What was it about this boy that made Twyla's little undead heart leap with joy? There had been guys she'd liked in the past, of course but she wasn't nearly as boy-crazy as her friend, Howleen.
Whenever Twyla found herself beginning to develop feelings for a boy, she'd avoid him at all costs until any thoughts of him vanished on their own. The way she saw it, it was pointless. There was no way any manster could like her in that way anyway so what was the use? Yet, with this boy, no matter how hard she tried to stifle her feelings, all he'd have to do is flash her a friendly smile and she'd feel her heart begin to soar.
Twyla sat alone at a desk in the classroom that was reserved for The Disappearing Club. She wore a thoughtful look with her head resting on her hands as she thought of the object of her affections. He's late, she noted mentally. She decided to get started without him. Well, as best she could with her being The Disappearing Club's only other member.
She got up from her seat and walked over to the blackboard in front of her. She grabbed a stick of white chalk that lay on a table near the board and began to write the words, 'The Disappearing Club'. As she did this she wondered where the club's leader was and why he was late. Twyla had been seeing a lot less of him since he'd begun dating that other ghoul but he'd never been late to a club meeting before.
Absent-mindedly, Twyla began doodling her crush's name on the blackboard.
Even just seeing his name scribbled on the ancient blackboard made Twyla flush a little. She thought of Billy's smile that always seemed to make her want to smile too no matter how she was feeling, she thought of his cute blue beanie that he was never seen without, she thought of how generally good-natured he was; even in the worst of situations. She smiled to herself. Underneath where she had written his name, she added a few bullet points:
- Nice smile
- Looks cute in a beanie
- Kind and caring
Twyla remembered the time Billy had first approached her about The Disappearing Club. He'd been so eager; his face had been alight with passion and he'd been talking so fast she'd barely been able to understand.
"I want to start a club for monsters like us," he'd said. "Monsters who can disappear or just feel like they want to disappear sometimes. So that we don't have to feel alone, you know?"
The invisible had been disappointed when he'd called the first club meeting to order and the only other unliving thing in the room had been Twyla. Rest assured, he didn't let it bother him though and he was smiling again in seconds.
Most of the club's meetings from then on were just the two of them. Their friends, Catty Noir and Spectra Vondergeist turned up from time to time but they weren't official members. If Catty wasn't busy recording a new single, she was being mobbed by fans and Spectra had her blog to keep up with.
Twyla added two new points to her list:
- Doesn't let bad things get him down
Twyla wasn't exactly sure when she'd fallen for Invisi Billy. Was it on that fateful day when Billy had somehow sensed her hiding in the shadows and he'd popped over to say hello, despite being just as shy himself? Or was it on that other day when she'd been feeling down and he'd cheered her up by using his invisibility powers to play pranks on people and make her laugh? Or had she finally fallen for him when it was too late? That day he'd excitedly rushed over to tell her that he and Scarah Screams were officially a couple.
She remembered that day slightly less fondly.
"Twyla! Guess what!" Billy had cried as he bounded toward her. Back then it had been rare to see Billy fully visible so Twyla stepped out from the shaded corner she'd been hiding in and gave him her full attention. Billy's smile wasn't exactly an unusual thing but today he was beaming and there was a slight red tint to his cheeks.
"You know Scarah Screams, right? The banshee?" he fluttered.
Yes, Twyla did know her. She'd often noticed Billy staring at her whenever they were together.
He didn't wait for a response. "Well, we're kinda together now? I don't know. We kind of accidentally went on a date last night. It's a long story." The more he rambled the redder his face got. "And, well, I-I really like her, I guess…"
Twyla smiled in response and maybe she'd mumbled something along the lines of, "That's great! I'm really happy for you, Billy!" but she didn't really remember. All she remembered was the pain she'd felt in her chest when she saw the way he smiled when he spoke about Scarah. He never smiled that way at me, she thought.
