It was that bright bubbly laugh which first drew Lexa’s attention away from the depths of the fire which she had been staring at for the greater part of the night, the one belonging to the one and only Clarke Griffin. As she lifted her eyes she caught a glimpse of blonde hair being thrown around as the owner threw their head back and laughed at something being said in the conversation she had been engaged in.
After moving her eyes from the initial source of laughter Lexa scanned the backyard, noticing, for the first time all the little smaller groups which had broken off from the most centralised hub of the party, the makeshift dance floor. While the majority of her friends had been drinking the night away engaging in light, banter filled conversations, getting up to dance or flit from one conversation to the next but always circling back to their initial group, Lexa chose to find a place on the fringes, preferring to either be sitting in a chair around the fire pit, gazing into the orange abyss as it flickered and twirled around in the air with each new gust of wind or with her back up against the wall observing all the goings on of that particular gathering.
Lexa Woods wasn’t the typical party girl, who danced with anyone and everyone or drank copious amounts of alcohol leaving her mind in a daze as she woke up the following morning trying desperately to remember what had transpired the previous evening.
She was more than content being perfectly aware of her surroundings the entire night and the going up to Arkadia, the local soccer field, the following day and kicking ball after ball into the back of the net, hearing the sweet connection of her foot on the ball, followed by the ripple of the net as it found its way, yet again, into either the top or bottom corners.
She wouldn’t say she’s the best player on her division 1 side but she’s definitely up there with the best of them. She is, perhaps by far one of the most dedicated players, often pushing past little niggling injuries she would pick up during games and giving whatever time they had left everything she had.
Clarke, on the other hand, was the life of the party. Since turning 18 in early February, she would often go out Saturday nights to bars and clubs with all the members of the more popular, well known group, drinking way too much alcohol and not getting home until 4 in the morning sometimes.
At smaller house parties and gatherings, she would let loose on the dance floor or could be found nursing a beer or two as she talked to other party goers off to the side as she took a momentary break from all the dancing. Clarke was not athletic by any means. She was always ‘forgetting’ her sports uniform when it came time to change into them, and as a result often was told to sit out.
However, this didn’t faze her, because she knew that while the ‘sporty’ kids were often the popular ones, she had won over the majority of the school population with her natural charm and charismatic personality since the beginning of Year 7, which had then progressed into Clarke making a name for herself, and by extension being elected as the Performing Arts Captain for her final year of high school.
On some level, Lexa was glad to not be like Clarke. Constantly being in the spotlight, having everyone know everything about her and the obligation to hold conversations with people she doesn’t like about topics she’s really not interested in and giving speeches to the whole school are the most unpleasant things that Lexa can think of having to do.
But on the other hand, having people actively seeking her out to tell her something that happened in their day that reminded them of her, or simply coming over to say hi would be an amazing feeling. She didn’t necessarily feel excluded, well she did in some respects, but she always wondered what it would be like to have those sort of friendships, and how different of a person she would be if those friendships had started off when she was younger. Whether or not she would have come out of her shell and be as confident and carefree as Clarke.
During her momentary daydreaming of what being ‘Clarke Griffin’ would be like Lexa hadn’t realised that she had moved her gaze back to the blonde and that now, the blonde was now looking directly at her as well. Throwing back her glass of water to hide her embarrassment, she instantly regretted trying to down the entire glass as she erupted into a fit of coughs as some of the water decided to deviate from its path down her esophagus and tried to make its way into her lungs.
Why Clarke was looking over at her, Lexa would never know. They had always walked in different circles throughout high school and despite having classes together, there were no similarities between them, aside from the fact that they were both parts of the Creative and Performing Arts department. But still Lexa was a nobody and Clarke, she was definitely a somebody. Lexa didn’t willingly offer up responses in class, she didn’t hang around with a group, laughing and gossiping all throughout the morning tea and lunch breaks and these seemed to be everything Clarke thrived upon.
Clarke had looked up from her conversation with a classmate about some Rugby World Cup football match between Australia and England, and locked her eyes onto Lexa’s lonely figure out by the fire pit. Lexa Woods had always been a mystery to Clarke. She got amazing results in all her classes, often topping them by 4 or 5 marks, but was quiet and offered up no personal opinions when she was asked a question by the teacher.
She played the drums, one of the loudest instruments that the school could facilitate the learning of, but didn’t enjoy basking in the attention of everyone else, and she didn’t attend parties, especially ones where alcohol was involved. So, looking up and finding Lexa sitting there by the fire was somewhat of a surprise for Clarke. As she watched Lexa choke on a glass of water, she couldn’t help the feeling that she was the cause, which resulted in her smirking a little as she turned her attention back to the world of the Rugby World Cup.
After glancing at the time and realising that it was time for Lexa to leave the party, she hopped up and made her way through the assemblage of people who had decided that now was the time for a break from dancing, she found the host relatively easily as they were in the kitchen in the process of making more drinks for people, thanked them for the evening and made her discreet getaway.
As she unlocked the door of her 1998 Toyota Corolla, and clambered into the driver’s seat, she took a moment to just sit and think back on the evening and how, while she didn’t talk to anyone, she had enjoyed getting out of the house for a little while. The thump of the bass coming from the speakers at the back of the house drew her out of her thoughts, before she turned the key, switched on the radio and started the 30-minute drive home.
Being a nobody like she was, Lexa expected Clarke to forget about their momentary eye lock, as she herself had as soon as she started preparing to leave the party. Except Clarke wasn’t like everybody else as much as Lexa had thought. While Lexa was preoccupied with fighting the crowd, blue eyes followed her every movement until she passed outside of her range of vision.
For the rest of the people gathered at the party, the beat of the music being played got faster and more intense as time went on and as such, the amount of drinks being passed around increased exponentially but for the first time since becoming of legal drinking age, Clarke didn’t feel like drinking, but grabbed the beer being offered to her and simply nursed it for the remainder of the night.
Clarke bowed out from the party at close to 2am Sunday morning, and as she was still slightly inebriated, opted to walk home, not willing to risk her life for a shorter journey home, and the whole walk home, she went back over the events which transpired at the party. And while a lot had happened, Clarke could only think of Lexa Woods.
The way her cheeks became pinker as she noticed that Clarke was looking at her and the way she hurriedly tried to drown her embarrassment in a glass of water. Finally arriving home and going through her nightly routine, Clarke thought back on all the times when she could have approached Lexa and initiated a conversation with her but instead opted to simply ignore the girl.
As her thoughts continued to linger on Lexa, Clarke wondered whether the girl had any friends at the school, because she certainly hadn’t seen much of Lexa outside of their shared classes, but that could just be because of their different social standings.
Clarke woke on Sunday at 3pm with a weird feeling settling itself inside her stomach. Making her way downstairs, she noticed a note on the table alerting her to the fact that her mother was at work for the next 36 hours. Moving into the kitchen, and opening the fridge looking for the perfect hangover food it suddenly dawned on her what that weird feeling was.
This morning was the first Sunday in a while that Clarke hadn’t had to contend with a hangover, and it felt good. That was not to say that she had suddenly cut alcohol out altogether, because let’s face it, Clarke Griffin’s famous party side was bound to emerge again as she lost herself in the bass of the music being blasted from speaker systems in backyards of clubs. But for the first time in a while Clarke could remember the events of the previous night. She remembered all of it. School on Monday was going to be interesting.
Parking her car in the student carpark down the bottom of the high school, Clarke climbed out of her snow white, 2014 Ford Mustang GT. Tying her black Santa Cruz jumper around her waist she pressed the lock button on her keychain as she walked further into the main courtyard, without even so much as a glance back at her car to make sure it was locked.
As she continued to venture further into the grounds, to meet her friends at their usual spot, a surprised “ah” followed by a series of coughs made its way to her ears. Turning around to the source of the sound she noticed Lexa Woods staring in disbelief at the contents of her locker which was splattered the same shade of pink that her white shirt now was. Glancing around the hallway, Clarke noticed a few junior boys snickering behind a partially opened door. No doubt the culprits of the ‘prank’ which had been played on Lexa. Rolling her eyes at the immaturity of teenage boys, she made her way towards Lexa’s locker,
After a series of coughs and splutters, Lexa finally got rid of most of the paint residue which had made its way into her mouth after landing on her face and seeping downwards thanks to gravity. She glanced down at her shirt and groaned in frustration as she hurriedly made her way to the nearest bathroom, brushing up against someone in the process.
In an attempt to remove the paint before it permanently stained her shirt, Lexa burst into the bathroom, the door clattering loudly against the wall. She made quick work of removing the paint splattered garment and shoved it under the tap as she turned the water on. 5 minutes of scrubbing and rinsing later, Lexa’s shirt was now a light pink colour with most of the big paint blotches being washed away.
‘What a way to start the day’ she thought to herself as she dropped her shirt back into the sink with a wet slap. Standing at the sink staring down at her now pink shirt, contemplating what to do about her situation. She could either throw the wet shirt on and embrace the way it clung tightly to her skin, or make a dash back to the carpark, get in her car and take the day off.
Whilst contemplating the best course of action to take, Lexa heard the door creak open and was shocked to see Clarke standing in the doorway, her face plastered with a look of concern, empathy and sympathy.
“Here, I thought you could use this” Clarke stated as she tossed her jumper towards the scantily clad girl before her. Lexa nodded her thanks but couldn’t form any words as her face slowly started to gain a crimson tint in sheer embarrassment at the situation. Turning away, Clarke walked out of the bathroom in order to not make Lexa any more uncomfortable than she already was, which Lexa was incredibly thankful for.
The day was officially starting. Throwing Clarke’s jumper on, and wringing the water out of her shirt, Lexa began making her way out of the bathroom after Clarke. She paused just shy of the door to collect herself before entering the bustling hallways as students all hurried to their respective rooms, Lexa took a deep breath in and slowly exhaled. Pushing through the door, Lexa was instantly met with a wall of noise. Kids were yelling at their friends vying for their attention, teachers were ushering kids into their rooms and Lexa could catch snippets of songs blasting out of people’s headphones.
Finding her usual seat at the front corner of the room, Lexa heard all the other people in her grade talking to each other as they caught up on the weekend happenings as if they hadn’t all seen each other at the parties which happened on Saturday.
Sitting in roll call, Lexa decided that, just because it was something to do, she would recheck her timetable for the thousandth time. She grimaced when she confirmed with herself that first period was history, followed immediately by maths. After morning tea, Lexa had PDHPE and Music, her favourite two classes of the year with her final period being biology. With roll call ending and first period starting, Lexa made her way out of her room down to history with Mr Kane.
Normally the one for chatter and gossip, Clarke sat through roll call thinking over the morning’s events. Why on earth would those boys choose to do something like that to someone as self-contained as Lexa confused the hell out of Clarke. Raven and Octavia, Clarke’s two best friends sensed that something was off with her due to the subdued behaviour she was already displaying so far, this morning.
At the conclusion of roll call, Clarke hopped up and left the room before anyone could question her on why she was so quiet. Heading to her first period of the day, which was Biology, one of her favourite subjects after art of course, she was still distracted, trying to figure out what Lexa could’ve done to warrant having stuff like the paint incident done to her. Just as the bell went to signal the end of first period, Mr Pike, her biology teacher spoke up.
“Miss Griffin, if you could please stay behind at the end of the class, I’d like to speak to you” Unbeknown to Clarke, her subdued behaviour had worried everyone around her. So much so that her teacher had noticed, and decided to check on her.
“Sure sir” she replied, making her way up to the front of the room.
“Clarke, is everything alright? You’re never this quiet, and the fact that you are worries me”
“Oh, yeah nah I’m all good sir. Just not feeling one hundred percent is all.”
“If you’re sure then, if you’re not feeling well, I can write you a note to send you-”
“No, no, that’s fine. Really sir, I’m fine, it’s nothing” Clarke interjected quickly before he could finish his thought. And with that she walked out of the room and into maths.
Her usual seat by Raven and Octavia already taken because she was held up with Mr Pike, Clarke was left with the only desk not taken. The front corner, one in from the side of the room next to a brunette who was already studiously taking notes on what Mr Trikru had written up.
Glancing at the girl, she noticed her wearing a black Santa Cruz jumper. Now that she knew who the girl was, she had no problem dropping her bag on the floor and sliding into the seat. Hearing the commotion of someone sitting in the seat next to her, Lexa turned to see who it was and after noticing it was Clarke rapidly spun back to her work and started scribbling as fast as she could. What Clarke didn’t know, but soon found out as Lexa passed her a note which read:
Thank you for lending me your jumper, I don’t know what I would’ve done
if you hadn’t walked in. I’m sorry you had to see that. I can get your jumper back to you tomorrow, let me wash it tonight and I’ll get it to you ASAP.
Looking up and seeing that Mr Trikru that was busy helping out another student on the other side of the room, Clarke leant over towards Lexa. “Don’t worry about it Lexa, just glad I could help out. And there’s no rush with the jumper, I have plenty at home” Lexa was stunned. Only one person had shown her kindness like this before and that was her cousin, Lincoln.
Looking up at Clarke, Lexa gave her a genuine smile. “I’ll get the jumper to you tomorrow” she said with determination, in a tone that Clarke couldn’t argue with before turning back to writing down and working out the rest of the math exercises.
As the class was nearing completion, Mr Trikru spoke up “If you’d all please get into pairs, I have a group assessment which I’ll be handing out next lesson, so if you could all please come prepared with your partners that would be ideal.” Looking first back at Octavia and Raven and realising they were going to pair up, she turned her attention back to Lexa and asked the question.
Clarke asking her to pair up for the maths assessment threw Lexa for the biggest loop known to humankind. “Y-yes, um alright” Lexa responded after staring at her in complete and utter shock that someone with Clarke’s status in the school would even consider working with someone like her, all the while willing her cheeks not to tinge as she was sure they were doing currently.
So I know this is rather soon, but, I just could't wait to get the second chapter out there.
One chapter wasn't enough haha, I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did writing it.
As always, drop me a comment here or on tumblr (https://sticks-n-kicks.tumblr.com/) and let me know what you thought, but just so you know, after this chapter, I'll be posting bi-weekly, or for all the Aussies out there, every fortnight.
Look forward to hearing from you all, enjoy!
The rest of the day went by in a blur for Lexa. She still couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that Clarke wanted to work with her. They didn’t get paired up by the teacher. They weren’t the only ones left without a pair. Clarke actually asked if they could work together. Lexa thought that maybe this was because of their brief eye contact at the party, but then why would Clarke remember that?
Maybe it was because Clarke was expecting her to carry her grades for this assignment, but no, Clarke was definitely up the top of the class when it came to her grades. For the life of her, Lexa couldn’t work out why Clarke suddenly was being nice to her and wanting to work with her, but she wasn’t complaining. Who wouldn’t want a gorgeous blonde working with them?
As the final bell rang for the day, Clarke made her way out of the classroom and down towards the carpark where her Mustang had been sitting all day. As the day had progressed, rather boringly in her opinion, her mind began to drift. More than once she thought of Lexa, how the girl had become a bumbling mess and developed a rather cute stutter. Continuing down to the carpark, lost in thought, Clarke ran into someone, with flowing brown hair and a black jumper on who was somewhat immovable.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry”
“It’s alright, I’m as much to blame as you are. I guess we both weren’t looking where we were going” the reply came.
Moving around the girl to continue walking, she was almost at her car when it suddenly dawned on Clarke who she was. Spinning around and hurrying back towards her at a half walk, half jogging pace, She called out to her “Lexa! Hey, Lexa! Wait up.” Having almost been at her car herself, Lexa turned around with an air of curiosity, not knowing who the voice belonged to, and who could possibly want her to wait up.
“Yes?” she replied, turning around to face the voice rather timidly, expecting to find a group who wanted to make fun of her for the paint still splattered throughout her hair, or the few drops that had transferred over to her cheek from her shirt as it passed over her head before she rinsed it. To make matters worse she had only realised the paint was there halfway through the day.
Instead, she turned around to see an out of breath Clarke Griffin bent over with her hands on her knees sucking in deep breaths. After recovering her breath, Clarke looked up to find Lexa watching her with an amused look on her face which quickly disappeared and changed to an expression of almost horror the moment she realised Clarke looking back up at her.
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to hold you up, but I realised that I don’t have your number and since we’re gonna be doing a project together, I figured we might as well trade numbers so that we can coordinate when we wanted to work on the project together and …”
Lexa smiled to herself amidst Clarke’s rambling, which, she assumed Clarke had no idea she was doing.
“But that’s only if you wanted to of course, I mean, it’s not like you have to considering we’ve barely spoken a word to each other before now.” Clarke finished up, looking more out of breath than when Lexa had turned around after hearing her call.
“Of course Clarke, I’d be happy to.” Lexa’s reply came as she swung her backpack off her shoulder and fished around in the small pocket for several seconds before pulling out her rather crappy iPhone 4 and handing it over for Clarke to put her number in. After putting her number in and handing the phone back to Lexa, Clarke offered nothing more than a quick “goodbye, see you tomorrow” before heading towards her own car and starting off home.
Staring down at her phone in disbelief at the mere fact that she now had Clarke’s number, Lexa fumbled her way over to the messages app and shot off a quick ‘Hey, This is Lexa’ so that her number might be saved in Clarke’s phone too.
The half hour drive home for Clarke was filled with a raw kind of nervousness and excitement. As popular as she was, and as well liked as she was, she knew Lexa wasn’t. Which brought about the question, did she think Clarke was being genuinely nice or simply trying to score good marks on her assignment.
She certainly didn’t want Lexa to be overwhelmed and uncomfortable working with her, or think that Clarke’s intentions were anything less than pure. She knew what the majority of the school thought of her. That she was a pretty face, and not much else. Despite her status though, Clarke certainly knew her way around a maths textbook and definitely wanted to be doing an equal portion of the assignment rather than the majority like usual.
Turning her car off and walking into the house, Clarke’s phone lit up showing a new message from an unknown number and several from both Raven and Octavia asking if she wanted to come over and chill tonight. Deciding she just needed a quiet night in, she gracefully turns down their offer before switching over to the unknown number. ‘Hey, this is Lexa’, the message reads. Quickly saving Lexa’s contact details, she closed out of the app and headed down the hall towards her bedroom where she dropped her bag, books and plugged her laptop in before raiding the kitchen for snacks.
Her hunger satiated for the moment, Clarke headed back to her room with the intention of getting some homework done. Her mind, however, had other ideas. Pulling out the green maths book, she opened to the exercises she hadn’t finished in class. Half an hour later her thoughts were wandering again. This was the trouble with maths, you couldn’t stay focused for long periods of time without either snacking or just procrastinating.
Flipping the book closed with a huff she made her way back out to the kitchen, seeing that it was now 4:30, and the fact that her stomach was starting to get restless with the lack of food it was receiving, Clarke decided to make herself something somewhat substantial. Rummaging around through the cupboards, she finds the toasted sandwich machine, pulls it out and turns it on. Going over to the fridge she grabs out the tomatoes, the cucumber, the cheese, the chicken patties and the bacon.
As she begins chopping the vegetables and partially cooking the chicken and bacon, she lets her mind wander, which isn’t something she’s known for doing, but just this once, she doesn’t pull herself back.
She begins to think of Lexa, and the events that transpired earlier today. Was that a regular thing? How did she not notice before that Lexa was being treated like this? Mind you, she didn’t really have any reason to interact with Lexa before and as she had witnessed from her earlier interaction with her, that Lexa doesn’t come across as the most friendly person.
Which isn’t to say that Lexa was unkind, but rather just direct. Clarke is stunned from her wandering when the smell of chicken and bacon starts wafting out of the sandwich machine. Subconsciously, her mouth starts watering and her stomach begins to rumble as she pulls it out and places it on a plate before moving to the bench to eat. Devouring her sandwich, Clarke has every intention of going back to her room to do more homework, but that plan flies out the window as soon as she hears the front door slam.
The intensity of the slam, which causes windows to shake and the bang to be heard throughout the house can only mark the arrival of one person. Abby Griffin. Clarke’s mother.
Walking out of the kitchen, leaving it spotless, Clarke hurries towards her room before she’s spotted. To say that her relationship with her mother is strained, would be an understatement. Ever since the split of her parents, Abby had been harsh, uncompromising and pushing Clarke in the direction of medicine, which was the furthest thing from what Clarke wanted to do.
If it was up to her, Clarke would be an art teacher. Something about seeing the progression of the students abilities and being surrounded by art drew her in and drew her in. Retrieving her keys and heading back out towards the front door, Clarke was greeted by her mother, standing there, hands on hips, disapproving look etched into her face, which was weary from the 36 hour shift she just finished at The New Arkadian Hospital.
“And just where do you think you’re going young lady?”
Not even bothering to grace her mother with a response, she pushed past her and headed for her car, intent on driving over to Octavia’s.
On the other side of town, Lexa was in a state of disarray. Stealthily sliding in the back door, careful not to make a noise, She tiptoed up the stairs towards her bedroom. Her mother would kill her if she saw the paint all over her shirt and hair, which had now dried and crusted over. Taking Clarke’s jumper off, grabbing her paint covered shirt and stepping into a shower, she began to scrub.
First the shirt, then her hair and finally her neck. When the paint gradually started peeling itself off the shirt, she began to breathe a bit easier. She’d still have to soak her shirt in Napisan, but at least now it’d wouldn’t take as much to return it to it’s naturally white state. No one at home knew the shit that she copped at school, and she’d like to keep it that way for as long as possible.
Stripping herself of her remaining clothes she began to let the hot water hammer her shoulders and back, allowing it to peel the memory of the paint incident from her. Turning the water off, and stepping out of the shower, she glanced at herself in the mirror. Her skin was sporting a nice pink hue after being bombarded with the scorching water.
Feeling a little better now that there wasn’t the constant reminder of paint on her skin, Lexa strode down the stairs clad in ripped black jeans, white vans, and white long sleeved t-shirt with Clarke’s jumper thrown over the top, holding her pink shirt and headed towards the laundry where she dumped the shirt into a bucket, poured some of the napisan powder in and added some hot water to begin the soaking process.
Deciding she wasn’t starving, but certainly starting to feel hungry, she raided the pantry for a bag of doritos and then located the salsa. What a perfect combo. In Lexa’s opinion, nothing went together better as a snack. Halfway through the bag, her younger brother Aden walked in the door, unceremoniously throwing his bag down the hall and wandering into the kitchen and preceding to make a mess of everything.
“Dude, are you serious?!” Lexa exclaimed after watching him make a bagel, then walking away leaving the bag open, the butter and vegemite sitting on the bench and half an avocado as well. Getting no response she shook her head and began to move the condiments to their rightful place. Vegemite in the cupboard, bread on the far bench and the butter and avocado in the fridge. Hearing her phone go off with a tumblr notification she picked it up, and staring her right in the face was a text notification underneath the one from tumblr.
Hi Lexa, just wanted to ...
Blinking a couple of times to make sure her eyes weren’t seeing things, Lexa hurriedly opened her phone, almost dropping it in the process. Deciding that sitting would be a better option, she reached out and grabbed a stool, pushing herself up on it before reading the message.
