Don't Need Anyone
Author's note: It's also humor or mystery, but it only allowed one tag:P
Enjoy. Don't let Renee get too crazy.
Enjoy. Don't let Renee get too crazy.
Chapter 3It didn’t take Lena long to pick up on my mildly depressed mood. Her guess was a bit off, though.
“Abstinence starting to get to you?”
This earned us several odd looks as we passed through the halls. “Maybe we should find a different word for that,” I advised. “People are looking at me funny.”
Lena shrugged. “Dear, people are always looking at you funny. This just gives them another reason.”
We’d reached my locker.
She was quiet for a minute. I took it as a sign of comprehension.
“Oh.” Her voice was softer now. “Ren, we’ve been over this—there’s nothing you can do. It’s up to the police and your parents.”
I scoffed. “My parents? Yeah, ‘cause we both know how well they get things done. And the police gave up months ago.”
It took a lot to make Lena awkward, so I suppose I should have felt accomplished. Instead I just felt slightly guilty. “Even if that’s the case, there’s nothing you can do, Ren,“ she told me firmly.
‘Nothing I can do’? I thought she knew me better. “I can look. I can search. I can ask people. Heck, I bet there are freshman at this school who know more about his whereabouts than the police.”
Lena leaned against the locker beside mine. She already had all of her stuff—when she actually chose to get here early, she got here early. “I’m not going to bother arguing with you, Ren. G-d knows how stubborn you can be. It was like pulling teeth just to get you to agree to lay off dating for a while. Just have a little faith, OK?”
A book toppled from my locker as it opened, and I reflexively squatted to avoid it. As I did, I felt small pops in my knees and suddenly I was no longer squatting, I was sitting on my butt, whimpering. Yes, whimpering. As if I didn’t already feel pathetic enough.
Lena knelt down, concerned. “Ren? Are you going to be alright? Should I get the nurse?” At least she didn’t ask if I was alright. Because then I’d have to scream at her.
“No, I’ll manage.” Somehow. I didn’t need to be humiliated anymore than I already had been, and missing more classes wouldn’t be very healthy for my sickly grades.
“You’re too tough for your own good,” Lena informed me, lending a hand to help me up. I took it, straightening my legs agonizingly. It didn’t help that I had to pull myself up with my left hand.
“If I was as tough as you think I am, I wouldn’t have just done a butt plant.” And I wouldn’t be crying in my room at night over Jared. But I didn’t need to share that bit.
Lena didn’t deign that with a response, but I heard a snort, and when I saw where it came from, I scowled.
Leave it to Cole to see my public display. Leave it to him.
“You have something to say?” I inquired brightly.
He forced a poker face. “No, I believe everything’s already been said. See you in math.” And he booked it out of there.
Lena turned to me and raised her brows. No words needed to be said.
“What?” I grumbled. “He snorted at me.”
“Yeah. And you spoke to him.”
I stuck my tongue out at her. Way to seem mature, Renee. “Not speaking to guys was not in the rules. You just said don’t date them. I’m not dating Cole, so get off my back.”
She rubbed her arms as if chilled. “Cold much? Fine, you can talk to him, but if you do anything else, Ren, I swear….” Her glare spoke volumes.
“I won’t!” I hurried to assure her. “Promise.”
Awkward moments may be the life of books and screenplays, but in reality, they suck. Very, very much.
Chad and I had spoken to each other for the first time in months the day before, so the atmosphere between the two of us was…less than comfortable, to say the least.
So I really didn’t expect him to talk to me again.
“Umm…any progress on the, uh, case?” The question between the “umms” and “uhs” made me stiffen. If he was so curious why didn’t he get involved himself?
“No, not really.” Second time in a row I’d said “No” in response to his pretty much pointless questions. Perhaps it would become a trend.
This time, my answer didn’t completely shut him down. “Is there anything I can…do?”
I probably shouldn’t have been that surprised. After all, he’d been Jared’s best friend. But this kid had sat on his skinny ar.se for months, so this was straight out of the blue.
“I don’t know, you tell me,” I answered, a bit sharper than necessary. “What can you squeeze into that terribly tight schedule of yours to help your former best friend?” For once, I didn’t feel bad about my harshness. He deserved it.
Chad at least had the decency to look hurt. “My best friend,” he mumbled. “Not former best friend. I—I’ll tell the police places he liked to hang out.”
I intertwined my fingers, studying them intently. This just got more and more interesting. “It’s appreciated,” I allowed, not bothering to look at him. “Though I doubt it’ll do much.” Always the pessimist.
