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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7. Chapter Seven

      Today was post day. That may sound strange, because of course you can receive post at any given time, whenever one wants it. But it was practically tradition that my day to get my post – whatever it may be – was Monday, which was a great day, because it was the start of the week. It was the one thing I actually looked forward to on a Monday.

      So, my family being the strange people that we are, don’t have a post box in our door like every house in Britain. Oh no, we have a separate box for it in our front garden.

      I sighed, got out of bed and trudged down the stairs, glad my Mum wasn’t there to tell me how ‘disgustingly obnoxious’ I was being.

      I figured El was still in bed and decided to wake her after collecting my post.

      Now, it wasn’t particularly early, but I wasn’t especially expecting to see anyone, apart from maybe the proud middle aged man across the road, who sometimes washed his car early in the morning.

      Anyway, I walked out of my house, with my slippers still on, not really bothered if it would make the shoes dirty, plus our front garden was mainly concrete and slabs of fancy rock.

      Then I saw Blake. It seemed weird to be referring to him as if he was an actual person. I was so used to just saying ‘the guy next door’. But he was there and he was real.

      I have no idea why he was up so early. He didn’t go to school or have a job. But here he was, shirtless (yet again) and in big boots covered in mud and long, baggy trousers. It seemed as if he was clearing out his garden, but why would anyone dream of doing that so early in the day?

      I actually wanted to avoid him at that current point in time. I mean I said so much last time we met. I must have looked really desperate, as if I had no real life and was just waiting around for something exciting to happen – which perhaps I was, but no one needed to know that.

      Blake clearly thought otherwise. He looked over on the other side of the white gate which separated our yards and sighed, as if I was causing him some sort of distress. And me, being the slight idiot I am, stayed still and froze. What the hell was wrong with me? Go, Nas, go!

     Blake raised an eyebrow, frowning. “What are you doing?” He sighed again. “Really, the other day you kept pestering me and now it’s like I’m carrying a fatal, contagious disease.” He put his shovel down on the ground. “Can I help you with something…Nas, is it?”

      Yeah, I really needed to move. I must have been overwhelmed or something, because all I did was give out a loud, hysterical laugh, when there was no humour in our conversation by any means.

     Blake sighed, as if he didn’t know how else to react, or he’d just seen it all before. “Look, neighbour…I’ve decided something kind-of important. And- and you better shut up and listen! Instead of being infuriating and…Being stupid.”

       I frowned harshly at him. “Little rude, do you not think? What is it then, Blake? What’s so important you couldn’t leave me be at quarter to seven in the morning?”

      Blake rolled his eyes. “I don’t care, Nas. And I just wanted to- to thank you.” His face was hidden, but he sounded rather genuine.

       “Why are you thanking me?” I asked, totally confused. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

       Blake looked even more irritated. “Look, I don’t want to be in debt to you, so just take my gratitude.”

      I nodded. “O- Okay, then…Oh yeah, what is it then?”

      “What’s what?” He replied, picking up his shovel.

      This time it was my turn to sigh. “What’s so important?”

      Blake wavered. “It’s- it’s just what you said before. About sorting my life out and everything. I’ve decided to enrol in the nearest school. Well, six form.”

      I shook my head. “It’s nothing, Blake, seriously. But I’m glad you’ve come to that decision.”

     “Thing is…” He cleared his throat. “I need someone’s help. The form and stuff…I don’t know what to put so they’ll accept me.”

      “I could help?” I said, and then stopped realised what I gotten myself in to. “I mean if you want…”

      Blake raised an eyebrow, and placed a hand on his hip. “I guess you could.” He paused. “Meet me at Lakewood Park at four then.”

      I nodded, and then he turned around and got back to his gardening. What the hell was I thinking? I must have been absolutely insane to agree to do something like that with him.

      I just had to think positively. What was the worst that good happen? I opened up the post box. There were one or two letters addressed to Mum and then the rest was for me. Three letters from different universities. The other letter must have been from a job I had applied to ages ago, because the company logo was from a law firm. Yeah, that’s right, I wanted to work in law when I was older. I always firmed believed in the right thing and letting others experience it when guiltless. Why shouldn’t everyone have a fair chance?

      My thoughts clouded my mind and I almost tripped over my own slippers. I thought I heard someone snicker and presumed it must have been Blake, but it was silent when I looked over, so I couldn’t have been sure.

     When I got in, I woke my sister up and hopped in the shower.

     It was nice to just feel the warmth around me, as even though very cold at the moment, it was certainly getting chillier, especially after everything that just happened with Blake. I didn’t realise things could possibly get so awkward.

      But I guess that was life. There was no point complaining about it too much, even though I didn’t really take that into consideration that much.

 

///

 

      Logan was getting himself some snacks from the vending machine when I walked into the common room. I couldn’t see Kasey, but was sure she would turn up soon as it was still fairly early. I seemed to be in an unnecessary rush today.

      I sat down next to the seat where Logan’s back was, trying to be as casual as possible with everything Kasey had told me.

      “Hey, Logan…” I smiled, fairly coolly. “Where’s Kasey?”

