School was the only thing that gave me a reason to be human as I woke up each morning, feeling more depressed than my usual times. After that last day of talking to Poppy and kissing Annabelle, I just felt like I could't handle having a situation where I felt like I was in love with two girls.
And I couldn't figure out which one I really wanted.
Mom could sense something was wrong but after seeing me walk out on her many times when she asked to know what was on my mind, she'd learnt that I wasn't going to open up to her. Though I tried not to, I was leaking out most of my frustration on the people around me, especially her. I had a guilty conscience a while later but that didn't stop me from acting the same way.
My fear of running head on into Annabelle again forced me to ditch the next two club meetings as I didn't go to school on those days. I didn't want to go through a more painful version of what I was already feeling. I didn't need it right now.
Yet, when I was trying to avoid contact with two girls and trying my hardest to do so, I couldn't resist the feelings of hope that maybe this whole situation really would get sorted out. And that's why I constantly checked my online social networking accounts, stalking Poppy's page quite a lot to only see old updates repeating themselves in front of my eyes.
Maybe she's trying to give you the sign.
I always pushed that thought to the back of my mind, crossing my fingers and hoping that really wasn't the reason why she didn't come online anymore. But my doubts were answered.
After another day of school, I returned home to see the house empty and a note stuck to the refrigerator, reading: "Gone out. Will be coming home extra late tonight."
Moving up to my room, I dropped my school bag on the floor and turned my computer on. It was instantly connected to the Internet and logged on automatically into chat.
Just as I was pulling on another t-shirt over myself, a bling came from the speakers. Peeking over the fabric, I squinted at the bottom right corner of the screen that read: "Poppy Brant is online."
I stared at the screen for about ten seconds straight before tugging the shirt completely down over me and quickly moving towards the keyboard. Clicking on her name, I started to write.
Cayden Rachet: Poppy! Where have you been?
Poppy Brant: Oh, ‘hi’ to you too.
Cayden Rachet: What happened last time?
Poppy Brant: I was ill… I’ve missed loads of school and stuff.
She'd fallen sick!
I fell back against the back of my chair, relaxing my tense posture as a relieved smile made its way to my face. That was all that had happened. She wasn't mad at me or anything.
Yet that wasn't a good enough explanation for why there was a nervous and almost awkward tension between us. The words we typed felt forced. And it wasn't like before.
But when she asked for my phone number, I was taken aback slightly. This was a request to have almost direct contact with me. Giving her my phone number would make things more complicated for me, considering the mess I already was in had my thoughts spiralling uncontrollably. Now having her call and text me...what would that do?
But I decided to take my chances.
Cayden Rachet: It's 044-987-633.