It was getting late already. I hadn’t thought…I hadn’t planned. And, still, I could tell that the fever was lurking, as the computer screen fuzzed out of focus and my eyelids slid down.
We had begun to talk again, but my heart wasn’t in any conversation. Whilst my head was in the fever-clouds, I found my mind distracted. I wouldn’t ring him tonight.
Despite the haze, I could still feel that thrill when Cayden had given me his number. He had actually done it! I guess I still didn’t know him well enough to be sure that he would do it.
Quickly, I punched the number into my own mobile, saving it, before continuing with our conversation about the various things that had gone on- or not- in our lives. We chatted about missing interschool clubs, about a disappointing life, and general school problems, before, finally, I saw that I would not stay awake much longer.
Hey, Cayden, it’s Poppy. Just checking you gave me the right number ;) xxx
I typed in the text, hitting send when I was sure of what I was about to do. It didn’t matter that much anyway. Then, I turned my attention to the internet, stifling a sudden yawn.
Poppy Brant: Hey, I’ve got to go now. I have loads to catch up on and I’m hoping to get a early night anyway. Will speak soon though!
Cayden Rachet: Let’s hope so this time. See you!
The next day was Friday. It felt like a Tuesday. And there I was, lesson five, psyching myself up for the interschool clubs the next day, when Sophie decided to burst my bubble.
“Why are you all so excited anyway?” she asked, pointing her paintbrush at the sky and then splashing it down onto the canvas, the arch of azure splashing over her apron.
“Watch out! I’m not excited, merely…you know.”
“I guess I do really, but, Annabelle, you never were one to be optimistic.”
“I like school I really do-”
“But you’ve never been so jolly about the interschool clubs. Now if you were doing maths, I’d understand, but Computer Studies or whatever it is…”
“Well, no, I guess I’m not excited, ‘per se’-”
“The only explanation I can think of involves the less-fair sex; yet, you’ve never been like the other girls in our class…”
“Unless…” she added, questioning me with surprisingly silver irises, “unless you’re happy that next week’s the penultimate session.”
“It is?” For my lack of attention, I received a red finger as my brush swung down in a devious arc.
“You hadn’t realised? I thought you hated these interschool clubs?”
“I hadn’t…and I did. But I…I guess I made a friend.”
The frown that appeared on my forehead was not ill cast. After everything I’d been through with Drew, he still exhibited that Cayden-esque aspect that had made me kiss him. It wasn’t the similar cheek-bones or the broad forehead, it was that glimmer of philosophy that he had hid behind the grumpy exterior, a reflection of myself. And now, at the end of everything, with two weeks left, all I wanted to do was forgive him. I guess my pneumonia had achieved something positive.
I needed to see him the following Wednesday, if only to grab his number too, and leave as friends. But that was it, I decided. No matter what feelings I would be touched by when I saw him next, I would leave Drew to be my friend- because there was that something else, and I was determined that we were going to both be changed by its emergence.
As I gathered up a handful of paint-pots, I smiled to myself, making sure Sophie could not see. Even if I wasn’t completely sure how I was running through this life, at least I would have learnt a couple of decent lessons.
At the very least, I’d bagged myself two handsome guys’ phone numbers.