“Everyone’s saying you fell asleep in class and started having night terrors.” Jasmine whispered loudly in the cafeteria.
Charlie didn’t understand why her best friend felt the need to whisper this to her if everyone was talking about it. For a second she wished her nightmares were real so she could melt into a ball of liquid and escape her most embarrassing moment ever. This was worse than when Boner got his nickname in fifth grade when his teacher hugged him because he was the only one who remembered her birthday.
“Hey Screamer.” Boner plopped his tray on the table sitting extra close to Jasmine, nearly splattering her with the weird mushy liquid surrounding his beef patty.
“Please don’t tell me that’s what their calling me.” Charlie groaned resting her head in her hands.
“Just trying it on for size.” He smiled, a piece of the brownish substance on his tooth after he shoved a spoonful in his mouth.
“Ugh.” Jasmine pushed him aside. “You’re so lame. Why do you even sit with us.”
“Because you love me.” He smushed his lips together leaning toward her.
“So gross. Get over yourself. I swear one dare can make you regret your life.” Jasmine tried to act disgusted but Charlie knew she liked the attention. Charlie had never accepted a dare and Jasmine never accepted a truth. “Charlie get your head out of your hands. Sit up straight, like nothing happened and they will all forget about it.”
“Or you could embrace it!” Boner perked up again. “Nicknames make you legendary.”
Jasmine rolled her eyes.
“Hi Jasmine, Charlie.” Weston spoke up causing Charlie to take Jasmine’s advice with flushed cheeks and a spinning stomach. It was a good thing she hadn’t eaten her lunch yet.
“Weston, sit! Show Boner not every guy is as crass as him.”
Weston looked a bit nervous. Jasmine made a lot of guys nervous, probably because she had matured back in middle school, but Weston didn’t seem to notice too much. Every time she went to Jasmine’s house she would catch him reading in the pool in his backyard, mowing the front lawn, or hanging out with his friends playing video games. All things Charlie liked to do, except mowing the yard but she did it when her dad was busy at work and her mother was having her faint spells. She had grown fond of the sound of the lawn mower and witnessing her finished work.
“Sorry but I promised my friends…. Um….Charlie I was just wondering if you had taken notes in math class. I got sort of lost. Every other teacher just went over the syllabus and well I wasn’t expecting….”
“Yea, definitely. Do you want to take a picture of them.”
“Are you going over to Jasmine’s today?”
“Of course she is!” Jasmine grabbed my arm. “It’s tradition.”
“Cool, maybe I could just come by and copy them. You know, so you won’t be without your notes.” He ran his fingers through his dark hair. “I’ll see you guys later.”
“I guess not everyone knows.” Jasmine poked her in the ribs. Charlie pushed her lips together pretending not to fill agitated by her best friends brutish touch. Charlie didn’t have any siblings and after witnessing Jasmines two younger brothers rough play throughout the house she knew Jasmine was just trying to share it with her too. Charlie just wished it wasn’t so much.
“Oh everyone does.” Boner smiled and Jasmine threw him a dirty look.
Managing to stay awake through the rest of her classes she rode the bus home with Jasmine after giving the bus driver a forged note from her mother who had forgotten to sign another permission slip.
Jasmine went on and on about all the cute boys this year. Charlie agreed they were all cute, but she also thought they were some of the shadiest guys in school based on rumors alone. Now she had her own rumor as the girl who screams in class. Since her’s was true she assumed everyone else’s rumors probably had a lot of truth in them too. The clock ticked by slowly, tortuously, and it was getting closer to dark. Charlie would have to leave soon.
“I have an idea!” Jasmine turned from the mirror, where she had experimented with the angle of her web cam and a new glossy lipstick she had worn for her video date, with the guy she had met on vacation. “How about you just go over there?”
“What! No I couldn’t do that.” Charlie shied away from the idea. If he didn’t want the notes then he didn’t want it.
“Oh come on Charlie grow some balls.” Jasmine replied seriously with a look of disapproval.
“First off, not possible. And second off, he must have changed his mind.”
“One of these days you should really consider stepping outside that shell Charlie. Then maybe you wouldn’t wake up screaming in first period.”
Charlie’s jaw dropped. This wasn’t the first time Jasmine had said something so callous before. “I should go home.”
Jasmine shrugged her shoulders and looked back in her web cam, dismissing Charlie with the waive of a hand. It was fairly typical for the two girls to grow a little tired of each other after spending a long day together when they hadn’t seen each other for such a long time. It would take a little longer for them to get back in the swing of things.
Feeling irritated with Jasmine’s statement she thought maybe Jasmine was right. Charlie could stay up all night wondering why Weston would stop by to ask her for her notes then not show up or she could just offer them.
She went to knock on the door until she heard a loud splash in the back yard. Changing her trajectory she peered over the hedges. She couldn’t see anyone from the angle.
“Weston.” She called, receiving no response.
Opening the latch from the inside, like the girls often did when Weston and his family were out-of-town, she stepped through the gate and looked around to find a kitten whimpering softly, trying to paddle its way to the ledge.
Without question she jumped in the pool to grab the poor wet animal, lifting him out as he ran away to scratch on the back door. She could see a figure through the tempered glass and wished she could just disappear.
Weston walked outside, picking up the wet cat. “What are you doing out here Buttons? Why are you wet?” He talked to the cat, looking around. But he didn’t seem to notice Charlie.
Charlie moved with the swaying of the water, translucent and no longer in human state. Weston walked toward the kittens wet tracks seeing Charlie’s clothes floating in the water. He grabbed a pole and used it to fish the clothing out along with her shoes which floated around her and the rest of the water. Weston couldn’t see the difference between the chlorine water and Charlie’s liquid state. He poked her a few times but her transparency and lack of a mouth prevented her annoyed yells from being heard beyond her thoughts as each jab felt like jasmine’s poking.
Unedited by B. Mauritz