Chapter 4Mature

"Was it just me, or was Mark kind of weird?" Jeremy asked once we were seated in Conversation Cafe.

     "Well you should have seen the look on his face when we showed him the note from Elysia in science," Josie pointed out.

     "What note?" Dan asked, looking confused.

     "Oh, we never showed you, did we?" Josie said.

     I pulled the note from my back pocket and handed it wordlessly to Daniel. He took it, looking concerned.

     "You're kidding me right?" Daniel asked, looking up after reading it.

     Jeremy, who had been looking thoughtful for a while now suddenly spoke up, "What look did Mark have on his face when he read the note?"

     "I dunno, to me it looked like he had a plan in mind, don't you think?" I asked hesitantly, and Josie nodded.

     Dan and Jeremy exchanged looks that worried me. "What? What are you two thinking?" I asked, panicking.

     "Well, I dunno about you, Dan, but I was thinking Mark didn't really need to talk to Evra this afternoon," Jeremy replied.

     "I was thinking the same thing," Dan said. "I don't want to worry you Jini, but I think Mark might have ditched to give in to Elysia."

     "Oh, come on you guys, you don't honestly think that, do you?" Josie asked, but I could hear the hesitation in her voice, like the idea sounded possible to her too.

     "I dunno sweetie, Mark doesn't seem to be the kind of guy that would do something like that to someone he likes, and it's obvious he really likes you, Jini. But I also think he's the kind of guy that would want to do anything to keep his girl from getting hurt. And Elysia can hurt you, Jini, you need to understand that," Jeremy said gently.

     "I do, but would Mark really do that, just to get her off my back?" I asked, looking around at my friends.

     All they could do was look at each other with concerned expressions.

***

I couldn't help think that Daniel and Jeremy were right. Maybe Mark had lied and went to give in to Elysia's demands. I paced my room, unable to settle to anything and I tried everything: cleaning, reading, drawing, even blaring music on my iPod. Nothing helped. I was so distracted that I don't even remember what Mum made for supper or what we talked about.

     But finally eight thirty came around, the time that me and Josie (or me and Violet, depending on the day) filled in tbe one who had been missing from the cafe on what had happened, via instant messaging.

Violet: so what did I miss??

Josie: well mark ditched, said he had to talk to evra about some project, but we think he lied and went to give in to elysia

Violet: there's no way he did something like that not after the way he was with you today jini

Jini: I don't believe it either, or at least i don't wanna believe it but dan and jeremy seemed pretty convinced of it when they suggested it

Violet: o it was those 2 boneheads that thought of this brilliant idea??

Josie: lol o come on vi, they probably no more about this kinda thing than we do, I mean they ARE guys

Violet: that just means they THINK they no more about this kinda thing than we do u can't honestly believe this shit, josie??

Josie: I dunno vi, don't u remember that look he had on his face wen we showed him that note in science?? didn't it look like he had a plan or something??

Violet: hmm, now that I think about it, he did look like he wasn't telling us everything he was thinking

Jini: u guys are SOOO not helping me here, u should be telling me that there't no way he would ever do anything like that to me no matter wat, that's wat best friends are SUPPOSED to do

Violet: I'm sorry jini is this better?? o jini how could u ever think mark would do something like that to u?? he loves u and elysia is nothing to him, nothing at all

Josie: o well done, violet, that really fixed everything jini do you really want us to sugar-coat everything instead of giving you GOOD advice on how to deal with this??

Jini: no i suppose not

Josie: that's wat i thought

Violet: u no what i think u should do??

Josie no we don't violet, please enlighten us with ur knowledge

Josie: XP shut up josie

Jini: o stop it u 2 go on violet tell me what i should do

Violet: i think u should do the same thing about this as mark suggested u should do about the note............nothing

Josie: nothing??

Violet: ya wen u see him tomorrow act like nothing has happened and that u never even played with the notion that he's done anything to hurt u

Josie: that's a better idea than i thought u were able to came up with parkinson

Violet: y thank u ur geniusness i'm glad u approve

Jini: so i might loose everything: my boyfriend (that i've only had for ONE DAY mind), my social life and everyone wants me to sit back and JUST LET IT HAPPEN??

Violet: that's pretty much the idea

Josie: and like i said it's not a bad idea either ust trust us on this one jini

Jini: alright fine but if i lose everything i'm blaming u 2

Violet: love u 2 jini but i have to go i still haven't started on that essay in english

Josie: ya and since i have no other homework i suppose i should plan our castle for history

Jini: ya i guess i should start that essay 2 cya guys tomorrow

Josie: bye <3

Violet: later guys

I sighed as i closed my laptop. Some help they were, I thought with exasperation. How was doing nothing going to help me?

     So now I was back to trying to forget about the events of the day. I even did what I told Josie and Violet I was going to do and tried to start my Edgar Allen Poe essay.

     I have no idea how long I sat at my desk staring at a blank piece of paper, trying to think of something to write my essay on.

     Finally I couldn't take it anymore and went to bed, but even there the annoying voices that repeated my friends' words echoed in my head.

