Chapter EightMature

Chapter Eight

I collapsed next to Derek in English, taking him by surprise. I think he still expected us to dislike him or something. Like none of us didn't understand the confusion that comes with finding out you like others of the same gender.
“How have you been?” I asked, pulling out the book we'd been assigned to read and analyse. Apparently our teacher thought we should still learn even though we're only hanging around. I couldn't wait for the holidays to start. Amber offer still sprung to my mind and I seriously contemplated it. A chance to go all over Europe? I'd never be able to convince my parents to help me save up for that.
“I've been good,” he replied, his mind clearly distracted.
“Looking forward to seeing Michael again?” I asked, aware it was a awkward area for him. He shrugged, flicking through to the pages we were looking at today.

“You know he doesn't blame you, right?” I said. Derek nodded before sighing.
“I'm just not sure how I'm supposed to act. I'm still jealous of Zack...” Derek trailed off.
“I told you, go that group with Kim on Wednesdays. You might meet a cute guy there,” I said the last part with a small nudge. He laughed, shaking his head. He was still having trouble accepting and the idea of going somewhere like that scared him. Maybe because then he was facing it then? I wasn't sure. I made a mental note to drag Kim aside so we can set him up with someone nice. When the bell went I couldn't leave my chair faster. My favourite lesson was IT without a doubt. Not only were Nick and Zack there I loved our teacher, he was a bit odd. And he didn't mind letting us do our own thing, as long as we finished the projects. Of course the exams were done so it's just browsing the internet.
When I walked in music was playing, Mr McIver had a youtube playlist going. I waved at him and sat down at my usual booth near the back. Zack was already there, flicking through a webcomic from the looks of it.

“Enjoy science?” I asked as I sat. His bored look answered the question. I grinned back and switched on the computer. I pulled out my English book so I could post the poems I'd scrawled in class onto my blog.
“I want Monday to be here already,” he muttered, turning to face me.
“I want to see Michael again as well. But its only his Art exam left … we could totally jailbreak him out for this Saturday,” I suggested. I saw the idea appeal to him but he shook his head.
“Not at the risk of messing up his GCSE's,” Zack said.
“Well then, you have getting your butt whooped to look forward too,” I said, keeping up a cheerful voice so he'd stop missing Michael.
“Heh, yeah right,” Zack joked. The door opened and Nick and Darren walked in. Nick took the chair the other side of me and I opened my mouth to say hi and stopped. Darren took the seat next to Nick. We all looked at each other then at Darren.
“I thought we could sit together now?” he said, half joking and half worried. I saw Zack open his mouth, no doubt some dumb joke ready to leap.

“It's fine,” I said, elbowing Zack lightly in the gut so he didn't speak.
“Ow,” he said, feigning hurt.
“Wuss,” I replied. I posted the poem in quick succession, making changes as I typed them onto the word document beforehand. I knew the running theme for most of them was heartbreak and anger. I guess the good part is Amber inspired some really good poetry.
“Am not, I beat Michael at paintballing,” Zack said. I shook my head at him.
“Kissing him until he gives up is not the same as winning,” I replied. I remembered the day it had happened. The moment me and Zack were alone he couldn't stop running his hand through his hair and worrying he'd done something dumb. I just stood there with crossed arms smiling at him. He'd been so silly to think for a moment Michael wouldn't like him back.

“And really, that just proves how awesome I am. It was me who convinced him to come to the group so he could meet you,” I said.
“Despite me saying I wasn't interested in being set up,” Zack replied.
“And yet I hear no complaints,” I pointed out. Me and Zack laughed and I glanced to where Darren was watching us curiously. I made a second mental note to talk to him in our next geography lesson. I wondered why he'd suddenly decided to try being sociable.
“Maybe I should ask you to set me up if you've had so much success,” Nick said. I blinked at him, was that subtle flirting?

The End

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