"Thanks again for everything, Ellen, I don't know what I'd do without you helping me teach the class," Mr. Brown said cleaning his brushes and the paint left behind on his fingers, "I mean it is now when people what to join the after school art program-" he sighed and continued looking up down and focused on washing those brushes. "I shouldn't let them join so late, I know, but some of them have great talent that I just couldn't let go." She smiled recalling the spread out wings Ken, the freshmen, drew.
"I know what you mean," She placed her sketch pad neatly in her bag and picked it up, "I'm glad I could help." She had an attachment towards Mr. Brown. He could be considering the guidance she'd never had, almost like a father. She said goodbye and headed out. The halls were empty, nobody there, except Jake dressed in his soccer uniform with his back to the locker, arms folded, and leg bent.
"Hey," he said lifting his head up to met her eyes.
"Hi," she smiled what a surprise.
"I was just coming out of soccer practice and thought I'd say hi." she felt herself blushing. He pushed his blond hair so she could see more of his eyes. "And was wondering," he paused and took his eyes off her to look at the grown, "and well, I was wondering if you'd like to go out with me sometime," he looked back at her and smiled nervously.
"I'm not skipping Friday you know that," she smiled at him and he started laughing and gave her a smile.
"Yes, I was talking about after that," He came off the lockers and took a step closer to her, "Because once you start hanging out with me you'll never be able to leave," he laughed, obviously joking. She'd normally be annoyed in someone too self-absorbed but knew he was only trying to flatter her. "Forget about you not being able to get away, it is I who won’t be able leave you," he smiled. Charming. She thought, the trying to be romantic was, charming.
"Promise," she played along and gave in a couple of laughs. Jake nodded and smiled again, "Then OK." She nodded, "Yeah sure." After that Alex came running in "Hey Jake the guys are going for pizza, coming?" He said quickly, "Oh hey Ellen," The puzzled look on his face made a completely awkward moment for Ellen. "So, uh," he paused and looked at Jake, "I'd ask you," Jake shook his head mouthing to leave them alone, "Ok, fine, see you guys later I guess?" Jake nodded for her so he'd leave.
"Sorry about that…" She didn't know what to say. All she wanted to know is how Jake felt. "Can I walk you home?" she spaced out for second then looked at him.
"Yeah, sure," He smiled at grabbed her books.
Once Jake left after half an hour of just hanging out Alex came home. He found her out back on the swings. “Hey Alex come out side it’s nice today,” She smiled as she heard him slide open the door.
“Yeah, Ellen, it’s nice…” She looked at him with a tough face on.
“So, you and Jake… get … along, right?”
“Yeah we’re cool…” He looked up at a tree, “So you are going out with him?”
“Well we haven’t been on a first date, but we’re going to hang out in a group on Friday… So I guess I’ll talk that as a First date.” She kept on look at him even though he wouldn’t talk a look at her.
“That’s cool I guess. I never expected, but he’s a … good guy Ellen. And if you’re happy who cares what I think.” She smiled the best big brother.
“Isn’t it going to be a bit weird though? Well for you? For the both of us?” He then looked at her.
“Come on Ellen it’s not the first time this ever happens you know. I think you’re just a little bit too worried.”
She nodded in agreement she was over reacting, but why? Why was she avoiding the idea of dating Jake? He was a good guy. Wasn’t he? “Well it’s the first time it’s happened to us… I mean you never dated one of my friends, well not that I know of.” She said trying to hide the fact that she was over reacting.
“Ugh, Ellen, if you don’t want to date him you don’t have to. There’s no one stopping you.”
“You’re right.” Alex got up from the swings, “Thanks.”
"FINALLY! It's Friday!" Sam came walking in. This week took forever! I mean it. Like no joke!" She smiled; her face was so bubbly it made even Ellen smile.
"I know!" She met Ellen's eyes.
"OMG I just remembered today's your first date with Jake! It's going to be amazing!" Ellen blushed and set out a sunny smile. That talk with her brother help, and maybe it was just nerves, not the fact that she didn’t want to date him, because if she hadn’t liked him she wouldn’t feel like blushing every time he talked to her.
"Yeah," even though she looked all excited she wasn't as excited as she wanted to be.
"Hey beautiful," Drake pulled her by the waist closer to him, "How are you today?" She turned towards him, wrapping her arms around his neck.
"Nothing much babe," she giggled.
"Ugh will you guys cut it out for a second!" Riley came walking in.
"What's the matter honey?" Sam said pulling away from Drake going for a hug.
"It's Eric! He's," she seemed so frustrated and her eyes seem like they got no sleep,
"Did you get any sleep Riley? You look exhausted" Ellen said reaching out for a hug.
"No! Well some, but that’s beside the point. Anyways we got into another fight. I mean I don't want to fight but he's just-" she couldn't even finish the sentence.
