I got to class quickly on Monday, unable to wait to see Michael again. When I woke up I had decided to stop being paranoid. Amber had probably just decided she'd actually try being my friend. We both knew mind games wouldn't work on me. Well, I hoped they wouldn't. I met Nick in the corridor and headed to Italian together.
“How are you?” I asked as I ruffled through my bag to check I had everything.
“I'm good, you?” he asked. I opened my mouth to reply, looking up at him and stopped. His face looked white. I followed his line of vision and saw Amber. Her body was pressed against the lockers, her lips locking very deeply with some guy I didn't recognize.
“I have to go,” Nick said quickly. He disappeared through the crowd before I could ask him what was wrong. I sighed and let my arms slump at my sides. I ignored Amber and her newest boyfriend and stormed past. Amber chose that moment to end the kiss and grab my arm.
“Oh, Lily! Have you met Danny? It's his first day here. Thought I'd give him a nice welcome,” Amber said, her voice so false I wanted to throw up. He grinned at the last part and then studied me.
“This a friend of yours?” he asked, his tone suggested what he thought. That any friends of hers was just as easy to get.
“Lily's my best friend,” Amber gushed, taking my hand and leaving his arms to stand next to me. She sent me a smile, I didn't have the heart to pretend. Not this time round, I wasn't going through Derek all over again. I yanked my hand away.
“Have fun with your new boyfriend,” I muttered and walked away. I got to the class and sat next to Nick. He looked embarrassed when I sat down.
“Sorry for running off. It can't of been nice seeing that...” he trailed off. Had it been that obvious on my face?
“It's fine,” I replied before sighing hotly. “I just wish she didn't play games. If she'd been upfront from the start-” I stopped myself speaking before I began ranting. I released a breath and glanced at Nick. He still looked quite pale and his pen shook a little while he held it.
“Do you know that guy?” I asked, catching his attention immediately. He hesitated before nodding. I didn't ask for more information. His reaction alone told me the guy was nothing but bad news. The next lesson was art, but since Michael would still be in there we had the period off. I sat in the fields, sketching more concept backgrounds and character designs. One of my more out-there dreams was to be a games designer. But I was happy just exploring the world. I looked up as someone sat next to me.
“Aren't you meant to be in class?” I asked. Last I checked Lewis was in Nick's music class. He shrugged and collapsed onto the grass.
“Skipping isn't very good,” I commented. That earned me a dry laugh, his eyes weren't really focussing on anything.
“You think I care about what the teachers think of me?” he asked from where he lay.
“Loads,” I replied, voice dripping with enough sarcasm to make him laugh for real.
“You're avoiding Zack, aren't you?” I said. Zack did music and drama, despite his dad's efforts to stop him.
“And what if I am?” he said, closing his eyes. I watched him for a few moments, had he really just fallen asleep out here? I leaned closely to check if his breathing had slowed when his eyes opened.
“I thought you were a lesbian,” he said, misreading my action. I raised an eyebrow and moved away.
“Actually, I'm bi. Not that it's any of your business. You've made your opinion on gays clear enough,” I muttered. He hid his face at the reminder.
“It was never meant to be more than light teasing,” Lewis said. I looked up from my sketching to frown at him.
“Is that you're best attempt at defending your actions?” I practically spat.
“I'm not trying to defend them. It was never meant to become so serious. It was Quinn's idea in the first place,” Lewis said. He muttered the Quinn part darkly.
“Was it his idea to stab Michael as well?” I asked. I saw him physically jump at my words, as if he'd been burned. He gulped and looked away. Obviously he wasn't going to talk about that.
“I'd always carried a knife with me. I'd never intended to use the thing,” he whispered finally. I sighed, remembering the many headlines and warning we'd received. Don't bring a knife, don't end up in a situation where you'll use one. Somehow I suspected it wasn't such a simple thing with Lewis though.
“The more you avoid everything, the worse things will get,” I said. Lewis glanced at me.
“Big words from you. You can't even decide if you do or don't want Amber, right? And you know what, you're as bad each other with the manipulative shit. So maybe you should just both agree to do no more head games and just be together,” Lewis threw back, his tone blunt. I stared at him silently as his words registered. How did he even know about us?
“I'm not minu-” I began to defend.
“Yes you are. There's no such thing as someone who isn't in some way or another,” Lewis said the second sentence softly. His eyes seemed to be watching something else as he spoke. I opened my mouth to ask what was wrong but he stood up too fast and left.
“I thought you hated gays!” I finally shouted after him.
“I do. But I respect your guts,” he threw back over his shoulder. I blinked at him and watched him leave. I shook my head, Lewis was as complicated as a girl. But his words couldn't be entirely ignored. Was I manipulative? I didn't think so. But when I'd stormed off, I'd been hoping Amber would follow. Instead we ignored each other through Italian.