A Girl And Her Boy

It's just a story that's in progress that I'm not sure I'll even finish... Basically, the overview of the story is that there's a girl who gets several notes that are creepy/ominous and get weirder as they go on. At least, that's the plan. If anyone gets suggestions, feel free to tell me! I might change the name, not sure how I feel about it...

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2. The first of seven days...

 

The sun rises again, and just like every morning, she groans in protest. With a sigh, she creeps out from under her sheets. In confusion, she looks around and mumbles a question, "why was I under the bed?"

"Ana, breakfast time, love", calls her dad. Just like any other morning...

She can't remember why, but it feels weird that it would be a normal day like any other. She shakes her head.

After breakfast, Ana finds a note on her desk. It reads "Don’t Trust Him" in a scribbled handwriting that wasn't hers or her dad's. Confused, Ana called to her dad, "Hey, dad? Has anyone been in my room?"

"No, I don't think so. Unless you had a friend over?"

"Hmmm..." Ana mumbled. Curious, she flipped the note over. On the back was a number seven, written in the same handwriting. "Who left me a note like this...? That's just weird."

Later, in the library at school…

“Ana… Aaaaaanaaaaaa... Ana! Wake up! Why are you sleeping so much today? Are you just not interested in my very important love life?”

Ana had been hearing her best friend go on about Derek for the better part of the last three weeks. Her friend would go on and on about how godly Derek was with a fervor any priest would be lucky to duplicate. So yes, Ana was not interested. The problem was, Ana was usually good at pretending to be interested; she was just inexplicably exhausted today.

“Ah, sorry Lily, I’m just tired. I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes open”

Lily just rolled her eyes. “You’re so bad at lying. I know it’s just that you’re not interested”

Ana looked at her best and, frankly, only friend. “You think I’m lying to you… About being tired? Why would I lie about that?”

“Ugh, not about being tired. About being interested in my story…”, Lily trailed off as her eyes wandered to the left of Ana’s face.

“Let me guess, Derek the godly eye candy just walked by?”, Ana asked rhetorically.

Lily raised her eyebrows at Ana in her “Bitch, please” fashion, and pointed over Ana’s shoulder. “That, right there, is the new guy. Who is totally your type. And in our grade, plus he has multiple classes with you.”

Ana groaned. “Still trying to be my matchmaker? I thought we got over this when I accidentally set my last date on fire and ruined his lucky shirt. Not to mention the fact he had some mild burns and now refuses to talk to me anymore because he thinks it’ll happen again”.

Lily sighed, then inquired “When are you going to get over that?”

Ana, with an air annoyance, swiftly responded. “When he and I are both in our graves and he can stop mocking me from the shadows by silently avoiding me and refusing to breathe in the same room as me. In fact, I’m sure he’s the one who spread around the fact that I did it on purpose and was trying to kill him and would target every other guy in the school that came close enough to me.”

Lily just looked at Ana with a shocked expression. “How did you hear that? Who said that?”

Ana was a bit confused by her friend’s reaction. “I, um, just heard it from some girls in the hall, why?”

“Because that rumor just started yesterday, from that jerks most recent eye candy. I thought I made sure she wouldn’t tell anyone about that…” Lily looked a bit irritated as she trailed off, then her eyes lit up again. Ana didn’t want to know where this was going, but she asked any ways.

“What new scheme are you hatching now?”

Lily smiled her most charming smile, which simply confirmed Ana’s belief that she wouldn’t like this idea. “I have a way to get rid of this dating stigma you have. The only person who may not have heard about your… mishaps… is the new guy. Let’s go talk him up and get you two on a date”

“Umm that may not be happening”, Ana said as she gestured over to the cheer squads table, “Looks like I have some stiff competition if we’re playing that game.”

Lily and Ana both turned as the head of the demon-clique wrapped herself around the new guy’s left arm, doing her best to draw attention to the fact she has breasts. He seemed uninterested, until suddenly the girl looked over.

“Shit, I made eye contact with Alice… That demon is going to give me hell later, I know it.”

“Calm down, Ana. It’s nothing. She’ll just think you were being weird like always.”

