It was Saturday, the day after Lucinda’s competition and they all met up at the local Starbucks. Lucinda hadn’t been sure about that location. Colin was already very hyperactive when he hadn’t been drinking caffeine. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to find out what he was like when he had drank caffeine. She found out that the boy didn’t change that much after a large cup of coffee though.
Colin was talking very fast and excited about Lucinda’s performance from the previous day. Lucinda just smiled and nodded, still adjusting to his rapid talking, while sipping her Frappuccino.
‘’So… Which instruments do you guys play?’’
‘’Drums.’’ Colin grinned. Of course, Lucinda thought, holding back a grin. The guy was so full of energy, drums were probably the best way for him to get rid of it.
‘’Bass.’’ Fai answered absent-minded. He hadn’t been that interested in the conversation, since he had been at the competition after all. He had seen everything Colin had talked about, thus he had been reading one of his new books while Colin was practically worshipping Lucinda.
Lucinda wondered how quick the Chinese boy read. Every time she saw him he’d be reading a different book. She suspected he read during class as well, instead of paying attention.
‘’So we just need a guitarist then?’’
Colin nodded, excitement shown on his face. He was so close to finally have a band; he just couldn’t sit still. Not that he could sit still under different circumstances, mind you.
His behaviour annoyed the other customers, who were shooting him angry glances, which the hyperactive boy didn’t notice of course. Lucinda did, however. She smiled apologetic to the people at the table next to them and leaned towards Colin.
‘’Maybe you should sit still.’’ she whispered. Colin blinked a few times before he progressed what she was saying.
‘’Oh right. My aunt always complains about that. It’s not my fault I can’t sit still. Blame my dad, I got his genes. He could never sit still either, to her annoyance. You’d think she would have gotten used to it! But no-‘’
‘’Colin.’’ Fai warned, noticing that Lucinda wasn’t exactly keeping up with Colin’s rant. She definitely wasn’t used to his speed-talking yet.
‘’What?’’ Colin asked innocently, while Fai just rolled his eyes. Lucinda knew without a doubt that Colin knew exactly why Fai had interrupted him.
She coughed to get them back to the topic at hand.
‘’So… A guitarist?’’
‘’Right! Colin grinned, then his face fell. ‘’No one wanted to join before though…’’
Lucinda smiled brightly at him, trying to cheer him up. Which was odd, since he was usually the one cheering people up, not the other way around.
‘’Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone from school right? Besides, you couldn’t have possible asked everyone.’’
Fai snickered when he heard this. Lucinda had no idea.
That following Monday Colin was found in Fai’s classroom as usual during lunch break. Lucinda was hanging out with her other friends, saying that she would meet them later.
The first thing that Colin noticed when he stepped into Fai’s classroom was that there was someone new seated not too far from Fai. Curious, he ran towards his friend. His eyes were looking eager, hoping that this girl might play the guitar.
‘’Hey , hey! Who is that?’’
Fai raised his left eyebrow. Again, Colin wondered if he could move the other one.
‘’Oh, you mean the new girl? Don’t know, wasn’t really listening when she was introduced.’’ he said, as he pointed to the book that was lying in front of him. Colin rolled his eyes. Only Fai wouldn’t mind being rude as long as he could read.
Before Fai could say anything else, the younger boy had already disappeared.
‘’Colin?’’ Fai asked, as he looked around in confusion. There he was. Standing in front of the new girl. Fai sighed. Of course.
Colin grinned at the redhead, a grin which she didn’t return. Her blue eyes looked quite arrogant, thus why no one was paying attention to her. She had an intimidating aura surrounding her, and the way she was looking at Colin didn’t make him feel much better. Still, Colin was one to give everyone a chance. He was pretty sure he’d see right through her, just like he had with Fai and Lucinda, and pretty much everyone else he had met.
‘’I’m Colin Walker.’’ he hold out his hand for her to shake. She didn’t take it. She just kept staring at him, as if she had no idea what he was saying. Colin noticed that Fai was looking at them, an expression of horror on his face. He would’ve laughed at it if the girl in front of him wasn’t acting so rude. The first thing that came to his mind was that she was raised by wolves and she didn’t know what to do with his hand. He quickly disposed of that thought. That was just ridiculous. Or was it?
No, stop thinking that. He stared her in the eyes, but he couldn’t read her as easy as Fai or Lucinda.
The entire class was now watching the interaction - well the one-sided interaction anyway - between the tall blonde and the new redheaded girl.
The redhead sighed in defeat, as Colin wouldn’t give up and shook his hand. Colin heard Fai sigh in relief.
‘’Brandey.’’ that was all she said. Fai vaguely remembered the teacher introducing her as ‘Brandelyn’, but she probably preferred ‘Brandey’.
‘’Nice to meet you Brandey!’’ said Colin cheerfully as he took the seat in front of her. He figured he’d just get to point. ‘’Say, do you by any chance play guitar?’’
Brandey raised an eyebrow, grabbed her iPod from her bag, put in her earphones and started to listen to her music. She completely ignored Colin, who was sitting there dumbfounded. Why couldn’t he read her? He knew for a fact she was reluctant to make friends, but her reason was entirely different from Fai’s.
