Chapter One - Cassidy

Chapter One - Cassidy

A Chapter by RaspberryBullets

Looking down, I spot a tiny hole in my brown boots. They’re quite lovely boots. There’s no brand name on them and they didn’t cost me very much, but I take good care of them and they’ve lasted a lot longer than was expected. The hole I’ve spotted is only the size of a pinprick and probably won’t get any bigger for a while. I start to count how many steps it takes me to cover one cement square as we walk over them. Three steps for this one, four for the next one and the third only takes two because I stretch my legs extra wide. I try to make it in one step this time and miss by half an inch, falling forwards. I put my arms out to break my fall " but only succeed in dragging down the person in front of me.

Sprawled on the ground, I gaze up at the ceiling. There are advantages to being an outcast. I can fall on my face and no one even notices, let alone cares. I am free to look up at this ceiling for as long as I want. No one wants to walk behind the tenth grade loser, so I’m last in the line. There are three major cracks in the roof that spiral off into millions of tiny little fracture lines. In ways, it’s an excellent analogy of my life. I start to count the tiny fissures when a head comes into my line of vision. I’d forgotten about the person I’d taken down with me. He has brown hair which is coated in gel and dark blue eyes that look down at me with confusion. I’m still trying to count the cracks in the roof and I wish he would walk away already. People don’t usually spend this long near me and it’s sort of unnerving. What does he want? Why won’t he leave? I try to focus on him, and realise that he is holding out his hand to me. I stare at it blankly. Why is this strange boy offering to help me? I prop myself up on my elbows and scramble into a standing position. His hand is still there. I’m still staring at it. Look away! I tell myself. I move my gaze up to his face and find myself transfixed in his lips. Ridiculously pink and they are a perfect match in size " which is unusual. I have to remind myself to look away again. I don’t usually come into contact with anyone for more than a second or two, and even then it’s usually a mistake. I’ve been in the presence of this strange boy for fifty three seconds, I was counting.

***

The boy looks at me, and then out the window. Me, window. Me, window. His hands are folded neatly in the center of his lap and his right thumb is rubbing his left as if he’s nervous. Although I don’t come into contact with others very often, I know the basic etiquettes. Sometimes it just takes a while for my brain to remember them. At the moment, as I watch his ocean blue eyes flitter back and forth, the social rule floating through my mind is about not staring. But I can’t seem to look away. I force myself to look up, down " really anywhere but at him- and come face to face with the pinprick hole in my boot. However, after a few seconds of this my eyes are dragged sideways " to the pair of blue Converse sneakers next to me. These aren’t nearly as well looked after as my boots. The blue, probably once a rich, beautiful colour, is now an ugly shade of sky blue with the occasional tinges of dark through it. The heels are nearly worn through right at the back, as though they have been used to brake on a bike multiple times, and the laces are frayed to the point where I wouldn’t even consider them laces anymore " just dirty fluff balls. This boy needs to put less money towards those designer jeans that drag on the floor and more towards some good shoe conditioner. I turn back to the window and can’t help but notice the boy’s reflection. He’s watching me, but he doesn’t know that I can see him in the window. I try to forget about him and watch the scenery flash past.

Tap tap tap. I turn away from the window to raise my eyebrows at him. Taking a deep breath, I clear my throat and ask, “Are you trying to completely wreck those shoes?” He looks totally taken a back. For a whole fifteen minutes I have put up with this peculiar teenage boy " who, before today, I have never met even once " sitting in the usually empty seat next to mine, tapping his feet and flashing his eyes between me and the floor every nanosecond pretending that I can’t see him doing it. Not to mention the repulsive aerosol deodorant that has been invading my nose and slowly gagging me. The boy blinks at me and offers up a half-hearted, nervous smile, then looks away again. Is he trying to piss me off? I try again. “Why are you sitting there?” I ask. Although aware that the tone of my voice is haughty and rude, I do not want to take back what I said. He turns to me again and opens his mouth, but still doesn’t say anything. Instead, he lets his bottom lip hang there like a revolving clown face at a carnival. I think about stuffing my empty Kit Kat wrapper in there, just to see what he’d do.