Hi Lexa, just wanted to check in see how you
were doing after everything that happened today
Hi Clarke, yeah I’m fine. Just boys being
boys you know? Thank you again for loaning
me your jumper, I don’t know what I would’ve done
without it haha.
Closing the messages app and walking over to her electric drum kit, plugging her headphones in and hitting shuffle on the playlist titled IV - All Four Corners Of The Earth which had her favourite female artists in it, she started unconsciously humming out the melody to ‘I Said Hi’ by Amy Shark as she got set up. Drumming had always been Lexa’s way to shift her focus from something that made her nervous.
The warm, mellow tones of Amy Shark’s voice started reverberating through her ears as she waited for the drums to kick in. As the drums came in, she began to lose herself to the music and all the stress and worry and nerves from the day started to work themselves out of her system. The song changed to ‘Worst In Me’ by Julia Michaels and she kept on drumming. After an hour or so of continual drumming, she decided that she should probably do some of the allotted homework before it became an insurmountable mountain of work that drowned her.
With a sigh, Lexa set the headphones down on the kit, unplugged her phone from the auxiliary input and began the arduous trek up the stairs to her bedroom. Connecting her headphones to her phone once again, she hit play on the same playlist and began to get stuck into it. English.
That was always a struggle for Lexa. It could be because her teacher, Mr Nyko, was too laid back and didn’t really care how she went. He’d much rather pay attention to the high achieving students such as Monty, Harper and Jasper. Which was annoying, cause other teacher’s had said she has potential to be one of the top students. The other hinderance on Lexa’s ability to do well in English was that she just didn’t get Mr Nyko’s teaching style.
Half the things he said made absolutely no sense whatsoever, which makes understanding and retaining information relatively difficult. Lexa was of the opinion that essays were of the devil. Especially when said essays needed to include 16 quotes from an Australian poet who died like millions of years ago. Or when the essay is about Shakespeare.
As much as he’s important in the development of english and wrote some of the most well known plays like Othello and Romeo and Juliet, no one speaks with all the ‘eths’ and ‘thous’ and ‘thee’s’ anymore. And to Lexa, nothing was worse than sitting through an entire lesson where all that was done was that Shakespeare was read through. And not even with decent voice actors either, just some stupid audiobook where everything was said with the same voice.
20 minutes. That was all it took for Lexa to drop her head on the desk with a resounding thud. How was she supposed to take a whole 2 hour english exam where she had to write 3 essays, each taking 40 minutes if she couldn’t even sit down and work on English for more than 20 minutes. Deciding she needed something to distract her mind, she picked up her phone and noticed several new notifications.
Mostly they were from games. Candy Crush telling her that her lives had refilled and other random things, but the single message was was sent her curiosity buzzing. She never got texts. Like never ever. Anya and Lincoln, her only real friends, who both happened to be her cousins were the popular ones. They were both the people who everyone liked, they were both the people who could flow easily between groups, whether it be the slightly nerdier people such as Lexa or the popular people like Clarke, Raven and Octavia.
Lexa couldn’t ever do that. She wasn’t self conscious, okay, maybe she was, just a tiny bit, but she needed the stability and to know her place and to slot into that place as soon as the breaks began. Opening the message she saw none other than Clarke Griffin’s name appear in bold letters once again.
Be that as it may, it shouldn’t have happened.
Not to you, not to anyone. It’s just a low blow,
no one should have to be humiliated in front
of the school like that. And about the jumper,
don’t worry about it. It was a pretty nice day
Thank you Clarke. It’s not that big of a deal really,
the prank that is. It happens all the time, so I’m
used to it haha. And you’re right, it really was a
nice day, wasn’t it?
Lexa was used to people not caring about pranks being pulled on her. Most of the time even Anya and Lincoln found them hilarious too. So to have Clarke being so genuinely caring about the prank and by extension, her, was a whole new world. Seeing as though now it was 6:30, Lexa headed downstairs to see if her mum needed help with dinner. After accepting the offer, Lexa jumped into the kitchen alongside her mum and started chopping vegetables.
Indra Woods was a phenomenal cook, not only was she a phenomenal cook, but she was an amazingly talented and versatile woman. She didn’t need anyone to tell her what she couldn’t do, and if they did, well then it made her more determined to achieve it. She was someone who was willing to get in and help, no matter the task at hand. It was having Indra as a mother that caused Lexa to be so determined to stand up for herself and not ask for help from anyone, even when high school was not kind to her.
Most nights went much the same way as this one. Come home from school, drum, do some homework, procrastinate, actually do homework and then eat dinner and then possibly watch something on TV.
Dinner was a pretty quiet affair. However Lexa couldn’t help but notice that Indra kept throwing glances at Lexa’s jumper as if wanting to question where it came from. Everytime it happened, Lexa would brace herself and start concocting a plausible explanation for why she had it, however, despite the constant glancing and intakes of breath, no questions were asked. Eventually though, Indra couldn’t keep it in any longer, the dam burst and with it, the question which had been plaguing her mind.
“That’s a nice jumper Lexa, where’d it come from, cause I’m sure I’d remember buying you a nice looking thing like that one”
Prepped and ready for something along these lines, Lexa simply stated that something had happened at school today and her shirt had been completely drenched in water. While it wasn’t technically a lie, it wasn’t the truth that’s for sure. Indra didn’t need to know that her white shirt had been completely covered in deep pink, almost red paint cause her locker had been rigged to explode when it was opened.
Without giving Indra any more time to question her about it, Lexa excused herself from the table under the ruse that she was exhausted and needed sleep. But try as she might, drifting off to sleep, was to be no easy feat. One thought kept playing on her mind. The one that had been swirling around for a few days now. Why was Clarke being so nice all of a sudden. Ever since the party on Saturday night, when the pair had caught eyes, something had felt different.
It was almost as though Clarke hassles suddenly become aware of Lexa’s existence in the world. And for whatever reason Lexa hadn’t been able to shake the feeling, and so her mind kept leading her back to thoughts of blonde hair and blue eyes, even now as she tried to drift off .
And we're back!
I'm actually so exited to get this posted and keep this story going, ask anyone haha but I will be posting the updates every two weeks from now, but tbh I'm not good at sticking to a schedule so they may come earlier haha.
Anyways, enjoy the chapter, let me know what you think, come find me on tumblr, just say hi - I like making new friends
Wednesday started the same way most of the school year had. With Lexa depositing the contents of her bag into her locker, which had now been cleared of paint after yesterday’s incident, following that, she’d make her way straight to roll call and simply sit in her usual spot, with her phone, listening along to whatever artist seemed to be stuck in her head, whilst reading. The combo today was Sheppard’s new album “Watching The Sky” and The Hobbit. A book she’d read countless times, she basically knew the key scenes off the top of her head.
She liked being alone in the quiet of the room, not worrying about anyone or anything else, just simply being. Tapping the beat of the song, Lexa was so immersed in her novel and music, she hardly noticed how much time had passed, before the thunderous sound of hundreds of feet mixed with the babble of conversation spewing out of the mouths of the students who’d began pouring into the classroom and filling up the seats.
Being as introverted as she was, Lexa always sat right up the front of the room in the far corner so she could keep to herself without being annoyed or dragged into conversation. The minutes dragged by as name after name was read out. Lexa responding ‘here’ as her name was called. She couldn’t wait for it to be over. Nothing important ever happened and the announcements that were made were always irrelevant to her.
With the bell finally ringing, 15 minutes after the masses had swarmed into the room, some stragglers walking in 5 to 10 minutes late because of busses and traffic, Lexa couldn’t wait to be out of there and beginning the school day. Exiting the room, Lexa was greeted by the hustle and bustle of bodies moving out of their respective roll call rooms, people fighting to get into their classrooms ready for first period, and the general cramped spaces which occur when hundreds upon hundreds of bodies are crammed into a 2 metre wide hallway.
After what felt like an eternity, the crowds dispersed and began to head in the direction of their respective classrooms. Pulling her backpack tighter over her shoulders, Lexa put her head down and headed in the direction of The H.S.I.E (Human Society and Its Environment) department, mentally preparing herself for an hour of sitting through Mr Kane’s history lesson on WWII and The Great Emu War which came before it.
Basically the Emu population in Western Australia had grown out of proportion and so the military was called in to deal with the situation. Despite having the military involved, and plenty of Emu’s losing their lives, the population continued to cause destruction to crops. Eventually the emu’s won, on the account that because of a heavy rainfall, they were able to spread and essentially disappear from the soldiers radar.
In Lexa’s opinion, as entertaining as it would’ve been to witness a bunch of military soldiers get defeated by birds, there was nothing really interesting in either topic. History was her least favourite class ever. Seconded only by Geography. For whatever reason, she could never get herself to be excited or engage in either subject. She much preferred subject like P.E, like biology and maths. Classes where she was learning new information and information which was actually relevant to her lifestyle and future endeavours.
Surely this class should be over soon. Glancing up at the clock, Lexa saw that there wasn’t much time left in the lesson so decided to start slowly putting her pens back in the pencil case, close her book and mentally check out from the class. Today could only get better from here on out. Moving on autopilot once the bell rang, signalling the end of the class, Lexa headed up to music. Now this was something Lexa could fully engage in.
Even doing theoretical work, Lexa loved it. She loved how many different techniques went into a piece of music to make it whole, how many ways it could be described, and how those words used to describe it, didn’t have to be exclusively musical terms. Most of all though, she loved expanding her music library. Lexa had broadened her taste in music dramatically since she began studying music.
Unfortunately for Lexa though, music couldn’t last forever and before she knew it, the class was over and recess had begun. The time when the majority of the school would flood the playground and the babble of incessant conversation filled the air, arguments over handball, boys over the other side, challenging each other to do stupid things, girls huddling by the building gossiping about boys.
But not Lexa. Lexa spent her recess, and lunch for that matter, holed up in the music room, hashing out a new beat or drumming along to her music. And for whatever reason, this particular Wednesday morning, she had an audience. Now, usually her audience would include Lincoln or Anya, but today, whilst drumming along to ‘Heathens’ by Twenty One Pilots, she was forced to do a double take whilst transitioning from the verse to the chorus, because standing in front of her right at this very moment was Clarke. Missing the pickup beat, Lexa came into the chorus all sloppily and was forced to stop. Great.
Now Clarke thought she was a rubbish drummer, but what Lexa didn’t know, is that Clarke had actually seen her run through the entire piece of music before and was blown away by how talented she was. Pulling her headphones out, Lexa paused her music and looked over to Clarke.
“Uhhhh, Hi?” Lexa queried, “What’s up?”
“Not much, I was just looking for you actually”
More than a little taken aback, Lexa was stunned for a moment or two looking like a fish out of water with her mouth opening and closing and no sound coming out.
“Oh, really? Did you need something” Lexa replied once her voice had found its way back to her, just as a red tinge began to crawl its way up her cheeks.
“Just wondering whether or not you’d be alright if we started this assignment this afternoon at my place?”
“Y-Yeah I can do that, What time should I come around at?”
“We could do straight after school if you wanted? Seeing as though we finish earlier today than we would most days we can probably smash it out for an hour or two and leave it at that for now? It also means that you’ll be able to be home by the time you usually would on a normal day.
I mean we’ve got two weeks to do it, so we don’t exactly have to rush through it, but at the same time we can’t be too laid back about it” Clarke replied, screwing her face up as she tried to remember her mother’s work schedule.
“Sure. That works for me”
“Okay, great! I’ll leave you to practice whatever it is you were playing” and with that, Clarke strode back out of the room into the corridor and disappeared out the doors and into the playground to meet up with her friends. Still unsure of where she sat with Clarke, Lexa shrugged off the interaction and tried to once again lose herself in the music. Just as she started to though, the bell rang.
Apparently today was going to be one of those days. Packing her sticks back into her bag, and making sure she had all her equipment, Lexa stood up and made her way down to maths. Halfway there, she realised that both her and Clarke share the same maths class, that was how they paired up to do the assignment together, so why did Clarke go out of her way to find Lexa in the music room knowing they’d see each other less than 15 minutes later. Noticing that the class was already half full of her peers, Lexa turned her music up louder and made her way across the room to her usual corner seat, but stopped midway when she saw a bag resting on her desk.
Seeing Clarke sitting in the spot next to her desk, the same spot she sat in when they first were paired together for the assignment. Lexa decided to venture over and asked whether or not her seat was already taken, but upon seeing her arrival, Clarke slid it off the desk, turned around and smiled up at her.
Usually sitting in the back of the class, Clarke had decided that she should probably change her attitude and actually learn. She had already gotten through her junior years, but now that she was a senior, she should probably pick up her game so to speak and pay attention. Not that she didn’t like the people situated around her, but they weren’t conducive to her learning and actually proved to be more of a distraction than anything else.
Clarke really didn’t know what she was thinking saving Lexa a seat. Her seat nonetheless. Not like it needed to be saved because everyone knew who sat there, and it wasn’t like their seats got changed around all the time. It was an unspoken rule, that the seat you sat in at the beginning was your seat for the remainder of the year. All bets were off however when there was a spare seat. Watching Lexa sit down at her desk, Clarke turned back around facing the front, patiently waiting for Mr Trikru to begin the lesson.
However as he got started Clarke began to realise that there was nothing more boring than spending an entire hour on quadratic equations. This day really couldn’t end fast enough and it was only the 3rd out of the 5 periods she had today. Thankfully the rest of the day would be fairly easy. This was the home stretch. Biology after maths, which preceded lunch and then PDHPE to round out the day.
It felt like Clarke could’ve been sitting in that maths room for days on end. About halfway through the period, she mentally disengaged from the class and opened up her sketch book. Flipping through page after page of tattoo ideas, she made her way to the next blank page and proceeded to mindlessly doodle the outlines of a forearm for her next idea.
As she started shading patterns and designs onto the forearm she realised that subconsciously, every time she needed to stop and think of an idea she’d look over in Lexa’s direction. Thankfully there was a window just on the other side of Lexa so Clarke could easily use that as an excuse for looking that particular direction.
Seeing as though she was just 18 and was legally allowed to get a tattoo, she didn’t want to rush into anything because it’d be a permanent fixture on her arm. Having already decided months ago that her forearm was the place to have the ink applied, she got a couple of different designs and drew them on with permanent marker just to see how they’d look on her skin.
So far she was tossing up between a couple of ideas, these being a band which would wrap around the top of her forearm which had arrow sort of shapes implemented in the band, which looked amazing, and served as a reminder that what comes around goes around and all that. Other designs which had appealed to Clarke’s artistic eye were things like the trinity, the Penrose triangle and something sort of cutesy which reminded her of the books she’d read growing up.
The lamppost from Narnia being the main centrepiece with signposts pointing different directions with labels such as Panem, Wonderland, Neverland, Hogwarts and Narnia, complete with a quote from Walt Disney stating “if you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take”.
Startled out of the reminiscing of her childhood by the incessant ringing of the school bell which signalled class was over, Clarke rushed to pack up her belongings into her bag before looking over and Lexa, and confirming their meetup in the carpark after school. Hearing Lexa’s conforming reply, her mind was flicking between relief, due to the fact that Lexa still wanted to meet up and work on the assignment and panic, because what if she made a fool of herself in front of Lexa. It wasn’t as if she and Lexa were friends. More acquaintances than anything else.
And Lexa seemed like one of those people who takes everything super seriously and wastes no time joking around, which of course is the complete opposite of who Clarke is. Shoving all those thoughts towards the back of her mind, Clarke slings her bag over one shoulder and makes her way across the grounds to biology where Raven is already sitting at their combined bench getting the equipment out for the lessons dissection. Shoving her back under the table, tying her hair back and getting alongside Raven, Clarke slides the safety glasses on her face and begins reading the lessons overview.
By dissecting the eyeball of a sheep, and due to its similarity to that of a human eye, except for its size, their teacher was hoping that the class would begin to make the connections and isolate the different parts, such as the retina, the lense, the cornea, the iris, the optic nerves and the rest.
Clarke’s friendship with Raven was different. That’s not to say it was weird. They texted each other constantly, like almost everyday, all morning, all afternoon and long into the night. But when they were together in person, they could either talk for hours upon hours, days even, or they’d barely talk at all and prefer to just be with each other.
“Hey Clarkie” Raven greeted cheerfully once she realised that Clarke had shown up
“Hey Rave, how are you?”
“Yeah good, good, can’t really complain, although I have to hand it to Mr Kane, he can really suck the fun right of a World War. Like the one historical thing that I enjoyed, and he had to go and ruin it, can you believe it?
“I reckon hey! Like can you please make it sound a little bit interesting, instead of ‘there was a dispute over ideologies and thus a world war was born, go on and pick a country and find out exactly what their involvement was and which side they were on ’” Clarke summarised rather briefly, doing her best impression of their teacher, which caused Raven to burst into a fit of laughter which in turn resulted in Mr Pike coming over to make sure they were on the right track, which they were. Wiping her eyes to rid them of the unshed tears laughing had caused, Raven turned back to the eyeball and picked up the scalpel.
“Hey Clarkie, did you want to be the one to skewer the eyeball on the scalpel or can I have the honours?”
With a huff, and knowing how much Raven loved to destroy things, either making them explode or through other means, she decided that as long as Raven was careful, she could be the one to pop the eyeball. Being given the go ahead, Raven turned back around to the eyeball with a creepily menacing grin plastered on her face. After the initial satisfaction of splitting the eye, the scalpel was handed to Clarke so that they could actually find the parts they needed to and so that the parts remained somewhat intact.
The rest of the lesson wasn’t as thrilling as that first 30 seconds when the eyeball was split, but they pushed through and managed to find all except one of the required parts, which they later found out was because in her eagerness to split the eyeball open, Raven had completely destroyed the optic nerve. Clarke always felt that time went by rather quickly when she was in this headspace. When she was decoding something or delving deeper into the process of learning something new. That’s why she loved art, and puzzles, brain-teasers, riddles, all of that stuff. It got her brain working, got her thinking about new possibilities, new ways to solve a problem. It’s what made her so driven and passionate.
Lunch came around and as she made her way out into the playground, Clarke began thinking that there couldn’t be a student out there who didn’t like lunch. Who could say no to an hour long break between classes, where you could eat, talk with friends, do whatever basically and eat, but she already thought of food, which caused a chain reaction as her mouth started watering stomach started growling. Picking up her pace, Clarke made her way across the grounds to the picnic tables which her group had claimed fairly on in their schooling career. Greeted by a chorus of ‘Hi’s’ upon her arrival, and the arrival of Raven, Clarke took her seat and pulled out her chicken schnitzel burger.
In all honesty, she was surprised it had made it to lunch. Making it this morning before she left for school, she had every intention of eating it for recess, but she had better things to do than eat her lunch early. Thinking back to watching Lexa up in the music room while she ate, she was startled out of her thoughts by Octavia throwing a grape at her forehead. Blinking a couple of times to try and make sense of what just happened, Clarke looked around the group until she found Octavia trying to conceal her laughter by throwing a grape up in the air and catching it in her mouth. Thus identifying her as the culprit Clarke had been searching for.
“What the fuck O”
“Just making sure you were still with us” Octavia replied before continuing “We still on for chilling at mine this afternoon? Rave and I were thinking of starting How I Met Your Mother again.” So that was what Clarke had forgotten when she invited Lexa over to make a start on this maths assignment with her.
“Crap, I completely forgot we had planned to hang out. Soooooo, the thing is that I already kinda have plans made for this afternoon. Lexa and I are gonna make a start on that maths assignment we got given yesterday.”
“Wow, and here I thought we were your only friends” Raven chimed in “Why’re you working with her anyway? I thought Bell was gonna jump on you as soon as Trikru handed that assignment out” Smacking Raven on the arm, Octavia took the reins on the conversation once again. Rolling her eyes at the two of them Clarke took another bite of her burger, which she choked on as soon as Octavia began talking.
“Yeah either him or Finn, man that would’ve been entertaining. Watching Finn and my brother go head to head. Do they know that you don’t actually like either of them as more than friends? My bet is that as soon as there’s any wind of our formal starting to be planned, they’ll both try and ask you before the end of the day”
“Oh my god, stop! Please! Bell and Finn both should know that I have no interest in them. I’m pretty sure I made that clear from day one. You remember back in our first year of high school when both of them asked me out that second week and I turned them both down? Surely that was enough of a hint that nothing will ever happen there.”
“Dude, they’re boys …” that was Raven again, “You know how men are. They think ‘No’ means ‘Yes’ and ‘Get lost’ means ‘Take me, I'm yours.’ she quoted, doing a pretty good impression of Meg from Hercules. They managed to keep semi-straight faces for a couple of seconds before breaking out into laughter causing them to get weird looks from the others at the table. They all fell quiet after their laughter subsided to finish off their lunch, Clarke with her burger, Octavia with her Pad Thai and Raven with her Sushi.
The conversation picked up and bounced around from topic to topic, like the upcoming FIFA World Cup and which team everyone thought should or would win. Clarke was supporting Australia, as she should, being an Aussie. Raven dived back into her heritage and was all for the Spaniards winning the tournament while Octavia was undecided, but had narrowed it down to two teams. The French and the Belgians with the reasoning that they’re both fairly young teams, most of their players will be around for a few world cups, but this could be a big win and give all the young players confidence going back to their club teams and could possibly open up big doors for them if they do well.
When the time came for lunch to be over and the last class of the day to begin, Clarke suddenly found herself very nervous. The longer she spent in the class, the closer the end of the day came, and with that, the closer it came to working on the assignment. All at once, Clarke remembered that she hadn’t even read through the marking criteria or what the assignment actually entailed which was. Whoops. Deciding that it was too late now for her to cancel, Clarke shot off a simple text to Lexa.
Hey Lexa, sorry to bother you in class but I was
wondering if you’d rather have my address
and put it into google maps and get to mine
that way, or you could just follow me?
Staring at her phone, Clarke saw the three little dots appear on the screen, stay there for a second and disappear. Quickly locking her phone, Clarke tried to tune back into whatever Ms Byrne was talking about, but when no message came through she wondered if Lexa had sent it in the millisecond it took her to lock the phone. Opening it back up, and seeing those floating dots again, Clarke decided to lock her phone, afterall a watched pot never boils, or in this case, a watched message screen never pings. Just as she placed the phone back on the desk, she felt it vibrate.
Sooooo we're back!
I still can't believe this is happening and that I'm actually posting my work, it's insane!!
Anyways, here's the chapter you've all been waiting for!
P.S Not sure what you're gonna think of this chapter, I really hope you like it, and everything will turn out okay so please don't kill me in the comments yeah? But very happy tp chat about people's thoughts on it. As always, Tumblr username is Stick-n-Kicks if you wanna come find me and shoot me a message, I'd love that
P.P.S It's my birthday on the 18th, so you'll be getting another chapter then, don't worry
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Hey Lexa, sorry to bother you in class but I was
wondering if you’d rather have my address
and put it into google maps and get to mine
that way, or you could just follow me?