Alice glared at Ana and Lily as she tightened her grip on the new guy. “You know, Lily… Maybe we should go make some introductions”.

Lily widened her eyes as she realized what Ana was thinking. “You, known for your invisibility, want to go and start shit with Alice?”

Ana just smiled and said, “Maybe she shouldn’t have started those rumors. She just might end up worse than my last date”. Ana winked over her shoulder at Lily, who scoffed in objection. Like the supportive friend she is, she still followed Ana to take on the head bitch.

When they reached their destination, AKA where the new guy was being mauled alive by the cheer queen, Ana suddenly lost a bit of her shiny new confidence. She took a step back when Alice turned and shot her a frosty glare. “If looks could kill…”, Lily murmured into Ana’s ear. Just what she needed to get her moving again.

Clearing her throat, Ana decided to continue with her introductions. “Um, hello, you must be new”, Ana said while stretching a hand towards the arm that wasn’t already entangled in the venomous clutches of the high school queen.

The new guy just shrugged and accepted Ana’s hand. “Yeah, you could say that. I’m not new to the area, I’ve been here… a while.”

“What does tha-” started Ana, right before she got cut off by the sudden drawl of Alice going on about salons, manicures, and being rich.

Ana was curious to know what he meant by being in the area for a while. Lily elbowed the now forgotten Ana, and steered her away from the cheer group. “Well, that could have been more painful, I guess”, commented Lily. Ana felt accomplished for even deciding to walk over there, let alone actually making any form of contact with their group.

“Umm hello, Ana?” Ana had started walking towards class without thinking, leaving Lily and her forgotten pile of items a few steps behind her.

“Hmm?”, was all Ana replied as she continued walking.

“You’re forgetting your stuff and I am NOT carrying all of that for you.”, said Lily.

“Ah, right. Sorry, I don’t know what is wrong with me today”, responded an apologetic Ana.

“So, are you actually that interested in this new guy?”, pressed Lily.

“Why do you think I’m interested in him?”, Ana retorted.

“Umm, maybe because you’ve been staring at him for the better part of the last four minutes and actually confronted the head lion bitch of the school to say hi to him?”

“Maybe… I’m not sure. I find him to be more… of an entertaining puzzle type than anything else. It’s not a romantic or physical interest, but more like… There’s something to find out about him”, explained Ana.

“So… You’re interested?” enquired Lily, who was puzzled by Ana’s explanation. “Because otherwise, that makes no sense whatsoever”.

Ana rolled her eyes and sighed in exasperation. “Never mind, we can talk about this later. For now, let’s go where Alice can’t see us so I can get rid of the icy dagger in between my shoulder blades.” Lily nodded in agreement and started walking towards their class.

As Ana turned to walk away, she felt like someone other than Alice was watching her. She turned and made eye contact with the new guy, who was watching her like she was a creature he couldn’t understand. Face flushing, she hurried to catch up with Lily.

In math class…

Ana caught herself looking out the window for the fourth time during class. She did not enjoy being in a classroom. It was boring, what with the four walls devoid of personality, the rows of desks, the annoying humans occupying the desks… Not her favorite place to be at all. She gave a heavy sigh and looked around the classroom. All the other desk tables had three or four people at them. Hers had one. She was always bored during this class, since Lily was always put in a different level of math. Lily was good at math… Ana, not so much.

Ana scanned the room. This time, when she made it to the desk on the right, in the second row… She recognized the new guy. She didn’t remember seeing him earlier during the other three times she examined the room. Ana shook her head to dispel the curiosity that creeped into her brain. “I am not his keeper”, she muttered under her breath.

“What did you say?”, asked her teacher that just happened to be walking by at that exact moment.

“Uh, nothing, really. Just mumbling to myself”, replied an embarrassed Ana.

“Well, hopefully it was some of the formulas for the upcoming test. Since I know you need to put in the studying. I know you can pass this class if you just put in the effort to pay attention.”

Ana just nodded, hoping her face wasn’t as red as it felt. The students in the row ahead of her turned slightly to catch the conversation, interested in catching some gossip about the lonely girl in the corner of the math class. Ana glared at them, praying it didn’t just make her look like an angry tomato. They turned forward in their seats, smiling and whispering amongst themselves.