"That's my cue to leave, bye baby." Drake said talking Samantha, but Samantha was half listening.
Riley slammed her head against the locker. "He asked me if I wanted to go a party Nathan invited him to and of course I rejected, way too much studying to do! So he got upset and started calling me all these things like party pooper and selfish and worse!" She took a breath to continue, "At first I didn't really care because well I was being a party pooper at the moment and I guess I could have spent at least a good hour with him…"
"BS! You did the right thing love!" Sam interrupted. "And if he really loved you, hell if he really cared he wouldn't put you through that." Riley smiled; the more Ellen looked at her, the worse she looked.
"It gets worse. He called me around 12:30 drunk. So what am I going to do?"
"DUMP HIS ASS!" Samantha answered. She rolled her eyes.
"And that's what I did." She said in a low tone of voice where you could barely hear a thing.
"So? Good for you! He's an ass!" Samantha groaned. Ellen couldn't take how Riley look.
"I'm talking you to the bathroom to wash your face," Ellen finally said. "You look awful." Ellen helped her up and walked to the bathroom with her before the bell blasted in their ears.
"I'd stay but I got that Bio test guys. Don't want to get locked out, I can't afford it." Samantha rolled her eyes, "Love you guys, Riley I'm here for you though 24/7. OK?" She nodded and Sam was gone leaving Riley, Ellen, and Riley's makeup bag.
"Sorry I can't take the pain away." Ellen said softly looking down at the sink.
"It's ok, and you have, some of it, just by being my friend." Riley smiled as Ellen returned the smile.
"Hey girls!" Jesse said joining the table. “I heard are you alright," she asked Riley. Even though Riley really didn't like Jesse she couldn't help but feeling happy that she cared. This was the Jesse Ellen saw she thought. "What a jerk! Then making out with that girl! Dick!" Riley's eyes widen.
"W-H-A-T?" She asked with her checks getting all red, "He cheated on me?" She said still not being it. 'Oh dear lord' Ellen thought.
"Uh I'm going to go." Jesse said getting ready to stand up.
"NO! Don't just leave! What else did he do?" She was so flustered.
"OK. I'm only telling you this because I'm your" she paused before continuing, "friend. He went all the way with Jena. He started making out with her then they both went up to a room... Toby told me this. He also said that he thought they went all the way." Riley look so embraced.
"All. The. Way?" She asked barley making them come out of her mouth in that sentence.
"I'm sorry Riley" Jesse said not knowing what to do. "He doesn't deserve you!"
"She's right you know, you can so much better than that," Sam said without a doubt.
Eric then came walking up with his dirty brown hair cut and his lunch tray almost empty. "Hey babe," He smiled at her.
"Babe?" Ellen said and looked over to Riley.
"We talked during history. Worked things out and shit," she said looking towards Ellen, "But now I know we're history! And we won’t be repeated! I can guarantee that." She looked up angry at Eric. He looked like an enigma.
"What the-" She didn't take her eyes off Eric; too much rage was still in her.
"And when we're you going to tell me? This was because I wouldn't go! How could I have been so naïve?" He didn't say a thing looking down at his feet. "And you can’t even talk to me, you can't say anything. You've got guilt in your eyes. You can't even look at me!"
"What do you want me to say?" He growled quietly. He only took a second to look at her. His face looked upset. But not upset that she found what happened, but at himself for doing what he did, it seemed to Ellen.
"How about giving me a fucking apology?" She rolled her eyes. And stud up. "Why did you even want me back? You got Jena wrapped up in you. You got to her didn't you? How did you get her in her pants so quickly? Well let me tell you something if she wanted you so badly and you wanted her have a good life without me!" She rambled on in discuses. "Don't ever talk to me, ever again! Because it's not the first time you've gotten drunk so how do I know it isn't the first time you cheated on me?" He looked so confused.
"Whoa? What do you mean 'get in her pants'? I didn't have sex with her!" Her lungs were giving out. She needed to just breathe and absorb the information Eric just gave her. "I made a mistake. I know. We," he gulped before speaking, "made out, but never got to it. I couldn't. I promise. I swear to god. On my mother's grave! I didn't have sex with her." Riley's tense's eyes eased up a little. "I, well, we were going to, but you were there, on the back of my mind." He sighed. "And this was the first time… and the last time Riley. Nothing else happened. We didn’t see each other or nothing." Riley looked over to Jesse.
"OK so either you or Jena's lying because Toby said she's been bragging about it." Jesse said quickly. He's eyes looked so honest and forgiving to Riley.
