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Chapter 7 : Day Nineteen
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Chapter Image by my love Ande, Carnal Spiral @TDA, damn, she's too perfect...
5:43 AM. A total of 1 hours sleep. Too nervous to get to sleep, too nervous to stay asleep. Summer sun filtered through the curtains which did nothing to keep the light at bay.
I need my flaming coffee.
The house was (and I hate my lack of good adjectives, but it was rather early and I was sleep deprived) silent and dark at this ungodly hour. My heart raced every time the floorboards creaked or the plumbing gurgled. I was alone in my jammies, wearing a matching multi coloured polka dot dressing gown rather than a bulletproof vest, I’m allowed to be afraid. Not that I had a bulletproof vest to put on.
Joey leapt onto the kitchen counter, green eyes boring into mine not blinking. Typical, my cat had instigated a staring competition with me before 6 o’clock whilst I was so nervous I felt like I was going to start chucking up organs. Hey, at least I wasn’t alone now. But really, a staring contest? Very comforting.
“Hey Joey,” I replied, stifling a yawn behind my hand. Didn’t want him to think I was rude now did I? Do cats understand human though? Do they understand English? Who knows?
“Meow,” Joey repeated, nuzzling up to me. I scratched him behind the ears and he closed his eyes in content. Either that or he was screwing them up in pain. I’d have to go with the former, my pitiful physique ensured I couldn’t harm a fly, except when handed an electronic fly swatter that zaps them dead.
So I was a fly murderer?
Flies are disgusting, they’re repulsive and they produce maggots which, other than fish bait, have no uses whatsoever. Flies are the food of spiders and really, who needs more spiders in the world? Flies essentially, killed the old lady, as horses are up the food chain from flies and she swallowed a horse to catch the dog who needed to catch the- in short, she swallowed the horse because she swallowed a fly.
I think I’m very justified in killing flies.
They inadvertently caused the swallowing of a horse. Horses are awesome.
“Meow,” Joey looked up at me again and I felt myself melting into his pools of emerald green eyes. There was so many ways that sentence could be misinterpreted for romantic feelings, but I felt none of those for my cat. Just a sense of companionship. Anyway, you can’t have a relationship with a cat, that’s just...weird.
I’ve had Joey since I was 11. Freddie gave him to me as a going away present. This was the day after my birthday and the day of his birthday, so I was already happy with the present he’d given me the day before and wasn’t really expecting to receive anything. Joey was a surprise, but a very good surprise. Like an accidental baby. You’re sure you used the contraception correctly but oh, you’re up the duff. Then 9 months later, out pops a baby that you weren’t expecting to have, but it’s a joyous occasion, because a new life was brought into the world.
I can’t believe I’m comparing Joey to accidental babies.
Hey, it seems we do have a lot in common after all.
“Meow,” Joey was sidling up to me again and that could only mean that the fat git was hungry. I poured him a bowl of cheap supermarket cat food and some milk before eating my own cereal and coffee. I had to say, I was jealous of the bowls he had, his was printed with paw prints and his name in silver, my bowl was plain, ceramic and from IKEA.
No wonder Joey’s a hit with the ladies, it’s that bowl.
It’s a very attractive bowl.
I’m going to buy me a bowl with my name on it in silver.
I wonder how much of a hit with the guy’s I’d be then?
The answer is none. As if a guy would fancy me.
7:29 AM. I was getting anxious. Whoever said patience is a virtue had never had to go through results day. The waiting’s even worse when it’s only you, the cat and breakfast TV.
Breakfast TV is a whole load of crap. It’s not even Saturday which means that I can’t watch children’s programmes. Not that I do, I mean Arthur? Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow? Horrid Henry? What the heck is Horrid Henry? The alliteration is atrocious, Horrid Henry, Moody Margaret, Perfect Peter, Rude Ralph, yeah, I don’t watch shows like that, I watch sophisticated things, like the opera.
Because the opera is a much more riveting option.
All the high pitched sopranos and tenors with amazing lung capacity, all the singing in Latin and Italian that I really can’t understand, it’s absolutely fascinating.
“’’Sup Joey, how’s it hanging?”
“How’s your mad game with the bitches?”
