‘Rise and shine babe!’
Turning around I covered my head with the pillow not being able to tolerate my best friend’s screaming on a Monday morning. I mean any sane person wouldn’t feel so alive on a frigging Monday morning. But, Kat short for Katlyn is insane. Even if she parties all Sunday night (which she does almost every week), she would still wake up Monday morning in high spirits. Me, on the other hand is the complete opposite of her. I can’t barely keep my eyes open on Mondays at all.
Oh! Waitttt!!!!! I forgot to introduce my stupid ass. I’m Meghan short for Meg. Well, you there, yes you, the one who’s reading this, you can call me Meg! You should be glad, ya know. I don’t usually let people call me Meg unless you’re my best friend. If my best friend is that typical famous blonde cheerleader in every high school (which she definitely is as she’s blonde, has a crush on the star quarterback and have more than two million followers on her Instagram and insanely famous), then I’m that nerd girl who wears hoodies everyday to school and glasses and who’s invisible to everyone until they see me with Kat. It’s unusual for that famous cheerleader to be friends with the nerd girl right? Well, our friendship is really unusual but I wouldn’t give up my friendship with Kat for anyone.
Kat’s relationship with the star quarterback, Tyler, is complicated. Sometimes I feel like they are dating other times it feels as if they are just using each other. Well, I’m not a dating expert as I have been single since birth. Kat parked her red mustang in a free spot in the car park. We were walking towards the school entrance when the football team got down from the team bus. I glanced at Kat who stopped mid-track and who was staring at Tyler. Tyler didn’t see her at first but when he saw, he turned to walk our way just when the motorbike gang came. Usually in high schools, the star quarterback is the typical bad boy of the school. But in Stein High, it’s different. It’s Tyler’s step brother, Noah, who is the famous bad boy. Kat had told me that compared to Tyler, Noah is way more handsome but dangerous. I don’t know what she meant by dangerous but she forbade me to even talk with him and to have anything to do with him at all. To be honest, we go to the same school and probably in the same class, except he’s known to miss school a lot, I haven’t actually seen him close. More like, I haven’t seen him face-to-face even. Kat only shows me him when he’s either turned around or riding his bike. I don’t know if he’s dangerous or not but his bike is definitely dangerous. For some reason, Kat who talks with everyone in school, doesn’t talk much with Noah, which was actually surprising as if it’s a hot guy, Kat would definitely try to get along with him.
Kat once told me that Tyler and Noah are not in good terms and there’s bad blood between them due to their family situation. Which, I don’t know so don’t ask me as I’m still trying to figure out that part. I’m not the type to keep my head up at school but for some reason I wanted to see who Noah is and if he’s actually dangerous. Noah and his friends (more hot dudes. I know I know.. you are dying to come to my school.) got down from their bikes and I was actually trying to recognize who the hell Noah is as like I said I haven’t seen him closely. But, it didn’t take me too long to figure who is with all the girls around the entrance squeaking when the guy wearing a thick black jacket removed his helmet shuffling his messy brown hair. He must be dangerous in some way for Kat to keep her distance from such a handsome guy.
Noah didn’t even look at Tyler but glanced around. His eyes stopped for a second and then landed on mine. He had ocean blue eyes that could melt anyone’s heart and he his lips were curled at the corner. It took me a second to actually realise that he was smirking for god knows what. I didn’t dare to move my eyes. His glare glued me to the ground making me unable to move. His gaze was quickly focused on his step-brother who was in front of him. I didn’t utter a word but when he looked at me, I felt something inside me burning. It felt like he acknowledged my presence which no one ever did when I was with Kat. No let me correct myself. No one had ever acknowledged my presence. I was that invisible person, be it in school, road or even at the convenience store I’m working at.
The whole day I was occupied with doing my homework even during the lunch break that I didn’t realized the school has ended. I was in the library which is in the far right corner of the school and there’s no speaker there for me to hear the bell ringing. Kat already told me that she has practices today until late as the football team is back and so I need to find my own way back. Only after I finished my homework and an assignment that I realized it was already dark. Panicked I searched for my phone and found it under a pile of books. I had twenty missed calls from Shane who had to wait until I arrive to finish his shift. The shift change was at 3p.m and it’s already 6p.m. this is what happens when you put your phone on mute. I couldn’t believe I’m 3 hours late for work and I promised Shane that I will be on time today as he said he had to take his grandma to checkup today. I’m someone who never goes back on a promise and I can’t believe I made Shane overstay his shift for me. I called him and told him to give me exactly 5 minutes to get there and then he can go and promised that I will do the tomorrow morning shift too.
