"You know she will never be interested in you, right?" I looked away from her beauty momentarily to acknowledge Ben, giving him an annoyed glare, before returning my attention to her.
"She will, just wait." I spoke softly, watching as she was thrown into the air, her cheerleading skirt revealing her perfectly toned legs.
"You've been saying that for four years now, why don't you just go and talk to her?"
"Ben," I rolled my eyes and turned to look at him, "a girl like Emma, you wait years and years for. It doesn't just happen, it has to be perfectly timed and executed properly." I looked back at her as she landed into the safety of 2 sets of strong male arms, and smiled. She hopped up, her friends all clapping as she stepped away with an extra bounce in her step. The sun was reflecting off of her golden hair, which was pulled into a tight pony tail, but was still hanging far down her back. Her cropped cheer top revealed her toned stomach and strong, but feminine, arms. Every single inch of her was perfect. Even her blue eyes, which were scanning the bleachers looking for her jock (more like jerk) boyfriend. A sad expression momentarily flashed across her face as she realized he wasn't there, and she turned and faked a smile to all of her friends.
"Whatever you say." Ben stepped over the bleachers and began his descent to the field.
"Where are you going?" I quickly stood to follow, and he turned around.
"To find something a little more entertaining than watching a bunch of cheerleaders do the same thing over and over again." He turned away again, quickly walking along the edge of the field towards the cafeteria. I grabbed my backpack and ran after him.
"Pizza." I smiled, walking with him in to the cafeteria. He was really a good friend, I mean the amount of times that he had come with me to Emma watch were countless.
The cafeteria felt cool in contrast to the boiling sun outside, and it was filled with extra curricular crowds. The chess club was in one corner, plates of fries pushed aside to clear room for their heavy boards. In an other was Emma's boyfriend with his football player friends. They all munched aggressively on chicken wings and rated girls for hours after practice. It was practically empty besides those two tables and the occasional group of friends that had stuck around after school, so me and Ben got our pizzas and walked to one of the empty tables by the glass wall that overlooked the field.
"Kyle, you're staring again." Ben snapped at me, noticing that I was staring off into the field at Emma again. I looked down at my pizza, taking a huge bite and avoiding looking at the field.
"Shit." Ben swore, looking at his phone three pizza slices later, "my dad is here. Do you need a lift?" He glanced up as I swallowed a bite of pizza.
"Nah, I have my bike. Cosmo's at eight though?" He nodded, standing up. We quickly did our handshake, and he made his way out of the cafeteria.
I finished my last slice, looking up to see that the room was empty all but the bored looking cook, and a table of freshman I didn't recognize. I stood, my chair sounding loud in the quiet room, and tossed my tray on to the garbage can by the door. The air had begun to cool, and a calmness had overcome the school ground. One of the benefits of attending Bishops High, was the privacy. It was a ten minute drive from town, and had a huge campus. The uniforms weren't my favourite, but everything else about the school was great. From the amazing cafeteria food, to the huge olympic sized pool. Junior year and I still wasn't sick of coming everyday.
As I approached the bike rack, I reached in to my bag to pull out my school sweater, but I couldn't find it. I quickly turned around, jogging back to the bleachers where I remembered I had used it as a cushion on the uncomfortable seats, and climbed over the silver benches until I reached my sweater on the top row. As I was stepping back on to the soft grass, I heard a quiet whimper from below the bleachers. I turned, and it quickly became muffled as I peaked under the seats. After finding nothing, I assumed I was hearing things and turned to walk away, but then it sounded again. I looked back, not seeing anyone, and decided to go around to look under the bleachers.
"Hello?" I carefully avoided muddy spots in my crisp white shoes as I climbed behind the bleachers. Without a response, a pair of blue eyes looked up at me from the shadow of the setting sun. Black mascara covered her rosy cheeks, and her nose was swollen with emotion. One hand covered her mouth as she stared at me like a deer caught in a set of headlights. Unsure of what to do, I stared at her. Somehow she still looked beautiful, even at her lowest. She stared back, releasing a small whimper as she gripped at her stomach.
"Do you need any help?" I decided to crouch down, reaching my hand out for hers if she needed it. She stared down at my hand, carefully placing her free hand in to mine, keeping her other hand over her mouth. Her fingers looked small in my giant hand, and they felt cool in mine. We stood together as I gently grabbed her elbow to help her up. Her legs seemed wobbly as she stood in front of me, her eyes never wavering from mine.
"Did you hurt your mouth?" I pointed to the hand that covered her delicate lips, and she shook her head.