Defeated, Colin took his usual seat in front of Fai. Not for the first time did he wonder where the owner of the seat was.
‘’Come on,’’ Fai said, trying to cheer his friend up. ‘’It isn’t over yet. Like Lucinda said, it doesn’t have to be someone from school.’’
Colin smiled, but for the first time since Fai had known the boy, the smile didn’t reach his eyes.
‘’I’m Colin Walker.’’ he told her as he held out his hand for her to shake. Brandey looked at it like it was a hand from another planet. Just before he had been grinning at her like an idiot. It had made her feel very uncomfortable. She hadn’t exactly planned on making friends, not since what had happened the last time she did. Now, this cheerful boy was standing before her, looking very eager to be her friend. Brandey didn’t understand that at all. She didn’t look very friendly, did she? She tried her best not to be, and since none of her classmates had approached her since she had arrived that morning, she figured it had worked. Maybe he was one of those kids who wanted to friends with everyone. That or he was really stupid. She noticed that the Asian boy that was sitting not too far from her was staring at them in horror. It was a pretty funny sight, but she refused to laugh in front of these people. They might come up to her and try to be her friend if she did. She had set one rule for herself when she was expelled from her last school: do not make friends.
Seeing that the boy wasn’t about to give up any time soon, she shook his hand.
‘’Nice to meet you, Brandey!” the boy named Colin said cheerfully as he took a seat in front of her. ‘’Say, do you by any chance play guitar?’’
Brandey was taken aback by this question. She did play guitar, though she hadn’t played it in forever. She had been occupied with… other things.
Colin was looking at her with puppy eyes, which, truth be told, made it hard for her to tell him no. He probably had a band or something, and she could never join. So, she did the one thing she was good at; she ignored him.
She raised an eyebrow, grabbed her iPod from her bag, put in her earphones and started to listen to her music. No one would ever think she was listening to Disney songs, which almost made her smile. God, if her… ‘friends’ found out about her fetish for Disney they’d probably try to beat it out of her. They could never know.
Colin left with a defeated look on his face.
Later that day Colin found himself walking home alone. Lucinda couldn’t make it, saying that ‘something came up’. Fai, who was eager to finish his book, practically looked at him with puppy eyes - the Asian boy had never made puppy eyes before, so finding it amusing he told his friend they would talk about the guitarist problem the following day.
Colin was surprised to find Brandey at the playground across from his house. Wondering what she was doing there, he quickly hid behind some bushes. What was wrong with him? First Lucinda, now he was stalking Brandey? And oh if his mother could see him now… She’d be furious, saying that spying on people was rude.
Brandey was sitting on one of the swings, looking around as if she was expecting someone. Sure enough, a few minutes later (Colin was getting cramps in his legs, though he didn’t dare to move, afraid that Brandey would notice him), a group of older kids appeared. The youngest member of the group seemed to be eighteen, the oldest something like twenty-one. What was Brandey doing with these mean looking kids? Was she being bullied? She wasn’t though, since they all hugged. Not a friendly hug, more like a manly hug, where they patted each other on the back.
Colin raised his left eyebrow (Fai was taking over his puppy eyes look, whereas Fai’s habit of pulling his left eyebrow was rubbing off on him). What was going on here?
The oldest of the group seemed to be the leader. He was tall and looked very strong. Not to mention he had an aura that gave off a murderous vibe. Right now, Colin really hated that he was so good at reading people, because right now he was ninety-nine percent certain that the black-haired boy who was now talking to Brandey had killed someone. Multiple times.
He couldn’t exactly hear what they were saying, so he decided to move a bit closer, just a bit-
Colin found himself flat on the ground, not too far away from the gang of adolescents. He’d later on find out that ‘gang’ really was the appropriate word.
This could not be good.
‘’What is this?’’ the oldest asked with a smirk. Colin did not like his tone. The guy grabbed Colin’s collar and picked him up from the ground with ease. ‘’Hasn’t your mummy taught you that eavesdropping is rude?’’
Actually, she has, Colin thought, but he decided not to say that out loud.
‘’Don’t hurt him,’’ Brandey said. She sounded bored, not at all worried about what might happen to Colin. ‘’He’s just this stupid kid from my school.’’
The guy narrowed his eyes. Colin desperately tried not to gulp.
‘’What did you hear?’’
‘’Nothing.’’ Colin managed to get out without sounding too scared. If he got out of this alive he’d never spy on anyone ever again. Okay, that was a lie. He would be more careful, that’s for sure though.
The guy was still holding him by his collar, not planning on letting go any time soon.
‘’Come on, Blake. He couldn’t have possibly heard anything. Just let him go.’’ another girl said.
The guy named Blake put Colin back on the ground and brought his face closer to Colin’s.
‘’Don’t let me see you again, got it?’’
‘’Yup.’’ Colin grinned his usual cheerful grin, though it seemed a bit forced thanks to his fear. He quickly turned and walked towards his home in a fast pace. He really wanted to just run like he had never ran before, but he didn’t want Blake to think he was scared of him. The air surrounding that group made Colin believe that it was some kind of gang. Colin went over everything he had learned that day and opened the front door to his house. He got out his phone and immediately called Fai. This deserved an emergency meeting. He groaned as the boy didn’t pick up. Colin knew that Fai would refuse to pick up until he had finished his book. A devilish grin appeared on his face. The boy knew his friend well and knew for a fact that if he kept calling, Fai would pick up eventually.
