Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Bunny Boiler - Chapter 6

I've been twiddling with my thumbs for a while now trying to figure out how I should get back at Kate.  But everything that comes into my head I have to quickly dismiss with an 'oops, already used that revenge plan' or 'no, Jamie will certainly never forgive me for that if he found out'. 
    The difference this time around is that there is no way on earth that Jamie can find out about this.  His words always echo in my head, and I should do the right thing and be a grown-up about this - but I cannot. 
    Kate has been a vile infection for a while now and I cannot ignore it any longer.  This time, I have to get rid of it for good. 
    "So, what's the latest plan?" Mikey says as he sits down next to me in the library. 
    I look down at my messy scribbles and try to make out the hateful thoughts I have written. 
    But nothing makes sense and out of pure frustration I scrunch up the piece of paper into a tight ball and flick it to the other side of the table.  It stops at the edge and stares at me as if mocking my brain's failed attempt at revenge. 
    "Maybe you should take this as a sign to let things be," Mikey very unhelpfully suggests.
    I glare at him for a couple of seconds before my head falls ever so elegantly in my hands and I grunt in irritation. 
    I hear a loud shushing noise coming from the librarians, which I ignore completely and carry on,
    "It's been a week and I haven't thought of anything!  What's wrong with me?"
    "Well, quite a few things actually," he attempts a smile. 
    I turn towards Mikey with big, brown eyes as if pleading for his help. 
    "I can't let her get away with all this.  Jamie doesn't understand because he doesn't see the way she looks at me or the things she says.  I'm tired of having someone watching my every move.  I hate that my relationship is so cloudy because that awful excuse of a human being cannot let things go,"  I take in a deep breath and try to stop my emotions from getting too carried away.  The last thing I need right now is to cry in front of all these people.  I'm wearing Benefit BadGal mascara, for goodness' sake.  What a waste of money crying would be.
    Mikey pats me on the shoulder.  Sympathetically, he smiles and grabs the scrunched up ball of paper.
    "Let's go over some of these, shall we?  There might be a diamond amongst all this roughness,"

    To begin with, I didn't think much of Mikey's plan.  It seemed so infantile compared to some of the things I kept coming up with, but now the more I think about it, the more it's growing on me.  According to him my plan of arranging a trip to Cornwall and shoving her out of the car while on the M3 was a tad extreme. 
    But despite my zealous ideas, we managed to make something that works.

    "Kate! Kate!" I call after her as we run up the stairs of the Science building. 
    At first she looks perplexed by the optimism in my voice, and I think at one point her eyes scanned my hands to make sure I wasn't carrying a knife.  Her constipated look soon turned to one of anger.
    "What do you want?" she practically screams before she turns on her heel and enters the corridor. 
    I follow.
    "Look, I think it's about time I apologise about everything that has gone on these last few months,"
    Kate's jaw drops.  She spins around just before she's about to push open the door to her classroom.  But she says nothing - she just looks at me as if she's begging me to continue. 
    So I oblige. 
    "I was completely in the wrong for what happened with Jamie.  I'm sorry.  You've been right about it all along,"
    At the other end of the corridor behind me I can hear Jamie's jaw click shut, along with the animated whispers coming from the rest of our classmates. 
    Kate leans against the wall, arms crossed.  Her limp, sallow hair sweeps like straw across her forehead. 
    "I still hate you," she says.
    I force a smile.  "That's fine.  But perhaps we can be civil with each other.  In fact, I have a brilliant idea.  Why don't you join us at Mikey's on Saturday night?  It'll be fun,"
    My smile becomes so sweet that it begins to taste bitter. 
    Kate nods her head and disappears in her classroom. 
    I sigh in relief and turn around to face Jamie who is staring at me with a hard expression.
    "Ella Ivey!" he roars.  "What are you up to?"

