Meenah writes ✍️
Harriet and I sat on the sofa in the sitting room with our legs propped up on a stool, eating popcorn and talking.
Isn’t it unbelievable that these people had no TV? Or phones? And they claim to be modern. They only lived in beautiful houses, ate ñíçê but strange foods, and went to beautiful places. I wondered where a guy would take his girlfriend to on a movie date!
Speaking of guys….I can’t believe that I’ve been thinking of Jack ever since Harriet and I got here. That’s like four days ago. I like Jack. I can remember the first day I arrived at Creole High. That was in middle school. I was lost, confused as to where to go. I had my head buried in an annoying school map, trying to decipher the stupid landmarks. My head was stuck in the map that I didn’t see where I was going until I bumped into something or someone hard. I looked up to see the most handsome pair of eyes glancing down at me with a very visible scowl.
I’m easily scared, and seeing the guy I’d call Angel staring at me like he’d like to kill me was definitely scary.
His scowl deepened at that, and he walked away without a word, or a backward glance. I never forgot that day, the first time I actually crushed on somebody. But Jack seemed to have forgotten that I’d existed, and I had carried that crush all the way to high school, feeling quite hurt whenever he hung out with girls. He wasn’t the cheater type, but still…..
And then came campfire night, where he yelled at me, the first time he actually talked to me!, just because I’d freaked out during the horror story! What got me into this mess that was Amazon.
Jack is a jerk!
“Yeah, he’s cool, but he’s definitely a jerk at times,” Harriet put in, like a reply to my thought. She sipped her juice and inspected her nails.
“Harriet, did I say that out loud?” I asked in surprise.
“You did. Heard you clearly,” she replied, still unbothered.
I shook my head. “Harriet, I know that I didn’t say it out. I was thinking it.”
She froze, and turned to me, looking as shocked as I was, if not more.
“Oh,” was all she said.
I knew there was something odd going on with Harriet, but this….? And I couldn’t even place my finger on it. But she’d been acting strangely since we got here.
“Did you like… hear my thoughts?”
She shook her head rather too vehemently.
I sighed again and gave up.
“So why did you agree that Jack’s a jerk?” I asked instead, changing the topic.
She looked visibly relieved.
“Why did you say Jack’s a jerk?”
I chuckled. “Touché. Well, he just…. he doesn’t even like me when he doesn’t know me! He judged me, and that’s a first.” I narrated to her our awkward first meeting, excluding my being mesmerized, and she laughed.
“Jean and Jack…. it has quite a ring to it. Or should it be Jack and Jean?” she winked, and I rolled my eyes, trying not to blush.
“What are you saying Harriet? That guy doesn’t even like me!”
“I think it’s quite the opposite. Jack likes you. He just doesn’t want to, and it’s killing him every day.”
“He told you that?” I asked, trying not to get my hopes up.
“Mmmm not really. He just can’t hide it.”
“You like him, don’t you?”
I nodded. “I was always scared… I’m not the type of girl he–”
“Jean, you’re a beautiful girl. In every way. I’ll bet he sees that, and more, past your flaws.”
“Thanks,” I choked out, already getting emotional.
She smiled, and continue with her nails.
I decided to say, “I’m sure Luke is pretty worried about you right now.”
I’ve always envied their relationship.
She froze again, and gave me a look that said I-don’t-want-to-hear-his-name.
I couldn’t understand, but I dropped it.
Especially because we saw Zoe going out.
It was fun talking with Jean, but her mention of Luke just dampened the mood. I hated that she reminded me of him.
But worse, I hated that personally, I couldn’t stop thinking of him now. I knew that if I were to examine myself deeply, I might find out that I still loved him. And I didn’t want that.
We spotted Zoe going out.
We waved to her.
“Hey, where’re you going, can we come?” Jean asked, both of us smiling.
She focused her gaze only on Jean and said, “Sure you can,” without even risking me a glance.
I bit my lower lip.
Jean seemed to sense the animosity oozing from Zoe, because she asked, “And Harry?”
Zoe now. bestowed on me an oh so gracious death glare. “If she cares to.”
I resisted the urge to scream yippee!
We went beyond the walkway and into what I’m thinking is the market.
While Jean and Zoe chatted away, I stood silent. Not that I didn’t want to talk, but I was surprised to see Rex some metres away from me.
Was he stalking me?
Was he stalking me?
I moved a little bit away from Jean and Zoe, who were fawning over some pretty object, closer to where I saw Rex standing among some crowd. He didn’t seem to see me. But how come he was in the same place with me?
“Hey Harry, where are you off to?” Jean called out.
I quickly turned back and motioned her to keep sush.
But Zoe added bluntly, “Don’t bother. It’ll definitely be good if she just goes away and never comes back.”
“Zoe!” Jean hissed. She also knew that Zoe didn’t like me.
“Jean it’s OK. I’m just going to check something out. And I’ll be back,” I said with a pointed look to Zoe.
I turned back to where I saw Rex standing. He wasn’t there anymore. I don’t know what compelled me to follow and to look for him, but I did.
I gave smiles to people who looked my way. I met a girl about my age in the position.
“Um hi, can you give me a minute?” I asked her.
She smiled. “Sure. What’s it?”
“Err…I’m looking for a guy that stood here earlier. Tall, pale and dark features.”
“Oh, you mean Rex?”
She looked shocked. “Wait, I haven’t been seeing you around so you must be new here. But do you know, like know know Rex?”
I was confused. “I….yes. He’s a friend.”
“Ha. Friend. Rex is never friends with anyone, and definitely not girls.” she looked left and right to check if someone was in on what she was about to say, “He uses them.”
“Oh,” was all I could say. It’s not like I’m together with him or something. I was careful not to have a repeat of what I went through with Luke.
Handsome guys can’t be trusted.
Even Ewan. Sadly.
“Look, I’m not bothered by that. He’s a friend. And I saw him somewhere here, so I wanna say hi.”
“O…Kay. If you insist. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
Those were the exact words Fred said to me when I asked for Luke that fateful night. I rubbed at my temples to ease the headache I had.
Strangely the headache was becoming worse, more insistent, like it was trying to tell me something.
I ignored it.
“He went through here,” she said pointing me out. “And I’m Denyse.”
I smiled. “Harriet,” I threw and walked away.
The place she pointed me to was like an alleyway. It was kinda steep, sloping. I had a bad feeling about this, I didn’t even know why I was following him. To thank him for last night maybe?
I giggled at my stupidity.
I couldn’t be falling for some guy just because he treated me to lunch and a lovely evening.
I smacked my head, berated myself, and popped out in an opening, and bumped into Rex.
“Oof, I’m so sorry,” I said.
“Huh, Harriet? What are you doing here?” he asked.
I laughed nervously and rubbed the nape of my neck.
“I was just out with Jean and Zoe. I happened to be sidetracked.”
“Oh… or is it that someone couldn’t stay away from me?” he asked with a slight smirk.
“What?” I asked in a flat voice and held my chest, moving my head back.
“I’m just saying,” he said making a backing off sign.
Then we both laughed at our little drama.
“So uh…are you busy this evening?” he asked.
I shook my head.
“Then could we hang out again? I really enjoy your company.”
He gave me a surprising kiss on my cheek, smoothed it with his thumb, and smiled into my eyes.
“See you then,” he said and walked off.
I sighed dreamily.
I know I’m in for some big trouble because I think I already like Rex.
But something told me that something bad was just waiting to erupted.
To be continued