"Do you need a ride home?" She looked at me a moment, her big eyes blinking in disbelief, before she nodded her head. I turned towards the bike rack, expecting her to follow, but she held up one hand, telling me to wait. I paused, staring off in to the darkening field, as she ran off in to the cheer shed. She came back a moment later, her face clean of mascara, and her hand moved away from her mouth. She smiled at me, and I smiled back, guiding her over to the bike rack.
"It's not exactly a convertible, but me and Ben do this all the time," Emma hesitated before climbing on to the front of the bike, gently placing her butt onto the handle bars as I climbed on behind her and slowly began to pedal towards our neighbourhood, Columbus Hills.
It took a few extra minutes for me to pedal there with the extra weight on the front of the bike, but all the same I came to a slow stop in front of her mansion 25 minutes later. I watched as she quickly hopped off, turning to look at me as she pulled her hair back in to a tight pony tail.
"Thanks," she gave me a quick smile, "what's your name?" We had been neighbours our entire lives, and she had been the centre of mine for four years, but she didn't even know my name. I was a little surprised, but answered anyways.
"Kyle Bennett, I live down the road."
"So that's how you know where I live," she smirked, "Emma Waters." She held out her hand, and I quickly shook it. Without a word, she turned and walked up her long stone driveway to her beautiful colonial style mansion. Once she got to the big blue door that stood out against the white siding of the house, she turned back and gave me a curt wave. I waved back before continuing three houses down the street, and turning left in to my driveway. My house was almost identical to hers, a huge flat front with white panelling and black shutters lining every window. Two white pillars stood outside of the door, going past the second story and connecting with a small overhand in the roof. Our door was a brilliant red, unlike her navy blue door, but otherwise our houses were identical.
"Hey Kyle, how was school today?" I walked in to the living room where my elegant mother sat in a chair quietly doing needle work. She barely glanced up at me as she pulled the thread through, nodding her head even though I hadn't spoken. "That's great honey." I rolled my eyes and walked past her in to the kitchen in the far left corner of our huge house.
"Hey Charlie." I patted our husky pup on the head as he bounced up beside me. My parents had gotten me him for my birthday a month before, and he was still barely a puppy. Whenever you spoke to him he would cock his head to the side, staring at you with his big blue eyes. I had come to love him, and was thankful for such a warm welcoming in the cold house. "You hungry buddy?" He panted as he watched me reach in to the cupboard and pull out his bag of food. I quickly filled his water dish, then his food bowl as he obediently waited by the counter. "Go!" I swear he would smile at me whenever I gave him the consent to eat, but he would dart over and quickly gobble down his food. I did the same, reaching in to the fridge to grab the pre-made sandwiches that were always there, and quickly inhaled one. I then went back to the living room to watch some tv, before having a quick nap and going upstairs to change.
I always liked to think that my room was rather masculine for a 16 year old boy. It had blue-grey walls covered in an assortment of vintage Star Wars posters. I had a huge flatscreen TV set in to the wall above an electric fireplace, with a giant faux tiger fur carpet in front of it. A tiny floor table sat between my huge king sized bed, plain brown couch, and the fireplace. My bed was simple, it was huge with a brown duvet and pillows. For appearance, my mother had added a thousand other small pillow with brown accents that crowded the bed, and our poor cleaning lady had to organize each time she came in my room. On either side of my bed I had old huge fruit crates which I had turned upside down to use as beside tables. A blue lava lamp rested on one side, and a limited edition Darth Vader alarm clock was on the other, projecting the time on to the ceiling in red digital numbers. The rest of my room was empty, it was too big for me to happily fill with things, so I just used up the middle space, and had set up Charlie's bed in one corner, and fit a triangular iguana tank in to the other. Since my room overlooked the backyard, I had a small balcony which was mostly used for me and Ben to get high on. A walk in closet and en suite were also attached to my room, the doors side by side next to my iguana tank.
"Hey Yoda." I released a few crickets in to the cage, and walked through my closet door to grab some non-uniform clothes. I settled with a pair of slightly ripped black skinny jeans, and a tight red t-shirt with a Vader symbol over the breast. I quickly ran a comb through my styled black hair before sliding in to my black Converse, grabbing my worn out leather jacket, and running out the door at exactly 7:45.
Cosmos was the only good thing to do in our town of Kingsbury. It was a retro diner that had pretty much become the hangout spot for all the high school kids in the area. There were two schools, Bishops and District High. Most of the time the students from either school didn't get along, mostly due to different family wealth, but at Cosmos everyone typically stayed civil.