    Mikey and I are sitting on the two-seater in his living room looking around at everyone.  The room is unusually quiet and no one can work out why I had such a drastic change of tune about Kate. 
    "Are you not going to tell us what's happening?" Tia says, thoroughly looking at everyone in the hope that she can read the answer through their expressions. 
    "Nothing's going on," I lie.  I wish everyone would shut up about it.  I can't believe they don't believe me.  I know I'm lying, but still, they are supposed to be my best friends.
    "If you say so," Tia gives up and starts chipping the pink nail polish from her left thumbnail. 
    "Why is Giles coming?" Sofia pipes up as she detangles herself from her boyfriend's grip.  I want to throw a cushion at her.
    "Because he's my cousin and he was in the area!"  Mikey very impatiently answers back.  "What's with all the questions?"
    Silence fills the cracks once again, until they're shattered open by Tia. 
    "Isn't he the one who stalked that girl for a year?" she asks. 
    Mikey takes a deep breath before he answers. 
    "That was two years ago.  He's fine now," he tuts loudly.
    "And didn't the girl get the police involved?  She got a restraining order against him, didn't she?"  Tia continues, quite oblivious to Mikey's tone of voice, or the dagger stare he is now throwing her way. 
    I look over at Jamie who is now beginning to put two and two together.  So I look away quickly before he gets the chance to call me to another room and make me explain the entire plan. 
    "Like I said, it was two years ago," he crosses his arms and slouches back in his seat. 
    The doorbell chimes in our ears and both Mikey and I jump to answer it. 
    When we open the door both Kate and Giles are standing on the other side happily chatting to one another. 
    From the corner of my eye I can see Mikey giving me one of his famous looks of, 'I told you'. 
    "Come in," I tell both of them and they follow us to the living room. 
    Giles is exactly how I thought he would be - awkwardly charming with the ability to fly off the rails.  Just like Kate. 
    "Why don't you two sit over here," I say offering the two-seater.  "Mikey and I will just go and get some food,"
    The two of us escape to the kitchen just before Jamie gets the chance to follow us. I smile and shut the door in his face when he tries to.  He's mad at me.  That much I can tell. 
    "I'm not too sure this will work," I whisper to Mikey after I've made sure the kitchen door is firmly shut.  I wait a while until Jamie's footsteps fade away to the living room. 
    "Oh, do be quiet," he says as he spoons dips into little, round pots and pops open a bag of Doritos.  "Didn't you see how well they were getting on?"
    "I suppose,"  I'm very anxious about all this. 
    "Look, I'm telling you now.  Giles and Kate will fall madly in love with one another and you and Jamie will be rid of that psycho for good.  Trust me, I'm right,"
    The room is far too noisy when we get back.  We place the plates on the coffee table and tune in to the conversation.  But it's only Kate and Giles who are talking.  Everyone else is staring in awe at them as if it's a circus freak show. 
    I sit down on the floor next to Jamie, who puts his arm around me and pulls me closer to him.  His lips touch my ear as he whispers, "Are you trying to set them up?"
    I hesitate in answering, but I decide to just come clean.  So I nod my head ever so slightly.  I feel his arm dropping from my shoulder. 
    That action alone feels horrible - a disapproval that you did not need.  I should have stayed out of Kate's way and just got on with my life, and now I've probably wrecked my relationship. 
    I look up at Jamie's dark eyes which are flickering about the room as if he's trying his best to right my wrong.  A wave of panic rises up in me, like the sort you get when you've been given a bad exam result. 
    "I'm sorry," I tell him. 
    He turns towards me and leans his head forward.  He's about to say something but stops himself.  Instead, he ruffles his hair and smiles.  "I'm telling you now.  This won't work,"
    I'm about to argue back but he doesn't let me.
   "After this, will you please just let this entire thing go?"
    So I nod, and he kisses me softly on the lips.  I should really be more thankful that he's as understanding as he is. 
    I'm distracted by a piece of orange peel that has been thrown at me.  I look up to see Mikey in the other corner of the room mouthing something at me.  "Look at that," he seems to be saying. 
    My head flicks up and I see Kate and Giles sitting mere millimetres away from each other.  Their conversation now appears to be private.  Kate laughs hysterically from time to time, and Giles places one hand on Kate's knee.  The rest of us are completely forgotten to them. 
    I turn to Jamie with a broad smile, but he just rolls his eyes and moves away to talk to Sofia's boyfriend. 
    Mikey very quickly takes his place and we sit side by side watching our success. 
    "It appears I was right," he sips his wine. 
    "OK, OK, don't push it,"
    "I'm right once again,"
    I jokingly nudge him with my arm.
    "I should really start writing these things down.  You know, make a list of all the things I've been right about,"
    "Well, let's hope it lasts," I say as we clink our glasses. 

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