Book two in Catch Me series
“Come on girls, how hard can this be? Ugh, I give up. At the next rehearsal, there had better be some god damn chemistry!” I sighed in frustration, Amber just rolled her eyes at Darren. I murmured something unintelligible that was meant to be a bye and headed off the stage. We'd practised this musical number so many times my throat hurt. I sat on the floor backstage and grabbed my bottle of water from my bag.
“I don't think any of us expected the quiet nerd to become such a perfectionist,” Zack said with a grin. The circles under his eyes were still there.
“How's Michael?” I asked after a few merciful gulps of water. Why was the temperature in the auditorium so high?
“He's good, he still has to spend a few more days at home then he can return for real. He did fine when he did the exams. When he gets back the first he's doing is being shoved in the art room for his exam. Then he's allowed to actually interact with us,” Zack said. That had been the part he'd hated. The moment we'd gone into our first exam, he wasn't allowed to contact Michael in any way. Didn't stop Michael sending him texts saying he was fine everyday. Zack would've gone mad if he hadn't though.
“Glad to hear it,” I said. Zack's eyebrows shot up and he stood up straighter.
“I think I better...er....talk to Darren about something,” Zack said. I frowned and followed his line of gaze.
“Abandoner,” I yelled as Zack ran down the small stairs and away from the immediate area. I stood up and wiped sweat from my brow.
“Hi,” Amber said, a small smile playing on her lips. It would've looked innocent, but I knew the glint in her eyes.
“I'm not talking to you,” I said and turned to leave but Amber grabbed my wrist and pulled me back.
“Are we not even going to talk about what happened at the party?” she asked, her voice desperate. I gritted my teeth and stared at the wooden floorboards as I spoke.
“The only thing that happened was Lewis stabbed Michael. So unless it's that, I don't care,” I replied and yanked my wrist back. I sped walked away as fast I could, grabbing my stuff before she could say anything else.
“We kissed, and we were going to do more when-” she started
“When Zack screamed. I know. The only good thing that came out of the horrible business,” I cut her off.
“You were ready to give me a second chance,” she whispered. If I turned around her eyes would look wet. But this was Amber we were talking about, she'd been pulling off crocodile tears since she was three.
“Only became you pushed the right buttons,” I retorted. I re-slung my bag over my shoulder and left, refusing to turn away and continue the damn conversation. The night air outside was a relief on my heated skin. I called my Dad and soon enough he picked me up.
“How was rehearsal?” he asked, his voice so tired I wondered if he'd even hear my answer.
“Fine,” I replied. He nodded and concentrated on the road. If I'd gone into details he wouldn't have been interested. Dad was the simple and straightforward kind of guy. We approached the barracks gate and I pulled out my pass just to be on the safe side, usually they didn't bother questioning the Lieutenant General's daughter.
“Hi Sir,” the man who greeted him said, lowering his beret as he did. Standard militant respect and such.
“Hello officer,” he replied as they raised the bar and allowed him access. The moment the car stopped in our driveway I got out and headed inside. I went into the kitchen where mum had left me food to reheat in the microwave and shove it in. I heard Dad head upstairs and his and mum's voice. Ever since the school had found out about everything they haven't really talked to me. I guess they don't really know how to. But they're aware, I always catch mum checking my wrists. Sometimes dad will even ask me to roll up my sleeves for evidence. They'd gone above and beyond by hiding anything from me that was sharp. If I do any cooking one of them is always supervising. I guess that's what to expect when you're parents are army. To feel like a carefully watched prisoner.
“Hi dear, have fun?” mum said, she'd pulled on a dressing grown on and was watching with a furrowed brow as always.
“Yup,” I replied. The microwave dinged and put my food on a plate and headed past my room.
“I'll play on the computer for a bit and eat. Then I'll go to bed. I have PE first thing and want to have the energy,” I said down the stairs. We exchanged good nights and then I shut my bedroom door. It was mess as always. Clothes strewn across the floor, all my poems pinned on my cork board. I avoided those, too many had been about Amber.
I fired up my computer and ate the reheated lasagne, it wasn't too nice but it was food. When the computer finished loaded I launched a game. It was just a boring first-person shooter. It wasn't even a good one, but when Nick mentioned he played it I reinstalled it.
He wasn't online tonight though, so once I finished eating I quit the random round I'd joined and fell into bed. My eyes shut pretty quickly and I reminded myself it was tomorrow and Friday. Then Amber couldn't try to corner me anymore.