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What Happened That Friday
The group huddled together at the gate is the first sign.
I wave to mum as she drives away and continue walking,watching as they look at me worriedly and whisper. I keep a smile on my face despite the churning in my stomach. I usually love Fridays- basketball games at the stadium and while we're there, almost-dates with my boyfriend. But today, something is terribly wrong.
I reach the gate, heart hammering, and greet them as if nothing's wrong. I continue up the path and they fall into step behind me.
"Melia," Emma ventures timidly. I slow down and she walks beside me. "Melia, James says it's over."
I continue walking. Inside, i wonder why I'm not crying, screaming, anything. But despite the great thump my heart gives at the news, my mind is surprisingly clear.
"Fine," I say lightly, "If that's what he wants."
I speed up, passing the office and the tuckshop. They're no longer following me; i can tell that they're amazed by my reaction. They're not alone.
I suddenly dread going to class. His class is in the demountable next to mine. I might see him. Then what would I do? Would my clearness of mind crumble?
I stop next tot he assembly hall and press my back to the wall, letting my thoughts catch up to me. I can't believe what's happening. I mean, I knew we wouldn't stay together. I was planning on ending it at the end of the year. Even though I love him to bits, I know we wouldn't last in high-school. Not to mention the fact that we won't even be in the same high-school. Why couldn't he have waiting till the end of the year? Why did he have to do this? Why?
Tears prick the edges of my eyes as my thought swirl round and round, faster and faster. I take a deep breath to get rid of the lump in my throat. I need to get a grip of myself.
When I no longer feel as if I'm going to break down, I continue on. Past the Prep classrooms and down the walkway at the back of the tuckshop. Past the library and the high metal fences that block the old classrooms that are being renovated. Onto the grass and past the demountables till i get to my own. I can see him with his class as they walk up the steps in an orderly line. I can't catch his eye.
During class i can't consentrate. I run out the door at lunch and meet my friends in near the hall we use for lunch.
"You guys go on, I just need the loo," I say, breaking away from the group.
Emma thrust a piece of paper into my hand and hurries away with the other girls.
I sit on the horizontal pole near the toilets and open the note. Most of it is unintelligible, but i extrapolate most of it and turn it into something I can read:
It's all my fault. James and I were messaging last night and he told me that he liked Kate and wanted to go out with her, and that he wanted to dump you. I told him to 'do it, then', and he asked me to do it cuz he was afraid to. I'm so sorry. It's all my fault.
I finish and stick it in my pocket. I'm not angry at her; she was just the messenger. The only thing I'm angry about is the fact that he couldn't even tell me himself.
I go back to the hall. Emma gazes at me fearfully as I sit down.
"I'm not angry, Emma," I reassure her.
"Where's the note?" she asks, relieved.
I take it out. "I'm keeping it."
"Oh no you're not," she says, snatching it away and scrunching it up. I shrug and start eating.
Every now and then I glance over at where James is eating with his friends. I still can't catch his eye. Raiden looks at me once and looks away. I suddenly remember what happened the day before; his disbelief that I was still hanging out with Ebony and Johnny after what Johnny did to James.
What else could I do, I asked him. They hang with my group. If I don't hang with them, who do I hang with?
Oh my God. It must have been that. I clap my hand over my mouth. I didn't even go with James to the office. I watched them go, but then went back to my line so as not to be late for class. I must have seemed so unfeeling. And I stayed with the group instead of being with him. I didn't think the injury was that bad, not even when someone said he'd need to get a fake tooth. It had all been in fun. Who knew a tiny little rock could do so much damage? And I didn't even help him out.
There had been other things, little things that I should have recognized, but my mind is a confused mess and I don't want to think about it anymore.
I somehow muddle through the day without any mishaps. At home time, I leave my bag with mum and my friends sit with me in the grassy space near the toilets. We talk a little, and they try to comfort me. I haven't even cried yet.
Through the weeks, I mourn my broken heart in secret. Not even mum knows. She didn't even know me and James were together in the first place, and I'm not about to tell her.
I survive school somehow. Go to the basketball court sometimes, but it's too painful to stay long. Am I supposed to stand and watch while he ignores me and flirts with Emma? I heard that he can't get Kate, and that he has a crush on Emma now. But Emma doesn't want him- she has Chris.
And through all this, I still love him. I don't care what you say. I've loved him for almost 2 years, and I'm not going to stop now just because he's dumped me. Actually, that's a very good reason to. But I can't stop loving him. I can't.
During dance practice, I joke and laugh with every boy except him. But my heart beats fast when I'm with him. Almost as if it didn't know what had happened.
And I can't hate Raiden, either, even if it's likely that it's his fault. He's my friend, that sweet creep.
I actually thought that everything would go well. James was my first love, my first boyfriend, and I was hoping he would give me my first kiss. But life rarely works out the way you want it to, despite coming pretty damn close.
Somehow, I'll get through this. Somehow, my heart will mend.