Madelyn greets us with a smirk, a backhanded compliment about my outfit, and surprisingly a nice one about my mom.
“Your mom’s really sweet, too bad you didn’t take on that characteristic,” she says.
I sit in silence, I was always told it’s better to ignore the bullies. And while Madelyn didn’t scare me, I still wanted to remain quiet so she wouldn’t get the worst of me.
As I contemplate responding back with a clever remark I see Hayden across the cafeteria in the lunch line holding chips, he raises his hand asking if I want some. I shake my head. Madelyn catches glimpse of this and says “I thought you were anorexic, anorexic people don’t eat chips.” I thought to myself “this girl really is a piece of work.”
Kelsey slaps her hand on the table and says “get up now” to Madelyn, who trots away with that same smirk she showed with.
Kelsey says “That bit**–” before Hayden sits at the table to the left of ours, tossing a bag of Cheeto puffs my way. I nod my head to say thank you, despite wanting to take the bag and throw it’s contents at Madelyn.
“Don’t listen to her, she’s just angry Max is into you.”
“I think you’re delerious” I say to Kelsey with a giggle.
“Hey” comes from behind me on the bus, it’s Max.
I just stare.
“So I saw you talking to Madelyn today, could it have involved someone like me?”
“Why would we be talking about you?” I question quickly.
“I don’t know, isn’t that what you girls do? Gossip and talk about guys?”
“Unlike your pre-conceived notions, I beg to differ. We weren’t talking about you, don’t stay up too late figuring out the details” I respond back.
Getting off the bus at my stop I don’t even turn around to look at him, I walk straight off, and as fast as I can past my friendly neighbors house.
Surprisingly, he’s not home. Sometimes his mom picks him up. Halfway down the street I notice a green jeep headed my way, I thought nothing of it until the passenger stopped near me. Tilting his sunglasses and squinting his eyes, Hayden says “haven’t seen you in a while” while I’m stood in disbelief he’s driving this car.
I continue walking.
He puts it in reverse.
“Hey, I can give you a ride you know…”
“What the seven houses I have left to walk by? I think I can manage.”
Hayden rolls up his window and drives away. What does he think? That I’m going to just get in his car? For all I know he’s driving it illegally.
An hour after I get home I hear a knock on the door, I open it to find a note on the steps. “Come here” it reads.
“Come where?” I question out loud with a dazed look on my face. And then I see it, parked near my driveway is Hayden’s new ride. Although, this time it has no doors on it.
“Just what are you doing here?” I ask the empty car.
AHHHHHHHH. He jumps out of the bush to the right of me, scaring me half to death.
I nearly punch him in the arm and gesture with my hands “ah, you idiot!”
“I want to take you somewhere,” he says.
I pause, then shrug my shoulders, I’ll take a chance.
The seatbelts don’t work. “What is this? How am I going to be safe,” I ask.
“You won’t, that’s the catch” he says as he begins to drive off while I scream, holding onto the dashboard for dear life.