The teacher gave Ana a sympathetic look and walked on to talk to some other students. Some people in the right row tapped in the new guys shoulder and said something Ana couldn’t quite make out. The new guy frowned and said something in reply. Then the other guy said something else and pointed over at Ana. The new guy started turning and Ana slumped in her chair, hoping he was looking for someone else.

When they made eye contact, Ana was mortified. She was thinking frantically that they must have told him about her fire mishap with her last date. She was really hoping they hadn’t threatened that he would be next on the list if he got close to her.

Then he smiled. Ana’s brain came to a screeching halt. She hadn’t expected a smile. If anything, she was more accustomed to a cold glare or disinterest in the loner girl. Why was he smiling? Wasn’t he just told she set her last date on fire? Were people over the fact that she sent one of the star jocks to the hospital? Or was this guy just totally crazy? Ana couldn’t stop the train wreck that her brain had become.

Suddenly, the new guy put his hand up to stop the guy talking to him. Then he stood up. Ana’s heart started racing. “Please don’t come over here. Please don’t talk to me. I’m awkward. I’m not good at social encounters I don’t start of my own accord.”, Ana mumbled while the new guy was walking towards her. “Shit, shit, shit”, seared through her brain as he sat down.

Licking her lips in preparation, Ana asked “So, what did that guy say?”. The last word came out as more of a squeak as her social anxiety began acting up, but at least she said something.

The new guy just looked at her for a few seconds. “Are you actually concerned about what a jerk like him thinks?”

Ana was silent for a minute, then responded, “I’ve been concerned what jerks like him think my whole life”.

The new guy simply made a “tsk” sound in response. This made Ana slightly irritated. Why did he have to seem so condescending over her caring what others think? Who doesn’t care what other people think of them?

“So, then you don’t care what others think of you?”, Ana started her interrogation of the new guy.

“Nope, and you shouldn’t, either. Makes it a lot easier to do things and move along in life.”

Ana shook her head in disbelief. “How can you not care?”

He smiled. “Simple, I just ignore that other people exist. Until they make their existence blatantly obvious to me. Like today, with all the vultures trying to pounce on the new guy. Alice, that guy, you, a few others”.

Ana flushed. Maybe her introduction was a bit more awkward and flawed than she thought…

As if he could read her mind, the new guy said, “Don’t worry about awkward introductions. I’ve made my fair share of them.”

The teacher began making another round of the classroom. The new guy noticed and stood up. “Ah, and with that, I bid you adieu. Otherwise I may get caught up in a lecture about bothering the other students who ‘need to study’, like you. Which is what the guy over there was talking about. Something about the girls in front of you texting him the gossip on the loner girl. The rumor about the fire, though… That was classic and I would love to hear the story behind it sometime”. With a wink, he walked away.

Ana was surprised to know he had heard the rumor and still decided to sit next to her. Then she had a realization. He heard she was bad at math. Now he would think she’s an idiot on top of thinking she was awkward and crazy. An even bigger realization hit Ana immediately after that thought. She talked to him twice and never got his name. Or his number. “Why am I so awkward and such an idiot…?”, Ana wondered to herself.

“Maybe because you spend more time staring out the window than paying attention to classwork, notes, details, or even other human beings.”

Ana jumped at the voice of her teacher. With a sigh, she nodded. “Maybe. I’ll have to work on that, huh?”

For the first time ever, her teacher smiled. “Took a new kid in your class to get you to realize you need to pay attention to life?”

Ana’s face flushed scarlet for the third time that day. “N-No, that’s not why I realized that I need to pay attention”.

Her teacher laughed. “Okay, well, let’s start tomorrow off right and have you pay attention, then”.

Ana just nodded her acquiescence. There was no need for her to embarrass herself further.

At home…

“Ahh, finally. Home sweet home. The place where I can remove my bra and put on a TV show while stuffing my face with popcorn and ice cream!” Ana stopped in her tracks at the end of the hallway. One direction lead to the kitchen, and the other lead to her bedroom. Something was off, though. “But”, thought Ana, “What is it?”