Chad seemed to be studying me as much as I was my hands, but I didn’t recognize it. “It’s always worth a try.”
Finally, something I agreed with.
People’s memories never cease to amaze me.
In French, we were reviewing the famille, or the family. We had to list each of our family members. When I added “Mon frère”, Madame started.
“You have a brother?” she asked, completely shameless.
Mmhmm, I have a brother. You know, that boy who lived with me the past fifteen and a half years of my life.
“Yes I do, Madame.”
She fidgeted with her pointer. “Oh. Well…Jeremy, how about you?”
The kid next to me—the junior I’d been considering, in fact—took his turn, and all the while I just marveled at how sieve-like some people’s minds seemed to be.
She could’ve just wanted to forget the closest thing to a scandal our small town’s ever had.
But what depresses me is that she succeeded.
Cole was already in his seat when I arrived. Drawing again.
I tried to see what it was without being too obvious. Clearly I failed, because he turned to me and hoisted the sketchpad up so I could see it easily. “You obviously want to see my newest ‘pretty’ drawing, so there you go.”
I barely resisted sticking my tongue out for the second time that day. Still, I was too curious to decline.
This one was a flat, sloping plain. The sun had barely risen, and the only thing to adorn the flat, lifeless fields was a lone tree, devoid of leaves. It was all shaded very darkly.
“This is quite cheery. Making it for Mother’s Day? You’re a little early.”
He lowered the pad indifferently. “Who would draw a cheery sketch in math class?” he pointed out. “There would be no inspiration.”
I couldn’t argue with that.
Lena arrived late—she must’ve been using up all of her on-timeness for the beginning of school. When she saw the two of us leaning towards one another, her eyes spoke volumes. I popped back into my seat and sat there primly. Lena’s eyes were suspicious, Cole’s amused and questioning.
“It’s nothing,” I muttered out of the side of my mouth. He evidently disagreed, but didn’t press the matter.
Class went a bit faster than History, which wasn’t exactly the greatest comparison, but it was something. The bell eventually rang, signaling my freedom. I was about to head out with Lena when Cole’s voice stopped me.
“Could you wait up for a second?”
I could wait up for a second, but I’d grant him more.
“Sure.” Thankfully, Lena was already out the door.
He packed his stuff in a business-like manner. I stood for a few moments, bouncing on the balls of my feet, before asking impatiently, “Was there a reason you wanted me to stay?”
Cole stopped sorting his books to look at me with what was almost a sheepish expression. “Sorry. I wanted to ask what the problem was earlier today?”
I clenched my fist almost unconsciously. “You seemed so concerned when we talked.”
He flashed me a grin. “I show concern in my own special way. But really, what was the matter?”
I debated whether or not to tell him, and decided it couldn’t hurt. “I have Osgood-Schlotters. It’s a knee condition common in runners, it’s why I’ve got it. It’s really bad in both knees and is most often the reason that I land on my butt. I also have elbow tendonitis that hurts when I straighten it or pull on it. That’s the matter.”
Cole looked almost sympathetic. “That must really stink. I’m assuming you don’t do running anymore?”
What was with the curiosity? I looked at the clock and grimaced. Whatever was with it, it was going to make me late. “Nope. Now, if you’ll excuse me, if I don’t go now, I’m going to be late.”
His eyes danced. “You actually care?”
“Yes I do,” I retorted, aloof and proper. Then I stalked out of the room.
I still didn’t get to class on time.
I crumbled the small yellow slip in my hand. If I got one more, my parents would murder me. That was hardly an exaggeration.
Then again, Lena might beat them to it.
When I caught up to her, she was practically steaming. I’d gotten a telling off deserving of a nanny, and had been forced to swear, on oath, that I would never, ever do that again.
By saying “that”, I thought I bypassed my oath quite nicely.
All of the shows on were cr.ap, and without running I had no life, so I had a few options.
1. Listen to Muse.
2. Obsess over Jared.
3. Obsess over Cole.
Since obsessing over Jared always made me depressed, I chose 1 and 3. Of course, I was supposed to be avoiding all of the boy fantasies, but as long as they remained fantasies, it was alright, in my book.
I think I'm drowning
I wanna break this spell that you created
Really positive lyrics, definitely gave me a morale boost. But they did succeed in making me feel slightly less pathetic.
My dreams were filled with barren plains and haunted wells, bleeding into one another.
I blamed it all on Cole.