Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Scarf Boy Part 3


Hello everyone! How perfect that the weather is stormy and dark again. I don't think I've published a Scarf Boy chapter when it wasn't this gloomy weather. I wish it would just stay one span of temperature. I'm so tired of the back and forth between sunny and rainy. Last weekend, I finally cleaned out my closet and was so excited to start wearing summer clothes. Now, the weather is back to being cold. 

My life is currently not that hectic. All the Prom stuff has sort of worked out by itself. Funny story about this. So my group of friends is friends with another group of maybe five or six girls. We all wanted to take pictures together and so all of us were about to go to this guy's house for pictures. This guy expected maybe around ten people and somehow 30 people were planning on going. My group of friends decided that we were going to take pictures elsewhere just because of common courtesy. The other group was in a more sticky situation. One of the girls needed to go the guy's house because of her date but didn't want to go alone, that's perfectly understandable, so things were really uncertain for a while. Somehow that group isn't going to the guy's house! My group of friends is going to one of the girls' houses and taking pictures all together! That's probably pretty confusing to read. Basically all the photo stuff worked out and that's such a relief. 

Here's another fun story. For my school, we take buses to get to prom. Bus sign ups started yesterday and it was so crazy. You could sign up for buses through your smart phone and somehow people double booked. Like one person signed up for two seats or two seats on different buses. I didn't know you could reserve bus seats from your phone so I decided not to do anything about that. During 7th period, my friend texted me 3 times about the buses during a history test. Good thing I remembered to keep my phone on vibrate! When I finally got around to reserving tickets, after much needed prodding, there were only 4 seats left on the bus all my friends were riding. At Monday at 8 pm, all the buses were sold out. It was worrisome because one of my friends wasn't able to get on any bus. That would've been awful if she couldn't come to prom because there weren't enough seats. The office was really busy today trying to sort out everything. Oh the prom drama.  

Well anyways. That's enough about all the complications of prom. The only thing I need to do is to buy a boutonniere! I'm so glad everything else is all done. I finally wrote another chapter of Scarf Boy so enjoy! A couple things are different about the story (just little details) so if you want you can go back to the beginning. Chapter 4 will be the last chapter but I have no idea when that'll be ready. If you're waiting for Coffee Shop, I am so sorry. I know it's been a really long wait and the story still has miles to go. Please hang in there with me and I know I can crank out a chapter sometime. xx 

Chapter 3: The Ice Rink

A week had gone by since the school play. It was all blurry in Elle’s memory. She still didn’t know his name and found that life was becoming ordinary once again. Elle was still sitting in math class barely getting by. She still didn’t understand the homework or the concept of calculus completely. Olivia still hated her. Elle hated the way that Olivia always held Brian’s hand or hugged him whenever she was around. Didn’t Olivia get the memo that Elle didn’t care anymore? Maybe that was the one thing that was different about her. Elle sighed absently as her teacher continued to drone on about some concept she failed to understand.

“Hi,” Daniel said to her after class. She tried to smile politely but wondered what he wanted. They weren’t really friends. He had talked to her maybe once before about a math problem.

“Hi,” she responded back. Amelia gave her a quizzical look from across the room. Amelia had somehow made it all the way to the door.  Elle turned her head around one last time to see that Amelia had left the room. Had the situation looked that bad? That was where Elle wanted to be. She turned her attention back to Daniel after he politely coughed into his sleeve.

“I was wondering if you wanted to go skating with me on Saturday.”

“Sure,” Elle said. Why not? She hadn’t had a date in a long time. It was bad that a part of her self worth relied on guys’ opinions of her. She could still remember the one occasion back in freshman year where some guy had promised to buy her ice cream on the beach after calling her cute. When her hopes were soaring higher than any building in Manhattan, she realized she didn’t have his number and he hadn’t called her. He had blown her off without so much as a pity message. It stung and to this day she didn’t know what she did wrong. She tried to shake the memory out of her brain as she tried to return to the present. Elle gave him a strained smile. He couldn’t be so bad. She loved the ice rink and it was the only place where she truly felt a sense of comfort, even if it was with Daniel.