Staring somewhat blankly at the message that just came through, Lexa had absolutely no idea what to do or how to respond. Hurriedly typing out the response she thought would be appropriate, she read it over and it came out way too stalkerish, so she quickly deleted everything that she had and tried to compose a new message. Even though the message still came out stalkerish, it was a major improvement from the first one. Before she lost the courage she hit the send button and locked her phone
Hey, I can follow you home, but
just in case, we get separated could I possibly
have you address as well? Thanks again for
inviting me over to work on the assignment
nights at my place get crazy busy and we wouldn’t
have been able to concentrate properly.
Haha of course, my address is;
100 Drop Ship Lane, Arcadia. And it’s
not a problem, mum usually works afternoon
- night shifts anyway, so we’ll be distraction free.
Deciding that Clarke’s message was pretty final, and that it warranted no response she saved the address into Clarke’s contact so that she wouldn’t forget it the next time they worked on the assignment at Clarkes. Oh man, that was awfully presumptuous of her, already inviting herself over to Clarke’s the next time they wanted to work on the assignment.
Who’s to say that they wouldn’t just decided that it’d be better to work in the school library than go back to either of their places. Pushing those thoughts aside and copying the address Clarke sent her into Google Maps, Lexa found that it wasn’t that far away from school, but was the opposite direction she was used to travelling so had absolutely no idea where to go or which was was the best to get to Clarke’s place.
Placing the phone back on the desk, Lexa really tried to listen to whatever it was Mr Pike was saying about Biology, something about Epidemiology and how it was the study of disease occurrence within the human population, mindlessly taking notes on the characteristics of epidemiological studies. But her mind kept thinking back over the route she needed to take to get to Clarke’s. Something most people didn’t know about Lexa was that she hated not knowing where she was going, for fear of being late. Lexa had a tendency to leave home earlier rather than later to so as to get to where she needed to prior to the meetup time. Most people who knew this about her, teased her relentlessly for it, but there was a few cases when she was thankful for being early.
Leaning over to Luna, the girl sitting next to her, Lexa asked whether she wouldn’t mind sending her the notes from the lesson, because although she really tried to pay attention, Lexa’s fairly sure that she missed a couple of key things. Receiving a nod of confirmation, Lexa turns back to her computer and opens up google maps and tried to memorise the route she’s about to take as soon as class is over.
Lexa is kind of OCD when it comes to her book looking all neat and precise, so she’s eternally thankful that she’s allowed to take her notes on her macbook, because it means that she writes all the information twice, which then means she has a better chance of the information sticking in her brain. It’s how she’s always worked. Every subject aside from maths, she takes notes on her computer and then rewrites everything into the respective book at the end of the day. Lexa’s beyond relieved when the bell rings to signal the end of the day and packs up her laptop in record time.
Making her way out of the classroom, she runs headfirst into a blonde. Already apologising and reaching to help the innocent person up, Lexa freezes once she realised who she’s run into. Before she knows it both, Bellamy and Finn are up in her face telling her that she needs to watch where she’s going or else there’ll be trouble. Backing up until her back is pressed firmly against the cold bricks of the hallway, Lexa continues to apologise, but there’s no relenting from the boys. She closes her eyes and starts to focus on her breathing, deep breaths in through the nose, out through the mouth to stop her bottom lip from trembling and the tears from spilling out. That’s when the teasing began.
“Look at her Finn, she’s about to cry. Can’t handle a simple conversation with someone who has any sort of status” Bellamy jeers.
“Haha, bloody hell, what a loser. Man, we thought she was weak before, she’s sunken even lower. No wonder she has no friends.”
By this stage, there’s a small crowd gathering around the spot where the boys had trapped Lexa but before anything else can happen, both of them felt a sharp blow to the back of their legs which resulted in them falling over clutching the back of their knees. Springing up and spinning around to face their attacker, Finn and Bellamy take one look at the towering form of Lincoln who’s riled up and ready to rumble, before glancing at each other, swallowing nervously and sprinting out of the building.
Opening her eyes, Lexa’s staring straight into Lincoln’s which are filled with worry and concern. Giving him a reassuring nod that she was alright, she takes a couple of deep breaths to reorient herself while Lincoln breaks up the group of students who are waiting expectantly. Once the crowd had dispersed, Lexa looked around and saw Clarke standing against the far wall, with an unmistakable look of concern etched onto her face as she started taking a few small steps towards her.
Giving Clarke a weak smile, Lexa turned around, picked up her bags and slipped into the river of students exiting the building, got in her car and stopped for a few seconds, taking time to compose herself so that she wasn’t driving with a rollercoaster of emotions crashing through her head.
Starting to sob, Lexa sat in her car trying to figure out what had just happened and why those two guy got up in her face so quickly. It was an accident, it’s not like she planned to run into anyone, least of all Clarke. As Lexa was about to drive off, she was startled by a sudden tap on the window. It was Clarke. Continuing to sit there for another 30 seconds in an attempt to stave off the inevitable mocking and humiliating which was no doubt about to occur, Lexa could no longer pretend to ignore the tapping and so rolling down her window, drawing strength from reserves she didn’t know she had, she braced herself.
Turning to look at Clarke, Lexa expected to see triumph, maybe a hint of superiority in her eyes, but seeing Clarke’s eyes flash from worry, to relief, to hurt and before settling on pain, Lexa couldn’t maintain her eye contact as she felt her eyes start to well up in tears. Just as she went to say something, to Clarke, apologise, make sure she was alright, her voice was transformed into a hiccup as the tears burst forth and spilt down her cheeks. Watching Lexa struggle to form words and having a good idea of what she was going to say, Clarke decided to interject and put the other girl at ease a little bit.
“Lexa! Hey, Lexa. Look at me, please.” After being rewarded for her efforts by seeing Lexa’s eyes, rise to meet hers, Clarke continued, “None of what happened in there was your fault, you know that right? No one could foresee you rushing out of the room nor could they foresee the fact that I’d be walking past right at the same moment. How about we take a detour on the way to mine and go get some ice cream, what do you say?
“Yeah I suppose we could do that, I’m sorry for ruining the afternoon. Are you sure you’re alright?”
“I’m fine, a bit bruised, but nothing a good night’s sleep can’t handle.” Clarke stated with a laugh, trying to set Lexa’s mind at ease. “Now, ice cream. I was thinking we head over to Jaha’s, sound good?”
“Yeah alright I’ll meet you there then” and with that, Lexa turned the key in the ignition and set the engine running. Watching Clarke step away from her vehicle, she took another moment to adjust the radio station, from the talk show that was currently on to one of the no ad music stations.
Reversing out of the car spot while humming the tune to ‘I Did Something Bad’ by Taylor Swift, she pulled out of the school grounds and onto the main road, which led straight to Jaha’s, her mouth starting to salivate at the thought of the Ferrero Rocher plus snickers ice cream she’d be ordering in less than 15 minutes.
Walking into the ice cream parlour Clarke walked straight to her usual booth, the one her and her friends always sat in when they came here, which was a pretty regular occurrence on a summer afternoon, much like this one, except, she wasn’t here with her friends. She was here with Lexa, before they headed back to her place to work on their maths assignment. Truly, Clarke wasn’t sure what she was thinking inviting Lexa here, this was her unwind place, the place she went to escape the clutches of her mother. But she wasn’t blind. Lexa had obviously been shaken by the events of the afternoon.
Honestly, Clarke wasn’t worried about the fact that Lexa had accidentally bowled her over, knocked her for six, if you will. She was furious however at Finn and Bellamy for rushing to her defence, when she clearly didn’t need it. Fucking Finn and Bellamy, when were they going to learn that she wasn’t a china doll. She was more than capable of taking care of herself. Afterall, she was athletic, she did take boxing classes on a Thursday after school. It’s not as if she was the princess that everyone thought she was, which was ironic because that’s exactly where that nickname came from.
When she started high school, she was the popular, pretty, above everyone else, sort of girl and her dad had seen right through it, giving her the nickname as a reminder that she wasn’t above anyone. Everyone should be equal, that’s what her dad pressed upon her when he was still here. Of course it was just at that moment when Lexa walked in, spotting Clarke instantly, she made her way across the parlour towards her, but stopped a few tables short where she saw the turmoil and conflict that was flashing across Clarke’s face.
Feeling as though she was being watched Clarke schooled her features before scanning around and spotting Lexa who was awkwardly standing a few tables over. Putting a big smile on her face, Clarke waved Lexa over and ushered her into the seat opposite her. It was just at that moment that the waitress came over and took their orders.
“Hey Niy” Clarke greeted, smiling at the waitress, as if they were old friends.
“Hi Clarke, where’s the usual entourage today? School work finally catching up with O and Raven? Or is this a date?” She responded, laughing airily.
“No, no, not a date haha, you know I don’t have time to date Niy”
Holding her hands up in surrender, Niylah laughed before saying “I know, I know” and with that she took their orders, an iced coffee for Lexa, she wasn’t particularly in the mood for ice cream anymore, and a caramel frappe for Clarke, before walking off, but not before shooting Clarke a wink. Rolling her eyes, Clarke turned her attention back to Lexa who was looking back at her with mild curiosity. To save Lexa actually asking the question which she knew the other girl would have Clarke proceeded to ramble off an explanation.
“Okay so I know you have questions right now, but basically Niylah is a friend, I always come here with the gang after school in the summer, so afternoons like this we’d all cram into this exact booth” Continuing to ramble, Clarke purposely left this part to later on when she would be running out of breath but pushed on and rushed out “also, I’m bi and have brought a couple of girls here over the years, Niylah was one of them, that’s actually how she got a job here cause we were on a date and they had a sign in the window and another one on the bench saying they were looking to hire someone, and she applied and got it obviously, but then …”
She was cut off by their drinks arriving, thankfully, cause Clarke was beginning to feel light headed and flushed. Filled with embarrassment, Clarke stared down into her lap, hoping the ground would open up and teleport her to a dimension where this conversation never happened. After not hearing anything from Lexa, she looked up to find the other girl sitting there with a smile and a look of understanding plastered on her face.
Reaching across the table, Lexa laid one of her hands on Clarke’s arm and gave a reassuring squeeze, before assuring her that she doesn’t have a problem with Clarke being bi, because she was gay and had also taken a few girls on dates to this particular place as well. With their conversation now openly flowing, Clarke decided it was probably time to bring up the maths assignment, as much as she didn’t want to, it had to be talked about.
“So are we still on for doing this maths assignment this arvo?”
“Yes of course, why wouldn’t we be?”
“Well you know, since everything that happened after school, and then you looking like you were going to just drive home”
“Well okay, so maybe, I wasn’t feeling like being around anyone at that stage, but it’s fine, we can do maths, I mean, we were supposed to, and it’d probably be better to make a crack at it sooner rather than later right?”
“Yeah exactly! So it’s only like 12:45 at the moment, which still gives us plenty of time. So whatcha say we make like a tree and leaf?
“Oh my god that was so bad Clarke, I can’t even right now” Lexa replied laughing and shaking her head at Clarke’s attempt at humour. Following Clarke’s lead, she stood up, and began gathering her belongings before making her way towards the door. They had parked next to each other which made life easy, as they walked across the car park to the cars in silence, save for Clarke checking that Lexa still had her address and was going to follow her.
With that all cleared up, Clarke got into her car and started up the engine, the deep rumbling causing Lexa’s Corolla to vibrate lightly. Starting her own car up and backing out of her spot, Lexa followed Clarke out of the car park, putting her left hand indicator on, she turned onto the street and began following the White Ford GT through the maze of backstreets which sometimes doubled back on themselves, which she thought was pretty stupid considering, they ended up almost directly in front of where they started. Upon arriving at Clarke’s house, Lexa began to wonder what the minister for transport and infrastructure had been thinking when he decided that the roads should be like this rather than the same layout as Azgeda.
Stepping out of her, grabbing her maths textbook, assignment sheets and macbook Lexa nearly dropped all of them in sheer awe at the size of Clarke’s house. Walking up to Clarke who was waiting on the front door step, Lexa kept opening her mouth in an attempt to say something, anything really, but Clarke just waved her attempts off, claiming that it was her mother’s house, not hers. Pointing Lexa towards the dining table, where they could work on their assignment and have space to spread papers over the surface, Clarke headed towards the kitchen to grab some glasses and a bottle of water out of the fridge.
On the way back, Clarke froze. Seeing Lexa sitting at the table, glasses on, tongue poking past her lips, highlighter in hand and assignment sheets being slid around, she looked so comfortable and so contrastingly different from the girl crying in her car earlier. Shaking off her observations, Clarke set the glasses and bottle down in the middle of the table, before pulling out her own notes and laptop. Looking down at the page and then back up at each other, the girls knew they were in for an interesting assignment.
The task was simple really, all they had to do was plan out a weekend adventure for an international relative who was coming to stay. They had to visit at least 3 major things in the city, be close to food options at 10am, noon and 4pm each day, and they had to plan out the transport options. Surely this couldn’t be that hard.
What major things were in the city? That was easy, The Harbour Bridge, The Opera House, Luna Park, The Reptile Park and Australian Wildlife Park’s were also both there. There were plenty of restaurants around, that was no dramas, as well as fast food places that was easy, and as far as transport went, because it was the heart of the city, they’d 100% be public transporting it in there. Driving was definitely a no go because; a. the parking cost an arm and a leg and that was only for a short amount of time, nowhere near enough and b. it was peak tourist season, so there’d be way too many people wandering around, wandering across the roads, wandering through car parks, definitely not something either of them wanted to navigate.
With the general details all sorted out, they split the assignment in half and planned out a day each, picking and choosing which things would be seen on which day. Now that that had been sorted out, they both got stuck in writing up their respective parts, checking in with the other every so often to clarify a technicality, or to throw ideas out there and see what the other thought.
In other news, Belgium beat England last night! It was such a good game honestly could've gone either way - but I'm really happy with how it turned out.
Who do you guys think will win in the final though France or Croatia? Let me know what you think!
Personally, I reckon France will steamroll Croatia, but I kinda want Croatia to win, it'd be kinda cool seeing as though this is literally the tournament of underdogs.
Hey guys, so new chapter time!
I know some of you had a problem with Lexa being a pushover and Clarke not standing up for her in the last chapter, but there is some character development that will happen as the story progresses and for that to happen, I needed those events to occur the way they did. I apologise for not doing a very good job, but it's a learning curve that I have to take.
Anyway, here's the chapter, hope you like it
The minutes ticked by as the girls sat in silence working on their own respective parts of the assignment, Lexa furiously scribbling her ideas down onto her notepad, while Clarke was tapping away on her laptop. They had no idea how long they had been working for when Lexa’s stomach let out what seemed to be an almighty growl in the quiet which they were working in. Closing her eyes in silent prayer that Clarke hadn’t heard her stomachs whale call, Lexa took a deep breath and glanced up at Clarke.
Seeing Clarke look at her, trying to hold back her laughter, caused her cheeks to burn a bright shade of red. Not being able to hold back anymore, Clarke burst into a fit of laughter, which, after a second, Lexa joined in on, seeing the hilarity of the situation. Shaking her head, with a big smile on her face as she stood up, Clarke glanced at the clock and noticed that it was already 2:30pm.
“Hey, so it’s already 2:30, which means that usual school will be starting to finish up, so what do you say we wrap this up for today? We could probably smash some more of it out in the library one day if that’s something you think we should do”
Although Clarke still made Lexa nervous, she was able to get an answer out relatively smoothly and without any awkward sutters. “Yeah that sounds like a plan, I guess I should be heading home anyway, my stomach is telling me that I should’ve had something to eat like an hour ago haha”
“So I heard haha, just so you know, next time, you don’t have to go hungry, we have food here which, had I known you were hungry, I would’ve pulled out of the pantry. Like we have doritos, two minute noodles, leftover thai food, which tastes amazing by the way”
“Oh don’t worry about it Clarke, I’ll survive” Lexa tried to downplay her hunger in the hopes that Clarke would drop the topic, because the longer Clarke talked about food, the hungrier she got. Lexa’s seemingly bottomless pit of a stomach, was the topic of many debates among her friends and family for that matter. She could eat a hell of a lot and still maintain her figure, and she ate all the time. Big meals, lots of them and still as slim as anything. But she couldn’t let Clarke know this early on. She had to maintain a level of politeness.
So, while her stomach was tearing itself apart in the hopes that food would soon make its way into it, Lexa kept a calm, easy going outward appearance. Knowing that when she got home she’d probably devour an entire hand of bananas, maybe raid the fridge and see what leftovers she could stuff her face with. Feeling her stomach start to rumble again, Lexa knew that it was time to go. But she didn’t leave before handing over her ideas to Clarke so the other girl could have a quick read over them, give her some pointers or slight modifications just so there was a sense of uniformity across the assignment.
“Dude, this is looking really good. I definitely think we’re on track for this assignment!!” Clarke exclaimed after reading over Lexa’s notes.
“Thanks, if we meet up at the library tomorrow and flesh it out a bit more and make some definite decisions on how we’re presenting it, transport and the rest of it, we could maybe meet Sunday or Monday afternoons and stick it all together and fine tune it, what do you reckon?”
“Yeah for sure! Probably Monday afternoon would be better though cause I don’t wanna think about school work on a Sunday haha”
“I totally get that haha, Monday it is then, but tomorrow, lunch, in the library?”
“Yeah sounds good” Clarke replied as she walked Lexa to the door. They said their goodbyes, waved at each other, nothing out of the ordinary. Leaving was a pretty nondescript affair. Or rather it would’ve been had Abby not arrived home at that exact moment. However having not noticed Abby arriving, Clarke turned around and walked inside, closing the door behind her. In fact, she wouldn’t have had any idea that Abby was arriving home if it weren’t for the sound of brakes squealing as Abby’s car pulled into the driveway at breakneck speed, jolting drastically as it came to a complete stop.
Ripping her seatbelt off, Abby wrenched her purse out of the car, slamming the door behind her as she strode up towards the house. Hearing the commotion and wondering if Lexa’s car hadn’t started and maybe needed a jump start, Clarke turned around and opened the door only to be met by her mother’s face. Red as a tomato, with eyes as cold as ice, causing her to gulp loudly, and a light sweat to break out on her forehead.
“Who in the hell was that Clarke? What have I told you about bringing people over here.” Her mother continued for some time after that initial question, going on about things like not bringing strangers over here, not having anyone come up the driveway cause they might rob the house and other bullshit that Clarke took no notice of. Wishing she could honestly just get swallowed up by the ground instead of having to try and explain to her mother that the girl, Clarke was not about to reveal any names, was only here so that they could work on a school assignment.
There was nothing untoward going on, not that her mother knew she was interested in girls like that. Sure, everyone else did, but knowing her mother, she’d probably flip her shit and disown Clarke for it. While the ranting was going on, Clarke had time to try and figure out the best way to explain the situation to her mother, that is, if her mother stopped to breathe, and judging by the way she was lowering the volume of her ranting, she was going to be done soon.
“You done now?” Clarke stated, receiving only a glare from her mother. “Okay good, you know what? I’m sick of not being able to have friends over here anymore. You used to love having Raven and O around, hell, you even liked it when I threw parties and the house was full of people. So, what the fuck? I get that Dad’s dead and you feel like you’re the only one who’s allowed to grieve and that having noise in the house makes you feel like you’re alone. But making me suffer for it by not being allowed to have people over to work on school projects in the house is just fucked up. I was grieving too, not just you, you may have lost your husband, but I lost my dad.”
The longer she kept talking the less Clarke began to keep her voice even, with every second word she continued to say, her voice warbled, tears began to spill down her cheeks and all the while, Abby just stood there watching her, fury etched into her face. Seeing that there was no ounce of remorse, no sign that she would try and understand what her daughter was struggling with and that no sympathy would come from the woman across the room from her, Clarke turned on her heels and flew towards her room, but not before offering one last biting remark.
On her way, she hears her phone buzz with the notification of an incoming text. Deciding to leave it until she was hidden away in the sanctuary of her room. Once there, Clarke closed her door, quietly so as not to give her mother the satisfaction of hearing it slam. Throwing herself on her bed after putting her abnormally heavy backpack down next to her desk, Clarke pulled out her headphones and started blasting Birds of Tokyo through them. Once the warm, enveloping piano chords of ‘Circles’ tumbled from earpiece to earpiece, Clarke opened her messages app and saw that the latest one came through from Lexa.
Hi Clarke, sorry for messaging so soon
but it appears as though I may have left
my laptop at your house, would it be possible
for me to double back and come and get it?
Groaning a little at the fact that she would have to go and get Lexa’s laptop off the dining table where her mother would no doubt be sitting, she resigned herself to the fact that it had to be done. Remembering how abnormally heavy her bag was, she checked in there first. Relief swept over her, as she pried the bag open and saw a laptop which didn’t appear to be hers. Maybe Clarke could use this as an opportunity to get out of the house for a while. To avoid her mother until she had to come home and eat. Where she would no doubt scavenge for whatever she could find, most likely devouring two packets of two minute instant noodles. With this in mind she shot off a quick reply to Lexa.
Hey Lexa, yeah I’ve got your laptop,
but would it be possible for me to
meet you somewhere to give it back?
My mother just got home and I need an
Without waiting for a reply, knowing that she’d check it once she was in the car, Clarke swung the backpack over her shoulders and clambered out the window and down the side of the house towards the driveway where her car was currently parked alongside Abby’s. Clicking the button on her keys to unlock the car, Clarke saw the orange flash of the lights indicating it was unlocked.
She climbed in the driver’s seat before reversing out the driveway and driving around the corner to wait for Lexa to reply. It was just her luck, as she pulled around the corner, she felt the vibration of the phone against her thigh. Pulling over on the side of the road, she connected the bluetooth of her phone to her cars sound system, and opened messages to see what Lexa said.
Yeah that’s fine, I’ve just headed up to Arkadia
Oval so if you wanted to meet me there then
that would be awesome! Thanks Clarke
No worries, I’ll see you there shortly.
After sending the initial message about her laptop to Clarke, Lexa decided that maybe it was time to get rid of some of her pent up anger and energy. So, quickly changing into a pair of sports shorts, her training jersey and grabbing both her boots and the bag of soccer balls which she kept in her room, she climbed back into her car and headed up towards the oval. Being a synthetic pitch, the nets were always left up which made practicing at any time a lot easier.
Pulling in the car park alongside the ground, Lexa got out of her car and started pulling on her white / orange Nike Mercurial Superfly 6’s. Neatly tying the laces, she grabbed the balls out of the boot, pulling one of of the bag to dribble, and strode down the small hill and onto the pitch. The feeling of the slightly spongy turf beneath her feet was like heaven, it was like a second home to her. The closer she got to the goal mouth on the far side of the pitch, the more Lexa energy she seemed to gain. Often bouncing around on her toes, skipping side to side or flicking her ankles up in an attempt to warm up some of her muscles.
