Please don’t take this the wrong way, please.
I’m sure you’re a nice guy, but... stop. Stop staring, stop looking at me, stop trying to be my friend. You were rude, and arrogant, and I’m slightly afraid of your lack of knowledge about personal space.
I know I sound mean, but please.
Leave. Me. Alone.”
I was going to kill my brother.
I was going to poison his dinner, or poke him to death, or tie heavy weights to his wrists and ankles and throw him into the nearest river.
“Fucking... A.” I grunted, scowling at the screen. “Ewan! You evil, evil, evil child!”
He appeared in my doorway, grinning like the little bastard he is.
“Yes, Katie, my darling older sister.”
“Give me a reason, Ewan. Just one reason and you’ll wake up at the bottom of the ocean, I swear.”
“What did I do?”
“Well, I didn’t write this message,” I muttered furiously, my eyes focussing on my scrawny rat of a brother.
“Sorry.” He grunted, “You were just so... hurt the other night. So freaked out...”
“I was going to give him a chance.” The words sounded hollow and ridiculous coming out of my mouth, but they had to be said. “Why?”
“Oh, lies.” He said softly, scowling at me, “You were so going to hate on him when he did a single thing wrong!” He made a noise and I frowned at him, he raised an eyebrow and I sighed, shaking my head.
“Get the hell out of my room.” I sighed, trying to think of any single way i could make this better.
I was drunk? I was... kicked in the face and told if I didn’t tell him to leave me alone, I’d be killed? My brother did it?
None of the reasons my brain could formulate were either logical, sensible or in any fit state to be posted in the message. So I did what any deluded teenager would do.
I wrote on his wall.
Disregard everything in that message.
My brother is Ass of the highest degree.
And for the record, English Language, English Literature, Drama. I dropped two subjects last year – chemistry and Geography.
He wouldn’t buy it. He had more arrogance and more common sense than that.
He wouldn’t, but it was worth a try, wasn’t it?
I growled in the back of my throat and decided that from now on, I would password protect my laptop, and put it away, and hide it... and bloody hell. This was so annoying. I didn’t know what to do, what to say, how to react to this.
If he came to me tomorrow, like I knew he flipping would, because he was arrogant and lively, and headstrong, I would take a look at him, and burst into tears... because I wasn’t headstrong. I was scared.
I had hurt him. I didn’t doubt it, but I knew that there was nothing I could do right now.
I closed my laptop down, sent my brother away, screamed in frustration, kicking the bedpost as I passed it, and throwing myself down on my bad, curling up against the pillows and fighting tears. Tears? Why the hell was I crying? I didn’t...
I started to tell myself I didn’t care, but hell; I cared more than I thought I had. I shut my eyes and tried not to actually start crying. He wasn’t a friend of mine, per se, but I think he could have been a good person. Looking at his photos – and I knew they weren’t anywhere near an estimation of his character, but they all seemed to be candid, to be different from the moments he tried so hard to stage.
I really wanted to yell and scream at my brother, but the little good it would do wasn’t worth the row. It would make me feel a lot better, but honestly? Honestly, if I lost Nathan over this, over my stupid brother, who said he was trying to do something sweet – but how would he know I was friends with him on Facebook? – Well, I’d totally murder him. I’d actually, seriously, furiously kill him.
I growled at the pillow I was holding and decided that as it was just my brother, I could go into the sixth form block tomorrow like nothing had happened. Like I didn’t know a thing about it.
I bloody well would, as well.
I scowled as I pushed the door open to the main building and crossed the foyer to the geography classrooms, glancing inside as I tried to find the teacher I was looking for.
Edward Wright stood in the back corner of the classroom, fixing the display of new year nine work, his face screwed up in concentration.
“Sir?!” He almost fell off the table he was standing on. “Oh, crap! Sorry, if I startled you, Sir, I-”
“Sir? What have I told my sixth formers a million times, Miss Rosstow? It’s Edward, or Mr Wright. I wasn’t knighted, I’m no ‘sir’,” He laughed lightly and I sat down on the table, “How can I help you, anyway?”
“Well, it’s not so much help, per-se, but...” I stopped, biting my bottom lip, “You teach Nate Bailey, right?” He nodded lightly and continued to staple things back up on to the cork-board.
“Yeah, why do you ask?”
“Just wondered what he was like.” I felt my face grow hot, “He-I... erm... well, he’s just-”
“... It’s fine. Nathan, I think, is just as you think he is. Never smiles and knows a lot about the subject. Like, a lot.” He nodded and I rose. “Is that alright?”
“I just wondered... er....” I stopped again and looked away, “Sir, if you have him today, would you tell him I’m very, very sorry?”
“Of course. Do I need to know why you’re sorry?”
“I think it’s best if you don’t. Nathan seems to run on mystery, eh?” I half smiled and rose, walked out of the classroom and straight into Jason, who threw his arm out and wrapped it around my shoulders like usual, his warmth making me lean into him, sniffing involuntarily. So petty, so pathetic, but not... I shouldn’t have been crying.
“You okay, Katie?” His lips curved into a smile, I shook my head and his grip tightened on my, shoulder, squeezing me slightly. That was the moment that Nathan decided to appear, scowling at the end of the corridor. I let out a growl and stepped away from Jason.
“I’ll be fine.”
“You don’t look it.” I shrugged and stopped at the door to S13, waiting for him to pass me.
“I have chemistry.” He grunted when I caught his arm, “Dude, I’m gonna be la-” He turned to look at me and his mouth ran dry, no words escaping his lips. He swallowed and I watched the muscles in his neck twist, and I felt my own mouth dry out. “What do you want?”
“Listen to me, for two minutes. Please?”
“Why should I?” He growled, his expression trying to mask the hope in his eyes, but failing slightly, as his eyes lit up and the edge of his mouth twitched up into a smile – though half a second later it was gone.
“Please, Nathan.” I tried my best not to whimper his name, and I felt the tears on my cheeks, felt sick, felt as though I was the one that should have been... I shook myself of the feeling and looked at him, “Listen to me. I don’t care if you believe me, but Ewan posted message. My brother did it, and I chewed him out for it. I’ll kill him, if you really want, but I’d rather it didn’t come to that... after the third body, there really wasn’t much space under the garage.” He cracked a smile and I very slowly raised my hand.
He flinched slightly, but I took a breath and gently pressed my palm against his cheek. I felt him leaning a little closer to me and looked up at him. His grin was honest, not arrogant or cocky for once.
“You didn’t?” He hesitated slightly.
“I’m giving you...” I breathed out and shut my eyes for a second, “Nate, please, listen to me. If I intended to hurt you, there are a million more interesting and painful ways I could do it. Public humiliation would have been my choice, not this. Trust me.”