I slept in last night’s clothes.
This wasn’t an uncommon Monday morning revelation for Grantaire. His alarm shocked him awake and in seconds he rushed out of the door.
Initially walking into his high school wasn’t any different than any other day. He didn’t particularly stand out in a crowd. In fact he prefers to keep to himself. He walks to the stairs, attention on his untied shoelaces, he couldn’t bother to fix. What’s life without a little risk anyways? He feels a weight quickly bump into his shoulders.
A girl. A pretty girl. One he hadn’t seen before. Well perhaps he had, but definitely not this close. He realized that starring at the person who had accidently ran into you on the stairs wasn’t exactly welcoming.
“Sorry about that” He mustered before continuing a few steps up.
“Hey!” She called after him.
Great. He’d just met this chick and she already probably hated him.
She stretched out her hand and he whole-heartedly expected her to slap him. Instead she said: “Eponine”
“Excuse me?” He replied, perplexed.
“Eponine… It’s my name.” She pushed her hand forward for emphasis.
“Oh… OH” He grabbed her hand and shook. “I’m Grantaire, but they call me R.”
“R huh?” She flashed a smile. “Well it’s only my third week here and I’m still getting lost. Would you mind helping me find the…” She pulled the beat up schedule book from her bag. “The Geometry classroom?”
“Yea, yea, sure. I don’t mind.”
“Thanks!” She smirked.
“…Shall we?” She quirked her eyebrow.
“Right, of course.”
“It was amazing Cosette. SHE was amazing.”
“But not as great as me right?”
“Eh” he shrugged indifferently.
She jokingly punched his shoulder, “Asshole.”
They laughed their regular laugh.
Cosette had been his friend for the longest time. They met when they were only kids and since than had been inseparable. Grantaire strongly believed that Cosette was the only reason he was still alive. If she hadn’t stopped him from doing the stupid shit he does who knows where he would end up.
“So you’ve known this girl for what? Five days? And you claim you’re in love.” She mocked him with kissy faces.
“It’s not like that!” he exclaimed. “I didn’t make fun of you when you swore love at first sight with Marius.”
“That was different and you know it,” she pointed at him “We were only like 13 and now we’re best friends.”
“I thought I was your best friend” he batted his eyelashes.
She threw a pillow in his face.
“Hey R!” Eponine sat down next to him on the bleacher.
“Hey Ep” he looked up from his book.
“Are ya busy?” She asked.
He rubbed his chin as if in deep thought, “Nah.”
“Great” she grabbed his hand and pulled him up.
“What?” She started to run, pulling him with her.
They made it to the parking lot before he finally asked, “What are we doing?”
“And then she grabbed my hand and said ‘Ditching’ can you believe that? God.” He rubbed his eyes with his hands. “She’s so incredible.”
“I know, I’ve seen her in the halls, she seems great.” Cosette’s voice remained on the same monotone note.
“You alright Cos?”
“Yea, I think so. Where’d you guys go?” She did this when she was upset, change the subject.
“She took me to her car and just started driving. I asked her where we were going and she just said that she didn’t know.”
“So you and manic pixie dream girl just drove?”
“No, we ended up at this weird coffee shop I’ve never heard of.’
“A coffee shop you’ve never heard of? That’s special.”
Grantaire’s head was cupped in his hand. Glazed eyes were fixed on the black board. The teacher was explaining some dumb thing he didn’t care about.
There was a knock on the door, the teacher walked over and opened it.
In walked Eponine, hair tangled, clothes disheveled, and makeup smudged.
“Ms. Thenardier! Glad you could join us!” the teacher bellowed.
She shuffled into the seat next to him. As the class continued he leaned over and whispered to her, “Where the hell were you?”
“Just having some fun.”
Cosette and Grantaire always walked back home together after school. They would meet up in the auditorium, maybe play around on the stage or run through the seats. Unless it was Tuesday, that’s when the thespian society met. Then they would walk to Cosette’s apartment. Where they would spend the rest of the day till his parents noticed his absence and told him to come back.
But today she wasn’t there waiting for him. He figured she had just forgotten, she seemed a bit off today.
So he rang her doorbell and waited.
Instead of the small light frame of Cosette came the tall, muscular, tan frame of her father. Jean Valjean was a very sweet but strict man. Grantaire will admit that as a young 13 year old questioning his sexuality he had a weird crush on his best friend’s father.
“Hello Grantaire. Where’s Cosette?”
“I was hoping she was here with you.”
“Are you telling me you don’t know where she is?”
“No idea, sir.”
“Come inside son”
They waited on the couch for her. Grantaire had pulled out some homework to do while Valjean watched the news.
They heard a doorknob turn and the sound of a bag thumping onto the floor. Cosette walked toward them nonchalantly.
“Would you like to tell us where you’ve been?’ Valjean’s tone was heavy, but loving.
“Out? With who?”
“This guy. He’s new at school and doesn’t know anyone.”
Cosette was a kind soul and no one appreciated her actions more than Valjean.
“Alright. Just tell me next time you stay out.”
“I’m sorry dad”
“Its okay” he kissed her forehead. “Don’t forget to apologize to somebody else.” With that he left the room.
She sat down on the couch and swiped her hair behind her ear. “I’m sorry for standing you up.”
“It’s fine really. I was just a little worried.”
They were both quiet.
“So, whose this new kid you speak of?”
“He’s in a few of my classes. His name is Enjolras.”
“Enjolras? Can’t say I’ve heard of him.”
“Yea he’s only been here a couple of weeks. But we got to talking, and then walking in the Park. We just lost track of time.”
“Well, maybe you’ll introduce us.”
Grantaire and Eponine were in the back of the school sharing a cigarette. This had become part of their routine ever since he head found out she smoked.
They ended up talking about some pretty personal things. One day Eponine admitted: “Don’t get the wrong idea R, you’re great company. But I really wish I had a close female friend y’know?”
A light bulb went off in his head.