Arriving at her destination, Lexa dropped the bag which held her phone, wallet and keys, as well as a drink bottle full of water and began pulling the balls out, 6 in total. Pushing them all towards the edge of the 18 yard box, she lined up her first shot. When she took shots, she typically aimed to get it just inside the post, furthest away from the keeper so that it was harder to save. The first shot went right down the middle. Shaking her head in frustration, Lexa walked back to the rest of the balls and pushed them all into their spots and lined them up. Second one hit the post and came back, the third, exactly where she wanted it to.
After that, her shots were pretty much perfect. Alternating between her left and right feet, Lexa slotted each ball just past the post, some hitting the top right and left corners, others the bottom corners. She’d been banging goals in left and right when she began to hear the sound of a car engine, which was followed by the heavy bass of whatever song the owner was listening to.
Shrugging off the distraction the engine and music brought to her shooting, Lexa retrieved the balls from the back of the net and began to reset herself for the next lot. She’d scored the first four of the set when she heard the gate to the field swing open and slam shut. Hitting one more in, which sailed neatly into the top right corner from a little ways out side of the 18 yard box. Not that she was showing off or anything, but she did try and make that last shot a little more spectacular than she needed to.
Turning back around to take her final shot of the set, a gleaming white Ford caught her eyesight as the sun reflected off the front windscreen into her eyes. Seeing that car could only mean that Clarke, or someone with the same car and number plate was here. Sure enough, after looking around, Lexa spied Clarke walking across the oval towards her, with her laptop in hand. Rather than taking the last shot, Lexa decided to instead take a drink break, and have some of her water now that Clarke was here. Smiling as she got closer.
“Hey hey! Long time no see” Lexa says once Clarke is within earshot.
Grinning back at her, Clarke replies “Oh really, I could’ve sworn I saw you just earlier today, but then again, that could’ve been any old brunette” which caused Lexa to huff in amusement, not wanting to give Clarke the satisfaction of getting a full blown laugh out of her, despite the comedic retort she just gave. The two fell into awkward silence which seemed to stretch for an eternity before both girls tried to speak at once. Realising this, they burst out laughing before Lexa gestured at Clarke letting her know that she should go first.
“That last shot you just took was pretty awesome not going to lie, have you been playing for long?” Clarke sounded genuinely awestruck as she spoke. Looking more than uncomfortable, Lexa went beet red before answering.
“Oh, thank you, it was nothing really but yeah I’ve been playing since I was 6, so about 12 years now, give or take” Not really knowing how to respond to that Clarke shuffled on her feet, eventually coming up with something to say.
“Wow, that’s impressive, I think I played one season when I was 8 or 9 and hated it haha. Anyway, I brought you your laptop, sorry it took so long to get here.”
“Haha yeah soccer definitely isn’t for everyone, and I saw that, thank you! I wouldn’t have been able to do much homework tonight without that, it’s got all my notes on it, so you’re a lifesaver”
“I’m just happy to lend a hand, but anyway, I can’t stay for long, and you’re obviously busy so I’ll leave you to it. See you tomorrow Lexa” After saying her goodbye Lexa watched Clarke turn around and start heading back towards her car. Deciding not to stay too much longer herself, Lexa put her laptop down by her bag and ran towards the last ball that she hadn’t shot before Clarke arrived, Picking up pace as she got closer, Lexa artfully side footed the ball into the top left hand corner watching it swerve and dip as it went.
With her energy replenished from the momentary break, Lexa surged forward and picked up all 6 balls, knocking them back to the 18 yard box for what would be her final round of shots. Top right, top left, bottom right, bottom left, bottom left again and finally she hit the last one in such a way that it would come off the crossbar so she could run in and volley it back into the goal, which she did with the precision that comes from taking the same shot over and over again.
Internally celebrating that it had actually come off, unlike the last several she had attempted which had either gone over the bar initially, or she’d mistimed the volley and skied the ball or it had skewed wide off her boot, Lexa grabbed the ball bag, and begun collecting the balls, which thankfully were all in the goal so she didn’t have too far to walk.
Checking her phone she had several notifications. A few texts from her mum and brother about dinner tonight and would she be able to make it because there was parent teacher interviews on at school which Indra had taken Aden to, one from Clarke, sent as she arrived at Arkadia Oval, and then a couple of game notifications telling her that she needed to come back because they wanted to see her everyday.
She quickly cleared all the game notifications. Going back into her families group chat, she saw that both her mum and Aden had sent a couple of messages each.
Are you able to cook dinner tonight?
Lex Lex Lex, do the burgers, I’ve been craving
one all day, and I’m not in the mood for pies tonight,
what do you say?
There’s a few options in either the fridge
or freezer … There should be pies, some
mince, possible some beef patties for burgers.
Don’t listen to Aden, you get to make the choice.
Yeah but burgers Lex, come on, pleaseeeee
Rolling her eyes at her brother and his insistent antics and chuckling at how keen he was for the burgers as opposed to spaghetti bolognaise or meat pies, she decided that she would do the burgers, because she herself had been craving one for a while and the thought of a big fat beef burger with cheese, tomato sauce, and veggies would be exactly what she needed to satisfy that craving.
Hey Mum, yeah I can do dinner
tonight, and despite Aden’s pestering
I’ll cook the burgers, I’ve actually
been craving one myself so it works
Hitting send, she locked her phone, slipped it into her bag and started walking back over to where she parked her car. Loading the balls back into the boot of her car, she went and sat on the curb of the car park to take her boots off. As much as artificial turf was great, the little black ball things that they lay over the top get everywhere, like Lexa had found some in her bedroom, when she’d left her boots outside last time she kicked a ball up there, it was ridiculous.
Now that her boots were off, and the balls were in the car along with her laptop, and essentials. She decided that heading home was going to be the best option. Ever since her mum and brother had brought food up, Lexa’s stomach had started growling, begging to be fed. Not wanting to get in the way of her hungry stomach, Lexa drove off home, taking all the shortcuts so she’d get there faster.
Alright, alright, alright - so new chapter is coming a little sooner than usual because, I have a early start tomorrow morning so figured you'd want the chapter sooner rather than later.
As always, I hope you like it and I'd be more than appreciative if you let me know what you think of it either here, down in the comments or on tumblr at sticks-n-kicks
The week finished off pretty smoothly after that for Lexa. Nothing overly dramatic happened, she had soccer training on Wednesday night, which turned out to be the coldest night that June had seen in 20 years, dropping below 7ºC. Lexa also coached Aden’s team on Thursday night plus, she found time to help Aden with his homework right before they left as well.
Friday was different though. Lexa was pumped for the weekend ahead and the fact that she had soccer on Saturday was a huge boost to her mood. Fridays were always her favourite day of the school week, seconded by Wedesday’s. This was only because she had sport on both those days, and days like today where it was raining meant that they were playing indoor soccer.
Friday’s were also Lexa’s favourite for another reason. She got last period off, which meant that she got to leave at the start of lunch. Instead of finishing at 3pm like everyone else, she got to leave at 1pm. Parking her car in the school car park and grabbing her bag, Lexa walked across the playground with her head held high. All of yesterday all anyone could talk about was Finn and Bellamy showing her who the boss was.
She spent that Thursday avoiding being around people as much as possible. That was, until Clarke picked up on the harsh things they were saying. Squashing that gossip as fast as she could, Clarke set out on a mission to find Lexa and let her know that none of the things people were saying was true. But alas, Clarke had no luck.
Lexa was the master at hiding, and when she wished not to be found, she wasn’t. So when she got wind that Clarke was looking for her, thinking the worst, she’d hid. Thankfully Lexa didn’t have any classes with Clarke on Thursday, so she didn’t have to try overly hard to avoid her. That was, until Clarke begun texting her.
Just wanted to let you know
that none of those rumours going
around about you have been started
by me. I’m really sorry that you’re
having to deal with this, but if you could
just let me know you’re alright, that’d
Staring down at her phone, Lexa couldn’t believe her eyes. Clarke was openly defying the rumours and actively seeking to shut them down. But still, Lexa had only really had Lincoln and Anya for so long, so she wasn’t used to having other people in her corner. Obviously Anya and Lincoln had been trying to shut down the gossip, but it was spreading like wildfire. Not even getting the death stare from Anya was deterring the people.
But that was yesterday, and although people were still talking a little bit, which was bound to happen, Lexa wouldn’t let it stop her today. Usually people just forgot about her and the embarrassing things that happened to her, well everyone but Anya at least. Hearing the bell ring, Lexa walked into roll call and took her seat, pulling her headphones and book out and getting comfy for the 15 mins of relative peace she knew wouldn’t last.
Hitting play on her playlist “All Four Corners of The Earth” which featured her favourite female artist from all over, she begun reading, just as ‘Girlfriend’ by Bea Miller came on. Feeling like something a bit different as she got further and further into the song, she added ‘Goon Squad’ by Ripe into the mix, and started tapping out the beat on her thighs when it started playing. Getting thoroughly entranced with the chapter she was on, Lexa was pulled out of her novel as a shadow was suddenly cast over her. Peering over the edge of her book, she noticed that it was a girl, more specifically Anya.
If the tough exterior which oozed boredom and badassery didn’t give it away, then the black boots, grey skinny jeans and leather jacket which she wore certainly did. Pulling one of her headphones out, Lexa looked up at Anya, she looked exhausted.
“Hey An, what’s up? You look terrible” After receiving a glare from Anya, she waits a beat before answering.
“Don’t even start me Lex, do you know how hard this maths assignment is? And I got bloody paired up with Finn.” Dropping her gaze, Lexa couldn’t even form a response. She was glad that she didn’t have to deal with him, but holy shit, Anya had to. Finn had a habit of saying whatever came to his mind regardless of how much they could affect another person. For that reason, she was glad Anya was a tough mother fucker.
Anya wouldn’t take any shit from him, but by the same token, there was only so much she could put up with before she snapped. And Lexa certainly didn’t want Anya to do anything that could get her in trouble. Her mind started working in overdrive until the feeling of Anya placing her hand comfortingly on her shoulder brought her back to reality. Looking up at the other girl, Lexa could see that Anya knew what she was thinking, and was offering support, even if she didn’t have the words to express it.
“Are you gonna be alright now?” Anya said after another moment or two of silence and continued on after receiving a small nod. “I know how you think Lex, and I’m not gonna kill him, well not yet anyway. He’s an absolute dick, but he’s definitely not worth the trouble it would take to hide the body.”
With a huff of amusement, Lexa shook her head, balling her hands and placing her thumbs on the part between her eye socket and the bridge of her nose, she looked skyward for a second before removing her hands and sharing a look with Anya, a look that meant more than just we’ll be right. It was a look that they’d only shared a handful of times before and was one that held a lot of meaning for both Lexa and Anya, and so as a result, it was used sparingly.
It was used once when Lexa’s father had passed away, a second time when Anya had made it into the state soccer team ahead of Lexa and then now, which made it the third time. And although they had non-verbally shared the message, sometimes it helped to verbalise it. In particular it helped Lexa remember that she wasn’t alone.
“Oso throu daun ogeda” (We fight together)
Repeating it back to Anya, Lexa felt a little more at ease. She didn’t feel as worried or nervous about receiving any backlash from Finn and co. now that he was supposed to be working with Anya. With a sigh at hearing the bell go, Anya gave Lexa’s shoulder one more squeeze before heading out of the room to her own roll call.
Deciding that she wasn’t going to get anymore reading done, Lexa slipped her bookmark in and closed the book, neatly placing it back in her bag. As the masses swarmed into the building and towards their rooms the noise level picked up exponentially. Turning her music volume up two notches, Lexa did her best to ignore the headache she could feel building at the base of her skull.
Taking some Nurofen to help relieve herself of the headache, Lexa stood up after the bell had rung and begrudgingly moved onto maths for the first period of the day. Spying Clarke sitting in the seat next to hers again, she was met with a warm smile and friendly wave from the other girl, who didn’t seem to notice the stares of her classmates. Or if she did, then she didn’t care.
Matching Clarke’s smile with one of her own, she walked into class offering a quick ‘hi’ to Clarke, before taking her seat and pulling out her textbook, exercise book and pencil case. As she turned back around to Clarke to ask her a question, it died on her lips as Titus came marching into the classroom with a look of pure disgust plastered on his face.
The entire class exchanged nervous glances with each other. The tension in the air was palpable. But their worry faded to nothing when Titus cleared his throat and explained that he had to go and deal with an administration issue and so they could use this time to work on their assignments if they so please.
As Titus left, the chatter of the room gradually picked up until most people were talking with each other in a volume that could almost be mistaken for yelling. Lexa turned around to look at Clarke who was looking back at her with enthusiastic eyes, ready to smash out this assignment. Well, this certainly wasn’t what Lexa thought would be happening, but she was glad that her partner was just as excited to get this finished as she was.
It was just as well that Lexa had brought all her resources with her, and by the looks of things, Clarke had as well.
“Hey, so, I know we worked on these together on Wednesday afternoon, but I may have done some minor tweaking of mine, and started to draw up a little map of what it’d look like on the poster sheet which we have to submit, I hope you don’t mind”
“No, of course I don’t mind Clarke, it’s nice working with someone who’s proactive about the whole ‘ getting the assignment done as early as possible to then fine tune it in the final days before we submit it’ for a change. And just so you know, I tweaked mine as well”
Laughing airly at Lexa’s comment, the way she did back at the house party talking with her friend, nearly a week ago now. It was so weird to think that in such a short space of time Clarke and Lexa had gone from being classmates and peers to something which was not quite friends.
Something about Lexa had intrigued Clarke that night, and for whatever reason, she had followed that intrigue and decided to work with other girl. She didn’t know a lot about Lexa, but that wasn’t necessarily out of choice, rather, it was due to the fact that they had nothing in common whatsoever.
Getting underway, the pair showed each other the minor tweaks they’ve made, offering up comments of approvement or suggestion when appropriate. They had been working non stop all class, to a point where they had nearly completed the whole thing, and still with a week to go. Hearing the bell ring, the girls began to pack up, there was only so much maths they could handle.
“Hey Lexa, we’re still good for Monday afternoon aren’t we? To finish up this assignment yeah?”
“Yeah we’re still good, I’ve had to cancel tutoring, but the parents ...” As she said this she saw Clarke’s eyes go wide, and then cloud with guilt but before Lexa could say any more, Clarke jumped in.
“Oh shit, I didn’t mean to make you cancel anything, I’m so sorry, we can reschedule if you need to, I’m free almost any other day except Tuesday”
“Clarke, don’t worry about it, this is the first time I’m doing the assignment with someone who actually puts in and does half the work, plus, Monday was my most free afternoon anyway, so it’s fine”
“If you’re sure then?” I don’t want you to cancel your life cause of an assignment, plus it’s not like we have that much left to do anyway.”
“100% sure, don’t worry about it okay? I can handle my own life, and I’ve chosen to do this assignment with you so that’s that, end of discussion.” Having not realised how long their discussion had taken up, Clarke was taken aback when, after turning to make her way out the door she was met by a hoard of students trying to force their way into it.
Finally getting out into the corridor, the girls stopped walking to figure out what class they had next. Seeing Lexa pull out her schedule, Clarke thought that might be a good idea, so did the same. Finding the box marked ‘Friday Period 2,’ Clarke saw that she had history. Great.
It wasn’t that she didn’t like history. Clarke actually loved it. It was definitely one of her favourite subjects, or at least it would’ve been, had they had any other teacher. Clarke was one of those people who was completely and utterly captivated by things of the past which had catastrophic global outcomes.
If Clarke had history, that meant Lexa also had history, and that meant opportunity. Opportunity for what though? Clarke had absolutely no idea, she didn’t even know what she doing. Plucking up some courage, she decided to take a leap.
“Hey Lexa, mind if I accompany you to class?”
“Clarke. You do realise that we’re in the same class right?”
“What? Pfft. Yeah, I know, just figured we could walk together as opposed to going to the same place separately.” She got a sceptical and disbelieving look from Lexa at that reply, but a few seconds later the other girl’s face warped into a smile before she answered.
“Yeah, sure, why not”
With that settled, the two walked side by side along the quiet, empty hallways until they reached their classroom. Taking an extra few steps forward, Clarke managed to get ahead of Lexa so she could hold the door open. In an over dramatic fashion, Clarke, swept her hands in such a way which signalled for Lexa to go first.
Hearing Lexa mutter, ‘my hero’ just loud enough for Clarke to hear as she walked past caused a minor blush to work its way onto Clarke’s cheeks. Willing it to go away before she entered the classroom, Clarke took a deep breath and followed Lexa in. Shaking it off, she walked in behind Lexa and was immediately met by the eyes of all 23 of her classmates.
Lexa had stopped just inside the door, and the teacher was now looking at the two of them with a quizzical expression waiting for an explanation, judging by the fact that Kane was sitting there with one eyebrow raised and was tapping his finger on the desk.
“Sorry we’re late sir, we were discussing out maths assignment and didn’t realise what the time was” Clarke spoke up, hoping that it would be a sufficient explanation.
“Don’t make a habit of it ladies, sit” He replied, with a nod at their empty desks.
Clarke watched as Lexa surged forward without so much as a noise, sat down and began pulling out her laptop to take notes on whatever it was that Kane was talking about. Following a second behind, Clarke did the same, except instead of Microsoft OneNote, she opened up chrome and began scrolling through facebook.
This wasn’t going to be a very enjoyable lesson, that much, Clarke could already tell. The second hint that gave it away was the fact that Kane had a close passage up on the projector and everyone else was madly hurrying to fill it in, hoping that they got it right on the first time. Deciding that maybe she should get it down before it was taken away, Clarke began typing out the words, leaving a couple of underscores to indicate where the blanks were.
Time seemed to pass by so slowly for Clarke, but before she knew it, the class was over. She didn’t want to be here for the rest of the day. It was all downhill from here, well at least after art, that’s when the decline started. After recess, she had art, which was immediately followed by languages and then to end the day she had sewing.
While she felt that both of those last classes were important in their own respective ways, Clarke didn’t feel the need to be studying them at school. She gazed out of the window longingly as she sat in languages class. Having already tried learning another language, Clarke knew she always struggled retaining the information which was taught in another language.
Sewing took time. That was why she couldn’t do it. Clarke had very little patience when it came to repairing or making clothes. Having had a job since she was 15, Clarke had been buying her own clothes, phones, laptop and everything. Everything except her car. The car was given to Clarke by her father.
Closing her eyes for what seemed like a second, Clarke was awoken by the sound of the bell being rung for the final time of the week. Suddenly feeling a lot more alert, Clarke had a spring in her step as she packed up what little she had gotten out for sewing and headed out of the building and down to the carpark.
As she got into her car and started the engine, she mentally went over what she had to do this weekend. Pulling out of the carpark, Clarke went into autopilot following the usual streets she would to get home. Arriving home, Clarke was shocked to find her mother’s car still parked in the driveway. Usually when it came to the weekends Abby worked a double shift, came home, slept for a solid 12 hours and then went back and did it all again.
Walking into the house, already being in a sour mood, Clarke saw that her mother was sitting on the lounge, staring at the blacked out screen of the TV. Alarm bells started going off in Clarke’s mind because when it came to Abby Griffin, she would rather be caught dead than doing nothing. Even when she had downtime, Abby would either be watching TV, sleeping or doing some form of work.
As much as Clarke and her mother hadn’t gotten along, she still cared about her. Sure she was mad at Abby, which seemed to be a perpetual state that Clarke lived in, but she couldn’t just ignore the odd sensation that had started to form in the pit of her stomach. Slowly walking towards the woman sitting on the lounge, Clarke started calling her mum’s name.
Getting no response, Clarke carefully ventured forward, skirting to the side a little bit so that Abby could possibly see her approaching and make some sort of verbal or physical recognition. As she got further around the lounge, Clarke noticed a bottle of Jack Daniels standing on the coffee table in front of Abby thankfully with the lid still on, as well as a photograph of the three of them in Abby’s hand. But possibly the most surprising thing that Clarke noted was the tears which seemed to line Abby’s cheeks and pooled in the corners of her eyes.
Abby Griffin did not cry. That was something which Clarke had grown aware of as she grew up. She didn’t cry at the funerals of her parents, only brought about by a drunk driver careening into them and pushing their car down a ravine. Clarke was 8 at the time, but couldn’t remember seeing Abby shed a tear.
The other time that Clarke would’ve thought it would be acceptable for Abby to cry was at Jake’s funeral. But that didn’t happen either. Instead, in both these times, Abby drowned herself in her work. Often taking on more shifts than she should, Abby basically lived at the hospital during both these times. So to see her here was a complete shock to Clarke.
She had no idea how she was supposed to respond to this situation. Doing what she thought would be a good idea, Clarke carefully picked up the bottle of liquor before walking over to the cupboard where it was stored and placed it back. Step one complete, and still no reaction from her mother.
Next, Clarke walked back over to where Abby was sitting and sat next to her, hoping she didn’t overwhelm the woman, she just sat there. Saying nothing, just watching. After a few minutes, Clarke softly called out to her, but still didn’t get a reaction. Finally, she placed her hand on her mother’s forearm. Not expecting any form of response, Clarke almost jumped back when she felt a hand get laid upon hers.
Clarke watched Abby blink a couple of times before looking around. When she noticed the photograph lying on her lap, more tears started to roll down her cheeks. Seeing Abby take a deep breath before looking back up at her, Clarke squeezed her arm gently, offering support, comfort, whatever it was that Abby needed.
Forcing out a soft “Clarke” from around the lump in her throat, Abby’s tears began to fall more consistently now, and all Clarke plans for the weekend went straight out the window at this point. As Abby slumped sideways until her head was resting on Clarke’s shoulder, the only thing on her mind was her mum and being there for her. Realising that she had no idea what to do in this sort of situation, Clarke decided that she would just go with the flow, it didn’t matter what she did, as long as she was there.
Alrighty guys, we have a new chapter for you!!
As per usual, I hope you enjoy, let me know what you think either here or on tumblr at sticks-n-kicks, it'd be really cool!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Clarke and Abby spent the next couple of hours just sitting with each other on the lounge. There weren’t a lot of words were spoken. There didn’t need to be though. Simply having the other person close after so long was both a comfort and extremely uncomfortable at the same time. Clarke was still trying to process what was happening. Her thoughts were running wild with endless possibilities which finally caused her mother to crack.
Did something happen at work? Was she fired? Was she sick? Did she get a terminal illness? Was Clarke going to become an orphan? While all this was passing through Clarke’s brain, she didn’t even realise that her mother had turned to face her. Feeling her mother place her hands on top of Clarke’s which were resting on her knees, Clarke looked up at her mother and for the first time wasn’t internally fuming.
“Clarke” Abby started, clearing her throat so her voice would sound somewhat normal. “What happened to us? What have I done? We used to be such good friends, we used to have movie nights together on Fridays” Sniffling a bit as she finished, Abby looked over at Clarke who had tears starting to form in her eyes.
Huffing out a watery laugh, Clarke replied, “I don’t even know, one day we were and the next we weren’t” Wiping her eyes, Clarke tried to get her thoughts organised so she could continue. On one hand she wanted to be furious with her mother, for basically abandoning her and only feeling remorse now, 6 months on, but on the other hand, she just wanted her mother back that whole time and now here she was, trying to make amends.
