The Boy Next Door (First Draft)

She was just a girl who wanted something interesting to happen in her life. Then, a guy moves into the house next door to her. And the word 'interesting' takes on a whole different meaning.

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5. Chapter Five

      It was madness. Everything was madness. People everyone being completely and utterly idiotic. Throwing footballs, making a mess with their food and plenty of people swearing. I usually would be in my peaceful car, listening to music and arriving at the school in less than ten minutes. But no, it now would take me double that time. We currently only have one car, since Mum lent our other one to Miss Greyson, the smaller one, which I usually use.

      That is why I was currently on the bus, with a load of the lower school kids and a chilled looking Logan next to me. Kasey would usually have caught the bus as well, but she was able to catch a lift this particular day.

      Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved Logan and he was a really good friend, but he was never the most observant. He would automatically presume I was comfortable and basically ignore me, unless I told him otherwise. I think he was too busy staring at Missy and her group. Every now and then Missy would look at up and give me a smug smile and then turn away.

       Recently, she had been getting increasingly irritating. I was only ever nice to her, I didn’t get her what her problem was.

      I tried to block everyone out, especially as Logan wasn’t doing a very good job of making me feel welcome. I mean, like I said before, he was usually pretty clueless about this sort of thing, so I wasn’t mad at him, by any means. It just wasn’t a nice environment. Being on a bus with a loads of self-obsessed, loud teenagers.

      “Yo, Logan, catch!” A random boy (who looked about fourteen) shouted to my friend next to me. I was guessing it was one of Logan’s friends in the younger years. Kasey and Logan knew a lot more people in the lower school and lower six form, whereas I was comfortable with only knowing Logan and Kasey.

      But, as the boy aimed to hit Logan’s hand and for Logan to catch it, it somehow missed Logan and hit me on the head. I was fuming.

      Even Logan could tell, since he did that awkward laugh and told me ‘everything will be OK, Nas…Aha…Yeah…”

      Then, someone shouted out “She looks like the dwarf Grumpy from Snow White!”

      I was utterly ashamed. Because I didn’t know what to say back. I didn’t have a comeback and I was too embarrassed to make my brain work properly. And the worst part of it all was that it was true. I was fairly short, standing just under five foot four and I always had a very bad resting face. I looked rather like a toddler. Pathetic.

      When would we get to our stop?

      Luckily, Logan shook me after that and told me “Nas, it’s our stop.”

      Thank God, because I didn’t know if I would have had a breakdown right there on the bus! I was usually good at acting cool and unbothered about things, but when someone hit a nerve, they really hit it.

      Once we were off the bus, a concerned looking Logan was stood in front of me, blocking my way. I really didn’t need any more hassle.

      “What is it, Logan? Let me get past, please” I sighed, raising an eyebrow.

      Logan gave me that look he does. The look of sympathy. I hated that look so much. “Are you OK, Nas? What happened on the bus, I- I feel partially responsible and- ”

      I gave him a reassuring smile. “It’s OK, Logan. I don’t think it could have been helped much anyway. You did all you could. Please don’t worry.”

      Logan gave me a crooked smile and we continued to walk to the six form block. I couldn’t see Kasey anywhere, so I presumed she was already in the block.

     Me and Logan talk a slow walk to the six form block, which was expected, since when me and Logan are alone together, we usually take slow walks. I guessed at first it was because we had a lot to talk about and we still did. I just thought it was more out of habit.

      As soon as we reached the six form block, I noticed my friend sitting there, totally absorbed in whatever she was looking at on her laptop. I was just about to say something to Logan, but he was nowhere to be seen. I thought that Kasey had noticed and I think I was right, as she quickly looked down and then looked up and gave me a quick, almost forced smile.

      I gave her a smile back, before walking over to the seat, next to where she was sitting.

      “Hey…” Kasey said, still a faint smile on her face. She looked rather distracted.

      “Yo,” I said, simply. “Logan was right next to me a second ago, but now…God knows where he is.”

      Kasey sighed, running a hand through her hair. “He’s over there” Kasey pointed in the direction of Missy. I couldn’t quite see Logan, because he was right behind her. They were practically touching. When did Logan and Missy get so close?

      Kasey kept glancing over at Logan. It was a little off-putting, since I had a lot to say. I wanted to tell her all about Charlie and how irritating my Mum had been and my little conversation with the next door neighbour. But I knew that would have to wait.

      My friend needed me.

      “Kasey?” I said to her, waving a hand in front of her lost face. “Kasey…Are you alright?”

