I DIDN’T THINK YOU’D UNDERSTAND....
“You know,” Cable said, barely looking across at me as he spoke, “there’s something going on between those two.” I knew who he was talking about; he didn’t need to mention those two names that were usually of my friends’ lips. He’d been asking and talking about it so many times that it was almost normal hearing those several words.
“Mm,” I muttered. I knew why she continued to do these things in front of Cable; I knew why she does these things, full stop.
Being the only child of two parents and brought up with getting everything and anything she wanted then and there, she’d come into high school expecting the same thing. She was centre of attention, including those drama performances she was so excited about. She did things, talked or yelled things when certain people were around or just to get other people begging her to tell them things. I was different though, I didn’t bother and nor did I care.
“Has she told you yet?”
Cable knew the answer to that question, so I didn’t answer. She hasn’t told me because I haven’t asked and will never ask. Sure, she’s dropped clues that she wants me to hassle her and give her my attention, but I knew better than what she gave me credit for. I wasn’t as naive as the rest of them, including Cable.
“Do you think she’s jealous?” Cable asked, looking past me at Elle who had her arms crossed over her chest and looking at us both as Jo continued to press her with questions.
I didn’t bother answering that question either; I could read it in her eyes.
Elle has been leading this guy on for months now, promising him things then telling him she wants nothing to do with him. She always brings these things up when Cable’s around. And I knew why, even if he didn’t. She wanted Cable’s attention as much as she wanted mine.
“Don’t care,” I said, taking an angry bite out of my red apple. I let my breath pass my lips in an angry hiss. Cable looked back at me raising a brownish eyebrow.
“Someone seems angry.” He gave me a small smile but I didn’t return it.
“Cable, you know she talks about Nate in front of you just to get your attention, right? Only to make you jealous of him?” I said, the words spilling from my mouth before I could even shut myself up. I’d lost him once because I had told him that she was trying to make him jealous before and I knew I was on my way to do it again.
Cable didn’t say anything, just stood there, his large hands shoved into his pockets. I pulled anxiously at the zip of my winter skirt, looking down at my feet. Elle, squealing with Jo and Prim about something, trotted over, her chestnut curls bouncing around her broad face. Oh, how much I’ve come to hate that face and voice within four years.
She gave out her little laugh but it turned to a flirtatious hiss when Cable reached out and poked her bicep. “Cable,” she groaned, angry but I knew that anger only reached skin deep; she was happy with his attention.
“I’m going for a walk,” I muttered, shaking my head when Prim gave me a worried look. Cable trailed after me and soon, so was Prim, calling for his attention even the more we walked. “So...did you get your results back for your science test?” I asked.
Cable and I had this bet going on. He told me that, in our next science test, which happened to be the one we did last Thursday, he would better my score.
“Nope, next two periods.” He said with a smile.
I grimaced, hoping it would look real enough. Behind us, the girl’s were squealing over something Elle had said, pressing her for more details.
“Hey, Cable?” Elle said, looping her arm through his. “There’s nothing wrong with being gay, right? In fact, I would kill to have a gay guy friend.”
Something bit at my stomach and Prim shot me an apologetic look. She knew what I was thinking and I her. That was what I had been using to tease Cable about; he being my gay best friend. I’d wanted one ever since my dance teacher brought hers in to teach us some moves. He’d been so lovely and funny that I’d wanted my own. Even if Cable wasn’t gay I didn’t care, he would be my substitute until I found a real one.
“I bet you that I got a higher score than you,” Elle sung, her eyes shining with something I had learned to hate as she looked up at Cable. I’d slapped that pretty face twice in year seven, perhaps over petty things but boy I wished I could do that now. But with four years of Karate under my belt, I knew my slaps would be more than a simple open hand and more like an angry fist colliding with her sternum, the way my coach had taught me. “I bet you a kiss,” she said with a coy smile.