I came to a quick stop, locking my bike in to the rack out front before walking through the silver glass doors and in to the warm diner. I quickly scanned the crowded booths, before spotting Ben alone in one next to the juke box in the far corner.
Just as I sat down across from him, a tall skinny girl named Liza threw herself in to the booth beside Ben. We had known her for most of our lives, and she had been in love with Ben since they first met.
"Guess what?" She bent over Ben, her long red hair falling in to his lap as her blue eyes scanned his face. She pushed her heavy black-rimmed glasses on to her face as she waited for a response.
"What?" Ben asked politely.
"There was a murder at Bishops today." She moved away from Ben, casually folding her hands on the table as a waiter came to take our orders. Ben and I stared at each other, shocked.
Liza ordered three sets of burgers and fries, and we each ordered a milkshake. Once the waiter was gone, she quickly bent over Ben again and began explaining.
"Coach Gordon found the body, it was in the cheer shed beside the football field, but Samson says that the body had been dragged there. Apparently police found a trail of blood leading from under the bleachers to where it was hidden inside the shed." My jaw dropped as she spoke, my face draining of blood and I stared at her, unable to move. Liza stared at me, her eyes wide and curious. "You look like you just saw a ghost," she quickly laughed an odd high pitched laugh before continuing, "guess who it was?" She glanced between us.
"Who?" Ben asked, breaking eye contact with me and staring at Liza.
"Jake Mathers. The football team probably won't win a single game without their star quarterback this year." She made a gruff sound, looking down at the food that had just been placed in front of us. "But," she said through a mouthful of fries, "at least no one else was hurt. There weren't any witnesses and the security cameras haven't worked in years, so the police have no leads so far, but it's only been two hours since they discovered the body."
I stared down at my plate, blocking out whatever else she was saying and thinking back to earlier. I had been there an hour before they discovered the body, and Emma too. Was she upset because she had seen the body? Maybe that's why she was crying, but she was too scared to tell me. All these scenarios were running through my head until Ben broke me out of my stupor.
"Kyle!" he shouted, and I looked up. Relieved to see that Liza's plate and place were empty.
"Sorry, I'm just shocked."
"Me too bro, me too. Did you see anything though?" I hesitated, thinking if I should tell him about Emma, but instead shook my head. "Yeah I guess you did leave shortly after me, and I didn't see anything either. Wow man, this is so surprising." Ben shook his head, taking a big bite out of his budget. "On the bright side, now Emma is single! She might go for a rebound like you after this tragic incident."
A flicker of hope ran through me but quickly faded with a wave of guilt. I never liked Jake, but that didn't mean he should die in such a horrible way.
For the rest of the night I slowly nibbled at my burger, barely touching my fries, before Ben and I parted ways and I headed back home. I slowed my bike down when I passed Emma's house, noticing a light on in the upper right window despite the late hour. I came to a stop, wondering if it was Emma and if there was anything I could say to comfort her. I decided against it, afraid to wake the rest of her house and continued down the street.
"You have a guest Kyle, I told her to wait in your room." My mother spoke to me in her typical monotone voice as I walked in to the house, and my stomach did a backflip. A girl was at my house to see me? Hope quickly built up in me that it would be Emma, but then again how or why would it be?
I slowly opened my door, finding my room dark and silent, except for the muffled sound of heavy breathing. I quickly turned on the lights, extremely surprised to see Emma and her golden hair fast asleep on the couch at the end of my bed. I slowly crossed the room, gently tapping her on the shoulder to wake her up.
Suddenly she leapt from her spot, pinning me to the wall beside the TV in a matter of seconds with a strength that I didn't know was humanly possible. She stared intensely in to my eyes, her blue ones having turned a dark grey.
"I'm so sorry!" as fast as it had happened, Emma stepped away from me, covering her eyes with her hands and pacing in circles.
"Emma?" I hesitantly took a step towards her, and her head shot up, looking at me. Her eyes were back to their beautiful crystal blue, but her brows were furrowed with a look of exhausted worry.
"I shouldn't have come here, you don't even know me..." she threw her hands over her eyes again, quietly sobbing into them.
"It's fine, I can help you." A flicker of hope ignited in me as I stared at her, praying that she would say yes. She slowly lifted her head, looking at me through her watery eyes. I waited for her to say something, but instead she disappeared out my balcony door at an exceptionally fast speed. I raced out the door behind her, but when I stepped out into the cool air, she was nowhere to be seen.