Deciding to extend her own olive branch and try and salvage whatever was left of their relationship, Clarke apologised. She apologised for being a total bitch for the last little while. She apologised for going out of her way to make Abby frustrated, and just being a general nuisance. All the while, tears were rolling down the sides of her face. Once the hiccups started, trying to get more air into her lungs, Clarke started to slow down and breathe.
She couldn’t look at her mother while she said all this, too worried about seeing disgust and anger painted across Abby’s face. After not hearing anything from her mother, Clarke took a deep breath and opened her eyes. Instead of seeing all the things she was worried about, all Clarke saw in Abby’s eyes, were warmth, love and remorse.
“I would never hold any of that against you Clarke, at the end of the day, we were both grieving and had our own ways of dealing with it, some ways were better than others, but I also want to apologise for leaving you to your own devices for the last little while. I promise you, that from now on I’ll try harder”
Hearing those words caused a fresh set of tears to form in Clarke’s eyes, although the remained balancing on the precipice of her eyelid. Threatening to fall, but not. Surging forward, she wrapped her arms around her mum, trapping her in a hug that almost felt like Abby was Clarke’s lifeline and if she let go, she’d be lost to the abyss of the world. Without missing a beat, Abby’s arms flew around Clarke and held her in an equally bone crushing hug.
Staying in that same position for a few minutes, both women missing the physical contact of the other, Clarke pulled away first, feeling her nose start to run the way it always does when mass crying takes place, and rather than wipe it on Abby’s shirt, she felt it would be better to use a tissue. Following her daughters lead, Abby also grabbed a tissue and started dabbing at her eyes, making sure her mascara hadn’t run too much.
Looking over at Abby, Clarke choked out a laugh before she could stop herself. Throwing her daughter a challenging look, Abby couldn’t help but snort out a small laugh of her own, which only set Clarke off and before they knew it, both mother and daughter were lost in a fit of laughter. As it died down, Clarke looked across at Abby.
“I missed this, I missed you mum”
“I missed you too Clarke” Taking a breath, Abby was about to apologise again, before Clarke interrupted stating that they’d already had too many apologies for a lifetime. Falling into a comfortable silence, they were brought back to reality by the sound of Clarke’s phone going off. Not once or twice, but constantly. Text messages were coming through left right and centre, and that could only mean one thing. The next episode of The 100 had come out, and both Raven and Octavia were watching it.
Not even looking at the notifications, Clarke silenced her phone and slid it onto the coffee table before settling back against the lounge. Afterall, people were more important than things and as such she was more inclined to spend this newfound time with Abby than on her phone, messaging her friends. Realising that her mum would usually be either already at work or getting ready to leave, Clarke inquired into why she wasn’t.
“I decided to have the weekend off, I felt like I needed some time to get my priorities set straight again, and so going into work would’ve been counterproductive”
“Yeah that’s fair enough, I’m glad” Clarke replied before they fell into another period of silence. Having not had much communication with her mother over the past 6 months, Clarke had no idea what to talk about. Would things pick back up where they left off or would they have to forge a new relationship? Clarke simply didn’t know. What she did know was that they used to get a kick out of watching classic 90’s TV shows together, and so with that, she decided to throw the F.R.I.E.N.D.S discs into the DVD player.
Turning around and heading back to the couch, Clarke sat down, waiting and watching her mum, waiting for her reaction. Hearing the lively tones of the theme song the corners of Abby’s mouth creep ever upwards, morphing into a full blown smile, reaching her eyes, which are twinkling with happiness. The episode starts playing, and the title ‘The One With Ross’s Sandwich’ pops up on the screen as they settle in for the evening.
Four episodes later saw both women, stretching out, trying to ease their discomfort as they’d been sitting for almost 3 hours now and their legs had pins and needles in them and they were both getting a bit peckish. Silently, without needing to talk, Abby walked over to the pantry while Clarke went to the kitchen and raided the fridge. Coming up with nothing that could be made easily, Clarke suggested they order some thai food from the shops around the corner.
Knowing that the only way her mum would say yes, was if Clarke cooked the rice at home, and promised that they could get the Massaman Beef, plus an extra Pad Thai, she set about on her mission to convince her mum. Abby gave in surprisingly easy for once which was a nice change, and so half an hour later saw the both of them both engrossed in another episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S eating their meals. Once they’d finished eating, Clarke switched to something which could be considered the similar in genre, but was a whole lot more modern, Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Clearing up the dishes and putting the leftovers in the fridge once they’d finished a couple of episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Clarke realised it was almost 11pm when she next checked her phone. Skimming through all the notifications, there was nothing of much importance really. Raven and O were ranting about the new episode, loving where the season was going, but ranting on about all the minor negative aspects as well. However as she scrolled, occasionally laughing to herself at her friends’ antics, she began drifting in and out of sleep.
Realising that she was going to fall asleep on the couch, which always left her with a sore back, Clarke dragged her reluctant body off the couch, groaning as she stood up and bid her mother a goodnight, giving her a quick hug before trudging down the hall to her bedroom where she crashed as soon as her head hit the pillow. Although she was exhausted beyond belief, Clarke had a fitful night’s sleep, waking several times for various reasons.
When morning came however, the smell of pancake batter and maple syrup filled her nose as Clarke got closer and closer to the kitchen. Expecting to find the remnants of her mother’s cooking, and a stack of dishes which needed to be washed, as was often the case when her mother left early for work on a Saturday morning. Clarke was nicely surprised to find her mother still there, dressed simply in jeans and a t-shirt, no sign of her hospital attire in sight.
The sunlight filtered through the gaps in Lexa’s curtains, gently bringing her out of her slumber on this fine Saturday morning. Looking over at her clock, she saw that it was 8:30am and was probably as good a time to get up as any. So seizing the day, she was out of bed in an instant, grabbing her skins, soccer shorts, sports bra and plain t-shirt she made her way down towards the bathroom in preparation for her shower. Emerging half an hour later, with her hair washed and feeling fresh, Lexa was ready for her soccer match later in the afternoon.
Lexa had always been an early riser, well compared to the rest of her family. Often sleeping in until early in the afternoon, Lexa couldn’t understand why. Being in bed any time after 9 felt weird for her. Doing her best not to make too much noise, Lexa made her way to the kitchen. The question now, was what was she going to have for breakfast. Lexa debated whether or not to make bacon and eggs, but upon searching the fridge, she found neither.
Resigning herself to the fact that she might just have to have Weetbix, Vegemite toast and a glass of orange juice, Lexa set about getting all the necessary foods out. Truth be told, she didn’t mind any of these foods, but when you have it for breakfast every week day, it can be nice to sometimes spice thing up a bit once the weekend comes around.
Moving both her breakfast and herself outside onto the back deck, she found a nice sunny spot to occupy before tucking in and devouring the food in front of her. This was probably one of Lexa’s favourite times of the day. When some of her neighbours were starting to wake up and tick jobs of the list that had to be done over the weekend, others had been up for a little while already, and her house was nice and quiet.
Finishing her toast, cereal and orange juice, Lexa went to brush the crumbs off her blue and yellow soccer shorts before standing and carrying her plates back inside, but seeing the trampoline tilted up leaning on it’s side and the soccer ball on the lawn between her and the trampoline.
Narrowing her eyes in at the challenge before her, Lexa walked up onto the lawn and begun setting herself up for the free kick. In a split second she’d gone from her backyard to the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Fully immersing herself in her make believe world, Lexa looked over to the clock on the digital screen. It was the 90th minute, going into injury time. Australia was playing France, the scores locked at 1 a piece.
Sam Kerr had been taken down just outside the 18 yard box and Lexa was the free kick specialist. Placing the ball down behind the referee’s semicircle of white foam, she lined up her shot. Taking a step back, then another, and one to the left, Lexa got herself mentally prepared for the shot. Envisaging the ball sailing over the three man wall and neatly into the top corner, she waited. The crowd held their breath.
The silence was deafening. From there, everything happened in slow motion. The whistle was blown, she paced towards the ball and hit it as clean as she could, the perfect amount of both topspin and curl and the sweet sound that the ball made as she kicked it sent goosebumps over her body. Leaning around the wall to follow the balls movements, she saw it fly past the keeper and into the goal. It was over, the world cup was won.
Breathing a sigh of relief, she heard in amongst the crows a single pair of hands clapping. Blinking her eyes at the harshness of the sun, Lexa turned around and saw her mum standing in the doorway with a beaming smile on her face.
“That looked spectacular Lex” Indra commented, her smile getting bigger at her daughters blush. “Tell me, where’d you go? You didn’t even hear me open the door or call your name.” More than a little embarrassed at being caught, Lexa’s blush spread further up her cheeks at her mother’s latest comment.
“Um, nowhere. Pfft. I was just making sure, I could still hit the ball exactly where I wanted to off a free kick.” Making sure she was part of the real world again, Lexa turned back around to where she’d left her breakfast stuff, quickly moving towards it and scooping it up before carrying it inside before rinsing the dishes and placing them in the dishwasher.
The rest of the morning was spent, sitting around the kitchen bench talking with her mum about anything and everything. They talked about school, which was going well, they talked about soccer, which Lexa claimed was always the highlight of her week no matter what had happened, and despite the outcome of the game. When she was on the field, she felt free. There was no assignments to be done. There was no homework either for that matter, there was just her, her teammates and the opposition.
With Indra being one of her biggest supporters since day one, Lexa was able to tune everything but the sound of her voice on the sidelines, out when she wanted to. At certain points however, she could tune her mum out and solely focus on the game at hand. In the past, Indra just made small comments to herself mostly, but as the years had progressed, she had become more vocal, often sassing the opposition or the referee depending on their decision or the outcome of a call.
By the time 11:30am rolled around, Lexa had made some food for after the game, collected up the rest of her soccer kit, packed it into a bag and was on her way out to the car. Having to be at the game an hour early was both a blessing and a curse. No matter how many games Lexa played, she always got nervous. She’d told Lincoln this at one stage and he’d simply said that it meant she cared about it. And oh boy, she certainly cared about it.
Pulling into the carpark, Lexa spotted Anya’s car almost instantly. Anya being the coach and Lexa being the first one to arrive, they always showed up at similar times, one usually just before the other. Jumping out of her car, Lexa made her way over towards the three rows of benches which sat in front of the clubhouse at one end of the field. Sitting down, she quickly pulled her t-shirt off and swapped it for her light blue and yellow trimmed Arkadia FC jersey which sported the number 13 on it’s back.
The good thing about the soccer culture was that no one cared about people changing from normal clothes to their kit. Initially Lexa had been shy about changing her shirt in public, but when it was a team of all women, she’d come to learn that it didn’t matter, half the team fully changed on the side of the field anyway. Opening up her bag and pulling out her soccer socks, shin pad sleeves and boots, she began slipping them on one by one, starting with the sleeves.
Anya joined her on the benches a minute later and began doing the same, stripping out of her work shirt and putting the Arkadia jersey on, the number 4 a beacon of light in comparison to the blue of the shirt. Anya was partnered with Lexa in the centre back position. Being one of the more experienced of the players, she sat in as the stopper while Lexa, who had the mental ability to both read the game really well and direct traffic was the sweeper.
They hadn’t always had the seamless partnership that they now had, and it had been quite rocky for a couple of games, but the pair had learned how the other played and so knew what to expect and what to do. As a result of this, their team, while not in the top 4 as of yet, had the equal second best defensive record. Only conceding a total of 7 goals in the 12 matches they’d played thus far in the season. But riding off the back of two consecutive wins, the team was on top of the world and ready to fight their way back into the top 4.
The rest of the squad started arriving intermittently over the course of the next 10-15 minutes. Knowing that it was only the reserve grade team playing first, some of the girls who were playing for first grade didn’t arrive until 1:30pm / 2pm. Grabbing a ball from the bag, Lexa and Anya moved a little further onto the field and began knocking the ball to each other. The others joined them, grabbing a few more balls to pass around until they were all out there passing, taking shots at goal or just talking.
Once they had the 16 who were on the match sheet for reserve grade, Lexa and Anya started the warm up. Gathering the team over on the sideline furthest away from the opposition, who were none other than the Mount Weather Strikers, in their red, white and blue kits. Not having enough players to field both a reserve and first grade squad, Mount Weather played their first grade team in reserves. While it wasn’t technically not allowed, it wasn’t in the spirit of the game.
Lining up along the halfway line so the manager’s could check that everyone was who it said they were, the nerves started to form again in the pit of Lexa’s stomach. The first 10 mins of the game, she was always buzzing around with nervous energy, after that she got settled in her game and became the fiercely composed defender that she was known for. Watching everyone move into their positions for the start of the match, Lexa rolled her neck twice, to ease some of the tension which had settled there.
It was almost serene, everyone standing around waiting for the whistle to blow, but as soon as it did, all bets were off and it was go hard or go home. The ball came back to her from the kick off and she held it up while looking around for the best option. Seeing the opposition striker come charging at her, with the practice and composure of years of training, she sent the ball wide to the right back. Exhaling the breath she didn’t know she was holding, she began instructing everyone.
Calling players to pick up the opposition coming through as they went on the attack, yelling at her team to push up and go on the counter in an attempt to catch Mount Weather out, and open the scoring. The first 15 minutes of the game went by with both teams sussing out the opposition, probing attacks which were taken back once no weak points had been found, defensive clearances which forced the opposition back to their own half to start again. Every time an attack came from Mount Weather, Lexa would drop back and sit a little deeper on the field waiting for the through balls she could collect and use to push her team forward.
The first half ended with the score remaining at 0-0. Her team were exhausted, they needed an extra boost. The second half started much the same way as the first. Both teams attempting to break through. Heads were beginning to drop as attack after attack came to nothing. Lexa remained positive though and sought out the bad balls in the hopes of sparking some sort of attack.
Which is why, 5 minutes before the end of the game, when Lexa saw a breakaway ball roll into space along the halfway line, she dashed forward, throwing every last bit of energy into scooping the ball up mere seconds before the central midfielder from Mount Weather came barreling towards it in an attempt to collect it herself. Having beat the midfielder, Lexa found herself in what felt like acres of space just outside the 18 yard box, jogging forward with the ball at her feet, with no one around her, it felt surreal.
Pushing the ball forward that little bit extra so she could get the pace and power behind the ball to send it past the keeper and into the goal, Lexa lined the shot up, as she got closer to the ball, she heard one of her teammates call out for the ball to end up by the back post. Changing her angle and hitting the ball in the direction of her teammate, she heard the connection as it came sweetly off her forehead and sailed past the keeper and in. Hearing the ball skate down the inside of the net and land on the ground, her team erupted into cheers. The deadlock had been broken.
The countdown to the final whistle was agonising, it couldn’t come soon enough, as Mount Weather launched attack after attack trying to bring the game back to level peggings. Relief filled Lexa and her breathing came easier. Yet again, she’d steered her team to a victorious outcome. This one was more special perhaps because Mount Weather were the top team in their comp.
Also I have a question, if anyone wants to answer and get some author / reader interaction going that’d be cool.
Okay so if you had 24 hours left to live how would you spend the time?
I’ll start, I’d definitely wanna spend it with the people who matter the most to me, and I’d just enjoy being with them. But I’d also wanna go out a live life to the max, so I’d push myself to do stuff I wouldn’t normally do, I’d talk to the cute baristas instead of watching from afar, I’d go skydiving, I’d climb the harbour bridge, I’d like to think I’d live it without worrying about what other people thought of me.
Hey guys, we're back again with another new chapter!
Let me know what you think, I really do appreciate it, and would love it if you did.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
After the elation and coming down from the high of beating the top team, all Lexa really wanted to do was to head home, take a nice hot bath and watching movies late into the night. But that certainly wasn’t even on the radar of the rest of her team’s plans. They all wanted to go out drinking, clubbing and get smashed as fast as possible. That was just how they celebrated.
Fortunately for Lexa, she was the queen of excuses and not showing up. After huddling up in the middle of the field and singing the team song, loud and proud, which, it was lucky there wasn’t any young children around. Some of the words were highly offensive to the majority of people who heard it from afar. So much so that they had to sing, la-la-la’s instead of some of the words in order to comply with some of the ruling from the new football association.
Most of the team, Lexa included, stayed on to watch the remainder of their squad play in the first grade match. Joining the rest of the girls on the sideline, as most of them had a beer, enjoying some of the last remnants of warmth that came from the sun this far into winter, Lexa was enjoying just being around other people while they were still in a pretty sober and pleasant state.
The banter that came off the sideline was worth staying for. Some of the girls were better at quick, one-liners than they were at playing the actual sport and so sitting next to them made watching all the more enjoyable as they commented on how, ‘if they were on the field they could’ve done that.’ The results of this game weren’t going according to plan though, 2-0 down with 15 mins to go, courtesy of an own goal, and an air swing which gifted Mount Weather’s first grade side with an early lead that Arkadia just struggled to chase down.
With 10 minutes to go, Lexa decided to head off. Unfortunately the first graders wouldn’t be able to snag the win, plus leaving now meant she missed the congestion in the car park as everyone tried to leave at once. The drive home was fairly quiet, Lexa revelling in the win, thinking back over the game and what they needed to do a bit of work on at training the following week. Looking back, there wasn’t any obvious weaknesses in the team. If anything they could always work on just passing the ball to each other and playing the easy option.
Pulling into the driveway, Lexa noticed there were two other cars parked on the street out the front of her house. Not recognising the number plates on each, she assumed that it was people who had parked and caught a bus into the city. Lexa wondered how many of her teammates would be doing the same thing before shrugging and grabbing her kit bag out of the car and heading inside.
“Hey mum, I’m home” Lexa called out as she closed the front door behind her. Hearing her mum call out a response, she decided to venture further into the house, rather than sneaking off to her room to grab a change of clothes and lock herself in the bathroom for the next hour or so. Dropping her bag by her bedroom door, she entered the kitchen and found Indra behind the stove, getting dinner organised, a simple spaghetti bolognese. Feeling her mouth start salivating at the smell, Lexa decided to took one more look around before heading to the bathroom.
She didn’t get that far though as she felt two arms wrap around her. Exclaiming in shock at the movement, she was ready to turn around and deck whoever had decided to surprise her, when she noticed how small the arms were. That could only mean it was Aden and now, she was so very glad she hadn’t gone with her instinct.
“Woah, hey there buddy” Lexa begun just as those two little arms retreated only as far as the hands, when little fingers began tickling her sides. Squirming and twisting, she managed to escape relatively unharmed, which was a relief, because Lexa really didn’t have the energy to fight off Aden at the moment.
“Hey Lex, how’d soccer go? You won right, please tell me you won?” Aden had always been Lexa’s biggest fan, and had nothing but admiration for his older sisters ability.
“Yeah, we won, beat the top team as well” Lexa exclaimed, beaming as she recalled the rush of energy she felt as the referee blew the whistle for the final time. “You going to play again next year? I bet your team are really missing that pace down the wing”
“You gotta sort that out with mum, she’s the one that said we can’t do everything.” Aden replied, pouting in frustration. “It’s not like I do THAT much stuff.” Laughing at her brother’s tendency to over dramatise the situation. The truth was that he did do a lot of stuff outside of school. He was part of the SRC (Student Representative Council) which meant that he was often involved in dances, school plays, fun runs, which all took up time, usually on a weeknight, so when it came to the weekend, Lexa couldn’t blame her mum for wanting to have some down time.
“Hey, how long til dinner, reckon there’s enough time for me to have a bath, my calves are killing me”
“Yeah go for it, dinners still another hour away, I’ve just started cooking, and the mince was frozen so that’ll take a bit longer than usual.”
Being given the nod of approval cause Lexa to have a spring in her step as she made her way around her brother and back in the direction of her room to grab clothes and her laptop so she could have a bit of music while she relaxed. Pausing slightly, she turned back to face her mum.
“Did you know there’s two cars parked out the front of our house? Black, with tinted windows?” Indra paused what she was doing momentarily, and Lexa saw the gears in her mind working, trying to figure out if she knew anyone with a black car. Realising that she wasn’t needed anymore, Lexa once again set off in the direction of the bedroom. After making it to her room with no further interruptions or last minute thoughts, Lexa stripper her socks, shin pads, and shirt off and then them in her washing basket.
Starting the water of the big corner bath and waiting to make sure that it was the right temperature, Lexa set her laptop up on the bench, next to the sink, making sure to leave plenty of room between the tap and the laptop. Opening it up and putting her password in, she opened up iTunes and decided to shuffle all of Taylor Swift’s albums together and that would be plenty of music to get her through the bath.
Stripping the rest of her clothes, Lexa settled herself neatly into the bath and leant back against the side, shivering as the cool surface made contact with her bare back. Feeling the water climb further and further up her skin, Lexa let the warmth envelop her as Wildest Dreams began playing. There was something about the instrument choice and Taylor’s voice that set Lexa’s mind at ease. The water level had risen to the top of her chest when she decided to turn it off, finally allowing herself to start stretching her calves out.
Groaning as she lengthened the muscles which had started to pull tight because of the cold, Lexa went through the process of pointing and lifting her toes in order to start to stretch out the calf. Repeating this action for 3 - 5 minutes, she decided to change it up a bit and start rotating her ankle, anti-clockwise first, and then finally clockwise. Feeling the discomfort no closer to easing Lexa begun realising that she’d probably have to use a foam roller as well which cause a groan to escape her lips for the second time since getting in the bath.
Hearing the guitar and vocals of ‘How You Get The Girl’ fade out and no song come on, Lexa surmised that her music had finished playing and it was probably a good time to hop out of the bath. Deciding that the water was too cold to let anyone else use the bath, Lexa pulled the plug, and watched the water slowly drain from the bath. She wasn’t going anywhere tonight so having prune-like fingers didn’t really matter all that much. Throwing a pair of tracksuit pants and a long sleeved Stussy shirt on, Lexa made her way out to the lounge room where she assumed her family would be.
Her assumptions were correct. Walking into the lounge room she spotted both Aden and Indra seated on the three-seater lounge, both with bowls of steaming hot spaghetti resting on their laps, while the news played on the TV.
Saturday had been a fairly easy day for Clarke. After having a nice slow breakfast with her mum, the pair decided to laze away the morning watching movies. Seeing as though Ant-Man and the Wasp was coming out fairly soon, Clarke suggested they watch Ant-Man, which then turned into them watching Captain America: Civil War. With the better half of the day now gone, and both women feeling like they should go out and face the day for at least an hour, they decided on heading down to the mall for a mooch around.
Both content just to aimlessly meander with no time constraints other than the 3 hours of free parking, or plan in place, just simply enjoying the feel of having the other back in their life. Pulling into the car park, Abby decided that lunch should be the first stop. Finding a nice little cafe in one of the quieter parts of the mall, Clarke and Abby found a table around the corner and away from the majority of prying eyes.