It takes more than 10 minutes to get into the place I work from school. I ran outside zipping my bag shut and just when I ran towards the bus stop my bus went leaving me all alone in the middle of the road. I clutched down to my knees and breathed hard as I was out of breath. I’m not an athletic person ok. I can’t even climb stairs without breathing hard. It was dark and another bus won’t come until another hour. ‘Just my luck!’ I was busy trying to catch my breath that I didn’t realise a motor bike was speeding towards me until it was so close to me. I turned around to the noise and unconsciously sat on the road and covered my face getting ready to be hit.
‘Hey, are you alright?’ a guy’s voice spoke up. Realising that I wasn’t hit, I opened my eyes. The motor bike was only few centimeters away and if not for the driver I would’ve gotten into an accident. I looked up adjusting my hoodie, to thank the driver but when I saw who it was my words got stuck in my throat. Removing his helmet, Noah was looking at me with concerned eyes. I quickly added that I was fine and thanking him, I turned on my heels to walk away.
‘Wait, you’re Katlyn’s friend right?’ he asked me suddenly making me stop on my tracks. Turning towards him I gave a slight nod and added, ‘sorry, but I’m in kind of a hurry. So, bye!’ but what he then said, made me look at his eyes, ‘it seems Katlyn has told you to stay away from me.’ With his helmet still on his hands he leaned on to the motor bike and looked at me. When I didn’t say anything he said, ‘where do you want to go? I can drop you. I’m also going on the 45 bus route.’ I was actually dumbfounded to say anything. When Kat told me he was dangerous, I imagined him to be the gangster type. But the way he spoke, it was sincere. It was as if the person I was warned about and the person in front of me are two different persons unless he’s good at acting.
‘thanks for the offer but I can go on my own,’ I told him smiling. He seems to have been taken back when he saw me smiling so I quickly stopped smiling. He raised his right eyebrow and then started laughing loudly. I gave a quick glance at my watch just when my phone started ringing. It was shane and before he could say anything I blurted that I was on my way and ended the call. Noah asked me again if I wanted a ride, which of course I wouldn’t have refused if its some other form of vehicle and not a bike. ‘I’m not riding that hideous thing.’ Getting on the bike, Noah gave me his helmet and added, ‘well this hideous thing wouldn’t eat you.’
First time riding a bike with Noah was one of the first things I did with him. For some reason, since that day Noah kept coming to the convenience store whenever its my shift. At first I thought it was a pure coincidence but later it was obvious that he only came when its my shift. Whenever he came, he stayed until my lunch break and we would have lunch together and sometimes dinner. He turned out to be complete different person and not the bad boy I was warned out. With time I knew he was honest, sincere and most of all kind. For the first time, I didn’t tell Kat that I was talking with Noah or the fact that he’s visiting me. I was kind of glad when Kat told me she started dating Tyler as that gave me lot of free time to be with Noah.
At school, Noah ignored me the same way I ignored him but he kept texting with me. I knew I was slowly opening upto him and I could feel he was opening upto me too. We were polar opposites but some how I managed to get along with Noah better than with Kat sometimes. I ended up looking forward to see him and talk with him and whenever he didn’t come somewhere in my heart it was hurting. I didn’t realise that I was falling love with the bad boy of Stein high until Kat caught both of us when we were having lunch one weekend outside the convenience store.
I was scared that Kat would be mad for lying to her but when she heard from me about all the times I spent with Noah, she asked me, ‘Meg, you love Noah don’t you?’ I didn’t realise that I was in love with him until Kat pointed out to me that I was. For me it was a sweet feeling but part of me was scared that he might not feel the same about me.
Once Noah came to my house to do homework with me as it was a day off for me. It wasn’t the first time he came to my house but I still felt self-conscious whenever he turn-up. I didn’t confess him to yet but I was dying to know his reply. We working nonstop and Noah was surprisingly good at algebra. I didn’t realise it was already 10p.m until I looked at my phone to see the time. When I told Noah the time, he started packing his things up getting ready to go as apparently he has curfew from 11p.m.
