On The Hill.
I couldn’t figure out what happened with Caroline. What did Samantha do that made her freak out so badly? All she did was grab Caroline’s wrist. To be fai, Caroline was the one who through her hand first. She would have slapped Samantha across the face. So why did it scare her so badly when Samantha defended herself?
I hadn’t seen Samantha since Caroline and her friends confronted her. A week had gone by and still I never saw her. I started to think she transferred out. Why wouldn’t she? Everyone besides me singled her out to be made fun of. She was the school outcast. I couldn’t understand why. When I spoke to her she came off as polite and pleasant. There was nothing weird about her.
When I thought about her I would sometimes touch my cheek. She came so close that day. Her lips almost touched my face. I had to go and ruin the moment by embarrassing her.
During the time I tried to figure out this mysterious redhead, I would occasionally touch my cheek. Her lips came so close that day. It was as if she was still there, gazing me with those deep seas of brown. You smell pleasing, repeated in my mind, over and over in a heavy and exotic Ukrainian accent.
Why couldn’t I get her out of my mind? Samantha Black had penetrated a spot inside of me only Caroline had managed to get to. It was only two months ago when she ended things. Just the other week I’d give anything to be with her again. But now there was this new girl who had so discreetly became the person I thought about the most. All it took was a simple stare and a few words.
Even my friends noticed my occasional spacing out, as I would more and more stare off into space. There I was on a Tuesday, at Tylor’s house. I still had the piece of paper from Isabella. How did she even get it? And why was she so sure Samantha would reject me?
I was with my friends at Tylor’s house. We were all sitting in his large and wooden living room, watching tv. His house was pretty big. Enough for ten eight I suppose. Everyday after school we went to Tylor’s to watch horror movies or play first-person shooters on his big screen.
Tylor came out of the kitchen. He said, “I’m all out of bread. So we can’t make sandwiches. Sorry, guys.”
They all moaned and groaned. Except me. I was too busy looking at Samantha’s address in my hand. I kept thinking about going to see her. Then I would tell myself no. It would be weird and creepy. I hated how Isabella always followed me and basically stalked me. I wouldn’t want Samantha to look at me the way I looked at Isabella. I shouldn’t take advice from a girl who knows nothing about boundaries.
As my friends complained about the food shortage, Tylor suggested we go out for pizza. Everyone was with the idea. Especially, Ace.
On cue he jumped up. He said, “Yeah! As long as we get sausage and pepperoni.” Second to gaming and drawing, food was his first love.
I hadn’t said a word. Martinez said, “Yo! Thomas. Do you want pizza for dinner?”
I balled the paper up into my hand quickly. “Oh. Yeah, sure,” I said.
Tylor noticed and got close. He said, “Hey what’s that you were looking at?”
“Yeah you’ve been staring at it forever,” Martinez said.
I put it away in my pocket. “Nothing. Let’s go get the pizza.” They clearly didn’t like Samantha and I didn’t want to answer any questions. I didn’t even know if I was actually going to see her again.
“Guys,” Ace said. “Isn’t it obvious? He’s clearly still hurting from the breakup.”
I actually hadn’t thought about that since the previous Wednesday. I should have been worried about Caroline but I was more worried about Samantha. I didn’t even talk to Caroline that week.
Tylor said, “Oh. Yeah you must be worried about her. That new girl almost killed her. I’ve never seen anyone scream like that before.”
Martinez said, “Yeah. I bet the freak got expelled. Good riddance.” He sounded really disgusted.
That was one thing that never crossed my mind. Samantha expelled? Was that even possible? No! The idea was crazy. Samantha only defended herself. Caroline would have slapped her dead across the face. I couldn’t understand why everyone was out to get her but me.
Tylor said, “Hey. What do you think Thomas?”
I spoke without thinking. “I think everyone should get off Samantha Black’s case.”
Martinez said, “Whoa, easy. Wait how do you know her name?”
Tylor joined in. He got excited and said, “That’s right! Those two kissed last week. Everyone saw it. So do you like her now? You’ve been with her all of this time huh?”
“Tell me you didn’t,” Martinez said. “I know the breakup was bad. But the new girl isn’t exactly a good substitute. She’s so…weird.”
I turned to them and said, “Stop calling her stuff like that. Her name is Samantha Black. She isn’t weird and we didn’t kiss. I just think it sucks that everyone thinks she’s some freak. She isn’t.”
They all just laughed as if I was telling a joke. I said nothing and just felt more and more sorry for her. Did the students openly laugh at her like this at school? Did she deal with it all by herself or did she have friends? Suddenly I pictured her walking home and alone in the rain, crying. What if she got depressed or something? Before I knew it, I was reaching for the paper again.
I stopped when Martinez said, “Dude, what about Caroline? She’s been with you since freshmen year. This Samantha girl is just some girl who showed up two weeks ago.”
Tylor agreed, “Exactly. So just leave the weird introvert alone. I’m sure there’s something wrong with her.”
I wanted to shout at him but part of me agreed. Caroline meant a lot to me and maybe we needed to talk about things. She clearly didn’t like the idea of me being with Samantha.
I stood up and said, “Let’s go get the pizza. No more Samantha or Caroline talk. My head needs a break.”
They shook their heads and got up. We left the house while it was still light out. I was the only person who had a car but over the summers we walked a lot, as we told stories and goofed around. It had become another way for us to just hangout. So we were used to walking. Plus the pizzeria was only a few blocks away.
We lived in the nicer part of town. So we didn’t have to worry about muggers or beggars. All of us were comfortable enough to eat at the pizza place even thought the sun was nearly gone. Ace was the first to walk into the small building. It had white tiled flooring towards the counter and nice carpet flooring in the dining area. It was a pretty cozy spot to spend time with your friends. Most kids from our school went there after school.
It wasn’t too busy so Ace was lucky enough to order fast. We all laughed to each other when he struggled to pick toppings. Then I stopped as my heart stopped.
“Thomas! Oh my gosh you’ve made my night!” Isabella Butler was waving from behind the counter. Unfortunately she worked at the pizzeria. Most of the time we dodged her. Sometimes we didn’t.