Anger fluttered across Jake’s face.
“Sweet fucking Christ!” Jake yelled, “Are you ever home?!
Jake crumpled up the note and tossed it forcibly into the trash bin before exiting the door. He found himself seething as he walked to school, clomping far harder than normal on the icy street. It was then he heard her voice, but not the her he desired.
“Hey Jake!” Julia called out to him, “Wait up!”
Jake turned to see Julia running towards him sporting a huge smile.
“Great,” Jake said under his breath, “it’s my busty shadow.”
Once Julia met up with him, she slowed to match his pace. She noticed his perturbed look.
“What’s with you?” she asked.
“Nothing,” Jake lied. “I just—I’m not in a good mood.”
“Aww,” she said sympathetically. “Anything I can help with?”
“No, I don’t want to talk about it,” he replied firmly.
“Ok, I’m sorry,” she said. Then trying to change the subject; “How’d last night go?”
“You know what Julia?” Jake asked, rather harsher than he meant to. He caught this and changed his tone. “I’m sorry, but right now I just want to be left alone. I’m sorry, but I’m just kind of pissy right now and need a little time to calm down.”
“Oh, ok,” Julia said. “It’s not me, is it?”
“No, I just—,” Jake started. He sighed. “I’ll just talk with you later, ok? Maybe after school on the walk home.”
Julia immediately perked up at this, but privately Jake wondered what he’d just done. Outwardly, he offered a smile, and the two continued on their walk in silence. The moment they got to school, he broke away from her by heading to the men’s room. He made his way to one of the sinks when Will entered. Will started heading towards one of the urinals, but upon seeing Jake, switched directions and greeted him.
“Jake!” Will said excitedly. “How’d last night go?”
Jake was about to respond, but before he could, Will cut in.
“No need to say,” Will informed. “Everyone’s talking. You were seen kissing outside her house, you stud! Goddamn sweet.”
“What?” Jake asked with confusion settling about his brow.
“So, how far’d you get?” Will asked antagonizing him.
“What are you talking about?” Jake pressed. “What do you mean how far did I get?”
“People are saying you were seen kissing outside of Angela’s house,” Will stated before jokingly asking; “Did you feel her boobs?”
“Are people saying I was groping her?!” Jake asked worried.
“No, man,” Will said laughing. “I’m just kidding about the boob thing. But, you are acting like all of this is news to you.”
“Well,” Jake began, “first off: we didn’t kiss. She gave me a peck on the cheek. That’s as far as it went. Who are you hearing this all from?”
“Rubé Wells,” Will said. “He said that you two were dating.”
“I guess last night had date-like qualities,” Jake said. “We kind of hit it off and what not, but we didn’t even set up another date. Who’d Rubé hear it from?”
“Not sure,” Will shrugged. “I also heard that Stan’s really pissed about all this, though.”
“Stan’s pissed?” Jake asked. “I’m fucking pissed. I had one amazing evening with Angela and now everyone is talking and spreading rumors about it? Besides, what’s Stan gonna do anyway? Make my life hell? He does that anyway. Listen; if you hear anyone else telling the story could you correct them? I don’t want Angela thinking that I’m spreading the story or something like that.”
“Sure, man,” Will said.
Jake and Will exited the restroom on that note.
“So, you’re really not dating?” Will asked.
“No, we are really not dating,” Jake said. “Didn’t you have to piss?”
“Oh yeah,” Will said, then headed back towards the rest room. “I’ll see you in class.”
Jake chuckled a moment at Will. For such an intelligent dude, he could be really flighty. As he walked down the hall, he saw Sarah approaching him.
“Hey Jake,” Sarah said with a serious tone. “We need to talk.”
She pointed to a bay of lockers at the end of the hall.
“Ok,” Jake said following her to them.
“Look, it’s about yesterday—,” Sarah began.
“Hey, I didn’t spread those rumors,” Jake said defensively.
“It’s not about that,” Sarah assured. “Though, that’s good to know. Did you hear about Stan?”
“What?” Jake asked. “That he’s pissed and probably wants to kick my ass? That isn’t all that unexpected really.”
“No, he got expelled yesterday,” Sarah said rather hushed.
“He got fucking expelled?!” Jake said a little louder than intended. “Just for that bit of business in the caf?”
“No,” Sarah said. “Apparently he was so pissed about your feud and Principal Himbry wasn’t listening to his side of the story, so Stan threw a punch at him. Himbry expelled him on the spot and threatened assault charges.”
“No shit?” Jake said shocked.
“Yeah, well, he blames you,” Sarah said.
“Me?” Jake asked incredulously.
“He was in Himbry’s office because of your confrontation in the lunch room,” she said. “Look, I know we’re not really friends, but Angela has taken a liking to you. I’m just saying that Dave and Ash are planning to jump you after school, so be careful.”
“Jesus,” Jake said worried.
“I told them not to, but they don’t listen to me,” Sarah said. “After school, just get out of here as fast as you can.”
“Ok,” Jake said. “Hey, Sarah, thanks for telling me.”
“No problem,” she said with a light smile.
Just then, Angela approached the two of them in the hall.
“Hey stranger,” Angela said to Jake with a playful smile. “What are you two talking about?”
“Oh, you know,” Jake said aloofly, “my inevitable death.”
“Dave and Ash are threatening to kick his ass after school lets out,” Sarah informed Angela.
“What?!” Angela asked, quite angered, which pleased Jake to know she cared for him.
“It’s ok,” Jake said. “I’m used to it.”
“You shouldn’t have to be,” Angela said sounding disgusted. “I’m going to talk to them.”
Angela stormed off to find them, leaving Sarah and Jake to stare at each other awkwardly. She smiled then headed in the direction Angela had taken. Will had come out of the rest room moments before, and, upon seeing Jake chatting with Angela, made a beeline for them.
“Planning your next date,” Will asked playfully.
“Shut up, Will!” Jake shouted.