“That good huh? Brilliant, I’m glad you’re getting some,”
“Because you aren’t,”
“Joey-oh it’s you. I hate you Dex,” My brother smirked and shook his rain soaked hair in my direction. Of course it would be raining on results day, as if I didn’t need a bad omen already. Wait, why was he coming in at 7 am, the time at which he was normally hibernating, in the same clothes he wore yesterday?
“Where were you?”
Dex blushed and scratched his head. Nervous.
“I was out at a mate’s house,”
A slight tug of the ear lobe. Lying.
Nervous and lying. Dex was somewhere he didn’t want me to know about. Which, of course intrigues me even more. They say curiosity killed the cat, but it never did me any harm, I wasn’t a cat. Besides, even if curiosity does kill the cat, it has 8 more lives the lucky things.
“Where were you?” I repeated, cocking an eyebrow and drinking in his dishevelled appearance.
“What?” I was smirking. Hey, who was I to pass up the opportunity to embarrass my brother?
“I was at Ravi’s,”
Okay, I really didn’t want to know anymore. Actually I do, morbid curiosity, one day, it’s going to make me vomit.
“Fixing her wifi,”
Sounds like an invitation for sex. Oh my gosh, what if they did? Holy crap on a holy cow, mental images! My eyes widened and Dex locked gazes with me. His eyes widened in reply.
“No! No! We didn’t Soph, NO!” He hastened and I let out a breath of relief. At least I didn’t have to dither about whom to unleash my wrath on. Seriously, do you get angry at- the brother for shagging the friend or the friend for shagging the brother?
“What were you doing that was so riveting that it made you stay the night?” And we return to Big Brother Teasing Event, BBTE for short, where Sophie and Dexter Carter are certainly churning up a storm full of wiggling eyebrows and furious blushing. They are definitely in gold medal contention in this competition. The other big brother little sister pairs do not hold a candle to the talent of the Carter duo.
“Snogging,” I snorted. Typical of Raveena to get her claws into him and typical of Dex to not mind one jot. “And talking,”
“So do you like her, or are you just snog buddies?” I had to know. Like hell if I was going to let my brother use my friend. Damn, I’d have to ask Ravi as well, she couldn’t pass my brother off as her new flame and dump him the next day like she had done to many a boy before.
“I- I like her, I like her personality, she’s attractive. I can see myself in a relationship with her,”
“Well then, I’m going to pretend I hadn’t seen you just walk in, you’re going to go up those stairs, shower, get dressed and then have breakfast. And please don’t tug on your ear when you’re talking to Mum and Dad, everyone knows that’s your trademark lying sign,”
Dexter opened and closed his mouth like a goldfish before leaving the room stunted. I just made my brother speechless. Boy am I good.
But Dex and Ravi? That has got to be the weirdest thing I’ve seen in my life.
No, Freddie disappearing tops that.
“We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!”
I hate my fucking doorbell.
We haven’t changed it since the Christmas of 2010 when Dad thought it’d be good fun to have a doorbell that sung a yuletide appropriate carol. After 12 years though, it can be a bit tiring. No, it can get severely annoying, especially when it was summer and nowhere near Christmas time.
“We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you-“ I flung open the door, not that that stopped the novelty doorbell from singing. “-a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!”
“Y’know, that doorbell gets me every time,” Freddie chuckled good naturedly. Freddie had a nice laugh, deep and throaty, not loud and obnoxious. It was a nice calming laugh that sent vibrations through my body every time I hugged him whilst he was laughing. The point was, he had a nice laugh.
“Come on inside,”
Unlike Kelly, Freddie waited to be invited inside and although he also treated my house like his, he had manners and self restraint. Kelly just trashed this place with no qualms.
Freddie fell back onto the sofa in that calm, reserved manner of his. He looked up at me, smiled, not smirked, and said:
‘Plant your bum’
It was enough to take me back 13 years into my memories.
I was playing in the sand pit, happily failing at trying to make a sandcastle using dry sand. It wasn’t working and the sand never held the shape of the mould. That didn’t stop me from my fruitless endeavours at making a sandcastle though. Just when I was about to lift the mould on my 14th try, a pebble hit my head. It hurt, but unlike the other 3 year olds, I didn’t start bawling but rather looked at the offending object curiously as if it would tell me where it came from.
