Steph does her essay and injures herself with a cheese grater.
I am so sorry for the delay. THIS CHAPTER WAS HELL to write. And I'm not that happy with it to be honest, but I figured after many re-writes, I really just needed to get this out.
Thank you if you reviewed my previous chapters; alex_-nods- (I hope i got your username right :\) you are right, you are a NEW REVIEWER, so thank you very much. Falloutboyangel (again I am not entirely sure if this is your username) you are also a NEW REVIEWER, so you both get a gillion pounds. I haven't missed any NEW REVIEWERS have I? Cos if I have, please say.
And Prettyodd, I loved my extra long review, thank you.
I feel as if there was someone else I was meant to thank but i really can't remember right now.
I was unbelievably relieved when Friday arrived at long last. The stressful school week had finally come to an end, and I had the entire weekend to look forward to. It was a feeling of bliss that didn’t survive for long though, once I remembered I still I had yet to do my English essay that I had been previously dreading. I was thankful, however, that I was now able to write it in my own time. And seeing as I was using Ryan’s computer, I figured I would be able to hang out with Kate too.
Or not. Ryan pretty much forbade her from talking to me whilst I was working because she would cause too much of a distraction. Or so he claimed. Kate, listening to her brother as always, disappeared into the living room after poking her tongue out at him. And I alone, followed Ryan upstairs and into his bedroom.
On the way, I realised maybe it came as a relief to me for Kate not to be there. It was off-putting to me for people to watch me as I wrote. I was a slow typist as well, always double checking the letters I entered, and my documents were always littered with red squiggly lines due to spell check mistakes. Then an idea entered my mind; perhaps this thought had already occurred to Ryan?
His bedroom was blue, and typically boy messy, but not too bad so that it was off-putting. He had a pile of school books-similar to the ones that never left my schoolbag-littered over his crumpled duvet and posters of various bands scattering his walls. His desk was piled high with CD’s and an acoustic guitar lay propped up in the far corner of his room, next to his computer.
He turned it on and we waited in silence for the machine to start up. I placed myself down on the chair in front of it and undid my tie, for comfort reasons and merely for something to do with my hands. I twirled it repeatedly around my fingers.
Once the log on page appeared, Ryan placed one hand on the back of my chair and the other on the mouse, leaning across me slightly as he clicked on his name and typed the password in with the keyboard. He was awfully close to me. I looked up from my tie and sideways at his face, his cheek a centimetre away from my nose. I gulped dry air and looked forward on.
He stepped back. ‘There you go.’ He said ‘I’ll be downstairs if you need me.’
‘Thank you.’ I sang.
‘You can do as much as you want today. You’re free to come back tomorrow or Sunday if thou dost wish to do so.’
I nodded and thanked him again before he departed his bedroom with a slight bounce in his step, leaving me alone with a blank word document staring me in the face. He did seem a little happier lately, probably because of Jane, I guess. No, think Steph, think; Bad habits. Bad habits, bad habits, bad habits.
_ _ _
My suspended foot bounced casually up and down to the Counting Crows album I had placed inside Ryan’s stereo as I emitted a small groan of annoyance at the lack of talent I possess when it comes to playing minesweeper.
‘How’s the essay going?’
I twirled my seat round to see Ryan lent against the doorway with his arms folded and an amused smile on his face. I uncrossed my legs and put my feet down.
‘Good actually.’ I said, opening up the window which contained my almost completed essay. ‘See.’
‘I do. It’s coming along good.’
‘I’m just figuring out how to end it.’ I said, returning to my game of minesweeper. ‘I don’t know what you’re really supposed to do on this, but I just like to guess them.’
Ryan smiled. He walked in and across to his stereo I had been using without permission, and skipped the CD forward two tracks. ‘This is the best song.’ He said, nodding, falling backwards onto his bed as I smiled.
I finished off the essay as Ryan led backwards on his bed, one arm behind his head and the other speedily pressing the buttons on his cell phone. I figured he was likely to be texting Jane.
‘I need to get changed.’ He mumbled, sitting up and giving one last glance at his phone before setting it down. He stood up and opened his wardrobe to pick out a pair of dark denim skinny jeans and a tight green V-neck.
‘Hey Ryan, which printer is it?’ I asked before he left for the bathroom, flicking the mouse between the two options on the screen.
‘Oh it’s the second one I think.’ He said.
He walked out and I hovered the mouse over the ‘print’ button. I was still uncertain. Did my essay even read right? I didn’t want to print it all if it doesn’t make sense. I contemplated asking Ryan to check it over for me. The thought of him reading it made me squirm; asking him would be taking a bullet. I hate asking for help, but at the same time I wanted to produce a good essay. This ambition is rare for me, to say the least, but I had spent a lot of time and made a lot of effort to come up with what I consider to be fairly good ideas for it. I didn’t want them to be wasted.
