He's staring at me again. My stomach began to entertain a mob of butterflies again, just like every time when he looked me. My heart began to pound and my palms got sweaty as I fumbled with my books and tried to concentrate. I snuck a peak at him over my shoulder; yep, still staring. 'Ignore him Clara, Ignore him.' I tried to calm my stomach down. I saw a shadow form on my desk where my books were spread out, startled I turned my head, and there was, looking at me, again.
"Yes?" I asked him.
"I saw you Clara," he squeezed my shoulder and walked off, his group of guy friends following after.
'Damn that boy drives me crazy.' I looked at the clock hanging on the wall: 6:00pm. I sighed and gathered my books. Jay will be worrying where I am. I walked slowly out the library, struggling to carry all my chemistry books. I heard a car horn beep, looking up I saw him waving me over. I rolled my eyes and walked over to him.
He rolled down the window, "Get in its late, let me drive you."
He smiled and shook his head, "I insist Clara Carris ."
"How do you know my full name?"
He got out of his car and opened the passenger door, "Everyone knows your name, now get in."
Confused, I climbed into the car ignoring his hand to help me in.
When we were both in the car He rolled up the windows and turned in his seat to look at me, "Clara, do you avoid me on purpose?"
"Yes, do you want my address?"
"Why," he asked as he handed me his GPS so I could type in my address.
"Why do you follow me?"
"You intrigue me."
"I'm glad I amuse you," I scoffed as a pressed the start button on his GPS.
"Are you scared of me?"
"Are you in love with me?"
He started the car and sighed, "I don't know."
I was silent. We both were. The silence wasn't an awkward one, it was a natural, lost in thought one. I could here the faint radio music playing, and the car engine, the gears changing, His steady breathing and hid hands rubbing against the steering wheel. I looked out the window at all the familiar streets. I've lived here for sixteen years. And nothing has changed. I looked over at him, he was so perfect it terrified me. He was Two years older than me, making him nineteen going to twenty in June the 18th.
We pulled into my driveway, I looked at him while he stared at me.
"Yes." I said to him breaking the silence.
"What," He looked so hot when he was confused.
"I am scared. Thank you for driving me."
"Wait! Clara," he grabbed my hand as a climbed out of the car.
"Girls like me don't get guys like you." A tear slid down my cheek as I pulled away and ran inside.
When I got inside I looked out the window, he was gone. Just like all of them, they just leave. I prepared myself to begin the mental battle of trying to get him out of my head. My heart already hurt just thinking about it.
"Ishmael wouldn't want this for you Clara."
My brother, always knew what was going on in my crazy, loud mind.
"He's not here."
"But he is here," he placed my hand on my chest where my heart is.
"There is nothing left of my heart for him to be in, he took it with him." I let the tears fall, heavy, warm, miserable tears.
"Oh Clara, he loved you so much, he wouldn't want this for you."
"He...he didn't lo...love me...enough to...stay," I choked on my words, clenching my stomach as the sobs heaved out of me.
My brother wrapped his arms around my shaking body, "He loved you to much to keep hurting you."
"He's hurting me more now Jay! I need him Jay! I...ne...ed him," I pulled myself out of his grasp and ran to my room, defeated, broken and lost. Desperate for someone to take the pain away, my heart breaking with every memory of my beautiful boy friend flooding into my mind.
"Ishmael, please, I needed you. I need you. Please come back...please...please."
Sleep found me, and gently took me away from my nightmare of a life, until the morning came.
I watched her run inside, 'girls like her?' What a broken, fragile angel. She cried, she is to pretty to cry, too perfect, too beautiful, mysteriously frail.
It took every ounce of strength In me not to run after her and swoop her off her feet and tell her I wanted to fix her, tell her to trust me, let her cry on my shoulder, and hold all 5feet of her tiny frail body against my 5'8ft body. I wanted to make her feel safe. But Jay, no he told me to leave her, he told me she was broken. He warned me to keep my distance.
