I stared out of the window.
The sky was a perfect unblemished blue, allowing the rays of bright sunlight to warm my skin, caressing it gently. A smile played at my lips as I watched the scene before me in the backyard. Melanie was sat in the garden, making daisy chains, my mother was chatting with the next door neighbour over the fence and dad was lying on the hammock, eyes closed, dozing peacefully. Only I stayed in my room, by myself. But this was how I liked it, it gave me time to think.
Tomorrow was Monday. Another day at school. I wasn't quite sure how I felt about this.. Happy? Or was I nervous..secretly dreading it.
My phone vibrated next to me and glancing down at it I saw Grace's number flashed up on the screen.
'Summer!' Grace's voice drifted through the speaker. 'I am so stuck on this English essay, you've got to help me.'
'Grace,' I laughed. 'I haven't even done it yet, how do you expect me to help you?'
'Wait, hold on, the golden child hasn't done her homework yet?'
'I'm not the golden child,' I frowned, fighting back more laughter.
'You really are. All of the teachers adore you because you get amazing grades. Heck I think even my own parents like you more than me!'
'Oh now come on, you know that's not true,' I chided.
'Oh well,' Grace dismissed. 'I'll just struggle on alone. Hopelessly. Go on without me.'
'Honestly Grace. I'll see you tomorrow.'
I hung up and smiled. Grace could always cheer me up. It was probably because we were so alike. I remembered back to when we were young and had just started school, the teachers always used to mix us up. On parents evening I was always told that we were "joined at the hip" I should try and branch out a bit more. It sounded stupid at the time, an impossible thought. Back then it was me and her. Summer and Grace. Best friends, sisters and nobody could change that.
But then I had met Jay. I was instantly attracted to him, he had a killer smile and his hair was the most beautiful shade of brown, bits of blonde lighting up in the sun. I remembered how sweet he had been to me. How much he had made me laugh. I fell for him straight away.
Then Grace had met Tyler. Tyler was extremely similar to Jay in virtually every way possible. The only thing separating them was their looks. Whereas Jay was brown haired and blue eyed, Tyler had a mop of blonde curls and a set of dark, piercing eyes that when used to his advantage could make you feel about five inches tall. Tyler introduced his friend Riley and for a while it was just us five. But then Poppy had joined the class.
Poppy was shy at first, but after she'd settled in they'd seen another side to her. She resembled a small kitten with her large green eyes, jet black hair and playful nature. She got on with Riley like a house on fire, inevitably.
We had all been best friends ever since.
The phone rang again and my smile stretched wider at the name on the display.
'Hey beautiful, how's it going?'
'Good thanks.' I felt myself grin like a little girl. 'I've just been talking to Grace.'
'Oh yeah? How are her and Tyler? They patching things up?'
'Yeah, they're all good now.'
'That's great. I was just calling to see if you needed a ride to school in the morning?'
'Yeah, that'd be good. Thanks.'
'I love you.' I felt my heart swell at these words, ringing so clear and so true.
'Love you too.'
I hung up, the grin still plastered across my face. Tomorrow looked brighter already.
'Summer!' Grace's animated voice greeted me and Jay in the parking lot the next morning. Jay intertwined his fingers with mine and pulled me close as we walked over to our usual spot by the water fountain. Four figures already sat on the wooden bench: Grace, Tyler, Poppy and Riley. Grace was perched on Tyler's knee and he was stroking her hair affectionately whilst her attention was turned to me and Jay. Poppy and Riley had their heads bowed close to one another, already engaged in a hushed conversation.
'How are you guys?'
'We're great,' Jay grinned, pulling me down in the available spot next to him.
Grace pushed a strand of blonde hair out of her eyes as she bent down to kiss Tyler.
'Has anyone done the English?' Riley's head bobbed.
'Nope,' Jay shook his head. 'What about you?'
'Nah,' he laughed. 'But I'll tell you who has done it.'
'Who?' Poppy tilted her head.
'Daniel,' Riley nodded to a point past shoulders and all of our gazes shifted to the figure sat by himself in the shade of an oak tree, immersed in a paperback. My heart instantly plummeted.
Oh God, not again.
'I did mine,' I blurted out desperately trying to reclaim their attention.
'Ah, I knew you would.' Grace smiled, but halfheartedly. Her eyes were still fixed on Daniel. Tyler seemed to notice this and he bristled ever so slightly.
Daniel was good looking. He had the most beautiful coloured skin, a warm mocha colour that complimented his large brown eyes and jet black hair perfectly. He was nothing compared to Jay, of course, but he was handsome in his own way. The problem with Daniel though was that he was such a loner, extremely introvert and this is what drew in the bullies. I sighed mournfully as Tyler stood up and began to make his way over to Daniel.
'What are you doing?' Grace giggled, obviously excited at the thought of a fight. Tyler didn't reply, instead he threw a smile over his shoulder at Grace and continued over to Daniel.
Daniel glanced up over the top of his book and he sighed, obviously sensing what was about to come.
None of us could hear what was being said from where we were sat, but we saw Tyler crouch down in front of Daniel. He took the book out of his hands and closed it flat. Something was being said. Daniel starting to look a little...frightened. Tyler's face was twisting into anger and I could see his fists slowly clenching and unclenching.
Shouldn't somebody help him? My mental voice protested, but nothing would come out of my mouth. I couldn't voice my worries, I just couldn't. Besides, Jay and Riley seemed to be enjoying it, as did Poppy and Grace. I was the only one who felt this way. The only one who pitied him.
Tyler stood up again and spat in Daniel's direction, before chucking his book on the ground next to him.
'What did you say?' Riley laughed, obviously enjoying the whole damn thing.
Tyler shrugged his shoulders.
'The usual, just to make his day shit before it even began.' Tyler laughed proud of himself and slapped Riley and Jay a high five. My stomach churned. How could they do this so callously? Mind you, how can I watch it and do nothing?
The bell rang, signalling the start of the day, although all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and cry.