“You haven’t taken your eyes off him for about five minutes, I think that counts as staring."
Chapter 3; School Cliche?
My school wasn’t the worst, but some of the people there were awful. They liked to beat up anyone who dared to be ‘different’. They only ignored us because we scared them. It was therefore our group that had to help settle in the new kids, it was us that they would come to if there was trouble and our group that people would bet on if there was a fight.
Our ‘area’ was right at the back of the grounds, far away from any other group of people. I’ve already said how we had a circular bench right at the back, far from any others? Well, we also we on the edge of a small cluster of trees that sat in the school grounds like a miniature forest. A very miniature one, mind you, but it still suited our purposes.
If you were to go behind the tree closest to our table you’d find a rope with knots on it, like a knot ladder. If you climbed up, you’d find yourself on a branch that you could then walk over (or crawl if you’re an unbalanced, uncoordinated person like myself). Approximately four trees in, we’d built a treehouse.
That’s why there were no tables near ours. I’ll let you in on a secret; there used to be about seven tables in our vicinity, now there was only ours. In Ray and Penina’s first week, they’d come up with the idea and approached me. We’d taken the tables and torn them into their component wood planks, using them to build our treehouse. Quite clever, don’t you think? I’d bought the rope to tie the rope, and we’d spend a good few months making it just perfect. It was now a few years old.
“You guys thought of everything, didn’t you?” asked Frank, as I showed him the way up. Jenna left Bob alone and had clambered up just moments before, with Anna.
“Yes, we did. You should be honoured, Frank, not many people know this is here,” came her voice. Frank and I followed her up, leaving Bob behind to look out for the last few people in our group. One of them was Mikey, my own dorky little brother who was in Anna’s year. Then there was Ray, who’s hair always preceded him and gave him the reputation in our school as ‘the guy with the afro’. It wasn’t awkward to be around them, even if they were in the lower years. We were still really good friends.
“They’re here!” came Bobs’ voice as I settled down in my usual spot in the treehouse. In fact, the treehouse was more like a large circular platform built around the top of a single tree, hidden up top in the leaves. It was an evergreen tree, so the leaves never fell off and we were protected all year round. Moments later, Mikey’s face peeked through the leaves above us and he began to scramble down, but was beaten by the ‘fro-man, who had evidently decided it was a good idea to try and fly down - he landed flat on his face with a ‘thud’.
Ray rolled away, and was replaced with a much more gentler landing. Penina.
I’ve already spoken of Penina, I know. She had been one of the new kids, but she’d come into the school and immediately one of the worst bullied, far more than she deserved. Maybe it’s because she was only about five feet tall, or that she had a thing for getting angry when people picked at her. It just gave the bullies more fun.
I smiled as she landed in front of my; she was closer to me than a little sister and held a special place in my heart. I didn’t love her in ‘that’ way, but I did love her like a sister, more than I did Mikey (but then, he is an annoying git). Penina was like a little piece of me. She had a wild temper that just made her all the more lovable, but it also made her more of a target when she ever became vulnerable.
I picked her up and slung her over my shoulder, despite her loud squeals of protest.
“Put me down!” she shouted, hitting me on the shoulder. I obliged and set her on the floor, chuckling.
“Hey, you know you missed me,” I said, ruffling her hair. She giggled and hugged me, her head barely reaching my shoulder.
“Oh, alright, maybe I did,” she said, smiling into my chest. I laughed and picked her up, carried her over to one of the benches and put her down next to Jenna. She wasn’t much taller when she was standing up than when she sat down. Penina, I mean, not Jenna. She pointed inquisitively at Frank, who looked up and opened his closing eyes.
“Frank, the new kid,” he mumbled sleepily, his crooked smile creeping up the left side of his face, his hazely-green eyes twinkling.
“So, Penny!” said Anna, lying on the floor next to Penina.
“I’m fine,” she said, shrugging.
“I didn’t even ask you how you are, yet,” replied Anna, turning her head to look at Penina.
