As the car pulled into the school gates, Misti tried to remember her exams. She struggled. She couldn't remember anything specific, like questions that were stupidly easy or stupidly hard. She was sure she had sat the exams but most of that time was only a blank spot in her mind. She cast her mind back even further, trying to remember what they were about but that didn't help.
She dismissed it. Her mother reached over the gearstick and pulled her daughter into a brief hug. "Good luck." she whispered before ushering her out of the car.
Misti did as she was told and watched her Mum drive off to find somewhere to park, waving her off.
She was late and so there were lots of people standing outside, envelopes in hand. She smiled at some of them, those she knew at least, before heading inside.
"Hey Misti! Long time no see!" She swivelled on the spot to find her old acquaintance Barker shouting at her. He waved his hands above his head in his typical exaggerated manner and she wanted to slap him there and then. He annoyed her but she kept him around, partly because he was cute but mainly because she felt sorry for him. He had come out to his parents and they hadn't liked that one bit so he had been kicked out and had been left with nothing. She had nursed him back to popularity, getting a little crush on him in the process. She could remember dreaming about him and that frustrated her considering she couldn't remember much else that had gone on before her summer holiday, like the exams she was about to receive the results for.
"Barker. How are you?" she said, keen to keep their conversation as small talk only.
"Great thanks." He bowed his head slightly. "Got myself a new place. You should come and check it out." She smiled, waiting for him to put his arm around her shoulders as he tended to do. This time he didn't and she missed that. Deep down, she liked his eccentricity and figured that that was why she had noticed him in the first place.
"I'd love to!" she replied, looking around the school for any sign of where to go. Luckily, Barker knew where he was going so she followed his footsteps.
"Plus I have some news." She could hear the excitement in his voice. She knew what was coming. "I've found someone." he said and her heart sank a little. She pulled a smile onto her face and hugged him, whispering a congratulatory remark in his ear.
"I knew you would." she muttered as they entered the school hall and came face to face with a multitude of others with the same goal, all heading towards a row of tables. They joined the queues, chatting about their holidays but Misti wasn't really interested. She cursed herself for letting her feelings get to her; it was only a stupid little crush! He was one of her best friends and she knew that she should be happy for him. Her smile grew when she noticed the change in his voice - he was so much happier than he had ever been.
After a while, they reached the table and found their envelope. Barker was a little nervous and made a face that screamed mock fear as he opened his, pulling out the sheet of paper. She did the same, her eyes scanning the page. Before she had chance to take any of it in, she noticed Barker light up. He picked her up and spun her around, a smile wide on his face. He put her down and apologised, something that he rarely did whenever he had one of his little outbursts. He nodded to her results and she looked over them again, this time in much more detail.
He knew instantly that she was happy when her eyes widened in disbelief and her nose twitched. The ends of her lips rose rapidly. They shared another hug, her arms holding him tightly. She was happy with what she had got and every time she looked over the piece of paper again, memories of the time came flooding back to her.
As the embrace broke off, she leaned in and kissed Barker gently on the cheek. He looked at her, his eyes full of questions. She simply smiled and tapped her nose. He smiled back, retrieving his phone from his pocket. He started dialling and in a moment was talking to his boyfriend. Misti smiled once more before backing into a corner to hide.
She wiped a tear away. She put it down to a maternal feeling inside, like he was her son and he was finally growing up and was ready to leave her. She got rid of a few more tears before checking her results again.
As more memories came back, of waiting outside the exam room, of last minute jitters, of her friends practically shouting their revision notes at her, she leaned against the nearby wall and smiled.
But then another memory came back. The memory of that night, the one she had tried to forget and had succeeded until that moment. The night that had changed everything.
She started to cry and even when Barker pulled her into an embrace and wrapped his long arms around her, she didn't stop.