“I’m sorry,” Fred Weasley at 4 years old was the oldest in the nursery. He towered over everyone and was intimidating. However, now he seemed humble and nervous? Why was he apologising? “That rock was for Jimmy, he’s mean,”
Jeremy Ackerley was 3, brown, mousy hair and a heavily freckled face. He never smiled and most of the time his face was twisted into a sneer. He carried around a stick that he would then use to dissect dead bugs and animals he found in the playground. Jimmy was a whole head shorter than Fred, the same height as me, so it was shocking that he could ever harm him, or cause him distress.
“What did he do to you?” I enquired. It piqued my interest- Fred being bullied by Jimmy?
“He stole my toys and he spat his milk at Johnny. Yesterday, he threw an apple at George and hit Yara with his stick. He’s a bully and I don’t like bullies!” Fred stamped his foot and crossed his arms in anger. Fred was sticking up for everyone.
“Here,” I held my hand out and Fred dropped the rock into it. Without notice, I threw it and with a resounding thud, the pebble hit its target.
“Thank you Fred,”
We sealed the meeting with a handshake, and Freddie told me to ‘plant my bum’ on the grass beside him.
“Plant my bum? You can’t plant bums!” I cried shocked. There was no such thing as bum plants, didn’t he know?
“It’s what my dad says!” Freddie defended, sticking his nose up in the air.
“But what does it mean?”
“It means you have to dig a hole in the grass and sit in it, like you’d do with seeds, except with your bum,”
“He he, bum,”
Unsurprisingly, I came home with a muddy butt and a new friend called Freddie Weasley who I vowed to never call Fred again.
I sat beside Freddie on the couch. He had hardly changed since nursery, sure his muscles had developed, his voice deepened and he had the start of a beard, but he was still the same, the same warm brown welcoming eyes, the same courageous behaviour, Freddie was still the boy who stood up for the underdogs. I’d known him for 15 years, been best friends with him for 13 of those years (Somehow we were next door neighbours without becoming friends, we needed a rock and bum plants for that) and yet, it was startling how he hadn’t changed.
I’m pretty sure I hadn’t changed either.
So, why did it fell like everything is different all of a sudden? Operation Weasley has really been going for 13 years-I’ve always been curious but I decided to make it official this summer-so that couldn’t be it.
What has changed?
“Results day,” Freddie said, rubbing his hands together in anticipation. Git. I take back all the good things I said about him, he’s enjoying my nervous disposition more than he should. Talk about kicking a dog when they’re down.
“Don’t remind me, I feel like my insides have been replaced with drunk people doing the conga, except they’re so wasted they’re throwing up all over the place,”
“Nice,” Ah, the fake disgust makes an appearance. I knew it would sometime or other.
“Y’know what’s weird? How I’m never nervous before the exam, when I’m taking the exam or directly after the exam, it’s only well after that I feel like crapping myself,”
“That’s not weird at all. It shows you prepared enough and it’s only fear warping your mind. You’re jumping to conclusions that aren’t at all founded because you can’t remember what you wrote, that’s when you’re nervous.”
Hmn, makes sense I suppose, but I’m not sure I have that much faith in me. I wanted an A badly, on the other hand, I’ve never had an A in my life, only Bs and Cs. Maybe my expectations were just too high...
“Sophie,” Freddie sighed heavily and pinched the bridge of his nose. “You’re going to do fine, kay?”
“What did you get?” I blurted. Academically, I had no idea how Freddie was doing, whereas he seemed to know every grade I’ve ever got.
“This year?” His voice rose an octave. “I got an O in History, an E in Chemistry, an A in Physics and an E in Maths,”
“A, E, O?”
“Acceptable, Exceeds Expectations and Outstanding. An A is like a C, an E a B and an O is the same as an A,” Yes, because that’s not at all confusing. Why would Hogwarts divert from the national grading system?
“I’m sorry, it’s confusing,” Freddie needs to stop reading my mind. He knows me too well, what if he already knows about Operation Weasley? “Today is about you. Where are you meeting Kelly?”
