"Show me." Vellary leans over Jackson's shoulder to get a good look at the website on her phone. "Where?"
"There." He points at highlighted block of words. "It says, 'your order will arrive on the 21st of April'. Happy?"
She snatches the phone out of his hand and takes a closer look at the purchased book. It really comes tomorrow?
Excitement bubbles within her as she re-reads the bold words.
It fucken comes tomorrow! Vellary flings an arm around Jackson's neck and rubs the top of his head with her knuckles. "You're a genius!"
He grimaces, pulling away. "Alright, alright. Now get to class."
"I'll buy you ice-cream at lunch!" she hollers over her shoulder as she races down the hall.
The author of the werewolf book that everyone hates because of its angst is coming out with a sequel. The chance to feel pain and misery from books is an opportunity Vellary never misses out on.
When I get my hands on that book tomorrow...
Vellary slides open the wooden door to her English class carelessly, grabbing the attention of everyone.
"Care to explain why you're late, Miss Carr?"
A boy sitting at the front of the class gazes at her amusingly. She glares at him.
A menace placed on Earth by the Devil himself.
She apologises to the teacher and makes her way to her desk, ignoring the slight snickering from some students.
"Mr Axel, why don't you read out page number sixty one since you're so keen on taking my place," Mrs Cristiana says.
"Why, I'd be delighted to, Cathy."
Vellary rolls her eyes and pulls the only book in her bag out. Today is going to be a long day. She can feel it.
When lunch rolls around, Vellary's brain is fried. Hitching her empty bag upwards, she makes her way through the sea of chatty students in the cafeteria, eyes set on a certain fair headed boy. Once within distance, she throws her bag at his rectangular head.
"What the hell?" Lucian exclaims, brown eyes glaring at her as she takes a seat next to him.
She ignores him and grabs few wedges from his tray.
"Make yourself at home, why don't you?" he says, rubbing his head before picking her bag up from the floor. "What's the point of carrying this thing around if it's empty?"
Vellary shrugs. "I dunno know, it's comfortable."
She looks over her shoulder at the short line by the canteen. "I'm gonna get something to eat. Do you want anything?"
He gives her a blank look, stuffing his face with hot wedges.
"Obviously not," she mutters, standing up. "Look after my phone."
She makes a beeline towards the canteen, her stomach grumbling as she nears the sacred treasures. As she waits in line, her eyes catch something spectacular.
Gabriel throws his head back in laughter, strands of black hair swaying away from his eyes. His friend, a freckled boy with shoulder-length hair, buries his face in his hands. He seems to say something, because another loud laugh escapes Gabriel's mouth.
It's contagious, that fact obvious from the faint smile making its way onto Vellary's face. She tilts her head amusingly, watching him tease his friend.
"What're you looking at?"
Vellary flinches in surprise. She looks behind her, and there, in all his defined glory, stands Hugo.
Blood rushes to her cheeks.
"Nothing." She turns back around, hoping he didn't notice her checking Gabriel out.
Gabriel and Hugo have been close friends since the very first day of middle school. Vellary would know. She sat with them that day, and watched as they bonded over their dislike for the colour purple. Coincidentally, she'd been wearing a purple dress with purple ribbons in her hair then.
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At the thought, Vellary scowls. At least Gabriel somewhat changed for the better.
"What're you getting?"
Her scowl deepens. "Nothing."
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The "bad boy" of Roset High.
Vellary scoffs. The only thing bad about him is his sense of fashion.
Vellary whirls to face him, shocked.
Hugo stares down at her, his bambi-like eyes softening around the edges.
Don't call me that, she wants to say, but finds it hard to, not after witnessing such a gentle expression on his face.
Maybe his looks aren't too bad.
She faces the front, ignoring his close proximity, and focuses on the food behind the glass.
She picks out the nachos box, and the lunch lady packs her order.
Suddenly, hands clamps on her shoulders. She purses her lips in annoyance.
"That'll be seven dollars," Merida says, smiling amusingly at the two of them.
Vellary flicks his hands off of her shoulders. She glares up at him. "I only have enough for one, so wait your turn."