***
Elle was dressed to the nines and bundled up when she finally arrived to the skating rink. It was her second home but yet she felt a sense of exhilaration. Elle laced up her skates and joined her friends on the rink.  To her dismay, Olivia had decided to come too, with Brian in tow. Elle turned her face towards the other direction and tried to ignore them. She couldn’t help but wonder what it must feel like to have his hands around her waist or have someone there to pull her up after an excruciating fall.
                                                  
“So how was your last weekend?” It had been maybe an hour but she was already deathly bored. Daniel was a bore and the ice rink was no fun. He said very little and she wondered why he even wanted to come with her. He was terrible at skating and so she had to pretend to be appalling too, for his sake. She even almost fell but there was no reassuring hand to help her back up again. Elle turned around to observe the crowd. There weren’t that many people but of course, the guy she was head over heels in infatuation with was here. Elle groaned and quickly turned her attention back to Daniel. He seemed to sense that something had changed. 

“Hi Noelle,” he said to Elle with that trademark smirk. She wanted to melt away. Daniel had a quizzical look on his face. “Oh the date’s over, if you hadn’t realized Daniel.” Elle sighed. Who was he to dictate when her date was over? Daniel looked really embarrassed and she knew her face was red as a tomato.

“Why did you do that?” Elle asked exasperated. She hated herself for liking this jerk of a person.

“Let’s make a bet. I couldn’t stand seeing you fumble on the ice like that. No self respecting person does that.” She pouted and stared away. What choice did she have?

“What kind of bet?”

“I know you can skate better than that.”

“So what if I can skate, why do you even care?”

“Oh, so you admit that you can.”

“I bet that I can skate better than you.”

“Okay, it’s a bet. I’ve never lost a single one of these before.”

“There’s a first for everything. If I win, you’re taking me on a date and telling me your name. You ruined this one.”

“Okay, if I win, you won’t ever go out with that bastard again. And you’ll tell me about your first kiss.” Elle hadn’t expected that. Why did he even care about her first non-existent kiss? She knew she looked terrified and horror-stricken like a deer caught in the headlights.

“Deal,” Elle said as coolly as she could manage. “First person to skate two laps wins.” He nodded and without warning she took off. It was only a two second lead but she wanted to win. She only won by a hairline. Elle wasn’t aware that he skated too in his pastime. He looked baffled by her as she caught her breath. She smiled because there was no doubt that she had won.

“Where did you learn to skate like that? You’re not a figure skater, right?” There was a specific tone of distaste for the words figure skater. Elle wondered why but she knew that there was no way she could tell him now.  

“I ski all the time,” Elle said unaware of what she was saying. She didn’t know why she didn’t just tell him. “When is a good time for our date?” He blinked his eyes a couple times as if to register the fact that he had lost.

“I’ll call you,” he said pulling out his phone. “What’s your number?” Elle hurriedly slurred ten digits and she saw him punching numbers like crazy.

“Will you please tell me your name now?”

“Ryan,” he simply said as if anyone should’ve known that. There was less satisfaction than Elle thought there would be.
***

Olivia’s gaze landed on Elle, and Ryan. She tied her thick hazel hair up into a bun and applied another coat of lip-gloss. Brian stared at her intently. He knew her well enough to know that something was annoying her. If she were to be completely honest, she only started dating Brian because she knew Elle wanted him. She had once even been friends with Elle. They both started skating in second grade and had remained friends until sixth grade. There was a day in sixth grade when company auditions were being held. Elle had somehow made it while she was discarded like yesterday’s lunch. It was from that moment on that Olivia resolved to make sure that Elle was never happy again. In seventh grade, Olivia made the company team but there was no denying that Elle was indeed a talented skater. 

“Where did you learn to skate like that?” She heard Ryan saying. Her family had been friends with Ryan’s family for as long as she could remember. He had had an unfortunate crush on her in sixth grade. Ryan hadn’t been attractive back then. There was no way she could yes to someone like that. And now he was here, at her school being Mr. Popular.

“I ski all at the time,” Elle responded. Olivia wondered why Elle never talked about skating. No one was aware that Elle was quite good at figure skating. To anyone outside the company, Elle was a clumsy stupid girl without any apparent talent.

