I couldn’t even enjoy the film that I had been anticipating to watch all because of the fact that my mind refused to focus. I nudged Nick and told him I would be bI needed to go to the bathroom. I made my way out of the theatre, utilising the theatres darkness to avoid being recognised by Malachi.
I stared at myself in the mirror, what had I become? Why had I become so engrossed in a boy. One who I barley knew anymore to say the least. I splashed some water onto my face and wiped it off. I knew I was better than this. As i opened the bathroom door, I was surprised to see Malachi outside leaning on the wall that was situated opposite the bathroom door. I bowed my head down to evade him from talking to me. As I walked past him but grabbed my wrist ,restricting me from walking any further.
“I need to talk to you,it’s important”
I yanked my wrist form his grip and crossed my arms “ Are you going to make me feel like shit once more?”
He arched an eyebrow at my statement “No, just hear me out” he pleaded
I gave him a nod of approval before he began to talk “ I don’t know why we always seem to fight whenever we are together. I know I’m hard to manage at times and I am sorry. I am aware that I can’t continue to play soccer nor graduate if I don’t put in the effort. I just want to put whatever has happened behind us and maybe start again” he said the last part a little more quiet.
By his body language I could tell he wasn’t used to doing this type of thing and I was proud that he owned up to his mistakes.
“That’s relieving because I was getting tired” I teased “ So we’ll start again and try to get along this time?” I continued.
He smirked and held out his hand “ I’m Malachi Werner, nice to meet you”
I accepted his offer and folded my hand into his larger one. The skin to skin contact felt quiet pleasant. “I am Tateum Farley,nice to meet you too” I smiled. As soon as I disclosed my actual name, he made this weird face and I swear his left eye twitched, he wasn’t going to have a seizure on me right?.
The look on his face quickly vanished when he saw the goosebumps on my arms “Are you cold?” he asked whilst taking off his hoodie. He didn’t give me a chance to reply as he had already handed the piece of clothing to me. I muttered a quite ‘thanks’ and put it on. Awkward tension lingered through the air as we both stood there awkwardly not know what to say or do.
“We should probably go back, I can’t miss Iron man kicking Captain’’s butt” Mal suggested
I faked a shocked gasp “ no way, it’s so obvious that Team Cap is going to win”
We debated on which team would win as we walked back into the theatre, we decided to make a bet, whoever was wrong had to do whatever the winner said on two different occasions, spontaneously. Mal and I parted ways as we made our way to our seats. Although He was snuggled against Heidi, I didn’t mind because I felt like I was too as I cuddled into his hoodie.
After the movie finished, I tried to find Malachi so I I could return his hoodie but he and Heidi had disappeared. I couldn’t wait to rub it in his face that I had won the bet.
That night, I was in bliss. I was over the moon that Mal and i had called a truce, I was happy that things were going to be a lot smoother now. Maybe he wasn’t such a bad guy like I had pinned him out to be.
As my eyes fixated on my ceiling fan,my mind fluttered back to the eight grade.
“Where were you yesterday?” Nick asked assimilating to my fast pace
“Wasn’t feeling too well” I said grabbing a notepad and pen form my locker “Have you seen my lab partner?, we have our test today and I missed the notes form yesterday” I continued.
“I don’t think that’s a g-“ I cut him off when I spotted Malachi surround by group of his friends near the water fountain.
Nick’s voice began to make my headache to worsen. It irritated me so I zoned it out and walked over towards the group of prepubescent boys. I called out Mal’s name but I guess he couldn't hear me so I walked closer.
The closer I got the more I realised the weird looks I was getting from people. One of the guys in malachi’s clique noticed me approaching and nudged him in the rib. Mal looked back at me and made this weird face were he furrowed his eyebrows and his eyes were wide, the look of disgust was evident on his face. I stopped amidst my tracks when the group of boys started walking away from me.
I felt a hand grab my shoulder, I turned to find Nick with a remorseful facial expression.
“What was that all about?” I asked looking down at the floor in embarrassment.
Nick sighed before he began to speak “Yesterday when you were away, our beloved ‘friend’ Kimberly’s ego got a little to high when she received attention from one of the boys in Malachi’s group. She needed something to talk about so she talked about..you”
I could feel the life drain from my face. I felt weak and dizzy. the sound of my rapid heartbeat was all that was audible to me.
“what did she say” I asked
“She made up a lot of stuff saying that you created a shrine of him which you would worship on a daily basis something about you sniffing his hair when he wasn’t looking and that your all your pass words are associated with his name” he finished off.
I could feel my heartbreak, from the betrayal from my former friend and the rejection from the guy I honestly thought was different .
“even nerds can be jerks” Nick whispered as he escorted me to my next class.
“So what days do you tutor him?” ask Gertie as she set her bag down and sat on the library couch.
“Well, Monday which is today,Wednesday and Saturdays” I replied taking out a pen and a piece of paper from my notebook and jotting down core things that Malachi and I were going to study. I warned her to leave before he got here because although we promised to start anew we were both stubborn people so if there was a slight disagreement it was like fire and water clashing against each other.
“I don’t know how you put ups with him” Gertie mumbled whilst aimlessly skimming through her phone.
“Have some faith in him”
“speaking of the devil” She said looking up, Mal walked towards where we were situated. The fact that he was early made a smile etch across my face. I waved at him and he reciprocated my gesture. I couldn’t ignore how he had this fixated look on Gertie.
He came over and sat in between us “Hey” he breathed facing Gertie. He looked at me and moved his eyes as if saying ‘are you going to introduce us’ . I got the memo and cleared my throat.
“Malachi this is Gertrude one of my best friends, Gertie this is Malachi” I said.
They shook hands and Mal lightly clutched her hand a little longer. “Hey are you free this weekend?” He asked her.
That question caught me off guard. Why didn’t he ask if I was free?. I wasn’t alarmed as Gertie was with Fernando and she wouldn’t accept any advances from him.
She didn’t reply but furrowed her eyebrows in confusion. Malachi continued his sentence “ My mates brother is throwing a house party on Saturday, and any friend of Tatum here, is a friend of mine”
“I’m always down for a party” she smiled “ text me the details” she handed him her phone and I watched as he typed his digits into his phone.
“Tate, are you coming?” she asked
“Yes she is” Malachi interrupted handing Gertie her phone back.
“Well, I have to go and meet Nick. See you guys around” she said picking up her backpack. She blew me a kiss before she exited the Library.
“Woah what was that about” I asked crossing my arms “Why wasn’t I initially invited huh?”
“I didn’t think it was your scene” he simply shrugged placing his books on a near by coffee table.
“What’s that supposed to mean”
“Don’t take this the wrong way but you seem like the type of person to stay home every night and just do educational things like stupid homework and reading. Do you even know how to have fun?”
I placed a hand on my heart and faked hurt. He wasn't completely wrong “ Hey I know how to have fun. My friends call me ‘Tate funmaster 300’ ” I realised how stupid my statement had come out.
“No they don’t”
“No they don't” I repeated trying to forget my stupid remark “Let’s get a move on” I said flipping to page 341 of the history book.
Malachi paused and turned to face me “ I have one question”
“shoot” I said staring up at him
“Does Gertie have a boyfriend?”