      “I- I…” Kasey looked like she was fighting back tears. She rubbed her eyes (carefully, as she was wearing thick eyeliner) and stood up. “I have to go, Nas.”

      I didn’t even have time to respond, as she was already gone. But I knew where she was going. Her hiding spot. The tree her and Logan and me used to play on in year eight. Our lucky tree.

      I needed to solve this. I needed to make sure Kasey was alright.

 

///

 

      “Kasey!” I called to the back of her, recognising her fast-paced walk and high ponytail. “Kasey, please. Slow down.”

      But it was no use. If anything she just sped up. “Nas, I don’t want to talk to anyone. Not now…Just- just leave me alone.”

      I sighed, through gritted teeth. “I’m not going anywhere, Kase.”

      That may seem a little rude and like I wasn’t aware of personal space. But I was just worried about my friend. I wanted to make sure she was OK and if that involved stalking her around the whole school – so be it.

      Kasey eventually slowed down, which was a bonus, since I’m not the fittest of people and have never aced Physical Education. It also meant that I could ask her what the hell was going on. Plus, we were now at the tree.

      “I- I’m so stupid,” Kasey cried. “What’s wrong with me, Nas?”

      I frowned. “Kasey, what the hell do you mean?” I sighed. “You’re literally perfect. You dress amazing, look amazing and have an amazing personality and–”

      Kasey gave me a helpless look. “But if that’s true, then why can’t the only person who I want to see that be oblivious to that? Why do they have to go after someone who is so- so wrong for them?”

      Was this about a guy? I mean…It sounded like it and all, but I didn’t think Kasey would be the type to get into a relationship at the moment.

      “Kasey,” I said, looking straight into her eyes. “Please tell me what’s going on.”

      Kasey nodded and gave a heavy sigh. “OK, Nas. I’ll tell you. You’ve been so good to me…But please promise that you will not ever tell anyone, unless of course, I ask you to…”

      I smiled at Kasey and placed my hand on hers. “I promise you, Kasey. You can trust me.”

      Kasey gave me a smile back. “Thank you so much, Nas. OK…Well it’s like this, I…”

      Her voice trailed off and I didn’t quite catch what she said. I didn’t want to make her repeat it, but my curiosity got the better of me.

      I cleared my throat. “I’m sorry, Kasey. I didn’t quite catch that. What did you say?”

      Kasey stood up and whispered softly “I like Logan Leister.”

     I sat there, on the bench, bewildered and confused all the same time. “You do mean the Logan Leister you’ve been friends with since year seven? The Logan Leister…?”

      Kasey blushed bright scarlet. Since when does Kasey blush?  Maybe once in a blue moon maybe. This was an entirely different side to her that I’d never seen before.

      “Wow…Just wow” I said, flopping down against the tree. “I wasn’t expecting that, Kase, but I guess it makes sense.”

     Kasey frowned, hand on hip. “Makes sense how?”

      I gave an awkward chuckle. “Well, I guess you have been acting a little…overprotective of Logan recently.” I paused. “When did this all start?”

      “You mean when did I start liking him?” Kasey said, raising the pitch of her voice. “That would be…. End of year seven.”

      End of year seven? I’ve know Kasey since the start of year seven and it’s now the start of year thirteen. How could she possibly have liked him all that time and not told me? I felt rather betrayed, but I guessed that Kasey just told me when she felt comfortable. Plus, it didn’t feel right to have a go at her.

      “That’s such a long time!” I gasped, shaking my head. “Any details in particular? A specific event…?”

      Kasey’s eyes lit up, whilst she giggled. “Well…It was the last day of school, actually. I was crying because a girl had called me ugly and pulled my hair. And Logan told me something, something I’ll never forget. ‘They are just jealous, Kasey. Or they fail to see the kindness, the beauty of you. You’re absolutely perfect just the way you are.’ I couldn’t get him out of my head after that.”

      I thought about it, deliberately delaying my response. “Hmm….”

      Kasey sighed. “What is it, Nas?”

      “If Logan said that, isn’t there a chance of him liking you back?” I proposed.

      “I- I doubt it,” Kasey replied, looking down at the floor, miserably. “It’s all about Missy now.”

      I had an idea. “What about if I talk to Missy to see if there are any real feelings there, or to clarify what exactly she’s doing?”

      Kasey shook her head. “That’s too much to ask of you, Nas. You’ve done enough – it’s OK.”

      I shook my head, pressing my hand on Kasey’s shoulder. “I want to do this, Kase.”

      “OK. Then let me thank you,” Kasey said. “For being a wonderful and loyal friend.”

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