While I’m contemplating this, a flurry of emotions swim across his face. Seconds pass, and still there is no answer from him. I sigh and look back to my window.

About half an hour later I look up to the sound of slow, steady breathing. The strange teenage boy next to me has fallen asleep. It’s barely seven thirty! Outside the bus is already dark, though I can still make out the trees and an occasional kangaroo darting across the road. I can’t believe he’s fallen asleep. Did he get bored of ruining his shoes? Of watching me? Maybe he’s just had a really long day, I know I have. I’ve never been this close to a sleeping teenage boy. I’ve never been this close to an awake teenage boy. I’m not sure whether to wake him or not. We still have another hour and a half on the bus before we’re home, so maybe I should let him sleep. At least then I can guarantee the safety of those shoes for at least another hour. But what happens if he’s someone that moves while he sleeps? His head is lolling dangerously close to my shoulder already and I wouldn’t have a clue what to do if he shifted on to me. The only time I’ve seen someone sleeping on someone else’s shoulder is on movie posters, where the two are obviously a couple. I can’t let that happen here, we’re not a couple. We’re not even friends. I don’t know his name and he doesn’t know mine, I’m not even sure why he’s sitting next to me in the first place. I shrink back in my seat, pressing myself as far into the window as I can �" determined not to let him get too close. The bus goes over a bump, jostling me away from the window and back into my seat. The boy wakes up. He rubs his sleepy eyes and stretches his arms above his head. Then he looks over at me, as if seeing me for the first time. Then he looks away again.

Now that he’s awake, I relax a bit more and focus on ignoring him. It works for a bit, and for a few seconds I am able to escape into my own little world. A sharp jolt brings me back to present and I look around in surprise. Everyone is craning their necks forward, aching to see something at the front of the bus. I release my seatbelt and stand, picking up on the stress of the situation. The bus appears to be turning left, off of the long dirt road and into the country side. Three teachers stand in a crowd around where the bus driver would usually be sitting, bending over and talking in quiet, anxious whispers. They don’t appear to notice the bus veering left. I strain my eyes forward, willing myself x-ray vision to be able to see what they are doing. The teacher in the middle takes a few careful steps back, hands outstretched, and I get a glimpse of what has them so worried. Slumped against the steering wheel is the bus driver, face down. His eyes are closed and his mouth looks as if it would be slack - if it wasn’t pressed up against the dash. His hands sit limply on the gears and the teacher who stepped back can’t seem to stop staring at them. I glance at the boy next to me and note his shocked expression. His mouth isn’t open this time, but his blue eyes are wide and staring and his fingers have an iron grip on the grey seat. The bus is still veering left �" not that there is anything to crash into. Carefully, I step over the strange boys now still feet, into the walkway and head for the door. Whispering heads turn toward me curiously as I pass, clearly having not seen what I just have. I reach the automatic door and manage to press the button to open it without the teachers even noticing. Slowly, the bus is turning in a circle. I can’t believe I am the only one concerned about this. Giving one last look at the murmuring adults, I jump.



© 2012 RaspberryBullets


Author's Note

RaspberryBullets
Chapter finished - or at least I think. I'm terrified I've rushed into the ending of this first section, so any and all suggestions are oh so welcome and muchly appreciated!

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G!o
Reading this now i totally understand why you were so excited about it. This is one of the few masterpiece of words i have encountered so far on this site. This is totally beautiful in every angle and i am in love with it. I don't know how i can explain the feeling but it is somewhat like this..."Three steps for this one, four for the next one and the third only takes two because I stretch my legs extra wide. I try to make it in one step this time and miss by half an inch"...This is really some amazing write RB...totally going to my shelf.

Posted 7 Years Ago


RaspberryBullets

7 Years Ago

Wow, thanks a lot! :D xox

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Added on September 19, 2012
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RaspberryBullets
RaspberryBullets

Australia



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To whomever may or may not be perusing my profile - Hi, I'm Saskia. I am relatively young, thin but not sporty, an avid reader of trashy novels and an enjoyer of horse-back riding. I can match .. more..

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