“At school. Freddie, what if I don’t get the grades? If I can’t progress from AS to A2, how will I ever get into the force? I won’t be able to ful-“
“Soph,” He cut me off, sending me a look that said you-overreacting-bint-I-can-read-your-mind-and-I’ll-pierce-you-with-my-sexy-intense-gaze. Well, except for the sexy part, he’s my best friend, I don’t think of him that way. “You’ll do fine, in fact, better than fine, y’know why? Because I have faith in you. I can bet you my life and Roxy’s rubber duck collection-“ She was very possessive of those, touch one, I wouldn’t stick around to see the consequences. “-that you will pass everything and you’ll even get an A,”
Freddie’s words of belief washed over me and calmed me more than Joey’s nuzzling ever could. Freddie believes in me and my results will be good. I can do this, I can walk in that hall, I will take my envelope, and I will shout my results out with glee!
“Let’s get going then,”
“You might need to get dressed then,”
Curse you spotted dressing gown and matching pyjamas. I really don’t need to blush this profusely at only 10 o’clock in the morning.
Three outfit changes, two kisses on the cheek (parents, overemotional saps, cor) and a phone call later, I was standing with Freddie and Kelly in our schools Assembly Hall. The paint was peeling, the wooden floor had lost its varnish (Can floors lose anything?) and the curtain above the stage had fallen down on one side and was now at a 45 degree angle. It was a dump and the rest of the school wasn’t much better. That 30% pass rate certainly reflects the schools kind of calibre. It was a shithole.
“Have you got my envelope Sophie?”
“Yep, you have mine? You’re not going to use it as blackmail material?”
It was 2 months into high school. Lindsay and I were the only kids from Alder’s Primary School to move on to Teignbridge Academy. Lindsay had already drifted off with her new friends, exchanging long skirts and knee high socks for belts and stockings. I had no friends and I didn’t intend on making any new ones. People weren’t showing the courtesy of being friendly towards me so I’d become a recluse. If no one wanted to talk to me, I wasn’t going to talk to them.
“Hello,” Kelly Roberts was a dark haired, green eyed clever girl who had more than her share of friends. She was in every one of my classes and never before had the need to speak to me. I ignored her.
“That’s very rude y’know, not answering when someone’s speaking to you,”
I said nothing.
“Fine, I’ll give you an ultimatum, speak to me and become my friend or I’ll tell everyone that you snogged Liam Simons behind the bike shed last week,”
Liam Simons had a constant drip of snot from his nose and rumour has it that he never washed his hands.
“What?! That’s blackmail,” I hissed, forgetting my rule about not speaking.
“So?” She smirked.
It was only until later that I realised Kelly’s friends weren’t her friends at all, but rather people who she was forced to hang around with due to a lack of other girls not involved in a clique. I also hadn’t realised that she wanted to be my friend because she saw I was lonely, she just had a funny way of going about it. Furthermore, I hadn’t realised that she wouldn’t have spread that rumour and her threat was... empty.
“Of course not,” Kelly gasped in mock indignation. “Let’s open it,”
We tore open each other’s results, rather like we had done last year for GCSEs. Freddie looked over Kelly’s shoulder reading my results while I looked at hers.
Maths (Core): A
Maths (Applied): A
Of course. Not a single fail grade, not even a single C and only one B. I could always count on her to excel academically.
“Sophie, can I just say ‘I told you so’?”
I snatched my results from Kelly at Freddie’s remark, giving her back her own at which she squealed delightedly. My eyes travelled over the white paper and black ink, not taking in a word. I read it over and over again until I actually absorbed the information.
Maths (Core): A
Maths (Applied): B
Huh, BACAB, my results spell Bacab.
What, 2 As?
“I GOT TWO A’S! I GOT TWO A’S, FREDDIE, I GOT TWO A’S!”
Needless to say, I think I was ecstatic. Freddie, not so much, I had kind of flung myself around his neck, putting all my weight on his. I was sure that if he wasn’t so muscular we would have toppled over. Of course, if he wasn’t so muscular he wouldn’t be Freddie. I came to my sense 5 seconds later after Freddie’s laughter rippled through my body and my cheeks pooled with blood. Why had I thrown myself on him? I looked over the crumpled piece of paper again to steady myself.
Two As. Two Bs. One C. Okay, the C was a downer, but 2 As?! I’ve never gotten an A in my life then two come along at once, rather like London buses.
Does this mean my curse is over? Will I no longer be unlucky? I’ve had a breakthrough in my work, will I have the same in my Operation? Does this mean cows will fart less? Will we ever prove the Big Bang Theory?