Ryan re-entered after transitioning himself out of his school uniform and into the outfit he had picked out. ‘Is everything OK?’ He asked, as I sat there chewing my thumb nail- a tell tale sign that it wasn’t.
I went ahead and took the plunge. ‘Would it be possible for you to quickly check it over me? Like, in case I’ve made any dumb mistakes?’
He nodded. ‘Sure.’
I stood up to let him sit and positioned myself down on his bed, hugging my knees to my chin as I watched him quickly scan my essay through with ease, stopping now and then to make a correction. I was relieved and quite surprised that there weren’t that many to be made.
‘You’ve got like the odd ‘nerves’ where I think you mean ‘nervous’, and a couple of things like that, but that’s it really.’ He said. He finished reading it and twirled around to face me. ‘Don’t take this the wrong way, but I didn’t see you as being able to write like that.’
‘Like what?’ I asked, puzzled.
‘Well...good.’ He said.
‘Well its word processed, it’s not exactly-‘
‘No, I don’t mean spelling or whatever; I mean your actual writing. This is a really good essay Steph.’ He said with earnestness in his voice. ‘You’re smart.’
That single word that emitted from his lips seemed to hit me with a force. I couldn’t recollect having anyone say that to me before. I can be described by many phrases and words, and have been, but none of them have ever included anything even similar to that one. I never thought I minded. Did he even mean it? Or was he saying it to be kind. Something told me that wasn’t true though. In that case, he lies. I’m not smart. I can’t even spell. I can’t even read.
All the same, he did leave a small smile linger on my face as followed him downstairs with my crisp, freshly printed essay papers in my hand.
‘Hey you’re done!’ Kate said as we entered the living room ‘How was it?’
‘Eh, it was alright.’ I shrugged.
‘Uh, I hated doing mine.’ She said ‘I didn’t even reach 1000 words because I ran out of things to say. Hopefully she won’t noti-‘
The rest of her sentence was drowned out by the brisk ringing of the doorbell. ‘Jane’s here.’ Ryan announced, disappearing out into the hallway.
I looked at Kate. ‘I didn’t know she was coming.’
She shrugged. We listened as he opened the front door to her and her voice sounding in greeting, appearing in the living room alongside Ryan seconds later.
‘Hey guys!’ She greeted.
It appeared that Jane actually looked pretty nice out of her school uniform. She had swapped her swampy skirt for boot leg jeans which showed her usually disguised long legs, and her curls hung freely and loosely around her face, which make-up just made all the more prettier. Perhaps seeing her out of her dire school attire at the movie theatre was what made Ryan change his mind about her?
We smiled and chimed back ‘Hi’s.’
‘Well I guess I’m off’ I said turning to Kate ‘I’ll be seeing you then.’
‘Aren’t you staying for dinner?’
‘Oh no thank you, I’m fine.’
‘Oh, please stay!’
‘Yeah, you should stay.’ Jane said ‘We could use an extra hand with cooking the pasta.’
‘Oh, fail.’ I said ‘Cooking is not my strong point, I fear I will act as more of a hindrance. You don’t want to see me anywhere near an oven.’
But after a little more pleading and persuasion on Kate’s behalf, I eventually ended up agreeing to stay.
Cooking the pasta went fairly OK. I managed to grate my finger the same time I grated the cheese though, which hurt a little. Jane was being all sympathetic as Ryan found me a band-aid. She even unwrapped it for me. I took it from her before she could insist on personally placing it on my finger.
Jane was giggling whenever Ryan was near her. They were previously huddled over the steaming pot of pasta together which Ryan was stirring with a wooden spoon. His free hand was placed on the low of Jane’s back. I think being pre-occupied with staring at them is how I probably managed to accidentally grate my finger in the first place. My yelp caused them to jump apart from each other and look at me though.
‘I would kill for your hair, it's so lovely and long and straight’ Jane was saying to me, as we sat down at the kitchen table together to eat. ‘Do you use straighteners?’
I shook my head, sipping some water from my glass.
‘Gosh, you’re so lucky’ She said ‘I would love to straighten my hair. I tried it before but I wasn’t very skilled...it came out all poofy! Have you ever tried curling yours?’
'My mom used to put rags in my hair when I was little, but that's about it. I've never used curling irons before.' I said.
‘Oh I think it would look really nice’ she said ‘Hey, my family is having this really big fancy barbecue on Friday, which I’ve already told Kate about, you should come too and we could do each others hair for it- You go curly and I’ll go straight.’
I found myself agreeing to it. She was making an effort to get on my good side, for whatever reason, and I guess you had to admire her for it, in all its blatancy.
For some reason though – or maybe none at all, I didn’t particularly find myself being just quite as eager as she was to become the absolute best of friends.
COR BLIMEY! That was stressful.
The next chapter will be easier for me I think, so therefore it will be out faster- yay!
(Do you say 'tea' in america for dinner aswell? Because I wasn't sure, so I just didn't use it. And i put band-aid instead of plaster because I think that's whatcha call them, right? Oh the confusion.)