“Goodnight, Barbie.” He takes a step backwards. “I’ll call you,” a satisfied smirk grows on his lips, as he turns to his car. I stand still in my driveway and watch the red Cadillac disappear down Rose Hill Road.
But he never did, and when monday morning arrives, I realise that he never planned on calling. It must be one of those things superior guys tell inferior girls to keep them pacing around in their room all weekend. Even though my heart drops to my stomach in disappointment, I feel slightly satisfied with the fact that he did not manage to have me lying in bed all day - matter of fact, my weekend has been busy, but it did not stop the thought of his call from constantly being on my mind.
The sun is shining through my window, letting a ray of light run directly across my face - blinding me. I moan in despair and roll around on my side, turning my back to the sun. The gesture seems weirdly impolite, so I force myself up in a sitting position, throwing a glance towards my window. The sun never did me anything, but waking me up like this makes me want to turn it off - the feeling of irritation only lasts for about a second, before I keep my gaze wandering and end up on the small old-fashion clock on my night stand.
10:24 it reads.
“Shit!” I mutter and react quickly, grabbing the edge of my duvet and throwing it off me. “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” I keep the words rolling of my tongue as I stumble across the room and rip open the door. The house lies in silence, and as I hurry down the hall towards the bathroom, I can only think of how I managed to not wake up on the first real week of school. Perhaps my parents forgot to wake me, or maybe I just fell back asleep. Did I not set my clock last night? My mind is spinning as I slip in through the open bathroom door, and is welcomed by the heated floor (turning off the heat in summer is not something the Stewart family bothers to do). The round white mat in front of the shower is damp, but whoever showered must have left a while ago.
I slide my panties down my legs and kick them to the side.
After a rushed shower (five minutes - and I managed to shave legs), I am standing in front of our wide square mirror, pulling a towel out of my hair and letting it fall messily to the floor - my hair unfolding just as uncontrollably from my head. Drops of water are running down my back, but they will dry away soon, so instead I decide to focus on my face. I am going to school and I am late, so I should not care about how I look, but a certain person - who did not call - makes me the thought of showing up late and looking worn out seems rather unpleasant and maybe even slightly embarrassing.
I let the tip of my forefingers run under my eyes. The sun has left a nice glow on my skin and I have not worn any make-up (except from at parties) since spring, but when I stand there and examine my face, I have a sudden, and slightly uncomfortable, desire to dramatically alter my appearance. Maybe I should get a bob cut or bleach my hair, maybe I should do both. I could get a piercing too.
I grab my eyelash curler and raise it to my face. I watch with wide open eyes as the silicone pillow on the metal shaft forces my lashes to bend up in a more noticeable way. It hold it for about twenty seconds, feeling my eye yearning to blink. Then I repeat the action on my left lashes.
I take a step back and tilt my head a bit to the side, admiring my - hardly visible - look. Then I let out a heavy sigh and tighten the towel around my body a little, before heading back to my room.
About forty minutes later, I find myself hurrying into the locker rooms of East Haven High. With our new schedules, my first gym class started fifteen minutes ago - which means that I can just get there in time to not be noted as absent. I am glad that I - for once - decided to change at home. It takes me a minute to find an empty locker, force my stuff into it, lock it and make a run for it. As I run down the halls in a steady and good pace, I am thinking of a hundred excuses that would work on my gym teacher.
I could say that I had my period, but I was getting it next week and then I would maybe use it again there - or I could say that I have bladder infection and I was in desperate need of peeing, but bladder infection usually occurs after intercourse and I do not want my gym teacher to get a picture of me and some East Haven boy in her head. Then again, I could also just be honest…
By the time I make it to the outdoor field, I notice that there are mainly boys gathered there. I slow down as my teacher notices me, and waves her hand in the air, signalling for me to hurry up - and I do.
“What happened to running?” She asks, placing both hands on my hips.
“Eh, I… What?” I stutter.
“Weren’t you going running with miss Reed and mister Lee?”
“Oh,” I breathe. We are divided into groups of interest today. “I… I changed my mind.” Like this I will not get in trouble for being late.
“Very well,” Mrs. William says, turning her eyes to the boys. “Mr. Styles, can you grab a ball from the net?”
It is first now that I notice Harry’s curly haired head amongst the rest of boys. I did not expect to see him on a soccer field, and once I do, I have to admit that he does not quite fit amongst the rest of the jocks. He nods slightly and takes a step backwards, then, right before turning around and reaching for the net containing all the soccer balls, he locks his eyes with mine. I shoot my eyes to the green and well maintained field, feeling a slight redness spread over my cheeks. I do not dare to look up at meet his smirk.
I want to feel angry because he did not call, but deep down, I know that I do not have the right to be upset about it. He never really promised anything. He might have flirted with me, but that does not necessarily mean anything, does it? I guess I wanted it to.
“Okay!” Marcus Cooper, the foul-mouthed guy from my English class, speaks up. His voice is clear, and it takes me a second to realise that I have been stuck in my own head for a minute or two. When I look up again, the positions have changed a little. Marcus Cooper is standing with the ball in his hands, holding it still in front of his chest.
“I choose first, and then-“ he looks to a blonde haired boy that I remember talking to briefly on the first days in freshmen year. He is usually not in my gym class - half of these people are not. “You choose. Okay?”
Everyone nods while Marcus takes a couple of steps away from the guys.
The best players are quickly chosen, and to my surprise, Harry is not late to be called out. I look to him, expecting a proud smile, but he just nods. I swallow a little and look to Marcus, his eyes are on anyone but me - but for the first time, being the last one does not seem to be all that bad. I am after all the only girl and probably the only one who has never been good with balls.
When Harry makes his way to the blonde guy’s team, he slows down a little as he passes me.
“Showing up late, huh?” He teases with a deep voice and the hint of a laugh playing across his lips. I open my mouth to speak, but before I get to say something, he slips in behind the players on his team and I stand there with burning veins and an unfixable redness on my cheeks.
“Stewart!” Marcus Cooper then calls out and my jaw drops in surprise. Harry grins as I join the opposite team. I turn the ring on my left hand a little, trying to calm the racing of my heart. I feel nervous, and not the good, excited, kind of nervous.
“Let the game begin!” The blonde guy calls when the last person is chosen, and all the guys cheer, except from Harry, who - with a titled head - is watching me, while I doing my best to ignore his piercing gaze. I can not let him get the satisfaction of seeing me blush.