“What’ve they been doing?” I asked, narrowing my eyes at her. When she used that tone I knew something was up.
“Penina...” She was a very good actress and could often fool other people, but I knew her too well. Like I said, she was almost another part of me and I was a little overprotective over her.
“It’s fine, Gee. Giving me shit about... you know...” she nodded and twisted the little pendant that she wore around her neck. “I told them that you’d eat them if they didn’t shut up,” she said, brightly. We all laughed at that. ‘They’ is a collective term for all the dickheads and douchebags in our school.
I sat back in my spot against my tree to observe the scene. Frank had curled up on the floor next to me with his eyes closed, like he had fallen asleep. His black and red hair fell over his porcelain coloured skin, and his fringe falling into his closed kohl-rimmed eyes. Penina and Ray had began an argument over who’s hair was better, while Mikey was watching and strumming an invisible guitar. Anna was laughing as Jenna started to try and plait Bob’s short, scruffy, sandy hair, as he tried desperately to run away.
Everything was gently illuminated but the sunlight that filtered through the leaves above our heads, giving the whole clearing a peaceful green underwater feeling. It cast my friends in an almost eerie light, that particularly illuminated the contours of sleeping Frank’s jaw. It sort of made him look vulnerable, his peace hiding the entire vibe of strength and self-confidence that he held as he’d walked into the classroom earlier that day.
“You do know you’re staring, right?” said Jenna, turning away from her hairdressing session.
“The new kid,” she said, moving over to slump next to me. Bob look relieved as she moved away from him, but god did he look like a moron with Jenna’s bows in his hair. I pointed this out, laughing, but Jenna just cut me off with a glare.
“Don’t change the topic,” she said.
“The fact that you were staring at the new kid.” I raised my eyebrows.
“I don’t stare.”
“You haven’t taken your eyes off him for about five minutes, I think that counts as staring,” Jenna replied. “You want ‘im, baaaaaaad.”
“You sound like a sheep! Who wants who?” asked Mikey.
“Gerard wants the new guy,” said Anna, calmly.
“So what else is new?”
“What’s that suppose to mean?” I asked.
“You lust after everything on legs.”
“Whether that be two or four legs,” said Ray, propping himself up on his elbow and smirking at me.
“For that last time, furball, I did not sleep with my dog!”
“I found you and him together, in your bed, under your blankets! I mean, really, who lets a dog into their bed?”
“But then again, what kind of normal person snogs their cat?” I retorted. Ray flushed.
“That was a dare!”
“Yeah, but you enjoyed it,” said Penina.
“Oy, you’re supposed to stick up for me!”
I sat back and let their imminent argument commence, glad to have moved on from the topic of me having sex with my dog. Which I don’t, by the way, I just wanna make that clear!
I glanced over again at the sleeping Frank, relieved that he hadn't heard what we had been talking about. I dread to think what might have happened if he’d heard what we were talking about. Jenna glanced over and caught me looking at him. She just rolled her eyes.
All too soon, we had to make our way back inside towards our lessons. We groaned in unison as the bell rung in the distance, before departing the ‘hideout’. Jenna was the last to leave, but she bolted away instantly after Bob, jumping on his back and demanding a piggyback. That left me with Frank and Penina. I walked beside Penina as we walked towards the buildings, letting Frank trail along behind us.
Maybe it was a bit rude to ignore him, but I needed time with Penina. I know, she’s not my actual sister, but she was the closest person to me and I needed someone to show my soft side to. Because I was sometimes... okay, a lot of the time, an insensitive dickhead but Penina was the only person I could ever really ‘talk’ to.
We made our way through the corridors with ease, mainly due to the fact that everybody would back away in a sort of fearful respect when they saw me. They were all a bit scared of me.
“Taking on more newbies, Way?” Okay, they were all scared apart from these two girls. Candace Kyrimoto, in my year. I think I’ve mentioned her before, and the slut extrodinaire of the school. I don’t think there’s a single guy she hasn’t slept with. Her best friend was Sapphire Mitchells, who had been bumped up a year. She was just as slutty, but as if often the way she did have a really intelligent brain. Just my luck, I get stuck with her in the mixed classes.