“I’m sorry, I took too much of your time,” I said looking at him. Noah just shook his head and said, “no worries. It was quite amusing to see you so engrossed.” He stood up and stretched his arms and legs. I gave a slight nod and asked out of curiosity, “you won’t get scolded for being late right?” making his way towards the door he said shuffling my hair, “no idiot. It’s still 10p.m. I can get home in less than an hour” Saying bye, I opened him the door and held it for him. He stopped to say something but shaking his head he said goodnight and turned to leave just when there was a black out.
‘No no no. this can’t be happening. I didn’t get any message saying there will be a black out today. I can’t have a panic attack. Not in front of him. Not again..’ I could feel my heartbeat racing. I kept clutching the door handle tightly not wanting him to see me fall. I could feel my breathing getting hard and my whole body shaking. Panic attacks are crazy. Sometimes they come without giving any notice. Sometimes you feel it upto the smallest bone of your body. You can feel your whole body breaking apart minute by minute making you hard to breath and making you want to scream out loud except the fact that you can’t even scream. Your body starts shaking until you can’t stand still. Some days it only lasts for few seconds but most days it takes more than 5 minutes for me to stop shaking just to drag myself and get my medicine from the shelf. You must think 5 minutes is nothing, but, that 5 minutes seems like a whole year for me. You can feel every little thing that’s happening to your body. You feel it but you can’t do anything about it except praying that someone will come and help or praying that it will be over soon.
And my body gave in. I tightly curled my shirt up to a fist near my heart and started breathing hard. Not being able to stand anymore I fell to the floor. I tried not to think about it but it was all dark around me and I couldn’t do anything. I could see the door slowly getting closed and I couldn’t scream even when I wanted to so badly. I tried to concentrate my mind on something and not think about what was happening but it was of no use. I had to take my mind off otherwise I would be lying here until I could move and get my medicine. I could feel tears running down. More than anything feeling hopeless is something I don’t want to feel. With every bit of strength I had I cuddled myself and hid my head between myself. Just then the door opened with a loud bang and I heard someone calling my name.
I slowly looked up and so Noah standing in the doorway looking at me worriedly. My legs were still shivering and my tears were falling nonstop. I didn’t want to see him like this. I was getting nervous and it was not a good sign at all. I clutched my shirt so tightly and bent to the floor trying to catch my breath in the dark like a hopeless animal. It was of no use. I couldn’t control my breathing nor my shivering and worst of all Noah was looking at me. Before I could find words to make him go, he suddenly bent down and held my face with both of his hands. His hands were so warm. In the dark I couldn’t see his face as the door had completely closed leaving us both in the dark. Then he kissed me. Slowly at first, barely touching my lips but then he kissed me so hard that I had to open my mouth. I didn’t have the strength to push him away. Even if I did I don’t think I would have pushed him. I could feel my whole body getting loosen up. My heart was still beating fast but the shivering had stopped and I definitely could breath properly except the fact that I was holding my breathe.
When he let go of me, I said what I have been meaning to tell him for months, ‘Noah, I love you!’ he looked so surprised when I confessed to him but still holding my face with his left hand he said, ‘I love you too, Meghan. More than you would ever know,’ before kissing me hard.
I was holding my husband’s hand tightly and tried so hard not to make my tears roll down my face. My children were all waiting around me patiently. He slowly and weakly opened his eyes and looked at me. He tried to tightly hold my hand back but it was too late. Even if he wanted to, he doesn’t have the strength. Right now, he’s too weak and his whole body was dumb. We both knew it was his time to go and that nothing could be done. We were already in our 70s and can barely walk on our own. But his body gave away before mine.
Not taking his eyes off from mine, he slowly spoke, barely audible, ‘Meghan, thank you so much for loving me and giving me good children. Thank you for spending your whole life with me,’ it was hard for him to speak and I could clearly feel him fighting for one last time against all odds, ‘I love you, Meghan. More than you would ever know.’ Before he could leave me forever, I kissed his feeble hand adding, ‘I love you too, Noah. Thank you for making me happy for so many years.’