts up the stairs. I sit on a sofa by the window. 'Im Jenna, and this is my daughter Ella' my mom says introducing us. 'Im Jane, it's lovely to meet you both, we don't really know anyone around here' she says. I would hate to move, especially if you didn't know anyone, i'd feel like an outsider. 'Can I get you a drink? we have managed to unpack the kettle and the mugs' she says.
'Ill have a coffee if you don't mind' I say, I don't particularly want to stay but I realise I have no choice, I can't just leave.
'Sure' she says. She goes into the kitchen.
'Mom you said we would only be ten minutes' I say.
'Ella, don't be rude' she says, but I'm not I just have better things to do. 'Whatever Mom!' I say.
'Ella, Dylan is right your so moody! Are things not sorted with Jake then?' She asks. As I thought before, I really don't want to talk about this with her again. 'Yes we're fine now' I say, although she doesn't seem too convinced. I think she realises I don't want to talk about it as she just says 'good'.
Jane comes back in. 'The kettles just boiling. Where are those two?' She says going back through to the hall and shouting up the stairs. 'Tom! Jack!' She shouts. I don't know who she is referring to maybe her sons or a husband. 'Tom there you are, this is Ella and Jenna they are our new neighbours, Jenna, Ella this is my youngest Tom' she says. We say hello and Tom sits on the floor by the other sofa. 'Where is Jack?' Jane asks Tom. 'In his room, he did hear you shout' he says laughing. She leaves the room again and I expect she will shout up the stairs again. 'So how old are you?' I ask making conversation.
'Im ten but I'm eleven soon' he says, he seems like a nice kid. 'What about you?' He says and I laugh, he seems quite mature for his age. 'Im seventeen' I say.
'Oh so your the same age as my brother' he says. 'Oh right' I say, but really that's not a good thing because I know my mom will try to get me to be friends with him or something as he is new to town. Jane walks back in followed by, who I guess Tom was talking about. 'This is Jack, Jack these are our new neighbours Jenna and Ella' she says pointing to each of us. He seems laid back and relaxed. He has sandy brown hair and bright blue eyes. He is wearing skinny jeans and a belt holding them far bellow where they should be. He also has a white and black, rock themed t-shirt on. 'Ella?' My mom says, I realise I didn't listen to anything that was going on as I was looking at him. If Jake can flirt with other girls I can look at boys, but I can't, as I know I wouldn't like it if it was the other way round. 'What?' I say to my mom. 'Say hello' she says, making me sound stupid and rude. 'Oh sorry, hi I'm Ella' I say, embarrassed. 'Hey' he says laughing at me being an idiot as usual. 'Jack will you help me with the drinks?' His Mom says. He decides not to listen, he keeps looking at me, I look away as it gets awkward. Jane looks at him as though she is waiting for an answer. He smiles and then says 'sure'.
While they are out the room my mom talks to Tom and I think about Jack. I try to stop thinking about him, I'm with Jake I shouldn't really think about him. It now gets confusing, Jake, Jack, Jack, Jake. I keep repeating it over and over until they come back in. 'Here you go' he says and hands me a mug of coffee. 'Thanks' I say. He smiles and sits beside me on the sofa. My Mom talks to Jane so I'm stuck with Jack as his brother is watching the tv. It's awkward I don't know him, I don't know what to say. He doesn't seem like it's awkward as he is slouched on the cushions on his phone. Seeing him on his phone makes me wish I had brought mine, I doubt he has but, I hope Jake has texted me. I try and break into conversation by saying 'so your brother said your seventeen too, are you going to start at college?' I ask.
'Yeah sure I guess, my Mom has sorted it, I'll probably just carry on with what I was doing before. Do you go there?' He asks.
'Yeah I do' I say. He smiles again and says
'Good'. I don't know why he says good does that mean he's glad we will be at the same college. My mom and Jane suddenly join in on our conversation 'so your at the same college, Ella drives if you ever want a lift' my Mom says. I glare at her, as though I'm saying ''why did you say that'' but she doesn't take any notice. He laughs and says 'thanks'. I couldn't drive to college with him, how much of a hypocrite would I look in front of Jake if I turn up to school with another guy. It's a different world at college, if you turn up, just you and a guy it gives the wrong impression, people will think your together. I stop thinking about it as I know I'm overthinking it, I may not even speak to him again let alone be his friend. I quickly finish my drink and put the empty mug down on the small table beside me. I hope my mom gets the message that I want to leave. She finally says, 'well, we best be off, but it has been lovely meeting you'.
'Yes you too, we will have to go out one time' Jane says.
'Yes sounds brilliant' my mom says. I can guarantee I will not be up for that. Jack keeps looking at me, smiling again. Part of me wants to turn around and tell him to stop looking at me, but that would be awkward if he wasn't, but he must be, he's not going to be smiling at the wall. Unless he's weird, and I don't think he is. 'See you round' he says.
'Oh yeah bye' I say, hinting that I don't want to see him again, it's not that I don't like him as such, it's just he's acting a bit, full on. But Jake wouldn't mind if I had a guy who was a friend, as I have Harry and Jerome, but then again he knows them both, and trusts them. 'Bye Tom' I say, and he says bye back. I say bye to Jane and walk out the door after my Mom. We walk back home, and after five minutes Dylan is back. I try to avoid him, as i am still annoyed with him and I just don't like his company in general to be honest. 'Hey sis' he says in a cheerful voice like he's got something to say to me that will most likely annoy me. 'What?' I say.