“Liv, what’s up?” Brian asked. She hadn’t said one word to him in a span of five minutes. She had been too busy observing someone else’s happiness.

“Oh, I just saw an old friend. I haven’t seen him in a while. I’ll be back,” she said. She skated elegantly over to where Elle had just been standing. Elle was out of the picture just how Olivia liked it.

“Ryan,” she said with a sickeningly sweet smile. It was true that she hadn’t seen him in a while. She definitely hadn’t seen him transform from a dumpy middle schooler to an attractive high schooler. Olivia wondered what kind of effort it took him to get that kind of body.

“Olivia,” he said politely enough. He had a bit of a bitter look in his face. She couldn’t blame him. They weren’t exactly on good terms. “Hey do you know Elle? We all go to the same school.” He was actually interested in Elle. Olivia suppressed her desire to laugh. He had his pick of any girl at their school and he had chosen Elle.

“Sure I do. I’m friends with her.”

“Where did she learn to skate like that?”

“Oh, she didn’t tell you? She’s been skating for more than thirteen years you know. She usually tells everybody about her pursuits in skating. Why do you think that guy took her to the rink?” Maybe Ryan was just what she needed to win the qualifying round. “I owe you anyways.” She curved her little smirk into a convincing smile.

***

Elle sat with trembling hands after school in an empty classroom. She tried to replay the situation in her brain but the tears came welling first. After she went home from skating her mother had been sitting with her legs crossed on the living room couch. In her hands was a thin piece of paper, no larger than a thank you card. Her mother was wearing a taut expression with her eyes closed.

“What is this?” There was no yelling, no screaming. There was simply disappointment.

“It’s just first quarter,” Elle began to say. Her mind was racing for another excuse but she realized that she didn’t want to make one. “Math has always been difficult for me, Mom.”  

“First quarter of second semester,” her mother clarified. “Nicole always excelled at everything. You can’t skate if you don’t get good grades, Elle. I already think that skating six hours a day is too much. When are you going to study?” Elle nodded hesitantly. There was nothing she could say to that. She had tried but every response was aptly ignored. The first tear drooped down. Elle was used to being utterly incompetent of controlling her own feelings. When her eyes decided to tear up there was nothing she could do. She never wanted to cry, but it just happened.

“I’m not Nicole, Mom. I love to skate and I’m good at it. Why can’t you respect that?” There was nothing left to say. Her mother didn’t even try to answer her question.

“I talked with your teacher and signed you up with a student tutor. We’ll see how that goes, okay?” No other words were exchanged. She was just sitting here in an empty classroom waiting. The classroom felt alien to her even though she sat in that very desk every day.

“Uh, Noelle Howards?” She knew that voice. Her nerves jolted up and she stared at the person standing in front of her. He was wearing a hat and she could see how little time he had taken to wrap a scarf around his neck. It was the scarf she had been wearing when he had walked her home. Elle swallowed her nervousness. He was reading his paper and she was glad that his gaze was fixated on that piece of paper. Elle found that her breaths were shallow and she could barely breathe. Why was this happening to her? He finally stared up and she saw that he was just as surprised as she was. Elle didn’t know why. He had clearly read her name from his piece of paper. She wanted to curse fate as the butterflies started to panic about.

“Hi, Ryan,” she said his name as an afterthought. She was missing an hour of practice for this. Amelia hadn’t believed that she finally knew his name. She didn’t quite believe the fact herself.

“I’m tutoring you?” That snide, snobby voice was back. For a second she had actually thought there was some substance, some kindness to him. For a second she believed that he possessed a vulnerable side. She leaned back with a little sigh.

“I suppose you are.”

“Okay.” She pulled out her math textbook and turned to chapter one. He looked at her with skepticism. “You can turn the page you know.”

“I know. I want you to start here. Limits.” Even the way she said limits had a hostile tone attached. He awkwardly sat next to her.

***
Elle stood nervously by the front of the theater. It was a Friday night but she had somehow convinced Nicole to give her a ride. She wasn’t exactly sure how it happened but one moment she was telling Ryan about her lonely pursuits  of watching movies alone and the next moment he suggested they see something together. They were sort of friends now. They weren’t the type of friends to ever wave in the hallways or even acknowledge each other outside of the math classroom after school. She glanced down at her watch. It was already five minutes past the time they agreed to meet. Alyssa had given them the day off in reward for their hard work throughout the week. Maybe it would’ve been better just to stay at home and watch a cheesy romantic comedy.

