I dropped my backpack next to my chair in music class. I sighed and looked around. Band Kid, Band Kid, Band Kid, and, oh look, Band Kid. I didn't want to be in this class at all. But, I needed an elective and all the other classes were full. So, I had to choose music class for this new semester.
And, to add to my querolous attitude, Stephen and his band waltzed in joking and laughing. John rested his eyes on me and stopped his gang, almost like a star in a movie would, if you know what I mean. "Whoa, guys. Look who's taking a predominantly Band Kid class." He chuckled with a mischievous smirk and took the seat in front of me. He turned so he could face me.
"How you doing, Jessica? Decide to join the Band Kids side? The party side?" And like that, the boys surrounded me. Josh took the seat behind me, Brian took my left, and Stephen took my right, resting his arm on the back of my chair. I crossed my arms and gave them each equal amounts of time to spend with my death glare.
"Shut the hell up, Gomez." I scoffed.
"Or what? Your friends will sue me for talking to you and getting my Band Kid germs on you?" He poked my knee. "Oooh, now there's an epidemic." He wiggled his fingers in the air and made weird ghost sounds.
"You're such an immature prick."
"Hey," I turned to that flat tone called Stephen Gomez, "don't call my brother a prick, bitch."
At that point in time, all the kids in class had their eyes on us. Some gasped, some laughed at our expense, some were just waiting to see what would ignite from all this. "Fine. I'll call you a prick. Prick." I snapped back at Stephen. But, as always, his face never changed.
"That the best comeback you got? That's what you Popular Kids call smartass? Pa-the-tic. Pathetic, Jess. Simply. Pathetic. That's the best word choice for it."
"Sweet bejesus, if I could switch out of this class, I seriously would." I glare at him and turn my full attention to him.
He shook his head and snorted. "I'm not playing this game, Jessica Bowen."
I sarcastilly pouted. "Aw, why not? Scared you'll lose, Stevie?"
"Yes, actually." He nodded and stood up, grabbing his bag. "I'll see you guys later."
"Where the fuck are you even going, Stephen?" Josh asked as he watched his bandmate head towards the door.
"Away from her." Stephen called from over his shoulder as he opened the door.
"Stephen? Bro, wait. Come o-" Slam. The door was shut behind Stephen. John turned and glared at me. "You're such a fucking sassy bitch, you know that? That was my brother, Jess. I can't believe you even go to this school." Then he spun around right when our teacher walked in.
"How is it even my fucking fault?" I wondered aloud.
"Oh, if only you knew, Jess. If only you knew." Josh shook his head while whispering as he started to move to the spot where Stephen was.
While the teacher was taking role, he looked at the empty spot next to me. "Is the older Mr. Gomez here today?"
"He wasn't feeling very well, sir, so he headed to the bathroom, or the nurse's, or something." Brian lied through his teeth.
"Yeah, sick of Jess." Josh muttered. Some kids in class chuckled at the comment. I slinked down in my chair and covered my face. All I was thinking was, "Bejesus, why me?"
* * *
I was washing my hands and glancing in the mirror in the girls' bathroom. I just needed to get out of that negatice space that's called a classroom. That's where where Chelsea Kane walked in, looking beautiful as always. She stopped to smile at me through the reflection. "Oh, hey, Jess."
I grinned back. "Hey." Chelsea and I have known each other since freshman year. I was a little shy my first day, but she was that girl that was so outgoing and outspoken. She was my first best friend. I guess that over the years we just drifted apart. I was getting into the Popular Kid territory while she was pulled into Drama Kid territory. She wouldn't have made it in my crowd anyways. One, my friends would eat her alive. Two, she's a fantastic actor and belongs to the crowd she's in.
She stepped into a bathroom stall while I dried my hands. After she stepped out again, she bit her lip and looked at me nervously. I raised my eyebrow at her and shrugged. "What? Do I have something on my face?"
"Hm? No, your face is fine. I just..." She fiddled with her fingers and glanced down at the dirty bathroom tiles. "I saw you talking to that local band, The Summer Set," Ah, that's what it was, "and that's the band that Brian Dales is in. Do you know him? Like, are you two friends? Or more than friends?"
" Oh, no, we can barely stand to be in the same state. Chels, what the hell are you going on about?" I put my hands on my hips and leaned against the wall, waiting for her response.
"Um, you know what? Nevermind." She waved her hand at me and giggled sheepishly. "Sorry for wasting your time. I'm going to go now. See ya."
"Bye..." I mumbled and watched her exit.
I strolled out into the empty hallways. The lunch bell was about to go off any second, so I figured I'd be first to get in the lunch line.
I quietly pushed the cafeteria doors open to avoid loud sounds in these hollow rooms. The sight that was in the cafeteria when I entered was simply just Stephen, lying down ontop of one of the lunch tables in the middle of the room, his arms behind his head and his eyes up at the ceiling. He wasn't crying, but you could tell he was really upset. His face looked deader than it already did. He was also in really deep thought, as it appeared.
That's when something hit me. An epiphany, almost, if you will.
My head throbbed. My heart raced. My breathing staggered. My body slid down to the floor, my hand clutched to my chest. It was like an explosion went off in my brain. I hugged my knees close to me and buried my face in them. Flashes of short scenes went through my mind. It passed like a vintage slideshow.
It was just a body. No head. It was almost like...I was looking down at the body while lying down. I was in a field of daises and I could see that it was fall because dark covered leaves constantly danced down by me. There were a lot of clouds whisped across the blue sky. My arm shot up to point up at a cloud. The cloud looked like a cat with a really fat head and small body.
"We should name it Tissue. Because the clouds look like tissues." I heard a voice from my left side, accompanied with a laugh. It was a little boy's voice. The voice was a little muffled from the warped memory, though. It sounded really...distant.
I turned to him. He had long dark brown hair that fell over his tan face and chocolate eyes. He was a pretty lanky kid, too. His smile was just too cute, though. I wanted to pinch his cheeks. I swear, though, he looked vaguely familiar.
I looked down to see our hands intertwined. I was clutching his very tightly. "Maybe one day we'll get a cat when we grow old together." His far away voice commented. "And we'll name him that. We should, shouldn't we?" He smiled even wider. "Because I have a feeling we could grow old together, our cat sleeping by our rocking chairs."
And just like that, the picture show was over. My eyes shot open. I found myself in the infirmary with Mona, Lisa, Chelsea, and Stephen by the bed I was lying in. I inhaled deeply then looked around, dazed. "What happened to me?" I put my hand to my forehead and groaned.
"Stephen saw you collapsed against the door." Chelsea chimed. "He picked you up and headed into the hallways. I saw him and helped him take you here. Then Mona and Lisa freaked when they saw us and followed us."
"We thought the Band Dorks and Drama Geeks joined together to find a way to get to us to start a clique war and you were the subject of the plan, Jess. We were scared." Lisa defended. Mona nodded and crossed her arms, glaring at Chelsea and Stephen.
Stephen rolled his eyes and scoffed. "Whatever. I'm out of here." He gave me a glance before hopping out of his chair and heading for the door.
I had to do this before I became a bitch to him again. "Stephen?" I blurted. He turned. Same face. "T-Thanks."
"Yeah, sure." He nodded to me and Chelsea and left.
Strange. When he exited...
I didn't want him to.