In English I tried to work up the guts to ask Lily in a note but whimped out. I really didn't want to know. I recalled everyone who came near my locker that day and added them to the list. I rushed through sports. Trying hard not to glance over at Derek in the showers after. Once I'd left the changing room I headed to reception and handed the list over. The lady already understood what it was for and didn't ask any questions. I hitched my bag up higher and left. I didn't hang around because I didn't really want to see people. For once I wasn't mad at anyone come the end of the school day. I preferred being mad at someone to this.
“Wow, that's one mopey face.” I glanced around and recognised familiar blue and purpled streaked hair across the road.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, trying not to sound too happy. Pretty sure I failed.
“Thought I'd at least see the school before deciding,” Zack said, chewing his lower lip a little as he looked down the road to were people were spilling from the gates. His face contorted into a glare out of nowhere but I couldn't figure out where his line of sight where was aimed.
“No, I can't go here,” He said and I really wanted to know what caused that glare, because I had a feeling it was connected to his sudden decision.
“But I told you I-” Zack interrupted me.
“You should leave too, you, Kim and Lily,” He said, just who had he seen? I knew Amber might have notorious reputation, but most people kept to themselves.
“Well maybe you, Lily and Kim can afford to go to a private school, but I can't” I said, somewhat annoyed by his assumption. He winced.
“Right, didn't think before speaking, right? I do that sometimes,” He said. He ran his hand through his hair and I realised he didn't have his hat. He had also traded his big prate-style boots for smaller military ones. I guess he wanted to look a bit more normal. Though I preferred him when he was being wacky.
“Anyway, answer my question,” he said, turning his full attention to me.
“You didn't ask a question?” I replied, thinking back and remembering he'd only made a statement.
“Oh, well tell me why your so mopey looking,” He said, settling onto the curb. I hesitated before sitting next to him.
“Can I ask you something about Lily first?” I asked, hoping I wasn't about to overstep a very big mark here.
“Sure,” he said with a non-committal shrug.
“Has she ever tried to...” I trailed of, saying something like “hurt herself” seemed way to over-dramatic. But Zack expression had turned dead serious.
“I knew her growing up and we kept in touch through the internet and texts. She's never admitted to something like that. But she's never denied it either,” Zack explained, chewing his lower lip again. I really shouldn't think about that. It was weird to think of someone else other than Derek.
“I've always suspected, why do you want to know?” He asked
“A razor was found by my locker, headmaster thought it was me at first. But now they want to know the names of anyone who goes anyway near my locker. Kim and Lily do it most. But Kim rarely wears long-sleeve things so,” I didn't know how to end the sentence and settled on a shrug.
“Right. Don't worry about it, I'll find out what's going on,” Zack said
“Hard not to worry about it, and don't think you can push me out of this. She may have been your friend longer but-” I couldn't finish my rant because Zack laughed.
“Wow, your a protective one,” he said. Watching me with his pale blue eyes. And for a second that's all we did, stare at each other. Then Zack broke it off, fidgeting uncomfortably.
“After finding that out maybe I have no choice but to transfer,” he said, acting like nothing had happened just then. I could feel my cheeks burning a little in embarrassment. Who was I kidding before? Thinking Zack was interested. He's been open about this longer. He probably has a boyfriend already or something.
Before I could think more on my stupid luck thunder sounded above us and heavy, wet drops began to fall.
“Just when the weather was getting nice,” I muttered to myself.
“Quick, I'll give you a lift home,” Zack said, taking my hand and pulling me away from the school and towards a nearby parking lot. I told myself not to think about his hand in mine as I shivered from the rain. I didn't know what to expect when Zack said car. But I'd been expecting some old, beat-up thing. This car looked like it was brand-new. Zack opened the back door for me and then got in next to me. That's when I realised someone was already in the front, but it wasn't one of his parents, the person was too young.
“You have your own driver?” Zack just nodded, as if it was nothing at all.
“Hot? Funny? Charming?” Zack joked as he removed his wet jacket, it was one of those biker type ones. I had to remind myself he was joking and not give a serious answer to any of those.
“-Rich?” I finished off, fighting the urge to fidget.
“My parents are rich,” He replied. Meaning he was rich. Something I would've never guessed in a hundred years.
“But, Your not...snobby enough.” I regretted it the moment I'd said it. Luckily Zack took it well and started laughing. I couldn't help but notice he had cute dimples when he laughed.
“Thanks, I think,” He said when he'd managed to calm his laughing, though he still let out an occasional giggle.
“Whereabouts do you live?” he asked and I was half-tempted to lie and just walk from a nicer place. But I realised there wasn't much point in lying, not if he was going to switch schools and if we were going to be friends.
“Arbury,” I said. Now it was Zack turn to stumble for words.
“Oh, So when you said you couldn't afford private school...oh,” He finished lamely. Arbury was considered the roughest area in Cambridge. Cheap place to live, but things could go wrong. I've always made a point of walking home pretty fast so I was never caught out after dark. Harder to do during winter but I was used to it. Zack told the driver to go anyway. I hoped there weren't any adventurous idiots who went for the car. I wouldn't be surprised if Zack was thinking the same thing.
Luckily the rain seemed to have rallied most people off the streets. I tried to think of something else to say to the silence, but my brain kept drawing blanks.
“What street?” Zack asked, breaking the silence. I said the street name and number and the driver continued. When he pulled up I got out and turned to wave bye and say thanks but Zack got out with me.
“You don't have to see me to the door,” I said, eyebrow raised.
“Don't want me seeing your house or something?” he asked, looking a little offended. The reason why he would want to see my house evaded me. If he was as well off as Ambers family then I was pretty sure his house was quadruple it's size. Then it clicked.
“You want to see how small it is don't you?” I stated. His sheepish look confirmed it and I rolled my eyes. I rummaged in my pockets for my keys and when that proved useless I looked through my bag. Then realised I must've forgotten them in the rush this morning. It was a Friday, mum always worked late on Fridays. Which meant I'd have to wait out here until ten. It wouldn't be the first time.
“Did you lose your keys?” Zack asked, concern creasing his forehead as he glanced at the nearby streets.
“Something like it,” I said, not wanting to admit I'd just stupidly forgot them. Judging by the way his lips tweaked upwards he'd guessed anyway.
“Don't worry, I can wait till my mum gets home. Thanks for the lift,” I said. Zack hesitated for a second before heading towards the car. Then he seemed to change his mind about something and turned to face me mid-step.
“If you'll be waiting for while you can – if you want to that is – come round mine. Then you can get a lift back later,” Zack said, rising his shoulders up and down. I struggled against the part of me that hated charity, which is what it all was right? Except his brow was still lined with worry, scanning the streets.
“Up to you,” he said, shoving his hands in the pockets of his jeans. I wavered for a few more seconds before nodding. Part of me wondered what his house was like. I pushed aside the part of my mind that wondered about his bedroom as well. I still barely knew him at the end of the day.