Another day at the mall.
I woke up for school the next day with a pounding headache. It felt as though my heart was still hammering at my chest, trying to break my ribs, smash them into tiny fragments.
It took a lot of effort to drag myself out of bed. Thank God it was a Friday.
I knew the happiness had been drained from me. But I didn't want anyone to see it.
Maybe Anthony was right, maybe I was overreacting. My life isn't so bad. It could be worse, right? And anyway, I wouldn't have to wait much longer in this place. They would get a message to my dad and he'd come home and get me and I could live with him. Right?
Feeling like pure crap, I got ready for school. I tugged my dark denim jeans over my legs, and threw a red T Shirt with a random design over my head.
School was uneventful. Well, as uneventful as it can get with my class. Anthony came nowhere near me. I wasn't expecting him to though.
Soon though, it was the end of the day, and it was the weekend. And the weekend meant the mall.
Saturday morning came around and I was happy that I was getting to see Jason. I was happy to be going somewhere, to be doing something.
"Hey," Jason said, reaching over to kiss me on the cheek.
I blushed furiously. "Hi," I breathed.
He smiled and started the engine. "So how's the new school coming along?"
"Alright, really strange though. I just keep myself to myself though. People don't approach me. It's nice, I've been shoved around my whole life, and now I'm sort of away from all that," I admitted.
"You don't have anyone to sit with?" he asked.
"Not really. I think I saw someone I recognised yesterday, but she wasn't in my class. I don't know her name. But I'm fine with it, really!"
"Maybe you'll find a few friends soon. Hey, at least you're not stuck in a fucking Catholic shithole like me!" he joked.
I laughed. "Yeah, I suppose."
"So where are we headed to? The mall?"
"Yep!" I said, popping the p.
"I can't wait to meet all of these friends of yours, I must say I am rather intrigued," he said, in a stereotypical posh English accent.
"You might be slightly worried..." I warned.
He shrugged. "Weird is the new cool."
"Yeah, and transparent is the new black!"
"I know right?!"
We pulled up at the mall at around one thirty, and the mob was waiting in the food court.
"Issy!" Tristan squealed.
"Hey Tristan," I smiled.
He pulled me into a bone crushing hug, shoving Jason to the side.
"Yo nigga, get off mah gurl," he said.
"Oh, umm... Sorry..." he said awkwardly, stepping back.
"I'm only joking, I'm not gonna stop you from hugging her! I'm not ghetto either, as you can see," he laughed.
Tristan laughed awkwardly, red in the face.
"I'm Jason by the way. I'm Issy's boyfriend," he said, squeezing me into a hug.
I smiled up at him and cuddled into his chest.
"Oh my god you're so fucking cute together!" he screeched, "Kiss, kiss, kiss!"
Jason raised an eyebrow at him, then looked at me and shrugged. He bent down and gave me a quick peck on the lips. Just a peck, but enough to make me go crazy for a second.
"AAAHHHH IT'S SO ADORABLEEEEE!! Oh, I'll shut up now... You want some chips? We've got some here, I bought extra."
"Thanks, I'm starving," Jason said, taking a seat and grabbing the chips.
I sat next to him, and he decided to put chips in my hair.
"HEY! What was that for?!" I demanded, unable to stop a grin from creeping up onto my lips.
He shrugged. "Just figured you'd look cute with chips in your hair. And I was right!" he said brightly.
"Then I get to put something on you!" I said sweetly.
"Oh fuck..." he moaned.
I grabbed a packet of tomato ketchup and squeezed some onto his cheek.
"Why did you put ketchup on my face?!" he wailed.
I shrugged. "I figured you'd look cute with ketchup on your cheek. And I was right."
"Ha. Ha. Ha. You're hilarious." he said in a monotone voice.
"I know, right?!" I beamed.
"Will you two please just stop flirting?" the Lauren with the shoulder length brown hair said.
I laughed to cover up my embarrassment, and so did Jason.
