I walked back home, wondering what my life had come to. A few seconds after Emily's phone call, I had been hit by two majorly wrong things I had done in my attempt to get away from my problems.
1. I had possibly given Mark Lievener the impression I wanted to go out with him.
2. I had told Emily that I loved her too.
That evening, I tried to drown myself in homework. You can't lead people on while doing homework - it's just impossible. I ended up going to bed really late because I was so stressed out. When my alarm clock woke me up the next morning, I wanted to die.
I half fell out of bed, landing on my knees and groaned. Could I perhaps use guilt to make Emily stop bothering me? No, it wouldn't work. She'd just try and hug me and make it all better. I shuddered as I remembered her offer to give me a shoulder massage yesterday. That girl was obsessed.
And I had kissed her.
‘Please!' I prayed desperately. ‘Kill me!'
But no bolt of lightning struck me and I was resigned to my fate: getting ready for another day of school, for another day of Emily.
Half an hour later, I was sitting on the bus, almost falling asleep.
Skip another ten minutes and I climbed off to find Emily standing there, waiting for me.
"What are you doing?!" I exclaimed, my voice hushed, though, so that no attention would be drawn to us.
"Waiting for you. It's so lucky your bus gets here early."
"No," I groaned. And I actually said it aloud.
Emily looked confused. But then she mentally found some rational explanation and her face cleared. She reached into her bag, saying "I wrote you a poem."
"I hate poetry," I said bluntly, really not in the mood.
She looked stung. Like she was about to cry.
"Oh, please don't," I moaned. I took her hand and squeezed it, not knowing how you stopped a girl from crying. "I had a really late night and I'm just not in the mood. I'm sure your poem's lovely."
She brightened up instantly. She was so easy to please. To my embarrassment, she held onto my hand as I tried to let go and started massaging it with her thumb.
"It'll be okay," she said, smiling. "What lessons do you have today?"
Er, I really didn't want her knowing that.
"I, uh, don't know my timetable off by heart yet."
"Oh." She looked disappointed. But then, she brightened up again. She was like a light bulb, switching on and off, becoming positive and then negative and then positive again.
"Hey, would you like to go for a walk this afternoon?"
"A ... walk?"
"Yeah, in the meadow. It's not too far away from here. And then my mum can pick us up. She baked some cookies this morning."
"I can't. I have homework again."
Emily frowned. "My friend said that if you work too hard, you'll lose your hair."
I sighed heavily. "I won't work too hard - I'll do enough."
"Surely an hour won't do too much harm?" she asked dubiously.
"Oh, an hour is a lot."
"It'll be sooo romantic. And we need some way to show we've begun dating."
I pulled my hand out of hers. "We have not started dating," I growled.
She looked a little frightened. But she stood her ground.
"You kissed me yesterday," she pointed out. "Are you going to deny it?"
‘Yes,' I wanted to reply, but I couldn't lie.
"No," I said in exasperation.
"Then we're an item." She pouted stubbornly. Then her face softened. "I really love you, Carter. And I'm sorry you find me so annoying all the time but I really think we can make this work." She leant up and kissed my cheek. "Bye."
She walked away. I stared after her, wanting to scream something. I screamed at myself instead - mentally shouting the worst swear words I knew. I turned and walked to registration.
I was standing outside the classroom waiting for the teacher when I got a text. From Emily.
‘Oh, I forgot to say. I love you.'
I didn't respond. A bad move because ten minutes later, when I was sitting in the room, isolating myself from my peers, I received a text saying ‘Are you okay?! Why didn't you reply?!! Emily xxx'.
Well, I couldn't ignore that one. She might try to find me at break and kiss me because she had been ‘so worried'.
‘I'm okay. I don't text much. My phone will be switched off till I get home tonight.'
The bell rang for the first lesson. I stood up and walked over to the science building. I hoped today wouldn't be as eventful as yesterday. What was I saying? I had already had the worst morning ever.