I know I could just call Julia, but well, I had already talked to her and I just really want to talk to Scott. There, I said it. I wanted to talk to Scott.
The following week I missed three days of school. I had contracted the last wave of influenza, and was in poor condition, in sickness, and in schoolwork.
I was in the process of calling someone from each of my classes so they could bring me my work. It was hard enough just willing myself to get out of bed, forget dialing and answering phone calls. With each call I had to go through the same thing; the "So what's wrong with you anyway?" and all of the fake sympathy I received after. For example, when I called Whitney, from bio, this is how it went:
(Lots of incessant ringing until finally--)
"Uh hi, this is Jemma, from your bio class."
"From your bio class. You know, biology, life science, plants, and
"Oh, that Jemma. Gawd, why didn't you say so? Where you been this week?"
"Um, I've been sick."
"Oh right. Why?"
Did she seriously want to know why?
"Actually, my doctor said it was because I was under stress, I had been way too active and that made me more susceptible." I'm not quite sure she'll know what susceptible means but at least I answered her question.
"You have been too active?" she sounded in shock, but I wasn't sure why.
"That's what my doctor said."
"Gawd, I am like really um, surprised that someone like you would be active, you know with the whole brain thing going on, I would think someone like you would be thinking about like STDs and stuff."
"I'm sorry, what?" I asked, but she just kept talking.
"Who'd you do it with, if you don't mind me asking? Oh, I know gawd Kristine is gonna flip when she hears this. You did it with Scott didn't you? Gawd I didn't think it was that serious, jeez!"
I am utterly confused.
"What are you talking about? What do you mean STDs? And when did Scott become involved?"
"Uh, you said you had been active, so I assumed Scott and you, well, um you were pregnant or sum thin. Don't worry hon, it happens to the best of us."
"What? My doctor, I'm not, you thought Scott and I, we didn't, I didn't," I took a deep breath; trying to calm myself...she thought Scott got me pregnant? "Look this is all a BIG misunderstanding. I'm not pregnant. Scott and I are JUST friends, and I'm not sexually active, I'm physically active, because I haven't been relaxing a lot. Now if you just forget this entire conversation happened and please tell me like a normal human being what we've done in biology the past three days."
"Sure, but might I add it doesn't seem like Scott OR you wanna be just friends... if you catch my drift."
"I... I don't know what you're talking about, I lied, "Now could you please just tell me what the homework in bio is?"
I waited a couple of hours to regain consciousness before I made the next call for three reasons:
- To calm down from the bio phone call
- To sleep
- And to figure out exactly what I was going to say to Scott
when I made the English call
I know I could just call Julia, but well, I had already talked to her and I just really want to talk to Scott. There, I said it. I wanted to talk to Scott. I had my excuses ready; if any one was suspicious I would just say that since he was my partner for poetry, I had to call him. It was weak, but it would work for everyone but Julia.
I had to say something is up with her. She has been making a lot of mysterious phone calls, and the other night when she came to the B&N to pick me up, she spent almost 45 minutes looking for a cd of a band I knew she didn't like. I'm not sure if I'm making mountains out of molehills here but she's not usually like this.
And here I drift off to sleep.
You see right here? Well right here I hear at this moment someone near by calling my name.
And now someone is gently prodding my shoulder. I moan.
"Jemma? It's Scott."
I stop moaning. And open my eyes.
"Scott? How did you get in?" My voice is soft and you can tell my nasal passages have been blocked.
"Hello to you too! I rang the door bell. Here, your mom told me to give you these." He hands me a glass of water and a pill. I sit up in order to swallow the pill. Ugh. My head hurts. I close my eyes in pain.
"Are you okay?" he sounds worried.
"Fine. My head hurts. Sit." I swallowed my pill as Scott sat himself down on the corner of the bed farthest away from me. He clearly was afraid he would get sick.
"Don't worry, I am officially uncontagious. It doesn't look like it but truly I am. You have my word." I couldn't get much volume, but I think he could hear me. Scott moved up the bed some and closer to me, probably because he was having trouble hearing me. Suddenly I became very aware of my appearance. I felt hot, my face was red, and no doubt my hair was a mess. Yet somehow Scott hasn't run away in fear yet. Wow.
"How did you know I was sick?" I hadn't called him yet.
"Julia told me. And based on what people at school were saying, it sounded a little serious."
"People who? What are they saying?"
"Most of it was coming from Whitney Myers, I think. God she's stupid. She was saying something about you being pregnant and having to stay home because you or your mom were ashamed or something."
"God. You actually believed her? I told her I had been very active, like running around, therefore I was more susceptible to illness."
"You used the world susceptible? Well no wonder she didn't understand."
"But you believed her?"
"Not exactly, especially when I heard the part about me being the father, but most rumors have some sort of flimsy truth underneath the lies, so I figured you were in some sort of condition."
"She said you were the father? Oh Scott, I'm so sorry." I was.
"Thanks, but it wasn't that bad, its not like these rumors haven't been going around ever since we became friends," Scott said in a serious tone of voice, then goofily, and in a Southern accent, he said, "Why, if I had known you were so plum popular in the first place, I would never have become friends with you!"
I laughed. Hard. He thought it was me that was popular?
"It ain't me that's popular darlin," I said in a mock Southern accent. Being sick, I failed miserably. "It's you. My stars, if you ever saw how the girls swoon for you, you'd skedaddle on back home to North Carolina."
"They swoon for me?" Scott actually sounded surprised, cutting the accent.
"Uh, yah. You ever looked in a mirror? Not exactly an eye sore."
Scott seemed uncomfortable. "I didn't really notice."
"Oh, well, now you know." Silence.
"Jemma? It's time for your friend to leave. You should get some more sleep." My mom called up the stairs.
"Yah I should get going." Scott sets some papers on my desk. English homework.
"To keep you busy."
"Great," I say sarcastically.
And then Scott walked over to my bed and grabbed my hand. And squeezed it. It left a tingling feeling in my fingers. I have often observed how very much a small gesture can do. Good things do come in shall packages, I guess. Letting go, he said "Bye Jem. Get better okay?"
I didn't have much trouble sleeping after that. Actually, I rested
A/N: OOOOOH!!! Thaanks for reading if you did, adn please review even if you didn't!