'Well... Don't shoot the messenger...' He says. 'Well what?' I ask and find myself demanding an answer. 'Erm... I was just on Facebook, and it popped up that Jake was tagged in a photo, which the person had changed to their profile picture with a caption to it...' He says and my mouth falls open. 'Who? Who Dylan?' I shout.
'...well' he says stalling his answer, but part of me thinks I know what he's going to say. 'Let me just check' he says.
'Dylan was it Naomi?, it was wasn't it? Oh God...' I say feeling sick.
'Yeah' he says, but he's not actually smiling or laughing for once. He seems understanding. Its not Jake who changed the picture, but she's always interfering which is what annoys me. 'El, it's nothing really' Dylan says.
'But... It is though isn't it?' I say, the words just falling out of my mouth. I can't stand sitting here, I feel embarrassed and humiliated and annoyed that my brother saw before me. I get up and go upstairs. Once in my room, I grab my phone, and as he said he would, he has texted me, I choose to look at the picture first. I get angry when I'm waiting for it to load, I need to see it, and the caption. When it finally appears, it's her and him, and it's dark in the background, this was obviously taken at night, which wouldn't have been at school. I come to the conclusion they went out together, but then I wonder whether they were alone? Or with the group?, would they all go out and not ask me? Usually not so I think they must have been alone or been with other people. I read the caption ''great time the other night''. She makes me want to be sick, I really, really, really cannot stand her. I almost delete her as a friend, but then I realise that if I do I won't be able to see if he comes up in any of her other photos. I fall onto my bed, and think it over, and over. It's only when I remember I had a text from Jake that I sit up. I don't understand why, but I'm nervous to read it. When I finally click on the unopened Icon it says ''hey, I'm glad we're okay xxx''. I wonder if he knows about the picture, if I was him I would know it would annoy me and so I would tell her to take it down or at least not use it as her profile picture. I decide not to do anything and just forget about it, it's not Jake's fault. I text him back saying, ''I am too xx'' followed by ''are you In college tomorrow?''. It's about five minutes before he replies saying ''yeah are you? Xxx''.
''Yes, I'll see you tomorrow xxx'', I send back.
The next morning I manage to get up and have breakfast without seeing Dylan. I know he would only try to annoy me again. I've decided to drive myself to school I would offer to drive Zoe but as she came with me yesterday I'm sure Jerome will take her today. I drive down past the park and go straight down the road past the river and come to the second street before the entrance to college. I pull up when I see Cindy sitting on a bench on the grass leading up to the pavement. 'Cind!' I say.
She looks up and notices me but doesn't attempt to say anything. I leave the car running and climb over the seat and get out on the passenger side. She looks back down in her lap. 'Hey?' I say, again she looks up but doesn't say anything. She looks very pale almost pure white. Her head seems floppy as she keeps returning her head to looking back down at her lap. 'Cindy look at me' I say.
'Ella, hi' she says in a dozy voice.
'Whats wrong what've you done?' I say looking back at my car checking there is no one around as the engine is still running. 'Nothing unusual' she says as though she isn't really bothered that she's clearly unwell. Her eyes start to flutter as though she's dosing off but I realise she's about to faint. 'Cindy look at me' her head falls again. 'oh god, right can you walk to my car?' I ask.
'Mmm' she says which I take as a maybe.
I pull her up and walk her to the car although I find myself struggling to help her as her legs turn to jelly. I finally get her in the passenger seat and shut the door, her head flops to the side and leans against the inside of the door. I get in and try to keep her upright. 'Cindy what have you done now?' I ask trying to keep her awake. 'I....I just, h-had some... Er, v-vodka and some, other... Stuff' she says.
'Oh god cindy how much other stuff?' I ask.
'Well... Some more s-spirits... And the usual, pills'. she manages to say although her voice keeps trailing off. 'Ok I'm going to have to take you to hospital you've not been eating again have you?' I ask.
'Well... El I think it could be... Because I haven't eaten' she says without finishing her sentences. 'Cindy, when did you last eat?' I ask, driving off as whatever her answer is I know she needs to go to hospital. 'Well... Monday so... two days ago, no! Sunday, I don't know' she says.
'Why have you done this?' I ask.
'Hmm... Boredom' she manages to say before she passes out. I start to panic and breath fast, I think of ringing someone but then I realise it will just waste time. 'Cindy wake up!' She still remains asleep.
'Please wake up!' I shout, but she's not listening. I go around the corner fast. I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't have found her. As the car is going down a straight road I grab her bag to see if there's anything to help, but all I find is an empty bottle of vodka and some prescription pills. I check the road before reading the label. ''Take one a day, for depression''. They obviously aren't helping as she takes them everyday along with alcohol which I'm sure has something to do with her current condition. I shake her arm, 'Cindy?' I say again, but nothing. Its not unusual for Cindy to end up in hospital, she usually does, from drinking too much or starving herself, she often decides not to eat as she thinks she has better things to do. I realise that I have never seen her in this condition which is probably why i am panicking. I think all this just to try and calm myself down. After five minutes I have arrived at the hospital.