"Now, raise your hand if you have no idea what you just watched." My French teacher, Mr Martin asked the class. Majority of the class raised their hands. I continued to finish the small doodle of a flower I had drew in the corner of my paper, my free hand clasped gently around my neck. "Isla?" I looked up, Mr Martin's eyes were directly on me. Sitting up straight, I cleared my throat as I tucked a strand of my brown hair behind my ear.
"They fell in love." I answered slowly. My best friend, Ava, who sat in front of me, looked over her shoulder at me smiling. "Joseph was finally settling into what society recalls is conformity whilst Eleanor was expressing who she was through her painting, someone that society didn't approve of. Joseph liked that about her and although we don't see the love story, there's definitely a romance between the two. We, as viewers, just don't know that yet." I explained.
Most eyes had turned their attention on me. I was usually the quiet girl in class who paid attention and actually wanted to get something out of this French class, the others, didn't seem bothered. It was senior year and to the seniors, they just wanted to survive the year and get out of here as fast as they possibly could. "Very good." I looked over my shoulder slightly to see the cutest guy in school, Grayson, smirking at me. Suddenly, goosebumps arose on my skin.
At the end of class, most students had ran out of the room. However, Ava and I were still discussing the short film. "Isla, I was very proud of you today. You stepped out of your comfort zone." Ava stayed quiet as Mr Martin approached me. Looking down toward the ground, I smiled to myself.
"Must have been the film. Expressing who you genuinely are no matter what society thinks is acceptable. Stay true to yourself, nothing else matters." Mr Martin didn't say much. In fact, he said nothing at all. He just stood there smiling, before turning away and leaving back to his desk.
French was fortunately the last lesson I had of that day. However, now I had to spend an hour sitting on the bleachers by the field waiting for my brother, Josh, to finish training. It was the same everyday. I sat there, reading, writing or just generally watching the game for a solid hour or so. Then the two of us would go home. I don't know why I waited for Josh, I could easily go home and not spend an hour waiting, but sometimes I liked to watch. "Are you staying to watch Josh?" Ava asked, knowing the answer.
I nodded in response, looking over at her. Ava was a little shorter than me, not by much. We'd been mistaken for twins a couple times. We both had short brown hair and olive skin. She had hazel eyes and I had blue, basically our only difference. "Want me to stay? Mum doesn't get home until six tonight and I don't feel like staying home by myself for three hours." Ava explained, I laughed loudly at her. Weirdly, she began to laugh too. "Why are you laughing?"
I contained my laughter, "So you don't actually want to spend time with me? You just want to kill time? Thanks Ava!" I sarcastically replied, I didn't mean it to be harsh or rude, it was the way she worded it. I know she didn't mean it, nevertheless, it made me laugh. Ava laughed again before hitting me lightly on the shoulder.
"So is that a yes?" She asked, I nodded.
"I would love the pleasure of your company." I told her. Ava never used to stay after school with me. She always wanted to go home and take a long nap. I didn't question her on why she wanted to stay, I just accepted it. Yes, I know. She told me her mum wasn't going to be home until six and she'd rather not stay home alone but, she's spent a whole two days on her own before? Three hours wouldn't hurt.
"Okay... I understand why you come and watch them now. Boys running around, taking their shirts off now and then, I could get used to this. Maybe I'll join you more often." Ava spoke, making me laugh again. "I cant help but notice that you keep looking at Grayson, you don't have a thing for him, do you?" Ava pointed out.
As I looked at her, her eyes beamed as if somehow I had told her without verbally speaking the truth. "I just think he's cute." Ava was more well-known than I was. She was definitely more sociable than I was by far. She always knew what to say. I guess I just over thought everything.
"Isla-rose White! You totally fancy Grayson. You know I could set you up with him. I heard he's single, but I'm not sure. I could talk to him if you want." I couldn't understand why Ava was being like this. She knew I hated when people spoke to your crush for you. That wasn't how I wanted it anyway. I understand for some people that it helps them, but not me.
"No thanks. I want a guy to fall for me because he wants to. Not because someone persuaded them to. Besides, guys like Grayson don't even know I exist." I explained to her. I shouldn't of had to explain, she knew. Ava knew more than anyone the type of girl I was.
"I will just subtly hint it to him. It'll be fine!" I wanted to yell "NO" in her face so she could understand that no means no. But I couldn't. She was my best friend and no matter how much she got on my nerves, I couldn't yell at anyone, let alone her.
The breeze began to pick up, pushing my short brown hair away from my face. I looked back at Ava, her hazel eyes were bigger than ever. "Why are you being like this?" I asked, her face suddenly changed. From happy to confused to worried. She turned her entire body around to face me, and as she did, I began to get worried.
"There's something I need to tell you. I've been holding it off because I didn't know how you would react. I guess, I am trying to help you out with Grayson because I don't want you to be mad at me. I shouldn't do that, I know." I began to get impatient and I think she could tell. She took in a deep breath before speaking again, "Remember when your family and I went on that camping trip to Byron Bay? We had our own tent and your parents had theirs, Josh and Luke had theirs... well... one night, Josh and I we-"
I didn't know if I wanted to hear the rest. Did they kiss? Or was it more? Ava hesitated to carry on the story and I'm glad she did. My brother? I began to wonder if Ava was only using me to get closer to Josh? We'd been friends for seven years. Seven. I'd like to think that this whole time she was in it for me, not just trying to get to Josh.
"We thought it was only one time but then, it became more frequent. I would stay at yours but sneak out around 1am, we'd meet up during school hours or even early in the morning. I've been wanting to tell you for the longest time. I'm so sorry, Isla. I really am."
I didn't know how to feel. Should I be angry? Thankful? Annoyed? Confused? What was I meant to feel? I looked down on the pitch to see Josh look up at Ava. As if the two of them had planned to tell me now and he was waiting for it. My head fell to the ground. Thankfully, the whistle had blown for training over. I didn't know what to say. As the whistle blew, Josh ran up to where the two of us were sitting.
"Are you coming back to ours?" Josh asked, looking directly at Ava, thinking I didn't know. Ava must've given him a look to indicate she had told me, because his mood suddenly changed. "Isla... we wanted to tell you, we just didn't know how."
I stood up, "I'm glad you did. I'm happy for you, really. I think I'm going to walk home." I began, I picked up my bag and threw it over my shoulder.
Ava stood, "I'll come with!" She announced cheerfully.
"I think I just need to be alone, right now. But I'll call you?" I suggested, before I could let her reply, I turned away and began to start my journey home.