Dedicated to Jess: 'Cause she's fallen off her heels and in love with Elliot Minor
Rick extended a hand and pulled her to her feet. She smiled. “Thanks.” Then she paused. “Are you okay?” Rick had the strangest look on his face. It was like he’d had a surprise that he couldn’t decide if it was good or bad.
“Huh?” he asked, seemingly sleepily. “What? Oh, yeah. I’m fine.”
Joanna frowned at Mikey. “You sure?”
“Yeah, definitely,” Rick replied, sounding unsure, reaching to ruffle her hair.
She took a step backwards, colliding with Mikey, sending him staggering backwards. As Joanna fell over once more, she grabbed Mikey in an attempt to steady herself, thus causing him to fall over as well. They looked at each other and started to giggle like a pair of naughty school kids. Rick laughed.
“You guys are so mad,” he told them. Joanna grinned up at him.
“And you love it.” She teased.
He hadn’t sounded okay. Nor had he looked okay. Of course that explained lunch.
“Will? Do you remember Scarlet?”
Will looked at Rick across the table; his blue eyes meeting Rick’s brown ones. “The starlet? Yeah, course I remember Scarlet. How could you forget her?”
Rick shook his head and looked down at the floor. He was deep in thought.
“Who?” Maria asked curiously. Joanna cocked her head. Maria didn’t know. It was bad.
“Scarlet. She’s an old friend,” Will shrugged, before returning to his Maths work.
“And…?” Maria asked, hoping for more information.
“And what?” he asked.
Maria sighed theatrically. “Boys! Never give any details.”
“She’s our age, birthday’s the first if November, has an older brother called Mark, now lives in Canada, haven’t seen her for six years,” Will reeled off. “Can I do my maths now?”
Maria nodded brightly. “Yeah.”
Mikey frowned. “Wasn’t she the one who was in every school play?”
“Yeah.” Will nodded. “If I remember she tried out for Wendy when your brother got Peter Pan.”
“Oh yeah, and then she got told she was too young,” Mikey smiled.
“Yeah, even though she always looked older,” Will agreed. “Look guys. Any more questions? I really need to get this done.”
“I thought I saw her,” Rick blurted, as he messed with the hole that had appeared in his black fingerless gloves.
“How?” Will enquired with a sigh as he gave up trying to finish his maths work. He put the biro down on top of his book. “She lives in Canada.”
“I know that but-“
“And she’s a girl,” Will continued. “She’ll have changed tons since we were eight.”
“And anyway, if she was back here, wouldn’t she be in school?”
Joanna sighed. “Guys! Will stop interrupting Rick!” They fell silent and watched her, subdued. “Look. Will calm down, you’re getting slightly het up.”
Will glanced at her. “I’m just trying to do my maths,” he muttered. The rest of the lunch break was spent in silence.
If Scarlet had been such a good friend then why had she never been mentioned? Not even in passing? I was wondering this as I walked out the school, Rick’s arm around my shoulder.
“Please tell me that isn’t Lara sucking face with Benji,” Joanna begged. Rick looked around for a few seconds before he saw the couple.
“Um…” He hesitated.
“It is isn’t it?” Joanna sighed. “Great. Another idiot in a long line.” Rick winced at the unintentional jibe. “Oh well, they’ll go together well. He’ll want to go further and she’ll go willingly.”
“Jo! Do you mind?” Rick asked. “Look, I don’t particularly wanna think about your cousin getting’ down and dirty with Richards, okay? In fact I don’t particularly wanna think about your cousin at all.”
Joanna smiled up at him. “Neither do I. Sadly, I have to.” She went onto her tiptoes to kiss him on the cheek before heading towards the snog marathon.
“Only two more days!” Rick called after her. She turned and nodded, before reaching her cousin., as Rick left the school, heading home.
The couple finally came up for air. “Jo,” Benji acknowledged with a nod.
“Richards,” she replied curtly. “Lara, you coming?”
“Uh…” Lara hesitated, innocently tucking her hair behind her ear. What a joke. “Well, Benji was gonna-“
”Take you back to his place, yes?” Joanna asked, a smile spreading across her face. “That’s cool. Just bring her back for half six latest Richards. Otherwise her rep with the parents’ll be shot. So yeah, see you later.” Joanna turned away, and started to head for the gates, while nearly tripping over her undone lace.
“Jo!” It was Lara. “Thanks.”
Jo shrugged. “Works both ways, cuz. Both ways,” she muttered.
See, cause if Lara was off gyrating with Benji, then that meant I could spend time with my boyfriend. Except now I just had to catch him up.