I was relieved when sports was over and I could take a long shower, relieved there was no Amber to cause an awkward situation. Me and Kim headed over to the fields where Zack and James were waiting. When Zack first came here he pretty much blanked James. But after what happened to Michael, James started bugging him for updates and things changed. They're not best buds or anything, but a somewhat shaky friendship has started.
“Hey, what are you talking about?” I asked, flopping onto the grass next to Zack.
“Amber wants to throw a small party this weekend,” Zack explained. I rolled my eyes, amber didn't do small. No doubt it was another attempt to get me a little tipsy and make out.
“Well, I have plans this weekend,” I said hotly. Then realised everyone was watching me expectantly.
“Well ... Kim ... bowling,” I spluttered. Thankfully Kim realised what I was saying and explained, giving me the chance to recompose myself. I needed to stop seeing red whenever I thought of Amber.
“Sounds good to me, mind if I invite Derek along?” James asked. Me and Kim paused, sharing a glance between us and then at Zack.
“It's fine. He apologised for everything,” Zack said after a few tense moments, though his jaw still looked a little tight.
“Cool, I could invite Darren. Maybe he'll go easier on me if I do,” I said, Zack agreed with that plan a lot. The bell for the end of break went and we headed to the next class, which for me was double science. Which would be fine if we we're covering a subject I really got, but physics confused the hell out of me. At least I could hang out with Nick during the lesson though. He arrived after me and slid into the lab stool next to mine.
“Hey,” I said, taking in his cute face like I did everytime she saw him. Nick was cute, no one could deny that. And the fact that some people thought I was just obsessed with moving on bugged me. At least Nick didn't mind me, though he doesn't seem to have noticed any of my advances yet. Or maybe he'd been ignoring on purpose, I decided to shove away the idea.
“Hey,” he replied, he looked annoyed by something but I decided not to ask. It couldn't be me, otherwise why would he sit here?
“Must be boring switching to another school when you've already completed your exams,” I said. It was an attempt to find out why he switched but he shrugged.
“I prefer this place.” I frowned at him, he always gave half-answers and didn't really want to talk about himself much. I turned to the front and concentrated on the teacher. The lesson passed mostly in silence and I wondered what I was doing wrong. Despite myself I found myself remembering when I'd first seen Amber here. I hadnt' seen her since we were all kids and she was completely different. She'd always been beautiful, she didn't need make-up to prove that, but the confidence that radiated from her was wrong. Amber had become more cruel but I thought I could find the old Amber if I tried hard enough. It was dumb mistake. I kept telling myself that as the flashback melted my senses.
Her lips on mine with bruising force, her tongue so forceful, taking away my breath. Then she pulled away suddenly, she always did that. Her cheeks flushed a beautiful shade.
“This is a bad idea,” she said, backing away and heading for the door.
“Why?” I asked, my breathing still a little ragged. She hesitated, her hand on the door handle. She blinked a few times, trying to sort through the mess of her thoughts.
“I'm not gay,” she finally said, leaving abruptly.
The next day she said sorry, and suggested the double-date. But we both knew she wasn't interested in Derek. It was a good thing paintballing happened instead. It would've been too confusing for me to deal with her that soon after. I wasn't that upset then, I just figured she was genuinely confused and left her to figure it out. But it kept happening. Each time she made me think more and more that she might seriously want me. And then she pulled away, sometimes even insulting me in the process. So I gave up.