Chapter 15: Spit on It?

"Dumb Max, dumb stupid Max." Max, unaware that I'm watching him, slams his fist against his study table in aggravation. He should really calm down, it's just mathematics. Someone's struggling to study. He's not the only one having a bad day...

"I can't believe it, I've never failed anything before. I don't know how to react." Bells complains, exhausted - her and Max have had their hands full in trying to strike a balance between studying and taking care of their kids.

"Ask Aqueela how to react." Troy chips in, implying that I'm used to failing. As I result, I backhand him, hard. There's a smacking noise. It's like whiplash, even my hand is stinging. Troy's head turns on impact, yet still he seems unfazed by the agony.

I turn back to a shocked Bells and shrug carelessly, "Just because you failed one exam, doesn't mean you're a failure."

"That's exactly what it means." Benley chips in bluntly. I send him a dark glare in response. He holds his hands up in surrender as he tries to defend himself, "I'm just saying."

I nod at Bells, ignoring Benley flat, "Okay fine, so you're a failure, so what?" I question, trying to brush this entire thing off before she blows this out of proportion (which she will).

"You wouldn't understand, you're used to failing in absolutely everything you do." She pouts before running off dramatically to do who knows what. I take offense to her words. She can be so heartless at times. She's just fortunate that I can take it. I'm made of steel. I'm as tough as nails, as tough as they come.

Max closes his study books before turning to me and clapping, "Nice going, Aqueela!" He retorts sarcastically. "Who knows what she'll do next, she's a loose cannon that one." Max informs me, attitude thick. I step forward threateningly. He cowers back in fear before shielding his face with his book, "Don't hurt me." He whimpers in terror, fearing he'd fair the same punishment Troy got for insinuating that I'm used to failing.

"Yo Squirt, let's roll." Troy calls to me in eagerness, enthusiastic to venture out with me for the day.

I roll my eyes at his impatience - nevertheless, I grab my bag and follow him out the door. We leave Max to drown in his studies whilst Bells is most likely off doing something crazy.

"Where you two headed?" Benley asks, bored out of his mind. He's missing his girl, it's obvious.

"Who knows?" I answer Benley, "Troy's been begging me to spend a morning with him for days, so now I'm just doing it to get him off my back." I tell Benley truthfully. "I'd invite you along, but Troy said not to bring any company with." I shrug at Benley and then point to Max instead, "Hang back this time and make sure this one," I glance at Max busy cursing at himself, "doesn't do anything more stupid than usual."

"It will be a difficult task - a bit of a stretch - but I'll manage. I'll try not torpedo anything of importance." Benley gives me a thumbs up as I retreat after Troy. I can always count on BoyBand. He's the best, probably my only reliable friend.

An outing with Troy is exactly what I need right now, hence why I agreed to it. After my exchange of words with Emma, I haven't been in the best of moods. Xavier is insistent that he won't get in between the feud. He'd rather lay low. Then again, I'm not exactly peeved with Emma, I'm just disappointed at what she told me.

It's been five years, obviously Jay would've moved on by now. I have to accept that. I need to accept it. I have no other choice but to just be for the moment.

Troy takes me all the way to the food court Frankenstein, better known as Dave, owns in place of Dyl's old ice-cream parlor. I'm not surprised to see Dylan trying to reason with Frankenstein for the land back. Frank isn't budging. 

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