"She is! I swear it! Jesus Christ. Babe I told you about the crush she had on me. And you know I'm telling the truth. I love you. I swear that." Those words brought flash backs, it wasn't the first time he said it, but it wasn't always he said it either. The first time he said it was when they were fighting over something incredibly stupid outside his house in the rain. She found him incredibly sexy with his suit on because it was after some family ceremony for his cousin. And the second time she heard him was in the last day of school, and both their first time.
"I want to believe you…" she paused, "but…" Pause, "how do I know if I can?"
"I talked to my mom yesterday after I called you drunk… And I asked for help." Ellen couldn't believe that Jesse, Samantha, and she were just there watching.
"We’re going to leave you guys alone now." Ellen said to Sam and Jesse.
"Aw. But they were just about to make up! Party pooper." Jesse stuck her tongue at Ellen and got up. So did Sam, she didn’t say anything because she knew she was right. They deserved time alone.
The day had been long enough for Ellen she couldn't take the drama. She couldn't take how fast it happened. She was filled with confusing and worked up.
"Hey," Gerard said taking out his materials, "What are you drawing, you ok?" He asked looking worried and his left eyebrow lifted.
"Yeah. I guess. Just letting things flow out. Today's been pretty crazy." She looked over to him and back to her drawing. Gerard looked at her. Ellen's hair was all tied up and her face was smooth. She took a deep breath. 'Cute' was all he could thing when looking at her, very cute.
"Maybe hanging around me tonight will make things better for you. Well not better but it'll be fun… er" He laughed nervously. She looked over at him with half a smile.
"I think it would be fun," she liked the way his face was watching her. Her eyes met his and for her his eyes shined.
After School -Gerard
"OK we're talking your car. You got into this so your driving." Gerard didn't mind driving but he couldn't stand traffic.
"Yeah. You're also paying." Ray looked over at Gerard.
"Fine." Gerard groaned. Gerard and the boys drove faster than he'd though he would. He got there a little early than the girls did too.
"Hey," Jesse said throwing her arms only reaching Frank and Ray. "Glad you guys could make it." She smiled and gave a flirty smile to Frank. His hands were tuck in his pocket and his hair was hiding his right eye. "Everyone's on their way…" Jesse couldn't help but feeling that attraction towards Frank. He was so addictive she'd like to think.
Gerard was still looking at the doors waiting for Ellen and everyone else. He didn't really know who was coming besides Ellen, Samantha, and that girl Riley. When Jesse asked him something he couldn't answer he looked up and saw her. She came in so gracefully. Her hair let down and her smile took over her face. She. Was. Beautiful. He wasn't thinking now just enjoying until someone came to her side and grabbed her by the waist and gently kissed her on the check. Gerard narrowed his eyes at him questing what she was doing with him? Why was he holding her the way he wish he could and why was he placing his lips anywhere near her body? The girl with the blond hair that must have been Riley was walking hand in hand with a guy with short curly brown hair. He smiled while looking at her. He looked so happy to be with her that even Gerard could see how much he loved her and her returning the feelings.
"Hey, Gerard," Ellen smiled. Gerard said hi not taking his eyes off Jake. He kind of felt threatened by his blonde hair and his blue eyes, and his 'perfect' tan. It almost bothered him knowing that she'd like someone looking like this. I mean sure he'd expected or could picture Ellen with someone who was a little more artsy or the cool guy he'd want to hang around but no… This guy with some nice guns and the jockey looking look was talking her away from him.
"Well are we going to buy the tickets or what?" The girl with blonde hair asked said holding out her arms waiting to get in line.
Ellen sat between Gerard and Jake, which was bad for her…. So it seemed. Jesse sat on the other end of Gerard really hitting it off with Frank. She even placed her head on his shoulder while talking which came off as extremely cute to Ellen, even if her and Frank didn't get along.
"You want some," she shook her head maybe they'd touch once the movie started. "Maybe later," he said so low that even he could barely hear himself.
"Hey Gerard I was talking to Mr. Brown yesterday after you left… and he was asked me to ask you if you'd like to teach the Tuesday class with me, after school of course… it's for the beginners not to sound like I'm the best because clearly you can do so much better that me ." She laughed with him.
"I must say I disagree, Ellen." He gave her a smile so bright that even she can see in the dark. "You do better," She laughed couldn't help how sweet he was with her, “Yours come for every part of you… It’s what makes you… well you.”
"I'd like to your art work, Ellen,” Jake interrupted knowing his new threat.
“Really,” she turned her body towards Jake now, his hopeless smile was encouraging, “I’ll show you sometime, but if you really do want to see some good art work you should take a look at Gerard’s. His work is amazing! You should so show him you’re ‘Lost Shadow’! What he has is one of god’s greatest talents.” Ellen smiled. As soon as she mentions Gerard’s artwork he looked less interested. He didn’t even want to hear how amazing he was because now she was his.