Having a quick look over the menu, Clarke liked the sound of the chicken schnitzel burger with a side of hot chips rather than the salad, and after informing Abby, who similarly felt that was going to be the way to go, offered to pay for the meal seeing as though it was her idea to actually go out. Being met with resistance, Clarke eventually gave in and let Abby order, but not before trying, and failing, one last time at offering.
With the orders placed, the mother and daughter sat silently at the table, having not really much clue what to talk about. In an attempt to break the ice, Abby surged forward with the safest possible conversation started of school and how that was going.
“It’s going alright, I mean it’s school. Not exactly the most enjoyable place to be, but having a lot of friends who mostly turn up definitely makes it easier.” Nodding her head at Clarke’s response, Abby didn’t really have much to go on. She went to the parent / teacher conferences a couple of weeks ago, and although having not talked to her daughter about what to expect, Abby was pleasantly surprised to hear that her daughter was a joy to teach and was an enthusiastic and active participant in all class debates.
Falling into comfortable silence, Clarke and Abby were content just to enjoy the company of the other woman. Their burgers arrived a short while later, and upon hearing their stomachs rumble in anticipation, they tucked in with no time to waste. Pausing their eating occasionally to take a sip of water, the burgers were devoured within a rather short space of time. Sighing with content at their now full stomachs, Abby made to stand up with Clarke following behind shortly.
As it had been a while since Abby had been to the mall, she decided to let Clarke take the lead. Having no goal in mind, nothing Clarke had a desire to seek out, the pair wandered the mall for a little more than an hour before realising that this was already too much exercise. After going around the loop once more, Clarke suggested that they head home, maybe watch another movie, if Abby felt like it of course.
“Yeah that sounds like a great idea, I was starting to feel a little bad going around in circles for the last hour without going into a store” She said with a laugh.
“Great, then to the house we retreat!” Clarke exclaimed.
Seeing as though they had barely been here more than 2 hours, there was no need to worry about whether or not they’d need to pay for parking, so without further ado, they hopped in the car and began the adventure that was the maze of the car park. Plugging her phone into the AUX cord that Abby had in her car, Clarke scrolled through her music until she found something that they both liked. Of Monsters And Men. Hearing the intro for ‘Dirty Paws’ come on, both mother and daughter began humming the tune as they started on the route home.
Arriving home, Clarke raced out of the car, into the house, wanting to claim the best seat for their movie or two or three. On her way in though, she swung past the pantry and grabbed out a bag of microwavable popcorn, cause what movie isn’t complete without it. By the time it had finished, Abby had made her way inside and stolen Clarke’s seat, put on Central Intelligence and started to make herself comfy. Noticing the smell of popcorn getting stronger, Abby turned around and offered Clarke a massive smile before scooting over and offering Clarke the seat.
Smiling in response, Clarke took a couple of steps forward, holding the bag of popcorn out in offering to her mum, who accepted the piping hot bag, licking her lips as it was brought closer still. That was how the rest of Saturday and most of Sunday was spent for the Griffin women. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end at some point, which is why, at 8:30pm on Sunday night Abby stood up from the nest she’d made herself on the lounge, informing Clarke that she had to go to work early Monday morning, but that she’d be home on Tuesday.
“It was nice spending time with you mum, we should make this a semi-regular thing.”
“I’ll do my best Clarke, but you know my shifts aren’t that pliable and often get added to a lot because I’m one of the senior surgeons.”
“I know, just wish you’d be home a little more now, but you do what you have to do.” Sighing, Abby didn’t know how to respond. There was nothing she could really do, but promised Clarke she would do her best to be home as much as possible from now on.
Nodding her agreement, Clarke set about restoring the room to its former glory with cushions replaced back on the lounge, the DVD’s all back in their cases and back on the shelves, and the lights all flicked off. Taking herself off to bed, Clarke fell asleep with thoughts of her and her mother having a proper relationship dancing around her mind. It was one of the best night’s sleeps that Clarke had had in awhile.
Clarke’s alarm woke her nice and early on Monday morning. Too early in her opinion. If it was up to her, school wouldn’t start till 10, and it would finish at 4, same 6 hour block, just an hour later so that she could get some extra sleep. Zombie-like, she clambered out of bed and made her way through the halls towards the bathroom for a shower. Clarke struggled to wake up fully if she didn’t have a shower, her body was used to it, and so pulling her pyjamas off, she let the hot water cascade off her head and shoulders, slowly opening her eyes further as they adjusted to the sunlight streaming in through the window.
Shutting the water off a good 15 minutes later, she dried herself off and begun throwing her school uniform on. The Arkadia High, bottle green skirt was by far the least attractive thing she owned, paired with the white blouse, which sported the school crest on the left breast pocket. Seeing as though it was now well into winter, Clarke grabbed her Year 12 jersey off the chair which was parked in front of her desk.
Wishing that it was any day other than school photos, or that it was a uniform free day like the one they had last week when she’d lent her jumper to Lexa, so she could wear her warm, black hoodie again. Now dressed and ready for school, Clarke made her way out to the kitchen, where, just as she expected, she found a pile of dishes on the edge of the sink.
Rolling her eyes, she set about pulling the box of Nutri-Grain out of the pantry, and the milk out of the fridge, seeing a bowl already on the bench for her to use. Eating her cereal in peace, Clarke started thinking over what she was going to take for lunch today. She eventually settled on making herself a vegemite, ham and cheese sandwich, grabbing a box of pizza shapes, and an LCM bar, as well as a couple of apples. Sliding them into her bag, she turned back around to the pile of dishes, eagre to get them cleaned before he had to leave.
Feeling like music which was more relaxing than anything else this morning, she pressed play on ‘The Wanted’ as she drove to school. Clarke always had to leave way earlier in the mornings because she was travelling to school with the peak hour traffic. Which was a nightmare. People were pushy and stubborn and more often than not didn’t make room for a single car to slot in and make for seamless travelling. This morning’s traffic was particularly bad, and so arriving at school, Clarke wasn’t in the best of moods.
To make matters worse, when she pulled into the school car park, Clarke noticed that someone had taken her spot. Not that any of the students really ‘claimed a spot’ but ever since she started driving to school, Clarke had parked in the same spot. It wasn’t even a car she recognised either so it could be just about anyone in the school. Huffing as she drove further into the car park, she eventually found a spot next to a rather beat up 1998 Toyota Corolla. Suddenly a voice she recognised began talking to her.
“Hey Clarke, how was your weekend?” It was Lexa, of course it was. And by the looks of things she’d had a pretty good weekend.
“It was pretty good, different. I spent time with mum watching movies for most of it, but we took a break at about 1pm on Saturday to head down to the mall for lunch. How was yours?”
“Oh nice, movie weekends are the best, especially if all of the movies are like a specific theme like Marvel, or Lord Of The Rings or stuff like that.” By this point Lexa’s eyes had widened and filled with excitement. Continuing on, Clarke realised that she missed the start of what Lexa did on the weekend and tuned back in just as she was retelling the events of her soccer match.
“Wow, that sounds awesome Lex! I didn’t realise you played competitively, I thought you just enjoyed kicking a ball around.” That comment earned her a laugh from Lexa, and from the way she was looking at Clarke, Clarke could tell that she was laughing with her not at her.
“Oh yeah, I’m competitive as fuck, especially when it comes to sport and in particular, soccer.” Lexa blushed, realising she had just sworn while having a conversation with Clarke. Lexa quickly finished up what she was talking about just as the bell rang to signal the start of roll call. Had they really been talking for 15 minutes already?
Not that either of the girls were complaining as they bid each other farewell with the last second remark of “I’ll see you later in maths yeah?” Coming from Clarke’s lips. After hearing Lexa’s confirmation that she would indeed see her in maths, she turned away with a smile on her lips as she made her way to roll call.
Okay, so I know I didn't get a lot of interaction with the question from the last update, but let's try this again and hopefully we can get some awesomely cool answers!
What mythical creature do you wish actually existed?
For me, the most awesome mythical creature is a tie between a couple of them. So, if it were up to me, I'd wish that either Werewolves, Griffins or Dragons, and that's for a couple of reasons. So I love the whole idea of shapeshifting and being able to change forms, and I especially think that being able to change into a wolf would be awesome. And then griffins and dragons are both cool in their own rights and I just think it would be incredible of they existed.
Hey hey! Chapter Time!!
Hope you're all keen for it and having a blast of a weekend!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Roll call went surprisingly fast for Clarke, more so for the fact that first two periods she had maths, and that meant spending time with Lexa. Realistically, they could probably finish up their assignment right then and there, but the truth of the matter was that Clarke was beginning to enjoy spending time with Lexa. It was refreshing to hang out with someone who didn’t have any expectations of her or who didn’t see Clarke as this big celebrity type figure just cause she had blonde hair and a good body.
Maybe that’s why, despite having a double of maths today, Clarke still wanted Lexa to come over. Even if they weren’t working on the maths assignment, they could just hang out, maybe watch a movie, something like that. After all, Clarke felt like she did kind of owe Lexa something after making her cancel tutoring this afternoon. Moving from roll call to maths seemed to take forever. People always tended to dawdle when it was first thing on a Monday morning, but not Clarke.
Clarke, having had her mood improved from that simple conversation with Lexa, was now, raring and ready to go, ready to face this day head on. Knowing she had a slightly shorter journey than Lexa did to get to their classroom, Clarke once again felt the urge to quicken her pace and save Lexa her seat, just so she could start getting all her stuff out and ready before Lexa came in. However, walking into the classroom, Clarke noticed that Lexa had beat her to it.
Shaking her head at the irony of the situation, Clarke resumed her path towards their desks observing how Lexa had placed her folder full of other school supplies onto the desk where Clarke had last sat. The closer she got, the more Clarke began to notice small things about Lexa’s facial features, like the way the tip of her tongue protruded just a little ways past the edge of her lips, the small wrinkle that formed between the other girls eyebrows, just above the midsection of her glasses. Wait, what? Lexa wore glasses?
How was it that Lexa could wear glasses and still come off cute, but as soon as she, herself put them on, she felt like a dork. Clarke would often forgo wearing her glasses because of this. Having arrived at the desks, and still not being noticed by Lexa, she cleared her throat. Watching Lexa jump out of her chair in fright almost made Clarke feel guilty, but seeing the other girls face morph from surprise into a smile afterwards was so worth it.
“You saving this seat for someone?” Clarke asked, indicating the desk Lexa’s folder was resting on, a light teasing in her tone.
“As a matter of fact I am!” Lexa replied cheerfully, however changed her tone to one Clarke could tell was serious before seeing Lexa look up and flash that award winning smile at her, “A new friend actually.” Not sure how to respond, Clarke aired on the side of caution and began looking around to see if anyone else was walking over this way before she was yanked down into the seat by Lexa, who shook her head, whilst laughing at Clarke.
“I meant you, I thought we were friends? But if I’ve read something wrong and you want nothing more to do with me after this then that’s totally cool too, and psh I’ll be fine” Lexa rambled on. As Clarke watched, her chest start rising and falling in more exaggerated and ragged movements, and immediately lent over and place her hand on Lexa’s forearm.
“Of course we’re friends Lexa, this has been probably one of the best assignments I’ll ever turn in, and I’ve definitely had the best partner to work with.” Clarke watched as something settled inside Lexa. Her breathing came easier, her mind didn’t look like a million and one thoughts were passing through it every second, she looked calm. While she had Lexa calm, Clarke decided that it would be the best time to ask her question, and so she did.
“Hey Lexa, you know how you had to cancel tutoring to come over so we can work on the finishing touches for the assignment?” Receiving a nod of confirmation, Clarke plowed on. “Do you maybe wanna stay for dinner or watch a movie afterwards? I feel like I should make it up to you somehow.”
“Clarke you don’t have to, really. I made the choice to cancel, I could’ve said no to you and we could’ve done another day, but I decided to cancel, so that’s on me. You owe me nothing.” Lexa said all of that with such genuineness that Clarke had a hard time remaining stubborn about the fact that the least she could do was offer Lexa food or a movie.
“Okay, fair enough, but still, think of it as a reward for finishing this assignment off early, well not early early, but earlier than we would’ve if we had been paired with someone else. Come on, please?”
“I suppose I don’t have anything pressing on this afternoon, I mean, tutoring was the only thing I do on a Monday, so sure, I guess a movie and / or dinner would be alright.” Internally cheering at her success, Clarke awkwardly shot off a finger gun in Lexa’s direction.
“Okay sweet, so is there anything you don’t eat or don’t like?”
“Um, off the top of my head, no, not really. I’m probably the least fussy person that there is when it comes to food, so anything will be fine.” Lexa replied with a bright smile. Either fortunately, because his entrance meant that Clarke couldn’t make this encounter any more awkward or unfortunately because it meant that they couldn’t continue talking about food, or talking in general, Titus walked in.
“Good morning class” he began in that monotone voice. The one he always used, making him sound bored of whatever it was that he was talking about. “If you could all please point your attention towards the whiteboard up the back of the classroom, this will be the last time I answer any questions about the assignment.” As he talked, he collected a marker off his desk and then began weaving his way back towards the whiteboard through the unorganised rows of desks.
“Alright, any questions?” Titus asked, which was the last thing Clarke heard. She copied the notes he was writing down, but wasn’t listening to what was actually being said. Not that she was intentionally not paying attention, Clarke just had other things on her mind, like what Lexa would like for dinner, what movie Lexa would like to see, would it be rude if she left it until they were home and then asked Lexa what she wanted?
Hearing the bell go for the end of the first period, Clarke made to stand up, but quickly sat back down again when she realised that they had another hour of maths to go before leaving the room. Asking if she could quickly go to the bathroom to get a break from maths, Clarke walked out of the room and headed down the hall and out into the playground before heading in the direction of the bathrooms.
As much as she was good at maths, it certainly wasn’t her favourite thing in the world. Grabbing a quick drink from the bubblers outside the bathrooms, Clarke was about to turn around and head back to class but was stopped but a girl who looked like she was trying to square up to Clarke. Taking a quick step back so as to avoid a confrontation, Clarke heard the girl burst into laughter. A laugh as distinguishable as Raven’s began filling her ears.
“Raven, are you kidding me? I thought you were someone else, I totally almost took you out”
“Oh please” Raven said, still recovering from her laughing fit, “like you could take me out, really it’s L …” She didn’t get any further before Clarke’s death stare caused Raven to think about what she was saying.
“Raven” Clarke said, in a dangerously low voice, “No one here aside from a select few know that secret. I do not need you blurting it out, somewhere where anyone could hear you, got it?” Storming back off in the direction of her classroom she vaguely heard Raven reply.
“Yeah, I got it. Sorry Clarke” Getting a couple of metres away, Clarke stopped and turned back around to face Raven.
“It’s alright Raven, but there are things that I’m not willing to let people know about just yet. As much as I am, Ms. Popularity, which isn’t by choice and you know that, I don’t really enjoy having my life become an open book for people who think they know me to start judging.”
“Yeah I fully get that Clarkie, I hate the fact that you can’t be yourself because other people are judgemental assholes. That hurts me just as much because I know that you’re hiding a part of yourself away from the world.”
“Thanks, and I mean, it won’t be forever right?” Seeing Raven shake her head, Clarke realised how long they’d been out here for. “Speaking of forever, we should probably get back to class, Titus won’t be too happy when he sees that I’ve missed about 10 mins of class. Who’ve you got?”
“Ouch, yeah that won’t be pretty. I’ve got Pike which isn’t as bad, but still probably won’t be pleasant. I’ll see you at recess.” And with that Raven started walking off back to science, while Clarke sighed and resigned herself to another 45 minutes of maths.
Watching the clock, Lexa realised that Clarke must’ve been gone for at least 10 minutes. Just after she left, Titus had given them the period to go over their assignment and get some more of it done, which Lexa had expected after going over it for nearly an hour. Having gotten her stuff out for the assignment, Lexa began pottering away at the details and the intricacies of the assignment.
Hearing the door open and a rather flustered looking Clarke enter, Lexa looked up at her with curiosity.
“Yep! Never been better!” Clarke replied sarcastically. “Nah, but seriously, I’m good, just had a rather interesting conversation with Raven is all”
“Yeah? Not that you have to tell me about it, but if you want to, I’m here”
“Thanks Lex, I appreciate it” Clarke said with an air of finality, putting an end to the conversation. Lexa simply observed Clarke as she got her maths assignment material out, and began making small adjustments. Almost as if Clarke could sense Lexa’s eyes on her, she looked up quizzically, her eyes silently asking Lexa the question.
Shaking her head, Lexa shook off Clarke’s questioning look and got back to doing her work. The rest of the class went by fairly quietly. Occasionally they’d talk about semantics like font size for printing, or what the layout should be but aside from that everything was coming along smoothly. With a couple of days to go until submission, the pair were all set and ready to go.
Hearing the bell ring for the end of maths for a second time was music to Lexa’s ears. Automatically, she began stuffing her pencil case and other maths equipment into her bag, before realising that Clarke was beside her having no idea that the bell had rung. A few minutes ago, Clarke had thrown her headphones in and started listening to The Vamps, loud enough so that Lexa, who was sitting a desk across from her could hear the music almost as clearly as it would sound if her own headphones were playing the same music.
Quickly tapping Clarke on the shoulder to get her attention, Lexa informed her that the bell had rung and class was now over. Seeing Clarke’s eyes light up and watching her start to dance a bit freer was rather entertaining to Lexa. Stealing one more glance at the crazy woman next to her, Lexa laughed out a goodbye which was met by an overly exaggerated wave from Clarke. Leaving the room Lexa made her way out to the oval, where she found a nice sunny spot to just sit and be while she waited for the rest of the day to commence.
As the rest of the day trickled on, Lexa began to wonder what was happening tonight. She had no idea what to expect or why Clarke felt like she owed Lexa dinner and a movie, but she couldn’t say no to free food, especially if it meant hanging out with Clarke some more. Deciding that there was nothing she can do about it now, Lexa decided to simply let it all happen and play it by ear. Oh crap, she should probably text her mum and make sure it was all good for her to stay later at Clarke’s.
Just thought I’d let you know that
Clarke has invited me over for dinner after
we work on our assignment, is it cool if
Closing out of her message app, Lexa decided that she’d quickly swing past her place, even though it was the opposite direction from Clarke’s place and so, huffing in frustration at herself for closing out of the app she needed, reopened messages and sent a quick message to Clarke asking if that would be alright. Halfway through sending the message, she heard the dulcet tones of “I Am Groot” signalling that she had a new message. Normally she’d leave her phone on silent during the school day, however seeing as though school was done for the day, Lexa turned the ringer volume on.
Hey Lex, that’s fine!
Do you have an ETA on when you
might be home? Remember it is
a school night and so I don’t
want you out too late.
Sweet! Thanks mum
I might duck home real
quick and grab a change of
clothes cause school uniform
isn’t the comfiest movie
Um not really sure on the ETA
Cause I don’t know what movie
Clarke is planning on watching …
Will definitely be home before 11,
Is that cool?
Locking her phone, Lexa made her way to the car where she decided she’d wait for both her mum and Clarke to respond. “I Am Groot.” Hearing her phone go off again, Lexa clambered into the driver’s seat before unlocking her phone and going straight to messages.
That’s fine, just make sure you
are please, you know I don’t
sleep well when one of my children
aren’t in their beds.
I know mum, you tell me
literally every time this comes
But don’t worry, you’ll
sleep soundly tonight.
Now that her mum knew what the game plan was Lexa felt way more comfortable hanging out at Clarke’s. She knew that at some point if she started feeling less okay with it, she could use her mum as an excuse, and she had, many times in the past. The most prominent example of that was probably when she was 8 and having a sleepover at Costia’s house. Costia was her best friend back when they were growing up, and had parents who were much less strict.
Which is why Lexa’s mum received a call from Costia’s home phone with Lexa on the line asking her mum to come and pick her up because they’d watched a horror movie. From that day forward, Lexa hadn’t had the guts to watch another horror movie. She’d still been friends with Costia, but as they years went by, they gradually grew apart until they were nothing more than Facebook friends. They didn’t choose to grow apart, it just happened. When they got to high school, despite coming from the same primary school, Costia somehow fell in with one of the cool crowds and Lexa, well, she dropped off and found a few friends of her own, who weren’t the unpopular people, but weren’t anywhere near the top of the social ladder by any stretch of the imagination.
Having been sitting in the school car park while she waited for Clarke to respond, Lexa looked up to check the clock in her car and found Clarke standing in front of the bonnet. Momentarily confused as to what Clarke was doing there, when out of the corner of her eyes, she saw the lights on the white car next to her flash, signalling that it’d been unlocked. Suddenly it clicked, Clarke had parked next to her this morning and so it was logical to assume that her car was still the one next to Lexa’s.
“Hey Clarke!” Lexa called out as she wound her window down, her whole body bobbing up and down as she moved her arm around with the handle of the window. “Did you get my message?”
“Hey Lex, yeah I did, and that’s totally cool, you still have my address right?”
“Cool. Awesome. Yeah I do so I’ll see you back at yours in like 20 minutes / half an hour ish”
“Too easy, yeah I’ll see you there.” Watching Clarke climb into her car, she gave off a quick wave, a simple raised hand, before turning the key in the ignition, and pulling out of the car park, heading to her house real quick. Figuring she’d plug her phone in and play music on the drive from her house to Clarke’s, Lexa flicked on the radio to her favourite station which did 3 hours of music with no interruptions from 1pm to 4pm.
Hearing the opening for “She’s Not Me Pt. 1 & 2” by Zara Larsson start, Lexa started humming the piano part before the vocals came in and she started singing the lyrics. Another couple of songs came and went as she drove home before she pulled into the driveway. Dropped the car into park, pulled the keys out and raced into the house. Figuring she’d need her school supplies and laptop, she left them in the car.
Shouting out a quick “Hi mum, bye mum” as she threw a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a black hoodie on with her black and white vans. She ran back out to the car, plugging her phone into the aux port and shuffling the most recent playlist which happened to be all her Aussie bands. Skipping over a couple of Sticky Fingers songs and some of the Ball Park Music songs as well, she finally settled on The Cat Empire’s latest song “Ready Now”.
Making the trek across the town after plugging Clarke’s address into her GPS, was pretty pleasant. Normally she hated driving around in the after school traffic cause people were just crazy on the roads, but this particular afternoon, everyone seemed to be settled and calm. Driving past the school, which signalled the halfway mark between her place and Clarke’s, Lexa’s hands started to get a little clammy and sweaty. Seeing as though her car was an automatic, Lexa was alternating between having her right hand on the wheel and wiping the sweat off her hand on her jeans and then repeating the action with the alternate hands.
The closer she got, she more she had to focus on simply driving and singing along to the music, because if she didn’t, Lexa felt like she’d lose herself into a wave of panic and nerves. As it was, her hands were still incredibly sweaty and the foot that didn’t need to operate any of the pedals had started to bounce and tap constantly. Realising that her foot had started bouncing, Lexa asked herself, why was she so nervous though? It was just watching a movie and having dinner, she’d done that plenty of times with her family, with Anya and Lincoln, so why was it different with Clarke?