"So if you had enough, you'd pay for mine?"
She gives him a deadpanned look before taking her box of nachos.
"Don't worry," Hugo ruffles her hair, "I got this."
Before she can protest, he hands Merida a ten dollar note and tells her to keep the change before taking his box and walking away.
Vellary, still rooted in her spot, stares at his back, flabbergasted. "Hey!"
She speedwalks after him, the heat of the nachos seeping through the sides of the box and onto her palms. "Hugo!"
Hugo takes a seat at an empty table, away from his usual place, which is with Gabriel.
"Why are you sitting here?" she asks.
"'Cause I want to." he opens his box and grins. "Wow, she loaded it with cheese."
Vellary sighs, placing her nachos on the table. She takes the coins out of her pocket. "Here, take these."
"You don't have to pay me back." He takes a piece of nachos and plops it into his mouth.
He hesitates for a second before swallowing and shaking his head. "I don't want your money, but you can pay me back in a different way."
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"There's a get-together tonight at my friend's place, and I don't want to go alone." He rests his cheek against his hand. "Pay me back by coming with me."
His eyes widen. "What?"
"I said, no." Vellary shrugs her shoulders. "My nachos cost 3.50."
"You're saying my company is worth three and a half dollars?"
He sits up with narrowed eyes. "How'd you get to that conclusion?"
Vellary opens her mouth to reply, but he interrupts her. "You can bring Lucian and Lily with you too then."
She narrows her eyes. "So now you're saying me, Lucian and Lily are worth three dollars?"
"That's like, one dollar a person? No...the nachos were--"
Hugo leans over the table and shoves a nacho chip in her mouth. Vellary stares at him, stunned, but slowly chews on it nonetheless.
Because food is food.
He leans back into his chair with a serious expression. "I just want to enjoy the party with you."
She swallows. "Isn't it a get-together?"
"What's a get-together?"
Vellary whirls to the sound of a voice. Not just any voice, but his voice.
And there he is, the angel sent from the glorious heavens puzzlingly staring at her. He weaves his fingers through his hair and casts her a wide smile. "Hey, Vellary."
Her eyes widen. He said my name.
"Hey." She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. From the corner of her eye, she notices Hugo staring at her, but she doesn't care because--
"I was asking her to come with her friends to your party."
"Oh, you coming over, Vellary?"
"Huh?" This get-together party thingy is at Gabriel's place?
Gabriel grins. "You're coming to my party tonight?"
Vellary glances at Hugo with wide eyes. This idiot kept valuable information to himself.
"She said she doesn't want to," says Hugo.
"That's not true!" she blurts.
"Ah." She scratches the back of her neck awkwardly. Her ears feel hot. "I can come tonight."
"I changed my mind." She casts Hugo a barely-contained glare.
"I said I changed my mind. I'll go with you. And I'll bring Lucian and Lily too."
He blinks once, twice, thrice.
She lets out an irritated breath. Jesus.
Gabriel chuckles. "I'm glad you changed your mind. I'll see you tonight then."
She nods, and watches him leave, her heart thumping wildly in her chest.
It's been so long since she last talked to Gabriel--exactly three months--and it's not like she can count what happened now as a conversation.
This party, get-together, whatever they're calling it, she'll get to talk to him whenever, about whatever.
A heated gaze snaps her out of her thoughts, one hot enough to burn through her temple.
Vellary throws Hugo a dirty look. "What?" He almost ruined my chances at getting closer to Gabriel.
He scrunches his nose, but says nothing.
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"What's with that look? Like you just smelt shit or something."
"I did. I smelt your bullshit of a lie, that's what."
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"I changed my mind, Gabriel," Hugo says in a high-pitched voice.
"Teehee," he pretends to tuck a strand of hair behind his ear. "I'd just love to come to your party tonight, Gabriel."
She purses her lips, face reddening. "I didn't sound like that."
He casts her a deadpanned look. "Sure. Teehee."
"You know what," she picks up her nacho box, "I'll just meet you there."
He raises an eyebrow. "Do you know his address?"
"Yes!" She lies, storming off.
"See you there then! Teehee!"