I wish I could show her what she means to me, how much I want her to trust me, too love me how I love her. But god she is to perfect to want me.
I pulled into my drive way, and walked inside, Caleb must already be home.
I grabbed a pot of two minute noodle's and heated them up, grabbed my lighter and went out to my balcony. I ate my dinner then lit a fag, and lost myself in thought. I looked out to the moon, and listened to the crickets chirping.
"What's on your mind." I didn't hear Caleb come and sit next to me. He held his hand out so I handed him a fag and my lighter.
"You close with Carris?"
"Mhmm we've talked." He puffed out some smoke, "why?"
"I drove her home today, from the library."
"She actually let you?"
I looked at him, "Yeh...why?"
"She doesn't like social stuff, she likes walking."
"I kind of insisted."
"Okay, what's the real question?"
I looked back out to the moon, it was so beautiful, like Carris, "She said she was scared of me, but when I asked her why she said, Girls like me don't get guys like you. But she cried."
I looked at Caleb, he was looking down at his shoes. A tell tale sign of him being sad. "I guess she isn't better then." He said it more to himself but loud enough for me to hear.
"Carris is depressed." He got up and rested his elbows on the balcony ledge. "She has been for god knows how long."
"Many, many reasons. But it got worse when Ishmael...you know."
I felt a pang of pain at the thought of my little cousin. My heart broke. My baby cousin, my poor cousin, so broken, yet so happy. The world was cruel to his gentle soul. Bent him beyond his capacity, Ishmael was a secretive boy, didn't share his personal life with anyone, but we assumed he was happy because that's what he told us, and who wouldn't believe him?
"How did she know him?" I was confused, he never told me about Clara.
"You'll need to ask her, its her story to tell."
"I love her; Caleb."
"Cam told me.
"Oh. I'm going to bed."
I walked to my bedroom, my head hurt, and my chest ached. Clara Carris depressed? My body filled with fear, what if she...? Like Ishmael...no don't think like that. Be strong.
I made up my mind then and there to help her, and change her mind. To do everything I didn't do for Ishmael.
I wasn't going to lose another person I love not this time God.
I didn't want to wake up this morning, it took every ounce of effort for me to climb out of bed. 'What's the point?' All I'll end up doing is reading. I looked down at my phone and saw Caleb had texted me: Yo Clara call me. I opened my phone and called him:
You took your sweet time.
What do you want Caleb?
Still not a morning person are you?
No, what did you want?
What you doing today?
Lots of things.
Fine, nothing, why?
Haha, taking you out with some mates, you need to get out the house a bit.
Caleb. I hate people.
It'll be super chill I swear, we'll just get coffee then ill drop you home.
Do I have to?
Yes, we're pulling into your driveway, get ready.
I need to talk to Jay relax we'll wait.
I threw my phone onto my bed, grabbed my clothes, and ran into the shower, cursing Caleb the whole time for his stupid spontaneous ideas of 'fun'.
I had a five minute shower, and looked into the mirror my body was malnourished and pale. I had an addiction to not eating, I couldn't stand myself. I reached for my foundation, and began to plaster it onto my face, couture, even though my cheeks where hollow looking enough, bronzer, mascara, and highlighter, completed my mask. It hid more than my sudden outbreak and my bags from the sleepless nights.
I pulled on my skinny ripped jeans, and my canvas sneakers, I looked at my arms, the scars were not as obvious today so I through on a short sleeved crop top. I put my phone in my pocket and gathered my hair into a loose pony tail as I made my way down stairs. I could hear Caleb and Cameron, who we fondly called Cam, and Jay. I breathed deeply in and put on my smile.
"Hi you lot," I said as a drew Cam in for a hug, "Thanks for the short notice Caleb, I appreciate having a heart attack this early in the morning."
"Haha you're welcome sunshine." Caleb winked at me, "You look great for someone who just woke up."