      Logan shrugged. “I don’t know but she’s been so funny and she won’t even tell me anything. I thought we were close, you know.” Logan paused. “Has she said something to you? Anything…?”

     I shook my head, sympathetically, lying through my teeth. “Sorry, Logan, she hasn’t.”

     Logan sighed. It seemed to be really bothering him, but then again Logan and Kasey had always clicked since Kasey started to talking to us both at the start of year seven.

      “Nas, there’s something I would like to tell you,” Logan cleared his throat. “Well, it’s about Missy. You know how I feel about her and- well I don’t know if this is true but- well…She’s finally single! I’m thinking about asking her out when she comes in today.”

      I tried to remain happy and to seem pleased for him, but it proved rather difficult. “I admire your confidence, Logan, I really do. But…Is it the best thing, in every aspect?”

     Logan frowned at me, pushing his bag further away from me. “I thought you’d be happy for me.”

      Well, Logan, this is actually made everything worse, but no, I’ll just smile. “I am happy for you, Logan,” I tried to explain. “I just don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

      Logan scoffed. “I’m not going to get hurt, Nas, trust me.” His eyes shifted to something else, or someone else. “Anyway, there she is. Wish me luck!”

      I tried to stop him, to convince him that it obviously was not a good idea. “Logan-“

      But something cut me off. I got distracted. I saw Kasey walking in, seemingly happy, looking fairly content. Then Missy and Logan started ‘flirting’ (if one could even call it that) and I knew she was holding back tears. I just wished I could have hugged her and told her it would be alright. But would it? I couldn’t see into the future. I wasn’t even sure if it would actually be OK.

     Kasey pushed past Missy and Logan. Logan actually turned around and there was a flicker of hurt in his eyes, but it was the opposite for Missy. She looked rather pleased Kasey was so tormented.

      Kasey sighed, flung her back onto the table next to the seats near me and sat down next to me.

      I wanted to tell her that Logan and Missy were both idiots; they deserved each other for being so bloody inconsiderate. But I decided against it. Maybe something to take her mind of it would better.

      “I know this is off-topic to everything we’ve talked about. But…Would you like for coffee later?” I asked my friend, smiling hopefully.

     Kasey smiled and shook her head in a supposedly embarrassed manner. “I’d love to, Nas.”

      Then we just chatted about this and that and all things random and mostly six form related. We stayed clear of the topic of boys and dating, though.

     Logan eventually finished flirting with Missy and came skipping over to me and Kasey. I hoped Kasey wouldn’t blurt out anything she’d regret. In fact, I hoped I wouldn’t do the same really. I was feeling so irritatingly angry at Logan. He was such a good friend and such a nice guy, but one of the densest people I’ve ever met.

      Kasey chuckled softly and smiled at Logan, so sweetly. I could tell it was killing her inside though. She’s a rather good actress. “I’m glad it’s all worked out for you, Logan and- and- I’m sorry but I’ve got to get to somewhere.”

      And she stormed out of the six form common room and I could already see tears forming on her distraught face. This was so unfair. I needed to go after her, even if she didn’t want me to. I had to make sure my friend was alright.

      But just before I walked out to find her, I told Logan “I know it seems unfair, like we’re being so bloody unreasonable. But just think about this, Logan: who will be there for you when everyone else is telling you that they don’t trust you, or whatever? I’m pretty sure it won’t be Missy.”

      Logan looked as if he wanted to say something back, but I wasn’t going to stand there any longer whilst Kasey was crying in a corner somewhere, wishing her life was over. Why did life have to be such a mess?

      When I finally found Kasey, she was leaning against a tree down on the field, not even crying, just looking completely out of it.

      “Kasey!” I cried, hugging my friend. “Kasey, it’s going to be-“

     Kasey frowned at me. “OK? Fine? Alright? Because for the past five years I’ve had to have my heartbroken again and again, continuously. It’s never got better from there.”

      I sighed. “Kase, I don’t know what more I can do, but maybe you should try telling Logan how you feel. Even if he doesn’t feel the same way, it’s only Logan. He won’t be an asshole about it at least.”

      Kasey shook her head. “It’s too late now. He’s head over heels for that Missy.”

     I suddenly had an idea. I actually thought it was rather brilliant and couldn’t believe that neither me or Kasey hadn’t thought about it before. “What about if I talk to Missy and ask her about her feelings for Logan? I can promise you Kasey that I will leave out every detail that may able to be traced back to you.”

     “I don’t know, Nas. I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Kasey sighed, looking sympathetic for me, which didn’t quite fit. “I mean, Missy’s horrible. She’s just- just horrible. She’d make it her mission to destroy you if she realised what we were doing.”

      “It’s OK, Kase,” I reassured her. “Because we’re stronger than her. We can fight this. We can end this complication.”

      Kasey shrugged. “Well, I guess if you really want to go ahead with this…I can only thank you, Nas.” She smiled at me, through all her angst and all her hurt.

      “I love you, darling,” I said, squeezing her hand. “I’ll talk to her at the end of the day. Like, I’m not going to let her spoil this glorious Monday.”

      Kasey rolled her eyes, knowing today was anything but glorious. But if I could fix something for a friend, that would be more than glorious.

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