After calling about fifteen times, Fai finally answered.
‘’Can you stop calling?’’ the boy’s voice sounded irritated.
‘’What if I had been in trouble? You would just let your only friend die?’’
Colin knew that his friend was rolling his eyes about now.
‘’Don’t be such a drama queen Col.’’
Colin ignored the fact that his friend had just called him a queen and decided he should tell him what happened before the older boy hang up.
‘’But I could have died! Listen, Brandey is in a gang!’’
Colin quickly - which meant he talked faster than normally - told Fai about what had happened. Fai was quiet for a while after that and Colin knew he was thinking.
‘’You can’t be sure that they were a gang…’’ he said doubtful. ‘’Though…’’
‘’Though what?’’ Colin asked, holding his breath. He was tapping his fingers against the kitchen table.
‘’Well, there are rumours that Brandelyn got kicked out of her old school because she got in a fight.’’
‘’Aha!’’ Colin yelled triumphantly. ‘’So I was right.’’
‘’Oh, my mum's home. Got to go!’’
Fai sighed as he stared at his phone. He had a nagging feeling that Colin was going to try and get Brandelyn out of that gang. This could not end well.
After school Brandey made her way to the playground not too far from school where Blake had told her to meet up. She got there first, something she had already expected. She sat down on one of the swings, looking around to see if they were coming yet. There was an uneasy feeling in her stomach. She hated to admit it, but she was scared. They hadn’t met up ever since that happened and the next day she had gotten in that stupid fight which lead to expulsion and searching for a new school. Her ‘friends’ knew that she was busy with that, not to forget not allowed to leave the house, so they had kept their distance. Truth be told, Brandey had hoped it would stay that way. She really regretted joining them last year. What was she thinking? She knew the answer of course; she hadn’t. Sick of her parents not caring about her and not even listening to her, she had decided to do the stupidest thing she had ever done: she joined a gang. At least they never made her kill anyone, though she had stabbed people, something she could never forget. She had mugged and beaten a lot of people up.
Blake had killed though. Of course he had; he was the leader. One time he even killed someone in front of her. Oh God, she could never get that image out of her head. She still had nightmares about that day.
Finally, after what felt like ages, they appeared. She looked at all of them, noticing that none of them had changed much since she last saw them. Hannah had dyed her hair black though and for the first time since she had met the girl she thought she actually looked like a gang member. Hannah had always looked so sweet and innocent when she had light brown hair, causing Brandey to wonder why she had ever joined the gang. She got the answer one night in an abandoned warehouse though. The small girl had gotten angry and Brandey remembered making an oath to never anger her.
Blake was walking in the front. Of course he was. He was the leader after all.
She got up from the swings as they approached her and they hugged. Not a real hug though, never a real hug. More like a manly hug, where they patted each other on the back.
Blake filled her in on the things they had been doing when she had been gone and told her they had a meeting with another gang that evening. He asked her if she wanted to come and she said yes. She really didn’t. She really, really didn’t. But she couldn’t say no. He expected her to come, they all did. She had already missed out on too much. If she could, she’d just quit, but when she thought about quitting she instantly thought about the last person who had quit. She didn’t want that to happen to her.
Brandey’s eyes widened when she saw Colin lying on the ground, not too far away from her and the gang. Oh no. What was he doing here? Had he followed her? Was it happening all over again? But they hadn’t even been friends!
‘’What is this?’’ Blake asked with a smirk. Brandey did not like his tone. Things went awfully wrong when Blake used that tone. He grabbed Colin’s collar and picked him up from the ground with ease. ‘’Hasn’t your mummy taught you that eavesdropping is rude?’’
He’s going to beat him up.
‘’Don’t hurt him,’’ she tried to sound as bored as possible. If Blake thought she cared about him, he’d end up in the hospital and he might never get out of it alive. ‘’He’s just this stupid kid from my school.’’
‘’What did you hear?’’
‘’Nothing.’’ Brandey was impressed. He actually managed to not sound scared. She had definitely underestimated him.
Blake was still holding Colin by his collar though, not planning on letting go any time soon.
‘’Come on, Blake. He couldn’t have possibly heard anything. Just let him go.’’ Hannah said.
Brandey had never been so grateful to Hannah in her entire life, since Blake actually listened to her and put Colin back on the ground. Blake brought his face closer to Colin’s.
‘’Don’t let me see you again, got it?’’
‘’Yup.’’ Colin grinned his usual cheerful grin and Brandey wished she could’ve mentally slapped him. This was not a time to be grinning. Colin quickly turned and walked away in a fast pace. A tiny part of her had expected him to run away, but he didn’t. That boy sure had guts.
Blake sighed and turned around.
‘’This better not happens again, Brandey.’’ his voice sounded threatening, but then again, it always did.
Brandey nodded as she forced a small smile on her face. It better didn’t.