Billy and Scarah had been together for a good few months now and Twyla consequently began to see less and less of her crush. She always greatly anticipated The Disappearing Club meetings as it seemed like these were the only times she got to see Billy nowadays. Scarah was a nice ghoul and Twyla knew that neither she nor Billy had any problem with her hanging out with the two of them but she always felt out of place with them. Like a third wheel.
Twyla looked over the list she had scrawled on the blackboard:
- Nice smile
- Looks cute in a beanie
- Kind and caring
- Doesn't let bad things get him down
Twyla didn't feel that this was nearly enough and if given the chance she could write pages and pages about Billy's good qualities. However, since said boy was probably going to walk through the door of the classroom at any moment she opted to erase the list instead.
Twyla's thoughts drifted to Scarah.
Scarah Screams was a nice girl. Pretty too. Like herself, she was rather quiet and didn't really stand out much but with Scarah it was more of a deliberate thing. She was also a telepath so the banshee probably knew all about Twyla's feelings for her boyfriend but she never said anything about it. Twyla wondered why. Maybe she was just being nice.
As jealous as Twyla was of Scarah, she could never hate her. The banshee had been nothing but nice to her since Billy had introduced them and she knew how perfect she and Billy were for each other.
"That's right," Twyla muttered to herself. "Scarah is much better for him than I could ever be. This is for the best."
Despite her efforts to convince herself of this, Twyla felt her eyes begin to fill with tears. She wiped them away profusely as she heard footsteps out in the hallway and the classroom door was gently pushed open.
"Sorry I'm late."
It was Invisi Billy. Clad head-to-toe in his signature dark blue. He wore his usual light blue beanie and his blue-black bangs fell over one eye. Even though she'd been crying moments prior, Twyla felt herself smiling genuinely at the boy as he entered the classroom. He slipped his bag off his shoulder and placed it on one of the desks then turned to look at her.
"Hey, you okay?" he asked, his brow knitted in concern.
That's another thing I could add to my list, Twyla thought. He always knows when something's wrong, even when I don't want him to.
Twyla nodded a little too enthusiastically. "Yeah, I'm fine. So where were you? Did Mr. Hack keep you behind again?"
Twyla knew the answer before Billy even opened his mouth. "Nah, I was hanging with Scarah and we kinda lost track of time." He had a dreamy look in his eyes. "But anyway, there's something I've been kind of meaning to talk to you about."
"Oh?" Twyla responded, trying to keep her voice steady.
There was a short pause and Billy rubbed the back of his neck. For a second he looked directly at the blackboard and Twyla panicked, terrified that she'd missed a bit of her list and right that second he was reading all the embarrassing things she'd written about him but then he looked up at the ceiling.
"This will be our last club meeting." he said in almost a whisper.
"Oh," Twyla repeated because she'd forgotten how to say anything else. Then when she'd recomposed herself she asked, "Why?"
He chuckled but his eyes were sad. "Headmistress Bloodgood has been threatening to scrap The Disappearing Club for a while now to make room for new clubs. We don't really do much anyway and there's just the two of us…"
"Oh," Twyla said for the third time, feeling like a broken record.
"But it's no big deal!" Billy grinned. "We can still hang out and practice disappearing and stuff outside of the club."
"Right!" Twyla exclaimed, mirroring Billy's grin. Except that's not true, she argued silently. You'll want to spend all your time with Scarah now.
The two stood silently for a few moments, avoiding each other's gaze. Then Billy picked up his bag and swung it over his shoulder. "Since this is our last meeting there's not really much point in sticking around. Unless there's something you want to do?"
I just want to hang out with you. "Nah, you're right." Twyla said. "See you later."
It was the last word Billy said before he faded out. Most likely he'd then run off to see if he could catch up with Scarah.
Twyla sighed. "Yeah, bye," she said to no-one in particular. "I wish I could tell you how much I like you."
Little did she know, as Twyla picked up her belongings and exited the room, Billy was still there in his invisible state, having heard everything she'd said.