“Hi,” someone said tapping her shoulder. She turned around and smiled to see Ryan standing next to her.

“You’re late,” she said with a little frown.

“Do I look like the type of person to show up early?”

“Whatever. Let’s go! I’ve been wanting to watch this movie forever.”

“What movie is it again?” She started to explain the summary again but realized that he wasn’t listening half way through. Somehow in a packed theater, they had managed to find seats next to each other. They were sharing popcorn and it almost felt like a real date.

“What is that?” He asked whispering into her ear. She wanted to lean her head against his shoulder but she wondered if that would be weird.

“What is what?”

“That faint buzzing sound,” he said. She had the terrible premonition the minute he started to talk. Elle took her phone out and felt her hopes crashing down.

“I have to go,” she said with a hasty apology. She tried to leave discreetly but ended up tripping on someone’s discarded drink. Nicole was already waiting outside.

“It’s not my fault. Blame your psycho coach.”

“I know,” Elle said knowing that she looked like someone had just died.


***
“Elle, c’mon, you have to go!” Amelia was tapping a poster after school. Darcy and Liz were smiling next to her. Somehow Liz had found a date even though there were still two whole weeks before the Winter Ball. Elle shrugged and sighed. The last qualifying round happened to be on the same day. There was no way she was losing to Olivia because she didn’t attend. Elle didn’t even like dances. She hated being that close to strangers.

“It wouldn’t be the same without you,” Liz piped in. “Did you hear that Helen got asked yesterday?” The subject naturally switched over. The whole school was a buzz with updates about who was going with whom.

“I have to go,” Elle said in a rush. She stared at her wristwatch. Today was an important practice and she couldn’t afford to miss the practice or her mother’s mandated tutoring sessions. Elle ran towards the

“Hey,” he said casually already in the classroom. They had somehow become friends in the two weeks of intensive studying. She smiled and saw that he was actually smiling back. He tapped the desk next to him. They worked for about thirty minutes before Elle suddenly remembered something.

“Oh, I wanted to show you something,” Elle said with a beaming smile. She laboriously dug through her backpack and found the single paper that wasn’t crumpled in there. She held it basically pressing it against his face.

“Ninety seven,” he said proudly. “Did you cheat?”

“No,” she responded by blowing a raspberry. “I worked hard and had a good teacher!”

“I wanted to ask you something.” He seemed nervous. She had never seen him nervous before. There was no sign of his arrogant personality.

“Sure,” she said wondering what it could possibly be.

“Do you possibly want to go to the Winter Ball with me?” Her own breathing became shallow and she didn’t know what to say. In the three second pause Elle decided to tell him about her skating competition. She hadn’t told anyone except her family and Amelia.

“Elle! We need to go, now!” Elle whipped her head around to see Darcy waving her hands around. “Now!”

“Ryan, I’m sorry. I . . . I would but I can’t. I . . . I need to go. Sorry!” Out of impatience, Darcy grabbed her hands. Elle looked back quickly and felt her heart twinge. It was one of the worst moments in her life.

“Nicole couldn’t drive you for some reason so she asked me.”  

“It’s not your fault Darcy,” Elle said trying to pull together a smile. “He just asked me to Winter Ball.” She was barely able to talk. How had this happened? How had everything been ruined within a moment. 

4 comments:

  1. Ooh good luck for the prom! We don't have proms here - they're called Matric Farewells :/ how boring. Wish I could experience a proper one :)

    Tay
    x
    http://yourlifebeingteen.blogspot.com/

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  2. I'm not sure if I'm excited or not for prom. It's tomorrow so we'll see!!!

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  3. Have fun at your prom! ♥ I have a few years to go until my prom, exciting! And your story is very cute. You're an extremely talented writer! I'm looking forward to the next chapter. :)

    xo,
    Safia
    http://lachatminou.blogspot.com

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  4. Awh thank you! It was a fun night and I'll post about that later :)
    You don't know how much your compliment means! Thanks for reading!!!

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