Turning towards the kitchen, Ana noticed a lady who was dressed very professionally sitting on a bar stool at the island counter. Wondering how the lady could pull off showing ample cleavage while still looking business-like, Ana was snapped back to reality when the lady started talking.

“You must be Ana, I work with your father. He’s just over in his bedroom, changing his shirt. He got some ketchup on it from our lunch date.”

Ana was speechless. Lunch date? Her dad? Was he moving on from her mother?

The impeccably dressed lady giggled a little. “Not a romantic date. It was a business date. We took some of our new contractors out for lunch to help sway them towards signing the contracts. Now he just needs a new shirt so we can meet with more of them.”

Ana sighed in relief. She wasn’t sure if she was ready to have a replacement mother figure. The lady arched an eyebrow at her. “What, I don’t seem like mother material to you?”

Ana gave a short burst of laughter, social anxiety kicking in full force now that her brain caught up with the situation. “No, that’s not it. I, uh, haven’t had a mother in the picture for a while and I’m not sure I want a new person in my life right now. Even if they make my dad happy. Which sounds very greedy of me when I say it out loud, but I don’t know that I could deal with a new mother figure after so long of not having one, on top of the fact that I really don’t know how to act around strangers, and I should just stop talking now and quit rambling like an idiot”.

The lady gave a mirthful laugh. “Oh, you poor dear. I’m not laughing at you, by the way. I’m laughing because you remind me of my younger self. I was also full of anxiety. I think your dad is coming out of his room now, so I guess I’ll head towards the door. Have a good day, Ana. And I hope your anxiety gets better. I know how hard it can be to cope with”.

Ana stood there in disbelief. Did a stranger just tell her that they understood her anxiety? Did that lady really mean it that she had bad anxiety when she was younger? Or was she just lying to make Ana feel better? Business people could be quite good at that. Ana settled on the fact that the lady was just trying to make her feel better. She doubted it was possible a lady like that had anxiety in the past. Ana could never be a person like her, who talked to random strangers all day long and convinced them they wanted to do what she told them to.

“Ana, love, I’m heading back out. Sorry, but I won’t be home to make dinner. Please eat something healthier than ice cream for dinner.”

“Okay, dad, I’ll try to muster the energy to make something. But if I can’t, that’s your fault for being too busy to take care of your poor old daughter”

Ana heard her father laugh as he headed towards the door. “Okay, okay, you win. Just make sure you at last eat a carrot for a snack, then. Or broccoli”.

“Alright, fine, I’ll eat something healthy as a snack”.

As soon as Ana heard the front door close, she opened the freezer and grabbed the 3-quart ice-cream tub. “There you are, old friend, we meet again. Now you’re going into my tummy, and I’ll enjoy every damn second of it”.

Ana shuffled lazily over to the silverware drawer and groaned when she opened it to see… No clean spoons. She looked in the dishwasher and… No clean spoons. Woefully, she peered into the sink. All the spoons were somewhere in the murky waters of the treacherous seven sinks, where she would have to battle the deadly bowls and plates from the deep. “Ah, fuck it, popcorn it is”, Ana declared, as if someone were in the room with her. She sighed a heartbroken sigh, because she really wanted ice-cream. But alas, her laziness prevailed.

When Ana looked in the pantry, she realized the popcorn had mysteriously been moved to the top shelf… Which was too high for a short 5’1” body to reach. Little did her father know, she had no problem with climbing the shelves to obtain her food. She made her way slowly so that she wouldn’t disturb the contents of the shelves. Once she had her feet solidly planted on the third shelf, she looked into the deep emptiness of the popcorn box.

“Damn, out of popcorn, again?”

Ana jumped down off the shelf. “Well, it looks like I’ll just have to wash a spoon then”.

Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, Ana spotted it. A new, unopened box… of popcorn. “Yes!”, Ana exclaimed, “I found some popcorn!”

Ana opened the box like a wild animal. Inside was some beautiful popcorn, kernels unpopped and sealed inside their bag. Ana, too lazy to look for the scissors, grabbed a knife and stabbed into the corner of the plastic layer. From there, she used the knife to tear the plastic open and threw the popcorn into the microwave. She jabbed the popcorn button with her thumb, and ran to her room to get her cozy nest supplies for the TV room.