***

For the second day in a row, I woke up with a sickening sense of axiety. I groaned as I shut my iPod off, and it took all my will poer to get myself out of bed and dressed.

     During the car ride to school my dad looked over at me with concern. "You've been very quiet, Jini. Anything you want to talk about?"

     I squirmed unconfortably; I hate talking to my dad about anything other than football and comedians. "No, not really. It's just some school stuff. But don't worry, I think I have it under control."

     "All right then," he said, letting me off the hook.

     Oh yeah, I definately have this under control, I thought sarcastically.

     As I walked toward the cafeteria I couldn't helpbut hope that I would find Mark, waiting for me. But I was disappointed; Mark was nowhere in sight as I entered the room.

     I sat at my usual table. The words on the pafes of my book swam before my eyes as they filled with tears. I couldn't help it. What if my friends were right and Mark was with Elysia, even now, as I sat alone falling to pieces?

     "What's wrong hun, sad book?" a gentle but teasing Irish accent said from behind me.

     I jumped. Mark laughed softly and stepped in front of me. "It's okay, Jini, it's only me."

     "Oh, sorry. I was just so into my book that I didn't hear you come up," I muttered, doing my best to hide my tears even though I knew he had already seen them. "Fred Weasley just died. He's one of my favorites and I tear up every time I read that part," I added, glad that I actually was reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

     "It's okay sweetie, the rest of the book turns out well enough," he said soothingly, wiping the tears from my face with his thumb.

     I forced a smile, unsure of what to think now. If Mark had given in to Elysia, why was he being so sweet to me? Unless he was planning on breaking up with me in a moment....

     The bell rang then, making me jump again and almost fall out of my seat. Mark looked at me funny but then seemed to shake it off and offered me his hand.

     He must have seen me hesitate, because he said, "Jini, is everything okay? You seem on edge this morning."

     "No, I'm - I'm okay," I muttered, getting up wearily.

     When I slipped my fingers in between his, he gave my hand a squeeze and my heart fluttered inside my chest.

     My mind couldn't concentrate on anything as we walked down the hall. That is, until we passed one of the any benches, on which sat the strangest couple I had ever seen; Elysia Macari and Peter Gilis (who was one of the geekiest guys in school) were cuddling.

     I didn't realize I had stopped until I felt Mark tug at my hand. "Jini, something is wrong, isn't it?" He said, looking back at me.

     When I didn't reply, his eyes followed to the place I was looking. Peter looked up then and noticed us staring. After a whispered word to Elysia, Peter got up and came over to us, beaming.

     "Mark I dunno what you said to Elysia, but whatever it was, it certainly worked," Peter gushed. "I honestly can't thank you enough."

     Mark smiled. "Don't worry about it, Peter. I was happy to help. I really hope it works out for you."

     Peter could only nod before heading back to the bench and into Elysia's waiting arms.

     "Come on, Jini, it's not nice to stare," Mark chastised teasingly, pulling me on down the hall.

     Once we got out of earshot of Peter and Elysia, I pulled us to a stop and forced Mark to look at me.

     "What's going on, Mark. I don't get it," I snapped.

     "Don't get what?" Mark asked, looking extremely confused.

     "I don't get what's going on! Elysia and Peter are going out and you're responsible?!"

     Mark laughed. "Jini, calm down. If that's what you wanted to know, all you had to do was ask. Yesterday after school, I didn't go and talk to Evra, I went to find someone else for Elysia. I didn't tell you because I knew you would think it was an impossible idea, but I had to do something. So I asked around until I found someone who liked Elysia, but was someone who wouldn't stand a chance with her normally. And I found Peter. He sounded like he was really in love with her, but's he's not exactly someone Elysia wouldn normally date. So I told Peter to write me a love letter that I could give to her, he did and I gave it to Elysia and talked to her and now look. They're cuddling in the middle of the hall and all the heat is off us!"

     I could only stare for a moment and in the end all I could manage was a pitiful "Oh."

     "Jini, did you think I was doing something else yesterday?" Mark asked.

     I felt so ashamed. I know I had only been with Mark for two days, but I couldn't believe I had actually thought that he would hurt me. So I decided to tell him the truth.

     "Well, everyone else was saying that they thought you had gone to tell Elysia you would do out with her," I mumbled. "I didn't want to think it, but I couldn't help it. I didn't know what to think. I'm so sorry."

     Mark took my face tenderly between his hands. "I almost left you no choice, Jini. I didn't tell you what I was really doing and I know I should have. I'm the one who's sorry, Jini. Forgive me?"

     I couldn't believe the words that were coming out of his mouth. He wanted me to forgive him? I looked into his eyes and saw that he was totally serious.

     "There's nothing to forgive," I whispered and kissed his cheek.

     When I pulled away, I saw that he was smiling.

     "From now on, we don't keep secrets from each other, okay?" I said.

     A strange expression crossed Mark's face before his smile returned.

     "Of course, hun. No more secrets."

The End

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