Penina opened her mouth to reply but Frank walked over “I’ve saved a seat for you Penina. Will you sit with me?” Penina nodded “I’ll see you in a bit then.” He kissed her cheek then went and sat back down.
“Promise we’ll hang out at least once without Frank hanging around us every second?” I begged.
Penina laughed and nodded “Barcelona, remember? We’re going there tomorrow apparently.”
“Oh by the way, who are you hanging round with in Port Aventura? You said you wanted to go on the big rides and Frank’s scared of them.”
“I’m still gonna hang round with Frank. We’re going on the small rides.” Penina shrugged her shoulders “It’ll be better really, the queues won’t be as long…” Penina’s voice trailed off before looking around to see if Frank was listening before whining “I’m only saying that to make me feel a bit better but it didn’t work! I wanna go on the big rides Hozzie! This is gonna be crap!”
I giggled “Just tell him that you don’t wanna hang round with him. He has friends!”
“Yeah but he says he’s not close enough to them.”
“Are you kidding me? Look at him!” I gestured to Frank who was laughing with Bob and Joe.
“Look, I’ll be fine. I’m sure we’ll have fun.” Penina said optimistically.
After what felt like an hour we finally got some food and Penina directed us to where Frank was sitting. There was only one seat left. Bob had been sitting next to Joe but had got up to get more food “Hollie can sit next to Joe.” Frank said with a shrug of his shoulders.
I hated the sound of that. Joe hated me and I hated him. In Year Seven he and the other Joe set out to make my life miserable. They only stopped bullying me because after one disastrous Performing Arts lesson (they made me cry), I got my Mom to write a note to the school so I could move away from Joe in Science. My Science teacher passed the note on to my form tutor and they gave both Joe’s a detention. They haven’t spoken to me ever since. And I’d like to keep it that way.
Penina knew that and was about to say something when a waiter came over and asked in a Spanish accent “Two?” Penina nodded and the waiter led us away from Frank to a different table where a Spanish family sat. There were two spare seats so we sat down.
“Do you think he’ll be mad at me?” Penina asked, biting her lip.
I didn’t have to ask who ‘he’ was “Well, he was finished anyway.” I said uncertainly. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Frank standing up and walking towards us “He’s coming over…”
Frank stood by our table and Penina smiled at him until he snapped “I said I was saving you a seat! Why didn’t you sit down?”
“Frank, there wasn’t any room for both of us-“
“But I saved you a seat!”
“But what about Hollie?”
“What about me?”
I put down my fork and bit my lip, running my finger along the table cloth awkwardly as my stomach twisted with guilt. If I’d just gone and sat with Raven or Rose or Anna then this whole argument wouldn’t have unfolded.
Suddenly Mr Billington was standing next to Frank “Guys, why are we arguing? Come on! You’re both awesome!” He put his hand on Frank’s shoulder. And then moved away to touch Penina’s “Come on now.” And then he walked away. For crying out loud, was that it?
Frank shook his head at Penina then walked away “Well that was awkward…” I whispered to her.
Penina giggled but it was more of a sad giggle. Frank stormed back over “Are you fucking smiling?”
“No, Frank, I-“
“This is bullshit Penina.” Frank yelled before stomping out away.
I looked up at Penina and found her eyes were filling with tears. I got up and put my arm round her and she burst into tears “And when we leave, Frank will be waiting for me.” Penina sobbed “And he’s gonna yell at me some more!”
“It’s gonna be okay Penina, it’s gonna be okay…”
Penina sighed “Just finish your dinner.”
“Well I’m not hungry now.”
“Neither am I. Let’s go upstairs. If we get hungry later, I have pot noodles and some soup! And I have a kettle!”
I laughed and the two of us left the dining room timidly, looking round for Frank. But he wasn’t anywhere to be soon and we made it back to the room in one piece.
Penina flopped down onto Raven’s bed and I flopped down onto mine “Penina, can I ask you something please? And promise you won’t get mad or anything?”
“If Frank just shouts at you, makes you do things you don’t wanna do and basically makes you feel like crap then why are you still with him?”
Penina shrugged “He’s not bad all the time. When he’s being nice then that’s lovely.”
“But when he’s being mean then that’s horrible.”
“Don’t worry about it Hozzie, I know what I’m doing.”
The door swung open and Raven walked in followed by Anna and Lucretia “Hey, we saw Frank having a go at you Penina. Is everything okay?” Lucretia asked.
Penina nodded “Don’t worry about it guys, I’m fine.”
“Okay. We’re going downstairs for a bit. See you later.” Raven waved at the two of us and left with Lucretia.
Anna stood there awkwardly “Don’t worry.” Penina smiled “We don’t mind you being here.”
“But you do mind Lucretia and Raven?”
Penina shook her head “I just don’t like everyone getting involved with my relationship. Jesus, I’m starving.”
“Have some soup then.” I told her.
“You want me to have soup without bread?” Penina cried “Are you insane?”
The three of us sat there and talked for a while about bread and other weird stuff. We made a plan to go to the shop, buy some bread and chocolate and stuff then spend the night in the hotel room. We planned to go out in about twenty minutes but Raven ran into the room “There’s been a search party for you three!” She laughed “You’re meant to be downstairs for a meeting.”
“But nobody told us. And besides, you knew where we were.” I sighed, slipping my feet into my flip-flops and going down the stairs.
The moment we were inside we had to go to our teacher groups. Mine and Penina’s teacher groups were right next to each other. Frank was in Penina’s group and edged closer to her and started hissing stuff in her ear angrily. Penina told him to be quiet because she was trying to listen to the teacher but that just made him angrier.
When the meeting was over, me and Anna hovered next to the two of them waiting for Penina since we had agreed to hang out. We waited for about five minutes until Penina turned to us and whispered “You two can go now.”
How exactly do you handle your best friend turning to you and saying ‘you can go now’?
Anna and I walked away “You and me could hang out?”
I shook my head. I could already feel the tears stinging my eyes “No, I don’t feel like it.” I muttered before running up the stairs to my bedroom. I’m so sick of her ditching me for her precious Frank.