"Oh Lauren, shut up, they're adorable!" said the long golden haired Lauren, slapping her lightly on the shoulder.
Being with Jason definitely did cheer me up. I never wanted him to leave my side. When I was with Jason, I forgot. I forgot that I was unhappy, depressed even. I forgot that I had nothing. Because when I was with him, I did have something. I had him, he was my happiness, he was what I had.
I didn't feel like a depressed teenage girl. I didn't feel the bruises and wounds my mom had inflicted upon me. I didn't feel ugly.
I watched him as he chatted lightheartedly with Tristan, his blonde and red hair falling around his face, framing his slightly angular jaw, falling into his wide brown eyes. His eyelashes were surprisingly long and thick, almost like a girl's. I watched his lips move as he talked, lips that were pink, perfect imperfections dotted her and there.
I couldn't help but smile. Smile at his imperfections. His perfect imperfections. I stopped my mini staring session when I felt a pair of eyes boring into me. I turned, and there was the girl with the red hair, Sarah, right? She was staring at me, grinning manically at me, her eyes all knowing and friendly. I gave her an 'Oh, shut up!' look and grinned. She gave me a 'What?' look, and smiled even wider. I shook my head and scooted a little closer to Jason. He stopped his conversation with Tristan and smiled down at me. He took my hand, and let me tell you, my hand caught fire. My hand was in flames, inferno invading my veins, taking over my bloodstream. And somehow, it all ended up in my cheeks. My cheeks were in flames, and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
"Hey, you wanna go for a walk somewhere?" he whispered in my ear, his breath tickling my neck.
"Sure," I replied, smiling.
I stood up and walked away from the table, and he followed. I was caught off guard when he came up behind me. He came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist, snuggling his head into my neck.
"Isn't that a bit uncomfortable?" I asked, a little nervously. "What with me being so short and all?"
"You smell nice," was all he said.
A second wave if fire hit my cheeks, and I was thoroughly grateful that he couldn't see it.
He squeezed me slightly from behind, then took my hand and walked with me.
I have to say, I was disappointed when he let go of my waist. I don't know what it was, just having his arms there felt... Nice. Comforting. Safe.
"Where are we going?" I asked.
He shrugged. "Wherever."
"Good answer," I said, nodding my head.
He grinned playfully. "Any ideas?"
"Uhm... Could we go to the art store? I need to get some paints and stuff, so I can paint my room. Jayne only has a really limited selection. Seriously, she has black, white, hot pink, and dark blue! Call that a paint selection?"
"Sounds good," he laughed.
It took us a while to locate the art supply store, and I spent even longer staring at the paints, trying to decide what colours to buy.
"Jason? Which colour? This shade, or that shade?" I asked him, holding up two paint samples.
He burst out laughing.
"What? What's so funny?" I asked, completely dumbfounded.
"Most girls," he began, trying to control his laughter. "Ask their boyfriends opinion in which dress colour makes them look fat and which one doesn't. But you, you're asking me about paints!"
"Is that a bad thing?"
"A bad thing? Dear god no, I'd hate to stuck in clothes shops all day! You're fantastic!" he exclaimed, giving me a kiss on the cheek.
"Uhm, thanks," I said, trying to keep my emotions under control.
"That one," he said, pointing the lighter shade. "What are you planning on painting anyway?"
"I dunno, some sort of mural. I need some colour though. I want colour. Lots of it. I'm not gonna be all dark and depressed anymore. So I need a room to match!" I explained.
"Sounds good, I don't want you to be dark and depressed any more, I don't wanna see your wrists all cut up," he said, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. "Promise me you'll stop?"
"That's a bit of a heavy promise, and I'll most likely break it, so I'm sorry, but I can't promise I'll never do it again," I apologised.
He frowned. "At least promise me you'll try to stop."
"I am," I reassured him.
"That's good. Your body's too beautiful to destroy."