“That’s cool…” he looked over and Gerard giving him a ‘back away’ looks that he clearly ignored. “Hey Ellen do you want to come hang out with me and the guys tomorrow? I mean we’re going to the Fall Park.” He felt her eyes looking up at his then looking down at Gerard’s. Gerard frowned pretending not to listen and trying to catch up on what Jesse and Frank were talking about.
“Uh, sure,” ‘Uh sure’ Jake thought. Not an ‘I’d love to go?’ or anything like that. Wait he wasn’t being smooth right now… “—“
“You don’t have to if you don’t want to,” Jake said quickly before could say anything else.
“No. I do want to go…” She looked over to Gerard…” Maybe she just feels guilty that I’m inviting her and only her in a group… I’m being a complete ass aren’t I Jake thought to himself.
“You’re welcome to come too…” there it is! That was it. A smile came across her face, thank god, still in the game. Jake smiled looking over at Gerard.
“Thanks man but I can’t,” ‘Yes!’ Jake said in his head, “I’m actually going to a comic book convention; you guys are welcome to come to that.” He smiled.
“Cool,” Ellen said “I’m not so much of a ‘comic book’ fan, but I definitely knew that you are.” She was so sure and this was throwing off Jake, this conversation was ruining time they had together.
“Yeah, I can’t say I’m a big fan but I read some of the comics…” Gerard took his eyes off Ellen and place them right under Jake’s.
“Oh really? Is that so?” Gerard asked what sounded polite to Ellen, but challenging to Jake. Jake’s face tense up, wasn’t going to look like a fool. “So what’s your favorite comic?”
“Eh, well I like Supper Man,” Jake looked over to Ellen whose eyes were glued to Gerard’s.
“Ah,” Gerard never took his eyes off Jake, “He’s alright, good I guess, but I like the Doom Patrol, well the ones from the nineties. It was originally from the sixties but Grant Morrison rewrote them.”
“Grant who?” Jake asked looking all puzzled.
“Never mind,” Gerard took his eyes of Jake and to the screen.
The Girls after the Movie
After the movie finished and everyone when out to eat Jake felt a little better. He started getting to know Eric with Ellen next to him. They talked about what Sam and Riley liked to call the ‘Annoying Man Subjects’. Ray, Gerard, Frank, and Jesse seemed absorbed in their own conversation. That just left Ellen, Riley, and Samantha talking about the tragic ending of the movie, leading to the subject about Ellen and Jake.
“It’s cute for a first date, with your friends and all to be there. There weren’t one single awkward moment, which was nice. I think it was a little easier with Gerard also holding up the conversation at some points.” Samantha looked over to Gerard who was mouthing something to Ray.
“Which is what I was going to ask you…” Samantha looks towards Riley then Ellen.
“Shut up Sam, I’m sure it doesn’t need to be brought up now,” She gowned at Sam.
“You know, she might not be aware of it, maybe it’s not something she wants people to think. Wait that didn’t sound right,” Samantha tilted her head a bit and made that face you make when you’re thinking of what to say.
“OK, what on earth are you guys talking about?” Ellen had to laugh, it seemed as if Samantha and Riley were like identical sisters. They practically read each other’s minds for Christ sake.
“Nothing,” Riley said getting up to get another bottle of water. “Does anyone want something else?” Nobody answered. As soon as she left the table and wasn’t able to hear Ellen looked at Sam.
“Spill,” Samantha picked up her soda and frowned.
“No. I’m not going to just say it because Riley’s here. It’s no big deal anyways. I mean sure it looked like something but I’m sure you don’t like him. Because why would you go out with Jake? Besides you never invited him either. It was Jesse who thought she could get closer with Frank… which she did, and oh shit. You can guess what we were talking about.” Samantha gowned and slapped herself on the head. Ellen lifted her eyebrow.
“Gerard and I?” She started laughing a bit. Sure he was a bit attractive and kind and artsy like her… but he just wasn’t her type. Not at all. Right?
“Hey guys,” Riley said coming back and looked at Ellen. Her face was an enigma. “Oh come on I was gone for like what 10 minutes and you told her?” She set her water bottle down and sat down frustrated.
Jake looked over to Riley then Ellen, “She ok?” he asked lifting an eyebrow. His arm was lying on the table and his back was twisted just to ask Ellen why Riley was freaking out. She nodded
“Yeah, she’s fine,” She said look at Riley.
“Uh ok,” Jake said turning back to the guys.
“Yeah, she’s probably freaking about some girl stuff I’m going to hear about later,” Eric joked.
“Same,” Drake smiled looking at Samantha, she was so beautiful with her hair down and make up half done.
“Though I don’t know if Ellen would tell you, are you guy’s official yet?” He frowned not know the answer was uncertain.
“Not yet,” he finally replied.