“What does it matter to you?” I said, looking straight at Candace.
“Just wondering, if you ever get so tired of lumbering yourself with all these new guys? Seriously, why do you have a thing for emos?” asked Sapphire.
“Because he is one. But he doesn’t hang out with that freak,” said Candace, pointing directly at the one outcast that we didn’t hang out with. He stiffened, even if his headphones did disappear underneath his long, black hair, and his knuckles whitened on his locker door.
“Too much, do you think?”
“Are you two quite finished?” I asked impatiently, glancing over at the guy they’d pointed out. His name was Ash, but I’d never really talked to him. We shared some classes, but he just liked to keep to himself.
“Sorry, were we keeping you from something?” asked Candace, pouting.
“Yes, I would like to move through the corridor and get on with my life, please,” I said.
“Aww, little vampire thinks he’s a big thing,” said another voice from behind the two girls in front of me. A tall, supposedly handsome jock moved out and looked at me with his eyebrow raised. I say supposedly, I couldn’t tell what people saw in him.
“Get out of my way, ugly,” I said, now very annoyed.
“What did you just call me?” asked the guy.
“Oh really, you don’t actually find that insulting, do you?” I scoffed.
“Probably not, his brain can’t comprehend the idea of an insult to actually find it offensive,” said Penina, grinning.
“Say what, you slut?” Everyone who had stopped to watch gasped, and a horrified silence hushed the corridor. Nobody ever made outspoken insults in front of me and definitely not about my little Penina.
“Are you going to repeat that, Jake?” I hissed, suddenly remembering his name.
“What, do you wanna fight about it?” grunted Jake, stepping forward and looking down at me.
“On the first day back?” I snarled, stepping around in front of Penina. Jake grinned.
“Look at ‘im, protecting his little girlfriend,” he said. I looked up at him, keeping my face blank. My fists were clenched and practically shaking with anger.
However, Penina marched out from behind me and smiled pleasantly up at Jake, before drawing her fist forward and punching him, hard, in the balls. He dropped down and shrieked pathetically, so Penina kicked him in the same spot for good measure. Everybody in the corridor began to cheer, even as a teacher came strolling down the corridor to see what the holdup was. To our luck, it was good ol’ Miss James.
“What’s going on here?” she asked, tossing her wavy black hair behind her shoulder.
“He’s just got period pains, Miss,” I said innocently, but flashed her a smile and winked. She laughed and rolled her eyes at me, before turning to Jake.
“If you need painkillers or tampons, you can ask at the front desk,” she said, before turning and strolling down the corridor. I turned to see Frank staring, open-mouthed at us.
“Dude, you look like a goldfish!” I laughed, and moved to put my hand on Penina's shoulder.
“Thanks, Gee,” she said, her voice suddenly sounding very small.
“Hey,” I said, almost fiercely. “I’ll never let those dicks hurt you. I promise. Tell me as soon as anyone does anything to you, okay?”
“Yes, mum!” she rolled her eyes and laughed. I watched her dart away to her classroom, then strode into mine with Frank. Hooray, double maths, a good two hours of holy torture. How I loved maths (!). Or ‘math’, if you insist, but I call it ‘maths’, with an ‘s’ on the end. Just, accept it, okay?
Aheheheheheh. So, the hangout isn't exactly what my pals and I have done, but we have removed and destroyed all tables around our own. We haven't got a forest (dammit) to build a treehouse in, but trust me, it's on our list of priorities for the new school year.
I hope you enjoyed it! Starting to see a bit more of the other characters, I hope you like it. I kind of based Gee's relationship loosely around me and my sister; I'm going to leave out that time I threw a fork at her eyes. Please Rate and Review? As danisnotonfire says, I am a 'review pervert' and enjoy talking to you people.