"Makeup works wonders." I smiled as I headed to the front door, "Caleb you're paying for me okay?"
"Yeh fine. Bye Jay, come on Cam." Jay waved and smiled through is stuffed face of cereal.
We walked out to the patio, but Caleb grabbed my hand, "Clara, Jose is coming."
Cam looked at me out the corner of his blue eyes, "He insisted."
I looked down, I knew Jose told Caleb about last night. Why wouldn't he? They live together. I felt my chest pain slightly as I looked over the Cameron's parked car, there he was with Jamie draped on the side of the car smoking and laughing his contagious laugh. He is so perfect.
"Hey Clara," Jamie waved me over, "You've met Jose?"
"Kind of." I looked blankly at Jose. This was going to be hell hard.
"Miss Carris, good to see you again." He sounded cheerful and genuine, maybe it wasn't as awkward for him as it was for me.
"You too." I shuffled uncomfortably, I was socially awkward and it radiated off of me.
"Should we go?" Caleb asked as he opened the passenger door open, "Ladies first."
"Why are suddenly being a gentleman Caleb?" I looked in the car expecting a spider to jump out.
"I figured you didn't want to sit in the middle of two men, but if you do I'll gladly sit in the front." Caleb jokingly pushed me out the way.
"God no, get your ass in the back." Cameron laughed from the driver seat, I loved his laugh, I loved these boys, my boys. I grew up with them. They were all older than me, by a few years, but we are like a family.
"Jose move your leg!" I turned to see Caleb squished in the middle.
"Sorry." Jose laughed, I looked at him and smiled shyly, "You're laugh is cute."
Jose looked at me surprised then managed to stutter a thank you.
The car ride was short enough, mostly consisting of Caleb complaining and Jamie accusing him of eating to much junk food.
Cameron and I talked quietly in the front seat and I occasionally caught Jose looking at me through the car mirror. Caleb noticed it to and smiled smugly at Jose which gave Caleb a nice pinch on his thigh which led to more cursing and arguing. Jamie texting on his phone the whole time.
Me and Jamie still really struggled with the loss of Ishmael, he was the second on to find him, and he hasn't been the same since, we don't talk about it but our hearts share the pain.
We arrived at the café, Jose was out before the engine even turned off to open my door, "Here."
"Thanks." I smiled at him. Then went ahead with Jamie.
"Hi princess." He put his arm around me.
"Hey boo. You doing ok?" He knew exactly what I meant.
"Ill be better after coffee," He chuckled. But his eyes where sad. His eyes didn't laugh with him, they didn't match his smile.
"Me and you both." I replied quietly.
"Jose seems to like you, or is it just me?" He looked at me a flicker of hope in his green eyes, I knew what he was hoping.
But I looked at him sadly, "It would seem so."
"Caleb's shouting guys." Cameron shouted then bolted for the entrance swiftly avoiding a slap from his cousin Caleb.
Me and Jamie laughed as we went to find a table. Jose found a six seater one for us, he called us over and pulled out my chair for me.
"Thank you Jose."
He sat next to me, Jamie on the left side of me, and Cameron right across from me, Caleb joined us soon after ordering and paying for the coffee much to his disgust.
I looked at Jose's arm, I don't know what led my eyes there, but I didn't know where else to look, I saw a tattoo. He had many, but this one was a red tear hanging by thread of rope, in a darker shade of red was a name, one that constantly made my heart burn, Elijah Hudson.
My heart began to beat, whose Elijah Hudson, Ishmael had the same last night, who was Elijah I needed to know. With out anyone finding out my secret.
I jumped when the waiter called out my drink, suddenly looking up I saw Jose staring at me, his eyes sadness clouded them I swear I saw a tear..."Ice Latte?"
"Oh yeh umm me thanks." I stuttered. Jose smiled and looked back down, I caught Calebs eye and winked, 'yep he saw that.'