Chapter 16)

“You never told me you once dated Andy.” I said, taking a swig of liquor, then handing it back to India.

“Never really came up.” She replied.

We lay, side by side, under the mosaic. We were both still surprised that the school was left open, we knew that the prom was still going on, well, the last ten minutes, but the school doors were still wide open, and didn’t seem like they were going to lock for a while. We had a bottle of Jack in-between us, (which I didn’t really like, but it was something that was warming my insides up) and we lay and talked, staring up at the mosaic, bright eyes of wonder.

“I’m sorry.” She whispered suddenly.

“What for?” I asked, and she turned and smirked.

“Everything. I mean, Andy’s a dick, and I can’t believe he would just corner you like that. But, I knew that you stood up well to him, and I’m proud of you,” She said, smirking. “I’m not lying you know.”

“About what?” I asked.

India and I had left the prom only half an hour ago, as it started to die down, and we didn’t want the night to end there. She looked still so stunning, and the night – with the exception of Andy and his douche-bag friends – had been perfect.

“Saying that I loved you.” She said it, and my heart turned sore. It beat fast, and it was almost up in my mouth, as she breathed out, and turned to me. I swore I was day-dreaming in the prom, but here we both were, and she said it again. I lifted my head to look at hers, and she smiled, but then suddenly frowned. “You don’t love me, do you?” she asked.

I looked at her, the pain in her eyes, and then laughed, and shook my head.

“Really, India, don’t make me explain the stories to you,” I laughed but her eyes brightened.

“Tell me.” She said simply, leaning on her elbow right next to me. Her breath was on my face and I fell into her intoxication. 

“Really?” I said, and she nodded.

“India, my mum always told me that love was a silly thing, and that you shouldn’t be in love until you come of age, which in her eyes was over 30. I don’t know why she is always believed it, maybe it was because of my dad, and maybe it was because she didn’t feel like she’d ever be in love again, but she always used to say it. One day, I came home from school, dropped my bag by the door, dropped myself onto the sofa and sighed. Mum jumped up at this, and said ‘that’s the sigh of love’. I laughed. My mum always used to know when something was up. I told her about you, bear in mind this was in our first year, when you came up a level to my maths class, and you sat in front of me. Drowned in a blazer, a black striped hairband combing your hair back, I fell in love instantly. It wasn’t the fact that you were so beautiful, because you were, but it was also your facial expressions, and your aspirated sighs and your giggles. You turned around and asked for help from me, and I sat, and waited for my answer. I couldn’t believe that the world’s most gorgeous girl was talking to me. ME,” I laughed, and she shook her head sighing.

“You were just so gorgeous, and I just had to know your name, so I got Melody to talk to you, just so I could know what sweet name and be able to tell this to my mum. I’ll tell you India that was the hardest time for me, trying to keep my distance. Then you asked the way to the top floor, and I told you my route of the mosaic. That day you ran back up to me and said it was the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in your life. Still, I couldn’t believe it was me you were talking to. I laughed with you, shaking down to the core, and as my mum jumped up off of the sofa, when I came home that night, I told her everything, and she said that her beliefs had gone. She believed I was 100% totally in love with you,”

“And not to mention the academics you are helping me in,” she raised her eyebrows at this. “You’ve helped me inspire for my art work. You and the mosaic take up most of my sketch books, and my project finale. You are my muse, did you know?”

She stopped me from talking. “You have painted me?” she asked, and I blushed.

“Yes, I may have.”

“Can I see?” India’s eyes lit up. I looked at her and I took her hand. My confidence kicked in, as I brushed myself down, and then brushed her dress down at the back. We started walking up the spiral staircase, stumbling and giggling, being careful, knowing that no one will be here, but it was so silent, we could hear the dust collecting on the floors and lockers. We went through passageways, up more staircases (the art floor was the top floor, so it took us a while) and then we started up on the last passageway, and we flew the door open, and laughed, then went towards the janitor’s closet. The janitor’s closet had a set of keys for all rooms. We jammed the door open, then I quickly found the keys, and we stumbled back out.

We moved towards my art room, and then I shoved the key into the lock (which was the wrong one, so I tried again, and got the right one), and pushed the door open, and locked it back behind us.

India sat on one of the tables, and smiled down at me.

“Show me, then.” She whispered. She sat more comfortably, as I took out an easel, and set it up in front of her.

“Close your eyes then,” I said, and she covered her eyes. “No peeking.”

I went to the far part of the room, and then shoved other pieces to the side, and found my completed piece, and took the cloth off of the top, and then picked it up, and moved towards a blinded India.

Moving the easel to a perfect position, set the canvas up, and took a look up at it. I sat behind India and then took her hands in mine, and the lifted them from her eyes. While she looked at it, she sat in silence. I heard a faint gasp, and I watched her expressions, she looked so beautiful, eyes wide, mouth hung open a little, as she stared at a snapshot of her dancing, spinning around beautifully in front of the mosaic. She reached out and stroked a strand of her hair, red, copper, orange, blonde, and then sighed happily.

“So...?” I whispered.

She turned around to me, looking down at my lips, and then looking back up at my eyes. With a small smile, she sighed. “I’m so in love with you.” And for the second time tonight, she kissed me as hard as she could. 

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