Recognising that she was getting nearer and nearer to Clarke’s house, Lexa decided that she’d just slow down and try and force herself to be calm. Which is how, 20 minutes later she found herself pulled over in front of Clarke’s house feeling a whole lot calmer and prepared to enter the house. Getting out of the car with confidence, Lexa, grabber her bag, her laptop and locked the car before heading up towards the towering figure of the Griffin residence which stood before her.
She probably spent about 5 minutes pacing around their front deck before plucking up the courage to knock on the door, and the instant that she did, a wave of nerves flooded her body. What if she had the wrong house? What if Clarke wasn’t home and it was just Abby? Lexa had never met Abby before and was kind of hoping that she didn’t have to meet her just yet. The silence that followed her knock was not dissimilar to that which one would find as they walked down the road at midnight, when there weren’t any animal noises.
Hearing a rustling from the other side of the door Lexa’s breath suddenly caught and she unknowingly began holding it. That was until Clarke’s face appeared in the open doorway. Lexa’s breath came out in a similar fashion to a deflating balloon and it was then that she realised that Clarke was smiling over at her, doing her best to hold back her laughter as she had obviously seen Lexa struggling to knock on the door. After standing there watching each other for a minute or two, Clarke suddenly realised her manners and invited Lexa in.
And question time!
What songs hit you with a wave of nostalgia every time you hear them?
For me it's the song Fireflies by Owl City - it was the first song I ever purchased on iTunes for my iPod nano back when they were released but yeah, when I hear it, I either get triggered cause I listened to it on repeat for agesssss or I get right into it singing all the non vocal parts as well as the vocals.
Alright guys, we have another chapter!
Hopefully you enjoy it, let me know what you think :)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Walking inside the house, Lexa was suddenly both extremely nervous and excited all at once, and she couldn’t figure it out. Lexa loved movies, and free food, so that was one plausible reason for her excitement, and she loved, no, wait, liked spending time with Clarke, even if it was doing their maths assignment. Ah shit, the maths assignment, they had to get that out of the way first, however, knowing how much they’d already completed, this wasn’t going to be much of an issue, maybe it’d take like half an hour to 45 minutes to complete and then they could focus on the movie and dinner.
Hovering nervously, switching from foot to foot in the front entrance of Clarke’s house, Lexa waited for Clarke to give her some indication as to where they were going. She assumed they’d be setting up on the dining table like they had the last time they worked on the assignment at Clarke’s, but didn’t wanna be presumptuous and head right over.
“So, I think we’ll set up on the dining table, that worked pretty well last time, do you want anything to eat or drink Lex?” Clarke asked as she made her way unconsciously through her house.
“Yeah the dining table should be good, and maybe just a glass of water, thanks Clarke” Lexa’s words seemed to come out in one gigantic rush, but Clarke simply smiled, nodded and walked into the kitchen, leaving Lexa to set herself up at the table. Pulling the chair closest to her out, Lexa slid into it, placed her bag on the floor and began getting her equipment out. Knowing that Clarke might not have poster sized paper, she’d brought over her stash, which included posters of multiple colours ranging from black to hot pink, to a soft blue to a green.
Deciding she’d leave them all rolled up until Clarke was back, Lexa pulled out all her printed out information and began neatly laying it out on the table for Clarke to have a look over when she got back. Hearing footsteps getting closer, Lexa found herself fiddling with her fingers and nervously tapping out a beat on her thighs.
“Sorry, we didn’t have any cold water in the fridge, so I hope tap water is okay? If not, we have milk, I could make hot chocolates with the Milo powder, or iced chocolates, I don’t mind, but then we have juice and lemonade.” Clarke stated as she got closer to the table.
“Tap water is fine Clarke, don’t worry about it, but having an iced Milo later sounds like a good plan, what do you say we use it as a reward for after we’ve finished off the assignment?” Getting a big smile from Clarke was Lexa’s indication that she’d made a good suggestion.
“I like it, in that case though, we’d better get stuck into it, we don’t have that much to do anyways which is awesome!” Clarke replied as she began pulling out her own printouts. “Oh crap, I totally forgot, we don’t have any poster paper, if you want we can quickly run to the newsagent and grab some?”
“I …” Lexa began, as she revealed the tube of poster paper, “... came prepared.” Unscrewing the lid, she began sliding out the different colours ever so slightly so that Clarke could pick. Giving Clarke a rather sinister smile, making sure Clarke knew she was messing with her, she continued “Pick your poison, my good sir, and we’ll get this venture underway for the final time.” Starting to laugh at Lexa’s quirkiness, Clarke shook her head as she tried to reign her laugher back and get herself under control. Carrying on Lexa’s somewhat medieval crossed with pirate theme on talking, Clarke replied.
“Hmm let me think, what say you about the black one? Then we can use a yellow texta or yellow paint and draw on a road connecting each part to the next?”
“Damn, that would look amazing, let’s do it!” Lexa said as she began sliding out the black roll, laying it out on the table, before pushing the other poster papers into the tube again and re-screwing the lid. She never would’ve thought to draw the road on, but then again, Lexa was the type of person who could make the drawing of a stickman look bad, so when it came to having artistic ideas and abilities, she tended to avoid them because it was easier.
Laying the poster out, Lexa started placing her printouts in the positions she thought would be the best suited for them. A short time after, once all Lexa’s had been arranged, Clarke began doing the same with hers. After 5 mins of shuffling, re-examining, the pair was finally happy with how their poster was coming together. After Clarke had pulled out a bottle of PVA glue, Lexa got to work, glueing all the print outs down while Clarke started sketching the road.
Now that the roads had been drawn on and the information was glued down, Lexa wasn’t really sure what the next step was. She didn’t want to assume that they’d go straight onto dinner and the movie, but they had been working for nearly an hour now, and Lexa’s stomach seemed to be wondering the same thing. Almost as if it was making its own concern known, Lexa’s stomach let out an almighty growl, as if begging to be fed. This of course, caused Clarke to burst out in laughter and after a minute of staring in horror, Lexa found herself joining in.
“It seems as though your stomach is suggesting something there Lex” Clarke stated after her laughter had subsided and the unshed tears had been cleared from the corners of her eyes
“I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean for that to happen” Lexa replied, but after the period of silence continued on, “I am a little hungry through, what do you think about the possibility of an early dinner?” Although she may have been shy about voicing her opinions and making her presence known, when it was just her and another person, Lexa was definitely not shy about her appetite or the amount she could consume. Perhaps if she were around people she found unfamiliar, she would moderate her food intake, but with Clarke she knew she was safe.
Especially when Clarke seconded her thoughts almost as if she could read them. “I was thinking the same thing funnily enough, I’m absolutely famished in all honesty, I was going to suggest we eat earlier, but didn’t want to make any assumptions or force you to eat early, especially if you’re used to a later dinner. Do you have any preferences as to what we order, or we can cook either or?”
“Well I’m glad we’re both thinking along the same lines,” Lexa replied, “how does Thai sound? I’ve honestly been craving pad Thai for a while but not many of my family like it so it’s a rarity”
“Thai it is then!” Clarke said hopping up to grab her computer and pull up the menu so the pair of them could browse the items and work out what they wanted. 45 minutes later saw the girls seated comfortably on the lounge, a bowl of rice, pad Thai and massaman beef resting on their laps while they perused the Netflix inventory. Trying to figure out a show of movie that both of them wanted to watch was probably the hardest thing they’d had to do together.
While Clarke preferred romantic comedies and chick flicks, Lexa was a huge action, adventure and fantasy. Lexa also secretly loved disney movies. That’s right, she was a closet disney fan, thankfully for her, Anya was the only one who knew but that didn’t mean that her secret was necessarily safe. Because the Australian Netflix doesn’t have as big of a range of movies as Netflix found in other countries, this took the girls even longer.
Due to the fact that she was the guest in the house, Lexa picked up on the fact that Clarke was subtly letting her make the decision. Instead of suggesting titles like “Legally Blonde,” or “The Notebook,” Clarke started suggesting movies which she thought would appeal to Lexa. Movies like “Geostorm,” “The 5th Wave,” and “Focus” were among the list that Clarke began reading out. Smiling to herself at the thoughtfulness that Clarke was displaying, Lexa decided that she’d make a decision relatively quickly.
Which was how, 15 minutes later, the girls found themselves hunkered down on the lounge, hot bowls of Thai food on their laps, covered in a pile of blankets as high as a mountain, because what movie night isn’t complete without blankets, staring at the TV as the opening of Geostorm came on. Hoping that Clarke was actually enjoying the movie as it continued to play out and, as much as she was, Lexa snuck a glance over at the blonde. Ironically, that was the same moment that Clarke had decided to look over at her.
Realising she’d been caught looking over at Lexa, Clarke swung her head back so fast that it would’ve given her whiplash if it wasn’t intentional. Rubbing her neck as if that would alleviate the pain which Clarke had caused herself, she heard Lexa chuckle as she resumed paying attention to the screen. Mentally high fiving herself, Clarke’s brain was commenting ‘that was totally worth the pain, hearing that chuckle.’ Which set her back into a good mood as they got immersed into the movie.
Almost 2 hours later saw the credits start rolling up the screen. Pressing the return button on the remote, the screen flashed to red before all the titles popped up on the screen again. Clarke looked at her phone and saw that the time was about 5pm. Quickly removing all the facebook notifications from Finn and Bellamy asking her what she was doing, she locked her phone again. Dropping it back onto the lounge with a sigh, Clarke glanced over at Lexa who was looking around the room from her seat on the lounge, taking her time examining all the photos.
“Hey, it’s only like 5pm, reckon we have time for another movie or two?” Clarke asked
“Yeah should do, I didn’t know whether you planned on kicking me out after the one movie so I just told my mum that I’d let her know when I was leaving” Lexa replied. As she was talking Clarke observed that Lexa was playing with her fingers and tapping her foot with nervous energy. Figuring she’d put the brunette at ease as quickly as possible, Clarke began talking again.
“I wasn’t going to kick you out after one movie, and you can leave whenever you want, but keep in mind that we do have school tomorrow and I’m assuming you don’t have you uniform in your school bag, but yeah …” Clarke left the comment hanging
“So, do we want to watch another movie then?” Lexa asked, the confidence in her voice making up for the fact that she was still extremely nervous.
“Um yeah we do!” Clarke replied, “What about we watch How to train your dragon? I know it’s cheesy, but I kind of love that movie”
“Sounds good to me Clarke, load her up!” In her attempt to not give away that How To Train Your Dragon was also one of her favourite movies, Lexa had become really awkward and had no idea where that sentence had even come from. “Sorry, that was weird and I’ve never said it before so I’m not sure why I did just then.”
Laughing quietly to herself, Clarke looked over at Lexa and offered her a big smile, “don’t worry about it.”
With the movie found and the snack’s replenished thanks to Clarke raiding of the pantry, they settled in for another hour and a half of movie watching time. Out of the corner of her eye, Clarke saw that Lexa was mouthing all the words as the characters on the screen were saying them. She began to wonder how many times Lexa had seen this movie is she was able to do that.
As the final scene where Hiccup awoke started to form and the ‘This is Berk’ part to start, Clarke once again glanced over at Lexa and noticed that she was quietly singing along to the theme song.
“How many times have you seen this Lex? You’ve literally just recited the entire movie along with it as though we had subtitles.”
“No I didn’t” Lexa rebuted stubbornly.
“Dude, it’s fine if you have seen it way too many times to count, I mean, I know a couple of scenes off by heart, here, ready?” Putting on her best Hiccup impression Clarke began quoting. “ This is Berk. It's twelve days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death. It's located solidly on the Meridian of Misery. My village. In a word? Sturdy. It's been here for seven generations, but every single building is new. We have fishing, hunting, and a charming view of the sunsets. The only problems are the pests. You see, most places have mice or mosquitoes... We have… Dragons.”
“That doesn’t prove anything, that’s literally the opening scene, everyone knows that.” Lexa exclaimed
“Okay what about this one? Dragon classifications. Strength Class, Fear Class, Mystery Class. Thunderdrum: This reclusive dragon inhabits sea caves and dark tide pools. When startled, the Thunderdrum produces a concussive sound that can kill a man at close range. Extremely dangerous, kill on sight. Timberjack: This gigantic creature has razor-sharp wings that can slice through full-grown trees. Extremely dangerous, kill on sight.” Clarke had to pause to take a breath, and just as Lexa made to interrupt, she carried on.
“Scauldron: Sprays scalding water at its victim, extremely dangerous… Changeling: Even newly hatched dragons can spray acid, kill on sight. Gronkles, Zippleback, the Skrill... Boneknapper... Whispering Death... Burns its victims, buries its victims, chokes its victims, turns its victims inside-out... Extremely dangerous, extremely dangerous... kill on sight, kill on sight, kill on sight... Night Fury. Speed unknown. Size unknown. The unholy offspring of lightning and death itself. Never engage this dragon. Your only chance: hide and pray it does not find you.”
Clarke looked more than a little out of breath after she finished that quote, and dramatically fell across the lounge and face planted into the bundle of blankets, which caused Lexa to smile. But when Clarke sat up and dropped her shoulders and began dramatically panting to take in more air, Lexa couldn’t stop herself and began laughing loudly. After her laughter had subsided she decided to respond to Clarke’s earlier question.
“Okay, I’ll give you that one, even though it is a pretty well known part, and to answer your question earlier, I’ve seen it way too many times to count. How many times have you seen it?”
“Never would’ve guessed” Clarke answered sarcastically, rolling her eyes. “I don’t even know how many times I’ve seen it really, I lost count at 20? I think, see, I can’t even remember.” Grabbing the bowls they’d eaten Thai out of and taking them to the kitchen, Clarke set about restoring the rooms to their previous glory before they got stuck into another movie and she lost the will to actually make the house semi-clean. Looking back into the lounge room, Clarke saw Lexa starting to fold blankets and lie them on the armrest of the lounge they’d been sitting on.
“Hey thanks Lex, you didn’t need to do that though, it’s my house, you’re a guest.”
“No worries, and I would’ve done it anyway at the end of the next movie, but I saw you tidying up a bit so I figured I’d get in and help.”
“Well you’re an absolute legend, so what should our third and final movie be for the night, or were you planning on going home?” Clarke asked.
“I reckon we can squeeze another movie in, I mean, it is only like 7-ish right?”
“Yep, 6:48, to be precise, but yeah basically. So any suggestions?”
“How about ‘The Legend of Tarzan’? I’ve been meaning to see it for a while, never got around to it honestly.”
“Sounds good to me! Ooo it’s got Margot Robbie in it, she’s actually ridiculously hot.”
“She is hey! She’s in my top 5 famous crushes actually” Lexa said
“Who else is in yours? I’ve got, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Shelley Hennig, Paul Walker, Chris Hemsworth and Cody Christian.”
“Well you know that Margot Robbie, and then I’ve got Imogen Poots, Eliza Taylor, Melissa Benoist and Katie McGrath.”
“Ah fuck, how did I forget Katie, well she can slide in at number 6 then” Clarke stated seriously, wondering if there was a reason that Lexa’s top 5 famous crushes were all women. Lexa knew that Clarke was bi, since that milkshake thing they had after school one time, but she didn’t know whether Lexa was straight or not and trying not to lie to herself too much, Clarke felt like she was developing a bit of a crush. But she was pulled out of her pondering as Lexa began talking again.
“Well if you get a number 6 then Taylor Swift slides into my number 6 spot” Lexa retorted, before joining Clarke, who had dissolved in a fit of laughter. Wiping the unshed tears from their eyes, the girls, mainly Lexa decided that they’d better start the movie now or they’d never get it going, which to Clarke didn’t seem like such a bad thing.
“Well that was a lot better than I thought it would be.” Clarke commented after the movie had finished.
“Yeah I agree, I kind of expected it to flop really, but seeing as Tarzan was one of my favourites growing up, that was probably me hoping they didn’t ruin it for me”
“Oh yeah totally. I’m kind of annoyed that I waited this long to see it, I will definitely be watching this a couple more times that’s for sure!” Lexa stated fairly enthusiastically.
“Mmm yeah I probably will as well.” Clarke replied and that seemed to put an end to the conversation, both girls seemingly happy just to sit and be in each other’s company. Hearing Lexa’s phone go off with a text from someone, Clarke felt oddly jealous but pulled her own out as she shook herself of the feeling. Why would she be jealous? ‘Be rational Clarke’ she chastised herself for thinking that way. Afterall, it’s not like Lexa had a boyfriend or possibly a girlfriend? Either way, as far as Clarke was concerned, they weren’t an item or anything. Wait, what?
And we have another question!
What’s the most recent show you’ve binge watched?
For me, I've been binging Grimm recently, in the last 2 weeks I've seen just over 5 and a half seasons, but I'm really loving it
Guess who's back! That's right, I am, with a new chapter in tow as well!
Hopefully you enjoy it, and as always let me know on here or at sticks-n-kicks on tumblr
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Their time together seemed to have come to a conclusion after that, with Lexa perching awkwardly on the edge of the lounge while Clarke was lost in thought. Looking over at the brunette, Clarke seemed to suddenly snap to it, jumping off the lounge as if it had suddenly been electrified. Collecting the snack bowls, and walking towards the kitchen, Clarke attempted to shake off any thoughts of them as a couple, but was sadly mistaken and realised this when Lexa reached out and grabbed her arm, taking one of the bowls from her.
Smiling goofily at the way that Lexa grabbed the bowl and found her way to the kitchen by herself, Clarke found herself following her in a hypnotic / zombie like state, doing nothing but stare at the way that Lexa’s hair brushed over her shoulder as she turned around to make sure Clarke was following.
“Just set them down on the bench yeah?” Clarke called out after Lexa had walked into the kitchen. She watched Lexa place the bowl down and then brush her hands on the back of her legs. Hoping to distract herself and change her own pattern of thoughts, recognising where they were leading to, Clarke continued, “what time do you have to be home at?”
“Well mum said before 11, and it’s like a half hour drive, give or take. But I’m feeling pretty smashed after for some reason, so I might head home fairly soon if that’s cool?”
“Yeah, yeah of course Lex, whatever you want.” Clarke replied, hiding the disappointment in her tone relatively well all things considered. Watching Lexa collect all her things and place them back into her school bag.
“You reckon we got everything on there?” Lexa asked as she began rolling up the completed poster and sliding a rubber band around it.
“Definitely, I don’t think we could put any more on that poster if we tried.”
“And hey, that road was a nice touch, it looks amazing Clarke.” Lexa said with such sincerity Clarke had to huff out a massive breath.
“Ahh, I don’t know about that, but it certainly adds something to the black which is good.” While the conversation was going, the pair made their way through the house until they reached the front door.
“Thanks for having me Clarke, dinner was great, I haven’t had Thai in ages so it was really nice, and the company wasn’t half bad either.” Lexa shot off with a blinding smile, as she opened the boot of her car, causing Clarke to blush and laugh awkwardly.
“You’re welcome! Have a safe drive home.”
“Thanks” Lexa replied, having closer her boot and made her way around to the driver’s door, which she opened and climbed in. Making her way back up to the front door, Clarke turned and waved as she heard Lexa’s car splutter to life and reverse out of the driveway. Once the car was out of sight, Clarke turned around and made her way back into the house.
Closing the door behind her, she slumped against it, smiling as she recalled the events of the last 4 to 5 hours, it was all Lexa. If Raven, either Raven or Octavia, she amended, were with her right now, they’d call her a sap, and really who was she to disagree. They’d simply worked on a maths assignment and then watched some movies, ate some food, idly chatted. Nothing of what had happened was monumentally different to what Clarke would do with any of her friends, so why was it that it felt different?
Picking herself up, she began wandering around the house, straightening bits of furniture here and there, folding blankets and putting them back in the chest in the corner of the lounge room. The plates and bowls were still sitting on the corner of the kitchen bench where the girls had placed them after their movies, so Clarke collected these up and stacked them in the dishwasher, but then decided that having her hands submerged in the warm water would be nice so pulled them out again.
Filling the sink with hot, soapy water, Clarke had the plates, bowls, cups and cutlery all washed and set on the draining rack in 10 minutes. Drying her hands on the tea towel which was tucked into the top drawer under the kitchen bench, Clarke headed back to the lounge and plopped herself down in the corner and pulled out her phone. Swiping across to the second screen page, she tapped on the instagram icon and waited for it to load up.
She began scrolling through, rarely liking any of anyone’s posts, Clarke was more interested in just seeing what other people were doing with their lives at the moment, seeing what photos people thought the general population of their followers would find visually appealing or would get them the most likes. Clarke herself, was a firm believer that you didn’t need the most likes, nor did you need to be wearing the skimpiest thing imaginable to feel validated.
Which is why, most of her shots were of her and people going bowling, playing laser tag, going to the movies and other stuff like that. Clarke’s feed was a filled with a diversity of colour, landscapes and people. She followed celebrities like Eliza Taylor, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth and Tyler Hoechlin as well as fan accounts, bands, meme pages and a gazillion other things. Although she was friendly towards everyone, she only gave out likes to those who were her true friends, the people she felt the most comfortable around, which was a fairly exclusive group of people.
She spent about 15 minutes on instagram before she became bored of her peers antics. Just as she was about to close the app, she was struck with the thought that maybe Lexa had instagram, maybe she’s got a few photos which could provide Clarke with more insight into the girl that has suddenly occupied all of Clarke’s waking thoughts. Typing out Lexa Woods into the search bar, so many people came up, but the one which sat second from the top had an icon of a girl in a predominantly blue soccer kit standing on a soccer field. Bingo! Surely that was her.
Clicking on the icon, Clarke noticed that the person wasn’t on private and so all the photos started loading up. Looking at the most recent 3 photos, Clarke ascertained that the girl was in fact her Lexa, and hot damn was she stunning in the soccer uniform. Her finger hovered over the blue ‘follow’ button and before she could second guess herself, she clicked it. Of course, the only thing to do in the situation where you follow someone you have an inkling of a crush on is to throw you phone to the other side of the lounge as thought it caught fire.
Taking a couple of deep breaths, Clarke crawled over to where her phone had landed and ever so slowly turned it over. Nothing. Phew. Wiping the imaginary sweat from her brow, Clarke closed out of instagram and decided that she would do a little bit of reading before heading to bed. Opening up the Kindle app, she clicked into the first of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, which she had read so many times, she might as well have it memorised.
Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, former Baron of Gorlan in the Kingdom of Araluen, looked out over his bleak, rainswept domain and, for perhaps the thousandth time, cursed.
Although she had read the books so many times, they never seemed to lose their power. She still got so completely immersed in them that she lost track of time. She read on, lost in the world that John Flanagan had created.
This was all that was left to him now – a jumble of rugged granite cliffs, tumbled boulders and icy mountains. Of sheer gorges and steep narrow passes. Of gravel and rock, with never a tree or a sign of green to break the monotony.