I don’t know, all I know is I was so happy, I could have a burger thrown on my face and I wouldn’t care less.
Besides, if I caught it, it’d be free food.
You can’t argue with that.
“Step into my office,”
Freddie and Kelly had gone home after we watched Doctor Who reruns and had a popcorn fight. The living room was completely decimated but Mum said I needed to ‘blow off some steam’ and that this ‘had done me some good’ so ‘because you worked so hard and got the results you wanted’ she’ll ‘clean up the mess’ herself. The mess was more of a tropical storm and I was more than happy to oblige and leave her to it before she changed her mind.
At least she hadn’t seen Dex’s room, because I’m pretty sure her reaction wouldn’t be Snow White doing spring cleaning with woodland animals.
Coincidentally, I was standing in the doorway of said rubbish tip, gawking at my brother.
He had his glasses on.
See, every time Dexter put’s his glasses on, he goes all psychoanalysis on my ass or any other poor soul that happens to cross his path. It comes with studying psychology and the farce of intelligence that glasses give him and he feels the need to dissect every movement, every action, a need, that cannot and will not be suppressed.
However, he still maintains the notion that he can’t read minds. Which can’t be true (That’s what you learn when you study psychology at Uni) and would have increased his street cred and ability to pull girls (Not that he needs it- Case and point Ravi) tenfold.
“Nice work on the results by the way,”
“But that’s not why you came here, is it, for compliments?”
“Then pray tell, what brings you into my domain?” Okay, Dex was sounding less a super cool smart Sherlock and more like a super nerdy smart Lord of The Rings follower.
“Ho, how, how do you know if you like someone?”
Be jealous of my stutter bitches.
Dex fixed me with a piercing stare, and I felt as if he was x-raying me, as though he could really, truly, read my mind. Well, I’ll be well and truly fucked and Freddie won’t live another day.
This visit into the toxic lair of the Dexter creature all boiled down to a culmination of feeling I’ve been having my whole life but stronger now, in the past few weeks.
Butterflies, giddiness, drooling.
I was a love sick puppy.
The only problem? I was trailing after my best friend.
And I had no idea whether or not this was normal crush behaviour. I never had a crush on Noah, he was just an attractive jerk who was there for a good snog. What if my stomach turning to jelly was nothing to do with romance, what if this was the norm for best friends? I couldn’t ask anyone else because everyone else seems to have best friends of the same gender.
“Well, your stomach tingles, you smile when they smile, the smallest contact can make you blush,” Check, check, and oh, check. “Soph, I think you need to be looking more towards love and I can’t help you out there sister. It’s different for everyone but when the time comes, you just... know. Now, I have a 10,000 word dissertation to finish about the pre-frontal cortex so I won’t be good company, however, you’re more than welcome to stay.”
“Nah, I’ll leave you to write about the brain,” I said as I shut the door on my way out.
What? Why did Dex have to be so bloody cryptic? Was he saying I’m in love with Freddie?
That couldn’t possibly be it, could it?
Can you really be in love with someone you’ve seen in nappies? Could you be in love with someone you’ve seen shove rice krispies up their nostrils? Can you be in love with someone you’ve known all your life bar one year?
Can you be in love with your best friend?
Could you be in love with someone you know better than yourself?
Can you be in love with someone you’d do anything for?
The answer is yes, yes you can.
Shit, I’m in love with Freddie Weasley.
Fuck. My. Life.
A/N: Wahey! Sophie’s not so frustratingly oblivious anymore, isn’t that brilliant? So back to the detective stuff next chapter, this story’s just flowing. There’s only 12 days left of August –in the story and god knows how many chapters. I don’t want to write this too quickly and have it come to an end. I’ve been neglecting summer homework and just writing and it’s progressing. The next chapter will be put in the queue on the 23rd, my results day, because I have half a book to read and tonnes of questions for Geography, which I haven’t studied for two years.
I have a lonely MTA page, so I’d love it if you guys popped over, came and have a chat with me, you can ask me literally anything and I’ll respond ;)
Oh, and the reviews on the last chapter were amazing, thank you, quite a few people reviewed for the first time so hello! I loved reading those, they were brilliant.
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