Katie-Kat says: He keeps staring, and it’s well freaking me out. He was a mug when I was showin’ him around, and everything...
Mandie says: Well, mebbe he thinks you’re cute?
Katie-Kat says: Don’t care! It’s freaking me outtttt!!!!
Mandie says: Butbutbut.... he’s well nice!
Katie-Kat says: *sighs* ... he was an arrogant... *growls* idiot when I was showing him around.
Mandie says: I think he was just nervous. You get annoying when you’re nervous too.
Katie-Kat says: oh, ty for that one.
Mandie says: Gah! Not what i meant, but yu knowww....
Katie-Kat says: Yupyup, but you knowww...
Katie-Kat says: Heyyy!! I gtg... I’ll cya in school
Mandie says: Niteyy hun... Keep the stalkerish dreams far off...
Katie-Kat says: I will, I will...
When he threw himself down beside me and put his arm around my shoulders, I’d just about had enough. He was actually scaring me now, the whole... personal space and constant monitoring issue, and it was awful, really, because I felt as though I was clinging to Jason and Warren because of it – it made them all clingy back and made me confused, as well as them, no doubt.
I jumped up as soon as his warm arm touched the back of my neck, pushing myself out of the common room and through the squeaky door into the girls’ bathrooms. I put my hands on the edge of the sink and took a deep breath, trying to regain my composure as I stared back at myself in the mirror.
Nathan Bailey was going to kill me.
What worried me most was I could remember his name, his full name, after hearing it once. He’d made an impression on me that had totally freaked me out, and made me want to scream at him to leave me the frecking hell alone. Rolling my eyes at myself, trying not to think about the fact I looked awful and that my hair was a total mess, I turned back to the stalls and got some tissue, washed my hands and dried them off, then left to go and sit back down, hoping he had gone. Hoping he wasn’t still sitting there, still waiting for me to return. I had tried to pointedly ignore him, for godssake, would he not get the hint?
I wasn’t interest-oomph.
I stumbled backwards and felt my heel slip on the rain-soaked floor as I tried to catch myself. A hand reached out and tightened around my wrist, pulling me upright, nearly pressing me against his chest.
“Hi.” I looked up into the eyes of Nathan Bailey and cursed my luck internally. Then I took a deep breath and tried to say thank you. Nothing came. “Er, you’re not hurt, or anything, are you?” His voice upped an octave and I fought the smile that was trying to brighten my face.
“No, no.” My head was shaking of its own accord, “I’m alright, thanks... Nathan, isn’t it?” He nodded and I had to smile at my attempt at indifference. Suddenly, I was somewhat painfully aware of his hand still curled around my wrist. I didn’t want to push him away, but I wasn’t sure how to be polite about it. A joke? A joke could be good. “You can let me go, you know... I won’t collapse and fall to the floor-”
“Bet you will,” He smirked slightly, and I rolled my eyes at his arrogance. He held onto my hand for a few seconds longer than necessary, and then dropped it, “Sorry for walking into you.”
“It’s alright,” I nodded and shrugged slightly, “I’m like this all the time.” Because I’m a dozy, clumsy, idiotic moron. I forced a smile and stepped aside to let him pass; he stepped back and swept an arm out as if to say ‘after you.’
This time, the smile came easily, and I fought not to murmur a ‘thank you’ as I walked away, instead pulling my hair back up into a bun. I threw myself down into the seat I had occupied only five minutes before and looked at Mandie.
“I’ll kill you for engineering that.” I hissed. “You know me too well.”
“Oh, give him a chance. He’s a sweetheart really.” She smiled at me and I bit my bottom lip, totally unsure of whether it would be right. Sighing, I decided that as long as he didn’t do something stupid in the next forty-eight hours, I’d give him the chance at being friends.
“He’s got forty-eight hours.” I said to Mandie, “Alright? In two days, I’ll forget about the staring, and see what I can do about his arrogance.”
“That’s all I ask.” She smirked and reached over into my bag, “Now, what’s this I see? An entry form? Whatever is this for?”
I sighed and began to explain.
I wrapped my arms around myself and pulled my laptop onto my lap, sinking down in my armchair and opening not only an instant messaging programme, but Facebook too. Signing into both, I checked my notifications and then minimised the page, turning instead to another tab and opening my UCAS application form.
The whole process was killing me quite slowly, with every single piece of information being checked, double checked, and then checked for the four-and-a-half-millionth time before I clicked save. What felt like years later, but was probably only an hour, I clicked back to my profile and sighed as I noted I had two new friend requests.
Clicking on the page, I looked at both of the profile pictures. One was my cousin’s friend from table tennis, who’d met me three weeks ago at a party, and we’d spent quite a long time chatting and dancing together. He cracked me up, so without a second’s hesitation, I clicked my acceptance and smiled.
It didn’t last. Looking down the list, I sighed as I realised the other request was from Him.
“Damnit, will you not leave me alone?” I wanted to click ignore. I wanted to deny him. “Buggery.” I swore and looked down at the keyboard, kicking my feet up to the desk in front of me and sighing as I looked at the profile picture again. He was smiling lightly, no trace of a smirk, and his eyes were wide and looked happy, creased at the corners as though he’d been laughing when the picture was taken. I moved the mouse over the picture and clicked on it, tried to see if I could see any of his pictures, anything on his profile before I decided whether to accept him.
There was a stream of status updates from the past few days, the exposure of his profile quite bleak as I looked through them, reading them to myself as my jaw slowly slackened.
“Nathan Bailey Can’t wait for the new school year.”
“Nathan Bailey doesn’t feel right.”
“Nathan Bailey feels really guilty about this.”
“Nathan Bailey – This is not normal.”
“Nathan Bailey... I need help, please.”
“Nathan Bailey... I wish I could say it to you.”
The most recent one was the most adorable though, and within a second, my mouse was hovering over the “accept” button, my mouth curved up into a wide smile, the origin of which was totally alien to me.
“Nathan Bailey got caught. And then caught someone. Like a giant, embarrassing game of tag.”
I smirked and double tapped my mouse screen, clicking the accept button and sighing.
I had said I wouldn’t be rude. He hadn’t done anything stupid – in fact; I thought this was kind of sensible, saving us from actually interacting until he found his social skills. I sighed and logged out of the site, closed my laptop down and found my compilation of H.G. Wells’s novels, opening the giant book they were in and settling down to read.
An hour later, I reopened my computer, determined to do some form of work, and checked my emails before I started. There was one.
“Nathan Bailey wrote on your wall:
Hey, ty for the add... you came up on my sidebar and I thought I’d add you... hope that’s okay? Hope I didn’t flatten you earlier either?!
I swallowed and slowly typed a reply.
“Heyhey. No problems at all.
I’m alright, bruised sense of dignity, but I’m used to that. Did yu sort out your cwk with Mand?
I didn’t wait for him to return with another awkward side to the conversation, just shut my laptop down for the night and curled up on my bed. I felt awkward, uncomfortable and a little confused, and I couldn’t wait for half term to come.