2 hours later, she was still lying on her stomach on the lounge reading Ranger’s Apprentice, when she got a notification from instagram, that, and a text. Simultaneously. It was from Lexa. Suddenly, all the previous nerves had come back. Opening up the instagram notification first, she saw that Lexa had followed her back, and liked her most recent picture (which was about a year old), but the feeling that gave Clarke was like someone had started a fire inside her, it sent warmth to the furthest extremities of her body.
Pulling up the text then, Clarke saw it was a simple thank you, which she responded to.
The drive home for Lexa was fairly straightforward. She didn’t have a lot of traffic to contend with and so as a result she got home in record time. Not that she was timing or anything, but walking in the door, she realised just how exhausted she really was, she might have made up that excuse in order to give Clarke some peace and tranquility. Following the main hallway towards the bedrooms, Lexa stuck her head into her mum’s room to let her know that she was home before heading back to her own room.
Once there, she slipped off her shoes and jumped onto her bed. Rolling onto her back, Lexa stared up at the roof and thought back over the afternoon. In all honestly, it was the best afternoon she’d had in a while, well apart from the afternoons she went to the oval and kicked goal after goal, slotting them in each corner time and again. But in terms of diversity, this one would have to take the cake and sit at the top of her list of awesome afternoons. Realising she should probably thank Clarke again for the evening, Lexa pulled her phone out and shot off a simple text.
Lying on her bed, her exhaustion had caught up with her and she felt herself drifting off. Making the conscious decision to change out of jeans to sleep, Lexa made herself get up and began stripping herself of the clothes she had worn, too tired to fold them and put them in the cupboard again, she simply threw them onto the chair. The chair that had housed many outfits overnight. Everyone had a chair like that, didn’t they?
Finally changed, Lexa jumped back into bed, hitting shuffle on her favourite playlist, she’d found that she couldn’t sleep without music. Plugging her phone into the powerpoint before she fell asleep so it would be charged tomorrow morning ready for another day in school. Or as Lexa commonly referred to Tuesday’s, hell. Closing her eyes, the last thing Lexa heard before she fell asleep was the dulcet tones of her text tone shouting “I am Groot.”
Beep! Beep! Beep!
Lexa’s alarm screamed at her to wake up. It was now 6:15am, the day was just starting. Groaning, she rolled over and picked up her phone, her alarm always went off 15 minutes before she had to get up which allowed her time to gradually come to her senses and adjust to the light which was now started to pick up strength as it came through the cracks in her blinds. Only 15 notifications overnight which were all from twitter, tumblr and instagram, damn people who lived in different time zones.
Secretly, Lexa loved the fact that there were people in the world who lived in different time zones, it made her life a lot more confusing and easier at the same time, which created variety in her humdrum life. Especially on nights when it was 1am and she was struggling to sleep. Despite having never met in person, one of Lexa’s favourite people to talk to lived on the other side of the world, and was probably the only person who knew of her crush on the gorgeous blonde who’s name was Clarke Griffin.
Having gone through her notifications now, Lexa glanced at the time which sat neatly in the middle at the top of her phone. 6:27 am. Groaning the dropped her phone onto her stomach and rubbed her hands over her eyes, aiming to remove the small amount of sleep that she could feel in the corner of her left eye. With a huff, Lexa sat up and ran a hand through her mass of brown locks. Blinking a couple of times as her eyes grew adjusted to the low level of light which was working its way in between the gaps in her blinds, she threw the blankets off, instantly regretting it as her body was thrown into a shiver.
Grabbing her school uniform, Lexa shuffled her way down the hall towards the bathroom, where, she flicked the light on, squinting at the harshness of it in contrast to the dimly lit hallway. Stripping her pyjamas off, she stepped into the shower as the water gradually grew to a suitably warm temperature. Standing still for little while as she got used to the temperature and her muscles started getting more blood, she rolled her neck a couple of times, revelling in the warmth which was now cascading down her body from the showerhead above.
Debating whether or not she needed to wash her hair, as it was always a gamble as to whether it stayed nice and silky and smooth or puffed and frizzed up and made her look like Monica from F.R.I.E.N.D.S during the episode set in Barbados. Deciding she might as well risk it, she liberally applied the shampoo and conditioner respectively, making sure to wash it all out before shutting the water off and stepping back out into the cool air which was now filled with steam, coating the mirrors above the bathroom sink.
After she had dried herself off, and gotten dressed, she made her way back to her room so she could throw her shoes on and do something nice with her hair, deciding on braiding it after sitting on her bed for a couple of minutes. Getting to work, she had her hair done in a matter of minutes, given that she had lots of practice. Now fully dressed and ready to go, she sauntered out to the kitchen where she found her mum and Aden sitting at the bench both engrossed in their own worlds.
“Morning” she greeted cheerfully, capturing both their attentions.
“Morning Lex!” Aden replied way too enthusiastically for 7:15 am on a Tuesday morning, mouth full of Coco Pops at the same time as Indra, whos voice was lost under Aden’s.
“How’d we all sleep last night?”
“Good” the answering chorus of voices, comprised of her mother and Aden responded.
“Did you have a good time last night Lex?” Her mother asked
“Yeah I did, I really did, it was great! We finished off the assignment pretty quickly and then had Thai for dinner, while watching a couple of movies …” Lexa went on and on, and on some more about how awesome it was spending half the night at Clarke’s. Her mother smiled to herself as she took a sip of the hot latte in front of her, noticing how bright and excited Lexa had become since she began talking about Clarke.
“That sounds like it was a lot of fun Lex,” Indra glanced at her watch, seeing the time was now 7:45 am, she took a big sip of coffee, wincing as the hot liquid ran down her throat. Swallowing, she stood up, and rubbed Aden’s head as she placed her mug in the sink. “And I’m going to be late if I don’t leave in the the next 2 minutes, so have a lovely day everyone and I’ll see you home for dinner at about 6:30 - 7 o’clock.” She finished as she opened and closed the front door behind her.
The rest of the morning went quite smoothly and quickly for Lexa. Packing her bag with a lunchbox full of food and the poster she and Clarke had made, held tightly together with an elastic band. She dropped Aden at his school a little after 8 am, which gave her the usual 15 minutes to get from his school to hers, park the car, and make it to roll call so she could get a bit of reading in. However, as the pattern seemed to dictate lately, she ran into a certain blonde on her way out of the carpark.
“Hey hey” Clarke called out as she caught up with Lexa and joined her on the walk up to the roll call rooms.
“Morning Clarke, how’re you?”
“Good thanks, and you?” Lexa replied, smiling brilliantly as they continued. Their small talk continued right up until the bell, which rung loud and clear from the corner of the building Clarke and Lexa had stopped next to. Both girls, threw their hands over their ears as the deafening sound continued to ring out across the playground. Saying their goodbyes, they went their separate ways, however Lexa knew that maths was first on their timetables, so they wouldn’t be separated for long, and that thought alone was enough to put a smile on Lexa’s face the whole way through roll call.
Walking into maths, Lexa was suddenly overcome with nerves. A million questions raced through her head as she went over their poster in her mind. Did they meet all the criteria? Did they tick off the 3 major monuments or whatever in the city? Did they actually plan it so they’d be near food at the designated times? Her thoughts were running away from her when a hand attached itself onto her shoulder. Spinning around as though her shoulder was on fire, Lexa spun right into the path and arms of Clarke.
“Clarke” she squeaked out, blushing as she realised she was still in Clarke’s arms. Pulling away, she took a couple of deep breaths, and tried to reign in her worry which was now intertwined with shock.
“Lexa, you okay?” Clarke asked, putting every ounce of understanding she could into her tone.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m good, just you know, stressing over nothing.” She played off with a nervous laugh.
“The assignment will be fine Lex, don’t worry about it.”
“I know, I just … I don’t know, I don’t wanna get you a bad mark or anything, you know?” Feeling Clarke place her hands on Lexa’s shoulders the brunette looked up at the blonde who offered her a kind smile.
“I’ll be happy with whatever mark Lex, I actually enjoyed doing this assignment, so as much as it might suck to get a bad mark, at least I know we did everything that we could.”
“Yeah I guess so” Lexa replied before steeling herself and taking in a deep breath. With and air of finality and resoluteness, the pair started walked into class, but not before Clarke slipped her hand into one of Lexa’s giving it an encouraging squeeze, which had totally the opposite effect on poor Lexa, as her heart rate increased. If anything, having Clarke’s hand in her own, made her even more nervous, which Clarke seemed oblivious to, squeezing it yet again and flashing another one of those million dollar smiles.
Annnnnd question time! Hopefully this gets a couple of answers lol
An epic feast is held in your honor, what’s on the table?
For me that's an easy question. We're having roast potato, we're having steamed veggies, we're having roast meat, but we're also having a crunchy noodle salad, a lasagne and maybe some of those really nice dinner rolls that get all toasty in the oven.
Chapter time! As always hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Finding their way across to their seats, the girls sat down, Clarke, full of calmness and confidence, while Lexa was rubbing her hands together whilst exhaling, hoping to quell the nervousness inside her by keeping her mind and hands occupied. When this failed to work, Lexa began tapping the beat to ‘Happy Now’ by Zedd and Elley Duhé on her legs. While she was doing this she unconsciously began mouthing the lyrics.
In the palm of your hands
You can make me dance
Spin me around in circles till I'm wrapped in string
You keep on talking sweet till your fingers bleed
But don't you dare ask me how I've been.
This just so happened to be Lexa’s favourite song at the moment, but she knew that with the amount of times she’d sung it in the last couple of days alone, she’d probably be sick of it by weeks end. Glancing around the classroom now, Lexa noticed that no one seemed to be paying her any attention, which is just how she liked it. Her gaze drifting around the room again, she stopped when it fell on Clarke. She was sitting there drawing, it was spectacular, a pretty lifelike copy of Shelley Hennig, from her days on the set of Teen Wolf as the character Malia.
Lexa must’ve made a noise of some sort cause Clarke lifter her vision from the paper in front of her, her eyes meeting Lexa’s with a questioning look.
“That’s really good” Lexa leant over and whispered to Clarke. “Malia from Teen Wolf right?”
“Thanks, it’s not the best, and yeah, Malia was one of my favourites in Teen Wolf and I figured I needed a new something to sketch anyway.”
Just as Lexa was about to continue their conversation, their maths teacher, Titus Trikru walked in, apologising profusely for being late, but that there was an urgent matter he needed to deal with that couldn’t wait until after class was over. Seeing him walk into the room, Lexa’s nerves seemed to pick up again. Her legs began bouncing up and down, the tapping on her thigh morphed into just the roll of her fingers in no particular pattern or rhythm.
As Titus began explaining how the assignments would be turned in, Lexa turned back and sorted through her bag, locating all the documentation as it was mentioned. By the time explanations were done, and her classmates had started standing up to hand heir assignments in, Lexa had all of the documents, the poster, still rolled up with both hers and Clarke’s names clearly visible, stacked on her desk. There wasn’t a lot of things to turn in, simply a written outline of their information on a printed word document, a criteria sheet from which Titus would mark it from and the poster.
Standing up with Clarke to hand it in, Lexa felt like they might as well be walking from the bifrost entrance all the way to the heart of Asgard that’s how long it would take them to reach the front of the room. ‘One foot in front of the other Lexa’ is what she kept telling herself as they joined the queue. Over the next 15 minutes the queue shortened considerably and before they knew it, the assignment had been submitted.
With a sinking feeling, Lexa reasoned that everything would return to the way it was now, there was no longer a reason for Clarke and her to hang out, watch movies or do anything together. She had quite enjoyed the last two weeks, despite having to do an assignment, which really wasn’t that hard at all. Sadly, quietly, confused, she sat down and prepared herself for the rest of the lesson. Why is handing this assignment in making her feel sad? No one in the history of ever has felt sad about handing in an assignment they’ll be marked on.
The rest of the day, Lexa wasn’t fully present. Sitting with Anya and Lincoln for lunch, she tried her best to input into most of their conversations, but they caught her with her mind elsewhere as the bell rung.
“Hey Lex, what do you think?” Anya tried, but got no response. Looking over at Lincoln, she shrugged and tried again, “earth to Lexa?” Still nothing. Deciding on tapping the girl on the shoulder, Anya lent over and did just that which cause Lexa to startle back to reality.
“What? Oh sorry, I’m pretty sure it’s just a TV show, it doesn’t really matter whether people have seen it or not” Lexa blurted out, noticing the look she was getting from Anya, looked instantly guilty, realising they’d obviously moved on from their previous topic. “Sorry” She added on at the end.
“You alright there?”
“Yeah, perfectly fine, just thinking about one of the pieces I’m trying to teach this kid on the drums this afternoon” Lexa lied with surprised ease, internally berating herself for not being able to engage fully with her best friends.
Swinging her bag onto her back, Lexa got up and headed to her last class of the day. Which went surprisingly fast. She managed to pay attention to the teacher the whole class, writing down every little thing that went up on the board, which forced her to pay attention. Hearing the bell ring, Lexa hastily shoved her book, and pencil case into her bag before rushing out of the room heading for the carpark where her car was sitting, waiting for her.
On her way down, she saw Clarke, but the other girl was too engaged in her conversation with Raven and Octavia to notice her. Or at least so she thought. Unlocking the car, Lexa threw her bag across onto the passenger seat and reversed out of the car spot, pushing the gear stick backwards into drive and made her way towards the school gate. Her phone was quietly playing music through the AUX cord, which she realised was just habit at this point. Get into the car, plug her phone in, hit play on random playlist, then drive. That was the order. That had always been the order.
Getting home, Lexa had so much energy, she was struggling to sit still at the bench while she ate her vegemite toast. Knowing her mum wouldn’t be very appreciative of crumbs being spread around the house, she willed herself to sit and eat the toast in one place. Once that was done she wrote a message for her mum on a sticky note, which let her know that she was going up to the oval for a kick around. Grabbing the bag of balls, her boots and a drink bottle after she’d quickly changed into shorts and a t-shirt, Lexa went back out to her car.
Pulling the balls out of the bag in front of the goals closest to her car, Lexa stretched for a bit before lining up for the first shot. Nothing about this shot was difficult for Lexa. She’d scored much harder ones before, during a game even, when there was a goalkeeper to make it even more difficult. However, this time, when she lined up for the shot, it went sailing well over the top of the crossbar. The next one flew wide, and the next wide on the other side. Her frustration building, Lexa hit the next one with as much power as she could muster straight down the middle of the goal.
Shaking her head, and bouncing on her toes, Lexa wasn’t feeling a lot better. She was still frustrated, she was anxious, everything, and she wasn’t entirely sure why. Lexa wasn’t sure why finishing this assignment had left such bitter taste in her mouth. Walking around to collect all the balls from behind the net, she thought back over all the time she’d spent with Clarke, the movie night they’d had, and found that she’d quite enjoyed the temporary friendship with the popular blonde. Despite the fact that there was the small matter of their different social standings, Lexa felt that she and Clarke had gotten on fairly well, and if things had been different, maybe they could’ve been friends, or maybe something more.
Lexa spent maybe an hour more at the oval kicking goals, once she relaxed and let everything except the goal, herself and the ball disappear, she found she was a lot more consistent at scoring. Knowing she would have to go through the hassle of getting the annoying black rubber things out of everywhere when she got home, she took a preemptive strike against them by shaking out her boots at the oval, pulling her socks off as well. With everything packed into the car, she made her way home.
Seeing as though it was nearing 5:30pm in Australia where Lexa was , it meant that it would be nearing 9:30 am where her friend was on the other side of the world. Great. Just what she needed, to have to wait another hour or so before her friend woke up. Obviously she couldn’t tell her mum cause that’s not the relationship they had with each other, and she couldn’t tell Aden or Anya or Lincoln, cause they’d just tease her relentlessly, as cousins, siblings and best friends do when you have a crush on someone.
Clarke’s day had not gone much better than Lexa’s. She’d been running on a faux high after handing the assignment in, but after she felt Lexa start to recede into herself again, that high had quickly dissipated. Leaving school that afternoon, Clarke had seen Lexa walk past her to her car, and in a fleeting moment of hesitation, let her keep going. Looking back on it now, she should’ve said something, but the moment has passed and now there was nothing she could do that wouldn’t seem awkward or forced.
Finishing the conversation she was in with Octavia and Raven, Clarke made her way to her car, with her head down. As she got nearer, she began to make out the sounds of a car engine starting. Figuring she was about to walk into a car park, she couldn’t really walk in with her head down, so she picked it up and as she did, she caught the tail lights of Lexa’s Corolla. Smiling to herself, she decided she’d try and text Lexa later that afternoon, but that soon became a problem or its own.
Arriving back at her house after a long day at school, all thoughts of messaging Lexa vanished when Clarke walked in the door. Clarke collapsed onto her bed, exhausted. Now that she wasn’t working on the assignment anymore, and her time was her own to do with as she pleased, she found herself running into Finn and Bellamy a lot more, which frustrated her to no end. Clarke wished she was back doing the assignment if for no other reason than spending time with Lexa. Several times she thought about messaging the brunette, but found herself struggling to come up with the words.
The rest of the week came and went and on Friday afternoon Clarke entered the house surprised to find her mother sitting at the bench with a hot cup of coffee, reading over the newspaper, which she never did. Occasionally, Clarke would find Abby sitting down with her ipad, the screen filled with medical jargon which Clarke had no thoughts of even trying to pronounce, but never the newspaper.
“Mum?” She began, “what’re you doing?”
“Hi Clarke, wonderful to see you as well” Abby sassed back dryly, before smiling at her daughter and continuing “I’m just catching up on world news actually, the other doctors were talking about a spike in recent volcanic and earthquake frequency and intensity over the last 24 hours in South America.”
“Oh geez, that does not sound good at all, how was your shift?”
“Yeah, it’s terrible, apparently the death toll is already alarmingly high, and there’s more activity to come. Thankfully we live in Australia, which is located in the middle of a tectonic plate which means we don’t get a lot of that sort of stuff. And it was just another shift really, nothing different or too out there this time. I think the worst thing I dealt with was a broken tibia, but really that’s pretty tame compared to other things I’ve seen, and wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. plus this one hadn’t pierced the skin either which is always a bonus.”
“You might think that’s pretty tame, but still ew. I don’t know how you do it, really!” Clarke exclaimed, shuddering at the thought of seeing a bone sticking out of someone’s leg. She pulled up one of the other stools to the bench and sat next to her mother after preparing them both a hot tea. Content just to sit and bask in the company of her mum, Clarke pulled her phone out of her pocket and it was at this time, she remembered she was going to message Lexa. Opening the thread containing her messages with Lexa, Clarke set about typing out a new message.
Deciding to verbalise her message she began typing. ‘Hi Lex, hope the rest of you day was good, thanks again for working on the assignment with me!’ Ugh that sounded pathetic. Take 2. ‘Lexa! You’re rad, the assignment was gnarly, everything has been awesome these last two weeks! Thanks for working with me’ Hell no. Now she sounded like some 90’s skater dude, which was like the furthest thing from who she actually was. Sitting there for a solid 15 to 20 minutes, frustrated and unsure of what to say, Clarke finally spoke up.
“Hey mum, how would I write a thank you message out without sounding either like I’m coming onto the person, or that I’m too chilled and casual? Cause I really enjoyed the last couple of weeks and I don’t want things to go back to the way they were.”
“Well, you might have to just be direct and upfront about it all. Is this that Finn boy that I hear Octavia and Raven talk about all the time, or is it Bellamy? Either would be appropriate suitors for you” Abby replied, which caused Clarke to scrunch up her face and shake her head side to side. Watching her mother laugh at her, Clarke decided that there was only so much mother daughter time she could endure. Sliding the stool back under the edge of the bench, she picked up her school bag and made her way to her room to change, and figure out what to say. After drafting another three or four messages, Clarke finally knew what she was going to write, and with that, she began typing.
These last few weeks have been a blast for me,
I hope they have been for you too. Just wanted
to say that, I thought we nailed that assignment
and I couldn’t have done it without you. You have
no idea how nice it is to work with someone who
is willing to contribute equally to the research and
actual final presentation of an assignment. Anyway,
just wanted you to know that I think you’re really cool
and would love it if we could hang out again sometime.
Her thumb hovered over the send button numerous times. Her palms becoming sweatier the longer it took to send the message. Deciding that it would be better to hit send and be done with it, Clarke hit the button and threw her phone across to the other side of her bed so she would spend the next however long watching her phone, over analysing why Lexa hadn’t responded yet. Picking up the remote for her TV, Clarke navigates to the Netflix app where she scrolls through her list of shows to Grimm. She’d seen bits and pieces from when it was aired on TV, but had never followed the whole thing, so figured this was a good a time as any.
She was three episodes into the first season when from the other side of the room she heard the faint buzz of an incoming text message. Stopping the show, Clarke slowly and carefully decided to turn her phone around, hoping to get a glimpse of who it was from before actually reading the message. Inch by inch, the phone was turned and the screen lit up, due to the ‘rise to wake’ function of the iPhones. The green message icon appeared and along side it, Octavia’s name. Exhaling in what was the release of a mixture of nerves and thankfulness.
Clarke read the message, something about wanting to go out clubbing tomorrow night, which she didn’t really feel like doing, but resigned herself that she might as well go and have fun. She was midway through replying when it buzzed a second time. This time it was Lexa. Throwing the phone onto the bed next to her like it was electrically charged and had just unloaded the full force into the palms of Clarke’s hands. The nerve had set back in again, but this time there was an air of excitement too.
I also really enjoyed the last few weeks and getting
to know you as well has been awesome. Believe it or
not, I do actually know what it’s like to work with
someone who doesn’t contribute at all, so can fully
understand where you’re coming from and I have to say
it has been pretty nice! And I’d love to hang out with you
at some point as well, but obviously you have your own friends
and reputation to maintain so I wouldn’t want to impair that.
Hastily typing out a reply to Lexa, Octavia’s message had long since been forgotten, after all, she didn’t want to go out tomorrow night anyway, she’d much rather hang out with Lexa.
High School reputations don’t amount to
anything when we finish so there’s no chance
of you impairing that at all. Besides, why would
hanging out with you have any impact on my rep?
You’re awesome and I just wish the school would see
that as well. And I can hang out with my friends
any old time, but to be honest, they’re not all what
one would call true friends.
That’s really sweet Clarke, I’m glad you
see it that way, honestly I hate stereotypes
and reputations and stuff so it’s nice to hear
someone else think in a similar way. You’re pretty
awesome too by the way, just in case that wasn’t
already obvious, not just because you’re pretty, but also
because you’re smart.
Wait what? Lexa thought she was pretty?! This was the best day of Clarke’s life to date. Reading and rereading over Lexa’s latest message, Clarke’s cheeks tinged pink and her stomach filled with butterflies every time she read the last part. Suddenly her nerves got the best of her and she didn’t know how to process anything at all.
And, we have another question: What animal would be cutest if scaled down to the size of a cat?
Okay this is kinda tricky cause so many animals would be cute at that size, but I reckon either a panda or a camel. Like can you imagine how weirdly cool that would be?? Anyways, what do you think?