At times like this, Ana is glad to be an only child. No one to compete with for the TV, no one to talk over the TV, no one to judge her for getting comfy and practically forming an artificial womb in the TV room out her blankets and pillows… But at the same time, there were times she wished she had a sibling. Like when she has a nightmare and her dad is on a business trip. Speaking of nightmares… Ana had a flashback to the nightmare she had last night.

“Ah, makes sense why this morning felt so odd. That was a kind of realistic nightmare. Not to mention that note I found…”

Just like that, Ana managed to ruin her own ecstatic mood. With her mood deflated, Ana thought about maybe going to bed instead of watching TV. Looking at the clock, Ana realized it wasn’t even four o’clock yet and decided one movie wouldn’t kill her.

Ana couldn’t see her surroundings. Panicked, she turned in frantic circles, arms outstretched. It smelled like dust and… Popcorn? Ana didn’t know why she was smelling popcorn. Unexpectedly, a beam of light lit up her surroundings and then was aimed towards her face. Ana hadn’t heard anyone walking around, and couldn’t decipher where the flashlight-wielding person came from. “I finally found you… Now, why would you hide in here?”

Ana recognized that voice, and for some reason, it sent chills down her spine…

Gasping, Ana sat up abruptly. She looked around, dazed, trying to get her bearings. As the dream faded out of her mind, she realized she was laying in the TV room still. The house was eerily quiet, and for some reason the TV wasn’t on. Any other time she fell asleep in the TV room, she would wake up with the sounds of some show blaring at her. Unless… “Hey, dad, are you home?”

Ana was welcomed by the cold embrace of silence. Curiosity outweighed her fight or flight instinct, and she decided to wander through the house. The microwave was flashing words across the screen. “Enjoy your meal”, it read. Ana opened the microwave to find the popcorn she was so excited for earlier. Her phone was lying next to the microwave, on the counter. “Huh, how did I forget about my food?”

Moving towards the hallway, she noticed her backpack open on the floor. She closed it and carried it into her room. She thought she had already put it away…

When she made it into her room, she saw something reflecting the window light shining on her desk. She picked it up, turning on her lamp at the same time. It was a piece of paper. No, not just a piece of the paper. The note from that morning, that she had put into her backpack when she got ready for school. There was a new message written on it. It said “You met him today. Heed my warnings, and don’t tell him your name”. On the back, the seven had been crossed out and there was a 6 written to the left of it.

“Well, not creepy at all”, Ana mumbled. She continued putting her backpack away. She kept everything in her closet, on top of her desk, or under her desk. Her backpack had a special spot; AKA thrown on top of the other junk in her closet because she was too lazy to clean her room. Looking down, she noticed there were specks of mud on her pajamas.

“Ah, nothing like an eerily quiet house to make you wish you had siblings. Or a mother. Or a father home. And I really need to remember to wash my clothes more often.”

Ana changed into clean pants, and with a sigh she went back towards the TV room. Just as she was about to step into the kitchen, the front door opened. Ana couldn’t suppress the “Eek” that escaped her lips. She couldn’t see anything except a black, humanoid shape, and she trembled slightly. When she made out her father’s face in the dim light of the hallway, she was able to relax. “You scared me”, breathed Ana.

“I scared you? I thought there was a mouse in the house when I heard that squeak of yours”, her dad responded, ruffling her frizzy, disheveled hair.

Ana giggled. “Oh, I fell asleep before I ate my popcorn, it’ll be cold by now!”

Ana could feel her dad’s gaze. “Are you okay? You never forget about your popcorn. Or your ice-cream. Also, you don’t usually jump just because I walked in late”.

Ana nodded. “I’m fine. Just been having nightmares”.

Her dad continued looking at her for a couple more minutes, then nodded. “If you say so. Just know I’m here if you need to talk about anything. Unless it’s boys. I just might pull out the guns if you talk to me about boys”. Ana’s father playfully punched her in the arm, and she smiled.

“Hey, dad, wanna make that dinner now? I’m kinda starving”.

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